From Fast to Slow – Should Our Children Be Eating Less Junk Food?

Published: 22nd Apr 2020

Ditching the chips in favour of wholegrain rice and the burger for a healthy piece of grilled fish is something many of us are only too aware we should be doing.

But getting our children to agree is a completely different matter!

Those of us juggling modelling jobs ourselves or who have youngsters involved in modelling for kids are likely to be on the go from morning until night.

And pre lock down, grabbing burgers while we are out or stopping for fish and chips on the way home is an easy habit to fall into.

After all, fast food is hot, filling and the kids love it!

But the problem isn’t just when our children are with us – many of them eat fast food during the school day or on their way home too.

Research from the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF), for example, has shown 60 per cent of 11 to 16-year olds buy foods such as chips or fried chicken from takeaways at lunchtime or after school at least once a week

Roy Ballam, BNF’s Managing Director and Head of Education, says: “While it’s encouraging that children are motivated to eat well, many of the children we surveyed also said they didn’t like the taste of healthy foods or thought they were boring. 

“This is where education about nutrition, cooking and food provenance from can play a key role in helping children understand and get familiar with the foods that make up a healthy diet. 

“With snacks, sugary drinks and takeaways readily available to many children on their way to and from school we need to do all that we can to educate young people about eating well.”

So how do we encourage our children to eat less fast food – and how to we manage this within our own busy schedules?

Baby models in recent photoshoot on location for healthy foods campaign

Cook more food from scratch with fresh ingredients 

Home-cooked food generally means less sugar, salt, trans fats and artificial additives and the chances are it will taste twice as good as the pre-packaged equivalent.

But if your youngster is involved in child modelling and you have been out all day, you won’t always want to set to over a hot stove when you return.

So why not spend a morning a week preparing tasty dishes, then freeze portions to defrost and microwave when you need to?

Make sure your kitchen is well stocked 

Fill your cupboards and fridge with ingredients for healthy dishes that can be cooked quickly and easily.

Omelettes, with onions, mushroom and spinach, for example, or pasta and rice with vegetable-laden sauces can often be whipped up in 15 to 20 minutes.

Get your children involved with cooking

Cooking with the kids – sometimes is not always as smiley as this though!

This may come as a surprise to many parents, but most children enjoy preparing and cooking food given the chance. 

And they’re less likely to turn their noses up when it comes to mealtimes.

If you’ve had a busy day get them to help you!

Try finding healthy alternatives to the fast food they love

This recipe for “fish and chips,” for example, eliminates the bad fats and increases the levels of vitamins and minerals. 


4 boneless white fish fillets (cod, haddock, plaice) – approximately 150g per person

4 medium-sized sweet potatoes

500g fresh or frozen peas

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon of dried herbs

Sea salt and black pepper to taste


Peel the sweet potatoes. Slice them into chunky chips, no thicker than your thumb. Coat evenly with olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Place the chips on a baking tray and cook at Gas Mark 5/180 deg C for approximately 40 minutes – stir occasionally to prevent them from burning. Drizzle olive oil over the fish and coat with dried herbs, sea salt and black pepper. Cover the fish and bake in the oven at Gas Mark 5/180 deg C for 30 minutes or until cooked. As the fish and chips are cooking, boil the peas until soft and mash with a little olive oil and black pepper to taste. When everything is cooked, serve immediately.

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