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Healthy snacking for healthy living

Healthy snacking for healthy living
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I endorse the Union governments decision to ban junk food from all educational institutions What a student eats affects everything from their mental...

I endorse the Union government’s decision to ban junk food from all educational institutions. What a student eats affects everything from their mental and physical health to their academic performance! Research shows that students may even earn lower grades because of unhealthy high-fat, low nutrient diets.

A chill goes down my spine as I re-live my childhood. White sugar, white flour, preservatives, pesticides and refined foods were the culprits, steadily poisoning my mind and body. Tantrums, poor performance and constant weight gain. From a skinny child, I went to gain 160 kilos.

It doesn’t help that our schools and college canteens are filled to the brim with everything but nothing that is needed by our body needs. They are overflowing with vada pavs, samosas, wafers, noodles, channa bhatura, burgers and fries, nachos with cheese sauce, tacos, pasta, fried rice, noodles, aerated drinks and milkshakes. Everyone is so proud that they are eating global and you are considered a geek if you eat ghar ka daal, chawal, roti and sabzi.

Collectively, we speak so much of food, and so little of what the body really needs. The menu choices need to change as they are only restricted to a moment of satisfaction on the lips but a lifetime on the hips. No wonder we are becoming size XL and not excelling in life.

“Healthy food leads to a healthy body, healthy mind and ultimately a healthy nation and the world would be a better place for all,” said former president of India Dr APJ Kalam at KC College on August 16, 2008, the day I was awarded by him for my work in spreading nutritional awareness in the country.

A diet rich in nutrition is imperative for all at any age as it helps to give them high energy levels. Food free from chemicals and pesticides is absolutely essential because they could be the cause of any hormonal imbalances and could even affect the children’s brain abilities in the long run. It is easy to get taste buds of children accustomed to eating healthy foods, so if foods available in the canteen are healthy, it will soon become a habit.

Choose canteen foods

  • Dosa, idli instead of a fried mendu wada.
  • Jacket or roast potatoes instead of French fries.
  • Bhel, corn bhel, moong chaat, aloo chaat instead of a sev puri.
  • Ragda patties instead of samosa or batata wada.
  • Fried rice instead of noodles.
  • Buttermilk or jaljeera instead of aerated drinks.
  • Makhana or popcorn instead of fried snacks.

Some other options, which are healthier are vegetable biryani, pav bhajji with whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat sandwich with lots of vegetables, uttapas and whole-wheat roti roll with vegetables. That is why it is important for schools and parents to realise that healthy, plant-based canteen meals can be a powerful way to boost their child’s health and confidence.

When the senses are trained to eat right, the reward is a healthy, strong and beautiful body. In today’s time, we could do with that extra edge in all our life’s aspects. What could make this easier than the right food?

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