Tip #3: Are cookies a ‘bad’ food?

 

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Source: Morguefile

“That’s bad for you”

“You’ve been naughty today, you ate so much chips at the party”

“I feel so guilty for eating that fudge cake the other day”

Everyone has probably said something like that, whether it is to children, or to friends. However, have you thought of how such labeling could impact on your child’s diet?

What happens when foods are labeled as ‘Bad’?

  • You crave them more don__t_press_that_button_by_piggybank12-d5ekdrq
    You’d probably be more likely to press a button that says ‘DO NOT PRESS’, let alone your curious kids
  • Kids develop ‘Food Guilt’
    They’ll think they are bad/naughty for eating a ‘bad’ food, creating anxiety or pressure.
  • Kids become afraid of certain foods
    This creates anxiety and a negative relationship with food.
  • Kids judge others on what they eat
    Thinking that a friend is not as ‘good’ because they had choc chip biscuits for snack instead of an apple.

The TRUTH

  • Food is neutral
    You are not bad for eating chips and not better than the person next to you for eating a salad
  • Too much of anything can be unhealthy for children
    Fruit is nutritious, but everything in moderation. Too much of a ‘good’ thing may also be unhealthy.
  • Packaging can be misleading 
    Vegetables are often classified as ‘good’, but does that mean kale chips covered in sugar, salt and palm oil is healthy?
    Check out what The Nutrition Guru and the Chef said.

 

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Source: Pixabay

What should you say & do instead?

  • Say that they are a “sometimes” or “once in a while” food
  • Emphasise the positive/good
  • Teach kids to have a balanced diet, not one that is skewed towards a certain group of foods. This removes the concept that some foods are forbidden, allowing kids to happily enjoy their ice cream, while understanding that veggies are also important.

-R.L.

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