We always want the best for our kids, especially when they are still growing. We list 10 worst snacks for kids that you should avoid giving your children.
1. Potato Chips
One of the most tastiest, but unhealthiest treats, the potato chip. Potato chips are high in fat, sodium, calories, and they spike blood sugar, basically, they are fattening. They have minimal nutritional value, which makes them empty calories. You would be doing your body a favour by replacing packaged potato chips with baked sweet potato chips if you are at home, or apple slices with a peanut butter dip to carry in the lunchbox.
A sweet, fluffy, soft, and smooth sin, muffins. Store bought muffins are full of sugar and flour, and even if they have fruit in them, the amount of nutrition they give you is almost non-existent. The flavouring is usually artificial and sugars are added, making it one of the worst snacks for kids. To replace this, you could bake home made whole grain muffins with real fruit, they will be just as tasty and a lot more healthy.
3. Granola Bars
Granola Bars are marketed as healthy, wholesome snacks. They give us the illusion of being healthy, but what you didn’t know is that they’re actually horrible, and this makes it one of the worst snacks for kids. They contain processed carbs, dried fruit (dried fruit is high in sugar), and are held together with sugar. They don’t contain any filling fibre, and are loaded with calories. So unless you are planning to do a five mile run, you should stay away from these deceivers! To replace this, you could make your own granola bars at home with fruit, nut and oats, equally as tasty and a lot healthier.
4. Artificially flavoured Orange Juice
Orange juice is everyone’s favourite breakfast drink, and its also probably what is shrinking your clothes… Pick and choose your orange juices carefully, parents. Some orange juice contains only 5% real orange juice, which means that 95% of the juice is artificial flavouring, sugar syrup and more sugars. One glass is equivalent to more than five kit-kats. This can easily be replaced with fresh, homemade orange juice which can be taken to school in a bottle!
5. Luncheon Meats
Kids’ favourite sandwich meats are bologna, smoked ham and beef. However, a meat sandwich a day exposes your kid to preservatives which increase the risk of heart disease and cancer. This can be avoided by only giving your kid meat sandwiches once a week, and replacing the meat with cheese, or tomato and cucumber or peanut butter sandwiches.
Crackers are a handy snack, they keep your kid satisfied for a while. However, crackers are made from processed white flour, oils and preservatives. You’ll thank yourself later when you replace these with something healthier! These can easily be replaced with whole grain crackers which will give your kid more energy, and keep them full for longer, they won’t even know the difference!
7. Gummy Bears
Gummy Bears, these are every kids favourite fruity snack, except that their actually not fruity… at all. Gummy Bears contain artificial fruit flavouring, and they are filled with sugar, gelatine and preservatives. In addition to this, they stick to kids’ teeth, causing cavities. This makes them the worst snack for kids. For a more natural fruit snack, try dried cranberries or grapes.
8. Sports Drinks
Be it vitamin-enhanced, or an electrolyte drink, sports drinks contain unnecessary calories. Sports drinks were designed for athletes, who loose vital vitamins due to heavy training. Unless your kid is an athlete, it’s better to stick to natural fruit juices, natural lemonade or water.
Many of the popular store-bought carton yogurts are loaded with artificial colour and flavouring. These have added sugars, and turn a healthy snack into something that is unhealthy. The best way to get a similar taste, is to buy low fat plain yogurt, and mix fresh fruits in it.
Donuts are fried, sugary, contain preservatives and have no nutrition, automatically making it one of the worst snacks for kids. The average donut is around 300 calories, and only keeps one full for an hour. In order to get a similar taste, and lay off the calories, you could butter a whole grain slice of toast and sprinkle some cinnamon on it.
What are your child’s favourite snacks? Are they healthy? Let us know by leaving a comment below…