SingaporeMotherhood | Baby & Toddler

January 2020

Is your Child Drinking Too Much Sugar?

Did you know that around 13 per cent of children in Singapore aged six to 18 are overweight?1 While those chubby ‘apple’ cheeks and that rounded belly may look adorable, they could be camouflaging a more serious (and hidden) health problem — obesity.

Seven in 10 children who are overweight when they are seven years old will still be overweight when they are adults, a 2017 study by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) found. Does it surprise you that obesity in young children is one of the 21st century’s most serious health issues?2

One of the main causes of obesity is over-consumption of sugar. We already know that eating too much sugar can cause dental problems. Consuming too much sugar can also lead to obesity, which puts your child at risk for conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

How much sugar is too much?

Image: Food photo created by tirachardz –

For adults, the Health Promotion Board suggests no more than eight to 11 teaspoons (40 – 55 grams) of added sugar per day. Young children should have even less.3 However this can be hard for mothers like us to regulate, as it is easy to lose track of how much sugar our children are consuming.

In addition, mothers typically do not have the time to keep track of the child’s sugar intake. As such, we tend to rely on an arbitrary gauge when tracking our child’s sugar intake, for instance, by having rules such as “no candies, no chocolate, no soda drinks”, and a limit of one sweet treat per day or week. While this is a convenient and easy way to manage our children’s sugar intake, the sugar scales can be easily tipped by hidden sugar in drinks (Eg: juices, yoghurt, etc) without us noticing.

Did you know that one glass of chocolate milk already has five teaspoons of sugar in it? And that’s not counting the sugars in other popular drinks that kids love – like sodas and fruit juices, as well as those in breakfast cereals and sweets. So if your child drank a glass of chocolate milk at breakfast, that’s almost their entire allowable daily sugar intake consumed in one sitting.

Many drinks do offer a “less sugar” or a “low sugar” variant. However do note that they may still contain sugar. Low sugar doesn’t meant no sugar!

Here’s a useful guide to how much sugar is hiding in the drinks that our children like.

How much sugar is there in your child’s drink?


This table lists the common drinks that our children enjoy, and the number of teaspoons of sugar in each.

Sugar content based on HPB’s Energy and Nutrient Composition Search

Surprised? You are not alone. As mums we are always concerned about our children’s health and wellbeing. We know that having too much sugar in their diet can be detrimental to their overall growth and development. However we tend to focus on the obvious sugars that we see in food, and forget about sugars in drinks.

In addition, it has been found that children who consume sugary drinks are also more likely to make poor food choices, and tend to be obese. Furthermore, these issues do not disappear as they grow to adulthood.4

What should your child drink instead?

Water is a good way to quench your child’s thirst. However, some children may feel deprived or have taste fatigue if they are only allowed to drink water. On top of that, while water hydrates, it does not contain the necessary nutrients to help your child grow and develop in the best possible way.

Abbott GROW Preschool and School growing up milk are a great alternatives. These are nutrient-dense beverages formulated specially for toddlers and school-going children to meet their daily nutritional requirements, and support brain development, immunity, and growth.

GROW Preschool and School are certified healthier choice by the Health Promotion Board. They are also 25% lower in saturated fat and sugar; and 25% higher in calcium, than regular growing-up milk.5

In fact, two servings of GROW per day:

  • Meet 100% of a child’s RDA for Calcium
  • Meet > 90% of a child’s RDA for Vitamin D
  • Contain DHA, Choline and Taurine
  • Contain 26 Vitamins and Minerals
  • Contain 2 Prebiotics (Inulin & FOS)

Our children go though school, work, and play everyday. The right nutrition is essential to fuel their activities and let them get the most out of each day. GROW Preschool and School are a nutritious and delicious way to help them do that. Help your child make the change today!

Go to to get a FREE sample for your child to try.



This post was brought to you by Abbott GROW, nutritious and delicious growing up milks for every child.

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Is your Child Drinking Too Much Sugar?