Kids and Junk Food

Strawnana
Image by arthurohm via Flickr

Children are influenced in their food choices by their friends, family, the media, and other outside factors. The commercials on TV make a huge impact on what children want to eat. This often influences what they want their parents to buy.

What is a parent to do?

  • You can explain to the child that the commercials on TV are one way companies use to let the public know about their product. They make products look very special because they want you to buy their product. Sometimes they may not tell you the whole story about whatever they are trying to sell. It may not always be a wise buying choice if it is not nutritious, costs more than its worth, or other reasons.
  • Perhaps it is time to limit the child’s TV viewing, or, to be more selective in the types of programs that the child watches. There are many educational programs on TV that can present learning experiences.
  • Yes, sometimes you have to give in. It’s times like these that you need to let the child know why you think the food is not what you want your family eating.

To help satisfy your child’s craving for junk food, have some ideas on how you can help them make some special foods at home. The following is one suggestion, which incorporates fresh fruits and is fun and easy to make:

Fruity Freeze

1 large ripe banana
1 teaspoon lemon juice
6 medium strawberries
1/4 cup frozen unsweetened apple juice concentrate

Child can peel the banana and slice into a small bowl. Drizzle lemon juice over banana and toss lightly so all banana pieces are covered. This will help prevent them from turning brown. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze.

Wash strawberries thoroughly in cold water that has a drop or two of vinegar. Using a plastic knife, children can help hull strawberries by cutting off the bloom end, and cutting each berry in half.

In a blender, add strawberries and banana slices. Turn blender on and off briefly to chop up the fruit. Add apple juice and process until smooth. Pour into small sauce or dessert dishes and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Here’s to you and your family’s good health,

Lee Jackson

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