Fast Food – Swap The ‘Junk’ Out Of It

(This article of mine was originally published at

Pizza or Paratha?

Burger or Saag Bhaji?

Pasta or Sabzi Roti?

Undoubtedly anybody’s choice would be the first option out of the two.

And talking of kids, the preference gets even more biased towards snacky foods as opposed to a regular daal-chawal-roti-sabzi meal.

Little angels obviously do not comprehend the value of bran, whole wheat, low sugar, low fat and all the gyan about healthy eating.

They just want to gleefully indulge in burgers, pizzas, cutlets and pastas in all their square meals.

As a smart parent, we must learn to strike a balance between our kid’s likings without compromising on the nutrition quotient of the food.

And trust me doing so is not at all a rocket science.

With few simple tricks, flips and swaps, you can retain the goodness of wholesome nutrition and can still have a happy child who speedily wipes his dinner plate clean and brings back empty lunch boxes.

Learn here how to turn fast food into a complete nutritious meal.


Pompous Pizza

Pizza can be a complete meal in itself with all components of nutrition met. It has carbohydrates (pizza base), protein (cheese and paneer/chicken/boiled egg), vitamins, minerals & fibre (vegetables) and fat (cheese again).

…and all this while you thought pizza is junk!


Healthy Pizza Ingredients

Pizza Base – Whole wheat preferable but a regular one will also do

Vegetables – Along with regular capsicum, onion, tomatoes include carrots, olives, corn or any other vegetable of your choice. Once the final dish is ready, kids will hardly notice which all veggies you have hidden inside.

Cheese – Along with grated cheese, mix a big cube of grated paneer as well. This will take care of using cheese in moderation.

Fat – Drizzle a tablespoon of Sunny Oil over pizza. It will not only glaze it beautifully but also bring in required vitamins, minerals and omega 3 fatty acids essential for a child’s healthy development.


Once all the ingredients are put together and pizza is ready to be cooked, it is up to you if you want to do it in an oven or in a covered pan on low heat?

Serving Tip: Instead of regular triangular wedges, cut your pizza with a sharp knife into bite size squares to add that fun twist!


Brawny Burger

Burgers just like pizza can be turned into a wholesome meal without much effort as the basic components and ingredients of both the dishes are same.


Healthy Burger Ingredients

Bun – Take multigrain buns

Pattie – Use potato, beetroot, cauliflower, cabbage, peas, beans and other vegetables of your choice. Paneer, tofu, chickpeas and chicken can also be used to make the pattie.

Creamy dip – If you find mayonnaise too high on calorie, swipe it with thick hung curd seasoned with salt, pepper and a hint of mustard.


Boil vegetables. Mash and season with salt and pepper. For chicken, boil and do the same. With paneer, just crush with hand and season.

Make round, thick and flat patties of the mixture.

Roll them over on bread crumbs mixed with little corn flour.

Shallow fry on low heat till golden and crisp.

Cut buns into half, place lettuce and slices of tomato, spread generous amount of hung curd dip on one part of the cut bun, place the pattie and cover it with the other portion of the bun.

For extra flavour, use cheese slice above the pattie.

You can put it in a microwave for 30 seconds or heat it over a pan.

Serving Tip: There are very small sized, kiddie buns are available in markets. They are bite-size and easy to eat. For creamy dip, add a table spoon of mint chutney, 1 spoon tomato ketchup and 1 teaspoon Sunny Oil. This will make the burger extremely juicy and moist.

Healthy Note:

Remember, there is a huge difference in nutritional requirements of an adult and a growing child.

Fat in food is not their enemy but an essential component for appropriate growth, development of nervous system, absorption of vitamins in the body and acts as the building blocks hormones.

Day’s requirement of fat in children – Approximately 4 to 5 teaspoons

Healthy fats in the form of vegetable oil, dairy, nuts and fatty fish are recommended for children within limits of their daily allowance.

Following someone with GUD intentions is not culpable…..

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