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Healthy-eating-with-a-busy-schedule
Categories Everything

Healthy Eating With a Busy Schedule | Dr. Kanupriya Khanna

Healthy eating is essential for a healthy and active lifestyle, but it can be a challenge when you have a busy schedule. With work, family, and other commitments, it can be difficult to find the time to prepare nutritious meals.

Tips to make healthy eating a part of your life

•Plan ahead – One of the keys to success when it comes to eating healthy with a busy schedule is planning ahead. Make a meal plan for the week, and do your grocery shopping accordingly. Having a plan in place will help you to avoid the temptation of ordering take-out or grabbing unhealthy snacks when you’re short on time.

•Meal prep – Try preparing individual ingredients rather than completely assembled meals to maintain some variation in your meal preparation strategy. In this manner, you can combine them in various ways and maintain a sense of freshness throughout the week.

•Healthy snacks in hand – Having healthy snacks readily available can help you to avoid the temptation of junk food when you’re on the go. Keep a stock of fruit, nuts, and other healthy snacks in your office, car, or bag to munch on when you’re feeling hangry.

•Use of leftovers – When you’re pressed for time, having frozen or canned options on hand might be a lifesaver. These choices are just as nourishing and have the advantage of being less expensive and perishable.

•Time management – Make a note in your calendar or planner. Include time slots to remind yourself to have a snack or a meal if you are the type of person who loves to schedule everything on your agenda.

 

This reminder will make it easier for you to remember to eat even when you are rushing about or doing homework. After many hours of arduous work, taking a snack break will also assist you to relax and take a break.

•Use a slow cooker – Another useful appliance for those who are busy is a slow cooker. It allows you to start cooking dinner in the morning and having it ready when you get home from work because it keeps your food warm for hours (or more) after it has finished cooking. That saves so much time!

•Keep it simple – Maintain a simple, easy approach to meals, using the balanced plate concept as a nice overall dietary guideline. Aim to include portions of each food type at main meals that are roughly the size of a palm for protein-rich foods, a fist or less for starchy carbs, a few handfuls of vegetables, and a thumb for fat-rich foods. Meals may be less satisfying and nutritionally diverse if one or more of these ingredients are missing.

•Healthier choices in restaurants – Whenever you don’t have enough time to prepare a meal at home, you might be tempted to dine out. Make sure to finding and order a healthier option at the restaurant. It is simpler than you might imagine. Pick dishes that are mostly composed of veggies, healthful grains, and lean protein.

 

To make a balanced meal, think about including a variety of side dishes. Pay attention to the offered portion sizes as well. You shouldn’t feel pressured to consume the entire amount on the plate because quantities at restaurants are frequently too large for one person to consume. Consider sharing a meal with a friend, requesting a reduced serving, or putting half of the plate in a to-go box for later to prevent overeating.

•One pot wonders – Try making a one-pot dinner instead of using multiple bowls, pots, and utensils to create a meal! This simple meal method eliminates the need to plan what sides to prepare in addition to your main course because your single dish will have grains, vegetables, and protein. The oven or stove can do the majority of the job with quick prep, and cleanup is simple.

•Pack lunch – Packing your lunch is an excellent way to control what you eat, and it can save you a lot of money compared to eating out. Make sure to include plenty of fruits, veggies, and lean protein in your lunch, and try to steer clear of processed foods, sugary drinks, and high-fat snacks.

•Be flexible – Always be flexible when it comes to eating properly. Do not punish yourself if you err and choose a bad course of action. Just resume your food plan again.

Eating healthy with a busy schedule takes a little bit of planning and preparation, but it’s well worth the effort. By following these tips, you can ensure that you’re fueling your body with the nutrients it needs, even when you’re short on time.

Connect with Kanupriya Khanna who has been working in this field since 2003. She is regarded as one of the best dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits and lifestyles.

plant-based-diets
Categories Other nutrition blog

Nutritional Adequacy of Plant Based Diets – Dr. Kanupriya Khanna

You must have heard a lot about veganism these days. Many people wonder if plant based diets are nutritionally adequate for them. Truth is that the nutrients present in plants, such as vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants, etc., help in keeping you healthy.

But before going further, let’s understand a few things about a plant-based diet.

 

What is a plant based diets?

These diets emphasise on fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and beans while eliminating animal products such as meats, dairy, honey and eggs, and all foods that are derived from an animal source.

A plant-based diet is not only a preferred way to promote good health while staying fit and nourished, it is also a healthier way to lose weight. As plants contain necessary nutrients that animal products do not, it boosts your immune system.

 

Knowing what nutrients to be aware of and how to incorporate them into your diet is a crucial component of a well-planned plant based diets.

•Protein – Most vegans consume enough protein to satisfy or even surpass their needs. To achieve your protein requirements, concentrate on including protein-rich foods like legumes, nuts, seeds, and soy in your meals and snacks throughout the day.

•Calcium – There are many plant-based sources of calcium, including kale, broccoli, black beans, almonds, nut and seed butters. Calcium is added to some fortified foods during manufacturing, such as non-dairy milk, orange juice, and some breakfast cereals.

•Iron – This necessary ingredient is important for a variety of bodily processes, including the transportation of oxygen by red blood cells. Iron is found in many plant based such as dates, dried figs, prunes, dark green leafy vegetables, jaggery, beans, finger millet, etc.

•B12 – Plant foods typically do not contain this vitamin. Vegans must add items enriched with vitamin B-12 to their diets or consult their doctor about taking a supplement. Foods like nutritional yeast, morning cereals, meat substitutes, and non-dairy milk are among those enriched with vitamin B-12. To ensure the product is fortified, make sure to check the label!

•Omega 3 – Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to be vital since your body cannot produce them; therefore, you must obtain them from foods such as flaxseeds, walnuts and other nuts and seeds.

•Fibre – Plant based diets high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes are much more likely to easily provide the quantity and kind of fibre required by your body to maintain a healthy digestive system.

 

What are the health benefits of plant based diets?

1. It lowers your blood pressure –

Hypertension can make people more susceptible to health problems like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Fortunately, what you eat can influence your health. Following a plant-based diet helps lower blood pressure, which lowers your risk of developing these illnesses.

2. Weight loss –

When you go from a diet high in meat to one high in plant-based foods, your risk of obesity declines. In conclusion, even though losing weight isn’t always the main goal, plant eaters typically weigh less.

3. Plant based diets prevent cancer –

Eating a diet high in vegetables, fruit, grains, beans, nuts and seeds is the greatest method to obtain nutrients that protect against cancer, including fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals.

4. It reduces cholesterol –

Fatty deposits in the blood caused by high cholesterol can limit blood flow and could result in heart attack, stroke, or heart disease. However, a balanced diet can support maintaining good cholesterol levels. In particular, switching to a diet high in plants instead of animal products can reduce LDL cholesterol by 10 and 15%.

5. It makes your brain strong –

Polyphenols are abundant in fruits and vegetables (aka, the cornerstones of a plant-based diet). They may help reverse cognitive decline and halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

 

How following a plant-based diet can benefit the environment?

The carbon emissions produced by the meat and dairy industries can be considerably reduced and offset by choosing to adopt a plant-based diet.

Additionally, compared to the meat and dairy industries, the plant business uses less water. To make one pound of tofu, only 302 litres of water are needed as opposed to 3505 litres of water to produce one pound of mutton. Untouched environments can be protected, and less water pollution and use would result from eating plant-based foods.

It was discovered that plant-based diets may increase the world food supply by up to 49% without extending croplands. This method of eating would also help to dramatically lower methane emissions by reducing cattle in the meat and dairy industries.

Overall, eating a plant-based diet is excellent for the Earth as well as for you. If you want to experiment with a plant-based diet, connect with Kanupriya who has been working in this field since 2003. She is regarded as one of the best dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits and lifestyles.

type-1-diabetes
Categories Children Diet

Healthy Eating Habits in Children with type 1 Diabetes | Dr Kanupriya Khanna

What is type 1 diabetes?

In type 1 diabetes your pancreas does not produce insulin, a hormone necessary for your body to utilise glucose (sugar) as an energy source. This results in your blood sugar levels to rise and you need to take external insulin to bring the sugar levels within normal limit.

How do foods affect blood sugar?

Some foods immediately raise your child’s blood sugar levels. Other foods may indirectly impact levels. You can assist your child in maintaining appropriate blood sugar level by understanding how different foods influence it.

The following foods have a direct effect on blood sugar:

•Fruits

•Refined Grains such as pasta, rice, and bread

•Several dairy items, such as milk and yoghurt

•Starchy vegetables like Potatoes and maize

•Sweet treats like candies or cakes

Things to keep in mind!

 

•AVOID sugary beverages. There are numerous sparkling glasses of water on the market with little added sugar or carbs. Additionally, experiment with adding fresh fruit and herbs to your water to enhance flavour without adding extra sugar or calories. You should not use artificial sweeteners, sugar-free lemonades, or caffeinated drinks as your main source of hydration.

•Do not allow your youngster to miss meals since this may lead to overeating at the following meal. Even if they are attempting to reduce weight, they ought to merely scale back on portion sizes.

•Increasing daily fibre intake will improve overall blood sugar control and have several other health advantages.

•At every meal, choose a nutritious carbohydrate and attempt to combine it with protein. Whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, and millets are a few examples of healthy carbohydrates.

Guidelines for children with type 1 diabetes

•Carbs – Given that they are the body’s main source of energy, carbohydrates are crucial to a healthy diet for kids with Type 1 diabetes. To help maintain stable blood sugar levels, it’s crucial to choose carbs that are nutrient-dense and have a low glycemic index (GI).

•Protein – The majority of your body’s tissues and organs are built, repaired, and maintained by protein. Additionally required for the operation of the immune system, proteins also support a number of other physiological activities.

•Fats – They keep you active and aid in the body’s assimilation of specific vitamins and minerals. But it’s crucial to select healthy fats and pay attention to portion quantities.

•Fibre – It supports a sense of fullness, aids with digestion, and lowers blood sugar levels. Children with Type 1 diabetes can also maintain a healthy weight by incorporating healthy eating habits.

•Hydration – Maintaining appropriate hydration can keep the body operating normally, aid to control blood sugar levels, and prevent consequences from dehydration.

 

A meal plan that incorporates the ideal ratio of fibre and carbohydrates to fulfill your child’s needs can be made with the assistance of a trained dietitian. Connect with Kanupriya Khanna who has been working in this field since 2003. She is regarded as one of the best dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits and lifestyles.

homemade-porridge
Categories Children Diet

Homemade Porridge – Dr Kanupriya Khanna

What is homemade porridge ?

Homemade Porridge – Porridge has been the main food for infants who are starting solids. It is available in a variety of flavours commercially under different brand names. But many mothers are unaware that it’s simple to prepare this quick, wholesome, and easy-to-feed food at home.

Benefits of homemade porridge

The goodness of several minerals that are crucial to your baby’s growth and development are present in this, and it is also packed with a lot of health benefits.

•Ragi: Rai/millet is high in both protein and carbohydrates. Through this, your baby also gets thiamine, iron, and calcium.

•Bajra: This food has a high energy quotient and is high in calcium and fibre. The grain is very helpful in preventing constipation.

•Wheat: Due to its abundance in nutrients like Vitamin B, manganese, potassium, calcium, zinc, and fibre, wheat is the main ingredient in Indian cuisine.

•Rice comes in a variety of colours, each with a distinct flavour and goodness. Unlike its white counterpart, brown rice keeps the bran and germ layers, which preserves the nutrients and minerals. Additionally, it contains a lot of fibre, antioxidants, selenium, and manganese.

•Green gramme: Green gramme is an excellent source of lean vegetarian protein that also strengthens the immune system. It contains iron, magnesium, vitamins A, B, C, and E.

•Dals: Rich in iron, protein, zinc, folate, and manganese, dals help prevent anaemia, boost immunity, and support healthy body and brain function.

Here are a few homemade porridge recipes for babies:

•Porridge made from Poha

  1. Choose the thick poha and thoroughly clean it.
  2. Dry roast it, then allow it to cool.
  3. Blend thoroughly in the mixer.
  4. Cook the powder in water till it thickens.
  5. Add breast milk and mashed fruit to this and combine well and serve!

•Porridge made of dry fruits

  1. Take some ragi flour and cook in water till it thickens
  2. Grind the almonds, pistachio, and walnuts separately. Combine all of these, store in an airtight container.
  3. mix the dry fruit powder with the cooked rahi porridge and breast milk before serving. You can add some date paste for sweetness.

•Porridge made of pulses

  1. Make sure to thoroughly wash the rice. Roast the rice in a kadai.
  2. Each dal like moong dhuli, masur split should be thoroughly cleaned and rinsed.
  3. For two to three days, dry them in the sun.
  4. Without adding additional oil, roast each sun-dried ingredient separately. The dals must all be dry-roasted until they turn golden. Ensure that they are crisp. The rice should be lightly puffed after roasting. Now pulverise them into a fine powder in the mixer.
  5. The ingredients should be kept in an airtight container.
  6. Take a tablespoon of the mix and cook in water until it thickens to the right consistency. Add some cardamom or cinnamon powder for flavour. You can add some breast milk to this before feeding your baby.

 

If you need to know more about such recipes, connect with Kanupriya Khanna who has been working in this field since 2003. She is regarded as one of the best dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits.

sattvic-diet
Categories Everything, Other nutrition blog

Sattvic Diet – Dr Kanupriya Khanna

What is a sattvic diet?

Sattvic Diet – Satvik comes from the Sanskrit word “Sattva” which means pure, clean and strong energy. According to Bhagavad Gita, the food that an individual eats directly influences their thoughts, character, mental well-being and health. A Satvik food purifies the mind, removes toxins from our body, thus cleansing both the body and mind.

Fresh fruits, vegetables, sprouts, honey, ghee, nuts, grains, legumes, jaggery, unrefined sugar, turmeric, black pepper, dhania, fresh herbs, milk, and dairy products are all part of the sattvic diet. Food that is satvik calms a person down and strengthens their immune system.

Kanupriya Khanna – Best Dietician & Nutritionist 

What are the benefits of a sattvic diet?

A Sattvic diet has many advantages, including weight loss, improved digestion, and reduced brain fog.

•Heart illness – A vegetarian or vegan diet reduces the risk of dying from ischemic heart disease by 30% compared to a meat-eating diet. Diets based on plants are higher in fibre and lower in saturated fat.

•Cancer – Your risk of developing cancer is also decreased by a sattvic diet high in whole plant foods. Phytochemicals, which are abundant in fruits and vegetables, may help fight cancer. High-fibre diets can also assist you in maintaining a healthy weight, which can reduce your risk of developing certain cancers.

•Diabetes type 2 – You can lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by eating a plant-based diet and maintaining a healthy weight. Additionally, studies show that vegetarians are less likely than meat eaters of the same weight to develop type 2 diabetes.

•Stroke – Your risk of stroke can be decreased by eating a plant-based diet. In this context, a healthy diet means including plenty of leafy greens, beans, and whole grains while limiting the amount of sugar, refined grains, and potatoes.

•Better immunity – The primary focus of sattvic diets is on fruits and vegetables, which are the primary sources of nutrients for all life forms. Sattvic food, which gives the body all the necessary macronutrients, micronutrients, fibres, antioxidants, etc., takes care of all the little details our body needs to defend itself against illnesses, giving it innate immunity.

•Detox – The word “detox” is frequently misused today. The sattvic diet encourages a healthy detox while simultaneously nourishing the body. Your body won’t be able to absorb all the nutrition you give it until all the waste is removed.

What foods can you eat?

•Grains – barley, amaranth, bulgur, barley, millet, quinoa, wild rice, etc.

•Leafy Veggies – spinach, carrots, celery, potatoes, broccoli, kelp, lettuce, peas, cauliflower, etc.

•Fruits – apples, bananas, papaya, mangos, cherries, melons, peaches, guava, fresh fruit juices, etc.

•Nuts – walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, unsweetened coconut, flaxseed, etc.

•Dairy – high quality milk, yogurt, and cheese, such as pasture-raised products; almond milk; coconut milk; cashew milk; nut- and seed-based cheese.

•Oils – olive oil, sesame oil, red palm oil, flax oil, ghee, etc.

•Spices – coriander, basil, nutmeg, cumin, fenugreek, turmeric, ginger, etc.

•Sweeteners – honey and raw cane sugar or jaggery

•Pulses – Various kinds of pulses like moong dal, green gram etc.

If you wish to make a Sattvic diet food chart, connect with Kanupriya Khanna who has been working in this field since 2003. She is regarded as one of the best dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits and lifestyles.

Categories Diet During Pregnancy, Nutrition Blogs

Diet to prevent pre-eclampsia during pregnancy?

Diet to prevent pre-eclampsia during pregnancy?

Preeclampsia is a disorder that affects women during pregnancy and increases maternal and child mortality and morbidity. During pregnancy, it is identified by sudden increase in blood pressure and proteinuria (presence of protein in urine). High blood pressure is a potentially severe complication of pregnancy.

Pre-eclampsia commonly develops after 20 weeks of pregnancy in a woman who previously had normal blood pressure. Other than high blood pressure and protein in the urine; swelling in the legs and water retention may also be present. But swollen ankles and water retention can also be present in a normal pregnancy and so can be confusing.

One in every ten pregnancies is affected by high blood pressure, generally known as hypertension. During pregnancy, hypertension can manifest in a variety of ways. Pre-existing high blood pressure, hypertension that develops during pregnancy (gestational hypertension), and pre-eclampsia, which affects 2-8 out of every 100 women and begins at 20 weeks of pregnancy, are the most prevalent.

A team of researchers conducted a study of pregnant women’s food habits and their related risks of high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia. They found that:

• Instead of high-fat, high-calorie items, eat at least five portions of fruits and vegetables every day.

• Potatoes are not included in the five-a-day goal.

• Choose wholegrain over refined grains or starchy foods.

• Stick to a low-fat diet and gain weight at a healthy rate

• Consume fiber-rich foods like oats, beans, lentils, grains, and seeds.

• Avoid drinks with added sugars and other foods with a high sugar content, such as candies, cakes, and biscuits.

• Fish is a safe option during pregnancy in general, however the recommendation is to eat no more than two portions of oily fish each week, such as mackerel or salmon. This is because a chemical contained in oily fish (mercury) in excess can impair the development of an unborn baby.

Kanupriya Khanna, a Senior Consultant Nutritionist & Dietitian with over 18 years of experience in antenatal nutrition, can provide expert advice. She is regarded as one of the best dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits and lifestyles.

Categories Other nutrition blog

Substitutes for sugar: Are They the Answer to Better Nutrition and Eating?

Substitutes for sugar: Are They the Answer to Better Nutrition and Eating?

Sugar is frequently blamed for a variety of health problems, including obesity and diabetes. Does this imply that the solution to better eating is to use sugar replacements and sweeteners?

Simply put, the answer is NO!

Let’s have a look at why.

What is the difference between sugar replacements and sweeteners?

Each sugar substitute differs somewhat. However the basic concept remains the same:

sugar alternatives provide the same sweetness as sugar but without the calories.

Many ‘diet’ or ‘light’ beverages, baked items, yogurts, and chewing gum contain them. Sugar substitutes are commonly referred to as “sweeteners” and they are regulated to assure their safety.

The following are some examples of common names:

• Saccharin

• Aspartame

• Sorbitol

• Xylitol

• Stevia extract

Because these sweeteners are many times sweeter than sucrose (sugar), a lesser amount is required to produce the same sweetness. This may cause some people to feel that artificial sweeteners are a healthy alternative.

Let’s look at how sweeteners compare to sugar:

It has long been established that additional sugars are harmful to one’s health. Even while there is less concrete proof in the case of sweeteners, we are overlooking a larger issue. Sweeteners have lesser or no calories as compared to sugar, but they both should be consumed in moderation. They do not provide any nutrients.

So, what does the research say?

Due to their low calorie content, sweeteners have gained popularity as dietary supplements. Artificial sweeteners, according to research, appear to be linked to an elevated risk of several chronic diseases, similar to those associated with sugar consumption. Some of these sweeteners have also been linked with poor gut health. Furthermore, there is no clear and consistent evidence that sweeteners actually lower weight or obesity rates.

Sweeteners appear to have many of the same effects as added sugars. The majority of studies have identified a link between artificially sweetened beverage consumption and weight increase. Another study recently discovered that people who drink diet sodas on a regular basis have a significantly higher risk of developing the diseases that these sugar substitutes are intended to prevent (such as type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and stroke).

The use of sweeteners in children could be hazardous in some ways. This is due to the fact that exposure to sugary meals throughout childhood can alter taste well into adulthood. Frequent consumption of high-sugar or artificial-sugar foods can change food choices, resulting in higher sugar consumption later in life. Sweetener-containing foods are deficient in nutrients and can interfere with proper growth and development during childhood and adolescence.

Sweeteners may also cause metabolic dysregulation by interfering with the gut flora. Finally, research in children and adults has demonstrated that artificial sweetener consumption (which has no calories) can lead to overconsumption of sweet food (which has calories) when added sugar is ingested later.

Last but not least

Sugar substitutes and sweeteners have little nutritional benefit. At the end of the day, it’s all about moderation. We should limit our use of both. Rather than focusing on which foods are the least unhealthy, try focusing on which foods are the most nutrient-dense.

In case you need a professional help, you can contact Kanupriya Khanna, a Senior Consultant Nutritionist and Dietitian, having more than 18 years of experience. She is one of the best dietitians in Delhi if you are looking for nutritional advice.

Categories Diet During Pregnancy, Pregnancy nutrition

Folate and Pregnancy: How important is it really?

Folate and Pregnancy: How important is it really?

Folate, often known as vitamin B9, is an important nutrient during pregnancy. Folate has a number of critical roles during pregnancy, the most significant of which is ensuring the normal closure of your baby’s neural tube during the first few weeks. Getting adequate folate during this critical phase will help your baby avoid neural tube problems like spina bifida and anencephaly. It is necessary for your baby’s spine, brain, and skull to develop properly. Other research has linked sufficient folate consumption during pregnancy to a lower risk of oral cleft lip/palate and cardiovascular problems in babies.

There is also some evidence that suggests a reduced risk of preeclampsia in the mother. Preeclampsia is a pregnancy issue involving the mother’s blood pressure, which can endanger both the mother and the baby’s life.

Is there a difference between folate and folic acid?

Folate and folic acid have a similar sounding name for a reason! Folate is a naturally occurring nutrient, but folic acid is a synthetic nutrient that is added to specific foods to provide the same nutritional benefits. Folic acid is more stable than folate for fortification purposes, therefore you’ll probably see it in your prenatal supplement! For the sake of simplicity, you can consider them to be the same thing!

Food sources of folate:

Leafy greens, lentils, asparagus, oranges, broccoli, strawberries, egg yolks and avocado are all good sources of folate. Fortified foods including cereal, grains, and whole grain flours also contain folic acid.

Hi to prevent deficiency of folic acid:

To guarantee that your requirements of folic acid are met in the event of you becoming pregnant, all women of reproductive age planning a pregnancy, should take a multivitamin supplement daily containing 400 micrograms of folic acid (with vitamin B12 for effective folic utilisation). As previously said, folate is critical during the early stages of pregnancy, so start supplementing at least three months before trying to conceive. This will guarantee you have adequate quantities to support your baby’s neurodevelopment.

Because pregnant women need 600 micrograms of folate/folic acid per day, dietary sources of folate/folic acid are just as vital as continuing to take your folate supplement! Women having a history of neural tube problems in previous pregnancies, a family history of neural tube defects, diabetes, obesity, or epilepsy may require more folate supplementation. If you think you could be at risk of folate deficiency, talk to your doctor or a nutritionist before starting a higher dose of supplementation.

In conclusion

Getting nutrition advice during pregnancy can be stressful, but we’re here to help! If you need some assistance incorporating folate-rich foods into your diet. Kanupriya Khanna, a Senior Consultant Nutritionist & Dietitian with over 18 years of experience, can provide expert advise.

Kanupriya Khanna is regarded as one of the best dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits and lifestyles.

Categories Children Diet

Diet Culture Dropout: The Best Feeding Advice for New Parents

I’m on a quest to help you rediscover the pleasure that should come with eating. I don’t want you to miss out on memories of your motherhood or your children’s childhood because of food or eating anxieties.

The good news is that optimal nutrition does not need sacrificing a positive relationship with food. Choosing to focus on supporting your children does not imply that you are neglecting nourishment or that you are no longer “caring.” There’s no way. You do it because you care, and you’ll discover that healthy nourishment for your children is the result. So, where do you begin? How may this appear in your home?

It may appear hard to work for something different in your home when you look at the large picture. Especially, if food is difficult to understand and feeding children is a stressful experience. We’re already inundated with “rules” about how to feed our children and how to produce healthy eaters. Diet culture has penetrated a lot of this knowledge. Does any of this ring a bell?

  • Allow no packaged foods to be consumed by your children.
  • Offer them no processed foods.
  • Before the age of two, no additional sugar is allowed.
    • Limit sweets in your home and don’t allow your kids to consume sugar.
  • Nothing frozen should be consumed.
  • Stay away from convenience foods.

But what do you do if your kids gravitate towards foods that are intended to be “off-limits”?

This is where I see power struggles between children, parents and their caretakers begin, and where food becomes a source of conflict.

Perhaps you’ve seen something similar before?

You want your children to eat healthy meals, on the one hand. You want them to be fit and healthy, with a strong immune system to boot. You don’t want kids to have behavioural issues, and you’re concerned about their physique sizes. You want them to succeed and grow into capable, strong adults.

Diet Culture Influences Common Child Feeding Rules

Food rules can influence how we feed our children in the most subtle ways – things we might not even realise are food rules.

It’s critical to comprehend how diet culture operates, as it frequently promotes a rigorous attitude to food and eating while also normalising these practices as the best way to create a healthy family.

Diet culture has been cloaked in the guise of “wellness culture” in recent years, but it is still an unhealthy obsession with the things we eat. Diet culture has become a mainstream aspect of how we conduct our lives, making it difficult to spot it when it appears.

It frequently manifests itself when it comes to feeding our children, which is why this is an important subject to investigate.

Here are a few instances of how diet culture can manifest itself in how we feed our children:

  • Keeping a tight grip on the meals our kids eat or have access to
  • Allowing children to eat particular meals based on external norms (e.g., “Processed foods are harmful, thus they can’t eat any processed foods,” “Sweets are unhealthy for kids,” “We don’t allow any sugar in the house,” and so on)
  • Keeping your child away from events where other outside meals are offered that you are not comfortable with them eating.
  • Are you worried about what your youngster is eating?
  • Using a “good” versus “bad” lens to describe food
  • Trying to teach your child about healthy eating, food selection, and so on

These items may appear to be “applauded” by diet culture on the surface. Diet culture honours and rewards parents who are overly concerned about their children’s health and the foods they eat.

But how much will it cost? Many families who become enslaved to tight eating rules or a black-and-white view of health wind up with more complicated challenges. Mealtimes are typically chaotic when our children are fed through diet culture. Parents may feel trapped in a never-ending cycle of power battles with their kids. When we try to get our children to adapt to our norms or views around food and eating, this doesn’t allow our children to keep their underlying intuitive eating talents.

We essentially take away the autonomy that we want our children to acquire and grow, forsaking the most crucial components of forming a pleasant relationship with food in order to stay in the diet culture’s safe zones. Please believe me when I tell that as parents attempting to raise healthy, capable children, we only have the finest intentions.

I don’t believe any parent is intentionally attempting to sabotage their children’s connections with food and their bodies.

The goal here isn’t to condemn parents in any way; rather, it’s to recognise the toxic milieu in which we’re trying to feed and raise our children. Diet culture has penetrated every aspect of our lives, including how we parent and feed our children. It’s all too easy for us to fall prey to its enticing hooks if we don’t take intentional actions to proactively combat it. To become a part of the system from which so many of us seek liberation. So many of these feeding methods are ones we were exposed to as children, or that our parents were exposed to, and so on – through the centuries.

It all starts with becoming more conscious of how it hides and lurks in your own home, as well as questioning the norms you’ve internalised about food and your body.

What food ideas do you have that are currently influencing how you feed your own children?

Understanding this and taking the time to honestly reflect on it can help you make a proactive decision for you and your family. Take a piece of paper and write down some of the norms or attitudes you have about food or feeding your children that are influenced by diet culture.

If you’re unsure, write down the first thing that comes to mind. When thinking about this, consider TRUST as a component.

If you or your children don’t trust themselves or each other around food, this can be a key motivator for rules, as rules provide an artificial sense of control.

Fear is what keeps rules alive, so think about what you’re afraid of when you evaluate the food rules that have crept into your home or the base from which you feed your children. Diet culture instils fear and fosters the notion that we can’t trust ourselves or our children. Returning to the basics and learning to live and eat free of food restrictions necessitates beginning from the ground up. Because feeding our children involves more than a transaction: it isn’t just handing them food and expecting them to eat it. (Diet culture portrays feeding our children as something to be controlled in this way.)

However, this overlooks the most important aspect of feeding our children: cultivating a trustworthy feeding connection. This provides a sense of security and connection, and it is in this environment that children can learn to trust their bodies and form positive dietary associations that benefit their general health. Cultivating such trust is crucial to having food freedom as a family and breaking the chains of any internalised food rules you may have had.

Learning to consume and feed your children outside of these dietary restrictions can be quite beneficial, not just to yourself but also to your children’s attitudes toward food and their bodies. This is why it’s critical to be aware of the eating rules you follow, whether consciously or unconsciously. What is the perspective from which you feed your children, and how has that perspective been formed?

When you can begin to study and comprehend it, you may begin to demolish it in order to feed your children outside of diet culture’s confines and structures.

This could include bringing in previously forbidden items or questioning your own dietary guidelines regarding what or how much your children “need to consume.” This may appear to be bending your rules about when particular foods are allowed (for example, many of us grew up with a dietary rule that said we could only eat sweet foods after dinner – but why? Who told you that this was the rule? And what is the point of it?

If you’re not sure if the dietary “rules” you have for your kids and yourself are related to diet culture, consider this: “What is the objective behind this rule?” Is there a regulation in place to provide you some control over a dish that makes you feel uneasy? Taking an honest look at this will help you comprehend the rules you may have around food, as well as reveal which restrictions may need to be questioned and destroyed in order for you and your family to enjoy more freedom with food.

Kanupriya Khanna, a Senior Consultant Nutritionist & Dietitian with over 18 years of experience in child nutrition, can provide expert advise and the right kind of diet for the children. Kanupriya Khanna is regarded as one of the greatest dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits and lifestyles. (Children’s Nutritional Needs During the Pandemic:)

All you need to know when Breastfeeding
Categories Nutrition during lactation

All You Need to Know When Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding burns extra calories, thus it can help you lose weight faster after your pregnancy. It releases the hormone oxytocin, which aids in the return of your uterus to its pre-pregnancy size. Breastfeeding also reduces your chances of developing breast & ovarian cancer and osteoporosis.

It saves you time and money because you don’t have to buy and measure formula, sanitise nipples, or reheat bottles. It also allows you to spend quality time with your newborn and bond.

What is breast milk?

Your breasts create perfect “first milk” for the first few days after birth. It’s known as colostrum. Colostrum is thick and yellowish, and there isn’t much of it, but it’s enough to meet your baby’s nutritional requirements. Colostrum aids in the development and preparation of a newborn’s digestive tract for the digestion of breast milk and enhances immunity of the newborn.

Colostrum is the earliest phase of breast milk, and it changes throughout time to provide your baby with the nutrition he or she requires as it grows. Transitional milk is the name of the second phase. Your body makes this as your colostrum is eventually replaced by mature milk, the third phase of breast milk.

After colostrum, you’ll start producing transitional milk, followed by mature milk – 10 to 15 days after giving birth, which will provide your baby with all the nutrition they require until 6 months of age.

Breastfeeding exclusively for 6 months is recommended by experts. Your breasts may produce less milk if you supplement with formula as the production of milk is dependent on demand and the sucking action of the infant.

During lactation, there are certain nutritional requirements that must be met.

It’s worth noting that nutritional requirements during nursing are higher than during pregnancy. The birth weight of the baby doubles in the first four to six months of its life. The milk produced during this time has to meet the growing baby’s needs.

Nutritional requirements also alter with maternal age, which can have a significant impact on maternal nutritional status and milk composition, particularly in teenage or impoverished mothers.

Some points to keep in mind:

1. Iron: Iron supplementation is commonly prescribed to compensate for blood losses incurred during childbirth and menstruation. It should be noted that some women who exclusively breastfeed for at least six months experience amenorrhoea and hence do not lose iron through menstruation during that time.

2. Calcium: Calcium is required during lactation. The regulatory processes of the body change so that there is increased calcium absorption, decreased renal excretion, and enhanced bone calcium mobilisation. The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends that lactating mothers consume five servings per day of calcium-rich foods of any kind, such as low-fat yoghourt or cheese, as well as other calcium-rich non-dairy foods, such as fish consumed with its bones (for example, canned sardines), salmon, broccoli, sesame seeds, etc. to meet their calcium requirements.

3. Protein: When compared to calorie requirements, the increase in protein requirements during lactation is minimal. Consumption of protein-rich foods can meet the increased requirements during nursing (for example, one egg, 25g of cheese or 175g of milk). Casein is the protein component of milk that is required for calcium and phosphate absorption in the infant’s intestines and has immunomodulatory properties.

4. Carbohydrate: Lactose is the most abundant carbohydrate in human milk and is critical for the continued brain development of infants. Despite the fact that lactose concentrations are less variable than those of other nutrients, overall output is lowered in moms who are severely malnourished.

5. Water: It makes about 85–95 percent of the total volume of milk. Many people believe that increasing water intake will boost milk production, but multiple studies have shown that forcing fluid intake beyond what is required to quench thirst has little effect on lactation.

6. Salt: The salt content of colostrum is higher than that of mature milk. There is no evidence of a link between salt intake during lactation and sodium levels in breast milk, according to research. However, tiny amounts of salt, fortified with iodine, should be consumed (iodised salt).

7. Vitamins: The content of several vitamins in breast milk is determined by the mother’s levels, and deficiency in the mother might result in a deficiency in the newborn. This is especially true for thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), and vitamins B6, B12, E, and A, thus increasing your consumption during lactation is recommended.

Contact Kanupriya Khanna if you need specialist advise on your baby’s diet during the pandemic. She is a Senior Consultant Nutritionist and Dietitian with over 18 years of expertise in the field of nutrition and is regarded as one of the best nutritionist /dietitian in Delhi.

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