We often hear that Nutrition starts from the very start, but do not know how!
We neglect its importance in the early stages of life where we must focus on building the foundation & healthy eating habits.
Why don't we feed Smart from the Start?
I've often come across parents who complain about their child's eating behavior, but the problem is often inculcated by parents themselves by not having correct meal timings, often eating out, providing packaged processed foods, rewarding them with unhealthy non-nutritious food. Kids are not born with cravings.
5 Most Important Tips to Remember
- Make balanced meals as fun meals. Example: The same roti + sabji can be wrapped as a Frankie roll with some egg & cheese OR pav bhaji is often loved by children so can add True Elements Rolled Oats in the bhaji to make it nutritious.
Breakfast is the most crucial meal of the day as it decides the whole hormonal functions & balance of hunger and satiety. So, make sure not to skip breakfast & most importantly make it as nutritious as possible.
Example: Rather than giving eggs as scrambled or omelette try egg muffins with added veggies OR True Elements Chocolate Pancake Mix.
Eat healthy yourself so they take you as their role model. Do not term food as good or bad and relish everything with love.
Example: Instead of high sugar ice-creams try fruit sorbets.
- Have proper meal timings. This will give them a sense of accountability & even their digestive system will be trained to send signals of hunger at the right time.
- How you cook and prepare food affects the nutritive value like adding too much sugar or sodium in your diet will change the nutritive value of food. Try air frying to save on excess fat and yet enjoy certain foods.
5 Tips to Pack Tiffin Boxes
Give fruits as dessert
Use a biscuit cutter to make it fun. Instead of just providing chocolate, try strawberries dipped in chocolate or chocolate coated dates.
Make it playful
Allot days like green day or red day and you can include spinach rice or hara bhara kebab. This makes a child eat because it's kind of a game for them.
For snack boxes avoid high sugar or packaged products. Instead, can give True Elements Cereal Biscuits made with jowar OR True Elements Chocolate Crunchy Minis.
- Add cheese along with vegetables as that is most liked by children. Example- A triple layer sandwich with one layer of grated carrot, one layer of capsicum and one of cheese and name it as Tri-color sandwich, cut in shapes to make it visually pleasing.
- If the child is not eating much then get those calories through a liquid diet like a fun smoothie (Rolled Oats + banana + blueberry) and call it a purple drink.
We need to make efforts so our child does not lack nutrition which is important for their growth and development. This also prevents child obesity which is a very common problem. They need the right food at the right time to grow. Include varieties & focus on quality.
Remember a pro tip-
"If nature didn't make it, don't take it"
Authored By: Dt. Safa Hawai
Certified Dietitian & Diabetes Educator