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Healthy Snacking Habits that your Child should Learn

28/05/2013 | Nutrition, Room to Grow | by Catherine Godiva

Let’s be honest; the average child is like a lean, mean eating machine. Most of them not only can eat all day long but, when it comes to snacks, there seems to be no end to the mountain of biscuits, cake, chips, chocolate and sweets that they can stuff into their mouths, as well as fizzy drinks and fruit juice.

In some cases this isn’t a problem. If your son or daughter is extremely active and has genes that lean towards the lean side they can sometimes eat all the unhealthy snacks that they like and not suffer too many consequences.

On the other hand, there are many children that suffer greatly from snacking on the wrong foods. Not only do they gain weight as children but they start damaging their bodies at an early age which only leads to further damage, and far-reaching health problems, when they reach adulthood.

It is for this reason that teaching your children how to snack healthily is of vital importance to their health and well-being now and far into their future.

Simply put, most prepackaged snacks are loaded with sugar, salt and saturated fat to say nothing of the additives, preservatives and chemicals found in many of today’s most common snack foods. All of these ingredients, while they might not cause outward symptoms now, can have long-term effects on a person’s health. Frankly, there are many children today that are obese, have no energy and do poorly in school as a direct result of the types of foods they snack on every day.

While eating chocolate, chips and other types of snack foods occasionally is probably not the worst thing in the world, having plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables around to snack on is an excellent and much better idea. In fact, some families don’t purchase any type of prepackaged snack foods at all for their home but instead only let their children have them on special occasions like birthdays and other celebrations.

Snacks like baby carrots, raisins, grapes and bananas, for example, are not only extremely healthy but also quite portable. Your kids can take them on the run as they go and play, when they’re off to school or any time they feel like having something quick to munch on. Other snacks like blueberries, strawberries and so forth, although not as portable, are still excellent and should be available in your home whenever they are in season.

These types of healthy snacks will give them that sugar that they need for energy but its natural sugar and their young bodies can use it much better than the kind of processed sugar that is found in practically all prepackaged snacks. A great idea is to have a tasty salad dressing on hand that they can dip baby carrots, broccoli florets and other vegetables into. Celery sticks with minimally processed peanut butter and raisins on them are a fantastic snack, crunchy, sweet and deliciously satisfying.

When it comes right down to it, your children will eat what they have access to, especially those that still aren’t able to go out and purchase snacks on their own. If you fill your kitchen and pantry with biscuits, cakes and crisps then that’s what they are going to eat. But, if you buy these snacks sparingly and instead offer them healthy snacks like we mentioned above that is what they will eat instead.

These foods, and the habits your kids make while snacking on them, will have a significant impact on their health now and later. In our humble opinion, the obesity problem in the UK is so bad that any parent who has their child’s health and welfare in mind will see that, while prepackaged snack foods might get them excited, healthy, fresh snack foods are going to serve them much better.




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