Saturday, April 28, 2007

Mini meals for litle tots

"Mini meals for your little tots"

Snacks are mini-meals that help keep us going until lunch or dinner. Children seem more inclined to snacking than adults and can often get addicted to a range of tasty but distinctly unhealthy snacking options such as chips, cookies and aerated drinks. Most mothers today find it really difficult to ensure that their kids eat a selection of healthy snacks. However, weaning children off unhealthy snacking is not so difficult – all it requires is a little advance planning, and the time and patience to replace store-bought goodies with homemade nutritious ones.

So what makes a good snack? According to me, a good snack is one that is well balanced and nutrient-dense. This means that each bite contributes to the child's intake of healthy foods. Six nutrients are needed to maintain a growing and healthy body - carbohydrates, protein, fat, minerals, vitamins and water. To meets a child’s requirement of these nutrients just ensure a healthy blend of food groups like cereals, pulses, dairy products, fruits and vegetables. This does not mean you have to include all these in the same snack, but try and cover at least two to three food groups at a time, and divide the rest throughout the day.

Remember snacks are an important part of your child’s daily diet, helping not only to bridge the gap between meals and provide necessary nutrients, but also to encourage good eating habits.
So get ready to surprise your little darlings when they get home from school or play by whipping up yummy and healthy snacks!

A great hit with kids of all ages, these miniature party pieces will have them rushing back for more

Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 12 to 15 minutes Makes 8 pops.
1 cup boiled and grated potatoes
¼ cup grated carrots
1 brown bread slice, soaked and squeezed
½ tsp ginger-green chilli paste
2 tbsp chopped coriander
A pinch sugar
1 cheese cube
2 tsp oil for cooking
Salt to taste
1. Cut the cheese cube into 8 equal pieces and keep aside.
2. Soak the bread slice in a bowl of water. Squeeze out the water and mash the bread.
3. In a bowl place the mashed bread and add potatoes, carrots, green chilli paste, coriander, sugar, salt and mix well.
4. Divide into 8 equal portions and shape each portion into a flat round.
5. Place a cheese cube in the centre of each round and shape into ovals.
6. Pierce a candy stick into each oval and press the potato pops on the stick making an oval shape. Keep aside.
7. Cook both sides on a lightly greased non-stick pan till golden brown.
Serve hot.
Nutritive values per pop
Energy: 44 calories
Protein: 1.3 gm
Carbohydrates: 4.9 gm
Fats: 2.1 gm
Vitamin A: 129.0 mcg
Potassium: 41.9 mg
Zinc: 0.1 mg

Lip-smacking lollies made from protein- and calcium-rich curds and fruits that provide fibre
Preparation time: 5 minutes Cooking time: Nil. Makes 8 fruit lollies.
1 cup stewed apples, recipe below
¼ cup chopped bananas
½ cup fresh curds (dahi)
1 tbsp sugar
¼ tsp lemon juice
For the stewed apples
¼ cup chopped apples
1 tbsp sugar
¼ tsp lemon juice
For the stewed apples
1. In a vessel, mix all the ingredients with 2 tbsp of water and cook till all the moisture evaporates and apples become soft and light brown in colour.
2. Remove from the flame and keep aside to cool.
How to proceed
1. Combine the stewed apples, bananas, curds and sugar and blend into a smooth mixture in a blender.
2. Add the lemon juice and mix well.
3. Pour into plastic moulds and freeze for 6 to 8 hours till firm.
4. Insert tooth picks into the frozen lollies and unmould.
Serve immediately.
Nutritive values per lolli
Energy: 23 calories
Protein: 0.3 gm
Carbohydrates: 4.1 gm
Fats: 0.4 gm
Calcium: 14.5 mg

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Say "yes" to JUICES

Health professionals have always stressed about the advantages of having fresh fruits and vegetables at least 5 to 6 times a day to make up for ones nutrient requirement. But the question that arises is “Does our daily diet encompass so much raw fruits and vegetables?” A survey, if taken, is sure to prove that most of us skip this necessary food from our diet.

So, turn to freshly made juices to consume a healthy portion of vegetables/ fruits daily at one go. For example, one cup of carrot juice is approximately equivalent to four cups of raw chopped carrots. I am sure a glass of juice early in the morning or anytime of the day can easily fit into our busy lifestyles. Although eating fruits and vegetables in their natural state does provide us with a substantial amount of vitamins and minerals, juicing benefits us equally. It is true that while juicing some amount of fibre is lost due to the straining process. However, the digestive enzymes and the nutrients are retained in the juice, which are easily absorbed by our body.

Here are a few benefits of juices that I am sure will drive all of you to say yes to juices…….

1. Energizing and satiating
2. A chockfull of vitamins, minerals and enzymes (that make food easier to digest)
3. Provides natural sugars
4. Quick and easy to prepare
5. Easily absorbed
6. Powerful blood cleanser
7. Detoxifies the body
8. Replaces lost fluids and electrolytes (e.g. sodium and potassium)
9. Concentrated phyto-nutrients and antioxidants that help fight diseases
10. Proven healing properties

Remember, despite the fact that juices provide us with a quick and easy way to increase our nutrient intake, do make it a point to include whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes in your daily diet.

This summer, beat the heat and gain all the benefits from these health potions...…


Makes 2 glasses (300 ml).

What could be more refreshing than some coconut water? With the added nutrition of pineapple, this delightful drink becomes a seasonal must-have.

A mind-blowing combination of pineapple and coconut meat, added to the wholesome coconut water! Coconut is rich in potassium and pineapple in vitamin C. Enzyme ‘bromelin’ in pineapple helps stabilize the acid-alkaline balance of body fluids and improved digestion.

3 big slices of pineapple with the skin, cut into pieces
1 small tender coconut (coconut water)
½ cup tender coconut meat

Mixer/ Blender

1.Blend all the ingredients till smooth.
2.Strain the juice using a strainer or a muslin cloth.
3.Add some crushed ice in 2 glasses and pour the juice over it. Serve immediately.


Makes 2 glasses (300 ml).

Tangy grapes and the reliable apple make for a refreshingly cool drink this season. A glassful will help you fight illness and keep you energetic all through the day.

Apples are basically sweet and the juice of grapes is a little sour. When mixed together, they compliment each other’s flavour and enhance the overall taste. Grapes are rich in antioxidants and together, apple and grapes join to help clean the kidneys and liver.

2 small apples, unpeeled, cored and cut into pieces
1 cup green grapes
Crushed ice to serve

Hopper/ Juicer

1.Juice all the ingredients.
2.Add some crushed ice in 2 glasses and pour the juice over it. Serve immediately.


Mixer/ Blender
1.Blend all the ingredients using little water (if required) till smooth.
2.Strain the juice using a strainer or a muslin cloth.
3.Add some crushed ice in 2 glasses and pour the juice over it. Serve immediately.