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Healthy living

Written By : Nabeelah. Snacking is an important part of a child’s diet. Children have small stomachs and that means they cannot eat enough at one meal to meet all
16 May 2009 12:00

Written By : Nabeelah. Snacking is an important part of a child’s diet. Children have small stomachs and that means they cannot eat enough at one meal to meet all their large energy and nutrient needs. The ‘three meals a day’ routine probably doesn’t provide enough energy for growing kids.
Children need to eat about 5 to 6 times per day. It has been estimated that snacks provide a half to a third of the energy intake for children. Therefore it is important to provide nutritious snacks.
As well as providing nutrients, snacking also prevents extreme hunger, which reduces the risk of children eating large amounts of poor food choices.
There is also emerging evidence in adults,to suggest regular snacking may result in lower cholesterol and insulin levels, which is associated with lower risks of disease. Snacking on nutritious foods has benefits for children now and maybe into the future.
Snacks can be healthy if they are chosen carefully.
Some sensible snacking tips include:
Drink water between meals. Include juice, cordial or soft drink only occasionally.
It is an ideal time for introducing new foods.
Snack foods that contain high amounts of sugar, salt or fat are OK sometimes. Try to limit intake of these snacks to one day a week. Ask your child which day they would prefer to eat a treat.
Involve children in the preparation of their snacks. It is a great time to teach them basic cooking and food safety skills.
Allow children to decide if they want to eat a snack.
Have healthy snack options available and store them in places where children can reach them.




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