From One Mom / Parent to Another

I see myself as a pro-food doctor (when I started practice) and now a pro-food mom. It is surprising and frustrating as well to see so many new myths – fads around food springing every day and really bright people not just embracing them, but also vehemently promoting them, without giving this new found knowledge some time to see the impact on their mind-body-soul.

Why the short-sightedness? Why the shortcuts? Why are intelligent people falling prey to these and what is even more surprising is that now they are teaching these same dim-witted concepts to their children – at least spare them the grief and educate them about balanced diet. Let their Knowledge of Food and Health be simple, uncomplicated and real.

My agitation comes from recently meeting parents who are forcing their new found food gyan on their kids, and yes seeing posts, and reading articles of proud parents introducing their children to warped ways of eating.

A 5 year old is not allowed a home made ladoo or an aloo paratha made in ghee because ghee is fattening, he is fat and his father’s side of the family is fat. He can eat packaged biscuits, granola bars, packaged flavoured yogurts, quinoa salad or avocado on toast. 😕🤔🙄🤐

His mother clearly dint care much about him having no physical activity. He in fact is considered ‘not cool’ if he wants to go down to play. He is supposed to read books of higher classes and play word games online- why of course because he is supposed to be a bright cool kid! Sweaty kids are not cool, you see 🥴😶😨

A sincere request from one mother/ parent to another – Please spare your kids this torture. I understand you are smart, tech savy, internet friendly, highly educated parents, but please do not mess with your children’s health- mental, physical and emotional.

Food is essential to life. Help your children find balance instead of confusing them. How many children are suffering from poor immunity today inspite of being fed so called ‘healthy’ food. Think about it!?

How often does your child retaliate the latest food discovery you place before them? Children want food – not proportioned or rationed carbs, proteins and fats.

Please know – Children are smart! Don’t you remember how even when they were just born, they knew when to howl, so you would nurse them and immediately refused to feed further when full. They did not care about carbs, proteins or fats. They in fact did not even care, that they did not let mommy dear sleep through the night.

So spare your kids, the latest food fad as these fads never last and newer ones keep replacing them. Instead let your child grow in an atmosphere of love, food, fun, education, understanding and acceptance!

The ‘Exam’ Diet

By now you do know that what you eat and drink affects ‘YOU’ – yes, definitely apart from your weight, it affects your mind, your mood and your ability to perform well in your Exam. Then I am sure you will be wondering – What is the best diet to follow on exam day? Can food and drink really influence my child’s result? Do you think ‘Food for Thought’ is just a random phrase? 😉

It’s the time of year when all that matters are Marks, Marks and more Marks. Answering your questions – YES – eating well definitely provides an added edge – during this rat-race where even half a mark can be a difference between Rank 1 and 2!

In the whole ‘Exam’ tension – we forget good nutrition. We OD on coffee (arre – don’t we have to stay up all night!), eat whatever we can lay our hands on (I need to munch – otherwise how do I study) – such and many more are the tales told. We think we can trick the brain and the body by eating these things to “keep energy levels up”. But we forget – who is more ‘shaana’ 😉 :p (smart!) However, this is not only harmful to your long-term health, but can also negatively affect your exam performance

Just like studying right from Day 1 (instead of burning candles at both ends a month before exam), eating sensibly right from the beginning helps you ace your tests. The better the fuel your brain gets, the better you will study and quicker you will remember and will be able to recall it quickly when writing your exam – instead of blanking out.

So how do I keep my brain running a fab marathon? Few tips –

Eat at regular intervals. Eating regular meals helps keep nutrient and energy levels more stable, and so you will not suddenly land up snacking on the crunchy munchy chips 😉

Avoid Packaged Processed Foods. Eat food and snacks made at home. Resist the temptation to eat packaged foods – be it chips or biscuits or anything. These foods will send you off on energy highs and lows — creating the exact opposite of a consistent stable high energy that you need during your long exam to perform well. So, a fresh homemade snack – beats all these meals hands down not just in taste but also the nutritional value of the food, and also in the way your brain and body respond to it.

Eat small, balanced meals. Eating large meals will slow you down, mentally and physically. Typically when you eat a large meal, you feel sleepy, because a lot of your blood flow is directed to your digestive system instead of the brain to digest the heavy meal. To keep your brain active – eat smart – eat small – you should feel light and active, more alert and refreshed after eating. This way you study well, are able to concentrate better and remember faster.

Start your day with a fruit. Fruit ranks high among the best foods you can eat for your brain. Eat any fruit – a fruit of your choice – because the natural sugar in fruit offers clean sustained and more stable energy, so you don’t experience the sudden drop in energy that typically follows once you have had tea or coffee (which is why you end up having cups after cups of tea/coffee – because your energy yo-yos from high to low).

Drink lots of water. Water is very important. Dehydration can make you lose your concentration, feel faint, and drain your energy. Don’t wait till you’re thirsty to drink a glass of water. If you wait till you’re thirsty, it means your body is already a little dehydrated.

Don’t try any new foods, drinks, or supplements. Often we end up trying new super foods just before the exam because it is highly recommended by friends or family or some research. For your own sake avoid it. You don’t know how your body responds to them and you don’t want any surprises on exam day. Stick with food and drink your body is used to.

Get enough sleep. Many students get into the habit of studying late into the night, hoping to cram in a little more information into their already fatigued brains. For your brain to function well it needs rest too. Apart from eating right, brain needs a good restful sleep. If the brain is exhausted very often you end up forgetting everything or mixing up answers or just going blank the minute you start to write your paper.

So – eat well, sleep well and All the Best! 🙂

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Jamie Oliver’s TED Prize wish: Teach every child about food

Sharing powerful stories from his anti-obesity project in Huntington, W. Va., TED Prize winner Jamie Oliver makes the case for an all-out assault on the ignorance of food.

Food for Thought – Are our Children Eating Right?

KidZania, Mumbai is simply fabulous! It is a child’s dream come true. Right from the concept to planning and execution to the designing and structuring – this place is FAB! Splendid execution of their philosophy of empowering, inspiring and educating kids through real-life role-playing activities. By blending reality with entertainment, KidZania provides an authentic and powerful developmental platform, preparing kids to understand and manage their world better.

Yesterday (4-Jun-14) was the first time, I visited this place and was totally in awe and in love with it. I wish I could be child again, just for a day to enjoy this place. It is a magnet-like place for kids. Kids being so impressionable take back not only wonderful memories but thoughts, inspirations and new ideas.

Though this place is perfect, I just felt one tiny bit missing. That while we are introducing children to such mind-blowing achievable ideas at this stage – we are completely overlooking the nutrition aspect of the foods being served there. Honestly, I love my pizzas or burgers or donuts – I am not someone to deny myself or someone else these foods, but I feel that from a place like Kidzania where kids learn so much consciously as well as subconsciously – it would be really awesome to give them these same pizzas, burgers or anything else – served more nutritiously. Let each meal be complete meal – with carbs, proteins, fats, vitamins & minerals (veggie portion)! We could have healthier soft drink options like nimboo pani (lime juice)! This way we look into their health aspect too! When a place like Kidzania would inculcate the right eating habits to a child – imagine how much are we teaching them! Eating right – when embraced since childhood can prevent issues like obesity and other related health conditions in the future – like heart disease or diabetes. While we are educating them on so many other things, why not food too! This is just my opinion.

( I sent out this as a mail to KidZania HQ – Mexico & received a wonderful reply from them, to which I am even more glad that yes – it matters and makes a difference when people are giving their best to provide better to kids world over)

(This whole experience made me get into trying out some interesting – yum healthy recipes.. Experiments on.. will post pics soon.. 🙂 🙂 )

As I was writing this as a blog post it struck why should just KidZania do this? Why not every school do this? Schools are where, as kids we have learnt the most – not just from books, but from our teachers, friends, not-so-dear friends 😉 but, yes, experiences and memories – lots of them! So, what if every school inculcates this culture of eating right from when the child joins school, I can only imagine – how fit a generation will be now looking at!

And why just eating right – why not thinking right too – where they are guided and nurtured through enjoyable, thought stimulating and creative activities to help develop their creative talents in a subtle way, with the wisdom that children need in order to trust their inner voice.  It helps them to develop their character, and enhances their social and creative skills.  What if they are also taught to love and accept themselves right from that age? Don’t we build our response or responding system to our current environment, based on our previous experiences, more so as kids? When a child is taught to be gentle with him or herself; support, love, accept and honour themselves – wouldn’t it be just amazing? This would be in the true sense of the words – “An All Round Development” of the child. Think about it!

Pic from KidZania –

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