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There’s almost no getting around processed foods in our kids’ diets, but with so many health claims including organic, non-GMO, natural, gluten-free, made with real fruit, low-sugar, lightly-sweetened, “just a tad sweet,” and “sorta sweet,” and more than 200 names for sugar, trying to find better options is a challenge for any parent.

In this episode, I sat down with Julie Harrington, a registered dietitian, culinary nutrition consultant, chef, and educator. She is also the author of  The Healing Soup Cookbook,” and a media spokesperson. We talk about the difference between natural sugar and added sugars, surprising ways companies add sugar to their products and their sneaky marketing tactics, how to limit added sugars in your kids’ diet, and easy ideas to make healthy treats at home. 


3:12 Let’s first talk about your story: why did you become an RD and a chef, a bit about your career path and what your business looks like today.

5:36 What are added sugars and what’s the difference between added sugars and natural sugars? 

6:28 What are some of the common names for added sugar?

8:46 Why should parents pay attention to added sugars in their kids’ diets and how can they make it happen?

12:16 What do studies show about added sugars in kids’ diets?

14:29 What are the Healthy Drinks, Healthy Kids recommendations and what should parents know?

15:59 What are some surprising ways companies add sugar to foods?

16:27 Food labels can say “no added sugar” but have ingredients like Stevia. Should parents avoid ingredients like these?

17:54 What are other marketing tactics companies use to trick us?

19:11 What about “healthy” junk food options, like organic, gluten-free, and those with superfoods—can they be high in sugar too?

21:36 In what meals do kids get most of their added sugars throughout the day?

23:01 What are some surprising foods added sugars can show up in?

26:38 What are tips for parents to limit added sugars in their kids’ diets?

28:33 Kids are eating sweets every day, everywhere—how should parents approach this?

29:22 What are some of your favorite ways to make easy, healthy, low-sugar, homemade treats for kids?


Julie Revelant mentions her interview on the Healthy Family Project podcast. 

Julie Revelant mentions the “Food Issues” episode with Dr. Michael I. Goran and Dr. Emily E. Ventura, co-authors, “Sugarproof.”

Julie Harrington talks about the American Heart Association’s sugar recommendations for kids, and the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 which state babies and toddlers under 2 shouldn’t consume added sugars. 

Julie Revelant mentions mini varieties of That’s It, Larabar, and KIND.

Julie Revelant mentions her favorite granola bar recipe from Gimme Some Oven. 

Learn more about Julie Harrington, RD on her website.


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Author Details
Julie Revelant teaches parents how to raise children who are healthy, adventurous eaters. Through blog posts and videos, her goal is to shift the conversation from short-term, problem picky eating to lifelong, healthy eating and healthy futures. Julie has written for FoxNews.com, FIRST for Women magazine, WhatToExpect.com, EverydayHealth.com, RD.com, TheBump.com, Care.com, and Babble.com.