Make eating seem fun for kids,nutritionist Shikha Sharma advises parents

Jan 19 2013, 03:09 IST
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Summary“Eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, cereals, sprouts and natural foods, making healthy food look interesting and full of fun, exercising daily or doing yoga for at least 30 minutes is the key to a healthy body and sound mind,” said Dr Shikha Sharma, Chairperson, CII Yi Health Vertical while addressing citizens and students during a session on preventive health measures and nutrition organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII’s) Young Indians (Yi) Chandigarh Tricity Chapter at CII Friday.

“Eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, cereals, sprouts and natural foods, making healthy food look interesting and full of fun, exercising daily or doing yoga for at least 30 minutes is the key to a healthy body and sound mind,” said Dr Shikha Sharma, Chairperson, CII Yi Health Vertical while addressing citizens and students during a session on preventive health measures and nutrition organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII’s) Young Indians (Yi) Chandigarh Tricity Chapter at CII Friday.

Addressing one of the main concerns of parents - the bad eating habits of children, she said, “We should use creativity and make eating fun and interesting for kids. Making healthy food look fashionable is the key to attracting children and teenagers towards healthy eating”.

A lot of group activities can be planned and school children can eat similar kinds of healthy things, like sprouts and fruits together in groups, which they otherwise dislike, she said. Children follow their parents, so adults should eat healthy things happily, so that kids also like them.

Stressing on decreasing dependency on chemicals and refined foods, Sharma said that genetically modified oils such as canola oil are not a healthy option and instead, one should be using more cold pressed oils (kachhi Dhaani ), olive oil, ground nut oil, mustard oil etc.

Also, sharing her views on healthy packaged food options available in the markets these days, she said, “These are better options than fried food, chips etc but if given a choice, one should go in for natural, healthy and fresh food options”.

She also busted myths regarding the following of extreme diets for sudden weight loss as these can be emotionally damaging in the long term and can also leave certain organs malfunctioning, thus harming the body rather than doing it any good, she cautioned.

Sharing the mantra of a fit body and a healthy long life, she said one should try and have light and early dinners, drink warm water early in the morning, reduce intake of fried food and choose baked options instead, avoiding sugar as much as possible.

She stressed that Ayurveda is a vast science and a knowledge bank of a long and healthy living and wellness and is not just limited to curing diseases. It counsels good eating habits as well as breathing habits. There are so many natural things, she pointed out, which are available in our Indian kitchens and are very helpful for overall health.

In winters especially, Sharma advised her audience to have dry fruits, carrots, sesame seeds, amla and coriander juices, black pepper, honey, ‘Daal Cheeni’, mixed atta chapattis (like mixing jowar and bajra with wheat flour etc) to stay fit.

Regarding the use of chemicals in fruits and food these days, she said, “Our bodies have a metabolism built to throw such chemicals and toxins out. But for this, we need to keep our liver healthy and fit. This is possible by taking 20 ml Aloe Vera juice and 5 ml Aamla juice daily. Drinking lemon water early in the morning also helps detoxicate the liver. Drinking of alcohol should be avoided”.

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