The Secret to Removing Junk From Your Child's Diet

14-cut-out-junk-foodThese days there is a great deal of discussion regarding the place of junk food in the diet of American children. A general rise in the number of unpleasant statistics regarding childhood diets, obesity, and related diseases like diabetes has left the country extremely concerned about the dietary future of their children, but most of us have no real sense of what to do about it beyond attempting to remove junk food wholesale from our children's diets.

This can be difficult to do when children, budgets, and schedules are all resistant to comprehensive dietary changes in their own way. Rather than be too overwhelmed to take action, you can take a few simple steps that will help to point your family in the right direction.

Who is in Charge of Food?

This may seem obvious or even silly, but the older your children are, the less they are likely to be willing to accede to the changes you may wish to make to their diet. This is because a younger child subjected to gradual change has less long-term memory to rely on and much less control over the situation. An older child may have more opportunities and more will to actively resist your attempts at change.

In addition, older children can often find opportunities to buy snacks and forbidden foods when unsupervised. You need to take these things into account when you are planning a major lifestyle change like removing junk food from the diet.

Gradual Changes and Moderate Consumption

If your family has been used to consuming unhealthy amounts of junk food, you will want to lessen resistance to your changes by implementing them gradually. Going cold turkey will hurt more and create greater conflicts in the home than gradually lessening the availability of inappropriate food choices. In addition, when you choose gradual removal, you less the chances of inadvertently turning junk food into forbidden fruit as a result of your changes.

You do not want to drive your children to seek out opportunities to eat junk food, instead you want to lessen their daily dependence on it. Moderate and considered consumption of junk food in the home will go some way towards mollifying you children while allowing you to control the kind of food they are consuming and the amounts the get it in.

Replacing Junk Food With Healthy Alternatives

When you begin to consider modifying your family's diet plan changes that allow for healthy substitutions. Don't simply remove something like dessert and leave a hole in your family's expectations. Instead, serve fruit based desserts with more complex sugars than those in a cake or cookies. Similarly, you can choose to buy or make foods that are boiled or baked rather than fried. This allows you to keep similar foods in your diet, while decreasing your exposure to unhealthy cooking practices. You can follow the practice to its natural conclusion by swapping seemingly innocuous foods make with white flour and sugars to whole grain alternatives. These small changes will have big effects on your family's diet and health concerns.

You might also find the following helpful:

Children's BMI Chart

School Lunch Ideas

Fitness for Kids

Child Fever Basics

Picky Eaters 101





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