Can curd rice compete with pizza in any way?
If offered a choice between sprouts and burger – it is anyone’s guess what gets the vote?
Butter milk or Coke – Coke of course.
Junk foods are addictive. They have the lethal combination of salt, sugar and fat. The triumvirate which adds oodles of taste. At the altar of taste, nutrition becomes the scapegoat.
We live in a processed world. Everything from food to news is processed, enriched and presented to you. Advertisements claiming the benefits scream at us at all times. TV, Internet, Smart Phones, Papers, Buses etc etc, you get the drift.
The impact on kids especially is huge. They want to try the latest junk advertised more because it is catchy and looks cool. Then it becomes the norm in their circle and they do so to keep up the peer pressure.
Added to these is the comfort factor. It is much easier to go and buy rather than make the food. In this environment, we need to make a conscious effort to inculcate healthy eating habits in children. That requires us as parents to first get educated on healthier options.
Now, we have an evening every week marked for junk food dinner. The kids get to choose what they want. Pizza, burger and chips or french fries with Coke. Whatever they want. The expectation is set. And they know they cannot have these on any other day. The junk food day works especially for weekends, when the family wants to relax after an outing. Helps both the mother and the kids.
The other days they do not have a choice but eat what is cooked for the family. Because we are ready to give in to their wishes on a given day, eating healthy on other days is not a big deal.
If you thought that we have won the battle, just by giving in a day of the week – think again. There are other categories of junk food – the snacks. The chips and the biscuits and the snack regime. Here again, have one evening snack that will be picked by the kid.
We should acknowledge that it is difficult for the kid also to give up these tasty treats. So by accommodating them occasionally, we help them eat healthier. Then the onus is on us parents to cook wholesome meals. This is where knowledge of wholesome nutrition which is good for the entire family helps.
My neighbor is attached to a hospital who have a pool of certified Nutritionists in Bangalore and Diet Specialists in Bangalore. She laments how people come to her, after a major complaint. That too on the Doctor’s referral. She was mentioning that, we should look at diet as a preventive option and not as a last resort. It should be incorporated into the lifestyle. They help us make meal plans that work for the whole family. As with anything else in life, better planning will ensure that we are prepared and well informed when it comes to the one most important component of healthy – diet.
Each parent has their own junk food strategies. Please share what strategies work for your family. They might help us in improving the health and nutrition of our kids.
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