In recent decades, the consumption of junk food among children has been increasing alarmingly. Something that in Mediterranean countries like Spain is even more striking and worrying, as our Mediterranean diet is considered to be the best in the world. The food of our land is healthy, rich, varied and the gastronomy of Spain is one of the best valued in the world.
However, most children prefer a burger from a fast food restaurant, rather than a good homemade snack. The problem is not that children take this kind of food occasionally, but what, for them, junk food has become a prize, into something fun that is eaten with their hands, which carries a gift toy included and that in addition, it has an addictive taste that does not have homemade food.
Problems arising from the consumption of junk food
Junk food, also known as fast food, is called because it is foods that do not provide nutrients that the body needs. Instead, these foods are full of sugars, sodium, saturated fats and all kinds of substances unhealthy for the body. In addition, their preparation is usually fast, with little elaboration and often with low quality ingredients, add to the name the term “fast”.
This type of unhealthy products are the main cause of obesity in many countries around the world. A worrying fact as it also affects children. Excess fats, refined flours, sugars, fried and everything that accompanies this type of food, such as carbonated drinks, add a significant risk to children’s health. As well as obesity and emotional problems associated with excess weight, health problems such as diabetes or cardiovascular problems should be added, among others.
How to reduce fast food consumption in children
The main key for children not to consume so much fast food, would be that they had never tasted it. That is, the child can not miss something he has never had or tried. However, prohibitions never fulfill their primary function, rather on the contrary. The more you deny him what he wants, the more eagerly the child will want it. Therefore, in order to prevent the consumption of junk food from becoming dangerous, it is essential to control it from the start.
Here are some keys to reducing the consumption of junk food:
- Prepared at home much better: Kids can have burgers, pizzas, hot dogs and all kinds of fast food. Of course, occasionally and whenever possible, prepared everything at home artisanally. If children help you prepare the food, in addition to enjoying the final product they will have a great time cooking.
- Food is not a prize, it is a necessity: Many times we make children confuse need with desire. Which becomes a potential danger as children will develop a bad relationship with food. It is very important that from young people understand that food is a must, gasoline that your body needs to function. But eating, should never be a whim, a desire or a way to solve problems, such as boredom or sadness. Nor should they associate fast food with a prize for doing something right, as this only causes confusion for the little ones.
- Teach children to eat everything: This is the best way to prevent them from acquiring unhealthy habits, such as the desire to eat junk food. For example, if one day you drink fast food at home, try to always be accompanied by something healthy, like a salad or some vegetables.
- Be the best example for your children: Eat always healthily and as a family, so children will get used to eating the same as you. Make every meal a quiet moment, without distractions like television.