5 Processed Kids Snacks To Avoid At All Costs

Tiramisu_Popsicles-2Nx86xdrewssexybody-3By Jenna Barrington 

Companies who market processed foods like to trick you into thinking that certain foods are more “kid friendly.” They do this by adding cartoons, colorful pictures, fun shapes and small sizes to their products.

In reality, what your children eat and what you eat shouldn’t be much different. You should both be eating foods that are as close to nature as possible.

As a parent, it can be tricky to stay stocked up on snacks that are nutritious and that your kids will actually eat. I get it! It’s hard to stay stocked up on nutritious snacks for YOURSELF, even, until you get into the habit and know what you’re doing. Don’t give up!

One small step at a time, one snack at a time, you CAN change your kitchen and eating habits. It will bless you and your kids tremendously for years to come and is worth the effort and extra sweat.

Processed foods, artificial colors, refined wheat, added sugars, artificial flavorings, etc. have been linked not only to chronic disease and illness, but also to common childhood afflictions such as aggression, ADHD/hyperactivity, mood swings, asthma, obesity and diabetes.

You live in a hard time, in a society that is full of foods with questionable ingredients. But the more you become aware and active in your food choices and start demanding better, companies will have no choice but to comply with their consumers. Let’s make the world a better and healthier place for ourselves and the next generations!

5 Processed Kids Snacks You Should Avoid & Healthier Alternatives

#1 Sugary Cereals

150630130639-05-sugars-obesity-kids-cereal-super-169Kid’s cereals in particular are laden with sugar and artificial colorings and flavorings. Did you know that some of the most popular brands (Fruit Loops, Captain Crunch, Apple Jacks, Cocoa Puffs, Lucky Charms) are 40-50% sugar by WEIGHT?

YIKES.

Even if the cereal is “fortified” with vitamins and minerals, these are most likely in a form that is not very bioavailable (your body isn’t going to get much of it).

Eat this instead: Fresh fruit, reheated quinoa or other whole grain with pure maple syrup and yogurt or almond milk, homemade granola with yogurt, green smoothies, energy bites, eggs.

#2 Fruit Snacks

del-monte-fruit-cups-mixed-fruit-in-cherry-juiceThese are hard for me, because I grew up OBSESSED with fruit snacks! I have learned to opt for healthier options since most commercial fruit snacks are mostly made of corn syrup, artificial flavors and artificial colorings.

If you EVER give your kids fruit snacks, treat them like a candy and not a regular snack.

Eat this instead: Real fruit, apple slices, bananas, homemade fruit roll ups (yum!), homemade healthy gummies, etc.

 #3 Sweetened Drinks

166516-e4f8d9d2-2a7f-11e3-a9c3-6361e8d92576Most all kid’s sweet drinks are just as bad as soda and contain the same amount of sugar. Plus, they are often colored with artificial food dyes, which are another big health concern. It may be hard to break the habit of juice boxes, capri suns and kool aids at first, but soon, your kids won’t even miss them anymore.

Eat this instead: WATER, homemade green smoothies, water with lemon, water with a tiny bit of raw honey, homemade green juices, water, water, water, water infused with colorful berries, water, etc.

 #4 Ice Pops

urlThese are so much fun to hand out to kids in the summertime and kids love the bright colors and sweet flavors. Unfortunately, the colors are most likely from artificial food dyes and the sweetness is all high fructose corn syrup.

Pay close attention to the ingredients of the popsicles you buy. If you can’t pay an extra dollar or two for healthier options, just don’t buy them at all.

Eat this instead: Homemade popsicles made from 100% pure fruit and vegetable juice.

#5 Crackers

crackersCrackers are made with a lot of ingredients most people don’t even recognize and come from GMO corn or other grains.

Homemade crackers can be very simple to make and much more nutritious than commercial crackers. Make big batches and store them in jars/bags to use for weeks to come.

Eat this instead: Homemade cheddar cheese crackers, energy bites, homemade fruit leather, veggies and hummus, avocado slices, fresh fruit, etc.

Conclusion

We all grew up eating and cooking a certain way and it can be hard to make new habits and lifestyle changes. Don’t get discouraged if you slip up – nobody’s perfect. Just take small steps in the right direction and in no time, you’ll look back and be amazed at your progress.

Make more time in your life to spend on making great food choices for your family. This will benefit them so much more than other things you could be spending your time on. Teach them healthy habits from a young age and they will carry those habits with them later on. Even if they leave the home and start eating poorly, they will know how to eat right.lleader_34 (1)

Jenna Barrington
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Jenna Barrington

Jenna Barrington is studying Therapeutic Nutrition and Holistic Medicine and aspires to be a practitioner, teacher and writer. She is passionate about education and helping others take control of their health.

Jenna lives with her husband in Utah and loves writing, cooking, green smoothies, training her dog, Japanese, spending time at the ocean, bungee jumping, walking barefoot in the grass and being with her family.
Jenna Barrington
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