The United Nation’s International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), a globally recognised organisation that emphasizes the importance of health and education of children worldwide, recently released a book of recipes, to promote the wellbeing of little ones.

And some traditional and time-tested desi dishes such as parathas and uthappams featured as the foremost meals that could effectively tackle the rising incidence of childhood obesity, anemia and malnutrition in India.

This 28-page book lists not only the method and cost of preparation, but also the calorie count offered by each dish. In addition, the book also highlights the levels of essential macronutrients and micronutrients including carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fibers, iron, calcium and vitamin C present in one serving of each recipe. Also Read: 5 Must-Have Components For A Well-Balanced Diet

This initiative has been undertaken by the UNICEF, with the primary objective to underscore the crucial need for complete nutrition in kids, both in childhood and during adolescence.

Here are two wholesome recipes recommended by chief nutrition experts at UNICEF. These nutrient-rich and tasty dishes will certainly contribute towards the holistic fitness needs of every young child in India and foster their healthy growth and development.

moong dal paratha

1. Moong Dal Paratha


1 cup sprouted moong dal

¼ cup onions, chopped

2 sprigs of coriander leaves, finely cut

¾ cup whole wheat flour

1 tbsp ghee

Salt, to taste


Mix the onions, coriander leaves and moong dal in a deep dish, adding some salt and set this stuffing aside.

In a large bowl, knead the whole wheat flour into a dough, adding some ghee to make it smooth.

Roll equal portions of the dough into concentric circles, place the stuffing in the center and seal it from the ends.

Heat a tava on medium flame, put a drop of ghee and cook the paratha well, flipping it on both sides.

Serve the moong dal parathas hot with some curd and pickle.


Moong dal abounds in protein content, for strong muscle growth in kids. Ghee is rich in healthy unsaturated fats, which provide energy and also protect the internal organs from injury. Whole wheat flour offers beneficial carbohydrates and dietary fibers, to boost metabolism and enhance digestion. Onions have vast reserves of vitamin C to bolster immunity and coriander leaves are bestowed with potent antioxidants, that eliminate harmful free radicals from the system.

mixed vegetable uthappam

2. Mixed Vegetable Uthappam


1 small carrot, cut and boiled

½ small beetroot, sliced and boiled

¼ cup peas, boiled

1 small tomato, cut

1 small onion, finely cut

1 cup idli or dosa batter

Salt to taste

½ tbsp groundnut oil


Pour the dosa batter into a deep dish vessel and mix the cut carrot, beetroot, peas, tomato and onion along with it.

Add required salt, as per your taste, making sure to not put too much.

Heat a non-stick pan on medium flame, pour a bit of oil to smoothen the surface.

With a ladle, evenly spread the batter in a circle, cook thoroughly until it browns on one side and then flip it over to steam the other side as well.

Serve the mixed vegetable uthappams hot with some sambar and coconut chutney.


Carrots contain profuse amounts of vitamin A, for enhanced eyesight in children. Beetroots are prized for their significant iron content, which helps combat anemia in young ones. Peas supply calories for instant energy needs of kids, as well as proteins, for proper development of all vital organs in the body. The urad dal or black gram and rice mixed preparation of fermented dosa better is a probiotic, improving gut health and preventing obesity. Also Read: Black Gram: Nutrition, Therapeutic Benefits, Uses For Skin And Hair