“A recent study showed that minimising the intake of added sugars may help to reduce the burden of overweight and obesity in children ”, says Susie Burrell, paediatric dietitian and mother of 2 ½-year-old twins. We all know that too much added sugar can have many negative health effects such as weight gain and blood sugar problems...
Yet surprisingly, we’re in the midst of an epidemic in Australia. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, at least 1 in 4 Australian children between the ages of 2-17 are overweight or obese, increasing the risk of developing chronic disease later in life . And according to Burrell, one of the factors driving this epidemic is the introduction of sugar early in life.
So what can we do given that sugary treats seem to be everywhere? And often, reaching for them is the easiest way to pacify your baby – until the sugar high kicks in. We’ve all been there – the middle of the supermarket when your child is having a meltdown over wanting a sweet treat so you grab the first squeezy yoghurt you can find (a lot of these are loaded with sugar so make sure you read the back). The fact is that despite best efforts, it can be hard to keep added sugar out of your baby’s diet because while it doesn’t add any nutritional value, it can be found as an additive in a range of baby food products. The good news is that satisfying that sweet tooth doesn’t have to involve a ton of sugar. Bellamy’s Organic has just launched a new custard range – the only kids’ custard with no added sugar – a delicious guilt-free snack for your baby (can we eat it too?!). There’s also 1/3 cup of Organic Milk in every pouch. They’re pretty much a baby bag essential for every mother (when the meltdown in public starts, these pouches will save your sanity). Flavours include Banana Custard, Cherry with Cacao and Vanilla Pear with Chia seeds (yes, these aren’t your average baby custards – lucky babes). “Bellamy’s are renowned for not compromising on quality and ingredients,” explains Burrell.
So how can you tell if your baby food has added sugar? “First, turn the pack over and look at the ingredient list. Look for any added sugar; it can be disguised as sucrose, honey, glucose, glucose syrup, treacle or molasses, but these all amount to added sugar,” explains Burrell. “Next, check the order of ingredients. The order often indicates how much of each ingredient is in the product. Typically, it is best to avoid products that have added sugar listed in the top 3 ingredients”. The simplest thing to do, says Burrell is to look for baby food products that state ‘no added sugar’ on the front of the pack. Now, which custard flavour to pick first?
 2014-2015: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-statistics/behaviours-risk-factors/overweight-obesity/overview