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Do you have questions about healthy snacking? Ask PHE’s expert for a chance to win a £150 voucher NOW CLOSED

(112 Posts)
JustineBMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 12-Jan-18 10:20:56

Making healthy choices when it comes to your children’s snacks (especially if you’re under the demands of pester power) can be difficult.

Change4Life is supporting you in making healthier snack choices, and they have Orla Hugueniot, Senior Nutritionist on board to help answer your questions on healthy snacking.

Here’s what Change4Life has to say: ‘The new Change4Life campaign aims to help families choose healthier snacks and cut back on sugar. The campaign reveals the surprising fact that children are getting half their sugar from snacks and sugary drinks between meals. To help parents take action Change4Life are introducing a simple new tip – ‘Look for 100 calorie snacks, two a day max’ - to help parents purchase healthier snacks and provide a suggestion for how to keep snacking in check each day. For lots of ideas for healthier snacking for kids and money-off vouchers, search Change4Life.’

Here’s some more information about Orla Hugueniot:
“Orla Hugueniot is the campaign nutritionist team lead at Public Health England (PHE). Since joining PHE in 2014, she has led the provision of expert nutrition advice for PHE Change4Life campaigns including Sugar Swaps (Jan 2015), Sugar Smart (2016) and Be Food Smart (Jan 2017) and Snack Smart (Jan 2018). Orla is a PHE spokesperson and has extensive experience with the media (both UK and Australian) including radio interviews and several TV appearances. She was previously a spokesperson for the FSA. She has worked with journalists in mainstream print media as well as the more specialised health press. Her previous experience includes working at the UK’s Food Standards Agency as a Senior Nutrition Scientific Officer, and as an independent nutritionist for public health nutrition campaigns in Australia. Her qualifications include an Hons BSc degree in Human Nutrition from King’s College London and a Diploma in Science Communication from Birkbeck University (University of London). Orla is a member of the UK and Australian Nutrition Societies.”

Ask Orla your questions about healthy snacking by 22nd January and we’ll select 10-15 questions for them to answer and post their responses as soon as possible. All who post a question below (whether it’s answered or not!) will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £150 voucher.

Thanks and good luck!


Sleepysausage Sat 13-Jan-18 21:59:06

My 2 year old daughter has a cup of milk and slice of toast or a banana before bed as this really seems to help her sleep through, should I count this as a snack?

Winningbeauty Sat 13-Jan-18 23:34:01

Are snack bars and breakfast bars really healthy, they often show low calories but when you closely look at the nutritional value I'm always concerned about the sugar content

biffyboom Sat 13-Jan-18 23:56:16

Are there plans to incorporate the 'change4life' ideals on food into educating staff at nursery/preschool settings?

I am often suprised at the amount and frequency of foods I would consider treats/unhealthy that my child has eaten there.

grasspigeons Mon 15-Jan-18 11:29:42

Are some 100 calorie snacks more filling that others?

I like the advice, its simple and clear and I understand that 100 calories is the same amount of fuel wherever it comes from, but my children come home from school very hungry and I would want them to feel as 'full' as possible on their 100 calories so that they last until tea time.

SillyMoomin Mon 15-Jan-18 11:41:16

We all know the new fears about sugar, but what about fats, ie: nuts (plain not salted) - is a handful of those a good snack these days?

ButterflyOfFreedom Mon 15-Jan-18 11:44:07

It looks like one of the money off vouchers contained in this pack is for Petit Filous - the second main ingredient for these is sugar. Wouldn't money off plain / natural yogurt be healthier and more appropriate?

ButterflyOfFreedom Mon 15-Jan-18 11:48:44

And I should say, please don't get me wrong - I whole heartedly agree with this sort of campaign and getting kids eating healthier!
I didn't want to be negative, it was just a question....
I love what Change for Life is all about!!!

IToldYouIWasFreaky Mon 15-Jan-18 12:32:07

Why does Change4Life recommend low fat foods, especially low fat dairy products like milk, cheese and yoghurt for children? I thought that children (especially toddlers and younger children) needed a higher proportion of fat in their diet than adults?

foxessocks Mon 15-Jan-18 12:32:43

What age is this for? My 1 year old probably eats more than my almost 4 year old at the moment!

2Cold4me Mon 15-Jan-18 12:50:06

When children are older, ie, 13-16 years old; how would you suggest managing/encouraging healthy snacks, especially when they have their own pocket money and are around friends that eat badly? (and seem to get away with it because they're slim! ).

I don't want to make them eat healthy as they need to learn to be responsible for their own health and food choices, and I won't always be around, so it has to come from them in order to be effective. Otherwise, they'd just revert to bad habits when I'm not looking.

Any tips/advice would be appreciated. I've always cooked from scratch and encouraged them to help in the kitchen, and have taught them to cook, but I'm finding that they're very influenced by what their friends eat, and they're mostly choosing unhealthy snacks.

Thanks smile

Lemonadesea Mon 15-Jan-18 12:59:31

I don't find the 100 cal advice very useful. Surely it is only for people using packeted food. Could another way of communicating the idea be developed - which suggests actual things - such as 2 boiled eggs, or one banana or a fistful of almonds?

Stickladilove Mon 15-Jan-18 13:00:42

The toddler group I go to serve custard cream biscuits and other biscuits for snack time, how can I address this with them.

ilovekitkats Mon 15-Jan-18 14:03:41

Our toddler group used to serve fruit, cheese and breadsticks at snack time. The custard creams were only for the parents.

We live in an insane world, where the government have to tell us that our kids can only eat 200 calories a day in snacks. What happened to everything in moderation? Most kids are so active they burn off everything anyway.

I am not going to stop my child from eating a biscuit or a cereal bar, or heaven forbid a banana which may be over 100 calories?

What "snacks" would you suggest for a child that doesn't like a lot of foods? Does fruit count as a snack or can they eat as much fruit as they like?

What about salt? My DC doesn't have a packet of crisps every day like a lot of kids do. How do you regulate salt intake within your 100 calorie rule?

TellMeItsNotTrue Mon 15-Jan-18 14:16:26

Is it better for a child to have a lunchbox type meal in one go or to put part of it to one side for a snack later. I find that lunchbox type meals use up my preferred snacks (yoghurt, fruit etc)

ncullinane Mon 15-Jan-18 14:22:13

I find at home it's much easier to provide healthier snacks but out at mother/baby/toddler groups often the snacks are sugary biscuits, are Change4Life planning to target parent groups too?

NerrSnerr Mon 15-Jan-18 14:35:12

Most toddler groups are parent/ volunteer led, I’m not sure who they’d work with to target them. If the snack at the group wasn’t for me I’d bring my own (or volunteer to bring alternatives).

My daughter is 3 years old, active and on the lower side of a healthy weight. What worries me is that parents of underweight children may take on board the advice when their children should be having higher fat/ calorie food. Have you addressed this anywhere?

TeddyIsaHe Mon 15-Jan-18 14:37:12

Are snacks actually necessary? I’m always hearing about “good snacks” to give / have, but I would like to know if not snacking is actually better?

Cheekyandfreaky Mon 15-Jan-18 16:03:26

As the poster above asked, do children always need to snack? Would 3 decent meals not be enough? My dd doesn’t eat her meals if she snacks and then wakes at night crying. Is snacking even something recommended for any age group? Should we not be allowed to experience hunger between meals?

Ak13zd03 Mon 15-Jan-18 16:24:11

What are the best healthy snacks for 100 Cal's that are satisfying and filling ?

DaisyDando Mon 15-Jan-18 17:43:14

Rice cakes. I hadn't even noticed them until I had a child. Any nutritional value? And any suggestions to make them a bit more desirable?

MrsFrTedCrilly Mon 15-Jan-18 17:49:31

Is snacking really a healthy habit for older children? I seem to remember a childhood where we had our meals and only had fruit between meals. I’ve largely followed the same pattern with my children, they’re fine and healthy. Would it not be a better option to try and reduce this obsession with grazing all day long!!

Lunaticmagnet87 Mon 15-Jan-18 18:11:45

How do you justify or define a 'healthy ' snack? We have a 'healthy' breakfast bar in our house which is around 100+ ish calories. With all raw, good ingredients, which is being classed as a health snack. Great!

But on the other hand a pack of crisps these days are much lower in calories around 70/80. Sometimes as someone looking for a low calorie snack, would most often go from the crisps. The same with fizzy drinks vs fruit juice. Because the family would rather have the crisps and a low calorie drink than a breakfast bar and some fresh juice. Trying to decide what is best for the family is becoming more difficult with all these options.

rupert23 Mon 15-Jan-18 18:23:29

my sons like a bowl of cornflakes as a snack is this healthy? or should i be trying to replace it with something else?

SingingSeuss Mon 15-Jan-18 19:24:39

My 6 year old is never full. She is constantly asking for food. She has three good sized balanced meals a day, plus snacks in the morning and afternoon. We have just introduced a 'snack station' in a bid to try and get her to self regulate as she never says she's full and always asks for more until we say no. Any tips on snack stations or other methods to help her recognise when she's full? Current rules say she can help herself when it's open ( not one hour before or after meals) but takes one thing at once and waits five mins after eating something before going back. She's currently a healthy weight for her height (tall for her age) and active so maybe isn't feeling full on the type of snacks provided.

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