Take care of your child’s health:-

“A hundred years from now it won’t matter what my bank account was, what kind of house I lived in or what kind of car I drove, but the world may be different because I was important in a child’s life” – Forest Witchcraft.

Most of us think we are healthy if we don’t get sick often. I’m sorry to say that is not true. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. So, to live a “healthy lifestyle”, we need an ideal combination of:-

A. Physical well-being:- includes nutritious food, physical exercise, adequate weight, adequate sleep and rest.

B. Mental well-being: – consists of having an optimistic sense of worth, optimistic posture/thoughts and actions, self-control #can fulfill potential, live and work productively #can manage daily stress #can socialize, stay well socialized with others and contribute to society.

C. Spiritual well-being: – promotes inner peace, ingenuity and provides a sense of satisfaction.

These few suggestions will help you and your child develop healthy eating habits:

# Make sure you eat breakfast every day, even if it’s just fruit and a glass of milk. Provides energy for the day.

# Eat slowly, take your time eating and chewing food as it takes about 20 minutes for the brain to tell the body that it is full.

# An ideal diet should aim for at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

# An ideal meal should include more whole grains like dahlia, brown rice, barley, corn, quinoa, millet, popcorn and rye.

# Reward him with praise, not sugary snacks, chocolates, or ice cream.

# Childhood obesity is not always genetic or uncontrollable, a healthy weight can be maintained with proper diet and exercise.

# Processed foods are full of sugar, sodium, calories and unhealthy fats as they hinder the healthy development of a child’s brain and immune system.

# Exercise regularly. Persuade outdoor sports to promote a healthy lifestyle. Sixty minutes of daily physical activity is recommended for children, including you. Plan more indoor and outdoor activities for your child.

# Turn off TV, iPad, Xbox, computer, mobile phone, online browsing and encourage them to spend more time playing games outdoors. Play with your child, dance together, go for a walk together after dinner instead of watching TV.

# Instead of going to the mall or the theater, go hiking or rock climbing.

# Stay away from tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.

Substitute – Cookies/chips/cookies/pies/pies

With – Fresh fruits/nuts/salads/sprouts

Substitute- Soft drinks/ sugary drinks/ packaged juices/ instant soups

With – Fresh juices without sugar / fresh soups / whole fruit

Substitute- White pasta/ white bread

With – Wheat pasta/ multigrain wheat bread

Substitute: high calorie fast food/junk food/frozen food/processed food

With -Healthy homemade food that includes more green leafy vegetables and whole grains.

Substitute- Cheese, canned vegetables, ready-to-cook meals

With – Healthy protein foods such as lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, seeds, nuts, beans, legumes, soy products and dairy products such as milk, yogurt, paneer.

Substitute – Butter

with – Olive oil/ ghee.

# Don’t insist on ‘clean plate’, they will never learn when to stop and overeat just to finish the meal, even when they feel full.

# Instead of ‘don’t eat too many chocolates/cookies’ say eat healthy fruit/salad. This will not make them feel deprived.

# Drink plenty of water. At least 8-10 glasses a day.

Finally, positive role modeling is crucial. Practice what you preach.

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