How often should my child eat crisps?

crisps

Quavers, Wotsits, Walkers, Hula Hoops, Monster Munch, Pringles … Crisps are such an easy grab-and-go snack and most children love them, fussy or not!

BUT SHOULD – OR HOW OFTEN SHOULD – YOU LET YOUR CHILD EAT THEM?! 

While no food should be forbidden – that’ll make them want them more – an abundance of crisps certainly won’t help in the fight against fussy eating!

Here’s why:

👎 Crisps are designed to be more-ish!

The hit of salt on the tongue, the satisfying crunch, the enticing flavourings … The more your child has them, the more their palate will crave them. The natural, non-processed foods you want them to eat will pale by comparison!

👎 Crisps have a very little nutritional value

Think of them as “empty calories”. If their tummy’s full of crisps, that’s hungry space that could have been filled with something healthier. A packet of Quavers, for example, has 88 calories. That’s a plain rice cake and an apple or some cubes of Cheddar cheese and a cluster of grapes.

👎 Crisps come in a packet

They accidentally teach your child that the toptastic foods come out of colourful packets. This won’t encourage them to go for ‘real food’ at all. Carrot sticks vs. Pureed carrot you squeeze into your mouth out of a pouch? Pouch wins! Fresh strawberries vs. A swirl of strawberry-flavoured ribbon in a pink wrapper with a bear on? Yoyo wins!

SO … WHAT TO DO? 

👎 Introduce crisps into your child’s diet as late as you can get away with! 

Once they’ve tasted them, they’ll want them! That includes Pom-Bears and other ‘children’s crisps’. They’re still processed and salty. They still have very little nutrition. They’re still in a packet!

👎  Make crisps a treat

Don’t label them ‘bad’ or make them off-bounds. Call them a “treat” and make them be something you have sometimes, rather than an ordinary, taken-for-granted food. You could let them choose a packet out the vending machine after their swimming lesson every Wednesday, for example, or have a big bowl to share as a family when you watch a film. You can explain to your child why it isn’t healthy to eat crisps too often (when they’re old enough to understand) but do it at a happy, relaxed, unhungry time. If you do it when they’re pestering for a packet, it will just provoke a battle!

👎 Don’t keep a stock of crisps at home

It’s tempting just to buy them in bulk and keep them in the cupboard – but if your child knows they’re there, they’ll hanker after them. It’ll make your life harder! Buy and eat them outside the home – or take a packet home and eat them that day.

WANT TO KNOW HOW TO MANAGE A CHILD WHO CONSTANTLY PESTERS FOR SNACKS? CLICK HERE!