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Summer break

How Kitchen Time Can Be A Good Summer Break Experience For Children

Make the best use of  summer break with these tips to let your children  understand and appreciate food.

Kitchen is a great place to spend time with children this summer break. You might wonder, but it’s vacation time, we should let kids have fun! However, ‘fun’ is a word sometimes misinterpreted and attributed to things only in entertainment space!

If your children find opportunities to play with neighbourhood kids or spend time with their grand parents, it is great. Also some of us prefer traveling to new places. All this done, there is still ample amount of time left to spend in your home kitchen. What if we take this opportunity to let them know some basic life skills, like cooking?

My mom, coming from a big family, tells me how she and her siblings, used to take turns to do dishes, fill drinking water, hand pound spices, to hand grind dosa batter, clearing the grains etc. It was part of their daily chores during childhood and it did not limit to just summer break. This might not look very practical in today’s time. The advancement of technology, comfort, number of children, schedule of schools, offices, traffic, among other things make very little time to do such work willingly. Hence summer break should be treated as a huge opportunity to keep things slow, steady and work on those activities that are essential for a living. Here are some reasons why we should let our children experience the most soulful space of the home, the kitchen!

Focus on the whole cycle

When we want to teach kids, it immensely helps to follow the complete process, rather than sticking to some interesting part in the middle. For example, if they want to do some drawing – fetching the paper, pencils & colors, setting up the space, drawing, displaying/saving the art, keeping the art materials back in their places etc form the whole activity. If we do the whole process and let kids do only drawing, the sense of accomplishment differs from the former to the latter.

Similarly, for cooking, it would be great if we can do a complete cycle. Starting from planting the seeds, watering them regularly, adding compost and other natural nutrition, watch the vegetables and greens grow, fetching them from the home garden to kitchen, getting other essentials from a market, washing, peeling and chopping them (also saving the peels for composting), garbage segregation, cooking, setting the table, serving, eating, clearing and washing the dishes – make this as close to complete process as possible.

If gardening is not an option for you, you could replace it with just a market visit. If market visit is not possible, start with washing vegetables. The intention is to make a start and do our best in making it as complete as possible for kids. This ensures that children try to appreciate, how on other days, their plates are magically filled with mouthwatering recipes! The chances of them wasting food (if any) would also decrease.

List your favorites

If such time spending for cooking on a daily basis is a concern, try listing out recipes that take minimal time. For example, you could start with making lemonade or a banana shake at home. Once the child is comfortable, ask them to prepare and serve the dish by taking help from his/her friends, when they come for a play date. Time for you to relax and watch how quickly kids adapt and learn.

The little master chef

Working with a food recipe platform has its own perks! My child now asks the question, “what are the ingredients?” whenever he likes a particular recipe. He knows where is which item in our kitchen. He knows that either sambar or dal is getting made whenever he watches me rinsing a dal. Hence children are quick to learn from observation than instruction and this method works more so well with children below 7 years. All they need is an opportunity to observe an adult immersed in meaningful work.

Sorting can be fun

Arranging the vessels by size, sorting storing the vegetables by type, color, shape etc, fetching the right fruit from the fruit basket etc are some fun ways to learn and understand the food we eat. It works better than going through a book where ‘A for Apple’ is written with a pictorial representation. When it comes to sensory impression, try giving them atta dough, plucking grapes, washing rice/dal, mixing ingredients for cake batter etc.

Ways to learn about and appreciate what we eat every day are endless. Take time out to let children have this vital experience. Even if they are occupied with summer camps, you could make a start with making it a weekend activity. Once they experience such process, you no longer need to tell them that spinach is nutritious, dal is protein-rich etc to make them eat. Because there will be an inclination and connection with what is present on their plates.

winter foods

5 Seasonal Winter Foods To Try Before The Winter Ends

Here are some ideas on foods to try before the winter ends! Eating seasonal foods is a healthy option and as well caters to tasting those yummy foods before the onset of spring and summer.

Winter season is marked by a steep decrease in the temperatures in northern India. The northern parts of the country experience snowfall too. Regions in the plains are also no different. People clad in warm clothes are a regular sight. Compared to the north, the southern states do not experience harsh winters. Weather is lovely throughout. Winter season is marked by huge agricultural produce. Grains vegetables and also variety of fruits flood the local markets. The season also coincides with the harvesting season of rice, potatoes, sugarcane, sesame etc.

Makki roti with saag

Since there is a fall  in temperature, our body needs foods that keep it warm throughout the season. Staple food of wheat flour chapattis is replaced with missi rotis, bajra rotis, makka rotis and it is best  paired with the seasonal sarson ka saag,  mixed saag or any other leafy preparation. Laden with huge amounts of ghee and ginger, garlic, saag is a very good immunity booster which provides nutrition as well as energy to the body. It helps to keep the body warm. Makka roti saag should be tried in this weather .

Custard apple recipes

There is also abundant increase in the fruit produce, and  sitaphal or custard apple is one fruit which is available in this season only. It can be had as it is or you can prepare sitaphal kheer or custard apple rabri . it is easy to prepare and can be given to the kids as well. I had a sitaphal tree in my backyard where I lived before. Being a north Indian our family did not know about this fruit. But when they tasted it  they were so amazed. Earlier we used to give away the fruits to the people but afterwards we only gave away less. Sitaphal is extremely delicious and kids love it.

Red carrot recipes

This season is marked by a huge production of vegetables. Carrot, sweet potatoes, potatoes, radish, turnips etc can be found all over apart from the seasonal leafy veggies. Carrots are a favourite in indian households in winters not just for curry preparation but also for halwa. Laden with carotene and vitamins it is absolutely healthy. Carrot halwa is cooked using milk and sugar and nuts are also used to enhance the flavours. It is a must in the winter season as the carrots are more juicy at this time.

Paratha recipes

Chapattis and parathas are staple food in the north. Parathas are extremely popular in the northern states compared to the south. As veggies are abundant in every household, stuffed parathas are cooked and eaten with lots of butter and jaggery.

Makka parathas, aloo parathas, mooli ke parathey methi k parathey , gobhi k parathey are some of the parathas which are relished by everyone. Kids also love them and they are a good tiffin option as there is no fuss of making a different curry. They can be given away with a piece of pickle. They are equally healthy .

Good old khichdi

Another item which is relished during the winter season is khichdi. Cooked with the new rice produced in the fields mixed with lentils it is also one important preparation made throughout the country. Our festival of Sankranti is especially marked by cooking a variety of khichdi throughout India. Urad dal khichdi in east, moong dal khichdi in south and toor dal in bisi bele bhaath are noteworthy.  The process of making khichdi is almost same in all areas, excepting for a few changes. It provides natural immunity to the body during winters and is usually paired with accompaniments. There is a saying “ khichdi tere teen yaar- ghee dahi aur achar”. There is a fourth accompaniment too- papad.

Herbal drinks to fight infections

Apart from these foods try to keep the seasonal diseases at bay by drinking kadha (herbal concoction) which is a reduction of pepper, cloves, big cardamom, tulsi leaves and ginger.

Cook together cinnamon, a bit of mishri or sugar, bay leaf, a bit of tea leaves in two glasses of water. Now, reduce this to about half of the volume and can be consumed on a regular basis to keep the cold infections at bay.

Hope you will try the above recipes before the season ends and post your feedback. Happy cooking!

heat generating foods

5 Heat Generating Foods To Eat This Winter

Heat generating foods are important to maintain the balance in our bodies during winter. Heat generating foods are also helpful when someone is suffering from cold or flu.

With the onset of winter season there is a gradual decrease in temperature. Temperature of the body also decreases due to change in environment. The body needs to be kept at a suitable temperature so that there is no change in body functions. As in summers it is necessary to intake maximum water to avoid dehydration, in winters we need to take foods that generate heat in our body so that the functions of body go on smoothly.

In winters the shift is from cold to heat generating foods. Listed below are some heat generating foods which must be included in our daily diet in winters.


Nuts are believed to provide nutrition to the brain. They keep the brain hydrated and all the bodily functions go on without any hindrance. It is advisable to have a handful of nuts during the day. It was believed that nuts cause weight gain but this myth is discarded by the dietitians as they have varied benefits which prolong the age of an individual.

The benefits of nuts are as follows:

  • They prolong the age of an individual.
  • They lower cholesterol formation as a result it is beneficial for a healthy heart.
  • They are a good source of vitamin E, copper and magnesium. Apart from this they are a good source of calcium too.
  • In Indian households the nuts are taken in various forms- raw, roasted and in powdered form. It can be included in your food in any form.
  • Dry fruits are taken in the form of laddoos, gajak til Patti which are basically nuts cooked in sugar or jaggery syrup. The famous one is chikki which is a groundnuts in jaggery or sugar syrup.


Come winter and the market is flooded with a rich produce of green and multicolored vegetables. Leafy vegetables like mustard/sarson, spinach, amaranthus, fenugreek, coriander, mint etc are available in this season.

Green leafy veggies are commonly taken as saag in Indian households. In the northern parts it is actually taken in the form of saag which is a preparation consisting of a combination of various leaves like mustard, spinach, gram bathua, fenugreek etc. It is a spicy preparation and provides energy to the body. The leafy vegetables which are full of fiber, prevent constipation and also maintain blood pressure. The leafy veggies can also be prepared in dry form as aloo methi or spinach potato or can be cooked with lentils. Tomato soup and other soups can be enjoyed sitting tucked in a warm blanket. Vegetables like red carrots, turnip, green peas and beetroot are a common sight in the markets. It is always said that we should eat according to seasons produce. Also, root vegetables are good heat producing foods too.

Today irrespective of the season, the veggies are available throughout the year, but they prove beneficial in the time of their natural production


Honey is an important item which increases the immunity of a person. Due to its diverse health benefits it is an important component of Ayurveda. It has various benefits which are as follows:

  • helps in weight loss
  • A spoon of honey mixed in warm water if taken regularly aids in weight loss.
  • cures cold and cough
  • Improves eyesight too.
  • it is antifungal and anti-bacterial in nature so helps in healing wounds faster.
  • helps in regulating blood sugar in the body hence aids in a healthy heart.

In the winter season it is likely that a person might suffer cold and cough due to changes in temperature. A valuable home remedy to keep cold and cough at bay is to mix equal quantities of ginger juice and honey and take it. Even today we stack our pantry with honey and ginger during all seasons.

Whole grains

Grains like maize ragi, bajra and jowar are said to be beneficial for a human body during the winters.

In rural india and mostly northern parts we find that makki ki roti and sarson ka saag, jowar bhakri, bajra khichdi bajra laapsi, ragi rice flour etc are included in daily diet during winters. Wheat flour is replaced by millet flours in most of the cases. This is due to the fact that they provide energy and also are warm in nature.

They are rich source of calcium and other minerals and a store house of proteins and amino acids. Highly rich in zinc magnesium iron and potassium they aid in keeping the body healthy and disease free.


It is highly recommended that murabbas of different fruits like amla and apple are highly beneficial for providing heat to the body. As they increase the immunity of the body it is highly recommended that a spoon full of murabba or chyawanprash along with a glass of milk keeps the body healthy and strong during winters. Chyawanprash is available in the market and murabbas can be made at home or purchased from the market.

Winter is a season in which we become sedentary because of the coldness outside. It is advisable to eat light foods at regular intervals. One more suggestion is drink warm water. It keeps body warm and also aids in weight loss.Apart from food we should take extra care to cover up our body with essential woolen clothes. As a variety of produce is available do enjoy the joy of cooking and preparing new dishes and share your food pictures with us . Happy winter and happy cooking everyone.

tips to stay healthy this winter

Tips To Stay Healthy This Winter

Tips to stay healthy this winter are required so you make right choice of food and body care. Tips to stay healthy this winter mainly involves eating seasonal food. Read on to know more.
Tips to stay healthy this winter help us make little changes in our routine to lead a holistic life. Winter is here and I see all the jackets and sweaters coming out of wardrobes. Winters mean many things to each one of us. For some it is time to cuddle up with a book, hot chocolate and a shawl. For some it is the season of giving and spreading joy. For some it is the time to travel and explore beaches. And for some it is time to do a lot of cooking, baking and hosting friends and family. What does winter mean to you?
Winter is also a time, during which our body needs that extra care and protection to stay healthy, warm and comfortable. With such tips to stay healthy this winter, we tend to embrace the weather change and enjoy the cold weather too. So here are some ideas to include in your winter rhythm.

Tips to stay healthy this winter start right from mornings!

Good morning winter! A daily ritual of winter rhythm takes care of your body and mind. If you are planning to start an early morning routine, then start with some walking and exercise that makes your body warm. Also the transition from under the blanket to up and doing chores becomes smoother with a physical activity in between. Winter might seem like a challenging time, however don’t let the cold weather get in the way in maintaining your physical fitness. Find a great company, enjoy the early morning silence and start your day with a masala tea or green tea. If you are more health conscious, then why not make a strong flavored turmeric latte to start your day with raw turmeric and jaggery?

Body care in winter is essential too

It is time we take care of skin and it needs some body care too, along with eating right. If it is too breezy, the cold air can make your skin and hair to become more pale and dry. Your skin needs a good daily massage. You don’t need to splurge on those expensive body lotions and creams now. And no need to visit a spa every other day. All you need to buy is a good quality sesame or coconut oil. Cold pressed and organic oils being the best, not just for body but for cooking too. Do not worry if you will have time to do this every day. Our Ayurveda expert says that a simple 5 minute applying oil and massage will go a long way in maintaining that hydration in your skin and hair.

Breakfast, make the most of this important meal

When it comes to food, it is important we eat seasonal fruits and vegetables to give our body, the right balance that’s required for the season. For example, during breakfast, use grated Amla / Indian gooseberry in place of lemon juice in your poha. Or try a thick strawberry smoothie, if you want something quick and nutritious. If you are eating parathas, then try this instant pickle made with red carrots / Delhi carrots as a side dish.

Snacking in winter?

Fruits that come in this season like custard apple | Sitaphal, apples, strawberries, oranges, grapes etc act as great snacking options. Also, you can easily make candies with Amla. This Amla candy recipe is super easy and stays good for many weeks.

When cold evenings call for a warm soup

Soups are very nutritious and a good way to feed vegetables to kids who show resistance in eating their veggies. Especially winter is a good time to enjoy a bowl of goodness in that cold weather. Here are some soup ideas listed for you.

Lunch & dinner ideas with winter vegetables

Again, eating seasonal foods provide us with all the specific nutrients required to cope with the change in weather and maintain a healthy body. For parathas or vegetables | sabzi, you can prepare with carrot, beetroot, green peas, radish, cauliflower etc. South Indian sambar with radish tastes awesome! Or if you like flavored rice, you can prepare green peas pulao, veg pulao with winter vegetables etc. You can add Amla to your dal during winters. Also there are certain vegetables like whole lot of beans and greens that are winter special vegetables. Vegetables like, double beans, broad beans (avrekai in Karnataka, hyacinth beans/Flat beans/Indian liva beans in English,Surti papdi in Hindi,Chikudukaya/Anapakayalu in Andhra), pigeon peas (kandi kayalu in telugu) etc that add lot of protein to your diet.
Hope these tips to stay healthy this winter will help you enjoy the season hassle-free. Eat well, stay warm and ring in the new year with health and happiness, surrounded by friends and family. Also stay tuned in this space to find more tips for hosting party for Christmas/new year and interesting recipes that you can cook for your guests.
juice recipes

How Our Family Relishes Juice Recipes, With Nutrition In Check

Juice recipes are that power packed glass of goodness that are easy to prepare. Here is how I make use of juice recipes as a meal or snack in our family and how it benefits our health.

Juice recipes have found an important place in our daily food habits. With increasing technology, our knowledge about food is also increasing. As our body is mostly made up of water, it also becomes more important for us to keep it hydrated. We, as a family do have juices on various occasions and here is how.

Juices rich in nutrition

As a mother of a teenager I am very conscious about the type of food my son eats. As he is in the transformation stage of his life, he requires foods which provide energy and aid in body growth and development. In the hectic school life I try to give him healthy and nutritious food but at times he rushes out saying he is late for school. In the process, breakfast is missed.  During such situations I keep a glass of fresh orange juice recipe ready for him. Orange juice is good for health as it is rich in vitamin-c potassium, folic acid and antioxidants.  It also keeps him energetic throughout his school activities as it is also rich in natural glucose.

Juices to deal with constipation

Though some kids eat everything nicely but they can develop some problems related to bowel movements if they drink less quantity of water. I faced such an issue when my son started going to school when he was a kid. Then I started giving him shakes and smoothies and his favorite being jamun smoothie recipe, which had a mixed taste of all flavors. Thank god that I never encountered such an incident ever.

If kids and adults do not have clear bowel movements many problems may arise. People who have a sedentary lifestyle have many problems related to their excretory system. They develop certain ailments which might prove fatal. Likewise in kids too if water intake is less they might also develop such problems.  I remember when I was working; my colleague’s daughter was operated for such an ailment.  Diseases like piles fistula develop due to constant constipation. These are not only painful but they lower the activity level in kids. In the long run they lose interest in studies too. For constipation an excellent remedy is prune juice recipe and bael juice recipe or woodapple juice. Available in abundance in the summer season, a glass of bael juice is a must at my place on Sundays. It is rich in fibers and helps in cleansing the system .

Juices for weight loss

Some members of my family are allergic to cold. They cannot have foods which are cold at any time of the year. Even when we go out we don’t compromise on our health at any cost. In summers and winters such people can have vegetable juices. Nowadays even the vendors selling juices sell the vegetable juices too. Highly rich in fibers and antioxidants such a juice can also satisfy your short hunger pangs. In winters we can make them at home too, as vegetables and greens are available in abundance. In summers too I make vegetable juice recipe of tomato, coriander and mint if anything else is not available. These types of juices rejuvenate the skin too and also keep our body hydrated. As the vegetable juices are mostly low in calories than the fruit juices, they also aid in weight loss, if fat burning is your goal.

Juice cleanse

A few years back I came across the word ‘Detox’. Detox is a short form for detoxification. It helps our body to get rid of excess fats and other toxins residing in our digestive system.  I also tried it for some time. I don’t recall whether I lost weight or not but I felt energetic whole day. It makes your body very light as the inner system is almost clean. It is an easy way of burning fats. Lauki or bottlegourd juice recipe is also an important detoxifying agent. It is very easily available all-round the year and very economical. It is also good for a healthy skin.

Advantages of juice recipes

  • Juices are a rich source of antioxidants.
  • Natural cleansing agents.
  • Provide instant energy.
  • Help in hydration of the body.
  • Increase immunity.
  • Good detoxifying agents.
  • Help in growth and development.

Thus we can conclude that juices are a boon to the body. You can be healthy if you drink a glass of juice, often with less sugar . Do share any feedback related with the topic and yes “happy cooking”.


common herbs

5 Common Herbs And Their Health Benefits

Common herbs have been part of our daily consumption from a long time. Here are some health benefits of 5 such common herbs.

I believe, each one of us like a healthy and green environment in our house, growing common herbs can bring freshness and can bring us more close to nature. As per wikiHerbs refers to the leafy green part or flowering parts of a plant (either fresh or dried).

Common herbs and human beings have a deep connection, from the time we reckon. We all love to be surrounded by nature.  Leafy greens are inherent part of our being, but with hectic schedules in today’s life, we get little time to spend with nature. If we want to connect, stay close to nature, having a herb garden is the best option. We can nurture the below mentioned common herbs in our kitchen garden to recreate the bond with nature.

Natural herbs, vegetables and flowers have different uses and benefits. Here we will discuss about 5 common herbs which are easy to grow, maintain and carry beneficial properties for overall human body.

Common herb – Basil/ Tulsi 

According to Indian Hindu mythology Tulsi is a sacred plant. It is also called as holy basil. Basil is an aromatic plant which finds its origin in Indian subcontinent. Tulsi is grown in most of Indian houses, some grow it for its medicinal properties and some for religious purposes. Essential oil of tulsi is also beneficial for cough and can act as immunity booster. Basil is also used in different cuisine for seasoning. 

Health benefits of Tulsi | basil

Basil helps to cure sore throat, cold and flu. We can use it in tea and give its juice (Tulsi sat) to kids after mixing it with honey. It is useful for patients of asthama as well. Tulsi also acts a des-stressing agent on our body.

Common herb – Mint 

One of the flavorsome and aromatic herbs is mint. Mint is also called as Mentha and pudhina in Hindi. Mint oil is mostly used in various toothpaste and oral wash, mouth fresheners and candies. Mint leaves act as natural mouth freshener.

Health benefits of mint leaves (either fresh or dried)

  • Helps in digestion- Mint is considered as an appetizer which soothes stomach and also helps cure indigestion. The aroma of mint helps our salivary glands to secrete digestive enzymes.
  • Helps cure Nausea – Mint leave are very effective option to treat nausea its strong aroma is efficient in curing nausea and headache related to nausea.
  • Skin soother- Mint leaves are effective skin soothers and help cure skin infections. Mint oil is has antiseptic properties and is a powerful skin cleanser.

Common herb – Coriander Leaves

Coriander also called as Dhaniya in Hindi. It is one of the most widely used herbs all across the globe. Its usage generally involve as finishing ingredients for garnishing various cuisines. All the parts of the coriander plant are edible but generally dry seeds and green coriander leaves are used in cooking frequently. Coriander leaves are also helpful in relieving nausea and indigestion. 

Health benefits of Coriander

  • Helps lower cholesterol- Coriander is quite effective in decreasing cholesterol levels in the blood. 
  • Helps regulate blood pressure – Consumption of coriander leaves help regulate the blood pressure and it is observed in many cases coriander helps reduce blood pressure in patients of hypertension.
  • It prevents anemia – Coriander is rich is iron so its high iron helps people who are suffering from anemia. The iron content also helps in proper functioning of overall organs and promotes energy and strength.
  • Good for bone – Many people are not aware about the calcium content of coriander. Calcium and other essential minerals found in coriander helps in bone regrowth and in turn help preventing osteoporosis.

Common herb – Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a short stemmed plant known for its medicinal use. Aloe Vera is cultivated all around the world and is also a low mentainance plant. It does not need much water to sustain. Aloe vera is majorly used in many beauty and hair care products. Aloe vera is also rich in antioxidant therefore it helps reduce inflammation. It has anti bacterial property and it is useful in treating skin rashes and sunburn.  

Body care benefits of Aloe Vera

  • Beauty products ingredient – Aloe vera is nowadays found in the ingredient list of many beauty products. Aloe vera is rich in vitamin C, E and beta carotene. It can be used for oily skin as well because it can moisturize the skin without making it greasy.
  • Hair care products – Aloe vera acts as a very good conditioner for hair and its correct usage transforms the hair into smooth and shiny texture. Moreover aloe vera helps in hair growth, it also prevents itching sensation on the scalp so it is also useful for curbing dandruff.  Aloe vera usage gives results like keratin treatment thereby helps preventing hair breakage as well.                            

Common herb – Curry leaves

Curry leaves popularly known as kadi patta plant is native to India is a natural flavoring plant generally used for enhancing the flavor and seasoning different cuisines. Many Indian households prefer to nurture this plant because of its benefits. Curry leaves consist of carbohydrates, fiber, calcium, phosphorous, irons and vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin E. 

Health benefits of Curry leaves

  • Helps improve digestion- Curry leaves helps improve digestion and also helps change the way, our body absorbs fat, thus helps in losing weight. 
  • Improves hair vitality and prevent greying of hair- Curry leaves are popular for treating damaged hair and bringing vitality to dull and thin hair. It also a natural treatment for dandruff.
  • It also helps reducing congestion in chest due to cough and also helps beat anaemia.


Disclaimer: The benefits of herbs discussed here are generic in nature. While the herbs have medicinal properties and health benefits, you should check if a particular herb suits your body before consumption/application.



baby first food

5 Nutritious Baby First Food Recipes

Baby first food is an important meal when you are starting an extra feed for your baby, apart from milk. These baby first food recipes will give you ideas to start with.
Being a MOM is a feeling that is above the all other emotions in the world. Holding the child first time in your hands, you forget all your worries and your world starts to revolve around your child. It is very important to breastfeed your baby for the first 6 months, but it is equally important what baby first food recipes you are giving to your baby after first 6 months. Let’s discuss about the five nutritious baby first foods you can introduce to your baby.
The baby first foods must be easy to digest and should not cause any allergic reaction. Never add salt or sugar to your baby’s food till he/ she turns 1 year old. Salt may harm your baby’s kidneys and sugar will encourage a sweet tooth. The baby first food should be full of nutrition. It should be full of vitamins,  minerals, fats and other nutrients that the growing body of your baby needs.

Bananas for baby first food

Bananas are great for baby first food!  Bananas are sweet, which may help baby more readily accept the first food experience. They are considered as complete food. They are rich in Vitamins, iron and minerals.
For making Banana bowl for your baby
  • Peel a ripe banana.
  • Place banana in a food processor or blender and puree.
  • You can also mash the banana in a bowl using a regular fork.

Apple puree for baby first food

After bananas, fruit purees are next in baby first foods that help in new taste sensations. Naturally sweet, apple puree is easy to make and healthy for your baby. Apples are rich in Vitamins: A, C, Folate and Minerals: Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium.
For making Apple puree for your baby,
  • Peel, core and cut apple into slices or small pieces.
  • In a saucepan, bring apples and water to the boil.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes or until the apples are very soft.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  • Puree using  a ladle or blender until smooth and pass through a sieve to remove lumps, if any.

Rice water as baby first food

Rice water is the starch that forms on boiling rice. Most mothers prefer feeding the baby rice water before introducing mashed rice in their diet. Rice water contains high levels of carbohydrates that help fulfill your baby’s energy requirement. Also, rice water is easily digestible.
Ingredients required :
  • Two tablespoons of rice
  • 1 cup of water
 Steps to follow-
  • Place rice in a saucepan and add water to it.
  • Boil until the rice is tender.
  • Strain the rice and collect the water. Your rice water is ready.

Lentil soup as baby first food

Yellow Moong Daal is one lentil which is easily digestible and is a good source of proteins and minerals. Make sure that you are mashing cooked daal with daal ka paani (water in which dal is cooked) as only lentil water is a poor source of nutrition. Cooked daal has most of the nutrition and that should be fed to the baby.
Ingredients required :
  • 2 tbsps cup yellow moong daal
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Turmeric powder (a pinch)
Steps to follow-
  • Wash daal in drinking water for 4-5 times, and soak the daal for about 30 minutes.
  • Take a pressure cooker and add the soaked daal and half a cup of water.
  • Add to this a pinch of turmeric powder.
  • Cook the daal for 4-5 whistles.
  • Let the pressure get released on its own.
  • When you open the cooker, use a flat spoon or a ladle to mash the daal and sieve it to avoid any lumps.

Ragi porridge – super food baby first food

Ragi is a super food. In terms of nutrition, it is a great substitute to the costly quinoa that is becoming popular! Ragi is a healthy food for babies, rich in calcium & Iron. It is rich in dietary fiber which helps in healthy weight gain. It has proteins and minerals and is easily digestible by babies. This ragi porridge is ideal when you introduce ragi for the first time to baby, as it’s prepared directly from whole ragi seeds by soaking and extracting milk, which is husk free. The consistency of this porridge is similar to the store bought baby first foods like instant cereal powder but it is much better in terms of nutrition! Ragi porridge can also be prepared from Ragi powder, and in this case sprouted organic Ragi flour is better than the regular variety.
Ingredients required :
  • Ragi seeds – 1 cup
  • Water – to grind
Steps to follow-
  • Take ragi in a pan and wash it by rubbing well with your hands. Repeat the process 2 to 3 times unless it is clean.
  • Soak the ragi in clean water for 8-10 hours. Keep it covered.  The colour of the ragi will be slightly changed after soaking.
  • Drain the water completely.
  • Transfer the  ragi to a blender.
  • Add ¼ cup of water to it and blend for 2 minutes.
  • Again add ¼ cup of water and grind it till smooth.
  • Extract the ragi milk by straining using a muslin cloth. Squeeze out the milk completely.
  • Discard the ragi and collect the milk in a pan.
  • Cook the ragi milk in a saucepan until it becomes thick and like a porridge consistency.
  • Switch off the flame once done.
  • Serve it warm.
Stay tuned for more articles!!
travelling with a baby

Travelling With A Baby? 5 Tips To Manage Baby Food During Travel

Travelling with a baby can be hassle free with these simple baby food ideas. 

Parenthood teaches all of us to plan the travel well in advance. Travelling with a baby, even if it is just for a day of train travel or air travel, mothers have to keep all necessary things handy. When travelling with a baby of 6 – 12 months age, home cooked food is the most feasible option. Travelling with homemade baby food is not as difficult as we think. For a successful trip pre-planning and calculated arrangements are the key. It is not necessary to solely rely on available packaged food. Depending on where we are travelling, and the time of stay we can make necessary travel packing. The following are tips to manage baby food during travel.


Carry hot water flask/electric kettle and baby feeding utensils

It is always important to carry hot water flask/electric kettle while travelling in train. Babies till they turn 12 months are more dependent on milk. If your baby is on formula milk, then necessary formula, bottles and water need to be carried. Hot water is also necessary for sterilizing the baby bottles and utensils. Feeding utensils for baby are important to carry to avoid food contamination.

Fresh fruits

Fresh fruits are the most easy to carry baby food. We have to keep in mind that the fruit is almost ripe and not fully ripe to avoid wastage. Banana, chicoo/sapota, papaya and mango are the most preferred travel fruits. If going out for air travel for a short time span, stewed and cooled apple can also be carried.

Homemade baby porridge recipe – instant and quick!


  • Dry roast red rice poha, let it cool down.
  • Now add palm sugar and grind both of them into a powder.
  • Whenever need to feed the child simply add hot water or hot milk and mix well let it stand for a while.
  • Now add more water/milk and mix well.
  • Your instant porridge is ready to feed the child.

Boiled and cooled vegetables (potato, carrot)

While travelling on a train we can carry boiled unpeeled potato and mash it and add some spices like salt and pepper it and feed the baby, can also give cheese slice along with potato.(if cheese is introduced to baby). Boiled potato if not pealed stay edible for up to 5 hours easily. Boiled grated carrot and potato can be mashed together.

Snacks (homemade ladoos, mathri and thepla)

We can always carry homemade ladoos, mathri and thepla if the baby is introduced to these. Freshly cooked idlis and chutney can also be consumed during train travel (it can last up-to 3-4 hours)


Always carry extra water, sanitizer and utensil washing liquid while travelling in a train or on a road trip. Baby soothers, wipes and their favourite toys come in handy during feeding while travelling with the baby. 


These are just general suggestions and never a substitute for your baby’s regular diet. Please check with your pediatrician before introducing any new foods to your baby. Some babies are allergic to certain foods and any new foods to be tried with caution.

References –


natural sugar substitute

5 Natural Substitutes To Sugar In Your Food

Sugar is largely used to sweeten and satiate our cravings for desserts. Here we bring the five natural substitutes to sugar as a sweetener in day to day life.

A large percentage of the people in India are directly or indirectly eating refined sugar. Healthy lifestyle is need of the common man. The best way to stay healthy while enjoying the sweetness is by opting for natural substitutes. Some of the most commonly available alternatives of sugar are described below.


Dates (popularly known as Khajoor) are a rich source of minerals & vitamins. It is a good source of energy and fiber. It contains iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc. Dates help lower cholesterol and are rich in protein; it promotes digestion, improves skin and also strengthens the nervous system.

We can include it in porridge, cakes, breads and its syrup can be used over crepes .Recipes – Dried dates can be used in energizing shakes. Dates tamarind chutney makes a good side dish for fried snacks. We can use dates caramel as a base for chocolate truffles. Dates paste can be used in pudding, dates brownie sizzler.


Honey is one of the oldest sweeteners on Earth and is a thick sweet liquid made by honey bees. Honey has distinct characteristic which is unique to season, type of nectar and region where it belongs. It is high in plant compounds. Honey consists of disease fighting flavonoid. Honey has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, it reduces cough & helps improve skin.

Honey is a very good salad dressing ingredient. It can be used in many drinks. Honey glazed carrots make a healthy snack, it can be used in dips, as topping on ice-creams & other desserts like Honey Chia Seed Pudding. It can be used in vanilla honey swiss rolls and cookies and shakes.


Stevia is a natural sweetener that has become very popular in recent times. Stevia is a green leafy plant native of South America. It has anti inflammatory and diuretic properties. It helps to fight diabetes and lower blood sugar levels.

We can add Stevia to smoothie, yogurt, tea & coffee. It can be used in baking as sugar substitute. One tea spoon of Stevia has power equivalent to 1 cup of sugar. It can be used in cakes & pan cakes. Lemonade, ice popsicles, cream dip, puddings, pie – all can be made with Stevia.

Sugarcane juice

Sugarcane juice is one of the healthiest drinks. It helps prevent cancer, aids in digestion, prevents stomach infection & heart diseases; it has low glycemic index, hence it works well for diabetic patients. It helps clear skin blemishes. Frozen sugarcane juice with ginger and lemon juice becomes slush. Sugarcane juice can be added to smoothies and popsicles.



Jaggery also called as Gur is one of the oldest sweetener. It has many therapeutic & natural properties that help maintain skin glowing & healthy. It helps in maintaining correct functioning of digestive system. It is rich in iron and folate that helps in preventing anaemia. It helps in reducing water retention. Jaggery is used to make ladoos, halwa, modak, pudding, kheer and chikki, etc.

Regular usage of these natural sweeteners instead of sugar – can easily help in attaining good health without compromising one’s taste buds.


The information contained on this site is general in nature and for informational purposes. It is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. Tips and recipes here are the experiences of the author.  Everyone is unique and results vary from person to person. Caution must be taken while using honey and stevia.





7 Iron Rich Recipes To Add To Your Diet

Iron rich recipes add nutrition to your food. These Iron rich recipes would help you battle deficiencies like anemia. If you believe that remedy for every disease is available in your kitchen, then read on!

Iron is one of the important minerals required by our body to stay fit and healthy. When I say Iron rich recipes, what are the features of iron comes to your mind? Strength and durability!! Yes, these are the features of metallic iron but mineral iron also provide same feature to our body.  Do you feel tired all the time? Are you unable to concentrate on your work? Iron deficiency or anemia could be one of the reasons behind it.

Deficiency of iron leads to fatigue, weakness, dizziness and decreases concentration. Iron is the carrier of oxygen in hemoglobin. In simple terms we can say that iron gives strength and durability to our body and mind. Women are mainly deficient in iron.  Iron supplements are not required in most of the cases.   Daily requirement of iron can be easily fulfilled by adding some Iron rich recipes in your diet. Green leafy vegetables, pomegranate, beetroot, broccoli, legumes, dry fruits especially dates are full of iron. Many times we avoid these foods because of taste. But now on you can gain your daily iron intake with a variety of iron rich recipes which are more than delicious. Try these recipes for a fit and active family.

Here are some interesting Iron rich recipes which are loaded with iron


Broccoli & Spinach wraps Iron rich recipe

By Shilpa Sharma

Broccoli and spinach is both full of iron. This vegetable wrap is very delicious too. This can be your power pack snack often.

Please click here for recipe link Broccoli & spinach wraps

iron rich recipe

Beetroot coconut delight Iron rich recipe

By Vijay Haldiya

Beetroot is one of the best gifts from nature. Beetroot coconut delight is a dessert which is very healthy as well as tasty. Of course, a dessert can be healthy. Even kids will love this recipe.

Please click here for recipe link Beetroot coconut delight


Iron rich recipe

Dates brownie sizzler Iron rich recipe

By Vijay Haldiya

The term “Sizzler” is enough to make your mouth watery. If it is made of dates it becomes nutritious too. Dates are one of the complete foods which contain almost all the minerals and vitamins necessary for our body especially iron. Dates brownie sizzler is a perfect combination of taste and health.

Please click here for recipe linkDates brownie sizzler

Iron rich recipes

Punjabi rajma masala curry Iron rich recipe

By Heena Bharat

Rajma or kidney beans are best known for their taste throughout the world. When it is prepared in punjabi style, rajma becomes irresistible for anyone. These kidney beans are rich in iron and are a must for everyone.

Please click here for recipe linkPunjabi rajma masala curry

Iron rich recipes

Soya bean chaat Iron rich recipe

By Vijay Haldiya

Soya bean chaat is a very healthy and tasty snack. It is easy to prepare. Everyone must be aware of the benefits of soya bean. This super food contains lots of Iron. Try this yummy chaat for healthy you.

Please click here for recipe linkSoya bean chaat

Iron rich recipes

Tofu kathi roll Iron rich recipe

By Sandhya Sampat

Tofu is a soy product which is very healthy and rich in iron. Tofu kathi roll recipe is one of my favorite roll for quick snack. Even kids also like this roll.

Please click here for recipe linkTofu kathi roll recipe

Iron rich recipes

Spinach & moong dal mangodi Iron rich recipe

By Heena Bharat

When you discuss iron, spinach comes first. Spinach & moong dal mangodi is one of the recipe one should add to their menu for increasing iron content in the diet. Try this recipe for good health.

Please click here for recipe linkSpinach & moong dal mangodi

Iron rich recipe

best cooking oil

Best Cooking Oil For Daily Cooking | Cold Pressed Vs Refined Oil

Which is the best cooking oil? Is it cold pressed oil, organic oil or refined oil? Oil is a versatile ingredient and it is time to make a right choice in choosing the best cooking oil.
Ever wondered what is a cold pressed oil?  Here is why you should choose an organic cold pressed oil over commercial refined oil.
Ingredient, ingredient, who are you?
you make it crisp
you make it soft and moist
you let the flavors release
you bring it together
you enhance the flavor
you make it non-sticky
you make it grainy
you are married to a kadai
and not to forget, you add lots and lots of calories!
Ingredient, ingredient, who are you?
Well, I am sure you would have guessed the answer by now. Cuisine, especially in Indian cooking is almost hard to imagine without this wonder ingredient – oil.

I would consider oil as the secret fat that is almost impossible to do without. The calorie count can be a huge saving grace if you eat home cooked meals on most days. When oil is something unavoidable in daily cooking, we might as well have it in its best form and hence the search for best cooking oil.

There was a time when I was on a very conscious and wholesome, only-nutritious diet to loose weight. As part of many other changes in my diet and exercise, my dietitian asked me to cut down on oil consumption. She asked me not to have it more than two spoonfuls a day. Now it depends on my creativity whether I try to make vada (I know it is impossible with 2 spoons!) or stir fry veggies or just drizzle on my salad. Wow I had the freedom to choose what can be done with two spoonfuls!
When you feel you need to cut down on fats, you might as well have that meager quantity in the most rightful way. In spite of the fat content associated with all oils, there is no denying the fact that they are a kitchen’s best friend. So how do we make the best use of it? The best form of an oil is when it is an organic cold pressed oil. Now the real question pops up – why? Well, stay with me for the rest of the post to know the best cooking oil.

What is organic cold pressed oil?

Let us divide the term ‘organic cold pressed oil’ into organic + cold pressed oil. The base ingredient, whether it is a seed or a nut which is used for oil extraction here is organically grown one. As per wiki, while there are many processes for extracting oil, the cold pressed method neither uses chemicals nor extreme heat in the process. This will make sure that the oil retains all its nutrients and essential qualities and will not end up as a mere fat.

Why should one consume organic cold pressed oil?

Here are some more reasons to go for organic cold pressed oil and why it is the best cooking oil.

Being organic

As with any other organic food, there is no use of fertilizers in growing the base ingredient of oil, be it sunflower seeds, groundnuts etc.


Oil is a concentrated form of the base ingredient and hence it is better to avoid regular refined oils. This is because, whatever the remains of chemicals in oil – either from base ingredient or from the process of refining – might be present in concentrated form too.


As the process is a cold pressed one, there is no refining done and the oil has all its nutrients intact, making it pure, much tastier and flavourful.

Prompts you to eat healthy

We all know that deep fried food consumes more oil and hence it is not recommended as a daily diet. The smoking point of most cold pressed oils is less, which means that a cold pressed oil can get heated in a lesser time than a regular refined oil. For this reason, often cold pressed oils are used for all other kinds of cooking and not much for deep frying, as deep frying requires you to cook at high heat. Once you develop the habit of eating organic cold pressed oils, it will also indirectly prompt you to reduce the habit of eating too much deep fried food – blessing in disguise, isn’t it?

How to consume organic cold pressed oil?

It is best to use organic cold pressed oil for low heat cooking or to top it on your salads. Otherwise, it can be used in regular cooking that you do. Safflower cold pressed oil is usually recommended in case you want to use some oil for high heat cooking.

How about shelf life?

As regular refined oils get treated at high temperatures, naturally they will have more shelf life when compared to cold pressed oils. But what is the use in storing and consuming something unhealthy for such long periods in the first place? It is the same case with other organic staples – the chances of organic staples catching bugs happens more often than non-organic staples. As they say, even the bugs would refuse to eat certain foods (read presence of chemicals), but many of us consider the same to be edible and fit for eating for all the wrong reasons. If you are concerned about the shelf life of your organic foods and even cold pressed oil, I would suggest you to buy them in lesser quantities and more frequently to serve the purpose, rather than consuming chemically treated food.

Other uses of edible organic cold pressed oil

Organic cold pressed oil can also be used in certain ways, other than cooking. Personally, I use organic cold pressed coconut oil as a moisturizer during winter. A drop of organic cold pressed castor oil mixed with few drops of water works effectively on extreme dry skin. Organic cold pressed sesame oil is rich in vitamin E and works effectively on your hair and scalp. For these reasons often these oils are mentioned as the ingredients in the preparation of cosmetics.

Best cooking oil – some favorites!

Somehow organic cold pressed groundnut oil has struck a chord with me. I love the aroma and the flavor that it brings to my food. Unlike other refined oils, the cold pressed one looks much thicker and is translucent, proving it to be more purer. I also use organic cold pressed sunflower oil in my occasional baking. And when I want something light and with less flavor which blends well with any food, safflower oil is my best bet. What is your favorite organic cold pressed oil?
Ingredient, ingredient, who am I?
I make it crisp, when you roast the nuts
make it soft and moist, when you bake a cake
I let the flavours release, when you do the tadka
bring it together, when you knead the dough
enhance the flavour, in whatever you make
make it unsticky, when you steam idlis
make it grainy, when you cook pulao
am married to a kadai and even a salad bowl!
and not to forget I add lots and lots of calories, so choose me right!
Ingredient, ingredient, who am I?
I am a cold pressed oil 
weight loss

Want To Lose Weight? Try These 5 Variations In Your Eating Habits For Weight Loss

Do you want to lose weight? Have you tried all possible things but failed to achieve weight loss naturally?

Obesity is a plague spreading across the world. Thanks to modern lifestyle! Almost everyone wants to shed those extra kilos which are responsible for many diseases and lower self-esteem. Weight loss industry is also growing on large scale. Business brains have spread a net to make you slim. Many of us have been trapped in this net and tend to spend thousands of bucks to have a perfect body. But, result is zero or negligible. Sometimes, you can get temporary result but after a while weight will bounce back. Hence the goal should be to achieve a healthy body than a perfect looking body and this happens when you love your body and get your eating habits right.

So, what is the solution? Losing weight is not very difficult if you are consistent. Change your eating habits to get a well toned healthier body. Try these 5 variants in your eating habits to lose weight.


Start early

Are you too busy that you don’t get time for breakfast? Or you don’t feel like eating. According to many dietitians, you should eat after half an hour of waking up. Hold on, don’t get panic! I am not telling you to eat a ton of food. Just a single fruit will work for you. So, start your day with a fruit or warm lemon water with a teaspoon of honey. Eating early will boost your metabolism. Hence, weight loss is inevitable.

Stay hydrated 

Water is one of the most important factor to make you slim. If you don’t like water drink flavored water (jeera water or ajwain water) or juices or smoothies but without sugar. Drink coffee or tea, whatever suits you, but never in the empty stomach. Try to drink water every hour during day time.

Chew slowly

Don’t eat in a hurry. Relish the taste in each bite. Chew your food slowly. It will make you more satisfied and satiated. Fast eaters generally consume more calories than required. Limit your portion by using smaller plates. Take your time for eating meals. Don’t be workaholic while eating; you may eat more than you need. So, if you are trying to lose weight, pay attention to it.

Increase protein in your diet

If you really want to lose weight then you will have to increase protein rich food in your diet. You must have heard the phrase “everything comes with a price“. Same applies here if you want to lose your weight you will have to reduce carbohydrate intake and increase protein intake. I know it is very difficult to cut down rice from your meal, but moderate intake along with protein rich food will help you.

Eat every two hours

Spread your meal throughout the day. Eat like a baby; after every two hours but the portion should also be like that. It is better to eat 6 small meals rather than eating 3 big meals. Eating less but frequently boost the metabolism. It creates major weight loss among those who follow this routine religiously.