When it’s time for packing lunch or when it’s snack time, as a parent, there comes a challenge of choosing something nutritious for our child. We want to keep our children healthy, and we want to ensure we provide them with nutritious foods and drinks. It’s not always easy to encourage our to children to eat healthy, let alone healthy snacks that are good in taste and good for them.
You probably heard and seen people eat and rave about specific foods and drinks that are considered healthy, however not all foods which claim to be better alternative are right for you as they make it seem.
Here’s a list of foods and drinks you might want to reconsider giving your child.
I’m not saying all trail mixes are bad for you; you have to choose your mix wisely. Every trail mix is composed of many little treats such as peanuts, walnuts, basically anything within the nut family and sometimes they include seeds. However, some of the mixes they have added dry fruit, chocolate chips or m&m’s. It adds to the flavor which makes them sweet. Even though they are marketed as healthy, you might want to check the sugar added to the trail mix you pick in addition to the sodium. Some combinations have high sugar levels and salt levels, making it less of a healthy snack. We tend to seek flavor, but when it comes to trail mix, you are better off picking a combination that has no sugar or salt, in other words flavorless.
How is dry fruit bad, it’s fruit? Yes, but when it is dried all water content is removed from the fruit leaving its remaining nutrients more concentrated than before. Before they are wiped, the fruit is prepared to keep the color and prevent bacterial growth. Sometimes natural substances are used, and other times there are sulfur or sulfite, a food preservative. During the drying method, the fruit losses some nutrients when retaining some making them have more calories and carbohydrates. Dried fruit has more sugar than when it is fresh since sugar can be added during the process to make sour fruits sweet. Did you know a ½ cup of dried fruit is equivalent to 1 cup of fresh fruit? Fresh fruit is the best option to have than dry fruit. The water content in the fresh fruit helps balance out the natural sugars found in it, plus it doesn’t stick to your child’s teeth.
Fruit cups that have the liquid inside also known as fruit cocktail are ones you want to watch out for too. It’s not so much the fruit that is the problem but the liquid inside the cup that contains sugar syrup. When the syrup is sugary, it stops being a healthy option since it mixes in with the natural sugars of the fruit. You better off giving your child a serving of fresh fruits than a fruit cocktail.
Who doesn’t like a good sports drink such as Gatorade or Powerade? I know I did when I was a kid. Sports drinks such as Gatorade are meant to help athletes or people who do prolonged exercises to gain their electrolytes and refuel. If your child isn’t active throughout the day, then a sports drink isn’t something to add to their diet since all that they are adding is more sugar and sodium that isn’t getting burned. They don’t need and could be getting from other foods.
They aren’t all healthy. Some have more sugar than others. The granola alone is sweetened which adds to the sugar in the mix of dried fruit, chocolate chips, or other ingredients such as caramel, yogurt, and peanut butter. They are mostly high in sugar which is high-fructose corn syrup. Not to mention they aren’t good for your teeth.
Next time lunch needs to get packed, or you’re asked about a snack, consider giving your child something fresher or something with less sugar. Moderation. Moderation is key to balancing the diet and nutrients your body needs. You can still have some of the treats from the list but be cautious of how much is being eaten.