In the digital space, there is a lot of peer pressure, coupled with the prevalence of commercials tempting children with various junk foods. Getting your child to eat healthy home-cooked meals can seem like a daunting task.
However, a healthy diet can help maintain a healthy weight, stabilize mood, sharpen the mind, and at the same time have a positive impact on mental and physical health, so every child growing up should be encouraged. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr. Anil Bhoraskar, Senior Diabetologist, SL Raheja Hospital, Mahim and Secretary of the Indian Diabetes Association (Scientific Section), said that children We have suggested some tips that parents and caregivers should keep in mind when planning their meals. :
- Focus on a balanced diet from an early age and familiarize your palate with different foods and textures.
- Encourage eating alone, pay close attention to utensils, and develop the habit of eating alone.
- Diverse and exciting food balance and essential nutrition help kids eat and love different types of food
- Junk food indulgence should only be reserved for special occasions
- They should be encouraged to eat together with other family members on a regular basis.Also, whenever possible, children should eat the same food as other family members.
- Turn off all digital devices during meals and use this time to connect and communicate with your family
Helping Children Understand the Value of Good Nutrition:
Adequate nutrition and healthy eating habits should be taught to children from an early age. It also has a significant impact on health during adolescence and into adulthood, as well as preventing many health problems.
According to Dr. Anil Bhoraskar, some tips for teaching young children proper and healthy eating include:
- Media hype and peer pressure from friends constantly push kids towards fast food like hamburgers, chips and pizza. To prevent this, teaching them the value of homemade meals and understanding the relationship between food and health is essential. It’s not a very good idea to police them and prevent them from going to fast food restaurants.
- Snacks and sweets are not bad food. It’s okay to eat once in a while. However, too much sugar can affect a child’s performance in both academics and sports, so it’s imperative to avoid consuming it regularly. , Eat your daily meals at home, focusing on meals that boost your brain power and immunity. These include foods such as bananas, carrots, eggs, nuts, ghee, milk, yogurt, seasonal fruits, healthy masalas like cinnamon, cloves, pepper and tamarind. It is best to avoid green and red peppers.
- Some children prefer smoothies made from yogurt and fruit. This is good for breakfast with sprouted mung or matki idli, mung dosa, vegetable paratha with little ghee or coconut. Foods fried with farsan or omega-6 fats tend to be high in calories and saturated fat, so it’s best to avoid them. For home cooking, oils with a low omega-6 to omega-3 ratio and high in fatty acids are best.
Nutrition and Exercise – Two Sides of the Same Coin:
Dr. Anil Bhoraskar said: Exercise and physical activity are essential because they help improve cardiovascular fitness, build strong bones and muscles, manage weight, and reduce symptoms associated with many health conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. ”
He gave some guidelines for helping children become and stay physically active:
- Children should be physically active for at least one hour each day. This includes going out for moderate to vigorous physical activity in games such as football, running, swimming, cycling, and volleyball.
- Children need a balance of structured and unstructured activities combined with free play. You should be able to play alone without disturbing your parents.
- Until the age of 5, children’s play should be free play, after which they can be slowly introduced to sports.
- Children need to be taught the value of competition, but they also need to enjoy the process of playing.
- Children under 10 should learn through play. That means coaches need to teach kids the basics and spend time learning more about the game through hands-on practice and play.
- Once your child reaches the age of 11, you can introduce a combination of cardio, bodyweight and flexibility training.
- Children should get at least 8 hours of sleep each day. They should not stay up late at night and go to bed as early as possible.
- Unstructured free play includes running around, informal play with a ball, and sports such as kabaddi, pakda pakdi and langdi.
- A combination of structured and unstructured play instills values such as sportsmanship, leadership, coordination, compromise, confidence, communication, dedication and dealing with disappointment.
- Regular play also reduces behavioral disorders, stress and mood swings in growing children.
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