You're The Expert: Junk Food

By  on July 21, 2010
Do you ban it or allow it in moderation? Parents’ strategies are wide-ranging.

I know how bad junk food is for you and how addicted I am. Perhaps if my parents would have waited until I was over three to let me have junk food I would not have a weight problem!
– JACQUELINE, TORONTO

I do not plan to give my daughter junk food when she is older... I believe that if we start her eating healthy she will not develop a taste for a lot of junk foods. My parents didn’t let us drink pop and now I do not like the taste of pop.
– KIM, SHERWOOD PARK, ALTA.

My son is only three-and-a-half months old. I plan on waiting until he is two to introduce processed sugars. I don’t think he should have sugars until he realizes that there is an other option and he is enjoying the healthier options. However, on his first birthday we will allow him to try his birthday cake.
– ELAINE, TORONTO

With my first child I didn’t let him have candy until he was three. He thought crackers were cookies and prunes were candy.
– SHONNA, ALERT BAY. B.C.

I don’t even let my one-year-old son have juice, so why would I give him junk food? An
occasional treat now and then is one thing but as a nurse I have seen too many small children drinking pop out of bottles and eating horrible things as a part of their regular diet. I am trying to start my son out on the right foot. My husband and I both have had problems with our weight
and we don’t want to pass that on to our son.
– REBECCA, SARNIA, ONT.

The first time she got junk food, she thought it was all right but it wasn’t a big deal to her. It still isn’t, I think because we do not make a big thing of it with her. She is allowed it as a ‘treat’ and in small amounts knowing that junk food is not the best for her to grow big and strong. She really is a fruit and cheese kind of girl. Often she will choose that over any sort of junk food.
– BRENDA, STRATFORD, ONT.

I don’t think a little treat is a big deal. The problem is that nobody has any concept of moderation anymore. I strictly control my children’s junk food intake.
– KATHRYN, LUMSDEN, SASK.

I held off giving my first child junk food until she was probably at least two. It’s harder with the second child, as she sees the first one eating it. Interestingly, my first daughter hates candy (i.e. hard candies, chewy candies, sour candies, gum candy, lollipops). She only likes chocolate. So the first time she had a candy (not chocolate) she probably gave it a few licks and just forgot about it!
– NICOLE, EDMONTON

I allow my son to have junk food, sometimes more than once a week, if we’re at others' houses or at a birthday party, and some weeks not at all. I don’t believe in prohibiting it, but I try to get him to eat healthier foods most of the time. Often he picks berries or other fruits over a sweet, sugar-filled dessert.
– HEIDI, HAMILTON, ONT.

I hide junk food from my children, so that they don’t eat so much as to spoil their appetites, not because I don’t want them to have any.
– ZOE, VICTORIA. B.C.

Since junk food is a ‘sometimes’ food, it is not considered forbidden or ‘dirty’ in our house and we don’t bother to hide it.
– CATRIONA, SASKATOON, SASK.

Published in August 2010

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