It’s school time once again for all kids!
From playing and swimming to schooling, the shift from summer vacation to school opening season. It is busy time once again for mothers and caregivers, from shopping for school supplies and uniforms to preparing meals and “baons” for their kids and making sure that they are healthy, well-nourished and school-ready. Things can become overwhelming. Good thing the National Nutrition Council (NNC) came up with the simplified version of the Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos (NGF) called the 10 Kumainments, the Filipino family’s ultimate guide to good nutrition.
Bearing in mind some key messages from the 10 Kumainments, here are 4 tips on how you can make your children go, grow, and glow amidst school’s challenging tasks:
1. Go and glow with healthy carbohydrates: fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Kumainment #2: Kumain ng gulay at prutas araw-araw.
Fruits and vegetables are important part of a healthy diet, and variety is as important as quantity. No single fruit or vegetable provides all the nutrients you need to be healthy. Whole grains contain valuable nutrients and are comprised of bran and fiber which helps keep a steady balance of calories. Example of whole grains are brown rice, oats, cereals, whole-grain pasta and whole-wheat bread.
Unhealthy sources of carbohydrates, which we should absolutely avoid, include sodas or softdrinks, pastries and other highly processed, sweet or refined foods. These items contain easily digested carbohydrates that may contribute to weight gain and promote diabetes and heart disease.
2. Grow with healthy proteins
Kumainment #4: Kumain ng isda, karne at iba pang pagkaing may protina.
Choose fish, eggs, and poultry and other plant-based healthy protein options such as beans and peas, nuts and seeds. Limit red meat intake such as beef, pork, lamb and avoid processed meats such as bacon, deli meats, hot dogs, sausages. Lack of protein or protein energy malnutrition can cause growth failure, loss of muscle mass, decreased immunity, weakening of the heart and respiratory system, and even death.
3. Better safe than sorry
Kumainment #6: Tiyaking malinis at ligtas ang ating pagkain at tubig.
The consumption of dirty or contaminated food and water can cause a variety of diseases such as diarrhea and food poisoning, and we do not want our kids to experience these. Buy fresh foods or products from trusted market, always check the label for expiration date. If you doubt the source of drinking water, it is good to boil the water for two minutes before drinking. Separate raw food from cooked when buying, preparing and storing to avoid cross contamination.
Wash hands and utensils properly when preparing food and avoid preparation of dishes that easily spoil. Cook food thoroughly. Ensure that lunch box is clean and dried properly before putting the food for baon.
4. Be active, choose water and sleep well
Kumainment #9: Panatilihin ang tamang timbang.
Children should aim for at least one hour of physical activity per day. It lowers the risk of lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and certain cancers in the future. It can also help boost appetite, improve sleep, and keep weight in healthy number.
Provide plenty of water with every meal and snack, as well as when having play or physical activity. Remember the eight glasses a day. Enough intake of water ensures the body is well-hydrated and energized, especially during hot weather.
Enough sleep is also essential; eight hours of sleep every night helps proper growth and functioning of the body. Drinking of milk before sleeping is also recommended for kids to help make bones and teeth stronger.
NNC encourages parents, caregivers together with their children to follow and practice the messages of the 10 Kumainments for a strong and healthy kid! (Daniel G. Salunga)