The latest stats are showing that 1 in 4 children in Australia aged 2 to 17 years are overweight or obese. We all know the biggest contributor to this is not enough exercise and too much junk food.
However, selecting healthier foods for your kids in the supermarket can often be a bit bamboozling. Confusing packaging and complicated ingredients can make it hard to choose healthy options.
Of course, the best foods are those in or close to their natural state, with zero to minimal packaging: whole fruits, crispy vegetable sticks, nut butters without additives, fresh water. But when convenience dictates a packaged food, the logical next step is to educate yourself and your kids on the food-label basics.
Here are some tips to help you out:
- Don’t believe the front of the box
It’s easy to think that some products are healthy by the way they are marketed on the packets, also claims such as ‘sugar free’ and ‘natural’ can still mean there are hidden ingredients that you wouldn’t want to give your little one.
- Always read the ingredient list
Ingredients are always listed from the biggest to the smallest amount, so watch out for fat or sugar being listed as a first or second ingredient, as it indicates the product should be something given less often rather than be a regular food consumed.
Sometimes sugar is listed as something else so watch out for the below:
- Glucose Syrup
- Corn Syrup
Also, look for foods that contain whole, minimally processed ingredients, anything with more than 11 ingredients is likely to be a no go, and most importantly remember:
‘If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it!’
That means avoid anything with artificial colours, flavours or preservatives!
- Look at the Nutrition Panel
Find out what nutrients the food contains and watch out for high sugar, sodium/salt and saturated fat.
Also, when selecting products, pay attention to the serving size. Packets can often contain multiple servings, so it's easy to overindulge. Portion control is key to ensuring that your child is getting a balanced diet.
Below is a great guide to follow when navigating the back of packs:
- Find a brand you can trust
By choosing products that are low in added sugar, salt and fat and contain whole minimally processed ingredients you can support your little one in establishing eating habits for the future.
That is why it is so important to find brands, like Isaac’s Snacks, who always puts the customer first over anything and you can trust to provide healthy, delicious, no nasties food options.