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We’re not ones to lecture others on parenting their kids, but every now and then we do make gentle suggestions when health is at stake. Case in point: Advising against the following six foods that are loaded with sugar, which can lead to cavities, behavioral problems, obesity and diabetes.
When the first few ingredients are sugar, fruit concentrate and high-fructose corn syrup, it’s probably best to stay away. If they must have something other than water or milk, stick to certain fresh fruit juices (more on that next).
Freshly squeezed orange juice isn’t nearly as harmful as juice boxes, but it still has a lot of sugar. If you do let the kids have it, try diluting it with water. (This will also cut back on damage to tooth enamel.)
It’s not shocking that packaged yogurt in flavors like bubblegum and cotton candy have too much sugar. Instead, buy plain, unsweetened yogurt and flavor it yourself with stuff like fresh fruit or honey (for kids older than 1).
By “most” we mean pretty much anything marketed to kids, which has little to no nutritional value, lots of empty calories and a ton of sugar. Instead, try dressing up a bowl of plain oatmeal with toppings like fresh fruit or a little maple syrup.
You may think these are virtuous, but take one look at an ingredient list full of words you can’t pronounce and you will realize they provide very little protein or fiber, have lots of added sugar and are basically glorified candy bars. Make your own at home instead.
Many boast that they’re “made with real fruit,” but they don’t say that any minuscule amount of real fruit is overshadowed by sugar and preservatives and other bad stuff. Instead, give your kids dried fruit sparingly (since even that has quite a bit of sugar).
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