Smiling, happy children visit SpaDental Whitchurch
13th November 2023
Regular check-ups help children: feel confident about visiting the dentist, take responsibility for their oral health smile more! To read… read more
There’s a lot in the news about children and sugar. Children need our help. With so much choice around and so much pressure from advertising and retailers, it’s not surprising that we’re all tempted to eat products with little or no nutritional goodness, products that in actual fact are detrimental to our health and wellness.
Probably all of the food that comes into a house is selected and paid for by adults. Therefore, we must revise what we’re buying by reading the content labelling carefully, and making a bit more time to prepare food that’s healthy and wholesome.
It doesn’t have to be a chore getting the lunch box ready. Use it as an opportunity to talk about food, and it’s impact on health. Involve them in making choices and actually putting their own lunch boxes together. In the long run, helping children to develop awareness of what’s good for them, helping them learn to make the right choices, will pay off.
We need to be clear that a ‘snack’ should be a treat, and not part of a meal. Sweets, sugary drinks, chocolate and crisps are not meant to be everyday staples. Education about eating and its impact on our health is as important as any classroom learning, and a nutritious packed lunch helps children to learn too. Persuading children to do what’s good for them can be hard, but it’s for the best.
Change4Life reminds us that too much sugar is bad for our bodies and bad for our teeth: “Children in England are eating nearly three times the recommended amount of sugar. Too much sugar is bad for their health. Surprisingly, half the sugar they consume comes from snacks and sugary drinks.”
A child at school should have about a third of their daily nutrient requirements at lunchtime. A healthy packed lunch should contain a mix of foods from the Eat Well Plate, chosen from each of the 5 food groups.
No single food contains all the essential nutrients the body needs to be healthy and function efficiently so it is important that the content of the packed lunch is varied.
What about snacks such as crisps, cakes, pastries and sweets?
If children only have these foods occasionally they will appreciate them more! A good packed lunch needs to provide children with the important nutrients they need to learn, grow and develop, be healthy and active.
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