Why Parents Buy Less Healthy Sugary & Fat Food for Kids than Themselves

The HealthGal Health Guide
  • According to a new survey, even parents who tend to buy generally healthy food selections for themselves, seem to "wither' when it comes to making consistently healthy selections for their kids.  The prevailing opinion of experts who reviewed these findings is that parent's base their selections on what they think their kids will ultimately accept at the dinner table and in their lunch bags - and those foods tend to be advertised "less healthier" choices.  One expert mused that, "perhaps they think the kid's won't eat the healthier option or will beg for unhealthy foods."  When it comes to girls and boys themselves, boys seem to rate sweeter foods on a higher desire scale, while girls do rank healthier foods higher.

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    Brand names seem to rank high with both kids and adults.  When it came to which healthy foods are on the radar, plain whole grain cereals and low fat yogurt were the most obviously identified foods, while in the easy to recognize unhealthy choices, potato chips and breakfast tarts ranked high.  Isn't it interesting that Pop-Tarts has just opened a huge storefront in Times Square New York?  You can actually customize your 2-pack of those very tasty tarts and eat "sushi style" Pop Tart selections....but that's a whole other blog.


    So what can parents do to heighten their own awareness regarding purchased food selections?  And how does child food awareness factor in to this discussion?  Use the obvious tools, namely an assessment of the nutrition label, coupled with attention to taste, when buying processed foods.  Don't simply trust labels that scream "healthy" since the definition of that term is quite variable in the food world.  Make an effort to present whole foods like fruits and vegetables in a more appealing way, maybe with dipping sauces.  Allow your family to have taste test experiences so they can weigh in on food purchases.  Take your kids to the supermarket and spend time their dissecting labels.  Involve them in the food selection process.  Finally be a parent, which means making mostly healthy selections of food for your family and model the eating behaviors you want from your kids.  Don't get into food fights but do take a stand on which foods can routinely come in to your frig and pantry and which remain special outside the home treats.


Published On: November 25, 2010