Many surveys have found that children always look for some evening snacks and unhealthy mixture that give them problem later. According to nutritionist Ramola Kumar, snacks can be healthy if taken in a systematic manner.
Here are few tips that need to be taken care of while giving kids maximum nutrition:
The water rule: “Children should drink only water at home. Parents should not encourage cold drinks or juices, especially during evening or after that. Drink these only on special occasions,” said Ramola Kumar.Keep a bowl stocked with your child's favourite fruits. Apples, oranges, pears, plums and bananas are just a few fruits you can choose from. "Generally children don't like the pale fruits, one can make a fruit chaat and present it in front of children when they come back from playing. It is not fair to make a child eat differently than the others in the family.
Healthy eating is a family affair," added Ramola.Give your child more free range when outside home. Make sure meals at home are healthy. But when your children eat out, let them eat what they want. At home, talk about healthy choices. Do not lecture or scold your child for poor food choices, especially when you are eating out. According to nutritionists and dieticians one should have treats in moderation. A great way to teach moderation is to buy only one pack of say, potato chips once a month. When it's finished, it's over until next month. “One should keep on talking about nutrition to children so that they understand the benefits. Chances are, if your child doesn't know much about nutrition, neither you do. Read some books or some articles and share what you have learnt with your children. Even if they roll their eyes, and act like they do not care, they hear you,” added Ramola. If you want your kids to love Indian food, start taking them to Indian restaurants at an early age. One should serve Indian food at home. It can be a less threatening to a child if you introduce them to Indian food at home.
"One can start by cooking some of the less spicy dishes such as Tandoori chicken. Children may be turned off by highly seasoned dishes," said Kumar. Kids enjoy seeing all of the choices and they love the challenge of choosing their own meal. Let them select what looks most appealing and compliment them for their choice. Praise them when they clean their plate. To teach your kids to love Indian food, encourage them to try kid-friendly Indian food such as naan and samosas. Kids also enjoy yoghurt drink, lassi and kheer as Indian pudding. Teach your children to cook. This gives you an opportunity to talk about nutritious food choices and give them a valuable skill they can use for the rest of their lives. “Listen to your child. Studies show that repeated exposure to certain foods is sometimes necessary in order to develop a taste for them. Forcing your child to eat something they hate can cause food aversions. It is also important to encourage your children to trust their body to tell them what they need,” added Ramola Kumar.
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