Christmas Special: Drinks for Kids

Tis the season to be jolly and why not. Here are two winter special drinks that are perfect to whip up for the little elves to enjoy at the Christmas party.



(Serves 4)


4 – 5 medium-sized Apples

½ liter Water

1 small-sized Orange

1 (3/4-inch) piece Fresh Ginger

2 (2-inch) Cinnamon Sticks

½ tsp Cloves

Orange slices (for serving, optional)


  • In a pressure cooker, add the water and sliced apples and cook for 4 – 5 whistles. Cool and blend well.
  • Pour this juice into a vessel.
  • Cut the orange into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and the ginger into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Add both to the juice.
  • Add the cinnamon sticks and cloves. (To make it easier to serve, place the cloves in a muslin cloth and tie it up with kitchen twine).
  • Simmer over low flame for an hour. Remove the ginger and orange slices and spices.
  • Keep warm and serve in mugs garnished with orange slices.




(Serves 4)


For pumpkin pie spice:

1 tbsp Ground Cinnamon

2 tsp Ground Ginger

1/2 tsp Ground Cloves

1 tsp Ground Nutmeg

1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper


For latte:

1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

2 tbsp Pumpkin Puree

2 tbsp Honey

1 ½ cups Milk

2 tbsp Vanilla Extract

Whipped cream for serving (optional)


  • To a small saucepan add the spice, pumpkin puree and honey. Cook over medium heat, while constantly stirring until it starts to simmer (approx. 45 seconds).
  • Add the milk and vanilla extract and bring to a slight simmer while constantly stirring.
  • Using a blender/mixer blend until frothy.
  • Divide the mixture between two glasses. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of the spice mix.

Foods for a Warmer Winter

As the little ones sniffle, sneeze and shiver this ice-kissed winter, we’d like to offer some warmth apart from those itchy woollen sweaters, monkey-caps and hand warmers. We share some foods that keep them warm this winter. However, the relationship between food and winter goes beyond keeping us warm.

Winter – Food – Our Body

Winter is the time our hunger shifts into high gear. And this is justified because as the temperatures drop, our metabolism slows down and consequently our body temperature goes down. Eating helps kick-up the metabolism, generate heat to keep you warm and also nourish the body.

While nothing can completely stop a cold in the killing, a healthy immune system can help you battle the germs that cause cold and flu. But if you still have bad luck and end up catching a cold, a healthy immune system helps reduce the duration and severity of the cold.

Foods for Warmth and Strength

Foods that pack a punch of energy and/or protein are the right kind of fuel to combat the cold temperature. Whole grains such as maize (makkai) and millets (bajra, ragi, jowar etc) are warming and energizing. Don’t miss out on having makkai roti, or the Gujarati winter delicacy – Ponkh (tender jowar). Another source of energy is roots and tubers such as carrot, potatoes, sweet potato, and yam. Radish, beets, turnips, onion and garlic additionally provide phytochemicals and strong flavours that pep up the taste of food.

Protein-packed pulses, lentils, beans and nuts like pigeon pea, broad beans, green peas, and groundnuts are winter specialities. Groundnuts offer good fats as well! Speaking of fats, ghee is not only high-energy but a source of essential fats that nourish the skin. Sweets are a good for winter as they are rich in energy, fat, and protein (if it is dal based). Gajar ka halwa, moong dal halwa, besan ladoos are popular.

Coming to fruits and vegetables. Papaya and pineapple are the warmth providing fruits. Hearty winter greens like methi (fenugreek leaves), palak (spinach leaves), sarsoon (mustard leaves), amaranth, mint, and radish greens are high in vitamins A, C and minerals like iron and calcium. These vitamins are antioxidants that amp up immunity.

In this context, a special mention goes to Amla, one of the richest sources of vitamin C. No wonder amla juice and amla muraba are plentiful during winter. Tulsi, turmeric, and ginger are the other immunity boosters which not only have anti-microbial properties but also keep the body warm.

Spices provide warmth and immunity apart from flavouring food. Hot liquids like herbal teas or soups with spices, ginger, and the like are perfect to combat the winter. Last but not the least dates and sesame seeds are warm in nature and are highly recommended in the winter months due to their energy, fat, and micronutrient content. Indulge in dry fruit ladoos, dates burfis or til chikkis guilt free. All said and done, remember moderation is the cornerstone of eating right.

Yin and Yang of Tea

It All Starts With Camellia Sinensis

An ancient health brew, tea is a decoction of the Camellia sinensis leaves. If you’re wondering what decoctions or hot water infusions of herbs or any plant material such as flowers, fruits, roots or twigs are, then the term is “herbal tea”. This article will focus on the true Camellia sinensis teas.

Here’s a quick look at the types of tea and their caffeine content.



The Wonders of Tea

Lay your hands on health magazine today, you’d most probably end up reading an article about the health benefits of tea. People around the globe have embraced this beverage since paramount research backs up its impressive health benefits.

Polyphenols are the powerhouse in tea that contribute to taste and health. Taste of the drink through tannins and health through a class of flavonoid called catechins (EGCG, Epigallocatechin gallate-3) that counteracts reactions which cause cell damage and subsequent disease.

Tea improves blood pressure and blood vessels functioning thereby reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease. Green tea is beneficial for weight loss through increased energy expenditure, fat oxidation, and reduced calorie intake (substituting tea with soft drinks). Research highlights bone building benefits as well, by improving the formation of new bone as well as by decreasing the degradation of existing bone. Catechins and theanine in tea boost immune function.

For ages, tea has earned a spot for cognitive benefits like mental clarity and concentration. Tea was used by early monks to aid in their meditation practice as it prevented them from falling asleep. These benefits are attributed to tea components – caffeine and theanine.

Are You Reading The Tea Leaves Right?

Although tea may offer a wide array of benefits none of us has thought whether it’s the same for children. Recent Indian-based studies highlighted that caffeine consumption has been constantly growing in India especially among children and adolescents. In fact, the researchers pointed out a probability of higher caffeine intake in urban Indian adolescents compared to the worldwide data!

Interestingly, tea/coffee contributed to more than 50% of the caffeine intake while cola beverages, chocolates, and energy drinks contributed to the remaining. The most common reasons for consumption were to keep more alert and to combat drowsiness. If you have been allowing your kids to drink tea or coffee to kick-start their day, then you might want to stop this right away.

Proper sleep is quintessential during childhood and adolescence since it is a period of rapid growth and brain development. But get this – the vicious cycle of caffeine – used to disrupt sleep – leads to fatigue – caffeine is used again to counteract the fatigue. This perpetuates poor sleep patterns and heightened caffeine consumption.

Some animal research suggests that caffeine can potentiate drug addiction. Studies show moderate to high doses of caffeine (approx. 100 – 400 mg) results in increased incidence of nervousness, jitteriness, fidgetiness, and less incidence of sluggishness in children and adolescents.

In a nutshell, effects of caffeine on children and adolescents are different from those seen in adults. Excessive caffeine intake has an adverse impact on health in terms of optimal sleep, overall growth and development, and the risk for engaging in risky behaviours.


Here is a simple recipe which can been prepared by your little one easily. While you indulge in some nice picnic brunch and enjoy a wonderful day in the open try out this brunch recipe that you can create together with your little one.

(This recipe is made considering basic kitchen equipment and outdoor grill for cooking is available for kids during picnic brunch)


  • 1 loaf white bread, unsliced
  • 60g butter, softened
  • Green and blue sprinkles


  • Slice the crusts off the bread and cut the loaf lengthways into four equal slices.
  • Flatten each slice with a rolling pin.
  • Spread with butter and cover with sprinkles.
  • Roll up the bread lengthways; you might need to spread a bit more butter on the end of the roll-up to get the sprinkle-side to stick.
  • Slice each roll into five shells

Deworming: Worm-free Children, Healthy Children

Worm infection in school children is more common than you think, as a matter of fact, they typically have the highest burden of worm infection than other age-group. Infection is caused by soil-transmitted helminths. The main types of parasitic worms that infect humans are:

1  ‘Ascaris’ the assassin (Roundworm)

2   ‘Trichuris’ the terrorist (Whipworm)

3  Noxious ‘Necator’ (Hookworm)


How do the worms wriggle their way into the body?

These parasitic worms make their way into our bodies as eggs, which are passed in the stools/faeces of infected people. Once in the gut (intestine), the eggs hatch to grow into adult worms where they produce thousands of eggs each day. In areas that lack adequate sanitation, these eggs contaminate the soil and in turn infect humans. This can happen in several ways:

5Contaminated vegetables and fruits that are not carefully  cooked, washed or peeled

7 Contaminated water sources and vessels washed with this water

6Ingestion of eggs by children who play in the contaminated soil and then put their hands in their mouths without washing them

Speaking of soil, hookworm eggs hatch in the soil, the mature larvae can actively penetrate the skin. Therefore, hookworm infection is primarily by walking barefoot on the contaminated soil. There is no direct person-to-person transmission, or infection from fresh faeces because eggs passed in faeces need about 3 weeks to mature in the soil before they become infective.

 Let’s dig deep and look at how these worms affect the body……

Worm infection has an adverse impact on the child’s nutritional status in multiple ways. Take a look –

  • Worms feed on host tissues, including blood leading to a loss of iron and protein.
  • Moreover, hookworms cause chronic blood loss in the gut that can result in anaemia.
  • Not only do worms increase malabsorption of nutrients but roundworms specifically compete for vitamin A in the gut.
  • Some worms cause loss of appetite and, therefore, a reduction of nutritional intake and physical fitness.
  • Few parasitic worms can even cause diarrhoea and dysentery.

On the whole, worm infections can result in anaemia, malnourishment, impaired mental (cognitive) and physical development (growth). Thus it can pose a serious threat to children’s health, education (like reduced school attendance and performance) and productivity.

Also, take a look at the symptoms of worm infection in kids.


Quick tips on how to prevent & control worm infection…

Children need to be educated to wash hands with soap especially before and after using the toilet and eating; keep nails short and clean; wear shoes/slippers; drink clean water; keep their surroundings clean and not defecate in the open. Bear in mind that fruits and vegetables need to be washed well, in clean water and to always keep food covered.

It is very important in to make sure your child is dewormed regularly. Do contact your child’s paediatrician or physician for the same.

Disclaimer: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and/or diet.