Baby Food and Sugar: Since becoming a mum, I have seen different questions about nutrition in babies, some which I have tried to write solution based article on. Nutrition is important in children’s development. Nutrition is almost as important as the nurturing we give to our kids. A typical example is how love and care level affect cell development in children, likewise the same way sugar affect cell development in children.
How does Sugar affect children?
Most parents are aware that sugar is linked to their children’s fluctuating energy level, hyperactivity, mood disorders, weight gain, acne, and tooth decay—and they are absolutely right.
There is something called too much sugar and they definitely have unexpected territory defects in relation to retentive memory, learning, addictive tendency, appetite regulation, self-soothing, gut health, liver function, diabetes risk, lung health, heart disease, and metabolism. The soul aim of sugar based product is to keep you wanting more! A bait you are never going to get out of if you start with your children.
Stem Cell Development
Stem cells function almost like the mitochondria in Plant, as a sort of master cell, a cell that hasn’t yet formed a special function. As growth and development progresses, stem cell develop into specialized cell with it own functions. This cell be can sensitive when being programmed based on certain nutritional value or deficiency.
While more people are becoming aware of the dangers of too much sugar and realize the need to reduce consumption, it’s not commonly known just how bad sugar can be for growing bodies. While you might be familiar with the visible behavioral effects of sugar that you’ve seen in kids when they’ve had too much, you may not appreciate the hidden dangers of what’s going on “under the skin”. You don’t see the damage sugar is doing to your child’s brain, other developing organs, and body. Perhaps the most significant trigger of the perfect sugar storm is the unique physiology of kids and how sugar, once it is consumed, has such a negative impact on their growth and development.
New research shows that too much sugar during these growth periods put children kids at risk at any stage whether they are still developing in the womb, weaning from breast milk towards solid foods, having a big growth spurt during the elementary years, or going through adolescence. Kids go through many critical periods of growth when cells and organs are especially sensitive to the adverse effects of different kinds of sugar and too much of it. Most parents are aware that sugar is linked to their children’s fluctuating energy level, hyperactivity, mood disorders, weight gain, acne, and tooth decay—and they are absolutely right. But too much sugar also affects unexpected territory, with disturbing and possibly lasting effects on learning, memory, addictive tendencies, taste preference, appetite regulation, self-soothing, gut health, liver function, diabetes risk, lung health, heart disease, and metabolism.
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Another significant issue that explains how sugars can disrupt growth is the idea that developing cells can be sensitive to even very low levels of sugar, especially fructose. All cells derive from stem cells.
Stem cells function as a sort of master cell, a cell that hasn’t yet formed a special function. As stem cells develop into specialized cells, they can be sensitive to being reprogrammed based on certain nutritional factors. A typical example is exposure to fructose can alter the fate of developing cells, making them more likely to become fat cells. This maybe linked to the reason while children who are exposed to junk food are often obes.
Because babies in utero, infants, and children are growing, they are more likely to have a higher amount of these developing cells, and these cells can be programmed by exposure to the wrong type of sugars. Once these cells are programmed, they’re for a child’s entire life.
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In other words, in some situations, even small amounts of the wrong type of sugar can irreversibly alter the fate of a developing cell.
I have seen information where mothers stated out that their Doctors certified them to put sugar in children’s pap, and other liquid to make it palatable. Children naturally would eat any food except you already wired their taste bud during pregnancy to sugar.
Amara states that, “The process of building a mature brain begins in utero and continues through the teenage years. sugars during periods of development can alter the brain and have irreversible and lasting effects on behavior, food preferences and ability to regulate appetite.
In addition, studies show that even just watching commercials for sweet foods and drinks activate the brain’s reward regions, making kids physiologically more vulnerable to product marketing. It’s difficult for most adults to resist sugar marketing, but children, whose executive functions are still developing, are even more vulnerable to their effects. In simple terms, this means that the behaviors and traits of children can be shaped irreversibly through exposures and experiences during these critical periods of brain development.”
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What is the best option for children eating?
We are all aware that sweetening is a very important function required for food. This is why as a mother and care giver, we should ensure to take away sugar or rather do not initiate sugar into children’s diet. If it is compulsory to make children’s food more Palatable, the use of fruits (Squeezing and adding to their food is much more recommended).
“A recent analysis of 240 of the most popular baby and toddler foods in the US showed that 100 percent of baby food desserts, 92 percent of fruit snacks, 86 percent of cereal bars and 57 percent of teething biscuits and cookies contained more than 20 percent of their calories from sugar. Almost 40 percent of all products listed sugar (or some form of sugar) as the first or second ingredient, even those branded as healthy choices. These companies know that a preference for sugar is formed early and if they develop this preference in babies and young children, they’ll create a reliable market of sugar eaters” – Amara.
Based on the above information, it is very important you check your Formula to ensure they are not sugar based product, or rather if you have the time and energy you make your food privately for babies from home.
Temi Badmus, Content Creator, Food Scientist and Nutritionist.