Obesity is a flourishing epidemic world-wide. And Yes, it has hit India like it has any other country. Children are especially vulnerable. Almost 40 to 50 per cent of children today are overweight. The underlying reason of childhood obesity is a drastic shift in food habits – Abundant consumption of nutrient-poor junk foods, lack of physical exercise, stress of modern day life & irregular sleep pattern. All parents are aware that good nutrition is a must for good health of their children. Poor diets can slow growth, decay new teeth, promote obesity and sow the seeds of infirmity and debilitating disease. The amount of food a child needs varies according to height, build, gender and activity levels. What a child eats and in what quantities, determines whether a child’s is having a balanced diet or not. Ads for junk food and images of ready to eat processed foods give kids conflicting and unhealthy ideas about what to eat and what to avoid? Junk foodstuffs typically contain high levels of calories from sugar or fat with little protein, vitamins or minerals. Common junk foodstuffs include salted snack foods (chips, wafers, etc.), burgers, chewing gum, candy, sweets, fried foods & carbonated beverages.
Yummy to eat, hard to burn:
- Colas/ canned juices
- Pizza/ burger/ white bread/ noodles
- Ice creams/ ice-cream shakes
The healthy way out:
- Whole fruits/ lassi/ coconut water
- Brown bread/ wheat porridge/ green sprouts
- Fruit salads/ fruit puddings/ skimmed milk shakes
Parents, particularly on weekends, buy calorie-rich dinner for their children instead of preparing food at home, which in-turn makes them weighty. Studies around the globe contend that eating junk food on a regular basis & erratic sleep pattern, offshoots the stunted growth of children furthermore making them lackluster throughout the school hours. This problem can be solved by cooking healthy meals fulfilling nutrient requirements of kids as they need good diet for better concentration.
With childhood obesity now on the rise, the best approach to helping a child is to lead by example. It is recommended that the entire family adopt and cultivate healthy eating habits. Children are highly influenced by their parents’ eating habits and they get bored having the same kind of food day after day. They need to be given a choice and must be allowed to eat little and often. A kid’s menu should therefore be planned in a systematic manner to ensure that the child is receiving adequate nutrition.
Lunch is as essential as breakfast. So, it is necessary to make their lunch as balanced as possible. As half of the day of a child is spent in school, thus packed lunch should assure a wholesome, attractive and appetizing meal, permitting a variety of foodstuffs for proper growth and development. It’s all about making nutritious food appealing and fun for kids – as appearance counts as much as taste. Preparing the right lunch for kids might be a hard core job for every single day. But, one needs to ensure that the lunch box comes empty! Packing a balanced meal in a lunch box requires a bit of imagination and a bit of planning. Deciding what to prepare for the lunch box for kids is always an issue. So, I have carefully selected an assortment of tasty and healthy tiffin options for your kids.
|Weekday Lunch Ideas|
|Tuesday||Sagoo vegetable cutlet+Tangy Tomato chutney||Apple|
|Wednesday||Egg parantha OR Paneer parantha+Imli-dates chutney||Orange|
|Thursday||Tomato-green onion uttapum+Coconut chutney||Boiled corn masala|
|Saturday||Vegetable pasta in thick white gravy||Kiwi|
Nutritious food and sufficient sleep are amongst the most essential nitty-gritty for a healthy & happy child. So, take due care of the good HEALTH of your children.
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