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5 Foods To Avoid Giving Your Child

Medically reviewed by Jezreel Esguerra, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Dec 02, 2022

5 Foods To Avoid Giving Your Child

For parents, it’s always a joy to see that our kids have a healthy appetite. However, we also have to make sure that they are not overeating certain foods. This is because, when consumed in excess, these foods might cause health problems later on in life. What foods should you avoid giving your child?

Chicken Nuggets and Other Processed Meats

First on our list of foods to avoid giving your child is chicken nuggets or processed meat, in general.

According to studies, excessive consumption of processed meats, or those that have been cured or smoked with nitrates to extend their shelf life, may increase the risk of certain types of cancer.

In fact, a World Health Organization research revealed that eating 50 grams of processed meat daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by up to 18%. Here’s what 50 grams look like:

  • 2 and 1/3 slices of bacon
  • 1 piece of hotdog
  • 2 slices of ham
  • 3 to 4 pieces of chicken nuggets

For this reason, it’ll be a good idea to limit your child’s servings of processed meats; instead, go for the fresh, lean meats or meats with fewer amounts of fats. Additionally, don’t forget fresh meats from poultry and fish.

Sugary Drinks and Sweetened Snacks

We cannot fully talk about the foods to avoid giving your child without mentioning sugary drinks and sweetened snacks.

You see, no matter how much your little one loves chocolates, candies, sweet pastries, and soft drinks, you must make sure that they are not eating too much of them.

Experts say that too much consumption of sweets increases a child’s risk of developing obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure – all of which can, in turn, heighten their risk of having heart diseases in adulthood.

Additionally, sweets leave less room for healthy foods and might even cause tooth decay.

foods to avoid giving your child

Reports say that children and teens, aged 2 to 18, should have no more than 25 grams of sugar (6 teaspoons) per day. So, it’ll be helpful to read labels. As a guide, remember that 4 grams of sugar is already equal to a whole teaspoon.

Furthermore, doctors highlight that the worst sugars come from sweetened fruit juices, desserts, and processed foods, as they have very little to no nutritional value.

Salty Chips

Besides sweets, we must also include salty chips in our list of foods to avoid giving your child.

Reports say that foods high in sodium might increase your little one’s risk of developing chronic health conditions like high blood pressure. Moreover, a high intake of salt is also associated with increased obesity risk.

Of course, let’s also not forget that too much salt is not suitable for your child’s kidneys.

During meal planning and preparation, remember that many foods naturally contain sodium. Examples include plain milk, cheeses, sauces, canned seafood, and even butter.

For this reason, limit their intake of salty chips and processed meat with a lot of added salt. Finally, consider using herbs and spices when seasoning their foods.

French Fries and Other Fast Foods

What other foods to avoid giving your child? Many kids undoubtedly love fast foods, like fries, fried chicken, burgers, pizzas, and noodles. But fast food is one of the foods children should not eat.

Reports say that children who eat fast food have a higher intake of saturated fats (bad fats), salt, and carbonated drinks (soft drinks). This means fast foods often have high sugar and sodium content.

Moreover, kids who regularly eat fast foods often have a lower intake of healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and milk.


And finally, we have coffee. According to reports, coffee or drinks and foods with caffeine are not recommended for school-age children. Being a stimulant means it’ll give your child artificial energy, which they have no use for.

Besides, coffee interferes with the absorption of calcium, which kids need for healthy bones.

Key Takeaways

Kids need to have a healthy appetite for nutritious foods, so it’s best to avoid or limit their consumption of processed meats, salty and sugar foods, fast foods, and caffeine.

Learn more about School-Age Children here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Jezreel Esguerra, MD

General Practitioner

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Dec 02, 2022

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