Most Indians are overweight or obese, and even one out of every three children fit this category, too. Most experts blame the fattening of India on oily food, sweet drinks, and high-fat and high-sugar foods.
It’s time to change the way we eat and make healthier choices. Learning about portion control can also help eliminate unnecessary and excess calories.
Decisions about what to eat from the school lunch menu, influences from friends at school, and opportunities to select their after-school snacks will affect nutritional habits that may last a lifetime.
1. Suji(Semolina) Upma
This is another variation with veggies and spices(optional).
½ cup suji (semolina)
½cup Mixed veggies – carrot, peas, beans, potato (par-boiled and coarsely mashed)
1 cup water
¼ tsp oil/ghee
Few cumin seeds/ black mustard seeds
Pinch of turmeric
Pinch of salt (salt, if added, should be about half of what is taken for adults)
1.Dry roast suji in a pan.
2.Once suji is roasted a little
3.Heat ghee in the pan.
4.Add cumin seeds/ black mustard seeds.
5.Once they crackle, add the veggies and stir. Add turmeric and salt(optional).
6.Saute for a few minutes and add suji.
8.Keep stirring to avoid lumps.
9.Bring it to your desired consistency for the baby. It should be a little thin as it keeps getting thicker once it cools down.
2. Ragi Cookies
Cookies are children’s favorite food and their all-time best friend!
• 1 cup ragi flour
• 1/2 cup brown cane sugar
• 1/2 Tbsp green cardamom powder
• 2 pinches of ginger powder
• 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
• 1/2 cup oil (rice bran)
• 1 egg whisked
• 1/2 Tbsp salt or to taste
1.In a pan mix the ragi flour and cardamom powder. Then roast this gently on a tawa till the color gets a wee bit darker.
2.In a bowl break an egg and whisk it. Add the roasted ragi and sugar into it.
4.Add the dry ginger and salt to it.
5.Then add the oil and mix well. It will look like a dark dough.
6.Make round balls and flatten them in your palms.
7.Pre-heat the oven for 5-7 minutes. Take a flat dish, put butter paper on it. No need to grease it.
8.Place the biscuit roundels an inch away from each other and bake for 8 minutes at 180 degree Celsius.
3. Steamed Dhokla
Dhokla is a vegetarian food which originated from Gujarat and the best item for breakfast.
• 1 cup gram flour (Besan)
• 1 Tbsp citric acid
• 1 Tbsp sugar
• Salt to taste
• Pinch of turmeric
• Water to make batter
• 1 Tbsp fruit salt/ baking powder, dissolved in water
• For the Tadka:
• 1 Tbsp oil
• 1/2 Tbsp mustard seeds
• 1 dried red chili
• 7-8 curry leaves
1.In a bowl mix gram flour, citric acid, salt, sugar, and turmeric. Add water and make it into a smooth batter
2.In a glass, make add the fruit salt or baking powder. Add water to it and pour this into the dhokla mixture.
3.Grease the steaming tin with 2 drops of oil and pour the mixture into it. Steam for about 15-20 minutes or till cooked.
4.In a pan, add oil, mustard seeds, curry leaves and red chilies. Let it splutter.
5.Pour the tadka over the prepared dhokla.
6.Cut into pieces and serve.
4- Lentil-Mushroom Burgers
Burgers are the all-time favorite fast food off the kids. They are considered as the fast food but can be made nutritious as well!
• 5 whole-wheat hamburger buns
• 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
• 1 medium onion, diced small
• 3 cloves of garlic, minced
• 1 package cremini or button mushrooms, minced
• 4 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped fine
• 1 cup cooked brown lentils
• 1/2 an egg
• Pinch of black pepper
• Pinch of white pepper
• 1 blob of butter with 2-3 cloves minced garlic (for buns)
• Caramelized onions
• 5 lettuce leaves
• 5 slices of tomatoes
1.Process 1 burger bun in a food processor to make crumbs. Set aside.
2.In a saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high and saute onions with a pinch of salt until soft.
3.Add the garlic, stir, and cook another minute.
4.Scrape the onion mix into a bowl. Keep aside.
5.Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, over high heat, add the mushrooms followed by salt – let the mushrooms sweat.
6.Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook until the liquid evaporates and the mushrooms turn deep golden brown.
7.Scrape the mushroom mixture into the bowl with the onions-set aside to cool for a couple of minutes.
8.Meanwhile, heat some butter with garlic and toast the buns lightly.
9.Now in the food processor add the sun-dried tomatoes, the lentils and half of the mushroom-onion mix, a process so that it is pasty yet have a bite. Pulse it slightly, do not puree.
10.Put the mixture into a mixing bowl and mix in the egg, a pinch of salt, black and white pepper.
11.Divide the lentil mixture into four portions, make each into a ball and flatten into a patty.
12.Coat the patty with the breadcrumbs.
13.Heat oil in a pan. Add the lentil patties and shallow fry on each side until crisp and deep golden.
14.Now bake the patties for 5-6 minutes at 180 degree Celsius.
15.We put it in the oven because the patties were shallow fried i.e the outside gets cooked but the inside is still mushy.
16.Place a lettuce leaf, tomato slice and some caramelized onions on each of the buns.
17.Top with the patty and close with the other half.