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Health tips for children



Food Preparation and Consumption


Food which has not been cooked on fire has great importance for the health of the child. Cooking plays havoc with enzymes and some vitamins and minerals. For consumption of the children, the food has to be softened or mashed and that may require cooking in some cases. This cooking should preferably be done in earthenware or stoneware utensils. Enamelled vessels come next. Brass or copper vessels which have been properly tinned may be a good third.

Keep food preparing surfaces clean. Keep it away from flies, rats and animals. Steaming, boiling or baking are acceptable forms of cooking. Roasting is bad, if the colour of the roasted thing changes. Frying is the worst. Cut the food just before cooking. Cook for the shortest time possible but cook thoroughly using a tight fitting lid. The cooked food should preferably go directly from the fire to the table. The strategy should be never to leave the food at temperatures between 5C (41F) and 63C (195F) when harmful bacterial can multiply rapidly, for more than 90 minutes at a time. The food should either be kept heated or kept cooled.

While reheating the food, temperature of more than 75oC (167oF) must be reached to ensure that all harmful bacteria are killed. Use turmeric (haldi) in the child's food after he is one year old. It has many curative properties.

Spend some time in preparing the child for eating. Clean him. Change the napkin after he has been handled for urinating and bowel movement. Wash his face and hands. This routine should be so fixed that once you start with it, the child fells that all this is prelude to feeding. He gets ready for that and starts looking forward to it. Thereafter play with the child for a few minutes in such a way that both of you are laughing and giggling. That is the best time to start feeding him. That will draw the best quality milk from your breasts and that will be absorbed and wonderfully by the baby.


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