Child Health, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Recipe Corner

Healthy Alternatives to Junk Food for Kids

healthy-alternatives-to-junk-food-for-kids

We need to start having a very holistic approach towards the health of our children. Now, it’s not just middle-aged people or elderly people who come to us, it’s children with juvenile diabetes, heart problems, obesity issues, young girls with PCOS, children with attention deficit disorders too. Yes, there are certain health conditions children are born with and many of them are genetic, but there are also innumerable children who have acquired it through a faulty lifestyle.
We need to put the right food into our kid’s bodies. Processed and junk food is designed to get them addicted to it. Most of the food company spend billions and billions of dollars for that perfect recipe to get your brain addicted and generate cravings which you cannot fight and the junk food wins over your willpower. So, if that’s happening to us as adults, why not kids who have not yet completely developed all of their motor and sensory skills. They are going through an addiction process that we have created.
The choices that we make for our children are responsible for everything that our children go through.

Keeping that in mind and the change we as adults need to drive to younger generation, here are some healthy, nutritious and delectable options for kids in place of junk and processed.

Pizza Dough

Ingredient:
• 1 cup amaranth flour/ jowar flour/ragi flour to add 2 tbsp of banana flour too.
• ¼ cup arrowroot powder optional
• ¼ cup almond or cashew flour
• ½-¾ cup warm non- dairy milk
• ½ tsp salt, herbs, pepper
• 1 tbsp ground flax.

Method:
For Pizza Base
1. Mix everything to make a dough. Keep aside covered for half an hour.
2. Roll out the base of the pizza like the way you would roll out the roti/flatbread.
3. Prick it so it does not fluff while cooking.
4. Bake it for about 10 min at 180 deg C in the oven or roast lightly on tawa/pan.

Cashew cheese/Almond milk cheese (Makes 2 cups)

Ingredients:
• 2 litres Almond milk /cashew milk.
• 1/3 cup lemon juice (from 1 1/2 to 2 lemons).
• 1 teaspoon salt, optional.
Method:
1. Warm the milk, the milk will get foamy and start to steam; remove it from heat if it starts to boil.
2. Add the lemon juice and salt.
3. Remove the milk from heat.
4. Pour in the lemon juice.
5. Let the milk sit for 10 minutes.
6. Let the pot of milk sit undisturbed for 10 minutes.
7. After this time, the milk should have separated into clumps of milky white curds and thin, watery, yellow-coloured whey — dip your slotted spoon into the mix to check.
8. If you still see a lot of un-separated milk, add another tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar and wait a few more minutes.
9. Strain the curds: Set a strainer over a bowl and line the strainer with muslin cloth.
10. Scoop the big curds out of the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the strainer.
11. Pour the remaining curds and the whey through the strainer.
12. Drain the curds for 10 to 60 minutes.
13. Let the ricotta drain for 10 to 60 minutes, depending on how wet or dry you prefer your ricotta.
14. If the ricotta becomes too dry, you can also stir some of the whey back in before using or storing it.
15. Use or store the ricotta.
16. Fresh ricotta can be used right away or refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.

For Pizza Sauce:

Ingredients:
• 2 tomatoes (blanches and skinned)
• 1 small onion (finely chopped)
• 4-5 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
• 1 tsp oregano
• ½ tsp jaggery powder
• Pink salt to taste
• Chilli flakes to taste
• 2 tsp unrefined cold pressed oil
Method:
1. In a vessel heat oil, add onions and garlic and sauté till cooked well.
2. Add tomato puree and bring to boil.
3. Let it simmer till it thickens.
4. Once thickened add all the spices and herbs and mix well.
5. Sauce is ready.

Summer treat Dairy free ice cream

Ingredients:
• 3 cups dairy-free milk (coconut, almond).
• 1/3-1/2 cup mejdool dates (soaked in warm and pureed).
• Flavouring to taste (pure vanilla extract, cinnamon, cacao powder).
• Add-ins of choice (fruit cut into pieces, cacao nibs, nuts or seeds).

Method:
1. All you need is a good blender.
2. Blend all the ingredients until creamy, place it in a deep pan or ice-cream moulds and freeze for 4-6 hours. And your homemade dairy and sugar free ice-cream is ready!
3. The wait is the hardest part.

Healthy Waffles

Ingredients:
• 3 tablespoons ground flax or chia seed + 6 tablespoons water or 1 egg.
• 3 cups Roasted groats oat flour or Wheat flour (add little rice flour too if using wheat).
• 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon.
• 1 teaspoon salt.
• 1 and 1/2 cups A2 milk or Almond milk or water.
• 4 tablespoons organic honey.
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract.
• 1/4 cup coconut oil

Method:
1. In a small bowl, add ground flax seed and water. Stir combine then set aside to thicken.
2. In a large bowl, add oat flour or wheat flour cinnamon and salt.
3. Whisk to combine and set aside.
4. In a measuring cup, combine the Milk /water
5. Add the organic honey and pure vanilla extract.
6. In a separate deep bowl or cup, add the coconut oil and a small amount of the milk mixture.
7. Whisk until smooth, adding more of the milk as needed.
8. To the bowl with the flour, add the flax mixture, the oil and remaining milk mixture.
9. Stir until evenly combined, assuring there aren’t any clumps of flour, then set aside while you warm the waffle maker.
10. The batter should rest for about 5 minutes before using.
11. This helps it thicken a bit; however, you don’t want it to sit too long or else the waffles will turn out denser.
12. Distribute about 1/4 cup for each waffle (this will vary depending on your waffle maker) and cook until golden and crispy.
13. Serve warm with organic honey and chopped fruits.

Home-made Nutella
(Makes 2 cups, Stays fresh for 2 weeks)

Ingredients:
• 3 cups raw or roasted unsalted hazelnuts
• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 tsp sea salt
• 2 -3 tbsp cacao powder.
• 2-3 tsp organic honey.

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and add hazelnuts to a baking sheet in a single layer.
2. If raw, roast for a total of 12-15 minutes. If already roasted, roast for 8-10 minutes just to warm the natural oils and loosen the skin. This will make it easier to blend into butter.
3. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Then transfer to a large kitchen towel and use your hands to roll the nuts around and remove most of the skins.
4. You want to get as much as possible off because it yields a creamier Nutella. But it doesn’t have to be perfect!
5. Leaving excess skin behind, add hazelnuts to a food processor or high-speed blender. Blend on low until a butter is formed – about 8-10 minutes total – scraping down sides as needed.
6. Once the hazelnut butter is creamy and smooth, add the cacao, vanilla and salt and blend well.
7. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt or vanilla if desired.
8. Transfer to a clean jar and store at room temperature for everyday use for 2-3 weeks or more.

NOTE: Just know the more liquid sweetener (honey) you add, the firmer/stiffer the Nutella will get, so add sparingly.

Hash Brown Treats

Ingredients:
• 1 sweet potato mashed
• 1 onion grated
• 1 tsp fennel powder
• 1 tsp chili flakes
• 2 tbsp rice flour
• 1 tsp oregano
• Salt to taste
• Coconut oil

Method:
1. In a pan add the ingredients and cook in slow flame
2. Close gas
3. Once cool make like discs using hands
4. Again, cook in a pan in slow gas till golden brown in colour.

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Luke Coutinho

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