Monsoon spells fun to kids. But for their parents, monsoons are a source of constant worry. Infections. Missed school days. Doctor visits.
Planning monsoon menus can be a nightmare. Parents need to be very careful to ensure children not only eat a balanced diet but also that the food contains the ‘right’ types of nutrition to improve their rainy season immunity.
5 Foods To Keep Children Healthy This Monsoon
The rainy season increases the humidity in the air. This makes the digestive system sluggish and is the reason why lighter foods are recommended during this time. The following choices are good Monsoon Foods for Kids.
Warm and nourishing, these are the perfect foil for the monsoon season. Increase the vitamins and minerals intake without taxing the tummy. Make the soup with vegetables or chicken, but keep it light.
LFD Fix: My go-to recipe is a mix vegetable soup wherein I pressure cook a variety of veggies (tomatoes, onions, carrots, potato, pumpkin, sweet potato, zucchini, any variety of gourd, mushrooms etc.) mildly. Upon cooling, a quick whiz in the mixer, a tempering of burnt garlic and bay leaf (or cinnamon or five spice) in coldpressed oil and a boil with extra water to thin it out. Then, a pat of butter to serve, and hey presto! It’s a family favourite and we often mix it with bread, rice, pasta, and even dosa!!
Avoid: Cornflour based soups.
2. Water & Other Beverages:
Staying hydrated is a must. Due to the moisture in the air, kids don’t feel thirsty often and can easily miss this one. Entice them with lemonade, homemade fruit juice, buttermilk etc.
LFD Fix: Make it a game. We track water consumption in our house by pee colour. The competitive daughter always has to win by ensuring her pee is light coloured, thus automatically consuming adequate water 🙂
Avoid: Fresh fruit juices sold outside. If the hygiene levels slip, the kids will be out with diarrhoea for a week.
3. Seasonal Fruits:
Serve children seasonal fruits like plums, peaches, apricots, jamun, cherries, pears, pomegranate, etc. These colourful fruits are a wonderful way of diversifying their diet and can provide rich new nutrients.
LFD Fix: I make it a point to eat my fruit in front of my daughter although in a very matter of fact way. And the fruits I don’t like, my husband eats them in full display (he eats EVERYTHING!).
Avoid: Eating pre-cut & exposed fruit is a sure recipe for a runny tummy in this humid weather.
Jeera (cumin), heeng (asafoetida), saunf (fennel), methi (fenugreek), tulsi & basil, kali mirch (pepper), ginger and garlic are all great for easing digestive troubles. Use spices to enhance the flavours in kids meals and snacks. Temper them with ghee to add to dals, vegetables, soups or chicken. Mix in sandwich spreads. Serve with curd, salads. Sprinkle on juices, lemonade, sherbets.
LFD Fix: Burnt garlic is my favouritest condiment. I dump whole pods of garlic in oil for nearly every recipe that calls for it. By the end of it, the garlic becomes so soft, kids don’t complain when it comes in their mouth. And even if they do, much of the flavour and properties have already leached into the food, so it’s still ok.
Avoid: Nothing. All spices in reasonable quantities are great.
5. Light Protein Sources:
A light moong dal or a chicken clear soup are perfect monsoon foods for kids. They provide the much needed protein fix for the rainy season, but without taxing the tummy.
LFD Fix: When the rain pelts outside, a bowlful of steaming hot khichdi with ghee is the most comforting food. Mix in some seasonal vegetable for nutrition brownie points.
Recipe: wash and soak 1/3rd cup each of rice, washed moong (yellow one) and chilka moong (split with green husk visible) for half an hour. In a pressure cooker, add ghee. Once it warms, add cumin/ carom seeds/ mustard. Wait for them to spit and add turmeric, salt and heeng. Chillies, garlic & ginger as per taste. And whatever medley of chopped vegetables you have at hand. Cook for 5 min. Add in the rice and moong mixture. Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles (more if you haven’t been able to soak the rice and dal long enough). Once the pressure eases, open cooker, add in water and mash if it’s too dry. It needs to look mushy. Bring added water to a boil for better consistency and serve piping hot with a dollop of ghee. And some papad and fryums. And pickle if you like. And curd.
Darn, my mouth is watering…..!
Avoid: Seafood as it is their breeding season. Go easy on the red meat and eggs.
But Hey.. Don’t Forget To Enjoy The Rains!
So go on, sneak in some pakodas now and then. As long as you steer the nutrition ship a bit tightly during this season, the kids will stay healthy and you, worry-free.
Now head out for some good ol’ jumping up and down in muddy puddles!