Posted by Vishva News Reporter on September 3, 2004


Schools in mumbai, India starting this school term has been checking tiffin boxes to stop kids from eating junk food in a citywide movement against obesity. Biscuits, wafers, chocolates and all other prepackaged fried stuff that makes kids fat is banned as it is found in 30 percent of the tiffin of school kids. All home-cooked meals (including vada-pao) are fine as per the schools. The tiffin  of Chapati, Vegetable/Alu paratha, Idli/Dosa, Noodles with vegetables,  Sprouts, Fruits,  Upma/Sheera,, Cutlet, pattice, sabudana khichdi, poha are being recommended to parents for children's lunches in schools.....

Now Leslie Beck, a Toronto, Canada based dietitian at the Medcan Clinic is recommending similar diet to all school kids in Canada starting this school year....Please click on the next line to read about this from Canadian Globe and Mail: .....

Kids' first lesson this fall:
eat right

Candian Globe and Mail: Wednesday, September 1, 2004 - Page A15

Another school year is already upon us. It's time for kids to trade in their swimsuits and ice cream for schoolbooks and packed lunches.

There's no question that nutrition and learning go hand in hand. Kids who are nutritionally fit are more likely to have the energy and stamina they need to perform well in the classroom and on the sports field.

Children and teenagers need to start their school day with a healthy breakfast. Research shows that kids who skip the morning meal feel more tired, restless and irritable in the morning.

And it certainly seems that breakfast skippers are at a disadvantage when it comes to school performance. Studies find that compared to their peers who eat breakfast, elementary-school children and teenagers who skip the morning meal make more errors and have slower memory recall on psychological tests.

After eight to 12 hours without eating, growing bodies and active minds need fuel. Breakfast foods such as cereals, whole-grain toast, fruit and dairy products supply carbohydrates, which brain cells use for energy.

Eating breakfast has other benefits, too. Study after study shows that breakfast skippers eat more fat, fewer carbohydrates and do not meet their daily recommended intakes for many vitamins and minerals.

Breakfast eaters are more likely to meet their daily targets for calcium, iron, vitamin A, folate, vitamin D and zinc. Kids who skip the morning meal are less likely to make up for these missing nutrients later in the day.

What kids eat for breakfast may also play an important role in weight control. Recent research reveals that kids who feast on low-glycemic breakfast foods gobble down fewer calories at lunch.

Low-glycemic foods are digested more slowly, lead to a gradual rise in blood sugar, and help kids feel full longer. Breakfast foods with staying power include bran cereals, muesli cereal with nuts and fruit, oatmeal, oat bran, whole-grain breads with nuts and seeds, apples, oranges, grapefruit, berries, grapes, pears, dried apricots, milk, yogurt and soy beverages.

High-glycemic foods are usually highly processed and may have a concentrated amount of sugar. White bread, bagels, Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, sugary cereals, Pop-Tarts and cereal bars are foods that cause bigger spikes in blood sugar and, as a result, leave kids feeling hungry sooner.

Your child doesn't have to eat a bowl of All-Bran to reap the benefits of a low-glycemic breakfast. Adding one or two low-glycemic foods -- an apple, yogurt, a breakfast smoothie, or a handful of dried apricots and almonds -- to his or her breakfast can lead to more stable blood sugars and longer satisfaction.

Next comes the school lunch. Preparing healthy lunches that your child will actually eat takes planning, communication and creativity.

Start by planning the week's lunches in advance to make shopping easier and save time on hectic mornings. Involve your kids in planning and preparing their lunches so they'll feel like they are making some of the choices. Discussions about lunches will allow both you and your child to figure out compromises.

Lunch should provide roughly one-third of a child's daily intake of calories, vitamins and minerals and should be based on whole grains, lean protein, fruit, and vegetables.

To prevent boredom, go beyond the standard sliced bread. Mix it up by offering whole-wheat pita-pocket sandwiches, whole-wheat tortilla wraps, mini bagels, or whole grain crackers. Leftover pasta salad counts as a grain serving, too.

Protein-rich foods such as lean roast beef, sliced chicken, low-fat tuna salad, hard-boiled eggs, part-skim-milk cheese, tofu cubes, and bean salad help to slow down digestion and delay hunger for several hours.

Pack vegetables and fruits that are small and easy to eat. Try baby carrots with dip, grape tomatoes, cucumber slices, or bell pepper slices. Prepare a batch of veggies in advance so they're ready throw into a lunch bag.

Instead of the same old apple, offer unsweetened fruit cups, grapes, or dried fruit snacks with no sugar added such as Sun-Rype fruit bars or Rebar Organic Food Bars. (Fruit Roll-Ups don't make the grade.) When it comes to juice boxes, save the sugary fruit drinks and punches for a special treat.

Instead, choose unsweetened fruit juices and limit your child's intake to 250 millilitres per day. Freeze juice boxes before adding them to lunch bags to keep them cold and to serve as a cold pack for the rest of the lunch.

Kids and teenagers have high daily calcium requirements. Lunch box ideas include low-fat yogurt (2-per-cent milk fat or less) or yogurt tubes, part-skim cheese strings, and 250-millilitre cartons of low-fat milk. For children who avoid dairy, tetra packs of calcium-enriched soy or rice beverages can be substituted after age 2.

What about those cookies or chocolate-dipped granola bars your kids just can't do without? Sugary treats don't have to be avoided completely, but they shouldn't be an everyday offering. Like adults, kids don't need dessert every day.

Choose low-fat granola bars with added fruit, not chocolate chips or candy pieces. Read labels -- look for bars and cookies made with whole grains and without partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.

If lunch is provided at school, get a copy of the school's menu and talk about healthier choices with your child. To help kids make healthy food decisions in the cafeteria, make lunch options a topic of conversation around the dinner table.

Going back to school presents us with a great opportunity to teach our kids how to make healthy food choices -- skills that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Leslie Beck, a Toronto-based dietitian at the Medcan Clinic, is on CTV's Canada AM every Wednesday. Contact her at


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