Making Grown Up Food Choices: Bye Bye Kid Food

Have you ever thought about food in terms of kid food versus grown up food?

When I was a young teenager, I loved kid foods. I regularly visited the convenience store and bought packages of Oreos, candy, dried out looking honey buns, sodas, and chocolate covered nuts. I was a steady customer at the Burger King near my high school and always got a cookie at the mall when shopping with my friends.

A lot of people I knew during that time of my life “outgrew” the taste for kiddie or juvenile foods and moved more into adult or grown-up foods, but not me.

In fact, as I moved out of my teen years and into my early twenties, my love of juvenile foods contributed to me gaining 150 pounds.

In college I had a very poor diet and it mostly consisted of kiddie, or juvenile foods. I ate a lot of fast food, a lot of Ramen noodles, tons of sweets (probably literally tons), and very little healthy foods that are part of any diet – kid or adult.

Adult vs Juvenile Food: How It Made Me Gain 150 Pounds

Now I know that there are not really grown up and kiddie foods, but I do know that kiddie foods (i.e.: junk foods), do tend to naturally appeal to kids and a lot of grown ups.

My love of foods that kids cannot seem to resist and adults should know better than to eat all day long was extremely detrimental to my health, my appearance, and my weight.

At the age of 26, my doctor told me my blood pressure was a bit higher than he would like. I weighed about 275 pounds at the time. My cholesterol wasn’t great, I was tired all the time, and it was difficult to move around. My knees hurt after I walked for awhile and I got out of breath very easily.

All that junk food was catching up to me.

You would think I would have turned my back on kiddie food long before I did. But, no. I was stubborn. Even when I was supposed to be dieting, you would find me scarfing orange crackers with peanut butter at my desk. I’d justify my choice by saying that peanut butter was good for me.

orange cracker

It is – but not when processed beyond recognition and smeared on a brightly colored orange cracker.

Although there was nothing good about gaining 150 pounds in terms of my health, my appearance, or my self-esteem, there were good things that came about as I lost that same 150 pounds.

I learned that kiddie/juvenile foods were not only bad for me, they were bad for my kids as well! I stopped buying junky foods that marketers advertise to children and learned to prepare and enjoy more adult foods. (i.e.: real food)

Now, when I see aisles full of junk such as this one at my local Kroger I easily pass it by.

Kroger Junk Food

I know that the ingredients in those brightly colored packages do nothing for my health, are terrible for weight management, and are addictive in nature.

Instead of feeling sad that I don’t eat those foods any longer, I feel empowered that I have moved past the focus of filling up on kiddie food and fueling my body with healthy foods that are good for everyone – no matter what their age.

Did you find it hard to move past eating junk food to more “adult” (healthy foods) in your attempt to lose weight? Diane

6 thoughts on “Making Grown Up Food Choices: Bye Bye Kid Food

  1. Jenn says:

    Some “kid” foods were harder to give up than others, Diane! I never did enjoy those cheesy PB crackers, though.
    For me, sugary candy was hardest to get away from. I was insatiable for theater-sized boxes of Spree and Nerds.
    Today, I am rarely tempted by things like Mac and cheese, goldfish, hot dogs, eye. Most of them make me sick.

  2. Diana says:

    Candy as always been hard for me. My Dad used to buy candy back in the day when after the “holiday”, it was all 50%! I can remember one year, he had bought bags and bags and bags of the conversation heart candies after Valentine’s Day. Honestly, those lasted until almost the following Valentine’s Day! We always had candy and it’s a hard habit to break. Just yesterday at Walgreen’s while waiting for a script to be filled, I browsed the table of “theater box” candies. Large boxes of everything I love! They were $3 for 3, but if you bought less than the 3, they were $1.29 each! Food industry not only gets us sucked into spending more money, but also eating more because we think we’re getting a good deal.
    I originally picked up 3 boxes all proud to get them for only $1 each, but then after some calm thinking, I put them ALL back saving my $3 and a ton of extra calories!!!

  3. Martha G says:

    Interesting. Junk food wasn’t really my problem when I gained weight. It was more portion control. Don’t think I actually choose food that was all that “bad” but just ate way too much of it. Oh yeah….the wine didn’t help.

  4. Foodlove Girl says:

    In college junk food was definitely part of my “everyday” and I didn’t acknowledge that that was the problem. Now after many years of cleaning up my diet – each year getting even better- I try to rely on my knowledge to keep me from every eating that crap again. The knowledge of what that food does to me keeps me from eating the ones that I still might like and to be perfectly honest – most of it is gross to me now because I’ve trained my tastebuds to appreciate more natural foods. Nature is truly so sweet!
    Great post!

  5. Nicki Kelly says:

    It is interesting to see that we all have a different ‘junk food’ story from our childhood or early teens. As kids, our taste buds are not yet well developed and it is so easy to romance us with sweet, brightly coloured wrappings or fatty foods rather than the more adult tastes of clean, healthy options. Oh the fights my mum had with me when I consistently bought chocolates or other sweets with my pocket money. However when my allowance was cut and more closely monitored, I still managed to get more than my fair share of ‘silly food’ as we called it. It certainly set me up for a rather unhappy time as a teenager because I was the fattest girl in the class. It took me a long time until I finally “got it” at the age of about 20 when said good bye to ‘silly foods’ and lost my excess weight. Bring on the spicy hummus dips and carrot sticks, I’m over the M&Ms and lollipops…..(says me, a woman of now 65)

  6. Kitty says:

    This took me a long, long time to do. I realize that in the past when I was losing weight, I was always looking for ways to fit junk food in — the chips, a little candy, some cookies. The last couple of years though I’ve really worked on this.

    Part of what helps me is to find something else that gives me some of the taste I like from the junk food, but without all the junk. So, several days of the week I have a small piece (5o to 100 calories) of dark chocolate. It takes several minutes to eat it and I savor it. But, most of my snacks are things that have some nutritional benefit for me, as well as tasting good (pistachios, berries, etc.).

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