Healthy diet for youngsters

We have to emphasis the importance of healthy diet and eating right from childhood. Somewhere the nutritional gap starts and becomes so big that it is difficult to fill up –hence the increasing amount of children having heath problems like obesity, anemia, constipation or high cholesterol problems. Simply put, if we begin today (in fact, right now!) to take preventive measures kids can be energetic, happy and feeling great which is the way they are meant to be.
There are so many distractions for the young ones today: fast foods, processed foods and all those where taste matters more than the goodness factor. Let us face it; we are surrounded by fast-food outlets, peer pressure, bad catering in school-canteens, advertising campaigns and birthday parties to lead children astray in their choices around food, so it is imperative that we take the reigns early on to introduce good eating habits to young children. Would you not like to have your children safeguarded against common ailments, allergies, concentration problems and learning difficulties as the result of poor diets dominated by massive amounts of refined sugars, colourants, flavourants, preservatives and excess amount of fats?
The primary education for following a healthy diet begins in the primary years. It is best to allow the young ones at home to help with the meal preparation and “test” the taste before adding extra flavours. Children will most probably not eat fruit and vegetables simply because “they are good for them”. They must have good flavour and texture. I have also observed that many kids will not eat cooked vegetables but may eat them raw. Salad vegetables like cherry tomatoes, slices of cucumber, grated carrot or carrot sticks and celery are a good option and can be served with a tasty dip.
There is one meal that is important for kids and adults alike and that is breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day and should be eaten every day. Some examples are a nutritious drink, fresh or stewed fruit, custard, yogurt, leftovers on toast or milk drinks as well as the usual breakfast foods such as cereals, toast, eggs and baked beans.
Quick Fried Egg with Brown Bread is a good presentation. Lunch is probably packed in school or college. The evening meal is the single most family meal where the mother must find time to cook up something very tasty and wholesome. You can look at hearty soups or casseroles, stir-fries using chicken, lots of vegetables and some noodles. Try pasta dishes like meatballs with pasta, tuna and tomato fettuccine or macaroni cheese. Even egg dishes such as frittata, quiche and omelettes will be enjoyed. Once in a while give a treat of homemade hamburgers and pizzas! Healthy Pizza is sure to please the kids. Desserts should make a positive contribution to a meal so serve lots of fresh sweet fruits and yogurt sundaes. For special occasions Hot Chocolate Nut Sundae is wonderful.
We as adults need to give children firm yet gentle guidelines to support them in making good choices later in choosing a healthy diet for themselves.

In the Land of the Rising Sun!

Feels great to be in this country with such a rich cultural heritage – Japan, the land of the rising sun as it is rightly called! Reached here today morning with the arrival at Narita International Airport, Tokyo city. With a short rest at the hotel, I was up and ready for the upcoming hectic schedule with Lunch at 1200 hours followed by meetings with Japan Tourism Agency and Japan National Tourism Organization at 2 pm and Creative Industry Bureau of Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry at 4 pm.
Later today, have a study tour at Roppongi Hills to understand the redevelopment of this particular area and attend a reception and seminar at Roppongi Hills Club. Seems really an interesting itinerary before I end the day, retiring at the hotel; just to begin the day tomorrow with a study tour at TEPIA Museum – where I would get to learn about the Japanese high technology.
Back in my country and an insight about the weekend – lazed in the morning and cooked up Thai Curry and Rice for lunch. Then, had some meetings lined up between 4 pm to 7 pm at Club Millennium. And as I returned back home, was welcomed by Alyona’s parents who had come over to spend the weekend. So, prepared both veg and non-veg Pasta for dinner and checked out the movie ‘The Contractor’.
Sunday morning was back at the office, the FoodFood office, where there was a small havan kept, before they moved onto a new floor. Discussions about the Maha Challenge event also took place there. While we discussed things at the office, Alyona’s mom had prepared a great lunch at home – aamras, puri, chapatti, kadhi, aloo ki subzi and green beans. So, got back to home for the awesome and delicious lunch with my wife’s sister, Jyotsna and her son, Manit. Post lunch, played and got entertained by the little one, before I got ready to catch my flight to Japan later that evening!
And as I’m away from India, here’s some more Oriental delicacies to choose from…

Till I write again.
Sanjeev Kapoor

Healthy cooking – our ready reckoner for low fat eating

Stir-frying, broiling and grilling are all excellent ways to prepare foods. Steaming vegetables with a touch of garlic for flavour makes a good side dish. Combine that with some brown rice. That is one good sample of healthy cooking.
When making desserts, substitute applesauce for fat, cut the amount of sugar called for in half and use egg whites instead of eggs. Reach for either dried fruit or fresh fruit instead of a candy bar. Why not have a Melon Scoop Salad for dessert? Eliminate sodas and increase your water intake instead. When buying juice, read the label. If it contains juice made from concentrate or lists sugar as an ingredient then know that it contains more sugar than juice. Aim for buying the ones that list only the fruit and water or that state it is not from concentrate. Use less sugar when making cookies or dessert.
One of the simplest ways to increase the nutrient-dense foods in your diet is to eat as much fruit and vegetables, preferably raw, as you would like. Carrots, bananas, and apples are very portable and provide you with energy, vitamins and minerals. Studies show that people who eat several servings of fruits and veggies daily benefit in numerous ways. Also, due to their high fiber content, many fruits and vegetables are more satisfying to our bodies, meaning we tend to need less of them in order to feel full. One recipe for you to try out Salad Greens with Strawberry vinaigrette. If you are looking to fill up without eating too many calories, try these foods: baked potatoes, fish, oatmeal (with no butter or cream), oranges, apples, whole-wheat pasta, grapes, bran cereal, bananas and popcorn.
Changing our high-fat, high-calorie diet for a low-fat one is not about depriving ourselves. Instead, when you crave a certain food, eat it in moderation. This also does not mean that you need to avoid eating at restaurants. Just remember, when you eat one high fat meal, you need to follow that with three low-fat meals. You can also decrease the amount of fat and calories you eat when you are at a restaurant. Ask for the salad dressing on the side so you can put a little instead of too much. Look for broiled, grilled, or stir-fried selections. Ask if you can substitute egg whites for the whole egg in omelettes and other egg selections. At home try having an Eggwhite Omelette for breakfast at least once a week. Eating pasta with a tomato-based sauce versus a cream-based sauce is always a lower-fat choice.
Here we have dwelt on healthy cooking and suggest a lifestyle change for the better. Not only will you become fit, but you will feel better as well.

Juicy tales about lemons – healthy citrus for summers

Lemons are real thirst quenchers and it is important to always have a few at home in summers. Lemons are important in lemonade (either sweet or salted) that is one of the most popular home made refreshing beverages! It not only rejuvenates but also provides the essential nutrients that are required to fight the dehydrating heat. So when one wants to benefit the healthy aspects of a lemon try a Lemon Banana Lassi that will pep you up.
Lemon juice also revives in conditions of fever, diarrhoea etc. Lemons are also used as appetisers other than all its uses in cookery. It is also used in the cosmetics industry. Lemons are rich in vitamin C. They are low in calories and high in potassium content. Every part of the lemon is used in sweet or cooking delicious dishes. From the rind to the juice it is used. Traditionally a drink of lemon juice, hot water and a teaspoon of honey have been used as a remedy for colds, obesity, and constipation.
In the kitchen a lemon can do some sparkling things. Make this starter at the next party you have: Grilled Prawns with Spicy Lemon Dressing and sit back for the accolades. Lemon juice freshly squeezed over grilled fish is a traditional way to serve it. Or then some serve the fish with cut lemon wedges. Lemon slices are a popular addition to tea and cold drinks.
Lemons give a wonderful flavour to sweet dishes. Miniature Tarts with Lemon Curd are always pleasantly received. Not only lemon curd, lemons can be used for jellies, jam, or cheeses, mousses, ice cream, soufflés etc. Lemon peels contain pectin, which helps to set jams and jellies. Strips of peel can be added to candied fruits to add to cakes and puddings. Try the Lemon and Pistachio Cookies in your kids’ mid-morning snack box!
Lemons are widely used in pickles and sherbets. Lemon juice is also used as a stain remover due to its bleaching property. Due to the high vitamin C content, lemon juice prevents oxidation, so it is often brushed over cut fruit or white vegetables to stop them from turning brown.
Tips for best use of lemons
1. A lemon at room temperature will yield more juice.
2. Before juicing, press down firmly and roll the lemon on the kitchen counter to break up the pulp before juicing.
3. If the lemon is very cold, you can microwave it for a few seconds before squeezing.
4. Freeze the juice in ice cube trays, when frozen save in a plastic bag.
5. Grate lemon zest; seal tightly in a plastic bag and freeze.
6. Put lemon wedges inside the cavity of a whole chicken.
7. Tenderize meat by marinating it in lemon juice.
8. Squeeze lemon on vegetables while steaming, to keep the colours bright.
9. A few drops of lemon juice improves the taste of other fruits.
10. Add it to rice while cooking to make it fluffier.
Talking about healthy lemons and rice, a simple presentation of Volcanic Lemon Vegetable Rice tonight can turn your dinner table into a lively place.

Japan tour awaits…

Began with SK’s Teen Patti shoot, yesterday, at Filmistan to go on for the entire coming week before I pack my bags and leave for the Japan Familiarization Tour on June 26, 2011. Must say, the Saturday went hectic at the office with meetings and selecting recipes for the shoot. By the time I wrapped up, it was time for me to travel to South Mumbai for the inauguration of the Sleek Kitchen Showroom at Fort, followed by dinner at Indigo Restaurant at Colaba, with Alyona, my team and family of Sleek directors. A good dinner sure relaxes one’s body and prepares it for a sound sleep, after a busy and occupied day!
After the tight schedule of Saturday, I made sure that I get rest before the new week began again! Thus, Sunday went lazying at home with family, watching a couple of movies like ‘2 Fast 2 Furious’ and ‘Hitman’, chilling out and ending the day with a great dinner!
Monday had me and my better half, Alyona, attending a friend’s son’s thread ceremony before the shoot. Not much to reveal about my Japan trip, but a little something – this trip is an initiative by Infinity Creations as an activity of the Japan-India Travel and Tourism, where I will get the chance to be familiar with the Japanese food and culture, and try and contribute for a noble cause, especially when its just after the natural calamity that took place. Looking forward for this trip, hoping that it turns out to be as knowledgeable as it can possibly get!
And while I juggle between the shoots and get ready for the tour, here are some oriental recipes you all might just want to try out…

Till I write again.
Sanjeev Kapoor

Healthy low fat recipes – many options

Most adults do end up consuming around a hundred grams of fat every day! Wow, that is a bit too much. No wonder then obesity has been declared as an epidemic. We need to adopt healthy low fat recipes in order to lose weight and keep the fat off. According to experts, we need to be consuming no more than sixty grams of fat daily and this has different schools of thought (more about this later).
There are several ways to cut the fat from our diets. The first step that we can take is to eliminate the following fats and oils completely: butter, palm oil, chicken fat, lard, vegetable shortening and cottonseed oil. All seven of these have incredibly high percentages of saturated fat, which is linked to higher cholesterol levels and a greater risk of heart disease.
To cut down fat in daily cooking, the first step is to get good in ‘no oil’ cooking. Once in a while indulging in butter on toast seems so worthwhile then! It need not be that all the meals through the week be made without oil. At least aim to have three to four meals out of the twenty one in a week, with no oil. It will take a while to become accustomed to eating without butter or oil, but once committed to eating a healthier, low-fat diet, it becomes much easier to cut certain things. No oil cooking is possible. Try recipes like Garlic Rasam, Tamatar ki Kadhi with brown rice.
The next step is to decrease the amount of obvious fats that you eat such as cheese, pastries, full fat dairy foods and meats. In the cases of many of these foods, there are low fat substitutes that are available. Many of us have spent years looking at food labels to determine the number of calories in them. Now, it’s time to start reading the amount of fat grams in a food.
We also need to look at how we prepare our foods. In order to maintain our low-fat nutrition plan, we need to eliminate cooking with butter and frying our foods. Using olive oil is a good substitute as it is low in saturated fat and high in the heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Use it sparingly, however. Looking now for healthy low fat recipes? Try Corn Bhel, Rice Panki for starters.

Healthy yogurt – its yummy and fun to eat

Eat yogurt chilled or those wishing to further titillate their taste buds can add fruits to it. Those who love chocolate can try a healthy yogurt dish called Chocolate Yogurt.
Have yogurt with a bowl of steaming rice. Vegetable Curd Rice is a popular version. In whichever form one wishes to eat it, curd or yogurt is a product that enjoys a special place in your plate.
Did you know that a good bowl of yogurt contains millions of microorganisms? This surely would make you think twice before you reach for the creamy concoction. But these microorganisms are ‘friendly’ bacteria that make the product good for health. The manufacture of yogurt involves the process of fermentation whereby the proteins in milk are curdled. This is carried out with the help of specific strains of bacteria (microorganisms) that make lactic acid. Besides providing a delicious addition to the daily diet, it is nutritionally sound too!
Curd or yogurt is being appreciated as a probiotic where ‘pro’ means ‘for’ and ‘biotic’ indicates ‘life.’ It is thus being hailed as a product, which promotes a healthy life. A product teaming with microorganisms yet they are not harmful! The intestinal tract may naturally contain microorganisms but not all of them are disease causing. The microorganisms in yogurt are of a type that prevents other harmful organisms to dominate the intestines.
Cup of health
Want a good protein source? Look no further! Yogurt besides providing proteins of a good quality is also rich in minerals, calcium and phosphorus. Those wanting a low fat yogurt could try the ones made with skimmed milk powder.
The process of fermentation to make yogurt improves its nutritive quality as the microorganisms added to it enhance the folic acid and vitamin B 12 available to the body.
It has been observed that yogurt is better tolerated than milk among people suffering from milk intolerance. The bacteria break down the sugar lactose found in milk and hence there is a lesser chance for lactose intolerance to be seen. It is a better source of calcium for those who cannot consume milk. A wonderful filling beverage is Chilled Watermelon Yogurt.
In case of diarrhoea, the consumption of yogurt helps to stabilize the gut environment, which gets upset by the invasion of disease causing organisms. When certain medications like antibiotics wipe out both the good and the bad bacteria from the digestive tract, yogurt can help restore the balance. Ulcer causing bacteria have something to fear when the microorganisms from yogurt take over.
Recent studies also point towards the ability of yogurt to boost immunity against infections.
Whatever way one chooses to eat it there is delight in every spoon of healthy yogurt. Any takers?