Expecting a child to eat healthy at all times would be a little too taxing for both the child and the parents. Kids should be allowed to enjoy not so healthy foods once a while, provided the parents know exactly what they are serving them. Though there are some foods that are alright to consume even when they come in the not so healthy category, there are others that should be a big NO for kids.
Here is a list of some foods that one should never feed a child.
Children and parents love fruit juices. Their colorful labels, bright colors and aggressive advertising make them very appealing. However, fruit juices and other such artificially sweetened drinks are loaded with sugar. They contain much more than the recommended daily dose of sugar required by a child.
Too much sugar is bad for a child. Various studies have associated sugar with tooth decay, heart problems, and obesity. It is also linked with behavioral issues.
Processed meats are full of preservatives and unhealthy fat and have a high content of salt and sodium. Encouraging children to eat processed meats (chicken patties, ham, sausages, etc.) exposes them to the risk of developing heart problems and weight issues early in life.
Flash-fried finger food
Flash fried finger foods again contain preservatives and a lot of other ingredients, many of which are not even natural. They contain refined flour for breading and to make them crunchy and are then flash fried in hydrogenated oil which contains trans-fat to make the batter stick. They are also high in sodium, saturated fat and have low quality ingredients.
Preservatives are associated with cancer and trans-fat is associated with heart problems and weight issues.
Most fast food restaurants offer a kids meal that contains a burger, grilled sandwich or an equivalent, french fries and a sugary drink. All these are unhealthy with a big U. Refined flour, processed potatoes and loads of sugar is what constitute these meals. Further, they have a high salt content, preservatives and added food color.
Food color contains lead which can lead to developmental and nervous system problems. It also increases blood pressure and may lead to kidney damage later in life.
Dipping sauces, including ketchup, have condiments and a high quantity of sugar and salt. Condiments add a lot of calories and unnecessary extra fat to a meal. They also change the flavor of the dish being consumed.
Avoiding these would not only keep the kids away from avoidable unhealthy stuff but will also teach them to relish and enjoy the original taste of a meal.
Fruit snacks like fruit jellies, fruit rolls and other products are also loaded with sugar. Though manufacturers are now claiming to make products with real fruit, if one reads the label, they would find that the percentage of the real fruit would be somewhere around 10 percent. The rest of the 90 percent would be just boiled sugar.
Eating healthy is the foundation of being healthy. And when this habit is incorporated early, it goes a long way in shaping the eating habits and the health of a child. So kick out the foods mentioned above and set the right tone for their healthy development.