Worst meals to feed your kids
1. Fried chicken
Fried chicken is a popular dish for take out dinners. Restaurants advertise that the chicken is cooked at a high heat, preventing the oil from being fully absorbed. It's worth noting that anything fried at a high heat unless fried with a "safe oil" is damaging to health as it damages our DNA.
Whilst this cooking method may prevent the oil from being fully absorbed into the chicken, it won't prevent the breaded coating soaking up all the fat instead. Children love the crunch of the coating on chicken, but nutritionists recommend baking it to keep the crunch without all the fat. Also, try to avoid the gravy that is commonly served beside take away fried chicken.
2. Hot dogs
Hot dogs are a childhood favorite. However, food experts point out that hot dogs often contain high levels of nitrates, which help preserve the meat.
All cured meats contain this compound, including bacon and lunch meats. Nitrate free varieties use vegetable processed nitrate alternatives, which are still unhealthy. Instead, opt for sausages that aren’t pre-cooked and inspect the package to ensure they’re nitrate free, or buy them from a butcher for a healthier cut of meat!
3. Chicken nuggets
Most kids love chicken nuggets, the fun shape is easy to eat with their fingers. However, chicken nuggets are made from the off cuts of chicken; such as the bones, organs, and fat, blended into a pink slurry and then formed into nugget shapes.
Instead, serve your children real chicken pieces made from chicken breast with no additives. Pick the dipping sauces carefully by using real barbecue sauce or fresh salsa.
4. Takeaway pizza
A weekend staple, takeaway pizza can throw off an entire week of healthy eating. Each piece is packed with calories and fat.
Instead, make your own healthy, homemade pizza using individual whole wheat pita breads or english muffins as the base. Let your kids top their own pizzas with cheese, pasata and extra vegetables such as fresh peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes.
Picking up fast food after a long day at work can be convenient, but rather unhealthy. Your children may beg for this treat, but you won’t be doing their bodies any good caving to this request.
Most fast food restaurants serve up empty calories and high amounts of fat and salt with happy meals. They may advertise apple slices instead of french fries, but the caramel dip that comes with it is still loaded with sugar. If you’re in a rush after work, try making a slow cooker meal. Set it in the morning to have dinner already prepared when you get home!
5. Turkey twizzlers
The humble turkey twizzler had no fewer than 40 ingredients. With just 34 per cent turkey and a mixture of water, pork fat, rusk, wheat starch, three sweeteners, including the controversial additive aspartame, hardened or hydrogenated vegetable oil and colourings and flavourings. They were dubbed not fit for human consumption, but they are still remembered and discussed.
Here is a healthier alternative you can make with the children:
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp harissa paste
- 2 crispbakes
- 2 cloves garlic
- 500g turkey mince
- 1 onions
- 1 handful Parmesan
- 2 handfuls mixed frozen vegetables
- 1 apple peeled and quartered.
- Mix the onion, garlic, apple and mixed vegetables in a food processor.
- beat eggs and mix with harissa until it forms a paste.
- Add turkey mince, parmesan and crispbakes, crumble into fine breadcrumbs.
- Mix well.
- Shape into sausages or burgers
- Bake at 190C for about 25 minutes.
Lets get kids healthy! :-)
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About Ruth Tansey
I'm a nutritional therapist with a passion for all things healthy. I have a backkground of ill health which motivated me to make changes. I take a strong view on organic, natural whole foods and motivate my clients to do the same. I love to inspire and motivate people. I do this with one on one consultations or in group talks and workshops.