Healthy diet for youngsters

We have to emphasis the importance of healthy diet and eating right from childhood. Somewhere the nutritional gap starts and becomes so big that it is difficult to fill up –hence the increasing amount of children having heath problems like obesity, anemia, constipation or high cholesterol problems. Simply put, if we begin today (in fact, right now!) to take preventive measures kids can be energetic, happy and feeling great which is the way they are meant to be.
There are so many distractions for the young ones today: fast foods, processed foods and all those where taste matters more than the goodness factor. Let us face it; we are surrounded by fast-food outlets, peer pressure, bad catering in school-canteens, advertising campaigns and birthday parties to lead children astray in their choices around food, so it is imperative that we take the reigns early on to introduce good eating habits to young children. Would you not like to have your children safeguarded against common ailments, allergies, concentration problems and learning difficulties as the result of poor diets dominated by massive amounts of refined sugars, colourants, flavourants, preservatives and excess amount of fats?
The primary education for following a healthy diet begins in the primary years. It is best to allow the young ones at home to help with the meal preparation and “test” the taste before adding extra flavours. Children will most probably not eat fruit and vegetables simply because “they are good for them”. They must have good flavour and texture. I have also observed that many kids will not eat cooked vegetables but may eat them raw. Salad vegetables like cherry tomatoes, slices of cucumber, grated carrot or carrot sticks and celery are a good option and can be served with a tasty dip.
There is one meal that is important for kids and adults alike and that is breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day and should be eaten every day. Some examples are a nutritious drink, fresh or stewed fruit, custard, yogurt, leftovers on toast or milk drinks as well as the usual breakfast foods such as cereals, toast, eggs and baked beans.
Quick Fried Egg with Brown Bread is a good presentation. Lunch is probably packed in school or college. The evening meal is the single most family meal where the mother must find time to cook up something very tasty and wholesome. You can look at hearty soups or casseroles, stir-fries using chicken, lots of vegetables and some noodles. Try pasta dishes like meatballs with pasta, tuna and tomato fettuccine or macaroni cheese. Even egg dishes such as frittata, quiche and omelettes will be enjoyed. Once in a while give a treat of homemade hamburgers and pizzas! Healthy Pizza is sure to please the kids. Desserts should make a positive contribution to a meal so serve lots of fresh sweet fruits and yogurt sundaes. For special occasions Hot Chocolate Nut Sundae is wonderful.
We as adults need to give children firm yet gentle guidelines to support them in making good choices later in choosing a healthy diet for themselves.

In the Land of the Rising Sun!

Feels great to be in this country with such a rich cultural heritage – Japan, the land of the rising sun as it is rightly called! Reached here today morning with the arrival at Narita International Airport, Tokyo city. With a short rest at the hotel, I was up and ready for the upcoming hectic schedule with Lunch at 1200 hours followed by meetings with Japan Tourism Agency and Japan National Tourism Organization at 2 pm and Creative Industry Bureau of Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry at 4 pm.
Later today, have a study tour at Roppongi Hills to understand the redevelopment of this particular area and attend a reception and seminar at Roppongi Hills Club. Seems really an interesting itinerary before I end the day, retiring at the hotel; just to begin the day tomorrow with a study tour at TEPIA Museum – where I would get to learn about the Japanese high technology.
Back in my country and an insight about the weekend – lazed in the morning and cooked up Thai Curry and Rice for lunch. Then, had some meetings lined up between 4 pm to 7 pm at Club Millennium. And as I returned back home, was welcomed by Alyona’s parents who had come over to spend the weekend. So, prepared both veg and non-veg Pasta for dinner and checked out the movie ‘The Contractor’.
Sunday morning was back at the office, the FoodFood office, where there was a small havan kept, before they moved onto a new floor. Discussions about the Maha Challenge event also took place there. While we discussed things at the office, Alyona’s mom had prepared a great lunch at home – aamras, puri, chapatti, kadhi, aloo ki subzi and green beans. So, got back to home for the awesome and delicious lunch with my wife’s sister, Jyotsna and her son, Manit. Post lunch, played and got entertained by the little one, before I got ready to catch my flight to Japan later that evening!
And as I’m away from India, here’s some more Oriental delicacies to choose from…

Till I write again.
Sanjeev Kapoor

Healthy cooking – our ready reckoner for low fat eating

Stir-frying, broiling and grilling are all excellent ways to prepare foods. Steaming vegetables with a touch of garlic for flavour makes a good side dish. Combine that with some brown rice. That is one good sample of healthy cooking.
When making desserts, substitute applesauce for fat, cut the amount of sugar called for in half and use egg whites instead of eggs. Reach for either dried fruit or fresh fruit instead of a candy bar. Why not have a Melon Scoop Salad for dessert? Eliminate sodas and increase your water intake instead. When buying juice, read the label. If it contains juice made from concentrate or lists sugar as an ingredient then know that it contains more sugar than juice. Aim for buying the ones that list only the fruit and water or that state it is not from concentrate. Use less sugar when making cookies or dessert.
One of the simplest ways to increase the nutrient-dense foods in your diet is to eat as much fruit and vegetables, preferably raw, as you would like. Carrots, bananas, and apples are very portable and provide you with energy, vitamins and minerals. Studies show that people who eat several servings of fruits and veggies daily benefit in numerous ways. Also, due to their high fiber content, many fruits and vegetables are more satisfying to our bodies, meaning we tend to need less of them in order to feel full. One recipe for you to try out Salad Greens with Strawberry vinaigrette. If you are looking to fill up without eating too many calories, try these foods: baked potatoes, fish, oatmeal (with no butter or cream), oranges, apples, whole-wheat pasta, grapes, bran cereal, bananas and popcorn.
Changing our high-fat, high-calorie diet for a low-fat one is not about depriving ourselves. Instead, when you crave a certain food, eat it in moderation. This also does not mean that you need to avoid eating at restaurants. Just remember, when you eat one high fat meal, you need to follow that with three low-fat meals. You can also decrease the amount of fat and calories you eat when you are at a restaurant. Ask for the salad dressing on the side so you can put a little instead of too much. Look for broiled, grilled, or stir-fried selections. Ask if you can substitute egg whites for the whole egg in omelettes and other egg selections. At home try having an Eggwhite Omelette for breakfast at least once a week. Eating pasta with a tomato-based sauce versus a cream-based sauce is always a lower-fat choice.
Here we have dwelt on healthy cooking and suggest a lifestyle change for the better. Not only will you become fit, but you will feel better as well.