1. Gadget-free meals: Switch off the TV and phone and switch on your senses. Eat with every organ of perception: tongue, hands (skin), nose, ears, eyes and relish every bite. The slower you eat, the better you chew and that’s the first step towards good digestion and therefore good health.
2. Say ‘no’: To every unreasonable demand, especially those that involve junk food. A 5-year study across EU, the I.family project, confirmed what your grandmom already knew—saying NO to pester power, a child’s tantrum in the face of junk food, protects them from developing cardio-metabolic risks like diabetes and heart disease in the future.
3. Holiday that involves moving together: This could be a trek, skiing trip, cycling, snorkelling, anything of your choice, but it must involve all members of the family. It will bring the family together and lead to better fitness both mentally and physically for each one involved. Most importantly, this totally cuts out the possibility of the kid being bored or moody during the trip.
4. Internet fasting: Once a month, adopt that as a family policy. Spend the time that you save in procuring veggies from a local market, cook together in the kitchen and eat together with huge helpings of fun and laughter. You may even have the time to run around the block or cycle to beach or a park and then race each other for the finish line. The world without internet is filled with endless possibilities; explore them together.
5. Go to a farm: And ditch the mall. Take in the sights, plough the fields, speak to a farmer and learn to tell a cashew tree from a coconut or a til from a chana field. There is no joy that comes close to planting trees or harvesting fresh produce; allow your children to soak in that joy and watch them change organically into better eaters.
6. Speak in your local language: 2019 is the international year of indigenous languages because when language is lost, culture and cuisine is lost. With that, health, harmony and happiness are lost too. Raise your children to be able to speak in at least 3 different languages, and while you are at it, document your grandma's recipes and leave them behind in your will to your child. It will be a treasure trove of good taste, memories and stories.