Making sure your kids are eating well can be a difficult task. Between misleading packaging and aggressive marketing campaigns, many snacks proudly proclaim their health benefits, when it couldn’t be farther from the truth. With this in mind, we’ve gathered six of the most unhealthy “healthy” snacks you should avoid giving your kids. Don’t worry, we’re including great options that will hit the spot for your little one when they have a hankering for one of these snacks. At Rebounderz Trampoline Park in Sunrise, we’re passionate about getting kids active and promoting healthy lifestyles. Bring your kids in when they want a fun place to beat the heat this summer.
Although there are definitely healthy yogurt options on the market, the ones most often marketed to kids are loaded with additives, preservatives, and sugar, which make them profoundly unhealthy. They also contain high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavoring and colors, which makes it closer to candy than the healthy treat they’d lead you to believe it is. Be sure you’re checking the ingredient list to find yogurt options packed with protein and calcium, without the nasty stuff your kiddo doesn’t need.
The toughest part about so many of these unhealthy snacks is that many of them use the disguise of actually healthy treats. This is definitely the case with granola bars. Most granola bars you’ll find at your local grocery store will have added chocolate, candy, or other sources of added sugars. Stick to options with a combination of nuts, oats, seeds, and dried fruit to make the most out of this snack. There are also many different recipes out there if you want to make your own. That allows you to control exactly what will be in the bar and cater it to what your child enjoys and doesn’t like.
-Pre-Packaged Lunch Combos
While they may be convenient and a favorite of kids, these meat and cracker combos bring along tons of sodium, fat, and sugar, which don’t do anyone any favors. Along with the huge list of incomprehensible ingredients and preservatives, it’s a much better choice to pack your own. Next time you run to the grocery store, grab some whole-wheat or rye crackers, swiss or cheddar cheese, and some low-sodium turkey or ham. Pack it up in a compartmentalized Tupperware to save some money and have control over the ingredients.
Even though they have veggie in their name, veggie chips aren’t nearly as healthy as you might think they are. This comes down to the process that turns them into chips; through heat and other processing techniques, the veggies are robbed of the vitamins and nutrients that make them so good for us. You can definitely pack a small serving (about 15 chips) every once in a while, but your best option will always be the genuine article. Baby carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower are all delicious veggie snacks that are easy to pack in a lunch.
The actual amount of fruit found in fruit snacks is negligible, with most of them containing a scant amount of fruit juice. Instead, they are loaded up with corn syrup, added sugars, and artificial flavoring. When you check the package for the ingredients, you’ll notice that vitamin C has been added back in, and that’s because any vitamin C that was there previously was destroyed when the snack was processed. Stick to fresh fruit to ensure your little one is getting the vitamins and nutrients they need to grow up big and strong.
Most juices that you’ll find on store shelves actually contain a minimal amount of actual fruit juice. They also contain a ton of calories and sugar, without the vitamins and nutrients that make fruit so good for us. Make sure you only choose 100-percent fruit juices to get the most out of it but limit your kids to about four fluid ounces a day of the juice. Even if the packaging claims to be a great source of vitamin C, you’ll find that fruits, like kiwi, oranges, and strawberries, contain as much, if not more, than these juices. Veggies, like bell peppers and tomatoes, also have many great nutrients without the added sugar.
Snacks are intended to hold kids over until it’s meal time while providing them with the energy they need to be active. Steer clear of the so-called “healthy” snacks you see commercials of, and find the actual healthy alternatives or make your own at home. Nutrition is vital to a child’s development, so it can’t be ignored. Also important is physical activity. Bring them to Rebounderz in Sunrise to get them active in a fun and safe way!