I am dumbfounded by the amount of junk our generation eats these days.
I am even more dumbfounded by the amount of junk kids eat these days.
The average child spends half his day in front of the TV. It’s a typical way to keep children busy and not bother their parents with stuff like “Mommmmmmm, I’m boredddddd!!!!”. Trust me, I dread this sentence more than anything (even though I don’t have kids). The thing is, it starts with a simple realization in the kiddy mind that “I’m bored”. Then it turns into acceptance of the fact that I really am very bored. After that, any attempts done by the parent to eliminate the boredom are futile because the boredom virus has already seeped into the bloodstream and has now turned into denial of the fact that there is anything out there in this world that could rid them of this boredom. In some children, this behaviour follows with endless episodes of tantrums, or even worse, non-stop crying and screaming. The parent, in order to avoid this scenario, succumbs to the pressure and therefore lets the child sit in front of the TV for as long as they want. After all the TV is entertaining because it gives something new to watch every hour.
I’m no expert, and neither do I have any scientific evidence to back my theory. I speak only from my own experience as a child several years ago and from what I have observed in many children these days. What happens with such excessive use of TV is that the kids develop impatience and become hyper-active. Besides, all children’s TV channels advertise junk food extensively. The amount of trash they watch on TV is directly proportional to the amount of trash snacking they do with it.
Pata bhi nahi chalta aur chips aur biscuits ke packet pe packet khatam hojate hen.
If children have continuous access to trash TV and trash food, we need to realize that we are then raising a generation that will be prone to problems like anxiety, depression and metabolic diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cholesterol issues and the likes. It is already quite normal nowadays, and we are absolutely clueless to why this is happening to every other person around us. People don’t realize that it goes down to the kind of lifestyle we are living which includes the stuff we eat.
I remember, growing up, my grandmother used to feed us things like homemade suji ka halwa and meethi tikkiyaas. Not only was all of this prepared using all natural ingredients but also it was very essential for our growth. We had very little access to junk food like chips, biscuits or sodas. Cold drinks were only available in parties and wedding functions. “Cold drink peenay chaltay hain” was considered to be an outing for special occasions only. Nowadays these items are readily available in every household for DAILY consumption!
Slowly and gradually, the suji ka halwa that had a balanced amount of sugar and ghee beneficial for the strength of growing bones has been replaced by the idea that if you mix some kind of industrialised powder into your child’s milk it will help them grow taller and stronger. Traditional home-cooked food has been replaced by store-bought hormone induced frozen chicken nuggets or “two minute” quick and easy noodles.
I know most of you will say that by feeding kids these items, those fussy eaters are able to eat something at least. But let me also tell you that the more you feed them this, the more they will want this, because these products were not designed to provide nutrition, they were designed to develop addiction and generate money for the industries. Do you really think that someone decided to create two-minute noodles because it will feed the hungry quicker rather than making money from it? Why do you think kids go to the extent of crying and screaming to beg for yet another pack of chips? Because it is healthy? No. Because it makes them less hungry? No. Because it has flavour enhancers and additives that give the chips a sharp tangy flavour which is highly satisfying, or in other words, addicting? YES.
Have you ever stopped to wonder why half the packet of chips is filled with air? So that you may buy two instead of one and the industries thrive on your ill health.
The problem is, we all know that junk food is bad for children and adults alike. And we all know that it leads to problems later on in our life. But we are all okay with the fact that eventually every other person is going to be on a diabetic medication. And the mentality that jab tak doctor nahi bolega tab tak parhaiz ki kia zarurat hai. Why do we need to hear the death sentence to start living a healthy life? Are you really trying to say that a healthy and happy life is not your priority?
I remember videos circulating on social media about a certain brand of chips being made of plastic. People were burning the chip on their stove and doing haw haye over the fact that it melt just like plastic but nobody came out and did strikes or protests for that, did they? On the other hand, when fruit prices were increased, many people boycotted buying fruits from local fruit walas and eventually the prices dropped. This really speaks a lot about our priorities, doesn’t it?
If you’re a parent or are planning to become one, you really need to reconsider the entire dynamics of your home. You really need to create an environment where your children can be free from toxic stuff, have more access to healthy home-cooked meals and less access to trash TV that promotes consumption of junk through targeted ads. Knowing how to grow food should be a part of the school curriculum. Play time should be spent outdoors playing with dirt or running freely in a safe and secure neighbourhood rather than cooped up in front of the TV playing video games. Breakfast should comprise of full fat fresh milk, eggs, ghee laden parathas rather than a bowl of chocolate cereal loaded with added sugar. All of this, because you want to raise healthy and happy kids that would go on to make awesome discoveries and inventions when they grow up.
I would very much like to hear from parents about how they keep their kids away from junk food. It must be exhausting and maybe there is no way through which you could completely keep them off of trash eating but I’d like to hear from you anyway.
Note to bloggers and influencers: If you are a blogger or influencer, this means you have a voice and that too a free one. So please endorse products that are all natural and organic and disassociate yourself from brands that create food products that are processed, junk or loaded with additives and preservatives. I know receiving free products is awesome, but what’s the good in all that free stuff when it’s all poison for you and your family?
Header Image By Tehreem from El Arte.