Top 10 worst foods for kids

Childhood obesity is constantly in the media these days. The rate of obese children is rising and does not look like it is coming down anytime soon, unless we as parents do something about it!

Below is a list of the Top 10 worst foods for kids.

1.Microwave Ready Meals-

After a long day at work sometimes the last thing we want to do is cook. This is where the convenience of microwave ready meals comes in. The meals themselves are high in fat, salt and packed full of preservatives that don’t offer adequate nutrition. They also don’t teach kids about preparation of healthy, nutritional meals or proper eating habits. The sodium content of these meals is between 700 to 1800mg per meal, which is incredibly unhealthy for a child to eat in just one meal.

Alternative-

Assign one day a week where you can prep and prepare your own ready to eat meals for the week, get the kids to help. You’ll be surprised at the amount of food you can actually freeze, and the amount of time and money that you would save =) and let’s not forget how much better this will be for your little ones.

Check out this great site for recipe ideas- Happy Money Saver

2.French Fries-

French fries are incredibly unhealthy – they have a high fat content and are saturated in oil. French fries contain on average 18% of the recommended daily fat intake and 7% of the recommended daily sodium intake. They don’t really count towards the daily fibre, protein or calcium intakes either.

Alternative-

Check out this site for 6 Guilt-Free Alternatives to French Fries

3.Sugary Breakfast Cereals –

The majority of cereals that aren’t fortified with vitamins are packed full of sugar, artificial flavouring, food colouring and lacking in nutrition. Fruit is often a better alternative to cereals that have had fibre and vitamins added at the manufacturing stage.

Alternative-

There are so many healthy breakfast alternatives for kids. Click here for a few ideas

4.Doughnuts-

We all love a sneaky doughnut once in a while but they have a shockingly high calorie count and offer very little nutrition. Children should consume food that provides nutrients to give them energy, but sugary pastries such as doughnuts offer very little in the way of important nutrients.

Alternative-

If you have a child that you know will not give up this sugary treat then make your own healthy version. Check out this healthy doughnut recipe

5.Soft Drinks-

Soft drinks and energy drinks are essentially empty calories that nobody needs. The average 10oz serving of a soft drink contains between 10 and 12 teaspoons of sugar. According to DR. Marjorie Fitch-Hilgenberg who is an assistant professor of dietetics at the University of Arkansas-USA, sodas should be considered as a dessert item and not the chosen drink to go with a meal.

Alternative-

WATER! It the world’s most amazing creation. First of all it’s free and it’s super good for you and your child. If you have a child who refuses to drink water then add a bit of lemon juice (from a freshly squeezed lemon) or add cut up pieces of fruit to a bottle of water and let it sit for a few hours. This will give you fruit infused water which tastes amazing and your child will most likely drink it =)

6.Prepacked Lunch Kits for Lunch Boxes-

Occasionally you’ll see small lunch kits in the supermarkets designed to add a little fun at lunchtime for your kids – designing their own lunch with a choice of ham, crackers and cheese etc. These packs contain high levels of fat, saturated fat, sodium and have very little to offer in terms of fibre, vitamins or minerals content. Many of them contain half of the recommended daily allowance of saturated fat, and the full daily recommended sodium intake for the average adult

Alternative-

Create your own packed lunches for the kids. There are some great ideas on this site

7.Lollies and Chocolates-

Most Lollies and Chocolates have a very high sugar content and they can often contribute to tooth decay. Like all foods, these can be good in Moderation or as Treats for the kids when they have been good.

Alternative-

Fruit is a great alternative but for more ideas check out this site 

8.Hotdogs-

Hotdogs have a high fat and sodium content and are packed full of preservatives, including nitrates. On average a hot dog has 464 calories with 32% of the daily recommended fat intake, 15% of recommended daily cholesterol intake and 44% of the daily recommended sodium intake. They also contain 16g of protein and 8% of the daily recommended fibre intake, but frankly, there are healthier options for protein and fibre.

Alternative-

Seafood dog: Peel and devein shrimp and toss in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt and pepper. Grill until done and let cool. Remove tails and mix with some non-fat plain Greek yogurt (about 1/4 cup of yogurt per two pounds of shrimp), a splash of fresh lemon juice, chopped celery and chopped chives. Serve with crisp lettuce on a hot dog bun. Even with all that great creamy flavour, the fat content is well under half that of a traditional dog.

For more ideas check out this site

9.Juice Drinks-

Breakfast juices and Children’s Juice Boxes contain high levels of sugar, calories and acid which have a detrimental effect on tooth enamel. Avoid juices that aren’t 100% pure juice

Alternative-

Freshly Squeezed juice is always a better alternative to boxed juices. Why not buy you and your family a juicer and have fresh juice every day.  If you are in Sydney you can find some extremely affordable juices at the Breville Factory Seconds in Ultimo

10.Pop Tarts-

Sweet toaster pastries are the same as doughnuts in that they contain high sugar levels and low nutritional value. Many of these are packed full of preservatives that allow the product to be stored for up to a year or more before expiring.

Alternative-

Make your own healthy pop tarts by following this recipe

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