Workshop on Nutrition and Food - Parents Day 2014
Created by Ankita A Talwar Updated on Aug 01, 2014
When it comes to parenting, one of the biggest concerns of most parents is “Am I feeding my child the right food that will boost his growth?” “is he getting a sufficient diet or should I feed him more?” “Is the food I offer him, nutritionally good enough?” “how can I add more value to his meals?” and “my child is a fussy eater. How do I get him to eat?”
Parentune had been frequently getting these queries and that is how the idea was born that perhaps parents needed a concentrated guidance on issue around food and children as an add-on to dealing with queries on the site. For this, a workshop totally dedicated to “Adding value to my child’s meals and dealing with fussy eaters came about”. For the workshop, parentune brought in renowned nutritionist, Ishi Khosla, and recipe and food blogger Smita Gyan Srivastava from thelittlefoodjunction.com to interact and share insights with attending parents. The workshop turned out to be a success with almost 20+ parents attending it and comfortably interacting with experts, and a mix of some light moments, and some serious talks.
The panel took parents queries around a varied issues ranging from “My children only eat potatoes. What should I do”?, “How do I know my child is eating sufficiently?” “What are some healthy snacks we can offer to my childen?” “Or I am a working mother and my maid manages my children’s meals which ends up being khicdi more often than not. What can I do?” Some of the insights shared by the panel around these queries were”
While there is nothing wrong in eating potatoes, you need to sneak in other vegetables as well. “Knead the chapatti dough in boiled, mashed lauki or other vegetables,” suggested Smita. Also, grate vegetables such as carrot in the dough. Alternatively, when making curry for them, cut some mixed vegetables finely and cook them along with onion and tomato paste. “Don’t just dice up vegetables and serve in a salad but use creativity and change the presentation style” was another tip by Smita. Ishi also suggested telling children “you first finish this small bowl of mix vegetable curry and then you can have potato also.” The panellist also guided parents that “Children are their own best judges on how much they want to eat. If the child is growing well, gaining height, is active, learning new things daily, you can safely assume he is getting his full diet and after that there is no question of one roti or two rotis.” Another very actively discussed topic in the workshop was healthy snacking where the parents got information on unhealthy foods and snack items that are disguised and sold as healthy including off-the-shelf cereals, biscuits and namkeens. According to them these items are not only loaded with excessive salt, sugar, and preservatives but also lead to obesity and in the latter part of life diabetes and other health disorders if children get addicted to them. As an alternative, it is best to stay away from them and if you must, then make something for children at home using fresh oil such as fries and pizzas with fresh tomato puree. And the most important aspect of getting your children to eat healthy is when you eat healthy yourself, set an example, and eliminate all junk foods from the house, kitchen and the larder, explained Ishi. If there is nothing packaged in the house available to the children, they will not ask for it. Also, explain to them the disadvantages of such foods and keep reinforcing it time to time so that peer pressure does not affect them. An important learning from the workshop was that sooner we start inculcating healthy habits in our children, the healthier they will be in adult life taking wise decisions about food.
Smita’s presentation on how to make food attractive for children evoked lots of curiosity and praise from the attending parents. Immediately she was flooded with questions on “what can i keep in my child’s tiffin?”, “how can i make fruits interesting?” etc. She took each parent query individually and told them how they could weave 8-10 grapes together to resemble a caterpillar and present it to an eager mind. A valuable insight she shared was that “Let children participate in the food activity at home. Take them grocery shopping and let them choose their own veggies. Let them assist you in the preparation of the food so that food becomes exciting for them,” she explained. She also gave some ideas on how parents could organize a kiddie party at home where children could play with food, make something out of it, and enjoy eating it together. And the best deal about it “You just need some imagination. No expensive equipment or coaching is required. Even ordinary cookie cutters, moulds will suffice,” she said. Now isn’t that exciting?
The workshop ended with parents thronging the panellist to interact some more with them and over some healthy snacks and refreshments offered by the partner brand Philips. Philips new launch, the Air-Fryer, evoked much curiosity amongst the attending parents. The appliance uses 80% less oil to make some favourite snacks such as French fries. The snacks were prepared fresh at the venue and offered to the parents, hot off the fryer. Accompanying the snacks was fresh apple juice, squeezed, live before the parents, in the new Juicer Mixer Grinder by Philips. Parents freely interacted with the Philips team also, asking questions, watching the demonstration, and carrying the booklet with them to understand the appliance further.
The high-point for parentune team was the positive feedback that parents flooded them with. From personally saying thankyou to parentune team members at the venue to wanting to know about the next workshop and booking seats for it impromptu. Parents also went back satisfied conveying to parentune how great the session has been, praising the efforts, and making a promise to themselves to be more regular on the site to keep getting information.
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