A very blatant phrase is often used by the health care providers stating ‘Moderation is the key’. Coaching about healthy and moderation eating right from the beginning, helps a growing child to keep health as his prime focus as he grows up. It is said that first 6 years of child’s life are like a sponge and whatever is taught during this time, is going to remain throughout his life.
With increasing cases of childhood obesity, eating disorders, comfort eating and stress, eating in moderation is something which should be started at a very young age, before the child understands the relationship between body, food and mind.
Moderation eating? How will it help my growing child?
In a country like India, where every occasion is celebrated with a variety of delicious but not-so-healthy food items, and where children are insisted to have more laddoos even when they are full, eating in moderation should be practiced by every family. Teaching children right from a start and controlling portions, will help the child develop the habit of eating in portions.
Well taught kids, grow up as happy, health conscious and productive individuals. They are very much aware of how much and what should they eat and also avoid food wastage. They eventually learn the fact, that food is requisite for survival and it is nowhere connected to emotions or present plight of the mind.
Fun Foods – What are they?
Fun foods can be simply defined as what child wants to have all the time without making much of a fuss. Foods can be made healthy, yet tasty by improving the appearance, texture of any product by smart modification.
Fun foods might often include some processed ingredient, but if cooked, using healthy ingredients and healthier cooking options, they can impart the development of a scrumptious meal, which is also high on complete nutrition.
Some examples of fun foods include varieties of Muffins, wedges, wraps, sandwiches, pastas, homemade preservative free juices and smoothies etc.
The below distribution of the vital nutrients will help the mothers to make a healthy,well balanced diet plan for their growing children(2-5 years).
|Nutrients||Food list||Daily Recommended Allowance (%)|
|Carbohydrates(Complex) Primary Source of Energy for the body for energy||Wholegrains like wheat,grain bread,millets like bajra,ragi etc.||40%|
|Proteins Important for wear and tear and growth||Milk and its products,lean chicken,fish,eggs and poultry.||15%|
|Calcium Bone and teeth development.||Dairy products,Ragi,Dark green vegetables like collard,spinach,cauliflower etc||15%|
|Vitamins and Minerals For better immunity,body growth.||Majorly present in fruits and Vegetables.||
|Goods Fats Omega Fats are important for proper brain development and carrying fat soluble vitamins,hormone production.||Olive oil(for dressing),almonds,nuts,walnuts etc||10%|
Take away for the Moms to make their child a Composed eater
- Learning begins at home, Kids learn through imitation and not from teaching verbally. You are their role model and they will learn what they observe. Assemble healthy groceries.
- Inculcating a habit of having a wholesome breakfast .Researches have proven well with the evidence ,kids who had home cooked healthy breakfast everyday grow up as a better productive and efficient individuals .A healthy breakfast also cut down the percentage of the children risking towards childhood obesity.
- Involve the child in the process of making meals, by doing this the child will also feel involved, pick up the art of healthy ingredients and also develop interest in eating food.
- Make the meals attractive, with decorated plating. This helps as most of the kids are visual learners and the sight of attractive food, well decorated convinces them it is worth trying.
- Serve small portions at one go. By doing these, the child will likely avoid food wastage and simultaneously; also learn to listen to his mind to eat in moderation (It happens at a faster pace when the child is not surrounded by any gadgets).
- Plan a good mid meal in between the main meals like fruits, nuts, milk, curds etc. That will cut down overeating massively.
- Sleep is a very important part of existence. A regulatory sleep pattern helps to keep the growing child hunger hormone under a check.