Children and snacks

Children love to snack and snacking can be a good way of getting them to eat, but the key is what they snack on.

Many children love to snack on high sugar, high fat foods which are not healthy for them.

One of the problems for parents is to know what to give their children to eat. Many foods designed specially for children can be saturated with fats and sugar. Even when you buy a food which is labeled low fat your can almost guarantee that it is high sugar. Parents need to learn to read the labels on foods but many of the labels just confuse rather than help.

In a recent report produced in the United Kingdom it showed that if a child eats a packet of crisps/chips each day they are consuming 5 liters of cooking oil a year. That is a huge amount of fat added to the diet of anybody. But many children eat more than one packet of crisps/chips a day. For some children 3 or 4 packets a day is normal. Think not only about the calories they are consuming but the damage they are doing to their health but causing their arteries to become blocked at a very young age.

Children come home from school and they are normally starving. We live in a world where there is instant everything, and they want feeding there and then. They don’t want to wait while their dinner is being cooked. They want something to satisfy them immediately.

They might open the fridge and grab the nearest food, it might be a pie or some other pastry but most children know where the crisps/chips or chocolate bars are kept and this is what they will grab.

But what happens if you don’t have any in the house. You give them an apple and the tantrum starts because they want to eat what they want. They are the children in the relationship and have no idea about nutrition. Yes you have a long difficult road ahead of you but continue and you will be successful.

Be one step ahead of them, have vegetables prepared that they can snack on. Make a dip or get a low calorie, low fat dip for them to learn to enjoy. If they really love crisps/chips then make your own baking them in the oven. You then control the fat and salt added to them. Get a fruit salad made in fruit juice. Again cut the fruit into chunks.

Learn to be creative as to the snacks you allow your children to eat. If they had an allergy to a certain product like nuts then you would take all precautions to ensure that no nut product was given to them. Well treat it the same tell them they have an allergy to excess sugar and fat and you are giving those foods that will not cause them medical problems in the future.

As a parent it is your responsibility to see that your children remain fit and healthy and eat balanced meals. Make those foods that they love a treat to be enjoyed from time to time. Don’t make a big issue if they eat a chocolate bar unless they are consuming one or two a day because you are expecting them to live for at least 70 years and do you really think they will go through their lives never eating another packet or crisps/chips, chocolate bar, pizza, burger and the many other foods that are the staple of some diets? No they will want them but they need to know how to manage to eat these foods and not see them as easy snacks and quick sugar/fat fixes for their needs.

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