Parenting Food and Nutrition

What To Do When Your Child Insists On Having Junk Food?

Chayanika Sen
7 to 11 years

Created by Chayanika Sen
Updated on Aug 09, 2022

What To Do When Your Child Insists On Having Junk Food
Reviewed by Expert panel

Your child will always test your patience levels and your self-control– whether it is eating healthy or behaving properly. So how do you as a mother ensure that you have a win-win situation for both of you. Scroll down to read our suggestions.

How To Deal With Your Child's Junk Food Cravings?

  1. Junk food in a healthy way: Well, junk food and healthy eating don't go hand-in-hand. Right? Wrong. With little innovation and some smart cooking tricks you can turn a junk food into a healthy diet. How can you do it. Here's the trick. Take a bun, spread some homemade mint chutney, make a vegetable or chicken/fish/mutton(if you eat non-veg) patty. You can also add boiled veggies to the patty and shallow fry it, put it in the bun. Cut some onions, carrots, cucumber and tomatoes to dress the patty and viola your veg burger or non-veg burger is ready to be devoured by your child.
  2. Make it at home with your choice of ingredients: If your child is fond of street food like golgappas, pao-bhaji or chhole-bathure, then offer him or her to make it at home on weekends. You will be at least sure about the ingredients used in each one of them and also you will cook it with less spices and oils thus making it more stomach friendly for your little ones
  3. Keep snacks handy: Being active and always on the go will make your child on the constant look out for things to eat, hence it is always better to keep some healthy snacks handy. You can keep these snacks either in the lower shelf of your fridge or in cabinets where your child can reach for it easily
  4. No bargaining: You can rule out the system of rewarding your child for his or her good deeds with junk food. While it is not a good practice to bribe your child, it will also send a message to your child that a good deed will be rewarded by a junk food of his or her choice. Not the message you want to convey to your child
  5. Having a fruit bowl: You can have a bowl of fresh fruits ready in your kitchen or in the fridge all the time. Whenever your child feels hungry, he/she can reach out for the fruits and have it as a healthy snack. However, avoid putting cut fruits for too long either in the fridge or on the dining table
  6. No banning of junk food: You obviously don't want your child to rely on junk food but that doesn't mean you put a ban on it completely. This will make the junk food more attractive to your child who might tend to indulge in it when you are not around, be it parties or in school. You can allow your child to indulge in junk food in moderate amount, like once or twice a month so that he/she can have his wishes fulfilled while you will be at an ease
  7. Share a meal: When you allow your child to indulge in junk food, you can share the meal with him/her. This will help you reduce the amount of junk food being eaten by your child
  8. Having expectations: When you are allowing your child to indulge in junk food during a few days of the month, you must also make it clear that he/she must have his/her share of vegetables and fruits before or after. By having set your expectations and being firm on it will encourage your child to eat his healthy meal thoroughly
  9. Set an example: A child only learns from what his/her parents do. This is why you need to be an example for your child regarding healthy eating habits. The healthier food you indulge in, the better example you will be setting for your child

A child can be really stubborn at times which is why you need to set boundaries. While it is good to be adamant about not indulging in junk food often, you also need to give in to your child's cravings at rare times which will help maintain a balance.

Cooking healthy variety of junk food in your home will also ensure that your child engages in healthy eating habits since you will be using fresh ingredients and will keep off the junk at bay.

This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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| Jan 09, 2018

it's difficult to keep children away from junk food for long. handy tips to bring their intake to minimum or make junk food Healthier. thank u for this amazing write up.

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| Jun 20, 2022

We all know how important it is to have a healthy and balanced diet, but it seems all too often that this is disregarded as some parents try to get their children to eat the food they want. To check this and get more help in cleaning the gutter. The truth of the matter is, however, that being healthy does not mean you have to give up your favorite junk food. Here are some tips that will help you when it comes down to what to do When Your Child Insists On Having Junk Food.

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