Eat Healthy, Stay Healthy

Gone are the days when only fathers used to work outside and mothers used to babysit in the house. Today, in the modern scenario, couples are working to meet the increased standard and cost of living, leaving minimum time with them to look after their kids. The major impact which takes place in this case in on the health of the children leading to an unhealthy diet being consumed by them. The adversities of an unhealthy diet can be:

  1.       Low physical and mental growth.
  2.       Less interest and less energy for learning.
  3.       Malnutrition
  4.       Cardiovascular diseases
  5.       Osteoporosis in later life.

Let us also probe into the benefits of eating a healthy diet:

  1.       Stabilizing energy.
  2.       Improving physical and mental growth.
  3.       Keeping mood swings away.
  4.       Helping maintain a healthy weight.
  5.       Helping in avoiding depression, anxiety or likewise mental abnormalities.

What is a healthy diet?

A healthy diet is a diet that helps to maintain or improve overall health. It helps in providing the body with all required nutrients such as fluid, macro/micronutrients, calories, fats, proteins, vitamins, etc. all in the right proportion that the body needs to intake.

Steps for maintaining a healthy diet in kids

  • Start the day with a healthy breakfast – This will help in refilling the body with energy required for the entire day activities. It should contain a combination  of the undermentioned :

o   Grains

o   Fruits

o   Vegetables

o   Protein-rich food

o   Dairy products

  • Eat together as a family as often as possible – Researches have proved that kids learn to eat well with their parents as they feel the warmth and love with them.
  • Let kids chew slowly – Children should be given their own gala time for eating. Never force a kid to hurry up while eating as this may make them lose their interest in food.
  • Aim for more vegetables and fruits – Minimum of a total of 2 cups of fruits and 2.5 cups of vegetables should be aimed to be consumed.
  • More of grains to be added in the diet – Example rice, oats, wheat, etc.
  • Look in for a variety of foods – Variety of foods keeps the child interested as they will always be in a ‘what more/what next’ imagination.
  • Serving food in small proportions – Too much food in the plate sometimes becomes a cause of disinterest in the child. So, it should be avoided.
  • Taking in more fluids – Specially water leaves you not only hydrated but also leads to good digestion of your child.
  • Decorate food – Try to present food in a decorative style to attract kids.

Children are quite moody. They may be happy to see food one day or may grumble the other day. Expecting them to be sensible is of no use. Rather, in such cases, parents have to act patiently in order to avoid any ugly situation at the mealtime. Let us look into some more constructive ideas to gather a kids interest in healthy food:

  • Never demand a clean plate.
  • Bake, boil or grill food.
  • Avoid cooking with butter/vegetable oil, instead sunflower oil will be better.
  • Choose snacks that provide nutrients and energy.
  • Try to make children eat food through playing and learning.
  • Limit their screen time and encourage physical games instead.
  • Be a role model for your child by doing something active each day, trying to involve them too.
  • Avoid making eat the child using a phone or watching TV.

To sum up, maintaining a healthy diet in your child is tedious for you as a parent. However, staying informative, patient clubbed with a little creativity can help you with this. Also, this healthy eating once developed will continue till adulthood leading to physical and mental results in your child.

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