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Even good food can be trouble if it is not paired properly. The wrong food combinations can trigger many health issues in kids. Read on to find out 5 bad food combinations – and how to make them better!
A lot of things go well together – Tom and Jerry, black and white, Laurel and Hardy, rain and kulhad-waali chai, hot summer afternoons and kulfi!
Indeed, some things go really, really well together.
However, the following popular food combinations can be a disaster when it comes to your child’s health and well-being! As popular and yummy as they may be, they are in fact bad food combinations, in terms of your child’s health.
5 Bad Food Combinations That Kids Should Avoid
We mothers pay a lot of care and attention to what we put on our child’s plate. We take a lot of effort and pain to make sure the food we serve our kids is healthy, nutritious, tasty and well-cooked. However, even good food can be trouble if it is not paired properly! The wrong food combinations can trigger many health issues in kids, including –
Even in cases where there is no immediate manifestation, prolonged consumption of such food combinations can give rise to lifestyle diseases like diabetes, coronary diseases, etc. It can also lead to certain organs aging faster than the rest of your body, such as liver, pancreas, etc.
Here are 5 common food combinations to avoid when planning your child’s meals… and ways to make them better, if your child throws a tantrum for them!
1. Bananas and Milk
Yes, this common and oft favourite comfort food is actually a strict no-no according to Ayurveda.
As per Ayurveda, bananas and milk are a food combination that stimulates toxin production in the body. It also makes one sluggish, and slows the mind down. Don’t believe us? Well, have you ever noticed how drowsy and sleepy you feel after having a banana smoothie or shikran (Maharashtrian dessert, consisting of sliced bananas in milk and with sugar)? You probably thought it’s a good thing, but it’s not!
The combination of banana and milk has also been suggested to affect sleep patterns… and we all know how important sleep is for children. The combination also gives rise to elevated levels of cough and mucus in the body, and is hence best avoided by children who are suffering from a cold, and also by all children after sunset. Bananas and milk combination is also a risk factor for children with asthma.
Make It Better: To make this a good food combination, add a pinch of cardamom or nutmeg to the serving. It will aid in digestion.
2. Fruits and Yoghurt
According to Ayurveda, here are the different effects that the combination of fruit and yoghurt have on the body:
- diminish digestive fire
- change the intestinal flora
- produce toxins
- cause sinus congestion
- cause cold, cough
- cause allergies
We know this might come as a surprise to most mothers, especially those who love fruit yoghurt. Packaged fruit yoghurt is often a go to healthy ‘ready food’ option for many moms. However, this is doubly harmful as it not only combines fruits and yoghurt, but also has a lot of preservatives.
Also, did you know that packaged yoghurt (plain, flavoured, or any other kind) does not contain any of the good bacteria that homemade yoghurt contains? This bacteria is the very reason why we consume curd in the first place! So, bad idea.
Make It Better: To make this combination good for the body, you can use room-temperature yoghurt. Make sure the yoghurt is plain and has no added flavours. At all costs, avoid citrus fruits and berries from the mix. Add a dash of honey and cinnamon.
3. White Bread and Jam
Perhaps the most favourite breakfast item for most kids, this combination is deadly because it leads to a sudden spike in the blood sugar level. This has two effects:
- Children might feel extremely tired once the sugar-high subsides. This can interfere with their normal routine, as halfway through their day, they suddenly get very sleepy and tired and may not be able to focus on things at hand. This can also leave them irritable and cranky.
- The second effect is: to cope with the sudden burst of sugar in the blood stream, the body works extra hard to produce a proportionate amount of insulin. This causes undue and unrequired stress for the body, especially the pancreas.
If you turn this breakfast into a habit, your child’s pancreas is going to wear out faster, giving rise to more severe health problems later.
Make It Better: It is advisable to go for fibre-rich whole-grain and multi-grain breads. It is always a good idea to skip simple carbohydrates for breakfast and to instead opt for fibre-rich foods and complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, oats, fruits, nuts, etc.
WATCH: Bad Food Combinations According To Ayurveda
4. Meat and Starch
In families that consume animal proteins, this is an important point to remember. Meats (such as chicken, lamb, turkey, etc.) and starchy foods (such as potatoes, pasta, bread, etc.) should never be eaten together, so do not serve your child this combination.
The reason is – different kinds of stomach environment are required to digest these food groups, especially in terms of level of acidity. So when you feed your child proteins and starchy food at the same time, in one single meal, your child’s body is confused about what it should digest first.
It has been largely observed however, that proteins are almost always digested first, followed by starch. However, the starch, in the meantime, gets fermented because of the acidic stomach environment. It decomposes, and gets converted into toxic end products. This can give rise to a lot of stomach issues like cramps, indigestion, gas, flatulence, and many more.
Make It Better: Eat meats on their own. Do not combine them with starchy foods. On the other hand, feel free to add green veggies to cheesy preparations like pastas.
5. Tomatoes and Cheese
Tomatoes are an acidic fruit. Combining them with starches has the same effect as combining meats with starches – the acidity of tomatoes causes the starch to be reduced to poisonous end products.
This is a particularly important combination to remember with respect to what we feed our kids, because most of kids’ favourite foods, such as pizza, pasta, etc., include this combination.
Make It Better: Prefer to cook cheesy pasta in green pesto sauce, and with lots of veggies. If you want to use tomatoes in the recipe, try and avoid cheese. As for pizzas, try and buy wheat or multigrain pizza base.
Drinking Water with Meals Is Also a Strict No!
A lot of children have the habit of drinking lots of water during their meals. In fact, mothers often sit down to feed their child with a glass of water at hand, to help their children quickly finish their meals (especially if it is a not-so-favourite recipe).
Imagine – you are trying to make coconut chutney in your blender. Once you put the coconut, green chillies, coriander, and all other ingredients in, what would happen if you added a whole glass of water to the mix? Do you think you would get a nice pasty chutney? No, right?
The same happens when you drink during your meals.
When children drink water during a meal, it dilutes the digestive juices that the body has produced, in anticipation of the meal it is about to receive. This can lead to indigestion (as the food will simply sit in your stomach without being digested and utilised by the body), usually followed by the build-up of gas.
You can, instead, encourage children to start their meal with half a glass, or few sips of water. After the meal, wait at least for half an hour before offering your child a drink of water.
It is obvious that children will still want these foods once in a while. When they do, incorporate the changes we recommended to make them healthy/less damaging. At the same time, remember, that these foods individually are good for your child! So do not deprive your child of these foods. Just don’t pair them up together. Eat healthy, stay fit!