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Nutrition begins at home

health-and-fitness Updated: Jun 10, 2010 14:24 IST

Hindustan Times
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Whether or not a school offers nutrition classes, parents can teach their kids at home. Here are some tips to get started.

Shop together
Let your kids help plan healthy meals, then take them to the grocery store to buy the ingredients. Teach them to read food labels and compare items to find healthy choices. Point out that foods found around the perimeter of the store generally tend to be fresh, while those in the middle are more processed.

Plant a pepper or any another vegetable or fruit, in a plot or pot. Kids who help raise a vegetable are more likely to want to eat it. Fun plants to grow, and eat, include radishes, cherry tomatoes and peas.

Eat as a family
Research shows that kids who regularly eat family meals get better grades and are less likely to use drugs and alcohol. Maintaining a healthy weight means balancing the energy you consume in food calories with the calories you burn through exercise. It’s simple. But it requires you to check food labels, pay attention to nutrition data on restaurant menus.Kids don’t have to be fanatic about it, though; a few weeks of monitoring will give them a sense of how to maintain balance.

Let your children help cook in age-appropriate ways. Little kids can wash and tear lettuce; older children can crack eggs, and teens can help with just about anything.

Root for the beet
Beetroot is a good source of folic acid, vitamin C, B1, B2, B3, and A. It is also rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium

It helps improve the quality of blood. It lowers blood pressure and prevents cardiovascular problems.

The water in which beetroot is boiled is effective in treating pimples and boils.

It’s best to eat beetroot raw as many of its nutrients are lost when it is cooked. It’s better to eat it than to drink its juice.

Beetroot is good for pregnant women because it lowers the risk of neural tube defects in infants.

Beetroot juice cleanses the stomach, kidney, gall bladder and the intestine.

Compiled by Karina Pandya