Feeding Our Loved Ones

Feeding Our Loved Ones

11 // September // 2011

Your children's health starts with you.

The start of a new school year provides a great opportunity to devote my first post to the nutritional world of our "little people", who have just ended their summer break and are starting a new daily schedule, nutrition-wise as well...

Before rushing off to fix a sandwich (details in my next post), you might want to first fix and reorganize the refrigerator and kitchen cabinets.

 

As we all know, family meals, which used to be served to diners sitting around the kitchen table, are becoming less and less common. They are replaced by “snap meals” or even “snack meals”. You’ve probably noticed how many times a day your refrigerator opens while your child grabs something to eat from it. It may be something different each time – a dessert, chocolate milk, a snack… therefore, the contents of your refrigerator and their arrangements have great importance.

 

Rearranging the Fridge

 

First, let’s discuss fruits and vegetables, which are the foods that comprise the (Hebrew) phrase “if you’re not there…you don’t exist”. As such, they should be treated as manikins in a shop window, displayed publicly at children’s eye-level and not closed and hidden in the vegetable drawer. It is advisable to wash a selection of fruit and vegetables, dry them well, and place them in translucent bowls on a noticeable upper shelf, so that every time children open the refrigerator this will be the first thing they see.

 


Don’t forget that when children come back from school, they are usually very hungry and mostly thirsty. This is a good opportunity to quickly pull out the fruit and vegetable bowls from the fridge and put them in an accessible place like, for instance, the living room table near a jug of water.

 

It is also important to have dairy products accessible to children, with the recommended intake being at least three dairy products daily. Dairy products are rich in nutrients known for their contribution to children’s growth and development. They contain animal proteins that form a unique complex of building blocks required to build tissues and muscles that develop rapidly during childhood and puberty. Dairy products are a great source of calcium, vitamin D (that assists the absorption of calcium in the bones) and other vitamins.



Pulses and the Israeli Fridge

 

 

One of the shelves that best typifies the Israeli refrigerator is the packaged spreads shelf.

 

 

Fortunately, the hummus spread enables us to enrich the children’s menu with beans and lentils (rich in vegetable proteins), healthy oils such as those found in Tahini (sesame paste, preferably whole sesame) and canola oil which is added to our hummus range.

 

 

Tests conducted recently suggest that the consumption level of beans and lentils among Israeli children is very low. It’s important to remember that beans, which are rich in vegetable proteins, complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber, can contribute much to a child’s diet and help satisfy hunger.

 

 

Having re-arranged our refrigerator, we now reach the real assignment: fixing a sandwich for kindergarten or school. More to come in the second part of my post…

 
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