HEALTHY EATING FOR CHILDREN

Kid’s meal in a day

How much food is enough for my kid? This is one question that every parent faces in day to day life. Providing all the basic nutrients to their kids in the right quantity is what every parent is thriving for. With a rising childhood obesity rate, parents are often worried that they are over feeding their kid. On the other hand, being underweight is also a major concern for parents. Kids of different ages need different amount of calories in a day depending on their existing weight and activity levels. 

What is a healthy meal?

Choosing the right amount of calories, fulfilling children’s daily nutritional requirements and planning their meals to make it tasty yet healthy is a herculean task for parents. A healthy or balanced meal is one comprising all the three food groups: proteins, carbohydrates and fats along with micro nutrients such as vitamins (vitamin A, B, C, D, E,K), minerals (calcium, zinc, iodine), fiber and water in the right quantity. It has been found that children who eat a balanced diet are healthy, lead an active lifestyle and have lower chances of developing any health issues at a later age.

Why do kids need nutritionally adequate food?

Nutrients that we obtain from food have significant effects on our kid’s physical and mental growth and development, maintenance of normal body function, physical activity and overall health. Requirements of essential nutrients vary with age, gender, physiological status and activity. Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are macro-nutrients which are needed in larger quantities whereas vitamins and minerals are needed in smaller amounts. Children, in particular, need healthy meals to complement their growing bodies.

What problems the kid might face due to lack of proper nutrition in their diet?

Nutritional deficiency is a major factor contributing to various diseases like obesity, iron deficiency, weak vision, hairfall, dry skin etc. In school-children, proper nutrition becomes more important to prevent them from falling sick regularly which affects their learning capabilities. Few nutritional problems faced by school going children are obesity, eating disorders, low immunity, dental problems and anemia.

How to plan your Kid’s meal?

With all the information about the importance of a balanced and healthy diet, the next question that comes to a parent’s mind is how can they provide all these nutrients to their children, how many meals should they have and what all to include in their meal so that it is appealing to kids and healthy at the same time. A child’s daily calorie intake depends on the kid’s age, current weight & activity levels. Four meals a day with a gap of three hours is advisable for kids as well as adults.

Depending on their recommended daily calorie intake, parents can plan each meal with a proper amount of nutrients and calories. For example, if a kid’s daily calorie need is fifteen hundred calories, then he/she can have four meals, each meal approximately comprising three hundred calories. Some important points to remember while preparing your kid’s meal are: choose a variety of foods depending on their age, gender, physiological status and physical activities combining whole grains, beans/ lentils and greens in appropriate amounts, prefer fresh & locally available fruits and vegetables and encourage mindful eating for kids, which means that they understand what they are eating and for which purpose. This understanding in kids at a young age goes a long way in making better food choices for themselves.

What are the food sources for various food groups?

Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are also known as energy giving foods. It means, they are one of the three main ways from which the body obtains energy or calories. Foods rich in carbohydrates are important part of healthy diet. It provide glucose, which is converted to energy and further used in body functioning and physical activities. Carbohydrates are found as both simple and complex carbs. Food sources such as fruits, milk and milk products are quick sources of energy called simple carbs. This can also include refined or processed sugar or syrups or soft drinks or other processed and packed foods. Vegetables, whole grains are types of complex carbs which take longer to digest and breakdown into energy. They keep the body full for longer and are often loaded with fiber, also supporting a healthy weight. (What are some healthy weight gain foods?)

Proteins: Protein acts as building blocks for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. It is made up of chemical called amino acids. Amino acids are necessary to make protein in the body. Consuming variety of food results in higher chances of eating all 20 amino acids required to build proteins. If there is a shortage of amino acids required, the body stops making protein. The bulk of food consumed is then stored as fat in the body causing weight gain. Proteins are necessary to build and repair muscles and bones and to make hormones and enzymes. Protein group includes all meat, poultry, seafood, beans, peas, eggs, soy products, nuts and seeds. (What are some easy protein sources?)

Fats: Fats are a concentrated source of energy and are made of fatty acids in different proportions. Fats also promote the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, E, K. Nuts & seeds, vegetable and nut oils, ghee, butter are sources of fats. Liver helps to breakdown fat in the body. Excess fat intake can put extra pressure on the liver resulting in likely damage. Also, any additional fat not used in the body is stored in the cells for later use at specific fat reserves (hips, thighs, upper arms, tummy) in the body. Body needs fat for energy, producing hormones, keeping body warm and protecting it against infection. Fat is extremely important for the brain also. Fats can be saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and found mostly in dairy products, animal products and processed/ packaged foods in high quantity. Unsaturated fat is the good fat found in plant sources (except also in fish) like avocado, olive, nuts & seeds, fish (sardines, salmon). This fat is mostly liquid at room temp. While choosing a food, it is advised to keep the saturated fat as low as possible. (Which fat is good for the body?)

Vitamins and minerals: Vitamins and minerals are called protective foods as they help to remove deficiencies, build bones, heal wounds, fight diseases and build strong immune system.

Vitamins are important for various processes and maintenance of the structure of skin, bone, nerves, eye, brain, blood. Vitamins are water-soluble or fat-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin A, D, E and K ) are found in leafy vegetables, animal products, nuts & seeds, vegetable oils, dairy foods. Water-soluble vitamins (vitamin C, the B vitamins) are commonly found in nuts & seeds, fruits, vegetables, grains, milk and dairy foods. (What foods have which vitamins?)

Minerals include calcium, iron, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, chloride and sulphur are found in nuts, seeds, shellfish, chicken, eggs, beans, cocoa, avocados, berries, yogurt and cheese. (What are some vitamins and minerals for bones?)

Recipe: Oats Cake

  • 1 cup oats flour (grind oats to make flour)
  • ½ cup milk (or nut milk)
  • 2 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
  • 2 eggs beaten or flax-egg (2 tbsp flax seed powder mixed with 12 tbsp warm water. Leave for 5 minutes to make lumpy paste)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup jaggery or coconut sugar (as per taste)
  • ½ tsp vanila essence (optional)
  • ¼ tsp salt (epsom salt preferred)

Mix all with hand and pour in a lined pan. Preheat at 200 celsius for 5 min. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let it cool outside. Serve.

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THESE BEAUTY FOODS WILL GIVE YOU THE BEST SKIN AND HAIRS OF YOUR LIFE

You are what you eat!

Your personality is mirror of your diet. Kids having healthy and nutritious diet not only feel energetic throughout the day but also look great in terms of their skin, hair and overall appearance.

Taking care of your kid’s skin and hair is as important as their health. Kids are more prone to skin and hair problem as they are exposed to the sun and dirt more as compared to adults, primarily because of school activities and other sports and social activities. Dry skin, itchy and red skin, fizzy hair, grey hair, hair loss and dandruff can be possible because of sun and dirt. By giving balanced and nutritious diet you can help your child best skin and hair that lasts a lifetime. (some food and tips to tackle dryness?)

Nutrients for glowing skin and hair growth:

Healthy fat– This includes both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids which are kinds of unsaturated fats. For healthy skin and hairs we need a balance of both types of fats. They can help to get glowing skin and shiny hair, lack of these healthy fats in your diet may result in dry skin and itchy scalp. (Is fat good or bad for body?)

Protein– Protein like Keratin, collagen and elastin is important for the structure of the skin and hair. Collagen and elastin provides smoothness and elasticity to your skin while keratin is structural substance for healthy hair. It forms rigidity of your skin and hairs and helps with the barrier protection that your skin offers to fight against dust and pollution. (List of some easy protein sources)

Vitamin A– All cells need vitamin A for growth and protection against damage. It prevents skin and hair from sun damage. Vitamin A helps skin glands to make oily substance sebum which moisturises scalp and keep hairs healthy. (how does this help with acne?)

B- vitamins-All the 8 B- vitamins(B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12) are essential for proper functioning of body, for cells growth and development and offers numerous benefits to skin and hair. Inadequate amount of these vitamins can lead to dry and flaky skin and scalp. (what are some food options for this?)

Vitamin C, E– Vitamin C is essential to make collagen which is key to healthy skin. Both these vitamins act as antioxidants to reduce free radicals (what are these?) and protect skin from UV rays. Vitamin C and E work together to strengthen cell walls.

Zinc– Zinc plays an important role in hair tissue growth and repair. It helps to keep oil glands around follicles work properly. Zinc helps your skin to heal after an injury. It forms a protection layer on the cells and safeguards from UV damage and any invading infection. Lack of zinc may result in eczema too.

Selenium– This mineral has powerful antioxidants properties to protect your skin from UV rays. It promotes skin healing and reduces acne. Selenium has many benefits for hair too. It helps in preventing dandruff-causing fungus and regulates hair growth. (what is an easy food source for this?)

Food for healthy skin and strong hair:

Along with these following foods, water plays a lead role in keeping your skin and hair healthy. When you drink enough water, not only your skin gets hydrated, it also flushes out the impurities and toxins from the body.

Chia Seeds– Loaded with omega 3, copper, phosphorous and zinc, it soothes inflammation, reduces acne and helps to keep skin radiant and healthy. Consumption of chia seeds also results in strong hairs. It is a high source of phosphorous, which is popular to encourage hair growth. Chia seeds contains all the 9 essential amino acids related to stronger hairs, skin and nails.

Tomato– This zesty vegetable is proved to have tremendous effects on your overall health. Tomato contains high amount of lycopene that makes skin less sensitive to UV rays. High in vitamin C, tomato treats oily skin and helps in achieving even skin tones. Packed with vitamin A, B, C and E, it also prevents hair loss, gives shine and treats scalp odour and dandruff. Eat it or apply it, its works both ways! (How to protect the vitamin in tomato from reducing?)

Quinoa– Quinoa seeds are gluten free and are high in protein, fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants. 9 amino acids in it act as natural strengthener and protect the hair shaft and also help in repairing damaged hairs. It is rich in vitamin E which helps to fight free radicals, provides collagen and repairs deeper pores in the skin damaged from sun and pollution.(A super tasty quinoa recipe)

Beans– Beans are excellent source of protein, fiber, potassium, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, and are sodium free, fat free. It helps in collagen production and gives your skin a healthy glow and elasticity. It contains amino acid which is building blocks of protein, which body uses to make new tissues for bones, hairs, skin and blood. They also provide many other hair-healthy nutrients, including iron, B7 and B9. (Some B9 foods that help with brain of a child?)

Almond– Almond is rich in protein, magnesium, fiber, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acid, vitamin E, copper, zinc and calcium. It helps to reduce rashes, burns or any inflammation caused due to various reasons. Copper in it plays an important role in skin and hair pigmentation. Fatty acids in it promote healthy and required blood flow that promotes hair growth and makes hair shiny, strong and soft. (what are 6 other benefits of almond for kids?)

Citrus fruits– Citrus fruits like orange, lime, grapefruit are commonly known for their high vitamin C contents. A medium orange give you 130% of your daily vitamin C requirement. Other nutrients in citrus fruits include B9, lycopene, potassium, vitamin B6, magnesium, and B1. These nutrients provide a wide range of health, skin and hair benefits. The citrus acid present in these foods kills bacteria and make your skin feel fresh, strengthen hair and fight dandruff.

Bell pepper– Bell pepper are excellent source of beta-carotene which the body converts into vitamin A. It helps in preventing hair and skin from sun damage. Being high in vitamin C, dietary fiber and vitamin B6, it aids in flawless skin.

Dark Chocolate– Kid’s favourite dark chocolate is rich in anti-oxidants, fatty acids and flavanols that results in glowing skin. The antioxidants in dark chocolate can help reduce roughness in your skin and protect it against sun damage. Dark chocolate is rich in cocoa loaded with zinc, iron, copper, and vitamins like A, B12 and K, which also relaxes arteries and increases blood circulation that leads to healthier skin. (Recipe of a quick sugar free dark chocolate treat)

Kids approve!

Recipe for Cauliflower and Sprouted Bean dough:

Puree cauliflower and beans and add to wholewheat flour along with chia seed powder and salt. Make firm dough. Take a small portion and Roll a disc shape and cook for a wrap or tortilla or paratha/ Indian flatbread.

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HEALTHY HAIR TIPS: FOODS, NUTRIENTS, HERBS & ESSENTIAL OILS

“Invest in your hair. It’s the crown you never take off”

This applies to kids as much as it applies to adults and that is why taking care of your kid’s hair should be of equal importance as well. Developing a healthy hair care routine at an early age will prevent your child from developing hair problems later on in life. Hair is not just one of the aspects of beauty in person, but also related with your personal hygiene. So, it is important to implant habit of keeping hair clean among kids from a very young age. As a parent we spend hours to think about child’s clothes and grooming products, but sometimes never pay attention on their hairs and it’s need. You can always get an idea by looking at your child’s hair, of whether his/her body is receiving a required amount of nutrients or not. (How to prepare easy nutritious snacks for kids?)

How you take care of your child’s hair will depend on the type of hair he or she has (thick or thin, dry or greasy), length of the hair and the activity level of the child. Parents can help kids to choose the correct Hair wash as per their age and hair type, oil their hair regularly and provide them with the right nutrients in their diet.

Some common hair problems and their causes:

Grey hair: Though graying of hair is inevitable with age, nowadays even young adults and teens are facing this problem and to cover their grey hair, they start using chemical based colors and dyes which further damage the hair in the long run. Your hair follicles have pigment cells that make melanin; this chemical gives your hair its color. As you age, the cells start to die and without melanin, the new hair that grows in has no pigment, which makes it appear grey, white or silver. (Which food can give hair pigment?)

Hair loss: Losing hair with age is expected, but hair loss in children can be alarming as it will affect them psychologically as well. Some common causes for hair loss in kids are infections, autoimmune disease, physical cause (stress) and nutritional deficiencies. However, the most common cause of hair loss in children is scalp ringworm, which is treatable fungal infection. (How to treat skin dryness in kids?)

Dry Hair: Straightening, blow-drying, highlighting and perming regularly can have a negative effect on your hair & causes dryness & split ends. Split ends occur when the protective outermost layer of hair (cuticle) is damaged and peels back. Hair styling products should be avoided for kids or should be used sparingly if really required.

Greasy Hair: Greasy or oily hair looks dull, limp and lifeless and are difficult to manage. Glands produce natural oil called sebum which helps to keep the skin lubricated. Sometimes these glands work excessively and produce more oil, leading to a greasy scalp. If your kid face this problem, using a mild and gentle shampoo might help.

How to prevent/cure hair problems:

Diet and nutrition plays a significant role in developing the look, feel and the strength of your kid’s hair. Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency known in world as a major cause of hair loss. Various foods, nutrients, herbs and oils can help to prevent/cure hair related issues in kids and adults as well.

Food and Nutrients important for Hair:

Amla or Indian gooseberry: Amla is a miracle fruit for hair as it is rich in calcium, vitamin C and other antioxidants that helps to strengthen hair follicles, reduces oxidative stress and prevents premature graying, dandruff and other fungal infections. It promotes scalp circulation and stimulates healthy hair growth, both in terms of length and volume. (What are some best fruits for teenagers?)

Collagen: Collagen, as studies suggest, is one of the main reasons behind hair thinning and hair loss. Collagen is a protein which helps to build your connective tissues like bones, ligaments, cartilage and also improves skin, hair, nails, joints and digestion. It can be commonly found in fish, chicken, egg whites, citrus fruits, berries and garlic. (Which foods can help with acne?)

Protein: Your hair strands are mainly made of protein called keratin and so protein acts as the life for your hair cells, thereby helping in construction of new tissues and repairing of the damaged tissues. Some of the protein-rich foods are eggs, chicken, lentils, legumes, quinoa, green peas, spinach, guava, milk & milk products, nuts like almonds, cashews and pumpkin seeds. (Some easy protein for kids)

Iron: Iron deficiency is one of the primary reasons for hair loss in kids and adults. Scientists believe that some genes in the hair follicle are regulated by iron. It also helps to circulate oxygen to our body & our tissues. Hence, the lack of it may compromise hair health and also causes other problems like fatigue, shortness of breath and dry & damaged skin. High protein rich foods include tofu, beans, legumes, dark leafy greens, poultry, fish, nuts and seeds. (Does cooking in iron pan help in nutrition?)

Vitamin B: Vitamin B provides thickness & shines to the hair and also encourages hair growth. Vitamin B6, B3, B5 and biotin in particular are very helpful in strengthening hair, reducing hair loss and supporting our adrenal glands. Dark leafy vegetables, gluten-free whole grains, sweet potatoes, legumes, fish, liver and eggs are the most common sources of B vitamins.

Antioxidants (Vitamin A, E, C, and Selenium): Vitamin E helps in stimulating hair growth and promotes circulation in the scalp and hair follicles, while vitamin A is good for hair follicle stem cells. Selenium and Vitamin C prevent hair damage and ageing of hair. Sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, almonds, sunflower seeds, berries, bell peppers, citrus fruits, cauliflower and mushrooms are rich source of these antioxidants. (An easy source of daily selenium)

Herbs and Oils that are good for Hair:

Green tea: It is a rich source catechins, an antioxidant which helps to reduce DTH (an androgen which makes your hair fall). As a result, it stops hair fall and helps to fight against other hair problems like, dryness of the scalp and dandruff.

Aloe Vera: Regular use of aloe vera helps in maintaining the pH balance of the hair, in opening up the blocked pores of the scalp and also boosts the growth of hair follicles. A special protein (called proteolytic) in it helps to break down dead skin cells on the scalp and promotes hair growth.

Hibiscus: This flower is rich in vitamin C, flavonoids, amino acids, mucilage fiber, moisture content and antioxidants. It helps prevent hair loss and stimulates regrowth from dormant follicles. It also reduces the graying of hair.

Moringa: Moringa is loaded with nutrients such as Zinc, vitamin A, B, C and E and essential amino acids. It is rich in chlorophyll and antioxidants which helps to nourish your hair. It helps restore strength, promotes hair growth and also repairs damaged hair. (Is this really a superfood to prevent most of the ailments?)

Coconut oil: Coconut oil acts as a great moisturizer for your scalp. It penetrates your skin and hair shaft, promotes hair growth and even keeps the scalp lice free. It also works as a conditioner preventing hair damage and reducing protein loss in hair.

Neem oil: Neem oil is the nature’s cure to all your hair concerns as it has regenerative properties which promotes healthy cell division and stimulates hair follicle growth.

Recipe for 7 Veggies Rice

  • ½ onion
  • ⅓ broccoli
  • ½ bowl corn
  • ½ bowl peas
  • 1 potato
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 bowl soy chunks
  • 1.5 bowl raw rice
  • 3 bowls water
  • salt and pepper

Sauté all the veggies. Add raw rice. Salt as per taste and water. Sprinkle pepper and mix. Keep on low flame and cover the pan with a lid. Let cook till done. Serve with yogurt or plain.

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Food to manage body-ache, menstruation, irritable mood, hyperactivity and anxiety

Food choices can directly impact stress levels in the body. Consuming refined or processed carbs like white flour, bread, pasta, pizza, white rice can directly increase the blood sugar in the body and ultimately impact stress levels. On the contrary, foods which are whole grains like amaranth, buckwheat, barley or other high fibre foods can control the spike in blood sugar and manage stress. Fibre rich foods are suitable to beat stress as they release a brain calming chemical called serotonin in the body.

In addition to fibre, research has found that intake of Magnesium can help manage stress and anxiety in kids. In our body, Magnesium is responsible for nerve transmission and nerve-muscle coordination. In other words, it protects against the excessive excitement in a child (which can be traumatic). There is enough research going on how Magnesium can help in fixing or preventing neurological disorders.

Traditionally, if we look back centuries ago, Sendha namak or Epsom salt has been used to heal, relax and calm the body nerves. Epsom salt is actually not a salt but a mineral called Magnesium sulfate. Soaking body or feet in this mineral enables absorption of decent quantity through skin which results in relaxing nerves and muscles.

Studies indicate that roughly 50% kids don’t meet the daily Magnesium requirement. Magnesium is one of the top four abundant minerals in the body. So, any deficiency of this mineral will easily reflect in daily life. Magnesium is key in formation of bones, maintaining blood flow and keeping stress low. It also brings relief to girls who suffer from menstrual cramps, leg cramps and irritable mood. For kids who deal with Asthma, which is on a rise due to hazardous air quality levels, magnesium can help. This Marvellous mineral has calming effects and hence aids in reducing hyper activity and lack of focus in kids. Daily intake of magnesium is necessary to maintain stock of the mineral in the body.

Spinach, beans, chia seed, sunflower seed, cumin, whole wheat flour, milk, yogurt, almond, peanut, cashew, quinoa are great sources of this mineral. Just 1 wholewheat roti/ paratha can meet 15% daily requirement of this mineral. In addition, 10 almonds or cashews will give 10% and 1 cup spinach will give 20%. However, a diet high in processed food can cause excretion of Magnesium through urine.

  • Magnesium also helps to absorb Vitamin-D in our body, which in turn helps to absorb Calcium in our bones. Hence, lack of this powerful mineral will directly result in weaker bones, teeth, hair and nails. Weaker bones (lethargy) further adds to irritation and stress in kids.
  • Migraine is one of the most common neuro disorders which too has shown improvement with the consumption of Magnesium.
  • Anxiety and Depression have impacted hundreds of millions of people across the world. Dietary intake of magnesium has been offered as a possible treatment, in addition to therapy.

So Yes! Magnesium is vital for every kid. Next time when your child has some tired muscles or cramp, use the magnesium salt with water to dip their feet in and let that table salt be on the table only!

Recipe for Quinoa Peas Meal

  • ½ cup quinoa boiled in equal water
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • ½ cup peas
  • 1 pod garlic and ginger chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • lemon juice fresh
  • green chilli chopped (optional)
  • salt
  • Chopped handful coriander

Heat oil in pan. Add cumin ginger garlic and onion. Saute for a minute. Add peas. Add salt. Add chillies. Cook for 3 min. Add boiled quinoa (no water at all). Cook for 5 min. Add lots of lemon juice to taste spicy salty and sour. All flavours! Garnish with coriander. Serve!

One-Pot Dark Chocolate Dates Cake

NO EGG, NO REFINED SUGAR, NO WHITE FLOUR

Recipe/ Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)Calories (kcal)
(RDI 2000 kcal)
Cholesterol (mg)
(RDI 300mg)
Fibre (g)
(RDI 25g)
Iyurved Recipe54020mg5g
Regular Cake Recipe750300mg0.5g
Compared to a regular cake recipe with white flour, egg, sugar and refined oil, this recipe reduces cholesterol and calories and increases fibre intake.

MIX/ BLEND

  • 2 tbsp heap-full wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp heap-full cocoa (dark)
  • ⅓ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil/ ghee/ any oil
  • 4 dates (paste)
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed powder (take flaxseed and powder it) mixed with 6 tbsp water
  • Jaggery/honey/coconut sugar (to your taste)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup milk (try any milk/ nut milk)

Preheat oven for 5 min at 200C and bake for 30 minutes in the middle rack.

  • Dates: High in antioxidants, dietary fibre, Iron, aids digestion, slows ageing
  • Coconut oil: Reduce weight, improves heart health, brain function. 
  • Flaxseed:High in fibre, omega-3, improves cholesterol, BP
  • Jaggery: Cleanses liver, slows ageing
  • Nut milk: High in Vit E, Protein

Read more about Probiotics, Minerals Saturated Fats below:

What happens when you cook food in cast-iron pans/skillets

The correct cookware helps to not only add nutrients to the food, but also preserve the nutrients. For example, clay-pots have been used for thousands of years for cooking. A study reveals that compared to modern utensils (pressure cooker), clay-pots retained 100% nutrients when cooking Dal vs. under 15% when cooked in a pressure cooker (Shocking!)

The longer food is cooked or stored in Aluminium, the greater it gets into food. Leafy vegetables, tomatoes and citrus products absorb the most aluminium (more than what we need!). Aluminium is most often considered unsafe for cooking on account of the metal reacting with food and getting absorbed in large amounts. The presence of aluminium deposits in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients has made people wary of using them

Traditional cookware- copper, iron, brass etc add the required mineral to the body and also aid in healing the body.

Cooking in copper and brass is not advisable when it comes to salty and acidic food since they react with the metal but eating in these is useful .

Iron cookware is great since it releases the required mineral which is critical for our body functioning (for high energy!). Many people suffer from iron deficiency, and cooking with cast iron pans can help increase your iron content by as much as 20 times!

Food cooked for longer duration and with higher moisture content absorbed most iron (almost 5 times more iron after cooking compared to raw)

Cast iron vessels are naturally non-stick and are easy to cook. On the other hand, modern non-stick cookware releases per-fluorinated compounds into the food during cooking, especially if the food is scrapped from the bottom causing several health issues.

Cast-iron skillets are very versatile. They can be used for sautéing, pan-frying, searing, baking, braising, broiling, roasting, and even more cooking techniques. The more seasoned your cast-iron skillet is, the better flavour it’s going to give to whatever you are cooking

Cast-iron vessels need lesser oil for cooking and also keep the food warm for longer time.

BEAUTY PRO-TIP :

IF YOU USE HERBAL HENNA FOR COLORING YOUR HAIR, SOAK IT OVER-NIGHT IN AN IRON BOWL

Adding henna paste in an iron bowl get more darker colour. It forms a blackish pigment with iron and helps in covering the grey more effectively

How can food help manage stress in kids?

Food choices can directly impact stress levels in the body. Consuming refined or processed carbs like white flour, bread, pasta, pizza, white rice can directly increase the blood sugar in the body and ultimately impact stress levels. On the contrary, foods which are whole grains like amaranth, buckwheat, barley or other high fibre foods can control the spike in blood sugar and manage stress. Fibre rich foods are suitable to beat stress as they release a brain calming chemical called serotonin in the body.

In addition to fibre, research has found that intake of Magnesium can help manage stress and anxiety in kids. In our body, Magnesium is responsible for nerve transmission and nerve-muscle coordination. In other words, it protects against the excessive excitement in a child (which can be traumatic). There is enough research going on how Magnesium can help in fixing or preventing neurological disorders.

Traditionally, if we look back centuries ago, Sendha namak or Epsom salt has been used to heal, relax and calm the body nerves. Epsom salt is actually not a salt but a mineral called Magnesium sulfate. Soaking body or feet in this mineral enables absorption of decent quantity through skin which results in relaxing nerves and muscles.

Studies indicate that roughly 50% kids don’t meet the daily Magnesium requirement. Magnesium is one of the top four abundant minerals in the body. So, any deficiency of this mineral will easily reflect in daily life. Magnesium is key in formation of bones, maintaining blood flow and keeping stress low. It also brings relief to girls who suffer from menstrual cramps, leg cramps and irritable mood. For kids who deal with Asthma, which is on a rise due to hazardous air quality levels, magnesium can help. This Marvellous mineral has calming effects and hence aids in reducing hyper activity and lack of focus in kids. Daily intake of magnesium is necessary to maintain stock of the mineral in the body.

Spinach, beans, chia seed, sunflower seed, cumin, whole wheat flour, milk, yogurt, almond, peanut, cashew are great sources of this mineral. Just 1 wholewheat roti/ paratha can meet 15% daily requirement of this mineral. In addition, 10 almonds or cashews will give 10% and 1 cup spinach will give 20%. However, a diet high in processed food can cause excretion of Magnesium through urine.

  • Magnesium also helps to absorb Vitamin-D in our body, which in turn helps to absorb Calcium in our bones. Hence, lack of this powerful mineral will directly result in weaker bones, teeth, hair and nails. Weaker bones (lethargy) further adds to irritation and stress in kids.
  • Migraine is one of the most common neuro disorders which too has shown improvement with the consumption of Magnesium.
  • Anxiety and Depression have impacted hundreds of millions of people across the world. Dietary intake of magnesium has been offered as a possible treatment, in addition to therapy.

So Yes! Magnesium is vital for every kid. Next time when your child has some tired muscles or cramp, use the magnesium salt with water to dip their feet in and let that table salt be on the table only!

How can food help manage stress in kids?

Food choices can directly impact stress levels in the body. Consuming refined or processed carbs like white flour, bread, pasta, pizza, white rice can directly increase the blood sugar in the body and ultimately impact stress levels. On the contrary, foods which are whole grains like amaranth, buckwheat, barley or other high fibre foods can control the spike in blood sugar and manage stress. Fibre rich foods are suitable to beat stress as they release a brain calming chemical called serotonin in the body.

In addition to fibre, research has found that intake of Magnesium can help manage stress and anxiety in kids. In our body, Magnesium is responsible for nerve transmission and nerve-muscle coordination. In other words, it protects against the excessive excitement in a child (which can be traumatic). There is enough research going on how Magnesium can help in fixing or preventing neurological disorders.

Traditionally, if we look back centuries ago, Sendha namak or Epsom salt has been used to heal, relax and calm the body nerves. Epsom salt is actually not a salt but a mineral called Magnesium sulfate. Soaking body or feet in this mineral enables absorption of decent quantity through skin which results in relaxing nerves and muscles.

Studies indicate that roughly 50% kids don’t meet the daily Magnesium requirement. Magnesium is one of the top four abundant minerals in the body. So, any deficiency of this mineral will easily reflect in daily life. Magnesium is key in formation of bones, maintaining blood flow and keeping stress low. It also brings relief to girls who suffer from menstrual cramps, leg cramps and irritable mood. For kids who deal with Asthma, which is on a rise due to hazardous air quality levels, magnesium can help. This Marvellous mineral has calming effects and hence aids in reducing hyper activity and lack of focus in kids. Daily intake of magnesium is necessary to maintain stock of the mineral in the body.

Spinach, beans, chia seed, sunflower seed, cumin, whole wheat flour, milk, yogurt, almond, peanut, cashew are great sources of this mineral. Just 1 wholewheat roti/ paratha can meet 15% daily requirement of this mineral. In addition, 10 almonds or cashews will give 10% and 1 cup spinach will give 20%. However, a diet high in processed food can cause excretion of Magnesium through urine.

  • Magnesium also helps to absorb Vitamin-D in our body, which in turn helps to absorb Calcium in our bones. Hence, lack of this powerful mineral will directly result in weaker bones, teeth, hair and nails. Weaker bones (lethargy) further adds to irritation and stress in kids.
  • Migraine is one of the most common neuro disorders which too has shown improvement with the consumption of Magnesium.
  • Anxiety and Depression have impacted hundreds of millions of people across the world. Dietary intake of magnesium has been offered as a possible treatment, in addition to therapy.

So Yes! Magnesium is vital for every kid. Next time when your child has some tired muscles or cramp, use the magnesium salt with water to dip their feet in and let that table salt be on the table only!

Enjoy the TRADITIONAL winter foods and forget about Vitamin C & A deficiency

Fresh vegetable produce is abundant during this time of the year. Consumption of these traditionally common combinations will solve for nearly 80% of Vitamin C and Vitamin A daily requirement. Vitamin C helps build immunity and Vitamin A is required for healthy eyesight.

Sarson saag (mustard leaves), Potato-spinach, Potato- Methi (fenugreek leaves), Potato-brinjal, Potato-cauliflower, Potato-capsicum, Potato-carrots, Potato-beans, Potato-peas, Cabbage-peas

Vitmain A is fat soluble, which means that for the body to absorb this vitamin from food, it has to be consumed with fat (oil). Hence, cooking carrots, spinach, mustard leaf, fenugreek leaf, peas, beans, capsicum in oil helps to absorb Vitamin A.

Vitamin C food items (Brinjal, Potato, Cauliflower, Cabbage) should be cooked as fast as possible with less heat and water. This Vitamin is heat sensitive. It should ideally be consumed raw or steamed (for least loss of nutrient <10%). Boiling, microwaving results in much higher losses in the range of 30-50%.

Salad is the best way of consuming both these vitamins without damaging it. Tossing carrot, tomato, green leafy veggies, red and green capsicum with a drizzle of oil dressing will retain all the nutritional content.

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