By Dr. Gorika Bansal, Pediatrician
Growing children need the adequate amount of vitamins and minerals for developing good overall health. Fruits, vegetables, and healthy snacks are the ideal source for essential nutrients but children, thanks to peer pressure and TV ads, tend to be attracted towards junk food.
Junk food will not only have a negative impact on their health now but in the long-run as well. Overconsumption of junk food has been linked to obesity, diabetes, cancer and other serious health conditions in children.
Here’s how to prevent children from eating too much junk food:
- Set an Example: Abstain from eating junk food in front of your children. Growing children emulate those around them. If you project yourself eating healthy foods, they will copy you and eat them. You can also tell them how harmful junk food can be and teach them which foods they should avoid.
- Keeping Healthy Snacks at Home: Fill your pantry with fruits, vegetables, healthy snacks and pure fruit juices. Make sure that your child knows where everything is kept. Encourage your child to eat them whenever he/she feels hungry.
- Don’t Keep Junk Food at Home: This is one of the most effective ways of curbing your child’s junk food intake. If you don’t keep junk food at home then your child won’t reach out for them every time he/she feels hungry.
- Don’t Use Junk Food As A Reward: Avoid bargaining with your child with junk food. For example, don’t tell that they will get to eat their favorite junk food if they do a particular chore or activity or eat a vegetable. This will only make them more attracted to junk food.
- Don’t Ban Junk Food Completely: If you ban your child from eating junk food completely, then he/she will be more attracted to it and end up overeating whenever he/she gets the opportunity. Instead, teach them to eat junk food in moderation and teach them the side effects of eating junk food.