My child won’t eat anything but junk food. What should I do?
This is a problem that so many of us come across when we’re raising children. Junk food is something that is almost impossible to avoid all of the time, and you may not always have control of what your child is eating.
In this guide, we’re looking into some of the ways that you can ensure that your child has a chance to eat healthily and actually learn better habits around food. Kids can even enjoy eating healthily.
Why your child only wants to eat snacks?
What are the reasons for your kid being obsessed with junk food and snacks? There are a few different factors. The fact that junk food is usually so easy to prepare and eat makes it tempting for kids. It’s also usually cheap and accessible and can be bought from lots of different stores.
On top of that, the sugar, fat, and carbohydrate content can give kids a little rush and this means they are more likely to keep going back to this food.
Do you need to worry about how much junk food your child is eating?
You should definitely keep an eye on how much your child is eating, and ensure they don’t have too much junk food, which is not good for their body or brain. If your child shows signs of gaining weight or even things like struggling to focus it could be a sign of an issue with junk food.
How to get kids to eat healthily?
So how can you fix the problems? Education is one of the key methods, and below we’ve shared some of the top tips for making sure your children eat healthy food and that you make good food decisions as a family.
Create an eating schedule for kids
An eating schedule can reduce the temptation to just order junk food or put something in the oven that is not nutritious. Junk food tends to be made for convenience and if you don’t have a plan then it can be a fallback, but by creating a schedule and ensuring you have the time to make it as well as the ingredients you can ensure you stick to a healthy meal plan.
Prepare a healthy meal & dessert together
A part of education is actually taking positive decisions together and this means you can help show your children what it takes to make a healthy meal. Cooking and preparing together is the perfect solution, and you can even have a dessert together, filling your cookie cutters or cake tins with more healthy mixtures. It still feels like a treat but it is much better for you.
Buy “Healthier” junk food
A lot of junk food and convenience food will also have an option to buy a slightly healthier option. They may offer reduced fat or reduced salt versions of their existing food. While this isn’t a perfect substitute for making a healthy meal yourself, it is a good option for those who are in a rush.
Don’t fill up on drinks
Drinks can be the ultimate junk food, especially those with a lot of additives and sugars. It can be easy to let your kids have a couple of carbonated sodas throughout the day and not realise that this will be packing their systems full of things you really don’t want to encourage your children eating.
Cut off endless snacking
Snacking on junk food can be a big problem for all of us. If there are things like chocolates and candies in the house all the time then it is very tempting to just keep going back to the snack draw, especially for kids.
A lot of junk food isn’t that filling or fulfilling which means it doesn’t leave you feeling satisfied with a full stomach, this means that it is tempting for any of us to keep going back to the cupboard for more.
A good tip is to prevent snacking at certain times during the day. Organize certain times when you can all have a snack and ensure there are healthy options such as fruits, nuts, health bars and vegetables to snack on rather than chips and chocolates.
Be a role model
We know it is hard to eat healthily with your busy schedule, and a lot of the time when you are going to try to get something in a hurry junk food is the simplest way. However, if you really want to educate your kids and show them what it means to be healthy, then it is crucial that you set a good example yourself.
This is especially good for younger children who will watch you so closely and copy your behavior, so if they see you snacking on fruits and nutritious foods they are likely to follow suit and do the same thing, which means better habits for the whole family.
Take your kid grocery shopping to encourage healthy eating
Another way to educate is to allow your children to be more involved in the process and understand where food comes from. Grocery shopping can allow them to have an input in your meals and feel more ownership of the healthy meals you want to make up the mainstay of their diet. Of course, there is also the opportunity for the occasional treat, and nobody should deprive themselves 24/7.
Jordan River is an experienced baker with a background in event management. She went into a marketing and customer care, working with JB Cookie Cutters to educate and share her experience. She’s had her fair share of kitchen and cooking tools and knows exactly what works best and why.
Before she started writing, Jordan got a degree in marketing and communications. She is a mom of two, so when not writing, she loves cooking and testing new recipes, improvising in the kitchen, and creating unique things that turn into family events.