10 Processed Foods to Never Feed Your Kids

It may be easy to reach for one of these foods when your child is hungry, but have you ever really thought about what’s inside those processed foods targeted at kids? Flip those colorful cartooned packages over and you’ll find almost as many artificial colors lurking in the ingredients. That list of ingredients is a long and confusing jumble of chemicals and carcinogens, like what you’ll find in these 10 cancer causing foods. Let’s take a closer look at what effects these processed foods are having on your child’s health, along with alternative choices you can make to safeguard their future.

Disclosure: Bookieboo LLC has an affiliate relationship with Thrive Market and works with a large number of brands in the organic and natural foods sector, including Stonyfield, Organic Valley, Nature’s Path, and Applegate.

1. Pepperidge Farm’s Goldfish

These fishies are a pantry staple in many homes with kids. I admit, I grew up on them myself. They appear healthy, with a label that totes whole grain, real cheddar, and no artificial preservatives. However, a look at the ingredient list shows just why these unnaturally orange snack crackers should stay off of your child’s plate.

Flush those goldfish! See why these are among the 10 Processed Foods to NEVER Feed Your Kids

Enriched wheat flour might sound good, but it means so many natural nutrients were stripped away in the processed flour, that things have to be added back in. The iron added is a metallic form that our bodies just can’t absorb fully. As for the folic acid, research now shows that the fortification of foods with folic acid is linked to cancer.

Moving on to the cheddar cheese – it’s not organic. That means the cows were fed a diet of genetically modified grains and then produced milk for the cheese. We’ve already discussed the dangers of GMOs and the importance of organic dairy. Conventional dairy may also contain rbST, another Monsanto product. The cows are injected with this genetically engineered hormone to stimulate milk production. It’s already banned in Canada, Europe, New Zealand, and Australia. The use of rbST, in turn, causes other health problems, such as mastitis, that need further treatment with antibiotics. This increases antibiotic resistance, a dangerous problem which is then passed on to humans. These are all reasons enough to flush these fish, and this is only the third ingredient. That cheese also contains annatto as a coloring agent. Although it’s from a natural source, the seeds of the achiote bush, annatto has been linked to irritable bowel syndrome.

Finally, the vegetable oils. Unlike olive or coconut oils that are extracted from pressing, vegetable oils are made in a very unnatural way. The oils are heated to unsafe temperatures, oxidized and then treated with petroleum solvents. Then the oil is treated with chemicals to make its color and odor more pleasant. On top of that, they are also made from GMO crops like corn and soy.

Annie's Organic Cheddar Bunnies are a better alternativeBetter Alternative – Annie’s Organic Cheddar Bunnies

These certified organic and Non-GMO project verified snacks are an easy swap out to the familiar fish. Annie’s Organic Cheddar Bunnies do contain organic annatto extract. Annatto is actually found in most crackers, but you won’t find any of the other ingredients of concern mentioned above.

Mary's Gone Crackers are the best alternative

Best Alternative – Mary’s Gone Crackers

One of my favorite crackers, these are free of all the ingredients of concern listed above. They too are certified organic and Non-GMO project verified. Mary’s Gone Crackers are made from organic brown rice, quinoa, and seeds, so they are also gluten free.

2. Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts

“Baked with real fruit” catches your eye on the front of the package, but turn it over and you’ll see a different story. The filling is about 10% fruit. So what’s in the other 90%? More enriched flour, soybean and palm oil, GMO after GMO, artificial colors, and so much sugar!

What exactly is in a Pop-Tart? See why these are among the 10 Processed Foods to NEVER Feed Your Kids

These processed pastries have dextrose, sugar, and both corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. All made with GMOs, like the Goldfish above. If you see “sugar” on the label, it comes from genetically modified sugar beets, not cane sugar like you may think. Refined sugars spike insulin levels and feed cancer cells.

Even that “real fruit” is still a cause for concern. The dried apples, strawberries, and pear are sprayed with pesticides. In fact, apples are the most contaminated item on the EWG’s dirty dozen list.

A common ingredient in processed foods marketed towards kids and teens is artificial dyes and colors. These vibrant and fun looking colors are actually toxic chemicals that cause allergies and hyperactivity in children. This particular flavor of pop-tart contains Red 40, Yellow 6, and Blue 1. Yellow 6 might sound familiar, as it’s the dye that many petitioned to remove from Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese. The toxins in these dyes, all common in processed foods, are known to cause cancer, hyperactivity in children, asthma, skin rashes, migraines and even affect your child’s learning ability. Most are already banned in other countries too. Caramel color, which has shown to cause lung cancer in mice with long term exposure, also made it into this breakfast food.

Although this label doesn’t list monosodium glutamate, also know as MSG, it does list gelatin. This is used in the icing of the product and commonly contains MSG. MSG is linked to obesity, intestinal issues, migraines, skin rashes and brain damage.

Nature's Path Toaster Pastries are a better alternativeBetter Alternative – Nature’s Path Frosted Maple Brown Sugar Toaster Pastries

These breakfast pastries won’t contain any GMOs or persistent pesticides. Nature’s Path Frosted Maple Toaster Pastries are certified organic and Non-GMO project verified as well. They are also trans fat free. Although you will find caramel color, it’s organic class I. It’s the only caramel color that can be certified organic, and is minimally processed with limited additional ingredients.

 Homemade organic pastries are the best alternativeBest Alternative – Homemade

This may not be as quick of an option, but it’s the best option if you want to avoid artificial colors. These Whole-Wheat Toaster Pastries pictured are from 100 Days of Real Food. Be sure to use only organic ingredients. You can make them ahead in a large batch and freeze for convenience. If that’s still more work than you want, opt for some organic toast and jam.

3. Nestle Nesquik Chocolate Milk

Seemingly a healthier choice than soda and energy drinks, this is a deceptive beverage. It’s even a staple in school lunches. Aside from the aforementioned dangers of conventional dairy, this Nesquik is loaded with sugar. One bottle (listed as two servings) has a whopping 48 grams! Even if a child were to only consume half the bottle, that’s still double the recommended daily amount of 12 grams (3 teaspoons) of sugar. Research shows excess sugar consumption leads to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, obesity, liver problems, and reduced brain power.

Sugar Overload! See why this is among the 10 Processed Foods to NEVER Feed Your Kids

Natural and artificial flavors are towards the end of the ingredient list in this Nestle Nesquik Chocolate Milk. Don’t be fooled by the term “natural”, because it has little bearing on whether something is healthy. As for artificial flavors, they can contain hundreds of chemicals with side effects ranging from allergies to behavioral issues in children.

Carrageenan is a thickening agent used in many types and brands of milk, and is especially common in processed foods. It has recently become controversial because studies on animals have shown gastrointestinal inflammation, intestinal lesions, ulcers, and malignant tumors. If you see carrageenan on the label, it’s also a possibility that it contains MSG.

Organic Valley Chocolate Milk is a better alternativeBetter Alternative – Organic Valley Chocolate Milk

Not only is this milk certified organic, it’s also fair trade. In the refrigerated version you’ll find no carrageenan or artificial colors and flavors. It is still a chocolate milk, so there is a high amount of sugar in this beverage. It’s easier to limit serving size with Organic Valley Chocolate Milk because it isn’t in a single serving size container. You can also cut it with plain milk.

Homemade Organic Strawberry milk is the best alternativeBest Alternative – Homemade Organic Strawberry Milk

Of course, plain organic milk is the best alternative, but if your child still wants a sweeter, more flavorful option, try this. Simply blend up a few organic strawberries into the milk for a sweet and subtle flavor addition.

4. Soda

Just like the Nesquik chocolate milk above, soda is loaded with sugar, like most processed foods. However, most kids will probably only have one Nesquik – they’ll probably have multiple sodas. Luckily, many schools and fast food chains have eliminated soda from the children’s menu. It’s one of the cancer causing foods that should be eliminated from your diet.

Are you giving you kids a bottle of cancer? See why this is among the 10 Processed Foods to NEVER Feed Your Kids

The coloring of soda is toxic as well. Caramel color, like in the strawberry pop-tart, is a carcinogen. Choosing an orange soda instead of a brown cola isn’t any better. You’ll see this Fanta has both Yellow 6 and Red 40 on it’s ingredient list. The vague “natural flavors” aren’t reassuring either. It’s more of the same offenders as the processed foods we’ve already revealed.

Raw and Organic Live Kombucha Soda is a better alternativeBetter Alternative – Live Kombucha Soda

These sodas come in a variety of familiar flavors, but they are made with raw, organic kombucha. Not only do you avoid the nasty colors, flavors, and carcinogens in soda, this option aids in digestion. Kombucha is made from fermented tea, so it’s not recommended for children under 4, although Live Kombucha Soda say that their fermentation process does not allow the kombucha to become alcoholic.

Good old water is the best alternativeBest Alternative – Skip the Soda

It may seem obvious, but stick with water or milk for the healthiest options. You can add fruit to water to infuse it with flavor if your child wants something different.

5. Fast Food Kids Meals

McDonalds Happy Meal

The majority of kid’s meals are made up of a hamburger and fries, which we have already identified as cancer causing foods. Burger King still offers soda with their kids meal, even though other chains have eliminated it. Have you seen the ingredient list in these meals? A cheeseburger contains 70 ingredients! That Happy Meal being marketed to your child is not something you should be happy about. To go line by line with every ingredient in a Happy Meal would take a long time, but you can review all of their ingredients on their website. What I found in my research was non-organic meat, dairy, fruits, and vegetables. All of these items contain harmful GMOs and pesticides. In a typical Happy Meal you will find 540 calories, 18 grams of fat, 0.5 gram of trans fat, 790 mg of sodium, and 32 grams of sugar.

What about skipping the burger and fries and choosing chicken? Well, Chick-fil-A’s chicken contains MSG in their seasoning and breading. It’s also filled with GMOs, pesticides, and enriched flour, like nearly all of the foods on our list so far. McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets also contain the same things, although they don’t just come right out and say MSG. The natural flavors and seasoning are common ingredients where hidden MSG lies.

Chipotle is the better alternativeBetter Alternative – Chipotle

This fast food chain’s motto is “food with integrity” and they are working to stand by this. Although their full menu is not organic or GMO free yet, they do have a detailed ingredient list which labels what items on their menu are organic or contain GMOs.

Skipping the fast food is the best alterantiveBest Alternative – Skip the Fast Food

It may seem obvious, but because over 80% of the commercial feed for animals is GMO, it’s difficult to eat out and avoid GMOs. Fast food is usually higher in fat, calories, and sodium than food prepared in our homes. You have complete control over what foods go into your home cooking, unlike what is prepared at a fast food chain.

6. Yoplait Go-Gurt

These yogurt tubes may seem like a healthier snack option when it comes to processed foods. A look at the ingredients shows the typical culprit of conventional dairy. Animal products are the number one products you should be buying organic. Along with the genetically modified dairy, you’ll find modified corn starch, which is also GMO. Go-Gurt also contains 2/3 of the daily recommended amount of sugar for children in just one tube. The thickener carrageenan, shown to cause intestinal problems in animals, is also used.

Not all yogurt is healthy. See why Go-Gurt is among the 10 Processed Foods to NEVER Feed Your Kids

An ingredient common in processed foods which we haven’t yet discussed is potassium sorbate. This preservative can cause allergic reactions, nausea, diarrhea, and even DNA damage. The convenience of a squeezable yogurt isn’t really worth all of those risks.

Stontfield YoKids Pouches are a better alternativeBetter Alternative – Stonyfield YoKids Pouches

These yogurt squeeze pouches are an organic alternative to the above version. Since the dairy cows are fed an all organic diet, you don’t have to worry about contamination from harmful pesticides and GMOs. Another thing you won’t worry about with Stonyfield YoKids Pouches is artificial flavors or the preservative potassium sorbate. Flavored yogurts do have higher levels of sugar than their plain counterparts though, so keep that in mind.

Plain Greek yogurt with organic fruit is the best alternativeBest Alternative – Stonyfield Greek Plain Yogurt

This is yogurt at it’s purest and finest. It’s certified organic, high in protein, and low in sugar in relation to other yogurts. It might not be as exciting as squeezable flavored yogurt, but you can add excitement. Try blending it with fresh organic fruit to add sweetness and flavor. You can even freeze the blended mixture to create a healthy Greek yogurt popsicle.

7. Kid Cuisine

You’ve seen these frozen TV dinners at the grocery store. They’re adorned with cartoon characters and bright colors to catch your kids’ eye. After looking at the long list of ingredients on the package, I found a number of concerning components to this meal. Almost too many to name. Everything you see on the front of the package is GMO – all of it! It’s one of the worst processed foods marketed directly to kids.

Which has more artificial colors, the box or the food? See why this is among the 10 Processed Foods to NEVER Feed Your Kids

You’ll find trans fats in the mono- and diglycerides and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. The package isn’t the only place you’ll find colors either. This Kid Cuisine has Red 40, Yellow 6, Blue 1,and Blue 2 Lake, and annatto. There is also MSG hidden in the whey protein concentrate, spice blend, natural flavors, soy protein concentrate, and carrageenan.

It might save some time to make this microwave meal, but processed foods like this will cause more headaches than cooking – literally. In addition to headaches, it can also cause nausea, allergies, hyperactivity, chest pains, heart palpitations, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and more.

Making these foods at home is the best alterantiveBest Alternative – Homemade

TV dinners just aren’t an easy thing to find when it comes to healthier eating. You can find organic components though. Applegate offers organic chicken strips – pair those with a side of organic veggies and a fruit for dessert, you’ve got a meal to please.

8. Kellogg’s Froot Loops (and other cereals)

You'd be loopy to feed this to your kids after reading these 10 Processed Foods to NEVER Feed Your Kids

You may have heard that Kellogg’s Froot Loops contain weedkiller. That’s because of the GMO sugar, corn and soy that are prevalent in this breakfast cereal and other processed foods. The partially hydrogenated vegetable oil is GMO and contains trans fats, which are considered to be the worst kind of fat and are linked to serious health risks.

The unique spelling of “froot” is probably because you won’t find any real fruit in this cereal. What you will find is a vibrant array of colors. Froot Loops also has 6 artificial and natural colors on the ingredients list. So by starting your child’s day with a bowl full of colored cereal, you’re setting them up for hyperactivity and increased ADD or ADHD symptoms for the day.

EnviroKIdz Organic Cereal is a great alternativeBest Alternative – EnviroKidz Cereal

These all-organic cereals come in a variety of flavors to keep your child and his or her taste buds happy. The ingredients list for their Gorilla Munch cereal is comprised of just 3 ingredients. You won’t find GMOs or artificial colors in this option.

9. Hostess Twinkies


Hopefully this is not a surprise to you on a list like this. The Twinkie has never really gotten a reputation as a health food. The ingredients include partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, shortening, and beef fat – all trans fats. It also has the usual offenders of enriched bleached white flour, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, MSG, and artificial colors. That means over fortified flourdangerous GMOS, and toxic food additives and colors.

Organic cake mix is the better alternativeBetter Alternative – Arrowhead Mills Organic Vanilla Cake

If you have a child with a sweet tooth and need a twinkie alternative, try this cake mix from Arrowhead Mills. I recommend swapping the eggs and oil for organic applesauce to get a moist cake with fewer calories and fat. Bake into cupcakes and top with fresh organic whipped cream  for more of a twinkie flavor.

Pass on the dessert and pick up some fruit as the best alterantiveBest Alternative – Skip the Cakes

Dessert doesn’t have to be part of every meal, but if your child wants something sweet, opt for organic fruit instead. It’s the ultimate convenience food, perfectly prepared by nature. The best part is, it only has one ingredient.

10. Kraft Oscar Meyer Lunchables

Can Lunchables cause cancer? See why these are among the 10 Processed Foods to NEVER Feed Your Kids

There is a wide array of Lunchables products at the grocery store. These processed foods are made to save time when packing a lunch for your child. A closer look at the ingredients and you’ll see a long list of reasons to steer clear of this processed lunch pack. It’s counter productive to your kids’ school day to send them off with this in their bag. The artificial coloring and flavors elicit behavioral reactions and a difficulty in staying focused.

It’s so processed that even the cheese isn’t really cheese, but rather a “cheese product“. You’ll find GMOs, trans fat, and even nitrites. These are potentially cancerous and can elicit an allergic reaction.

Homemade organic meat and cheese is the best alternativeBest Alternative-Homemade

There isn’t an all organic alternative to Lunchables yet. I’ve easily cut squares of organic lunch meat and cheese and packed them up in a food container with a some organic crackers. It might take 5 minutes more, but it will save you the trouble of those nasty side-effects from the Lunchables ingredients.

Next time you’re off to the grocery store, be sure to cross these processed foods off the list for good. Opt for homemade foods, organic options, and foods without the colors, additives, and chemicals mentioned above. You can find more tips on how to feed your children a healthy lunch here.



Join thousands of other moms in discovering what is truly healthy.

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Elizabeth Bruno
Elizabeth Bruno is a working mom, Mamavation Bootcamp 18 graduate, and blogger at Pirate Prerogative. On her blog she writes about life, parenting observations, and her journey to a live a healthy life. She is a newly professed runner and has dropped nearly 70 pounds by changing her diet and incorporating regular exercise. Although she doesn’t like labels, she is often considered “crunchy” with her electric car, vegetarian diet, penchant for impromptu dancing, and commitment to being green.
Elizabeth Bruno
2017-02-24T08:42:21-05:00 February 9th, 2015|Featured, Food|166 Comments


  1. IMPORTANT INFO January 2, 2018 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    It should be mentioned in this article that Genetically Modified Organisms, otherwise known as GMOs are not inherently unsafe to eat. Yes, the companies that produce them are not all good and create crops that are more tolerant to unhealthy chemicals, but there are other Genetically Modified crops that are completely safe. The reason they are banned in many countries is due to fear mongering that goes on without real evidence to support it. GMOs are often more similar genetically than hybridized plant counterparts. We have been genetically modifying organisms for thousands of years with selective breeding. The intention of some modifications, like those in corn is to produce plants that can grow with less water which is actually healthier for the environment and less costly for the farmers. Not all GMOs are good, but they are not all evil either and people need to do the proper research without just believing they are unhealthy for you for no reason. In places like Europe, mandatory GMO labeling was enforced, without proper education on what GMOs really are, and as a result people became afraid of them due to the misinformation and belief that because they are forced to be labeled then the label must be warning them against something harmful. People stopped buying these products that were cheaper and at times healthier for the environment, and they were eventually banned, which leaves their prices for food higher than places that use GMOs. I can’t say that GMOs used for the purposes of pesticides and herbicides are good, because those chemicals are detrimental to the environment, but make sure to research these things and don’t overgeneralize.

  2. Praveen Rajarao January 1, 2018 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    Simple and straight-forward advice – Stick to home food, cook your own baby food…there are so many gadgets out there that help you prepare baby food with the click of a button…

  3. Amy December 19, 2017 at 5:26 am - Reply

    Is you child a junk food addict who loves to eat burgers and pizzas? Junk food can seem appealing for many reasons such as taste, convenience, and price. However, this has a negative impact on health.

  4. Dennis December 11, 2017 at 7:32 am - Reply

    Worked for Keebler for years,you knew what the ingredients in the products were,flour salt,water,that’s a cracker.Kelloggs bought us and cheapened the whole product line,soy.fillers,preservatives,GMO’s,it is like reading a lab experiment.

  5. Ken December 8, 2017 at 12:36 pm - Reply


    Organic Lunchables

  6. Emma November 21, 2017 at 4:41 am - Reply

    Well, I think organic is the best!

  7. […] 10 Processed Foods to Never Feed Your Kids – Mamavation – Elizabeth Bruno is a working mom, Mamavation Bootcamp 18 graduate, and blogger at Pirate Prerogative. On her blog she writes about life, parenting observations, and. […]

  8. TWS October 15, 2017 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    Great info and what to watch out for!

  9. […] 10 Processed Foods to Never Feed Your Kids – Mamavation – Elizabeth Bruno is a working mom, Mamavation Bootcamp 18 graduate, and blogger at Pirate Prerogative. On her blog she writes about life, parenting observations, and. […]

  10. […] Além de aumentar os níveis de insulina, o açúcar presente nos refrigerantes ainda alimentam as células cancerígenas. Para completar, o corante que é utilizado para dar a cor à bebida, também é tóxico (10,11). […]

  11. […] This article, while geared towards good parenting, is also a great crash course in ingredients to look out for, and snacks to never eat. This one focuses on a few reasons oreos are bad, and a few of the worst ingredients. Memorizing all of these things to avoid may not be realistic for everyone, but having an idea of what to avoid is a step toward cleaner eating. A general rule of thumb is to avoid foods that stay ‘fresh’ forever, and if you must shop from the center aisles, look for foods with an ingredient list of 6 or fewer items. […]

  12. […] by Mamavation […]

  13. Bob March 16, 2017 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    Most of these comments are just people fighting and getting defensive over an article on bad foods. Why must you do this? This author wrote an article that she thought would be useful and helpful. If you have a problem with it that’s fine, but you don’t need to comment. All you’re doing is wasting your time writing about something that you know will upset you; what is the point? I’m only 15 and I can see that most of you are taking time out of your day that you could be using for more productive stuff and wasting it fighting in the comments section on an article. If you do not have a helpful tip please do not comment anything, as it is taking me longer to find the information that could be useful to me. I just read a bunch of comments from adults acting like immature children, when instead I could’ve been reading about healthier options for myself. So I will again ask you to refrain from commenting if you do not have anything useful to say. Thank you.

  14. Melissa March 10, 2015 at 9:57 am - Reply

    This made my day, most of these my son has never heard of. He use to love gold fish till a milk allergy came up. I try to find the best choices out there even if they cost twice as much as the name brand cheap stuff. I only have 60 dollars a week to spend on two people. It goes quick. Thanks for the tips. Oh and as for the soda not being on kids menu they still are. My son cant drink milk and i refuse to pay for apple juice. We dont eat out much so its a huge treat.

  15. Ashley March 6, 2015 at 8:30 am - Reply

    People who don’t vaccinate their kids are the exact reason that measles and mumps are back as well as other diseases. Never mind the GMO argument, you are putting YOUR own child at risk, which not to mention giving these old diseases the chance to evolve and make them harder to cure. The fact that you don’t vaccinate your kids makes you ignorant to say the least. I would never take advice from you, you clearly have bad judgment!

    • Anonymous December 19, 2017 at 7:40 am - Reply

      you’re an idiot. lol

  16. john March 6, 2015 at 1:31 am - Reply

    you really need to take a step back and think about your headers on your blogs. I was born in 1985 and have consumed the products for almost 30 years with no adverse side effects. just because you have a personal preference and do a little research and homework here and there does not give you the right to go around scaring consumers by telling them to stay away from these products. instead you should tell them that they can consume them however they need to moderate the amount that they consume.

  17. john March 6, 2015 at 1:31 am - Reply

    you really need to take a step back and think about your headers on your blogs. I was born in 1985 and have consumed the products for almost 30 years with no adverse side effects. just because you have a personal preference and do a little research and homework here and there does not give you the right to go around scaring consumers by telling them to stay away from these products. instead you should tell them that they can consume them however they need to moderate the amount that they consume.

  18. Matthew Singh March 5, 2015 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    Corn, and bananas are modified to be able to eat. Natural bananas are full of black seeds and all corn is cloned becaue no seed can be used.

  19. Anthony Ball March 5, 2015 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    I love pretty much all that food.

  20. Harry Partridge March 5, 2015 at 10:41 am - Reply

    This isn’t a ‘great list’ as many other has said as much as it is an ‘obvious list’,

    Twinkies, fast food, soda, pop tarts and microwave meals…. well done if you didn’t realise these could have ‘extras’

    if its not in its grown state , meat, vegetable, fruit etc then its more than likely going to have something added, and even then you can’t be safe

  21. Jerry March 4, 2015 at 9:43 pm - Reply

    thanks for the tips. No one cares about your electric car you smug douche

  22. Chris Flum March 4, 2015 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    I can’t believe Microwave popcorn wasn’t top of the list!

  23. Kristy March 4, 2015 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    Another alternative to those nasty lunchables are “lunch bundles” which are a growing company out of Vermont. Created by moms who were tired of not having a healthy “lunch in the go” option. Non gmo, no HFCS, no added sugar. Delicious choices AND (drumroll….) my kids love them! Check them out!

  24. Sharon March 3, 2015 at 10:42 am - Reply

    I grow my own food in the summer. I have chickens and bees; fruit trees and a couple nut trees…strawberries/ blueberries ….a lot of work but I enjoy it. I can taste a huge difference in what I grow vs. the stuff from the store. I plan to put a pond (with a mosquito trap) on my property too……why? Because I can. I wont argue the GMO thing. I avoid buying stuff I know is grown mutated….I appreciate the people that are researching the harm that can come from foods not grown organically. I am not a sheeple and do not blindly follow anyone. I know what degree of health and happy my family has from my efforts,,,,enough evidence for me.

  25. Mary March 3, 2015 at 8:48 am - Reply

    Bottom line whether you eat GMO or Not. We all should rethink dome of the foods we eat. I don’t eat all Organic or All Non GMO. I do read labels and add fresh fruits & vegetables as often as I can. Along with whole & anchent grains too. I don’t do this everydqy but I do try as we all are busy & the convenience of these foods can take a toll on our bodies overtime. So bottom line with Anything is Moderation.

  26. Jennifer March 2, 2015 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    Sugar from sugar beets that is a common ingredient in Kellogs and other brands that make breakfast foods are not genetically modified or processed inharmful ways. I have personally witnessed the process from growing the sugar beets to harvesti.g and processing the beets into sugar which is than delivered by trucks or rail cars to the food manufactors. The process is not much different than cane sugar being processed.

  27. jayson March 2, 2015 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    I honestly dont know how this is news to some people. Its really common sense.

    • Reegan December 26, 2017 at 5:18 pm - Reply

      yes i totally agree with you

  28. Jackie Ollivier March 2, 2015 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    the people who are going to read this article are people who know better than to give their kids pop, sugar cereals and things like Twinkies. This should be common sense to most, but sadly we are a nation of over worked, bored, tired, lazy people.

  29. tammy March 2, 2015 at 7:50 am - Reply

    Most dairys in the US do not use Bst. Check with your local coop. Our coop is bst free and dairy farmers must sign within thier contract that they will not use bst. It was popular many years ago but not in the last 8 to 10 years.

  30. Kara March 1, 2015 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    I understand what you’re trying to do by posting this, which by all means, I’m behind it…but I’m not the mom that can afford the grass-fed, organic things that everyone preaches about. I work for a small non-profit (which I love) and my husband is a teacher, and our budgeting typically doesn’t discriminate against how an animal is fed and/or if a food is GMO free. We buy plenty of fresh fruits and veggies but the snacks that are readily available in our pantry are the Goldfish and the Pop-Tarts. You have to accept that not all families are equipped with an income that allows for the healthiest of diets. We try our best, but we’re not perfect. No one is.

  31. Jim March 1, 2015 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    Well, I guess I’m headed to an early grave. I ate all of those when I was a kid.

  32. Kay March 1, 2015 at 7:59 pm - Reply

    Although I agree with some of this my main comment is actually about the Stonyfield yougert. Although Stonyfield is “organic” it does not mean is a better alternative. I know for a fact the company has had multiple health code issues and have not passed their health inspections. There are lots of great yogurts like Siggs that are much better than Stonyfield. I have worked in the food service industry for years and will admit I don’t always eat perfectly, but I will not buy Stonyfield. Also as a side note just because something says organic or free range it’s not always a better quality. It’s just more $$.

  33. laura March 1, 2015 at 7:05 pm - Reply

    I understand all these foods are bad in ingredients but what do you do if this is the only stuff your kids eat like mine 6 year old. She is such a picky eater and I finally get these foods in her belly now they are bad for her. Sorry then the organic food are so expensive where I live and I am on a budget. I need to feed my child. So as a parent what do I do???? Especially the lunchables and the goldfish I am just saying what do you do when you have a child is such a picky eater??

    • Mixee January 24, 2018 at 8:16 pm - Reply

      You don’t give in. Organic food is not expensive and kids won’t starve themselves. Put out raw nuts and fruits and veggies as snack options. Grow a garden, get them on board with what’s for dinner. If you make it simple it IS simple. My kids have never had any of these ‘food products’ and they survive. They actually say it’s sad seeing their friends eat junk.

  34. Elizabeth March 1, 2015 at 6:28 pm - Reply

    i have 3 kids 27, 25, and 21… I have not committed all the “sins”.. But in the words of Maya Angelou…”When you know better, you do better”… My kids are all healthy and happy and making better choices…as am I .

  35. Cyn March 1, 2015 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    The neurotoxins are especially harmful- the “spices, natural flavors,” yeast, MSG, autolyzed yeast. Processed food, in general, not too healthy.

  36. Lisa March 1, 2015 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this information. As i always say use common sense and do the best you can. I know how expensive eating entirely organic and gmo free can be. I buy organic those foods that my family consumes the most of. Also going out to eat is expensive. With a little meal planning ahead of time you will save money cooking from scratch. Don’t berate yourself or feel guilty if you can’t eat perfectly healthy all the time. Do what’s right for yourself and your family.

  37. Olivia March 1, 2015 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    I liked this article! However, there is an alternative to the lunchables. It’s called go picnic. We have them when in a hurry or on a trip. Not sure if the ones that contain meat or all organic since I’m a vegitarian. I do know that the vegitarian and vegan ones are. They are great. (You can order them online or get them at target if anyone wants to know.) I don’t usually have prepared food but, they are a necessary evil sometimes.

  38. sherrie March 1, 2015 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    As parents it is our job to do what is best for our children. It is our job/responsibility to make sure we are teaching them and preparing them for a healthy future. The food an individual consumes plays an extremely important roll in their health. You, as their parent, provide the building blocks to either health or illness. Food and the nutrients it provides is vital for lifelong health. Our ancestors did not consume many of the ingredients we now so commonly find in processed food. Modern children are the product of the “rushed” generation. Parent/s are so pressed for time they do not have time or make it a priority to insure their children as well as themselves consume healthy foods. Look around you; American children suffer from: obesity, childhood diabetes, ADHD, cancer, etc. It doesn’t take much to know that we, parents, need to insure we are teaching our children to make healthy food choices. It is our responsibility. No child has ever chosen his/her parents. If you choose to become a parent- make them and their lifelong health a priority.

    • Anonymous December 19, 2017 at 7:43 am - Reply

      This is perfect.

  39. Dee March 1, 2015 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    FYI – Applegate is being sold to Hormel, pro-GMO giant.

  40. terri March 1, 2015 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    I think juice boxes should be # 11 on the list (if not replacing the chocolate milk as more kids drink juice boxes).

  41. August February 28, 2015 at 11:55 am - Reply

    The best choices for snacks for kids are fresh fruit or veggies and water. Period. If you don’t want to do fruits or veggies, keep some whole grain breads/rolls/crackers on hand. I prefer to make a double batch of rolls myself once a week and then we have them to eat throughout the week. But seriously, you can’t beat an apple and a glass of water for a nutritious snack.

    I also don’t believe that eating any of the above items every once in a while is all that damaging. My kids have a Happy Meal maybe twice a year when we are traveling on the road and we are tired of eating the snacks I have packed or sandwiches I make. For us, it’s just a rare thing and I don’t think that will harm them. Same with all the other foods listed. However, I hardly ever buy any of the things listed because they cost way too much money. I’d rather buy raw ingredients and bake and cook up my own food.

  42. Lisa February 27, 2015 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    Why don’t you say the best alternative to store bought yogurt is home made? It takes organic milk, 1/2 cup stater yogurt(alreadyade yogurt) and about 40 mins to make let set in a warm quite place about 6-8 hrs . And there you go

  43. Jason Epps February 24, 2015 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    Great Article- will definitely share!!!!

  44. barbara Messmore February 23, 2015 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    your recommendations are an improvement. However, you haven’t discussed the hazards of consuming cow milk and dairy in general. Read The China Study by T. Colin Campbell for starters to learn about dairy. flour of any kind is also harmful to our health. There is a lot of research about that, too. Keep up the good work you are doing and take it a step further.

    Thank you for your consideration.
    B. Messmore

  45. Sheila February 21, 2015 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    If we were all the same in every way then what would there be to complain about or compare to? Not everyone has the same taste, the same end results from eating what some consider good vs. bad foods, or the same income to purchase what some say is better foods for one than others. All foods can have issues for anyone and everyone….depending on the person, their metabolism, their environment, their financial status, even their race. When I went abroad outside of the U.S., mainly in Europe, I noticed in most countries EVERYONE drank wine, coffee with cream and Coca Cola over bottled water with each meal. They also ate beef, pork, goat – known as ‘Spanish Ham’ – ate tortillas – which meant eggs surprisingly enough, prepared in a variety of ways – and drenched foods in olive oil, whether meat or vegetable, processed and natural cereals with whole milk, while also eating a variety of breads and crackers with real butter, jellies along with fruit spreads and meat spreads PLUS rich creamy desserts and pastries. I found their eating habits unhealthy and high in fat and sugar however I didn’t see many overweight Europeans to my surprise and saw many healthy elderly folks. When I asked any of the elders about the European diet the majority said you must constantly be moving to burn the fats and sugars. Everything in moderation….from eating and drinking to exercising. A good balance of both. It definitely works for them. It works for my family too.

  46. Ann February 21, 2015 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    While this may be “great” information to some….let the record and studies show cancer is in your genes. If your parents or grandparents had a certain type of cancer, you have a higher risk of developing that form of cancer. Our parents and grandparents didn’t grow up on all these foods and many are dying from cancer by the thousands each day. I lost every family member to cancer and all of them died pretty young (mid 60s) and all led healthy lifestyle so I say EAT WHAT YOU WANT!! Every day is a gift! You can get hit by a bus tomorrow or get cancer…..eat some goldfish or a happy meal and enjoy your life!! OMG all these “ORGANIC” people drive me crazy! Let’s see how long you all live. Enjoy life. Everything in moderation. 😉

  47. Sarah February 20, 2015 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    Everything u eat now a days is bad for u!!!

  48. Alicia February 20, 2015 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    While I appreciate the effort gone through to put this list up for parents and recognize that it is not meant to shame anyone, I can’t help but feel a little annoyed and yes ashamed. I mother a family of milk and snack lovers. We easily go through a gallon of milk in 4 days and a gallon of “conventional” milk is not cheap these days. I am on assistance to feed my family, and often I am only able to buy specific brands of food or only get a certain alottment I buy all the food I need in a month. This means a) I don’t have financial assistance to buy organic everything and b) I can’t afford to do it on my own. Nor can I afford an organic half gallon of milk every two days.
    This article was meant to inform parents and help then make better decisions about what to feed their family, but it sure hurts to know that I am unable to keep my kid from consuming 10 different kinds of carcinogens a day. If I had time to make the snacks myself I would, but not everyone gets that luxury.
    I am not hating on your article, Elizabeth. It was very well written and VERY informative. But I think it would be nice to include options or methods that people with no time and less money can implement as well 🙂

    • Luna March 4, 2015 at 12:24 pm - Reply

      You can make a change and stop buying some of that crap, you choose not to which is your choice. I am very poor but choose to spend less money on toys, alcohol, fancy clothes and spend it on healthier foods. You don’t buy that stuff because its cheap, you buy it because the packaging is pretty and your kids beg for it, get a backbone and but carrots instead of crackers

  49. Tabitha February 19, 2015 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    Wow! My kids have had every food on this list. I quit buying most of these products for them a while back when we decided to start eating healthier and stop having so many processed foods. This was all before this list ever came out. I don’t feel guilty but it’s great to know that I wasn’t too far off the mark in eliminating these. I can’t criticize those who use them and understand that often it comes down to cost and convenience. I’ve been researching recipes for alternatives I can make at home so that we can still enjoy some of the same taste and convenience without so much of the cost and worry about what’s in it. Thanks for sharing this article. It was quite educational and informative.

  50. Cecia February 19, 2015 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    Trader Joes also sells an organic “PopTart” that seems like a good alternative. In fact my kids prefer them, especially around fall when they have the pumpkin flavor. I have yet to convince them of a better option on the go-gurts, I’ve tried stoneyfield’s “go-gurt” (which are delicious in my opinion) and a couple other organic options but they just don’t like them! So we try to stay away from yogurt all together : /

  51. Keith February 19, 2015 at 9:35 am - Reply

    Well this was very disheartening. It lists just about every one of my favorite childhood foods.

  52. Michelle February 18, 2015 at 7:16 am - Reply

    Chipotle may be trying to source local and fresh however the amount of calories in their food is just as damaging! bean burrito has the amount for one person for a WHOLE day!

  53. Anna February 18, 2015 at 6:14 am - Reply

    Did you know that many of the ingredients in junk food and US packaged foods are outlawed in Europe? Did you know that there is such a thing as organic junk food? Even organic lunch meat is going to be too high in sodium; organic pop tarts too high in sugar as well as organic chocolate milk. It makes me laugh (secretly) when I see well-intentioned moms buy all this organic processed food thinking they are doing the right thing, when in fact they are harming their kids’ health just the same. Let’s be honest here: an apple will always be better than Annies bunnies, plain macaroni with grated cheese will always be better than store bought mac and cheese (even if it’s organic), ANY plain yogurt with fresh fruit on top will be better than ALL other fruit yogurts. Let’s not pretend that because we can afford to buy organic processed food, our children will be better off than those who buy regular processed food. That’s hypocrisy.

  54. Eileen Harris February 17, 2015 at 11:06 pm - Reply

    So good to read this info. I’m a grandmother with a history of food service. It’s time to fight GMOs. Please read ‘Wheat Belly” and the Abascal Way to Quiet Inflammation. Such eye openers.

  55. R Lockhart February 17, 2015 at 9:57 pm - Reply

    when they start showing cows and other animals that eat GMO corn /soy directly as having any of the problems they claim it causes in humans I will worry. also rBST is actually a naturally produced enzyme in cows so it really is no different than a woman taking estrogen or a man taking Viagra. or even taking a daily vitamin. as a farm wife and mother of 4 our motto is everything in moderation, in other words any of these foods once in awhile isn’t going to ruin their health.

    • Jess February 18, 2015 at 11:02 am - Reply

      There are some articles that are linking higher infertility rates in cattle that are eating the GMO’s, particularly the Round up Ready ones. Other things that have been noticed is how cattle won’t eat the cornstalks from the GMO corn anymore. When I was a kid, you could watch them after being bedded down and they’d be happily chewing away on them. Now they won’t eat them. Why?
      I raise pastured/produce fed pork. My dad is an agronomist trying to develop a brown mid rib corn for grazing for grass fed beef. When he is done selecting the ears of corn he wants from his trials, he brings the rest over for my pigs. When given the choice between the GMO hybrids or the non GMO corn that my dad brings over, they animals always chose the non GMO stuff. Animals aren’t dumb, they can tell what is good for them. Yes, animals will eat the GMO stuff when that is all there is to eat. If there is a choice, they will eat the non GMO stuff first. Why?
      Big oil companies and big ag chemical companies have a lot of money that can be made on products that aren’t always the best for people or the world overall. Money is a huge motivator to many people.

  56. Kristy February 17, 2015 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    This article is one sided. I live on a family farm and grow many things this article is against. It has nothing to do with science. Science proves that there is no difference in GMO and non GMO corn or crops. We live in a world where people want to run the farmers out and I’m pretty sure this country was founded on farming to help people servive. Round up ready crops are the new age yes but all that does is help farmers produce better crops.

  57. Angela Onuora February 17, 2015 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    Thanks for all the information.
    It does help to know what to avoid and how to help your kids develop healthy eating habits. I would love to learn how to make chicken nuggets and how to sneak fruits and vegetables into my kids meals.

  58. barb hooper February 17, 2015 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    While eating healthier is ideal for evrryone, I wanted to add a little bit of info. Consider this…… even when you think it’s organic, it’s not. Some people are so easy to mislead. Most who eat, or think they eat healthy look sick. It’s true people who consume fast food on a daily basis look sick too, but neither are ideal. There is balance in everything!

  59. Amanda February 17, 2015 at 11:14 am - Reply

    Wow !! Great info ! I would love to see healthy alternatives to school lunch!!

  60. mandy February 17, 2015 at 10:15 am - Reply

    Just wanted to make a comment on the nesquik milk, that bottle actually says that a full serving size is half of the bottle, so your child would really get 24 grams of sugar if they drank half. Also this number could be higher as they allow food companies to round down to the nearest digit instead of including decimals. This is all good to know, we need to be aware of what is in what we eat/drink. Especially when it concerns our children.

  61. Heather February 17, 2015 at 1:52 am - Reply

    Ashley, being rude and hateful because you disagree with a comment makes you seem much more intelligent (sarcasm, obviously). Your family may be physically healthy, but I shudder to imagine what your children are like with that kind of attitude and behavior as their example.

  62. Darina February 16, 2015 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    NEVER is a very strong word. We ate these foods occasionally. Not every day, not every week. Occasionally. Except Go-Gurt, I think that was in the lunch box every day for a year, or two, LOL. I like to think I eat mostly fresh and raw, and occasionally eat processed, and I am just fine. I HIGHLY recommend you keep a food journal of your family meals. You know what is good for you, but sometimes seeing it on paper is the best way to accountability. BTW do you remember when eggs were really good for you, then they were really bad for you and now they are really good for you again? bloggers, be careful how and what you write and don’t be too judge-y. Problem is, unlike actual medical journal articles, these are not pier reviewed. If they were, I am sure many would never go public.

  63. andrea February 16, 2015 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    Do you have other suggestions for replacing these certain foods with more than only organic or expensive snack foods?

  64. Sam February 16, 2015 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    Very informative. But I think that unless you’re feeding your kids these foods everyday and only foods like these with nothing else in the menu, I don’t think there’s anything to be concerned about im not afraid of my daughter eating a handful of goldfish everyone and then it having a pop tart once a week if she’s been good. Heck even if she has a happy meal once in a blue moon I don’t think it’s such a big deal. I do agree though that you shouldn’t be feeding your kids these foods on a daily basis. If you’re a person you lets your kid eat twinkles everyday you’re probably not someone who would bother reading this article. Bottom line, everyone’s entitled to a treat now and then… Like someone else already commented, all in moderation

  65. Heidi February 16, 2015 at 8:30 am - Reply

    I regularly shop organic foods but find the sugar content to be so high in many products. Example, Stonyfield fruit flavored yoghurt has almost as much grams of sugar as a snickers bar! . I’d like to see less sugar overall in my organic shopping experience!
    Thanks for your article and your dedicated work.

  66. Kelsey Brickl February 16, 2015 at 8:19 am - Reply

    I agree with almost everything you said there! Most of her suggestions I can back. We buy Envirokids cereal and love it, and the Nature’s Path breakfast pastries are good. We don’t give our son juice, fast food, etc.

    But you recommended a plain Greek yogurt as the “best” alternative to processed yogurt, and I’d have to disagree with that… The process for making Greek yogurt is extremely wasteful. It takes four pounds of milk to make one pound of Greek yogurt, and the rest is wasted as whey. Instead of Greek yogurt, a more environmentally sound option would be sheep’s milk yogurt (I love Bellwether Farms’ organic versions with blackberry and blueberry for Elliot) or Icelandic skyr-style yogurt by Siggi’s. Just my two cents! Otherwise, a strong bit of advice! 🙂

  67. Kelsey Brickl February 16, 2015 at 8:18 am - Reply

    I agree with almost everything you said there! Most of her suggestions I can back. We buy Envirokids cereal and love it, and the Nature’s Path breakfast pastries are good. We don’t give our son juice, fast food, etc.

    But you recommended a plain Greek yogurt as the “best” alternative to processed yogurt, and I’d have to disagree with that… The process for making Greek yogurt is extremely wasteful. It takes four pounds of milk to make one pound of Greek yogurt, and the rest is wasted as whey. Instead of Greek yogurt, a more environmentally sound option would be sheep’s milk yogurt (I love Bellwether Farms’ organic versions with blackberry and blueberry for Elliot) or Icelandic skyr-style yogurt by Siggi’s. Just my two cents! Otherwise, a strong bit of advice! 🙂

  68. Marisa Silverman February 15, 2015 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    Organic Valley was bought by Monsanto. Monsanto is buy big organic brand name companies like they are going out of style! We can’t support these companies.

    • Jessica Peake February 17, 2015 at 10:52 pm - Reply

      Organic Valley was not bought out by Monsanto. They’re one of the few remaining hold outs that have not been swallowed up by giants of the food industry like Kraft or General Mills. They are still a co-op of family owned farmers.

  69. Karen February 15, 2015 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    Regarding #5, Fast Food Kids Meals. I would like to know what restaurants have eliminated soda from their kids meals. I know of chains that offer “healthier choices” (milk – white or chocolate or a juice box are the typical choices) – but soda is still an option. NOT eliminated. I have yet to find a place where soda is eliminated. Burger King is NOT the only bad guy.

    • Christina February 25, 2015 at 8:50 pm - Reply

      Why does matter if it is totally eliminated? Some parents are okay with treating their kids every now and then to a soda. If you won’t want to get your kid soda then just opt for the juice/milk/water. I do not think any fast food place has eliminated the soda option.

      • Mel March 1, 2015 at 12:16 pm - Reply

        I heard Wendy’s does not offer it as a choice any more. what I don’t understand is when they upcharge for milk….that is ridiculous. My daughter does not like soda and I should not have to pay extra for milk when typically it is kids who drink the milk. I don’t know to many adults who opt for the milk.

        • Lynn March 1, 2015 at 3:28 pm - Reply

          Human beings are the only mammals who drink milk after weaning. No other mammal does it. Cats will drink cow’s milk, but it isn’t good for them and will often give them diarrhea. Do you know who started the idea that everybody needs to drink a lot of milk? The National Dairy Council. Kind of makes you think, doesn’t it?

          • Ayesha March 2, 2015 at 6:10 am

            Humans are the only species that cooks their food. Does that make alarm bells ring?
            Everything isn’t a conspiracy theory. Calcium and protein from dairy is not a bad thing.

  70. Velia February 15, 2015 at 11:18 am - Reply

    Unfortunately most of your alternatives are usually substantially more expensive than the original product. When a parent is struggling to pay for the necessities of life, i. e. water, electricity, rent, etc. there’s often NO choice involved. Sure, we’d all like to provide fresh, home cooked, organic, non-GMO, unadulterated food for our children but for a large portion of society it’s financially unfeasible. When you, and others like you, can convince food producers that they should lower their prices to meet the non-organic standard (since there is less processing involved production costs should be substantially lower), then I’m sure you’ll see a big uptick in parents who are ABLE to follow your advice.

    • Alesha February 19, 2015 at 10:44 am - Reply

      Its important to remember that having thr mind set “when you and people like you make a change” so we can all afford the organic food….YOU are part of that change. Your food dollars vote and tell companies what you want and what is important to you. If you buy the same ol’ stuff because it is cheap, that is what you will keep getting. If you vote with YOUR dollar to pay for real food, more real foods become real options.

      • Anna February 20, 2015 at 11:04 am - Reply

        YESSS! Thank you. Also, people don’t seem to understand how EXPENSIVE it is for organic farmers and food producers to have that “certified organic” “non gmo” sticker on their products. They have to jump through numerous hoops to be certified, whereas frankenfood producers simply don’t.

      • Anna February 20, 2015 at 11:06 am - Reply

        YESSS! Thank you. Also, people don’t seem to understand how EXPENSIVE it is for organic farmers and food producers to have that “certified organic” “non gmo” sticker on their products. They have to jump through numerous hoops to be certified, whereas frankenfood producers simply don’t.

    • Joanie March 1, 2015 at 4:01 pm - Reply

      You always have a choice. If you have a small budget for food, avoid convenience foods like these. Instead of a poptart, give toast and jam. Certainly don’t waste any if your limited money on Twinkies (ew) that have no nutritional value. Choose foods that provide your kids with nutrients. Who cares if organic yogurt pouches are more expensive than gogurt, or Chipotle is more expensive than McDonald’s. If you don’t have much money, don’t waste it on that stuff, organic or not. Buy the least expensive, real food products that you can. Cut back on meat in general since it is pricey to buy organic or grassfed. These foods are more expensive because they aren’t cushioned with chemicals and enhancers and because of the process of being certified as organic, as mentioned. So I highly doubt prices will be coming down anytime soon. I understand that there are many, many people out there living on strict budgets, but I get really bothered by that excuse. It’s about priorities. Don’t eat crap just because organic chocolate milk is too expensive. Just skip the chocolate milk.

  71. debra marie February 15, 2015 at 9:08 am - Reply

    Thank you for providing this list. Most of the foods on the list are what I would consider convenience foods. It is obvious that there are times when time is short and these types of snacks are reached for. However snack foods are often substituted for regualr meals. It is not always convenient to make your own healthier alternatives to the above list. However it is a choice many of us make. For me it is relaxing and enjoyable to make snacks and meal choices that are the healthiest I can afford. In many cases I find I save money it is only a matter of finding the time. There are many blogs which address how to provide healthier foods for your famillies on a budget. It is a question of what you can afford, and how much time you can devote to making the alternatives. I love the prudent homemaker she offers alot of excellent advice and is a very helpful woman. Food choices are personal to each family however I believe we all want what is best for our families. Thank you for your time spent on providing us with this information.

  72. Karen February 13, 2015 at 7:17 am - Reply

    When are they going to take this stuff off the shelves……We are guilty of the goldfish and happy meals…ugh.

  73. Nicole February 12, 2015 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    In a perfect world everyone would buy only organic foods, but it is unrealistic! Most average income families with kids that I know struggle to put food on the table period…let alone all of the pricey organic foods.

    • Alison February 20, 2015 at 6:16 pm - Reply

      This right here is the problem. Why are processed foods cheaper than natural ones?

  74. Mamavation February 11, 2015 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    WARNING: Anyone who decides to call us names in the comments will go in a timeout.

    • Jenn February 17, 2015 at 11:23 am - Reply

      Hmm..could there be a link between these chemicals people are consuming and their anger issues?? I’ve read certain dyes can cause tantrums and mental clarity! Just saying 😉

    • Tabitha February 19, 2015 at 4:42 pm - Reply

      Haha. Do they have to sit in the Thinking Chair?

      • Mamavation February 20, 2015 at 4:42 pm - Reply

        Thinking Chair LOL yup. Although I have a feeling that the vast majority of the people who got put in a timeout didn’t get enough of something as a child.

  75. Dolores February 11, 2015 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup Uum Uum Good. Full of MSG

    • Mamavation February 13, 2015 at 12:12 pm - Reply

      We have an expose on soups coming soon…stay tuned!

  76. amy February 11, 2015 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    Elizabeth. Thank you for taking the time to research and provide it for others. Many of this information is true regarding the need to cut out the GMOs, artifical flavors, artifical preservatives and food dyes. 30 years ago we didn’t need to worry about many of these things because they weren’t in our foods. As a child grows and matures into an adult it’s important that they are aware of this, especially as the rate of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, cancer and immune diseases rise and that they make good lifestyle choices. However, I did want to make sure that I clarified a couple of things for you. The diseases I listed above are adult diseases all caused by poor lifestyle choices. But this is what I wanted to clarify. Pediatric cancer is NOT caused by lifestyle food choices. There is still no known cause for childhood cancer. It happens to any child regardless of their nutrition choices, financial status, race, or environment. It does not discriminate. You can take a child who was breast fed until they were 2 years, fed organic homemade foods, normal weight, never been sick a day in their life, extremely physically fit and they still get cancer like my daughter. I did not know anything about this until my daughter was diagnosed at the age of 15 years old. I have worked in the field of exercise physiology and nutrition as a clinical exercise physiologist my whole life and I still did not understand until it happened to us. It’s important that when you do list information like this that you do have correct information about childhood diseases. 46 children get diagnosed with cancer every day in the US and 7 die every day. The cause is still unknown and it drives parents crazy that they don’t know what has caused their child to get this horrible life threatening disease. And it’s the hardest most horrific thing for a parent to watch their child suffer. Believe me from a mom who knows. I recommend contacting a children’s oncology department and speak with an oncologists to find out more accurate information.

    • Heidi February 17, 2015 at 11:41 am - Reply

      I totally agree Amy, I have a friend who’s son was diagnosed with two rare forms of lukemia at 8 months of age, he passed away 11 months later.
      I have another friend who’s daught was diagnosed at 1 with liver cancer she is now 4 and thriving, thankfully.
      I hope your daughter is well.

  77. Melissa February 11, 2015 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    Ok show me a child who will eat plain Greek yogurt!! That’s laughable I won’t even eat that plain it tastes like nothing.

    • Aimee February 11, 2015 at 12:49 pm - Reply

      My 2 year old eats plain Greek yogurt. I add cinnamon and berries to make it taste better.

      • Zola February 13, 2015 at 3:13 pm - Reply

        Your two year old eats plain yogurt…….but you need to add fruit and spices to make it taste better.

        • William February 14, 2015 at 1:34 am - Reply

          Yes her 2 year old eats plain Greek yogurt flavored with fruit and cinnamon to taste better. I do the same for my 3 year old. Your defensiveness at reading an informative article is absurd! If you aren’t interested in healthy alternatives to feeding your children, that is certainly your right. However, life is too short and wonderful for you to take the time to knock such useful information. There are other useful articles on the “world wide web” regarding matters such as sedatives that could ease your unwarranted opinions or you can continue to be a negative whip.

    • shauna February 15, 2015 at 12:31 pm - Reply

      my children like plain yogurt i often mix blueberries or other fruits with the yogurt. i wont eat it by its self but mixed with things its really good.

    • patti February 15, 2015 at 3:26 pm - Reply

      My kids eat plain yogurt! In fact, if I throw plain yogurt in the blender with a banana, organic frozen blueberries (which cost the same at my grocery store), flax seed oil, a little fish oil, and some powdered probiotics…you would think I just gave them an ice cream cone! They love it! But yes they do eat plain yogurt. They also eat plain oatmeal with only cinnamon. I am not perfect in feeding my kids healthy but I have learned that they can eat foods that are good for them and enjoy it. All 5 of my kids love fruits and veggies. That makes it easier. I will say tho, if they don’t like something we make them try it every time we serve it and eventually their tastes change. Even my 6 year old who used to hate fish requested fish for her last birthday dinner!

    • Rose February 17, 2015 at 4:27 pm - Reply

      My 4 year old and 18 month old both eat plain greek yogurt. Sometimes we do add fruit or raw honey. Its what they have grown up on.

      • Christina February 25, 2015 at 7:30 pm - Reply

        You do know that Greek Yogurt causes a ridiculous amount of toxic waste that no one knows what to do with, right? Just feed them regular yogurt.

    • Angela Onuora February 17, 2015 at 7:28 pm - Reply

      Honey or home-made fruit compote sweetens plain yogurt, even if you add sugar, you can control how much sugar you add. But you gotta mix it well to avoid plain spots.

    • Kayla February 20, 2015 at 7:37 pm - Reply

      My almost two year old loves plain Greek yogurt! And she prefers it without any added anything to sweeten it. Kids are more open to healthier food at a younger age than we are but once they get in the habit of sweetened or sugared foods they are less open to them. In addition to that my mother in law loves the nasty stuff as well lol. I just add it too my smoothies lol

      • Christina February 25, 2015 at 7:31 pm - Reply

        You do know that Greek Yogurt causes a ridiculous amount of toxic waste that no one knows what to do with, right? Just feed them regular yogurt.

        • Laura March 5, 2015 at 11:27 am - Reply

          Where does this come from? I’ve never heard this before but would like more information. If greek yogurt production is damaging the environment, I don’t want to support that.

          • Danielle March 5, 2015 at 9:06 pm

            The problem is that with the new Greek yogurt fad, it creates a lot of extra acid whey and if that gets into the water, it can kill fish and deplete oxygen from the water. It wasn’t a problem when everyone was just eating regular yogurt but now everyone wants “Greek” yogurt and that is a problem.

    • Amy February 21, 2015 at 4:37 pm - Reply

      Don’t give them an option, and they will eat it. If all that is in your house is good wholesome food from the beginning, they get used to it and learn to love it as their favorites. My son has severe food allergies, so all he can basically eat is vegetables, rice and meat. but because of this, veggies are his favorite, and will eat raw veggies over candy any day!

    • Jennifer March 1, 2015 at 1:17 pm - Reply

      We get flavored (vanilla or vanana) organic TJ’s or Stonyfield in the 32 ounce and mix it 50/50 with plain raw or plain whole Stonyfield. This way they get the creamy and slightly sweet without the full sugar whammy.

    • Jennifer March 1, 2015 at 1:20 pm - Reply

      Oh, all kids I know love chips and onion dip. Cook down/caramelize your own onions with some beef stock. Freeze in ice cube trays. Add a thawed cube or two to a bowl of plain yogurt. Eat with veggies or organic potato chips.

    • Del March 1, 2015 at 5:07 pm - Reply

      My children have eaten plain yogurt since they were babies, nothing added. Now they are 4 and 6 and they still enjoy it. Your children will eat what you provide for them to eat. We don’t have junk food at home, therefore they don’t eat junk food at home.

    • Lindsey March 2, 2015 at 9:40 am - Reply

      Mine eats it plain, plain, plain and loves it – always has since before she turned 1!

  78. Sally February 11, 2015 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    Everything in moderation. Not everyone can afford to buy the alternatives you listed. Some of the things are at least twice as much if not three times as much in cost. And you can try and tell me the health costs I’ll be saving by buying these things, but I don’t really believe that at all. My kids are healthy and happy, rarely sick. I have fed my kids just about everything on this list. Everyday? No way. Don’t freak people out about top 10 things you should never feed your kids. You just cause guilt and shame to parents who are already stressed about a million other things.

    • Shauna February 13, 2015 at 12:45 am - Reply

      Well said. I don’t know many families who can afford to eat strictly organic and we should not have to feel judged or guilty for sending fish crackers in our children’s lunches.

      • Mike March 3, 2015 at 10:47 am - Reply

        The organic craze is a bunch of hype. Or to quote the lego movie “a bunch of hippie, dippy Bologna” I don’t judge people who choose to eat organic, sugar free, gluten free or vegetarian. But, what I can say is that working with food most of my life as a chef, there really is no such thing as “organic” it is a marketing campaign used to sell you virtually the same product (sometimes infereior in quality) for a greater cost. Lets think about it people….Crops grow outside One farm uses pesticides (which are airborne) another is certified organic and doesn’t. Do you think those pesticides do not reach the organic farm because of its certification? Or in the store in the produce section, The organic is right next to the non organic and oftentimes touching one another….see where I am going here? Listen up The main facts you need to know are that nobody is immortal. We are all going to die. If eating sugar makes you happy, do it. If abstaining from gluten makes you happy, go for it. It is less related to health than it is personal preference. I know some will argue that you have the cost of long term health to think of…to take care of youir heart disease or diabetes or cancer. When I am eating my five guys burger and fries I do not care aout heart disease at the moment. I am in true bliss. DO I try and make up for it at the gym the next week? Sure I do. My point is do what makes you happy. And a little bit of most things in moderation is just fine on a health basis.

    • Mamavation February 13, 2015 at 12:11 pm - Reply

      We are providing good information to moms who want to be more vigilant about the health of their family. You don’t need to read our articles if they bother you. And we understand and support your right not to.

    • Sarah Valiant February 15, 2015 at 10:36 pm - Reply

      If you feel that a site (which was not forced upon you by the way) is “shaming” you into making better choices for children in general then maybe that is because you actually do feel shameful for being lazy and not doing more research into what your children are eating. And, just because some of the organic yoghurt options are quite expensive that doesn’t mean that a simple piece of fruit isn’t a good (and inexpensive) alternative for a snack.
      You need to understand that these people are only writing these articles because the majority of consumers have NO idea that what is on the shelf is in fact really NOT good for them and their families.
      If you just want to stick your head in the sand, then go do so, and stop trying to make these people feel bad for educating the public.

      • ashley February 15, 2015 at 10:55 pm - Reply

        EXACTLY! Well said! Common sense people!

      • Angela Onuora February 17, 2015 at 7:25 pm - Reply

        Well said. There’s nothing wrong with learning new things, especially how to eat healthy. If people doubt the information, they should do their own extensive research.

      • Alicia February 20, 2015 at 1:03 pm - Reply

        Assuming that all moms who feel ashamed after reading this are lazy is downright rude. Yes, you’re right. This article was forced on no one. We can exercise the right to not read it. But we did read it. And we exercised our right to mention that it can make people feel bad. Calling women lazy for not having time to research every ingredient in a package of goldfish is ridiculous. Especially since the purpose of this article was to save even you from having to do that in the first place. There is no need for assumptions or name calling. ESPECIALLY if it is to purposefully hurt other hard working and loving moms.

    • Heather February 17, 2015 at 2:05 am - Reply

      Ashley, being rude and hateful because you disagree with a comment makes you seem much more intelligent (sarcasm, obviously). Your family may be physically healthy, but I shudder to imagine what your children are like with that kind of attitude and behavior as their example.


      • Ashley March 6, 2015 at 8:44 am - Reply

        That was me being nice! Vaccinate your kids or maybe you don’t and then they get sick and you’ll understand why we vaccinate in the first place.

    • terri March 1, 2015 at 12:07 pm - Reply

      I disagree with this ‘everything in moderation’ mantra. Who started that one…probably the companies with junk they call food. Guess what, some foods are bad and some are better. Why would you put bad things in your mouth in moderation? I don’t consider it food, so let’s call it what it is…poop on a plate. So you want poop on a plate in moderation? The goal here is to improve our knowledge about what we consume, there’s nothing wrong with that.

      • Laura March 5, 2015 at 11:23 am - Reply

        Brilliant reply. I’ll pass on poop on a plate. I’ll read articles that are informative without feeling guilty or ashamed about my ignorance. I’ll seek out the best options in food, medical care, and lifestyle for my family. I’ll be the change I wish to see in the world.

  79. Megan February 11, 2015 at 11:19 am - Reply

    All things found in food do not come from nature. They are chemicals made in a lab and put into the food that we feed our kids. The FDA knows that these things cause cancer amount other things but they are paid to look the other way. Why would you feel bad for kids who are being given the healthier option? That doesn’t make any sense. Part of being a child does not include eating chemicals and poison.

    • Zola February 13, 2015 at 3:11 pm - Reply

      Many chemicals are found in nature though. Even the combination of two different chemicals are still combinations of natural elements.

  80. Michelle February 11, 2015 at 6:12 am - Reply

    While I agree that the ingredients listed in these processed foods are bad for you I must make one point. If your children have earn these foods don’t stress. This does not mean they will get cancer or a horrible disease of the gut. By all means do your best to avoid processed foods and GMO’s. However if you learned your child has eaten one of these or you have fed your child any of these items, don’t worry or feel guilty. Most parents have and will continue to do so and some will grow perfectly healthy children. I dislike the scare tactics that shame parents. A few months back I discovered my son was eating goldfish crackers at preschool. Should I have been more on top of this? Yes. Am I going to hang my head in shame and fear everyday he is going to develop cancer from this pinpointed moment? I really hope not.

  81. Erica February 10, 2015 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    I mostly feed my family home cooked, whole foods. Our pantry has the fishes, but that’s about it. I wish I could stick to organic but it’s far too pricey! I chose to be at home, so money is tight. Any suggestions for common snacks that are not GMO that are quick and school friendly?

    • Rose February 17, 2015 at 4:28 pm - Reply

      Erica, check out pinterest. I have found a few diy snacks that are much more affordable!

    • Krista March 1, 2015 at 12:01 pm - Reply

      Good news! GMOs are perfectly safe to eat and allow us to get more produce into our diet without the extra cost.

      • Jill February 21, 2017 at 4:40 pm - Reply

        Do you work for Monsanto?

      • Me April 29, 2017 at 9:08 am - Reply

        That’s some funny shit. GMOs are good for you! Well not according to half the world that banned them.

      • Colin Burke October 10, 2017 at 6:27 pm - Reply

        Thank you voice of reason

  82. Caroline February 10, 2015 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    Are the Simply Go-hurts any better?

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