The benefits of amla, and how to include it in your child's diet
Created by Sreelakshmi Updated on Oct 04, 2017
It is believed that a sage named Chyavan blended together certain revitalizing herbs, fruits and spices and devised a recipe for our overall well being and strength more than thaousand years ago. The principal fruit used in the ancient elixir called Chyavanprash was 'amla' or the Indian Gooseberry. Today Amla is an indispensible ingredient in a number of the Ayurvedic medicines. The Indian Gooseberry is rightly named ‘Amalaki' in Sanskrit language meaning "the sustainer" as modern science too has backed the medicinal properties of this fruit.
Autumn is the season when Amla is in full glory and available in plenty at the local vegetable vendor. Amla can be sourced and preserved in various forms and given to your child for his/her holistic well being. Because of the numerous benefits the fruit offers, amla can help prevent infections in a child and boost his immunity – that too, for a lifetime. Instead of depending on supplements and worrying sick due to environmental factors, our own Indian Gooseberry can be included in the diet to make our kids resistant to common infections.
Health Benefits Of Amla For Your Child
This nourishing fruit provides abundant health benefits. Amla has the highest concentration of vitamin C among all the natural sources. It contains more than 80% water and is packed with protein, carbohydrate, fibre, minerals and vitamins like Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Carotene and Vitamin B Complex.
- Fights against infections: Amla is rich in Vitamin C and thus helps in improving defence mechanism of the body to improve the body's resistance to common infections like cold and flu. These tangy a natural source of Vitamin C, and when included in your child's diet, they help in improving the body's resistance
- Helps to ease constipation: Amla has natural laxative properties to provide relief from constipation. It is an excellent source of fiber, and promotes good digestion and healthy bowel movements. Regular consumption of Amla can help in making the intestinal tracts thoroughly clean
- Builds immunity: Its anti bacterial properties help to build better immunity and the astringent characteristics of the fruits help building up the body's immune system – making your child healthier
- Boosts appetite: Have a child who does not wish to eat? Include just a few Indian gooseberries in your child's diet, along with some butter or honey, and watch your child feel the urge to eat. Amla also helps in gaining weight in children
- Prevents anemia: To improve your child's blood iron levels, make Amla a regular part of his diet. Amla is abundant in iron and can effectively fight anemia in children
- Fights free radicals: Its powerful anti-oxidant properties help to fight against free radicals that are responsible for development of different types of cancers and cell degeneration
- Good for skin: It is good for the skin too as it can help clear out pimples and acne caused due to impure blood. Amla juice with honey purifies the blood and makes the skin clear and glowing
- Good for the brain and improves memory: Chyavanprash nourishes the brain cells and enhances co-ordination and memory power. The tonic is good for students as it increases retention and recall
- Helps in getting nutrients from food: Amla enhances food absorption and thus helps to assimilate the nutrients of the food that one eats. This further helps in eliminating toxins from the body, keeping the child in optimum health
- Amla is great for the hair: Amla oil nourishes the hair roots, promotes hair growth and is believed to prevent premature greying. Regular massage with Amla oil is also believed to help with dandruff and itchy scalp, two common conditions that plague a child's hair
- Good for liver health: Liver assumes a lot of importance when it comes to our overall health. Amla improves liver functioning and is believed to improve the functions of heart and strengthen the lungs, thereby making one healthier
- Take some yourself too!: And not just children, Amla is also good for us adults. In several human studies Amla has been proved to be helpful in treating diabetes and heart ailments. Helps in anti-ageing too and improves longevity!
How Can I Include Amla In My Child's Diet?
Since Amla can make a profound impact in the health and wellness of your child and also the entire family, including it your family's diet is a wise choice. There are many ways to introduce this wonderful fruit in your child's diet, and once your child develops a taste for it, you will notice a clear improvement in your child's overall health. Autumn is the right season to pick up these fresh, succulent berries from the market, though it remains available in winters too. Choose the berries that are blemish free as they are the freshest and best. Though fresh amla is available seasonally, it can be dried or pickled to be used throughout the year in different ways. Below I've given three simple yet soulful healthy recipes you could try for your child.
3 Simple Amla Recipes For Your Child
1. Simple Green Amla Chutney
- Fresh Amla- 250 gms
- Coriander Leaves- a small bunch
- Ginger finely chopped/Grated- 1 tsp
- Green Chillies/Black Pepper- Depending on the spice buds
- Salt – As per taste
How To Make Simple Green Amla Chutney?
Cook the gooseberries till soft. After you deseed the amla, grind the cooked amla with the washed and chopped coriander leaves, grated ginger, green chillies and salt. This chutney tastes good with dosa varieties. You could even serve as a spread for bread sandwiches/ vegetable wraps or even with snacks such as samosas/pakoras.
2. Amla Raita
- Amlas-3-4 steam cooked
- Beaten Curd/Yoghurt-1 cup
- Green chillies-1 or as per taste buds
- Grated coconut - 2 tsp
- Chaat masala-1/2 tsp
- Asafoetida/hing-1/4 tsp
- Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Oil for seasoning
- Chopped coriander leaves for garnishing
How To Make Amla Raita?
Grind the steam cooked amla along with grated coconut and green chillies. Add this mixture to the beaten curd. For the seasoning heat 1 tbsp oil in a small pan, add cumin seeds and asafoetida and sauté till the seeds crackle. Remove it from the flame and pour it over the raita. Mix it well with chaat masala. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with your child's favourite parathas or rice varieties.
3. Easy Gosseberry(Amla) Sharbat
This is a cooling and refreshing drink which your little ones would appreciate and enjoy.
- Gooseberries: ½ kg
- Sugar -200gms or as per your sweet tooth
- Black Salt ½ tsp
- Cardamom Powder –for flavour
- Mint leaves for garnishing
How To Make Gooseberry Sharbat
Cook the berries till soft. Once they cool, deseed them and blend them along with the sugar and 1 cup chilled water in the mixer till you get a smooth paste. Then transfer the liquid in a bowl, add the salt and mix well. Dilute and serve with ice cubes and garnish with mint leaves.
Apart from these recipes you may give your child the traditional Chyawanprash for better immunity. For children who dislike the sour taste of amla, one can try amla pickle and amla murabba (Whole Gooseberries simmered in cardamom flavoured sugar syrup) that are yummy traditional preserves of Amla. Processed Amla Candy is widely available in supermarkets these days and is handy to give your child on a daily basis. Including the super food AMLA in our diet regularly goes a long way in establishing a robust and healthy life.
Parentune Tip - Know more on herbs that heal. Click here!
| Oct 20, 2017
Very informative blog. thanks for sharing.
| Oct 06, 2017
very informative blog... I will definitely try this
| Oct 06, 2017
During my whole pregnancy i had lots of home made salty amla candy and it helped me a lot to check nausea. Thanjs for the wonderful recipes.
| Oct 05, 2017
my kiddo is 4 months old. please suggest how can I add amla enabling her immunity system to get stronger. ????
| Aug 07, 2015
From which age we can give amala ..my lo is 7 mnths
| Jul 03, 2015
Very useful info.. though we all know the benefits of amla.. giving it to kids was always a challenge...... thanks for the recipes u put up... will definitely try
| Jul 03, 2015
My son eats paper thin slices of amla with very little salt.
| Dec 04, 2013
Thanks Renuka for this interesting recipe.
| Dec 04, 2013
U can also soak Amla in mixture of salt,turmeric and water. They will taste really good. Give to kids while watching television or playing or studying , 2 per day. Daily dosage of rich nutrients will reach them. My girl eats daily 2.
| Nov 28, 2013
Nice piece of info... Tnx
| Nov 27, 2013
very apt article for this season
| Nov 27, 2013
Hi Sreelakhsmi !! good Amla chutney recipe. and thanks for the information on Amlas.
| Dec 13, 2012
Hey, I tried the chutney, came out nice. , In summers I will try the sharbat, its easy to come back here and view the recipes . thanks!
| Nov 30, 2012
Thanks Anurima and Neetu: thanks for sharing that wonderful piece of information about Amla being heat stable,all the more reason to include in our diet!
| Nov 30, 2012
Super! Even though we know how great these herbs are, the difficult bit is to figure out how to include them in childrens' diet. thanks for the recipes. Also would like to add here - Cooking, heat, light and temperature changes significantly destroy the Vitamin C content of foods, however the vitamin C in Amla is heat stable and does not get destroyed with exposure to heat.
| Nov 29, 2012
We were always told by our elders about the health benefits of Amla. I now know more through this blog.. Thanks Sreelakshmi :)
Some custom error
Some custom error