Saturday 28 September 2019

Nutrients Dense Food For Picky/Fussy Eaters

Every mom desires to feed her children with nutritious foods, made in the home, that will nourish their growing bodies and minds. While you strive to provide the very best in nourishment for the kids, it's more challenging by the picky tastes children can develop. The foods they are eating today are the building blocks for the rest of their lives.
    There are all sorts of reasons why your child may not seem to be eating enough, be it a period of fussy eating, a reduced appetite due to a period of illness or even just being too tired to eat much after a jam packed day of school/nursery or play.
     Healthy eating styles are based on choosing foods that contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other healthful nutrients or ingredients and choosing the amount of calories you need to maintain a healthy weight. A way to do this is by packing all the 5 food groups in your child’s daily diet. The five essential food groups:

  • Grains (like rice, wheat, millet, maize and products produced from them )
  • Nuts (like peanut, almonds, cashew nuts etc)
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables including green leafy vegetables
  • Protein-rich foods (such as beans, eggs, seafood, poultry and other meat products)
  • Dairy products (such as milk, cheese, and yogurt)

Getting your picky eater to try new foods can be a major challenge. Luckily, there are several ways you can change their habits, making mealtime a breeze!

  • Have a plan: Because it can take a while for little palates to come around, try pairing these easier-to-accept foods with other items they aren’t ready to eat (yet)Don't be too restrictive: Have standards for the foods your kids eat, but don't be so rigid that they never can have an occasional unhealthy dessert. Studies have shown that children who are excessively restricted with foods are more likely to overeat when they're alone.

  • Make meals family-style: Family-style means that each food item is placed on the table in a serving dish, and each person helps themselves to whatever items they desire. A picky eater will be less picky if he or she can serve their own plate. Additionally, this will greatly decrease the stress surrounding mealtime. Letting your child feel in control of their own plate eliminates the power-struggle that results from controlling your child’s meals. When kids are more relaxed, they are more likely to try new foods on their own. They can also get very excited about eating your food, so if family-style isn’t an option, letting them try food off your plate may have a similar effect.

  • Make whole food smoothies: Smoothies are a great way to get a lot of nutrient-dense foods in your growing kids. Blending foods like coconut milk and oil, avocados, probiotics (yoghurt) and leafy greens with some berries and cocoa in a yummy drink is a treat most kids will enjoy!

  • Provide palatable protein sources: Most children get their share of protein from milk and yogurt but it’s the nutrients in eggs, meat, fish, and beans – iron, omega-3 fatty acids and zinc – that are essential for growth. If your child won't eat any animal protein; meat, chicken, eggs, fish, hide it the the food they like most. Meat is a good source of protein, but not all kids are fans. So get creative and disguise meat by adding it into other foods. For instance, you can add grided/minced meat in a jollof pasta/rice when frying the sauce. 

  • Explain to them food benefits in terms they will understand: Having conversations about what their food is doing for them, like, "Avocados make your brain nice and strong or beans make you to grow tall and strong" is a great way for them to start making good food choices. Little boys will eat veggies and drink milk if they know it will make them big and strong or “taller than daddy.” Little girls will eat veggies containing biotin if they know if will make their hair grow long and pretty. Conversely, having an age-appropriate but honest conversations about what junk food does to the body is important.

  • Eat together when possible: Studies have shown children who eat together with their family tend to eat healthier foods than children who don't. This is not always possible for everyone; but whenever you can, make a point to eat with your family. Turn off your cellphone and television, and use that time to talk and connect with your kids.

  • Be creative: Make food fun! Arranging vegetables in the shape of a silly face can be a simple way to engage your child in healthy foods.

  • Don’t force a food if they can get the benefits elsewhere: Don’t force your child to try meat if they enjoy eggs or yogurt. The important thing is that they have a balanced diet of protein, fat, carbs, and vitamins/minerals. If they don’t like one source of the nutrients, try another. 

  • Be consistent and patient: These tips are not miracle cures for a picky eater. As with anything in parenting, consistency and patience are two crucial qualities for you to have.

  • Make them aware of how precious and valuable they are: Teach your kids to love themselves enough to nourish their bodies with good things. If we fully realized our unique gifts and potential, would we fill ourselves with junk?

  • Be a good eater: If your children watch you eat healthy foods, they will be more likely to eat those foods. Your children watch you constantly and model your behavior. Eating a wide variety of new and healthy foods will encourage them to as well. Take steps to be a healthy parent role model.

Monday 23 September 2019

Healthy Snacking

Eating healthy doesn’t apply solely to what you consume for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The right snacks can help us to focus mentally by taking the edge off our hunger and can provide a much-needed energy boost until the next meal. Snacking isn’t bad if  done in moderation.  It is an important part of a healthy diet, since it helps to keep the body going and also helps to keep one from overeating in the next main meal. Making a  healthy snack choices does not only keep your kid healthy but revitalize their brains and energy for the day's activities.
It’s good to add more fruits and vegetables to their diets for a variety of health benefits, including to maintain a healthy weight. Whether you cook at home or you buy lunch outside for them, try easy ways to sneak more colorful, nutritious and delicious vegetables and fruits into their lunch boxes (even breakfast). If you add many different types of fruits and veggies, you’re sure of them getting all the different types of nutrient their body need. 
It’s important to choose wisely when selecting your snacks. 
As boring as “healthy snacks” might sound, you’d be surprised at just how tasty they are, all the new things you’ll get to try, and how easy they are to tote around with you on the go. (Seriously, they fit in your laptop bag, purse, workout bag or backpack just as easily as the prepackaged stuff). The best way to get all of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients you need is to eat a variety of colorful fruits and veggies. Add color to your plate each day with the five main color groups. Junk food such as candy bars, soda and potato chips won’t help power you through your afternoon — and consistent consumption of junk foods can harm your body over the long run by boosting your risk for disease.

  • Read serving size information. What looks like a small package of cookies can contain 2 or more servings — which means double or even triple the amounts of fat, calories, and sugar shown on the label.
  • Choose your snacks wisely: With sugary treats like cookies and chips, you’re getting calories with little extra nutrition. Get the nutrition you need with snacks that are lower in sugar, like carrpts, healthy nuts like almonds or walnut.Don’t skip meals: Skipping meals may leave you with intense cravings that can trigger your appetite and may result in an unintended binge. As a general rule, eating every 3-4 hours will help your body feel satisfied and leave you less likely to snack excessively. Don’t feel like you’re limited to the basic 3-meals-a-day rule – feel free to eat 4 or 5 smaller meals throughout the day to keep your energy levels high.
  • Eat slowly: Eating your food slowly gives your brain and stomach the time to effectively send messages (hormones and nerve impulses) about how much food you need and when it’s time to stop eating. Try sitting back in your chair every few bites and having a drink of water. Or if you’re eating a number of smaller food items as one meal, try holding off before getting another item for a few minutes when you feel about 80% full. That should give some time for your brain to register how full you are.
  • Pack in some protein: Some people find adding a food choice that is higher in protein with meals and snacks help keep their appetite in check. Having protein-rich snacks readily available like roasted almonds, hard-boiled eggs, a glass of milk, or yogurt are great ways to keep your body feeling full and satisfied – so you can avoid those impulse snacks that can often be full of calories. Keep protein-rich snacks close by, and you’ll be well on your way to curbing those afternoon cravings.
  • Stay hydrated: Dehydration may sometimes be disguised as feelings of hunger, so make sure to stay on top of your fluid intake. If you feel a sudden hunger set in, try drinking a tall glass of water and waiting 5 minutes. You’ll find the feeling may pass or subside. 
  • Snack mindfully: stop what you're doing for a few minutes and eat your snack like you would a small meal. Don't eat your snack while doing something else — like surfing the Internet, watching TV, or working at your desk.

Sunday 22 September 2019

Benefits of African Walnut


African walnuts are seasonal fruits with enormous nutritional and health benefits to human health. Round shaped  with dark brown shells and whitish nuts encased within the shell, cultivated mostly for its nuts which can be eaten boiled or roasted as snacks.  It is mostly found in Nigeria and some other parts of Africa. In the Western part of Nigeria, it is known as “ASALA” while in the Southern part, it is called “UKPA”. It is an excellent source of minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients needed for the healthy functioning of the human’s body. Like all nuts, walnuts contain good fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) also, they are a good source of the essential fatty acid omega-3, contain iron, selenium, calcium, zinc, vitamin E and some B vitamins required daily for overall maintenance and development.

  • Rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and proteins which aid eye and brain development in children.
  •  Helps lower blood cholesterol level and increase the good cholesterol (HDL).
  • Reduces inflammation of blood vessels. 
  • Helps relax blood vessels and control high blood pressures.
  • Walnuts are rich sources of proteins and fiber that offers a feeling of fullness. This helps in weight management.
  • Walnut contains copper that aids proper growth and development of a growing fetus.
  • Walnuts contain antioxidants such as vitamin E, polyphenols, manganese and copper. These help ward off the free radicals and strengthens the immune system.
  • Walnuts are a rich source of vitamins, fibre, magnesium. They are also loaded with calcium, iron, zinc, and selenium. These nutrients add to the numerous advantages of walnuts.
  • Walnuts increase the melatonin which acts on the brain and signal the body to give you a sound sleep.