This lockdown, with schools being shut for over 2 months and extending the summer vacations, millions of children are spending their time locked up at home. Moms today are not just taking care of kids, they have got their own office work too, and with everyone in the family together, it’s challenging at many levels, and food tops the list. Once you turn on social media, all you see is new recipes being churned out by moms. But, behind the scenes, you bet there is a kid nagging to have something tasty, something different. To tackle this challenge, we reached out to a few mothers who have successfully tackled the FOOD problem.

Mom 1 – Toddler Kids (1-3-year-old kids):

Being a mother with a toddler, is extremely difficult this lockdown. I want my child to eat healthy, but with limited resources at hand, my challenge is to make my child eat without a fuss or without wasting any food. Kids in general hate veggies but given the current situation, eating veggies is a must. So, my solution is simple, HIDE IT. I mask vegetables in the food by pureeing it so they wouldn’t know what is in the final meal. Kids make a fuss in case they find lumps of veggies in the mouth. So dishes like dal ka paratha, khichdi, jwar rice mixed rotis, dosa, nuggets with all the pureed veggies stuffed in them is one way I’m making my kid have good healthy food this lockdown. Also, sometimes I put a little bit of chicken chunks, egg bhurji or soya chunks on top of the meal and give it a continental name and my kid feels it’s a fancy dish. In-short I try making 1 pot dishes and it saves me a lot of time and ensures I have extra time for myself, this lockdown.

Mom 2 – 4-9 year old kids:

My kid turned 6 years a few months back. Kids of this age have their taste palates developed. They are more inquisitive about what they are being served and quite demanding actually. So I have been trying to come up with interesting ways to get them to eat healthy. My initial challenge was to make my kids eat fruits. Most doctors recommend daily fruits for kids. But when I tried giving my kids fruits, they just ran away. So, I did my research, looked at some famous food vloggers, and EUREKA, I had my solution. I started making frozen fruit popsicles out of seasonal fruits. Fruit juice such as orange, lemon, guava, grape or apple makes the most reliable pops that tend to melt slower. To add texture and visual appeal, I chop small or thinly sliced pieces of fruit like watermelon, strawberry, mango, pineapple or kiwi. Depending on the ingredients, at least 4 to 6 hours is needed to turn the parts from liquid to solid. My kids are having fruits, daily, without even complaining, for them if it looks nice, it tastes nice. Other than pops; fruit custards and fruit based smoothies also work for my kids

What is also important is to educate kids on the importance of eating right. As kids grow older their tastes develop and they also become more rigid in what they like and dislike. What they eat now will lay down the foundation for their health and immunity later on in their lives as well. And with the current health situation around, this is of utmost importance. More example.

Mom 3 – Teenagers:

My kids are older now, one is a teenager while the other is almost a tween. While tricks don’t work with them, I have been using this time at home to get them to learn how to cook. If they want to eat something interesting, then they have to help me cook it. The rule in our house is, if you want to eat it, you have to make it. I did that the other day with one of my teenagers. He said he wanted tacos for dinner. I said, ‘OK, get out the pan. Let me show you what to do.’ It’s also helped them understand how the kitchen works. From chopping the vegetables to clearing it after they are done – they have a newfound respect for all the good food. Also, what I have noticed is, when my kids put effort in making the food, they stop wasting the food and this has been a learning for me this lockdown.

Mom 4: Inventory planning –

In this scenario, the one thing that has been my saving grace is meal planning. I would try and pre-plan my meals but was never a regular meal planner. But in the current situation, that’s what has come to my rescue. I plan the meals a week or a couple of days in advance at least which gives me enough time for the meal prepping as well. I don’t need to think about what is going on my table every single day if I plan the meals in advance. By planning ahead I have simplified my life.  Have you? How many of you lose your mind trying to figure 3 main meals and then at least 2 snack options every day. Everyone’s home and that means everyone is always hungry. It’s all about finding the balance to make life easier. My advice to everyone is to try meal planning or get your hands on a good book with Indian meal plans and you are set. For anyone who cooks, one-pot meals, batch cooking and utilizing ingredients in different ways comes in handy to save a lot of time for yourself. This also helps cut down on extra ingredients and you will definitely have fewer utensils to wash.

Uncertain situations make everyone anxious and worried but a well-thought life plan can be just what you need at the moment. In times like these moms need to stand beside each other so that all of us can all be prepared for any uncertainty. With the right preparation no challenge is too hard to overcome – an article in association with ICICI Prudential Life Insurance

COMP/DOC/May/2020/145/3642

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