Stop with all the snacking, advises Amanda Kolson Hurleyin a Washington Post blog.
Half of American kids snack four times a day, according to a 2010 study, she writes. “On average, kids are consuming 600 calories a day from snacks, 168 more than they did in 1977 (you know, back when strollers didn’t have little food trays attached to them).”
Her 9-year-old sometimes snacks in class, again at his after-school program and a third time when he gets home. Sometimes he skips lunch and isn’t hungry for dinner. It’s all about the snacks.
Parents “walk around with trail mix and Sun Chips stuffed in our bags like we‘re mobile, no-fee vending machines,” writes Hurley, who admits to being a snacking enabler herself.
Every group activity includes snack time, often with a snack schedule for mothers.
One mother I know pushed back when the self-appointed “snack coordinator” at her daughter’s preschool tried to institute a second snack in addition to the pretzels and juice the kids were already served. Preschool ran from 9 to noon. My friend didn’t see why the children would need more than one snack to tide them over until lunch.
The child obesity rate has doubled over the past 30 years, Hurley notes. Raising kids to expect frequent snacks — at the expense of meals — isn’t helping.