Sometimes evenings drag on because of bad weather outside and even if you don't want it TV becomes the major source of entertainment. Kids channels are good in certain ways but it sure becomes additive, not for me but for my little girl.
Whole picture changes when it comes to Indian channels. I was more intrigued by the advertisements that interrupted the programs. I don't question the talent behind the concept or production quality of the adverts but the message it brings to the audience.
Especially the ones which is focused on health drinks for kids... some claim to increase the 5 signs of growth, some claim to increase stamina, some increase brain power to face the exams etc.. etc.. etc.. Is there no nutrients in natural foods???
I mean, come on "How much milky health drinks can a child drink in a day to attain all the goodness these health drinks claim????"
There has been extensive study and debates among paediatricians and scientists regarding the authenticity of such claims. We can't over look the fact that "kids are and can be fussy eaters". I too have a 4 year old who looks at her plate of food and asks me "Do I have to eat this?"
Children are easily lured, I mean they will be because the brands are endrosed by big names, cartoon characters and the flavour of the health drinks / nutritional biscuits is lovely. Naturally homemade delicacies and fresh food do tend to take a second place.
Fussy eaters equals to stressful parents..:)
Nutritional drinks or for that matter any food other than homemade /natural ones have become indispensible nowadays but making a choice among all these different brands which occupy the supermarket shelves is the real issue. An interesting article about Complan and Horlicks blocked in UK because of their false claims is shocking !!!!
Why were these health drinks blocked ????? The validity of the studies as claimed by the brands is questioned here as such studies are conducted in closed environment and cannot be applied universally.
Complan and Horlicks are not aired in developed countries based on their claims as "Taller Stronger Sharper" or "Memory power".
Why were the ads blocked in UK and not in India ????
GlaxoSmithKline claims that the advert was meant for India and not for UK. Moreover "Advertising Standard Council of India-ASCI" says there has been no complaint or questions regarding the benefits as claimed by the brands.
No complaint - no action. As consumers we should be more aware of what is being sold to us as big brands don't hesitate to cash in on our fears and insecurities when it comes to our kid's health and eating habits.
For more on this topic please visit this link : http://www.indianexpress.com
We should also be aware of the pros and cons of giving cow's milk as the only food because the child is not eating anything has its drawbacks too. First, it is high in saturated fat which is directly linked to heart disease and kids need essential fatty acids and no saturated fat. It is also linked to allergies, asthma, protein overdose etc. So anything in moderation is most welcome.
More over nutrients are best absorbed in their natural form and we have to be patient and creative in giving home-cooked/natural foods for our kids. It is a real challenge to get kids to eat leafy veggies/eggs/lentils/fish etc but we don't have any other way out other than facing the challenge.
Be very careful of what you select for your kid to eat or drink. Here are some links which are quite interesting reads pertaining to the above topic.
Is milk good for children
Coping with fussy toddler
Comparison of health drinks and its nutrients
Complan or Horlicks - which is best?
Like I said before, nutrients are best absorbed in their natural form. So here comes a simple soup made with greens and rice. Indian Penny Worth or Vallarai is very well known for increasing mental ability for centuries. You can substitute various grains or lentils instead of rice.
This soup is best eaten warm and on the day of making it. Small cupfuls around 4-5 tbsp three to four times a week will be adequate for growing children along with a balanced diet.
For the soup:
Vallarai keerai : 1 large bunch.
Pearl onions: 5-6.
Whole garlic pods [chopped]: 5-6.
Fresh ginger: 1 inch piece.
Whole pepper corns: 1/2 tsp.
Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp.
Dhania powder: 2 tsp.
Cooked rice: 3-4 tbsp.
Curry leaves: 1 sprig.
Oil: 1 tsp.
1.Remove the leaves from the stalk and wash in running water. Grind the onions, pepper corns and ginger to a smooth paste.
2.Chop roughly the greens and pulse in the mixer in 3 second burst twice. Keep aside.
3.Heat oil. Splutter cumin and curry leaves. Add the chopped garlic and fry for 1 minute.
4.Add the ground onion ginger paste and fry for 3-4 minutes.
5.Add dhania powder, ground keerai paste and a splash of water. Mix well and cover wthe vessel with the lid.
6.Cook for 8-10 minutes stirring occasionaly in between.
7.Meanwhile mash the cooked rice either with your fingers or a fork. Add the rice to the simmering green soup and mix.
8.Simmer for 4-5 minutes until thick. Check salt and remove from flame.
Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves.
Note: You can add whole vallarai leaves instead of grinding it. If you require more spice feel free to add green chilli or increase the amount of pepper corns.
Scribbled by Reva.