I'm a parenting expert – why Kourtney Kardashian's strict diet for her kids can backfire in several ways | The Sun

KOURTNEY Kardashian boasted this week that her 12-year-old son, Mason, hasn't had McDonald's fries for a year.

In a new interview, the 43-year-old mom opened up about the strict diet she enforces with her kids – but one parenting expert tells The U.S. Sun that policing food like this can backfire in several major ways.

Mother-of-three Kourtney is known for her "clean" and health-focused eating habits, and she even clashed with sister Kim over her desire to serve organic candy at North and Penelope's joint birthday party in 2019, which was filmed for Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

Speaking to WSJ Magazine this week, she elaborated on what food her kids are and are not allowed to eat – and McDonald's appears to be on the no-no list.

“I was having my one-on-one time with my son [Mason] and he said, ‘Mom, I need McDonald’s french fries today, please. It’s been a year since I’ve had it,'" she said.

"I was like, ‘Today’s not the day, sorry,’” she added.

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She's even drilled into their heads that certain snack foods are "bad" – and it's bad when people feed those foods to them.

"When I had Mason is when I really started my wellness journey," she said. "He’s very smart. He’ll tell me, 'A person was bad because they let me have Cheetos.'"

Meanwhile, health nut Kourtney – who has faced criticism for the admission – said that she herself grew up eating "really unhealthy food" like "chips and Lunchables and the animal cookies that were pink and white with sprinkles."

Kirsty Ketley, a mom-of-two and a parent consultant, says that such strict food rules can have unhealthy consequences for kids.

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Speaking exclusively to The U.S. Sun, Kirsty, co-founder of the Parenthood app, gives her view…

While it is not a bad thing to want to promote a healthy lifestyle with your kids, it is important that parents understand what a healthy lifestyle means – and this means not banning certain foods.

Banning junk food may seem like an easy way to create healthy eaters.

However, rather than putting a total ban on things like fries and calling them ‘bad,’ educating kids on the lack of health benefits of
these foods should be done instead, with a caveat that they are only eaten sometimes, and not on a daily basis.

For some kids, labeling foods as ‘bad’ can pave the way for their curiosity to get the better of them.

The foods become more alluring, and when they feel like they are being deprived, the tendency is that they want it even more. When they get a taste of something that is forbidden, they can end up overindulging.

Other kids – those who don’t want to defy their parents – might develop negative emotions around the foods that they shouldn’t eat.

They might feel ashamed or very guilty if they then do eat
something on the banned list, like they have done something bad.

This can lead to disordered eating as children grow, and an unhealthy view of food, which is the complete opposite of what you are
trying to achieve in the first place.

There is also the risk that kids will end up fearful of the banned foods, particularly younger kids who are not yet mature enough to fully understand why the food is banned.

This means that they may start restricting other foods, becoming a ‘picky eater,’ and refusing to try new foods.

So, how can parents ensure that their kids are following a balanced, healthy lifestyle?

First off, parents shouldn’t obsess about food around their kids. If you are on a ‘diet,’ it doesn’t mean your child needs to be, so be careful of how you talk about food and how you eat in front of

Kids are always watching and learning from their parents, so showing them how to live a healthier way is key. Look at your own relationship with food and make adjustments where necessary.

Remember that restricting foods won’t always mean that your child will choose a healthier alternative, and will likely opt for the high sugar and salt options instead.

There should be no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ food – all food is food, but knowledge of the nutritional value and how that helps their body to function and grow is useful in helping them make healthier choices.

It is important that kids understand that they can eat non-nutritionally beneficial foods, occasionally, but that they also understand it is best to fill up healthier foods the majority of the time.

It is vital that parents also think about the benefits of movement. So, while it is important to eat a good, balanced diet, it is also important to promote a healthy relationship with exercise too.

Walk, cycle or scoot to school rather than drive, make time on the weekends for family hikes, or get your kids involved in sports clubs.

All these things, along with a good attitude to food, make for a good,
balanced, healthy lifestyle.

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