Mother’s Day 2021: Working mothers often find it hard to manage time. This results in intake of a poor diet. Here are some tips for working mothers that can help consume a healthy diet.
Mother’s Day: Add enough protein to your daily diet
- Mother’s Day 2021 falls on 9 May
- Working mothers often overlook their nutritional needs
- Eat well-balanced meals to ensure intake of each nutrient
When the world is struggling with illness, recovery and healing, changing eating habits to boost one’s immunity is the key to good health. There is a great need to work on nutrition literacy amongst population. Working mothers are no exception. Juggling between profession and domestic work, mothers hardly get time to think of their own self and work on nutrition. Today we also find more and more working mothers succumbing to pressure of work and home, that drives them towards stress eating.
Working mothers are usually in the age group of thirties and forties and fifties. Most women in this age group have one or more challenges of obesity (more fat mass than muscle weight), pains and aches (neuro muscular challenges), menstrual issues, anaemia and poor bone health. Fifties especially need a good discipline on health to manage post-menopausal health. First step should be to bring in discipline in food habits and exercise. Time for exercise is important and this will help in driving towards healthy food habits. Exercise is about strength training, flexibility and endurance. Only walking may not balance exercise benefits.
Few tips by which working mothers can balance work and health.
1. Nutrition literacy
Plan meals ahead of time with the help of good nutrition knowledge. Nutrition is about adequate amount of macros (carbs, proteins and fats) and micros (vitamins and minerals). Each meal should have an inclusion of protein and fiber for good satiety and calorie control. India is a carbohydrate eating country and this carbohydrate intake (starches/sugar) goes as unused energy and fat storage. Inclusion of combination in meals is very important.
2. Go local
Follow ethnic food practices and include indigenous foods for good health. Cook meals which give the cultural and local flavour. Use foods which are easily available. Seasonal fruits and vegetables can offer you the best nutrition.
Also read: Weight Loss: 7 Tips Working Women Can Follow To Maintain Their Fitness
3. Add protein in each meal
Protein is an important nutrient which takes care of your muscle and fat ratio, good bone health, cell wear and tear and even immunity. Protein intake, both in terms of quantity and quality, is less in Indian diets. To include protein in all meals, breakfast can have with milk/curd/ sprouts /egg , lunch needs lentils, curd, non-vegetarian sources ( fresh) and in evening a protein support of a beverage and dinner similar as lunch. If it is difficult to manage food due to time and convenience, one can include a supplement to bridge the gap, but protein should be prioritised in meals along with fiber.
Also read: Stay Healthy When Working From Home: Ditch These 5 Mistakes Today
4. Colourful kitchen
One must include different colours of vegetables and fruits on a regular basis. Make your veggies at least 5 servings and fruits to 2 servings per day. This also will drive good eating habits in your family and especially in children.
5. Avoid ready to eat foods
Efforts to plan and eat foods which balance in all food groups is very important. Nutrition comes from variety and freshly made foods. Processed foods should be minimised or can be indulged occasionally.
Also read: Post-Pregnancy Diet For Working Women: Do Not Miss These Tips
Working mothers struggle to manage time and stress. The truth is, many know what is to be done but the fact is they are unable to do. Hence a simple strategy could be to concentrate on 3 items on to-do-list regularly- Exercise daily, ensure good hydration and include proteins in every meal- this will help in building good nutrition and lifestyle changes.
(Dr. Geeta Dharmatti, Consultant Nutritionist and Registered Dietician)
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