Eating healthy at all stages of life is always beneficial be it a kid, a teen or an adult. In India, routine is incomplete without signature-lip smacking dishes, mouth-watering snacks and a wide variety of sweets. People tend to find various reasons to have sweets – be it through a get-together, parties, dine-outs and social gatherings. This leads to overeating, add on empty calories and consumption of unhealthy foods. It seems hard to maintain healthy eating practices in the family. But, you can follow these few simple tips to encourage healthy eating in your family and stay away from extra calories, health risks and weight gain.
Switch to Natural sweetener: We Indians love our sweet treats, but sometimes we don’t like the calories or we don’t contemplate what excess sugar may be doing to our health. Consumers are increasingly looking for natural sweetening alternatives to sugar. What if there is a sweetener which is natural, zero calories and also has no side effects? Stevia is a sweetener option/alternative that has a delicious sweet taste with zero-calories and comes from the leaves of the stevia plant. When it comes to preparing your favorite recipes, you can use stevia in practically anything that has sugar or a similar caloric sweetener like honey or maple syrup in it.
Go for smaller portions and high fibre: It is not necessary to try your hands on each and every dish during social gatherings and parties. Be smart and selective with food and motivate your family members especially kids to avoid overeating. Go for smaller portions as a large variety of festive dishes are loaded with calories and sugar. Vegetables like beans and legumes, Nuts, Whole grain breads, Cereals are good for health and help in adding bulk to the diet. This provides a feeling of fullness for a longer period and prevents overeating.
Stay hydrated: Water makes up more than half of our body and is essential for it to work properly. As festive season tempts us to consume a lot of fried and sugary foods, alcohol etc our body gets dehydrated very frequently. Push your family to drink water or eat plenty of water-rich foods to stay hydrated throughout the day.
Eat a healthy breakfast even on daily basis: During busy mornings, it’s easy to slip breakfast from your priority list, but a healthy breakfast can really make a difference to your day. Breakfast provides the body with energy to get going for the day, and also fills the stomach so we are less likely to get into the trap of unhealthy snacking.
Make exercise a part of your daily life: Regular exercise routine helps maintain a healthy weight range, improves body strength, lowers stress and promotes a happy lifestyle. It is very much possible to grab few moments of workout at home to keep your family on track for vigorous celebrations.
( Navneet Singh VP and Head of South East Asia Region PureCircle)