A Which? Report suggests cartoon characters on food and in advertising fail to promote healthy eating amongst children and may even contribute to the high levels of obesity. Dairylea chicken ‘n’ cheese wraps contain high levels of fat and Tony the Tiger’s Frosties contain a third sugar. Coco the Monkey (coco pops) and Monster (sugar puffs) are also very high in sugar.
Whilst some characters have been around since before the obesity epidemic, the increasing use of cartoon characters on food packaging can promote unhealthy eating habits amongst children, many of which are hard to break in later life.
Breakfast cereals can be very misleading and often the highest in sugar content.
Healthy alternative breakfast ideas include
- Boiled eggs and wholemeal toast
- Low sugar/salt baked beans on toast
- Wheat based cereal with fresh fruit added.
Packed lunches based on convenience foods are often very high I salt, sugar and fat. Instead try:
- Sandwiches made using cooked chicken, tinned fish, cream cheese, hummus, hard boiled egg. Add strips of peppers, carrot, cherry tomatoes, dried fruit in the lunch box for added fibre, minerals and vitamins.
- Cold pizza or Spanish omelette can be eaten with salad
- Pasta or rice salad can be eaten using left over ingredients from tea the night before with added chicken, ham, tuna and salad ingredients.
- Fresh fruit and low sugar yoghurt provides a healthier pudding than cakes and biscuits