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Moms Talk Q&A: Junk Food

Sound-off with our Moms Council about this week's hot topic: what is your policy on junk food with your kids?

Each week in Moms Talk, our Moms Council of experts and smart moms and dads take your questions, give advice and share solutions.

Georgetown Patch invites you and your circle of friends to help build a community of support for mothers and their families right here in Georgetown.

Moms, dads, grandparents and the diverse families who make up our community will have a new resource for questions about local neighborhood schools, the best pediatricians, 24-hour pharmacies and the thousands of other issues that arise while raising children.

Moms Talk will also be the place to drop in for a talk about the latest parenting hot topic. Do you know of local moms raising their children in the Tiger Mother's way and is it the best way? Where can we get information on local flu shot clinics for children? How can we help our children's schools weather their budget cutbacks?

So grab a cup of coffee and settle in as we start the conversation today:

What is your policy on "junk food" and your kids? What do you consider junk food? How do you make sure your kids eat healthy when they are at school?

This week DC Farm to School will join the conversation and answer questions you might have about healthy eating in D.C. schools.

Guiomar Barbi Ochoa March 23, 2011 at 02:34 PM
I agree, Judy. My parents made sweets a "reward only" thing and I became overweight. I would sneak junk food in whenever I could. In a way, it became my way of rebelling. That's what I want to avoid.
Judith Bunnell March 23, 2011 at 02:35 PM
I hear you! I had/have the same problem with TV! I was only allowed a few shows and now I am addicted to Reality TV!
Jennifer Perry March 23, 2011 at 06:04 PM
We try to strike a balance with the "junk food" issue - neither completely outlawing it, nor completely indulging. I think as with anything kids need to learn how to make healthy choices and I don't think they can do that when there's a complete ban on something. That said - we try to model good eating behavior, so a lot of the junk food just isn't in our house. I don't buy soda, chips, doritos, cheese curls, etc. Treats for the kids involve cookies or icecream, popcorn, etc. We talk a lot about what's healthy, why you want to eat healthy (trying to avoid the body image issues, by talking simply about healthy bodies). So when we're out and the junk food is available, I might say, are you sure you want that, this other (insert healthy snack here) will give you a lot more energy and might not make your tummy hurt. If they still want the junk food, then we would allow it, unless it was preceeded by another not so healthy choice. I think its all about moderation - teaching how to achieve moderation. I think the place the junk food battle is won is on the everyday. For instance example with snacks after school, when I come to pick them up, I would probably only bring fruit/veggies, sometimes crackers, maybe a bag of organic popcorn. They are really hungry at this time, so they fill up on the good stuff. They get used to eating the good stuff and come to like it.
Jennifer Perry March 23, 2011 at 06:16 PM
Stoddert went to a local/whole foods menu for lunch. I've been impressed by what they're offering - whole grains, whole veggies/fruits, etc. so the junk food is moving out of the elementary schools. The parents provide snacks for the kids (usually the whole class at a time) in the earlier grades and are encouraged to provide fruits/veggies and other healthy snacks and in the upper grades, parents pack their own kids a snack. They do however let kids bring in cupcakes/treats for their birthdays, so the thought is healthy for the everyday, treats for special occasions. I've appreciated this approach. As for soda, it is one of the things that we did ban in our house when the kids were little, treating it as an adult/older kid drink. It is a choice now for our older kids, but when offered, my kids don't even like anything fizzy. It's very likely that will change, but that was one thing we just didn't want to develop a habit for early on.
Shaun Courtney March 23, 2011 at 09:41 PM
This post is from Anne Barnes, one of our Moms Council members. She is out the country, so I'm posting for her: So with my 4 kids, it's always been a struggle. Even when you go to restaurants, the seemingly healthy options are sometimes the highest in fat and calories because they are prepared with butter and sauces that make them taste good, but are bad for you. I stopped letting my kids eat school lunches and instead help them prepare healthier options to take - fresh fruits, a portion of protein & carbs. I am also very conscious of preparing well balanced meals at home, somewhat with the hope that they will get used to eating that way and keep up the habit as they grow up.

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