6 Foods Your Child Should Avoid
March 28 2016

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Let’s face it, most children are finicky eaters. So, when they find something they love to eat, it is easy to see why parents often surrender. But with so much processed, unhealthy food on the market, parents have to be more vigilant than ever about monitoring what goes inside their children’s bodies.

That’s where this list comes in. We know we might step on a few toes with this one, but we wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t shine a light on some of the nutrition-less foods that have become a staple in the American child’s diet.

Here are six foods your child should avoid:


1. Fruit Snacks

No, we’re not talking about a bowl of grapes. We’re talking about the colorful fruit chew snacks that have absolutely no fruit in them. Instead, they are a nutrition-less concoction of corn syrup, sugar, modified corn starch, and artificial colors and flavors that are not good for your child’s health. Swap them out for fresh orange and apple slices or whatever your child’s favorite fruit may be.

 

2. GoGurt

In theory it sounds good, but this portable yogurt snack is loaded with sugar and questionable preservatives like potassium sorbate, which studies have linked to allergic reactions and harmful side effects including DNA damage. If your children love packing yogurt on-the-go in their lunchboxes, look for alternatives like Stonyfield YoKids Pouches, which offer USDA organic, non-GMO yogurt snacks.

 

3. Pop-Tarts

While they may make for a convenient breakfast on-the-go, Pop-Tarts are loaded up with four different sweeteners: sugar, dextrose, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. The spike to your child’s blood sugar levels alone is enough of a reason to stay away from them. In addition to an unhealthy dose of sugar, they contain several artificial colors like Red 40, Yellow 6, and Blue 1. These dyes are linked to toxins that cause a variety of ailments including hyperactivity, migraines, asthma, skin rashes and even cancer.

 

4. Lunchables

This “kid-friendly” processed pack of meat, cheese and crackers is a lunch box favorite, but it is also high in sodium, fat, and preservatives. If your child loves this combination, opt for deli fresh turkey, part-skim string cheese, and whole wheat crackers instead.

 

5. Sugary Beverages

Sadly, soda, fruit juices, and sports drinks have replaced water as the primary beverage for most American children. These high-caloric drinks are linked to obesity, diabetes, and hyperactivity in children. While water is always the best option, if you do buy sweetened beverages, look for those that are naturally sweetened with 100% real fruit juice and are free from high fructose corn syrup.

 

6. Happy Meals (and the like)

We know it feels un-American to keep children away from Happy Meals, however, fast food kids meals are high in calories, fat, sodium and preservatives. They are also low in vitamins, minerals, and fiber–making them more like filler than actual nutrients. Better fast food alternatives are Subway and Chipotle. Skip the chips and load up on your child’s favorite veggies at both places for a more nutrient-dense meal.

Better yet, prepare as many of your child’s meals fresh at home where you know exactly what they’re getting.

For quick and easy ideas and recipes, follow Bentgo on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest where we offer daily inspiration for wholesome, kid-friendly meals.

Any other foods we missed on this list? Let us know in the comments!