- This is my favourite topic and my first book named BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN: The Parent’s Essential Guide for Raising Strong, Balanced, Healthy Childrenis written on this subject. There are essential foods necessary to build a healthy foundation for children from when they are young. These foods give them a robust immunity and they also create protection against many lifestyle diseases in the future. Giving your child a better life starts now at home.
- Brown rice:
- Rice is considered sacred in India as well as the Far East. In India, we use rice in many traditional ceremonies and festivals. In the Far East the symbol for peace and rice is the same suggesting that eating whole rice contributes to a calm and peaceful energy for a person.
- Now think about it! In an age where hyper activity in children is at its peak, this is a secret life-saving food for parents. In ancient Vedic texts, it is also known as the “the grain of intelligence”. Brown rice is indeed a magic pill for parents contributing towards calm, peaceful and intelligent mannerisms!!
- Brown rice must be soaked and cooked on a slow flame over 45 minutes to make the nutrients in it bio available and digestible for digestion. One could practically do a 3 day workshop or write an entire book on just brown rice and its secret powers on all levels – physical, mental and spiritual. Incorporating this healthy food is a must in any modern household with children.
- Beans and whole lentils:
- Beans such as kidney beans (rajma), kala channa, chickpeas, black eyed beans and whole lentils such as green mung, whole masoorand whole uradare excellent for children. These look like the kidneys and hence nourish the kidneys. Kidneys help maintain the mineral balance in the body and are also associated with the emotion of motivation, courage and will power. Hence maintaining healthy kidneys helps a child have a healthy and positive motivated state, more courage to participate actively in school activities and have a better will power for all their goals. These foods (beans and whole lentils) also help prevent many serious health issues in the future. So go ahead and fill a dozen jars in your kitchen with the best variety of local and organic beans and whole lentils.
- These days I see many Indian households making vegetables in very small quantities – and putting a small amount of on their plate like one puts a little a pickle. This proposition is all wrong. Vegetables should be at least 50% of one’s daily food by weight. We have root vegetables, round vegetables and leafy green vegetables, Some are sweet, some are pungent and some bitter. Gourd family vegetables are the healthiest. We can make vegetables like our traditional sabzior like a quick sauté, or in a soup or salad. A child who has a variety of vegetables in a variety of different cooking styles will have the benefits of more agility, flexibility and sensitivity to their surroundings.
- Optimum servings: 1-2 helping of brown rice per day; 2 servings of beans and whole lentils (at both main meals); and 5-8 servings of vegetables per day (including in the form of soups and salads).
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