Today's post is by our guest - Mrs F. Juri Das, Chief Diet Consultant at J's Dietetics. An experienced Chief Consultant/Dietitian/Counsellor of 16 years, Juri has worked with some of the reputed Indian and Multinational organisations in Hyderabad, Pune and Guwahati. To name a few, Juri has worked for companies such as Dr. Mohan's Diabetic Clinic(Hyderabad), Amrutha Diabetic Clinic (Hyderabad), Sparsh Diabetes Management Programme by MSD Pharmaceuticals India(Hyderabad) and more. Juri has also worked with some of the top Personal Nutritionists/Trainers in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata.
Here Juri has touched a familiar but challenging subject of feeding our teenagers, bearing in mind their nutritional requirements, especially during this lockdown period.
I hope you all are doing well in this time of lockdown. We all are trying to keep ourselves engaged and adjust with whatever we have at home. I feel it is becoming rather tough for a homemaker when it comes to preparing meals, because we are forced to manage every dish for every meal with the ingredients available at home.
Although we have enough time on our hands to try something new for the family, but when we go to the kitchen or open the fridge, we find that something or the other is missing. At the same time, nowadays, not only we cannot rush to the market to get it but even in the markets not everything is easily available. Because of the lockdown, markets are also running short of stocks. So, we have to come up with something of our own. I am sure you would agree that it has improved our culinary practices a lot! But when it comes to ‘picky teens’ it is much more difficult for the mothers to satisfy them.
Teenage is a time during which they like going out with friends and enjoy variety in their food. At their age, they mostly prefer junk or fast food and love the Pizza Huts, McDonalds, and KFCs etc. But during this lockdown when all these places are closed, we as mothers are having a tough time to satisfy their teenage apetite for food. Some likes sweet dishes, and some like savoury dishes. Problem doubles up when there are two children at home , each with different tastes, one likes sweet and the other savoury. I am sure you can imagine the situation of the dear mother!
Besides satisfying their taste buds, as mothers we must see to their nutritional requirements as well. Whatever we prepare, it should be healthy from the nutritional point of view.
There are some easy to prepare foods, packed with required nutrients for your teenager.
As we know that protein is particularly important to improve our immunity, so every meal should contain one or more protein rich foods. For breakfast, if you make chapati or paratha with whole wheat flour then with that, try to prepare some legumes like rajma, chhole, lobia, etc or make some preparation with egg. Legumes with their outer covering contain a good amount of fibre besides a good amount of plant protein. Egg, as we say, is a complete protein with all the essential amino acids required by an individual. To increase the amount of protein you can add some left-over dal or besan in your dough.
Soya nugget is also a good protein which goes with chapati or paratha. Another item is pan cake. I am quite sure everyone likes a fluffy pan cake with honey. Milk and egg are an incredibly good composition of protein, and honey is a good antioxidant. Instead of honey you can add chocolate syrup too, as it is liked by most children. Egg omelette with some vegetables, Spanish omelette with cheese are also liked by teens. I often make rolls with scrambled egg and tomato sauce which my kids love, and they are easy to prepare as well. Dosas with some chutney, Bengal gram and coconut are healthy options too. You can prepare the dosa batter beforehand, keep it refrigerated and prepare it whenever required.
Lunch in an Indian household generally contains all types of nutrients. We normally take rice, dal, vegetables, salads etc. With that if we add few non-vegetarian dishes like meat or fish then protein quality and quantity will both increase. We can include curd, raita, or a curry preparation with curd, to increase the protein.For dinner you can prepare some vegetable or potato stuffed paratha.
According to me, the most challenging task for mothers is getting the right evening snack if you have the habit of it. If you have buns at home, burger is a good option. I usually make a patty with potatoes and vegetables and add nutrela flakes (shredded soya chunks) to make it more nutritious. You may also prepare a delicious chaat for snacking with boiled chana or chickpea, add a green chutney and raw vegetables with a sprinkle of chaat masala and you will see a smile on the face of your teen.