Tuesday, September 11, 2007

10 worst snacks for kids

On my way out of the doctor's office last week, I grabbed the latest issue of Healthy Utah. As I was skimming through it, I found an article (written by Aubrey Merrell) that lists the 10 worst snacks for kids. Obviously this list doesn't just pertain to kids and even though there aren't any real surprises, I thought it was interesting enough to share (as always, my comments are in red):
  1. Chips. At 150 calories and 10 grams of fat per serving, chips are one of the worst snack foods. The issues compound further when kids reach three to four servings deep into the bag. (Isn't it so easy to eat WAY more chips than you should?)
  2. Doughnuts. Yes, this includes doughnut holes, mini doughnuts and anything spelled "donut." Sugar will cause your child's insulin levels to fluctuate. Add to that deep-frying, 4 grams of trans fat and you have an equation for type II diabetes. (I hate to see one of my absolute favorites on this list.)
  3. Cookies. Like doughnuts, kids love the sweetness and chewy texture of a chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookie. Store-bought varieties always pack more fat and chemicals to prolong their shelf life. (I think it's safe to say that most adults love the "sweetness and chewy texture" of cookies too!)
  4. Chicken nuggets. For some reason, children seem to love deep-fried, processed chicken. A McDonald's Kid's Meal portion not only packs four "nuggets", but 169 calories and 10 grams of fate (including 1 gram of trans fat.) (But I thought they were made with "real white meat"?)
  5. Cheese product. The title alone should deter you. Cheese product refers to cheese in a can, American cheese, cheese dips, Mac 'n Cheese, etc. Infused with emulsifiers, chemical preservatives, color additives and extra sodium, manufacturers cannot legally label cheese product as "real cheese." (This one isn't too hard for me. I've never really been a fan of cheese that comes out of a can.)
  6. Fruit snacks & fruit roll-ups. With the antioxidant craze of late, candy companies have jumped on the band-wagon to claim high quantities of the antioxidant vitamin C. Be careful of food labels. Fruit snacks and other fruit candies have always contained vitamin C if they were made from real fruit juice. Just because it says "antioxidants" doesn't mean it is healthy. (Too bad this is one of Sadie's favorite snacks.)
  7. Candy. Grocery stores devote an entire aisle to it, and some pantries resemble it all too well. Sugar, the essence of candy, is one of the leading causes of obesity and type II diabetes. With the number of blue and green mouths running around, it's not wonder why obesity and diabetes rates are epidemically high. (I would have thought this one would be higher up on the list.)
  8. White bread. Wonder bread. It really is a wonder how that five-inch square of fluffy white goodness can roll into a tiny ball. White bread, unless fortified, packs no nutritional value, but it puts the body's insulin levels on a roller coaster ride. (But white bread is soooo good!)
  9. Soda & Energy drinks. One of the most terrifying aspects of my two-year waitress career was 2-year-olds asking for Diet Coke on their own accord. The words, "Diet Coke" should not exist in a two-year-old's limited vocabulary. Parents complain about their kids bouncing off the walls, yet still feed them concentrated sugar and caffeine. A great deal of the childhood obesity epidemic relates to the sugar consumed by sipping soda. (Does Sprite count? Seriously, I have tried to get lemonade when we go out to eat because even though I'm sure it contains just as much sugar, it still makes me feel like I'm being a little bit more responsible when it comes to feeding Sadie.)
  10. Chips. Chips are so unhealthy that they made the list twice. (What a lame #10. Oh well, it's one less thing to feel guilty about!)
Tomorrow I will give you the list of 10 healthy replacements. I bet you can't wait!

1 comment:

The Local Scribe said...

Chips twice. Thats lame. Chicken nuggets are the shiz.