The food industry is expanding and innovating exponentially but the honesty of this growth is questionable. Today, food adulteration has become a huge issue and there are commercial tricks and hidden agenda that spoil the integrity of fresh produce.
From crops being cultivated to being harvested, then manufactured, processed, packed, distributed and sold, there are problems embedded in each and every step. Chemicals have infiltrated in our food and it almost seems impossible to avoid this predicament.
To illustrate the severity of this problem, chemicals, and harmful metals are even found in human milk in this day and age. Lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, and other potentially toxic metals that are embedded in the environment. They have a bioaccumulative property which will directly pose harm to infants.
Studies have also suggested that breastfeeding beyond 9 months may cause cognitive skills to deteriorate due to the harmful substances in human milk.
The situation is as complex, unavoidable and suffocating large.
It especially important for parents to do their part to give the best to their children among the worst of the time we are living in.
Many environmentalists and dieticians encourage people to consume organic foods that have been cultivated through protective methods like hydroponics and aeroponics.
What’s even better is to cultivate your own crops. You can grow herbaceous plants and vegetables for cooking such as holy basil, spinach, aubergines, and veld grapes.
To provide natural food without the presence of harmful chemicals, you need to take the effort to produce your own or buy organic produce (which will be expensive).
In the growing years, children require lots of nourishing food to build their immune system, meet their energy demands, build their bones and muscles and to help them build their memory power.
It is essential to discipline your child to first say ‘no’ to junk food and to embrace healthy eating.
Attractive tv commercials created by socially irresponsible money-minded food corporations will promote and encourage consumption of fast-food. Peer pressure may cause children to derail as well.
It is crucial for parents to take control of the situation and nip the problem in the bud before it exacerbates and gets out of hand.
So, assuming that you’re encouraging your child to adopt healthy eating habits, let’s take a more focused view. Here are the 7 kinds of diets or superfoods that will keep your child healthy and active!
1. Kerala Banana and Avocados
Kerala bananas and avocados are two amazing fruits that have numerous health benefits for children. The common benefit that both of these have is the fact that they help underweight children to gain weight healthily and keep them energized.
Kerala bananas (found in southern India in the state of Kerala), or even red bananas (Musa acuminata ‘Red Dacca’), are excellent sources of fiber and potassium. They are natural laxatives and relieve problems like constipation, keeping the bowels free and the gut healthy.
Avocadoes contain various vitamins like K, C, B5, B6, and E which boosts the immune system. Its also loaded with fiber which keeps the gastrointestinal tract clear.
2. Veld Grape
Not many of aware of this species of plant. It is a perennial plant of the grape family, and is also known as the “adamant creeper: or “devil’s backbone.”
It’s one of the best vegetables that children can consume as it has excellent health benefits.
The fleshy parts between each node must be cut off. Likewise, the hard and fibrous string-like corners should be peeled off before cooking.
This vegetable has anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties and promotes wound-healing. It’s a surprisingly powerful plant that prevents the degradation of bone matter in the body and stimulates bone growth. Veld is extremely effective in speeding the recovery of broken bones, which is essential for children since they are vulnerable to such injuries.
3. Nuts and Seeds
Examples of nuts and seeds include almonds, cashews, macadamia, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts. They are rich in nutrients like vitamins, potassium, copper, and manganese. They are also antioxidants that can combat oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals.
There are many ways in which you can add nuts and seeds into your child’s diet. For example:
- Prepare a trail mix for school lunchboxes
- Add almonds or cashews in stir fry
- Add roast chestnuts or pine nuts to a salad
- Sprinkle roasted, chopped hazelnuts or pistachios over soup dishes
- Chop macadamias and sprinkle them on grilled fish
One of the problems we face today is the fact that the chicken meat and eggs being sold in the market, are those of broiler. Which means the chicken has been injected with steroid hormones to fatten rapidly. Hence those hormones are present in the meat, as well as the eggs.
To avoid this, look out for farm-fresh eggs that free of such steroids and are safe to consume. It is essential for children to consume eggs because they are loaded with healthy fats and proteins, which are required for muscle building and strengthening of the bones.
Egg yolk also contains antioxidants. They reduce the risk of macular degeneration and may protect your skin from UV damage and they play an important role in brain development and memory due to the presence of choline. Besides, eggs can be handled with the versatility to prepare a huge variety of delicious and healthy recipes!
5. Pink Guava
Psidium guajava is a small tree in the myrtle family, and this is packed with numerous benefits. This is one of the richest sources of vitamin C. In fact, it contains 4 times the vitamin C content present in oranges. This boosts immunity and protects children against common infections and pathogens.
It also treats constipation, keeps the heart healthy, and it’s anti-cancerous. It also contains vitamin B3 and vitamin B6, (known as niacin and pyridoxine), which promote blood circulation to the brain, stimulates cognitive function and relaxes the nerves.
6. Sweet Potatoes
They are rich in vitamin A and hence strengthening the immune system, eye, and bone health.
Sweet potatoes can be consumed steamed, at least once a weak as an evening snack before dinner. Children usually love the natural and earthy taste of the sweet potatoes so don’t be afraid to get creative with them!
Yogurt decreases excessively accumulated body heat. It also contains good bacteria known as the probiotics (like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus) which keep the gastrointestinal tract hale and healthy Additionally, it is high in protein, calcium, and minerals.
Yogurt encompasses many essential nutrients, and hence you should make sure to incorporate in your child’s daily diet.
The Bottom Line
What children are being fed from a young age matters significantly. Parents must ensure that they give their children the best.
Fulfilling your children’s wants all the time to get them to stop throwing tantrums is not be doing them a favor. You need to inculcate the discipline to follow healthy eating and you need to carefully construct the menu to meet your child’s nutritional needs.
Let’s give our children the best so that their future will be bright and healthy!