Major reasons why your child at any age from birth till adult needs the right food and not just for their survival sake!
- Brain development and learning
- Healthy and strong bones
- Sufficient energy to sustain their daily activites
- Boost and strengthens their immune system
- Prevent risk of obesity or overweight
You see, kids are being fed by parents with fried sausages, chicken nuggets, canned or bottled juices, packaged or processed food, cereals, snacks and many more which provides zero nutrition. In fact, they end up buying the same type of food at school. I’m speaking particularly in Malaysia. I hate to draw comparisons but in some other several Asian countries, such as Japan and Korea, nutritionists are being hired in primary schools to inculcate healthy eating habits in the young. While in Malaysia, school canteens sells exactly what we shouldn’t provide for our childrens. And sad to say that most childrens may not know the difference between a potato and a tomato.
Parents plays an important role in educating their child. Some may say that its not safe for childrens to linger around the kitchen as its dangerous and risk involve in accidents. I could not agree more. However, there are many ways to get your child involve. Take example, bringing your child for groceries shopping, allow them get involve in minor food preparations like sandwich etc. You’ll be suprise how this little minor events could bring you a long way.
In 2014, NSM ( Nutrition Society of Malaysia ) conducted a nationwide study called “My Breakfast”, of over 8,000 primary and secondary school children. It found that the number of overweight and obese children in rural and urban areas was high, at close to 30 per cent in primary and secondary children.
Recently a local Malaysian named Visken Lakhiani voiced out his opinion on how Nestle advertises Milo. In his video which went viral over 24k viewers had got the attention of many concern Malaysians including me. His video was focussing on the amount of sugar that Nestle has put into Milo and made it clear that it is bad for our health and could possibly lead us to obesity if taken in excessive amount everyday.
And since he mentioned a particular ingredient called Maltodextrose it has also took my attention to find out. So what is Maldtodextrose? It’s an artifically produced white powder that can be enzymatically derived from any starch most commonly made from corn, potato starch or wheat. It is actually highly processed eventhough it comes from natural food. It undergoes a process called partial hydrolysis to produce its white powder form.
Why is it used in food ?
Well, for many reasons actually. Maltodextrin is generally used as a thickener to increase the volume of a processed food. It helps thickens food products such as salad dressing gelatins etc. It also acts as a preservative to prolong a certain product shelf life. Combine with artificial sweeteners it helps to increase the sweetness in any food like your beverages or canned drinks.
However, this ingredient Maltodextrine is highly controversial.
It spikes up your blood sugar level pretty fast due to its high glycemic index. This easily digest Maltodextrin gets into our blood stream quite fast and helps give us a quick boost of calories and energy. And perhaps this is the reason why Milo is a boost energy for kids in their advertisement. However, due to its capability spike up our blood sugar level in no time. Patients with Diabetes and insulin resistance are not recommended to take Milo or any other product containing Maltodextrase. And for others, if it arent’t used for energy they’re stored as fat. Hence, obesity in a long term. But bare in mind that usually it is used by athletes or bodybuilders to gain weight. So, the choice is yours.
According to Nestle “We keep the amount of sugar we add to a minimum – adding only 6gm of sugar for every 200ml serving, which is about one teaspoon of sugar. This is to maintain the taste that Malaysians are familiar with,” the statement said. Some even argue that Malaysia milk is considered very expensive about RM7 for 1.5 L, reason why parents turn to Milo instead of milk.
And difference between manufacturer and you is that manufacturer uses Maltodextrin because its versatile in its uses. As for us, we have options, always. Choose to subsitute if you still dont prefer to have this particular ingredient inside your drinks or food ( honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar or corn syrup ).
Well, i personally dont take Milo as often. Probably just once in two months or not at all. Not that i’m againts Milo or anything, i just prefer having a better fuller and healthier breakfast in the morning. Something that i can actually munch along the way even on those rush days.
Despite the obvious facts, we still refuse to make changes. Eating the right food begins at home and at a young age. Breakfast is one of the important meals of the day because your body needs the right essential food for it to function at its optimum. For a little change, how about beginning with simple steps. Not telling you to overhaul your fridge and load it with all those organic labelled food products and eventually put a hole into your wallet. But some of those healthy ingredients you might already have lying in your pantry. So, the choice is ours. Feeding your body with the right proper food is also as important as pampering your skin. Be wise when selecting what you put into your body because a little goes a long way.
Here’s some tips to encourage healthy eating habits for you and your child.
- Find out what your child needs according to their age.
To know more click on the link below for Malaysian Dietary Guide summary
2. If your child is a fussy eater, getting them involved with the process can help. Ask them to choose what goes into their lunchbox and then let them help you prepare it. Rewarding them when they try something new can also help to encourage them to be more adventurous.
3. Setting a good sample and role to your children.
4. Cooking more meals at home rather than spoiling yourself and them with fast food outside.
5. Get kids involve more in preparing meals.
6. Try avoid buying unhealthy snacks often during groceries shopping.
7. Spend a little time to educate yourself about good or bad ingredients.
8. Watching cooking channels at free time.
Here’s a little random quote
“Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food” – Hippocrates