UK parents voice their anger about Government 100-calorie snack guidelines

News this week, that the PHE (Public Health England) has launched a campaign to encourage parents to look for healthier snacks of no more than 100 calories for their children - and to limit them to two a day, has got many UK parents ‘hot under the collar’ as they took to the popular Families Online Facebook page this week to voice their frustrations alongside other parents

You can read some of the comments within the post here:  

Public Health England found that on average primary school children have at least three sugary snacks each day!

Posted by Families UK on Tuesday, 2 January 2018


There was a general consensus that the guidelines were ‘unrealistic’ and in some cases ‘ridiculous’ sparking anger amongst many parents who feel the emphasis should be on moderation not limits.  One parent commented: “Why can’t I raise my own child? Why do the Government think they own the right to tell me how to raise my child without even meeting her?”  Another parent fought back saying “Nobody is going to tell me what my children can or can’t eat.”

Here is a summary of some of what the PHE campaign is highlighting:

Some parents were in favour of the Government playing its part in the wellbeing of children but believed that the focus is all wrong saying, “Encouraging no added sugar yoghurt and no added sugar drinks that are so full of artificial rubbish like aspartame doesn’t make sense. I do agree the Government should be advising parents but not with these sort of suggestions. Reducing calories for children shouldn't be the aim here; a handful of nuts or some slices of avocado would be classed as high calorie, but would be far, far more nutritious than a reduced fat, (full of sweetener) yogurt. Children need calories, but healthy ones.”

Others think the guidelines are unrealistic saying that their children would be ‘starving’ on only two 100-calorie snacks per day with many more comments around a child’s speed of metabolism and issues with underweight children, suggesting that all cases are not simply ‘black and white’. 

Many of the comments parents posted talked about balance and moderation, with one parent suggesting that the focus should be on more education and teaching children as soon as they start school, about food and how to cook from a young age, not on limiting snacks.  One parent said “If you feed your child healthily enough, they will grow up to learn not to eat rubbish; as they say, you are what you eat full stop – but it’s all in the teaching.”

What do you think about these guidelines? Comment below. 


*SOURCE: FamiliesOnline – Facebook page (FamiliesUK).

About Families Online

Families Online is the trusted go to resource that connects parents with a wide range of hyper-local activities and events across the country.

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  • Guest
    Emma Saturday, 20 January 2018


    The government clearly have no idea what 100 calorie snack looks like. It would have to be artificial to be 100 calories.

    A large banana is 121 calories approximately, a large apple is about the same.

    A slice of toast with butter is about 150+ depending on the amount of butter you use.

    If my toddler is hungry Toast and a boiled egg would be my go to in between meals which would be well over the 100 calorie recommendation. God help you if you include the glass of semi skimmed milk in with that.

    Or a couple of babybell if we are out at 70 cal each, that is them out too if he wants more than one.

    However according to this basic advertising a packet of wotsits at 90 calories should be fine yeah? I mean he would be well pleased with that but it is hardly nutritious.

    They recommend 1 crumpet and lower fat options (which is usually disguising sugar). For the record one crumpet is 103 calories without butter or any sort of spread...who would eat 1 crumpet with nothing on it?

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