Monday, 12 May 2008

Parenting Course Notes - Week 7

By Umm Zaidah Nusaybah

Balanced diet

In this session we discussed the importance of eating a balanced diet, the different food groups and how we can incorporate healthy eating in our own families.
We were asked to discuss what it means to have a balanced diet. We came up with the following points:
• Protein
• Dairy products
• Rest/sleep
• Moderation-in what we eat
• Regular meals-not skipping any meals
• Variety
• Fluids
• 5 a day
• Exercise
• Full fat for under ones

We discussed the five food groups and the types of foods in each group. We also discussed the amounts we should consume from each group.
Protein-fish, meat
Fibre-brown bread, brown rice oats
Carbohydrates-pasta, potatoes
Fats and dairy-cheese, milk
Fruits and vegetables- apples, strawberries, cabbage.

Carbohydrates can be classified into two categories, refined carbohydrates which consist of white rice, white flour and unrefined carbohydrates which consist of wholemeal bread, brown rice, brown pasta etc. Unrefined carbohydrate is better for us to consume especially for those of us trying to lose a few pounds.

Fruits and vegetables have a lot of vitamins and minerals. We should try to eat at least five portions every day. I know this can be quite hard with all the unhealthy alternatives on offer (i.e. cakes, biscuits) but we should adopt this habit especially when we have our children to think about. So instead of giving them sweets, biscuits and other junk food as snacks we should replace these with fruits and other healthier snacks insha’Allah.

It is sad to so many children who are over-weight. We as Muslims should remember that our children are a trust from Allah for whom we will be questioned about. Therefore, we must make sure that they eat a healthy balanced diet to keep them fit and free from illness insha’Allah.

Most vitamins cannot be made by our bodies so we need to take supplements.
Vitamin A looks after our eyes and skin cells. Examples of some food that contain vitamin A are sweet potatoes, oranges, dark green leafy vegetables and carrots. Vitamin A deficiency may lead to impaired vision or blindness.

Vitamin D is obtained from direct sunlight. This vitamin helps us to absolve calcium into our bodies. Foods that contain vitamin D are oily fish and dairy products. Vitamin D deficiency is known to cause several bone diseases.

Vitamin E fights free-radicals (which damage our cells). This vitamin is found in vegetables, poultry, fish and fortified cereals. A deficiency of vitamin E may result in muscle weakness, blindness, poor transmission of nerve impulse.

Vitamin K helps us to make protein. Foods containing vitamin K are soya oil and margarine. Lack of Vitamin K may lead to massive uncontrolled bleeding, malformation of developing bones.

Vitamin B helps the flow of blood smoothly. Foods that contain this vitamin are potatoes, bananas, lentils, liver oil, liver, turkey and tuna. Vitamin B deficiency can result in anemia, acne, disease of the nervous system and heart.

Vitamin C is important for the development of bones and skin. It also helps to observe iron. Foods containing vitamin C are spinach, broccoli, and citrus fruits (did you know that peppers contain four times more vitamin C than oranges!!) Lack of vitamin C may lead to developing scurvy.

Minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Sodium are also needed. Foods containing these minerals are milk and dairy products.

Allah says “And eat of the things which Allah has provided for you, lawful and good and fear Allah in whom you believe” (Mai’dah V:88)

Allah has blessed us with so many variety of foods alhamdulillah but we should stick to the ones that are lawful and GOOD insha’Allah.
And Allah knows best.

By Umm Zaidah Nusaybah


Hayath said...

Asalamu alaikum, you've shared a really important topic, sadly alot of kids are overweight, nt jus for kids but getting fruit and veg in our diet is everyone's weak point.
Mayb its bcoz we aint doin enuf to make fruit n veg desirable, for kids its always an idea to make something out of it e.g mush up some banana's and make interestn shapes wid dem. Or jus cover a bowl of fruit with some ice cream, dat helps me even if the ice cream disapears first.We can jus make some interestn fruit bowls and sprinkle a little chocolate on top, wudnt it b worth a try. How about fruit on top of a cone instead of ice cream?

Hayath said...

It's hard to force fruit n veg down u wen u least want it. Now that its summer I've found that my throat is really dry early in da monin,instead of gettn rid of dat thirst wid a quick glass of water mayb I shud try n gobble cool fruit down me then.Mayb dawns a nice time to get fruit n fluids down u, refresh and reflect!

Umm Zaidah Nusaybah said...

Wa alaikum assalam sister, Jazzak Alllahu khairan for your input.

One sister told me that she washes all her fruits before placing them into the fruit basket so that whenever her children want to eat it, they can simply take it and eat it without any fuss MashaAllah.

Another sister told me that she blends vegetables and then pours it over her childrens food as gravy!!

I give fruits to my daughter as snacks instead of junk and she loves it alhamdulillah.

Anonymous said...

Jazakillah ukhtee. I think everything in moderation. I do give my children crisps now and then and fruit and nut bars etc as well as fruit.