Healthy baby, Recipes

Cold Quinoa Salad for Hot Summer Days

Quinoa is one of the most popular health foods, some even call it a super food. I like it because its easy to cook, is very versatile as it has little taste of its own so blends well with all recipes, and it is among the few foods that have all the essential amino acids, making it one of the richest sources of protein.

Earlier considered a food of the west, Quinoa is now available in all major Indian cities as well. There is no Hindi name for it because it is not an Indian crop but you can easily find it at supermarkets such as Godrej Nature’s Basket, Food Hall, Hypercity, Big Basket, Needs or even at your local grocery store. 

Though there are several ways to enjoy Quinoa, one of my favorites is this cold salad.

It is very easy to make, very filling and absolutely delicious. You need cooked quinoa which should be at least room temperature if not cold. Add to it chopped veggies of your choice – onion, cucumber, tomatoes (discard seeds or use berry tomatoes), bell peppers, coriander leaves, mint leaves, lettuce, sweet corn, baby spinach. Add them all or add whatever you have in your kitchen. Add a little salt*, chat masala, sprinkle generously with lemon juice and toss it all together. You can add finely chopped green chillies to add some zing to it.

*Be careful while adding salt. I feel Quinoa is something that needs little salt so keep it on the lower side.

Enjoy!!

-A

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Healthy baby, Recipes

Sabka favorite Stir Fry

If you are like me you would have at some point wondered how to get your child to eat more veggies. This easy peasy Chinese dish comes to my rescue.

You need :

  • Asparagus
  • Mushrooms 
  • Broccoli ( Use the peeled stalks too)
  • Baby corn
  • Sweet pepper 
  • Zucchini (I don’t peel it)
  • Carrots
  • Beans  
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • A pinch of salt 
  • Oregano for seasoning (Optional)
  • A tbsp roasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce (optional)

* Use whichever of the above vegetables you have, the more the better.

Wash all veggies and cut them in 1-2 inch pieces. Take a big shallow pan and add olive oil once it’s hot. Add all veggies and stir fry on high for 5 min. Don’t cover. Test veggies… They should be crunchy but not raw. Turn off heat, sprinkle salt and sesame seeds. Mix well, serve hot.   
 

I don’t use soy sauce most times because the dish is flavorful as it is but if you want you can add it right after you put vegetables in the pan. 

My 3.5 year old loves it, and I like how this dish uses veggies that are not commonly used in Indian cooking. That it needs just a little bit salt is another plus. If you have a baby at home you can cut the vegetables smaller and cook them softer without any seasoning. 

Try it, it’s quick ( the only time you spend is in washing and chopping the vegetables) and delish ( I end up eating almost half of it while tasting only :P).

Perfect for evening snack or as a side dish with Dal rice. 

Happy cooking.

-A

Healthy baby

Relieving constipation in your little bunny!

Constipation is a common problem in children of all ages. Though it seems pretty  harmless only a mother knows how much pain it causes her child. Constipation usually begins when babies start formula milk or during their transition to solids. Their young intestines are stressed by the sudden change in diet and need some getting used to. The limited water intake doesn’t help either. The result is infrequent, hard and often painful bowel movement. 
 
A rule of thumb is to increase the sugar intake in your child when he’s constipated and cut down on sugar as much as you can when he has diarrhea. However, if your child is less than 1 year old and still nursing you should offer more breast milk as a first step.
Traumatized by VMJ’s cries as she dealt with constipation around 1 year mark I scanned the web for home remedies that would ease her pain. Here are the best ones I found:
 
  1. Putting oil/Vaseline to baby’s bottom. It loosens the opening as well as greases it for an easier bowel movement. Dip an ear bud in Vaseline or coconut oil and insert gently in baby’s bottom. Don’t insert too much, just a little is enough
  2. Prepare a warm bath for the baby with 2 tsp of baking soda added to it. Let the baby soak in it for 10 min
  3. Prune juice/ prune water helps a great deal. Boil few prunes and strain the water. Give to your child couple of times a day. Prune puree is available in the baby food section and works like a charm
  4. Spinach brings quick relief too. Add puree in yogurt, cereal or give as it is
  5. Pear, Papaya and Peach. You can make baby’s cereal in pear or prune juice/puree
  6. Give a few spoons of a weak concoction of saunf (fennel) or ajwain (carom seeds). Boil a pinch of these with a cup of water and your magic potion is ready. You can also make cereal in this or add a little in formula, but give a little at a time
  7. Increase the amount of sugar in her diet (and do the opposite when she has diarrhea, cut back on sugar)
  8. Rice cereal usually makes babies constipated. You can make healthier rice cereal at home – lightly roast brown rice or oats and grind them. You can use either or both together to give variety of cereal and taste. They cook in just couple of minutes in the microwave. You will have to let it cool down and perhaps add more water because it thickens as it cools. But until the constipation eases away, cut down on rice. You can add double the water if you want to give it at all. You can also add fruit and veggie puree to add more fiber to it, or make it in yogurt instead of water
  9. Yogurt is healthy as well as aids digestion. Home made is best, however if you are giving store bought must check for ‘live active culture’
  10. Black raisins are very good for relieving constipation. Just soak a few in water overnight and give this water and soaked raisins to your child
  11. Stay away from banana. In some kids it increases constipation so don’t give unless you are sure how it works with your baby
  12. If everything else fails, you can safely administer Glycerin suppository (look for infant suppositories). Its recommended by pediatricians and is available easily at chemist shop without a prescription. A suppository brings relief within a couple of hours, in case it doesn’t you can use another safely the same day

xoxo

-A