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The 14 Worst Kids' Foods

When it comes to what your kids eat, moderation is key if you want them to develop healthy eating habits. But while there's nothing wrong with a slice of birthday cake or ice cream for a special dessert, there are so many common kids' foods that are packed with fat, sodium, sugar and other not-good-for-you ingredients. Here's how to recognize the worst ones -- and make healthier choices.

Deli Meats
Not only are hot dogs loaded with fat, sodium and nitrates (which have been linked to cancer), they can also be choking hazards for young children if you don't cut them into small pieces, says Jennifer Shu, M.D., editor of and coauthor of Food Fights: Winning the Nutritional Challenges of Parenthood Armed with Insight, Humor and a Bottle of Ketchup. What's more, a study in the journal Circulation found that processed red meat, such as hot dogs or bologna, can increase the risk for heart disease and diabetes, while a report from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund found that eating processed meat (as well as red meat) may increase colon cancer risk. Stick with preservative-free turkey or chicken dogs instead of beef hot dogs. And if you buy deli meats, opt for low-sodium, organic varieties made without added nitrates -- or, even better, try to choose fresh turkey or chicken deli meats that are cut from the bone.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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