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Foods to Avoid in Children's Diet

Updated on March 14, 2010

 Every mom is concerned about her children's food habits - what they eat inside and outside the home. It is very important for the food gatekeeper of the family to make the food decisions wisely to keep the family's nutrition and health become better. The probiotic sign signals plenty of good bacteria for our gut, but does this make ` probiotic' sweetened yoghurt with its high fat and sugar content healthy for children? Similarly, `sugar free' barfis and desserts are high in fats and artificial sweeteners... So, find out what foods and substances in foods to avoid in children's diets to help the food gatekeeper filter the bad stuff out!

Things to avoid in Children's diets

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Things to avoid in Children's Diet

 Artificial Additives
Even though additives are supposed to be safe to consume in theory, they may trigger an allergic reaction in some children. One of the surveys revealed that up to 3/4th of the children's foods have additives. Because of this, children could consume huge amounts of additives by the time they reach their teens. Be wary of sweets, savories, desserts and snack bars and make sure the additives are natural ones like the vanilla extract. Avoid buying foods which contain artificial colouring, flavouring and preservatives.

Sugar
Avoid foods in children's diet that contain sugar - lactose, glucose, maltose, dextrose, fructose, molasses, corn syrup, corn sweetener, turbinado, sorbitol, xybitol and fruit concentrate are all names for sugar. The two main problems with sugar are that it damages children's teeth and increases the risk of diabetes. Packaged fruit juices are full of sugar. Instead, opt for fresh fruit and, if you must, make juice at home. Similarly, canned fruits are ideal for desserts but crammed with sugar and sodium preservatives. Instead, stew your own fruit at home and freeze in several containers for use.

Artificial Sweeteners
Aspartame, acesulfame K, and saccarin are common in both diet (sugar-free) and regular versions of foods and drinks including soda. Are they really safe for children is a controversial topic of discussion. Just stay away if you can.

Hydrogenated fat
Every mom knows that the most dangerous aisle in the store is the snack aisle. Margarines, pastries, pies, cakes, ice cream, desserts, cookies, chocolate bars, cereals bars, crackers, chips may contain both hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats.  They may also contain trans fats which are harmful to health than saturated fats. They increase the levels of "bad" fats in the blood and reduce the levels of "good" fats. Cookies, muffins, brownies and cakes pack plenty of the harmful saturated and trans fats adding extra pounds to your waist as well. Avoid or reserve for rare treats.

 Doctors used to recommend waiting until age 1 or even much later to introduce solid foods that are common allergens, especially with children at risk for allergies. But the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has changed its tune, because studies show that these delays probably don't help keep allergies from developing. Check with his doctor to determine the best strategy for introducing allergenic foods like eggs, milk, peanuts, wheat, soy, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish.

Be a smart shopper for children's diet:

Don't shop when you are hungry: Eat a healthy snack or meal before you go shopping. You will also tend to buy more munchies on this shopping trip.Read labels carefully. Even if you have been buying a particular brand for years, intelligent shoppers are especially careful about reading labels. Labels can also mislead because we sometimes read things into them that aren't true. For example, a ‘No cholesterol' label on vegetable oil is meaningless since oils from plants cannot contain any!

Stock up on healthy protein foods for children's diets. Add good quality protein from eggs, fish and chicken. Avoid all readymade fresh barbecue stuff - they are loaded with fat and salt. If you must have red meat, choose leaner cuts. Get meat mince from the leaner cuts; it is expensive but free from harmful lard. Although frozen foods like pizzas, chicken fingers and nuggets are very convenient, they are loaded with artificial preservatives and sodium. Skip the frozen food section entirely.

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