Kids’ Snacks To Watch Out For

These snacks sound healthy, but are often junk foods in disguise.
fruit snacks

Fruit candy

Fruit candy

Clever marketing and confusing ingredient lists make processed junk look like a healthy choice for your kids. Get the facts about these healthy imposters.

Fruit & Vegetable Pouches

These squeezable sacks of suckable fruit and veggie concoctions promise mess-less nutrition but you might be getting more sugar than produce – many are sweetened with fruit juice concentrates (check labels). Even if your favorite brand's recipe does only contain mashed fruits and vegetables, this process will destroy some of the nutrients and fiber. Plus, sucking food out of a pouch doesn’t exactly foster healthy easting habits as far as I’m concerned.  Handing off the occasional pouch is fine but these sacs should not become a replacement for good old fruits and veggies.

Fruit Snacks & Roll Ups

Not much fruit to be found in these chewy treats – many contain more than 1 ½ tablespoons of sugar per serving. The truest healthy tip: try making your own.

Yogurt

This kiddie favorite can go either way. Many kid-friendly brands do a good job at providing calcium and protein packed dairy in their yogurt, while others focus more heavily on sugar and artificial colors. Check labels carefully and choose brands with the simplest ingredients lists.

Juice Boxes

We launched a full out taste test to make sense of the smartest drinkable options – see the results.

Toaster Pastry

Don’t be fooled by cutesy commercials! These pastries aren’t breakfast, they’re dessert in disguise. Look at the ingredient lists on these babies; they’re as long as you arm! Not exactly the best way to start your day. A better (and just as easy) choice – a PB&J or one of our picks for breakfast bars.

Vegetable Chips

Parents might wish their kids would munch on carrot sticks like potato chips but these faux veggies won’t do the job. One ounce (only a small handful) has almost 150 calories and 7 grams of fat. They’re made from highly-processed ingredients like vegetable flours and purees, plus high doses of oil -- not exactly farm fresh!

Granola Bars

The bars marketed to little ones tend to be the worst culprits! Choose a bar where whole grains and nuts out-rank sugar and other junk.

Tell Us: What snacks do you think are worth watching out for?

Next Up

Why You Should Make a Snack Drawer for Your Kid

Give them some snacking independence.

Class Act: Healthy Snack Ideas to Bring to School

Help your little ones and their classmates snack smarter this year.

Diet Myths, Debunked: Does Eating Late Cause Weight Gain?

How many times have you heard that you shouldn’t eat after 8 pm? Does the time you eat really play a role in weight gain? Yes and no—we’ll explain.

Win a NatureBox!

Snack well in the new year! We’re giving away one NatureBox snack box each to five lucky, randomly-selected commenters.

The Easiest 15-Minute Sweet and Salty Pretzel Snacks

Can't choose between sweet or salty pretzel snacks? Thanks to these ideas from Food Network Magazine, you don't have to!

Food Network Stars Share Their Go-To Midnight Snacks

Hear from your favorite Food Network chefs to see what foods they crave in the middle of the night.

Win These KIND Bars!

We’re giving away one KIND Nuts & Spices Cube with 20 bars to five lucky, randomly-selected commenters

Weekly Bits: Talkin' Tuna

Every week we publish our favorite reader tips, comments, and questions. Check out this week's list -- we might have included yours! On the menu: tuna salad, sweet and savory pumpkin, grilling with pomegranates, plus snacks to keep your appetite satisfied.

Fruit Leather Roll-Ups — Food Network Kitchens

Behind-the-scenes info on the fruit leather roll-ups in the September issue of Food Network Magazine.

Related Pages