Allergies and Healthy eating..who would have thought …:)

This time of the year at my workplace we do the biggest loser contest…a 12 week competition and the winner gets the pool of money, while the rest of us are satisfied with a healthy lifestyle. This is what helped me lose my baby weight last year, and since a stressful tax season (and weekly dose of hash browns, Oh God how I love them, that and innumerable amounts of tortilla chips) has made me pack on some pounds…am at it again and happy to note, I am already feeling great!.

When we started making lists on the various ways to keep Avyu’s diet complete with all the nutrients we discovered the ‘natural’ food aisle in the local grocery stores. It is so surprising that the ‘natural’ way to eat and healthy products are just one row in the whole supermarket. Makes you wonder..(.). I had researched and met with a nutrition consultant for Avyukt to expand my knowledge on the healthy whole grains out there that I could give him. This posting is just to spread the knowledge. Ajit and I both have been trying to change our eating habits for a while now. We avoid prepackaged foods as much as possible, try to totally avoid the dreaded ‘high fructose corn syrup’ etc. So going down this path for Avyu opened to us a whole new world of grains which I must say taste very very nice!!!  Here I have listed the 3 we have Avyu eat on a regular basis:

QUINOA: Avyu’s most favorite. This is very protein rich grain nearly 18%, which makes it great for us. Protein is what we, being vegetarians, struggle with the most. Once milk is cut off, and not being able to use substitutes like soy or egg, made us get creative. Avyu has plain boiled quinoa, with or without salt for breakfast or lunch. He loves it. This covers the protein for him many days. We can make a variety of south Indian dishes, Upma (usually made with refined wheat grains) with quinoa, you can get Quinoa flour and use to make Dosa (rice crepes). recipes to come soon!!. Another thing I am intrigued by, in one of shows on Food Network on Tv, I saw them making pal Payasam (A sweet dish with milk and rice), using Quinoa and not rice. You get both white and red Quinoa which looks gorgeous when cooked. To read more about this grain…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinoa.

SPELT:  Spelt is more closely related to Wheat. Upfront I must say, that spelt flour makes excellent and tasty Dosas (kind of like Indian pancakes..recipe will follow).  this is an all round nutritious grain. People who are allergic to wheat, can at most times tolerate spelt. Avy has had spelt muffins, Spelt dosas for the most part. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spelt

MILLET:  This is what they call back home in India as (kambu). This is a very healthy and overall nutritious grain. This is something new we have started for Avyu. He seems to like it. Again, this too he has it plain boiled, kind of in a porridge consistency. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millet

As adults we rarely evaluate what we eat anymore. But having to read labels every time I pick up anything to eat or give to Avyu it has made me more vigilant about what I put in my mouth. The one blessing this allergy has, is the fact that Avyu cannot fill up on all the junk food out there. Most of them have milk in it. This has forced him to be on a very well-rounded diet. He loves his veggies. and I say it is mostly because that is the most he gets. Of course I can see his face light up when he sees a deep-fried potato hash brown. Then again it is homemade, made from scratch, with a sprinkle of any of his healthy flours and very little salt. As knowledge evolves, we have to embrace them. I think as parents it is vital to inculcate healthy eating habits to our children and as all of you know they watch and learn. What you put in your mouth is what they want. It is not hard to do. The first week is hard, after that it is a matter of habit.

I am not standing in judgement of anyone. I let Avyu get filled with chocolate cookies too, but I also get him organic vegetables, and offer him fruits and vegetables at every meal. The most I can do is offer :). Now a-days most of the time is spent on the natural foods aisle or the freezer for frozen and / or fresh veggies. Can’t wait to hit the Blacksburg farmers market again this summer. Brunch, farmer market make for a great Saturday morning.

Here is my first recipe for ‘Spelt Dosa (crepes? pancakes?)’

1 cup Rice Flour

1/3rd cup Spelt Flour

A pinch of salt and a pinch of turmeric.

Mix all the ingredients to a batter consistency, a little thinner than what it is for a pancake.

Have the skillet hot and ready, pur the batter in small circles and our oil around the circumference.

Avy loves it with jam or just by itself.

For adults, I add fried mustard seeds, with little bits of green chillies.  It makes it tastee sooo good!.

Enjoy!

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5 Comments

  1. Rajesh said,

    April 27, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Anu,

    Really nice blog..I am going to try this spelt dosai.. Will let u know my take on the taste.:)…keep writing…

    • avymom said,

      April 29, 2010 at 1:06 pm

      Thanks. Yeah let me know, soon I will post recipes using Quinoa, I know you like those.

  2. parisal said,

    April 29, 2010 at 4:36 am

    Wow Anu! Definitely sounds like Avyu is on a super healthy diet 🙂 To add to the list of whole grains you already try – you could give Teff a shot as well. Ethiopian restaurants use this to make Injera( dosa type item they serve). It is supposed to be a great source of iron and fiber.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teff

    • avymom said,

      April 29, 2010 at 1:09 pm

      Yeah, we did consider Teff for him. But his nutritionist asked me to hold off on that as it is a form of grass which could cause allergies. She said I could try it when he is a little older. Am sure in the future we will use it. BTW Ajit and I love Injera!!!

  3. Aparna said,

    May 2, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Cool… I learned something new today about spelt. definitely worth a try. I have tried quinoa. I add it to the rice so we dont gobble up only on rice. I wanted to make an upma with it. thanks to parisal now i can add teff too. We love injera…
    l


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