Kids Are Hardwired to Love Sweets, So Give Them Honey

Ask a child if they like sweets and the answer is almost universally a resounding “Yes!” It’s no surprise to most parents that kids love candy, cookies, sweetened drinks, and some kids have even been known to add sugar to a bowl of Frosted Flakes. But don’t blame the kids, say researchers: It’s biology.

That’s how a story on National Public Radio began this morning, and since we are honey producers, it definitely made our ears perk up.

Scientific evidence shows that children not only have a stronger preference for sugar than adults, but that sweet-tooth is hardwired from Day One.

According to Julie Mennella of the Monell Chemical Senses Center, children from birth to adolescence definitely prefer a sweeter solution to a less sweet solution, when they are given the choice. Unlike adults, who often find overly sugary things unpleasant, children could keep adding sugar to that water solution until the sugar just won’t dissolve anymore it’s so saturated. A reason for this may be that a preference for sweet, caloric substances during rapid growth may have given children as an evolutionary advantage when calories were scarce. That notion is supported by the fact that sugar doesn’t just taste good to children -– it actually makes them feel good, too.

Incredibly, Mennella contends that sugar is a natural pain reliever for children. Some hospitals give kids something sweet during circumcision, for example, to lessen the pain.

So if you’re a parent, or have young children in your life, it seems the battle against giving them the sweet things they always want may be a tough one; after all, they are hardwired for the stuff.

Our recommendation? Give them a healthy sweetener: Honey! Try our PB&H (that’s peanut butter and honey) sandwich idea- they’ll love it.

About Rebeca Krones

Rebeca Krones, Owner, Tropical Traders Specialty Foods My love of food began while growing up in Costa Rica and the rainforest of Peru, where I was exposed to many varieties of exotic fruits, vegetables and cuisine. My dad, Michael Krones, was a beekeeper back then and still is. When I was 16 my family and I spent two years living and sailing on a boat, and I was the designated cook as we traveled from San Francisco, CA, down the coast of Mexico and eventually to the Hawaiian Islands. This experience taught me a lot about sourcing local foods and ingredients. After earning a degree in Art History from Oberlin College in Ohio, I worked at several fine arts museums and galleries before returning to my love of food while working at Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, CA. I founded Tropical Traders with the intention of introducing the incredible honeys my dad produces to other people. My unique life experiences have made this possible. Aloha!
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