When kids are hungry and are in need of a snack most moms reach out for the lowest common denominator aka potato chips or sweets and hand them over to their kids. We as parents need to sit back and think of the implications of this action. Snacks are tempting, tasty and are easily available. They are also equally responsible for obesity in children.
All processed foods contain high amounts of sodium, saturated fats, artificial colors and ingredients which are harmful to the body.It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle by making an informed choice to use healthy substitutes in lieu of these snacks.
Let’s understand some of the foods that have a bad effect on the health of children.
1. Potato chips
Children love eating potato chips. However potato chips are very high in sodium and fat. A single small packet of chips contains around 40 grams of fat which is quite a lot for young children.
Cheese is another favourite item on a child’s list. Most mothers just offer a slice of cheese to their children. They feel that cheese is a good source of protein. Remember you also need to be aware of the quantity that a child eats. One slice of cheese accounts for more than 100 calories.
Everybody loves chocolates. Chocolates are high in fats and calories. Intake of very small quantity of dark chocolate is good for the body. Excessive consumption of chocolates can cause tooth decay and diabetes. It is important to see that chocolates are not offered as a snack item to your child.
4. Burgers or Fried Foods
Burgers or fried foods like Samosa, Vada Pav are very popular with children.They are deep fried and unhealthy as they contain trans fat. They are usually accompanied with French fries which are equally unhealthy.Constant consumption of these foods will lead to child obesity problems.
5. Bakery Products
Most bakery products like pastries, breads, biscuits and cakes are high in hydrogenated fats and sugar.Creamy desserts like cupcakes and cream cakes are rich in icing’s and topping’s which are almost 100% fat. Consumption of large proportions of these foods are harmful and will directly reflect on your waist line.
6. Ice creams and Colas
Ice creams have lots of artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. They are high in fats and are unhealthy.
Carbonated drinks have become an important part of our fast food diet.Almost every snack ordered today comes with an aerated drink. These drinks are high in sugar and caffeine and will affect your teeth.
Almost all Indian sweets are high in sugar and fats. Sweets like jalebis, gulab jamun, sandesh, kaju barfi etc are very tempting and hard to resist. Remember these sweets are high in calories and thus increases the cholesterol content in your body.
Some of the other food that are high in calories are flavored Yoghurts, Smoothies, Granola bars, Noodles pack, Sugar cereals and canned fruit juices.
Children need healthy food to sustain them throughout the day. It is important for parents to ensure that a healthy lifestyle is maintained in the house.
You can always make tasty and healthy substitutes. Make your children understand the importance and the consequence of eating right.
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For more information on eating healthy feel free to check out this book by Shilpa Shetty Kundra book “The Great Indian Diet”.
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child obesiity, diet for kids, foods to avoid, oil and sugar