Nutrition essentials

The importance of no added sugar for fussy eaters

The importance of no added sugar for fussy eaters

Key points

  • Australian children are eating too much added sugar.
  • Ensure you’re supporting your fussy eater’s diet with products that are nutritious and don’t have added sugar.
  • AptaGrow has no added sugar.

Having a handle on your child’s nutritional needs is tough enough for any parent but add a fussy eater into the equation and it can become a full-time job.

While every child is different, fussy eaters gravitate toward their preferred, familiar foods and as a busy parent, it can be hard enough just coordinating mealtimes, let alone finding foods that are both accepted by your child and healthy. Add to that that oftentimes your hard work can be thwarted by deceitful food labels with seemingly healthy snacks secretly packed with added sugar. Phew! That’s a lot.

There are solutions to ensuring your child is getting the nutrition they need and enjoying the foods they eat. First, there are a few key things to understand about healthy eating and the reality of our added sugar intake.

Sugar intake in Australian children

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the average adult should be consuming no more than 25g (6 teaspoons) of added sugar per day, and children should have little to none. For context, the average fizzy soft drink has 9 to 11 teaspoons of added sugar. With that, it quickly becomes clear how we can overdo it with added sugars in our diet.

Sugary treats and simple carbohydrates are easy to get and are sold in large quantities, and they taste good, so it’s easy to understand why we overconsume them. Plus, because simple carbohydrates (which is what sugar is) are broken down faster, they leave the body hungry sooner – meaning we eat more if we’re attempting to ‘fill up’ on these foods.

The trick is not to avoid these foods completely but to ensure you truly understand and limit the amount of them that your child is consuming, which is especially important for fussy eaters who are at a higher risk for not consuming a nutritionally complete diet.

The Australian Institute for Health and Welfare concludes 41% of daily food intake in children aged 14 to 18 and 29% in children aged 2 to 3 is ‘discretionary food’, meaning food that is not necessary to meet dietary requirements for a complete nutritional intake. Discretionary foods include foods with high levels of added sugar, saturated fats, and salt content. The consequences of too much sugar in your diet include obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

What does it mean for you?

When you have a picky eater on your hands, you want to know the foods you are allowing them to eat are as nutritionally complete as possible. This goes not only for understanding which foods have added sugar, but also in knowing that if you are going to introduce supplemental nutrition, that you’re not making matters worse. There are a lot of supplemental drinks and foods out there, but they also aren’t all as ‘healthy’ as they might like you to think.

How to support your fussy eater’s diet

Rather than reach for a tried-and-true favourite, like a white bread sandwich (which contains added sugar), it’s important to consider other ways you can support your child’s healthy eating habits while supporting them to eat a fully nutritious diet.

Introducing a nutrient-dense supplement like AptaGrow, allows you to slowly support changes to your child’s eating habits, while they are getting the nutrition they need in the meantime.

AptaGrow contains 18 essential vitamins and minerals and provides one third of a child’s recommended dietary intake for key nutrients like iron, zinc and vitamin D in just one serve*. While some other milk supplements are flavoured with added sugar and artificial flavours to keep kids happy. AptaGrow we stick to the good stuff. AptaGrow still tastes great, like a glass of milk, and is packed with nutrients.


  1. Guideline: sugar intake for adults and children. World Health Organisation, 2015.
  2. Poor diet. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019.

*Based on the ANZ NHMRC nutrient reference values. Food for Special Medical Purposes. Must be used under medical supervision. Not suitable as a sole source of nutrition, designed to be consumed in conjunction with a healthy varied diet.

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