My Child Won’t Eat Anything But Junk Food: What Can I Do About It?

You don’t want to be the overbearing parent who demands your kid to only eat healthy all the time, and yet you also don’t want to be that parent who lets their kid get away with eating junk food and nothing but junk food. If your kid only eats junk food, they may end up gaining weight and not getting their nutritional needs. 

Source: Source: flickr.com

Why Does It Happen?

You may not know the exact reason why children only want junk food. You may assume it’s because they like the taste and dislike the taste of fruits and veggies. Actually, there is a little more to it than you would think. 

For one thing, if your child is still very young, junk food is easier for them to eat motor skills-wise. Plus, junk food typically has that nice little crunch to it, while fruits and veggies may have a texture that your kid may not love. Eating solid fruits and veggies is more of a challenge, but bread, ah, bread. It’s loaded with carbs, which children want, and are biologically programmed to eat. 

Yes, despite our aversion to carbs, we are programmed to eat them. Our ancestors ate sweet, carb-rich foods because they energized us.

Chances are, your child may outgrow this, and will eventually eat other foods. However, there is always the chance that their junk food craving may get worse.

Source: sketchport.com

Don’t Force Change 

Forcing healthy foods on your child can just make them dislike them even more. It’s important that you try to keep your cool and not force anything on your child that they don’t want. Instead, make the change come naturally. 

Healthy Foods Should Be Available 

Even though you may believe that buying them is a waste of time, it’s important that you buy healthy food and have it around the house. By showing your child the healthy foods that are available, they may get an incentive to try them. Too many parents don’t show them buying healthy foods for their kids, and this can cause a problem.

Eat The Foods

When you buy healthy foods, eat them in front of your child. However, don’t sound too condescending or annoyed should the kid not eat them. Instead, point out their flavor, healthiness, and indirectly invite your child to eat them with you.

Slowly Implement Healthy Food 

One reason why parents fail to switch their kids from junk food to healthy food is the fact that they throw the healthy food on the child too fast. This may have happened to you when you were a kid. Your parents wanted you to eat better, so they immediately told you no more junk food, and only offered healthy food. This made your parents seem like the antagonists and made healthy food look bad. 

Try to avoid lecturing your child about healthy foods and why junk foods are bad. This is going to do nothing but make your kid feel like they’re pressured. Instead, you should avoid any lectures and slowly begin implementing healthier foods in.

Instead, it should be a slow process. Serve a bit of healthy food alongside the junk food. Perhaps you can hide it in there. 

In the meanwhile, buy less junk food, but still have it. You can also replace junk food with healthier alternatives. For example, sugar-free versions or versions without any additives are always good. 

Source: lejeune.marines.mil

Why Not Cook With Your Kid?

Prepare a snack or a meal with your kid. Obviously, your kid is probably not ready to be a big chef yet, but what they can do is help you with the kitchen. If they are old enough, they can turn on the stove, chop foods, or just mix them together. 

Cooking with your kid is a fun way to bond, and it’s a good way for your child to learn more about the foods they eat. Try it out and see what a difference it makes. 

Or Grow With Your Kid?

If you have the ability to grow a garden, this may help your kid learn that eating veggies is awesome. You and your child can plant some vegetables and fruit together, and then wait for it to grow. You can then watch as your creations come to life. Your kid’s eyes will light up as the plants grow into food, and this may excite them to give the fruits and vegetables a chance.

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Try To Schedule Snacking

If your kid snacking endlessly, perhaps it’s time for you to set up a schedule and not have them eat snacks all day. By having them eat less junk food, and scheduling it, you can help your child out quite a bit.

One way you can do so is to space snacking apart by a few hours and this can allow your child to eat some junk food. 

Check With Your Doctor 

If all else fails, it may be worth it to talk to your doctor. Your doctor can tell you more about why your child isn’t eating any healthy foods, and what you can do about it. There may be a chance that your baby is perfectly healthy and can get away with eating some junk food. With that said, you should eventually wean them off of it, but having confirmation that it’s nothing to worry about is always good. 

Source: flickr.com

Conclusion

It can be frustrating to have a child who just won’t seem to eat the way you want them to but remember, their palate is still growing. Raising a kid on junk food is a problem, but so is forcing them to eat healthy. This may end up giving them an aversion to fruits and vegetables, and they may grow up a long time without realizing just how good they are. 

If a kid gets too addicted and you see major weight gain, talk to a doctor, and try weaning them off the bad foods. It can help.

 

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