“ALL SUGARS ARE BAD!”
“MY BABY WILL NEVER TOUCH SUGAR.”
“EVERYTHING I GIVE HIM WILL BE UNSWEETENED.”
“ANY ADDED SUGARS ARE EVIL.”
We’ve all heard it, especially before the baby arrives, parents who will never give their child any form of sugar, no matter what the source. Not only is this not possible, but it’s also not healthy. “Sugar” is a term that’s used for carbohydrates. When you read a food label, where it says sugars, it should ready carbohydrates or energy.
Carbohydrates are necessary for life. Babies, adults, guinea pigs, and sea monkeys need sugars to survive. Denying babies sugar is a bad idea. In fact, limiting the amount of sugar your baby gets is a much healthier way to handle it, rather than to give him artificial sweeteners, even when he’s a young child.
THERE ARE SEVERAL DIFFERENT KINDS OF SUGARS OR CARBOHYDRATES:
- Fructose - Fruit sugar
- Sucrose - Cane sugar
- Lactose - Milk sugar
- Glucose - Starch sugar
IN A COMPLETE ADULT DIET, WE GET OUR CARBS FROM LOTS OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF SUGAR
It’s in the spaghetti you have for dinner, the apple you ate at lunch, and the Mountain Dew you drank in the afternoon. For babies, obviously, everything has to come from breastmilk or formula.
Breast milk provides lactose. In fact, breast milk is sweeter than cow’s milk because humans produce more lactose. Some formulas use only lactose, like Holle PRE. Most others have a combination of lactose and maltodextrin, a simplified form of glucose derived from rice or corn.
Which is better? The jury is out. Of course, breast milk is preferred for many reasons, not just the sugars, but when that cannot happen, formulas are designed to be a safe, healthy replacement. There is some evidence that maltodextrin is better for cognitive development.
IN GENERAL, IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO AVOID ANY FORMULA THAT’S SWEETENED WITH SUGAR (SUCROSE) OR FRUIT SUGAR (FRUCTOSE)
After all, as your child grows up, they’ll get plenty of both, and they can cause massive short-term spikes in blood sugar. Too much sugar as a child has been suggested as a reason for the development of diabetes in adulthood.
Your best bet is an organic formula that has either just lactose or a combination of lactose and maltodextrin (glucose). Both are longer lasting and tend not to cause significant blood sugar spikes in small quantities.
And, for baby’s health, steer clear of any formula that adds sucrose or fructose in any form. Brown rice syrup, corn syrup solids, and on and on are all added to many big name brand American formulas. These sweeteners are there because they’re cheap, not because they’re naturally good for babies.
Are you still feeling a little unsure? A parent's formula-feeding journey is so personal, unique, and can be challenging. We at OBF24 are proud to have a team that can help guide you along the way. We typically answer your email within a couple of hours. Get in touch