Last year, a leading daily reported that a range of 2.9 to 14.3 per cent school children in our country suffered from obesity and 1.5 to 2.4 per cent of them were overweight. This is a trend observed in the cities but Tier 2 is not far behind. The cause of this is a no brainer. Accessibility to junk and processed foods and lack of physical activity are the key culprits. A study confirmed that out of 13,200 children who took part in the survey, 93% of them consumed packaged foods, 68% indulged in sugar-sweetened beverages and a shocking 53% had either of the two every day!
What does this mean and why is it a cause for serious concern? Obese children usually turn into obese adults. Metabolic syndrome, poor physical health, respiratory problems, hypertension, Type-II Diabetes are some of the possible diseases of the future. Can parents do anything about this? With most of them being employed and running busy schedules in their day to day life, most often, snack breaks are filled with chips, biscuits, doughnuts, colas and other processed foods.
Here’s a quick recap of healthy Indian dishes that our mothers and grandmothers, fixed up for us, and in no time! Not only are these healthy, but also full of nutrition to be overall immunity of our children.
- Idlis –Baked rice and lentils are light with a calorific value of 39. With no fat and cholesterol, the disk can be made out of brown rice and whole wheat. The dish is a good source of sodium (salt), protein (lentils), carbohydrates(rice) and vitamins and minerals from the lentils
- Dosa – Dosas need not be oily, full of ghee and butter all the time. In fact, ghee/butter or cheese is good for growing kids as they require bundles of energy. Crispy dosa is welcomed by any kid, any day. Top it up with grated carrots or beetroot or prepare a mixed vegetable sabzi, replacing the traditional potato sabzi/palya, if you want to avoid it. As an off-beat, the recipe of Oats Dosa is also available online. Benefits are similar to that of Idlis
- Upma/ Poha – Made of semolina or beaten rice, yet another light yet nutritious snack. It could be topped with mixed vegetables to increase the nutrition value. It is a good source of carbohydrates and proteins
- Appams – the Indian version of pancakes, made of Rice and coconut, is a good source of carbohydrates. It is known to be of low calories and therefore a light snack.
- Parathas – When made with less oil and non-fattening stuffing such as potato or paneer, parathas made a healthy meal. Some of the alternate fillings could be carrots, beetroots, mixed vegetables, broccoli, mushrooms etc. It is a source of Sodium, Potassium, Iron and Carbohydrates other than Saturated fat
- Dhoklas – This fluffy evening snack, which is made of gram flour and mild spices. The flour can be replaced with chana dal or even semolina. Steaming is a plus point of the dish. Gram flour is a good source of protein. Also consists of nutrients like folic acid, riboflavin, thiamine, biotin and Vitamin K etc.
- Sattu – or Roasted Gram Flour has multiple nutritious benefits. It not only cools the body but is high in nutrients, good for digestion and is known to keep lifestyle diseases such as blood pressure and diabetes at bay. Iron, fibre, protein, calcium, manganese, magnesium and many more nutrients are present in the dish
- Palak Puris – Puris are known to be oily and unhealthy. But this can be modified into a healthy dish by adding spinach and other forms of greens, which are rich sources of minerals and proteins. Avoid using too much oil while making the dough or use olive oil if preferred to make it light and fluffy.
- Various kinds of rice dishes – Since rice is a staple to India, various kinds of rice dishes such as pulao using corn, peas, spinach, carrot, beetroot, cabbage and many more vegetables could be utilized.
- Lighter snacks to be packed for Snack Break could include Chana Chaat, Desi Salads. Chana or chickpeas are a great source of carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins, minerals and protein. Chaat masala can be added to give some flavour. Desi Salad could contain various vegetables, spinach with spices, lemon juice, yoghurt etc.
The above list is an indicator one and not an exhaustive list. Several such dishes can be found across the country which is known for its culinary magic.
We at Samsidh emphasize, educate and remind our students and parents on healthy eating habits from time to time. For more such useful information, visit the Blog section on our website - http://www.samsidhmlzs.com/blog/ which consist of useful articles on a variety of categories. Visit any of our branches to learn more about our school and the various facilities provided on our campus.