Blog, Healthy Eating, Parent Tips

Don’t Be Duped: Learning to Spot Kids’ Foods that Are Only Masquerading as Healthy Choices

It’s not always easy to be a kid. You aren’t big enough to do all the things you want to do, you have more homework than you want, and to top it all off food companies often try to trick you into believing their foods are healthy for you when they really are far from it! That’s right; in efforts to get you and your parents to buy their foods, companies use bright colors and tricky language to make you think their products are healthier than they really are. Thankfully, you are smart and healthy little cook who can’t be duped. Watch out for these foods only masquerading as healthy to outsmart marketing!

  1.    Gummy Snacks. With pictures of fruit on the box, fruit flavored gummies make you think they are the equivalent to snacking on actual fruit. In reality, most fruit gummies have at best a splash of fruit juice included alongside unhealthy ingredients like sugar, high fructose corn syrup, food dye, and more. Instead: Try snacking on unsweetened dried fruit.
  2.    Cheese Crackers. Cheese crackers often come in fun shapes that make it seem fun to eat them. Unfortunately, those fun shaped crackers are often loaded with refined carbohydrates and artificial ingredients to make them taste like cheese and look bright orange. Instead: Go for the real deal by having a slice of cheese instead.
  3.    Juice Boxes. Juice boxes seem like a healthy alternative to sodas, but many have just as much sugar added as a soda does. Instead: drink water and eat fruit to get the full nutritional benefits of the whole fruit or try infusing your water with fruit flavor by tossing some sliced fruit right into your water.
  4.    Breakfast Cereals. Marketers love to get your attention with cartoon characters and promises of being part of a healthy breakfast on cereal boxes, but plenty of kids’ cereal load you down with so many sugars and refined grains that you feel a slump before you ever even get to school. Instead: Try a protein packed egg with a side of fruit for a quick breakfast to start your day right.
  5.       Granola Bars. More like candy bars! Don’t fall for milk chocolate, marshmallows, and sugary syrup being labeled as a healthy snack. Instead: Mix together nuts and dried fruit for snack that will give you energy!
  6.    Premade Lunch Kits. Along with the convenience of meat, cheese, and crackers, you are also getting lots of sodium and preservatives. Instead: Try filling a bento box with your own bite size lunch items.

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