Busting Myths about Healthy Food for Kids
So, what’s your take on healthy food for kids? Are you a stickler when it comes to your kid’s diet, and go by the book? Or have you, over time, found a middle path, and ingenious ways to feed them healthy food so that peace and happiness prevail?
Just like there are a host of myths floating about health and nutrition for adults, there are plenty of them about healthy food for kids as well.
Media, half-baked, self-appointed nutritionists and over-enthusiastic health experts from amongst the common people - all contribute to creating these myths, some of them downright dangerous.
Here's Busting Seven Myths About Healthy Food For Kids
Myth 1: Fill them up with fruits
Expecting a 4-year-old to go munch-munch, chomp-chomp on hard apples and guavas all the time is a bit mu(n)ch, Isn’t it?
Don’t force your children to eat fruits like there is no tomorrow. It will only end up making them even more resistant to eating them. Give it to them in other forms as well. Though fruit juice is high in sugar and the fibre is missing.
FRU2go, a 100% natural fruit snack, is a good option.
An extremely convenient snack, FRU2go contains all the essential nutrients of fruits. It has no added preservatives, colours or flavours, which make it absolutely natural and a perfect choice for in-between hunger pangs.
Also, your kid can have it anywhere - in school, playground or even in a moving car.
Myth 2: Stuff them with vegetables
Yes, vegetables are a good source of vitamins, protein, calcium and much-needed carbs.
Just that your 3-year-old is not a qualified nutritionist to know that.
Kids want easy to eat food that looks appealing and tastes yummy.
Come up with innovative lunch ideas for kids instead of the “finish your veggies” sermons.
Add vegetables to what the children love to eat – sandwiches, rice pulao, mooli or gobhi paranthas, whole wheat burgers and noodles.
Guess what! Some vegetables also make delicious desserts. Gajar ka Halwa, kids????
Myth 3: Fat is bad for your child
Not unless the six years old weighs 40 Kg!
A growing child needs fat as much as s/he needs other ingredients. In fact, they burn it much faster than us adults, and if the fat content in their body is too low, they will not only look too thin but may also face other health problems.
So let her grandma indulge her with the occasional desi ghee parathas, butter toast or even homemade pakodas once in a while.
They are all part of healthy food for kids.
Myth 4: The strict ‘No Chocolates’ policy
Except in spy thrillers, an occasional bar of chocolate never killed anyone.
Let your child have chocolate in moderation, as long as they are brushing their teeth afterwards.
Chocolates too have their share of energy and nutrition and better still, anti-oxidants.
In any case, stopping her from having her fill with that chocolate cake at the best friend’s birthday is such a 'Cinderella mom' thing to do.
Myth 5: Sugar is sin
If your child is eating his paranthas with some jam spread over it, it’s still better than not touching rotis at all.
Ice creams also have milk and sugar and unless eaten too frequently, are not going to harm your child.
Except in the unfortunate cases of childhood diabetes, there is no need to stop your children from having limited helpings of sweets.
However, this is one area where you need to be vigilant as children are likely to over-indulge with sugar.
Myth 6: Fast food is a Faux Pas
Well, this is a tricky one but can be handled by a smart parent.
Make your noodles whole wheat, full of vegetables and with healthier spices and sauces. Put a soya tikki (pattice) instead of an aloo one, in whole wheat buns to make a burger.
Whole wheat pizza bases with a generous amount of vegetable toppings make for an interesting lunch idea for kids.
Myth 7: Need to cut carbs. Already?
Rotis, rice, even potatoes are good sources of vitamins, proteins, and carbohydrates. Let them have it.
Use your imagination to come up with healthy food for kids that balances their carbohydrate intake with vegetables and protein — rice with rajma, rotis with their favourite vegetable and baked potato with a
side of healthy hummus.
Carbs are an essential part of a diet plan that focuses on healthy food for kids.
So the entire concept of healthy food for kids need not start mimicking the fad diet of a grown up.
Kids need all the nutrients, including sugar and fats. It is a myth that they are harmful and should be totally avoided. All that is needed is moderation while including them in your children’s diet.