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I have a collection of recipes - Indian, Continental and Chinese. I follow several Facebook pages of master-chefs around the country. I get excited at the sight of neatly presented well-cooked food. I love food for that matter. It gives me a new high. The genes seem to have passed to my two-year-old as well!
But with six days at office and one day of never-ending chores the zeal to cook has somewhere died. Yes, I do believe having a cook distances me from my food loving family. Instead I opted for a maid who chops, cuts and grinds.
There are days when there are different courses of meal from entrée to main-course and there are days with only dal with bhindi fry! There are days I walk into the kitchen with a new recipe excited as a child and there are days I wish cooking was as simple as ordering food from swiggy! There are days when health gets priority and there are days when food is anything edible. There are days I choose fresh juices and there are days chilled coke gets precedence. There are days I draw up a meal plan a week before and there are days I don’t know what to cook till I enter the kitchen.
As an aware mother, I consciously try to avoid foods that I know do not do any good to my baby. I also cautiously avoid food that causes any lifestyle related diseases later. But is it always possible? No. I give in at times, I err at others.
As a tired working mom, I try to keep it simple. I cook in rich ghee instead of oil, I give portion of fish and meat, I choose leafy vegetables and ensure she doesn’t miss her egg and milk with Junior Horlicks.
Working or not - to maintain balance between health and taste takes a toll on us as parents, thanks to our chaotic lifestyles.
The notion that only parents who cannot manage the diet of a child well at home need shortcuts is not right. Despite all the efforts we put in after the tiring work-home balance, we miss on critical nutrients required by a child. When specialized nutrients like DHA come packaged in a bottle with good taste, the tired mother in me is more than delighted.
In those moments of guilt, where I know the taste-buds crave for better flavor than the khichdi for the fussy eater at home, I solace myself which the nutrients that go along with the health drink that also aids brain development.
Rightly, the need for balance is the key. But ask this tired mom in me - the perfect food diary is the most difficult to maintain!