Health Impact: Home-Cooked Meals vs. Home Deliveries
The Kerala High Court, in a recent pornography-related case, emphasized the importance of home-cooked meals for children, urging parents to avoid online food orders via platforms like Swiggy and Zomato. The court dismissed charges against a man caught watching pornography in public, stating that private viewing without distribution does not violate Section 292 of the Indian Penal Code.
Justice PV Kunhikrishnan encouraged parents to promote outdoor activities and home-cooked meals for their children instead of relying on mobile app deliveries. The court stated, “Let children savor the delicious meals prepared by their mothers and enjoy outdoor play, returning home to the delightful aroma of home-cooked food.”
Experts, including gastroenterologists and pediatricians, warn about the adverse effects of frequent outside food consumption on children’s growth and development.
Dr. Lavenya R Padmanaban, a Pediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology Consultant at Rainbow Children’s Hospital, Bangalore, highlighted the risks associated with takeaways. These include overeating, excess sugar intake, and the presence of additives that can lead to various health issues, from dental problems to obesity, diabetes, and even certain cancers.
Concerns also exist regarding the use of plastic materials in food packaging, potentially disrupting hormonal balance and causing health complications.
Dr. Shreya Dubey, a Neonatology & Pediatrics Consultant at CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram, emphasized that home-cooked meals controlled by parents are typically healthier, avoiding excessive calories and unhealthy fats that can harm a child’s gut microbiota.
Frequent outside food orders can negatively impact gut and intestinal health by replacing healthy gut bacteria with spices and preservatives, leading to issues like diarrhea and dysentery, according to Dr. Dubey.
Dr. Suresh Kumar Panuganti, Lead Consultant in Pediatric Critical Care and Pediatrics at Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad, cautioned that insufficient home-cooked meals may result in worm infestation in children, leading to anemia and other health problems.
Dr. Lavenya Padmanaban also noted that the combination of cheap ingredients in outside food can make it addictive, altering emotional relationships with food.
In contrast, home-cooked meals not only instill healthy eating habits but also encourage children’s interest in food while fostering family bonds.