Matilda and the chocolate bar
I was sitting in the Grand Canal Theatre recently, watching an amazing production of “Matilda” (how do those child actors remember all their lines and dance moves - mine can barely remember their spellings for homework!). Instead of my eyes being glued to the stage, they were glued (not in a creepy way!) to the boy sitting in front of me as he munched his way through a chocolate bar.
Now, I can almost hear you say: “it was a treat, let him enjoy it and keep your eyes on the stage” except that the bar of chocolate he had was the 110g bar. I think this used to be known as the “family bar” once upon a time although I can’t find anything online to support my theory!
This large bar has 61.6g of sugar or the equivalent of 15.5 teaspoons. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that children have about 6 teaspoons of sugar a day. So this boy was eating a bar containing almost triple the recommended sugar intake in one sitting, never mind what else he had eaten that day.
In my last blog, (Cutting mealtime stress ..), I talked about the “Division of Responsibility” - the parent provides the food that they want their children to eat and the children are responsible for eating it. However, if this is the food parents are providing, then we, as parents, are contributing to childhood obesity and tooth decay. We are putting our children at risk of type 2 diabetes and weakening their immune systems.
I’m not saying to cut out the sugar completely - I’m partial to a square of chocolate myself! But we need to think about what we are offering our children in terms of portion size and quality. If the boys mother (and it was his mother as I was earwigging as well!) had given him the chocolate bar pictured below, it contains 10g of sugar or 2.5 teaspoons. A much better option.
The almost happy ending to this story is that the boy actually didn’t finish the whole bar of chocolate. As the curtain came down and Matilda took her final bows, the boy in front of us wrapped up the remnants of the chocolate and stowed it away. Hopefully never to be seen again ………!!