What should we be giving as children snacks?
It's on kids plates everywhere, and always a hot topic of conversation; so how much sugar should we be giving our little ones?
If you weren’t tuned in to health trends before becoming a parent, then you most certainly are once you have a toddler in tow. The latest advice from the government, in the fight against childhood obesity, is the suggestion of limiting daily treats to 2 x 100 calorie snacks.
Alarmingly, the latest stats reveal that half of the sugar young children in England today consume comes from snacks on their childs plate and sweet drinks to wash them down.
Public Health found that the average primary school child had at least three sugary snacks a day, consuming more than what is considered to be the recommended figure. Top of the list was biscuits, followed by juice and fizzy drinks, cakes, buns and pastries and chocolate bars and ice-cream.
The latest campaign
To Change4Life campaign is targeting parents, with the recommendation of no more than two 100 calorie snacks a day for children (excluding fruit and vegetables), to help prevent tooth decay and obesity.
But what constitutes a 100-calorie snack? Here’s what they recommend:
- Soreen malt lunchbox loaves (apple, banana or original malt)
- Fruit Shoot hydro water (apple and blackcurrant flavour)
- Fresh or tinned fruit salad
- Petits Filous fromage frais (strawberry and raspberry, strawberry, strawberry and apricot, strawberry and banana)
- Chopped vegetables and lower fat hummus
- Plain rice cakes or crackers with lower fat cheese
- Sugar-free jelly
- One crumpet
- One scotch pancake
More than 200 calories
It’s worth taking note that some of our much-loved snack exceed these figures, such as:
Slice of Swiss Roll (34g) – 140 kcal
Packet of Hula Hoops (24g) – 121 kcal
Cadburys Crème Egg – 177 kcal
The Sugar Tax
It doesn’t end there however. As of April 2018, a sugar tax was introduced to combat the nationwide obesity problem.
There are two tax bands, the first for soft drinks containing more than 5g of sugar per 100m, and a second band for higher sugar content – 8g per 100ml or over. Only fruit juices, milkshakes and yoghurt drinks are exempt, although the government warns that these should be capped at 150ml per day.
The ambition is for companies to reduce sugar levels. As a guide, there’s currently 35g o sugar in a 330ml can of Coca-Cola, which equates to seven teaspoons!
It's recommended that one way to help avoid the lure of sugary snacks is to have a toddler meal planner, and prepare snacks, treats and mealtimes ahead of time.
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