Tapasya Mundhra, a famous nutritionist has given her views on healthy diet tips for school going children.
Children are the future of our country, so health should be the most important aspect of their lives. We need to teach them healthy diet tips. The more we are exposed to the internet, television as well as several social media, it is easier to skip from home cooked healthy meals to packaged or instant food.
In the long run, it becomes a habit as well as an addiction for the child to eat junk and grow obese and then invite various lifestyle diseases. Nowadays it is very common to come across a child who has a high cholesterol or diabetes. In my profession, I daily come across such children and amazed to see that parents who are not well informed about what to feed their children.
It is not a surprise, as the internet as well as other social media, confuse us with the food, making them attractive as well as convenient to succumb to them. As parents, all of us must first educate ourselves about what and how to prepare our next generation. This is the only way we can give our children.
Before we discuss healthy diet tips, let’s have a look on the importance of exercise and outdoor games.
Importance of Exercise
We should encourage exercise in our children’s lives and make it a part of their daily routine. The misconception is that exercise is boring, but believe me, exercise can be fun. It can be dancing, aerobics or can be any form of games which we can also be a part of. It could even be some activity at the home in which the child is helping the parents to clean up the cupboard, or decorate the home etc.
This way there is an activity happening as well as there is a bond which becomes strong between the child and the parents. When you want your child to believe or have faith in you, spend time with them and create a bond. When the kids exercise, his/her bones and muscles become stronger, he/she gets a leaner body, has a better outlook towards life and in the process, avoid various lifestyle diseases.
Importance of outdoor games
All the outdoor games that children play are aerobic exercises. Usually, children can slip into the habit of spending time in front of the television, smartphones, laptops, tablets, etc. Too much of screen time is not good for the overall well-being of the child.
- Put limits on time spent in front of the screen.
- When watching, check the type of programmes, the child is exposed to. They should be encouraged to watch some comedy or discovery or general knowledge programmes.
- Game playing on phone and iPod’s are addictive and children waste a lot of time, so it’s good if their choice becomes outdoor games.
Eating habits & Healthy diet tips
Now comes the most important part of healthy diet tips – food.
Start the day with a healthy breakfast, as it will decide the overall cravings the child has through the day. The breakfast should provide fuel and energy throughout the day. Choices can be egg whites with toast or paneer sandwich or upma or paratha.
Fruits and Vegetables
Add more fruits and vegetables in the child’s diet. If your child is a fussy eater, make vegetables cutlets or kebabs, add vegetables to parathas or even cook soup. We can also add vegetables in noodles for the kids.
Art of Chewing
Teach children the art of chewing, for that we as parents should learn to chew food first. As each one is always on go, I came across children who are having their meals in a case.
So a habit of sitting with family to eat and chew meals well help digestion and assimilation of food well in the stomach.
If gut health is taken care of, automatically immunity of kids enhances, and they avoid infections and viral with vitamin C and antioxidants such as citrus fruits and green vegetables, which in turn again improves the immunity of kids.
Washing hands before meals, if taught to the child, again helps them to avoid various infections and in turn miss out on school days. This is a very important factor of good health and one of the most important healthy diet tips.
Teaching children about the importance of drinking water from time to time helps a long way in avoiding the unnecessary, unhealthy snacking and again takes care of stomach health. Kids should be taught to take a break, sit down, drink water from the glass and resume whatever activity they are doing.
Don’t push your child to eat and complete the food on the plate, if he/she is full. Overeating will do no good, instead, it will harm the child, making them more sluggish, as well as overweight. Remember the stomach is not a dustbin, the size of the food is not important. The quality and nourishment are more important.
Change reward pattern
When kids achieve something good, usually parents reward them by taking them out for lunch and dinner. Please do that, but not always or choose a place which has healthy options; for example, sushi can be tasty as well as healthy. Sometimes we can change the pattern of rewarding the child with outside preparation to home foods where all in the family get together and cook something nice and exotic, this way kids learn about food and nutrition, become independent and bond with their parents.
So there are many ways to teach children about the importance of health, but the priority is parents should also having certain knowledge as to what, when and how to eat.
Kids are like clay, the way you mold them, they take that shape. So be very particular with the kids as our country depends on them for the future.
Have more tips to add to healthy diet tips? Please share with us in the comments section below.
Wish you a very Healthy and Happy Parenting!