Ask Amma

Posts Tagged ‘nutrition’

On the Importance of Eating the Peel

In Why on 28 August 2014 at 8:30 pm

We are trying to eat whole foods as much as possible.  My son is a year old, when is it okay to give him fruits and vegetables with the peel? 

– Appa in Jaipur

Why not now?    Without the peel those vegetables and fruits aren’t whole foods anymore, are they?  The only reason to avoid eating peels is the presence of pesticide which unfortunately is very prevalent.  As far as possible, get fruits and vegetables grown without toxic pesticides and fertilizers.  Better yet, grow them yourself.  There is growing awareness of low-input sustainable farming as well as kitchen-gardening and terrace-gardening and you should probably be able to find a support group or farmer’s market near you.  If not, comment below and we will try to connect you.

Riyaan takes a bite out of an apple.

Riyaan takes a bite out of an apple.

As with any food, remember that you don’t need to persuade children to eat. Read the rest of this entry »


Cooking Vessels – Steel, Iron and More

In What on 26 August 2014 at 3:40 pm

My pots are starting to scratch and I am afraid to use steel utensils with them.  I have some plastic utensils but I am worried about using them on hot food.  What cooking vessels should I use?

Please, please do not use that scratched up pot.  And please banish the plastic from the kitchen.  At least the cooking part of the kitchen. Why not use a pot that doesn’t  scratch – such as one made of cast iron or stainless steel? I will let you do your own reading on the hazards of cooking with aluminium, or using plastic for stirring or storing hot foods.  I will just briefly comment below.

A steel spatula on non-stick cookware will eventually scratch the surface.

A steel spatula on non-stick cookware will eventually scratch the surface.

Why you should not cook in the following materials (and what you should use instead): Read the rest of this entry »

Trying New Foods

In How on 10 May 2013 at 8:00 pm

How many times a day should I offer solids to my baby?  How do I encourage him to try new foods?

– mother of a 1 year-old in Delhi

Rather than timing and offering foods, if you think of ways to create an environment where appropriate food is available, your baby can be the one to figure out how much and how often to eat, if at all.  Freedom is a delightful form of encouragement.

If you are still timing your own meals to coincide with baby’s naps, then probably you can try offering once a day.   He will let you know if he wants it more often.  If he doesn’t want it, that is fine too.   Be glad and accept that he made a choice – whether he chose to eat or not.

Sooner rather than later, you should welcome baby to family mealtime and see that there is something available that he can also eat.   Baby may not yet be able to chew a chapati, but you could prepare some ragi porridge, soup, soft-boiled vegetables, or chunks of soft fruit.  Place it on the table along with the rest of the dishes for the family and let baby have some if he wants.   A baby who is new to the family table might find the array of foods dazzling, but will soon get used to the setting, Read the rest of this entry »

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