“Aaj bhi hari sabzi Mummy, mujhe nahi khana!”
We are sure you are used to this phrase! Seeing the plate full of leafy greens, children strike back and demand a different meal. Have you ever thought why? Naturally, a child develops his taste buds according to the food he/she generally eats. Think about it, at one point of time none of us liked ‘saag’ and ‘palak’, it took some years to get on well with these vegetables.
With the chills of winter arrive some healthy vegetables in the market. These vegetables reach maximum Indian households during the months of November, December and January. Oh yes! A golden opportunity to seize for all the mothers. Enlisted below are some seasonal winter vegetables full of health benefits, that are all set to wobble in your child’s tummy!
The seasonal greens have the requisite nutrients and vitamins required by our body. The numerous benefits include prevention of cancer, build bone strength and improve brain function. One important quality of these leafy vegetables is that they safeguard our eyes. Also, spinach and broccoli are excellent sources of iron. Some other greens include mustard greens(saag), lettuce, Cabbage etc.
One of the perfect alternatives for aloo-chaat, sweet potato with its honeyed taste can be the perfect ingredient in a lot of dishes. Sweet potato is a fibre-rich vegetable which makes it good for digestion. The presence of Vitamin A and potassium reduces the risk of heart diseases. It can be cooked like any other vegetable and can also be used to make tempting snacks.
Also known as winter squash, it is a seasonal superfood, rich in fibre and Vitamin A. Pumpkin helps to maintain blood-sugar levels and supplies antioxidants to the body. Pumpkin can be extracted in a juice form or cooked as a sweet dish. Pumpkin can be blended with any vegetable or cereal, it adds both flavour and nutrition to the food.
A citrus fruit that has a rich supply of nutrients. It contains a high amount of dietary fibres which reduce the common problems of constipation in kids. It also treats diarrhoea and is a remedy for anaemia.
Note- Before giving your child oranges, take off the peel and threads to avoid the risk of choking.
Indian Gooseberry (Amla)
With that bitter taste, Amla might not be the first vegetable you pick for your child. But you might want to reconsider after knowing the various benefits. It is super rich in Vitamin C and also helps in absorbing the food in a better way. Amla reduces constipation and reduces the chances of having mouth ulcers. It can be taken as a murabba, powder or a juice. To make it easier for the child to consume you can give amla with honey to balance the sourness.
Pomegranate juice regulates fever in kids and boosts immunity. It cures intestinal worms that are common in young children along with protecting the liver. Anaar has umpteen advantages and can be freshly prepared in the form of juice. It also cures dental problems and muscle aches.
The sweet sticky dates are a powerhouse of nutrients. If we start counting the benefits then the list would be endless. Dates reduce intestinal problems, gastric problems and boost the level of haemoglobin in the body among the other advantages.
Note- Be very careful while giving your child dates. It is suitable for the children to consume dates only when chopped into fine pieces.
Hot chocolate milk
Was this unexpected? Now, here is one thing your child is going to love without any doubt. The hot cocoa improves blood flow, reduces heart diseases and lowers the blood pressure. Its delectable taste further lures the child and cheers him/her up.
Winter days make children lethargic. There has to be a proper intake of nutrients especially when the child cannot keep up with the physical activities. If your child asks for snacks; cook sweet potato wedges, when he/she wants to have something sweet; cook kaddu ka halwa and when he/she wants to drink something; give a glass full of anaar juice. Similarly, you can keep handy some healthy-eating options for your child. It will definitely take some extra efforts from your end, but your child will surely benefit from these healthy options.