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Healthy Habits

It's evening, and your children have just return from school, classes or play, and are in the mood for a snack. What are you going to serve them?

If you were thinking of whipping up a few samosas, jalebis and pakoras, think again. There are numerous healthy, tasty options, and until you've tried on all these options on your kids until they are sick of them, there is no need for you to serve them unhealthy food just to fill up their stomachs. They get plenty of that at birthday parties so at home, you should be more careful.

The best way to prevent your children form eating junk food, is to avoid stocking it at home. However, you don't want your children to be deprived - so instead, substitute junk, high fat food with healthy options.

Does your child crave a glass of Coke everyday? Nip this habit in the bud. Before your child gets accustomed to sipping his favourite cola with every meal, stop stocking it at home. At times telling your child that Coke is only for special occasions may work, but other times it may increase your child's craving for soft drinks. Your best bet would be to substitute soft drinks for juice. Don't force your child to have his daily glass of juice or he may grow averse to it - like many children are averse to drinking milk. Instead, let juice be a once in a while treat, and gradually, start stocking it in the fridge, so your child knows that he can drink it whenever he wants. Also, if you are trying to get your child to switch from Coke to juice, consider giving your child juice in fancy, decorative glasses. Also, freshly squeezed juice is a healthier and tastier option, but it may not always be practical. If your child doesn't like the taste of packed orange juice, try Tropicana mixed juice. It seems to be a hit with children.

Vanessa says, "When I go to the Supermarket I make it a point to never bring my children along. They want to pick up packets of wafers, instant noodles, soft drinks, and I don't want to keep these things at home. I also feel bad saying no for everything to my children all the time. So I have stopped taking them along with me, it works! They don't miss not having junk food at home because I bring some home once in a while, as a treat, and their eating habits are so much healthier now."

Meeta, mother of 2, keeps a list of snacks, and keeps adding to the list as time goes by. So if she serves her children sprouts one day, she glances at the next item on her list and makes sure she has all the ingredients required. So the next time her children are in the mood for a snack, she doesn't need to rack her brains as to what she should give them, and she doesn't need to reach into the shelf for a Maggi packet. She simply makes what was next on her list. In this manner she doesn't keep repeating the same snacks, and her children get a variety of delicious dishes to eat. Here are a few items on her list:


Stir fry a few onions in a little olive oil and add a handful of moong dal sprouts and salt. Remove from fire when the dal softens. A delicious, incredibly healthy snack is ready in two minutes!

Dhoklas, upma, sabutdana khichdi, idlis, sandwiches made with brown bread, tomatoes, cucumber and onions, cut into small cubes.

These are just a few ideas for healthy snacks. If you have any more ideas or recipes, don't forget to share them with us!

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