Kids Buying Sweets At 8am Is One Of The Most Worrying Things I've Seen
A few weeks ago, I had to go to the shop after dropping my youngest to school. I walked into a packed store and worryingly the people buying stuff were kiddies.
They ranged in ages from 7-12 years old (on average) and they were flooding the shop as they grabbed bags of sweets, crisps and bottles of fizzy pop.
Now, I am not anti-sweets or anything, but I did think it ridiculous that there were so many youngsters buying sweets at the beginning of the day.
And no, they weren’t buying them for “later”. When I was leaving the shop, I was met with piles of kids stuffing sweets into themselves before they heard the school bell go!
I couldn’t believe that all these kids were eating so many sweets at such an early hour. Where did they get the money from and do their parents know they are eating them at this hour?
I know parents give their kids money for school, I do too but only for special occasions. And as I drop her to school, I know my daughter doesn’t get to the shop before class starts – thank god. I wonder do parents know their kids use their afterschool money to eat sweets before school?
As Ireland is facing an obesity crisis and, according to the Irish Times, one in four children in Ireland are either overweight or obese, should we be paying more attention to kids buying and eating sweets early in the day?
A ban on the sale of sweets to kids before midday would be of great benefit and while it would no doubt be hard to implement, it would mean less sugar in kiddie’s veins before school.
Sweets are OK as a treat but when kids are eating them for breakfast, we obviously have a huge problem. While I can only speak for where I shop, I am sure most people have observed this behaviour.
Half the sugar consumed by children comes from unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks, according to a health watchdog. On average, children are consuming at least three unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks a day, with around a third consuming four or more.
This means that children can easily consume three times more sugar than is recommended. Are parents aware that the recommended daily maximum of sugar is no more than five cubes of sugar for four to six-year-olds and no more than six cubes for seven to 10-year-olds per day?
Healthier suggestions for snacks and drinks while at home and on the go include fresh or tinned fruit salad and chopped vegetables but there is an issue with kids getting money and spending it on too many sweets.
While kids could have the best of meals at home if we continue to sell sweets to youngsters before school we are simply adding to the problem. Actually, we are just ignoring it. We are inadvertently placing children at risk of future ill health. We need to do more and now.
I’d love to hear your opinions in the comments.
Emma Hayes is a thirty-something mum of two girls aged 16 and 10, planting her right into the teenage and tween-age years! Follow her on Twitter at @EmmaHayes25.