The Best Food Swaps for Kids

Nutrition & Fitness, Articles, Food
The Best Food Swaps for Kids
June 05, 2017

Kids love junk food and sweets-- who doesn't? But too much can start your kid on a journey of life threatening diseases and unhealthy habits. Nip it the bud and swap out the unhealthy with fresh or homemade snacks that your kids will still enjoy.

1. Fast Food French Fries

Some people choose to believe that an order of French Fries counts as their daily serving of vegetables, but French Fries from your favorite fast food chain is definitely not healthy. First, the oil used in frying the fries is usually reused so many times that it is already quite carcinogenic. Add to that the fact that the frozen french fries already probably contains hydrogenated oils to preserve the potatoes. Instead of ordering fast food french fries, why not try oven baking fresh potatoes at home instead? Cut a potato in to fat fries, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with some sea salt and then bake to a crisp.

2. Candy

Did you know that almost 90% of candy products out there are made of about 90% sugar while the rest of the ingredients are usually artificial coloring and flavoring? There is definitely nothing healthy about candy. Even if you add herbs and such to it, the benefits are still overshadowed by the amount of sugar you would have to ingest. Plus, research shows that refined sugars found in candies have addictive properties. It is time to kick the habit by slowly replacing your kid's candy cravings with fresh fruits. Every time your kid feels like having candy, grab a banana or even a really ripe mango instead. Your body will thank you for the live enzymes, vitamins and minerals in the fruit instead of the empty calories in a piece of candy. It also prevents the aftermath of a sugar high and its subsequent sugar crash.

3. Frozen Yogurt

There was a time when Frozen Yogurt was all the rage, when people believed that, by eating frozen yogurt, they were doing their body a favor. Here’s the harsh reality: frozen yogurt is not really healthy. Although yogurt itself in its simplest form is a great source of good bacteria for your gut, frozen yogurt often has a lot of flavoring and sugar to help improve the natural sour taste. If you really want the health benefit, then you should stick to natural, unsweetened yogurt. You may add some really sweet fruit, such as ripe mangoes, to the unsweetened yogurt for a fruity-sweet kick.

4. Hotdogs

Nitrates, food coloring, artificial flavors and additives—all of these are found in a hotdog. In a culture that is used to feeding children hotdogs, it is a great task to change the habits that most Filipinos have developed. Instead of choosing processed meat like hotdogs, why not eat real, homecooked meals where you can identify the meat you are eating? Even Filipino favorites that usually contain preservatives like tocino and sweet ham can be made at home and with healthier and fresh ingredients.

In the end, it is all about starting them young. If you develop a habit of straying away from processed, junk food, then your child will not develop the taste and desire for it. As parents, you have the power to shape the future health of your child by influencing their food choices now.


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Erwan Heussaff

I'm an Ex-Fat Kid who loves to cook and create content. I believe food is an essential part in a healthy life and I try to show that through video recipes of some healthy, and some not-so-healthy dishes. It's all about balance. I touch on travel, fitness, nutrition and life in general. Come and join The Fat Kid Inside community. It's good fun.

– Founder and Former Fat Kid

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