When your family bites into a fresh fruit or a steamed vegetable, you know you're serving up something that’s good for them. But beyond that, it's hard to be sure.
Even if the package says that a food is healthy or loaded with all kinds of vitamins and minerals, check the label. It may be full of other things your family doesn't need.
Some foods, like these seven, may not be as healthy as you think.
Even though some kinds can be high in fiber, this whole-grain cereal can be loaded with sugar in part because the raisins often are coated with sugar.
Angela Lemond, RD, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, suggests making your own because raisins are naturally sweet and store-bought versions often add more raisins that you need.
"It's better to buy plain bran flakes and sprinkle a tablespoon of raisins into your serving," she says.
Many cereals, including raisin bran, are also surprisingly high in salt. "People don't realize it because of the sweet flavor," says Lilian Cheung, DSc, RD, director of health promotion and communication in the Nutrition Department at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Look for cereals that have less than 300 milligrams of sodium and 8 grams (about 2 teaspoons) of sugar per serving.
Better yet, make oatmeal using steel-cut oats. They are a whole grain and have no sodium or sugar that you may find in instant varieties. Add fruit or a teaspoon or two of honey if you like.