How Much Sugar Should We Be Eating?

March 1, 2017

Check out the menu below.

It very well could be what a kid would eat in a typical day, right?


  • breakfast:  Life cereal & milk
  • snack:  granola bar
  • lunch:  turkey sandwich, fruit, goldfish, juice box
  • snack: fruit
  • dinner:  chicken parmesan and broccoli
  • dessert:  scoop of ice-cream

Seems harmless enough, right?


Let’s analyze the sugar content in this ‘typical’ day of eating.

  • 1 serving of Life cereal = 5 grams of sugar
  • Annie’s organic granola bar = 6 grams of sugar
  • juice box = 23 grams of sugar
  • marinara sauce from the chicken parmesan = 4 grams of sugar
  • scoop of ice-cream = 18 grams of sugar

Total sugar:  56 grams

Now let me tell you how much sugar consumption per day is recommended NOT to exceed for a healthy diet:

  • preschool & elementary age = 9 – 16 grams per day
  • teen years – adult = 20 to 32 grams per day

See where I’m going with this?

Guys – sugar is EVERYWHERE and we are all eating so much more than we think!

If an elementary aged child drinks ONE juice box he has already gone over the sugar allotment for the day.

There is nothing good about sugar and this is an undisputed fact. Sugar is harmful to our bodies and we are eating it like there is no tomorrow.  But guess what – tomorrow is coming, and hopefully many MORE tomorrows to follow!

We need to protect ourselves from the harmful effects of sugar, but more importantly, we need to educate our children about the effects of sugar and raise their awareness of how much they are actually consuming.

I’m not saying anything mind blowing here.  But sometimes I think we all need a reminder.

I completely understand that removing sugar from our diets and our families’ diets is much easier said than done, but just like anything in life we are trying to change, we need to take baby steps.

  • Perhaps instead of cereal, offer oatmeal with smashed bananas to sweeten it a few times per week.
  • Or perhaps instead of soda or juice at dinner, have only water or seltzer a few nights of the week.
  • Or perhaps if kids have sweet treats more than once per day,  limit it to just once.

We need to explain to our kids that while it is OK to have some sugar, having too much is not OK, and they have to be cognizant each and every day of what they put into their bodies.

They want cookies at lunch?  Then none after dinner.  They want juice at dinner?  Then no dessert after dinner.

Moderation.  Thoughtful actions.  Compromises.

Right now we are the bosses.  We buy the food.  We have influence on what our children eat.

But soon enough our children will be their own bosses, and as parents it is our duty to teach them what it means to eat responsibly.


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