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Dangers of touch junk food for normal weight children?

(24 Posts)
hmc Mon 21-Apr-14 09:25:11

Both my dc are a slim, athletic build principally because they do a great deal of sport. I have been lax and let them have too much rubbish so typically a cake after lunch, a cake after dinner some chocolate in the evening and a galaxy drink. My concern is not weight gain since they are active and this does not arise - but could this be deleterious to their health in unseen ways?

AuntieStella Mon 21-Apr-14 09:31:36

Homemade or bought cake?

Artandco Mon 21-Apr-14 09:38:06

I would stop most of that tbh. I think it's just sets up bad habits in general and unhealthy for teeth as well as them getting less vitamins than if they ate something healthy at those points

I would scrap the galaxy drink altogether, they really are terrible for teeth and just warm regular milk instead

Then just give a piece of cake or choc each day max.

I also have slim children. Both around 50% for weight but off the scale for height / around 99% sometimes. So it would be easy to just let them eat whatever as they obv can eat more as taller than average and excercise loads. However I know that at some point in the future they will stop growing in height and that's when they may gain weight easily if eat lots of he wrong foods

We make ice lollies in summer with just milk and fresh fruit blended. They rarely have desert as if full from dinner won't eat more, but if so it's just greek yogurt with berries ad down honey maybe. They rarely snack either but snacks are nuts, cheese, boiled eggs, fruit, raw veg,

Cake is generally just at birthdays they go to , or occasionally we bake some. Chocolate is only at Xmas/ Easter/ Halloween etc, and most of that gets eaten buy adults also then binned if too much

hmc Mon 21-Apr-14 09:52:06

Shop bought cakes AuntieStella.

Yes you are right Artandco - it does set up bad habits which may take their toll in future. Particularly if there are phases of their life when they can't participate in as much sport.....also as you point out, when they stop growing.

HolidayCriminal Mon 21-Apr-14 09:59:16

"could this be deleterious to their health in unseen ways?"

yes, mildly so, very right to think weight/bmi/mass/size is only a small indicator of health. The main thing is that "junk" food displaces other food that are more nutritious. Think about the flavonoids, fibre, minerals & protein they aren't consuming because of the sugary foods.

Sugar in particular rots teeth, promotes heart disease & fat around internal organs, & links to a host of other ills.

I'm all for what you fancy in moderation, btw, but a lot of ppl don't understand moderation.

To be honest I can't see I problem with this, as long as they brush their teeth & are still eating healthily & remain active. Maybe just have one of this rather than all of them. DD always has a small cake or biscuit bar type thing after lunch. Hasn't done her any harm & her dietition hasn't flagged it up.

Artandco Tue 22-Apr-14 07:16:23

Chocolate - unless your dd is 50-60 years how do you know it's doing her no harm.

Iv seem perfectly healthy looking people having clogged arteries and huge fatty areas around heart despite looking healthy as they ate lots of fast food etc

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 22-Apr-14 07:27:29

I'd worry more about the habit than anything else.

If they get used to sitting with chocolate in the evening then they may not realise that they are burning a it off now but if they haven't been as a active one week that's when the obvious problems will arise.

Habits won't stop if they are more or less active all of a sudden. They won't change what they eat according to how busy/quiet their activities are.

hm32 Tue 22-Apr-14 07:31:45

I am a healthy weight and my mum always provided pudding after dinner and cake at weekends. In contrast, my DH struggles with his weight and he never had pudding/cake as a child. He tends to eat an over-large portion of his main course.

As a child, the only snacks between meals allowed were fruit, but you could have as much as you were hungry for at breakfast/lunch/dinner. I grew up knowing when I had eaten enough, and eating a wide variety of foods, especially as pudding always included fruit (e.g. crumble).

tobysmum77 Tue 22-Apr-14 18:30:21

I think it's a bad habit. They may be slim now but won't necessarily stay that way. I realise that people have different metabolisms and a tiny number of people eat like horses without ever changing. However most overweight adults were not overweight children.

tobysmum77 Tue 22-Apr-14 18:31:30

and a fruit crumble with dinner is hardly the same as 2 cakes, a galaxy drink and chocolate in the evening.

capsium Tue 22-Apr-14 18:35:51

I would change to something that you can limit the portions of sugary stuff to being very small.

Eg. Box of nice chocolates but you are only allowed 1 after a meal.

Or stew some fruit, without much added sugar and add a crumbled small biscuit on top, with some cream.

capsium Tue 22-Apr-14 18:38:27

As a poster said upthread homemade ice lollies are good. Can use yoghurts, stewed fruit, liquidised fruit, cream, small amount chocolate gratings etc.

weatherall Tue 22-Apr-14 18:38:56

I agree with other about bad habits forming.

It will be incredibly difficult for them to change their habits when they are older and have slower metabolisms and less time to exercise.

capsium Tue 22-Apr-14 18:43:04

But I think it is important not to ban stuff, doing that could encourage binging when the stuff is more easily available.

Having a small amount means they can learn to exercise self discipline, they wouldn't expect to eat more than a small amount when there is junk available.

Junk food can cause all kinds of health issues. Size and health are tied together far more than they should be - it is perfectly possible to be skinny and have diet related health issues.
Banning junk is also unnecessary, but feeding junk and thinking it is fine as long as your DCs aren't overweight is missing the point if eating well.

Artango seeing as my DD's life expectancy isn't above 20 tbh I couldn't give a flying hoot what it will do to her at that age

hmc Tue 22-Apr-14 20:40:11

I'm really sorry to hear that chocolatecakeystuff

hmc Tue 22-Apr-14 20:44:23

I read something recently about raised cholesterol levels in seemingly (outwardly) young and fit people. Will definitely cut back on the junk - have got some pistachio nuts in for snacks - loved by both dc (healthy fats in nuts, no?) and some brie and crackers. They reach for the treat box when hungry and whilst brie and crackers isn't brimming with virtue it has to be better than a chocolate mini roll.... I do often say - have an apple or banana and that does sometimes work...

Liking the idea of a box of chocolates and their after dinner treat just being one or two small chocs rather than something larger

capsium Tue 22-Apr-14 23:05:38

If you can give them a taste for really expensive chocolate, the cost is too prohibitive to eat too much of, and the cheap stuff just doesn't compare! grin

hm32 Wed 23-Apr-14 07:27:29

If you're worried about bad habits, I think snacking is the worst - regardless of what you snack on. Unless you're doing a lot of sport, three meals a day + fruit if hungry in between is quite enough. I know a fair few overweight people who eat seemingly healthily during the day, then stuff themselves silly with cake/choc/sweets/crisps after dinner.

hmc Wed 23-Apr-14 11:02:13

They are doing a lot of sport....much more than average

HolidayCriminal Wed 23-Apr-14 18:54:08

ah, I am a chronic snacker. It works perfectly for me. It keeps the blood sugar very stable (I've read that somewhere). I would get so weak and then overeat (gorge/pig out) if I could only eat 3x a day. Or I'd get anxious about when I next eat (I see this a lot with MIL who only has 3 meals and cups of tea at very fixed times).

Raised cholesterol in young people is mostly to do with lack of exercise, afaik. Look up TOFI/Jimmy Bell's research.

I think one biscuit a day at 3pm is very moderate, btw. It's kids in the park with carrier bags full of sweets & pop that isn't moderate.

Twighlightsparkle Wed 23-Apr-14 19:49:06

I have a very skinny 10 year old and we let her snack on two " junk " things or so a day, she eats fruit and veg aplenty too.

So she wil have crisps after school and an apple , after tea she's had ice cream and when she gets home from guides maybe cheese and crackers.

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