Slideshow 7

Healthy eating is not about strict nutrition philosophies, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, stabilizing your mood, and keeping yourself as healthy as possible– all of which can be achieved by learning some nutrition basics and using them in a way that works for you.

Tips 1:

Prepare for success

To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps rather than one big drastic change. If you approach the changes gradually and with commitment, you will have a healthy diet sooner than you think.

  • Simplify. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories or measuring portion sizes, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness. Focus on finding foods you love and easy recipes that incorporate a few fresh ingredients. Gradually, your diet will become healthier and more delicious.
  • Start slow and make changes to your eating habits over time. Trying to make your diet healthy overnight isn’t realistic or smart. Make small steps, like adding a salad (full of different color vegetables) to your diet once a day or switching from butter to olive oil when cooking.  As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices to your diet.

Think of water and exercise as food groups in your diet.

 Water. Water helps flush our systems of waste products and toxins, yet many people go through life dehydrated—causing tiredness, low energy, and headaches. It's common to mistake thirst for hunger, so staying well hydrated will also help you make healthier food choices.

Exercise.. The benefits of lifelong exercise are abundant and regular exercise may even motivate you to make healthy food choices a habit. People who do regular activity have a lower risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers.
Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Tips 2:

It's not just what you eat, it's how you eat

Healthy eating is about more than the food on your plate—it is also about how you think about food. Healthy eating habits can be learned and it is important to slow down and think about food as nourishment rather than just something to gulp down in between meetings or on the way to pick up the kids.

  • Eat with others whenever possible. Eating with other people has numerous social and emotional benefits—particularly for children—and allows you to model healthy eating habits. Eating in front of the TV or computer often leads to mindless overeating.
  • Take time to chew your food and enjoy mealtimes. Chew your food slowly, savoring every bite. We tend to rush though our meals, forgetting to actually taste the flavors and feel the textures of our food. Reconnect with the joy of eating.
  • Listen to your body. Ask yourself if you are really hungry, or have a glass of water to see if you are thirsty instead of hungry. During a meal, stop eating before you feel full. It actually takes a few minutes for your brain to tell your body that it has had enough food, so eat slowly.
  • Eat breakfast, and eat smaller meals throughout the day. A healthy breakfast can jumpstart your metabolism, and eating small, healthy meals throughout the day (rather than the standard three large meals) keeps your energy up and your metabolism going.

Tips 3:

Load up with colorful fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are the foundation of a healthy diet. They are low in calories and nutrient dense, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.

Try to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day and with every meal—the brighter the better. Colorful, deeply colored fruits and vegetables contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants—and different colors provide different benefits, so eat a variety. Aim for a minimum of five portions each day.
Remember one thing ,Eat your fruit on an empty stomach,or before your meal! You've heard people complain: Every time I eat watermelon I burp, when I eat durian my stomach bloats, when I eat a banana I feel like running to the toilet, etc. This will not happen if you eat the fruit on an empty stomach. Fruit mixes with the putrefying other food and produces gas. Hence, you bloat!

The importance of getting vitamins from food
The antioxidants and other nutrients in fruits and vegetables help protect against certain types of cancer and other diseases..
The health benefits of fruits and vegetables come from numerous vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals working together synergistically.

Tips 4:

Have more healthy carbohydrates and whole grains

Choose healthy carbohydrates and fiber sources, especially whole grains, for long lasting energy. In addition to being delicious and satisfying, whole grains are rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants, which help to protect against coronary heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes. Studies have shown people who eat more whole grains tend to have a healthier heart.

Wholegrain foods such as brown rice, brown pasta and brown bread contain more fiber and nutrients than white rice, pasta and bread.

Tips 5:

Facts about Fats



Good sources of healthy fat are needed to nourish your brain, heart, and cells, as well as your hair, skin, and nails.  Foods rich in certain omega-3 fats called EPA and DHA are particularly important and can reduce cardiovascular disease, improve your mood, and help prevent dementia.
Add to your healthy diet:

  • Monounsaturated fats, from plant oils like canola oil, peanut oil, and olive oil, as well as avocados, nuts (like almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans), and seeds (such as pumpkin, sesame).
  • Polyunsaturated fats, including Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, found in fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and some cold water fish oil supplements. Other sources of polyunsaturated fats are unheated sunflower, corn, soybean, flaxseed oils, and walnuts.

Reduce or eliminate from your diet:
Trans fats, found in vegetable shortenings, some margarines, crackers, candies, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, baked goods, and other processed foods made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Tips 6:

Maintain protein daily



Protein gives us the energy to get up and go—and keep going. Protein in food is broken down into the 20 amino acids that are the body's basic building blocks for growth and energy, and essential for maintaining cells, tissues, and organs. Protein is particularly important for children, whose bodies are growing and changing daily.

Try different types of protein. Whether or not you are a vegetarian, trying different protein sources—such as beans, nuts, seeds, peas, tofu, and soy products—will open up new options for healthy mealtimes.
Downsize your portions of protein. Many people in the West eat too much protein. Try to move away from protein being the center of your meal. Focus on equal servings of protein, whole grains, and vegetables.
Focus on quality sources of protein, like fresh fish, chicken, eggs, beans, or nuts. When you are having meat, buy meat that is free of hormones and antibiotics.

Tips 7:

Maintain protein daily



Calcium is one of the key nutrients that your body needs in order to stay strong and healthy. It is an essential building block for lifelong bone health in both men and women, as well as many other important functions.
You and your bones will benefit from eating plenty of calcium-rich foods, limiting foods that deplete your body's calcium stores, and getting your daily dose of magnesium and vitamins D and K—nutrients that help calcium do its job.
Recommended calcium levels are 1000 mg per day, 1200 mg if you are over 50 years old. Take a vitamin D and calcium supplement if you don't get enough of these nutrients from your diet.

Good sources of calcium include:

  • Dairy:  milk, yogurt, and cheese.
  • Vegetables and greens
  • Beans

Tips 8:

Control sugar and salt



If you succeed in planning your diet around fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and good fats, you may find yourself naturally cutting back on foods that can get in the way of your healthy diet—sugar and salt.

Sugar causes energy ups and downs and can add to health and weight problems. Unfortunately, reducing the amount of candy, cakes, and desserts we eat is only part of the solution. Often you may not even be aware of the amount of sugar you’re consuming each day. Large amounts of added sugar can be hidden in foods such as bread, canned soups and vegetables, pasta sauce, margarine, instant mashed potatoes, frozen dinners, fast food, soy sauce, and ketchup.
Most of us consume too much salt in our diets. Eating too much salt can cause high blood pressure and lead to other health problems. Try to limit sodium intake to 1,500 to 2,300 mg per day, the equivalent of one teaspoon of salt.

  • Be careful when eating out. Most restaurant and fast food meals are loaded with sodium.
  • Cut back on salty snacks such as potato chips, nuts, and salty biscuit.
  • Choose low-salt or reduced-sodium products.
  • Try slowly reducing the salt in your diet to give your taste buds time to adjust.

Healthy Food - for Kids and Teens quote-leftquote-right

As your child grows and develops, you should provide him with a healthy diet. Here are some tips to guide you:
Plan for variety and balance
Use the Healthy Diet Pyramid as a guide when planning your child s meals and snacks. No one food can provide all the nutrients he needs, so make sure that your child consumes a variety of food from the 4 food groups:

  • Rice and alternatives
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Meat and alternatives
  • Fats, oils, sugar and salt

Remember that food high in fat, sugar and salt should only be eaten sparingly.

Since the energy and nutrient needs vary from birth to pre-school and school-going ages, there are specific recommended numbers of servings for each of the food group for different age groups. Having the right number of servings in the daily diet will help your child get all the nutrients he needs.

Food Groups

Recommended number of servings per day

6 months - 12 months





Rice and Alternatives
(Do include the recommended whole-grain serving as part of the Rice and Alternatives serving needs.)



- 1


1 - 2


2 - 3


2 - 3


- 1








Meat and Alternatives




(Do include the recommended milk serving in addition to the Meat and Alternatives serving needs.)







Build up healthy habits
Get your child to adopt healthy eating habits from a young age, and he will be more likely to continue having a preference for them as an adult. Helping your child make better food choices now will have a big impact on his health and quality of life in the future. Be a role model and make healthier choices too!
Fat makes fat
Fat is an essential nutrient in your child s diet. It provides energy and helps absorb, transport and store vitamins in the body. But too much fat, particularly saturated and trans fat can lead to excessive weight gain and health problems like heart disease and stroke.
Note that if your child is under 2 years of age, fat restriction is not recommended as he is still growing rapidly and requires more energy to fuel his growth.
Have bunch of fruits and veggies
Fruit and vegetables are bursting with vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals (beneficial plant substances) and fiber. Get your child into a routine of eating fruit and vegetables by offering him a variety of brightly colored fruit and vegetables every day. If your child simply refuses to eat them, gently encourage him to try. If he still refuses, come up with creative ways to present the fruit or vegetables. For example, cut them into different shapes and sizes. It might take several attempts before he tries them the key is not to give up!
Essential wholegrain
Wholegrain food such as wholemeal bread, brown rice and oats are more nutritious than refined grains (e.g. white rice) because they contain more vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fiber. So, remember to include them as an essential component of your child s diet.
Calcium for bones
Calcium is the key building block for strong, healthy bones and teeth. During childhood and teenage years, bones grow longer and stronger, which makes this the best years for your child to invest in his bone health. The best calcium sources are dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt. Other good sources include fortified food (e.g. soybean milk), dark green leafy vegetables and fish with edible bones (e.g. sardines).
Salt…a no no…
Reducing the salt intake in children and teens reduces the risk of high blood pressure in adulthood. Take action to influence your child's liking for less or non-salty food early in life. Limit the use of salt, sauces and salty processed food (e.g. luncheon meat, salted vegetables and chips).
Cut the sugar
Added sugar only provides extra calories to your child's diet, with little other nutritional value. Consuming more calories than he can burn through physical activity can lead to undesirable weight gain. Sugary food and drinks also increase the risk of tooth decay, especially if dental hygiene is neglected. Most children have a sweet tooth, so encourage them to consume less food and drinks containing added sugar.

Child’s physical Growth

Growth is usually predicted by genetics, but can be influenced by nutrition and other factors. So, while your child may never be pro-basketball-sized if you and your spouse are petite, it is possible to help your child grow to his full potential by working to build strong bones and muscles. The MAGIC Foundation for Children's Growth reports that children should grow at least two inches per year, prior to puberty. Height is usually set by age 18 in boys and 16 in girls, but growing can continue until age 24 when the body's growth plates are fully fused. Growth is measured at annual well-visits, so it's likely you'll know if your child is not keeping pace with his peers or if his growth has slowed significantly.

Step 1

Ensure that your child gets enough calcium in her diet. Quality nutrition prior to puberty is essential in making sure a child reaches her growth potential. Milk is a great source of calcium, adding powdered milk to recipes can increase the amount of calcium your child consumes in a day. Powdered milk can be added to soups, stews and pudding.
A daily multivitamin is also a good way to make sure your child gets enough calcium, according to some health experts, 500 mg per day for children ages one to three, 800 mg per day for children ages four to eight, and 1,300 mg per day for children nine to 18.

Step 2

Get enough sleep. It is during sleep that the body repairs itself and during which growth hormones are produced. Sleep requirements include 16 to 20 hours per day for babies up to six months, 15 hours for babies up to a year old, 10 to 13 hours for children ages one to five years, 10 hours (usually at night although naps are still fine) for children ages six to eight, and eight to nine hours per night through age 18.


Step 3

Incorporate stretching and weight-bearing exercises into your child's daily routine to maximize his growth.

Step 4

Consider underlying causes, if your child's growth seems to be lagging, check with your child's doctor about kidney disease or other disorders or medications that may be impeding her growth. If the underlying cause is treatable, or a medication can be switched, you child will grow.
Child’s Mental Growth

kids go through distinct phases of physical and cognitive development, each of which have their own specific functions and characteristics. Understanding your child's current phase of development may provide you with valuable insight into her behavior and emotional needs.

Age 4-6

During this time, your child will begin to reach out to the world outside your home, and may begin to make friends his own age. The preschool years are a time for cultivating independence and preparing to meet the academic and social challenges that await in school.

Age 6-11

During the six- to eight year-old period, children begin to focus more on friendships, developing confidence at school, and extracurricular activities such as sports. There is significant cognitive and physical development during this time. Between nine and 11, also called the "twin" years, children may begin to experience peer pressure. During this time, you can encourage responsibility in keeping with their increased independence. You should also make every effort to boost your child's self-esteem.

Age 12-16

Between the ages of 12 and 16, your child has begun to enter the phase of adolescence. This period is marked by dramatic physical changes, such as the onset of menstruation and secondary sexual characteristics. In addition, children at this age are grappling with the question "who am I?”.During this time, parents should be supportive, patient and encouraging. You can also model morals and character. While it might not seem as though your teen is watching, she still looks to you for emotional and moral guidance.