The latest dietary guidelines recommend no added sugar for this age group
The U.S. Agriculture Department and the Department of Health and Human Services released dietary guidelines for 2020 through 2025. For the first time, the guidance included a recommendation for infants and children under the age of 2: “avoid foods and beverages with added sugar.”
After 2 years of age, added sugars should be limited to less than 10 percent of calories per day, according to the guidelines.
“At every life stage, meeting food group recommendations — even with nutrient-dense choices — requires most of a person’s daily calorie needs and sodium limits. A healthy dietary pattern doesn’t have much room for extra added sugars, saturated fat or sodium,” the study says.
The guidelines, released every five years, help set standards around various programs and school lunches. Dr. Jeremy Daigle, a pediatrician and at Advocate Children’s Hospital, fully supports this recommendation.
“Sugary foods and drinks add no vital nutrition to an infant’s diet,” he says. “The first two years of brain growth are very important in the overall growth and development of children, so there should be ore focus on nutrition that will exemplify this fact. Extra/added sugar does nothing of benefit in this aspect.”
Dr. Daigle says a child’s early years are critical when it comes to education and good habits.
“These early years should help guide and teach a child proper nutrition. It’s never too early to encourage healthy eating habits!”
About the Author
Holly Brenza, health enews contributor, is the public affairs coordinator at Advocate Children's Hospital. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. In her free time, Holly enjoys reading, watching the White Sox and Blackhawks, playing with her dog, Bear and running her cats' Instagram account, @strangefurthings.