How many sweets should children eat?

Sweets: how much can children snack on?

children love sweets. Is it because of the early taste? Because both amniotic fluid and breast milk taste sweet. Researchers also suspect that children are snacking because their bodies need more calories as they grow. But too much sweets are unhealthy. This is how parents find the right balance.

As with all vices, you have to learn how to handle sweets. Parents play an important role model role here. Those who constantly stuff themselves with chocolate and other sweets can hardly expect their children to voluntarily forego sweets. Even a complete ban makes no sense, as children usually find ways to get sweets from other sources, for example from friends or grandparents.

Sweets only after eating

As long as children are not familiar with sweets, they usually do not miss them. Once they have got a taste for it, even toddlers can nibble a small handful of sweets once a day. "It's best for children to eat sweets right after they eat," advises Berthold Koletzko, pediatrician in the Gesund im Leben network. The initiative is funded by the Federal Ministry of Food. In this way they learn how to use the delicacies consciously.

This has several advantages: The blood sugar level does not rise as much as when people are constantly nibbling. Another plus: the children get used to the fixed time for sweets and whine less in between. "It is important that sweets are not eaten to fill you up, but to be enjoyed," explains Koletzko. Most importantly, they should not be used for calming or comforting. Otherwise there is a risk that children will prefer chocolate later and become overweight.

Hidden sugar

"Most of the sugar is hidden in foods that look harmless or even have a reputation for being healthy - such as fruit yoghurt or muesli bars. Tomato ketchup even consists of a quarter of sugar. Liquid sweets also weigh heavily: In Half a liter of lemonade contains 18 sugar cubes, "says Iris Schürmann-Mock, author of the book" Meal, Children - Nutrition Tips for Parents in a Hurry ".

Why too much sweets are harmful

When children snack a lot, not only do they consume too much sugar, but other, healthier foods such as whole grains and vegetables are also left by the wayside. However, a balanced, varied diet is important for healthy development. If children permanently eat too one-sidedly, this has lifelong consequences for their health, because eating behavior is shaped in childhood.

How many sweets should children eat a day?

The Research Institute for Child Nutrition (FKE) recommends not consuming more than ten percent of the daily calorie intake in the form of sweets or snacks.

Recommended daily amount of calories:

Age of childrenGirls & boysgirlBoys
2 - 31100
4 - 61400
7 - 91800
10 - 122100
13 - 1422002700
15 - 1825003100

100 calories are contained in:

  • 1 scoop of ice cream
  • 4 shortbread biscuits
  • 20g chocolate
  • 30g gummy bears
  • 200ml lemonade

According to this, for example, a five-year-old child should not consume more than 140 calories a day (ten percent of the recommended 1400 calories a day) in the form of sweets, which would roughly correspond to a scoop of ice cream and two biscuits.

Children with celiac disease are also allowed to snack

Children with gluten intolerance do not have to go without sweets. The prerequisite is that parents do not use normal, gluten-containing flour made from wheat, spelled, rye, barley or green spelled. Healthy and tasty pancakes or muffins, for example, can be made from buckwheat or quinoa flour, explains the Association of Pediatricians (BVKJ) in Cologne. De-oiled almond flour or coconut flour can also be used as a basis for baking something for people with celiac disease.

Sweets are always the exception

As a substitute for normal flour, products made from soy, chestnuts, carob kernels or tapioca can also be used. According to the BVKJ, starchy rice flour or potato starch are rather unpopular with children. The experts advise against rewarding sick children with purchased gluten-free sweets or gluten-free fast food. As with healthy children, something like this should only be allowed in exceptional cases.

In celiac disease, the body cannot tolerate the gluten contained in many cereals. Even the smallest amounts can lead to diarrhea and stomach problems in those affected. In the long term, growth can be disrupted, the small intestine damaged, and the bone disease osteoporosis can develop.

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Important NOTE: The information is in no way a substitute for professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.