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Health bars and hyperactivity in children

The ‘healthy snack’ aisle in supermarkets seems to get bigger every time I shop. With young children in a family, having quick, healthy bites on hand is often a matter of sanity for a parent.

Museli bars, baked bars, oat, fruit and nut bars ¬ñ there’s a huge range on offer and unfortunately many of them are super high in fat and sugar.

I was reminded of this last week when my children were given a healthy ‘twist’ bar during a party. Not wanting to be ‘that mother’ and as a matter of interest, I let them eat them and sure enough 20 minutes later I had two handfuls of hyperactivity racing around. The label on these bars makes all sorts of health claims about being high in fibre and recommended daily doses of several vitamins and minerals, but what it didn’t make clear is that these bars are also 37% sugar.

That proved way too much for my youngsters who told me later, after the hyperactive sugar high had finally worn off, that ‘their snack had way too much sugar’. I guess that crazed sugar spike can be just as uncomfortable for a child as it is for the parent!

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Lindy Schneider is a writer and researcher with a keen interest in health, wellbeing and natural childcare. She is an advocator of a chemical-free lifestyle in the best interests of her family, the community and a sustainable world. She lives in the Yarra Valley with her partner and two young children.

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