There are plenty of foods and snacks out on the market that are advertised as being healthy for your kids. Their little bodies are always growing and needing good nutrients to support their various systems. Unfortunately, marketed foods are not always as healthy as you would think. A few foods that often fool parents include granola bars, fruit juice, and fruit snacks.
Most granola bars on the market today taste more like candy bars than anything else. Some granola bars even have more calories than a single candy bar. Chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, processed peanut butter, and caramel are often on the ingredient list. According to Healthgrades, additional ingredients that you need to look out for are sugar, corn syrup, fructose sucrose, glucose, or maple sugar at the top of the list. These are artificial sweeteners and sugars that do more harm than good, taking all the nutrients out of this simple snack. There are some healthy bars on the market, but you need to be diligent about reading labels to find them.
Fruit juices are loaded with calories and sugar. Even a small juice box can contain as many as 200 calories. Because of the processing the juice goes through, there are few nutrients left. You will get much more vitamin C and other nutrients from eating the real fruit than drinking it. When purchasing juice, be sure to look for 100 percent fruit juice and limit your intake. According to Stellar Kids, you should keep your child’s juice intake to 6–8 ounces a day.
While fruit snacks are convenient to pack and store, they are not nearly as healthy as their name would have you believe. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, most fruit snacks contain a high concentration of corn syrup, “natural,” and artificial flavors. “Natural” means vitamins like vitamin C are often added back into the product because it is destroyed during the production process. High corn syrup and artificial flavors do not provide healthy nutrients for a child’s body, and they will coat their teeth with unhealthy sugars. While it is not harmful as an occasional treat, don’t let the word “fruit” fool you when it comes to this snack.
The most important thing you can do to support your child’s growth is by feeding them nutritionally balanced foods. Treats are good with limitations. Promote your child’s health by reading the ingredient list and avoiding these unhealthy snacks.
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