Half of the sugar that children eat comes from snacks and sugary drinks and Change4Life’s new campaign wants to help parents cut back.  Their solution – snacks with no more than 100 calories and max 2 per day. But what does this actually mean in practice? Giki has looked at some of the most popular snacks and fizzy drinks on the market to see whether they fit with the new advice.

A can of Coca-Cola contains 139 calories so you’re going to have to stop drinking just over two-thirds of the way through. However, given that it also contains 35 grams (g) of sugar, and the daily suggested intake for children aged 7-10 is 24g, probably best to keep it to half.

A McVitie’s Hobnob is slightly better – you can have 1 biscuit and a small bite from another to get you to the limit. With just under 4g of sugar (that’s one sugar cube) you’ve also got some spare for the rest of the day.

Meanwhile a Mars bar is only really for sharing. Chop it into three to stay under the calorie limit.

Finally if you fancy some crisps then make sure to only eat half the packet. Walker’s Salt and Vinegar have 184calories per pack and whilst the sugar content is very low fat and saturated fat are higher.

And for anyone with a few left over mince pies then make sure you have a sharp knife to hand. Most mince pies have over 200 calories so you’re going to have to get chopping.

So if stopping your child half way though a can of Coke or cutting a Mars Bar into three is not going to work what are the options? Well as is always the case fruit is a good choice. Less packaging and cost are further advantages. A whole banana, apple, orange or handful of raisins all come in under 100 calories and the sugars in them are all natural. You could also try giving a child three rice cakes which has the advantage of still being only 90 calories but the disadvantage that most 8 year olds aren’t too keen on them.

However, you may get more success with a Claudia and Fin Greek Style Natural Yoghurt Lolly (just 54 calories and 6g of sugar) or even 2 Nairn’s Organic Oat cakes which are pretty much sugar free.

To learn more about the products you buy and whether they are healthy, sustainable and fair just scan the barcode, or search the product on the Giki app.

Photos by Brian Chan, Jakob Kapusnak, Mike Dorner on Unsplash

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