What looks good isn’t necessarily good for you.
Isn’t that what your mother used to say?
It’s easy for children to be attracted to junk food. High fructose corn syrup, a carbohydrate and artificial sweetener found, is found in most snack foods. Several types of processed foods also contain artificial dyes to change the taste. Eating junk food doesn’t make up for nutritional value and can also become addictive. No one knows better than you.
Why real food gets passed over for junk food
It took researchers to back up the belief held by many that junk food reduces interests in other foods.
A study led by UNSW Margaret Morris, an expert on eating disorders, found that after eating junk food, a person can become indifferent to what they eat and lose their natural preference for different foods. Dr. Renae Horton, an expert on eating disorders also said, people used to eating junk food won’t think they’ll get the high they’re used to getting because they’re accustomed to the hyper-sweet taste from high fructose corn syrup in the foods and processed foods they eat.
You can have control over what your children eat. At least when they’re home.
Cheryl Ruffin, a retired college administrative assistant, knows that children don’t always know what they want to eat.
An only child growing up in Landover, Maryland, Ruffin recites her mother’s kitchen table words like a mantra. “Don’t live to eat but eat to live.” This may sound like a worn out phrase, but it worked for Ruffin, a mother of 3 and grandmother of 7. “She was trying to tell me to think about what I put in my body that will assist me in living. Start making choices about what you’re going to eat and how much you’re going to eat.”
With the exception of birthdays and special occasions, Ruffin and her family rarely went out to eat at restaurants. Meals were was always home-cooked.
Combine family time with time in the kitchen
Ruffin tries to engage her grandchildren in meal-making as often as possible, and makes the presentation “fun.”
During one family gathering, Ruffin stacked strawberries, peaches, and bananas on waffles and topped the breakfast treat with whipped cream. Her grandchildren, ages 13, 9, 7, 6 thought they were in waffle heaven.
It’s not always easy trying something different. But if you start early, before your children develop a dependence on food coming out of a bag in a vending machine versus produce pulled fresh from a garden vine, they’ll return home to the table.
What’s your child’s favorite breakfast meal that powers up their day?