01 Mar Why do kids love it, if it’s junk?!
Let’s talk about junk food. Parents constantly struggle when it comes to drawing the line with junk food. If it were left up to the little ones, every meal would be from one fast food giant or another! We know that saying no to those expectant, adorable faces can be difficult but it’s something that must be done. To understand why we as parents, must not give in to their requests, bargaining, or even begging, let’s first break down the problem and answer the golden question. Why do kids love junk food?
Now even as responsible, health-aware adults, we all have a sinful, secret craving for that one favourite junk food no matter how healthy our daily diet is. Our willpower and good sense seem to completely melt away even at the mere mention of our guilty pleasure. So, it’s only understandable why kids fall so obsessively in love with junk food. Here are a few reasons.
It’s Designed for Just That
Junk food is mostly designed and created by companies that often have a worldwide presence. This means they have massive budgets at their disposal, a huge part of which goes into taste profile studies and taste tests of their products. These brands have identified children as one of their largest consumer groups and create the junk snack foods they serve, after finding out exactly what the highest percentage of any given population, especially kids, who are easily influenced.
Big Budgets. Big Advertising.
Being multi-million-dollar corporations, these brands have huge marketing and advertising campaigns that are highly engaging, and often directed especially at kids, all over the world. Studies have shown that kids as young as toddlers recognise the brand mascots and even logos and connect them to their respective junk foods at once. These unhealthy and even harmful foods have always been advertised by extremely adorable cartoon characters and for decades, these marketing methods have gone unchecked by government authorities across the globe. It’s only now that some countries have taken steps to put checks to the extent and the content of such advertising directed towards children.
Tastes Like Nothing! Yummy!
Another secret to the incredibly wide range of people that absolutely love junk foods, kids or not, is the fact that these snack foods have the most neutral taste possible. This is so that the highest possible number of people would like them since the primary goal of junk food manufacturers is to achieve high sales. The ingredients used are usually of the lowest quality that is legally allowed in a particular country and the ‘taste factor’ is amped up by a dangerously high sugar and fat content. Sharp, defining flavours that often accompany healthy foods for kids such as green veggies, nuts, herbs, etc are avoided and used to the bare minimum.
Not Just ‘The Big Bad Guys’!
Now we can’t put the entire blame of children’s bad food habits on these big, bad corporations. We the parents, have to take some responsibility. Sometimes, it’s just easier to say yes to your little one’s demands instead of dealing with the daily 5 pm snack-time tantrum. After all, the so-called ‘easy snacks’ are not so easy anymore when your child refuses to eat them!
Another age-old problem is, kids, do as you do, not as you say. We cannot say this enough! If you eat junk snack foods, your kids will eat junk snack foods. It’s that simple. At times, parents are unable to find the time to whip up delicious and yet healthy snacks for kids or even themselves in their busy lifestyles, and understandably so.
Luckily, there is now some relief for parents even on those super busy days when you can’t even catch a breath! timios, for instance, offers specially designed, yet off-the-shelf snacks for kids such as Energy Bars, Mini Oaty Bites, and 4 different varieties of flavourful Munchies. So, you never again have to give up and say, ‘Okay, let’s get you those fries!’
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