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My children want all the junk food they see advertised on television. I know it’s not healthy. What should I do?

The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents and daycare providers to limit television viewing for this very reason. Research consistently shows that children ask for foods they see advertised on television. The ads are clever and enticing to youth. The AAP recommends that children watch no more than 2 hours of television or videos per day. Watch television with children and point out that the foods advertised are not good for their bodies. If you can’t watch with them, make sure the video or program you select is free of commercials. Next, avoid buying “junk foods” when you go to the store. What you don’t buy, won’t be eaten. Candy, cookies, donuts, cakes, soft drinks, highly sugared cereals, juice drinks, chips and fast food kids’ meals are okay now and then, but they don’t contribute to our children’s good health and should not be part of a child’s daily diet. 

Melinda Hemmelgarn, M.S., R.D., Former Nutritional Sciences Specialist, University of Missouri-Columbia


More about Making Mealtime Pleasant with Young Children

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Last updated:06/13/2005
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