Does anyone have advise on how to get an 11yrold and 9 yrold to eat more than just junk food?
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Alawishas - posted on 09/14/2011
real simple and it has probably already been suggested but here goes. If you truely want your kids to NOT eat junk food then don't make it available to them. Elimitate it from your shopping list. Skip the alies at the store. I understand that they can go to friends but at your house you have healthy snacks. Eventually they might even grow to prefer the healthier snacks. Plain and simple.
Stephanie - posted on 04/01/2010
Coming from someone who grew up on junk food I'd say take it away. I wish my parents would've. I'm now so accustomed to eating junk that I like very few real meals. I've tried sooo many things too but I honestly don't like them. I don't think weight statistics would've made me think twice. SERIOUSLY after 23 years of a crappy diet I only weigh 105lbs. I wouldn't focus on the weight because that could lead to self esteem issues. The real focus should be how it affects your health.
Amanda - posted on 04/01/2010
I would remove the junk food you have from your house. Chips, candy, cookies, frozen pizzas, corn dogs, etc. Then begin by having a family meeting and explain that you want everyone to eat better and feel better and you would like to do it together. Ask what some of their favorite foods are and then make a healthier version at home. Maybe they like chicken strips. So get some chicken tenders at the store. Coat them with the following mixture: bread crumbs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Parmesan cheese. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until crispy on the outside and cooked through on the inside. Serve with asparagus, green beans, or salad. They can be cooled and cut into strips and served in a salad. Have the kids participate in the shopping and cooking for their meals. Good luck.
Jolene - posted on 10/09/2011
California has a eating healthy campaign that one of the slogans found on the billboards says my house my rules.
I agree with the posts that say rid the house of junk food. They are not of an age where they are feeding themselves.
My sister had a hard time with one of her children eating. The dr told her, a child will not starve themselves at 2. If you are putting before them good food. Eventually he will be hungry enough to eat it.
I run an in home day care. I feed 12 preschoolers lunch every day. I can not run a short order kitchen. I have children whose parents tell me that their child will not eat such and such at their house and they eat it for me.
I have a 3 year old right now that does not eat any vegetables at home. So everyday, with the parents knowledge, I give her vegetables with her lunch. She has now eaten, green beans, peas, carrots, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, beets, & asparagus. She still doesn't love them but she is eating them much better even at home.
I think it all comes down to what is expected. When my 5 children were young if they didn't eat what was given for any meal. I wrapped it up put it in the fridge and the next meal got it out and reheated it and gave it too them again. I would do this until they ate what was being served at my table. Only once did my daughter at 3 wait until dinner before eating her oatmeal. With nothing but water to drink, if she wanted, in between meal time. At dinner she asked, if I eat the oatmeal can I have the dinner too. Yep I said. You just have to eat your oatmeal. She devoured the oatmeal then ate what we had for dinner.
I never had to do that again. She learned that what was being served was expected to be eaten. Now, before anyone is shocked. I serve very small portions. They never have to eat more then 2 -3 Tbls of what is being served. They just have to try it. They are also never allowed to say they don't like it. They can say they don't care for it, it is not their favorite etc.. But I had seen from experience that if one child said they didn't like it then NO one liked it.
My sister in law would always complain that her children were horrible eaters. But then I'd watch them pick at their meals, then ask 30 minutes later if they could have crackers or chips, or fun fruits etc. and she'd let them.
I believe that if you don't eat the healthy meals being served. NO SNACKS at all. Then only healthy snacks for 85% of the time. Like celery, apples, carrots, etc. with occasionally ice cream, cake or some kind of sweet. My rule was if you are hungry so soon after eating you should have had a bit more healthy food. That you should be able to wait 4-5 hours until we eat again. We are just not a snacking family.
If they are snacking all day they are not going to be hungry come meal time.
Amanda - posted on 02/28/2012
Sure, don't buy it. If it's not in the house then they can't eat it. My nephew, who's lived with us from the day we brought him home from the hospital, was a major junk foodie at that age. We finally stopped buying it and that forced him, in a way, to eat what was being prepared. We wouldn't even let him go shopping with us because it was the constant "can I have this?" "I want cookies" "Ooo can we get some chips and soda?" Never again, now he's 17, 6'3" tall and eats what we all eat. Granted there are a couple of veggies he just will not touch (but I'm that way with peas and cooked carrots). Taking back control of what comes into the house is our job as parents. Even with my 7 year old, we're dealing with the same thing now and we're applying the same rules to him as we did for my nephew. It's hard, sure, a lot of whining, fussing, and tantrums. But it's better for them in the long run and easier on your pocket book too!
Iysha - posted on 10/21/2011
my daughter is way younger than yours but since we moved in with my parents again, the food situation is out of control...she gets whatever she wants so, during the day when she's with me i make it a point to make her meals a bit more healthy. if she wants chips, she gets plain tort8illa chips with salsa or guacamole. chicken nuggets are not served with fries, theyre served with guacamole or strips of cheese, pancakes are topped with peanut butter or fruit, eggs are scrambled with olive oil. any sweets are things like chocolate dipped strawberries, frozen bananas, frozen yogurt, and milkshakes made with yogurt instead of ice cream. I try to replace any white bread with wheat too...dinner is the "free" meal where she eats whatever my parents want, like chilli dogs or pizza =] lol
Crystal - posted on 09/21/2011
I would like to thank everyone for the advise.... I have eliminated 99% of the junk food and it seems to only bother my husband (lol). I have noticed that if I take the kids to the grocery store and tell them we need to get some fruit they are more than willing to help. I have allowed them to chose the type they want and they love it....Thanks again....
Ashley - posted on 09/20/2011
I agree with Alawishas. My sister's child is fat and mine are not. It is completely dependent on what kind of food is offered.
For a long time I blamed parents only, but now I'm starting to notice a few things in stores. Regular-size bagels are now called mini-bagels and the former New York size bagels are now considered the regular size. This is just one example.
My children are healthy eaters; our breakfast is fruit based and our lunches are veggie based. The only "junkie" things we eat are snacks, and I limit them strictly to 100-calorie pack sizes. I don't want to be a tyrant but it is my responsibility to keep them at a healthy weight and balance their nutrition.
To be honest, because my children see me on the treadmill they want to do it too. I let my two boys - age 5 & 6 - run on it as much as they feel like. Usually about 15 minutes is all they can take at one time.
Melissa - posted on 09/13/2011
Make your own Macaroni and cheese: there is a rachel ray recipe, you might be able to find on her website, but you can make it by boiling down carrotts so that you can mash them, you boil them in milk. You also make mac and cheese like normal. I do that with my son to get him to eat healthier. Foods i want him to eat, i will disguise his food more. I will mash cauliflower with mashed potatoes to get him to eat cauliflower, and use it in shepards pie, and it makes the shepards pie healthier- too much potato can really set on your stomach too. you can use substitues for mashing potatoes too- yogurt or sour cream are better to use than butter or margarine. There are websites on healthier substitutions. You could also do the mixing of carrotts with sweet potatoes, and make whichever taste they like stronger. You could have a 1 every week, 2 weeks, or 4 weeks as your junk night, everyone gets to pick their favourite junk treat to have for dinner/ dessert, maybe make a menu. 2 people (e.g. kids or parents/ 1 kid, 1 parent) get to pick the dinner 2 people get to pick the dessert, the next week you flip it around. Then whatever is left over gets pitched that night- and use that night as a REWARD. If they eat healthy all week, then you get your junk night, if not then you don't get your junk night.
Chef - posted on 09/13/2011
Dear Crystal, it's really difficult in today's society to not get away from the junk food. If you have healthy snacks and food at home this cuts down how much junk food they eat during the day. Cut and past this url for 10 tips for picky eaters. Have a great day! Chef Jacquie http://taste4travel.net/node/398
Brittany - posted on 09/10/2011
Heather I agree with what you are saying but, when the child or children are being completely definite or disrespectful some sort of discipline needs to be put into action.
My children have the occasional "junk food" item but, not often. My children, who are toddlers, have their days. For a long time they refused to eat any vegetables AT ALL. I solved this by not giving them any meat until they ate their vegetables. I did not load down their plate with vegetables. We do not buy canned vegetables either, which does make HUGE difference in taste and texture.
To break an old habit you must enforce some kind of structure. If the child knows he or she will not be able to get up until they eat their food (NO! I do not recommend this for children under 6) then they know they should make some kind of effort to try it. Any parent with a brain will say "Ok thank you for trying your green beans and now I see you do not like them." No big deal.
Another thing that might help if having your children prepare the food with you. I could not get my oldest son to eat green beans until he helped me one night. We cut then ends off, setup the steamer basket, and he helped season them. He was able to cook them and add what he liked to them. He now eats his green beans.
Heather - posted on 09/09/2011
Forcing a child to eat something he dislikes or has an issue with is not a way to win them over to the healthy side. Some children come with texture issues that cannot be overcome. I would however have them try some of everything on thier plate then use the ones they will eat as a regular item. I say this because my son will eat broccolli, cauliflower, carrots and even snowpeas, however the he will not touch creamed corn, sweet peas, spinach or greenbeans. So I stick with what works and leave the others sitting on the grocery store shelves. Pick how to fight the battles so you can win the overall war. Said war being getting your children to eat healthy.
Brittany - posted on 09/09/2011
Not trying to sound like a butt-hole but,
Stop buying it. No more cookies, cakes, candies gum or soda. If you catch them with it, they are grounded. If they want to give you a hard time about eating vegetables tell them they can not leave the table until they eat vegetables. If they want to give you lip...remember you are the parent here.
Leanne - posted on 09/08/2011
At that age you should have full control over what they eat, you are the one that buys the groceries. They will not let themselves starve if you start refusing them junk food, eventually they will start to eat the healthy stuff. Good luck :)
Margaret - posted on 09/08/2011
It takes about 3 weeks to break eating habits and it's really hard, once kids get used to junk food, to get them off it. It means a lot more work for you, since driving through the take-out window is so much easier than preparing nutritious food. First, have no junk food in your house at all; second, keep healthy snacks already prepared in the fridge--apple slices, carrot and celery sticks, peanut or other nut butters such as almond or cashew, for dipping. Break the sugar habit and you're home free. (But that's so much easier said than done.) There are a lot of places online to tell you how to do it, so I won't go into that here. But seriously, be prepared to work your tail off.
JoAnne - posted on 09/07/2011
The problem with not buying it will cause them to find it other places and hid it from you. Plus it is education to show them how to pick a healthy choice. I have hidden the junk food so that they cannot get to it without me getting it for them. I am taking a class right now for my degree in ECE and they say giving children a choice between a healthy and unhealthy snack shows them how to chose properly.
Here is a great article to read. We had to read this for my Health, safety and nutrition class.
Heather - posted on 09/07/2011
My son gets healthy snacks during the daytime. I keep his favorites, peanuts (unsalted), raisins, nectarines, oranges, cheese and apples here for his snacking. We do desert after dinner if he's followed the rules here and at school and even though it's only ice cream and only 2 small scoops. Otherwise he sees nothing here that isn't healthy in nature. It's worked out very well with my son and hopefully as he gets older it continues to work. Again I never keep junk food in the house except the desert ice cream and he eats the healthy stuff without complaint, and he's 8 years old.
Susan - posted on 09/07/2011
They can't eat junk food if you don't buy it!
Trying to get kids not to be picky eaters starts as infants, NOT when they are 9 or 10 It's too late then. I have 4 kids (2 grown, 1 teen, 1 tween) From the time they started eating table foods, they have eaten everything my husband and I eat. There are no "Kid friendly" meals served at my table! There were very few foods that they did not like. I insisted that they at least TRY everything that was put in front of them. If you don't eat what I cook, you go hungry!
JoAnne - posted on 09/07/2011
I have a 12 and 9 year old and one is a picky eater and the other eats everything. My 12 year old will barely ever eat dinner with us then sneaks junk food before bed. I finally got fed up with it and began to ask him what his favorite dinner is and not letting him eat anything until after he eats at least (for example) 10 bites of meat, 15 bites of side dish, and 2 and 1/2 scoops of a veggie. Than I allow a desert of their choice. I have to be stern and make my expectations and the disciplinary action very clear,
I have 3 children and switch off days on who gets to pick dinner. My daughter has a hard time eating anything but veggies all day and night, my 9 year old eats a lot of junk food but eats dinner like its going out of style, then my 12 year eats a lot of junk food but after setting my rules and allowing him to pick dinner certain nights it has made dinner time an enjoyable event. I hope this helps!
Christine - posted on 09/05/2011
Mine is only 3, but his idea of "junk food" is occassionally pretzels, and brocoli/kale cheese puffs, and lots & lots of fruit. We otherwise do not buy junk food, so we will see once he gets to be that age. I will likely not really allow it in my house. There are lots of healthy choices out there. I discovered these Rice Chips that are called Rissotto Chips and there is a Spicy Marinara that reminds me of Doritos. Stuff like that is what we have to occassionally munch on around here.
Amber - posted on 09/01/2011
Let them help you plan the meals for the week and DON'T keep junk food in the house. Just swapping out simple things like homemade pizza (make it with them!) for the boxed can make a huge difference if you're using fresh ingredients. Don't go cold turkey, but if you start making healthier choices and involve your kids in the process, they'll see that you're serious. Look at labels and do research. You'll be surprised to see what you think is "healthy" for your kids is actually junk in a pretty package!
Karen - posted on 08/30/2011
i've got 16,14,10,6 year olds an the only thing i did is got serious about it an didnt buy it or give it to them now i have to say we've had temper tantrums but they are now happy with it an look forward to the once a week treat, but yu have to have the will power to let them go to bed hungry but believe me they will not strave to death once yu dont brake before them an give it it may take a week or so but they will come around to your thinking because its all thats there :) i wish yu all the best :)
Alice - posted on 08/29/2011
Do you have good routines around food? Meals, food and eating is not just about how much or what it is. Its about the attitude towards food and the way its delivered. Do you get him involved with preparing it? growing it? choosing it at the supermarket? Talk about where it comes from and why we eat good foods/sometimes foods/bad foods. Include emotional desciptions about how they taste, feel look. Play games like what colour is this and were does it come from. Relax a bit more about how much he eats and get them involved on a fun level. Hope that helps :)
Alison - posted on 08/29/2011
Have a short family activity with a lesson on nutrition and planning a menu with meals they choose (unless they choose candy pizza or something). You can look up info at pyramid.gov I believe. Then you could set up a reward system--like they get a nickel for every day they go without candy without complaining and then when they need a splurge and have enough money, they can buy themselves. Or you could make a dessert once a week. In the middle of writing this response, I realized what an old post this is, but oh well.
Anissa - posted on 08/29/2011
Don't buy it for them. And don't make a big deal out of it. the bigger the deal you make the more they will protest! believe me! my family is Scottish and very strong willed. When my mom decided we were eating entirely too much junk food she simple stopped buying it all together if we wanted it including soda we had to use our allowance to purchase it. But dont make a big stink when the kids notice their stock has not been replenished simply say it's too expensive or you don't like it so your not buying it if you want it you can use your money to get it(thats what my mom said) And be sure to fill the fridge and pantry with easy fast healthy snacks they like. for example carrot sticks or celery and peanut butter. bags of salad and dressing. etc.. but make sure it's easily accessable and takes little effort. and before you know it they will be snacking on granola bars, eating cheerios, or moawing down some veggies w/o any complaint. Btw I was the sam age about 12 when my mom started that.
Erica - posted on 08/25/2011
tell them that they can each have junk food yes i said it. Let them each pick one item that you agree to purchase for them at the grocery store. explain to them once it is gone it is gone until the next time you go to the store. explain to them that you will do this for them if the cooperate with you on trying different foods around the house other than the usual food they have been eating. Also explain to them that these foods are okay to eat but to much is not a good thing serving size ect. also to introduce foods that they refuse to eat tell them to just put it on there tongue until they are comfortable eating it. Also don't forget to praise the new great behavior and efforts. Sometimes this can be hard but they will notice they have more energy and feel better for making better choices
Shawn - posted on 08/23/2011
I'm sorry but I don't agree with this tricking your kids into eating food. Hide it in this, so they won't know. That defeats the whole purpose of your children LEARNING to eat healthy. Also, your children are 11 and 9. I say this to mean I'm sure they go to school and are involved in activities that require them to be away from you and out of your sight. Which means, when they are away from you they are still going to choose JUNK if they don't know they are actually eating healthy. Healthy eating is a lifestyle CHOICE. You want to know that even when you aren't looking they would rather choose a healthy snack then pick up chips or a candy bar. Also, unless you are making these veggie burgers and veggie chicken nuggets and etc from scratch all of that food is processed and not good for your children either. You don't need to TRICK your children into eating healthy because in the end the trick will be on you.
Cheryl - posted on 08/23/2011
Don't have any junk in the house, They will get hungry and eat what you have. Make spaghetti sauce with tons of veggies and puree it, hiding the evidence lol Make chicken fingers at home..bake with potato wedges. Veggie hot dogs..they may never know. I was feeding my daughter a whole summer veggie chicken nuggets..lol even now that she knows she still loves them..you can not tell.
Make home made pizza on whole wheat English muffins, lean ham low fat cheese..there are alot of ways to make what they like but twisted healthy..
Shaylynn - posted on 08/23/2011
My children are 4 and 6 but all kids "want" the junk food. I tried not buying it at all but that deprives everyone in the house as well as the kids. So instead now i look for things that they like but arent high in carbs, sugar or fat. They should be able to have it just try finding healthier versions of it. Like for instance try baked potato chips which are jsut as good or if they make a fruit salad they'll be more amped to eat it because they helped to make it. Thats what i had to do with my oldest when i couldnt get her to eat anything but chocolate. And now i cant get her to eat anything but fruit
Shawn - posted on 08/21/2011
I'm sorry but an 11 year old and a 9 year old don't give a flying fig about statistics. First, I agree with Amanda. You need to remove the junk from the house. Second, before you talk to them you need talk to YOU. Find out why you are serving them junk in the first place. Be honest. Are you serving it because it's easier to do. Maybe your work schedule makes it easier to pick up McDonald's instead of cook. That happens to everyone. Once you learn the why's you can fix the wrong. Next talk to them and find out what they like then experiment. Like Amanda said in the first comment Cook with them. My son eats healthy to this day and will be 18 and off to college because he COOKS his meals. A hand in what you put in your mouth helps. Most parents expect children to eat whatevers in front of them not realizing little taste buds aren't the same as an adults. Our tastebuds change every 7 years. One game I played with him when he was little was guess that food. Blind fold them and give them vegetables, fruits, meats etc. Sometimes it's the presentation to kids. It looks gross so it must be gross. It's a Jedi mind trick that works. Try it and see. Make it a game and then you learn what they truly wont eat or what they think they wont eat but actually end up liking.
Tasha - posted on 08/15/2011
I agree with pp, dont make it available and they wont have a choice. Getting kids involved in the cooking can help too. I know if your kids are used to eating junk it will be hard to cut them off but they will be better off in the long run, maybe its not right but use the treat as a reward for eating healthy for a week or something, and just develop healthy habits. Nothing wrong with cake and ice cream, just not daily. And keep them active!
Karen - posted on 08/13/2011
dont offer junk food!if its not in the house, they cant eat it. i talk to my kids ages 9 and 6 about healthy foods and how are body grows. they know that if they eat too much junk, they feel like crap. i dont keep junk food in the house, i never have,so they just dont care as much. you need fun healthy snacks like smoothies and trailmixes that will make them seem like they are getting a treat but its healthy. all teens like junk food but if we teach them early enough that their bodies arent made for that kind of food, its easier to deal with. scareing works too, talking to them about diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure and how it will affect them when they are adults can help.
Marion - posted on 03/26/2011
get them to help make the dinner if they want pizza and chips get them to make them from scratch do oven chips instead off deep fat fried and make things like stirfrys and make home made burgers theres less fat in them and they still taste great and kids love to help so let them add things that u wouldnt normally as they and u may like it most of all have fun with it.
JUDY - posted on 03/25/2011
start by not letting her have any...dont take it out of the house teach her that if she wants it she must eat food.
my 11 year old is not allowed to take anything unless she ask since she was little but if that is not the case let her know that she can have junk if she eats food first....
Patty Ann - posted on 03/20/2011
Do not get rid of all of your junk food, it will make them want it more! If they like spaghetti, try chopping up veggies(carrots,squash,tomatoes, etc) and putting in the sauce, also if you do stir fry, you can add lots of veggies, chop the ones they don't like extra fine, and they'll never know they ate them. Try getting them to eat a banana on their peanut butter sandwich, keep fresh veggies and fruit available.
Krystyna - posted on 03/19/2011
I am in no way being judgemental, but if you want them to stop eating junk food, you have to stop BUYING the junk food. Try to make healthy alternative snacks like toasted whole wheat tortillas and home made salsa. Try to take the junk foods they like and make up a healthy version of it.
2nd...I agree...get them more involved with meal preparation, choosing a menu, even shopping for the ingredients. This will definately get them more interested and involved, as well as feeling a sense of accomplishment in preparing the meals, and a sense of responsibility. It will also help them to discover a whole new world of food and ingredients they have maybe never tried. Have them alternate days in helping with meal preparation, or have them be responsible for an aspect of the meal every day. Make foods from scratch using fresh/wholesome ingredients.
Make a chart of different fruits and veggies that none of you have never tried before. Find recipies for them on the internet and use one of those items each weak in your menu, and discover something "new" and delicious together. Do not just buy processed and packaged foods because its quicker and easier.
I have 7 yr old twins and a 5 yr old. They are no strangers to the kitchen and meal preparations. I am always serching for better alternatives to "junk food" that I can prepare myself and that they would love to eat. The kids all have their own aprons and cutting boards since they were 3. I have them cut simple veggies like mushrooms with a butterknife, or do simple other tasks with food like mixing, mashing, tossing, etc. They are very hands on with meal prep, except when it comes to raw meats or poultry. I find they eat better and are very proud when they help prepare the meals. I'm sure your girls will feel the same.
It is crucial to teach them good and healthy eating habits and food preparation now so they can grow up to be good, strong and healthy adults with no health problems like obesity, heart disease, stroke, etc. We are the parents. It is up to us to set good examples (YES...we have to practice what we preach!) and do our best to make sure that we give them all the tools they need to live healthy lives.
I know you will do great! Let us know how it goes.
Anne-Marie - posted on 04/25/2010
Let them help in preparing meals, talk about healthier eating and show them its not all just fruit and veg thats good for them, most children asume when you say healthier eating it means eating like a rabbit and maybe let them eat a little junk food at weekends as a treat. Hope this is a little help to you good luck x :)
Tia - posted on 04/25/2010
I feel for you. I have recently (past 4 months) really cracked down on the amount of junk food my 12 yr. old and 7 yr. old boys are allowed to eat. It has not been easy, lol. Cutting out sodas, "junky" cereals, most fried foods, processed foods and meats with nitrates. It has been tough...and has required serious dedication especially since I like all that stuff to a certain extent, too.
I explained all the bad things junk foods do to people's bodies like heart disease, obesity, liver trouble, strokes, diabetes. You could show them online pics of what a blocked artery is and the long term effects bad eating habits can have...reminding them that you love them, want them to have long healthy lives and that you aren't punishing them by taking away their favorite foods.
My boys were NOT happy about the GRADUAL switching out of foods. Ex: brown rice instead of white, but now they actually enjoy many of the new foods I've introduced. I also leave Saturday as our official "Junk Food Day". That means soda, pizza, chips, ice cream...whatever they want in reasonable amounts. It gives them something to look forward to after cooperating with me all week. And I also have to add that I myself have lost 20 lbs. since making these changes, my skin is clearer and I have much more energy. I wish you the best of luck. May the force be with you..hehe.
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