When the 100 calorie snack campaign was created it was originally for parents who were excited to have a guide to healthy alternatives for their children. They no longer had to worry about children eating too much because the industry had now provided them with 100 calorie options to choose from.
What parents weren't told is that calories are not all created equal. Our focus on these numbers could actually lead to children obsessing over calorie counting, which lead the company BEAT to be concerned when these guidelines were released.
When choosing food for our children we need to look beyond the labels and numbers and really look at the ingredients contained within the product. The calories are actually information for the body and they either support our health and longevity, or send us down a path towards disease. Many of the ingredients contained in 100 calorie packaged foods are toxic to the body, support weight gain, alter hormones, are sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, are damaging to the gut and do not support long term health for children or their parents who are approaching their own health in a similar way (by counting calories).
Some of the recommendations for this campaign based on their calories included:
- Malt Loaf Slice
(Contains partially inverted sugar syrup, vegetables oils which are toxic to the human body especially when heated, colourings and preservatives - 100g contains 20g of sugar)
- Low Sugar Fromage Frais (Petit Filous Strawberry)
(Still contains sugars 9g/100g, fructose, flavourings, corn flour and non organic milk that contains antibiotics, hormones, pesticides and herbicides)
- Tinned fruit salad
- Sugar free jelly
(Contains aspartame which is damaging to the body and in one study here they showed: When consuming high-aspartame diets, participants had more irritable mood, exhibited more depression, and performed worse on spatial orientation tests.)
Should we as parents not be focusing instead on food that is natural and fresh, that our body recognises as food and that helps our children thrive, stay focused at school, supports their brain development and cognition, lowers their risk of diabetes and heart disease, helps protect their immune system and gut microbiome and so much more.
Wouldn't you rather give your children:
Fresh Fruit skewers dipped in organic yogurt
Vegetables with hummus
Healthy homemade energy bars
Frozen yogurt blueberries
Veggie crisps or kale chips
Mini flatbread pizzas
Banana slices topped with nut/seed butters.
These foods contain important nutrients that will keep your kids healthy long term. Our children need vitamins, minerals, fibre, protein, healthy fats and phytonutrients on a daily basis so why rely on heavily processed foods, packed with damaging ingredients just because they have been labelled 100 calorie snack options? If you ask me it doesn't seem like the best approach to supporting our children's health and their future.
If you have children, or you are worried about the snacks you are eating throughout the day and you would love to learn how to make some delicious homemade snacks (allergen friendly) then please come and join me at my
Upcoming webinar looking at healthy summer snacks and desserts on July 10th, 2020 from 1-2pm via zoom.
Debbie Vanderboom is a Nutritional Advisor, Natural Juice Therapist and foodie who loves using fresh, wholesome food to nourish the body. Educating her clients on the importance of choosing healthy foods on a daily basis is her focus. She provides her clients with recipes, resources and meal plans to help develop healthy eating habits for life.