Ensuring children eat healthy meals

PW invited parents of Delhi Public School Agra to share insights on how they ensure their children consume nutritious meals

To make sure my eight-year-old son Samriddh (class IV) eats healthy meals is a challenge but fun nevertheless. Our latest mantra is to involve him in dictating the menu and helping to prepare meals under my supervision so he is inspired to sample his own creations. To sustain him during long school hours, I pack enough protein in his school tiffin to keep him going through the day. Creativity also works for him. Therefore, I use cookie cutters to serve him bread/chapatis in the shape of hearts and smiles and give them fancy names. We are gradually learning to wean him off junk food

— Ritu Gupta, businesswoman

Packing nutritious lunches for my elder son Ayraansh (class III) on regular school days and post-school activities is a task in itself. I invest considerable time and effort to include salads and fruits, curd, nuts, ghee, and soups in his diet. Most of the time, I pack traditional Indian meals such as stuffed paranthas with dal or one pot meals such as vegetable pulao or khichdi which I believe are healthy options. Egg and meat are also added in moderation. I always advise my children to eat healthy and focus on physical fitness

— Arisha Vij, homemaker

There are certain food codes we follow as a family so that our daughter Ananya Jyoti (class VI) develops ‘eating right’ as a habit. Home cooked freshly prepared meals are served six days in a week. They comprise at least two green veggies daily, limited packaged food and no frozen food. Homemade food can become boring for children. Therefore, I experiment with ingredients and presentation to hold my daughter’s interest. Moreover, I involve her in cooking meals so she is inspired to taste her own cooking

— Sindhuja Saha, homemaker

Healthy growth and development requires young children including my daughter Reva (class XI) to consume healthy meals. In urban India, children are very fussy about their food choices making it a difficult task for mothers like us. While carbohydrates and fats are Reva’s favourite junk food (chips, pizza and pasta), I ensure she has eggs and cheese as her protein source. Like most children, green leafy vegetables are on her dis[1]like list, and so is curd. Therefore, I ensure she has plenty of fresh fruit and flavoured yoghurt which compensates for veggies and milk. I believe educating children about different foods, their sources and benefits is a great way to make them understand and follow healthy eating habits

— Dr. Sonal Gupta, Ojas Hospital, Agra

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