The snacking habits of white preschool ·children
Three-day estimated dietary records were kept for 194 white 3- and 4-year-old children to deterMine and evaluate the extent, nature and quality of their snacking. All but 1 child ate between meals, with morning and afternoon snacking being favoured in terms of frequency and quantity. Soft drinks were .consumed most frequently, followed by fresh fruits and fruit juices, sweets and chocolates, milk and sugar. Between-meal eating contributed more than one-third of the average day's energy and approximately one-quarter of most vitamins and minerals to the children's diets. Foods eaten between meals were, however, significantly less nutrient-dense than mealtime foods. Non-basic foods supplied more energy to the diet than _ any of the five basic food groups, but minimal quantities of micronutrients. Sugar consumption, mostly in the form of sugary foods and drinks, was high, but was not consumed exclusively between meals. Such children should be encouraged to make more use of basic commodities, particularly when snacking.
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