giving sugar to a toddler

Linda - posted on 10/22/2010 ( 198 moms have responded )

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my daughter is 15 months old , and she drinks nothing except water in her sippy cup and milk of course in the evening , when i give her weet bix for breakfast i put 3 weetbix with not even a tea spoon of sugar but my boyfriend and inlaws tell m i shouldnt give her any sugar just honey. wtf? i dont feed her any lollies , no chocolate , im confident i give her balanced nutricious diet.whats the problem givin her a tiny bit of sugar?it doesnt send her hypo like some kids get. pleased help!

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Iridescent - posted on 10/22/2010

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There is nothing wrong with it, and it's actually safer than honey as honey may cause botulism. Nod your head and do what you want anyway.

Kathi - posted on 10/26/2010

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This site worries me in that there are a lot of people sharing the opinion that whatever you decide for your child is the right thing because you are the mother. I once witnessed a new mom feeding coffee from her cup to her 2 week old baby. She was the mother. That was not ok. Mothers can be very misinformed and do downright dangerous things to their children. We need to stop relying on others opinions, or what granma did and do the research. Its never been easier to find solid information. If the mom who thinks it's ok to give karo syrup in a 3 month old baby's water had done some research to find out what karo syrup is she would know it is in the same category as honey in that no child under 12 months should consume it because of botulism risk. She would know that no 3 month old should have water displacing breast milk, or formula. She would know that it is high fructose corn syrup, a highly processed corn derivative that is a major culprit in childhood obesity with links to mercury toxicity. HFC predisposes the body to crave sweets. Most obese children have addictive type cravings for sugar, salt, and fat, because of the processed foods they were introduced to as toddlers. One small can of soda has the HFC equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar. It goes straight to the blood, predisposing the body to childhood diabetes. About 80% of the corn grown in the US is genetically modified. Researchers are being increasingly alarmed about the health dangers of genetically modified organisms, (gmo's) Do your kids a favor people, avoid added sugar, High fructose corn syrup and sugared foods as much as possible. And please make your decisions on facts, not opinions, your childs health is in your hands.

Jenn - posted on 10/23/2010

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Yeah, it isn't going to hurt to have a small amount of sugar, but like some of the others said, if you never put it on there they won't know the difference. My son is almost 5 and I've don't put sugar on his cereal and I don't buy "junk" cereals that are loaded with sugar.

Jodi - posted on 10/23/2010

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I guess I have to ask WHY you need to do this. I don't think it harms her in any way, but if it isn't necessary, why not just go without?

Jodi - posted on 10/24/2010

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Actually, honey is lower GI, so it is a slower burning sugar. Sugar is not sugar, different sugars burn at different rates, and the slower it burns, the better it is for you. Just saying.

Either way, if it is unnecessary, I wouldn't add sugar OR honey. I don't see the point in introducing sugar to the diet unless you need to. But that's just me.

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Rosie - posted on 10/29/2010

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i've always heard it was 1 year dana, and everything i looked up says one year. either way, you are wrong heather, honey does contain botulism and should not be given to a child under one, unless you want to kill them of course. but hey, everything in moderation-including death- is ok??http://www.babycenter.com/408_when-can-m...

Nickie - posted on 10/29/2010

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well first off you aint spose to give any child under 2 honey because it got a type of poison in it..honey is only safer for older kids and grown up and a tiny bit of sugar is not going to hurt

Dana - posted on 10/29/2010

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Yes, if you google it you will find that honey can contain the botulism bacteria which is deathly for children under the age of 2. Yes, it can be found in other foods but, honey harbors it more than any other foods. So it's not safe just because it's natural.

Heather - posted on 10/29/2010

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First of all, honey doesn't cause botulism, it's a bacterium that CAN be present in all foods. I give my 17 mo honey all the time over sugar. It's natural and has shown to be good for you where you can't say the same for sugar. Everything in moderation babe, she can have a little sugar or a little chocolate here and there. Please don't be afraid of honey, it's nutritional benefits far outway those of sugar. Google it.

Lucy - posted on 10/29/2010

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If she will eat the cereal without the sugar then there is no real reason to add it. However, just that wee amount will do no harm. Ask your pediatrician about it.

Jacqueline - posted on 10/29/2010

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Hi 3 weetabix sounds alot for a 15 months baby, but if she eats it ok,,,a little sugar on is fine,,,,don,t worry,,,if she drinks mostly water, that is fine,,,don,t take it all so,,,just enjoy,,,i am sure you are doing a brill job, love Jackie in Cheshire hope this helps you

Jessica - posted on 10/29/2010

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Everyone needs a little sugar in order for your body to function! Just pretend like your listening and then do what you want. After all, it is your kid!

Erin - posted on 10/29/2010

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There is nothing wrong with a little bit of sugar at all. It's not like your pouring a can of soda in her sippy cup and giving it to her. Sometimes you just have to do what works for you.

Amy - posted on 10/29/2010

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I'd say ween her off the sugar by gradually decreasing it. If she wouldn't eat her cereal at first without it, I can certainly understand why you'd sweeten it a bit. I would gradually put less and less sugar on it until she eats it plain.

I wouldn't even worry about this, but I have a nearly 3 year old boy who is addicted to carbohydrates. He spends much of the day crying for bread/cereal/juice, etc and refusing other foods. He also tries to climb everytime I'm out of the kitchen and get into these foods at which time he will gorge himself. He is going to a special doctor because of it.
Not that I'm saying your child will develop this from a little sugar on cereal(which naturally contains sugar itself), but better to be safe than sorry.

Jasmine - posted on 10/29/2010

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I teach maternal and infant nutrition classes and honestly there is no reason to give the child any sugar. Their tastebuds are still developing and we want to let them learn to eat naturally sweetened foods, they have the rest of their life to eat sugar. There are a lot of things still going on from 12m-24m. If she doesn't know it then don't start giving it. The question I say, does it add nutritional value to the food? If not, then now. Try adding a banana, strawberry, blueberry, things that will naturally sweeten the food. Sugar also suppresses the immune system which is still developing rapidly during this time, it also depletes the body of Magnesium, which is a natural muscle relaxer and a nutrient often depleted in kids with ADHD. Hope that helps!



I saw one post on honey is not better. Raw honey has antibacterial, antiviral and antimicrobial healing properties (not the teddy bear kind). You can put raw honey on a wound and it will begin to heal. Why raw honey for coughs instead of OTC kind works better and researched has proved it.

Christine - posted on 10/29/2010

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I honestly wouldn't worry about such a tiny amount of sugar. There are far more important concerns with a toddler, physically and mentally!!! xxx

Lisa - posted on 10/29/2010

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A little bit of everything in moderation is fine, I believe. My daughter 13mths, has two weetbix and i dont give her sugar on them, but my 4 yr old has to watch me put his tsp of sugar on. I wouldnt worry too much, i agree with the other ladies, and just say yes dear and do what you think is right!! lol My daughter tries most things we eat, so she likes her treats too. lol

Jody-Maree - posted on 10/28/2010

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I have not read all the posts, but great to see the amount of responses. My husband has honey in his tea, I prefer sugar. Honey is the same kj (calorie) content has sugar, gram for gram. Honey is not 'better' for anyone.

Jessica - posted on 10/28/2010

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Please do not feed honey to children under two years old! It may contain a substance that is toxic to them. If you want to sweeten your daughter's cereal, you can cut up or mash a banana into it. Sugar isn't necessary and giving it to children just gets them hooked. There will be plenty of opportunity for that later on, believe me! (I raised five children and know how hard it is to keep them off sugar once they start school!)

Julie - posted on 10/28/2010

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Refined sugar in limited quantities is fine. You aren't supposed to give honey to a child until they are at least 12 months, so really sugar seems to be a safer choice. People are hyper-sensitive about giving kids sugar, thinking it's going to develop some huge sugar taste in the kids, but actually it's natural that kids like sugar. But you are the adult and you can limit the amount of sugar she gets, which it sounds like you are doing a phenomenal job at. Much better than what I'm doing! my kiddo gets chocolate pudding, reduced sugar instant oatmeal...sugar hidden in lots of food.

Debra - posted on 10/28/2010

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There is no problem with it at all. Some people just go to the extreme when it comes to withholding sugar from their child. It's all about moderation, plain and simple.

Karen - posted on 10/28/2010

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There is nothing against giving an infant a little honey, it's hundred's times better for them than white sugar. I still say it's not really necessary to give them either one. Children don't naturely crave sugar like adults who grew up with more. If you start a child off without sugar they never miss it and are way better off with out it. Why mess with a good thing. The most we sweetness we gave our children until they way at least toddlers was apple juice and apple sauce. They simply don't need the extra empty calories. As infants you need to make every calorie count nutritionally for them.

Suzanne - posted on 10/28/2010

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a note on raw honey.. i once heard natural raw honey is very good as a natural stool softener, don't know if it is true but it worked for my son

Amberly - posted on 10/28/2010

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they do have a point. honey is natural, unless you buy the synthetic kind. honey will help your child build immunities to allergies.. so it should be local honey. pure sugar is bad for teeth, etc. honey can be bad if you eat too much, but there are more benefits if given in moderation.

Catherine - posted on 10/28/2010

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Nothing wrong with it. If you need reassurance, speak to her Pediatrician. Your the mommy and like you said you are meeting her nutritional needs. I think your not supposed to give a child under 1 honey, not a problem for a 15 month old.

Sally - posted on 10/28/2010

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infant botulism isn't a problem if your child is over 12 months (re honey) Honey may be a "better" sugar I understand it is easier to break down but it is still sugar. A balanced diet has a bit of everything in moderation so really sugar shouldn't be a problem. Just be aware that children prefer sweet food to savoury food so if you do give her sugar she will want it. And too much sugar in the diet is the leading cause of the obesity epidemic circulating the western world.

Krista - posted on 10/28/2010

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Buy her mini-wheats instead of wheatabix. Then you aren't adding sugar, it's there! LOL!
And I don't think it's bad that you're putting a little bit of sugar in. The world of food is laden with sugar. If your'e doing your best to limit it then you're doing a good job.

Margaret - posted on 10/28/2010

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If she is otherwise healthy, there is no harm in letting her have a little sugar occasionally. The trick here is balance--nothing in excess is good, but it doesn't sound to me like you're doing anything wrong.

Christina - posted on 10/28/2010

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I have a couple questions. One is are you putting refined white sugar or organic raw sugar? Refined white is pretty much poison and is addictive in any amount and I would NOT recommend you giving that to your kid at any age! Honey is not recomended in kids under age 1 so that doesnt apply to you. Botulism is rare in honey as well esp. in Canada (dont know where you are) If you choose honey-raw is best. Honey is an antibacterial and antiviral and is actually a great nutritional supplement for anyone. I noticed people saying it is bad or no benefits and this simply isn't true. You are going to get a lot of know-it-all's on here cause it is a group of moms and don't we all, think we know it all? LOL I am well researched in the health department and all my choices are based off of what I know as fact from well know research or studies. Will she eat the breakfast without it sweetened? If yeah, then why add the sugar? She will have plenty of time to have sugar in her lifetime as sugar is in just about everything these days. If your looking to sweeten for flavor try giving Stevia a try its healthy,comes from a plant, and sweetens. Another point is sweetening things will give her a taste for them which I personally would avoid.

Erin - posted on 10/28/2010

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I've heard that they shouldn't have honey but only if they are less than a year.

Suzanne - posted on 10/28/2010

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There is nothing wrong with it infact studies have been done showing children who are not alowd any kind of sugar or treat once in a while tend to sneek it behind backs of the adults around. treats and sugar are more than ok once in a while as long as the child eats a well balanced diet

[deleted account]

With sugar being in everything, why give her sugar? Even the little juice boxes have way too much sugar in them. You are on your way to diabetes with all that sugar. But you're the mom. I'd check into the sugar bit. I know, I know, you don't think I know what I'm talking about. Yes, I do. But like I said, you're the mom.

[deleted account]

The honey rule is not before age 1... my ped says it's ok now but i still don't give it to my son anyway because he really doesn't need it.

I think you're doing just fine, but to clear up, I think the point about not giving a baby sugar is not that it is not good for them. A little bit is not going to hurt her in the least. The point is you don't want her to develop a taste for sweets too early and then become picky for them later. Trust me, the desire for sweets will come soon enough! :)

You are the mom, trust your instincts and do what you feel is right. Who cares what anyone else thinks?!

[deleted account]

In my opinion - stay away from sugar as long as possible. It can still cause problems with her teeth even though she is young. I would stick to honey too.

Nicole - posted on 10/28/2010

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Hi Linda! I think it's important to pay close attention to food labels so that we know what our children are eating. However, a teaspoon of real sugar is not going to hurt your daughter. My son is also 15 months old and I try to make food without added ingredients like butter, salt and sugar. If he eats it without, then I know I don't even need to bother adding it! Honey is a great alternative to sugar, is very sweet and your daughter is old enough to try it. Perhaps your daughter might enjoy the added flavor of honey. Plus, letting her try it instead of sugar might appease your family members... not that you should pander to them though. Overall, I agree with you that this small amount of sugar is not going to hurt her.

Alexis - posted on 10/28/2010

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While, yes, honey is the more nutritional choice, the amount of sugar you are giving her will not hurt her. with the in laws its ultimately it is your choice, thank them for their input\opinion but keep doing what you feel is right. When it comes to your boyfriend the two of you need to decide, or at lest be ok with one of you giving honey and one of you giving sugar. I have stoped doing things I thought were ok simply to let my hubby have a say in raising our son. Neither one would hurt my son and I didnt mind doing it his way to let him feel he had a choice too. Im just saying that in case it may be a bigger issue between you and your BF.

Gina - posted on 10/28/2010

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No on Honey, and why even start on sugar. She does need more milk. The best person to talk to is your pediatrician.

Shannon - posted on 10/28/2010

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My son is almost 3 and well, he loves sugar and sweets. He gets a treat/dessert after dinner. But he also doesn't like juice, so he's not getting any sugar or sweeteners because he doesn't drink that. Everything in moderation. From my understanding, its bad to give kids under 2 years honey because it can cause botulism.

Gail - posted on 10/28/2010

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I don't think a little bit of sugar will hurt. You will always have someone telling you what you are doing wrong! Do what you feel is right. Good luck.

[deleted account]

I used to ask people for advice - thinking other peoples input would help. But what works for one child might not work for another. All I got was criticism because everyone thought I should do it their way. Do what works for you!!!!! If a little sugar doesn't make her all hyper then go for it!!!! Offering my son a snack after supper is the ONLY way I can get him to eat. He is so picky! He is always hungry but he never finishes anything I give him. Offering him a snack works for me - so I DO IT!!!!!!

Gail - posted on 10/28/2010

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I don't think sugar is necessary. It is an acquired taste. If you never have it, you never miss it. I made the mistake of giving my daughter sugar when she was very young, and she now has a weight problem. I'm not saying that giving her the sugar at a young age is the whole reason for her being overweight, but I think she would have enjoyed more nutritional foods if she had not been introduced to the sugar.

[deleted account]

You are right. Honey is still sugar, so is no better or worse. A little is FINE. You sound like you are doing a great job and know to trust your instincts. Just thank the others for their suggestions and tell them you'll give it consideration :)

Renee - posted on 10/28/2010

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For one thing sugar doesn't make kids hyper, it's the caffeine in chocolate that makes kids hyper. If it tastes better to her with a little sugar on it , and she eats it better let her have it. It wont hurt her. You do what you feel is best for your daughter. You will be getting advive from your in-laws the rest of your daughters life, but that is their choice not yours. Take care and thanks for being a good mom...

Lina - posted on 10/28/2010

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honey is good if it is good quality. what you are doing is good in their ages you can start with some food u cook for exampli you can boil some meat with vegetables beans carrots potatoes etc and smash them in the blander all together with a very litle salt and give to children at lunch this food is very healthy like the ones you buy in jars and sometimes u can use chicken. as long as the babies can stand things without adding sugar its ok provided you suply the sugar in fruits .its ok if they eat a good meal of food provided you never stop the milk for thei specific ages. be patient in the food trial they might not like it at first but its very healthy.

Mia - posted on 10/28/2010

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My boys are 1 and 2 and I never add any sugar or honey to their food. I add puree fruit to cereal to sweeten it a little but that's it. They may sometimes have juice but I've only just started doing that they love their water! I just try to give them a balanced diet without adding any extra stuff if possible!

Lina - posted on 10/28/2010

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you have to consult her doctor he will check her and advice the best/ it happened with my daughter when she was a baby and he told me she is in good shape keep on the routine/ so check with her doctor he knows better
good luck

Shauneen - posted on 10/28/2010

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Avoiding sugar in the other areas is great! Awesome choice. Honey is healthier than sugar and fine to give over one year. I give it to my toddler, but it's no big deal... just a better option.

Mallory - posted on 10/28/2010

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OK so i just want to point out to everyone that has said "Don't give honey to a child under 1" she clearly said that her child is 15 months old! Thats OVER a year old. it wont hurt her any to have some sugar as long as you aren't give her a lot

[deleted account]

Why add sugar to weetbix when weetbix already has sugar its only vita brix that doesn't have sugar. Sometimes what we like may not necessarily be what your toddler needs. having some things too early in toddlers can cause a toddler to have allergies that may not have happened at all. The best person to ask is your health nurse or doctor or a nutrionist. As many people will share different things. In the end listen and do what works for you. cheers.

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