Friday, December 29, 2006

Simple ways to Improve your kids eating habit

A good childhood has to be a well-guided one, not necessarily killing the fun but channelling the energy in the right direction. And since, "you are what you eat", we should spend some dedicated time on kids' food. Yes, it should be rich in nutrients and all the vital minerals they need to grow up, more important it should be fun too. A bland plate is unlikely to attract a child just as a colourful meal deficient in nutrition is unlikely to do him any good.

Stick to the basics

Rather than going in for fancy experimentation, we should stick to the basics when it comes to kids' food. It should contain the right quantity of protein, carbohydrates and vitamins. And if it is topped with a lot of kid fun, then bingo, you have the best formula in town!

One way of doing it is to just get creative, in moderation though. Experiment with ingredients and create something that will be fun to eat and also take care of your child's daily dietary requirement. Learn to involve your child in the preparation of a meal.

Some improvisation

Can't experiment much? Go ahead, steal ideas! If your kid loves junk food, then try to change that food into healthy fun food. All you have to do is change the ingredients and the cooking method.

Change the deep fat fried vegetable patty in the burger to a grilled vegetable and tofu patty. Add a lot more of salad to it and you have a nutritious burger.

Put scoops of papaya in a fancy glass with some badam thandai and you are ready to attract the kids. Ice cream can take a beating here.

Just dip banana in chocolate and let it cool, kids will run after you.

Just make your own pizza base from soya paratha and top it with the season's fresh vegetables and low fat cheese, and you have everything ready.

Still not enough? Then just try filling golgappas with tangy bean sprouts minus the spicy water.

Then? Watch for the results. No more running after the kids to feed them, they will run after you for food.

Now an idea kids may not have heard about: Chicken ki jalebi. This is one fun food idea in which you can involve your kid too, with precautions, of course.

Chicken Jalebi

Lean chicken finely minced: 200 gm
Powdered soya flakes: 50 gm
Garlic paste: 1 tbsp
Ginger paste: 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Green chilli paste: half tsp
Fresh cream: 2 tbsp
Egg white: 1
Garam masala powder: 1tsp
Mint and coriander paste: 1 tbsp

Oil: 2 tbsp

Method: Just tell your kid to mix everything together nicely. Heat the tawa to medium intensity and grease it with some oil. Take a clean kitchen cloth and make a small hole, of pencil thickness, in the middle, just like the jalebi cloth.

Put a portion of the chicken mix in it and hold it firmly on the hot tawa.

Squeeze and make jalebis on the tawa in round motion with your or the child's hand. When done on one side, turn over to the other side, till it is all golden brown.

Remove and serve with a sauce of your choice.

Click here for more chicken Recipes.

Source: The Hindu

Monday, December 25, 2006

Prawn stuffed eggs

This is another variation of the stuffed eggs; the stuffing is made with prawns and egg yolk. Prawns can be substituted with vegetables, chicken or any meat of your choice. The baking of the stuffed egg finally gives a distinctive taste to the dish. This is an excellent appetizer, serve it with soup and salad.

Click here for Prawn Stuffed Eggs Recipe

How to cook perfect boiled eggs

Making the perfect hard boiled eggs without cracking or having the perfect yolk without the green layer is definitely everyone would like to work on. Follow the tips and tricks provided to make the perfect hard and soft boiled eggs. There is even a detailed description how to peel the eggs easily.

Click here to learn the ways to make Perfect Boiled Eggs

Curried stuffed eggs

This recipe has a simple stuffing which can be made easily in minutes. The mayo added makes the stuffing moist and binds the ingredients together. But be wild in making your own stuffing, infact the stuffing can vary from prawns, chicken, crab or a vegetable stuffing. Saute some onions , tomatoes and garlic with your choice of spice and salt. Finally add the egg yolk and you have an Indian version of spicy stuffing for the eggs. Try this recipe without any change and will be stunned by the way it tastes. Presentation is easier for such preparations, when garnished slightly looks beautiful with minimum effort.

Click here for Curried Stuffed Eggs Recipe

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Egg frittata

Egg frittata, makes an excellent fulfilling breakfast or an easy delicious when lazy to do full-fledged cooking. You want modify a little in the frittata to make your own version of it. Few things you can add are sliced cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, soaked garbanzo beans ( sounds a bit different , but tastes surprisingly good) , capsicums. Any grilled vegetables can be added, like eggplants, potatoes, grilled paneer or anything of your choice.

Click here for Egg Frittata Recipe

Egg Masala (With onion and tomato paste, yogurt)

There are many versions of Indian style egg curry. This egg curry is made by grinding onion and tomato separately as a paste for the gravy in which egg is cooked. If a crispy version is needed, the egg can be roasted in a bit of oil and rubbed with pepper, before immersing the eggs in the gravy. Tastes great with chappathi / steamed rice.

Click here for Egg Masala Recipe

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Indian Food / Diet for diabetics

Type of carbohydrate and amount of fibre
Sample diet plan (for NIDDM)
Sample diet plan (for IDDM)
To remember
Foods to be avoided
Foods to be restricted
Foods to be used freely

  • To maintain adequate nutrition
  • To achieve and maintain desirable body weight
  • To maintain normal blood sugar levels
  • To prevent, delay or minimize the onset of chronic degenerative complications

Click here for more details about diet for Diabetic Patients

Diet plays an important role in the treatment of diabetes. The diet may be used alone or in combination with insulin injections or oral hypoglycaemic drugs.

The diet plan of an individual is based on height, weight, age, sex, physical activity and nature of diabetes. One should consider the following points while planning a diabetic diet:
  • Determining energy requirements
  • Determining the type of carbohydrates, fibre and food preparations
  • Presence of any other complication such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels etc.

In case of insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, the energy intake is based on needs for normal growth and development, physical activity and maintenance of desirable body weight.

In case of non insulin dependant diabetes mellitus, the majority of patients are overweight or obese. Therefore, calorie restriction is required to achieve a desired weight.

Type of carbohydrate and amount of fibre: More of carbohydrate must be given as complex starches rather than simple sugars as they breakdown more slowly to release glucose in blood. The presence of fibre in complex carbohydrate like grains, vegetables and other starches slows the glucose absorption. One should emphasise more on the high fibre foods instead of high fibre supplements available in the market.

Food groupsHigh fibre foods Low fibre foods
CerealsWhole cereals like whole wheat, dalia, whole wheat flourRefined cereals like rice, bread, maida, suji, noodles, macaroni, etc
Milk and milk products-Milk and milk products
PulsesWhole dals and dals with huskWashed dals
Meat, fish and poultry-Eggs, chicken, fish
VegetablesVegetables like peas, beans, lotus stem etc.Vegetables like potato, lauki etc.
FruitsFruits like apple, cherries, pears, peaches, plums, guava etc.Fruit juices and fruits like banana and papaya

Sample diet plan (for NIDDM)

Early morningTea (preferably without sugar)
BreakfastDalia (salted)/ Paneer on toast
Tea without sugar
Lunch2 chapatti
Channa curry / or any other whole dal
Beans sabzi / or any other sabzi (avoid potatoes)
Curds / ghia raita
Salty biscuits
DinnerVegetable soup / tomato soup / chicken soup
2 chapatti / missi roti (combining wheat flour with channa flour and soya flour)
Palak paneer sabzi / paneer bhurji

Sample diet plan (for IDDM)

Early morningTea (without sugar)
BreakfastCorn flakes
Boiled egg
Mid-morningFruit chat
Lunch2 chapatti (add extra chapatti if required)
Lobia curry / or any other whole dal
Capsicum sabzi / karela / or any other sabzi
Curds / raita
TeaTea / milk
Vegetable sandwich
Dinner2 chapatti
Dry dal
Cabbage sabzi / or any other sabzi
Bed timeKheer / fruit custard

To remember
  • It is important to control the amount and time of food intake.
  • Meals should not be missed.
  • Consider the likes and dislikes of the patient.
  • Try to substitute the craving for sweet by taking some fruit.

Foods to be avoided

Glucose, sugar, honey, all sweets, chocolates and candies.

Foods to be restricted

Potatoes, yam, arbi, sweet potatoes, mangoes, grapes, bananas, alcoholic beverages, fried foods, paranthas, poories, pakoras, mathris, deep fried foods, dry fruits, salad oils, cakes and pastries.

Foods to be used freely

Green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, cucumber. radish, soups, buttermilk, tea and coffee without sugar.

source: DoctorNDTV

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Parupu / Paruppu urundai rasam

This is more of a fusion of parupu urundai kuzhambu and rasa vadai from Tamil Nadu. Tastes surprisingly great and goes well with rice. Whenever the parupu urundai kuzhambu is made, you can just make a little more of the lentil dumplings and can cook it in the rasam. If not bothered about the calories try deep frying the lentil balls before cooking in rasam. If there are any left over paripu vada add it to rasam, along with the lentil dumplings.

Click here for Parupu urundai Rasam Recipe

Parupu urundai kozhambu / Paruppu urundai kuzhambu

click here for a detailed recipe of Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu.

Parupu urundai kuzhambu or lentil dumplings in tamarind and coconut sauce, is a traditional recipe from TamilNadu. The sauce can be altered according to your taste, by varying the spice level. But the lentil dumplings are almost the same standard version. If your ground mixture turns out watery add a bit of rice flour before it is steamed. But it is tastier better if the lentil dumplings are cooked in the sauce itself. For that in a non-stick pan, add a teaspoon of oil and fry the mixture till it is hard enough to roll into small balls and by then all the water would have been evaporated and the mixture is half cooked. Now add the lentil dumplings in the sauce and allow it cook fully. Serve with hot steamed rice and pappad.

Click here for Parupu urundai kozhambu Recipe

Tomato Rasam / Thakkali Rasam

VideoJug: How to Make Tomato Rasam

This is a detailed video on how to make tomato rasam, presented by head chef of the restaurant “Tamarid”. A thinner version of the rasam is made, where the tomatoes, cumin, pepper and garlic are strained. When a thick syrup of rasam is preferred, instead of straining it out, the mixture is crushed and left inside the soup.
Tastes great with steamed rice or can be used as an appetizer.

Healthier eating habits in Indian Diet

Here is the way to healthier eating habits by a slight modification of the traditional Indian diet.

The traditional Indian diet is a high carbohydrate diet; deficient in high-quality protein and antioxidants. Moreover Indians use the wrong quality oils for cooking.

Carbohydrate enters the blood as glucose. Most Indians cannot utilise all the glucose from the traditional high carbohydrate diet. What cannot be utilised is converted into fat. In those who have diabetes, it remains in the blood at levels higher than normal and acts as a slow poison.

It has also been proved that high triglyceride and low HDL (good cholesterol levels), which cause predisposition to cardiovascular diseases, are also the result of a high carbohydrate diet.

Rice (78 per cent carbohydrate), wheat (72 per cent), and sugar (99 per cent) are the main culprits. The most effective way to reduce the carbohydrate content is to eat twice a day as was originally the custom — and to mix 50 gm of soya flour (pale yellow variety) with 50 gm wheat/rice flour — to make the traditional Indian food. Soya contains only 20 per cent carbohydrate and should become an integral part of the Indian diet to prevent and treat obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

It has been clinically proved in India and abroad that including as little as 50 gm of soya in the diet everyday acts as a natural medicine to lower both total and bad (LDL) cholesterol levels.

Mixing 25 gm soya flour with wheat flour to make chapattis or with two scoops of idli/dosa batter will lower blood glucose levels in diabetic patients. Since mixing soya into cereals will lower blood glucose levels, medication for lowering blood glucose levels will have to be reduced and, in certain cases, stopped. Therefore this must be followed under medical supervision in those diabetic patients who are on medication, which may include insulin.

Cardiovascular Diseases are most effectively prevented by those oils which contain an increased percentage of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), especially oleic acid. Westerners use olive oil.

In India we can get almost the same benefit from using sesame (gingelly), groundnut and rice bran oils, preferably a combination of all three. These oils also contain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in the right percentage so that the Omega-3 and Omega-6 balance is maintained. This is an important factor to regulate good and bad cholesterol levels and is often overlooked.

Sunflower and safflower oils have a very high percentage of Omega-6 fatty acids. This disturbs the ratio between Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.

Coconut and palm oils contain a high percentage of saturated fatty acids that raise the LDL (bad cholesterol) levels as do trans-fatty acids contained in hydrogenated fats like margarine and dalda and oil that has been used repeatedly for deep frying.

Vegetable oil does not contain cholesterol. So refining oils, while improving the taste, flavour and consistency, does not remove cholesterol, as is commonly believed. In fact, heat and chemicals used to refine oils damage the valuable essential fatty acids. Therefore, unrefined, cold pressed oils should be used. Soya oil is also valuable but need not be used if 50 gm soya is included in the daily diet. Mustard oil may also be used for special dishes.

The traditional Indian diet lacks good quality protein. The protein contained in soya is a high quality complete protein. Fifty gm of soya will provide 20 grams of protein. This is also present in two glasses of milk.

Other sources of protein in a vegetarian diet would include 500 ml toned milk, (including curd and paneer), mushrooms, green leafy vegetables, and 50 gm of other pulses Non-vegetarians may include fish, egg (three yolks a week), chicken, and other meats without visible fat and skin and shellfish.

All pulses, including soya, contain certain enzymes that make them indigestible. So it is always advisable to soak pulses overnight and pressurecook them for at least 20 minutes. This destroys the enzymes.

The mid-morning meal should contain a high percentage of antioxidants that protect us from the effects of atmospheric pollution, pesticides in food, aging, immune diseases, cancer and cardiovascular diseases Antioxidants are found in fresh vegetables and fruits, pulses and legumes, nuts, tea and vegetable oils.

So this meal should consist of plenty of raw vegetables cut into small pieces and mixed, if necessary, with 125 ml of curd made from toned milk; plenty of cooked vegetables (except potatoes, yam and raw banana) prepared in oil of the right quality.

One item predominant in protein should also be included — homemade paneer or tofu, fish, chicken or meat without the skin and fat, shellfish, egg, pulses, soya channa, flakes or nuggets Preferably do not include rice, wheat or anything sweet in this first meal.

Traditionally, Indians did not eat breakfast. This is scientifically healthy practice, contrary to the belief that breakfast should be eaten like a king!

Glucose from the night meal would have entered the cells to produce energy and most of it would not have been used while we were sleeping. When we again eat a high carbohydrate meal for breakfast, the glucose, since it is not required, is cleared from the blood and converted into fat.

Also, cortisol levels in the blood are highest in the morning and this results in poor utilisation of glucose at this time. In medical terms, this is referred to as insulin resistance. Glucose should be delivered in small measured amounts to keep its blood level within normal in the morning.

Ideally, start the day with a mug of tea or coffee (using diluted milk and a about 1½ teaspoons of sugar). Two hours later have a glass of thick tomato juice mixed with spices to make it tasty. (This will not cause stones in the urinary tract as is wrongly believed.) Another two hours later have six almonds or pistas or a fistful of roasted soya nuts along with diluted buttermilk, rasam or lime juice with salt.

Lunch should be eaten after 1 pm. Three hours later, drink another cup of tea or coffee (tea is healthier than coffee) along with a fistful of roasted channa. Then dinner may be eaten whenever hungry.

The process of digestion requires high levels of energy and the best time to eat well is at night. This is contrary to popular belief but is based on sound scientific facts.

The digestive process that drains the body of energy (notice how sleepy you feel in the afternoon after having eaten large quantities of rice or wheat at lunch time) may be effectively accomplished while we are asleep.

Again, since blood cortisol levels are lowest in the evening, glucose is most effectively utilised at this time of day. In medical terms this is known as insulin sensitivity. Dinner should therefore contain items made from rice and wheat products or anything containing sugar like ice creams, desserts, and fruits.

If adhered to strictly, this diet will provide about 1,200 calories. It contains about 55-60 per cent carbohydrate, 25-30 per cent protein, and 20 to 25 per cent oil.

Finally, chew well and eat slowly. If you eat slowly, glucose will enter the blood slowly and your body will be able to utilise most of it.

If you gulp your food down without chewing it well, all the glucose will be absorbed at the same time, the body will not able to utilise all of it and excess glucose will be converted into fat.

A 20-minute brisk walk, along with a 10-minute work out consisting of stretching and muscle toning exercises and about 20 minutes of yoga (including Mudra Pranayama) will go a long way to keep your body and mind fit and healthy.

Source: The Hindu

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Good Food For Healthy Pregnancy

A mother's nourishment during pregnancy is vitally important for her and for her baby at all stages of foetal development. Research has shown that diet and healthy lifestyle is directly related to the baby's weight at birth, his health in childhood and even after he has grown up. Therefore eating well and being aware of any deficiencies in your diet can have long-term effects. You don't have to go on a special diet. All you have to do is to make sure that you eat a variety of different foods in order to get the right balance of nutrients that you and your baby require. You should also avoid certain foods to be on the safer side.

Your diet should include the following four basic food groups:

A] Starchy Foods
Starchy foods like bread, potatoes, rice, chapatis, pasta, oatmeal, and breakfast cereals are an important part of any diet and should, with vegetables, form the main part of your meal. They are satisfying without containing too many calories and are an important source of vitamins, protein, minerals and fibre. Try eating wholemeal bread and wholegrain cereals when you can.

B] Dairy Product
Dairy foods like milk, cheese, yoghurt are important as they contain calcium and other nutrients essential for your baby's development. Choose low-fat varieties whenever possible. They also provide other minerals such as zinc, iodine and magnesium (essential for growth), as well as protein and fat-soluble vitamins A and D.

C] Meat, fish and alternatives
Meat, fish, eggs, beans, peas, lentils, nuts, pulses and other vegetarian products are all good source of nutrients. These protein rich food combined with protein from starchy foods and dairy products provide the building blocks for baby's growth and tissue repair. They also contain iron, zinc, vitamin A and B. Vitamin B12 which is essential for healthy blood, occurs naturally in meat products but can also be found in fortified vegetarian foods.

D] Fruits and vegetables
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables as these provide the vitamins and a mineral, as well as fibre which helps digestion and prevents constipation. Eat them lightly cooked in a little water or raw to get the most out of them. Frozen, tinned and dried food and vegetables are good too. These provide vitamin A in vegetable form, vitamin C and D including folic acid, minerals such as iron and potassium and fibre.

Clicke here for more information on foods to avoid during pregnancy ...

Friday, December 15, 2006

Calorie Content of Indian Food Items

Here is a list of common food items and their calorie content:

Chapati (30 gm)- 100 Cal
Masala Dosa -200 Cal
Samosa (1) - 150 Cal
Puri bhaji -350 Cal
Upma (one small bowl) -100 Cal
Rice-dal-papad -280 Cal
Chicken (70 gm) - 100 Cal
Fish - 100 Cal
Egg (one) - 80 Cal
Ice cream 350- 400 Cal
Payasam -250 Cal
One cola - 120-140 Cal
One peg of alcohol with
cola - 120-140 Cal
Gulabjamun (2) -250 Cal
Rasogolla (2) -150 Cal
Tea/coffee - 70-80 Cal
Click here for the entire list of calorie contents in Indian food

Count your calories

Every time a new fast food joint opens in the city, the temptation is simply irresistible! However much the calorie counter says, the momentary pleasure takes the better of all the cautious health regimes and elaborate diet charts. It's only later that we look in disgust and horror at those extra fat hanging from the waist and flank and then take yet another resolution to stay fit only to be abandoned with grim results in a matter of few weeks.

Here are some interesting facts that may help you stick your resolutions. A 65 kg. adult male doing light work (pushing files in an office etc.) should burn about 2,400 calories every day. This is only a rough estimate. Calorie values vary with age, height and strenuousness of work. Women who are pregnant or are breast-feeding obviously need higher number of calories in their diet. If you are serious about losing weight and eating healthy, shop around for charts that calculate ideal body weight and calorie intake, including the energy values of common Indian food.

Says fitness trainer Ganga Raj, "To burn one pound of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories a week." This means one has to burn 500 calories per day. "This may not be possible for every one. In that case you can burn 300 calories in exercise and cut down your diet by 200 calories. The deficit calories and burned calories will help strike a balance," she suggests.

A common misconception is that skipping meals helps to reduce weight. "If a person does not take breakfast by 10 in the morning, the body considers that you are on a fasting mode. After that, whatever food is taken gets stored as food energy or calories," explains Ganga. Research shows that the majority of people who put on weight are the ones who skip breakfast.

Another aspect to watch out for is `eating amnesia', which researchers say can undo all weight-loss efforts. Stolen bites like a handful of a friend's popcorn at the movies or finishing off your kid's leftover snack can rack up a few hundred uncounted calories that can soon add the extra pounds. Eating while distracted is also included in this kind of amnesia.

When women who normally watch their portions had lunch in different situations, researchers found that they ate 15 per cent more - 72 additional calories if they ate while listening to a detective story compared with what they ate alone and free of any distractions. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).

Exercise should be a way of life and not a crash course. Just like how you brush your teeth every day, exercise should be made an intrinsic part of the routine. Even an hour's brisk walk in the morning can do wonders. "Walking may take longer time to burn the extra calories but nevertheless, the effect is long-lasting," Ganga says.

A small workout session at home for 20 minutes is enough. "But one has to stay motivated and make it a routine," she adds.

Knocking off those extra pounds will take a while.

Burning one pound of fat requires walking for nearly 50 km.! Nevertheless, if you maintain your daily energy intake at the desired healthy level, walking a km. every day for 50 days will accomplish the same result.

Ultimately, slow and steady truly wins the race.

Source: Hindu Net

Stuffed Dal Dhokli

A gujarati delicacy explained clearly with detailed descriptions and wonderful mouth-watering photos. Traditional dal dhokli has been made here with a slight variation by stuffing potatoes inside. Few small tips while preparing this dhokli would be to make some extra dough and a few 'bhakris' (small thickish rotis) roasted to go along with the dal dhokli. Do not add the rotis all at once since they form a lump and while preparing the dough smear it with rice flour instead of wheat flour to get thin roti’s. If dhokli gets cold and becomes semisolid add some boiling water and reheat , the dal dhokli is ready to go with rice or bhakri’s.

Click here for Stuffed Dal Dhokli Recipe

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Bisibelebath / Sambar Rice

This is a scrumptious recipe of Karnataka, and a very famous one too. Anyone tasted this recipe knows it is a heart full-filling vegetarian meal and just the thought of it makes the mouth watering. The recipe is explained in 5 easy steps, which makes it sound easier. Toor dal ratio in this recipe is higher than rice, and it can be adjusted depending on personal taste. The masala can be homemade or any store brought masala would also be good. In the final step while tadka , use ghee (clarified butter) instead of oil and fry pearl onions along with the other ingredients mentioned and add it to rice. Enjoy the bisibelebath with a generous dollop of ghee and papad.

Click here for Bisibelebath / Sambar Rice Recipe

Ridge Gourd Peel Chutney / Peerkangai Thuvaiyal

A very simple and different chutney that tastes great with idli, dosa or with white rice. This is called as peerkangai thuvaiyal in TamilNadu, which is made a bit spicier by adjusting the amount of chillies and tastes great when had with ghee and hot steamed rice.

Click here for Ridge Gourd Peel Chutney / Peerkangai Thuvaiyal Recipe

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Overcoming Overweight and Obesity in Your Child

The key to keeping kids of all ages at a healthy weight is taking a whole-family approach. It's the "practice what you preach" mentality. Make eating and exercise a family affair. Get your children involved by letting them help you plan and prepare healthy meals, and take them along when you go grocery shopping, so they can learn how to make good food choices.

Avoid falling into some common food/eating behavior traps:

Don't reward children for good behavior or try to stop bad behavior with sweets or treats. Come up with other solutions to modify their behavior.
Don't maintain a clean-plate policy. Be aware of kids' hunger cues. Even babies who turn away from the bottle or breast send signals that they're full. If kids are satisfied, don't force them to continue eating. Reinforce the idea that they should only eat when they're hungry.
Don't talk about "bad foods" or completely eliminate all sweets and favorite snacks from overweight children's diets. Children may rebel and overeat these forbidden foods outside the home or sneak them in on their own.
Here are some additional recommendations for children of all ages:

Birth to age 1: In addition to it's many health benefits, breastfeeding may help prevent excessive weight gain. Though the exact mechanism is not known, breastfed babies are more able to control their own intake and follow their own internal hunger cues.
Ages 2 to 6: Start good habits early. Encourage kids' natural tendency to be active and offer children a variety of healthy foods. It may take 10 or more tries before a child will accept a new food, so don't give up.
Ages 7 to 12: Encourage children to be physically active every day, whether it's an organized sports team or a pick-up game of soccer during recess. Keep your kids active at home, too, through everyday activities like walking and playing in the yard. Let them be more involved in making good food choices.
Ages 13 to 17: Teens like fast-food, but try to steer them toward healthier choices like grilled chicken sandwiches, salads, and smaller sizes. Encourage them to be active everyday. If they are not into organized sports, suggest intramural programs, fitness classes such as yoga or pilates, or alternative sport like skateboarding, inline skating, or mountain biking.
All ages: Cut down on TV, computer, and video game time and discourage eating while watching the tube. Serve a variety of healthy foods and eat meals together as often as possible. Try to include 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day in their diet, plan healthy snacks, and encourage kids to eat breakfast every day. Encourage your children to try a variety of activities. Don't force any one sport or activity - and help them find what they enjoy and then support them in their efforts.
If you, as a parent, eat well and exercise regularly and incorporate healthy habits into your family's daily life, you're modeling a healthy lifestyle for your children that could last into adulthood. Talk to your kids about the importance of eating well and being active, but make it a family affair that will become second nature for both you and your children. Most of all, let your children know you love them - no matter what their weight - and that you want to help your child be happy and healthy.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tips to enjoy your Party and still manage your weight !!!

Food Tips for the Party Planner

Would you like to plan a party without tossing out the effort you've already put into losing weight? Try these serving suggestions to help keep calories under control.

Giving a party puts you in control of what is served. Jot down the foods you've enjoyed eating while losing weight and make sure to include them in your party menu.
Serve some nutritious foods that are low in calories and fat, such as raw veggies with nonfat yogurt dip and fresh fruit salad.
Pop some light microwave popcorn in advance of the party and serve popcorn and pretzels instead of potato chips and corn chips.
Try baked tortilla chips with salsa or bagel bites with fat free cream cheese. Cut pita bread into triangles and serve with hummus (chickpea dip).
Munch on party mixes made with dried fruit. Combine dried apples, pears and apricot halves, or mix dried cranberries and raisins with peanuts.
Serve plenty of no-calorie beverages, like unsweetened iced tea, unsweetened flavored seltzer or diet cola.
If you're serving sandwiches, use light mayonnaise or mustard instead of regular mayonnaise.
When preparing hot dishes, cut down on fat by using light margarine instead of butter and reduced fat cheese instead of regular cheese. To slash fat in desserts, consider serving angel food cake instead of pound cake, fig bars instead of butter cookies, low-fat frozen yogurt instead of premium ice cream.

Portion-Control Pointers for the Party Goer

When you're at a party and surrounded by lots of good food, try these portion-control tactics to keep your eating and drinking in line.

Take a survey before eating anything. Scan the offerings at the buffet table, on the hors d'ouevre plates, or in the bowls of snack foods around the room. Pick out a few items that entice you the most and that you'd enjoy eating. Have reasonable portions of these favorite foods rather than nibbles of everything.
Use the small plates, especially if you're tempted to fill your plate up. Try to limit your munching to one plateful of food.
When your plate is full, walk away from the food and head toward the other side of the room.
Alternate your drinks. If you have an alcoholic beverage, make the next one a nonalcoholic calorie-free drink, like sparkling water, diet cola, or flavored seltzer (check that it's the unsweetened, zero-calorie flavored seltzer). Limit alcohol to no more than one serving (if you're a woman) or two servings (if you're a man). Alcohol contains calories and it tends to increase the appetite. So choose a small serving of the alcoholic drink but a big serving of the no-calorie beverage.
If you like beer, ask for the light kind; it has about one-third fewer calories than regular beer, although the alcohol content is about the same. If you prefer wine, save on calories and alcohol by having a wine spritzer (wine mixed with club soda).
Hold a no-calorie beverage in your hand. This makes it harder to hold-and eat-a plateful of food.

Planning Ahead Helps Keep You in Control

These pre-party strategies can help you control your calories at the party and throughout the day.

Don't go to the party hungry. Skipping a meal or two to give yourself more room to splurge at the party may seem sensible, but in reality, it is usually not a good strategy. Skipping meals can make you so ravenous at the party that you end up eating more than you would have if you spaced out your meals throughout the day. To keep from overeating at the party, have a snack, like cereal with low fat milk, low fat yogurt with fruit, or soup with whole-wheat crackers before the party begins.
Decide in advance if you want to stay on course with your weight-loss efforts or if you want to treat yourself to some extras at the party. Rather than going all-out and eating from everything in site, selectively choose only those foods that you enjoy the most. Try to keep your portions reasonable.
Volunteer to bring a healthful dish to the party. Choose something that you like to eat and that you think the guests will also enjoy. There may be others who also want to eat healthfully and are looking for tasty foods that are not laden with calories.
Plan to spend time with family and friends. Let conversation with others be your top priority rather than focusing your attention mainly on the food.
Keep active before, after, or even during the party. Exercise burns calories, relieves stress and helps you stay on track with your weight goals. Before the party, take a walk or a bike ride or go to the gym. During the party, consider exploring the neighborhood on foot or playing a game, like Frisbee or softball, with family or friends. Or plan on taking that walk after the party is over, before you get cozy at home on your couch or in front of the TV.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Masala akki roti / (Rice flour roti)

Akki( Meaning rice in kannada) roti is a specialty of Karnataka and kerala. This particular recipe is more prevalent in Karnataka and the plain akki roti is more common to kerala and Karnataka. Though not traditional, adding a 2 tbsp of grated ginger and coarsely grinding the cumin or jeera seeds brings in a sort of flavor to every bite, especially for people who love ginger root. Enjoy this hearty breakfast with sambar or tomato chutney.

Click here for Masala Akki Roti Recipe

Chicken Briyani / Chicken Bryiani

For any briyani/ biryani fan, chicken briyani will be one of the favorites. This is a slightly lengthy and an authentic way of preparing briyani, the kerala way. A little richer version of this recipe would be to grind cashews while making the coconut milk and use it instead of warm milk. Once cooked just allow it to cool for 10 minutes and mix it slightly with a fork so that it doesn’t break the rice. Enjoy the biryani with raita and any spicy non-veg curry.

Click here for Chicken Briyani/ Chicken Bryiani Recipe

Mango Pickle

A very easy and quick pickle made literally in minutes. The tamarind extract gives a tangy taste. Try it also with any readymade pickle mix. This pickle tastes exceptionally great with steamed rice and any bland curry/ rasam. But curd rice and pickle is a delicious rescue meal when not in a mood to cook an elaborate meal.

Click here for Mango Pickle Recipe

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Are You Drinking Too Much Water?

There was a study from Purdue University that "revealed" what dietitians have known for decades: You get a lot of water from your food. Even a slice of white bread, for example, contains 1 ¾ teaspoons water.

Soon, every newscast said, "Forget about drinking eight glasses a day." The take-home message? Just drink if you're thirsty; you'll get the rest of your fluid from food.

The problem is, I'm not sure I always drink when I'm thirsty. Even though I'm the nutrition editor of Prevention, I admit there are days when I'm so busy that I come to the end of the day and realize I haven't had much to drink (or eat) since morning. And I bet there are lots of you just like me.

So my advice is this: Keep the eight-glasses-a-day rule--not as a do-or-die goal, but simply as a tool to remind you to drink enough fluid to make up for any shortfall from your food. The payoff? Plentiful fluids may help wash away six health problems:

Urinary tract infections (UTIs). "Chronic UTI sufferers can literally bring one on by letting themselves run low on fluids several days in a row," says Prevention advisor Mary Jane Minkin, MD, gynecology expert at Yale University School of Medicine. And I know this is true from personal experience!

Kidney stones. If you tend to form kidney stones, drink enough liquid to void at least 2 quarts of urine a day, advises the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK). Drinking eight glasses of fluid a day is a good starting point.

Bladder cancer. In one study, those who drank six 8-oz glasses of water every day reduced their bladder cancer risk by 50 percent (New England Jour. of Medicine, May 6, 1999).

Colon cancer. Higher water intake has also been linked to a 45 percent lower risk of colon cancer in women (Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, July 1996).

Obesity. Reaching for calorie-free glasses of water throughout the day helps many people stay filled up enough to pass on snacks, says Prevention Fitness Editor Michele Stanten.

Constipation. Drinking six to eight glasses of water a day can help prevent constipation by keeping stools soft, says Dr. Minkin.

Holly McCord, a registered dietitian, is former Nutrition Editor of Prevention and author of Win the Cholesterol War (Rodale 2001).


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Tomato Briyani / Biryani

This is a quick but a delicious meal, which can be a good substitute for the vegetable briyani, but with less work. While making the masala for the rice with tomatoes, coconut paste and curd can be added to give it's richness. The recipe can be made even without peas and if sambar powder is not available, add chilli powder.

Enjoy the meal with raita and potato fry.

Click here for Tomato Briyani / Biryani Recipe

Tandoori Vegetables

A colorful and healthy snack for a perfect evening, or an appetizer with any soup. While marinating, 2 table spoons of lemon juice and a pinch of garam masala can also be added. Broccoli, potato and mushrooms would also be a good choice of vegetables to skew. If there are any leftover chutneys , use it to make bhel or pani puri the next day. Enjoy the tandoori vegetables as a snack with any soup.

Click here for Tandoori Vegetables Recipe