Obesity and other diet-related chronic diseases don’t just occur in adulthood, it is usually a result of the relationship an individual has with eating habits such person has cultivated since childhood.
Helping individuals especially adults build a healthy relationship with food requires a lot of effort, the extent however wouldn’t be as hectic if it were children. This is why the early formative years of a child is the perfect time to help them nurture a healthy relationship with food coupled with research revealing that most Children already formed most of their habits by the age of 9 years.
In this article, I will be sharing a step-by-step approach you can take as a parent to help your child reduce their junk food intake.
This approach is best for children between the ages of 1- 6 years old. It might not be very effective for children from the age of 7 years old and above as children within this age range will require some sort of communication to ensure effectiveness.
So what are the steps to take?
Conviction: as the parent or guardian, one has to be convinced that this thing this journey one is about to embark on with one’s child is for the best. When you are convinced about your WHY even when situations that question your decision face you, it will be easy for you to continue unlike if you aren’t convinced.
Reduce: reduce the quantity of junk food you buy. Instead of just stopping abruptly, it is best that you reduce the quantity gradually. Change is a gradual process especially if you want to achieve optimum results.
Map out: get your pen and journal, and map out a meal plan on the time and the quantity to be given. Ensure that there is a reduction from what it used to be.
There might be tantrums but, stay out and stick to the plan.
Alternatives: help the child find alternatives to those times you cut out from feeding junk. The child might start to throw tantrums when they crave more, redirect them to something else that is more productive.
It could be giving the child water, offering a nutritious snack, taking them for a stroll around the compound, coloring, it could be anything. The point is to find better alternatives to will give the child more benefits.
Stay Consistent: these steps are not a walk in the park it can take a month, two months, or even more before your child adapts to these changes. The parent’s consistency with the plan is a way of communicating to the child that, this is the new way now and we are sticking to it.
Reducing the rate of consumption of junk food is a habit that will require careful nurturing. Such a habit didn’t start in a day so stopping it will also take process. It is lots of hard work, effort, and actions that will contribute positively to the child’s learning, development, and overall health and it will be worthy of everything you put into it.
This approach is a general one. However, if you need a more structured approach personalized for your child, send a message to my Instagram handle to book a 1:1 session.
I hope you find this helpful 🤗.