Kids' Sugar Cravings Might Be Biological
Your Little One's Sweet Tooth Might Be Biological
So that's why their hands are always halfway in the cookie jar! When your children want food so sweet your teeth hurt just looking at it, it might actually be something in their biology that sends them straight for all that sugar. New evidence shows that kids crave sugar more than adults do, and it also indicates that this affinity isn't necessarily their own choosing — they were born with it. Recent scientific discoveries have some interesting insight, saying that:
"Children's liking for all that is sweet is not solely a product of modern-day technology and advertising but reflects their basic biology. In fact, heightened preference for sweet-tasting foods and beverages during childhood is universal and evident among infants and children around the world. The liking for sweet tastes during development may have ensured the acceptance of sweet-tasting foods, such as mother's milk and fruits. Moreover, recent research suggests that liking for sweets may be further promoted by the pain-reducing properties of sugars."
Sue Coldwell, a researcher at University of Washington, specializes in the subject and has found evidence suggesting that, over time, young children's tastes change as they progress into adolescence. By the ages of 15 or 16, sugar preferences of teens are similar to those of adults. Basically, biology is telling us that it's OK for kids to give in to those sugar cravings to a point, but it's important to understand why they are having them. To avoid obesity, empty calories, and sugar rushes (not to mention sugar crashes) — it's always important to make sure they don't overdo it.