Finding healthy low sugar snacks for your kids that they will actually eat can be a challenge! When you're packing their lunch for school or buying snacks to have on hand at home or on the go, here's a big caution: watch out for sugar! Often the better a snack or treat tastes, the more sugar it has in it. Here's the scoop on how much sugar your child is probably eating, why it's so important to watch your child's sugar intake, and how to read nutrition labels to choose the best low sugar snacks for your kids.

 

How Much Sugar Does The Average Kid Eat?

As parents, ensuring our children have a well-balanced and healthy diet can be challenging. You may be dealing with a picky eater or accounting for allergies that complicate your meal planning. But there is one nutritional challenge that all parents face – sugar. Unfortunately, there's too much sugar in so many of our kids' favorite foods and it really adds up. As parents we may be focusing on how much sugar is in their candy or soda, but check out other foods -- even bagels, tomato sauce, yogurt and cereal can have significant amounts of added sugar!  

As one example, think about what goes in a common lunchbox: peanut butter sandwich, fruit snacks and a juice box. Sound like a decent lunch? Think again. If you're not careful, just this one meal can deliver over 50 grams of sugar, twice the maximum recommendation for a full day.

Too much sugar in your child’s diet can greatly impact their health. Healthline has identified more than 11 health issues that arise from eating too much sugar, including obesity and an increased risk of several chronic illnesses like diabetes, risk factors for heart disease like high cholesterol and high blood pressure, dental caries, and asthma.   Too much sugar in childhood also influences your kids' food preferences later in life. Sugar has serious and long lasting impact on our kids.

How To Choose The Best Low Sugar Snack Bar For Kids

The reality is that most kids are eating too much sugar. It's easy to miss how much it adds up if you're not tracking it -- it's everywhere! One study showed that the average 4-8 year old is eating 15 teaspoons of added sugar per day. The USDA Research Service shared a scary stat: the average kid under 12 eats 49 pounds of sugar per year! Yikes!

Sugar consumption can peak in teen years. Kids aged 14-18 can average 34 teaspoons every day! On average, Americans, including adults, are consuming upwards of 80 grams, or 19 teaspoons, of sugar a day.

A really startling recent study showed how early kids are eating added sugars. The new study from the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) showed that babies start eating added sugar before their first birthday. Toddlers by the age of 19-23 months eat an average of more than 7 teaspoons of sugar a day -- that's as much or more than the maximum for adults! 

OK, so now that we're sufficiently horrified by the amount of sugar kids eat, what do we do about it?

 

How Much Sugar Should A Child Eat In A Day?

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), children ages 2-18 should not consume more than 25 grams, or 6 teaspoons, of sugar daily. The AHA goes on to provide a more actionable range that states consumption should fall between 12-25 grams, or 3-6 teaspoons, daily depending on child’s caloric intake. They also say that children under 2 years old should have no added sugar. Sounds straighforward? Not quite. It also really matters what kind of sugar you're kids are eating, and the amount and type of carbs in general.

"The AHA provides a terrific description of the "two types of sugars in American diets: naturally occurring sugars and added sugars.

  • Naturally occurring sugars are found naturally in foods such as fruit (fructose) and milk (lactose).
  • Added sugars include any sugars or caloric sweeteners that are added to foods or beverages during processing or preparation (such as putting sugar in your coffee or adding sugar to your cereal). Added sugars (or added sweeteners) can include natural sugars such as white sugar, brown sugar and honey as well as other caloric sweeteners that are chemically manufactured (such as high fructose corn syrup).”

While there doesn’t appear to be a recommended sugar consumption guide for how, when, and how much sugar kids should be eating at any point during the day, there are some loose rules to follow. First things first, your kid does not have to consume 25 grams of sugar just because the range permits it. Try to aim on the lower end of the range versus the higher.

Ideally you will want to spread out their sugar consumption throughout the day. Example:  kids should not start their day eating foods that equal a large percentage of their daily sugar allotment. Same with ending their day; your kids don't need added calories right before bed. So, trying to slow their consumption of sugar throughout the day should be your goal. Depending on your personal goal for your kids, a suggested range might be 3-7grams of sugar for each meal or snack. You can accomplish this by being mindful and making educated choices by reading the nutrition labels.

 

Where do carbs fit in?

In addition to understanding sugars, parents should also keep track of carbohydrate intake. The Mayo Clinic suggests carbohydrates should make up 45 to 65 percent of a person’s daily caloric intake. What does this have to do with sugar? According to KidsHealth, “All carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars, which are absorbed into the bloodstream.” The rate at which these sugars are absorbed impact your blood glucose levels. Glucose is the sugar that your body uses for energy. For example, refined sugars found in complex carbohydrates (detailed below) are often easier for your body to turn into glucose and therefore have a more immediate impact on your energy – you might know this as a ‘sugar high.’

Here are the two main forms of carbohydrates found in food – simple and complex carbohydrates:

  1. Simple Carbohydrates. Also known as simple sugars, include fructose, glucose, and lactose. These types of carbohydrates are found mostly in whole fruits.
  2. Complex Carbohydrates. Also known as starches, this type of carbohydrate is found in starchy vegetables, or breads, whole grains, and cereals (fiber).

 

How To Assess Sugar On Nutrition Labels

According to a recent article in Business Insider, “Nutrition labels aren't currently required to differentiate between naturally occurring and added sugars in products. But by 2021, all food labels in the US will be redesigned to note added sugars, so you'll eventually be able to see how much white sugar, honey, caramel, corn syrup, and other sweeteners are mixed in.” So, as parents, you need to be even more mindful when reading the nutritional labels to account for the ‘hidden’ sugars in foods.

Nutrition labels can be tricky, and often on purpose. So how do you choose the best low sugar snack for kids?  There are a few key ingredients to look for on the label: carbohydrates, sugar, and then the actual listed ingredients. In addition to the sugar count listed on the nutrition label, you want to consider any artificial sweeteners, flavors, and other sugar substitutes. For more information on the 6 most commonly used sugar substitutes and whether or not they are healthy, check out this article from Truth + Health.

 

WHAT TO AVOID:

  • Words ending in “ose” (sucrose, glucose)
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Molasses
  • Corn Syrup
  • Juice Concentrate
  • Cane Sugar
  • Fruit Juice Concentrate
  • Agave Nectar
  • Honey
  • Brown Rice Syrup
  • Artificial flavors
  • Artificial sweeteners

In general, you can also get a sense of when a food has too much sugar based on where sugars appear in the ingredient list. If its one of the first ingredients, it's probably too high in sugar.

 

WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE ON YOUR LABEL:

  • In general, fewer, real ingredients are better
  • Naturally occurring whole foods (fruits, nuts, grains)
  • Ingredients you can pronounce

The topic of sugar is a tough one, its challenging to keep track of how much your kids are eating and labels can be a bit hard to read. But one thing we know for sure it that given how much sugar our kids are eating and the detrimental effects of too much sugar, its well worth the extra effort to help limit sugar in your kid's diet. Too much sugar? Scary. Limiting sugar and helping your kids build healthier bodies? Sweet!

Dark Chocolate Coconut Truth Bar

Truth Bars are a great low-sugar snack bar option for your little ones. Each one of the five flavors contains between 4-7 grams of sugar. All of these bars are gluten free, kosher, and are packed with pre- and probiotics for gut health! Two of the five flavors (Dark Chocolate Coconut and Chocolate Raspberry Coconut) are also vegan. The high-quality flavor combos of these bars will make your kids think they eating a candy bar! This bar is a win-win for parents and kids alike; healthy and delicious!





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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about PREBIOTICS and PROBIOTICS:

What is a Prebiotic?

Prebiotics come from plants, usually root plants that contain a lot of fiber and feed the good bacteria in your gut.

Why is it important to have both prebiotics and probiotics?

Probiotics alone cannot grow without a healthy gut to support them. When combining a nurturing base of prebiotics in the belly, with a good dose of probiotics, a garden of flora blossoms and fills the gut with a balanced microbiome.

Can your body make its own Conjugated Lineolic Acid?

You certainly have the gut flora to make your very own CLA. It’s one of the many things your lactobacilli and bifidobacteria do for you.

It’s important to have healthy gut flora to be able to make CLA. People with gut dysbiosis have a significantly harder job of it – possibly one reason why obesity and gut dysfunction tend to go hand-in-hand. So if you’ve been eating well for a while and your gut is humming along nicely, you can probably count on a substantial CLA intake from gut flora. If you’re eating is not so “healthy” or you simply aren’t producing enough good bacteria, Truth Bar can help by giving probiotic support to build up your colonies of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria.

How much inulin is in each bar?

Chocolate Dipped Raspberry:
Chocolate Dipped Coconut: 3.2g
Mint Chocolate Chip: 3.3g
Chocolate Almond Crunch: 2.5g

How much MCT Oil is in each bar?

Chocolate Dipped Raspberry:
Chocolate Dipped Coconut: 4.5g MCT/bar
Mint Chocolate Chip: 0.5g MCT/bar
Chocolate Almond Crunch: 0.5g MCT/bar

These are approximate amounts based on estimate of 60% MCT present in coconut oil, and 65% oil in coconut.

What is the percentage of “prebiotic - probiotic"?

Using approximate inulin amounts:

Chocolate Dipped Raspberry:
Chocolate Dipped Coconut: 3.2g prebiotic to 500 Million CFU probiotics
Mint Chocolate Chip: 3.3g prebiotic to 1 Billion CFU probiotics
Chocolate Almond Crunch: 2.5g prebiotic to 500 Million CFU probiotics

What is the strain of probiotic in the lactoSpore?

Lactobacillus sporogenes (bacillus coagulans). It is a stable Lactic Acid forming probiotic that has exceptional and lengthy studies of gut healing effects ranging across gastro intestinal issues, bloating, diahhrea and irritable bowel syndrome.

 

Questions about SWEETENERS:

What is erythritol derived from?

Erythritol is derived from NON-GMO corn as a fermented sugar alcohol with GRAS status from the FDA.

What is the ratio of sweeteners? (Tapioca / Erythritol / Stevia)

Chocolate Dipped Raspberry:
Chocolate Dipped Coconut: 6.5g / 3.2g / 0.02g
Mint Chocolate Chip: 11.0g / 3.3g / 0.02g
Chocolate Almond Crunch: 11.0g / 2.5g / 0.02g

 

Questions about COMMON INGREDIENT CONCERNS:

Are Truth Bars Vegan?

We have created both Vegan and Non-Vegan bars. Two of our flavors are Vegan and two are Non-Vegan. Our Chocolate Dipped Coconut and Chocolate Dipped Raspberry bars are both 100% Vegan. They're both rich in fiber and essential medium chain fatty acids that are easily digested, which makes them incredibly useful for a quick burst of energy.

Our Chocolate Almond Crunch and Mint Chocolate Chip bars feature a Non-Vegan blend of brown rice protein and whey isolate that supplies essential Amino Acids for a "complete" or "whole" source of protein. Our balanced mix of fiber and protein results in two meal replacement bars that provide all the BCAAs needed for proper muscle development.

Are Truth Bars 100% gluten free?

Yes, all Truth Bars are 100% gluten free!

Is there soy in Truth Bars?

Soy based lecithin is commonly used as an emulsifier in dark chocolates. However, they are are serious consumer concerns over soy that we have taken very seriously. In order to protect and promote overall health the specially formulated dark chocolate coating on all Truth Bars is completely free of both soy and sugar.

Are the bars Peanut Free?

Yes, all Truth Bars are 100% peanut free. We use only high quality almond and sunflower butter.

 

Other Questions:

Where can I find a full list of ingredients?

You can find a the full list of ingredients on each bar’s product page. The ingredients can be found by clicking the second tab. Here's a link to each of our product pages: Chocolate Dipped RaspberryChocolate Dipped CoconutMint Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Almond Crunch.

Where can I find nutrition information?

Each bar’s nutrition facts can also be found on the product pages above. Just click the third tab.

Another place to find info would be our ingredient's page, which outlines each of our key ingredients and their benefits.

What is the shelf life of the bars?

Truth Bars have a shelf life of 18 months. We make our bars in small batches, which ensures that our retailer's shelves are stocked with fresh bars.


Please let us know if you have a question that is not listed above.
Simply write to us at info@truthbar.com. We are happy to answer any questions!