3 Foods That You Should Never Feed Your Children

Posted: May 17, 2014 in NUTRITION
African American Kid Eating


When children are home during the summer months, they are always hungry. While it’s easy to pop something into the microwave for a quick meal, you may want to re-think at least three common foods that parents often feed their children: hot dogs and lunch meat, cola, and foods with food dyes. Here’s why.

Hot Dogs and Lunch Meat
These may be favorite kid foods, but they are loaded with nitrates. Nitrates are preservatives added to prevent the growth of bacteria and add color to the product. Nitrates can increase the risk of colon cancer. One study showed that 12 hog dogs or more a month can also increase the risk of childhood leukemia. Hot dogs and lunch meats are also loaded with saturated fat that causes heart disease.

Better Alternatives: Chicken or turkey sausage, chicken tenders in a bun, turkey hot dogs or grilled chicken.

Cola
Just one 12-ounce bottle of cola has 10 teaspoons of sugar. This is the same amount of sugar found in 2.5 chocolate glazed doughnuts or three dips of vanilla ice cream. Soft drinks can lead to obesity and chronic illnesses. In addition, giving your children soft drinks instead of milk denies them the calcium they need for good bone health.

Better Alternatives: 100 percent juice w/seltzer, vegetable juice, soy milk with flavors like almond and vanilla.

Food Coloring
Many foods that children like to eat contain food coloring, and food dyes are linked to hyperactivity in children and attention deficit. One popular item includes popsicles. In addition, most foods with synthetic dyes also contain sugar, fat, sodium and empty calories. 

Better Alternatives: homemade frozen fruit juice popsicles, popsicles from leftover lemonade or smoothies, or frozen bananas on a stick drizzled with a little chocolate or covered in peanut butter.

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