Have you tucked away your new year resolutions already? Too lazy to make it happen? We thought we’d help you plan your goals for the year a little after the New Year parties have died down. Here are nutrition goals for you and your family to make 2018 a healthy one!
Spring: January to March
Fortunately, it’s still winter in most of India – keep those layers on and the food hot! Calibrate a Vitamin C rush for this season to set your child free of cold and cough. A daily dose of seasonal, juicy fruits like orange, sweet lime, indian gooseberry (amla), strawberry, black grapes, raspberry, and guava will make it a healthy winter. Add some colour to the brat’s plate with green leafy vegetables and carrots. It’s also the right time to welcome drumsticks and roots and tubers like yam and elephant foot into their diet. Finally, a handful of har bhara (fresh horse gram) to make it a hari bhari season!
Winter recipes to fight the sniffles:
Add a pinch of turmeric to warm milk and give it to your child daily or give fresh turmeric as a pickle with food as it is known to improve immunity and is an antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial.
Boil a cup of water in a saucepan, add 5 – 6 tulsi leaves, ½ piece ginger, 3 – 4 pepper corns and ajwain and allow it to boil till the water reduces to half a cup, strain and give this to your child with a drop of honey. Tulsi helps the body fight respiratory disorders and ginger boosts the digestive and immune systems.
Sesame seeds are a rich source of vital vitamins and minerals as well as rich in fiber. Add it to rotis, parathas, tikkis, or use it as tempering for vegetables. If your child’s saying no to the humble ghar ka cuisine as most kids are want to do these days, pack it into a tahini sauce and serve it with an eggplant baba ganoush. It’ll be finger lickin’ good!
Summer: March to May
Time for pressures, less physical activity and more brain stimulation – final exams are around the corner. Choose healthy snacks to make study hours fun and avoid binging. Roasted lotus seeds (makhana), sprout bhel, an egg omelette, toasted nuts, some yummy yoghurt or a simple oatmeal can be great brain stimulating foods.
And once those exams are done with, it’s time to hit the playgrounds and enjoy the outdoors. Beat the heat then with some healthy drinks:
Tender Coconut Water: Coconut water is refreshing, easily available, loaded with essential nutrients and also helps maintain the electrolyte balance in the body.
Buttermilk / Lassi: Both are great summer drinks because of their cooling effect. Also, yoghurt contains friendly intestinal bacteria which helps prevent digestive problems caused due to the rise in temperatures.
Aam Panna: It perfectly maintains the mineral balance in the body and regulates the level of hydration in the body.
Summer ingredients to fight heat strokes:
Another simple yet refreshing remedy for instant relief from the heat is saunf (fennel seeds) OR falooda seeds soaked in water can also be added to natural drinks. Black Currant helps cool down the body heat while also supporting better digestion.
Some interesting salads, soups and juices with pointed gourd (parwal), raw tomato, bitter gourd (karela), mango, pear, watermelon, muskmelon, and bitter curry leaves will help hydrate, detoxify and deal with the climatic changes that hit the body.
Monsoon: June to September
Although the monsoon offers welcome respite from the heat, this is also a time when most children suffer from low immunity, catching common cold, viral fever, diarrhoea, jaundice, malaria, etc. It is very important to ensure that kids are fed healthy and fresh home-cooked food during this season.
Though bhajiya, vada pav and such fried foods set the right mood on a rainy day, it is good to limit intake of these. In fact, add lot more fibre and vitamin-rich foods like veggies and fruits in your family diet. Not to forget the proteins that will help boost your child’s body strength. It is best to avoid green leafy vegetables during these times for the soil and bacteria they bring along.
The festive season: October to December
Beat the October heat while you enjoy Diwali and burst some crackers, with yummilicious custard apple. You can also have home-made ice creams. Make it a healthy Dusshera, Diwali, Durga Puja and Christmas. Choose healthy sweet options like dry-fruit based sweets over mawa based mithais. Opt for honey dipped almonds, til chikki or dry fruit chikki over salted cashews. Opt for roasted tasty lotus seed puffs (makhana) over the usual fried eateries traditionally made for the festivities. Pani puri /gol gappa / puchka is a good tangy delicacy to have while you celebrate. Pudina nimbu pani is also a great drink to help beat the October heat.
With the right diet, let us equip our children to have a healthy year all year round. Happy New Year, once again!
– Urvi Jhaveri, Head Nutritionist, Cuddles Foundation