My No Junk Food Journey – Want to Come Along?

My No Junk Food Journey – Want to Come Along?


I wrote this post as a participant in the Eat, Play, Love blog carnival hosted by Meals Matter and Dairy Council of California to share ideas on positive and fun ways to teach children healthy eating habits. A list of other registered dietitians and moms who are participating in the carnival will be listed at the bottom of this post or can be found on Meals Matter.


If you are reading this on my website, you have probably figured out that I have a thing for fitness and nutrition… okay more of an obsession really.

I also have a shocking secret. I am not proud of this, but it is time for me to come clean. My kids eat Popsicles for breakfast. (I know… GASP) Breakfasts and snacks have become a free for all of low nutrient, high fat, high calorie foods. I still have control over lunches, and they are packed healthy. Dinners are okay too, but I am verging on a short order cook… something I swore I would NEVER DO.

I have been guilty of buying way too many snacky foods, which of course becomes the kid’s first choice food.

But, change is a comin! I decided to throw out every snack food that was unhealthy and replace it with healthy choices. Not a single unhealthy snack is left in our house.

I am the boss. I am the gatekeeper of the food.  Theses are my new daily affirmations, as I embark on the ‘no crappy food zone’ plan.

Being obsessed with my own nutrition, I must practice what I preach.

Kids will eat what’s available. That’s why I must control the supply lines. Kids can’t eat what is not there. A side bonus is that I will not be tempted by the kid’s rice crispy treats anymore (I know… another GASP).

If you want to join me on my no junk food journey, here’s what we will do:

1. Work fruits and vegetables into the daily routine. Be sure you serve a fruit or vegetable at every meal.

2. Make it easy for kids to choose healthy snacks by keeping fruits and vegetables on hand and ready to eat. Other good snacks that my kids love include low-fat yogurt blended with some low fat milk to make a shake/smoothie, peanut butter and apples, or whole-grain crackers and cheese.

3. Choose whole-grain breads and cereals so kids get more fiber. Don’t be fooled by kids’ cereal marketing. Read the ingredients.

4. Be sneak by adding chopped broccoli or green peppers to spaghetti sauce, or mix grated zucchini and carrots into casseroles and soups. Pureeing is also a great way to add veggies. Pureed sweet potatoes go un-noticed in Mac-n-Cheese or chili!

5. Limit sugary drinks, such as soda, juice, and fruit-flavored drinks. Serve water and low-fat milk instead. Make the “juice is for play dates only” rule.

6. Don’t be a short order cook. Repeat… Don’t be a short order cook.
No separate meals.  Keep serving healthy choices until they become familiar and liked.

We can do this.  No Junk Food.

Do you have a shocking secret that you want to share?

Don’t stop here! Join the carnival and read other Eat, Play, Love blogs from dietitians and moms offering the best advice on raising healthy eaters. And if you don’t get enough today, for more positive, realistic and actionable advice from registered dietitian moms, register for the free, live webinar Eat, Play, Love: Raising Healthy Eaters on Wednesday, May 18.

The Best-Kept Secret for Raising Healthy Eaters, Maryann Jacobsen, MS, RD 
Feeding is Love, Jill Castle, MS, RD, LDN 
5 Quick Ways to Prepare Veggies with Maximum Flavor, Dayle Hayes, MS, RD 
The Art of Dinnertime, Elana Natker, MS, RD
Children Don’t Need a Short Order Cook, Christy Slaughter
Cut to the Point – My Foodie Rules, Glenda Gourley
Eat, Play, Love – A Challenge for Families, Alysa Bajenaru, RD
Eat, Play, Love ~ Raising Healthy Eaters, Kia Robertson
Get Kids Cooking, Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RD, CDN  
Kid-Friendly Kitchen Gear Gets Them Cooking, Katie Sullivan Morford, MS, RD 
Kids that Can Cook Make Better Food Choices, Glenda Gourley
Making Mealtime Fun, Nicole Guierin, RD 
My Top Ten Tips for Raising Lifelong Healthy Eaters, EA Stewart, RD
My No Junk Food Journey – Want to Come Along?, Kristine Lockwood
My Recipe for Raising Healthy Eaters: Eat Like the French, Bridget Swinney MS, RD, LD
Playing with Dough and the Edible Gift of Thyme, Robin Plotkin, RD, LD
Picky Eaters Will Eat Vegetables, Theresa Grisanti, MA
Putting the Ease in Healthy Family Eating, Connie Evers, MS, RD, LD
Raising a Healthy Eater, Danielle Omar, MS, RD
Raising Healthy Eaters Blog Carnival & Chat Roundup, Ann Dunaway Teh, MS, RD, LD
Soccer Mom Soapbox, Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD 
Teenagers Can Be Trying But Don’t Give Up, Diane Welland MS, RD
What My Kids Taught Me About Eating Mindfully, Michelle May, MD

12 Replies to “My No Junk Food Journey – Want to Come Along?”

  1. I love it! We have another thing in our house. The kids know to ask, “can I get a snack from the fridge or the pantry?” With the obvious being that the much healthier snack choices (fruit, veggies, lunch meat) are found in the fridge (I too would eat the majority of the rice krispy treats). You hit it on the head though, if I don’t put it in the house then they won’t be able to eat it in our house. For the most part we do only have milk and water on hand, I’m glad to see someone else sees the benefits of keeping the “100% juice” sugar laden drink out!

    1. Hi Tiffany,

      Thanks for the comment. I am just starting to help the kids make the connection between snacks in the fridge and snacks in the pantry. The juice thing can be viewed as a lttile controversial by some people. Thanks to good marketing, so many people have the misconception that juice is healthy.

      Thanks again! Have a nice weekend.

  2. Kristi – thanks for participating in our carnival! Offering more nutrient-rich choices for kids is the best solution! If they have the best to choose from, they really can’t go wrong. And I know that kids get lots of treats and sweets away from the house, but be sure to offer some special things (even on daily basis) as you don’t want them sneaking foods because they feel too restricted. Ellyn Satter provides some great guidance on this. My favorite tips of hers: a portioned dessert with dinner; and pick a special time once in a while to bake a batch of cookies and let them eat as many as they want until they are satisfied!

    1. What a great group of blogs and information. I think you are completely right about treats. That is part of being a kid. The value of a popsicle goes way up when the kids know they can’t have one whenever they want.

      Thank you for including me in your blog carnival. It was fantastic. Have a great week.

  3. Availability is really the key. We have snacks they can get to easily accessible. It doesn’t stop them from asking for ice cream for breakfast but it gives them more choices without having to wait for me to get around to gathering the food. I was reading you post and thought how great it would be for them to be able to get their own carrot sticks. I’m going to do that today and see how it goes.

    I believe fruit juice is a gateway food to junk. I just creates too much insulin in the blood stream and leads to false hunger. Glad this is becoming more prevalent thinking. It’s so frustrating that every place offers fruit juice to kids.

    Great article!

    1. Thanks for the comment. I agree about accessibility, and that can refer to healthy snacks (like carrots). I just bought a big bag today. Have a great week!

  4. There has been? scientific proof that eat meaters are more likely to have a Vit. B12 deficiency than vegetarians or vegans. This is because of the bad quality of meat, and because the body has to use all the vitamine which are already in the body present, to digest the meat. By the way, execpt for the B12, all proteins are available in algeas like spirulina and chlorella, and wheatgrass!!! central air conditioner prices guide

    1. I hate when that happens. I am sorry it didn’t appear. I will check on that. Thanks for reading, though. I appreciate your kind words.

      Have a great week.


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