No Sugar for Infants & Other Recommendations from Dietary Advisory Committee 2020

A committee of experts provides recommendations for healthy eating twice every decade. These final recommendations are sent to the US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Department of Agriculture, which use them to create the final 2020 dietary guidelines for Americans.

For the first time ever, the panel is including nutrition guidelines for infants 2 years and younger, with a pointed focus on reducing sugar consumption.

On average, infants consume a teaspoon of added sugar a day while toddlers consume about 6 teaspoons a day.

“Nutritional exposures during the first 1,000 days of life not only contribute to long-term health but also help shape taste preferences and food choices.”

2020 Dietary Guidelines Report

Guidelines – Kids Under Two

  • Avoid foods and beverages with added sugars.
    Since these foods often take the place of healthier foods, children can experience poor nutrition. In addition, sugary foods and beverages are linked to excess weight and dental cavities.
  • Avoid fruit juices.
    Fruit juices are a source of sugar, without nutritional benefits. Encourage caregivers to offer whole fruits in place of juices.
  • Read labels and be on the lookout for added hidden sugars
    These include brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, lactose, malt syrup, maltose, molasses, raw sugar, and sucrose.
  • Breast milk is the best.
    Breast milk contains healthy micronutrients and may reduce the future risk of above-target weight, type 1 diabetes, and asthma.
  • Don’t start the first food for the baby before 4 months of age.
    Since it is associated with an increased risk of excess weight in early childhood.

Guidelines – Kids and Adults

The committee also recommended further reductions in sugar intake for those age 2 and beyond. They also suggested less alcohol for men.

  • Limit sugar intake to 6% of calories or 120 calories a day (for those on a 2000 calorie diet) This means, limiting sugar intake to 7.5 teaspoons a day.
  • Both men and women should limit alcohol consumption to 1 drink per day. Research has indicated higher average alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality.

Read more about the 2020 Dietary Recommendations

Joy of Six Resource Page

Visit our Joy of Six Resource Page which has handouts and other helpful info on strategies to decrease sugar intake.


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