Childhood is probably the best period of one’s life when you set the taste buds for life. This is the age when children develop food habits which they cherish for the entire life. Ironically however, this is also the age where they are most attracted to all the fast and easy foods around us. You find kids slurping pizza and coke throughout all the malls over the weekends. Highly unhealthy we say.
Before it’s late to make them switch off from the modern fast foods, let’s bring them closer to the foods which are natural, healthy and at the same time extremely attractive to keep them hooked.
Family traditional meals – don’t shy away from carbs
Vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates are the most important nutrients in a child’s body when they are growing up rapidly.
And when it comes to the basics, there is nothing like a full fledged home cooked meal. Make them hooked and try out new dishes every time, while keeping a check on the nutrients. Do not shy away from giving them carbs rich foods – rice, roti, ghee and paneer. Also include eggs and fish regularly in their diets.
We are very lucky to have such a diverse cuisine to choose from the 35 states. Introduce them to as many as possible from them so that they never lose the charm of a family meal.
Healthy snack habit – rich in banana and nuts
What most of us lacked during our childhood is the habit of a healthy snack. We relied on biscuits and namkeens for most of our lives while sipping the evening chai. Let’s improve this for our little ones. Make them hooked for some healthy chats, fruit salads, salads as evening side dishes. Habit of fruits really goes a long way in setting the basics right in a kid’s body.
Nutrient rich fruits like banana, grapes, orange, papaya is very helpful in setting the metabolism right. Nuts – specially almonds and walnuts are equally important in providing the support of a healthy mind.
Small ones in between the biggies
We know about just three major meals of the day – breakfast, lunch, snacks (occasionally) and dinner. Well, for the fast growing child, this is never enough. In between an epic breakfast, moderate lunch and light dinner, make sure to include three small ones. You can change the meal menu the way you like but make sure that they munch something even when they are not hungry.
Breakfast and lunch – fruit plate / smoothie
Lunch and snacks – quick round of juices
Snacks and dinner – milk / smoothie / salads
Be a role model
Well, if the kids don’t see their parents following a good and healthy lifestyle, lets accept it that they will never have those seemingly boring dishes no matter how hard you try. So before you introduce the healthy food saga at your home, make sure to throw away that unfinished plate of pasta or that half bottle of coke in your fridge. Try to have as many meals with them as possible. Such kind of partnership is extremely important if you are trying to improve your family health.
Nevertheless, it’s never easy to get your children used to a healthy lifestyle of your dreams and it most definitely does not come overnight. We have to keep going at it till the time they actually see value in it and want to adopt it. That will definitely take time, patience and discipline.
Well, and sometimes, you should also plan cheat day out with the little ones. Occasional restaurant things never really hurt anyone 😛