Want healthy meals your kids will love?

5 ingredients to avoid


Did you see Dr. Oz on Oprah yesterday? I was only able to see the first few minutes, but it was well worth it.  He listed 5 ingredients you should avoid:

  1. High Fructose Corn Syrup
  2. Sugar
  3. “enriched” flour products
  4. Trans fats
  5. Saturated Fats.

So, Oprah wanted everyone to write a list of 3 things they will never buy again! I like that, instead of saying never eat again, you won’t ever BUY it again.  I couldn’t think of anything I would further eliminate from my grocery list, but one year ago I vowed to never buy

  • fruit snacks (fruit roll ups/ gushers etc.) or
  • hot dogs.

And I haven’t !! They get fruit snacks at their grandma’s house, but I like that they think its a treat, and they get excited when she offers it to them.  The hot dogs…Ketchup boy still asks if I will buy him some. A whole year later!

What foods will you stop buying?

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I’m sad about hot dogs. Is there any sort of healthy hot dog alternative you’ve found? I just really love hot dogs. How has ketchup boy survived without them?

I refuse to buy anything with high fructose corn syrup or artificial colors. I try to avoid nitrites and carageenan as well. Sugar is one I really need to work on.

I would add artificial food coloring – especially for kids. I know too many kids that react badly to them.

We’re working on the oils here. More good fats – less bad.

I stopped buying hot dogs last year too. My 9 year old still asks for them too! I do let him eat them occasionally when we’re out. I bought some Applegate brand nitrate-free hot dogs; they were most closely resembled “real” hot dogs, but after a few packages DS decided they weren’t any good.

what’s your opinion on the turkey dogs? I’m with Emily — I really like a good hot dog (cooked over an open fire) once in awhile!

We’re trying to stop buying frozen pizzas. And we have one pack of hot dogs in the freezer! My hubby keeps asking for corn dogs…he doesn’t even like the breading! He says he likes eating meat on a stick though, so I guess it’s time to start busting out the kabobs in the middle of winter! What else? I just found a recipe for alfredo sauce – if we like it I’ll stop buying that too. We already stopped buying taco/sloppy joe seasoning (yay – no MSG!!) and bake mixes (So glad I figured that out – I really don’t know much about cooking so stuff from scratch has always scared me.) , and we never bought fruit snacks – I never liked the texture myself so I just never thought to get any. Blogs like this inspire me more!

Have you tried Oscar Meyer’s Natural brand of hotdogs? I think they are beef and they are nitrate free. My hubby is a huge health nut and discovered these…I think they’re a great alternative instead of having to say NEVER to the kiddos!

I stay pretty aware when it comes to food shopping. Although I am sure there are things I can be better/stricter about. We continually make the goal to try not to eat out so much. We don’t eat fast food just good resturaunts but still we always feel much better with a home cooked meal. I am not a hot dog fan AT ALL but that picture caught the pregnant in me’s eye. There may be a costco run tomorrow so I can have a bite of one (because I know when it comes down to it that’s all I would be able to stomach).

Julie; it seems many people still buy fruit snacks, so good job!

Emily and Eliece: I’m surprised with how many of you like hot dogs!! I’m not opposed to a “healthy” hot dog, but they just usually cost so much more. I’d be careful with turkey dogs, only because many of them grind everything (including the skin) to make those, so they can be high in saturated fat. Just read labels and if I saw one low in saturated fat, I’d go for those.

Heather; you have a good list! Way to go.

Dr. Hubbard; Great to avoid those ingredients, because even if a product claims “0 trans fats” if it has the partially hydrogenated stuff, it does!

Cathy; True, Some kids can not tolerate that artificial stuff. Best to just stay away.

Christine; They never forget! after a whole year, you would think they would clue in.

DramaMama; your husband is hilarious! Meat on a stick is not appealing to me. Its shocking how many people buy packaged mixes when its only a few more steps to make something from scratch. But I do love homemade mixes like from “Make a mix Cookery” cookbook.

Kristi, I have never tried those, but I have told my 5 year old on many occassions; “As soon as I see some healthier hot dogs go on sale for under $1, I totally buy them for you”

MaryKathryn; Congratulations on the pregnancy. This is funny because being pregnant really gets you craving things you wouldn’t normally buy.. remember Pheobe on Friends. The vegetarian who ate meat while she was pregnant. Thats what I thought of when I read your comment.

Connie!! Wow, surprising indeed. Its hard to trust labels, you really have to read ingredients.

I think we have to stop thinking about unhealthy food as “treats”. I figured out a way to address the ingredients that were bad for me…I consider them a dangerous drug for my body. I would never take a dangerous drug, so why would I eat something that could cause disease and illness? I do not use the term with my children. I just try and lead by example. We are a house full of athletes and one son is autistic. We all value our health. On hotdogs-Whole Foods sells a product without sulfites and preservatives and is minimally processed. Still high in sodium……Good Luck! We are worth the extra work!

I totally thought of you when I served my family a new Nestle product called “Dulce de Leche”. You might find it in the Hispanic section of the grocery store. It comes in a squeeze bottle like Hershey’s syrup but it only has two ingredients: milk and sugar. It is just like caramel, but no HFCS! Yeah! I thought, “I have to tell Amy about this one.” (We had it drizzled over fruit, but Matt likes it on anything.)

I will never buy juice boxes again! Instead, I give my kids First Juice, it’s organic, tastes great (especially the new Blueberry + Purple Carrot flavor)and has 50% less sugar than even 100% juices.

I just found your blog. Nice! For ketchup boy, have you ever tried Morningstar Farms corn dogs? They aren’t cheap – think special here – but they are really yummy. I initially bought them for myself because of the lower calories, but my kids wanted to try them. I warned them that they are vegetarian (because I didn’t want to not be honest), but they love them. We had another 8-year-old visitor one day, and she tried them and like them, too. They aren’t an everyday item, because they still to me are a ‘processed’ food, but we like to have them sometimes.

I haven’t bought soda in years, or anything with with trans fats in the nutritional values window, because i’ll get more trans fat then I would ever want from hidden sources, gave up nitrate sickles a.k.a. corndogs years ago, I don’t eat sweets very often, because of trans fats are rampent in alot of sugary items, but sugar in a tough one, I am however good at avoiding the HFC’s, no more anything with aspartame or phenylaline either.