February 7, 2013 by thehealthyheartcenter
A surplus of information is provided daily regarding what is considered healthy, whether it be through articles, tv shows, news broadcasts, or just word of mouth, however sometimes the information can be contradicting, or just completely confusing. A recent article posted by the Inquirer conducted research on twenty pediatric nutrition experts to find which foods should just never be brought into the home:
- Sugar sweetened beverages: This was the overwhelming #1 item on everyone’s list and it includes soda, juice drinks, iced tea, lemonade, and powdered drink mixes. These beverages provide no nutritional benefit and are the #1 source of excess calories in adolescent diets. Drinks that were allowed: water, flavored milk, seltzers, and 100% fruit juice.
- TV dinners and prepackaged lunches: Another selection on almost every list, these items were banned due to high sodium contents, high fat, and minimal nutritional value in terms of vitamins, minerals, and whole grains.
- Packaged breakfast pastries: These items ranked high due to large amounts of sugar and minimal fiber. Though it is considered better than eating nothing in the morning, it is preferred to choose alternate convenience items like granola bars made with whole grain oats, fruits, and nuts.
- Sweetened and artificially colored cereals: One dietitian who wrote this on her list said, “if I gave my kids the options of rainbow colored cereals with marshmallows and sprinkles, or a brown whole-grain cereal, guess which one they’d pick every time? That’s why they don’t get the choice.” Take away the temptation. Another option: Make sugary cereals a dessert option only, and make sure it’s served in a small bowl.
- Canned pasta meals: Refined white flour pasta mixed with tomatoes, preservatives and canned meats? There’s not much good to be said about this. Consider making some extra servings of your own spaghetti and meatballs, mix in some vegetables, and freeze in single serving containers for easy reheating.
- Fruit cups in syrup: Fruit packed in syrup was an absolute no. These items are considered more acceptable as long as they were packaged in water or juice.
- Canned meats: These highly processed items were typically too high in fat and sodium for anyone to serve in their own home. An acceptable alternative is canned fish packed in water.
- Chips (of all varieties): Puffed, fried, or kettle cooked, these items all made the unacceptable list due to the empty calories and ease of overeating. Instead find whole grain alternatives like sun chips, pita, or even veggie chips.
- Hot dogs: The main concern of this item is it being a big-time choking hazard. Hot dogs are also on the list due to high fat and sodium contents. For both reasons combined, it stayed out of most homes.
- Packaged desserts: Store bought cookies, cupcakes, and other baked goods because they generally contained trans-fats and were loaded with sugar. The other option? Baking treats with your kids so that you know what ingredients are in the product, and to teach them some classic family recipes.