How healthy are your kids' snacks?

What should we be giving the kids when they come home from school? Something healthy and nutritious, obviously, and following this week's ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority that Kellogg's was not being socially irresponsible in promoting its 35% sugar breakfast cereal Coco Pops as an afternoon snack, there are a few suggestions in this piece in today's G2.

Once, it was bread and butter (and / or jam). On the continent, it often still is (France's favourite goûter remains a hunk of baguette, buttered, with a couple of squares of chocolate on the top). But according to a 2008 survey for Britain's Federation of Bakers, crisps (51%), biscuits (44%), chocolates or sweets (40%) and fizzy drinks (24%) are the favoured after-school snacks of the nation's 4-11 year-olds, and one in four British parents finds it difficult to persuade their children to snack on anything a nutritionist might consider remotely healthy.

In Bad Food Britain, Joanna Blythman reckoned that British children now consume 25 times more confectionery and 30 times more soft drinks than they did in 1950 (when sweets were rationed, but still available in quantities of between 8oz to a pound a month). The Guardian's Felicity Laurence, in Eat Your Heart Out, reported that by the age of seven, today's children are eating an average of half a kilo foods containing refined sugars a day.

The National Diet and Nutrition Survey has found that 92% of British children consume more saturated fat than is recommended, 86% too much sugar, and 72% too much salt. Oh, and 96% don't get enough fruit and vegetables. So what did you used to have when you came home from school, and what do you give your kids now? And do they eat it?

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