Thanks, mum!

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Meaningful and healthy gifts can make your mum’s day very special

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Mothers are always looking after us in a million different ways, making every day special for us. But do we make the effort to ensure that she takes care of herself, while taking care of us? As mothers, scores of women around the world ignore themselves as they get caught in the routine of caring for their family and loved ones. They forget their health and nutritional needs while juggling between child-rearing, taking care of the home, being a wife and working in a professional environment. Mother’s Day is a day especially meant to make our hardworking mums feel special, and we look for gifts to show our love and appreciation to them. But this year, let’s substitute jewellery or flowers with the most important gift of all – the gift of health. Here are a few ideas to make Mother’s Day more meaningful for your mum.

1. Fruit basket
A fruit basket is the healthiest gift you can give your mum. Fill it up with your mother’s favourite fruit or a variety of different ones, even some she may have never tasted before like rambutan, or something with a touch of home like pomegranate, guava or papaya. According to dietary guidelines we should have at least two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables every day, but most of us do not consume even one fruit a day. Fruits such as oranges, limes, mangoes, strawberries, rockmelon, and pineapple are excellent sources of vitamin C that help heal cuts and wounds, build up our immune system and keep our gums and teeth healthy. Bananas, prunes, dried peaches, apricots, honeydew, melon and orange are good sources of potassium. Fruit is also a good source of fibre. Some fruits such as avocadoes, olives are excellent sources of unsaturated fats.

2.Dark chocolate
If your mum loves chocolate and you would really like to give her some, present her with a gift box of dark chocolate. It is loaded with antioxidants which help rid your body of free radicals that cause oxidative damage to cells. But make sure to pick the ones with less calories and sugar.

3. A healthy pantry
Most of the time when your mother does the grocery shopping, it’s the children she keeps in mind and tends to buy stuff and snacks that kids like to eat. So sneak out to the supermarket and stock the pantry with healthy nutritious snacks for your mum such as yoghurt, nuts, crackers, low fat cheese, dried fruits green tea and low GI bars. Prepare small packets of mixed nuts and dried fruits, or buy muesli or nut bars and keep those ready for her to carry to work.

4. Healthy cookbook
A healthy cookbook is a great gift not only for your mother, but for the health of the whole family. Looking for the perfect cookbook can be a daunting task but try to look for something with lots of visuals, interesting and easy, quick recipes. Avoid buying cookbooks with long tedious recipes or very expensive ingredients. Try to find a book with nutrition information on all recipes and focusing on low sugar, fat and sodium recipes, or some tips on adding different herbs, spices and veggies to meals. Try to cook something from the cookbook for her on Mother’s Day as a special treat and a headstart into using the book. Or order a subscription to a health magazine, so that she has health tips on hand for the whole year

5. Kitchen gadgets
Low fat cooking is not always easy, especially for families who are fond of curries, paranthas and pakoras. But nowadays, a new range of cooking utensils can make this task easier for us. Invest in a non-stick pan that helps your mother cook with the least amount of oil. Also look for gadgets such as a wok , or a grill that makes the cooking process faster and with minimum use of oil.
6.  Cooking classes
Some mothers may find that cooking from a cookbook can be a daunting task. Instead, a voucher for healthy cooking classes can help her learn new recipes using different ingredients,
as well as different cuisines. She could also learn a lot of information about nutrition. This can be a great experience for your mother, as she will meet new people, experience a wider range of cuisine, and will learn different ways of cooking.
7. Exercise bits
Exercise is a very important part of your mother’s health. It is not essential to go and buy her a gym membership, as she may not have the time nor the inclination to give up her precious leisure time to work out at a gym. But no matter how tired one may be, just 30 minutes of walking can keep one fit and helps to decrease anxiety and stress. Buy your mum comfortable footwear to wear for her walks, and accompany her, as exercise is often easier with company. You’ll be able to spend quality time together and at the same time, stay fit. If she would rather walk alone, get her a pedometer and an MP3 player. And if she would rather just stay home, a yoga DVD and stretch mat will be a broad enough hint. But the best gift that you can give your mothers is your love, support, and time. Spend some time with her, look after her, and make her feel special not just on Mother’s Day, but every day.