Parents advised to limit children’s snacks

Families across East Sussex are being encouraged to get their New Year off to a healthy start by reducing the amount of sugar they consume.

East Sussex Public Health is supporting the latest Change4Life campaign which aims to help families choose healthier snacks.

A £4.5 million campaign from Public Health England will encourage parents to “Look for 100 calorie snacks, two a day max” in order to help their children consume less sugar.

The campaign will include a TV ad, animated by Aardman, running for eight weeks from today (2nd January).  Additionally, 3.6 million leaflets will be made available to families via primary schools.

Selected supermarkets are supporting the campaign.  Tesco will help parents choose affordable, healthier snacks that are 100 calories or less.  Co-op will also provide tasty and healthy snacking products, making it easier for customers to make healthier choices on the go.  Parents can also get money-off vouchers from Change4Life to help them try healthier snack options, including malt loaf, lower-sugar fromage frais, and drinks with no added sugar.

Governments statistics show that half of children’s sugar intake comes from unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks.  Each year children are consuming almost 400 biscuits; more than 120 cakes, buns and pastries; around 100 portions of sweets; nearly 70 of both chocolate bars and ice creams; washed down with over 150 juice drink pouches and cans of fizzy drink.

Cynthia Lyons, Acting Director for Public Health at East Sussex County Council, said:

Children are, on average, eating nearly three times the recommended amount of sugar. Too much sugar can cause a whole range of serious health problems, including tooth decay.

Cynthia Lyons, ESCC’s Public Health director

In East Sussex more than a third of 10 to 11 year olds and more than a quarter of four to five year olds are overweight, while 20 per cent of five year olds in the county have tooth decay.

It is important that, to tackle these issues, families have access to information about what’s in the snacks they are giving their children.

Remembering helpful tips such as the ‘Look for 100 calorie snacks – two a day max!’ and taking simple steps to reduce sugar intake by using the latest app, can make a huge difference to the health of our children.

The updated Change4Life ‘Food Scanner’ app can help bring labels to life and show just how much sugar, salt and saturated fat is inside everyday snacks, foods and drinks.  The free app can be downloaded from iTunes store or Google Play.

Search Change4Life for loads more tips on healthier snacking.

2 comments on “Parents advised to limit children’s snacks
  1. Encouraging your little ones to drink plain water is good: it cleans the teeth at the same time. Do it from weaning and they shouldn’t object.

  2. Plain water is perfect as a drink & limiting sugar. However, I’d rather offer sugary food than chemically sweetened foods like aspartame which cause other health issues. Not much is said about the chemically enhanced foods including most low or no added sugar food & drinks.

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