Healthy foods versus junk food: my kid and I conduct an experiment

Healthy foods versus junk food: my kid and I conduct an experiment
This is the gold star of cuisine according to my children.

My kids and I often have a similar conversation.

"Why can't you pack {insert junk food here} in my lunch? Jackson's Mom puts it in his lunch."  Whines a little voice.

Or at the grocery store, "Please, pretty please, please can we buy {insert sugar cereal here}? " Repeated over and over and over again.

Young children don't understand natural versus processed foods; to them cereal is cereal.  I try to convey how eating healthy foods gives you concentration to pay attention to your teacher and energy to ride your bike. It makes sense that my words can't fully demonstrate how foods can help or hurt our body to little kids.  As a result of these never ending conversations, my first grader and I came up with an experiment using the Scientific Method to prove my theory.

The Problem: Why can't a person eat junk food everyday?

The Hypothesis: Person will feel bad if eats sugary food and strong if eats fruits, veggies, protein and whole grains.

The Experiment: One day of healthy eating followed by one day of junk food.

The Data:

Day 1: Healthy Day

Mom: How was your day? Son: Good

What did you eat today? Healthy food like avocado, bananas, nuts, water and apples.

Did you like everything you ate? Well, I didn't eat the carrots.

Did you have any problems paying attention to your teacher today? No

Did you listen to your mom and dad today? Yes, I think. right?

Did you learn anything new today? Yes. That healthy food makes you concentrate better.

How did your body feel when you ate foods that are good for you? It felt good.

Final thoughts on today? I am excited for tomorrow to eat unhealthy food that tastes good!

 

Day 2: Junk Food Day

How was your day? Good!

What did you eat today? Unhealthy food like Swedish fish, chocolate kisses, burgers and sugar fruits.

Did you like everything you ate? No, I didn't eat the meat in my lunch box.

Did you have problems paying attention to your teacher today? No.

Did you listen to your mom and dad today? Yes, I think.

Did you learn anything new today? That unhealthy food and healthy food have the same affect on me.

How did your body feel when you ate foods that were bad for you? It didn't hurt.

Final thoughts on today? It was the best day ever.

Now that our experiment is over, how will you eat tomorrow and the next day?  A combination of healthy and unhealthy.

 

Conclusion: Although there weren't major differences noticed in simply 24 hours of each experiment, we know that my children can survive and actually be quite pleasant going a day without eating any junk food.

 

The results weren't as cut and dry as I had hoped. Obviously if it was many more parents would be making smarter choices when feeding their family.  It is important to notice that the same applies to adults eating habits; nothing happens instantaneously and that is why dieting is so difficult.

It takes a few weeks or longer for these foods to make way through our bodies and show results.  I am very aware of this difficulty since I've gone dairy free wondering if cheating would make a difference in the long run.

The Scientific Method works on some experiments, but ours ended up being more of a conversation about the types of things we chose to put in our bodies.

My kids are still asking for junk food.

Do you discuss the difference between healthy and unhealthy food with your children?  Do they seem to understand the concept?

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