How Healthy are Your Kids' Healthy Snacks? Slideshow
Something about Cotton Candy yogurt, sucked from a tube, doesn't sound nutritious. Indeed, this “excellent addition to your child's diet,” actually contains two kinds of sweeteners — sugar and high-fructose corn syrup — and more of the sweet stuff per ounce than Coca-Cola (4.89 grams compared to 3.25).
Minute Maid 100 Percent Fruit Juice
A mainstay of school lunches nationwide, juice boxes from Minute Maid are marketed as a “portable refreshment” that's full of vitamin C and calcium. But with a whopping 25 grams of sweeteners in one pouch of their “Coolers” line, and few other nutrients, your kid's basically getting a liquid sugar high.
Del Monte Cherry Mixed Fruit Cups
Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers
They're grinning, but Goldfish crackers don't offer much nutrition news to smile about. Primarily made of refined flour, oil, and sugar, they offer a mere one gram of the fiber your kids need (and probably don't get enough of). And that addictive quality? Courtesy of autolyzed yeast, better known as MSG.
Mott's Single-Serving Apple Sauce
All the fruit flavor, none of the nutrition. The second ingredient in these purées is high-fructose corn syrup, and while a single apple contains a bevy of nutrients — 4 grams of fiber, polyphenols, and vitamin C — their saucy peer contains absolutely none. The reason? An apple's nutrition is all in the skin.
Quaker Flavored Rice Cakes
An adult diet mainstay, rice cakes now come in flavors like Chocolate Crunch. Too bad the cakes contain only rice, sugar, corn, and additives. They're so short on substance — almost no protein, fiber, or fat — that putting them in a lunchbox will have kids running to the vending machine for snack number two.
Frito-Lay Sun Chips
With the slogan “Healthier Planet, Healthier You,” it might surprise that these chips are made by the company behind Lay's and Doritos. Sun Chips contain 140 calories per meager 11-chip serving, and the same additives that make real chips so addictive. Good luck limiting kids to just one portion.
Nabisco Graham Crackers
Maybe it's the s'mores association, but Graham crackers just seem so darn wholesome. But they're almost identical to cookies, sharing primary ingredients like refined flour, sugar, and high-fructose corn syrup. In fact, they've got nearly the same calorie and sugar count as snack-size Chips Ahoy cookies.
Quaker Chewy Granola Bars
Frigo Cheese Heads String Cheese
These “wholesome and easy” peelable snacks might seem like a good way to add calcium and protein into your tot's diet, but they're heavily processed and include several different cheeses mixed with a bevy of additives. And with 200 milligrams of sodium, one stick is 10 percent of a 9-year-old's daily sodium intake.