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Popular Foods You Shouldn't Ever Feed Your Kids

Popular Foods You Shouldn't Ever Feed Your Kids

A lot of seemingly nutritious snacks and meals can be hiding quite a few unhealthy ingredients. Excess sugar is often added to foods that are not considered naturally "sugary" enough; this could do harm in little ways that add up.

Many of us rely on quick meals and on-the-go snacks in these fast-paced times, but keeping our kids healthy and happy is important too. If you rely on these popular foods you shouldn't ever feed your kids, consider making some new choices: in the long run, it's worth the effort to build healthy relationships with food that will last a lifetime.

8 Popular Foods You Shouldn't Ever Feed Your Kids

  1. Ready-to-Eat Cereal: Cereals aimed at child consumers are laden with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and GMOs. Check out this list on Eat This, Not That!; you may be surprised to see where your kid's favorites rank!

  2. Juice: Juices contain more sugar than we think, and even with 100% juice, kids just aren't getting the fiber that is present in whole fruits.

  3. Fruit Roll-Ups: Yes, “fruit” is in the name, but sugar is a main ingredient, along with artificial colors and flavors.

  4. Processed Pastas: Items like ramen or quick-cook pastas (for example, mac’n’cheese) may increase insulin resistance.

  5. Packaged Lunches: Pre-packed lunches are often very high in sodium and fat, plus they contain high-fructose corn syrup .

  6. Chicken nuggets: According to this HuffPost article, 50% of what makes up a chicken nugget is what usually ends up in dog food–not to mention all that extra sodium and fat in there.

  7. Granola bars: So many bars on the market offer very little protein and fiber, so the effect is ultimately the same as eating candy.

  8. Sports drinks: These drinks can provide electrolyte replacement but are packed with sugar! There simply are better and more natural alternatives to replace vitamins and minerals after a hot day outside.

How to Handle the Transition to Better Choices

Granted, removing a lot of your go-to's and favorites snacks could require an adjustment period: be prepared for pushback and questions (but hey, we can help you navigate your child’s temper tantrums and respond with love). We suggest making small changes and have age-appropriate discussions with your kids.

Additionally, you should start searching for organic or all-natural substitutions for your favorites and you can rely on these options less and less.

Finding a Balance

Kids can (and should!) still enjoy snacks and treats, so let them know that you want to make a plan with them to indulge on special occasions instead. The article “How We Incorporate Sweets and Treats in a Healthy Way” has great ideas if you're unsure where to start!

By avoiding these not-so-nutritious foods on a daily basis, you can make room for more “worth-it” snacks. Your kids will be happier when they receive special treats over an average, everyday snack. Make it fun, make it positive, and your children will begin to understand how and when to make better choices!

Involving Your Children in Creating Recipes and Snack Ideas

Take some time to explore these family-friendly recipes and begin including your children in the new choices you are making! Involving kids in the food preparation process allows them to enjoy making the recipe as well as the results. This will empower them to make good choices and take time to create healthy meals as they become older and more independent.

Focus on Building New Habits for a Healthy Lifetime

Once you have removed the sneaky everyday offenders, everyone can enjoy a treat more often! These popular foods you shouldn't ever feed your kids won’t be missed once your family sees for themselves how much fun it is to create with healthier options.

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