Synthetic preservatives can not only lead to health problems and unhealthy weight gain, but also hyperactive kiddos. Sadly, it’s a hassle to find snacks that don’t contain synthetic sugars and preservatives such as parabens, aspartame, dyes, artificial colors, high fructose corn syrup, or tons of white sugar.
Note: Natural sugars found in fruit aren’t bad. Humans need glucose in order to live, it naturally occurs in both fruit and the human body. However artificial sugars such as aspartame and high fructose corn syrup do not. They’re a mixture of dangerous chemicals that aren’t healthy for growing kiddos and both have been linked to long term health problems.
All moms know the struggle of finding snack cups, yogurt, crackers, and snack mixes that don’t have nasty additives. If you live in the states, you’re almost doomed, but note the word almost. There is still hope. First and foremost, learn to read labels.
When buying pre-packaged or prepared snacks learn to watch for keywords such as “no high fructose corn syrup” or “no HFCS”, “no artificial colours”, “no artificial flavours”, “no dyes or additives”. Look for the boxes that specifically state no preservatives or parabens as these snacks are made from more natural ingredients. Avoid food items with anything relating to the word diet as those products typically contain fake sugar such as aspartame.
A few other big bad ingredients to watch out for are: sulfites, BHA/BHT/TBHQ, sodium nitrate, benzoates, and parabens that have been linked to serious health concerns such as cancer, asthma, reproductive issues, headaches, to name a few.
Try to opt for a bounty of plant based snacks such as fruits and veggies, and if you don’t have time to chop them yourself, there’s handy snack packs of both in most stores. Just watch out for the dips and sauces as some may contain HFCS, especially in caramel sauce for apples.
Whole grain crackers and cheese made from whole milk free from hormones is the perfect snack for growing kids. When in doubt, always look for snacks made with organic milk or writing on the package that says “no artificial hormones”. The artificial hormones used in milk has been linked to early development in kids.
Dried fruits such as bananas, cran raisins, raisins, and nuts make a great snack for older kids and usually you’re able to find bags of dried fruit and nuts that contain a minimal amount of preservatives and fake sugar.
Remember, you don’t necessarily have to buy 100% organic. Many natural and organic products are basically the same thing. A few natural or organic brands to look for at your local grocer would be: Annie’s, Stonyfield, Happy Tot, Happy Baby, Nature’s Path, Yum Earth, Florida’s Natural, to name a few.