Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Worst Foods For Kids

Feeding your kids deep fried french fries a couple times won’t kill them, but offering them daily will definitely affect their health. If you plan on feeding any of these items, try to throw in some healthy foods as well.



Chicken Nuggets

Processed chicken nuggets like those found at popular fast food restaurants (and frozen food aisles) are made of a mash of chicken and then packed full of stabilizers and preservatives along with corn based ingredients and sugar. For what they are, it’s not worth the calories, high fat and sodium levels. Add a high fructose laden, sugary dip like ketchup and you make a poor meal even worse!

Healthy Substitute

Homemade chicken nuggets or organic varieties in the health food freezer section are a much better option. You can also use grilled chicken breast. Serve with marinara sauce or a healthy yogurt dressing.

Soda

An occasional sip of soda here or there won’t necessarily harm your child, but soda all the time will. Do you know that just one 12oz can of soda has approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar! That much sugar causes a “sugar rush” effect followed by up and down behavior. Caffeine has a similar effect working as a stimulant followed by mood swings. Soda also wears away tooth enamel and promotes cavities. To top it all off, it is also addictive. Introducing soda early in life to children, can cause them to develop a taste for sweet drinks over milk and water.

Healthy Substitute

Coconut, Almond, Soy or Cashew Milk, homemade fruit infused water, aloe juice and 100% juice, diluted.

Hot Dogs & Processed Lunch Meat (Cold Cuts)

News has been spread over the years stating hot dogs and other cured meats like bacon, bologna and salami increase risk for cancer due to the high nitrate levels, but further more modern research debunked this idea because there are more nitrates found in human saliva, spinach, and other veggies than in hot dogs. What IS so bad about hot dogs are their high calories, high levels of saturated fat and high sodium levels raise cholesterol and blood pressure.

Healthy Substitute

Chicken or Turkey hot dogs (you must still check the label) and uncured hot dogs.

Boxed Macaroni & Cheese

All the kids love the popular cartoon characters and fun shapes making this quick and easy to make meal a staple in most peoples' pantry. However these fun, convenience items are typically made from GMO's and loaded with empty calories, high sodium levels, and topping it all off with artificial dyes to make the color more appetizing. Many other countries have banned products with artificial colors due to neurological effects on children, but the FDA deems this junk safe for us. To add insult to injury, most boxed mac & cheese is prepared with cow's milk and margarine, adding antibiotics, steroids and more chemicals.

Healthy Substitute

Homemade macaroni and cheese with Whole Grain or Gluten Free boiled pasta, butter or olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Make it extra healthy by tossing in vegetables. For a more classic orange color, sneak in some creamed butternut squash. Try My Recipe HERE

Sugary Cereals

Sugary cereals are nothing but a lot of empty calories and sugar! Despite cereal companies advertising about how much whole grains and fiber are in each serving, the high sugar and food coloring in these cereals outweigh any benefit. NOTE TO SELF: If it’s marketed to kids,  check the label! Even some adult cereals contain very high sugar levels as well, sometimes disguised as “cane juice.”

Healthy Substitute

Old fashioned oatmeal with pure raw honey & cinnamon. organic granola & Greek Yogurt and fresh fruit, or whole grain cereal.

Gummy Bears & Fruit Snacks

Even though the package says "made with real fruit", it's what you think. Many of these don’t contain fruit and in fact have minimal traces of fruit along with artificial flavors, dyes and a bunch of sugar.

Healthy Substitute

Look for snacks made with 100% real fruit with no added sugars, artificial flavors or coloring. Or, try eating fresh fruit instead.

French Fries

Salty, golden brown french fries generally accompany every fast food meal. I love french fries even though I know they are completely horrible for me. Aside from salt, french fries are full of bad and damaging trans fats that clog arteries, and increase risk for diabetes and cancer.

Healthy Substitute

Baked potato wedges, baked sweet potato fries served with a healthy dip made from Greek yogurt.

Pop Tarts & Toaster Pastries

For years children have eaten pop tarts or toaster pastries before school or as a quick snack. They are made with refined flour that is stripped of its nutrients, have added preservatives, sugar, artificial flavors and dyes. Without a doubt, you child will be hungry well before lunchtime, and the ingredients are terrible for kids with ADHD!

Healthy Substitute

Whole grain toast or pita with organic peanut or almond butter. Clif Bars are also another excellent and quick solution.

Crackers

You may use these as a snack for teething toddlers, or a seemingly healthy snack for older children, but most are actually nothing but empty calories and sodium. Just as eating sweet things can help babies develop a sweet tooth, eating salty things can give them a “salty tooth.”

Healthy Substitute

Look for whole grain-low sodium organic crackers. Some even offer flax seed.

-shaw

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