By Melissa Breyer, Mother Nature Network
In a perfect world, everyone (kids included) would snack on carrots and kale chips. For those who do, hats off. But for everyone else, once you step away from the produce aisle, the choice of snacks can run the gamut from nutritionally vapid to downright deleterious. And sadly, consumers are often at the mercy of the processed food industry with its seductive yet unhealthy ingredients and powerful marketing machines. It's all too easy to be swayed by items marketed specifically to children and parents - with enticing prices, misleading labels and the promise of convenience.
But when consumers start to dig a bit, they'll get a better picture of what's going on inside the snacks they devour. Following is a snapshot of some of the worst offenders. The list is by no means exhaustive, but these examples provide some clues about what to look out for in the snack aisle.