Kids need to eat healthy balanced diet that includes the right number of calories. Every kid burns a different amount of energy, that’s why number of calories per day can vary. For most school-age kids the recommended number of calories is from 1,600 to 2,500 per day.
All the snacks that kids eat during the day can add up very quickly. If most of the snacks are high-calorie foods, like sugary sodas, candy and fast food kids can start gaining weight. What happens is if you eat more calories than your body needs, all the leftover calories that we don’t burn during the day are converted to fat. Foods with saturated fats, sugar and salt provide few nutrients, so they need to be limited. Let’s look at the most popular snacks and how much calories are in them:
Biscuits – 3 biscuits – 150 calories
Cookies (especially chocolate-chip) – 1 cookie – 69 calories
Chocolate bars – 1 bar 2.4oz – 361 calories
Potato chips – 1 bag 8oz – 1242 calories
Corn chips – 1 bag 7oz – 1,026 calories
Sugary sodas – 8oz – 97 calories
Look at all these calories! Now, let’s count how many calories your kid gets in snacks eating some of these unhealthy foods. First snack few cookies, I have never seen anybody who stops after first cookie, my kids eat around 4. Second snack after lunch – 3 biscuits and a can of soda. Snack after dinner while watching TV bag of potato chips and another can of soda. Let’s add it up:
4 cookies + 1 chocolate bar + 2 sodas + 1 bag potato chips = 1870 calories
1870 calories ONLY in snacks. Plus breakfast , lunch and dinner. You get the point. So next time when your kid says, I am not hungry and I don’t want to eat dinner, you know why. Try to offer your children a variety of healthy snacks as this will give them the opportunity to make their own choice and get them in the habit of choosing more healthy options.