Blog by: Vanita Lasrado
Edited by: Suryakant Tripathi
Vacations have come to an end and most kids are back to school. Parents sort of heave a sigh of relief as keeping the hyperactive kids engaged with productive stuff for 2 months can be daunting and challenging. With a plethora of emotions reeling on the young minds on their new academic year from new books, to new friends, to new stationary to almost everything new, it can get a bit overwhelming for the entire family. Today’s kids are inundated with a barrage of activates and a marathon round of tuition. If not handled with a positive attitude, all of this can take a toll on their mental and physical well being.
As responsible parents, we all want to ensure only the best for our children. But in this era of running a rats’ race or rather the kids jumping from pillar to post, staying in nuclear families and with both parents working, it is only inevitable that kids resort to more of junk foods and less of the nutritive ones. With a little bit of planning, organizing, effective multitasking and delegating, this area can be dealt with ease .As a busy working mother of two myself, it has taken me years of research to help me and my family achieve this paradigm. Nothing comes easy in life, so we all can strive to make this effort to help our children strike the balance between their activities and eating right. Don’t be hard on them as well. Let them relish their favorite meals in moderation once or twice a week .That way they will not binge eat or feel deprived of their yummy treats. Kids learn to balance their adult lives much better when they are taught this concept early on in life.
Here are a few tips to help you plan your children’s meals effortlessly .This will be handy for juggling mothers who find it difficult to pack those healthy combinations in their kids lunch boxes.
Begin as early as the first grade as once obesity sets in, cravings increase and it gets more difficult for an older kid to adapt to change. Older kids get a bit more edgy with adolescence and with all your efforts at home to inculcate healthy eating, when the child is burdened with too much on his plate, its only inevitable that he resorts to ready to eat packaged foods.
Be a role model:
We have all heard of the old adage “You are what you eat “.Walk the talk, practise what you preach, set an example or be the change. Kids look up to parents as role models and emulate them with the good habits sooner or later. So if we want our kids to eat healthy, we need to begin by implementing all the nutritious food gyan ourselves.
Do a weekly family menu planning:
A weekly menu planning will not bring you to a stage of tearing your hair apart about what to pack every day, but will help you structure your kid’s meals. Make two sections of a short and a long break and write down the meals for both sections. Ask your kids to help you with the menu planning. Reserve the junk food to a Wednesday and not Friday as most families have a tendency to eat meals outside or socialise on a weekend. That way one can strike a right balance of eating healthy most days of the week.
Do the grocery shopping in 2 parts or on two days of the week:
Very often a busy household has a lot of grocery consumption. Do the fruits and veggies one day of the week and other supplies, meats, and miscellaneous on another day. That way there is not too much of a clutter to handle and one can manage the other things without too much of a hassle.
Incorporate the right combinations:
The right combinations of carbs, proteins and healthy fats in each meal keep the kids hunger at bay, improves digestion and metabolism and keeps one well satiated .Some examples in the short eak could be a namkeen french toast, cheese roti, teplas with curds, poha or upma with sprouts thrown in it, paneer or chicken mince paranthas and perhaps doklas or idli chutney and a variants of dosas . All the above should be partially prepared and kept a day before to avoid the morning panic. Long break options can be dal rice, subji roti, paneer or a chicken roll, vegetable with soya bean or chicken cutlet with bread rolls, and a once a week a treat meal options like pastas , noodles , pizzas or any other comfort foods.
I am confident these tips will help our young ones, eat right, stay focused, and concentrate well in the new academic year. Here’s to new tidings. Wishing all the parents and the children a blissful, healthy and an enjoyable academic year 2017 !!!