Do you have such an arrangement at your home?
Your child opens the refrigerator, picks up anything she/he wants to eat, without bothering to ask for YOUR PERMISSION. Or without asking what he is allowed to eat.
Being an affluent parent, who wants his/her child to be least distracted by food or interesting food, you have no issues with such freedom.
Or being an informed parent, you have a perception that any parent must not interfere in what a kid eats at home, till the food being munched into is healthy.
And being a caring parent, you ensure that your refrigerator must always be stacked with nutritious eatables.
You are not helping your kid, either today or in his/her life as an adult.
Unknowingly you are putting your kid in a path where, any metabolic disorder will hit him/her sooner than those having a different food arrangement at home.
But even if you have the above arrangement at home, you must not blame yourself. As this kind of arrangement is fast catching up in India as well, replacing a better one, which countries such India earlier conventionally used to have. The primary reason for that is global lifestyle, increasing affluence, food fads, internet, sophisticated fast food joints mushrooming up etc.
In simple, what developed countries such as America adopted some thirty years ago. We’re adopting now.
It’s not that America has not benefited from this arrangement: Americans who had least restrictions regarding the type of food, the quantity of food and the time of eating ended up creating one of the most successful businesses. An entire generation of Americans are well-fed as well. You may have read about numerous dorm and garage stories, where people started businesses in their sheds, woke up all night and kept their refrigerator doors eternally open (add to this the leftovers of junk food and their packaging littered all around the room).
But there was serious flip side to such a lifestyle. America as a nation, today is struggling with one medical complication or the other arising out of poor and inhibition-free food habits.
In contrast, countries such as Japan, China and India… with some of the most restrictive food and eating arrangements at home, are less prone to such metabolic diseases. Our numbers simply swell up, because we have more population.
In these countries from time immemorial many people are following a two meals a day routine. And in contrast to the American philosophy, they believe that food should always be given only that much importance; which keeps a person dedicated to his duty. A student’s duty is to study, a sportsperson’s to play game well, a businessman’s duty is to generate wealth and householder’s duty is to give a good life in all respects (obeying, enlightened kids and content spouse).
So without dragging the point further, let us discuss the different arrangement every mum should have in her home:
1) Don’t stack the refrigerator with food or fruits. Keep the quantity as per requirement.
2) Although many cultures have shown that even two meals a day or at best three for a normal person is sufficient to work well. If the need be get something cooked or cook yourself.
3) Make a RULE: No one will pick any eatable with YOUR PERMISSION. That includes not only snacks but nutritious or healthy food too.
4) Don’t allow the kid to eat too many times; don’t allow meal number to exceed 5.
5) If you from inside feel that the last main meal was sufficient. Don’t allow anything till the next main meal. Instead try to divert his/her attention to something more positive.
6) Have an eye on the money the kid keeps and the number of time he ventures outside. On this front a discipline imposed by you, allowing the child the make positive changes to it as time progress, is necessary.
7) Last but not the least, make it a RULE: Kids should obey their parents.
Some among you will find this a little too extreme, but the arrangement that I discussed above is best for your kid. I have read books, I have seen people who had lived their childhood under the same arrangement living a healthy and illustrious life.
The idea is not to cull the healthy growth and development of your kid by imposing too much food or other restrictions. The idea is to let him/her live a life that though is somewhat restrictive, still prepares him/her for an enlightened mind.