We all want to give our kids snacks they love, but some popular choices aren’t as healthy as they seem. Many snacks marketed to children can actually do more harm than good, loaded with hidden sugars and unhealthy fats. Here’s a look at some of the most coveted kid snacks that might be doing more harm than good.

Two young children seated on a colorful bench, each holding lunch boxes containing sandwiches, fruits, and vegetables.
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Fruit Snacks

A row of boxes of cereal on a shelf in a store.
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Often marketed as healthy, fruit snacks are loaded with added sugars and artificial flavors, contributing to tooth decay and unhealthy sugar spikes.

Potato Chips

Potato chips, foods that make you age faster, scattered on a dark surface with some inside a basket.
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High in unhealthy fats and sodium, potato chips can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, and lack of essential nutrients needed for a growing child’s development.

Sugary Cereals

A bowl of cereal with a spoon in it.
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Many popular cereals are packed with sugar and artificial colors, offering little nutritional value and setting kids up for energy crashes later in the day.

Candy Bars

Assorted chocolate candy bars and m&m's packages.
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Full of sugar, unhealthy fats, and artificial additives, candy bars can cause cavities and lead to obesity and poor nutrition if consumed regularly.

Soda and Sugary Drinks

Pouring orange drink into a glass with ice cubes alongside other colorful cold beverages on a wooden table, reminiscent of the last meals of death-row convicts.
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These beverages contain excessive amounts of sugar and no nutritional benefits, increasing the risk of obesity, diabetes, and dental problems in children.

Packaged Baked Goods

Two slices of bread on a wooden cutting board.
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Items like pastries, cookies, and cakes are high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and preservatives, contributing to unhealthy weight gain and poor eating habits.

Instant Noodles

A bowl of noodles with chopsticks on a bamboo mat.
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High in sodium and lacking in essential nutrients, instant noodles can contribute to poor dietary habits and increase the risk of developing high blood pressure and other health issues.

Flavored Yogurts

A bowl of yogurt and a plastic container on a table.
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Often containing as much sugar as candy, flavored yogurts can lead to increased calorie intake and sugar dependency, overshadowing any nutritional benefits of plain yogurt.

Frozen Pizza Snacks

Person holding a box of Ore Ida Bagel Bites Pizza Snacks, Cheese & Pepperoni flavor, family size, 24 count, in front of a store freezer.
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These snacks are typically high in sodium, unhealthy fats, and artificial ingredients, offering little nutritional value and contributing to unhealthy eating patterns.

Pre-packaged Lunch Kits

A group of boxes on a shelf.
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While convenient, these kits are often loaded with processed meats, cheeses, and sugary treats, providing minimal nutrients and promoting unhealthy eating habits.

Granola Bars

Three chocolate bars stacked on top of each other.
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While often perceived as healthy, many granola bars are packed with added sugars, unhealthy fats, and artificial ingredients, making them more like candy bars in disguise.

Fruit-Flavored Gummy Vitamins

A pile of gummy bears on a white surface.
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Though marketed as healthy supplements, these gummy vitamins often contain added sugars and artificial additives, which can contribute to unhealthy eating habits if consumed in excess.

Cheese-Flavored Crackers

Assortment of crackers.
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These crackers are often high in sodium, unhealthy fats, and artificial additives, offering minimal nutritional benefits and contributing to poor dietary habits and potential weight gain.

How 15 Once-Hated Foods Became Our Favorites

A child appears displeased while looking at a plate full of leafy greens.
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Ever look back at your childhood meals and wonder how you went from wrinkling your nose to eagerly filling your plate with those same foods? It’s a peculiar journey from food aversion to affection, and we’ve all been there. We’re exploring the 15 foods that made the leap from our “no way” list to our “can’t get enough” list. Ready to see which ones made the cut?

Read it Here: How 15 Once-Hated Foods Became Our Favorites

7 Surprising Downsides of Ordering From the Kids Menu

A woman and a young girl dining together in a restaurant, smiling and talking over plates of food with beverages.
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Most of us assume that the kids’ menu is the best choice for children when eating out—it’s cheaper, the portions are smaller, and the meals are tailored to young tastes, right? However, there might be more to consider before letting your child order from it. From limited food options to surprisingly unhealthy dishes masked as child-friendly, the downsides are real and worth a second look.

Read it Here: 7 Surprising Downsides of Ordering From the Kids Menu

*Select images provided by Depositphotos.

Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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