Extract of my article sent to Eastern Eye : Obesity concern within South Asian children.
What would your recommendations be for a healthy diet for a child?
What complications can be seen in obese South Asian children? & Your personal view on why the message, of a healthy diet for children, is not getting through to parents?
With increased attention on the need to eat well and a world where evidence research is available new focusing on the health needs of children why are children of South Asian descent becoming at risk of childhood obesity?
I am a Naturopathic Nutritionist, a Social Worker, and Mother of 3 children and I am of South Asian decent. I understand the many challenges for families to provide a well balanced diet that offers things children like to eat. Children need clear and consistent parenting and helped to understand how to make good food choices. Parents can be good role models by helping their children understand how to eat well and it is important that children are given what they need rather than what they want to reduce there risks to obesity and other later life health issues. Reducing portion sizes can be instrumental for children who need to reduce these risks along with regular exercise or play opportunities to burn off calories.
An Asian diet does not need to be unhealthy and there are many dhaals, grains and vegetables that can be safely added to diets and offer the right amino acids and mineral groups. Preparation methods will vary in families and these should can be easily reviewed to ensure the integrity and vitality is not lost through cooking. A consultation with a Nutritionist can offer this service and learning about good fats and protein sources.
Things adults can put in place to make quick changes
1. adults can learn about the different groups needed for children and become better informed.
2. Fostering healthy eating regimes and good food principles in the home will be help children of all ages understand the benefits of a better balanced diet. 2. It its important that children eat food that helps them to grow and develop and eating healthy fats, carbohydrates and much needed proteins every day are the building blocks to life.
3 Children need Carbohydrates and replacing the cakes biscuits and sweets with healthy whole grains, fruit rich in fiber, calcium and vitamin D which are three important nutrients many children can often lack.
4. Carbohydrate-rich foods such as whole grains, fruit and milk are key sources of these nutrients and traditional Asian savoury snacks are also rich protein sources that could be made available to hungry children who will benefit from these in the long run.
5. There are many red rice varieties that can be substituted for white rice and will help children as they offer good sources of protein and vital minerals 4. Adults can continue to be positive role models.
6.Demonstrating to children that eating a balanced diet and get into the habit of eating healthier choices is good for everyone.
7. Visual impact will be a clear and consistent message that children can invest in by seeing the evidence. So again being positive role models by giving children choices of healthy food will create good food habits
Get in touch if you need more help or inspiration to give your family great nutrias food that can make them happy and glow!
Randhiraj Bilan. November 2017