(A sneak peek into the food and its impact on our children)
“What you are today, is sheer result of what you ate Yesterday “
Your body is an inch-by-inch build-up of the food you’ve consumed throughout your life. Good health starts with what you put in your body. Eating healthy ensures you maintain a healthy weight that in turn helps you in preventing diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
Eating healthy doesn't have to be boring or tasteless. With a little creativity, you can enjoy some really delectable and delicious meals. By choosing nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, you can fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive.
Why Eat Healthy?
Eating a healthy diet that includes lots of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and a moderate amount of unsaturated fats, meat and dairy can help you maintain a steady weight. Having a good variety of these foods every day leaves less room for foods that are high in fat and sugar Additionally, it can improve our energy levels, mood, and cognitive function. Science has proved the impact of food on your productivity, and creativity too. Not just physical or mental, food can have great impact on the performances of children and adults, academically and professionally. Furthermore, choosing to eat healthy can also have a positive impact on the environment. By consuming foods that are sustainably sourced and produced, we can help reduce our carbon footprint and support local farmers and businesses.
What is Healthy Food?
Healthy food can be defined as any food that provides the nutrients needed to maintain a healthy body. This includes foods that are well balanced in carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. Well! Not to forget fibre and water in adequate ratio. Any food that gives you the recommended daily allowance of nutrition according to your age, heigh, weight and medical condition is considered as a healthy food.
Significance of healthy food in kids
Children in particular need to be supervised, educated and practiced healthy food habit right from a tender age. The growing phase in any living being is the phase that demands more nutrition. A growing kid needs plenty of macronutrients, micronutrients, and phytonutrients to successfully develop and thrive! Appropriate amount of these nutrients are crucially important in their growth and development, especially when it comes to immune system. Immunity is built rapidly during the childhood phase. Hence it is extremely important to fuel if with healthy food because:
· A child’s immune system is rapidly and continuously developing throughout their first years of life.
· The relative immaturity of the average immune system in a child versus an adult tends to cause a greater susceptibly to infectious disease in children.
· Children are prone to many infections, particularly those infections related to the upper respiratory tract.
· Very frequently noted in school kids are: tonsillitis, otitis media (ear infection), and viral upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) such as the common cold and influenza.
Children and junk food:
Junk food remains to be the primary etiologic factor behind the various disease (both infectious and life style) affecting school going kids. Regular junk food consumption can have detrimental effect on the child’s physical and mental health. Obesity, constipation, recurrent infections, poor academics, poor concentration and low-energy are just a few of the ill effects that can be credited to junk food consumption.
There has been an increase in the consumption of junk food (JF) among school-aged children (SAC) possibly leading to obesity and diet-related diseases among them. Various studies show that junk food could lead to heart and kidney problems in early life, Junk food consumption and psychological distress in children and adolescents – (national library for medicine)
Food Regulations -India
Recently, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), has decided to ban all kinds of junk foods on the school premises from December 2019. To curb unhealthy food practices by the school children, FSSAI has also framed Food Safety and Standards regulations 2019. FSSAI comes out with ‘The Eat Right Movement’ and new food safety guidelines, which emphasizes on “banning the sale of pre-packaged foods, which are referred to as foods high in fat, salt, and sugar to school children in school canteens/mess premises/hostel kitchens or within 50 meters of the school campus.” (-National institutes of Health, India)
Healthy Food Swaps
· Making small changes in your kid’s diet can have a big impact on your health.
· Try swapping out processed snacks for fresh fruit or veggies, or replace sugary drinks with water/smoothies/fresh fruit juices.... You'll be surprised at how much better they’d feel!
· Another easy swap is to choose whole grains instead of refined grains. Whole grain breads, pasta, and rice are more filling and nutritious than their white counterparts.
· And don't forget about healthy fats! Avocado, nuts, and olive oil are all great sources of healthy fats that can help keep you feeling full and satisfied.
In conclusion, it is vital to prioritize healthy eating habits in our daily lives. Not only does a balanced diet help us maintain a healthy weight and prevent chronic diseases, but it also improves our mood, energy levels, and overall well-being. All this can be easily implemented in a child’s routine by a little effort, a little play, a little talk, a little bribing and of course lots of love from the parents.
Mindful eating … is the mantra
Making small changes to our little one’s diet, such as incorporating more fruits and vegetables, reducing processed foods, and limiting sugary drinks, can have a significant impact on their health in the long run. By being mindful of what we eat and making conscious choices, we can take control of our health and lead happier, healthier lives.
BON APPITITE EVERYONE!!!