Frequently Asked Questions

What is semakgula all about? is an educational website developed to help parents better understand growing up milk powders. It aims to educate mothers on how to read the labels on growing up milk powders, the different added sugars ingredients, added sugars intake recommendations and tips for reducing added sugars intakes in growing children. It also provides a simple tool to help mothers estimate the added sugars levels in growing up milk powders in Malaysia.

As a parent, what should I do? Do you have a solution?

If you are concerned with excessive and unnecessary added sugars in your child’s growing up milk powder, look for a reduced or no added sugars option. There are excellent options available in the market. We suggest you try the following: check the growing up milk powder labels next time you are at the store; ask the promoters in-store for more information; ask your doctor for a healthier growing up milk powder option; or go online and search for “no added sugars growing up milk powder”.

What are the added sugars?

Added sugars are all sugar ingredients that are added to food and drinks during manufacturing, processing or before consumption (i.e. not naturally present in food). Regardless of the source, sugars that are added to food and drinks are essentially the same from a nutritional point of view.

The following are types of sugars which might be added to Growing Up Milk Powders:

sugar, glucose, dextrose, fructose, and sucrose

  • “syrup” such as corn syrup (corn syrup solids), glucose syrup (glucose syrup solids), high fructose corn syrup, malt syrup
  • corn sweetener
  • honey, honey powder

What will excessive sugar intake do to a child’s health?

The long-term effects of consuming sugar excessively are complex. They also vary according to various factors like a person’s genetics, family history and lifestyle habits.

It is common knowledge that anyone, including children, who consume too much added sugars may be taking in too many calories – possibly more than the person actually uses. Over a long period, this may cause problems such as weight gain or obesity, which is linked to various other diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Limiting added sugars consumption is also recommended for preventing tooth decay.

What is the difference between added and natural sugars?

Naturally occurring sugars are found in whole, unprocessed foods, such as milk, fruit, and some vegetables. The most common naturally occurring sugars are glucose and fructose which are found in fruits, some vegetables and honey; and lactose which is found in milk products. Foods that contain only natural sugars are usually better for our diets as they tend to be at lower levels as well as providing other nutrients as well. However, sugar can also be added during food production or preparation through a variety of different ingredients.

How do I get my child to drink a milk powder with no added sugars?

Some tips on switching:

1. Take your time

2. Try different tactics – Use a reward chart, try when your child is hungry, or a little sleepy. You may also get a sibling to help with the persuasion.

3. Persevere – Some children may initially reject milks with no added sugars but stick with it, as the rewards of making the change are worth i.

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