Children consume half their recommended sugar intake at breakfast

sugar intake
Children eat half their recommended daily sugar intake before the morning school bell

Children consume half their daily recommended sugar intake before they start school, Public Health England has claimed.

On average children are consuming almost three sugar cubes (11g) at breakfast, according to, with five sugar cubes being the recommended daily intake for four to six-year-olds, and six sugar cubes the recommended daily intake for seven to 10-year-olds.

PHE’s research shows that children are consuming more than three times their recommended daily intake by the end of the day.

‘Children have far too much sugar, and a lot of it is before their first lesson of the day,’ Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist for Public Health England, said.

‘It’s crucial for children to have a healthy breakfast, but we know the mornings in a busy household can be fraught.

‘That’s why we’ve developed our Be Food Smart App, taking some of the pressure off parents and helping them to choose healthier food and drink options for their children.’

Healthy options

Parents are also unaware that the breakfast isn’t a healthy option for their children, the survey found.

It found 84% of parents thought the breakfast they were providing for their children was healthy, despite it containing three of more sugar cubes.

The main sources for sugar at breakfast came from sugary cereals, drinks and spreads.

‘When analysing a number of breakfasts from families across England, we were concerned to see the high amount of free sugars and low amount of fibre in many of these,’ Sara Stanner, science director at the British Nutrition Foundation, said.

‘We know a healthy breakfast can make an important contribution to children’s vitamin and mineral intakes and its consumption has been linked to many positive health outcomes.

‘There are plenty of healthier options available so we need campaigns like Change4life to help busy parents make the right choices for their families.’

The Change4life campaign has been made to help educate parents on healthy meals and let children take more control of their diets.

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