When your child demands crisps, sweets and fizzy drinks, it can be hard to say no. If your child isn’t overweight, junk food isn’t really a problem, is it? Think again!
What is “Junk Food”?
Foods that are high in fat, salt or sugar and low in other nutrients. Some Examples of junk food include:
- Sweets (high in sugar)
- Crisps (high in fat and salt)
- Fizzy drinks (high in sugar/artificial sweeteners)
Junk food …foods that have little or no nutritional value, considered unhealthy to consume. (source: Wikipedia)
Junk Food & Children
When a child eats junk food regularly, they are developing unhealthy dietary habits that increase their likelihood of developing serious illness in later life. A diet that is full of sugar and fat increases risk for a range of illnesses, including childhood obesity, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers.
“My Child Isn’t Overweight, So We Don’t Have A Problem”
Wrong! Just because your child is a healthy weight now doesn’t mean that they will stay that way. If they develop unhealthy eating habits in childhood, they are far more likely to have a weight problem when they are adults.
People who don’t eat a balanced diet have an increased risk for a range of chronic illnesses, whether or not they are overweight. Being overweight just adds to the health problems!
If your child is a junk food addict, you need to act.
The “No-Water” Kid
Junk beverages like fizzy drinks (e.g. Coke, Pepsi, Fanta etc) have become the norm for many kids. We have worked with children who drink nothing but Coca-Cola. This is worrying – regular consumption of fizzy drinks has a number of negative effects on health.
The Bottom Line
If your children eat junk foods on a daily basis, you should make some changes.
Take control of the situation – stop buying junk food, and provide your children with healthier options instead. Tell family, friends and childminders that junk food is not allowed. Your kids might cause a fuss at the start, but you’ll be doing them a favour and they’ll thank you in the long run!
How do you react if your child demands sweets or if a friend or relative gives them junk food? We would love to hear about your junk food tales -please leave a comment below.