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Do you realize how unhealthy your kids' favorite foods are?

Posted February 19

Nutella

Dear Moms, do you really know what you’re feeding your children all of the time? Sometimes we’re not as sure as we think we are. That can happen for a number of reasons — perhaps you aren’t just thinking about it, or you read the food label wrong or you were even mislead by the food labels. It happens to the best of us, really it does.

That being said, we should all still be educated about how unhealthy these food brands actually are:

Nutella

A family favorite at the breakfast table, Nutella just really isn’t a good choice for your kid’s toast in the morning. Nutella is actually more sugar and vegetable oil than it is hazelnut and cocoa. Vegetable oil (or palm oil) is a semi-solid fat that’s used to make the Nutella spread easier, but it isn't a healthy choice.

This information is all on the ingredients list on the Nutella label: Sugar and palm oil above everything else. It tastes great, sure, but it’s definitely a once-in-a-while food item.

McDonald’s Fries

Everyone knows that McDonald’s just isn’t good for you. But just how bad is it? The nutrition information on a McDonald’s food container isn’t exactly put in plain sight. As it turns out, a medium fry has the following:

  • 340 calories
  • 230 milligrams of sodium (too much of which can cause high blood pressure)
  • 16 grams of fat
  • and 44 grams of carbohydrates. Yikes.

That’s really bad for just a side dish. And like I said, the nutritional facts of these fries are not front and center on purpose. It’s really easy to forget just how horrible those fries really are for you if you can’t see the nutrition label.

Lay’s Plain Potato Chips

Another obviously unhealthy food that just kind of slips under the radar. Potato chips are a very popular side to a sandwich, or a quick snack to feed your kids and their friends at a party. It can be easy to forget that a small bag of potato chips contains:

  • 185 calories
  • 11 grams of total fat (four grams of saturated fat)
  • 267 milligrams of sodium
  • and five carbs

It might be a good idea to switch out that bag of potato chips with some raw carrots or celery instead.

Dill Dip

A great addition to your veggie platter, right? Well, if you want to eat healthy, not really. Looking at this brand of dill dip, just one serving has 140 calories and a whopping 125 milligrams of sodium. It also contains 15 grams of fat (four grams of saturated fat) and 20 milligrams of cholesterol, all in just two tablespoons.

Thankfully, hummus tastes great with vegetables and is a much better health alternative to dill dip. An average serving of hummus only has one gram of fat and 70 calories. If you can get your kids to eat some hummus with their vegetables, more power to you.

Einstein Bros. Bagels

This isn’t what you want to hear, I’m sure, but did you know that a single, cinnamon & sugar Einstein Bros. Bagel has 59 grams of carbs? That’s 45% — or nearly half — of your daily allowance for carbohydrates, just at breakfast. If you add cream cheese or butter to that bagel, you’re making it even worse for yourself.

If your kid really wants a bagel in the morning, try skipping out on the butter or cream cheese. Try a healthier alternative. This could be avocado, mashed berries (for that natural sweetness that your kids are sure to love), egg salad or maybe even a tomato.

Lunchables

The ham-and-cheese Lunchables sure don’t look like they’re all that bad, but if you’re sending them off with your kids every school day, you’re sending off 360 calories with them, too. That particular kind of Lunchable also contains nine grams of saturated fat — 45% of your daily required amount.

Like most of the items on this list, once in a while won’t hurt your kid, but giving them Lunchables every day for their school lunch is not your best option.

Kraft Mac-and-Cheese

This fan-favorite packs 350 calories per serving, assuming you make a batch with reduced-fat milk. However, the sodium is the real killer. One serving of Kraft Mac-and-Cheese has 30% of your daily suggested amount.

Fruit Juice

The orange juice your kids might be used to having for breakfast nearly every morning may not be the best option. Though it’s often assumed that fruit juices are very good for you (they are fruit after all), they are usually high in sugar. For instance, Tropicana’s Orange Juice has 28 grams of sugar per serving. The sugar buzz might help them get through the day...until they crash, that is.

Like most things, having your kids eat these food items isn’t always a bad thing as long as it's done in moderation. As long as everyone is a bit more careful with what our kids eat, they will grow up to be happy and healthy.

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