No diet is ideal today given the amount of pollutants which gets into our crops now. However, in the greater scheme of things, since we cannot stop eating food, we might atleast take care of what we eat and what we feed our children with. It has become some sort of a compulsion to have processed food in our kitchen aisles. Sometimes they are tempting so we pick them up and at other times they are just too easy for end consumption that our lazy bones gets lured by them. Having said both, most of these foods have zero nutrition value and only harm our body. Therefore here we create a list of 7 such harmful foods which are a strict no-no for your child:
1. Microwaved popcorn
While popcorn in itself cannot be added into the list of harmful foods but its the packaged version which creates the problem. The ready to eat in 2 minutes popcorn packet has perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA line in its bags so that they don’t catch fire when cooked in microwave. This chemical is believed to be carcinogenic, causes postponed puberty, thyroid disease and high cholesterol!
So instead of resorting to the quick 2 minute version, I suggest get some unpopped corn from a farmer’s market and pop your own popcorn in a cooker. If your child is just looking for the crunch, you can also go for home-made khakras, chakli or bhakarwadi to add to your child’s diet.
2. Processed Meat
Processed meat is readily available and easy to cook. The sheer convenience of this inclines us to buy it more often. However processed meat has fat, nitrates, sodium and preservatives — all these things are harmful foods and a strict no no for anybody’s diet; especially that of your child. If you really want to give your child the goodness of proteins, its better to get your meat from your local abattoir.
3. Canned Vegetables
By now you might be feeling that anything that is convenient is unhealthy, unfortunately that’s the case. Canned vegetables make it to the list of harmful foods because of the preservatives which are used to increase the freshness and longevity of these vegetables. BPA, or bisphenol-A is found in almost all canned foods. It is believed to be causing childhood obesity, asthma, reproductive changes, thyroid dysfunction, diabetes, and even liver problems!
4. Sugary Cereals
Kids love chocos and other cereals. All form of ads purposely target them. Cereals are made colourful and sweet in order to get children hooked on to them. The extra sugar in these foods makes our kids restless causing lack of concentration and impaired development. Cheerios is the only brand which was tested and found to have low sugar and high fibre levels. Instead of having cereals, you can try making crunchy sweets with the help of wheat flour, coconut powder and jaggery.
5. Ice creams and Yogurts
“If ice creams are harmful foods then I am ok to have an ice cream today and see a doctor tomorrow.”
Yes most of us think the same too. Milk based foods are rich in protein but when we procure the market version, they have zero nutrition and NIL health benefits. It would be much healthier to make yogurt and ice cream at home. The taste might not match the expectation but the nutrition content will. So yeah welcome back to yet another eat at home food.
6. Fizzy drinks – Winner of all charts of Harmful Foods
By now you have probably got the drift of what we have been saying – extra, unnecessary refined sugar and preservatives are bad for the child’s growth and are linked to diseases. Keeping that in mind, fizzy drinks should be off the charts too. Encourage your children to have water or fresh juice instead of carbonated beverages. You can also go for sweet/salty lemonade or chocolate milk. Inculcating the right habits early will help the child stay healthy for a long time.
7. Junk food
Junk Food includes anything that is deep fried/made of refined flour or loaded with unhealthy fats. While oil is known to cause cholesterol; refined flour sticks to the lining of the stomach, impeding digestion of other foods for days.
Therefore it is best advised to opt for a wheat/multi grain bases while having pizzas/subs/sandwiches and choose durum wheat pasta when having pasta. Since most of these cannot be assured when eating out; try making these at home when you are in a mood to destress. Make the sauces from scratch too because packaged sauces are also loaded with preservatives!
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