Halal Consumer - Issue 26 - page 18

By Tayyaba Syed
As a young immigrant to this country, I
had a lot to learn about what were the
best and healthiest choices when it came
to eating. Many a times, I just ate what
was convenient or readily available not
being cognizant of what I was consuming.
This was over two decades ago, and there
was not as much awareness about healthy
eating back then. Whatever we could
afford, we ate.
One major setback that occurred from
this for me is that as an adult, it is hard
for me to let go of these bad habits.
Skipping breakfast, eating quick-fix
meals, and waiting until the late hours to
eat is what my body has become accus-
tomed to. Now as a mother, I have to go
against my poor self-training and set a
better, proper example for my children.
Breakfast is a must in our house, even if
it is a bowl of cereal. The kids are hungry
first thing in the morning, so they are not
as picky. Eggs are a staple breakfast item
for us with so many different ways to
cook them.
Lunch time is where things get tricky.
My kids are different ages, go to differ-
ent schools, and have the most different
tastes and preferences. My older daughter
wants more dry foods that can be eas-
ily sandwiched or rolled, whereas my
younger son wants rice mixed with some
kind of savory meat or vegetables. This
sounds like a recipe for more work for
mommy dearest, but I do not mind it.
With a little extra planning, meeting my
kids’ needs is doable. This way I know
what they are eating and can insure that
it is only from halal and tayyab (pure and
good) ingredients. The most rewarding
thing for me as a mom is when my kids
bring home empty lunch boxes and satis-
fied tummies.
So what am I filling their lunch boxes
with exactly? The main thing is to keep
the lunches simple, healthy, yet keeping
the kids’ particular taste buds in mind.
It is important to give moderate portions
to avoid over-eating, keep the selections
colorful, presentable, and pleasing to the
kids’ little eyes¸ and avoid any sugary
snacks or drinks. Throwing in a nice little
note also helps put them in good moods.
However, since I am still a work in progress
on incorporating a healthy eating regimen
and lifestyle for my family and me, I turn to
the experts to help me along the way.
Farheen Farooq of Schaumburg, Illinois,
is a nutrition educator for Salihah
Central, a Muslim women’s online com-
munity that teaches about various Islamic
sciences and includes information on how
nutrition affects our spirituality. Farooq
has dedicated nearly 15 years to the field
of health and nutrition. After obtaining
her Bachelor’s degree in Human Nutrition
and Dietetics, she has headed various
seminars and workshops in the areas of
eating right, stress management, exercise
Fall 2013
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