Hello and thanks for your question.
This is a tricky situation that many parents find themselves in. The best way to approach this is to speak to the other parent and explain that you’d prefer your little one not to have too much unhealthy food, and see if the parent will modify what they’re offering the children. What you want to avoid is a situation where all the other children are eating chocolate biscuits and crisps, while your child is offered carrot sticks and grapes, as this will make the ‘restricted’ foods (the junk food) seem all the more appealing to your child and, if this happens repeatedly, your child is likely to eat even more of these unhealthy foods on future occasions (e.g., at birthday parties when they might be freely available).
You can find out more about restriction from the Child Feeding Guide website: http://www.childfeedingguide.co.uk/common-feeding-pitfalls/restriction We recommend all foods in moderation, so try speaking to the other child’s parents and asking if some healthy foods can be offered alongside less healthy ones. I hope this helps!
Dr Emma Haycraft
Riverside Cares and the Child Feeding Guide share the importance of establishing healthy eating habits early in life. Visit our websites to learn more about ‘Feeding Children Well’ events, evidence-based programmes, and tips for feeding children.