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10 Kids’ Foods That Sound Healthy But Aren’t

Don’t be duped by the health halo of these seemingly healthy foods.

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Photo: snyferok

Veggie Puffs

Don’t let the “veggie” part of the name fool you. These dissolve-in-your mouth, crunchy puffs are mostly made up of refined grains — corn flour, soy flour and rice are the first three ingredients. And although they boast an impressive list of vegetables (in powder form), they provide far less vitamins and fiber than a serving of vegetables. As an alternative to traditional cheese puffs, these are a good choice — just know that they don’t count as a vegetable. To satisfy your child’s craving for something crunchy, try kale chips — they deliver taste and nutrition.

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Kid-Targeted Yogurt

Yogurt is a great choice for your kids … unless it’s a kid-specific yogurt. Whereas regular yogurt is mostly just milk and live active cultures — which give your kids calcium and immune-supporting probiotics — many brands take yogurt in a much less healthy direction by adding a ton of sugar (2 teaspoons in the teensy 2.25-ounce serving), artificial flavors and some even artificial food dyes like Red #40 and Blue #1. For the healthiest yogurt, buy low-fat plain yogurt and stir in your kids’ favorite jam or fruit preserves.

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Fruit Snacks

It’s called a fruit snack, says it’s made with real fruit and delivers vitamins, so it must be healthy, right? Wrong. The main ingredients of this confection are sugars — concentrated fruit juice (which is really just sugar), sugar and corn syrup. Add to that a few fillers, as well as artificial flavoring and food coloring, and you’re looking at candy with a healthy-sounding name. Give your kids fruit instead, or make your own fruit leather with whole strawberries and a touch of sugar and honey. 

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Muffins! So wholesome, so delicious, so much better than doughnuts! If only that were true. Store-bought muffins are packed with sugar, oil and bleached white flour, essentially making them cake. If you want to feed your child muffins, make them (store them in the freezer for a ready, healthy snack). Use whole-wheat pastry flour to make them whole grain, and use them as an opportunity to get grated carrots, zucchini, bananas or applesauce into your children. 

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