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It can be very surprising for parents to see the choices their tween make whether it is regarding their clothes, the screen, sleep or food . No matter how hard the parents try, the tweens mostly prefer junk food over healthy food. Regular and long-term consumption of junk foods such as fries, burgers, and other unhealthy meals can contribute to various health problems, including obesity.
How does junk food affect the health of the tweens?
Eating junk can lead to incurable diseases in the future like hypertension, obesity, kidney disease . Eating Junk food can disturb the hormonal balance leading to mood swings and behavioral changes. Depression is one of the common side effects of junk food in children. A poor diet can lead to stunted growth, decayed teeth, and obesity which
Most of the time junk foods consist of additives and inedible food colors that can harmful to the body. These foods can affect the digestive system in many kids.
Tweens are in constant race to prove themselves better. But Junk food lacks the essential nutrients that provide alertness to the brain. So they may face issues like lack of concentration; low retention capabilities and learning abilities.This can lead to inability to make friends, and be close to family, and will feel less good about themselves.
How to reduce the amount of junk food in the tweens?
Keep the communication open
Always keep the communication pathway open. This allows the kids to openly share their eating habits. Parents should not judge their kids for their choices as parents themselves must have made bad eating choices as well. Ask what they are eating and teach them the pros and cons of the junk food they eat.
Explore healthy alternatives
Instead of wiping out the existence of junk food from the tween’s life, try exploring healthy options
You can try replacing soft drinks with water, shrinking the serving size and adding vegetables to the food. Encouraging kids to have lettuce in their burgers is one of the few examples.
Focus on diet quality, not quantity
Healthy growth is essential for tweens and you need to teach them values of the food
Tell them to consume lean protein for , muscle development, hormones, and a healthy immune system
Give them fruit and veg, which will give fuel for bodies and brains
Include oily fish, nuts, seeds, avocado, and extra virgin olive oil in their diet. This will help cognitive development, skin health, and eye health
Motivate your tween to exercise as it helps improve mood, brain health, and thought control.
Try to have family meals as it improves the kid’s mood and prevents obesity.
As a parent ,start teach eating behaviors to your tween at home.They should focus on how foods make them feel rather than their weight. Let’s not forget to keep the intake of junk food occasionally not regularly.
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Do read my previous article in these series of : “Parenting TweenS”