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Grocery Cart Smarts

Finding health foods for your family should be easy. However, many choices that seem healthy, actually aren't. Tricia O'Brien, Features Editor for American Baby, explains what you should look for and what you should avoid when grocery shopping.

First, when shopping for yogurt, you should avoid ones with high sugar content and have artificial flavors and colors. What you should look for are yogurts with probiotics, which are live active cultures. These cultures help your child's digestive system but helping to break down foods.

Another popular snack for children are crackers. You should avoid buying crackers that have high fat and sodium content. You should pick up crackers that have whole grains as one of the first three ingredients, plus at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. The fiber will help prevent constipation and boost colon health.

Dried fruit is another snack where you should look out for high sugar content. You should also look out for sulfur products, which may upset the stomach. One ingredient labels, where the only ingredient is the fruit itself, are the best choice. Drying concentrates the sugar content in fruit so the fruit alone is sweet enough. Also, steer clear of fruit leathers, which are highly processed and have little nutritional value.

And finally, when you purchase cereal you should look out for high sugar content. What should be in your cereal choices are whole grains as the first ingredient and at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. It's also best to gravitate towards cereals that make good finger foods and avoid hard cereals that your child could choke on. Cheerios is a perfect example of a cereal for little ones.

For more information on how to choose healthy foods and other parenting tips, click here.
by Tricia O'Brian and Jenn Eaker