Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Eating with family- discourage unhealthy eating in kids.

Eating healthy is one of the most basic needs and getting the kids to eat well has become a daily challenge of parents. In our obsession with calories and vitamins; we tend to forget that food has cultural value also. The childhood is full of memories associated with food (b'days, festivals , other holidays etc.) and it’s the experience which makes it worthwhile.

Here are a few tips for eating healthy as a family:

No TV rule while dining- Talk to each other instead of watching TV. With less distraction and more interaction the kids tend to finish their food.
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Don’t eat alone- we tend to eat in a more balanced way when in company. This helps us watch what we are eating. An aware family will always have more healthy dishes on the plate.

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Don’t hurry up with your meals- Eating is an experience to be savored. Dinner with your family is usually a time to catch up on everyday activities of each person.

Cook your own meals- This ensures that you have control over what the family eats. Involve you family with small tasks like washing and peeling vegetables or even laying the table. Doing things together make you feel part of the team, and teach lessons of cooperation to the little ones.
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Be a role model- We tend to forget that kids observe our behavior. They will most likely follow you if they see you do it. So if you want children to eat well, do it yourself first.

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Develop a kitchen garden- or even planting some food in pots will do. This will not only give the freshest of produce, but it'll ensure that some excercise is done while gardening. Delegation of responsibility to the kids regarding care of plants will keep them busy and also make them responsible.
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Friday, November 25, 2011

Handy tips to shop healthy

Make a list before visiting the supermarket. List according to priority e.g. put yogurt above that pack of chips.

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Read the labels- While buying packaged foods; always read nutrition labels and ingredients along with the expiry dates. This will ensure that you get freshest products which will last longer.


Avoid food-like substances- Yes, there are certain "foods" which are not really food but a product of the processing industries. Mostly things with too many ingredients which you can't recognize (e.g. HFCS-High fructose corn syrup) are the ones to avoid.

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Go organic- If you want the best for your family then don’t skimp on buying good foodstuffs. Also by doing this, you will not only keep your family healthy , but also help those few people who have taken care that no pesticides should pollute the food.
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Visit the farmer's market regularly- the quintessential "sabzi mandi" is the closest we come with regards to local produce and seasonal veggies. The freshest produce with reasonable price tag- Definitely the choice to make.


Finish the items on list before impulse buying- The things you need the least are either at the end or not present in the list.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cholesterol Free !!! (hmmm... really?)

This is a common caption highlighted on a number of oil containers in the supermarket. The consumer relies on these health claims and makes his/her purchase thinking that they have bought a 'healthy' product. In fact this term is misleading and mostly used as a marketing gimmick. Its like calling sugarcane juice "fat-free" or "100% natural".

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Here are the facts:

1. No oils from vegetable sources have cholesterol. Only animal fats have cholesterol eg. butter, lard, eggs etc.

2. Though vegetable oils are Cholesterol free, it doesn't mean that you can let your food swim in it. Moderation is the key.

3.Body is capable of making the cholesterol (it is required by the body) it needs.

There is no need to buy an oil blend which has grand health claims on its package. You can just go by your choice.

To do:
Change the type of oil (groundnut, sunflower, soybean, mustard, safflower, coconut, canola, cottonseed etc.) used every few months. This practice has been found to be beneficial for heart health.