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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Junk Food Dilemma

This post is my approach to teaching moderation when it comes to junk food. Junk food used to be a serious problem for me and I didn't want to pass it onto my kids. I was raised with no junk food. On the rare occasions that cookies were bought, my mother locked them in a file box. (Little did she know that my brother & I would break into "The Box" by simply removing the hinge pin and sneaking out a scooter pie.)

As all good parents, we want to avoid repeating the mistakes of our upbringing. So, my approach to junk food is an open door policy -- which in our house is an open drawer policy. We have "The Junk Food Drawer" instead of "The Box". At least the kids learn what is junk food and what isn't based on its location.

However, there are some parental controls.
  1. The kids have to ask before taking anything from the drawer, but I rarely say no. Only if we are about to eat a meal -- I say yes, but they have to eat real food first.
  2. Another trick is to have them propose how many pieces. They consistently ask for less than I might have doled out.
  3. A plate, bowl or bag must be used so there is some sense of portion -- no eating directly from the bag at our house, but a whole lot more dishes.
So far its been successful for not only the kids but for me too!

Have a good day,
Practical Jenn

(Disclaimer:  Although my kids don't over eat junk food this should not imply success in fruit & vegetable consumption.  Please post your suggestions.)


  1. I am guilty! I definitely recall extracting the hinge pin to get at the Scooter Pies. (Talk about the junkiest of junk foods. Scooter Pies!) How many times did I and my co-conspirator siblings do this? Probably more than once -- but not that many times.

  2. We had a junk food drawer too when I was growing up. Swiss cake rolls always seemed to disappear the fastest...

  3. For the record, my mother is denying everything!

  4. Jenn, I had the same upbringing!! Peanut Butter Balls (made with all natual peanut butter, no sugar) were a "treat." And just like you I have residual junk food issues. So I totally subscribe to the open door policy. It seems to be working for my kids too. Good advice!