Advice on tackling kids who crave unhealthy food

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  • A quarter of Leeds parents have banned their children from watching fast food adverts
  • One in five families in Leeds keep unhealthy food under lock and key
  • Eat Like A Champ is recommending positive ways that parents can help children eat more healthily

Nearly four and a half million UK children regularly crave unhealthy food, according to new research from Eat Like A Champ, the free, healthy eating educational programme that runs in UK schools.

The nationwide study of parents found that in Leeds, the post school period, 4pm-5pm, is the time of day when children are most likely to suffer cravings, with a fifth of parents in the area reporting that their children then have tantrums if they don’t get what they want.

Some parents go to extreme lengths to try and get their children to eat healthily. Of the 2,000 surveyed, more than one in five parents in Leeds say they actually bribe their kids to make them eat healthy foods. The same numbers keep unhealthy foods locked away in cupboards where youngsters can’t get to them.

In addition, a quarter of parents say they won’t allow their children to watch TV commercials from fast food brands, which they fear can kick start cravings for unhealthy food.

More than half of all parents admitted they also suffer from cravings. Parents had their own methods on how to combat the feeling with 37 per cent avoiding a food shop when they were hungry, however, two thirds admitted they succumbed to the urge with 40 per cent blaming their own lack of will power.

The aim of the Eat Like A Champ programme, which is free for schools and parents to sign up to, is to tackle this growing issue of poor nutrition and obesity amongst children through six specially tailored lessons about healthy eating. Schools across the UK can sign up to the Eat Like A Champ programme by registering at