In India, ‘Food’ has been given the prime importance at every stage of life and at each part of the country. The culinary art and the art of feeding are considered as one of the biggest responsibility of every Indian mother. Any mother’s first question for a child post their school would be about finishing their ‘Tiffin’. A day is complete for a mother only when her child drinks a glass of milk. Food is an integral part of India. Each state can be easily divided by the kind of signature dishes that stands out as the cultural emblem. Food is not just a result of a recipe but food is considered as God in India which is the very embodiment of existence. One of the Sanskrit scriptures says that the divine and the ultimate element which tops the list of the worldly pleasures is “Food”. It is only when the hunger pangs are consoled, then comes the urge to acquire the other aspects like education, money and relationships.
अन्नपूर्णे सदापूर्णे शङ्करप्राणवल्लभे ।
ज्ञानवैराग्यसिद्ध्यर्थं भिक्षां देहि च पार्वति ॥११॥
The above shloka clearly states the importance of food in the life of a human-being. The phrase “ज्ञानवैराग्यसिद्ध्यर्थं” means that food is necessary to attain education and a happy comfortable life. The true source of energy, the calories converted as the fuel to do our daily activities is carefully designed and crafted to satiate our senses in all way. The eyes look at the garnishing, the ear hears the sizzle of the seasoning, the skin feels the texture, the nose attains the olfactory nirvana and the tongue enjoys the freedom of experiencing this amazing spectacle of spices. Food is not a word; it’s an emotion for we Indians.
Food and nutrition is one of the important components of growing years for children. According to UNICEF, under nutrition constitutes 11% of the global burden of diseases for children. Food is necessary, but food with better nourishment is equally necessary to have the perfectly balanced healthy life for any living creature. We humans who are the civilized category of the living organisms of the earth require food with the prescribed nutritional levels for the better cognitive and behavioral activities of our daily life. A journey of a child’s nutrition starts form its womb, graduates with mother’s breast feed and then growing up to be able to consume and synthesize energy through the normal food which is typically taken by an adult. Each age requires different level of nutrition for a better physical and mental development. The learning age of children definitely ask for nutrition that backs up the process of better learning activity. So how can food and better nutrition help the children learn better? How can a well balanced meal prove to be a better option for a better learning? Let us discuss some of the points:
- Better behavioral development: Many of us believe that eating excess sweet based goodies like cookies and candies gives children a sugar rush and make them hyper. Similarly malnutrition can make uneven alterations in children’s behavior. Well nourished and balanced food will keep poise in the child’s activities by supplying necessary amount of energy for each and every action.
- Balanced meal for physical well-being: Child obesity is one of the most prevalent conditions in the present days. Children with malnutrition- suffering from health issues are on the contrary a major problem as well. Therefore a well balanced, nutritious food is exactly what a child needs. Proper equilibrium will help the child run, play and conduct the other physical activities with good ease than compared with the child on a heavier side.
- Improve concentration for better learning: A child who is fed with no food is as equal to a child who is over fed. Both would be unable to concentrate on their learning, resulting in a very dissatisfying learning experience. Food is like a gas of a hot air balloon. Low or higher flame can make the hot air balloon move helter-skelter, uncontrollably.
In India the concept of midday meals and providing milk for school children at some states is a welcome change by the government to provide proper resources for a better educational experience for a child. Children who come from lower income groups will seldom have any opportunity to consume some exotic food. But claiming what is their right – to have healthy wholesome meal…now this is what we have to be considerate about.
Food is not a luxury, it is a necessity. An exotic food can be a necessity for the richer class. But there are few unfortunate people in our country for whom the daily meal is itself a luxury. Let us join hands in giving our children better understanding about this. A food wasted could be a life saver for someone else. Teaching our kids not to waste food itself is educating them for a better future. A life without wisdom is like education without knowledge. Eating yes, wasting…No. Share this thought to make this world the best ever place to live in.
“EAT WHAT YOU TAKE AND TAKE ONLY WHAT YOU CAN EAT”
Heal the world, make it a better place
for you and for me and the entire human race
there are people dying, if you care enough for the living.
Make it a better place, for you and for me…