Friday 17 November 2017

Is It Bad Parenting To Serve Junk Food?

Is It Bad Parenting To Serve Junk Food?

I never asked this question when my children were little. We just fed them. We fed them junk food and nutritious, healthy, homemade food. They both had healthy appetites and ate whatever we served, well almost. I say almost because we both worked full time it was easier to cook what the children liked. They liked homemade food, cooked from scratch and they liked junk food too. 
We rarely had fast food, like McDonalds, as neither Mr P or I actually liked them. They were kept as a treat for the children. They had school dinners (I'm sure they had the notorious turkey twizzlers) and on Fridays we would have a takeaway curry and the children would have pizzas, or fish fingers, or burgers. Whatever their favourite was at the time. We had a chocolate drawer.
Oh yes, a drawer full of biscuits, chocolates and the like that the children could help themselves, whenever they wanted. Please don't judge me, I can hear the intake of breath from here. Let me explain.

When I was little rationing had not long finished, chocolate, fizzy pop and sweets were all luxury items and they were expensive. My mother would buy a Mars Bar and divide it into six pieces. We would have a piece each. That was a treat, maybe once a fortnight if we were lucky. 
I used to dream of chocolate, literally. I'd wake up and realise that the chocolate bar I thought I had was just a dream. 
When I grew up I had a theory, that if you were surrounded by chocolate, and could eat it whenever you wanted, you wouldn't eat as much and wouldn't crave it. Great theory eh?

Neither of my children were over weight. They were both skinny and could eat as much as an adult whilst weighing less than a feather. I felt sorry for the fat kids, not being allowed pizzas or burgers whilst mine just tucked in and stayed skinny.

I did turn my nose up at some of the junk food they begged me for, like Pop Tarts! What awful packages of sugar and pap they were. Pot Noodles, I have only ever tried them once and they are awful. My kids loved them.

Now my children are grown up, neither is fat and they have their own teeth. Neither died of rickets or scurvy. They both enjoy fast food and love good homemade food too. 

Times change. The government want to tax sugar and parents blend, spiralise and juice everything that grows. We count our five a day and make sure our little ones get fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. If they do not like them we hide them in sauces, in muffins and disguise their wholesome greeness. We use honey instead of sugar, almond or soya milk instead of cows milk and water instead of pop. We will make our children fit and healthy. But is it bad parenting to serve junk food?

The reason I ask is my grandson Bear doesn't eat. He doesn't eat cake or chips or bread or potatoes or soup or pies or cottage pie. We cooked all his food from scratch when he was little, and still do now but he has always been fussy. 

He likes fruit, vegetables and chicken, but only if he is well. When he is poorly he eats nothing. He sometimes likes pasta. He likes smoothies. He loves chocolate but he wouldn't eat chocolate pudding or drink chocolate milk.

So I have a dilemma. 

When he doesn't eat we try alternatives. Baked beans (gave him wind), tinned pasta (yeuch), roasted vegetables (OK sometimes) fish fingers (no thanks) burgers (mmm if they are the fast food happy meal ones). If I thought he'd eat Pop Tarts or Pot Noodles I'd cook them for him. I cooked frozen alphabet potato shapes, he didn't touch them so I took a photo instead. I asked him what food he liked, as he walked away from an uneaten plate of roast chicken (his favourite), peas and chips (homemade). He thought long and hard 


Strawberries are a wonderful food and he does like them, along with raspberries and blueberries but he has not a gram of fat on him. He worries us. He has a cold at the moment so he is not eating at all. Just a small mouthful of chicken, that's it.

I'd like him to eat a pie, or a burger with cheese and bacon and mayo and ketchup. I'd love him to eat a big slice of chocolate cake or a plate of chips. I'd buy him a plateful of junk food if only he would eat some. 

I think junk food is better than no food - is it bad parenting to serve junk food? What do you think? 




  1. I don't have children. I have a pet that eats only proper food, homemade or bought, only good quality. I make his treats or, if I buy, I would pick the ones that are ok (made in UK, I look at the ingredients). This is what I do with what I eat too. It's what I would do if I would have a child. I don't see any reasons to give junk food regularly. At a party or during a fun day out, a meal at McDonald's or ice cream on the a day at the beach is ok, is fun, relaxed.
    For me is simple, I love my dog, so why would I give him something that is not healthy on a weekly basis? I would apply the same thing a child. (and I do if I prepare something for a friend's child for example).

    That being said, each to their own. If someone wants to give their children fish fingers with fries and ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it's their choice. I don't judge. It's just something I wouldn't do. I'm one of those blending, spiralizing persons.

    1. Absolutely, if you love them you want to give the best


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