Importance of a healthy diet
When I started working in movies, I never went on a crash diet or put myself through stress because my mother had inculcated good eating habits in me since I was a child. That’s why you’ve never heard stories about me fainting on the set of a film. I’ve done the same for my kids. Rasha and Ranbir (daughter and son) don’t touch aerated drinks. I’ve told them it’s unhealthy and they are okay with it. They know they can have it but only occasionally.
Once in a while, if I have an aerated drink, Rasha scolds me saying it’s unhealthy. She also fears that my teeth will turn black.
Yummy nutritional food
I am always concerned about the nutrition my kids are getting. So I make food which is tasty and nutritious. Generally, I serve them one interesting dish with two boring dishes. But I keep oily, fried stuff and everything that is made of maida, away from them.
My kids love Chinese and Indian food. Palak paneer and butter naan are their favourite foods. They enjoy Indian food at Urban Tadka in Andheri, Mumbai. For Chinese food, it alternates.
Raveena’s easy-to-implement tips for moms
Let fruit and vegetables reign in your house. Keep them washed, peeled, cut and available in plain sight such as the front of the fridge, on kitchen countertops, on the dining table, etc. Keep chips and pretzels out of sight. Better still, limit the buying of too many processed snacks.
Do not solely rely on sneaking vegetables into every dish. While this may seem like a good tactic, if used regularly, it will backfire. Your kids will think of vegetables as something so awful they that need to be camouflaged. Instead, offer vegetables in various textures, colours and forms – cooked and uncooked, with and without dips. Try raw sweet bell peppers and other crunchy veggies at first.
Breakfast is brain power. Few examples of a good breakfast include: yoghurt, fruit and nuts, milk and banana slices, eggs and whole grain toast, oatmeal with cinnamon and fruit. Yum!
Making food interesting
It’s important to make food interesting for children. So I’m always doing that for my daughter Samaira and son Kiaan. I cut vegetables in different kinds of shapes. Just recently, I did that with broccoli and carrots. My kids love to eat vegetables when they are cut like that because they look interesting.
I’ve encouraged healthy eating habits in my children right from the beginning. But I don’t deprive them of anything. So I generally treat them to junk food over the weekend. But I make sure they don’t over-indulge. Also, I keep them away from artificial flavours, coloured food and aerated drinks.
My kids are not fussy but I definitely like them to eat healthy and be disciplined. So to make them eat uninteresting khana, I tell them stories while they are eating. At times, I even use a sweet treat like a cupcake or a donut as a reward if Samaira accomplishes something at school.
Dishes they love
Though I cook a lot of interesting things for them, my kids love the dal chaawal and bhindi I make. However, they hate it when I make baingan and karela. I always get the looks when I cook it. Besides home-cooked Indian food, Samaira loves Chinese and Italian, just like me. I guess good taste runs in the family.
Karisma’s food fundas for kids
Children need to eat every three to four hours. Three meals, two snacks and lots of fluids. If you plan these, your child’s diet will be much more balanced and he or she’ll be less cranky because they won't be famished.
If your kids won’t eat vegetables, experiment with dips. They always help.
The more creative the meal is, the greater the variety of food they can choose from. I often use cookie cutters to turn toast into hearts and stars, which they love.
Malaika Arora Khan
Good eating habits
It’s important to develop good eating habits early on in life because they stay with you when you grow up. If you grow up with bad eating habits, you generally end up gorging on junk food, which is unhealthy. I have tried to inculcate good eating habits in my son Arhan as much as I can.
Arhan’s favourite cuisine is South Indian and Italian. He can eat any South Indian dish and any kind of pasta. But he likes it best when I cook for him. So I try making something for him every day. There’s always a special sauce with a dish. I even try and add new ingredients to the food so that it becomes tastier.
Kids generally like doosron ke ghar ka khana. It’s natural. So if he has liked a particular dish at his friend’s house, I get the recipe and make it.
Restaurants Arhan loves
Arhan’s favourite restaurants are Salt Water Café, Copper Chimney and Spaghetti Kitchen in Bandra, Mumbai. I also like visiting these restaurants with Arhan because they are hygienic.
Malaika’s healthy eating practices every mother should follow
Maintain regular meal times and discourage your kids from random snacking.
Serve meals only at the dining table and make sure he/she doesn’t eat alone or while watching television.
Always offer your child a range of healthy foods to choose from.
Be aware of what your children eat outside.
Discourage your children from buying unhygienic food from street stalls.
Teach them to discriminate between places that are safe to buy food from and those that aren’t.