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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 September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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