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By Brandi Thompson RD, LD/N
Don't send your kid off to school with a lunch box full of salt, sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and 12-syllable chemicals, which lead to sluggishness, hyperactivity and the inability to concentrate in the classroom. Check out this list of the 10 worst foods for kids (some may surprise you!) along with healthy alternatives to fuel your kid throughout the day.
Peanut Butter and Jelly
This traditional sandwich can be stacked with high-fructose corn syrup, sugar, salt and hydrogenated oils if not examined carefully. PB&J should be made on whole wheat bread and the peanut butter should exclude sugar and salt. Look for a jelly without high-fructose corn syrup and artificial colors. Sliced bananas or strawberries mixed with pure honey or agave nectar make for natural substitutes to jelly. For a quality peanut butter, pick up Smucker's Natural or check out The Fresh Market, where customers grind their own fresh nut butters in the store.
Starchy Snack Bars
Brightly Colored Yogurt
Applesauce and 'Fruit Cups'
Sweet, Sport and Energy Drinks
Cakes and Cookies
Gelatin or Pudding
Prepackaged Lunch Trays
Get in the habit of reading labels and avoiding foods with unnecessary ingredients. Do a little work at the grocery store, and you’ll score an A+ this year for nutrition and make your child happy and healthy!
Brandi Thompson is a nutrition expert (aka Registered Dietitian) with 11 years of experience. Click here for her website.
Providing healthy meals is even harder with a picky eater. If your child's palate is hard to please, check out our article on picky eaters.