How I keep my child away from junk food

When a baby is born, he does not know the difference between a chocolate and a fruit, he does not know the difference of pasta and paranttha. Then how do they know it when they grow up? Who tells them that they have to repel fruits and long for chocolates and chips? If you think that it is the taste that they like or dislike, then you are wrong, because you cannot deny the fact that fruits do taste good, and an aalu paranttha is no way less delicious than a pizza. Then why do they cry for an orange flavored candy, but do not eat an orange; why do they demand for fruit and nuts version of dairy milk but do not eat dry fruits.  Who tells them that chocolate and chips are good and fruits and vegetables are bad. It’s us. Yes, it’s us, their parents and family. How? Let me explain.

When their favorite aunt visits them and gives them a chocolate, they perceive that chocolate is something so good that someone who loves them gifts it to them. When you bribe your children with a chocolate; when you tell them they will get a candy if they complete their homework or behave well in front of guests, you actually tell them that chocolates and candies are something so good that they should work hard for it. If it is something they get as a reward, it must be amazing, right? When you go out to eat and order a burger or pizza, they start seeing these food items as a luxury, and who does not like luxuries.

Also read, in what ways I used coconut oil for my baby, and how amazingly it worked.

Believe me if you can; I take my 2.5 years old daughter to the market and many a times to confectionery shop too (to buy other things). She looks at chips and chocolates (and she likes them too), but never ever asks for them.

Lucky me? No, wise me. She too is a child just like all others. But I knew it from the very beginning that I have to keep her away from junk food and so I took the required measures even before she was old enough to ask for junk. I am not lucky, I have just molded my daughter’s eating habits the way I wanted them to be. She has likes and dislikes (she is a human) and she has been a fussy eater (she is just a toddler), yet, she eats only what I want or allow her to.

No junk food for my baby

Finally, let me tell you how you too can manage to achieve this. Few of the following tips might sound funny or weird, but trust me, they work.


Ask your guests to bring a fruit instead of a chocolate. You can give them a fruit secretly and ask them to gift that to your child with the same excitement with which they would have given the chocolate (Oh… see what I’ve brought for you… a chocolate…err… an apple…. You like it no). Sounds funny, right? But it sounds funny only to a grown up, not to a 1-2 year old toddler. The key is that you have to start very early, before your kid is too old to be fooled.


Talk to their grandparents, and their buas and mamas. Make them understand that giving them chocolates and chips is no way of showing love to them. If they really love them, they should help you in making them develop healthy eating habits. I literally did it several times. At times I might have offended my elders, but my baby’s health is my priority.

No Unhealthy Rewards

As a reward, give them a fruit or something home cooked that they like, not chocolate or chips. If food is not their choice, you can reward them with some extra play time or an extra trip to the park, but not junk.

Dining Out

Whenever you dine out, order only healthy Indian food. This will send out a message to them that this is the food of choice; healthy food is the real luxury.

Home Cooked

Cook burger, pasta, pizza etc. at home (healthy versions of course). When you go out, they will not crave for these things, thinking that this is normal food being cooked at home. Also, even if they ask, you can tell them that they are unhealthy, cooked with chemicals and bad oil. Promise them to make these at home (needless to say, fulfil your promise).

Importance of Nutrition

Keep telling them the importance of balanced diet and healthy eating habits. If your child is old enough to understand, tell them the role that different nutrients play in our body. You can use graphics for this purpose. Show them pictures or videos related to this. Also tell them which food item contains what. Tell them that they need to include all the nutrients in their daily diet.

Don’t just tell them what they have to eat and what not, also tell them why they have to eat healthy food and not junk food. Children also deserve explanations.

Innovative Cooking

Be innovative in your cooking. Cook different and delicious, but nutritious. Yes I know it is difficult. But you have to be a laborious mother to make and keep your children healthy.

Healthy Shopping

Take them shopping with you and buy healthy food. Keep telling them what you are buying and why. You can pick up something unhealthy, read its label, and then tell them that it is useless with no nutritional value or a lot of chemicals. Talk hateful about it, like ‘I don’t understand who buys such useless food items’ and put it back. They too will develop a disliking for unhealthy food.

This also implies that your kitchen and fridge should not be stacked up with unhealthy food items.

Don’t Give up

Never give upon to their persistence of asking something junk. Don’t give them an impression that you will surrender if they behave stubbornly and throw tantrums.  If you once say NO, stick to it. If you want to say YES, say yes in the beginning itself.

I told you that my daughter never asks for junk. You know why, because she asked for chips once and I denied firmly. She kept persisting and I kept ignoring. And that was the first and the last time she did so, because now she knows asking or even crying is of no use.

However, she always asks for lollipop. You know why, because I let her have it (a small lollipop once 2-3 weeks is okay).

The point here is that if your kid is stubborn, be more stubborn than him. If he throws tantrums, turn a deaf ear to him. No matter how strong his perseverance is, you are his mother/father, and so yours should be stronger than his. I have seen several parents saying ‘kya karein, maanta hi nahi hai’, I want to ask them: HOW?? How can your child be stronger than you, both physically or mentally? And trust me, if you stop giving up, he will stop throwing tantrums and start accepting your NO.

Right Balance

A little balance is needed. Let him have food of his choice once in a while. Respect his demands sometimes. They should feel that you care for their happiness also. Stick to no when you say no, but say YES too sometimes.

However, you have to define a line. For example, my daughter likes pasta. So when we dine out, she asks for it. Although, I know that pasta (which is not home cooked) is not a very healthy meal, but at least it is not canned or a ready to cook version; it is not containing preservatives or colors or taste enhancers (hopefully). So, I let her eat pasta sometimes, but I don’t allow her to eat Lays (she likes it very much). What I mean here is you have to choose what you will allow and what you won’t.

To fool your child, give him options (of your choice) and ask him to choose. As an example, give him choices of pasta and pav bhaji, but do not keep chips or maggi in the choices (even if he likes them more). When he will choose, he will be fooled to think that his demands are met.

Oh yes, my daughter loves Ice-creams too. So I allow her sometimes (once a month).

Baby eating ice-cream

No Forbidden Fruit

Another important point is that if someone gives her the chocolate or chips, before I could stop them, I let her eat because I don’t want to make it the forbidden fruit for her.

Also, sometimes I have to stop her and that too in front of the one who brought it, so that the person knows my stand and does not bring junk for my daughter next time onward.

See, it’s all about balance. Decide wisely.

They will follow YOU

Needless to say, you (both parents) are the one who decide and design the eating habits of your family and home. Maintain a health oriented eating pattern and set of rules. When your child will be subjected to it since the very beginning of his life, it will become the default mode for him.

Still doubtful about the effectiveness of these tips and tricks?

Then let me share another incidence with you. Once I was busy in the kitchen. My mother in law had just returned from the market. My daughter came to me in the kitchen having a Frooti in her hand. She said “Maa, daadi has brought this for me. Can I drink it?”. She could have it in the living room itself and I would not even know. Still she came to me asking for the permission. I replied, “No beta. You know these things are not good for your health”. “Ok maa” was her reply. She went back to her grandmother and returned it back saying ‘maa mana kar rahi hain”, and got busy in playing again.

There were two benefits of this incidence and our responses. First, I got to know that my tricks are working, and second, her grandmother never brought such things for her again (thanks to her for being understanding).

Lucky me? No, wise me.


  • Start as early as possible. Earlier the better. Like, start today.
  • Be firm in saying NO. Do not surrender.
  • Make good eating habits the default mode.

So here is all what I did to keep my child away from junk food, and junk food is no more a problem in my life.

If you find this post useful, please like, comment and share with other parents so that they can also safeguard their children’s health.

A worth read: Read here what society has to say to me and mothers like me who have daughters: Ek ladka to hona hi chahiye! Really?

Don’t miss the amazing uses of Coconut oil for babies and the effective tricks to keep your baby away from diaper rash.

Stay tuned for more…


10 thoughts on “How I keep my child away from junk food

  1. Hi,
    I really like the point when u explained about the reward .. indeed we offer our little one’s such candy chocolate chips etc… As a reward ….as if these items are so good n healthy for them.
    At times it’s very hard to say NO to our in-laws and family for the same . The time has come when we have to take stand for the betterment of our kidzy .

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