As a parent, what your kids eat is serious business for you! Indeed, when it comes to taking care of your child, keeping an eye on their eating habits is one of the most important things you need to do. Weighing your options and feeding your kids food that is nutritious for their growing bodies is of prime importance. And equally important is the need to ensure that they do not consume foods that can be harmful to them.
With that in mind, here are ten foods it would be best to keep your kids away from.
Most of the juice boxes and pouches that are marketed as healthy by companies are basically just sugar. Instead of buying into the hype about juices being rich in vitamin C and minerals feed you kids fresh juices that are actually are the real deal.
There are innumerable studies that link soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages to conditions like obesity, diabetes, and aggressive behavior in children. As a reference, a 20-ounce bottle of soda has over 60 grams of sugar, which is 4 times the sugar kids should consume in an entire day. It’s basically a ton of empty calories with zero nutrients, so why feed your child something so worthless?
Until your child reaches the age of 2 years, honey is not a safe condiment to feed him/her. It is more than likely to contain toxic bacteria, which causes a fatal disease called botulism. This is a kind of bacteria that won’t hurt most adults, but since the immune system of young kids hasn’t been built up enough, they cannot fight it off.
Boxed, ready to eat foods
All boxed, ready to feed foods are basically are a box full of preservatives and other substances you basically have no idea about! Ready to eat foods have high sodium and preservative content that conditions children’s developing palates to crave more salty, artificial foods – yet another reason why it is best to avoid giving them to your child.
Store bought fruit snacks
Snacks such as gummy fruit, fruit rolls and jellies are loaded dose of nutrient less sugar. They act more as candy instead of a being a lunchtime snack. The company taglines of “made with real fruit” or “made with real fruit juice,” are brilliant marketing strategies no doubt, but the truth is that they are just added sugar.
Fish is a popular source of lean protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, so parents try to get kids hooked on to it early. But with the rising threats of high mercury content in fishes like swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish and canned albacore tuna they have become increasingly less child-friendly. In fact, they can have an adverse effect on your child’s nervous system, even being potentially lethal to them.
Most granola bars offer little to no protein and fiber and hit kids with so much sugar all at once that it has the same effect as candy. To make sure that the granola bars are healthy try reading the contents on the pack and make sure they contain real nuts, fruit and whole grains. It is important say no to high-fructose corn syrup or other added sugars as a listed content on the pack.
Avoid giving your kids sports drinks. Even if it’s sweltering hot or if the child has been playing for a long stretch without a break fresh fruits such as sliced oranges are a much better way to replace lost vitamins and minerals.
Condiments and dipping sauces are the worst and can add hundreds of calories and extra fat to a meal. Options of barbeque sauce or ketchup should also be kept to a minimum and homemade mayonnaise and hummus should be fed more. Swapping in Greek yogurt mixed with seasonings is always a wiser choice.
The immune system of children is not as developed as adults, and they’re more susceptible food-borne illness. Unpasteurized raw milk is more likely to cause foodborne illness to the child’s presently weak system and cause related stomach and digestive problems.
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