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Fed up by the junk in some of the food aimed at children? Dazed and confused by the number of additives and ingredients listed on the label? Then check out the No Junk Challenge from Organix – add your comment and you could win a £250 JL voucher! NOW CLOSED

(123 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 22-Apr-14 14:29:44

We have been asked by baby and toddler food brand Organix to showcase their new campaign - the "No Junk Challenge". They want to invite MNers to take part in the challenge which runs from 28th April to 4th May.

Organix say "We'd love as many parents as possible to take the pledge now in preparation for the No Junk Challenge and say 'yes' to real food and 'no' to junk. We are launching the No Junk Challenge to expose some of the junk in children's food and to ask parents to help us call on Government and the food industry to provide stricter controls to ensure better food for children. We also need to demand clear, easy to understand labelling that will help parents to make food choices for their families."

Here's how the challenge works - Organix want you to try to feed your family for a week using fresh ingredients, avoiding artificial additives and foods high in added salt, fat and sugar. Tell them how you get on, the high points, the challenges, and share your top tips and easy recipes.

If you already manage to avoid junk in your children's diets then you’re welcome to join the conversation with Organix on how to avoid the junk and choose healthy and nutritious food for your family.

If you'd like to be part of the challenge - take the pledge on this site and post on the thread to let us know you're in.

Organix welcomes any tips MNers want to share about improving your DC's diet and how to avoid junk food with your children - please share them on this thread. Please also think about any examples you can think of where there are junk ingredients in products – and any foods or ingredients you try to avoid giving your children.

Everyone who adds a comment to this thread will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win £250 of John Lewis vouchers and a hamper of Organix food.

Sign up now to get ready for the No Junk Challenge next week.

Thanks and good luck
MNHQ

MrsLoada Mon 28-Apr-14 20:20:36

At home it's easy not to have junk. As we cook most meals from scratch but we do like a bit of junk every now and then. A takeaway once a month that sort of thing. But my big issue is with school dinners both my kids are at secondary school. When I ask what they have had for lunch it tends to be burger,fish fingers, pizza chips chocolate chip muffin bottle of flavoured water/ fruit shoot type drink. I would mind if this was once a week but it's every day. Some days they will take a packed lunch which includes a sandwich crisps piece of fruit and a bottle of plain water.I think at least they are getting salad in the sandwich and some fruit. In the teenage years they are bombarded with adverts aimed at them for stuff like colas. Footballers drinking Pepsi that sort of thing why haven't we got the England team or who ever enjoying a banana?

KateOxford Tue 29-Apr-14 06:01:16

Recently I've been making a really big effort to bake healthy things with my son when we cook together, rather than just the normal chocolate cakes. We've made cakes with a little bit of dark chocolate, beetroot and ground almonds which were delicious and muffins with yoghurt, honey and fresh fruit. It's been an opportunity to introduce him to new things and get some extra fruit. My son, aged nearly 4 doesn't have squats or sweets and we limit treats like chocolate.

prakattack Tue 29-Apr-14 12:01:58

The main thing I have always tried to remember with my little ones is that as well as feeding them the healthiest diet I can, I am also trying to instil good eating habits that they can continue as they grow up. So I feed them a healthy diet but a realistic one. Snacks is a perfect example. I've never used Organix carrot sticks and sweetcorn rings because I don't want to teach them that crisps are a normal part of everyday eating - what would they replace it with as they grow? Real crisps every day??
Instead, they eat real fruit, rice cakes, crackers, seeds, and occasionally dried fruit.
I really struggled, in the baby/ toddler food aisle of supermarkets, to find healthy snacks that weren't "crisps" or based on very sweet dried fruit or juice. Rice cakes seem the only option and it would be great if Organix were able to expand the range of savoury snacks they produce. As someone said upthread, even the more savoury flavours of flapjacks/ cereal bars etc seem to have been discontinued.

stephgr Wed 30-Apr-14 00:57:34

I try really hard to make meals from scratch so that I know exactly what my children are eating. The hardest thing is when they go to friends' houses where they're eating junk but I wouldn't feel at all comfortable asking other mums to watch what my children are eating when they go round for tea. Snacks when we're out and about can be difficult so I try to be organised with healthy fruit and veg snacks in my bag for the children.

CrewElla Wed 30-Apr-14 12:42:10

I don't like the pledge or the implied pressure. Are we supposed to feel guilty that we don't prepare everything fresh ourselves?

It does seem odd that this campaign is from a company selling packaged food.

orangepudding Wed 30-Apr-14 18:49:51

I saw some organix baby food in sainsburys. I thought that some of the food was junk food for babies.

mrshuggybear Thu 01-May-14 09:23:44

The biggest problem I have is with sugar, I read how much sugar is in things and find it really hard to make healthy choices. I bake with a stevia blend and can't understand why foods can't be made with stevia or all naturally sweetened with grape juice. I have a 2 and 4 year old and I can already spot a tendency towards sugar addiction in them but as a busy mum can't avoid sugar in everything. I wish I was a better cook too as I find it hard to make sauces from scratch and find the time to make complicated meals, we eat fresh food all the time but some help with quick and easy meals would be good.

HappyMum4 Thu 01-May-14 11:05:35

I've taken the pledge, the amount of sugar and salt and saturated fat in child-orientated products is alarming, and I try to make as much as possible, I do notice a difference in the children's behaviour, they do seem calmer and get fuller quicker with homemade stuff.

hm32 Thu 01-May-14 12:46:24

I don't understand why you'd buy specifically child orientated products anyway - why not just give them some of your food? The closest we come to that is the mini packs of raisins for portable snacks. We were being totally healthy with those (Lidl ones with nothing added), but DS prefers the ones with veg oil as they are softer, so I give in sometimes.

My DS eats what I eat, and given that I can't have artificial additives, that means food made with real ingredients. I don't think you should 'never' have chips, or baked beans, or other 'not quite so healthy' foods, or you make them into something desirable by their rarity. But I think occasionally is quite enough!

I wouldn't buy Organix food, as it is too expensive. Sorry!

We try to avoid junk as much as possible but I still worry about the hidden levels of salt in everyday foods such as bread and baked beans. I avoid boxed cereals for their sugar levels but sometimes do wonder if all the toast, cheese and butter my two eat means they get too much salt

MoralFibres Thu 01-May-14 13:51:20

I'm in! I try to make my own food from scratch where possible, but as a working mum it's sometimes difficult, but it's confusing to know exactly what the healthy options are in the shops, even with food labelling. Some foods market themselves as healthy or low fat even though they're full of sugar. I noticed some milky way chocolate milk in the shop the other day that said "school friendly" yet the second highest ingredient was sugar.

It's also difficult when you take your kid round the supermarket (my daughter is two), and they see Peppa Pig branded yoghurts, completely full of sugar, and trying to explain to your kid that they can't have any. I agree with the Mnetter above who says characters like that should be on natural yoghurt rather than the sugar packed varieties.

Maiyakat Thu 01-May-14 21:09:39

It can be difficult to avoid added sugar and salt in snacks. I try to include as much fresh fruit as possible and cook from scratch..

lolancurly Fri 02-May-14 08:07:17

I realised recently that we hardly ever have any convenience foods (apart from oven chips and icecream) in the freezer, which is good. We try to do the 'vegetable by stealth' approach, by sneaking in large amounts of veg into pasta dishes. This works classically well in things like spag bol, if you dice celery, peppers, mushrooms, onions, butternut squash etc up really small, it makes a lovely sauce. I am never sure how much of the vetable goodness is lost in the process of making a good slow cooked ragout, although it is very tasty. Fruit is easy in my house - kids all love it. The worse thing is trying to stop my youngest from drinking fruit juice as it is often full of sugar and of course, very bad for your teeth. She is a b*gger when it comes to trying to get her to drink anything else and definitely won't drink water.

ErnestShufflebottom Fri 02-May-14 10:07:25

All done and tweeted. I sneak veg into spag bol and chilli by blending it. When ds was younger I would make faces out of fruit to encourage him to eat it. I would give him peas and sweetcorn out of a sweet packet so he thought he was having sweeties.

BarbaraPalmer Fri 02-May-14 19:39:36

well, this isn't going to win me the JL voucher, but I really dislike brands such as organix, who make claims about their foods that are designed to make people believe they are healthy eg adding fruit juice to stuff instead of "processed sugar", when fruit juice is basically liquid sugar anyway.

don't get me wrong, my DC do eat salt and sugar. But I'd rather cook them a balanced meal from scratch, and then give them a cake for pudding, than faff around with "healthy" yoghurts and cereal bars.

I didn't feed my DC any branded baby foods. We got lucky in that both DC were happy to eat home-cooked adult foods from weaning.

ClubName Sat 03-May-14 19:05:32

Isn't most of what Organix produces junk? Highly processed, lots of sugar and very little actual nutrition?

Avoiding junk is easy. You don't buy anything marketed specially for children and avoid anything overly packaged

kelandab Sun 04-May-14 09:08:15

I'm very lucky with DD2 in that her favourite things to snack on are cucumber, grapes & peppers, so it makes keeping junk out an easy task. DD1 however is a harder task, but I find just by not keeping a cupboard full of unhealthy snacks & having school dinners which are junk free, she can be pleased with a treat of a bag of sweets at the weekend.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 04-May-14 09:31:53

I class it as junk tbh too.

Perhaps not as bad as some but still junk and misleading.

Anything that lasts months on a shelf in plastic or foil just isn't fresh is it? And no matter what version you use it's still "preserved" with fat or sugar.

And agree that kids versions of everything isn't necessary. The adult stuff is fine in the small occasional quantities it should be given. It's just money making gimmicks.

JodieGarberJacob Sun 04-May-14 09:46:59

Dd1 is 22 now and when she went onto solid food I remember firing off letter after letter to Kellogs, Nabisco etc raging over the products aimed at children that contained so much sugar. It's nothing new but bloody disgusting that we still have to have these fights over ingredients. The only thing that's changed is that these products are no longer advertised on TV thank goodness. Good luck.

ClubName Sun 04-May-14 13:41:37

IMO products such as Organix are far worse than this we recognise easily as junk.

Most people now realise that they should include too much junk in dc's diet and make choices with that aim. Replacing them with pseudo healthy things by Organix doesn't improve anyone's diet but leads parents to believe they are feeding a healthy diet when it's actually no better than if they were giving much cheaper junk alternatives

moneyone Sun 04-May-14 20:52:07

Organix have played a huge role in weaning both DC - thanks for the "good" wotsits grin. They're toddlers, and I try to give them protein with each snack to keep them going (cheese and cucumber, or breadsticks and houmous). Of course, sometimes they get a freddo instead, but I am evil mother strict abou juice - it's water all the way here!

Moogdroog Mon 05-May-14 07:38:49

Types for avoiding junk - be prepared with healthy snacks when you go out and about, add this is when the junk tends to creep in, when everyone is desperate!

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 06-May-14 12:49:12

Thanks for all the comments - am pleased to say DoItTooJulia wins the £250 JL voucher and Organix prize.

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