If you too are parents who have always wondered what the perfect snack for your children is, then you can get a good bit of inspiration from The Manifesto of the Snack, developed by Unione Italiana Food and Istituto Bambino Gesù for the health of children and adolescents. A guide to immediately learn the correct eating habits and discover the pleasures of food.
The Infant Jesus Institute for the Health of the Child and the adolescent point of reference in Italy for issues concerning nutrition education for the youngest, he pointed out eight good practices to keep in mind together with an unpublished article weekly planning of 56 snacks, divided for four age groups (4-6 years, 7-11 years, 12-14 years, 15-17 years) with the aim of providing parents with ideas to better organize it. "The basis of a correct diet in all ages and in particular in the pediatric age, he claims the Dr. Giuseppe Morino, Head of the Food Education OU Pediatric Hospital Bambino Gesù, there is the variety that for snacks can be represented by sweet proposals alternating with savory ones, different every day, at least within a week. Two varied and nutritionally adequate daily snacks represent a necessary contribution to harmonious growth, without favoring the overweight or related metabolic diseases ”.
The rules of the perfect snack
Here are the eight words used by the "Manifesto" to describe the snack for children and teenagers:
daily: the snack is a habit, it should be done every day mid-morning and mid-afternoon
Appropriate: different according to the age of the children and energy needs
moderate: it is a snack that must not weigh down, therefore it is forbidden to overdo it
filling: in order not to get to the next meals too hungry it is good not to skip it
Varies: never repeat the same snack every day
Sweet: yes to consumption (moderate) as a snack of a slice of homemade cake or a snack Salata: it is good to accustom children and young people to different flavors, then to a slice of bread with oil and tomato
Serena: it is a moment to live with the right calm, at home, at school or in the park, with parents, grandparents or friends.
Pairings: alternate sweet and savory
Among the combinations and suggestions suggested by the Bambino Gesù Institute is fruit (fresh and dry) it must never fail. It is certainly important to alternate and vary foods, both sweet and savory, such as yogurt, bread, homemade cakes (or packaged), ice cream, smoothies, vegetables. Among the 56 suggested proposals there are also some snacks suitable for a vegetarian food style such as "white pizza with chickpea and tomato hummus ”. Or the introduction of vegetables into snacks with foods of animal origin, for example in the classic sliced sandwich, where the rocket is added. In practice, there is no snack that is too little or too nutritious but different according to the age of the children and the energy requirement: we talk about 150 Kcal for children 4- 6 years, 200 Kcal for children 7-11 years, 260 Kcal for children 12 – 15 years and 285 Kcal for children 15 – 17 years.
Children and young people must learn to love food and this moment of consumption must also be stimulating. In this regard, dr. Morino does not demonize packaged snacks, but to be consumed very moderately and always combined with fresh products such as fruit and vegetables. "Nhe last years the confectionery industry – as emphasized Mario Piccialuti, General Director of Unione Italiana Food – he worked a lot for the improvement of the products and in particular of the snacks ”.
All the suggestions to put into practice the good rules of the perfect snack can be found online at www.merendineitaliane.it.
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