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6 Healthy Probiotic Foods For Your Kids

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.

1. Yoghurt/Curd
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.

Yoghurt along some berries and honey
Image courtesy Pexels.com

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.

2. Buttermilk
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.

Traditonal way of making buttermilk
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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.

Paneer or Indian cottage cheese
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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.

Idli – A South Indian delicacy
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Make carrot idlis, beetroot idlis and even palak idlis. Sannas from Goa are also loved by kids for their sweeter taste.

5. Dhokla
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.

Dhokla – A Gujrati delicacy
Image courtesy Google

You can make rice dhokla, besan dhokla, rawa dhokla and even palak dhokla to offer variety and health benefits to your child.

6. Pickles
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.

Fresh pickles make from fruits and veggies
Image courtesy Google

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.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla

Recipes

Grilled Fish Wraps In Turmeric Leaves

Turmeric has alot of benefits as we all know and turmeric leaves have antiseptic properties and hence it is used in Ayurvedic medicine. Turmeric leaves contain curcumin which is a powerful antioxidant.

Turmeric plant

Turmeric leaves have a neutral aroma and are used widely in the Goan community in India for making Patoli.

Patoli is a traditional recipe made by Goankars and Christians on 15th August which marks the feast of “The Assumption”. Turmeric leaves add a unique taste to this sweet recipe and your home will be filled with its beautiful aroma when you cook them.

But how about people who do not like to have sweets and would still like to use turmeric leaves in their diet once in a while. So here I’m sharing another recipe using them.

Grilled fish wraps where we are wrapping the fish into parcels of turmeric leaves. While grilling, the heat intensifies the flavor of the leaf which is transferred onto the fish giving it a wonderful aroma and adds a distinct flavor.

Ingredients
Surmai/Seer Fish 4-5 pieces
Turmeric leaves 7-8
Fresh grated 1/2 coconut
1 cup coriander leaves
1 cup mint leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
7-8 cloves of garlic
1 inch ginger
1 lemon’s juice
Green chilies as per preferred spiciness

Procedure
Wash the turmeric leaves and pat them dry with a kitchen towel.

Turmeric leaves


Clean and wash the pieces of fish well. You can even use mackerel/bangda fish in this recipe. Make sure to make slits on the mackerel.

Surmai/ Seer fish

Make a coarse paste of coconut, ginger, garlic, green chilies, coriander leaves, mint leaves, cumin seeds and lemon juice. Do not use water to make this paste. The marinade is ready.

Coconut marinade

Marinate the fish and leave it aside for an hour.

Marinated fish

Now wrap the pieces of marinated fish in the turmeric leaves.

Wrap each piece of fish in turmeric leaf

One piece of fish will be wrapped in one leaf. If the leaf is not broad enough, use another leaf to cover it sideways and then secure it with a piece of thread. Wrap all the fish pieces similarly.

Fish wrapped in turmeric leaf

Heat up the grill pan and grease it with oil liberally. When heated, add the wrapped fish and simmer the flame to make sure the fish cooks well inside the leaves. Keep drizzling with oil if necessary.


Flip the pieces when grilled on the bottom side.
Once the leaves turn brown and crisp, the fish is done. To make sure, unwrap one piece and try it.

Grilled fish wraps in turmeric leaves

Serve it with a side of grilled veggies and steamed rice.

Grilled fish wrap in turmeric leaves

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla

Parenting

3 Brain-Training Game Apps Full Of Fun For Your Child

Since 2020, the whole world has gone online and so have our little ones. The exposure to screen even though if online learning is so much that kids are bound to try and find some entertainment as well on the screens.

Here are the gems that I found when Eira was 4 year old. All these apps have been tried, tested and enjoyed. So get ready to have some absolute fun time!

1. 1Line (Free App)

1Line

I’m sure you remember drawing an open envelope during your school days. The rule was not to redraw a line and not to pick the pencil until the envelope is done. Basically, the rule is to draw the picture with just one line. The app has so many levels and is an excellent yet interesting way to have a good brain exercise.

Eira loves this app and has completed many stages. It became more fun for her when her Dad got involved. Playing on two phones simultaneously and checking who is able to solve them faster is a great way to get a child interested.

2. Cut the rope free (Free App)

Cut The Rope Free

Om Nom is hungry and wants to have candy. But the candy is not easily available. Follow the adventurous levels and help cut the candy free from ropes and obstacles and help Om Nom relish it.

This is a super fun game which will keep kids engaged and scratching their brains. You will also find them jump off their seats when they actually get the candy. You will also find “Om Nom Stories” cartoon on YouTube.

3. Buttons and Scissors (Free App)

Buttons and Scissors

Cut off the buttons from the denim with the help of scissors. You can cut them only after matching 2 or more buttons of the same color and of no other colored button is in the way. You can select buttons only on the same horizontal, vertical or diagonal line. Cut off all the buttons to complete a level and do it in the shortest possible time to get a better score. Logical thinking is what your child will have to do to get this fun game going.

While there are many other games that you might find on the Playstore, these three have been stuck with us for more than 3 years. Make sure you try them as well and you will have a blast.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla

CauseAChatter

Gender Blindness And The Need For Equity More Than Equality

Many of us talk about gender equality and we support it, raise our kids accordingly and how everyone should amplify this thought. But have you heard about gender blindness and how unknowingly even you can be one of those people with no knowledge about it?

“Gender blindness” is the lack of awareness about how men and women are affected by a situation in a different manner due to the difference in their roles, needs, status and priorities and biologies in their societies. Gender blindness can be very harmful and work as a fuel to further increase the issue of gender inequality by ignoring the differences between different genders. It is also an ideology for some who choose not to see the differences.

Image courtesy Pexels.com

Gender blindness has become one of the biggest challenges for women in the modern world. When talking about men against women, the word “equality” is used alot to show support towards women but is that actually helpful?

Consider this, two people are asked to oversee something over a wall. One of them is tall while the other one is shorter than average. Since it is impossible to look over the wall, both of them are provided a small stool to stand upon. The taller person with the help of the stool is easily able to see over the wall but a similar stool provided to the shorter person is still of no use. This is what equality does to the shorter person. Do you think he or she will be happy? This where equality fails and there is a need for equity. Equality gives a group of people the same resources while equity recognizes each person’s circumstances and provides proper resources to achieve the desired goal. The need for equity must be emphasized.

Image courtesy Pexels.com

In this modern world, gender blindness is becoming more of a problem than gender equality. It’s become the best way to sweep all issues related to women right under the rug. Women and men have different needs and they need to be met in different ways. This is where equity goes a step beyond to make everyone get an equal level playing field. Giving women the same resources as men will not be helpful in every situation and so it needs to be considered that women need extra support than men.

When it comes to the workplace, it is the responsibility of organizations to make changes in their policies and make sure that they empower women through equity for their success. The HR department of an organization plays a vital role in bringing changes in the policies but such changes might take decades to be considered and then accomplished. Employers should consider hiring anti-racist, pro-women and trans-friendly people for their HR team. At workplaces, awareness and practicing equity within every department by each team member might result in small changes needed to create a bigger wave. Studies show that this will address the gap which is related to salary, self-confidence, and overall performance. This will ensure not just fairness but fairness with success.

Image courtesy Pexels.com

We as a society need to work and uproot these prejudices to have a better future. Working towards gender equity will bring a positive change and benefit every gender.

This post is part of Blogchatter‘s campaign CauseAChatter.

CauseAChatter

How Cutting Down On Food Wastage Can Ease Climate Change

Most of us have wasted food at one point or the other, knowingly or unknowingly. You might have taken a lot on your plate than you could consume and then the leftover ended up in trash. Out of love, you served a few bites more than your child could finish and then they left it. Some greens have been in the fridge for too long and before you could use them, they got spoiled.

You might think that we throw away food occasionally and the quantity is too less, but do you know, there is a significant amount of food waste generated in our homes. According to Food Waste Index Report 2021, around 50 kg of food is thrown away per person every year in Indian homes. Shocking right!! This has been an ongoing problem for decades which is just increasing with time. It was only when Covid-19 pandemic hit us that we understood the importance of it all when during the lockdown procuring vegetables and groceries got difficult.

Image from Pexels

Getting food to your plate is also a lengthy process. Food is grown, processed, packaged, transported, marketed and finally sold. Food also gets wasted during this process. For example, some pests attack the crop or the crop is damaged during transport or it gets spoiled sitting on the aisle at the supermarket because nobody bought it. All that gets dumped too. During the lockdown phase, farmers lost most of its crop to dump as they were not able to bring it to the market.

What happens to all this food that is being spoiled or wasted? All that goes into landfills and rots. As it rots, it produces a greenhouse gas called methane. Greenhouse gases are present in the Earth’s atmosphere. When sunlight hits the Earth surface, it reflects back into space but some of it turns into heat and is supposed to reflect back as well. Greenhouse gases like water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, prevent the heat from escaping into space and thus warming the planet thus affecting our climate.

Image from Pexels

Food wastage also heavily contributes to emission of greenhouse gases and each one of us who has thrown away even a spoonful of leftover food or let a vegetable/fruit spoil away in the refrigerator is responsible for it. Meat and dairy products have much higher emissions than fruits and vegetables. We tend to take our food for granted and that needs to change.

We need to curb the greenhouse gases emission and reducing food wastage is the easy fix that can de done right away in our homes.

1.Buy the food you need just for 2-3 days so they don’t spoil and we throw away less.

2. A little imperfection in appearance of fruits should also be accepted so that it does get spoiled away with the seller itself and get thrown away. Consider making smoothies or jams with them. Use them in your baking or blending dishes.

Image from Pexels

3. Make sure to store all the food products in a proper way in the refrigerators and air-tight containers so they stay fresh for longer and are not rotten and eventually dumped. Make proper use of the freezer section to store meat products to increase at their shelf life.

Image from Pexels

4. The peels, shoots and roots of fruits and vegetables can be composted for your home garden. It makes a great DIY project for adults and a wonderful way of learning for kids.

5. Another way of using roots and shoots is to make vegetable broth out of it or use them in the main dish itself. For example, gobhi danthal sabzi from Punjab uses cauliflower stalks and Bengali ucche pata bora are bhajjias/fritters made out of bitter gourd leaves.

6. Instead of planning a delicacy out of the blue, it is always better to plan in advance and make meals with ingredients already available in your refrigerator. Planning meals for a few days or a week also helps a lot.

7. Portion control. Take one serving of food that you are sure to finish. Go for a second serving if needed. Make sure to do that with your kids as well.

8. Leftovers should not be thrown away. Use the leftover vegetable to make cutlets or parathas. Dal paratha also tastes really well. Leftover rotis/chapatis make an excellent rolls with just an addition of egg and some flavoring sauces.

9. The food scraps that cannot be eaten can be fed to animals nearby.

10. If going to restaurants, make sure to take-away the leftovers and either bring them home or give it away to the needy and make sure they don’t sleep another night on an empty stomach. Great of you could add in another dish onto it and not just leftovers.

11. Talk to the community around you and share the knowledge. Awareness is the first big step!

Image from Pexels

Take small steps like these and you will make a difference. Small changes will yield big results with time.

This post is part of Blogchatter’s campaign CauseAChatter.