Are Raisins Good Snacks for Kids?

Are Raisins Good Snacks for Kids?

October 6, 2019 37 By Ewald Bahringer


“Are Raisins Good Snacks for Kids?” Raisins, like all fruits, have
a variety of health benefits, but dried fruit is higher in
calories per serving than fresh, so might they contribute to weight gain? This study helped set people’s minds at ease. Men and women assigned to consume
a cup of raisins a day for six weeks evidently offset the consumption
of other foods in their diets such that they experienced no significant
change in weight or waist circumference. What about in kids? Leave it to the California Raisin Marketing
Board to dream up a study like this. An after-school snack of raisins lowers
cumulative food intake in young children. Sounds good, right? But that’s compared to potato
chips and chocolate chip cookies. They gave kids raisins,
grapes, chips, or cookies and said they could eat as
much as they wanted and, surprise, surprise: kids ate
less fruit and more junk, but I guess naming the paper
“Kids Prefer Cookies”
would not have garnered the same kind of marketing
board sponsor support. Reminds me of this study they did. Regular consumption of raisins
may reduce blood sugar levels— compared to fudge cookies and Oreos. Or how about this one:
raisins were found to cause less of a blood sugar spike
than Coca Cola and candy bars. Though you can tell it was not funded
by Big Raisin by their conclusion: Whether the general public should
be advised to snack on fruit rather than on candy bars requires
further debate and investigation. Guess who funded that one? Comparing raisins to chips and
cookies was similarly unhelpful. This is the study I was expecting. Nine to eleven year old boys and girls
were told to eat all the grapes or raisins they wanted 30 minutes before a meal in which
they could eat all the pizza they wanted. If you just gave them the meal, no snack,
they ate 837 calories worth of pizza. If you gave them all-you-can-eat grapes before
the meal, they ate 128 calories of grapes, but that seemed to fill them up a bit
so they ended up eating less pizza. But because they ate the snack and the meal,
they ended up getting more calories over all. Still, grape calories are certainly better
than pizza calories, but check this out. When given raisins instead, they
ate even more snack calories, but the raisins were evidently
so satiating, so filling that they ate so much less pizza
that they ate fewer calories over all. Now I know as parents there’s a concern that if
our kids eat snacks it might spoil their dinner, but when the snacks are fruit, and the
meal is a pepperoni and 3-cheese pizza, the more we can ruin their appetite, the better.