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Watch out for sugar in snacks!

February 5, 2014

Children’s appetites – and the portions they eat – are generally smaller than adults. This means they need to eat every few hours to keep up their energy levels and get the nutrition they need.

Snacks provide an important contribution towards meeting your child’s daily nutrition requirements.
While biscuits, chocolate bars and other sweets might taste good, these foods should be seen as ‘occasional’ treats. They are usually high in kilojoules (energy) and sugar and they provide very few nutrients.~

Giving children healthy snacks that have lots of nutrients – but not the excessive kilojoules – is essential. Luckily, children do enjoy healthy snacks, such as fruit, vegetables, dairy and cereal-based options – although it may take a little coaxing and a few firm rules at the start to get them familiar with the new range of snacks.

 

Tips on reducing sugary snacks

 

  • Set limits on the number of sugary snacks allowed – explain that they are treats and not for every day.

 

  • Offer children a variety of healthy snacks so they can make their own choice about what they want to eat. This will also get them in the habit of choosing healthy foods.

 

  • Always have healthy snacks in the home to remove the temptation of choosing unhealthy ones. Plan what you need to buy before you go to the supermarket – you’ll also save money by making less impulse purchases.

 

  • Don’t give snacks too close to meal times. This can discourage children from eating their main meal and means they may want to have a snack shortly after.

 

Check out Safe Foods advice on swapping unhealthy snacks for healthier options http://www.safefood.eu/Childhood-Obesity/Your-Tools/Food-Swaps.aspx

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