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Many so-called healthy snacks for kids actually hide harmful ingredients, which is why we need to be careful and discerning.

When you go grocery shopping today, it feels like everything is labeled as “healthy” in some way. Words like “natural,” “heart healthy,” “low sugar,” “low-carb,” are everywhere. But the truth is – most of these products contain harmful additives they don’t want you to know about.

And I’m not saying they are flat-out lying. Sure, those gummies labeled “natural” are probably made with some naturally derived ingredients, but they also likely contain a ton of preservatives and dyes which is why they’re bright blue and last in your pantry for so long.

Finding truly healthy snack foods, made with the highest quality ingredients by people who value your health over their profit can feel impossible.

This is why I’m going to walk you through 3 of the most common, hidden additives in “healthy” snack products so you know what to look out for.

Plus, I’ll fill you in on how we make sure my family is snacking on natural, whole-food ingredients that give us clean, balanced energy – and don’t leave my kids bouncing off the walls while we feel foggy-brained and tired.

Added Sugar

This might seem like an obvious one, but is sneakier than most people realize… Did you know 68% of US food products have added sweeteners!? (1) And there are over 50 terms for sweeteners and sugars that might pop up on a nutrition label!?

Now, some sugar is ok. For example, sugar from natural sources, like monk fruit or honey. As long as it remains in smaller quantities per serving.

But unfortunately serving size is something you have to watch out for too. Imagine you pick out a snack for your child, and think it’s healthy because it only contains 5 g of sugar. That’s not too bad.

But you get home and after they eat they’re bouncing off the walls. So you take another look at that label and realize 5 grams of sugar is per serving size, and 1 serving is just 25% of the little bag they just devoured.

These are the kinds of tricks a lot of manufacturers use to circumvent people trying to eat healthier. It’s a win-win for them because you buy the product thinking it’s healthy and your child LOVES it because it’s loaded with addictive sugar.

You can see how navigating whether or not your product contains sugar can be a minefield. And the data shows that most people are falling for these marketing tricks.

One 2021 study of 109 children between the ages of 1 ½ and 5 found the mean total sugar intake to be a whopping 86 grams a day! (2) The American Heart Association Recommends less than 26 grams a day, and that’s for children up to the age of 18! (3)

But it’s not just children that are overeating sugar.

According to the Center for Disease Control, 11.3% of adult Americans have Diabetes, and 38% have prediabetes. (4) Meaning just about half of the nation’s adults have unhealthy blood sugar levels!

And what a lot of people don’t realize is, carbohydrates are converted into glucose in the body.(5) Meaning those cheese crackers aren’t much better than M&Ms in terms of blood sugar.

The best snack I would recommend for healthy blood sugar would be one that contains protein. But, as you can imagine, that comes with its own issues. This brings me to our next dangerous ingredient…


Get these high-quality, 100% beef sticks as truly healthy snacks for kids at 80% off with our Natural Living Family “Group Buy”. Try a PaleoValley Beef Stick Pack today!

Healthy Snacks for Kids Dangerous Ingredients & Paleovalley Product Review

Low-Quality Protein Snacks

Protein snacks are crucial for children in their growing years, athletes trying to build muscle, older adults trying to maintain muscle, and anyone looking to lose weight.

Why? It’s loaded with nutrients, without containing tons of calories. In clinical trials, increasing protein intake resulted in:

  • Increase fullness throughout the day (6)
  • Reduce nighttime eating and cravings by HALF
  • Reduce calorie intake by 400 per day
  • Encourage up to 5 pounds of weight loss in 12 weeks
  • Reduce body fat mass by 8 pounds in 12 weeks! (7)
  • Increase total calories burned during the day and while you sleep! (8)
  • Prevent lean muscle mass loss during weight loss
  • Maintain healthy metabolism during weight loss (9)

But there are a TON of protein snacks on the market and most of them are made with low-quality protein. When it comes to protein you want to make sure you find one that is a complete protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids.

As a general rule of thumb – these proteins tend to be sourced from animals. There are a few exceptions, like quinoa or buckwheat, but there is research that shows grains can inhibit the absorption of certain minerals in protein like magnesium, iron, and zinc. (10)

So when searching for a protein snack, you’ll want to make sure it comes from an animal source, but not just any animal source.

It’s no secret animal farming is controversial. There is inhumane treatment of the animals and a detrimental effect on the environment – but there are other options!

Animal protein sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised animals on smaller-scale farms that practice regenerative agriculture is the gold standard when it comes to environmentally friendly, ethical animal farming.

Finding animal-sourced protein from these kinds of farms guarantees not only the highest quality protein but ethical practices that led to your snack. And I’ll tell you the best way to find this kind of protein at the bottom of this post.

But first, when it comes to protein snacks, there is one more hidden ingredient you need to be aware of.


Get these high-quality, 100% beef sticks for truly healthy snacks at 80% off with our Natural Living Family “Group Buy”. Try a PaleoValley Beef Stick Pack today!

Encapsulated Citric Acid

Most manufacturers prefer to use encapsulated citric acid that is sourced from GMO corn and
Pretty much every meat snack on the market (yes, even the healthy ones) contain an encapsulated citric acid often labeled “citric acid” which is derived from GMO corn and hydrogenated oils (trans fats!).

Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil is made by taking oils such as palm, soy, and corn and adding intense heat (over 500 degrees), extreme amounts of pressure, hydrogen gas, and a catalyst (often nickel or aluminum) to rearrange the molecules in the oil. This process makes the oils solid rather than liquid at room temperature and produces trans fats. Trans fats are actually more closely related to plastic than food. They have no place in a high-quality food product.

Hydrogenated oils are used because they are dead food that helps prevent food spoilage. These oils have been found to damage artery walls, enzymes, and cell membranes. They have also been shown to increase the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. (11)

For these reasons, hydrogenated oils should NEVER ever be consumed. But believe it or not, they are lurking in some “healthy” snacks.

So if you’re looking for a healthy snack that will actually support well-rounded health and isn’t just labeled that way, make sure it isn’t hiding a ton of sugar, sourced from low-quality protein, or made with harsh processing ingredients like hydrogenated oils.


Get these high-quality, 100% beef sticks for truly healthy snacks at 80% off with our Natural Living Family “Group Buy”. Try a PaleoValley Beef Stick Pack today!

Our Go-To Healthy Snacks for Kids

This is why Mama Z makes so many of our snacks and munchies for the kids – so we can control the quality of the ingredients that are used. Here are some favorites you might want to try:

When we don’t have to DIY, one of our go-to healthy snacks for kids is Paleovalley 100% Grass Fed and Finished Beef Sticks!

And if you’re particularly interested in a protein snack, this is the one for you. Paleovalley Beef Sticks are made from 100% grass-fed and finished beef, rotationally raised on small-scale American farms by farmers they know and trust.

This means they are free of antibiotics, hormones, and pesticide residues. And when it comes to processing, Paleovalley does it right (aka minimally!).

They use organic spices to create 5 different delicious flavors without any added sugar! And if you’ve got a sweet tooth, they have a healthy option for you too. Their teriyaki flavor contains 2 grams of sugar from raw honey, per serving! No nutrition label tricks here.

They then harness the old-world methods of fermentation, giving each stick up to a year shelf life without the use of GMOs, hydrogenated oils, or other processing ingredients.

Whether you’re currently looking for a new protein snack or not, in my experience it’s always beneficial to increase protein intake, especially when it’s of this quality. The benefits are weight loss, building lean muscle, more energy, a healthy gut, and more!

NLF “Group Buy”!

Feed your body with the best quality protein possible with these healthy snacks for kids by Paleovalley. 100% grassfeed beef makes them delicious and nutritious options for your entire family.

Get snacking at 80% off with our Natural Living Family “Group Buy”.

–> Learn more and get your snack pack TODAY!



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