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.

Feeling the New York chills…

Finally, I get the hang of what is called the actual winter! I am here at the New York airport, writing for the blog, while the temperature outside is 9° C. This seems to be a pretty good change into the full wintery mode after the pleasant weather of Mumbai. Really looking forward to the rest of my hectic tourof US and Canada…
In India, for a while: two new publications recently came up namely Vegetarian Soups, containing handpicked selection of Indian and international soups to brighten up meals and just what one would need for the Mumbai weather these days and Vegetarian After-School Snacks, an extensive variety of mouth-watering snacks to tackle the young tummies. The recipes are worth giving a try on. Amongst the rest, the shoots for the new channel, FOODFOOD, are going on in full swing at the office and everybody is very busy and on their toes for it.
Back to my US trip, enough hype has already been created for the book launch for which a press conference has been arranged in New York. A food show is also lined up in Toronto. So, it is going to be long travellings and a lot of media happenings for which I will keep on reporting as I proceed…
While in New York, just incase I can manage some time (which I’m sure I will, in this case!), I will be visiting my friend Rajesh Bhardwaj and check on his outlet Café Spice as I love visiting that place. This is one place which has the right ambiance to give me the Indian feeling and not miss home while I am out of the country.
Incase you are looking for some good recipes, let me share some of the recipes which you can try:



Till I write again…

Sanjeev Kapoor

Be in total control: eat right without thinking!

How wonderful it would be if we were able to eat right without thinking? Small daily habits are what add or subtract calories. Let us look at the subtraction tactics very seriously! If you follow these regularly they can help you incorporate foods you need into your daily diet while removing those you do not need. As time goes, you will be in total control of your nutritional intake. And all the better for it!

Tip 1: At breakfast, put coffee in your milk instead of milk in your coffee. Fill your mug to the rim with skimmed milk first thing in the morning. Drink it down until all that is left is the amount you would normally add to your coffee; then pour your coffee on top. You just took in a quarter of the vitamin D you need every day, and a third of the calcium.
Tip 2: Drink two glasses of water before every meal. This will do two things: keep you hydrated and make you eat a little less. A study shows that drinking two glasses of water can make you feel less hungry, possibly reducing your food intake and aiding weight loss.
Tip 3: Always order your pizza with double tomato sauce and light cheese. Ah, wasn’t it the other way round? To skimp calories go slow on the cheese. And lots of tomato sauce means more lycopene intake which has benefits. The same hold true with sandwiches. Always stack up the tomato slices in a sandwich.
Tip 4: Go for onions in a big way if you like them. Onions are healthful being a good source of flavonoids that are heart friendly. So use lavishly on hot dogs, pizzas, burgers, and sandwiches.
Tip 5: Junk food lovers should drink two glasses of water afterward. The burgers, fries, submarines are loaded with fat and sodium, which can be harmful for your heart. Well, one cannot do much about the fat once it is eaten, but you can flush away some of the excess sodium by drinking plenty of fluids. Another associated tip: when you are asked what you would like to drink, always ask for iced tea.
Tip 6: Have an afternoon treat. A snack between lunch and dinner keeps off fatigue. It should not be a chocolate bar! It could be some yogurt, or some fruit (with skin on!) or crackers with cheese, a hard boiled egg or an apple…
Tip 7: Whenever you have salad, keep the dressing on the side. You can actually enjoy a salad with the taste of the dressing by first dipping your fork in the dressing then spearing a piece of lettuce. It might look weird to your neighbour but know that this technique can save you loads of calories without compromising on the taste.
Tip 8: Have a second helping of vegetables. Try and take in at least one and half cups of vegetables every day. Vegetables ensure long-term good health so what’s in this small measure? Have them!
Tip 9: Cereal can help at night too! Cereals are not only for breakfast but also helpful as a low-fat, low-calorie carbohydrate snack eaten before bed in case hunger pangs are keeping you awake. Cereal is also one of the easiest ways to reduce your fiber deficit.
Tip10: Do not miss the dessert. Always eat a little of it. Sweets signal your brain that the meal is over. Without them, you might not feel satiated – which might leave you prowling the kitchen all night for something to satisfy your sweet tooth.
More on Healthy recipes.
Some ideas for healthy eating :
Till I write again

Sanjeev Kapoor.