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Choosing fruit over fries!

Posted in Nutrition on November 12 2022 at 12:01 PM

I have more recently been asked by a number of clients if I could also coach their kids on healthy eating. Obesity in young kids and teenagers is on the rise and with the wide variety of food (read junk) options available these days, most mothers are at their wits’ end when the teen kid wants to scarf down all the chocolates, candies and icecream all at once. 

 

We all know how habits of eating excessive sugar can create health hazards in adulthood. Here’s a quick guide on how to navigate through all those tv adverts and peer pressure yet keep the child happy and healthy. 

 

  1. Make the time to cook interesting home-made meals. Make room for kitchen experiments and smart ways to combine restaurant style flavors with home-cooked goodness. Let this be an activity where the kids join in too!  
  2. Add good fats to help satiety. When adding ghee to dals and chapatis and adding nuts to laddoos, make sure to use good quality fats. These help keep the child feeling full and minimize cravings. 
  3. Another way to minimize cravings is to include sufficient protein in the diet. Dal when had with rice / quinoa / chapati makes it a complete protein. Look for smart ways to add more protein daily. For instance, silken tofu mashed into the roti dough makes for deliciously soft rotis or paranthas. 
  4. Ensure children stay hydrated - not with zero sugar energy drinks or milkshakes but with water. Add fun water flavours like a slice of lemon, orange or fruit. Get the kids to make flavoured ice cubes for a week and add those to their water bottles. Let drinking water be fun! 
  5. Have rules around late night snacking and how many sweets they choose daily. Don’t link eating with rewards though - it sets their mind in a negative relationship with food. 
  6. Let eating not be the only source of joy! In these times with added pressures of academics and other activities, let them make the time for some activities they truly enjoy doing other than indulging them in their favourite pizza. 
  7. Be a role model! Eat well, workout regularly and talk body positive always. The kids are watching even when we think they aren’t! 

 

While we all want that perfect child who eats his/her broccoli and says no to the doughnut, it is more important to let them grow into healthy adults who don’t link body image to foods that they eat. Teach them to improve health not body fat percentage, teach them to focus on energy not weighing scale figures and teach them to choose joy over diets! 

 

Let each child today be the adult tomorrow who has broken free from the cycles of weight loss and gain and of apple or pear shaped bodies! It all starts with our children. Let’s do it right! 

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