Foods you thought were good for your kids, but aren’t

Say no to Instant oatmeal

What food kids need to eat to stay in top form, healthy, strong and smart, at the same time easy to make to match up with current fast paced lifestyle?.

A question very often parents ask other parents and search over and over again on internet. Even then most parents end up feeding their children unhealthy food unknowingly.

Parents, many a times get carried away by clever advertising terms like “Reduced fat” “Enriched” flour, “Multigrain”, Whole Fruit” and many more. Sure, those sound healthy, but the poor nutrient quality of these foods has been smartly obscured. These foods in reality could be doing far more harm to child’s  health than good.

Find out which popular “healthy” foods are actually unhealthy

1. Say no to Instant oatmeal

Oatmeal for sure is a great food for kids. They are packed with fibers and nutrients.  Nutrient-rich oatmeal contains thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, selenium, and iron.  But quick-cooking oats or instant oats are not that good for health.  Instant oats are basically powdered oats and take less than 5 minutes to cook. Although they are easy to cook, most brands of instant oatmeal have added salt and sugar. Also a 250 g serving of instant oatmeal lead to a GI of 83, whereas coarse one can be as low as 55. The process of grinding oats removes some of their fiber content, which accelerates digestion and raises the instant oats GI.

What you can do:

  • Look for instant oats that can give 3 grams of fiber per serving
  • Stay away from instant oats with chemical ingredients and additives
  • Opt for instant oats with low sugar

2.Granola bars: Could be dressed up junk food

Granola bars: Could be dressed up junk food

The word granola may invoke thoughts of healthy oats, grains, and nuts all nicely mixed up into an easy to eat bar. Many parents proudly give this energy packed bars as evening snacks.  But parents beware- what lies behind the wrappers of these seemingly innocent bars may be an over-processed nutritional mess.

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Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition

Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition

Childhood obesity is not only associated with a higher risk of getting disease and premature death, but is also accompanied by many other medical conditions during childhood.

The fundamental cause of obesity and overweight is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. The high-fat, high-sugar, high-salt, energy-dense, and micronutrient-poor foods, that are lower in nutrient quality are to be blamed for this scenario. Sometimes a child may be eating the right type and amount of food but lack physical activity, because of which they put on weight. The problem is global. Based on 2015 WHO reports, the number of overweight children under the age of five, was estimated to be over 42 million. Also almost half of all overweight children under 5 live in Asia and one quarter in Africa. If WHO is to be believed, If current trends continue the number of overweight or obese infants and young children globally will increase to 70 million by 2025.

Global obese population aged 0-5 years in million

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Raising Healthy Children

The best time to start good dietary habits is during the early years

Complete food, Best growth formulation, Power food, The best health drink – these are tag lines used by various health drink or growth supplement brands. But in reality, there is nothing called complete food. Children need dozens of nutrients every day to maintain growth and development. Offering children the right balance of nutrients –carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals – that can maximize their growth potential and brain development, has become a great challenge for parents. Especially in an age where there are more junk or processed foods than healthier or homemade foods. House becomes a battle ground as children are all in favor of processed foods.
Start eating healthy at early years
The best time to start good dietary habits is during the early years. Researchers suggest that the best way to get children to achieve balance in their diet is to teach them very young and lead by example. This is very essential as nutrition in early life play a crucial role in deciding how health will turn out in later life. Diet, exercise and other aspects of children’s daily interaction with the environment have the potential to alter brain health, mental function and physical performance.
Rather than blindly following ‘balanced diet chart’, ‘best brain food’, ‘top food for growth’, it’s essential to understand where the bond with food begins and how food, nutrients and human body interact. A deeper understanding about food and human body would help parent to dish out right amount of nutrients for their children.

Food preference first develops in the womb

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