Why are healthy snacks important? Let’s be honest, they don’t taste as good. Bottom line, nothing will taste as good at that exact moment as a chocolate bar, ice cream, cinnamon roll, cheese Danish…get the idea? But that doesn’t obviously mean that’s what kids and people in general, should eat. On the contrary, healthy snacks should be encouraged for the multiple positive effects they’ll have.
1. Encourage Discipline
Don’t laugh. Eating healthy, or healthier is all about discipline. You’d rather have ice cream, but instead opt for pretzels. You’d rather have a chocolate bar, but instead opt for chex mix. It’s not easy, but can be done. If done once, it develops discipline, and gets easier in the future. This discipline will make other things, like waking up in the morning, completing school tasks, homework, studying, etc easier as well.
2. Establish a Long Term View
Similar to the above item, Eating healthy snacks does establish a long term view of the situation in that the effect of choosing a healthy snack over candy is not always immediately apparent. The positive effects may take some time to manifest.
3. Reduced Problems With Overweight and Obesity
Finding Healthy Solutions for your snacking will definitely promote weight management. A good rule of thumb is that the snacks be made up of less than 35% of calories from fat, less than 35% of calories from sugar, less than 10% of calories from saturated fat, and the item itself be less than 250 calories.
4. Better Brain Function
Putting less sugar and fat into one’s body, and doing more to meet basic nutrition needs will certainly allow one’s brain to function at its highest capacity.
5. Potentially Protecting Against Type 2 Diabetes
While the data isn’t conclusive in this area, many believe that lowering sugar content and starch content in one’s diet may prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes for those who are predisposed to it. Certainly we understand that when someone is diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, they are immediately instructed to reduce sugar intake.
So the support for the idea that kids should eat healthy snacks is pretty overwhelming, or it would seem so. That said, the opposing view is represented by something pretty overwhelming on its side….the American Advertising Industry! Whether through TV, Radio, the internet, or countless other advertising mechanisms, unhealthy snacks are presented in enticing fashion by the some of the smartest advertising minds in the world. So what to do? Just keep doing what you can to encourage proper diet, present the facts and hope people make the right choice.