Every parent knows that getting kids to eat healthy wholesome foods is an uphill struggle.
Adults understand that healthy, satisfying meals usually comprise of ingredients like plain grilled chicken, fish, salads, vegetables, and fresh fruit for dessert. Kids, when confronted with these foods, find them boring, bland, unappealing, or simply disgusting!
Food battles with kids are terribly frustrating, but it’s important to keep issues like fussy eating and the avoidance of fruit and vegetables in balance. Encouraging healthy eating behavior is essential. In later life your kids will be grateful for your persistent focus on good nutrition.
Many foods seem nourishing and delicious. In reality, they actually have very little nutritional value and contain large quantities of hidden fats and sugars.
But, how can you know for certain which foods to avoid?
To help you to decide, we’ve listed eight of the worst foods that you can feed your children for breakfast, lunches, dinners or snacks.
1. Kids’ Breakfast Cereal
Many breakfast cereals specifically target the kids market. Images on the boxes are colorful and exciting, and the blurb has buzzwords, like delicious, healthy and nutritious.
The amount of sugar and processed ingredients per serving completely outweighs the miniscule amount of nutritional value. Search for brands that contain at least 3-grams of fiber per serving and less than 10 grams of sugar. The best morning cereal is whole grain oatmeal; it’s high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and you can always sprinkle on some berries or mix it with yogurt.
2. Granola Bars
Granola bars marketed to kids lack nutritional value even more than the adult brands. They’re full of sugar and added ingredients like chocolate chips, marshmallows, candy, high fructose syrup, and artificial dyes, Make your own energy bars at home with natural ingredients like almond or peanut butter, raisins, coconut, whole grain cereal, honey, and dried fruit and nuts.
3. Luncheon Meats
Processed meats can be both dangerous and toxic as they frequently contain nitrates. These are preservatives used in food processing that drastically increase the risk of heart disease and cancer. Check out the label to see if the meat contain nitrates; search for products that that are labeled as organic or not containing preservatives.
4. Snack Cakes
Kids love snack cakes like Ho-Hos, Twinkies, or Wagon Wheels. But these snack cakes are full of trans fats, the most unhealthy processed fat possible. For something sweet, try using some mixed berries and grapes, or bake cookies or squares using natural ingredients.
5. French Fries
There’s no way to keep French Fries totally out of your kid’s weekly menu.
The problem is giving French Fries at every meal. French fries provide almost no nutritional value—they’re super high in fat and sodium. If you decide you have no choice, restrict them to a few meals per week. Substitute oven-baked chips, or make baked potato wedges instead.
After a stressful day, the easy option is to order pizza. But shop-bought pizzas are not like you bake in your oven at home. Don’t phone! Just put together a homemade pie with natural, low-fat cheese, shredded chicken, and tons of vegetables..
Most crackers are made from processed, white flour, preservatives, and unhealthy oils. Exchange them for a brand made with fibrous whole grains. Anyway, they satisfy hunger for longer,
8. Fruit Snacks
Most fruit snacks are actually like candy. Just give real fruit and fiber to your kids in the form of dried whole fruit, like raisins or apricots, or fresh grapes, berries, and sliced apples and pears.
If you follow our suggestions you can be sure your kids will feel all the better for it. You just might have to wait for them to grow up before they tell you!