How much sugar should my child eat?

Checking food labels can help you judge how much sugar your child gets throughout the day.

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Guidelines by age

There’s no guideline limit for toddlers and children under four. However, it’s a good idea to avoid sugary or sugar-added food and drinks.

  • The NHS recommends children aged four to six have no more than 19g of ‘free sugars’ a day. That’s about five sugar cubes.
  • For children aged seven to 10, the recommended limit is 24g of free sugars a day. That’s around six sugar cubes.
  • For children aged 11 and over, the NHS recommends no more than 30g of free sugars a day, or 7 sugar cubes.

What is 'free sugar'?

Free sugar is any sugar that’s added to food or drink. This includes the sugar manufacturers add to biscuits and yogurts, as well as the sugar you might sprinkle on cereal or stir in your tea. Honey, syrup and fruit juice also count as free sugar.

Free sugars are the ones to limit, as too much can cause health issues. The naturally occurring sugars found in milk, fruit and vegetables don’t count as free sugars.

To read more about added sugar and how you can make some healthy swaps, take a look at the Change4Life guidance by the NHS.

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