There was a time when we children listened to our parents and ate the wholesome food which was spread in front of them. A balanced diet of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins ,minerals, fats and roughage was the acceptable norm in every household. These nutrients were got in the form of vegetables, milk, fruit , curd, dry fruit, eggs, Pulses and Dals, home made chicken and so on.
In this day day and age, the words we hear are momo’s, pasta, Chips,French fries, Burgers,pizzas, chowmein, pav bhaji, donuts and so on ! Most of these foods are made of white flour, else overcooked to such an extent that their nutrients are totally lost. Children specially cannot eat anything apart from these Junk foods. The thought of a normal , wholesome meal puts them off, if not makes them feel nauseated ! In this generation if people can eat at least one normal meal a day, one cannot ask for more ! There would be people who would be living on junk food only and cannot digest a healthy meal even once a week !
The main reason for this could be the fact that most mothers are working mothers now, They are unable to keep a strict and close watch on their child’s eating habits, By the time she realizes that the child has got used to eating unhealthy food regularly in the canteen or with his friends, it is too late to change the habit. I too find it difficult to chose healthy food over junk food but it is time we limit our consumption of junk food .
Moreover, for paucity of time, many families resort to ‘ready to heat’ food which is easier to make but which lacks nourishment. Very often, food is also heated or made in the microwave which is very easy and fast to use. Again microwaving the food is known to remove all nutrition from the food and hence due to lack of proper vitamins the new generation is seen busily popping in vitamins and diet supplements !! Microwaving food is also known to be a cause for cancer.
It is important to educate schools and colleges that their canteens should serve healthy food. Habit of eating healthy food every day is a must with exceptions only for one or maximum two meals in a week when junk food can be enjoyed. In case one is obsessed with tasty food and cannot do without it he/she should try different recipes and try to make healthy food more attractive and tasty .Children should be made aware of various ailments like heart problems, diabetes, blood pressure and cancer which are linked to poor and unhealthy eating habits.
Lastly I feel making friends with healthy eating habits and those who focus on the right things – academics, sports , good movies and so on makes a difference rather than having friends who think only about food all the time !