When babies enter the world, they are pure and undefiled. Their tiny bodies haven’t been exposed to the harmful elements of the world, including food. America’s food industry is bulked up with every food you could imagine, but they are also loaded with toxic ingredients and unnecessary evils.
For example, most of the foods marketed towards kids (think juice, fruit snacks, or candy) are chock full of three ingredients: sugar, salt, or saturated fats. In some cases, the items that are trendy with youngsters contain all three.
With that in mind, let’s assess the culprits and educate you on which foods you should avoid giving to your kids.
The culprit: sugar
Avoid purchasing any food or drinks that list “added sugar” on the label.
Wait, apple juice? That’s one of the first drinks babies taste, after milk and water. There’s a reason babies enjoy it…the sugar! Freshly made apple juice, straight from apples with no added ingredients, tastes quite different than the golden-colored clear juice distributed to America’s grocery stores. Avoid giving your kids apple juice, or any other juice, that has “added sugars” on the label.
Like apple juice, soda contains outrageous amounts of sugar. In fact, just one soda contains four times the daily recommended amount of sugar. Wow! Although kids love these carbonated beverages, opt for a more natural choice, such as fizzy water. Be careful though, flavored carbonated waters may still include the dreaded “added sugars.”
Energy or athletic drinks
Hopefully, you’re catching on to the trend that top-marketed beverages contain insane levels of sugar – much more than you actually want your child to consume. There is no need for a kid to guzzle energy drinks or even athletic drinks (like Gatorade); if your child happens to be spending the entire day outside in the sun burning excessive calories, fresh oranges or berries with lots of water are a better replacement.
These mega-companies can be deceptive because they remind you, the loving Mama, that fruit snacks are a healthy snack since they are “made from real fruits!” Don’t be deceived, artificial flavors are combined with the small amount of real fruit, plus “added sugars” is still written on the label.
Granola bars also advertise the claim “made with real fruit.” Once again, these tasty snacks include some real fruit and a lot of added sugar. Plus, the fruits inside of a granola bar are lacking their natural fiber (often found in the skin or pulp of the fruit), and therefore they are also just a sugary taste.
You’ve figured out the sneaky scheme of sugar; to hide in all of the child-approved foods and drinks. Breakfast cereal is no different. Fruit loops, Lucky Charms, Captain Crunch – you name it! If it’s targeting kids, it’s likely packed with sugar. Read the labe lto notice just how much sugar is jammed into those fun and potent breakfast items.
The culprit: Salt
Salt adds flavor and can act as a preservative. But too much salt gets your body out of balance.
Oh, potato chips are amazing! The crunch it worth every bite, and now the shelves are stocked with every flavor combination desirable. However, those potato slices are fried in sub-standard oil and doused with spoonfuls of salt (which is why they taste so good!). Keep these crunchy chips away from your kids to limit their salt intake.
Boxed Mac n’ Cheese
Macaroni and cheese is a staple of childhood. Unfortunately, it’s not a great meal for your child. First of all, kids should know where their food comes from, because cheese doesn’t come in a powdered form in a box. Stray away from feeding your kids the top name brands (the organic options can be a nice treat!).
The culprit: saturated fats
Increased consumption of saturated fats is prone to clog your arteries.
Some grocery stores have an entire aisle dedicated to frozen pizzas. The crust is loaded with saturated fats, and the toppings are often fed with preservatives. If your kids are hungry for pizza, don’t even walk down this frozen foods aisle. Make your own pizza or purchase a high-quality, organic one from a pizzeria in your town.
Frozen finger foods
When you’re in a rush or have a babysitter coming over, frozen foods can be a lifesaver. But can they even be considered “food?” Chicken tenders, cheese sticks, corn dogs, and fish sticks have both saturated fats and large amounts of salt. Once again, if you start feeding your kids these foods, they will continually ask for more. Make your own breaded chicken tenders or cheese sticks.
Lastly, french fries, which come as a side dish with nearly every meal served in a restaurant. But these potato wedges are fried in poor-quality oil that raises the roof with the levels of saturated fats, then they are heavily sprinkled with salt. Make french fries at home with fresh potatoes and olive oil (baked, not fried).
Take the longer route
At the end of the day, it’s important that you feed your kids. Fruits and vegetables are the best options, but they just need to eat something. Although you should avoid these foods filled with sugar, salt, and saturated fats, find alternative ways to make yummy food at home or purchase higher quality, organic options.
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