Like adults, kids are susceptible to piling on foods that are unhealthy for them as they go through a day. A muffin for breakfast might not sound so bad, but combine that with the cookie that accompanied lunch and soda served with dinner, and eventually their whole day has been given over to foods that are high in empty calories and low in nutrition.
Dr. Travis Magelsen, a kids dentist in Monroe, WA, and his team encourage parents to consistently plan healthy meals containing whole foods for their kids. Here’s a helpful list of foods to avoid.
Many foods that claim to be good for kids before they head off to school can actually be detrimental to their health. Breakfast cereal – even those labeled as made with “whole grain” – contain a ton of sugar. Take a look at the label of your child’s favorite cereals and you might discover many, if not all, of these words: maltodextrin, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup solids, fructose, glucose and dextrose. These are all words that essentially mean “sugar.”
If any of these words appear in the first three ingredients of your child’s cereal, it’s might be best to consider it a dessert food instead. This is also true for the breakfast foods known as toaster pastries or toaster strudel. Besides the pastry foundation, the “fruit filling” often does not contain fruit and the toppings consist of frosting and sprinkles. Instead, consider high protein sources like eggs or oatmeal – food with 3 or more grams of protein and fiber per serving should help your child maintain a healthy smile.
Lunch Foods On Demand
Pre-packaged lunches have increased in popularity in recent years, found primarily in grocery stores. A close look at the label of any of these will show that the food provided is full of preservatives, sugar and sodium as it is highly processed, from the “main course” to the drink and accompanying snacks. The bulk of the lunch is actually the packaging that supports it, and much of the food can be replaced at home with higher quality options that are still conveniently packaged for busy kids.
Convenient Dinner Foods Sacrifice Health
Like the pre-packaged lunches, fast food restaurants offers its own versions of high-fat, empty calorie foods for children of all ages. Much of what’s provided is packaging, along with food that is made up of empty calories and minimal nutrition. Additional pre-packaged foods that may also be served for dinner are stored in boxes or cans, which also sacrifices nutrition for convenience.
With each member of the family busier than ever, it might be tempting to forgo health for convenience when it comes to food. However, whole foods can be just as convenient, contain less packaging, and provide essential nutrients for kids on the go. Take some time to make food at home and “package” them yourself so that your family has healthy meals made of whole foods.
If your children haven’t been in to see Monroe, WA dentist Dr. Travis Magelsen and his team, call us at 360-794-8292 to make an appointment!