Less than 6 teaspoons: New added-sugar guidelines

sugar consumption A spoonful of sugar may just be the reason for the medicine to go down, prompting new guidelines from the American Heart Association. These guidelines recommend that children and teens, ages 2 to 18, should consume less than 6 teaspoons of added sugars a day. Children under 2 shouldn’t have any added sugars in their diet. Added sugars are sugars and syrups added in the processing and preparation of a food product.

To put that amount in perspective, 6 teaspoons of sugar is about 25 grams, or 100 calories. Cutting added sugars can lessen your child’s risk for high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes — all of which contribute to heart disease.

Starting in July 2018, the Food and Drug Administration is requiring nutrition fact labels to list the amount of added sugars, so keeping track will be easier. In the meantime, try to avoid sugary products marketed directly toward children, such as cereals. Instead, offer your kids plenty of healthy foods such as fruits, veggies, low-fat dairy products, lean meats and other proteins.