Tag: snack

What is the best snack for children? – Italian Cuisine

What is the best snack for children?

The importance of a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack in children is confirmed by the Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital, a point of reference in Italy for the education of the youngest.

A moment of nutrition for the 6-17 age group, once mistreated because associated with unhealthy choices, returns to the fore: the mid-morning snack. Considered essential for proper development in this delicate age group, a mid-morning snack presupposes varied choices, sweet but also savory, based on fruit, yogurt, biscuits, bread and cheese, ice cream and, finally, packaged snacks. These last, characterized by portioning, were born about 50 years ago as a food habit linked to the typical homemade cakes based on shortcrust pastry, sponge cake or puff pastry, and in the last ten years they have evolved, adapting to the new nutritional guidelines that provide for a smaller quantity of saturated fats and sugars.

The main Italian food trade association, Italian Food Union, has drawn up a handbook on snacks for children and young people in collaboration with the platform "At the health school" of the Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital in Rome, proposing 28 combinations in the name of balance, to help parents make conscious choices, based on the age of their children. Because “making a snack” is an all-Italian way of saying (and doing) that requires a mid-morning snack, preferably based on fruit. «Objective of this habit – he affirms Mario Piccialuti, General Director of the Italian Food Union – is to break hunger before lunch, to avoid arriving at this appointment too hungry and thus consuming a high number of calories, with consequent problems related to glycemic peaks . Therefore, it has nothing to do with snacks, which are instead a “consumption with no temporal collocation”, often based on foods so rich in saturated fats and compound sugars.

In an age group as complex as that between 6 and 17, it is essential to raise awareness of the consumption of 5 meals a day, made up of a breakfast, a morning snack, a lunch, a second afternoon snack and finally dinner, all balanced. from the point of view of nutrients and calories. "Every age has a different caloric need for a snack too – explains Dr. Giuseppe Morino, Pediatrician and Dietitian of the Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital. They range from 80 Kcal for 6-8 year olds, to 140 Kcal for 15 and 17 year olds. In general, this mid-morning snack should provide 5% of the total calories and in any case not exceed 10%. Contemplating an adequate presence of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and fibers, so that it is sufficiently satiating .

According to the Okkio alla Salute survey, in fact, promoted by the National Institute of Health, 55% of children does not have a proper diet: one in two children adopts an inappropriate lifestyle, deficient, as well as from a nutritional point of view, also from the point of view of physical activity, judged to be insufficient. To this we must add the lockdown period, which has contributed to the onset of eating disorders and obesity among the youngest.

All Italian companies spend an average of 25 to 50 million euros each year on research and development, to offer sustainable snacks, which have taste and are correct from a nutritional point of view. In addition to attention to the composition, which shows a decreased intake of saturated fats and sugars, it has been implemented a communication plan for parents, who are the actors of this choice: "They are the purchasing decision makers – specified Piccialuti – and this is why the information is dedicated to them. Where the responsibility of choice falls on children and young people, we have decided not to be present: we are no longer in distributors within compulsory schools ". Green light therefore to fruit, yogurt and biscuits, without forgetting that once or twice a week, packaged snacks can be a valid alternative.

Children's snack portions – Italian Cuisine

Children's snack portions

Ok to the homemade snack like a tart or a donut, but watch out for the portions that risk being too abundant

We have prepared a homemade dessert for the snack of our children. Ok, but how much can they eat? Even in home snacks, portions are important to define the quantities of calories, sugars and saturated fats that our children consume. Let's try to understand more with the results of the research BVA Doxa – Italian Food Union (the association that represents the main Italian companies producing snacks and which for years has been carrying out an information campaign on the site www.merendineitaliane.it) -, entitled "Portioning of non-packaged desserts for mothers and children 'snacks " and carried out on a representative sample of 600 mothers of children aged 5 to 13.

The risk of a home snack: large portions and encores

According to the study, most Italian mothers are unable to locate the weight of the portion of a jam tart or a donut given to their children. And the risk is to abound in the quantities of the snack.

There half of mothers (49%) can't indicate how much this portion might weigh, 30% gives the wrong weight while only 2 in 10 mothers (21%) indovine (more or less) the correct weight of the portion chosen for their child. Perhaps also due to this difficulty in assessing the weight, in fact the portions become exaggeratedly abundant. In fact, 7 out of 10 mothers choose (without knowing it) slices of about 100-120 grams in the case of the tart (96 grams the average) and about 90-120 grams for the donut (with an average of 84 grams).

In addition, 1 in 3 mothers (30%) is used to it to do an encore to their children. The research also revealed that the portion of tart and donut that mothers choose for them is, surprisingly, the same one they choose for their children. Also in this case by overestimating the caloric needs that their children have compared to the time of the snack.

Moving on to snacks, mothers are more prepared: 6 out of 10 moms (58%) they read the label and know that the portion of an Italian snack is less than 50 grams (about 35).

The importance of portions

A 96-gram serving of jam tart – aka the medium one – has a calorie content of 317 kcal and contains 27 grams of sugars, 7.8 grams of fat, of which 5 are saturated (Food chemical composition of CREA).

An 84 gram slice of donut – the one cut on average by Italian mothers for their children – has a calorie content of about 310 kcal, 20 grams of sugars, 14.3 grams of fat, of which about 5.3 saturated (Fatsecret data).

The snack, in the predetermined portion, on average 35 grams, ccontains approx 6.5 grams of fat, of which 3 saturated, 9 grams of sugar, for an average calorie content per portion equal to 157 kcal.

"A slice of jam tart or ciambellone are excellent alternatives for the snack of the youngest even compared to snacks – commented the nutritionist Valeria Del Balzo – however, they should be "calibrated", which is not generally done, based on age and caloric needs and above all differentiated in terms of weight between an adult or youth consumption. In this context the plus of packaged desserts, which can be eaten 1-2 times a week, is to have a pre-established and nutritionally balanced portion ".

Snack and back to school: the combo that every parent has to face! – Italian Cuisine

Never was back to school more desired! But are you sure you've really thought of everything? For example, the snack to put in the folder? Then read here!

The school has finally started again. After six long months in which we parents have improvised teachers and much more, the doors of the institutes are ready to welcome children and young people, for a new routine that is certainly different from the one we knew. How to face the back to school? Anxiety and joy are ingredients that have equal weight these days in the minds and hearts of all mothers and fathers. And if we say "back to school" we can only say "snack"! Yes, because certainly in recent months we have all made some more gluttony and the time has come to get back on track with a healthy and nutritious diet, which gives children the right energy to tackle the study. Here are our suggestions.

Sweet or salty?

Do your children prefer sweet or savory? Choose the snack that best suits their tastes, trying to balance all the elements. A milk sandwich with a slice of cooked ham and a fruit juice are good for those who love salty. A slice of margherita cake with a smoothie, on the other hand, is ideal for those who love sweets. Fruit is also a fundamental ally for a sweet and genuine snack, regardless of the format or type offered to children.

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The snack must also be… comfortable!

Is there no more time to have a quiet snack? It is normal, during the week we are divided between thousands of commitments and for parents it is essential to find the right solution to give children a simple and good snack, but just as practical. What if we chose fruit, for example, but in a format that makes the little ones happy? Mellin proposes the 100% fruit pouches to have a snack with Disney Princesses, Anna and Elsa from Frozen 2 or with the legendary Crichetto, Jackson storm and Lightning Mcqueen from Cars. Apple, pear or mixed fruit such as Apple Banana, Apple Pear, Apple Strawberry and Banana, here is the most suitable snack for children, based on 100% fruit puree, with vitamin C and no added sugars. Perfect to put in your school backpack or sports bag, it's a simple, fresh and practical snack when the bell rings and the kids go out with their typical wolf hunger!

What activity will you do?

An aspect not to be underestimated! There are wild children, who do not stand still for a second, or who play demanding sports that require a boost of energy. Others, on the other hand, are calmer and more sedentary, so they don't need to consume excessive calories. To choose the right snack for your children, take these aspects into consideration, so as to adjust the doses and ingredients according to their actual needs.

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