Is It Okay to Let Your Kids Eat Junk Food?

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We all want to make our kids happy, and sometimes that means giving into their wishes and letting them experience a bit of the fun and less-healthy side of life. Although we try to give our kids the healthiest foods while teaching them the skills they need to make good decisions later on, our kids still often crave those ridiculously worthless junk foods we wish they would just avoid. So, is it okay to let your kids eat junk food—or not? The jury is in, and it turns out there is a way for everyone to get what they want.

What Exactly Is Junk Food?

Junk food is not the habit of eating junk that you find out of your garbage can, although your chances of finding something with some real nutritional value that way are just about the same. If you let your kids eat junk food, it means that you are letting them munch on things that are full of empty and useless calories. Junk food consists of things that are highly processed, void of nutritional value, and made with added chemicals and fillers. The misguided practice of letting your kids eat junk food might turn your child into a statistic, for a large percentage of the obesity and diabetes problems today can be seen in children.

What Does Junk Food Do to My Kids’ Health?

As a parent, you are not the only one who is concerned with your child’s well-being. The National Institutes of Health have raised questions as to whether junk foods—that is, foods that need little to no preparation before being consumed—cause serious problems in our kids. It turns out that they do. Junk food, fast food, and highly processed goods are now being linked to increased weight gain and an overall insulin resistance over time. This situation can eventually turn into type 2 diabetes or worse. If you frequently let your kids eat junk food, now might be a good time to stop.

What Should I Offer Instead?

Try to give your kids healthier options from which to choose. If you load up your house with good groceries, your kids will have no choice but to eat from that selection. You are the boss here, and they will get hungry enough to eat what is given to them, eventually. You can also find ways to make healthy food fun—for your sake as well as for the kids. After all is said and done, weaning your kids from junk food might be among the best things you do for your family, especially for their health.