Eating smart

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 06 Sep 2017 12:36:15


By dr rani bhutada,

PARENTS YOU ARE IN CHARGE OF FOOD EDUCATION
Food Education is an integral and essential part of Education. Information about Balanced Diet, Nutrition and Diet Discipline should be solemnly put into practise by parents at home since the onset of the tender age. The process is gradual and good food values need fostering from time to time. Definitely not a one-day job. Meals cooked at home should be nutritious tasty and look interesting to young buddies. Talk to them about ‘Go, Grow & Glow’ foods. Traditional food should have a special place and mention in food routine!

AVOID EMOTIONAL EATING.

Also, no bribing and no rewards! Don’t reward kids with junk foods and eatables and don’t gift toys to make them eat !!
Parents often say (even urge) to their kids that...
“If you finish your Homework, I will get you a chocolate”or “If you behave in such a way we will get you a pizza at this weekend”, or “If you finish the food in your tiffin daily, we will get you a latest toy car or train or watch or whatever you want”. This goes on for a while and then after some time the actual meal-tussle begins!

Two things will eventually happen;


1.They lose their interest in ‘work’ they ought to do unconditionally like homework when ‘interesting food’ is not offered to them.
2. They lose interest in ‘eating’ (simple home food) once they stop getting gifts they demand.
So, stop this practice. Reward them with ‘Real’ life experiences!!

KIDS EAT WHAT YOU EAT!


Definitely action speaks louder than words!! Therefore, parents practice what you preach and eat all that, which you want your child to eat or not to eat!!
Make all efforts to set an example before putting your view into words.
Its proven that when we are short of Healthy Grocery-
1. Moms tend to prepare ‘short-order menus’ instead of square meals, much needed for growing children.
2. Moms are inclined to fetch outside food or already stored food
To avoid this, plan for next day’s menu on the previous evening itself, fetch the needed grocery and win over ‘what for meal’ problem !

EAT FAMILY MEALS TOGETHER...NO DISTRACTIONS!


Vow to make at least one meal-time together!
There can be 10 reasons for ‘not able to make it’ but there are more than 10 benefits of having meals together specially with no distractions like T.V., Cellphones, Newspaper, Book etc

Here are some ‘tangible and intangible’ benefits....

1. Kids observe and learn things
2. Tries to finish the food they are served as parents do
3. Pray before the meals- express gratitude towards food
4. They learn to serve others
5. Kids develop sense of hospitality
6. They learn to ADJUST with the available portions
7. Smaller kids learn to EAT on their own
8. Learn table manners, other etiquette to be observed while eating together
9. Learn to appreciate and express the taste of food
10. Get into good eating habits like chewing food well, not drinking too much water in between, having to taste all that is prepared for the meals
11. An excellent time to connect with elderly kids (Teenagers). Face to face conversation takes place which is less possible otherwise.
12. Light talks during meals ‘pops-up’ the mood whenever upset
13. Research shows that eating meals together at home minimises the need for dining out frequently
14. Abundant positive energy builds up in home. It boosts love and concern for each other!
15. Extended meal period (i.e. once meal is done) is a great time to unwind day’s happenings, each other’s achievements and tuning in with each other's lives!!
So, fill the zeal in meal times and enjoy!!

EAT YOUR VEGGIES. KEY- THINK VARIETY


Veggies are called ‘Nature's Broom’ that cleanses our guts due to high dietary fibre! Veggies are called ‘Live Food’. Fresh veggies have lots of bio-energy which helps to keep our health evergreen.
Even after having known all this, Moms have a big issue that ‘My kids doesn't like veggies, what do I do?’ Moms, you can do this...

1.Introduce a habit of buying 1 fruit and 1 veggie of kids' choice. Go to the market with him.

2. Try to grow some of the veggies in your kitchen garden. He will see them growing and would love to eat!

3. Don’t attach too much importance to veggies, I mean talking about these so much that kid hates to hear about it as well as eat that you have asked for! Adopt subtle ways instead! Add variety of veggies to the menus.
4.Again, set an example yourself of being a great ‘veggie lover’!

YOU DON'T HAVE TO LIKE IT,BUT, YOU HAVE TO TASTE IT. SAY THIS AT EVERY MEAL!


There can always be a starting problem. Rules should be rigid, but not the ways to introduce it! Because good habits need convincing start! Most subtle way to instil the liking for nutritious food in kids is.....

1. Asking to taste the food and may be not actually eating it to finish!
2. Talking about the ingredients, actual taste, what can be done to make it more nutritious as well as tasty. Tell some interesting facts about that veggie or fruit or nut; for eg Why Mango is the king of fruits? Why Watermelon does not grow on a tree, that Peanuts grow under soil and so on!
3. Make them ‘watch’ while you prepare the food in kitchen. Maybe you get commentary too while you cook the next time! This increases liking for the food that you just prepared!

NO SNACKING. IT’S OKAY TO FEEL HUNGRY IN BETWEEN MEALS


If you are feeling hungry sometime after meal may actually mean you need water than something to eat. Avoid eating titbit every now and then since it disturbs digestion process of previous meal as well as affects real mealtime hunger. Eating for having nothing else to do or eating for having caught sight of some delicacy shouldn’t be the reason for snacking. Have meals daily preferably on the same time. Eating in between meals will hamper the process of fat burning as anytime snacking supplies enough fuel to stabilise blood sugar levels.

SLOW FOOD IS HAPPY FOOD, AS IN EAT SLOW


Those Who DON'T EAT SLOW, AGE FASTER!! ‘Economy’ speed is better for your vehicle! Similar is true when it comes to eating!!
Kids tend to chew fast as they have to hurry up to go for play.
Kids are ignorant about the importance of chewing
Kids ‘forget’ to chew when they are watching T.V./any other gadget and tend to gulp the food
Some kids are ‘unduly’ slow as they feel it boring to have their meals This invariably leads to frequent indigestion, obesity, lethargy, loss of concentration and eventually a low immunity!


Let us understand that;


1. Chewing is indispensable! Job of teeth can’t be taken over by our guts.
2. It is said that eat the liquids and drink the solids, which means ensure that any form of food that you eat or drink is properly mixed with saliva in mouth.
3. When you do so, you are aware when you are full and need to stop. Optimum time to chew and eat your meal is 20 minutes.
So, chew properly i.e. eat slow and turn your meal into a 'Happy Meal' and your kid into a 'Happy Kid' as well!!

EAT REAL FOOD. TREATS ONLY on OCCASIONS!
We need to explain to kids the difference between Real food and Fake Food, Processed food.
REAL FOOD
1. Is natural and that which is not too processed
2. Doesn’t contain preservatives, artificial colours and flavours
3. Is nourishing and has lots of dietary fibre
‘Everyday Treats’ snatches the value of Real Food (So to say taste threshold is heightened). Doing so also misses the RDA(Recommended Daily Allowance) of nutrients essential for growing kids.
A) Educate kids about highly processed, packaged & Ready-To-Eat foods &benefits of real food
B) Encourage them to read Food Labels.
(The writer is Homoeopath & Nutritionist)