Children are big motivators for parents to change their eating habits towards more healthy meals. Right from your pregnancy days to feeding your toddler to preparing meals for teens, a mother always tries her best to sneak in some nutrition in her kid's meals. And if you are blessed with a naughty and fussy eater, the challenge is even more interesting!
Here are few easy and no-fuss tricks which have helped me to make my home cooked meals more nutritious and raise the health quotient of my family.
1. Instead of sticking to regular whole-wheat flour for your rotis and parathas, you can mix the flour of different types of grains. Try a combination of whole-wheat flour with powdered rice, kala chana (Bengal gram) soyabean, chana dal or arhar dal. Alternatively, you can add besan (gram flour), maize flour or bajra. Kala chana is good source of zinc and protein and very high in fibre. Chana dal is high in protein and dietary fibre and very low in fat.
2. Powder soya nuggets really fine and add about a handful to your regular whole- wheat flour when you knead it. Keep the powder handy in an air tight container so that you can add it all your batters like pakodas, chillas etc. Soyabeans contains 43g of protein per 100 g which is highest among the pulses.
3. When making a pie crust, mix equal quantities of plain flour with wheat flour and 2 tablespoons of wheat bran, this will increase the crust's fibre content and will also make it crisper.
4. When making aloo parathas, vadas, tikkis, bread rolls etc add boiled dal (or leftover dal) from the previous day and grated fresh vegetables like carrots, cabbage, cauliflower etc to the potato mash to make it healthier. Leftover dal can also be used to knead dough for roti and parathas.
5. Powder almonds fine and store in an airtight container. Use it for coating instead of maida or cornflour. Sneak more walnuts in your diet by tossing some in your salads, pastas, brownies or blending in smoothies.
6. A wonderful and efficient way to get your daily dosage of fresh vegetables is to make a nutrient rich smoothie. Roughly chop a fresh tomato, red bell pepper, cucumber, onion, beetroot, carrot, celery and lettuce. Put them in a mixer and add some lime juice. Add some water if it is too thick. Blend smooth and strain and season with salt.
7. Vegetables fight off free radicals that cause cancer, but they lose nutrients while cooking. Hence instead of boiling and blanching vegetables, try steaming them. If you need to boil use the leftover water in dal, curry or to knead dough. Add potatoes, pumpkins, French beans and carrots to your tomato sauce to make it more nutritious.
8. Marinate meats to reduce the amount of harmful compounds formed during the process of cooking. Curd-based curries are more heart healthy than those made with cream or butter.
9. Tofu made from curds of soya bean milk is a great alternative to paneer. It is high in protein and is known to bring cholesterol down.
10. Fresh fruit yoghurts are healthier than heavy fat rich puddings. Another good desert option is to serve fresh fruits with chocolate dip.
Do try these little additions in your kitchen and enjoy the difference!
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