Tame their taste buds

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The seedlings of Diabetes, Obesity, Hypertension and various heart diseases are laid during childhood, and depend a lot on the diet and eating habits of early childhood. Twenty years down the lane, the main focus of diet was on Mathri, Rasgulla, Kalakan, Aloo Tikki and Parantha, that led to heart diseases between 40-50 years of age, while the trend nowadays being on cutlets, pizzas, pasta, noodles and aerated drinks, pulls down the onset of heart problems to 30-40 years of age, or even earlier. Moreover, the corporate computer-internet era has made the work culture quite sedentary.

Children should be made conscious of the calorie values of the foods they so happily consume. Encouraging your child to eat nutritious and balanced meals in the early years ensures health throughout life.

Keep in mind factors:

  • Parents must be a good role model for their child.
  • They should give their little one the invaluable lesson - to eat not for taste, but for health.
  • He should be made to eat along with other family members on the dining table.
  • Despite being their favorites, junk foods, carbonated beverages, preserved products should be avoided and limited only ‘Sunday-to-Sunday’ as far as possible.
  • A variety of fruits, vegetables, milk and milk products, eggs and whole grains in various forms should be included.
  • Just one teaspoon of vegetable disliked by your child given just once a day to start with, will suffice breaking of the mental block of the child regarding that particular food. Within 4-5 days, you’ll see that your child isn’t rigid any more, and you could increase the amount as he begins to accept it.
  • Let your kids pick the fruits they want to eat when you go shopping with them.
  • Mix fruit pieces in with yogurt or serve them with a dip
  • Offer a fruit salad or dessert
  • Make a snack mix with raisins, nuts and cereal.
  • Add chopped fruit, especially berries and bananas, to your child's cereal.
  • Serve vegetables as a stir-fry.
  • Make your child help prepare the meal in his own little way. It will make him want to eat it.


Recommended Daily Amounts of Various Food Groups:

Grain Group:
Recommended amounts of grains vary from 3 ounces for a younger child who only needs 1000 calories a day to 10 ounces for a teenage boy who might require up to 3200 calories a day.

Vegetable Group:
Recommended amounts of vegetables vary from 1 cup for a younger child who only needs 1000 calories a day to 4 cups for a teenage boy who might require up to 3200 calories a day.Fruits Group: Recommended amounts of fruits vary from 1 cup for a younger child who only needs 1000 calories a day to 2 1/2 cups for a teenage boy who might require up to 3200 calories a day.

Oils Group:
Recommended allowances of oils vary from 3 teaspoons for a younger child who only needs 1000 calories a day to 11 teaspoons for a teenage boy who might require up to 3200 calories a day.

Milk Group:
Children 2 to 8 years old should consume 2 cups of fat-free or low-fat milk, or an equivalent amount of yogurt or cheese, per day. Older children and adults should consume 3 cups of fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk, or an equivalent amount of yogurt or cheese, per day.

Meats and Beans Group:
Recommended allowances of meats & beans vary from 2 ounces for a younger child who only needs 1000 calories a day to 7 ounces for a teenage boy who might require up to 3200 calories a day.