Snacking and Why it Should Be Incorporated on the Healthy Diet of Kids

  • Breaking down snacking myths and the benefits of giving the right food to your little ones

“Actually, snacking is essential,” says Dr. Timothy Harlan, an American board-certified medical internist, professional chef, and author of well-known “Just Tell What To Eat” diet plan book.

According to him, people need to eat something when they’re hungry – as long as they are the right snacks. In order to do snacking the right way, people should develop healthy snacking habits at an early age.

That is why it is important for families, especially mothers, to incorporate healthy snacking habits to their kids. The Center for Science in the Public Interest of U.S.A. reports that right snacks actually encourage kids to develop lifelong healthful habits.

Still, many moms believe that certain snacking habits can be detrimental to their children’s nutrition. Here, we break down some myths about snacking once and for all.

Myth #1: Meals are better than snacks.

Children need to refuel throughout the day and maintain their energy level. In fact, they may also need to fill in certain nutrient gaps left by meals through healthy snacking.
Snacks are especially crucial for children because they are still growing. Having healthy snacks at school can lead kids to better nutrition during foundational years and boost their energy and ability to focus.

Myth #2: Frequent snacks will make kids overweight.

No. Not necessarily.

In one study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, results showed that frequent snacking, as long as healthy and needed by the body, is good.

In their research, 17 small healthy snacks a day are served to participants and found that in 2 weeks, the participants had lower cholesterol and insulin levels, decreasing not only risks of immense weight gain but also their risks of heart disease and diabetes.

Myth #3: Sugar-sweetened snacks are the reason for kids’ hyperactivity.

There’s a widespread belief that sugar-sweetened snacks cause hyperactivity among children. Numerous studies, however, such as of Yale University School of Medicine, confirmed that sugar does not cause hyperactivity.

In fact, a few drops of sugar water (a half teaspoon in an ounce of water) can calm an agitated baby. This is because when sugar enters the bloodstream and reaches the brain, it temporarily increases calming neurochemicals, such as serotonin.

That’s not to say that parents should allow their kids to get high-sugar foods as much as the kids want. The point is parents should make sure that their children eat something heartier along with the sweets.

Choosing the right snack for children

Aside from healthy and smart choice of snack ingredients, regulated and portioned snacks can help prevent children from developing habits of boredom eating and emotion-driven eating as adults.

Thankfully, there are now nutritious yet readily available snacks that even busy moms can easily pack for their kids. One example is the Pocket Sandwich by trusted bread brand Gardenia.
Gardenia Pocket Sandwich is made with soft and creamy fresh-baked white bread sealed with rich peanut butter or chocolate filling. Its Peanut Butter and Chocolate variants have vitamins A, B1, and B2, which are good for the eyes and contributes to the normal formation of red blood cells and hemoglobin, respectively. They are also high in Iron, which helps the release of energy from proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

These new baons are also friendly to the pocket as well, retailing for only 15php per piece in leading supermarkets and convenience stores. Compared to easy access snacks like junk food which are so prolific on grocery shelves nowadays, healthier options like these can help fill children’s appetite, at the same time provide the nutrients they need.

Again, there is nothing wrong with snacking as long as it is done the healthy way. Start them young, and be more confident about them having healthier lifestyles as adults.

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Introvert, wanderer, blogger, foodie, a hip-hop music writer, and one of the co-founders of a tech start-up company called GigsManila.