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, however, 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 was of the 110g version.

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, 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 mums and dads 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 boy's mother (and it was his mum as I was earwigging as well!) had given him the 18g chocolate bar which contains 10g of sugar or 2.5 teaspoons, it would have been a much better option.

The almost happy ending to this story is that the boy actually didn’t finish the whole bar.

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...!!

As a mum of 3, I know how difficult, challenging and difficult (worth saying twice!) it can be, feeding them a healthy, balanced diet. A couple of years ago, I left my full-time job and retrained as a Health and Nutrition Coach - much to the disgust of my children. My goal is to teach children about the joys of healthy eating (so yes, I know how difficult it is!) through my business, The Cool Food School (www.thecoolfoodschool.ie). I also like to run, drink coffee and ignore the housework.

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