There is so much coming to us from the media, that I see parents running amuck with trying to keep it all under control for their kids. Frankly, the health sector is fairly disorganized and the media needs content, so they play up any fad that rides the moment. Let’s just keep it simple as far as your kids are concerned, and adopt these 3 simple steps to make them healthier.

1. Always include a whole grain at breakfast: by this I mean a brown rice (preferably organic this could be done with a brown rice poha) or millet. If you cannot give them a cooked breakfast. Then you need to add their grain (cooked) to their shakes (blend) or cereal (sprinkle and mix). This will set them up for sustained good sugars for at least 8 hours; reduce their cravings and give them brain sugars to see them through a major portion of their day.

2. Stop giving them sugar at home: They are going to get enough of it from outside, so why not control it at home? Try subliminally teaching them on why sugar is not good for them. For e.g., how about leaving one de-merit of sugar on your note board or fridge.

3. Always provide a starchy snack when they crave one: Not a potato; some options – sweet potato (shakarkandhi – chips/fries [baked]), colocasia (arbi – can be made into chips; by boiling, flattening and pan frying), red pumpkin (bhopla – can be stuffed into a roti roll with other vegetables). Starchy snacks build great moods and provide natural serotonin for them to stay calm and happy.

4. Try including coconut oil – I know that sounds crazy, and they will not like the smell. But Virgin Max has a good brand available online. Just 1 tablespoon a day, blended in their shakes or mixed in their food or if you are lucky and they are not fussy had as is. It would boost energy, this is especially good before they engage in an activity; for e.g., if they are participating in a sport activity.

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