Refresh Your Child’s Diet with Low-Sugar Options

Many families look to the new year as a time to reset their eating habits and focus on making healthier choices. However, adults aren’t the only ones who could use a menu refresh. 

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found nearly all of the toddlers in their study ate an average of 7 teaspoons of added sugar daily – the equivalent of a candy bar. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, excess sugar consumption can lead to an increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

“Small children have small stomachs,” said Courtney Hines, a nutritionist for KinderCare Learning Centers, which cares for more than 165,000 children around the country every day. “You want them to fill up on nutrient-dense foods, not empty calories in the form of added sugar.”

For families that want to cut down on the amount of added sugar in their diets, Hines recommends these low-sugar ideas for meal and snack times.

Swap Out Syrup

Hones recommends pancake toppings that are sweet and savory without the added sugar of syrup: 

  • Peanut, almond or sun butter and banana slices
  • A warm berry mix 
  • Applesauce (no sugar added variety) and cinnamon

Snack Sweet

These alternatives can still help satisfy those cravings:

  • Applesauce with baked cinnamon pita triangles for dipping
  • Toast topped with nut or seed butter, smashed banana and a sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Frozen fruit smoothies
  • Plain yogurt topped with granola, nuts, seeds or fruit
  • Apple slices with nut or seed butter

For more ideas to introduce your children to healthy habits from a young age, visit

KinderCare Learning Centers is opening a brand new center in Pewaukee on May 3rd! To save your spot or find out more about the new Capitol Drive East KinderCare center, visit or call 833-90-LEARN today!  

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