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Ritambhara cautions us about keeping a close watch at what our children eat and how to ensure healthy eating habits in them, in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths.
“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” ~ Francois de La Rochefoucauld
Healthy eating habits go a long way in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It is our duty to teach our kids healthy eating habits to help them maintain normal growth and avoid obesity or other related diseases.
- Imbibe the Habit of Balanced Nutritional Intake
“Every time you eat is an opportunity to nourish your body.” ~ Anonymous
Having an adequate amount of balanced nutritional diet and cutting down on excessive fat and sugar intake is a vital aspect of healthy eating. It is imperative that you evaluate your child’s growth and weight on a regular basis so that you can make necessary changes if your child is overweight, underweight or suffering from any deficiency. Including low-fat or non-fat dairy products, lean cuts of meats, poultry without skin, whole grain breads or cereals, healthy snacks such as fruits and veggies, sprouts, etc. in diet is the best way to reduce the excessive intake of fat in the child’s diet and help them attain appropriate weight and a healthy body. In addition, a number of sugar-sweetened drinks like the soft drinks, canned juices, etc. and salt intake should also be moderated. This doesn’t mean the kids should be put on a restrictive diet. The family’s choice with regard to eating should be respected as a dictated food habit isn’t encouraged. It is desirable to make available wide variety of healthy food items on the itinerary and consult a good nutritionist. This would be instrumental in helping your child make healthy food choices. Unhealthy choices like fast foods, chips, soda or canned juices should be strictly discouraged.
- Motivate your Kids to eat Adagio
“I can’t control everything in life, but I can control what I put in my body.” ~Anonymous
It is important to encourage your child to eat slowly as it is better to detect hunger and fullness better when we eat slowly. Before you offer your child second serving, it is advisable to ask your child to wait for at least 10-15 minutes to ensure they are truly hungry. This would give their brain ample amount of time to archive fullness. Also, take care to make sure that the second helping is much smaller than the first one. This would also help in avoiding overeating or under-eating.
- Clinch Some Time from your Hectic Schedule to eat Meals Together
“It’s not a short-term diet. It’s a long-term lifestyle change.” ~ Anonymous
Extract some time from your busy schedule to make your mealtimes as pleasant as possible by dining together with your family members at least once in a day. It is a time to share quality time with healthy conversation and companionate, and of course not a time to scold or argue over petty issues. Make your eating time a fruitful one.
Apart from the above-mentioned points do make sure to discourage continuous snacking and involve your kids in food shopping and contributing in preparing meals keeping in mind their age and calibre. Healthy Eating. Happy Eating!
©Ritambhara Kumari Upadhyay
Photos from the Internet
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