Home Blog Homemade food, drinks keep kids healthy even after a binge –

Homemade food, drinks keep kids healthy even after a binge –

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Homemade food, drinks keep kids healthy even after a binge –

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CHENNAI: Nothing defines festive holidays more than food. Speak any language and live in any State, a festival is marked by the number of food items made, bought and consumed in any household.

Along with scrumptious food comes health issues, especially among children. So, it’s important to ensure they enjoy the festive season without developing any serious illnesses.

The diet and lifestyle of the older generations was inherently healthy, but the children of today have fewer opportunities for outdoor activities and consume processed food.

“The first step is to ensure a healthy festive season. As in, strictly stick to homemade food. Avoid, or at least, completely minimise the processed and canned food,” says Dr Pitchiah Kasinathan, clinical dietitian, Fortis Malar Hospital. “During holidays, children will be snacking more, and tend to binge-eat. It’s the parents’ or elder’s responsibility to ensure that snacks include only homemade items, as processed food always carries excess sodium, trans fatty acids and preservatives that are harmful to health.”

He adds that parents should not force children to eat, but let them eat when they feel hungry. “This will help them to eat mindfully. Do not allow them to watch TV, mobile phones, or other activities while they are having food. Let them choose their favourite vegetables, fruits, and grains. Give priority to their food options. Share with them important information such as nutritive value, benefits etc.,” explains Dr Pitchiah.

Doctors urge parents to invite kids to watch them cooking, understand how the food and snacks are being prepared, allow them to help in cooking or preparations such as washing vegetables and fruits, measurement of grains. “If you’re taking your children to a relative’s house, let the family know in advance about your children’s food allergies, aversions, and standard food practices athome without hesitation. This will help them to avoid getting sick,” he elaborates.

It’s important children get sufficient hydration in the form of tender coconut water, fruits, fresh juices, buttermilk, water etc., They are at risk of getting dehydrated frequently as they’re more physically active during festive occasions.

Such traditional beverages will provide sufficient amounts of sodium, potassium with other minerals and trace elements. Monitoring of food intake is also important, say dieticians.

‘Consult physician before fasting’

Dr V Mohan, chairman, Dr Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre, said that adults must always consult their physician before they observe fasting. “Your physician can provide personalised guidance based on your health status, medications, and dietary requirements. Additionally, consulting with a registered dietitian will also help you create a fasting plan that aligns with your health condition,” he added. Balancing your macronutrients is essential to maintain stable blood-sugar levels. Your meals should include proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.

Ensure that you incorporate many vegetables and fruits to maintain your energy levels throughout the day. “Stay hydrated by drinking water and herbal teas, while avoiding caffeine and carbonated beverages that can lead to dehydration,” he explained. After a day of fasting, it’s natural to feel ravenous, but it’s essential to avoid overeating. “Over-indulging can lead to digestive issues. Instead, start with a light meal to ease your digestive system back into action. Listen to your body carefully. If you feel weak, dizzy, or unwell, break your fast immediately.”

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