Our Diet – Let me start this post with an honest statement. Both my husband and I struggle to eat healthy. We can eat light but just can’t eat healthy. We are, however trying very hard to change this lifestyle and be kind to our bodies. While we are at it, I am trying my hands on some delicious soup that I always thought looked good but never made them because there were simply no takers at home. One of them I was so impressed with was the butternut squash soup. Lovely colour and tempting flavours, and above all it was to my five year Old’s taste as well. I have to admit that it is challenging at times to please all the taste buds in the family. As much as the fact that our diet is not an ideal one, we as parents have always passed on the good eating habits to our son. Well, maybe not pass on but at least preached all the healthy mantras. As they say practicing is a lot harder than preaching…….or rather preaching is waaa…y easier than practicing J . Having said that, I am really proud to say that my five year old does not drink any fizzy drinks or even the sugary stuff that they sell for kids which they call juice except on rare occasions at a friend’s birthday party where all the kids are having it. But the fact is that he knows chocolate and sweets doesn’t have to be an everyday affair and the important part of meal is the greens. I have loads of instances where he doesn’t eat his greens, but I have never had an occasion where he wanted Mc Donald’s, extra servings of deserts or fizzy drinks. Fast food especially is a big no for him and I really hope he sticks to these habits when he grows. He even knows the difference between how healthy homemade food can be in comparison to frozen and fast foods. Of course, I thought him all that, but as I said I literally preached what little facts I know as casually as I taught him numbers and alphabets. And I honestly didn’t foresee the consequences
The consequences – I was a regular cola drinker .And I know it can be difficult to stay away from it, if you are used to it. Trust me, it was easy to stick everything ill about fizzy drinks in the little brain of my son, but when he started talking or rather started questioning, that’s when I realised I am in a great trouble. My son started asking me questions like ‘cola is not good for me now …can I drink it when I grow up? ‘Or ‘if it’s not healthy, why are you drinking?’ And then one day I confessed to him …saying ‘Mamma also wants to avoid and is trying to’… The amount of embarrassment we (the hubby or I) went through after that was both hilarious and enlightening. Every time we shamelessly ordered cola in a restaurant or picked up a crate at the grocery store we found ourselves in an embarrassing situation where a little boy is shouting at the top of the voice asking us to keep it back because cola is not good. It was hilarious at first and then you look up and find that we have now caught the attention of the fellow shoppers. I know they are now all looking at us waiting to see if I’d put the cola back or continue to buy it. After the embarrassment, it was the immense shame being told by a five year old followed by guilt and parental responsibility. I had many choices to deal with the situation- Ignore him, shush him, say that this is a grown up’s deal and that he can’t question a clever grown up, or even worse, let him drink fizzy drinks OR get my act right and step out of denial mode. I chose the latter!
And Finally – Kids are innocent! They go by the rules until YOU mess it up. We have decided we won’t mess it up and are now slowly progressing towards a cola free life. I am amazed how my thirst actually gets quenched after drinking a glass of water. The late night sips of cola just because my son was sleeping, making sure you get enough cola into your system at work so you won’t feel the need for it at home, the occasional excuses and pretence of giving it up have disappeared. I have to admit that honest attempts of saying ‘no’ to cola are my proud moments. I know this is just a start and I have to make a lot of changes like this if I want to see my son have a healthy and active life.
Ok …..I have baffled a lot now! Coming back to our soup, I have looked at several recipes and explored the various flavours/techniques used and finally went with a mixture of ingredients that I liked and something that works for me and my kitchen. That is how I usually cook anything. So, here goes the recipe!!
You will need:
2 Medium sized Red onions
2 Red Chillies
3 Garlic pod
½ of a Fresh Rosemary Bunch
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
3 Celery Sticks
3- 4 Carrots
2 Medium sized Butternut Squash
2 litres Chicken Stock
Salt to taste
Fresh Ground Pepper
Chop the butternut squash, celery, onions, carrots, red chillies roughly.
Heat about 3 spoons of olive oil in a big pan and sweat the Onions, Garlic and Red Chillies. Add the chopped Celery and Carrots and let them cook for 5 minutes. Add the butternut squash along with the Rosemary and cook for another 2 min. Add the chicken stock , season it and let it cook for at least 30 -40 minutes. Here, I took a fast approach and pressure cooked the vegetables.
Remove the pot from heat and using a hand blender puree the mixture into a soup. Check for seasoning.
Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche, freshly ground pepper and crunchy croutons.
Enjoy the soup steaming hot!
Here’s to a healthy lifestyle!!