Choosing Appropriate Children's Food Snacks

Fulfillment of balanced nutrition for children's every day is obtained starting at breakfast (breakfast). Breakfast is an eating and drinking activity carried out before 9 am. The breakfast habit is very important because it can meet 1/3 of daily nutritional needs, especially energy.
The benefits of breakfast on the learning process, among others, children have better memory (cognitive) abilities; children have a struggle for learning and concentration or better attention; children have the ability to read, count (math) and score similar ability (language & logic) better; children rarely get sick; and children have better stamina and discipline.

balanced nutrition

In the declaration of the 2013 National Breakfast Week, a healthy and safe breakfast consisted of staple foods, side dishes, fruit / juice, milk and drinks that were free from the risk of poisoning and health problems.
If school children do not have time to eat breakfast, make it a habit for children to bring food and drink supplies so that they are not eating snacks at school. However, if breakfast is inadequate, then snack food contributes to nutritional intake for school children.
In choosing appropriate snacks for school children, it is best to fulfill 1/3 of the daily nutritional needs, especially energy. For children aged 7-9 years, the daily energy sufficiency is 1850 kcal, preferably the energy obtained from breakfast is 617 kcal. In boys aged 10-12 years, daily energy sufficiency is 2100 kcal, the energy obtained from breakfast is 700 kcal, while in girls aged 10-12 years, daily energy sufficiency is 2000 kcal, energy should be obtained from breakfast preferably 667 kcal.
Food Snacks School children are divided into four groups based on the habits of school kids snacks, namely:
1. Sepinggan food is the main food group that can be prepared at home in advance or prepared in the canteen, such as gado-gado, uduk rice, chicken noodles, vegetable rice cake, and others. 
Sepinggan is a term used to refer to the type of dish that is presented in a dish (plate) with the main ingredient of food made from cereals or tubers.
2. Snack / snack is food consumed between two meals. Snack food consists of:
  • Wet snack foods include fried bananas, spring rolls, lemper, risoles, and others.
  • Dry snack foods include chips, biscuits, pastries, and others.
3. Beverages, including: 
  • Drinking water, both packaged and prepared by yourself; Soft drinks, which are packaged (tea, fruit drinks, carbonated drinks, etc.) and not packaged (ice syrup and tea); 
  • Mixed drinks, such as fruit ice, cendol ice, doger ice, and others.
4. Fruit is one type of food source of vitamins, minerals and fiber which is important for school children. Fruits are usually sold in the form of whole such as bananas, guava, oranges and in the form of peel or pieces such as papaya, pineapple, melon, mango.

Tips on choosing Food for Children to Eat:

1. Know and choose safe food
Safe food is food that is free from biological, chemical and other objects. Choose clean food, which has been cooked, does not smell rancid, does not smell sour. It is best to buy food in a clean place and from a seller who is healthy and clean. Choose foods that are on display, stored and served properly.
2. Keep clean
We must wash our hands before eating because our hands might be contaminated with germs or harmful substances. Wash your hands and equipment the best using soap and running water. 
3. Read the label carefully
On the part label that is concerned is the name of the product type, product expiration date, composition and nutritional value information (if any).
4. Know the nutritional content
  • packaged processed food: Read the nutritional value information label to find out the value of energy, fat, protein and carbohydrates.
  • fast food : In the Nutrition Content Information Book for school children snacks (Drug and Food Supervisory Agency) it can be seen the composition of nutrient content for each type of fast food. The main concern is the fulfillment of energy from each food consumed.
5. Adequate water consumption
Can be sourced mainly from drinking water, and the rest can be met from processed drinks (syrup, juice, milk), food (vegetable soup, soup) and fruit. Consumption of sports drinks (sports drinks / isotonic drinks) only for school children who exercise more than 1 hour.
6. Pay attention to color, taste and aroma
Avoid foods and drinks that are brightly colored, taste that are too salty, sweet, sour, and / or rancid aromas.
7. Limit colored and flavorful drinks. Colored and flavorful drinks for example soft drinks, flavored drinks
8. Limit consumption of fast food (fast food)
Excessive consumption of fast food and too often is a trigger for obesity and obesity. Fast food items include french fries, burgers, flour fried chicken, pizza. Usually these foods are high in salt and fat and low in fiber.
9. Limit snacks
Snacks are generally low in fiber and contain high salt / sodium and have low nutritional value. Examples of snacks such as potato chips.
10. Increase consumption of fibrous foods
Fibrous food sourced from vegetables and fruit. Traditional high-fiber foods such as salad, gado-gado, karedok, urap and pecel.
11. For obese / obese children limit consumption of foods containing sugar, salt and fat.
We recommend that your intake of sugar, salt and fat a day is not more than 4 tablespoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 5 tablespoons of fat / oil.
School children experience a period of rapid growth and development, so that they need sufficient food consumption to achieve balanced nutrition.
Nutrition for school children can be obtained from food provided at home and from snacks obtained at school. Therefore a guide is needed for supervisors and extension workers to be able to provide understanding in the context of disseminating information and education to school children, so that they can choose the appropriate snacks.
It is hoped that School Children Snack Food Guidelines for Achieving Balanced Nutrition in School Children aimed at supervisors and extension workers can be useful in achieving balanced nutrition in school children.

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