Snacktivism

I'm a Snacktivist! badge from RealMomNutrition.com

Kids are getting about 500 calories a day from snacks.

But the big problem is what they’re snacking on. According to research at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, children get most of their snacks in the form of chips, cookies, crackers, and processed foods made with refined white flour, salt, sugar, and artificial flavors and colors.

Snacking on junk food has become the norm—and suddenly, kids can’t do anything without being served a snack. Packaged cookies and gummy fruit snacks are doled out any time kids gather in a group, from a two-hour preschool class to a 45-minute pee-wee soccer game. Every sporting event is now a reason to celebrate with cookies. Children are given juice boxes, pouches, and bottled punch instead of water.

Snacktivism is a grassroots effort to stop this for the sake of our kids’ health. Not only because rates of childhood overweight and obesity are alarmingly high, but also because we owe it to our children to equip them with healthy eating habits. If we teach them that a snack is an artificially-colored cookie out of a package, how do they ever stand a chance at maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding complications like diabetes and high blood pressure, and living a long, healthy life?

Snacktivism is about finding a better way. It’s about thinking twice before serving snacks, about considering whether kids actually need a snack. And if they do, it’s about making a better choice. It’s about offering whole foods and about making fruits and vegetables a default choice.

Snacktivism is not about giving up cookies and cupcakes. Instead, it’s about putting them back in their place as special occasion foods, not every day choices.

Snacktivists…

  • Mobilize parents at their child’s school, church, and sports teams
  • Volunteer to bring food for events and model healthy choices
  • Talk to their child’s teachers and principals about the kinds of snacks served in the classroom
  • Ask their child’s coaches if they can institute a healthier team snack policy—or eliminate snacks entirely

Bloggers: Are you a Snacktivist?

Let the world know!  You can add the “I’m a Snacktivist” badge to your website by cutting and pasting the italicized HTML code wherever you would like it to appear:

150 pixels wide:

I’m a Snacktivist! badge from Real Mom Nutrition
<a href="http://www.realmomnutrition.com/snacktivism" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.realmomnutrition.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/RMN-snacktivist-1501.png" alt="I’m a Snacktivist! badge from Real Mom Nutrition" width="150" height="106" border="0"></a>

250 pixels wide:

I’m a Snacktivist! badge from Real Mom Nutrition
<a href="http://www.realmomnutrition.com/snacktivism" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.realmomnutrition.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/RMN-snacktivist-2501.png" alt="I'm a Snacktivist! badge from Real Mom Nutrition" width="250" height="176" border="0"></a> 

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Lynda @MommyPowers January 28, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Love this idea & your Soccer Snacktivism Handbook! If you ever need a blogger to help with any campaigns, I’d be glad to. (I also have a food blog!) Thanks!

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Lacy January 30, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Done and done!

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Stacy@School-Bites.com February 5, 2013 at 11:46 pm

I just got the badge up on my blog. Great idea!! :-)

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jan February 28, 2013 at 2:02 pm

beetsandbluecheese is a snacktivist thru-and-thru!

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Lisa March 28, 2013 at 7:52 pm

I love this! Thank you.

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Jessica Freeman April 3, 2013 at 9:41 am

LOVE THIS!!!

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Chacha Tumbokon April 8, 2013 at 10:09 am

Hi Sally,

What you say is totally true. When my kids have an affair in school with food involved, all I see are junk snacks. As a mom, good nutrition is important to me. Anyway, I made a blog about how to get your kids involved in vegetable gardening and getting them to taste their harvest. Hopefully, this will help kids acquire a taste for healthy snacks. I’d appreciate if you can share the info on your facebook and tweet it.
http://www.nj.com/parenting/index.ssf/2013/04/kids_can_cultivate_good_health.html

Thanks,
Chacha

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Natalie June 8, 2013 at 11:36 pm

I’m a Snacktivist!!!

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Amanda September 17, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Hi Sally,
I love your site! I just started a healthy blog called Snack Wars and would love for you to check it out! I am in the process of becoming a wellness coach and this blog has been a great outlet for me so far!

Slainte Mhaith! (Irish toast for good health)
Amanda

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Jill November 22, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Working on pre-game snacks and post-game meals for my son’s high school varsity basketball team. Last week’s tournament snack bags consisted of cutie oranges, granola bars, dried fruit snacks and peanut butter with crackers. My son who is exposed to this food on a regular basis at his house, but is also 16 years old, rolled his eyes at the bag. They fuel themselves on junk and last through one game, but then crash. Help!

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Sally November 22, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Hey Jill–not having teens (yet) myself and not being entirely familiar with the appropriate response to eye rolls :) I would suggest talking to your son about the best way to fuel yourself pre- and post-game. At 16, he’s probably concerned about his endurance level and his performance. In other words, he’s not just playing sports for the juice box and the cupcake like some pee-wee players. :) If you don’t think he’ll respond to you telling him, why don’t you talk to your coach about having a chat with the players about the best stuff to eat before and after the game? They may able to get through the game on junk, but like you said, they’re crashing. Some protein in their post-game snacks (like the peanut butter) would help their muscles repair and rebuild. Maybe just saying “muscles” to a teenage boy might help. Let me know how it goes!

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Shannan December 2, 2013 at 7:54 pm

I love this! It really is crazy how much energy adults and kids get from snacks a day. More often than not, even the “healthy” options are poor choices. I take my clients down the snack isle at the grocery store and have them read the ingredient list from some of the items and every time I still find myself shocked by some of the ingredients. Most contain primarily processed flours and oils with preservatives and additives. That’s not real food! When it comes to snacking I try to keep it to things I can grow or pick–but it’s definitely a mindset shift and takes some creativity and planning, especially for kids! Adding this to my blog right now. I’m in!

http://www.loveonasheetpan.com

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Sally December 2, 2013 at 9:20 pm

Thanks Shannan. Love the name of your blog! I agree that label reading can be disheartening. There are so many additives in so many processed foods–dyes, preservatives, hydrogenated oils, it can be very discouraging to shop. I like thinking about it as you say, sticking to things you can “grow or pick”.

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Donna Castellano January 8, 2014 at 6:51 am

Got badge on my new blog http://www.thehangingspoon.com ! Proud to “wear” it! Thanks!

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Sally January 8, 2014 at 10:19 am

Donna–great! Look forward to checking out your blog.

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Donna Castellano January 9, 2014 at 11:24 am

Sally,

Thanks! Since I’m new to the blogging world I’d love to know what you think!

Donna

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Amy Bowers June 7, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Hi Sally,
I am a mother of 4 who is very passionate about healthy living and nourishing the mind and body with whole foods! I am just about to graduate from nutrition school to become a holistic health coach. I have just started a blog, fitmamafoodie.blogspot.com, and am excited to post your “I am a Snacktivist” logo on my blog. Just wanted to learn more about how you got started, and if you had help creating your blog and making it look so good and professional. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks so much! Amy

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Sally June 9, 2014 at 6:50 am

Amy–congrats on starting your blog. I checked it out and your Asian Salad recipe looks really yummy! So glad to hear you’ll be posting my “Snacktivist” badge on it and that you feel the same way about kids and snacking. I did have help with a graphics person with my logo and colors. My husband did the rest. :) Good luck with your blog and feel free to email me at realmomnutrition@gmail.com with any other questions.

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