December 26 2022
People's lifestyles have changed in many ways in the past few decades. The patterns that we would so religiously follow are slowly dwindling. One area that has particularly suffered is our eating habits. With both parents working, it is difficult to have the same eating habits as before. Even sitting down as a family and eating every meal together has become a thing of the past. We hurry through our feeds, seldom having time to relish what we are eating because our lifestyle has become hectic. It's not just the adults but the children's daily schedule to has become heated.
While eating out or ordering in is the new normal, people have also realized that this is not sustainable as it is beginning to take its toll on their health. So now the era of smart eating dawns, where you try to pack in as many nutrients as possible in smaller meals. From food to drink, we must make conscious choices to stay healthy. Children learn how to get the best healthy drinks and maintain a balanced diet as part of their everyday routine at Eurokids preschool.
Mom's today have become very innovative and creative, sneaking vegetables into pasta, burgers, pizzas, noodles and even parathas, putting oats into idlis, and so on, but when it comes to drinks, most often they stick to the basics or use readymade products. However, the best healthy drinks for your kids are the ones you make at home.
Apart from the initial preparation that might need to be done. Homemade health drinks for kids are just as easy as commercially available ones but with familiar ingredients available at home. Though tasty, children should be discouraged from consuming carbonated drinks as they have very high amounts of sugar, artificial colourings, flavourings and preservatives.
Health awareness is everywhere and gaining ground. Eating and drinking healthy has become trendy, and rightfully so. Keeping 'everything in moderation as a rule of thumb, let's get some fancy glasses out and our aprons on to make the best health drinks for child growth in India.
This is the delicious water you get after cracking open a coconut. It is refreshing, neutral and, best of all, packed with nutrients like potassium, iron, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, and much more. It can be drunk as it is or even slightly chilled on a warm summer day.
Translated as lime/ lemon water is made simply by mixing the juice of a lime with water, Sugar/ honey/ jaggery, and maybe a pinch of salt. A thirst-quenching drink that is rich in vitamin c and improves the immune system. This drink also prevents dehydration and digestive disorders.
This drink is made primarily from the pulp of raw mangoes, sugar/ jaggery, and a bit of spice. It has major health benefits and reduces the effects of sunstroke. It contains nutrients like carbohydrates, vitamins like A, B1, B2, B3, and C, folic acid and minerals like potassium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium.
Kokum is a fruit native to Goa and Maharashtra. The cooling and refreshing juice are made to beat the hot summers. This juice has tremendous cooling properties and prevents heat rashes. It controls acidity and prevents indigestion and flatulence. Kokum is rich in antioxidants and nutrients like vitamins A, B3, and C, folic acid, iron, potassium and zinc. The concentrated syrup can be easily made at home and stored for months.
Rose Syrup, or sharbat, is known for its cooling properties and helps reduce stress and anxiety. It has anti-inflammatory properties and helps reduce acidity. Its antioxidant properties keep your child's skin and hair healthy. The syrup can be found in the local markets and transformed into delightful drinks, either by itself or by adding a squirt of lime and mint. It even tastes great with milk.
Lassi and its savoury counterpart, chaas/buttermilk, are versatile yogurt-based drinks and can easily be made at home in minutes. Lassi is sweet, and flavours like cardamom, rosewater saffron etc., can be used for variety. In contrast, chaos/Buttermilk can be tempered and flavoured with herbs and spices like coriander, mint, ginger, roasted cumin, black salt and so on. These drinks aid digestion, prevent stomach problems like bloating, are a good source of probiotics, and are even good for bone and dental health as they are rich in calcium.
Bananas smoothie is made using ripe bananas and milk. There is no need to add sugar as the ripe bananas are naturally sweet. Bananas are a powerhouse of nutrients like potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, Vitamin C and fibre. In contrast, milk contains calcium, potassium, and vitamins A, B12, and D. Mixing these two makes a delightfully delicious and healthy drink. Adding nut butter like peanut/almond/cashew butter can increase the protein content, or add different fruits like strawberry or mango and enjoy the benefits of those fruits as well.
Malt drinks are made from grains like wheat and ragi. In this, the grain is allowed to sprout. It is then dried, roasted and powdered. Roasted nut powder, Milk powder, cardamom powder and sugar powder can be mixed to get a ready-to-use malt drink. This drink contains antioxidants and vitamin E that enhance brain development in kids. Since it is made with sprouted grain, it is easier to digest. It is rich in Vitamin B6, B12, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate and thiamine, which provides energy and boosts metabolism in children.
Badam Milk/doodh (not to be confused with almond milk) is a dairy-based beverage made by mixing crushed almonds, cardamom and saffron into milk. It can be consumed either warm or cold, depending on the weather. It helps build immunity and is rich in proteins and vitamin E, which is good for brain development, and this, coupled with the calcium and proteins of milk, makes it a good health drink for kids.
Thandai is an exotic milk-based beverage made in the warmer months, containing crushed almonds, cardamoms and saffron, a mixture of fennel seeds, watermelon kernels, rose petals, pepper, poppy seeds, milk and sugar. Besides being nourishing, it gives children a sense of fullness, so it is a great option for breakfast or as an evening snack. Thandai contains nutrients like protein, omega-3, vitamins, and zinc.
Fruits and vegetables pack the maximum nutrients when consumed raw. However, children may refuse to consume a few raw vegetables or fruit for various reasons. However, they may be open to juice. When consuming juice, as convenient as it may be, fresh juice at home is always better and when possible, refrain from straining it so that you get the goodness of the fibre too. The juices can be had by themselves, or you can mix and match a few, like mango and carrot, spinach, cucumber and apple. The combinations are endless, healthy and delicious too.
While dwelling on all the children's health drinks,. let us not forget the quintessential drink of utmost importance for our health. As humble as it is, a glass of water doesn't have any nutritional value, yet it is solely responsible for many functions that assure our well-being. It is the best healthy drink you can ever give your child. Water helps transport and absorption of nutrients in our body, helps maintain our body temperature, aids digestion, prevents constipation, helps eliminate waste and excess electrolytes in our body, is important to maintain the right viscosity of the blood, and so much more. So don't forget your daily dose of this life-saving drink as well.
Through this article, we have hoped to bring about some awareness to help you make an informed choice. After all, we are solely responsible for our health and the health of our children. So the next time you casually reach out for a drink to give your child, as convenient as it might be, just take a pause and reflect on whether it will benefit or cause your child harm. When in doubt, there is always a refreshing glass of water. Click here to explore a centre closest to you.