Today even the kids are not spared of the frantic pace of life. They are not only expected to do well academically but also excel in sports, painting, singing, dancing, calligraphy, judo, karate, and god knows what else. On top of that kids have to commute to their schools, tuition etc in crazy traffic conditions that prevail in most of our cities. There’s too much competition every step of the way and so parents keep breathing down their necks to do better than other kids. Now that is way too much stress for kids to handle at such a tender age. That’s why it is imperative that our kids lead a healthy lifestyle that will help them cope with all this stress—physical as well as psychological—better.
We all know that nutritious and balanced diet plays a huge role in leading a healthy lifestyle. But we also know how difficult it is to maintain such healthy diet these days. We are bombarded with ads that have movie stars and sports idols singing praises of soft drinks and instant foods—foods that are made with refined flour, obscene amount of sugar, preservatives, and additives. They tell you—if you want your kids to be healthy and happy give them chocolate/cream biscuits, instant noodles, pasta, burgers, pizzas. You don’t have to spend too much time cooking food either so everyone’s happy, right? Well not quite, in the long run only the doctors and shareholders of the large corporations that make such food end up happy. We as discerning parents can see through these ads but how do we stop our children from getting influenced by such ads, by the dime-a-dozen eating joints that serve obesity-fueling food. Sometimes you will feel that you are just hopelessly overpowered by these corporate giants that hire food scientists to create food that makes you crave it more and more. But we parents can make a difference if we make a collective effort.
Children will have healthy food served by you till the time s/he is 2 or maybe 3 if you are lucky. But then they start seeing chips, white-bread sandwiches, instant noodles/pasta, biscuits, chocolates in other kids’ lunchboxes and demand to know why you’re not giving it to them. You are being seen as the uncool mom and so you relent. This is where a collective effort on our part can help. If all of us give our kids healthy homemade food in their lunchboxes, if we all take them out to eating joints that serve healthy food, our kids will not think that they are missing out on anything. I hate to admit but my husband, Kalpesh and I are major food junkies. But these days when we feel like eating out, more often than not we head towards South Indian eating joints rather than pizza/burger places, especially when Devansh is accompanying us. Earlier when Devansh was smaller we had no choice but to give him something like French fries, but these days he is able to eat dahi wada, parathas, and idlis. So it’s just a question of altering our lifestyle and our mindset for the sake of our kids.
To come back to kid-friendly recipes, you’ll notice that some of these recipes overlap with toddler food recipes. While those that don’t overlap, aren’t a big hit with toddlers (at least with my toddler), because of the amount of chewing involved; Devansh will eat them but not in adequate quantity to comprise an entire meal. Please take a look at the baby and toddler food pages as well. I am sure you can adapt those recipes to suit older kids’ palates too. :-)
To view kid-friendly recipes, click here.