Kids’ Snacks To Watch Out For

by in Back to School, October 11, 2012

fruit snacks
Clever marketing and confusing ingredient lists make processed junk look like a healthy choice for your kids. Get the facts about these healthy imposters.

Fruit & Vegetable Pouches
These squeezable sacks of suckable fruit and veggie concoctions promise mess-less nutrition but you might be getting more sugar than produce – many are sweetened with fruit juice concentrates (check labels). Even if your favorite brand’s recipe does only contain mashed fruits and vegetables, this process will destroy some of the nutrients and fiber. Plus, sucking food out of a pouch doesn’t exactly foster healthy easting habits as far as I’m concerned.  Handing off the occasional pouch is fine but these sacs should not become a replacement for good old fruits and veggies.

Fruit Snacks & Roll Ups
Not much fruit to be found in these chewy treats – many contain more than 1 ½ tablespoons of sugar per serving. The truest healthy tip: try making your own.

Yogurt
This kiddie favorite can go either way. Many kid-friendly brands do a good job at providing calcium and protein packed dairy in their yogurt, while others focus more heavily on sugar and artificial colors. Check labels carefully and choose brands with the simplest ingredients lists.

Juice Boxes
We launched a full out taste test to make sense of the smartest drinkable options – see the results.

Toaster Pastry
Don’t be fooled by cutesy commercials! These pastries aren’t breakfast, they’re dessert in disguise. Look at the ingredient lists on these babies; they’re as long as you arm! Not exactly the best way to start your day. A better (and just as easy) choice – a PB&J or one of our picks for breakfast bars.

Vegetable Chips
Parents might wish their kids would munch on carrot sticks like potato chips but these faux veggies won’t do the job. One ounce (only a small handful) has almost 150 calories and 7 grams of fat. They’re made from highly-processed ingredients like vegetable flours and purees, plus high doses of oil — not exactly farm fresh!

Granola Bars
The bars marketed to little ones tend to be the worst culprits! Choose a bar where whole grains and nuts out-rank sugar and other junk.

Tell Us: What snacks do you think are worth watching out for?

 

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Comments (898)

  1. Natalia says:

    Great post! Veggie pouches are especially deceiving as parents think that since they got some nutrition into a child they may relax at dinner and NOT serve veggies which reduces exposure to real foods. Also, those suckable purees are typically SWEET, so they take a child one step further from learning to actually like and eat real veggies. I talk about it to parents all the time and many are surprised that what seemed like a god-sent solution to their problems may in fact make them even worse.

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