Kid-friendly Foods that are Masquerading as Healthy
Read on to learn how food marketed to kids can be unhealthy and find out six things parents can do to fight back.
Our Children’s Food Intake Is Harming Their Health (text version)
- 1 in 5 U.S. children ages 6-19 are obese.
- 9 in 10 children aren’t eating enough vegetables.
- Children are consuming an average of 19 teaspoons of added sugar daily, 13 more teaspoons then the recommended 6 teaspoons or less.
- The average sodium intake of children between the ages of 6 and 18 years is over 3,000 mg, twice as much as recommended for optimal health.
Foods marketed as healthy often focus on only one part of the health picture
- Instead of flavored yogurt, try adding cut up fruit to plain yogurt instead. Flavored yogurts are a great source of calcium but come with added sugar.
- Instead of 100% fruit juice, try flavoring your water with a splash of fruit juice or cut up fruit instead. 100% fruit juice may be a good source of vitamins like vitamin C, but it lacks fiber, making it easy to drink too much and consume too many calories.
- Instead of veggie chips, try baking your own with kale or other leafy greens. Dry the kale well, toss with a little olive oil, spread on baking sheet, sprinkle with a favorite spice and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until done. Veggie chips are primarily potatoes, oil and salt.
- Instead of yogurt-covered raisins, choose a handful of raisins instead. Yogurt-covered raisins take something healthy and coat it with sugar and oil.
- Instead of fruit snacks, try bite-size pieces of fruit like grapes, berries or apple slices instead. Fruit snacks are mostly corn syrup with a dash of fruit.
- Instead of granola bars, try a whole wheat cracker topped with some peanut butter instead. Granola bars come with added sugar and oil.
What Can Parents Do?
- Read food labels and ingredient lists carefully.
- Skip processed foods and cook from scratch as much as possible.
- Model healthy eating behaviors.
- Try new vegetable recipes.
- Involve your kids in food shopping and preparing.
- Eat together as a family regularly