Don't feed your kids these foods

7 foods your Registered Dietitian won’t feed their children


We asked the Tucson Medical Center Registered Dietitians what foods they avoid feeding their children. While they warned against using the word ‘never’, there are some foods they encourage us all to avoid feeding our children (and ourselves).

  1. Say no to soda or sports drinks

    Soda and sports drinks have zero nutritional value, but are often packed with sugar. There is no benefit, but the cons of possible chronic disease development and poor dental health are very real. Worried that your child is dehydrated following an active day, forget the ‘sports drink’, water and fruit are a better option.

  2. Forget processed meats

    From slices of salami and pepperoni to the sliced turkey and roast beef deli meats, Amanda Gavel warns us to be cautious in regards to giving processed meats to children and not to make it part of their diet. The World Health Organization recently announced that processed meats with the recent WHO announcement regarding processed meats and risk for cancer.

    What is processed meat? Processed meat is meat that has been modified to either extend its shelf life or change the taste. If meat has been smoked, cured, or if salt or preservatives added – it’s processed. Simply putting beef through a mincer does not mean it is “processed” unless it is modified further. Examples include bacon, turkey bacon, sausages, hot dogs, salami, corned beef, beef jerky and ham as well as canned meat and meat-based sauces.

  3. Don’t give raw honey to infants

    This is where the use of the word ‘never’ applies, botulism can exist in raw and processed honey, Amanda warns that honey definitely not being given to an infant less than 1 year of age due to the botulism risk.

  4. Be careful with breakfast cereals – They’re not all created equal

    Before purchasing, check the nutrient panel – less than 3 grams of fiber, more than 10 grams of sugar per serving? Reconsider that purchase. That cereal may be enriched in other ways, but the sugar content is enough to bar it from your kitchen.

  5. Check your fruit snacks for added sugar

    No, we don’t mean actual fruit, actual fruit is a great choice. We’re talking about items like fruit roll ups, fruit leathers and fruit gushers, which are often advertised as being a great healthy snack. Even if they contain real fruit they’re also heavily laden with added sugar and corn syrup. Processed fruit snacks often contain more sugar per ounce than actual fruit. A large green apple contains about 10 grams of sugar, but has 4 grams fiber and is more filling than an apple sauce squeezy with 12 grams of sugar and just 1 gram of fiber.

  6. Boot the boxed meals

    Hot Pockets, chicken nuggets and corn dogs aren’t real food. They’re low in nutrients,  and while a child can easily prepare in the microwave or toaster oven they’re just not a good idea.

    Typically these  processed foods are heavily processed with excess sugar, sodium, and fats added in, and nutrients removed, is not ideal for anyone’s health, including children and adults.

    Whether it’s mac and cheese or some other boxed meal avoid feeding it to your kids. How about trying real mac and cheese without the food coloring and piles of sodium? It takes about the same amount of time without the nasty chemical after taste.

  7. Cheetos, Takis, Hot Fries, Doritos, etc.

    If a child wants an after-school snack, teach him or her how to make ants on a log or a peanut butter sandwich. If the child can’t have peanut butter, then try carrots or celery and hummus. Other options abound. Fruit- or veggie-heavy snacks reinforce the concept of read food and remind kids what real food tastes like. (Hint: it isn’t salt, sugar and fake fat)

Looking for healthy snacks, check these suggestions from the Nutritionista