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Unhealthy Snacks for Kids

Updated on July 27, 2015

Kids love to eat. The problem is that they eat more foods that are unhealthy than those that are truly healthy. There are many ways kids engage into such a habit munching on junk food. Watching TV is one, playing on computers or even reading is another way. These popular foods will likely please any child, but there’s always a solution to turn them into a healthy snack.

Pizza

Children just love pizza. The nutrition depends on what type pizza they eat, unless it’s loaded with veggies and baked in wheat crust. Small pizza rolls that can be heated in a microwave or oven is as popular it gets. Their greasy crusts contain saturated fat, and usually it’s just pepperoni and cheese, but no vegetables. Leftover pizza slices that were left in a pizza box are eaten as an appetizer, too. But still, pepperoni or cheese is the kind kids go for. To make pizza healthy, children should opt to sample more veggies for a crunchier snack. Or, parents can help them prepare homemade pizzas at home, with whole-grain crusts.

Doesn't this pizza look good?  Pizza-loving children will go crazy over it, despite its high fat contents.
Doesn't this pizza look good? Pizza-loving children will go crazy over it, despite its high fat contents.
Cast your vote for Crunchy Baked Chicken Fingers

Candy

When was the last time you saw a child purchasing a chocolate bar at a dollar store? Many stores have candies loaded with sugar. And if kids eat too much of the sweet stuff, not only they might get a stomach ache, but they could get tooth decay, too. Cookies, cakes, doughnuts, and some cereals also have sugar. Fresh fruit is sweet; they should try some of that instead.

Variety of baked sweets in display at a bakery.
Variety of baked sweets in display at a bakery.

Soda

Soda is just like candy. They, too, are often contaminated with sugar and empty calories. Unfortunately, children drink the soda when they should be drinking something more nourishing. If they’re outside playing and looking something to drink, they’ll rely on a Cola to quench their thirst. Water is definitely the best beverage. Freshly-squeezed juices are healthy and delicious as well.

Freshly-squeezed orange juice is a perfect substitution for soda and other sugary drinks.
Freshly-squeezed orange juice is a perfect substitution for soda and other sugary drinks.

Fried finger foods

Fried finger foods can either come from a fast-food restaurant or cooked at home. But what do kids typically enjoy that was fried in grease? Probably chicken nuggets and french fries. Other popular fried foods include onion rings, chicken strips, and doughnuts. When the foods are fried in vegetable oil, they become packed with empty calories. They help contribute to child obesity. Bake those French fries and chicken nuggets at least. Better yet, avoid them.

Because chicken fingers are very popular, here's a recipe for them, and they're done the healthy way:

Crunchy Baked Chicken Fingers

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 40 min
Yields: Serves four to six people
  • 4 cups corn flakes
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry's seasoning salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts cut into strips
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Crush corn flakes. (You can dump them into a large Ziploc bag and then use a rolling pin to do the crushing.)
  3. Mix together corn flakes, flour, seasoning salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning.
  4. Beat eggs with water. Dip chicken strips in egg mixture and then roll in corn-flake mixture. Press mixture firmly onto chicken to coat well.
  5. Lay chicken strips on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until chicken strips are tender and cooked throughly. (Baking time depends on size of strips.)
  7. Set chicken strips to cool for about five minutes before serving.
Crunchy chicken fingers.
Crunchy chicken fingers. | Source

While it’s fun to eat these snacks, kids should understand these foods do little in a way of providing nutrition. They can cut down a portion and still enjoy them, and eat more fruits and vegetables. Drinking more water, not soda pop, is also an excellent step toward being healthy.

Thanks to KitchenLW from Food.com for the wonderful chicken fingers recipe!

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