School, Snacks & Snafus

Choosing the right after school snack is important. Look at the ingredients and lean on apps that can scan labels.
Cat Burke
September 18, 2023
School, Snacks & Snafus

It’s that time of year again when school starts. Parents are buzzing around, packing lunches, ensuring after-school snacks are served, driving around to activities, and making dinners. With all this hustle and bustle, it’s very easy to turn to packaged and processed foods for our families. This is the snafu part of this article, processed and packaged food for our kids and families.

Having recently taken a trip to Europe and explored the culinary cuisine there, I noticed something I have known about for many years but never experienced…the food is fresh, void of a number of chemicals banned in their country but approved in ours. So why should we care about any of this?

A number of chemicals approved in the United States and used in our packaged and processed foods that we feed to our families have been linked to ADHD and ADHD-like symptoms in children, neurodegenerative and auto-immune disorders in both children and adults, obesity, allergies, diabetes and even certain types of cancers, just to name a few. So before you reach for that pack of “Flamin’ Hot Funyuns” (one of middle school kids' favorites last year), download a label reading app and scan that label to see what is being ingested!

The number of children in the United States being diagnosed with ADHD, childhood obesity and autoimmune disorders is at its highest. We all want the best for our kids and our families, and the best is a lifestyle mainly consisting of whole foods. Being realistic, it is not always feasible to prepare fresh meals and snacks for the whole week and the whole family. If you must “grab and go,” zap that label and if you aren’t comfortable with what you find, choose another option.

The product scanning app I like to use is called “Yuka,” and boy, was I in for a surprise when I started using it. This app allows you to scan a label and gives you the good, the bad and the ugly of a product. It even goes into further detail about the scientific studies and conditions caused by some of the hazardous chemicals that popped up in our snacks. It also gives you recommendations for healthier options.

As we soar into the school year some things to avoid when buying foods and snacks for your families:  

For healthy recipes and snack ideas for your whole family you can visit our website at

Let’s keep Florida strong, healthy and happy as we embark on this upcoming fall!

CAT Burke is the owner of GETCATFIT Marco Island Fitness Bootcamp. She has over 30 years’ experience as a fitness professional, holds a BS in Kinesiology, is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Nutrition Coach and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. CAT is also active in the natural bodybuilding industry as a professional athlete and judge. CAT may be reached at Website:

** CAT Burke is not a physician or registered dietitian. The contents of this article should not be taken as medical advice. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problem - nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician. Always consult your physician or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health. **

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