Nothing beats the nutritious value of fresh home cooked food. But we cannot always keep our children away from packaged foods like ice creams, packaged milk, frozen yogurts and various other packaged foods which have become an integral part of our lifestyle. In this post, we have come up with a few good tips that are very effective in picking a safe packages food for your kid.
Why Packaged Foods Are Not Good?
Let us first know what is wrong with packaged foods. What is the reason that we don’t want our children to have them. Here are a few:
- Companies allure kids with their attractive packaging and sell food with no nutritious value. So on nutrition scale, they are a big disappointment.
- To increase their shelf-life, lots of preservatives are added to them which kill whatever small nutrition they have.
- Some of these foods are processed to keep them safe and to keep them for long which often makes them unhealthy.
- Most of the packaged foods are loaded with taste enhancers, artificial colours and various other additives which make them a bad choice of food for children.
But not all the packaged foods are the same. It is just that we need to learn to differentiate the good ones and the bad ones.
Tips While Choosing Packaged Food For Children
Here are a few tips that are helpful in picking healthy and nutritious packaged food for kids.
Select Foods Without These Preservatives
We have come up with a list of preservatives which have been found out to cause serious damages if consumed. So while buying any packaged food, make sure the food is free from these preservatives as they can cause various diseases in human body:
- Sodium Bezoate
- ButylatedHydroxyanisole (BHA)
- ButylatedHydroxytoluene (BHT)
- Potassium Bromate etc.
Say No To Trans Fat
In order to increase the shelf life, liquid vegetable oil is converted into solid fat and this is known as Trans Fat. We often come across products with trans fat, make sure that you avoid these foods as they are again not healthy.
Avoid Foods with Artificial Sweeteners
There are various products in the market that come with artificial sweeteners because they are considered to have no calories. But the fact is that consumption of these artificial sweeteners results in loss of memory, constant headache in children. Most common alternative to sugar that is often used in ketchups, jams, sauces etc. is High Fructose Corn Syrup. This is used as it is cheap but it is found out to be the cause of obesity in kids.
Never Go with Artificial Flavors
Packaged foods are loaded with artificial flavors to make them delicious. This is the reason we cannot resist ourselves from eating all kind of chips. These artificial flavors cast a spell on kids as they are so much in love with the flavors they want them all the time. We all know of the very popular taste enhancer by the name of MSG. This is allowed to be used in very small quantities. So make sure that you buy foods with least possible artificial flavors.
Don’t Go For Foods with Artificial Colors
Foods with artificial colors look very tempting but they are surely not good for their health. Confectionery items, candies etc. are made to look so attractive that kids just cannot resist themselves but because of artificial colors, they are very harmful if consumed in high doses. Go with foods with natural colors to keep your children safe.
Because packaged foods have become so popular with everyone, it is extremely important for us to know them better to avoid any health issues. Do not pick anything before going through the label which has list of ingredients. This would help you know how safe is the packaged product for your child.
Find ideas about 6 -12 month homemade Indian baby food recipes. A complete guide to start solids or first healthy food to baby.