New Delhi: September is celebrated as Rashtriya Poshan Maah or National Nutrition Month, which serves as a timely reminder of the critical role nutrition plays in our overall health and well-being. Good nutrition is important for everyone, but it is especially important for women in their forties, who are undergoing a number of physical and hormonal changes. This article will go over the essential nutrients for women at this stage of life, as well as superfoods for weight loss and child nutrition tips.
Essential Nutrition For Women At 40
- Women in their 40s go through a variety of physiological changes, making it critical to monitor their nutritional intake. They must take extra care to get enough calcium, vitamin D, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and fibre.
- Calcium and vitamin D are both essential for bone health. Women’s bones become more fragile as they age, so it’s critical that they get enough of these nutrients. Calcium-rich foods include dairy products, leafy green vegetables, and fortified foods. Fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified foods are high in vitamin D.
- Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial to heart health. These fatty acids aid in the reduction of inflammation and the improvement of cholesterol levels. Omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, nuts and oilseeds.
- Fibre is necessary for good digestive health. Fibre promotes weight loss while also keeping the digestive system healthy. Fibre-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
An Instant Meal Plan For A Woman In Her Forties:
- Buttermilk with chia seeds; egg and wheat pancake with vegetable stew.
- Snacks: Almonds or nuts and some fruit with oilseed.
- Lunch: Steamed fish with salad, leafy greens with daal and millet.
- Carrot and cucumber sticks with hummus or steamed sprouts sundal for a snack.
- Chapati with bean curry and vegetables or brown rice with lentils and vegetable stew for dinner.
Superfoods For Weight Loss
Superfoods are nutrient-dense powerhouses that can help people lose weight. They are high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and are low in calories.
- Leafy greens, such as moringa, spinach, fenugreek leaves, kale and amaranth, are low in calories and high in fibre, making them filling. They also contain vitamins and minerals such as calcium, vitamin C, and potassium.
- Berries such as amla, guava, and kiwi are high in antioxidants and fibre, which can aid in metabolism and weight loss. They are also high in vitamin C, which is essential for immune system health.
- Lean proteins like fish, chicken, sprouts, daal, mushrooms and tofu are low in calories and fat and can help you feel satisfied.
- Whole grains, such as millet, quinoa and oats, are high in fibre, which can help you feel full and promote weight loss. They are also high in vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium and selenium.
- Nuts and seeds contain healthy fats, fibre, and protein. They can make you feel full and help you lose weight. They are also high in vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium and zinc.
Nutrition Tips For Children
Childhood nutrition is critical for growth, development, and overall health. Age-appropriate dietary recommendations are critical:
- Breastmilk is the primary source of nutrition for infants (0-2 years).
- Toddlers (2-5 years) should eat a well-balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
- School-age children (6-12 years) benefit from a variety of foods that help them maintain an active lifestyle.
Tips To Ensure Nutrition For Children:
- Give your child a wide range of nutritious foods. This will help ensure that they get all of the nutrients they require.
- Fruits and vegetables should be served at every meal and snack.
- Select lean protein sources like egg, chicken, fish, and beans.
- Limit your intake of processed foods, sugary drinks, and unhealthy foods.
- Family meals are an excellent way to introduce your child to healthy foods and teach them about good eating habits.
Common Nutritional Obstacles For Children:
- Picky eating: Some children are picky eaters who will not eat certain foods. It is critical to be patient and persistent with your child, as well as to continue to provide healthy foods.
- Snacking habits: Children frequently snack during the day. It is critical to ensure that your child’s snacks are nutritious and healthy.
Children’s Healthy Snack Ideas:
- Vegetables and fruits: Fruits and vegetables can be cut into fun shapes like stars or hearts. Fruit kabobs and vegetable sticks are also options. Fermented vegetables help to keep their gut healthy.
- Curd/yogurt: It is high in protein and calcium. To make it more appealing, add fruit, nuts, or seeds.
- Hard-boiled eggs are an excellent source of protein and iron. They are also finger foods that children enjoy.
- Whole wheat/millet/oat crackers: Crackers are high in fibre and go well with cheese, nut spreads, or hummus.
- Trail mix is a healthy and convenient snack. It is high in protein, fibre, and healthy fats.
Let us remember the critical role nutrition plays in promoting health and preventing disease as we observe National Nutrition Month. Whether you’re a woman in your forties looking to improve your health, a person looking to lose a few kilos with superfoods, or a parent nourishing your child’s future.
(This article has been authored by Edwina Raj, Head – Clinical Nutrition Dietetics, Aster CMI Hospital, Bangalore.)
Disclaimer: These are the personal opinions of the author.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.