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These Sneaky Snacks Might Be Hurting Your Child’s Health

As a parent, you care about your child’s health and you want to see them flourish in whatever ways they can. This means that they more than likely need healthy food to fuel them while they go about their business in growing up strong. While there are lots of healthy foods your kids can snack on, there actually happen to be a lot of snacks that, while appearing healthy, aren’t the best for your kids’ health and development. Just like many companies market food to kids because certain snacks are exciting and taste good, many foods are made to appear healthy even when they aren’t.

These Sneaky Snacks Might Be Hurting Your Child's Health

If you’re curious about what sneaky snacks might be bad for your child’s health, there are a few that might surprise you. While some of the snacks are a bit more obvious, some of them might actually take you by surprise. If you’re looking to get your child’s diet a bit more in shape, here are a few snacks you may want to keep on the lookout for. 

  • Sports Drinks

Even if your kids play sports and spend a lot of time outdoors, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll require the same kind of energy assistance that professional athletes do, which is what leads them to requiring sports drinks. Sports drinks tend to be high in electrolytes, but they also contain lots of sugar and artificial flavoring and coloring. If your kids are in need of hydration, you may want to turn to water or other healthy drinks in moderation.

  • Chips

Chips might taste great, but they don’t offer much nutritional value. They don’t offer vitamins, minerals and hydration that should come from healthy snacks. And not only are they filled with empty calories, but they can also be bad for your child’s dental hygiene by breaking down into sugars in the mouth and getting stuck between teeth.

  • Fruit Snacks

While fruit snacks are fruit flavored, they’re also filled with artificial flavoring, dyes, sugar, and empty calories. Fruit snacks are well loved by many kids, but unfortunately they are often no different from most gummy candies. You may be able to find specific healthy brands of fruit snacks, but most will likely yield the same results once you read the nutrition label.

  • Pop Tarts

Pop tarts and other toaster pastries are advertised as breakfast foods, but they tend to fall closer to desert nutritionally. They’re packed with sugar and artificial flavorings, and tend to offer mostly empty calories. There are plenty of other healthy snack options you can feed your kids at breakfast — or any time of the day.

  • Fruit Juices

While the jury is still out on this one for some people, it’s a bit more nuanced than some of the others either way. Fruit juice isn’t necessarily bad for kids, but contrary to popular belief, it isn’t always good, either. While giving kids fruit juice can be healthy in moderation, excessive amounts of it usually aren’t the best idea. Fruit juice has vitamins and minerals, but it also has more sugar and less fiber than regular fruit. If you want your kids to get the benefit of fruit, giving them the whole fruit is usually the best option.

  • Sugary Yogurt

Yogurt is a great source of protein and probiotic nutrition, but certain yogurts aren’t as great as they promise. Specifically, yogurts marketed to children often contain artificial dyes and are packed with sugar and flavoring. If your kids enjoy yogurt, giving them regular yogurt is likely the best option. While it may not be as fun or exciting, it’ll be better for their health.

  • Fast Food

This one might not come as much of a shock, but it needs to be said. Even if you don’t have fast food at every meal or you only go for occasional snacks like fries or kids’ meals, fast food is filled with unhealthy fats, oils, sodium and sugar. Cutting back or cutting it altogether tends to be the best option if you can, because kids need food with more nutritional value. Even some of the “healthier” options from fast food places have hidden salt, fat and sugar, so if you’re on the hunt for a healthy option, you may want to skip it completely.

Sneaky Unhealthy Kids’ Snacks

It can be easy to think that as long as snacks seem healthy, they probably are. But unfortunately, that’s not always the case when it comes to your children. Some of the snacks out there that seem healthy are actually more about the marketing than the nutrition. But as long as you stay on top of things, you should be all right. From chips to fruit snacks, everything can be okay in moderation as long as you know what’s healthy, including a treat here and there. What’s your favorite healthy snack that you and the kids both love?

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