Updated: May 11
"Variety is the spice of life" and everyone craves it including children.
Childhood is the perfect age to introduce kids to the myriad of flavours available in nature and guide them towards appreciation of healthy & real foods rather than ready-to-eat foods from packets.
This is also the stage of life where rapid physical and mental development takes place, which makes it even more important to pay extra attention to the fuel of the mind, body and soul.
Food should be such which appeals to all the five senses in a positive manner and provides the adequate nourishment needed by the growing individual.
Rapid growth demands high amounts of energy, proteins and good fats along with adequate amounts of vitamins & minerals specially Vitamin A for eye health, Vitamin D for bone development, Vitamin C for immunity and Vitamins B complex for overall physical and mental development. Important minerals to be included in the diet are iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iodine.
What becomes very crucial is how to incorporate healthy foods in the diet such that children eat it willingly and happily along with being quick n easy.
A few points to keep in mind while preparing meals for kids are:-
Avoid over-seasoning with salt and condiments.
It's better to use alternatives to white refined sugar like date syrup, honey, jaggery etc
Try incorporating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in the daily diet.
Avoid use of refined flour like maida and substitute recipes with suji, rice flour, millet flours, whole wheat flour wholly or partially to get the best of both worlds.
Introduce children to new seasonal vegetables and fruits to broaden their taste palette.
Try making fresh home made pasta sauces rather than store bought for kids.
Encourage children to enjoy screen-time free meals with the family.
Today I would introduce you to easy nutritious 5 ingredient pastas for kids, which can also be enjoyed by adults.
The basic recipe remains the same (to save you the hassles) but each pasta has a distinctive taste and visual appeal to attract children.
5 Ingredient easy peesy Pasta
(Serves 2 Serving size 1 Pasta bowl)
Ingredients (5 ingredients)
1/2 cup penne or 100 gms spaghetti (choose whole wheat, multigrain, semolina pasta)
4 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4-6 fresh basil leaves (chiffonade cut - pile the leaves one atop another and roll them up like a cigar, now cut finely with a knife to get ribbon like leaves)
2 tbsp Sliced Black Olives
2 tbsp Corn kernels (you could use frozen one and this can be boiled along with the pasta or separately)
2 tbsp Broccoli (grilled or steamed) - you can also use butter in this one
2 tbsp Asparagus (grilled or oven roasted) - use lemon juice with this one
Choose the vegetable of your kids' choice (mixed vegetables work well too)
Parmesan Cheese (Grated)
Spices and condiments (Oregano, salt and pepper to taste)
Add some salt in a pot of water and let boil.
Now add the pasta to cook till al-dente (having a bite). Usually the time written on the package is quite accurate, usually 8-11 minutes.
Drain out the pasta and place in the pasta bowls.
Drizzle with olive oil. Add in the sliced olives. Season with salt, oregano and pepper. Mix well. Garnish with basil and cheese on top.
Serve fresh and see kids gobbling it up.
This is an intelligent Mommy twist to a dish they love by incorporating healthy ingredients in them and replacing the heavily processed, seasoned and preservatives laden packaged sauces.
It is a great idea to team it up with fresh green salad or finish it up with a fruit platter or halwa for dessert.
It is better to feed children home made simple fresh food rather than super fancy food from packets that have been made months ago - Thought to ponder!
Contact us at www.dravantina.com for diet counselling/wellness counselling services.