In the recent years, traditional Indian foods have taken a backseat with fast foods, fad diets and fusion cuisines. However, Indian food is not just rich in diversity but also in nutrition. With a wide variety of grains, oils, vegetables , spices and nuts, Indian foods are a powerhouse of essential nutrients that support immunity, brain function, gut health and reduce inflammation.It’s important for children to imbibe the values of eating local and seasonal and appreciate one of the key extensions of their culture i.e. food.
Include these six traditional Indian foods in your child’s diet to make their meals a lot more nutritious, wholesome and healthy-
- Buttermilk: There is a popular misconception that buttermilk is high in fat but buttermilk is actually very low in calories. Buttermilk prevents dehydration, reduces acidity and prevents indigestion. It is rich in calcium and reduces blood pressure.
- Idli: Easily one of the healthiest Indian snacks at just 39 calories per piece, idli contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. Being a fermented food, it supports gut health. It will also help your child stay full for longer as it is rich in fibre and protein.
- Cheelas (Savoury Indian pancakes): Mad out of chickpea flour and various lentils, cheelas gluten free and a good source of protein. An excellent source of complex carbohydrates accompanied with a low glycemic index, these savoury pancakes help in maintaining a healthy metabolism.
- Khichdi: Made with rice and lentils, this traditional Indian dish is packed with dietary fibre, antioxidants and protein. It’s gluten free and easy on the digestive system.
- Poha: An Indian breakfast favourite, poha makes for a gluten-free meal option. Loaded with iron and fibre, it is low in calories and regulates blood sugar levels.
- Upma: Prepared using semolina (sooji), a bowl of upma has fiber, vitamins, and healthy fats. It is low in cholesterol and calories, while being high in iron.
It’s time we bid goodbye to myths suggesting Indian food is only limited to deep fried, fattening food and appreciate the innumerable healthy options our cuisine offers us by introducing them in our daily meals.