Feeding a fussy toddler or a grouchy teen is enough to drive you nuts. The food companies have a solution for you! Kid-friendly foods engineered to taste good. Happy kid, happy parents. You won’t believe what is hidden in “healthy” food or what is marketed to kids.
If you want to make better choices when feeding your offspring, keep reading. We’ll lay out eleven foods that you should never, ever feed your child. And you won’t believe what’s made the list.
Here’s a hint – it’s soft and yellow.
But keep reading, you may be shocked and surprised at what you are serving up!
Sugar is not good for kids. It can bring out behavioral issues, contributes to childhood obesity, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
According to pediatricians, children under 2 should not have any sugar at all.
Parents give their kids apple juice thinking they are giving their kids something healthy. Instead they are giving them sugar in apple flavored water. At 160 calories a cup, you aren’t doing your kid any favors. Kids are also not getting the fiber and nutrients that come with eating an apple.
Kids under one should not have honey. Honey, whether it is raw or processed, can contain botulism. This can cause paralysis and possibly death.
A normal adult immune system is not sensitive to the tiny amounts, but it can be fatal to babies.
And here’s a depressing fact. Honey is made runny by adding high fructose corn syrup to it. And HFC contributes to childhood obesity, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
Soda and Sports Drinks
Soda is a bottle of empty calories flavored with additives, and either sugar or artificial sweeteners. It is the equivalent of a liquid candy bar. Studies link soda with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and behavioral issues.
A 20-ounce bottle of soda contains four times a child’s recommended limit of sugar.
Don’t give sports drinks either. These are for high end athletes, not the average kid. All the sugar in sports drinks are as bad as the sugar in soda.
Artificial Colors, Flavors and Additives
Artificial colors, flavorings and additives are terrible for kids. Anyone the has a kid with a sensitivity to these knows the behavioral issues, headaches, and mood swings that come with eating processed foods.
Certain food colorings are banned completely by the European Union and are under suspicion by the FDA in the states. Food coloring have been banned as cancer causing agents.
Nitrates, found in processed meat, are also associated with cancer.
Boxed Mac and Cheese
Mac’n cheese and canned spaghetti are childhood favorites. But these are bad for kids. Both contain a lot of preservatives and salt. The noodles are made with white flour and white flour is easily converted into glucose and then into fat.
Another issue is a chemical, phthalate, found in powdered cheese. Phthalates may affect hormones and increase insulin resistance in children. The research is relatively new, but boxed mac is one of the 11 foods not to feed kids.
Frozen Finger Foods
Toss some frozen chicken nuggets, fish sticks and some tater tots in the oven and you have a kid favorite. Problem is, these are high in sodium, saturated fat, and preservatives.
These are flash-fried, driving the calorie count and fat levels up. If you buy these, look for the lowest saturated fat levels.
Fast food chain nuggets aren’t much better. The simple nuggets are made of 20 different ingredients and additives.
Guess what the next thing is!
The beloved gummies have made the list! You may think that having “fruit” in the name makes them healthy. Some are even “made with real fruit” or “real fruit juice.” The other main ingredient is sugar. Along with artificial coloring and flavors.
The gummy texture sticks to teeth and gives bacteria a place to live while they cause cavities.
Dried fruit is a better snack. Make sure the dried fruit wasn’t dredged in sugar.
And now… granola.
What could be healthier than a granola bar – oats, raisins, nuts. Surely these are good for kids. Nope. In fact, many granola bars are basically crunchy candy bars.
Take the time to read the labels to find the healthiest ones. High fructose corn (HFC) syrup is used to sweeten the granola and gum the works together. HFC is linked to behavioral issues and contributes to childhood obesity, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
Wait, breakfast cake? What responsible parent lets their kid eat cake? You do, every time you hand out the toaster pastries and any cereal marketed to children. If you read the label, you see that sugar is listed several times under different names. Sugar in any form should not be in the top three of the ingredients list.
Toaster pastries can contain up to 50 ingredients. Most of these are artificial or sugar.
Deli meat, cheese, crackers and maybe a drink and dessert. What could be more convenient? Deli meat – excessive levels of salt, nitrates and saturated fats.
Cheese – saturated fat if it is real cheese, artificial everything if it isn’t.
Crackers – white flour equals sugar, and a sprinkling of artificial colors and flavors.
The drink – high fructose corn syrup in water.
Dessert – sugar and artificial ingredients.
You have a meal fit to cause childhood obesity, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
There is a reason stores put candy in the check out aisle. The bright, flashy packaging immediately attracts attention. You are stuck in line with a cranky toddler (or a teen). Grab a candy and keep them quiet.
There is not such thing as healthy candy. They are sweetened with sugar or artificial sugar, full of food dyes and artificial flavorings. Guess what these can lead to… that’s right. Behavioral issues, childhood obesity, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
There you have it. Eleven foods that you should never feed your kids. All of them boil down to “filled with sugar, artificial sugar, artificial flavors and colors, nitrate, preservatives and chemicals.” Feeding your child these is a great way to cause lifelong health issues.
If you don’t read labels, start. It is the only way you can make good decisions. The info on the face of the box is there to sell you something, the side has the important stuff.
It’s tough to not grab for convenience, or for some peace and quiet, or in response to effective TV marketing campaigns. Your child’s health depends on you!