Chocolate Part One

Easter is coming up and I imagine there’ll be plenty of chocolate covered fingers and faces for a week or two. But is chocolate something you really want to be giving your kids, especially in these times of growing obesity? Let’s have a look at the facts.

Sugar

One of the biggest dangers in chocolate is sugar, so we’ll start with that. How much sugar is it safe for a child to have each day? Well, this is actually quite a tricky question, as the guidelines are so very vague. In fact, the UK Faculty of Public Health highlighted that there’s no safe limit set for intake of sugar in children, unlike salt, which has strict guidelines – that in itself is quite worrying.

So, after a bit more digging I find that the Infant and Toddler Forum suggests the total amount of sugar for a child of 14 months should be no more than 18g, or three and a half teaspoons, per day. That’s a total for all sugar, not just added sugar, so includes natural sugars, such as those found in fruit juices.

Now, let’s look at the amount of sugar there is in a Cadbury’s Creme Egg, something I’m sure many children will be eating over the Easter period. A single egg has three different types – sugar, glucose syrup and invert sugar syrup – with a total of 66.5 per 100g. Of course, Creme Eggs are not 100g, so the actual amount of sugar detailed per egg is given as 27g. That’s already way more than a toddler should have per day. It doesn’t include all the other sugars they may eat throughout the day, such as biscuits, desserts or cakes. And it most certainly does not take into account the hidden sugars there are in savoury foods too – here’s a great website on hidden sugars. Even if you increase the amount slightly for older children, say up to 20g of sugar per day, the total daily amount has already been exceeded with just one egg alone. That’s a scary thought!

But that’s not all that’s wrong with chocolate. No there’s something just as wicked – some would argue more so – and that something is caffeine! But, that’s another story, one that we’ll pick up next week.

But, this week we’ll finish on a cheery note with some more wonderful Easter crafts. The kids will love these Easter Bunny Masks. These paper rabbit garlands are a super cute, plus you can use up old bits of paper to make them. And this 3D egg is an unusual approach to take. As always, we have everything you might need for your crafts in our shop.

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