The Right Diet For School Kids

Eating healthy is a tough task especially when it comes to school-going kids. In the following lines, Mitun De Sarkar, gives you some useful tips to ensure you don’t end up harming your little one in the quest for a healthy diet

1. Don’t get in to the trap of picking up snack bars and so called healthy snack foods in supermarkets. They are labelled as healthy choices but in fact, contain large amount of sugar, salt or fat and have minimal fibre. It is as good as eating two cookies with chocolate chips, high fructose corn syrups, marshmallows… you name it. Instead, why not make your own granola bars at home? They are not that difficult to make and freeze. Use natural ingredient like almond, peanut butter, raisins, coconut, whole grain cereal, honey, and dried fruit and nuts.

2. If you are depending on cereal and milk for breakfast, think twice about what kinds are you giving them. Those magically coloured kids’ cereals are full of food colours and sugar. Some are filled or coated with milk chocolate or frosting. The claimed vitamins and minerals in them are really of no use to our bodies. So do you really want to give your kids this colour laden, processed sugary junk? If at all you have to, then go for brands that contain at least 3-grams of fiber per serving and less than 10 grams of sugar. The best morning cereal that you can get your darling hooked on to, is whole grain oatmeal. It’s high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and you can sprinkle some strawberries, mangoes, bananas, dates, raisins and mix it with yogurt or milk or a dab of honey or real organic maple syrup.

3. Are you used to packing sandwiches for your little ones with luncheon meats? They love their ham and sausages, don’t they? These luncheon meats contain nitrates, a preservative used in food processing that drastically increases the risk of heart disease and cancer and reduce cognitive abilities.

4. How often do you hand him the very convenient juice box thinking it’s healthy? Not only they are packed with sugar, most commercial juices lack fiber and vitamins because they’re void of any real juice. Instead, juice up yourself or make a smoothie with some fruits and yogurt or milk.

5. Never, I mean never give them colas and soda pops. Forget the calories and the weight they put on, it damages their teeth, growing bones, causes mineral deficiencies and affects cognitive abilities. 

6. And trust me, you really don’t have to push and force your kids to eat super fancy stuff like quinoa, kale, blueberries, coconut oil, just because these are super foods. Yes, it will be great if they can take them to school, but don’t put the pressure on yourself and on them.

For many parents, getting kids to even eat anything at school is a huge task. That’s why they end up giving them donuts, cakes, cookies and crackers and juices. As long as the food is unprocessed, clean and fresh, you are doing a wonderful job.

How To Create A Diet For An Active, Sporty Child

1. Firstly, all children should be encouraged to participate in sports and lead an active lifestyle. It is most important to inculcate healthy habits at this stage which prepares them for the later stages of life.

2. Being active also means more hunger and right nutrition and children should not be restricted on packing in the good calories. Children need to eat enough quality carbohydrates and proteins, whole grain pastas, fruits and lots of vegetables. Proteins like hormone-free or organic chicken, fish, lean meat, eggs, ricotta cheese, greek yogurt, kefir, organic milk, fresh cottage cheese, nuts, beans, lentils, legumes and fresh coconut are extremely healthy.

3. Ensure they are hydrated at all times. Water is a must but alongside they can be given coconut water, fresh squeezed fruit and vegetable juices. Freshly made lemonade with honey, post a vigorous activity, is also a good idea for hydration.

4. Teach children the various food groups. Chart them out as proteins, grains and legumes, fruits, vegetables and dairy alternatives. Let them pick and choose one item from each group and help create some exciting recipes by involving them in the process.