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Rein In the Sugar This Holiday Season

The amount of sugar the kids get will surprise you.




Sugar cookies! Candy canes! Gingerbread! The holidays are a sweet minefield for all of us. And we probably don’t know just how much sugar we’re giving our kids anyhow, according to a German study published this year in The International Journal of Obesity.

In the study, parents were asked to assess how much sugar was in various foods such as juice, yogurt and pizza. Most were way off base; for example, 92 percent of parents underestimated the amount of sugar in yogurt. Even more telling: A parent’s inaccurate sugar estimate was associated with a higher risk for his or her child being overweight or obese.

Help your family cut back on sugar with these tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

• Buy unsweetened yogurt, applesauce and cereal. Dress them up with fresh fruit.

• Choose plain or sparkling water, milk or herbal tea (warm or cold) over sweetened beverages.

• Look for added sugars hiding under aliases such as corn syrup, cane syrup, molasses and honey.

• Set limits. Save dessert for special occasions, not every day.

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