Written by Claire Darlington
The Healthier Alternative To Supermarket Snacks
There are many options to choose from when looking for a nutritious snack, drink or which are the right vitamin supplements for your child. With variations in price, quality, nutritional content, taste, vitamin, and mineral content it can be a minefield when choosing a product that your child likes but that is giving them the best quality of everything else.
Snacks have never been so popular. This is largely due to the increased habit of families and individuals eating on the go. With busy schedules and lifestyles, it’s all too easy to grab a snack bar for your child. So we want to make sure what we are giving them will keep them full, contain powerful nutrition to fuel their bodies and brains but also taste appealing too.
Before purchasing the latest granola bar, cereal bar, energy bar or protein bar, however, you should understand the advantages and disadvantages of such snacks. They typically offer more nutritive value than fast food or vending machine snacks, but some nutrition bars do not measure up, nutrition-wise or as a healthful snack. We recommend you read food labels closely and watch out for hidden sugars, salt, and fats. Children’s snack bars can be sky-high in sugar and fat and even the healthy sounding ones can have three cubes of sugar per 30g bar.
We looked at six of the popular snack bars for children and compared their nutritional content. Little Beasts Grizzly Bar has significantly less sugar than four of the other snack bars and up to 87% less than the other two products. One popular snack bar has four times more fat content than the Little Beasts Grizzly Bar and three have significantly more salt per bar than the Little Beasts Grizzly Bar. Protein can help us feel fuller for longer, therefore, putting a stop to overeating.
Protein is a major component of our muscles, organs, and skin. Protein in our diets also helps our body repair cells and make new ones too. In children, this is especially important because they are constantly going through periods of growth and development.
Protein requirements differ based on your child’s age. Children between 4 and 6 need 0.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Children between 7 and 14 require 0.45 grams of protein per body weight. Our Little Beasts Grizzly Bar sits mid-range between the six snack bars we looked at in terms or protein content per bar.
Milkshakes are delicious but not all of them are healthy too. We looked at three popular milkshake mix products used in the UK. Little Beasts Milkshake Mix came out top in all categories. Little Beasts Milkshake Mix had the lowest number of kcals per serving, had the lowest amount of saturated fat and salt content, had three times less sugar content and more protein per serving. If your child is a fussy eater, then milkshakes can be a great way to make sure your child is getting some essential nutrients on board.
We all need vitamins and minerals from our diets as they are essential for healthy bodies and minds. Sometimes though it can be a struggle to get the right quantities of minerals and vitamins into our systems if, for example, our children don’t eat enough variations of foods. If you feel your child isn’t getting the required level then a good way to supplement that is through taking Multivitamins.
Asking your child to take multiple tablets or capsules can prove tricky. There are now many effervescent products out there to help overcome this. We compared three of the most popular products against our own Little Beasts Bubbly Multivitamins and our product came out top in terms of multivitamin content. Our Little Beasts Bubbly Multivitamins have 19 vitamins and minerals compared to 13 in one product we looked at and just 11 in the other.
Children aged between 4 and 10 years are now getting 30% of their sugar intake from soft drinks and fruity drinks. Sugars include those added to products, such as glucose, fructose, sucrose and table sugar, as well as naturally occurring sugars in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates.
In one study, nearly half of the children’s products had at least a child’s entire daily recommended maximum sugar intake of 19 grams (five teaspoons) of sugar. Most people when asked, underestimated the sugar content of fruit juices and soft drinks by an amazing 48% whereas the sugar content of carbonated drinks was overestimated by 12%.
Therefore, it’s not surprising that some parents switch their children from fizzy drinks to fruit juices and smoothies thinking they are doing the right thing when in fact fruit juices can be higher in sugar. With the awareness of overweight and obesity in our children and how sugar can be a major contributing factor to this, we look and compare one the most popular fruit drinks to our own product.
Our Little Beasts Fruity Drink came out on top again. With four times as much protein content, half the amount of sugar and a 1/3 fewer kcals. It can be a minefield when choosing the correct nutrition for our children but our advice is, do your research and look at the labels of each product before buying.