Here's some food for thought
Get calorie conscious, and watch your children follow suit. Before you thrust veggies down little throats, eat them yourself.Sudha Subramanian gives you more such tips on raising healthy children.
Parents all over the world fret over the near impossibility of raising healthy children. We all know that healthy children are better adapted to cope with our ever changing lifestyles. This does not mean they have to stay away from the popular pizza or burger. It means bringing the right balance to our daily diet, while indulging in the occasional pizza.
Here are seven ways of achieving that balance.
1. It is a universal truth that parents can get children to do certain things only when parents themselves take the lead. Remember, little children mirror our actions and love imitating us. So, before pushing veggies down their throats, eat plenty of green vegetables and fruits, yourself. Set a good example so that children can see that as parents, we preach what we practice.
2.Start off the day with a healthy and wholesome breakfast. Unfortunately, breakfast has become a casualty in our hectic lives, and many of us don’t bother about it. It is our novel way of ‘dieting’. Health experts have written enough about how important a meal it is. This meal makes our brains function better and also helps us keep away from exhaustion.
3.Our lifestyle today is full of choices. We mostly turn away from our traditional Indian breakfast to the more popular western choice of cereals. If you have to eat cereal choose wisely. Don’t let the manufacturers tell you what to eat. Listen to your heart instead. Popular cereals are laden with sugar and chocolate. Instead, a traditional Indian meal will give you far less calories and go well with your immune system. If you really have to eat cereal, stick to oatmeal or muesli.
4.Stay away from sugars as much as possible — whether it is in breakfast cereal or juices which the market is full of. Even fresh juice is saturated with sugar! Every time we take in more than four gms of sugar, we do great harm to our immune system. Stick to water. Encourage kids to drink water, milk or soya milk.
5Indulge in a sport and coax your child to do so too. With our lifestyle becoming more sedentary, it is important, we exercise our body and burn unwanted fats and sugars.
6.Unfortunately, most of us have little or no knowledge about our health. Be a health literate. Get information, understand it and apply it in life. Read the nutritional labels on food packets, understand them and also explain to your child about the choices — whole grain, sugars and hydrogenated fat.
7.Be good to your body. It is a simple and easy way to stay healthy. It is strange that we don’t take as much care of our bodies as we do the gadgets we own.
Raising healthy kids is to help our kids make healthy food choices. This can happen when we, as adults, are able to do so ourselves. It is not about fretting over finishing off the food on the plate. It is about eating as much as we want and listening to our stomachs. Help children listen to their bodies and let us look forward to a healthy tomorrow.