Live Better
 
 

How to get the kids off junk food

Four simple tips to reshape your family’s eating habits.

Junk food is a term used to describe food that has lots of kilojoules and little or no nutritional benefits. These empty kilojoules are most likely coming from unhealthy fats and added sugars. The combination of excess salty, sweet and greasy flavours make children want to eat more, eventually becoming too full to eat nutritious food.

By creating positive eating habits for your children, you’ll help create healthy adults with a solid understanding of the food they choose.

Often, getting kids off their go-to junk foods will be met with resistance, screaming battles and tears. Rather than leaving a junk-food-shaped hole in eating routines, try replacing unhealthy food habits with healthy ones.

Here are four tips you could try at home to introduce healthier, more nutritious foods:

1. Train their taste buds

Introducing new foods, flavours and textures is a fun and interesting way to expand your children’s palate. Take it step by step and bring in one new ingredient at a time, training their tastebuds to enjoy
new foods. Remember, this can take many tries, so constant exposure and persistence is key.

2. Get them involved in the kitchen

Show kids how fresh, wholesome ingredients look, feel and smell before they go onto the plate. Measuring out ingredients for a recipe, cracking the eggs or dressing the salad will help them practice important life-skills and be more savvy with handling foods. Additionally, involving them in preparing home meals and lunchboxes can increase the chances of them eating it.

3. Go DIY for their favourites

Whether it’s nachos, fish and chips or even pizza, homemade versions are a good way to make sure food has nutrients. For example, a wholesome version of fish and chips could be crumbed fish and sweet potato wedges, baked in the oven.

Work towards adding more veggies into their favourites, such as grating carrot into nachos or getting the kids to use colourful veggies as toppings for a rainbow pizza. Starting meals from scratch helps you control what goes into your family’s meals, cutting down on additives and preservatives found in commercial food.

4. Be prepared for sticky situations

Even if you have the healthiest, junk-free kitchen, you can’t always monitor what your kids are offered outside the home. They might also feel like the odd one out at birthday parties if all the other kids are allowed to eat cake, chips and lollies.

Start with a healthy snack pre-party and then let them know that they are allowed to eat the fun, ‘sometimes’ foods, suggesting they choose a small helping of 2-3 of their favourites.

At the end of the day, it’s important to make sure any changes are sustainable for you and your family. Children are surprisingly observant of what adults are eating and doing, which means that the best results are seen when the whole family gets on board. Walk your talk and show them that healthy eating is easy and good for everyone.

Latest Articles

Food

Thai chicken and supergreens curry recipe

A nourishing curry, full of the goodness of green veggies. Read more

Food

Fish tacos and fish fingers recipe

Tasty tacos for you, fish fingers for the little ones. Read more

Food

The power of plant-based foods

Eating from the earth is good for our bodies and the planet. Read more

Food

Banana shake and banana pancakes recipe

Two breakfast treats in one, made with fruity goodness. Read more

Food

How to organise your kitchen and pantry

A professional organiser takes us through the steps. Read more

Food

Garlic chilli prawns recipe

Scrumptious, crunchy prawns and fresh veggies. Read more

Food

The doctor’s dinner table

What we eat plays a big role in preventing disease. Read more

youtubeui-checkbox-tickui-checkbox-emptyui-checkbox-crosstwitterui-checkbox-tickPage 1Group 10Group 9Group 2sign-up-userArtboard CopyArtboard Copy 15Artboard Copy 3Artboard Copy 4Artboard Copy 8Artboard Copy 17Artboard Copy 9Group CopyArtboard Copy 6Artboard Copy 7Artboard Copy 18Artboard Copy 10Artboard Copy 2Artboard CopyArtboard Copy 5Page 1Artboard Copy 12Artboard Copy 16ArtboardArtboard Copy 13Artboard Copy 14Artboard Copy 11np_phone_503983_000000download_red4xdownload_red4x copyArtboardmember-offer-starLogoMedibank - Logo - ColourOval 5lemon-speechInstagram iconicon-editdownload_red4x copygive-back--spinesgive-back--moneygive-back--massagegive-back--likegive-back--jointgive-back--emailgive-back--dislikedownload_red4xdownload_red4xGroup 5filter-iconfacebookShape Copy 2Mobile Navcheckcarret-upcarret-rightcarret-leftcarret-downGroup Copy 2Group 17arrowarrow-circleanimated-tick