Stevia is safe for kids. Certainly, it’s a healthier sweetener than sugar! But, children should avoid consuming more than a serving per day. This is 45 mg of stevia, or 1/8 tsp of stevia powder.
What’s the maximum safe dosage of stevia for kids?
Kids love sugar. They have an innate preference for sweet taste. As sugar may cause obesity, or have other negative health effects in adulthood, children shouldn’t consume too much sugar or other sweeteners, such as stevia.
It’s recommended for children to limit their daily consumption of free sugars to less than 5% of the daily calorie intake. Infants should consume even less. So, kids could consume up to 6 tsp, or 25 grams of added sugar per day. But, ideally, kids shouldn’t consume any added sugar.[1,2]
Moreover, children shouldn’t consume more than 4 mg of stevia per kilogram of body weight (or 1.8 mg per lb) a day.
However, as stevia can make us fat, both parents and kids shouldn’t consume more than a serving a day. This is 45 mg of stevia powder, or 1/8 tsp.
How much stevia do children consume?
Children consume more sugar than the maximum recommended daily intake. The main sources of sugar are beverages, sweeteners, and processed foods.
Most noteworthy, children consume the highest amount of sugar, stevia, or other artificial sweeteners relative to their weight per day. This can lead to weight gain, and many diseases. Even in adulthood.
In fact, stevia and other sweeteners are addictive! Sweeteners release endorphins, and dopamine in the brain. They stimulate brain reward signaling, making us feel good.
The regular consumption of stevia, sugar, or other sweeteners can alter food taste and food preferences! Kids start enjoying only fattening foods, which are high in sugar and fat. This is the type of diet that has been associated with childhood obesity.
Keep in mind that stevia is about 300 times sweeter than sugar!
It’s important for kids to develop good dietary habits. Above all, parents should teach children to avoid drinking soft drinks or eating sweets. In fact, parents should teach children to prefer natural sources of sugar, such as fruits. Fruits are packed with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants.