How to Stop Kids from Eating Junk Food?
15-06-2017 | Posted By: Chhavi | 1643 View(s)
Watching television while eating a packet of chips and drinking a can of a sugary drink is every child’s dream. Everyone, especially kids love eating junk food. But no matter how much we love the taste of junk food, we cannot deny that junk food is extremely harmful to our health and hence must be avoided.
Kids, from a very young age, must be taught healthy eating habits so that they do not crave junk food. Yes, it is hard for parents to stop their kids from eating junk food as these foods are readily available anywhere and everywhere, and are finger-licking good. Thus, it becomes extremely difficult, especially for children to avoid these foods.
Kids who eat a lot of junk food are at higher risk of developing health conditions such as High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Heart Diseases and even cancer. With the ongoing advertisements of these foods everywhere, it can be hard to protect your child from junk food. However, this is not impossible as parents can try some strategies to help their kids stay away from fast foods.
Ways by which Parents can stop Kids from Eating Junk Food :
1. Keep Healthy Snacks Stored Always in Your Pantry
Usually, kids learn from their parents, and small kids can be conditioned to eat healthy foods. For this, parents should serve healthy snacks to their kids. Fruits, vegetables, dairy products, whole grains products, etc. should be served to the kids on a regular basis. Make sure to have a huge stock of healthy snacks always in your pantry.
Also, ensure that the child can reach those snacks when they are hungry. Keep healthy foods on low shelves in the fridge or the cabinets so that these foods are visible to the kids and they can eat them whenever they are hungry. So, make sure to have loads of healthy foods and fruits at home if you want your child to stop eating junk food.
2. Do not Use ‘Junk Food’ as a Bargain
Kids do all kinds of crazy and wild stuff and sometimes get punishment from their parents for going out of the line. Many times, parents use junk food as a bargaining tool. For instance, many parents tell their kids that they will get ice cream if they finish their homework on time. Sometimes it is all right to reward kids with snacks they like. But this should not be a regular thing, or else the kids will get addicted to junk food.
3. Allow Kids to have a ‘Cheat Day.’
Banning junk food altogether will make junk food look more attractive to the kids. It is fine to allow kids to eat junk food sometimes, like at a birthday party or on some special occasions. Also, parents can decide a cheat day when the kids can be allowed to eat their favourite fast food. This way the kids will not crave junk food and will be able to avoid junk food.
4. Tap the Kids’ Curiosity
Kids are very curious to know everything, and there are better chances that they will do something if given a particular reason for it. That is why, most parents say that when they ask their kids not to have that piece of ‘chocolate cake’, the kids ask ‘why’. Now, the parents must have the answer to this ‘why’ and must be able to tell their kids as to why the chocolate cake is harmful to health.
Thus, if parents want their kids to stop eating junk food, they must teach their kids about healthy and junk food right from childhood. Whenever a new food is included in the child’s diet, parents must tell them why that food is important for them.
When the child wants food that is unhealthy, explain him or her consequences of eating that food. For instance, parents can tell the kids that carrots are good for the eyes, milk is good for bones as it has calcium, and noodles are high in calories and contain no nutritional value that can help them grow stronger. When the kids are aware of the benefits of healthy foods, they will themselves choose healthy foods over junk food.
5. Enhance Creativity and Break the Monotony
Everybody gets bored by eating the same kind of foods every day. If the same kind of food is served to the kids every day, surely they will get bored and will want to eat junk food. Thus, do try new healthy recipes and excite your kids by serving new healthy dishes.
Parents can also try different cooking methods like they can include banana in the diet as a milkshake, as a fruit and even as a vegetable. Thus, make new exciting recipes and add new foods to your kid’s diet so that they do not get bored of the healthy foods.
6. Pack a nutritious lunchbox
Some parents give their child pocket money to purchase lunch or snacks from the school canteen, and most kids spend this pocket money on unhealthy, high-calorie rich foods. Thus, if parents want their kids to stop eating junk food, they must pack a healthy lunchbox for their kids. Also, for snacks, parents can give their child nuts or fruit so that they keep away from the fast foods.
7. Make Family Food Rules
In most countries, especially in India, it is generally seen that it is not just parents who influence the eating habits of the child. Grandparents, aunts and uncles also play a significant role in affecting the eating patterns of the child.
Generally, it is seen that grandparents, relatives and neighbours show their affection towards the child and pamper them by offering foods like chips, chocolates and ice-cream. Thus, parents can discuss this concern with the family members to restrict unhealthy foods and promote healthy family eating patterns.
8. Offer Water Every Hour
Water helps us to feel full and also balances our blood sugar. Also, staying hydrated helps reduce the craving of unhealthy sugary drinks. Thus, offer water to your kid every hour and ensure that the kid drinks at least 8-10 glasses of water every day.
9. Practice ‘Role-Modeling.’
If parents want to imbibe good eating habits in their kids, they will have to practice the same because kids learn most things by observing others. Thus, if parents want that their kids to eat healthily, they would have to do the same and stop eating junk food.
When the kids see their parents eating healthy food, they will be undoubtedly motivated to eat those same healthy foods. So, parents need to be a good role model for their kids if they want them to stop eating junk food.
10. Develop Good Sleeping Habits
Researchers show that people who do not get enough sleep and are sleep deprived have less ability to avoid junk food. Thus, make sure your child sleeps at least 7-8 hours every day. A sound sleep reduces the craving for high-calorie foods and also regulates the appetite.
Junk food is indeed very delicious, and it is hard to avoid eating these foods. It might take days, weeks or even months for the child to resist the temptation of the junk food. And so, parents must follow the above- mentioned tips to inculcate good eating habits in their kids from in a very small age because a healthy lifestyle is essential for the child’s development.