Promoting healthy food habits in children

ParentsWorld invited parents of the Central India Public School, Nagpur to share their insights on promoting healthy food habits in children.

“Just like me, I am sure every mother will have experienced frustration at the sight of a painstakingly packed tiffin box brought home untouched by their child on some pretext or the other. Therefore to ensure that my six-year-old daughter Devangi’s diet doesn’t contain unhealthy food high in fat, salt and sugar as also bearing in mind her food preferences, I have devised a healthy meal plan for the school week with flexible options. A typical school day for Devangi begins with a handful of soaked almonds and raisins, a glass of wholesome milk followed by traditional homemade breakfast Packed lunches comprise wholewheat sandwiches, uttappam and sabzi-roti supplemented by cubes of fresh fruit or yoghurt.” — Purvi Makwana, Center Head, Speakwell English Academy

“With not so subtle TV commercials and blatant bribe marketing seeking to educate children about nutrition with free toys, it becomes a parenting challenge to ensure my child eats healthy. I have succeeded in wooing my six-year-old daughter Sara towards traditional homemade food by improvising recipes. Since Sara loves pizza and pasta, I tweak the recipe to prepare chapati-pizza topped with her favourite veggies for lunch which I alternate with veg paratha, multigrain sandwiches and wheat noodles.” — Mahima Amit Jain, homemaker

“As a qualified medical practitioner, I follow the mantra “health is wealth”. It’s well-established that obesity and Type II diabetes are common lifestyle diseases among 21st century children. Therefore I have designed a food chart for my daughter Gargi, who is in class IV, to ensure she receives a healthy blend of nutrients throughout the day. Moreover I encourage her to focus on a daily exercise regime through yoga, sports and games. For breakfast apart from other things I ensure Gargi has at least one banana for its rich iron content. Additionally I pack dry fruits in her lunch box. Water is at the core of the food chart and I ensure Gargi drinks at least two litres of water every day. My daughter has a desperately sweet tooth. Therefore in our desserts, I avoid sugar and use jaggery and honey instead. ” — Dr. Veena S. Khodke, medical practitioner

“Planning healthy meals for my son Viraaj who is in class II, has become a vital part of our lives. We have always believed in simple quality fare. Homemade breakfasts such as onion uttapams, poha, sabudana khichdi etc are never compromised even on weekdays. My son begins his day with soaked almonds followed by a cup of flavoured milk. For lunch, I pack a sabji roti roll, and wholewheat sandwiches. After he returns from school, I offer him a tall glass of lime juice or salted lassi. .” — Kunjan Mehta, legal advisor, TVS Credit Services Ltd

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