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.

How To Recover From The Weekend Party

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“Saturday Saturday…” Remember the Alia Bhatt-Varun Dhawan-star number that soared in popularity charts. Because the mere thought of the weekend is enough to make you jump with joy. Weekends are usually all about meeting your favourite pals, shopping, watching the latest movie and hanging out at the newest café in town.

While the weekend is about having a blast, the one thing that takes the maximum beating is your weight. Whether it’s skipping breakfast, late dinners, erratic sleep hours, bingeing on fried foods and desserts, zero exercise, or downing a few drinks; Saturday and Sunday become speed bumps in your weight loss journey. Continue reading

How to boost your metabolism

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I swear I put in my best efforts but I still can’t lose weight because my metabolism is so slow.

I eat all these metabolic-boosting foods, but my metabolism refuses to budge.

Thanks to the internet, metabolism has become a buzzword for anyone on a weight loss program. And when they don’t lose the flab despite putting in their best efforts, they blame their metabolism.

First, let’s understand what metabolism is and what are the factors that affect it. Continue reading

PCOS diet chart that can manage your health

Did you know that 1 in 5 Indian women suffer from PCOS?? Now isn’t that a staggering number! But it’s true as revealed by an inclusive study on Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or Polycystic Ovarian Disease trends in young women in India.

What is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome a.k.a. PCOS is a common health problem caused by an imbalance of the reproductive hormones. PCOS is characterized by the overproduction of androgen testosterone (male hormone), menstrual abnormalities when ovulation does not occur, and enlarged ovaries containing multiple small follicles.

Due to menstrual irregularities, excess of androgens, total and abdominal fat and insulin resistance make women prone to diabetes and cardiovascular disorders.

What causes PCOS? Continue reading

Walk your steps to better health

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If you ask your parents about the happiest memories they have had of their children growing up, the first answer to pop up would be ‘the time my child took his first step’. Every parent knows that the first step in a child’s life is a landmark event. Our parents witnessed the smile and the thrill radiated through our face and that was a joyous moment carved in their memories. As children, we stumble and topple a few times over till we can manage to walk confidently, without any support. And when we turn from crawlers to walkers, it brings together a sense of independence, productivity and exploration.

So what changed as we grew up? Continue reading

All Things Cholesterol: The good, the bad & the truth

“I will have a packet of cashews!“ I placed my order. My friend who had ordered a can of diet coke for herself was shocked.

“That thing is full of fat and cholesterol! Aren’t you supposed to know that?”

However, I don’t blame her. Over the years, we have been made to believe that nuts are highly loaded with fats and cholesterol.

Yes, all the nuts are naturally fat rich. But are nuts high in cholesterol? And is cholesterol really bad for us? Despite, the negative press cholesterol that this fatty substance often gets, it isn’t entirely bad for us.

Basics of cholesterol.

What is it?

Cholesterol is a substance made in the liver and it is vital to human life. Only animal bodies can produce cholesterol. Thus, you can find it ONLY in humans and animal products like meat, eggs, and dairy.

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Yes, that’s right! There is NO cholesterol in cashews, peanuts, cooking oils etc. So, the next time a cooking oil flashes the below punchline.

XYZ oil – Live healthier, live longer with our 0% cholesterol free oil

Know better to not let your eyeballs drop in the shopping mart aisle anymore.

The liver, other organs, and other cells in your body produce about 75% of the cholesterol in your blood. And, the other 25 % of cholesterol in your body is affected by the foods you eat.

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Since we eat more foods including cholesterol, our liver compensates by reducing its own production of cholesterol and removing excess cholesterol.

We have got natural processes to take care of cholesterol balance in the blood. And we totally disturb this balance and interrupt cholesterol functioning when we chose any “low fat” or “fat-free” products.

What does cholesterol do in our bodies?

Our body uses cholesterol to make a few essential hormones, including:

  • Sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone in women, and testosterone in men, which help the sex organs develop and are involved in reproduction.
  • Cortisol, which helps your body respond to stress.
  • Aldosterone, which balances the number of minerals in your body.
  • Vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium to strengthen your bones.

So why exactly is cholesterol bad for us? One might think.

The levels of cholesterol in the blood are not the problem but the type of cholesterol is. Cholesterol travels in the blood in packages called lipoproteins, which consist of lipids (fats) and protein. Cholesterol packaged in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is often called “bad” cholesterol because too much LDL in the blood can lead to cholesterol buildup and blockage in the arteries. LDL carries most of the cholesterol in the blood.

The high-density lipoprotein (HDL), often called “good” cholesterol, is another type of cholesterol package. HDL helps transport cholesterol from other parts of the body to the liver, which helps remove it from the body, preventing it from piling up in the arteries.

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The third type of lipoprotein is very low density (VLDL). This package transports triglycerides in the blood; high levels of VLDL and triglycerides can consequently lead to the risk of heart disease.

Some people with normal cholesterol levels get heart attacks while others with high levels do not—  the difference is in the levels of HDL and LDL cholesterol, their ratio and chronic inflammation in their bodies.

Inflammation and oxidation are interrelated processes. Inflammation is the body’s healthy response to injury, irritation or infection. It neutralizes harmful micro-organisms, helps repair wounds and cleans up debris. However chronic inflammation is an unhealthy condition which generates a constant supply of harmful free radicals (also called as oxidation) that panics our anti-oxidant defences.

  • We fearfully remove the full-fat milk and egg yolks; replace them with egg whites and low-fat yoghurt or fat-free butter.
  • We don’t get enough antioxidants (to fight oxidation) because we conveniently ditch the bowl of salad and a portion of fruit out of the meal plan.
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  • A biscuit packet (full of white flour and sugar) has become our go-to snack.
  • We make all possible excuses to miss the gym session or the jog outside.
  • Pulling an “all nightery” has now become the trend.

Such diet habits and lifestyle adaptations are the major components which are consequently making the cholesterol bad for your body!

Making Cholesterol good by yourself for yourself!

Don’t drink the fruit – eat it!

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Drop “juices” (canned) from your grocery list today. Because the processing takes out all the antioxidant from any fruit. And there’s a risk of toxicity due to the high dose of sugar and loads of preservatives, left in the can.

Rather have fresh and whole fruit. Minimize its contact with air and metal to maintain the antioxidant profile.

Manage your type of cholesterol!

Make sure you take dietary measures to control the bad type of cholesterol build up and increase the good type to help your body. Exercise often, eat a heart-healthy diet by including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and oilseeds, etc., maintain a healthy body weight in order to keep your good cholesterol working in your body. Limit the intake of red meat, avoid smoking, choose leaner cuts while picking your meats, avoid organ meat and eliminate trans-fat to keep your LDL in check.

Beauty sleep!

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Sleep is the most powerful tool of our body to keep cholesterol from oxidizing. Sleep is the time when the body uses the antioxidant defence at its maximum to detoxify our body. Good sleep is a great stress manager too. So, don’t underestimate this in-built detoxification process and get your sleep cycle back on track. A good diet and enough exercise are going to be of great help to achieve your sleep goals.

Nuts: small packet of big energy!

Fun fact about cholesterol: plants cannot produce it. So naturally, any plant sources including nuts will not have any cholesterol contents. High time we shift fearlessly to our traditional snacking option- Nuts.

Peanuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, pistachios are in fact good sources of essential fats like MUFA and PUFA. They keep our body from exposing to chronic inflammation.

Get your heart racing!

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We all know that lack of exercise is one of the major factors contributing to illnesses. Now it’s the time to put this piece of knowledge to use. Walk, jog, run, swim, cycle, yoga, pilates anything you like – Just do it! Any exercise which gets your heart racing is going to keep your heart healthy!

So, don’t be a prey to “cholesterol free/ fat-free” media campaigns.

Welcome cholesterol in your meal plans and host it smartly!

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Akansha is the Founder and Consultant at Beyond the Weighing Scale. With a wide range of expertise and skills, she is adept to speak about nutrition, health, lifestyle management and physical activity. She is a popular food columnist, a passionate foodie, a health enthusiast, an avid traveller and a happy yogi.

Why some people never fall sick

I often wondered how all my life, I had never seen my grandmother spend a single day in bed or experience a bout of cold, cough or fever. So, one day I asked her “What is the secret to your good health?” She replied, “I sleep by 9 pm, wake up by 5, eat fruits daily, eat only home-cooked food and go for a walk every day for 40 minutes.” Evidently, her disciplined lifestyle is the secret to her strong immunity.

As like any other system of our body, a strong immune system calls for a healthy lifestyle which comprises of adequate nourishment, sleeps and exercise to function to its optimum capacity.bon happetee indian food calorie counter app

Now, we are aware that habits inculcated during childhood stay with us throughout life. Hence, it is important to ingrain healthy habits at a tender age.

While I have briefly touched upon the factors that are essential for staying away from ailments, let’s look at what factors should you look at for ensuring you stay as healthy as my grandma: Continue reading

Exercise and Eat Right for a Fitter You!

Exercise is King, Nutrition is Queen. Put them together and you have a kingdom. For you to climb to the zenith of fitness, you need to get that combination of exercise and nutrition spot on!

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Exercising is not only about a slimmer waistline or ripped physique, but also about a lowered risk of lifestyle diseases and improved mood and energy levels. And to ensure that you are gaining maximum benefits from that grueling gym session, it is important to fuel your fitness with proper nutrition. Continue reading

Post Pregnancy Weight Loss and Beyond

Having a baby is a beautiful experience and you find your world revolving around your baby. Now that your baby is here, you have a lot to think and do. In addition to this, you are eager to look like your old self again or even better than before.

The number one thing you must have is a certain amount of patience with your body. It took you nine months to get there and what you eat now affects the quality of nourishment you give to your baby through lactation. It may sound strange, but going on an official “diet” could derail your post-pregnancy weight loss goals and affect the nourishment of your baby. 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