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10 So-Called Health Foods For Kids That Aren’t Healthy At All

10 So-Called Health Foods For Kids That Aren’t Healthy At All

Take a walk through any place with children and you’re bound to see it – plates piled high with enough junk food to feed an army. Cookies, Bosco sticks, fruit snacks, pizza, soda pop, nachos and muffins are just a few of the primary offenders in hundreds of cafeterias and homes across America. If you’re a parent who has had enough of seeing your child’s health deteriorate, or you’re someone who simply wants to make better food choices, this is the article for you. Read on to learn more about 10 terrible “health foods” and what you can choose instead.

1. Veggie chips

Moms everywhere must be wary of vegetable chips of any kind. While these so-called “health promoting” items will claim to provide valuable nutrients, the opposite is nearly always the case. They might contain some vegetable “powder”, but they are still chips, and junky ones at that. Go for real veggies with a whole-foods-based dip, instead.

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2. Sports drinks

It seems beverages such as Gatorade, Propel and Capri Sun have incessantly been touted as perfect alternatives to soda pop for kids. A product’s marketing often successfully convinces parents that there are fewer artificial ingredients and less sugar. Unfortunately, this “health foods truth” does not hold up. Even taking Gatorade’s Thirst Quencher for example, drinking an entire bottle of this stuff yields over 50 grams of sugar. That’s essentially the same as an eight ounce can of soda pop. Water and whole foods are really all your body needs to replenish itself.

3. Cereal and breakfast bars

Cereal bars appear as innocuous as can be, but sugar is the culprit yet again. Companies manufacturing massive levels of products with even higher profits already understand how powerful sugar is. All kinds of companies use this to their advantage, adding sugar liberally to baseline “flavor frames” that kids already love. Next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up a box of your family’s favorite breakfast bar and you’ll be shocked at how much sugar is in the ingredients. You’re significantly better off with whole wheat toast, a nut butter or a minimal-sugar jam instead.

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4. Fruit juice

Your child is probably all too familiar with the cry of, “Part of a complete and balanced breakfast!” This proclamation comes from dozen’s of children’s cereal commercials, lauding orange juice as a mainstay of a “real” breakfast. Sadly, fruit juices lack the essential fiber that makes fruit consumption so redemptive. Skip the OJ in favor of whole strawberries, bananas or grapes.

5. Graham crackers

These staples of s’mores might taste a lot better than a piece of cardboard, but their nutritional value does not follow suit. Void of any genuine nutrients and once more having unnecessary sugar, there’s nothing that can save the day for graham crackers. Opt for whole-grain crackers or whole wheat pita bread instead.

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6. Veggie puffs

Almost identical to veggie chips, veggie puffs are even worse because they’ve been further removed from their natural, “health foods” state. If your child really loves the taste and texture of potato products, introduce them to sweet potato fries and see if this catches on. While fries are still a step down from whole food choices, sweet potato fries carry a bigger punch with Vitamin A, Vitamin B6 and magnesium.

7. Reduced fat peanut butter

Peanut butter has been on a roller coaster of media coverage over the last decade. Some media outlets have commended it, others have ruthlessly shot it down. The truth is, peanut butter is one of the best snacks out there, as long as it hasn’t been modified too heavily. Therefore, if you see reduced fat peanut butter, it’s a sure sign it can’t be very beneficial. Fat is one of the healthiest parts of peanut butter, and offers a perfect alternative to munching on microwaved junk food and sugar-laden cookies.

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8. Fruit snacks

Ahh, fruit snacks – perhaps the greatest offender of them all. The name itself hints at the possibility of nutritional validity, but it’s a swing and a miss on this one. Virtually all fruit snacks on the market are nothing more than a bunch of sugar, perhaps some gelatin, artificial coloring and a fruit flavored name. If there is some “fruit juice” in there, it’s either artificial or unable to outweigh the sugar in the rest of the product. Offer your child some freshly cut fruit or frozen bananas. You’ll be amazed at how much they’re likely to enjoy the latter.

9. Muffins

Over the past two decades or so, muffins seem to have fought to the front lines of “healthy” baked goods. If they had nutritional merit there would be a different story, but muffins are as bad as doughnuts and cake. Packed to the brim with artificial oils, bleached white flour and enough sugar to make your dog sick, you definitely want to pass on this cafeteria favorite.

10. Kid-targeted yogurt

All nutritional value is compromised in this long-standing favorite due to the obscene amount of sugar, artificial colors and other additives. The best way to go here is purchasing regular, “adult” yogurt and stirring in a natural fruit preserve or a comparable jam.

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Brad Johnson

Top 5 Kindle Author | Author of 10 Books

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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