Life is too fast today. Children and families have busy schedules and it’s really hard to prepare or sit down to homemade meals everyday for all working parents. So, in this scenario, any kid’s diet involves a lot of packaged and takeout food. More often than not, these foods will be laden with unnecessary ingredients like preservatives, unhealthy saturated fats, trans-fat and refined flours. When consumed regularly, they can have a negative effect on your child’s health, and some problem can continue into adulthood too. So, it is important to feed them a nutritious diet from the early years itself. This not only keeps the present active but also ensures a dependable and disease-free future. Nutritious diet has many benefits for children: improves mental health, stabilises energy, builds immunity and prepare body against diseases. You can easily develop healthy eating habits in your children from their childhood. This can be a best gift you can give them for their better tomorrow.
- CHOOSE GOOD CARBS: Fibre, starches and sugar are essential food nutrients that body turns into glucose to give energy to function. Carbs that take time to digest and have fibre in them are complex carbs which are found in naturally existing fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains. They keep you full for much longer. The other is the simple carb which digests quickly are found in milk, milk products, fruits, refined sugar (like cakes, cookies, candies, canned fruit juice and soda). These refined sugars lack the important vitamins, minerals and fibre and impact the body in adverse ways when consumed in large quantities.
- SPECIAL ATTENTION ON PROTEIN PACKAGE: Protein package includes fats, carbohydrates, vitamin, minerals and other nutrients that come along with protein. Protein makes up building blocks of organs, muscles, skin and hormones. Our body needs protein to maintain and repair tissues. Meanwhile, children need it for proper growth in their early years too. Fish, poultry, nuts, beans, are best choices. A balanced protein rich breakfast is always great for children to start their day. It helps them stay full for longer ideas.
- CONSUME GOOD FATS: Limit foods high in saturated fat and avoid trans fat. Nuts, avocado, seeds and fish are the healthiest sources of unsaturated fat. It is good for eye, bones and mental health of child. It helps to boost brain and nervous system development, and strengthen the immune system. Encourage your child to eat all these good fats that come packed with other beneficial nutrients.
- ADD VITAMINS AND MINERALS IN DIET: Vitamins and minerals help us to grow, to form bones, muscles, for eyesight, for skin and organs and most importantly help us to fight against infections by building immunity. Deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals can lead to severe issues related to health. The best way to ensure that your child is getting enough vitamins and minerals for proper growth and development is to provide them with five food groups (fruit and vegetable, complex carbs, dairy, protein and fat).
- CALCIUM IS IMPORTANT: It is really important to get strong bones and teeth and we get chance to build them only once – throughout childhood and adolescence. Children who get enough amount of calcium in childhood start their adult lives with the strongest bones possible. Bones which are made only till mid 20s have to last us a lifetime. Mostly calcium is stored in bones and teeth where it supports their structure and hardness, but the body also needs calcium for muscles to move and for nerves to carry messages between the brain and every body part. Calcium is predominately found in milk and milk based products like cheese. It is also found in dark greens and in smaller quantities in some nuts and seeds.
- SUPPORT HEALTHY EATING PATTERNS FOR ALL: Eat a mix of foods within each food group. For example, make a chart and try eating several types of colour vegetables (red, orange, green) legumes and others each week. Eating a variety of foods, keeps kid’s meals interesting colourful and full of nutrition. It’s also the key to a healthy and balanced diet because, each food has a unique mix of nutrients. While eating out or consuming packaged food items, it is important to be aware of what’s in your food. Eating healthy is fundamental to good health and well-being especially in the growing years.
- WATER WATER WATER: Drink plenty of water. Water helps flush our system of waste products and toxins. Also, water helps in supplying the body with essential nutrients and keeping the body energised. Water can also be missed with some herbs for added benefits.
- Recipe of a wholesome meal: Pizza with Pine nuts and Sprouts
Make dough using equal parts of different millet flours. Add 3 tbsp psyllium husk or 1 boiled potato or 1 sweet potato. Add 1 tsp yeast (optional). Add 1 tbsp nutritional yeast. Salt as per taste. Season wtih Oregano flakes. Enough water to make sticky soft dough. Keep dough covered with dry cloth and loose lid inside a dark space. Leave to rise for 2-3 hours.
Roll pizza base. Apply sauce (made of Pine nut + basil + 1 garlic + sesame seeds + little nut milk/ milk to blend all in a blender). Add chopped onions, sprouts (pea sprouts or alfalfa or other greens) and top it with cheddar cheese or other. Sprinkle some salt. Preheat oven for 5 min. Bake at 220 celsius for 15 minutes.
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