Top foods to avoid

Food and drink companies are the masters of deception with many ranges, aimed at children, crammed with additives and sugars. Here are some of the top foods to avoid giving to your pre-school child that you should know about.

Feeding your toddler can be very complicated, especially when the supermarkets are stocked high with ‘apparently’ child-friendly foods and products. Food manufacturers often promote ‘pester-power’ – advertising to your children in the hope they will beg their parents for the desired product until, finally you give in! However, we at Mindful Mum have listed below five of the main culprits that you should avoid giving your youngsters.

Juice Drinks

Seemingly child friendly and perfectly packaged for your little ones, juice drinks such as Fruit Shoot, Capri Sun and Ribena are very cleverly marketed as a healthy drink for your toddler. However, with some of these drinks containing more sugar than coke per 100mls, these little bottles can contain up to 4 teaspoons of sugar in one 200ml bottle – now would you add that to your tea in the morning?! With these drinks often containing much less than 10% real fruit juice, you may wonder how they are allowed to advertise to children
at all.


A bag of these crisps may seem like a friendly treat to give your children, but research from the British Heart Foundation suggests that consuming just one bag of crisps a day can result in your child consuming around 5 litres of cooking oil over a year. And that’s not including oil present in other foods or that added directly during cooking!

Children’s Breakfast Cereals

With some of the breakfast cereals aimed towards your children supporting the wholegrain banner and boasting plenty of vitamins and minerals you might be forgiven for thinking that these cereals are a great way to get your children off to a good start each day. But the sugar in some of these cereals will certainly give them a kick-start, but one that is likely to result in an energy slump way before lunch!

For example, Coco Pops are more than 1/3 sugar (35g per 100g) and although you may not be giving 100g to your child in the morning it is probably more realistic than Kelloggs ‘30 gram’ typical portions!

Chewy Sweets

Kids and adults may love ‘Haribo Tangfastics’ but with a whopping 119g of sugar per 200g bag (that’s 24 teaspoons) these sweet (and sour) treats are not only packed with the empty calories we want our children to avoid, but the sticky mess they leave on your children’s teeth can lead to tooth decay and have your child’s dentist looking away in horror.

Other top foods to avoid include:

    • Farley’s Rusks
    • Fruit winders
    • Lollipops
    • Cereal bars
    • Any fried or take away meals e.g. Macdonalds, chicken and chips


  • The majority of foods advertised towards your children….sad but true!

Before you despair, just remember that there are lots of healthy snacks out there to offer your children and, while what you see is definitely not what you always get, your best option is simply to always check the label!

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