When it comes to the best and worst foods for kids, oftentimes parents have little bargaining power. There are some obviously healthy foods—berries and sliced bananas on cereal—and unhealthy foods—a cheeseburger and a side of fries for lunch every day. Then there are the foods that parents think are nourishing and delicious, but that actually have very little nutritional value and a whole heap of hidden fats and sugars.
Being a parent is hard enough already, especially those who also work full-time. Time is limited and sometimes it’s not worth the battle. But keep in mind, life is only enjoyable if we have our health! Plus the eating habits we have as kids carry into adulthood, so you want to establish a healthy routine early on and set them up for success in the future. To help with the process, we’ve compiled a list of the 16 worst foods a parent can feed their child. You don’t have to necessarily cut these foods out completely, but rather only enjoy them in moderation.
1. Kids’ Breakfast Cereal
Sure, that box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Captain Crunch might boast a boatload of vitamins and minerals on the label, but when you consider the amount of sugar and processed ingredients per serving, the minuscule amount of nutritional value they offer doesn’t count for much.
Nutritionists recommend that when you shop for a suitable cereal for your breakfast table, go for brands that contain at least 3-grams of fiber per serving and less than 10 grams of sugar. The best morning cereal that you can get junior hooked on is whole grain oatmeal, it’s high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and you can sprinkle on some berries and mix it with yogurt, or a dab of honey or real maple syrup.