Archive for March, 2010

Child Snacking Can Pack on 13-18 Pounds Per Year

Child Snacking Can Pack on 13-18 Pounds Per Year 

Children are moving towards “constant eating” with an average of 3 snacks a day as well as regular meals according to a long term study (1977- 2006) on snacking, presented in the journal of Health Affairs (March 2010, by Popkin & Piernas of the University of North Carolina).  It found that snacks now account for about 27% of the calories consumed by children.  Salty snacks and candy consumption are the largest category, with desserts and sweetened beverages remaining the major sources of calories from snacks.   The result is a total of 600 snacking calories per day – – an extra 168 calories from the 1970’s and the equivalent of a whopping 13-18 pounds per year.  The rise in childhood obesity, meanwhile, has put millions of children at risk of chronic conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes.

What do we do, especially if one of those children is ours and/or someone we love?  Tips for moving your child to healthy snacking below.

1.  Make it colorful & fun: Depending on the age/maturity of your child, involve them in the selection and making of healthier snacks and the dropping of selected junk food. 

            Gluten-free, trail mix (sliced almonds, gluten-free oatmeal, unsweetened      shredded coconut, small amount of dried berries, cinnamon, etc.)

            Celery stuffed with Almond Butter and dried berries.

            For special occasions:  Get the gluten-free & sugar free cake mixes.

2.  Keep junk foods out of the house  (ouch!) or at least limit them.  If it’s not there, no one can reach for them.

3.  Set an example (double ouch!) Your own daily choices will have a huge impact on theirs.

4. Restrict snacking to a designated area(s), like the kitchen so that it isn’t normal to eat in bedrooms, while working on the computer, etc. at anytime.

5.  Replace harmful super sweet beverages with juice-flavored water or fruit flavored iced teas (with stevia no sugar).  Use organic juice and be sure to water it way down.   Even organic, natural juice can overwhelm your child with sugar when taken in full strength.


March 26, 2010 at 2:49 pm Leave a comment