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Kids food sucks:

There. I said it. Kids food sucks in almost every way.
By Mel Haynes
Date: October 27 2011
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There. I said it. Kids food sucks in almost every way.  I’m not into naming and shaming (I’m sure you can pick the culprits) but here’s my top 3 reasons why.

1. Advertising - Kids food is over packaged, highly advertised and “fun” by association.  Whether it’s a playground in the building, a free toy or cartoons on the front, it’s psychologically damaging them because it’s less about the health and experience and more about building emotional dependence on this food from a young age.  Eating disorders in the making.

2Homogeneity - Foods are over salted, over sugared, and generally consistently flavoured.  Kids palates are developing and they dont depend on the overpowering of sweet, salty, sour flavours we adults have grown accustomed to through our processed food environment.  Fresh food is naturally bursting with flavour and can be enhanced by herbs and spices without adding things that cause “taste bud deafness.”

3.Separationist - Kids are people too.  They need to learn to develop eating skills like they need to learn everything else.  By exposure.  That means an entree serve from the adult menu  and eating with and knife and fork.  Chicken nuggets and chips is not appropriate food for kids ever. Period.  I wont even ask for a kids menu, the very idea is against my religion.

I maybe a “food Nazi” but raising healthy kids requires limitations.  With a growing body of evidence suggesting that junk food for kids stunts their cognitive development sometimes you need to make hard calls.  It’s part of parenting.  After all YOU are the adult and it is your responsibility to ensure your child has good food to eat the same way they need clothing, shelter, schooling and love.  Make food a fun, loving family affair and trust me: your kids will thank you for it

If you want to be proactive against food advertising aimed at children sign up and become a member of The Parents Jury.

For other tips on raising healthy kids you can read my article on Kid Wrangling here

Happy cooking xx

Mel Haynes is an experienced chef and qualified nutritionist. You can see her blog at: www.melhaynes.com.au

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