As much as parents may hate to admit it, there are myriad things beyond their control when the school year starts. School politics will continue to evolve and change regardless of the individual kids in the classrooms. Budget squabbles can mean scrambling to find last-minute child care. And, of course, there are the teenage breakups, which a parent can only hope will turn out for the best.
Yet one of the easiest things to take charge of in a child’s school day starts with choosing nutritious foods for the brown bag torn open during lunchtime. And it’s not just about keeping waistlines trim and establishing healthy habits—recent research suggests that a healthy diet can lead to a higher IQ in kids.
While there are plenty of healthy alternatives to cream-filled chocolate cakes, sometimes it’s just easier for a busy parent to pick up prepackaged items. If that’s the case, these are the 20 snacks moms and dads are going to want to avoid.
To find the 20 worst treats for kids, The Daily Beast equally weighted the calories, saturated fat, carbohydrates, and sugar in popular kids’ snacks, measured by the total nutrition content on manufacturer packaging.