A season of freshness, lush greenery, dips in temperature, slight drizzles, and chills. During this time of year, most of us prefer to stay inside and stay warm. This cold weather brings with it a slew of common ailments such as the cold, cough, flu, viral and bacterial infections, dry skin, and a slew of others. It is also a season of immune compromise due to factors like less availability of sunshine nutrients, less hydration, bingeing on snacks over healthy nutrient dense meals and reduced frequency of exercise.
These are very true and relatable, even in the case of expectant mommies and new mothers. To-be-moms and new moms can improve their health and nutrition by adhering to a few key dietary practises during this season. Sneha Sanjay, Senior Executive Nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Bengaluru shares some thoughts:
Inclusion of Immune boosting foods that are locally available
. Ginger- Relieves stomach issues, boosts digestion and keeps the body warm.
. Gooseberry- A Natural detoxifier, and immunity booster, and since it is rich in Vitamin C, it will help in warding off infections and is excellent for iron absorption, which is crucial for mommies.
. Garlic- Sulphur content increases disease fighting abilities & improves body warmth. It reduces gassiness, which is quite common for mommies.
. Turmeric- Due to its anti-septic and anti-viral properties, turmeric is a wonder spice during pregnancy and also during the postpartum period. In the winter, haldi milk is a lifesaver.
. Carom seeds (Ajwain) and Pepper- Mothers can get rid of gassiness instantly with the intake of these, which treats abdominal discomfort and improves appetite due to slowed down metabolism.
.Citrus fruits: They help to prevent infections, hydrate well, maintain skin health, and relieve winter dryness.
. Even though mothers might not feel the urge to drink enough liquids during these months, it is indeed an important way to keep themselves mostly healthy.
. Throughout the day, sip on warm fluids such as lukewarm water, homemade soups, vegetable or dhal broths, light porridges, and herbal concoctions to hydrate, replenish various nutrients, and nourish the mommy.
. Overall hydration should not be less than 2.5 litres per day.
. Under the pretext of hydration, avoid beverages like coffee, tea, aerated beverages, packed juices, or sugar-laden beverages that may dehydrate and also restrict the absorption of certain vital nutrients, contributing to ill health.
. Improved hydration also speeds up the sluggish metabolism and keeps the mother away from indigestion problems.
Balanced Meal/ Snack pattern
. A balanced diet in the winter months certainly plays a role in improving health, immunity, and mood.
. Opt for seasonal fresh veggies and fruits that are antioxidant backups.
. Inclusion of specific nutrients like Vitamin C & zinc in particular proves to be more beneficial in pepping up immunity levels to fight flu or infections, and zinc sources help ward off infections.
. Sticking to a 3 meal & 2 snack pattern keeps the mother away from the temptation to indulge in unhealthy, deep-fried, or outside food.
. The snacking options for a mommy can be yummy and healthy, like piping hot moong dhal dhokla, homemade steamed veg or non-veg momos, steamed sprouts or peanut salad, warm porridges, savoury makhana, and many such options.
. Snacking for mommies has to be finger-licking good and healthy too. Some snack ideas inclued:
. Makhana- 100gm
. Dry fruits (Almonds/Cashew/Raisins)-25gm
. Saffron strands-3-4
. Cardamom powder-1/2 spoon
. Roast the makhana for 3-5minutes with half a spoon ghee. Keep aside.
. Roast cashew & almonds.
. Grind a small portion of roasted makhana, cardamom &dryfruits.
. Into a pan,add milk & boil it for 5minutes on a low flame.
. Add roasted makhana, powdered mix & boil it for another 5 minutes.
. Finally add melted jaggery, saffron strands & cook for 2-3 minutes.
. Add a spoon of ghee & serve hot.
Hara Bara Kabab
. Spinach-1 bunch
. Grated paneer-20gm
. Salt-1 tspn
. Chilli powder-1 tspn
. Amchur podwer-1/2 tspn
. Roasted cashew-For garnish
. In a pressure cooker, steam potato, beans, peas, & spinach.
. Mash the potatoes separately.
. Blenderise the steamed peas, spinach & beans.
. Mix the mashed potato ,blenderised vegetables, grated paneer,chopped coriander.
. For binding mix oats powder.
. Add rest other spice powders & mix well.
. Shape them into tikki with a cashew on top & shallow fry them on a pan.
. Toor Dhal-100gm
. Fine chopped onion-25gm
. Fine chopped coriander,mint,Dill leaves-30gm
. Chopped green chilli-10gm
. Salt-1 tspn
. Ghee- ï¿½ tspn
. Soak the toor dhal for 3-4 hours.
. Drain out the water completely.
. Grind it coarse using a mixer.
. Add rest other ingredients mentioned.
. Shape it into finger shape patties & steam it on medium flame for 15-20 minutes.
. Serve hot with a dollop of ghee.
. Chocolate Porridge
. Rolled oats-90gm
. Cocoa powder-10gm
. Honey/Maple syrup-3 or 4 tspns
. Fresh fruits(Figs/Banana/Apple/Strawberry)-100gm
. Roast the oats for just 2 minutes & add cocoa powder.
. Add milk & boil it for 5-8minutes
. Once oats gets slightly thick get it off the flame.
. Cool it down to luke warm state.
. Add honey as per sweetness required and finally mix the chopped fruits
. Protein Rich Pizza
. Whole eggs-2
. Soya chunks-50gm
. Mixed vegetables(Onion/Bell pepper/Tomato/Olives/Baby corn)-75gm
. Tomato puree-20gm
. Clean the whole cauliflower & grate it.
. To this grated cauliflower, add salt, pepper, coriander & eggs.
. Mix everything thoroughly
. Apply oil to a pre heated pan & pour this thick cauliflower egg mixture.
. Cover it with a lid & cook on flame.
. Once cooked well on one side flip it, apply tomato puree, spread all the vegetables & grated cheese.
. Cook it on medium flame with lid covered for 3-5 minutes.
. Garnish & serve it with pepper, oregano & chilli flakes.