It’s Childrens’ Day – celebrated on the Birthday of our second President Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. In India, a day dedicated to Children, a day to celebrate childhood and a day to teach children in a fun way.
As parents, we may be selecting some gifts too for our children on this special day. This year, let’s look at some unique gifts that can be presented to our children – some tangible and some intangible – but each tailored to gift some aspect of Health.
India reels under the burden of chronic degenerative diseases like obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Our youth have the very strong risk of developing these unless thoughtful interventions can be done right from childhood – the key being those of a good diet and lifestyle schedule.
So, this Childrens’ Day, let’s decide to give our children health.
What gifts could we offer…?
1. The Gift of a Health and Fitness Role Model:
Are you wondering who that Role Model could be?
Well…it is YOU dear Parents. Children learn more by seeing and observing and then imitating and less by being told what to do. Don’t be worried dear Parents…don’t question your capabilities. You are a Role Model anyway from the day you have become a parent.
Well, children don’t need to see a Dad with six pack abs or a very svelte mom…
What they need to see are the following three health behaviours from parents:
- A good Health Mindset – Let the Children know that you consider health as a value and that you want to choose good health. Let them know that you value your body and want to nourish it and take care of it.
- Mindful eating –which means a conscious choice of choosing a healthy, nourishing food and beverages. Let them see you debating over good foods and those which may not be conducive to health and let them see you consciously choose the better option.
- Lead them to exercise
- Let them see you exercising and moving into the path of fitness.
- Let them see you outdoors and let them want to join in with you.
- Show them that you consider exercise and increased physical activity to be of high priority and invite them to join in the fun.
- Let these be happy and fun times and not that which is a time if strictness and correction
2. The Gift of Nourishing Food:
Dear Parents, children eat what is offered – well most of the time!
Make sure you offer all meals as nourishing meals – for eg. breakfast cannot be skipped, nor can fruits, nor can snacks. Offer nourishing snacks because for children snacks are pockets of opportunities to deliver vitamins and minerals and protein and fiber.
Plan the menu and the purchasing and the kitchen schedule.Teach them how to read labels and choose between the nourishing and the not so nourishing food
3. The Gifts that Promote Fitness: Let us gift our children ways and means to choose an active lifestyle:
- Opportunities to play: In this time when we talk of holistic living how can we make our children into unnatural sedentary persons. Parents need to schedule active play time into the day’s activities in priority – as much priority that we give academics. Play and exercise and sport contributes to all round development of the child
It helps growth and academic performance. Play is not to happen ‘if there is time’. Play and exercise is to happen in spite of there being a shortage of time.
- Some tangible gifts that can be presented and those that the children will be thrilled with:
– A Sport Training
– A Trek
– A skipping rope or a sports gear
– A bicycle
Being active is key
4. The Gift of a Health Conducive Home: Let us as offer our children a space that holds the space to a healthy and balanced life –
Where the larder is full of goodness
Where the fridge is stocked with foods from which recipes can be whipped up in a jiffy
Where there is a method to eating right and not just random choosing of convenient foods
Where the whole family participates in the process of shopping for food and cooking and eating and clearing
with responsibility and joy
Where there is gratitude for the food we get and appreciation for the food prepared
Where there is understanding that the Body is a Temple and that it needs to be nourished and cared for
Where there is equal importance given to nourishment and physical activity and exercise and sleep and coping with stress and fun …as is given to academic achievement
Where every Body – no matter what shape and size and color is accepted and honored and valued
Where parents look into the mirror in appreciation of their bodies and vocalize that they love and revere their bodies and so will take care of it
Where children are told how beautiful they are inside out
Where children are taught to appreciate their bodies and love every part and take care of the body inside our
Where prayer includes the prayer for a mindful and health promoting mindset as well as lifestyle
Where promises are made to walk towards health and fitness
Into that Freedom of Sustainable Health
Into that Health Conducive Home
Let every family awake
(Inspired by the iconic speech by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru)
There it is dear Parents – four gifts that you can start gifting this Children’s Day on…
Easy to do and sustainable and life changing.
We at Nutritionwithvibha.com believe that Nutrition and Lifestyle are the ways to create a sustainable change in health. We believe that all changes in behavior originate from the mind.
We know that changing nutrition and lifestyle choice patterns of the young is the way to offset the burden of disease that the globe is affected by.
Let’s lead our children into health – with responsibility and foresight
We are developing self-empowerment modules with just this though in mind. Write in to us with your comments and queries to firstname.lastname@example.org
Let the inner child in all of us be nourished and healthy!