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.
- 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:
<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:
<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>