The ancient Sidha system of medicine founded thousands of years ago, believes in the philosophy of ‘unnave marundhu, marundhe unnavu,’ i.e., food is medicine and medicine is food. Today, scientists across the world are now discovering that food is the best preventive medicine and the secret to a healthy, disease-free life.
A well-balanced diet is especially important for children to build immunity, prevent common diseases, and lay the foundation for a healthy mind and body. When it comes to early baby food, Sathu maavu or health porridge has always been the go-to food for centuries. This nutritious drink is loaded with minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins, and is the perfect health mix for babies. Some of the other benefits of sathu maavu include:
1.It Is Free From Artificial Sugars:
Over the counter, baby food formulas contain added sugars such as maltodextrin and high fructose corn syrup because they are cheap or act as thickening agents. While carbohydrates are an essential food group and a primary source of fuel for the body, we must know that not all carbohydrates are created equal. Those with a high glycemic index (rice starch, glucose, maltodextrin, etc.) cause a spike in blood sugar and contribute to a lifetime of chronic diseases like Type 2 Diabetes and even cardiovascular diseases1.
Sathumaavu does not include any added sugar; rather, they include natural sugars present in the ingredients. You can add a little palm sugar or jaggery to make it palatable without worrying about sugar intake because these have a low GI and also contain minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and iron.
2.It Uses Some Of Nature’s Finest Ingredients:
Raw plantain, parboiled rice, millets such as jowar and ragi, pulses such as black gram, moong, etc. are the main components of most sathu maavu recipes. Each of these ingredients offers a wide range of benefits. Ragi, for instance, is a fiber-rich superfood that has often been prescribed by health activists in combating various noncommunicable diseases like cancer and diabetes. It is packed with amino acids, calcium, fiber, and is gluten-free as well. Plantain, another commonly used sathu mavu ingredient, is an excellent source of dietary carbohydrates because of its low GI, is rich in antioxidants, and has very high dietary fiber. Unlike regular white rice, parboiled rice is a good source of calcium, potassium, and vitamin B6.
Preparing sathmaavu for babies is easy as well. All you need to do is to add a few teaspoons to warm water and stir it continuously for five minutes until the porridge thickens. Add a few teaspoons of palm sugar if required and serve!