As a parent, your work is to ensure that your kid is eating a healthy diet. A healthy diet consists of a well-balanced meal with vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats and minerals. However, on several occasions, we can make some exceptions and let them eat any kind of food they want. For example, there are foods that are reserved for once in a blue moon occasion while others may be reserved for special occasions. Although in such situations no food is out of limit, you should ensure that these occasional diets are healthy for kids. When we talk about foods that kids should avoid, it doesn’t mean that by eating these foods they will be harmed. It means that these foods aren’t good for their health and you should limit their consumption. Here are the 6 foods kids should always avoid.
You should be keen with those yogurts that market themselves as ‘kid’s yogurts’. They are high in sugar and are loaded with artificial color. Plus, they don’t provide any nutritional value to your kid’s health. However, this doesn’t mean that you should avoid yogurt altogether. You can buy plain yogurt and sweeten it with frozen fruit, or honey. Also, plain yogurt provides proteins and improves the immune system.
A study by the Environmental Working Group found that sugary cereals, packed as part of a “healthy breakfast”, contain up to 50 percent sugar by weight. This is more sugar in one serving than three chocolate chip cookies. This high sugar content can be detrimental to the health of your kid. Similarly, some brands labels claim that their cereals are ‘whole grain’ or contain ‘extra fiber.’ Be careful when buying them since most of them aren’t healthy. Your kid requires low-sugar cereals, with a topping of fresh fruit for healthier benefits.
Multiple studies have linked soda and other sweetened beverages to obesity, aggressive behavior in children and type 2 diabetes. A 20-ounce bottle of soda can pack over 60g of sugar which is four times more than the recommended daily kids’ intake. Avoid feeding your kid beverages that supply a ton of empty calories and zero nutrients. Fresh fruit juice, a glass of milk, and smoothies are some of the healthy beverages your kid should be taking. Such drinks increase calcium levels, proteins and improve your kid’s overall health.
Kids love bacon, hot dogs, bologna and any other form of processed meats. However, these processed meats are loaded with fat, sodium, nitrates, and preservatives. Processed foods increase kids risk of developing heart disease, colon cancer, and diabetes. You can opt for preservative-free meats which are healthy. Also, homemade slices of chicken and turkey are a great source of protein and other nutrients.
There’s nothing wrong with microwaving food. Also, popcorns are not harmful at all so long as you go easy on butter and salt. The problem with microwave popcorn is the packaging. They contain perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a chemical used to line the bags of microwave popcorn so that they don’t catch fire. This chemical has been associated with kidney disease, poor semen quality, cancer, and high cholesterol in kids.
Fruit Snacks and Sports Drinks
Fruit rolls, jellies, and gummy fruit snacks all contain extra sugar. Most kids like to eat them as a lunchtime snack. However, these are nothing but sugary candies which should be avoided at all cost. Don’t fall for labeling that falsely claims “made with real fruit juice” since it’s rarely the case. Options like dried real fruits should be the best choice because they contain actual nutrients.
Additionally, unless your kids are taking on extreme workouts, there’s no need for them to drink sports drinks. Even after a soccer game, they should drink water to quench their thirst. Experts say that regular consumption of sports drinks makes your kids less likely to choose water at any other time of the day. Chocolate milk is an excellent post soccer recovery drink which provides both proteins and carbs.
Most of the time, parents find themselves using unhealthy foods like sugary candy to reward their kids. This is unhealthy and most importantly you are not setting a good example of healthy eating for your kid. Let the children know what is good for them and you should involve them when making the food. There are plenty of healthy diets out there which contain healthy fats and less sugar. However, at times it’s hard to avoid processed food but you need to use them in moderation.
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