Homecooked food, first step towards health

 As a parent, the first thing that comes to our mind is to give our children a healthy lifestyle. However, the busy lifestyle we have today has led to poor eating habits.

Published: 19th September 2019 05:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th September 2019 05:13 AM   |  A+A-

For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: As a parent, the first thing that comes to our mind is to give our children a healthy lifestyle. However, the busy lifestyle we have today has led to poor eating habits. As a result, India is now among the top five countries in child obesity. 

Reasons for this change:
Low physical activity and high consumption of highly processed foods leads to a rise in blood insulin levels. This ultimately leads to fat storage in the body.
Too much of screen time coupled with mindless snacking of high Glycaemic Index (GI) foods. These foods have low satiety index and hence are repeatedly consumed in large quantities which leads to habitual over-eating.

Advertisements on breakfast cereals, high fibre biscuits, jams and jellies, readymade spreads, socalled baked and low calorie treats are nothing but misleading. Majority of the breakfast cereals are extremely low in nutritive value and have a high GI, which again means fat storage. Exposure to these ads leads to poor eating habits. 

Ready availability of high calorie foods through apps and home deliveries. While outside treats were occasional, they now are an integral part and parcel of our daily life.
Every food that is stated as healthy need not necessarily be consumed and included in the diet. It must be included only if required for your child in the right quantity.

The side-effects:
The first and foremost side-effect of obesity in line is diabetes. Continuous consumption of high GI food coupled with unhealthy fats leads to insulin malfunction. Insulin is the hormone which regulates the blood sugar levels in our body. Once the body becomes insulin resistant, the blood sugar increases, thereby inducing diabetes. Being overweight can lead to knee degeneration and induce arthritis at an early age. Disorders like PCOD and thyroid issues lead to imbalance of hormones, thereby interfering in the body’s physiology. A child also experiences mental stress due to obesity. It results in either emotional over or under eating due to their inability of keeping up with their peers.

What can be done?
Encourage and educate children to eat home-cooked meals.
Prepare meals ahead if you lead a busy lifestyle. Keep your fridge stocked with fresh fruits, nuts and crunchy salads
Chuck the processed and packaged snacks and return to the desi chikki, roasted peanuts or bhel for an evening snack.

Start with small changes
Refrain from sugar-laden breakfast cereals. It’s better to add a teaspoon of jaggery powder to their regular Paratha or Dosa. 
Don’t replace good old water with juiced fruits and aerated drink. Nothing can replace the benefits of water.
Uninterrupted eight hours  ofsleep is the key to rest, recovery and proper functioning of mind and body. Good health lays the foundation for a strong healthy mind and body for your child. Eat smart and eat right!

(The writer is a nutrition and fitness expert. She writes at


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