As people today are aware of their daily eating habits, about good and bad foods, are they aware of the fact that their mind plays a very powerful and an essential role in the food they consume? Everyone shares a different relationship with food, for some food helps them with stress whereas others think the food is only about fitness. The great Sufi poet Rumi once remarked: “The satiated man and the hungry man do not see the same thing when they look upon a loaf of bread.”
“Does human psychology play an essential role when it comes to food?” this is a commonly asked question and many people believe that it is simply true. We all know that people into fitness are no strangers to counting calories when it comes to knowing our foods. Neuroscientist Rachel Herz believes we can grow numb to this type of information. According to one study, she says, posting calories in restaurants made a slight impact, though these effects faded quickly. But another study did show something that was able to alter buyers’ long-term behavior. It found that instead of displaying calorie counts, posting the number of miles you’d need to walk to burn off a soda shaped consumer choice.
India has the most diverse food landscape with food savvy billion plus population and an unparalleled spectrum to explore, in the world. You can choose ingredients in synchronicity with the season and time of the day and let your food create the magic.
In our search for food curators in India who are creating unique, new age cuisines, we chanced upon Sakeena Verma, a former corporate honcho and now a dedicated mother. She loves to cook delights, researches food literature, studies the complex interplay of ingredients and the subtle nuances of how to cook and indulges in keen experimentation. Sakeena told us that,
“I would like to explore how to make the most of the original flavors of each food ingredient through the range of Indian and International cuisine. Dishes, seasoning, use of cutlery and visual presentation are my outlets of expression. Our flavor-some Indian ingredients or the exotic International flavours are conducive to my style of cooking. Food, family and friends weave a fascinating fabric in my life; and I enjoy their conjunction in my culinary orchestra.” She also tries to understand the historical origins of food and how food fits into the human psychology. She consults professionally on food styling, recipe(s) & menu designing. She shares her different culinary photos and videos on Instagram with handle @culinarypassions.
Eating is as habit that needs to be cultivated and formation of any habit demands change, which is tedious. Sakeena shared an interesting perspective on this issue.
“Eating healthy is a good habit and like many other good habits it comes to us with repetition and persistence. Most mothers struggle with feeding children let alone feeding nutritious food. I have been through the same, so completely understand the frustration all mums go through. I decided to act, keep my frustration at bay and made some changes in the way we consumed food at my home. Today both my kids eat well, they eat healthy and make the right food choices.”
Often mothers find it difficult to incorporate healthy and nutritious food in day to day life of their children. The most important thing here is to trick their minds into eating healthy, as mind also plays an essential role in the foods we consume. So, here are some tips from her to make your children eat healthy and help them make right nutritional food choices –
1. Be a good role model - Children learn by looking at you. So set the right example by eating right. Eating healthy must become a daily routine. Make it a habit in your home. Looking at you your kids will also learn.
2. Be creative - Cook the food your kids like but creatively hide the nutrition in it. For e.g. If they like to eat white sauce pasta just add loads of finely chopped spinach in it. The taste of the Spinach (which your kids might resent) will get masked by adding garlic and herbs in the béchamel sauce. Make the food colorful, style the food creatively.
3. Give them variety - We all get bored of having the same food every day and expecting kids to eat the same food might not satisfy them. Planning a menu can be a challenging task and a simple solution to that is to include a variety in your meal planning. This will help kids taste different types of ingredients, textures and flavors.
4. Smaller plates, Smaller bites, more chewing - Make smaller plates for your kids. They get overwhelmed by looking at huge quantities in their plates. Encourage them to finish the small portions and later refill if required. All this will ensure that your kids lead a healthy life and remain happy.