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Change4Life snack swaps


Change4Life has launched a new campaign to help families choose healthier snacks and reduce their children’s sugar intake.  

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Children in England are eating nearly three times the recommended amount of sugar. Too much sugar is bad for their health. Surprisingly, half the sugar they consume comes from snacks and sugary drinks. Eating too much sugar can lead to harmful fat building up inside and serious health problems, including painful tooth decay. 

In Cornwall around 27% of children aged 4-5 are identified as overweight through the National Child Measurement Program and the current trend is for this figure to increase throughout the primary school years to around 32% by age 10-11.  

To help you reduce the amount of sugar you and your children are consuming and choose healthier snacks while shopping, Change4Life is encouraging you to use the new simple tip – ‘Look for 100 calorie snacks, two a day max!’



Primary school age children will receive a leaflet that will be coming home in your child’s book bag in early January with healthier snacking ideas and fun activities to learn about healthier snacks together. You can also sign up to the Change4Life website to receive money-off vouchers for healthier snacks and helpful tips and ideas.

An updated Change4Life ‘Food Scanner’ app will also be available to help bring labels to life and show just how much sugar, salt and saturated fat is inside everyday snacks, foods and drinks. Download the free app from the iTunes store or Google Play to help you make healthier choices. 

Here’s some helpful tips to help you understand more about sugar and snacks: 

  • Fresh or tinned fruit and vegetables are a healthier choice for a snack but if you want to give children a packaged snack, the tip is: ‘Look for 100 calorie snacks, two a day max.’
  • You can often find calorie (kcal) information on the front of pack food labels. Use this label to go for greens and ambers, and cut down on snacks that show any red ‘traffic lights’.
  • Sugar between meals causes dental decay.
  • Watch the teeth! Dried fruit counts towards your 5 A Day, but can stick to teeth so should be only eaten at mealtimes to reduce the risk of tooth decay.
  • Remember that the guideline for fruit and vegetable juice and smoothies is for a maximum of 150ml a day. 150ml of fruit/veg juice or smoothie only counts as one of your 5 A Day.
  • Keep fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies to mealtimes to protect your children’s teeth.
  • You don’t need to worry about the sugar in whole fruits and vegetables because this isn’t added sugar. Plus they contain vitamins and minerals, are a great source of fibre, and count towards kids 5 A Day.
  • You don’t need to worry about the sugar in plain milk or plain yoghurts as this isn’t added sugar.
  • Watch the salt – try not to replace sugary snacks with salty ones. Crisps are often high in salt.  If you or your child really likes crisps, try reducing the number of times they have them each week and try swapping for homemade plain popcorn or plain rice cakes instead.

Search Change4Life for loads more tips on healthier snacking.