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National Nutrition Week

Every year, from the 1st to the 7th of September, India celebrates National Nutrition Week to raise awareness about the importance of good nutrition and health. Eating healthy foods and exercising on a regular basis will help you live a longer and healthier life. A nutritious diet promotes a healthy pregnancy, supports normal growth, development, and aging, aids in body weight maintenance, and lowers the risk of chronic disease.

For a healthy mind and healthy body, it is essential to eat a balanced diet with high nutrition. 

This week aims at promoting the importance of a well-balanced diet, replete with all the necessary nutrients that our body requires for various functions and for the upkeep of our overall health. The week-long program is helmed by The Food And Nutrition Board of India, under the aegis of the Ministry Of Women And Child Development.  

What Is The Theme Of National Nutrition Week 2022 ?

National Nutrition Week focuses on a particular theme each year and addresses it with the launch of various programs. Last year’s theme was ‘Feeding Smart Right From Start’ and this year’s theme is – ‘Celebrate A World Of Flavours’. 

(Also Read: National Nutrition Week: Try These 5 Easy Nutritious Indian Snacks For Guilt-Free Munching)

National Nutrition Week was established back in the year 1975 by the members of the American Dietetic Association (ADA), now known as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. India began to celebrate National Nutrition Week from the year 1982.

The center plans various activities to impart education on the importance of nutrition and general health improvement through a good diet.  

Nutrition and children

The theme of the 2021 National Nutrition Week is “feeding smart right from start”. If you learn healthy eating habits as a child, they are more likely to stay with you. That’s why it’s important that you teach your children healthy eating habits from a young age.

Here are some healthy eating suggestions to consider:

  • Be a role model
  • Offer a variety of healthy food choices
  • Make mealtimes a priority
  • Avoid force-feeding
  • Skip the food reward
  • Put limits on screen time
  • Set snack boundaries
Huda High School
Huda High School

What are the benefits of good nutrition ?

A healthy diet typically includes nutrient-dense foods from all of the major food groups, including lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats, and fruits and vegetables of many colors.

  • Strengthens your immunity
  • Improves mood
  • Provides energy
  • Maintains a healthy body weight
  • Helps you live longer
  • Reduces your risk of chronic diseases
  • Reduces risk of mental disorders

What is a Balanced Diet ?

Did you know? 9 out of 10 people suffer from a protein deficiency. This could be due to the increasing consumption of convenience foods that are high in carbs and sugars and low in protein or due to lack of awareness. It is essential to eat the right type and amount of foods to support a healthy lifestyle. Always remember deprivation is not the solution, creating a balance is.

A well-balanced diet focuses on giving your body all of the nutrients it needs. It contains macronutrients such as protein, carbs, and fat, as well as micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals. These nutrients come from a variety of sources, including fruits and vegetables, cereals and pulses, meat and dairy products, as well as fats and oils. 

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy. In India, 70-80% of total dietary calories are derived from carbohydrates present in plant foods such as cereals, millets, and pulses.

Proteins

About 30 to 35% of your diet should consist of protein. This could be in the form of pulses, milk, leafy greens, eggs, paneer, lentils, meat or sprouts.

Fats

Fats provide energy, store vitamins, and synthesize hormones. About 1/5th of your diet should be devoted to fats all three kinds -polyunsaturated, monosaturated and omega-3 fatty acids.

Vitamins and Minerals

These micronutrients support metabolism, nerve and muscle function, bone maintenance, and cell production. Minerals are inorganic and so minerals from plants, meat, and fish easily find their way into the body.

They can be derived from nuts, oilseeds, fruits, and green leafy vegetables.

Prioritize Your Meals

To keep your body running smoothly, you require three main meals coupled with healthy snacking to curb unnecessary cravings. Here is what an ideal diet should consist of

  • Breakfast
    A good morning meal should comprise of three things. These are dietary fiber or carbohydrates (whole-grain bread, paratha, oatmeal), proteins (eggs and egg whites, yoghurt, milk, and sprouts) and nuts (almonds, walnuts, figs). This way you’ll eat fewer calories the rest of the day.
  • Lunch
    Make it a mix of high-fiber whole grains like brown rice, barley, or jowar, starchy carbs, and some good source of proteins like cottage cheese, pulses, lentils chicken, or fish. Include some probiotics like yogurt or buttermilk and fibre from fresh salads.
  • Dinner
    To maintain a healthy balanced diet, choose your dinner with a high satiety value, which will keep you fuller for longer and help you avoid midnight binges. Fill your plate with a variety of vegetables to load up on vitamins and minerals. Limit carbs but don’t eliminate them completely.

What Does Islam Say about Nutrition?

Allah Almighty says in the Quran: “Eat of the good things which We have provided for you.” (Al-Baqarah 2:173)

He Almighty also says, “Eat of what is lawful and wholesome on the earth. (Al-Baqarah 2:168)

Describing Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), Allah says: “…He prohibits them from all that is foul…” (Al-Araaf 7:157)

To abstain from eating without a valid reason is contrary to health protection. Hence, Islam does not approve it. Allah says in the Quran: “Do not forbid yourselves the wholesome things God has made lawful for you.” (Al-Madah 6: 87)

“And He enforced the balance. That you exceed not the bounds; but observe the balance strictly, and fall not short thereof”. (Ar-Rahman 55:7-9)

Healthy nutrition means a diet balanced in quantity. Eating too much is contrary to Islamic teachings.
In the Quran, we read: “Eat and drink, but avoid excess…” (Taha 20:81)

Allah Almighty says, “He created cattle which give you warmth, benefits and food to eat…” (An-Nahl 16:5)

He Almighty also says, “It is He who subdued the seas, from which you eat fresh fish…” (An-Nahl 16:l4)

Referring to vegetarian food Allah says: “It is He who sends down water from the sky with which He brings up corn, olives, dates and grapes and other fruit.” (An-Nah 16:l16)

Milk and honey are also mentioned: “In cattle too you have a worthy lesson. We give you to drink of that which is in their bellies, between the chyle and the blood: pure milk, a pleasant beverage for those who drink it.” (An-Nahl 16:66)

Prophet Muhammad said: “When filled with food, the belly becomes the worst container for the son of Adam. It is sufficient for a human being to have a few bites to keep himself fit (which means that it is sufficient to have only what one needs to maintain strength and well-being). If one must eat, then let him use one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for breathing.” (At-Tirmidhi)

In another authentic Hadith, Prophet Muhammad said: “The food of one person will be sufficient for two, and the food of two people will be sufficient for four, and the food of four will be sufficient for eight.” (Muslim)

Cleanliness of Food and Drink

It ensures the cleanliness of the food we handle, to avoid contamination. This protects the stomach from infections. In a Hadith, the Prophet’s wife mentions that “the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to wash his hands before eating.”

Another health rule stresses the need to ensure the cleanliness of food and drink. Islam urges that food should be covered so that nothing falls in it. A Hadith includes the instruction: “Cover your water container.” In another version, “Cover your food and drink.”