Rujuta Diwekar Offers Easy Tips for Healthier Kids in New Book
Rujuta Diwekar shares healthy food options for kids when travelling, during exams and when girls are on their period
Editor: Deepthi Ramdas
Camera: Shiv Kumar Maurya
Celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar is making headlines with her new book ‘Notes for Healthy Kids’ - a manual for raising kids in a healthy manner, published by Westland. In it, Rujuta has lots of advice to offer in the form of food options, meal timings and exercise, to name a few. She also talks about healthy food alternatives when travelling, when going out to eat with kids and for young girls when on their period.
Here’s a quick round-up of it in her own words.
Alternatives for Milk, Calcium and Vegetables
Rujuta says that it’s important to diversify your diet and not stick to a few options. We often make too much out of milk as a calcium source, whereas there is til and til laddoos and chikkis that are in season currently and are good sources of calcium.
When it comes to protein, Rujuta suggests makke ki roti and sarso ka saag as a good source. Most children, she points out, do not have problems with chana, lobhiya or khichdi. Along with the diet, it’s also important for the children to be able to assimilate the protein and the three things she suggests for it are:
- Sleeping on time
- Eating more regularly
- Playing 60-90 minutes everyday
When it comes to vitamins and minerals, Rujuta points out that green, leafy vegetables are in season only in winters. Also, they are nutritious only when they are cooked in a traditional manner. Hence, fixate less on the vegetables and instead look at options like amla, ber and other seasonal fruits.
Eating the fruit which is in season will give your child all the vitamins and minerals that they are seeking and you really don’t need to force-feed veggies to them.Rujuta Diwekar
What to Opt for Dining Out With a Child?
Rujuta’s advice when it comes to eating out is simple - to go out for an early meal, around 6:30 pm and go to a single cuisine restaurant. She adds that it’s also important to find other non-food bonding options.
“When you are out, eat only one dish, eat early and look for non-meal or non-food bonding areas in life”, summarises Rujuta.
With Exams Around the Corner, What Should Kids Eat?
It’s important to get regular exercise during exams to improve memory recall, emphasises Rujuta. She also gives guidelines about what should be avoided and what should be opted for.
Things to avoid especially during exams:
- Instant noodles
Instead, opt for:
- A cup of milk with aarav or garden cress seeds
- Roll of roti, jaggery and ghee
- Cheese sandwich
- Peanuts or cashews
Health Tips for Period Cramps
In her book, Rujuta writes that period cramps are not normal and maintaining an optimum level of fitness can significantly alleviate pain.
I often say this to girls that it should be so easy that you forget to wear your pad or tampon or whatever that you typically use.Rujuta Diwekar
The things she suggests for them include regular exercise, home-cooked meals and going to bed on time. She also advises staying away from coffee, cola and junk food.
Screens During Meal Times
Eating is not a chore we make it out to be, it is supposed to be a joyful experience, says Rujuta.
This is probably the first generation which is eating in front of an iPad or a screen. I have seen kids as young as 18 months being on YouTube while they are being fed.Rujuta Diwekar
Her advice is to be mindful of the food you eat. If you teach your kids simply being present during a meal, it would also help them decide what to eat, how much to eat and when to stop eating. This is not only for the present, but it would help them in the future too. Raising a child correctly is a 50-year-investment, she concludes.
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