The 6 Worst Foods to Feed Your Children
You might be surprised that some of these are doing more damage than good
18 July 2017
When it comes to healthy and unhealthy, we as parents have it pretty figured out; healthy foods like bananas, veggie sticks and berries incorporated into meals are a good thing. Unhealthy foods include a fast food cheeseburger, with some fries for lunch.
But there are some foods out there that may appear to be nutritious, healthy and delicious, but actually they have very little nutritional values and a boat load of hidden sugars and fats.
So here’s 6 of the worst types of foods you can include in your child’s daily meals, from breakfast right the way through to snacks and supper…
1. Kid’s Breakfast Cereals
There’s no breakfast option that offers both nutrition and convenience for families better than cereal… But only the right kinds of cereal do this. As a parent, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with the many options on the shelves – and it’s understandable to get caught up in labels screaming ‘lots of vitamins and minerals’. But you need to consider the amount of sugar and processed ingredients in each serving.
Instead, opt for cereal that has at least 3 grams of fibre per serving, and less than 10 grams of sugar. And in fact, the best kind is oatmeal; it’s high in fibre, vitamins and minerals and you can add some fruit or honey to sweeten the taste.
2. Granola Bars
There’s no arguing that giving your kid a granola bar to chomp on as a snack is an easy option, but you might be shocked to learn exactly why this one’s in this list. Many granola bars that are marketed towards kids lack nutritional value, as they’re loaded with sugars and added ingredients like chocolate chips, marshmallows, high fructose syrup and artificial dyes.
As an alternative, try whipping up your own batch of homemade energy bars that have natural ingredients in like peanut butter, almond, raisins, whole grain cereal, dried fruits and nuts.
3. Luncheon Meats
Arguably a staple part of any child’s lunchbox, luncheon meats like smoked ham or turkey, or even roast beef, can potentially be packed with very dangerous and toxic food. Next time you go to the store to pick up a pack of already-sliced meats, double check the packaging – many contain nitrates, which is a preservative in food processing that can increase the risk of heart disease and cancer.
4. Juice Cartons
Although handy to give to your child to quench their thirst while out and about, a juice box or carton don’t pack any nutritional value whatsoever for your child. They’re packed with sugar, and lack fibre and vitamins and are generally void of any real juice.
Instead, why not blend up a batch of fruit smoothies that have whole fruits, yogurt and ice in to offer as a drink or snack instead
Not all crackers are unhealthy – there are those on the shelves in your grocery store that are made with fibrous whole grains, which are great. But be cautious about picking up the wrong pack; as you might find you’re feeding your child a small snack that has processed, white flour, preservatives and unhealthy oils in.
6. Fruit-Based Snacks
While it might have strawberry or apple on the wrapper, fruit-based snacks are likely to not contain any real fruit at all. In fact, most fruit-based snacks like fruit rolls are just sweets masked with a healthy label.
To prevent your child eating these, simply pack real fruit and fibre to their meals in the form of dried whole fruit – like raisins, or apricots – or even grapes, berries and apples and pears. Easy!