Unhealthy Food For Kids Is Okay

Unhealthy Food For Kids Is Okay

06/14/2024
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You don’t have to feed your child perfectly every single day.

You make all of your food at home, never buy fast food, and make your own baby foods. You use natural ingredients and stick to whole foods. You’re raising your child to love healthy foods, and you don’t let them have any of the processed foods that are popular these days. They may not want the chicken, fresh vegetables, or whatever else you’ve prepared for them, but you’ll make it through.

There are parents out there that live this extreme - and that’s totally fine if you choose to do so. But remember that you’re not a failure as a parent if you let your child enjoy some of the less healthy and processed foods from time to time. You don’t have to feed your child only healthy foods for their entire life - eventually they’ll find out about those other foods that you’ve been keeping away from them.

What’s important is that you’re generally feeding your child healthy, but that doesn’t mean you can never let them have some of the tasty alternatives. It’s hard trying to make food every day or week that your child will eat, and there are days where you’ll simply be tired of fighting with your child over the food that they’re eating. Trying to have an overall healthy diet is the goal, not having a perfect diet.

In our home, we don’t generally eat cereal during the course of the week. Instead, we set aside one day a week where the kids can have cereal for breakfast. It’s their favorite day of the week generally for breakfast, but they also know that it’s the only day they get the tasty and unhealthy choice. They don’t complain about it during the week, and they will ask for other tasty and healthy breakfast options instead.

Our oldest son didn’t even know what fast food was until he was 4 years old - he ate at McDonald’s one time before that for a birthday party, and he didn’t even really eat that much of it. Once he learned what it was, he’d ask for it more often, but he was really more interested in the toys than the food itself. We’ll do typical fast food with kids' meals about once a month - we enjoy other restaurants regularly as well.

Don’t feel like you have to give your child unhealthy foods if you don’t want to, but don’t feel like you’re a failure if you do either. You should be striving to be eating healthy most of the time, and then including snacks and other unhealthy choices on an irregular basis. Yes, your child may only want to eat those things, but if you stick to not giving it to them often then they’ll know that it’s a treat when they do get it.

You can also include the healthier versions of food in your diet more regularly. For example, you don’t have to buy pizza from the local pizza place, but rather you can make your own pizza. Kids will likely have just as much fun making the pizza themselves. Similarly, rather than buying ice cream that is loaded with sugar, you can buy frozen yogurt which still tastes good, but has far fewer calories in it.

You don’t have to be perfect with your food choices for yourself or your child. You should be striving to have a mostly healthy and well-balanced diet, but you can still enjoy the unhealthy options from time to time.

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