Monday, April 12, 2010

The Veggie Garden and Nutritional Meals

Our veggie garden thrives (when we have enough water to water the plants, that is)... and we've named it Madappa's Garden, after our dear gardener Madappa. He does a fabulous job and makes sure that everyone is working their butts off in the garden!

The kids help out, digging up the dirt, planting seeds, and then picking ripe veggies for our meals.

Sharath and Lokesh

We've enjoyed turnip and beans for palya and sambar...

...and Aunty, our cook, uses the dill to make a really nice sambar to enjoy with our ragi mudde (balls). Also being grown this year are tomatoes, brinjal (eggplant), green chilies, and "leafs" (spinach and other healthy green and leafy veggies). Yum!

We've also improved the nutritional quality of the food that we serve our kids:
  • making "thick" sambar (curry), which means that we use a hefty amount of lentils (dal) in our sambar (thanks to the generous monthly donations of food rations from Arun and friends at L and T, we are able to do this!);
  • using a lot more veggies in our sambar;
  • serving the kids palya (a nice vegetable side dish with lentils) three times a week;
  • making dry chapatis (cooked without any oil);
  • serving ragi mudde (millet balls) every night for dinner (ragi is millet, and is much healthier than white rice -- sort of like using brown rice instead of white rice in terms of increasing fiber and nutritional content);
  • limiting the paisa (a very sweet dessert) served to only special occasions to reduce sugar intake;
  • implementing a ban on soft drinks (Coke, Pepsi, etc...) at KM; and
  • using less salt and oil in our food.
The boys help Aunty make chapatis. They make about 130 chapatis for dinner 
either once a week (during schooltime) or twice a week (during the summer holiday).