We always plan the healthiest meals for our kids. What they eat and whatnot is always on our mind. No matter how nutritious the food is they will benefit from it only if the food is digested well. This is where probiotics come in as a saviour.
Probiotics are the beloved companion of the digestive system. They help maintain the gut health and compete against harmful bacteria. The digestive tract already has helpful colonies of these bacteria but when kids fall sick and tend to have an upset tummy or after consumption of antibiotics during illnesses, they lose a few of them.
Consumption of probiotics can help replace them. You might also find the pediatrician recommending some vials of probiotics right when your child is sick to help their little tummies recover soon.
But it always helps to keep these bacteria in good numbers on regular basis which results in good gut health. According to Ayurveda, good gut health results in excellent health conditions of the person and that is exactly what we are aiming for as parents right.
Let’s see what foods can we include in our child’s diet to make sure they absorb all the nutrition that we provide through food.
Yoghurt (Dahi) is a staple ingredient in many Indian homes and for the right reason. It contains the good bacteria lactobacillus which help cope during diarrhoea and is consumed as a home remedy. Set milk aside at night and you have fresh homemade yoghurt in the morning.
Perfect to add it your child’s breakfast bowl or serve it with lunch with a spoonful of jaggery. Make pineapple or boondi raita. Add a spoonful of strawberry syrup on it to make it more appealing just like the store-bought ones. Make a dessert with some berries and yogurt layered with muesli and flavored syrup or honey. Yoghurt is one probiotic that I make sure to serve my kids atleast on alternate days with lunch.
Buttermilk (Chaas) is nothing but a thinner version of yoghurt that is relished especially during summers in India. Yoghurt is said to have heat according to Ayurveda and warms up the body. The process of adding water to it and blending it subsides the heat making it more healthier and a perfect body coolant.
A little roohafza makes it sweet and tasty for kids while adding spices like jeera, black salt and pudina makes it flavorful for adults.
3. Paneer/Indian cottage cheese
Panner is said to be an excellent source of probiotics. Serve it to your child as it is or pan fried with a little salt and pepper. It makes an excellent mid-morning snack.
Make dishes like palak paneer, paneer tikka or butter paneer as per their liking. Make paneer bhurji and toast it with bread to make sandwiches.
4. Idli and Dosa
Make sure to make the soft idlis and crispy dosas once in a while. This staple food from south of India has loads of good bacteria which will help your child.
Make carrot idlis, beetroot idlis and even palak idlis. Sannas from Goa are also loved by kids for their sweeter taste.
The batter for dhokla is first fermented overnight and then steamed. It is then garnished with sauteed mustard seeds, asafoetida, coriander leaves and freshly grated coconut. All the way from Gujarat, this lip-smacking recipe makes for a great Indian breakfast or an evening snack.
You can make rice dhokla, besan dhokla, rawa dhokla and even palak dhokla to offer variety and health benefits to your child.
India is also famous for a variety of pickles. Usually vegetables and even fruits are pickled alongwith spices or flavoured water. All these are now readily available in the market and are gut friendly with the amount of good bacteria in it.
Make some fresh at home for your kids. They make a great accompaniment along with food.
These are the easiest ways to make sure your child’s gut health is maintained and their digestive system is right on track. Mix and match recipes for your kids and make them interesting and don’t forget to add the probiotic foods in the mix too.