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Are your kids eating too much sugar?

Research suggests that many parents worry about their weight, with results from the latest AIA Australia Healthy Living Index revealing that 78 per cent of women and 64 per cent of men would like to lose a few kilos.

Chances are these same people pay attention to what enters their mouths, and try to consciously make healthy choices.

There is plenty of information available about healthy eating, equipping adults with the power to choose nutritional foods.

Yet is this information being passed down to their children?

New research reveals that nearly 60 per cent of Australian kids are consuming more than the recommended daily amount of added sugars.

Added sugars are often found in packaged food such as boxed, sweetened cereals, snack bars, chocolate, lollies and soft drinks.

The research, which was presented at the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society Meeting in Auckland on Friday (October 19), also showed that the amount of sugar children consumed increased as they got older, with teenage boys aged 14 to 16 eating about 22 teaspoons per day.

Study supervisor, the University of Sydney's Timothy Gill, believes that children's high consumption of sugar is causing them to eat more calories than they need.

"We need to find ways of reducing children's total calorie intake without compromising their nutrition," associate professor Gill told the AAP.

"High sugar foods, particularly those that provide most of the sugar in the diet, are an appropriate target to reduce calories."

It may be worth teaching your children that foods high in sugar are for special treats only, especially soft drinks and candy.

If they have a sweet tooth, then encourage them to eat more sweet fruit like pineapples, berries and oranges.

You could even introduce them to Stevia, which is a natural sugar replacement. Stevia extract is low in calories yet high in flavour, and can be used in nearly all situations that sugar can, making it great for sprinkling over cereal, adding to hot beverages and using in baked goods.

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