A family is made up of individuals at different stages of life, of different ages but to promote health, what better way than re organizing your kitchen. Here are some pointers:
1. Whole grain and not processed cereals provide energy to sustain and grow and are also a major source of all essential nutrients. Stock up on whole grains like Bajra, Ragi, Maize and Jowar, use them often. Try red and black and brown rice instead of white rice .Use these whole grains for breakfast porridges, they taste great.
2. Buy whole dals in addition to the staple washed dals. Fill up your shelves with Rajma, Chana, Soy, Bhatt dals. Add these as sprouts or cook them for your meal at least once every two days. When buying meat, choose the lean, low fat cuts. Add a protein in every major meal. Proteins are essential for the body.
3. Ensure 3 servings of seasonal vegetables per head and 2 of whole fruits per day. They provide both soluble and insoluble fibre in addition to vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. We need about 25-30gms of fibre per day, one apple provides only 1gm.
4. Keep the intake of sugar to less than 10% of your total calories, for a normal weight woman who needs 1900Kcal/day this is about 10 -11 teaspoons of sugar. Below 5% would be better. Sugar doesn’t refer to added refined sugar that you put in your tea/ coffee only. A lot of foods have natural sugar hidden in them too.
5. Do not skip meals. Eat three balanced meals. Take a standard dinner plate, fill ½ with vegetables, 1/3rd with cereal, 1/3rd with the protein, add 150 ml of milk/dahi/dessert. You have a healthy meal.
6. Snack on seasonal fruits, keep whole fruits easily available for the family members to pick up. Nuts and Seeds make a good healthy snack to. One fistful a day is a good way to start your day.
7. Boil, Bake, Shallow fry, and roast instead of deep frying.
8. Exercise daily. A minimum of 30-45 minutes daily @ 5-6km/hr for people below 40 years and free of any disease. Children need to be exposed to a lot of physical activity.