13 Brilliant Ways To Make an EXTRA-Nutritious Paratha/Chapati For Your Little Genius!
7 mins read
Food & Nutrition for Toddlers, Pre-schoolers
Chapatti and Paratha – the indigenous flat bread of our country – is a popular mealtime staple for most wheat growing regions of India. Existing in a diversity of shapes, sizes, textures and flavours, they make a versatile and filling food for children. However, that happens only when they EAT it! Most kids invariably have a list of foods they refuse to eat, and parathas/chapatis are not particular favourites with many of our children…
Chapati and Paratha are simple foods that help in making your child’s diet very filling, healthy and nutritious. This is why we usually include them in breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. But what happens when the kids refuse to eat them? Worry not, moms! Here are some innovative ways of making chapatis/parathas that not only make them more delicious but also much more nutritious!
Here's a quick and easy leftover chapati recipe that your kids will enjoy!
Innovative Tips To Make Chapatis and Parathas More Nutritious
No matter how much time you spend in the kitchen preparing tasty foods for your little ones, they will have some valid excuse not to try it, especially vegetables. Chapatis & Parathas are a clever way of incorporating the nutritious food groups which your children refuse to eat into their daily meals.
Kneading the Dough
Use Dal Water
Cook dals, drain the water from them, and use this water to knead the dough. Dal is a rich source of protein which is very beneficial for the growth and development of growing children. This is a good way of giving your kids the benefits of pulses on days they refuse to eat it otherwise!
Use Milk, Vegetable or Chicken Stock
Instead of regular water, use milk to knead the dough for your chapatis. This also helps makes the chapatis soft. You may even consider using vegetable or meat stock to knead the dough on a regular basis. Just like pulses, dairy and chicken are also excellent sources of protein.
Ingredients in the Dough
Add Green Veggies
Green vegetables are rich sources of iron which our bodies need to make haemoglobin, or a protein that carries oxygen to all cells in the body. But who hasn’t experienced the arduous task of forcing kids to eat green veggies? Well, no more: you can simply combine them in the chapati/paratha dough either by chopping them fine or by puréeing them! What the kids don’t know about will not bother them, especially when the final result is going to taste awesome! You can add a variety of greens like:
Using multigrain flour for chapati/paratha is a much more nutritious option for the kids as it lets them reap the health benefits of various kinds of flour. But you don’t need to switch your atta for this. Simply add a host of other grain flours like ragi, soya, besan, etc. into your wheat flour to make multigrain atta at home! Here is a simple Multi Grain Roti Recipe you can use at home. Note: Make sure the grain flours you decide to add are easily digestible by your child as some of them may be difficult for their still developing digestive system and can lead to constipation.
Add Dry Fruits/Nuts
Another excellent way to make a nutritious chapati/paratha is to add powdered dry fruits / nuts into your regular whole wheat flour. Or, you can also use them as stuffing for parathas. Nuts are great sources of good fats and fibre which is essential for digestive as well as heart health.
Warning: Avoid giving children whole nuts until they are above the age of 3 or you are sure they can handle it without the risk of choking. Also discuss with the doctor before giving nuts in case there is a history of food allergy in your child or in the family.
Combine Interesting Spices
Your chapati/paratha doesn’t have to be bland. Some spices can rev up both the nutrition and the taste quotient! You could use a combination of powdered or whole spices such as cumin seeds and carom seeds (help in treating digestive issues like stomachache, gas and acidity) to make chapatis or parathas more tasty and nourishing.
Stuffing in the Chapatti / Paratha
Use Cooked Daal
Just as you can use dal water to knead the dough, you can also use cooked dal (after filtering the water out) as a filling in the paratha. The water can be used to knead the dough, while the dal makes for a delicious and nutritious filling inside. We recommend this amazing Moong Daal Paratha Recipe – it’s yum!
Add Grated Vegetables
Why not add a variety of vegetables into the dough to get the kids to eat them and also like the experience? Many kids fuss over veggies when served separately, but this is a unique idea you can try out! You can use the following veggies by boiling and mashing or grating them and incorporating:
Make Paneer Paratha
When you need a nutritious paratha that is also a children’s favourite, look no farther than paneer! Paneer (cottage cheese) stuffed parathas are very tasty and have healthy doses of calcium in it, which is essential for bone development. You could even combine it up with mixed grated vegetables. Check out this Paneer Palak Paratha Recipe.
Make a Non Vegetarian Paratha
If you are non-vegetarian, you can use finely minced chicken, lamb kheema or boiled / scrambled egg as stuffing for parathas. They are excellent sources of protein apart from being delicious!
Make a Pizza/Quesadilla Paratha
We all know it – kids love pizza! If only they loved paratha so much…Well, they can, if you transform the basic paratha into a pizza! Yes, you can make parathas interesting by turning them into stuffed pizzas or quesadilla. Ingredients used as pizza topping such as tomatoes, capsicum, corn, onions, processed cheese, oregano, basil, etc. can be chopped/grated finely and used as stuffing in the paratha.
Add Colours To Parathas/Chapatis
No, we are not talking about food colouring. You can make different coloured parathas or chapatis simply by using vegetables like beetroot, spinach, etc. to add colour! Beetroot is a great source of fibre and antioxidants, along with helping to increase blood circulation in the brain. Increased brain activity means your kids will have optimum brain functioning in later! Spinach too is a super food for kids as it is packed with nutrients that boost brain power. Try out this colourful Beetroot Roti Recipe.
Tip: This tip works well for other foods too where you can sneak veggies in. We recommend these Pink Idlis. You can also try cutting out these chapatis / parathas into attractive shapes and sizes to make them more appealing to children.
Try Fruity Parathas
Finally, in this season of delicious fruits like mangoes, why not make fruity parathas as well? Simply use pureed, grated or mashed fresh seasonal fruits as stuffing for parathas. These can even be served as snacks or dessert for children.
Children are known to make a fuss when they are offered something new to eat. In fact, feeding them is one of the biggest challenges we face as mothers! However, moms are smart too. Instead of losing our mind over it, we just find creative ways to circumvent the problem!
Do you know of any more nutritious chapati/paratha recipes for kids? Do share them with us in the recipe section.
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