My wife and I both love good Northern Indian food. I'm sure we could have an interesting discussion about what constitutes good or authentic Indian food here in the U.S., but that's not why I'm posting. The thing is that we'd get Indian takeout once a week, if we could, but the problem is that our kids can't or won't eat any of it. Our kids -- and if I can generalize, American kids in general -- like food that's fairly bland. And babies, in my experience, can't eat anything with even a little bit of heat in it. Indian restaurant food has too many complex flavors, too many spices, and too much heat for my kids to tolerate.
Now, I hope this is not a really stupid and ethnocentric question, but: what do babies and toddlers eat in India? A lot of "American" food that we eat, we just feed to our kids, perhaps cut into smaller bites: what we eat is what they eat. But that food is all fairly plain and bland. Can you feed a toddler spicy food? Do they just get used to it? Or do you have to cook special food for them?
Don't ever try to feed Babies a Biryani. Their bellies will be on fire.
In most of the Indian households, some of the food is taken out without even adding salt, more so if there are babies around and then You know with all the Diabetic and Hypertension patients around. (India is the leading producer of Diabetic and Hypertension patients)
I don't have babies. But my sister has babies and if she misses to remove some food before adding the spices, she tones it down with lots and lots of GHEE. And that tastes good even for BIG boys. [ July 17, 2005: Message edited by: chowdary Thammineedi ]
From a biological point of view, children have more taste buds than adults. In fact, they have twice as many taste buds which is why things taste stronger to children than they do to adults. So imagine that spicy dish tasting twice as spicy? Would you really want to eat it?
The loss of taste buds is one of the reasons that elderly people find it difficult to eat. Food just doesn't taste very good.
We usually give them finely cooked rice with dal, buttermilk/yogurt and salt, and lots of plain cooked veggies etc. We don't give them spicy stuff like biryani, or chettinad chicken (a popular hot S.Indian dish) Rasam is also okay (without much pepper or you can just use the watery part of it).
But I think Indian kids start off on spicy food much earlier, because many times they tend to grab things off of their parents' plates, or unknowing but well-meaning guests give them their food.
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