Is stevia safe for kids
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Is stevia safe for kids

Views: 0     Author: Gigi     Publish Time: 2023-04-29      Origin: Site

Natural stevia powder has been shown to be safe for children up to the acceptable daily limit of 4mg/kg of body weight set by the European Food Safety Authority. In a world where childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes are on the rise, many parents are seeking healthier alternatives to sugar for their kids. One popular option is the natural sweetener, stevia. But the question that often arises is, "Is stevia safe for kids?" In this comprehensive guide, we will explore!

Is Stevia Safe for Kids?

What is Stevia?

Stevia is a natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant, native to South America. It's popular because it is:

1. Calorie-free – Unlike sugar, stevia doesn't add any calories to your diet.

2. Diabetes-friendly – Stevia has a negligible effect on blood sugar levels, making it an ideal choice for those with diabetes or those watching their sugar intake.

3. Non-cariogenic – It doesn't contribute to tooth decay, unlike regular sugar.

To extract the sweetness from the stevia plant, the leaves are:

1. Harvested and dried

2. Steeped in water

3. Purified to obtain the sweet compounds, known as steviol glycosides

4. Concentrated into a powder or liquid form for use in food and beverages

Benefits of Stevia

Stevia has several benefits that make it an attractive alternative to sugar, including:

  • Weight management – Its calorie-free nature may help those trying to maintain or lose weight.

  • Diabetes management – Stevia has a low glycemic index, making it suitable for people with diabetes.

  • Tooth-friendly – Stevia doesn't contribute to tooth decay or cavities.

  • Antioxidant properties – Stevia contains antioxidants that may help protect against cellular damage.

  • Versatility – It can be used in a variety of recipes, from baking to beverages.

Stevia of Uses

Stevia, as a natural and calorie-free sweetener, has gained popularity and is widely used in various food and beverages. Some common uses of stevia include:

1. Beverages – Stevia is often used as a sweetener in drinks like tea, coffee, lemonade, and smoothies. It can also be found in some store-bought beverages, such as diet sodas, flavored waters, and sports drinks.

2. Baking – Stevia can be used as a sugar substitute in many baked goods, such as cookies, cakes, muffins, and brownies. However, it's crucial to note that stevia doesn't have the same caramelization or browning properties as sugar, which can affect the texture and appearance of some baked goods.

3. Desserts – Stevia can be used in various desserts, including puddings, custards, and ice creams, as a sugar replacement.

4. Sauces and dressings – Stevia can be used to sweeten sauces, marinades, and salad dressings, adding flavor without adding calories.

5. Yogurt and other dairy products – Stevia is often used in low-sugar or sugar-free yogurts, as well as other dairy products like cream cheese and cottage cheese.

6. Jams and preserves – Stevia can be used to sweeten homemade jams and preserves, reducing the sugar content without sacrificing taste.

7. Cereals and granola – Stevia can be used as a sweetener in homemade cereals and granola, providing sweetness without the added calories of sugar.

8. Chewing gum and candies – Some sugar-free chewing gums and candies use stevia as a sweetener, making them a better option for dental health.

When using stevia as a sugar substitute, it's essential to consider that it is significantly sweeter than sugar (about 200-300 times sweeter). Therefore, you'll need to adjust the quantities accordingly. Stevia products often come with a conversion chart to help you determine the correct amount to use in place of sugar in your recipes.

Stevia of Uses

Is Stevia Safe for Kids?

Stevia has been deemed safe for consumption by several health organizations, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

However, it's essential to consider the following factors when determining if stevia is safe for your children:

1 Age – Stevia is generally considered safe for children above the age of 2. However, it's essential to consult with a pediatrician or dietitian before introducing stevia to a child under the age of 2, as their nutritional needs are different from older children and adults.

2. Moderation – While stevia is considered safe for children, it's essential to use it in moderation. Overconsumption of any sweetener, even a natural one like stevia, can lead to an unhealthy preference for sweet tastes, which can have long-term health implications.

3. Possible allergies – Though rare, some individuals may be allergic to stevia or its derivatives. If your child has a known allergy to plants in the Asteraceae family, such as ragweed, marigolds, or daisies, it's crucial to monitor their reaction to stevia and consult with a healthcare professional if necessary.

Alternatives to Stevia

If you're looking for alternatives to stevia, consider the following natural sweeteners:

1. Honey – Honey is a natural sweetener with antibacterial and antioxidant properties. However, it's essential to remember that honey is not suitable for children under 12 months due to the risk of botulism.

2. Maple syrup – Made from the sap of maple trees, this natural sweetener contains essential minerals like manganese and zinc. Be sure to choose 100% pure maple syrup, as some products contain added sugars.

3. Agave nectar – Agave nectar is derived from the agave plant and is sweeter than sugar. While it has a lower glycemic index than sugar, it's still high in fructose and should be used in moderation.

4. Coconut sugar – Made from the sap of coconut palm trees, coconut sugar contains essential nutrients and has a lower glycemic index than regular sugar. However, it's still high in calories and should be used sparingly.

5. Fruit purees – Unsweetened fruit purees, such as applesauce or mashed bananas, can be used as natural sweeteners in recipes, providing added nutrients and fiber.


Stevia is a natural sweetener that offers several benefits over traditional sugar, making it an attractive option for parents looking to reduce their children's sugar intake. Current research and health organizations deem it safe for children above the age of 2 when consumed in moderation. However, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before introducing any new sweeteners to your child's diet, particularly if they are under the age of 2 or have allergies.

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