Desi food habits I adopted for my kids and how it helped
Our desi foods are loaded with nutritional benefits that buying out of season foods can never match.
I am one of those Indian mothers who is not the naturally excited ones when it comes to preparing amazing meals for the kids. For me, the main aim of food is to provide nutrition to the kids, and yes, making sure that it looks good often helps too.
On the other hand, my husband and kids are super foodies, and are fond of watching various culinary shows and trying out the recipes at home. I have been the regular sabzi mandi or sabzi shop woman, who goes out and buys the seasonal foods available in the local shops. But as the foodies in the house took over, I realized there was a shift in the way we had started cooking, and even in the way we were shopping for our foods.
I never realized when it happened, but there came a time when we switched to making all our food purchases from the mall. Of course, I can’t say I didn’t find it convenient or fun. Shopping at a mall, even if you are just buying groceries, can be a lot of fun.
Not only do you find a wide range of products and have many options to choose from, you also get a lot of additional items that you may never have thought of trying out, but since it is right there, you want to try at least once.
Dependence on packaged foods....
Also, without realizing, we started going for a lot of packaged foods, including pre-cut fruits that are not really available in India, at least not that easily. And some of them, even if I could have picked it up from my local sabzi or fruit shop, looked way more convenient when it was already in a cut and packed for me. Imagine how much time I would save on chopping and cleaning at home!
While all this seemed very convenient, I gradually realized that what I was feeding my children in the name of easy access and the international flavour was actually not even close to what our desi foods have to offer.
The realization did not happen overnight, but yes, there were some instances when the kids would keep falling sick, and were always on antibiotic routines. I told myself this was not right, and one thing I definitely wanted to do was get back to the basics – to our very own Indian kitchen!
Yes, our desi foods are loaded with nutritional benefits that buying out of season foods can never match.
Here are some desi food habits that I have started with my kids, and trust me, they really help.
- I always add a pinch of haldi or elaichi to their glass of milk. Haldi, or turmeric, has amazing antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties, preventing cough and cold, while elaichi prevents acidity, constipation, as well as loss of appetite.
- I use spinach a lot, and instead of making it as a stand alone sabzi that I know the kids will refuse, I keep adding it to other foods. So, I add it in chicken curries, inside paratha, in chilas, in dal, in mix dosa, in idli, in vegetable dalia, in soups and so on. Spinach promotes eye health, prevents cancer, keeps bones healthy, improves brain and nerve function, boosts immunity and also improves digestive health.
- Raagi is another wonder food that we have in India, and I add it to porridge, dosa, paratha, chila, cake batter (!) and so on. It is great for digestion, fights anemia, is rich in protein and amino acids and also keeps skin healthy.
- I make sure to add a healthy spoon of butter or ghee to their meal at least twice a day. While butter and ghee may not be ideal for us adults, they are still very important for growing kids. Butter contains vitamins A, D, E and K, as well as minerals such as zinc, manganese, copper, chromium and more. It also has healthy cholesterol, boosts immunity and improves brain health with its omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
- Ghee contains good calories that is great to promote energy, has good fat especially for kids, and also has anti-viral properties.
Do share your own desi food tips that you try out for your kids, so that me, as well as other moms out here, can incorporate the same too. And who knows, your tips may actually feature in another such article here! :)
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