Why Junk Food is OK for Kids in Moderation
Picture from NPOfoods.com
An article from the Huffington Post this morning called: Let Them Eat Cake (Why Junk Food Is OK For Kids, In Moderation) by Adam Roberts, talks about how it’s OK to let kids eat junk food in moderation to prevent them from becoming obsessive about it and overindulging when they get older. He makes his point by saying:
“These kids, the moment they’re set loose in the world, explode like a rocket: all that pent up energy and confusion and desire erupts like a geyser, and instead of an emotionally balanced, healthy child, you have a sex-crazed, drug-fueled, junk food junkie.”
OK, I get it, the article raises somewhat of a good point. De-Mystify junk food, not to glamorize it as forbidden. However, “an emotionally balanced child” does not need a well-rounded out balance of healthy foods AND junk food. An emotionally balanced child should be educated enough to know the difference between what is junk and what is not and then hopefully when they are grown, make the right decisions effortlessly in what they put in front of them . So your child shouldn’t be “confused” when they are set loose in the world if they have been educated the whole time growing up.
Junk food in moderation???
Ever introduce a child a to Coco Puffs for the first time?? They become fixated on it, wanting it for breakfast, lunch and dinner! So if you slowly introduce the consumption of junk food into a kids diet, while at the same time trying to keep them on track with your regular nutritional foods, it becomes that much more harder to feed them right! An uphill battle is an understatement! You will have to deal with answering questions like, “Why can’t I eat Ellio’s pizza tonight…I had it last night? Why can’t I have 2 soda’s a day instead of one. Why can’t I eat ice cream every night? Why, why, why….”
If the idea of moderation is only at special events like birthdays, holidays, sleepovers, etc…yes, I agree, you can’t hold them back from what others are eating and offering. Also, have you taken notice to the abundance of junk food available to kids these days? It’s up to the parents to educate their kids about these options.
“For starters, your child will be an outcast. On a school trip, for example, when Melvin Stevens (Grade 8) starts passing out jelly beans and your child, let’s call him Maxwell Peterson (Grade 7), protests that “jelly beans are filled with chemicals and additives and give rabbits cancer” not only will children stare at him in disbelief, at the next rest stop, Melvin will flush Maxwell’s head down the toilet.”
It’s sad that a kid who refuses a high-fructose soda, or hydrogenated Cheetos will be considered an outcast. Maybe we need to start reversing that whole dynamic. Make it unusual for a kid to have soda and donuts for snacks. I know it’s a long shot for sure, but doesn’t that speak volumes about what us as Americans are passing down to our kids??
Nutritional values are declining generation by generation. Period. And in the next decade or two it’s going to get to the point where we’re going to be dependent on medicine to help keep us alive because of the all ready alarming increase of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, autism, etc… We need to stress the importance to our kids about what is healthy, what is not, and why. Make them independently educated enough to make the decisions themselves once on their own. Give your child the best shot in life while you have them under your wing by feeding them nutritionally and keeping out the junk food. Grow them into strong kids with strong immune systems. Healthy snacks once in a while, yes of course. But will I be trying to balance out my wholesome meals with Twinkies and grape soda so my kid doesn’t lose it at a Halloween party….not a chance! I’m not afraid of this happening to him/her in the future at all:
Matt Rainey/ The Star-Ledger