Junk food or fast food is something that is liked by kids and adults alike.
Hungry? Grab a pack of chips, biscuits or chocolate and get instant joy.
Have you ever wondered,
Why is fast food called junk food? (Why would someone name a food item ‘junk’?)
Why do kids love junk food?
How does junk food harm children’s health and brain development?
How can we keep our kids away from the menace of junk food?
Well, this blogpost has all the answers.
You see, junk food is the name given to any food that has little or no nutrients and fiber and is high in Salt, sugar and fats.
Not only kids, but many adults also love them. This is because these foods have been designed to be addicting. They come in attractive packing. Various advertisements show celebrities consuming these foods with swag. They are easily and instantly available.
Now, consumption of junk food in large amounts or over long periods has been linked to many illnesses in children like,
- Malnutrition, poor growth and anemia as they are low in nutrients
- Obesity due to high fat and sugar content. Childhood obesity is the upcoming pandemic threatening our kids. As a result of this, even teens are developing issues like PCOS, diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. Scary …..isn’t it?
- These foods have no fiber so kids become constipated.
- Junk food is usually sticky , increasing the risk of cavities.
- Junk food consumption negatively affects kids’ brain too. These children have low energy, poor focus and can’t concentrate in their studies. Many kids consume cold drinks which have caffeine. This leads to sleep disturbances. Due to obesity, children develop low self esteem and slip into depression and anxiety.
Everyone says that junk food is not good food for kids. But nobody tells you how to take this habit it out of your kid’s diet. Here are a few tips
- Talk to your kids about healthy foods that will help them grow taller, give them energy to paly and protect them from doctors’ injections
- Engage them in board games on healthy food like “snakes & ladders” & “food rainbow” (will be sharing personalised ones soon)
- Tell them bedtime stories about superheroes who eat superfoods like green leafy vegetables
- Be the role model. Whenever you feel like snacking , go for a bowl of nuts or fruits.
- No food in front of the screen
- Never use junk food as a reward. Instead, use a pencil, eraser or sharpener etc. A candy or a chocolate vanishes in a minute and the child demands more. On the other hand, he can flaunt the fancy stationary to his friends.
- You can have one meal a day as “junk food holiday”. On this day, everyone in the family can have a junk food of their choice.
So my dear friend, what do you think about these ideas? If they make a difference to your child’s eating habits, do share my blog in your circle. You can join my facebook and whatsapp communities for parents “healthy kids” by clicking on the links below,