On Jul 16, I had the opportunity of teaching young kids, aged from 6 to 11 years, at Arti Chandnani's CampOkPlease summer camp. Children can be hard taskmasters and are excellent sources of feedback on engagement level. Any topic presented in a boring way won't hold their attention. My topic was "Introduction to Ayurveda" along with a few recipes which they can ask their moms to make, and perhaps assist in making. I also made a first-aid handout for Ayurvedic kitchen remedies to common children's problems.
The first-aid kitchen kit consists of: clarified butter (ghee), ginger powder (shunthi), honey, chickpea flower (besan), nutmeg powder (jaiphal), bishop's weed (ajwain), turmeric (haldi). Here is some content from the handout.
AYURVEDIC FIRST-AID KIT
Burns: when you get a burn, apply ghee immediately so that blisters don’t form.
Cough: If you have a cough with fever, make a mixture with equal parts turmeric and ginger powder (shunthi). Take 1/4th teaspoon of this mixture and mix it with half teaspoon of honey (enough to completely cover the powder mixture). This combination should be made fresh every time, and not stored. Avoid all juices, fruits, yogurt, milk and other cold things until you recover.
Cold: Eat chickpea flour (besan) pancake or besan halwa – this helps dry the wet secretions. Before you go to bed, apply a paste of nutmeg powder on your forehead, around the nose and the chest (this is only when there is runny nose, and the secretion looks transparent)
. Avoid all juices, fruits, yogurt, milk and other cold things until you recover.
Tummy ache: Whenever there is tummy ache, have a little ajwain (bishop's weed) in food. You can also make an ajwain drink: add 1/8th tsp. of ajwain in a cup of hot water and cool it down, then sip through the day.
Falling down and getting scratches: Have milk that has been cooked with turmeric, cardamom and ginger powder and any other seasonal spices recommended to you by your Ayurvedic doctor. Here is a recipe video from my teachers, chef Sanjai Mathur and Vedika Global Founder Shunya Pratichi Mathur:
I also made an Ayurvedic alternative to cookies, wheat magic balls (atta laddoos) made with spices and raisins. The children loved it and wanted seconds. I had also taken semolina pudding (sooji halwa) which can be eaten as a dessert or as breakfast in pace of cereal and milk. It should always be eaten warm. The caveat is that it should only be taken when the child has no runny nose, constipation or tummy ache, as these are the signs of a weaker digestion and the semolina pudding is a little heavy.
Here is a rough recipe of the wheat magic balls, which you may need to try a couple of times to perfect and find your own measurements.
Atta Laddoo Recipe: (about 15 pieces):
1 cup organic whole wheat flour – dry roasted
½ cup sugar
½ cup nuts (I only used black raisins to accommodate children with nut allergies, but if that does not apply, you can add slivered almonds, walnuts, or other nuts etc.) – dry roasted (can also be roasted in a little ghee at a later stage)
1 tsp Gond (edible gum) – dry roasted ½ cup sugar (can add more or less depending on taste preference) – fine grind or leave as it is (if you like a little crunch in your laddoos)
½ tsp cardamom - fine grind
½ tsp ginger powder (this is a must, it helps in digestion)
Ghee - enough to hold the laddoo together (use warm ghee). I usually heat ghee, add the ground edible gum, nuts, roasted wheat flour and all the remaining ingredients. Mix well and keep it on low, you want to roast it a little more in this stage.
Let roasted flour cool down. Now roll the laddoos and enjoy!! Cool them down before you transfer to an airtight container, store them at room temperature. They last for at least 6 months. Hands should be dry at all times especially while rolling the laddoos.
Do post your comments if you end up trying any of this.