The disturbing fact is that many children already eat far more than 10kg of sugar every year!

When it comes to snack time, it can be hard if your kids are pestering you or helping themselves to whatever they like from the cupboards.

But snacks can all add up – and there’s more sugar in them than you think.

Did you know?

Half the sugar kids eat and drink each year comes from snacks and sugary drinks between meals – that’s 10kg of sugar each year before they have even eaten a meal!

Too much sugar can lead to harmful fat building up inside and serious health problems, including painful tooth decay. Fruit and vegetables are always the best choice, but if you’re shopping for packaged snacks for your children, use this helpful tip: look for 100 calorie snacks, two a day max!

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100 Calorie Snacks

  • Malt loaf slice
  • Lower-fat, lower-sugar fromage frais (some flavours include strawberry, raspberry, banana, apricot)
  • Fresh or tinned fruit salad
  • Chopped vegetables and lower-fat hummus
  • Plain rice cakes or crackers with lower-fat cheese
  • Sugar-free jelly
  • One crumpet
  • One scotch pancake

These snacks may contain 100 calories or less, but products vary so remember to always check the label. Nuts and seeds are a healthier snack, but they’re high in energy, so remember to keep an eye on the amount eaten and don’t give whole nuts to kids under 5.

How to check for 100 calories

You can buy snacks that are 100 calories and lower in sugar. Many products have traffic light labels on the front of the pack. The calories are included on the far left-hand side of these labels. Choose snacks with more greens and ambers on the label, and cut down on snacks that show any reds. Not all packaged food has traffic light labels, but you can find out what you need to know about your snacks with the free Change4Life Food Scanner app available from the App Store or Google Play.

DIY snacks

You can also save money by preparing healthy snacks yourself. Fresh, tinned or frozen fruit and vegetables are always the best choice for a snack, but you could try drop scones, homemade popcorn or small omelettes made in muffin trays.

Leave it on the shelf

The simplest trick in the book — if you don’t have sweets in the house, you can’t eat them and you’ll save money, too!

For more information, see the Change4Life website here.

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