A few months ago, I shared on Facebook and Twitter a terrific piece in Parents magazine about how today’s kids are being offered food more often than ever before. Written by Real Mom Nutrition‘s Sally Kuzemchak, “The Snack Epidemic” reported that:
In the late 1970s, the average kid between the ages of 2 and 6 ate one snack a day between meals, but today kids typically eat almost three . . . . Obesity experts now believe that the frequency of eating, not just bigger portion sizes, is also to blame for the uptick in calorie intake for kids and grown-ups alike.
I think these findings jibe with the observations of many parents. Even those of us who get annoyed when our kids are offered junk food by others might admit to engaging in some “over-snacking” ourselves, such as always carrying around a packaged snack (healthy or otherwise) to ward off crankiness or boredom — but not necessarily hunger — when we’re out with our kids.
In light of all that, today I’m sharing this post by blogger Karen Perry, urging parents to take kids to the playground without bringing any snacks along at all! Radical!
While Perry believes kids need to work up a healthy appetite before meals, she’s really arguing for a return to a time when kids were less hovered over by parents generally. (And given that thesis, it’s no surprise that I learned of Perry’s post via Lenore Skenazy of Free Range Kids, to whom I owe a hat tip.)
What do you think of all this, TLTers? Do you agree that kids are “over-snacked,” even when the offerings are healthful ones? Or do you think frequent eating is no big deal? Let me know in a comment below.
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