4 Tips to Remember when Choosing Packaged Food for your Children

Healthy Tips
By : Purple Kaddu Posted on :

It is a common sight in most homes- the morning rush hours for school and office, making it a perfect gateway, for packaged cereal, snack bars and juices as breakfast staple. Instant microwave breakfasts too are a regular feature on our tables. Children come back from school and immediately grab on to a bag of crisps or some form of packaged snacks.

A moderate indulgence in packaged food is not really harmful. But if it does become a regular affair in your home, you may need to introduce some checks and balances.

Considering how hectic our lives are today, not every meal can be made from scratch. A number of families depend on pre-packaged food either for basic ingredients for a meal or for a ready-to-eat one. You may be concerned about your children eating the right kind of food. Here are some tips you may keep in mind when picking up packaged food.

Read labels the right way: Important information related to the packaged food item you are picking up is on the label. Being able to get the right information out of it to help make a choice is what you need to do.

  • Servings: Let’s take bread for example. A single serving is often considered a slice of bread. But at times, it may be two according to the brand you are looking at. Since fibre is what you are looking for, more grams of fibre per slice is a better choice.
  • Calorie counting: It takes some homework on your part to create a good diet for kids. Make a rough estimate as to how many calories per meal you would like your children to consume. Once you know that, look into how many of those calories will come from the particular package you have in hand.
  • Breaking down the calories: Protein, fat and carbohydrates are what constitute your calorie-intake. If the package in your hand is an entire meal in itself, it should have at least 25 to 30 grams of protein per individual serving. 15 grams of fat per meal is sufficient for youngsters. For carbs, add together the total fibre and protein in the meal and take away the amount of carbs mentioned on the packet. If the figure lies between 5 and 10, then you have made a good choice.

Opt for minimum ingredients: There seem to be plenty of ingredients going into a packaged food item today. Understanding each one of these ingredients may take a lifetime of standing in a shopping aisle. If you are looking for a pizza sauce base, then opt for the bottle which has the minimal number of ingredients making it up. It may have a shorter shelf life, but will help in ensuring you cook up some healthy recipes with them.

Choose real fruits and vegetables: Juices, cereal and other packaged food may be made up of real fruit or vegetable purees or processed powders and flavourings. Look at the label to understand which ones have real ingredients and opt for those.

Natural colouring and flavouring agents: Artificial colouring agents have been known to increase hyperactivity in some children. There are also several side effects related to long term consumption of these. Encourage healthy eating with foods that have natural flavouring and colouring agents made from fruit or vegetable concentrates.

These are just a few healthy tips you may keep in mind when choosing packaged foods for your children. Once you incorporate these thoughts into your regular shopping routine, they become second nature. 


Healthy tips, Diet For Kids, Children Eating, Healthy Eating