Easy & healthy tiffin recipes for kids

The summer break is over; it’s time to go back to school. And as the new school year begins, every mother’s biggest nightmare is back: what to make for tiffin?

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Now kids always peep into each other’s boxes while they sit together for lunch. The radiant smile when your child has the most delicious lunch is priceless – and every mother’s pride.

Managing your child’s nutrition and pleasing his taste buds during the vacation was easy. But once school starts, you can’t prepare wholesome and interesting meals in the maddening morning rush. And at the same time, you can’t give him the boring roti and sabzi every day.

That said you need not lose sleep over what to prepare for dabba. Bon happétee has some healthy and fun tiffin recipes you can whip up in a jiffy.

So here we go:

  • Bread uttapam:

Prepare a batter of suji, curd, finely chopped veggies, salt, and spices. Heat a griddle, add some oil and place a bread slice. Spread a layer of the batter on the bread. Ensure that the batter side is on top. Flip the bread and cook from the other side.

This uttapam is a smart way to sneak the fiber and antioxidant-loaded veggies in your child’s diet.

  • Baby corn and capsicum rice:

An international version of the Indian pulao, this rice preparation is a sure-shot hit. It entails freshly prepared/leftover rice, olive oil, diced bell peppers and baby corn, along with onion, garlic, tomato puree, ketchup, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. You can toss in a protein surprise by adding paneer cubes.

  • Hung curd sandwiches:

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Mix finely chopped capsicum, onion along with grated carrot to the hung curd. Add chaat masala, salt, oregano, black pepper powder and mix well. Apply a thick layer of the mixture on the bread and grease it lightly with butter on one side. Grill it either in an oven, a sandwich maker or on a tava.

This easy-to-prepare snack will make your child’s tiffin box the most interesting one. As a mother, you can pat yourself for preparing a snack that’s rich in protein, calcium, antioxidants, and fibre.

A paneer bhurji sandwich is another interesting lunch box idea.

  • Chapati or paratha wraps:

The regular chapati and sabzi are boring. Time to give it a makeover.

In a pan, heat butter. Throw in some finely chopped onion, tomato, and capsicum with boiled potatoes, green peas, pav bhaji masala, salt, coriander leaves, and cheese. Now spread this mixture in the middle of a roti and roll it up. With such a delicious wrap, your child will flash his broadest smile. And you’ll be happy since you’ve wrapped all the five pillars of nutrition in a one meal.

You can always showcase your culinary skills by trying new fillings.

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  • Parathas:

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Parathas have been the most popular and versatile tiffin recipe. You can try different parathas – from a sprouts paratha to mix vegetable, gobhi, spring onion and cheese, paneer and the all-time favourite aloo paratha. You could add ragi, soya, bajra, or jowar flour to the whole wheat atta to up the nutrition quotient.

And yes, the home-made mint/coriander chutney is a healthier accompaniment to parathas than the preservative-laced ketchup.

  • Idli stir-fry:

A quick meal you can prepare with leftover idlis. In a wok, heat oil. Add sliced onion, carrots, capsicum and cabbage. Once the veggies get cooked, put in salt, noodle masala, and diced idlis.

This simple dish will win your child’s heart with its colourful appearance and scrumptious taste. Additionally, the fermented idlis and veggies will boost your child’s immunity.

  • Pasta:

This one’s special and coming straight from my mom’s kitchen. As a kid, I’d always be behind mom to make pasta for dabba. In fact , I still do 😉

She prepares home-made pasta sauce using dudhi, carrot, tomatoes, chilli flakes, oregano, basil leaves, salt, sugar and cinnamon the previous evening. In the morning, she heats olive oil/butter in a pan, adds the home-made sauce and durum wheat pasta. A grated cheese cube on top and my day is made.

Sometimes, she cooks white sauce pasta. She prepares the sauce using atta, not maida. She adds corn, capsicum, mushroom, and yeah, I can’t stop grinning.

Now you can heave a sigh of relief. You’ve taken care of your child’s nutrition and taste buds without running from pillar to post or worrying about what to cook.

Happy school day cooking from Team Bon Happétee 🙂

content writer - bon happetee indian food diet plan appVishruta is a nutritionist by profession and a writer by heart. Content writing and menu planning have become her passions over the past few years. Love food, love life — is her mantra.

4 packaged products you can cook at home easily

I come from a family where we make our own pickles; mango, red chilli, green chilli, chick pea, carrot, lime, lesava, kair, etc. We have never got a store-bought jar of pickle till date. Till a couple of decades ago, we even made papad, khakhra, ketchup, jams, potato and banana wafers, etc. at home. There was no McDonald’s then, and the only types we had seen or eaten were the homemade fries.

I remember there was a particular ketchup brand called ‘Volfarm’ which claimed it didn’t use pumpkin as was the case with other ketchup brands. And people believed it. In those days, Indians were a trusting lot. If a TV commercial showed a man wearing a white doctor’s coat lauding a particular toothpaste, oil or biscuit, we never thought that the brands would be lying to us. We fell for them, left, right and center. Continue reading

Aachar & chutney – Magic foods for good health

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My grandmother’s thali is incomplete without home-made chutney and aachar. And that is the secret of her well-being. Even at 75, she walks for 5 kilometers a day, has no wrinkles. And also, she has never spent a day lying in the bed.

She firmly believes that our ancient Indian food and practices are the ideal way to solve the health problems we – the processed and packaged food generation – face. And looking at her health, I couldn’t agree more!

Indian food is rich in variety owing to its cultural diversity. Whether its spices or side dishes, every constituent of traditional Indian cooking brings along a bevy of health benefits. And today we are going to explore the magic and goodness that lies within them. Continue reading

Are fried foods really bad for you?

The title itself must have grabbed your attention. After all, who doesn’t love eating pakoda, chips, fries or samosa?

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But these delicious dishes are packed with fat, the most-calorie dense nutrient. So, what’s the solution? Learn to eat it the right way.

Frying has always been an integral part of Indian cooking. And not to forget, it can be healthy too.

The whole fad of non –fried samosa is actually bad as it increases the glycemic index of the food as compared to the fried version. You could easily gobble down 2-3 baked samosas thinking the baked versions are good for your health. However, in reality, one fried samosa is far better than 2-3 baked ones.

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Yeah, that’s the bitter truth.

But worry not! Help is at hand. Without much ado, let’s learn the smart way to eat fried.

Pairing and timing:

These two concepts of our PPTF approach should become your best friends if you want to relish fatty foods without worrying about the weighing scale. Once you learn to implement these two concepts, you’ll be able to make every day a cheat day!

Instead of the evening, savour your fatty food early in the morning, when you’re more active and your BMR is at its peak. As a result, fewer calories will get converted into fat.

Let’s say, you are in the mood for a samosa. Our advice is to skip the pav and instead get a protein-rich egg-white omelette or a besan chilla for breakfast along with the samosa. This way, you’ll get all your three pillars of nutrition – proteins, fats, and carbohydrates – in one meal. And btw, restrict yourself to one samosa.

Similarly, you can eat fries made from a medium-sized potato along with grilled paneer and veggies or grilled chicken for lunch or breakfast.

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If you are craving for everyone’s favourite street food – pani puri, go ahead and treat yourself. Just remember, skip the potato and opt for sprouts, chana or ragda filling to balance the nutrients.

Choosing the right oil and cooking style:

Choose the right oil and frying method and the battle is half-won. Groundnut oil is your best bet. With its high smoking point and goodness of mono-unsaturated fatty acids, it is the ideal oil for frying.

Cooking fried at home is a trick that always works. You can monitor the quality and quantity of oil. Since frying is a tedious process, this way you’ll only use the frying pan once or twice a month. And yeah, deep frying at a high flame is much better than deep frying at a slow flame since lesser oil will be absorbed.

PS: Shallow frying may seem a healthier alternative, but sometimes, it absorbs more oil than deep frying. So, keep an eye on the oil you use while you shallow fry.

Some frying secrets:

Now, we are sharing some super tricks that will allow you to eat fried foods without any guilt attached:

Control the moisture

If the moisture of a particular food is high, the fat absorption goes double or even triple. So, keep the moisture content in check to ensure that fried foods do not absorb excess oil.

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Let’s say you are preparing batata wada at home. The besan batter has to be of pouring consistency. If you add a lot of water, then the wada will absorb more oil and in turn, make it greasier and fatty. The same rule applies for pakodas.

The ‘magic’ ingredient

A soya-fortified batter is an excellent way to increase the protein content and lower oil absorption. Adding 10% soy flour with wheat flour or 20% soy flour to gram flour batter reduces oil absorption by nearly 20%. Now, that is a smart trick to ‘have your pakoda and eat it too’.

Avoid using fried oil repeatedly for frying

When we reuse oils, its smoking point decreases. This, in turn, leads to higher fat absorption.

Simple steps such as avoiding sodium bicarbonate in the batter or removing your favourite munchie on an absorbent paper will keep the fat in fried foods in check.

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And if you are looking to get some smart recommendations on making nutritionally balanced meal plans then head right to bon happetee app and try the “build my meal” feature in meal suggestions section. Just tell us what you feel like eating and let the app build a complete meal around it. Say no to diet plans, say yes to smart meal plans and lose weight naturally.

Happy eating fried foods from team bon happetee 🙂

content writer - bon happetee diet plan app

Vishruta is a nutritionist by profession and a writer by heart. Content writing and menu planning have become her passions over the past few years. Love food, love life — is her mantra.

7 types of khichdi recipes you must try now

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During childhood, I remember eagerly waiting for an episode of the much-loved family show, Khichdi. This sitcom brings back some wonderful memories when the entire family would enjoy the antics of the oddball Parekh family.

Well, my love for ‘khichdi’ dates back to childhood (pun intended ) And in fact, everyone in India shares a unique bond with khichdi because it is one of the first solid foods served to an infant. A mix of rice, lentils, and veggies cooked with tempered spices, khichdi traces its origin to the Indian subcontinent, to as early as 1350. In colloquial lingo, khichdi is much like its preparation – a mishmash of ingredients.

Every region in India has a unique variant of this dish. Bengal’s khichuri; Haryanvi kichri with bajra and moong dal served with lassi; bisi bele bhat in Karnataka; Hyderabad’s popular breakfast khichdi kheema khatta are some of the popular khichdi varieties.

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As a nutritionist, khichdi is one of my most favorite dishes. Be it sabudana khichdi, moong dal khichdi or bajra khichdi with dollops of ghee – yes, you read it right, ghee! – I am a big khichdi fan. It’s a wholesome meal that appeals to my taste buds and health. While you may agree with me on the health quotient, I can see you frown with my statement – khichdi tastes good.

For most, khichdi is the kind of food you eat when you are unwell. It is quite a bland dish. Yes, moong khichdi is an easy-to-digest meal with an upset tummy or fever but hey, that’s not what khichdi is all about.

Don’t believe me?

Then, go and eat the baked masala khichdi served at Swati Snacks, Tardeo (Mumbai) or Law Garden, Ahmedabad. I am confident your definition of khichdi will change forever. It’s one of those scrumptious dishes that can force me to travel a 2-hour distance from my house in the suburbs to town or make me wait for an hour for my turn!

The mere mention of this has got me hungry… Damn!

And if you are not a Mumbaikar or an Amdavadi, you can try this amazing dish at home.

Anyway, let’s move on to some of the popular variants of this hassle-free and nutritious dish:

With khichdi being traditionally a mix of rice and lentils, we often forget that the delicious sabudana khichdi is also a form of khichdi. Sabudana khichdi and fasting are synonymous. You should dig into this yummy dish whenever you are fasting. The goodness of peanuts balances the glycaemic index of sago and potatoes as well as makes it a wholesome meal.

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But yeah, don’t go overboard with them. Check out how you can make this amazing meal.

 

Vari rice/ bhagar / samak with a bowl of cucumber raita is another super healthy khichdi you can eat when you fast

 

Moong khichdi may not fit in your definition of tasty food, but in Surat, this is a much-loved meal. You’ll love their khichdi served with piping hot kadhi and add-ons like undhia and ringan na ravaiya.

Don’t you feel like savoring a hot piping meal of khichdi with kachumber, curd, and pickle when you come back from a long vacation? Yes, that’s because khichdi is the ultimate comfort or soul food, however humble it may be.

 

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Moong Dal khichdi is a wholesome meal, especially when paired with papad, curd and cucumber

Nutritionally speaking, khichdi and veggies make a balanced meal that reboots your digestive system after eating packaged and restaurant foods. And if you want to add some color to your khichdi, try a palak khichdi. It’s one of the healthiest one-dish meals you’ll eat.

 

So, let’s cook some khichdi at home, what say?

 

Bajra ka khichdi is a popular dish in Rajasthan eaten during winter. Bajra along with ghee keeps your body warm and your skin soft and supple during the sweater weather. You can whip up a lip-smacking bajra khichdi at home.

And if you’re in the mood for some royal food, try the Shahajani khichdi

Now, khichdi created quite a stir recently being declared India’s ‘national dish’. While the Food Ministry refuted the rumors, Twitterati was quick to throw in their views, especially regarding dal, which is a key ingredient of khichdi. They pointed out that labeling a dish made with this expensive ingredient as a ‘national dish’ is sheer absurdity.

That said, we don’t want any more khichdi cooking.

We, at bon happetee, only want you to realize the goodness of khichdi and include it in your diet.

 

 

content writer - bon happetee diet plan appVishruta is a nutritionist by profession and a writer by heart. Content writing and menu planning have become her passions over the past few years.

Love food, love life — is her mantra.

Why we need to take a working mother’s health seriously

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Women are super multitaskers. Apart from taking charge at work, women play a key role in the nutrition and overall health of the family. They are the healthy policymakers at home and pass on the food culture from one generation to other. With constant multitasking and taking charge on numerous fronts, women often forget to take care of themselves.

I have heard from numerous women that ‘they go running around like a headless chicken after work to make meals’ or ‘they have no clue how the day passes by and meal timings are always a struggle’. This leads to a stressed life and mental exhaustion that build up day after day. Well, it is a choice that we as women make but what if an app helps you out, with ALL things FOOD!? Try bon happetee and unveil the science of healthy indulgence. bon happetee is your chef and nutritionist, working as your companion towards a healthier life! Continue reading

You’re in charge of your family’s health

As the woman of the house, you carry a lot of responsibility.Planning, cooking and serving healthy meals stand at the top of the mountain of those responsibilities.And if you have three generations living together or a joint family set-up, meal planning gets tougher. It’s nearly impossible to meet both, the nutritional requirements and please the fussy eaters, isn’t it?

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Understanding the uphill task at hand, we, at bon happetee, have a magic wand – easy-peasy tips and tricks. They will take care of your family’s nutrition and make your life simpler.

We can already see the broad smile on your face ?Now, let’s start unravelling our secrets: Continue reading

EAT A RAINBOW – THE SMART WAY OF EATING!

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Imagine eating only dal-rice for several days! The thought itself is horrifying, isn’t it?

Just like our tongue, our eyes, nose etc. also participate actively when we eat our food. Hence, it is highly important that the food should appeal to all our senses, especially eyes! Because, according to a popular adage, ‘We eat with our eyes first’! Our meal should be enticing enough for our eyes to feel hungry. And the easiest way to do it is by making our plate look colourful. Different colours have different effects on our eyes and soon enough, we will be relishing our food. However, the effect of colourful food items is not only limited to our eyes!

When I was a kid, my mom always ensured that my platter was colourful and her reason was completely different from the one stated above! Eating different colours of food is not only a treat to our eyes but also to our body!

Continue reading

TOH KUCHH MEETHA HO JAYE

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Have you eliminated yummy pedhas, delicious rasgullas, luscious jalebis from your life?  Do you find it difficult to resist scrummy desserts and pastries during parties? Have you substituted sugar with ‘sugar-free’?

If your answer for the above questions is ‘Yes’, here’s a last question for you –

Are you happy with such a restrictive attitude towards sweets?  Has it aided phenomenally in your weight loss journey?

And if your answer has now switched to ‘No’, you should definitely find out where you are going wrong!

Whenever we are trying to lose weight, sweets and desserts are the first things we stay away from. But do you know that a small serving of dessert every day can really be beneficial for you? Yes, it’s true! If you have a small portion of sweets today, you won’t feel deprived and will be less tempted to hog on it tomorrow. Continue reading

Bye-bye deprivation diets- Why we should go ahead and eat that cookie

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I cringe every time I hear that someone is trying to lose weight through a deprivation diet. I wonder if it is the upshot of the foodie that I am or it is because as a trained professional I know what is exactly going to happen to your body. Of course you know someone who has transformed into a prima donna by going on a deprivation diet and you gear up to use the same strategy. How difficult can this be, right? It makes absolute sense that if you starve yourself then your body will use up the stored resources (a.k.a fat cells) to meet the daily requirements and that will burn all the mean accumulated fat cells and help you become a fabulous version of yourself.

Truth: It doesn’t work. If it did – not temporarily but permanently – weight loss would not be a 148-billion-dollar industry. Continue reading