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Snack Time! Choose healthy nutritious snacks.

12/02/2018

Merenda

Snack time is probably the best time of the day for your kids! A snack is a small amount of food that is eaten between meals, but it just as important as any other meal and should be chosen carefully!

Snacks help to ensure a correct allocation of calories and nutrients throughout the day, making us feel less hungry, and helping keep your child’s weight well balanced.

Eating often throughout the day helps control your appetite and, above all, helps you not overeat during your main meals: this is very good for your metabolism, and is a good habit that should be acquired right from when you are a child! Children should be allowed to have 2 snacks a day, including kiddies who are a little overweight, bearing in mind a number of simple but important rules.

Because a snack is by definition a “light meal”, it should provide no more than 5-10% of your child’s daily calorie intake. This for children is about 70-90 kcal.

The snack you choose should preferably consist of carbohydrates, that are easy to digest, together with proteins, mineral salts and vitamins, that are essential for healthy growth. Whether you prefer sweet or savour snacks, calories should not come from simple sugars but above all from starch, which provides long lasting energy.

Snacks need not be "solid foods": drinking is just as important as eating and there is no better time of the day than the afternoon to enjoy a vitamin-rich fruit juice or squash.

Let's take a look at snacks for different age groups.

  • Up to the age of 1: soft foods even in the afternoons. Fruit purées are perfect.
  • 2/3 years: snacks help your kids acquire healthy eating habits. The focus should be on fruit, home-made cakes or savoury snacks.
  • 3/4 years: your child is now accustomed to his nursery school routine: so why not give him a wholesome home-made snack! Choose wholesome ingredients that are easy to digest but provide the energy he needs for the afternoon and evening ahead. Such as his favourite cookies or a slice of cake.

What is your child’s favourite snack?