“No, your kid may not have another snack!”

(or why do we need snacks anyway……I’m just saying)

A recent article that appeared in the Chicago Tribune this week addressed the need for snacks in school and extracurricular activities.  Access the complete article, here

I have always maintained that there is little or no need for multiple snacks during the child’s day.  Somehow we all managed to attend school from 9am-3 pm without starving to death!  I do remember the pretzel stick box being passed around the classroom at 10:30 am.  I was not permitted to partake since I was a chunky little boy who already ate too much.  The thing is I ate relatively good foods, just too much of it.  Nowadays the word snack implies chips, cookies, candies and other nutritionally useless and possibly negative food choices.  Certainly feeding a child several frequent small meals during the day is a good alternative but a slice of turkey or hummus or fresh fruit never seems to fulfill the parent/teacher concept of what a snack is.

We have become a society of people who walk around with bag fulls of ‘snacks’, juice boxes, fruit chews, water bottles to satisfy the instant gratification we appear to depend on – mostly in the form of useless carbohydrates, artificially colored, flavored so-called foods.  What’s up with that??  Why do we have to schedule snacks into every daily activity.  I certainly understand the need to have something to satisfy a small child especially when you need their cooperation or to just plainly be quiet.  But 3-6 snacks a day??

In the face of increasing childhood obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases and autism, we continue to feed our children excessive carbohydrates and frankly really bad foods.  How about chewing on a few raw veggies, dipping them in some hummus, a few slices of protein?  These foods wont disturb the child’s appetite for the real meal.  It also will not foster carbohydrate dependency and interfere with their desire to eat good foods at meal time.

Remember as a parent you need to lead by example.  My advice to you is get giant trash bags and go through your pantry closet.  Get rid of everything that is man made, artificial, chemical junk food.  Change your family’s eating habits.  Cook a meal if you have the time.  Train your kids not to be carb addicts.  You will be happy with the results.