10 Foods Nutrition Experts Won’t Feed Their Kids

As a parent, you can become bombarded with information about what you should and shouldn’t feed your kids. Whether it’s a well-meaning mother-in-law, a friend who has never had children herself, or your mother’s group, all this information can be more confusing than helpful.

food-kids-postimage via pinterest

To help you sort the good from bad, in her latest newsletter Zoe Bingley-Pullin spoke to twenty well-respected nutrition experts to gather a list of the top ten foods nutrition experts won’t keep in their home. Here’s what she discovered…

1. Sugar sweetened beverages- This was the overwhelming #1 item on everyone’s list and it includes soda, juice drinks, iced tea, lemonade, and powdered drink mixes. These beverages provide no nutrition benefit and are the #1 source of excess calories in adolescent diets. Drinks that were allowed: water (tap for filtered), flavoured milk, seltzers, and 100% fruit juice.

2. TV dinners and prepackaged lunches- Another selection on almost every list, these items were banned due to high sodium contents, high fat, and minimal nutrition value (vitamins, minerals, and whole grains).

3. Packaged breakfast pastries- Whether you toasted them or ate them from the wrapper, these items ranked high due to large amounts of sugar and minimal fibre. Though it’s better than nothing in the morning, the experts preferred alternate convenience items like granola bars made with whole grain oats, fruits, and nuts.

4. Sweetened and artificially coloured cereals- One dietitian who wrote this on her list said, “if I gave my kids the options of rainbow coloured cereals with marshmallows and sprinkles, or a brown whole-grain cereal, guess which one they’d pick every time? That’s why they don’t get the choice.” I couldn’t agree more. Another option: Make sugary cereals a dessert option only, and make sure it’s served in a small bowl.

5. Canned pasta meals- Refined white flour pasta mixed with tomatoes, preservatives and canned meats? There’s not much good I can say about this. Consider making some extra servings of your own spaghetti and meatballs, mix in some vegetables, and freeze in single serving containers for easy reheating.

6. Fruit cups in syrup- Fruit packed in syrup was an absolute no for the experts. These items were considered more acceptable as long as they were packaged in water or juice.

7. Canned meats- These highly processed items were typically too high in fat and sodium for anyone to serve in their own home. An alternative deemed acceptable was canned fish packed in water.

8. Chips (of all varieties)- Puffed, fried, or kettle cooked, these items all made the unacceptable list due to the empty calories and ease of overeating. I will admit that the group was realistic about the fact that this was an inevitable item to avoid at many parties.

9. Hot dogs- The parents of younger kids were concerned with this item being a big-time choking hazard. Parents of older children had it on their list due to high fat and sodium contents. For both reasons combined, it stayed out of most homes.

10. Packaged desserts- Store bought cookies, cupcakes, and other baked goods because they generally contained trans-fats and were loaded with sugar. The other option? Baking treats with your kids so that you know what ingredients are in the product, and to teach them some classic family recipes.


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