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Foods to Never Serve Your Children

By Sara Butler

As a parent, one of your biggest priorities is helping your kids to understand the importance of proper nutrition and to get them eating a healthy diet. At times it may be way easier said than done, but at least you know you’re trying! The truth of the matter is that many common “kid foods” are terrible for your child’s health. In fact, there are a few you may want to restrict or eliminate entirely from their diets.

Hot Dogs

The nutritional value of hot dogs is debatable. They’re filled with sodium and saturated fat, not to mention they’re mostly comprised of mechanically separated meat -- which just doesn’t sound appetizing. It denotes a level of processing that should give you pause when you’re striving to deliver whole foods to your children at dinner time. Plus, hot dogs are full of nitrates, a preservative that has been linked to colon cancer. So it’s probably best to leave the hot dogs at the store.

Prepackaged Lunch

Kids just love these and they’re also convenient for parents, but that’s about all you can check in the plus category when rating prepackaged lunches. They’re full of saturated fat and sodium -- up to one-third of what your child should have for the whole day. A much healthier lunch for your children doesn’t have to be a lot of work, it just takes a little planning. As a general rule, if something you want to feed your kid has more than five ingredients, it’s better off being left off your grocery list.

Soda

Soda isn’t good for anyone, including your kids. A soda here and there on a special occasion isn’t that big of a deal, but if you keep your home stocked with soda, then you need to reconsider. It’s full of added sugar, has no nutritional value, and is bad for their dental health. If your kids are used to getting a lot of soda, slowly work to replace it with milk or water at meal times. Even adding some fruit to a glass of water can help add some flavor and make the transition less difficult. You’ll likely have more success if you don’t try to cut them off cold turkey!

As a parent, you must do what you feel is best for your child and within your ability, but do be wary of highly processed foods full of sugar, fat, and sodium if you want to get your kids off to the best start possible in life.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fort Mill, S.C.

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