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Are You Guilty of Thinking Any of These 5 Unhealthy Foods are Actually Good for Your Toddler?

Unhealthy toddler food

How’s your record in the kitchen when it comes to serving healthy food to your toddler?

It’s hard not to want what’s best for your toddlers. They’re kind of like little blanks slates — they’re not filled with all of the artificial ingredients and chemicals that so many of us have put in our bodies over the years. You want to keep your little ones as pure as possible for as long as possible.

The easiest way to do that is starting in your kitchen. But while so many parents have the best of intentions, the results are still not always optimal, and a lot of seemingly healthful foods are actually doing more harm than good.

Take a look at 5 foods that you’re probably feeding your toddler that you shouldn’t be (according to Cooking Light):

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  • Whole Milk 1 of 5
    Whole Milk
    Many pediatricians recommend that toddlers from age 1 to 2 drink whole milk so they can have the benefit of extra fat, but the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that toddlers after the age of 2 drink low-fat milk.
    All milk has the same amount of Vitamin D and calcium, but whole milk has more bad cholesterol than any little one who's getting bigger really needs.
  • Applesauce 2 of 5
    Applesauce
    Toddler may not have many words, but most have a word for applesauce: "Mmmmmmmmm!"
    However, all applesauces should be made with nothing but apples, even though plenty are full of stuff that's not nearly as good, such as added sugar and artificial coloring.
    Be sure to choose a variety that says "no sugar added" or "natural," and double check that the primary ingredients are simply apples and water.
  • Whole-Grain Cereal 3 of 5
    Whole-Grain Cereal
    "Whole-grains" is all the buzz, but does it always live up to the hype?
    It depends.
    Some cereals that boast of whole grains actual contain only a trace amount. Whole grains such as whole wheat flour, oats, rye, or barley should be listed among the first ingredients, and things like sugar, honey and corn syrup should be listed at the end. Another thing to take note of is the number of grams of fiber per serving — there should be at least three.
  • Pretzels 4 of 5
    Pretzels
    There's nothing actually wrong with pretzels, but there's nothing actually right about them, either.
    They have fewer calories than potato chips, but there's nothing nutritious about them. They're pretty much just empty calories.
    Better alternatives include whole-wheat pita chips or baked veggie chips, both of which contain more fiber, B vitamins and minerals.
  • Yogurt 5 of 5
    Yogurt
    There's no question yogurt can be healthy, but not all yogurts are created equal.
    Greek yogurt, low fat or plain yogurt are the healthiest options, although not all kids will eat them.
    Beware of yogurts with tons of added sugar and try to choose those that are flavored with fruit or fruit juice and that have live and active cultures that assist in boosting immunity against harmful bacteria.

For four more unhealthy foods your toddler might be eating, visit CookingLight.com

Photo credits: iStock

More from Meredith on Babble’s Toddler blog:

Read (even) more from Meredith at Babble’s Mom blog, follow her on Twitter, and check out her weekly column on the Op-Ed page of The Denver Post at MeredithCarroll.com

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15 ways NOT to raise your toddler
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16 new ways to make your kid’s favorite recipes

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