Worried about your child’s eating habits? Here are some healthy food swaps that can add a healthy yet interesting twist to their diet.
By Kejal Sheth
Early childhood is an important time to establish healthy eating patterns. However, because of busy work schedules and social commitments, it makes it difficult for them to prepare balanced and nutritious homemade meals for their children daily. Lately, the younger generation has developed a habit of binging on ready packaged food and unhealthy snacks. These can have a negative effect on your child’s health in the long run, affecting them as adults. They can even develop a lifelong disease due to unhealthy eating if proper care is not taken during the early stages of growing up.
To avoid this, start including these small but really important changes in your child’s diet plan. Even if you have very little cooking time, it’s essential to make use of nutritious and smart ingredients, which we term as “Healthy Swaps” in your daily diet, without compromising on the taste.
Here are some smart ideas of doing so without making food boring for your child:
* Sure, we do know kids love eating chips but eating it on a regular basis is extremely unhealthy. An amazing alternative here is to swap it with “makhanas” (lotus seeds). To add a little flavour, you can roast it and add some chaat masala and pink salt to enhance its flavour.
* Mayonnaise is frequently used as a dip with sandwiches and salads, but it has a bad effect on the body weight. Instead, give your kids a hung curd dip with mixed herbs which is equally yummy and healthy.
* Replace your white rice with quinoa or brown rice. It’s healthy and definitely tastier!
* Instead of drinking fruit juices, inculcate a habit in your child of eating fresh whole fruits. When serving small children, you can always make use of various interesting moulds to cut them into interesting shapes.
* These days, kids are addicted to drinking aerated drinks and that’s a big NO! Instead, opt for fruit-infused water, which is a lot more nutritious and tasty.
* Kids loves spaghetti and pasta, but make it healthier by opting for zucchini spaghetti instead of one prepared using refined flour.
* Not just kids, but we all love our desserts! I suggest opting for a piece of dark chocolate which is a better option. Yogurt with fruits can be a great scrumptious replacement for ice-creams, which contain a lot of sugar.
* In place of bread, try using wraps made of wheat with veggies.
* Instead of flour tortilla, use corn tortillas, which are a much healthier option.
Choosing healthier foods for you and your kids is easier than you think. By changing just a few eating habits, you can make a big difference to your diet and lifestyle. Remember, small changes can add up to make a big overall difference to your child’s health and growth.
(Kejal Sheth is a nutritionist, weight management expert and founder of Nutrivity.in)