Kavita Mathur admits that it wasn’t always easy to get her two daughters — Tanya, 12, and Malika, 10 — to eat their spinach and stay off the chips, but rather than give up in exasperation, she says she decided to improvise.
She now serves up delicious sandwiches using seven-grain bread, homemade dips to go with nachos and low-calorie soufflés and fresh fruit desserts that her daughters can’t wait to get their hands on.
“My kids are always saying that ‘mamma’s kitchen’ serves up great-looking meals that are fun to eat,” says Kavita, a yoga teacher and Juhu resident.
Packaged food is a big no-no. Both her daughters are passionate about sports and Mathur has explained to them that food must be fresh in order to be healthy.
“I invest in organic and fresh foods,” says Kavita. “And because the food looks like treats, we rarely need to spend on eating out — and we are all much healthier as a result.”
Wholesome, nutrient-rich foods promote mental and physical growth and can pave the way for a healthy future, says child nutritionist Luke Coutinho. “To inculcate healthy eating as a habit, parents should also explain the function of the foods and why they need to consume them,” says Coutinho.
Since snacks are often that crunch time when children end up eating the most junk food, Kavita has experimented with a variety of scrumptious sandwiches and bakes.
A favourite snack for the kids now is bhakri pizza, with the dough replaced by crisp, homemade unleavened bread. “My husband is also great at barbecuing, so we often sit on the balcony and enjoy marinated prawns, fish and chicken,” she says.
The family also loves sweets, so Kavita whips up a fresh fruit dessert or a caramel custard every other day. “I want to ensure that they are happy with their meals,” she says.