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Schools have begun and it’s a familiar refrain heard from mums – what do I pack in my child’s tiffin? While kids love junk, it’s your responsibility to turn them away from it. But often unwittingly, you end up feeding them the wrong things. Don’t believe us? Read on…
MISTAKES MUMS MAKE
1. Don’t get into the trap of picking up snack bars and so-called healthy snack foods in supermarkets. They, in fact, contain large amount of sugar, salt or fat and have minimal fibre. It is as good as eating two cookies with the chocolate chips, high fructose corn syrups or marshmallows. Instead why not make your own easy-to-prepare granola bars at home? Use natural ingredients like almond, peanut butter, raisins, coconut, whole grain cereal, honey, and dried fruit and nuts.
2. In the morning if you are depending on cereal and milk for breakfast, think twice about them. Those magically colored kids’ cereals are full of food colors and sugar. Some are filled or coated with milk chocolate or frostings .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 color laden, processed sugary junk?
If at all you have to, go for brands that contain at least three grams of fiber per serving and less than 10 grams of sugar. The best morning cereal that you can get your darling hooked on is whole grain oatmeal, it’s high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and you can sprinkle on 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? These meats contain nitrates, a preservative used in food processing that drastically increases the risk of heart disease and cancer and reduces cognitive abilities.
4. How often do you hand him the very convenient juice box thinking it’s healthy? Not only are they 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 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. 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 you can and if they can take them to school, but don’t put the pressure on yourself and on them.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR CHILD AWARE
Making your child aware about eating healthy and what good nutrition is all about will make a lifelong impact on their relationship with food . The child learns about such facts at home first . What he sees he will do. If he sees his parents guzzling colas and munching on packed chips all day long , he will do so too. You as parents need to first inculcate healthy eating habits at home.
Occasionally a take away pizza or a burger or a candy from fast food chains won't harm him but that is if it happens once in a way. By once In a way I mean once a week or a fortnight . But don't make it sound like a reward please. Because they will associate junk foods to happiness and that Can have psychological impact on the child's developing brains relating food with emotions.
And Ofcourse how can we forget the importance of having family meals together . Having a variety of foods , a proper balanced meal together In a relaxed atmosphere as a family , grocery shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables all can make the child aware eating healthy is right for him.
INNOV ATIVE SCHOOL LUNCH COMBOS
Here are a few tips and combinations
1. Firstly buy two attractive looking lunch boxes with compartments.
2. Other considerations when packing a lunch box are ease and speed of eating. Young kids in particular are keen to get out to the playground and won’t appreciate the time it takes to eat large salads or things that take longer to chew.
3. California rolls (veg sushi , sushi rice rolled with avocados, carrots & cucumbers) strawberries and cheese .
4. Brown pita, spread with baked falafel & Hummus with lettuce & cucumbers, apples.
5. Homemade chickpea flour tortillas sprinkled with chia seeds, sesame seeds & guacamole & oranges.
6. Boiled chickpeas with feta cheese, cucumbers and raisins.
7. Boiled red kidney beans, grated mozzarella, salsa and pomegranate seeds
8. Egg fried rice cooked with vegetables and brown rice served with carrot sticks and pear.
9. Cheddar cheese blocks with red grapes, whole wheat toast.
10. Whole wheat pasta tossed in olive oil and green peas served with kiwi,
11. Roasted chicken and veggies wrapped in whole wheat tortillas or soft corn tortillas.
12. Boiled egg sandwiches and baby carrot and cucumber sticks.
13. Homemade yogurt parfait (layered oats, berries, yogurt, honey ) and some side salad
14. Baked falafels with hummus, brown pita and banana.
15. Baked chicken drumsticks, baked potato & pineapple.
16. Rice paper rolls like Vietnamese rolls, add sprouts, chicken , carrots & berries.