Winter Foods, Fruits, Vegetables for Children's for Ample Nourishment
Created by Tanuja Sodhi Updated on Jan 11, 2013
Fresh and locally harvested foods are ‘real’ foods having their full flavors intact, which are released only on being eaten. Even research suggests that eating with the season is healthier as there is a variation in the nutrient content of veggies when they are harvested off-season. Besides the fresh fruits and vegetables, there are certain other delectable ones like dried-fruits, nuts, grains, beverages and dishes which have seasonal relevance. Indian seasons are basically divided into 3 parts: summer, monsoon and winter season. In this series of seasonal foods, I cover winter foods this month.
Winter Windfall: What’s better than the savory- rich delights on a nippy, crispy winter day to thaw you and warm you up from the inside out?
Winter Fruits for Children's:
Winter lugs with it a bagful of fruity delights. Pamper your child with a whole array of fruits ‘handpicked’ by my son in order of his preferences. Hence, this list has the endorsement of a child:-
1.) Banana: A fruit loved by kids universally, it is delicious and easy to consume. It has myriad health benefits attached to it. It is a major source of energy, regulates blood pressure and reduces chances of muscle cramps. It also boosts cardiovascular health, controls sugar levels and is a mood-lifter. Banana has Vitamins C and B6, calcium, potassium, fiber and lots more. It is suitable to be consumed round the year.
2.) Orange: Tangy and savory, oranges are essential for vision, help against oral & lung cancer risk and reduce blood cholesterol. They provide a good amount of vitamin C to the body and are a good source of vitamins A & B, fiber, potassium and calcium.
3.) Kiwi: One of the exotic fruits that are available all the year round, It helps maintain BP, proper fluid balance in the body, proper cell & brain function, normal muscle contraction and nervous health. It has more vitamin C than oranges. It also has fiber, antioxidants and potassium.
4.) Grapes: This exquisitely tangy fruit is good for boosting immunity and nervous health. It has very potent antioxidants that are beneficial for heart health . It contains vitamins A, C, B6 & K, folate, calcium, iron, manganese, potassium and fiber to regulate the digestion in a child.
5.) Guava: One of the richest sources of vitamin C, guava comes with a bevy of benefits. It builds immunity by preventing cell damage caused by free radicals; it helps in the absorption of iron; necessary for heart functioning and improves eyesight. Besides being loaded with vitamin C, guavas are loaded with nutrients like vitamin A, B, E, K, potassium, copper, iron, manganese, calcium, zinc, phosphorous and selenium.
6.) Pineapple: Another exotic and juicy fruit that is a powerhouse of vitamin C, manganese and fiber, it strengthens immune system and helps in the formation of bones.
7.) Pomegranate: Pomegranate is packed with more antioxidants than green tea and even berries. It strengthens immune system, gives energy and is great for the skin and liver. It is a rich source of potassium, iron and vitamin C.
8.) Pear: Pear boosts the immune system, keeps skin allergies at bay and is good for eye and hair health. It aids in healing of wounds and repair of blood vessels. Pear also regulates BP and is recommended in case of heart ailments. It is rich in vitamins C, A, folic acid, potassium and fibre.
9.) Cheeku: It helps in preventing heart ailments, boosts immunity and takes care of eye health. It contains vitamins A, B, C and E.
10.) Indian Gooseberry (Amla) It is a repository of vitamin C and must be taken regularly to build immunity against flu, common cold and other viral infections. It could be added to mint chutney or to a glass of vegetable juice to fortify it further.
11.)Apple: Apples are packed with vitamins A, B-1, B-2 and C, as well as minerals such as calcium, potassium, iodine, iron and phosphorous. These nutrients are essential to your child's growing body, particularly in the bones, tissues, muscles, organs, skin and blood. The antiviral properties of apples can help in attacking bacteria in the mouth, cleansing teeth and strengthening gums.
Winter Vegetables for Children's:
While kids may fuss for lack of adequate food choice during summers, winter season offers a wide and vibrant range of vegetables such as:
1.) Fenugreekleaves (Methi): These are rich in calcium, phosphorous and iron. Their consumption regulates blood sugar and bad cholesterol. They are good for hair health too. My son just loves the crisp methi paranthas and the methi bhaji that are an exclusive winter treat.
2.) Spinach: Popeye with his spinach tin was my son’s favorite toon. Although he moved on from cartoon watching to watching more meaningful shows as he grew into a teen, spinach stuck on with him, and I’m definitely not complaining! Spinach builds immunity, helps in creating red blood cells and thus prevents anemia. Eating spinach regularly ensures healthy skin, bones, teeth and blood vessels. A mighty source of myriad nutrients, spinach should be a regular part of your healthy eating plan. It’s a rich source of vitamins C, A & K, folate and iron. Palak panner and palak paranthas are loved by my son and many of his friends.
3.) Cabbage: It helps reduce bad cholesterol and BP, and builds immunity.
It is a powerhouse of vitamin K & a decent source of vitamins C, B6, folate, fiber, manganese and potassium. It may be surprising, but my 15 year old has always liked this vegetable when cooked lightly in mustard seeds and whole red chillies without too much masala.
4.) Sweet potato (Shakarkandi): It is a very good energy source that controls BP, lowers cholesterol and keeps blood sugar levels stable. It helps improve digestive health, plays a crucial role in vision, and boosts immune system's response to infections and illnesses. It is a great snack with nutrients such as vitamins C & A, complex carbohydrates, potassium and fiber. Give a boiled shakarkandi with a pinch of salt and a dash of lemon to your kid instead of cookies to make for a healthy snack.
5.) Beetroot: This ever-blushing vegetable controls Blood Pressure and reduces the risk of heart ailments and osteoporosis. It helps lower bad cholesterol, prevents anemia and fatigue. It is loaded with folic acid and is also a good source of vitamins A, B & C, and minerals like iron, calcium & potassium. Make it a part of the salad platter for your kid every day.
6.) Ladyfinger (Bhindi): Also known as okra, this vegetable reduces bad cholesterol, risk of heart ailments and diabetes, controls BP, looks after bone & teeth health and prevents anemia. It is a good source of folate, calcium, potassium and fiber. Most kids are die-hard fans of bhindi as they know it.
7.) Cauliflower & Broccoli: Both the vegetables have similar nutrient profiles. They have cancer-fighting ability; they build immunity and are great for the health of eyes, teeth, gums and blood vessels. These cruciferous vegetables are high in potassium, vitamins C & A.
8.) Mustard Greens (Sarson): It is essential for strengthening immunity, for bone health, against anemia and blood clotting. Like most other greens, sarson is high in calcium, folate, vitamin C and fiber. Your family’s winter is declared incomplete if you haven’t gorged on ‘makki ki roti & sarso ka saag’ combo- A true body warming and heart-warming dish!
9.) Carrot: Remember Bugs Bunny with his signature carrot? My son drew inspiration to eat this scrumptious vegetable from this iconic toon, and loves it to date. This is the best vegetable for your vision health. Carrots also boost immunity, help in production of blood cells and hoist metabolism. Carrot is packed with the punch of vitamin A like no other vegetable. It also has fiber, vitamins C & K. Feed it as a part of finger food platter, grate it and add it to the idli or add it to pasta if you please.
10.) Fresh Green Garbanzos (Chholiya): Fresh green chickpeas are the winter food that tastes super good. It contains virtually no transfats or saturated fats. . It promotes a healthy digestive tract, reducing the risk of some types of cancer, controlling diabetes and maintaining healthy blood glucose levels. This one is an absolute delight with the pods hanging from long leafy stems. You can get these at most vegetable vendors. Beat them raw or boil them, add some tomatoes, onions, salt, lemon juice and red chilli powder and serve as a healthy snack to your little ones. Chholiya is “nutrient dense”, containing good amounts of vitamins A,C,& E, potassium, iron, manganese, copper, zinc and calcium, folate and fiber.
11.) Ginger: The goodness of ginger just cannot be ignored. Winter is the perfect time to take the advantage of the medicinal properties of ginger. Ginger not only keeps the body warm but also helps in speeding up body metabolism. Ginger is rich in antioxidant, and when taken with honey it an excellent remedy to fight cold and flu. Ginger also helps you to build a strong immune system. Though it is not a dish in itself, it adds zing to most Indian dishes.
12.) Garlic: Garlic not only makes food tasty but also helps to prevent many medical problems. Like ginger, garlic also helps in building strong body resistance to fight winter cold and flu. It also aids in digestion and lowers bad cholesterol.
Dried Fruits & Nuts For KIds:
Dried fruit and nuts make a delicious snack between meals for the kids. You could even sneak-in a handful of these in your kid’s tiffin box. It’s a first- hand tip from my personal experiences. Even the fussy kids don’t mind eating dried fruits and nuts when discovered in their tiffin boxes.
Their combination of protein and carbohydrates will satisfy body fuel needs, help in tissue growth and in better concentration. The nuts that are great in Indian winters are: almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and peanuts. Dried fruits that make a great snack choice are: raisins, apricots, dates, plums and figs. Dried fruits and nuts will not only keep your kids warm but will also satisfy their sweet cravings in a healthy way. They are a powerhouse of nutrients like omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins E & A, protein and fiber. They help lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol; they also keep diabetes and heart problems under check.
Other Food Delicacies: Try avoiding the greasy bites at snack time and replace them with these healthier options given below:
(a) Steamed Idlis
(b) Steamed Dhoklas
(c) Poha (Beaten rice)
(e) Beans chilla/yellow moong dal chilla/green moong dal chilla
Hot Soups: A bowl of hot soup on a cold winter evening is just divine. Remember, packaged soup don’t make for a healthy choice. Some of the healthy winter soup options are: tomato soup/vegetable soup/tomato-spinach soup/carrot-bean soup/clear chicken noodle soup/wild mushroom soup/tomato shorba/ tomato rasam, etc.
There are varied flavors available during winters and the children have enough colours, textures and tastes to choose from. So, entice your little tykes to experience lots of seasonal tastes and textures that will not only satiate their taste buds but also provide ample nourishment.
Also read nutrient maximizing tips: http://www.parentune.com/parent-talk/nutrient-maximizing-tips/108
Image source - michellenk.com
| Jan 05, 2017
hi ,i read somwhere banana should be introduce to baby in summer ,it should not be given in winter ,plz comment
| Dec 19, 2016
Get article... Helps me a lot..
| Nov 03, 2014
| Nov 01, 2014
Yamini, You may also want to checkout more blogs on winter. Here are some which may be useful - Ear care in winters for children- https://www.parentune.com/parent-blog/ear-care-in-winters-for-children/359
| Nov 01, 2014
Thankyou very much. I was waiting for this.
| Feb 05, 2014
| Jan 17, 2014
Here I would love to share the moments of mine & my son .... how we play with each other http://parentune.com/detail/319
| Jan 17, 2014
Wonderful Simply Wonderful ... great info.
| Jan 03, 2014
Thanks a lot for sharing wonderful information
| Nov 09, 2013
Very useful information
| Jan 16, 2013
Agree with Anurima, having a quick reference list over here really does make a lot of difference. This is one place I trust for information.
| Jan 15, 2013
Great! Having a list like this and being able to look at it anytime for reference is really helpful. We are indeed spoilt for choice with regards to the availability of fruits and vegetables during winter. Thanks.
| Jan 12, 2013
Nice exhaustive list, how come we feel there's not enough options in fruits and veggies.. !
| Jan 11, 2013
great ,I read it along with my 10yrs old son to make him aware about the benefits of each veggie as he is choosy. Lets see how much this helps me to make him eat all the veggies. Thanks for the knowledge. :)