Uff!! While on one hand, the whole nation is busy quarantining themselves at home and spreading messages of caution, the mothers on my Instagram page are sharing daily activities to do with kids. I personally feel this is the need of the hour and the saying, “it needs a village to raise a child”, is actually coming to be true. I wonder what I would do in this Gen Z age if there was no social media to rant to and share ideas and advices. The social media definitely comes to rescue to plan, share and execute multiple ideas related to food, home, kids and a lot other Knick knacks. One challenge I often see as a mother is to ensure that our kids are eating healthy food. I see a lot of kids eating almost everything that is served to them and then there are also kids that need food to be camouflaged in food to ensure they are eating healthy.
The finest way to get kids to eat everything is to introduce them to all sorts of foods and textures very early. The other way is to involve them into the daily cooking chores through small activities, such as peeling vegetables or taking out leaves from leafy vegetables or simply sorting them into bags based on their color. I am sure as mothers we have our own ways to ensure our kids are eating right. With the everyday changing climate and now this Corona Virus pushing us to self-quarantine, it has become vital that we work towards building immunity for our kids and ourselves.
Here is a list of foods that can be consumed daily and has an almost magical effect on our bodies.
Turmeric – This has to top the list, right from the golden latte aka haldi doodh to using it generously in meals, this spice is a healer in itself. It is a powerful anti-oxidant and should be included in your meals. The market is yet full of fresh turmeric which you can add to vegetables, rice, pulses, beans, parathas and milk. To enhance the flavor of milk you can add some freshly grated turmeric with a few strands of saffron and a pinch of sugar. It is known to cure common flu almost instantly.
Vitamin C – Our bodies need a regular dose of Vitamin C to fight bacteria and for any wounds to heal faster. Vitamin C is easily found in citrus fruits and berries. So ensure you have one serving of vitamin C every day in the form of fresh fruits, juices and vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet potato, broccoli, cauliflower and bell peppers. To make the vegetable interesting, you can either stir fry them, add them to sandwiches, parathas or make muffins out of them. Vitamin C can help in fighting bacteria that cause common cold and flu but does not help fight the Covid-19.
Dry Fruits and Nuts – I cannot lay enough importance on the goodness of including dry fruits in your diet. Yes, some of you may be allergic to certain nuts and dry fruits and hence need to make your pick wisely or consult your medical practitioner for the same. There are so many ways to use dry fruits however my favorite remains, turning them into a powdered form and adding it to milkshakes, cakes, cookies, dals and as a seasoning on fruits. One of the easiest recipe to make dry fruits powder, can be found here.
Yogurt and Eggs – Off course you don’t mix the two until you are baking a cake. Both these foods are good for your immune system. The eggs help to suffice not just your protein intake but also helps to build your vitamin D supply and the yogurt boosts your digestive system. Again, you can turn yogurt into flavored yogurts, add it to smoothies to make it more fun for kids. Eggs can be served as boiled, scrambles, as an omelet or turned into sandwiches or rolls with various fillings too. If you prefer vegan options then substitute eggs for applesauce or mashed banana in a recipe. You can substitute yogurt with coconut yogurt, almond yogurt or soy yogurt.
Mushroom and Ginger – Mushrooms are great antioxidants and when stuffed with cheese or paneer, can be a great appetizer for kids. They help in building immunity and can be paired easily with other vegetables too. Ginger is known to have natural anti- inflammatory properties and also helps cure travel or motion sickness. It helps in defending common symptoms of cold and flu. It helps in treating common stomach issues in kids, such as flatulence or gas. Besides aiding digestion it is also good for your liver and can help cure stomach pains too. Add a little extra dash of freshly grated ginger or ginger root powder to your curries, daals, and rice preparations.
Black Pepper – Black pepper is a versatile spice that not only enhances the flavor of food but when give to kids over a year old, helps to treat various conditions too. Besides helping to fight common infections, it can also help improve digestion and immune system. It has anti-inflammatory properties too. Add a little freshly ground black pepper to your food instead of your red chilli powder. You can add it to your stuffing’s for parathas and sandwiches as well. Sprinkle some chaat masala and black pepper on cut fruits or sprinkle over some boiled eggs and you have a tasty and healthy snack ready.
There are chances that your child may be allergic to certain spices or any one of these foods. You can add the ones that he or she is not allergic too. Cinnamon and oats are great for building immunity as well. The sweetness of cinnamon gets easily incorporated in cakes, muffins or milkshakes as well. Overnight oats is indeed an Instagram worthy meal. The key lies in variety of ingredients that boost our immunity. Since we have nowhere else to go for at least another two weeks, we have only our health to attend to for now and let’s do that diligently.