Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Deadly Diets

Food is not just the energy for the body but for the brain too. In this new age world words like , ‘fitness’, ‘diet food’, ‘fat free’, ‘sugar free’, are actually dangerous because these words just ‘exchange the poison’. So we have fitness freaks that are constantly in an ‘air conditioned’ gym, gulping protein shakes that actually end up harming them. Sugar free foods have a very deadly chemical lurking in them and the list can go on.
We worry about our future financial safety and make investments; it’s time to worry about our family’s health safety and invest some time, effort and planning in the same. My advice to all parents- every year when you file your income tax returns, do also file your family’s health returns. Sit as a family and understand your health investment, because after all you need to be healthy and alive to enjoy the money you are saving for the future!

Here are 5 reasons why diet plays an important role in the ‘performance’ and growth of children of all ages.
1.     Maslow’s hierarchy of needs identifies food and water as the first need, it is only when this need of the body is met that we can focus, pay attention and learn.
2.     Foods impact our blood sugar levels and in turn our blood pressure. Incorrect fads like too much salt and sugar (one packet of movie theatre salted popcorn has one week’s requirement of salt!) can impact the ability to pay attention and can lead to increase in hyperactivity.
3.     Brain requires oxygen for its functioning. Food Additives, beverages like too much coffee etc can dehydrate the brain and leave it coping with every day functions.
4.     The liver can store glucose for 4 hours only. Glucose is an essential requirement of the brain. The body requires food that can be converted into glucose, junk foods sadly are just junk and do not fulfill this important need.
5.     The brain requires important chemicals for its functioning. Chemicals like- Acetylcholine, helps with frontal lobe functions and in formation of long-term memories. Dopamine assists in focus, attention, and goal setting. Norepinephrine responds to novelty and aids in memory formation. Serotonin helps control impulsivity, calms the brain, aids in reflective behaviors. And how does the brain process these chemicals? From healthy diet and sleep. 
If you notice all the functions that these chemicals govern are required by a school going child and it is incorrect diet that reduces a child’s performance and also results in negative behavior issues.  Here is a test that you can take to understand about your food choices, it is a fun test but has some message in every question. You don’t need me to give you the answers; I am sure you will get the message, loud and clear.
1.             Do you think that your children eat unhealthy food?
2.             Why do they have such unhealthy food habits?
3.             How many of you feed the child while watching TV or eat on the dining table while watching TV or on the phone?
4.             Why?
5.             What kind of food do you send in your child’s snack box?
6.             Do you know the recommended food groups and their servings to be given at each age to your child?
7.             Do you follow them every day?
8.             Does your child have fruits daily?
9.             Do you know the benefit of the fruit that you serve your child or do you give the fruit because child likes it?
10.          How many portions of vegetables does your child eat every day?
11.          How many glasses of water does your child drink in a day?
12.          What junk food does your child eat in a week?

It is important that we understand that healthy food is fresh food, food cooked at home. Anything that comes in a package certainly has deep dark secrets! The occasional visit to the restaurant, or a pizza or noodles is not being written off here. But 80% of our food intake should be healthy without the fads! Especially for children.


jayshree shah said...

Great responsibility lies with parents and Teachers to educate young minds for health.Parents today are facing challenges of making their children learn healthy food habits this article will surely guide all and teach importance of having balanced and proper diet.

Manju Joshi said...

A balanced diet is a diet with all of the key nutrition that is essential to health healthy growth and activity . The daily recommended allowance of calories for a man is 2500, women is 2000and children 1800. This is based on how much energy is needed by the body to function normally. The daily recommended allowance is a nutritional need that varies or differs in lifestyle and activities. Children are surrounded by adverts urging them to consume high fat, high sugar, high salt foods, even when they are in places where they should be protected, such as schools and sports facilities.
Parents and readers of the blog Mrs Vats has given clear picture to all of us that before choosing food think whether it can have adverse effect on your kids brain growth or not. So from now we will plan our diet as per food Pyramid for our family as we want them to have healthy body and sound mind

Ankita Suchak said...

mothers are responsible for the healthy diet of the family. Through this article mothers can plan their diet chart and make their children learn about healthy food habits.

Smita Gandhi said...

Parents Play a Key Role in Developing Children’s Eating Habits .Children don’t develop their own eating habits overnight. Parents play an important role in influencing what and how much their children eat.
Parents influence children’s eating habits through:
-the types of foods they buy for themselves and the family.
-what they serve for snacks and on the breakfast, lunch and dinner plates
-being healthy eating role models
Parents must limit foods high in calories, fat, sugar and salt
Foods that are high in calories, fat, sugar and salt like cakes, chocolate, cookies, doughnuts, ice cream, French fries, potato chips, pops and energy drinks, and sweetened hot or cold drinks should be eaten less often. When we limit these foods ourself, our children will be less likely to eat them as well.
It is important not to label these foods as “bad”. They are simply foods to be eaten occasionally and in moderation.

vaishali joshi said...

Preschool Teacher should know eating habits of the child in her class. She should aware of good eating habits so she can train child as well as parents also.Ma'am Thanks for this wonderful article.

kajal said...

This article is very important for all parents but mainly for working parents. Because of their busy schedule they get attracted towards these ready food products which are very harmful for everyone ,especially for children. After reading this article parents will get aware and will eat high calories food occasionally.

Tejal Shah said...

it is entirely the parents here who influence the child's eating habits.
I also totally endorse that children imitate their parents,so tellin a child to not eat junk food doesn't work,its the parents,the family as a whole unit who must imbibe and adopt a healthy eating lifestyle for themselves,which automatically passes on to the child. and of course,the child too must be educated on the nutritive value of foods

Jumbo Kids Nanded said...

It is very important to know about the healthy food habits. Parents play vital role for inculcating good habits of eating. The one question asked ,How many glasses of water does your child drink in a day? I think most of us are not worried too much on this question , but this is the main soul as mans body is about 50 - 60 percent of water. So lets start inculcating good habit of healthy food with WATER.