What words do you use for (healthy) and (junk food) for a young child of 4 years old?

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Post by Guest »

I do not want to create judgement on foods being "good" or "bad" in our house, rather everything is good in moderation; however, I do want to sometimes say something along the lines of "the food we eat at dinner is nutritious and your Halloween candy is just sugar."

My question is what WORDS do you use in place of "healthy, unhealthy, junk food, nutritious. etc." that a 4 year old would understand.

I'm looking for simple words rather than an explanation.

I've used nutritious vs fun food but not sure she grasps the word nutritious fully.

Post by Marmar »

I give facts: this Candy has sugar for energy. This chicken has protein for muscles. This is yogurt has fat for our brain and protein for our muscles. These blueberries have vitamins and so forth

Post by Rebecca »

All food is good food. Some food gives us quick bursts of energy, some food helps us feel full for longer, some helps our brains/muscles etc. Our focus is variety. Not demonizing any particular food group.

Post by Meghan »

We say breakfast/lunch/dinner foods, snacks, treats.

When he grabs chips for breakfast I say thats a snack not breakfast food.

Post by Jaid »

For healthy food, I tell my 3 yo that it is “feel good” food. As in, “this type of food will make your body feel good and grow big and strong.” I do not however show him junk food and say this is “feel bad” food. We don’t go that route. We just model the concept of moderation and that he can eat candy in moderation. If he wants some chocolate he can have a couple pieces. Chocolate milk every now and then, etc. We cook a lot and he always comes to the store and we just talk about what feel good foods are in the moment. Nothing is off limits and he can try any food he wants. We just don’t let him go overboard. Junk food is like a nice treat to him if that makes sense.

Post by Sarah »

We say there are foods that help your brain and make you strong, the other foods can make you tired and sluggish.

Post by Heather »

All foods are good but some foods have more things that help our body grow than others. Some foods don’t have very much in them that helps our body’s grow and don’t give us very much energy. If we fill up on these foods we don’t have very much room to fill up on foods that help our body grow and give us energy.

Foods aren’t “bad” but we need to make sure we still have enough room for our “growing/energy” foods

Post by Sarah »

I like ‘go foods’ ‘slow foods’ and ‘super slow foods’ - stuff that is nutritious is a go, stuff with some nutritional value but you need to limit quantity is a slow food and stuff with very little nutritional value at all is a super slow food. I tell them that go foods do loads of good things for their bodies so they can go for it, slow foods don’t do so much for their bodies so slow and steady wins the race, and super slow foods fill us up quickly but don’t do much for our bodies, so we have to be careful how much we eat of them.

Post by Katie »

My kiddo is a nonstop mover, and definitely one of those people who eats only because she has to, so I frame it from the standpoint of energy. Different foods give you different kinds/amounts of energy. We need proteins for long energy and grains and sugars for right now energy, etc. It has REALLY helped.

ETA she’s an older 5

Post by Kelsey »

We talk about what foods do for our bodies. Generally foods get separated into “long energy” and “short energy “ foods. Short energy being crackers, candy, etc.

Post by Michelle »

Kids that young can only grasp health/nutrition on a very superficial level. Our admins don't recommend discussing it at all, just choose how often you want to serve the candy and offer it that often. That way kids are offered the variety you want without being exposed to positive or negative language.

Post by Kami »

I tell my kids that certain food will give them strong muscles, make them faster, etc.. and other foods won’t.. I also make them aware that too much “junk food” will make their belly hurt so they should eat in moderation.. works for us

Post by Elle »

This probably isn’t what you’re after.

But some people for sweets say it’s a ‘sometimes food’ and I guess for healthy food you could say ‘anytime or every day food’… that way it’s not saying it’s good or bad but talking about how often each can be had…
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