Remember those vibrant days of youth, when our mothers had to haul us up when we as kids were never fulfilled with running around, and playing outdoors for long hours? A couple of weeks ago, I overheard a neighbor call out to her young boy to quit the smartphone for the time being and step outdoors to play. It struck me, how devastatingly the situation had changed with the advancement of time. Although we have progressed in several fields of inventions and discoveries, our lifestyles have taken a backseat. Not only has the busy life of adults led to a sedentary lifestyle, but kids from an extremely young age have also occupied themselves with smartphones, televisions, and other devices which keep them entertained without the need to step out of their comfortable shelters. Hence, a pressing need has arrived to spread awareness of eating a healthy diet from a young age.
Things that need to be avoided to keep the young ones away from diseases
A famous philosopher named Hippocrates once said, “let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” In simple words, it means that one should be encouraged to inculcate the habit of eating healthy to lead a disease-free life and the best way to do it is by starting to lead a healthy lifestyle as soon as possible. Especially the young ones need to be encouraged to eat healthily. Let us dwell into the depths of the dimensions of this topic.
Isn’t it quite frequent that we as kids were bribed with tasty fast food and junk snacks as rewards in return for our elder’s desired demands? There is a very popular Bollywood song from the movie 3 idiots, where the lyrics are, “kandhon ko keetabon ke both ne jhukaya rishwat lena to khud papa ne sikhaya, 99% marks laoge to ghaadi varna chhadi”, in most cases it is ice-cream, chocolates or other fast food as bribery. This was still acceptable when the young people were physically active human beings and spent at least an hour playing outdoors daily. However, this won’t be a smart move if we follow the same pattern.
When we preach a healthy lifestyle, it has various dimensions to it. The young people of this generation must be encouraged to take out a minimum of an hour to invest in their physical fitness, nutrient rich snacks and meals loaded with protein. Most of the food items readily sold in the market are manifested with fake colors, chemicals, preservatives, rancid fats, sugary coatings, and so on. Many brands do not care about the consequences that will be dawned upon the consumers of these artificial food items. Check the ingredients written on the labels, it only needs mere awareness to avoid falling into such traps. Continuous consumption of such fast food loaded with carbs and sugar will only push yourself and your loved ones into the vicious cycle of diseases such as prediabetes, diabetes, heart diseases, child obesity, lethargy, poor mental health, poor growth of bones and muscles and the list shall go on if there is no intervention in the unhealthy sedentary lifestyles. The young generation could be encouraged to follow this only by influencing them by being their role model and setting an example.
A famous saying by Mike Adams is a clear statement justifying this argument, “Today more than 95% of the chronic disease is caused by food choice, toxic food ingredients, nutritional deficiencies, and lack of physical exercise.”
What to eat?
The kids who are usually given sugary cereals or baked food items as breakfast can shift to breakfast clusters that are devoid of any sort of preservatives, any sort of refined sugar, and contain raw cocoa, nuts, seeds, and good fats. “They minimize insulin spike while satisfying your sweet tooth”, they are keto-friendly, gluten-free, and high in protein.
The three main meals of the day which shall be served to them must include fewer refined carbs. For example, instead of two rotis and a smaller number of veggies – turn the table and serve one roti with two sorts of veggies, considering the latter should be more in amount. Replace fast food with fruits and healthy snacks to munch on. It is obvious that chocolate is a universal favorite snack, and cherished by sweet tooth people. In such cases, one can shift to dessert cookies and raw cocoa bars.
Such a dietary pattern and healthy lifestyle will not only give rise to a fitter and more energetic youth but will lead to a more productive life where the industrial and service sector will benefit as well. If a healthy lifestyle can be induced right from a younger age, then soon we could start a revolution where fitness and a healthy lifestyle along with a healthy diet would be preached. Manufacturers who are producing sugar-coated food items will be forced to change their approach to the consumers and they will have to be more sensitive about the ingredients used in the products. This is difficult but could be made possible with mass determination and consistency. Let us all take up a healthy lifestyle challenge and reward our succeeding generations with a healthy and disease-free life.