Parents, especially mothers, are constantly on the lookout for ways to increase the nutrient content of the food that children consume.
A mother of two, I often catch myself staring into the fridge looking at beetroot and spinach, wondering if I can find innovative ways to make protein-rich spinach dosa or pooris.
While sometimes these tricks work, my children often find ways to say no to eating these food items and I am back to square one.
Popularly known as Chef Chinu Vaze on Instagram, Shilarna Vaze has a myriad of solutions to these everyday problems. A fellow mother, Chef Chinu often shares ideas that children find most appealing and parents find comfort in.
Here are 11 easy hacks that chef Vinu shares to make the food served to children more nutrient dense.
In her Instagram video, she said, “Nutrient dense means packing in more nutrients in every bite.”
1. Superfoods: Spirulina, moringa, maca root powder, bee pollen, amla powder. These can be added to juices, smoothies, thepla dough and soups.
2. Nut and seed butter: While these are fantastic in baking they also taste great when added as pancake toppings, on toast or rice crackers and when made into dips and dressings.
3. Flax seed powder: This can be added while making chapati dough, as an egg substitute for eggless baking, into batters, breadcrumb mixes, muesli and also as a fruit topping.
4. Seeds and nuts: These make an amazing snack as is or can be used as toppings over literally anything. Make sure you activate them by soaking them.
5. Dried fruits and berries: These are little energy bombs and can be used in chia puddings, oats, ragi porridge, snack boxes and smoothies.
6. Everything coconut: Sprinkle fresh coconut on salads and koshimbir (a Maharashtrian salad) and bhajis (curry), fruits, and swap dairy for coconut milk in smoothies and hot chocolate. Malai (coconut fresh cream) is the best snack and sukha (dried) coconut for desserts and laddoos.
7. Soaking, fermenting and sprouting: Grains like ragi, legumes like moong, matki and channa, any kind of beans. Ferment rice, grains, dairy, and vegetables. Soak nuts, dal, seeds etc. as well.
8. Chicken stock or bone broth: This is the best water substitute in khichadi, purées, sauces and soups.
9. Eggs: This can amp up your fried rice, noodles, avocado toast, tuna salad, and can also be added to chilla (crepe), dosa or pancake batter and custard.
10. Popped or toasted grains and millets: These can be added to snack mixes, energy bars, chilis and laddoos. Also makes a great addition to homemade muesli, topping for toasts, salads, bhajis (curry) and puddings.
11. Sneak it in: Sneak in vegetables into doughs, seeds into porridges, fermented foods into bhajis (curry).
Watch Chef Chinu spice up ‘boring foods’ here:
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)
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