I’m sure you’ve heard the news: kids are snacking now more than ever before. But what if snacks could be the gifts that keep on giving?
The rise in daily snacking has been related to an overall increase in daily food consumption: more food, more calories… and of course… more Weight!
The more kids snack, the more they weigh. And the more they weigh, the more likely they are to develop a slew of health problems down the road. According to research, obese kids are at greater risk for:
- Sleep apnea
- Joint problems
- Liver disease
- Cardiovascular Disease
Sadly, heart disease is now the second leading cause of death for children under 15.
Obese kids also are:
- Less likely to be engaged in school.
- More likely to miss more than two weeks of school during the year.
- More likely to repeat a grade.
These aren’t the kind of gifts we want to keep on giving.
Research shows that kids today take in a lot more calories from snacks than they did a generation ago.
Most snack calories come from desserts and sweetened beverages, but salty snacks – i.e. potato chips, tortilla chips, pretzels — and candy are the fastest growing category of snack consumption.
If you want your kids to snack:
Don’t let food manufacturers determine what your kids learn about snacking. Teach your kids that:
- Snack is a time, not a kind of food. Read Think Snack TIME not Snack Food.
- Snacks are mini-meals make from meal-quality foods. Read 10 Ways Improving Your Kids’ Snacking Will Improve YOUR Life.
- If it’s sold in the snack aisle, it should be treated as an “occasional food”. Read The Potato Chip Challenge: How We Decide What Snacks to Give Our Kids.
Forget veggies. Proper snacking habits may be the only thing your kids need to learn for a lifetime of healthy eating – if the snacking becomes healthy then every other eating time will naturally follow.
~Discover your families own path to healthy eating happiness~
- Piernas, C. and B. M. Popkin. 2010. “Trends in Snacking Among U.S. Children.” Health Affairs 29(3): 398-404
- Bethell, C., L. Simpson, S. Stumbo, A. C. Carle, and N. Gombojav. 2010. “National, State, and Local Disparities in Childhood Obesity.” Health Affairs 29(3): 347-56; 2010.
- “Child Obesity Policy Brief.” Health Affairs www.healthaffairs.org accessed 3/2010.
- Bittman, M., 2009. Food Matters: a Guide to Conscious Eating. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. p. 65.