How to build healthy relation with junk food!
What is Junk food?
Junk food is categorised as convenient food with very low nutritive value. It consists of simple carbs, refined sugar, salt and saturated fat. Example are chips, cookies, cakes, pastry, restaurant food like pizza, pasta, burgers and French fries. Junk food may lead to long term health problems such as obesity, emotional eating and chronic illnesses later in life. Lack of vitamins and minerals in junk food or convenient foods could also lead to deficiency disease as well as dental caries due to high sugar intake.
Why do we enjoy junk food so much even when we know its unhealthy?
Firstly, junk food has lot of sugar and salt in them which make them tasty and addictive. These sugar laden and fatty foods cause the brain to release certain neurotransmitters called dopamine and oxytocin which induce the feeling of relaxation, pleasure and enjoyment in an individual. That’s why such foods are also called comfort foods.
Secondly our mood affects the habit of eating junk food regularly. When we are stressed or angry body produces a hormone called cortisol which increases appetite because the body is in need of energy to fight the stressor that we are facing and as junk food are energy dense foods, they provide calorie, sugar and fat.
The key to success for healthy relation with food is to find a balance. Here is how we can create a balance.
1. Allowing kids to eat junk food sometimes without feeling guilty and making them understand that it is ok to occasionally have treat. If kids are restricted or deprived, they may go towards tendency of hiding food or when they have access to those foods they are overeating.
2. Avoiding categorising foods as good or bad- It can be helpful by explaining kids about always food and sometimes foods. For example, fruits and vegetables are always foods and cookies and ice-cream are sometimes foods.
3. Involving children in menu planning, grocery shopping and meal preparation- Involving children in meal preparation would-be first-hand lesson on nutrition. Also, it helps with decision making skills.
4. Moderation is the key mantra when it comes to unhealthy food which will avoid overeating and temptation. Also, it will develop healthy relation towards all kind of food.
5. Relishing treats on special occasions is more realistic, sustainable approach and not using food as for reward or punishment.
6. Being a role model yourself as mother or dad of having balanced meals most of the days and eating junk food occasionally or as a treat.
Last but not the least eating together as family and sharing meal with others create a healthy atmosphere and kids tend to eat more nutrient rich foods along with daily intake of healthy yet tasty supplements like NutriBears Gummies can fill the nutritional gap in children diet.