Sunday, 22 May 2016

Delhi Caught Up On IndiMeets With #CatchUpOnGrowth!

#CatchUpOnGrowth – the Dream of every Mom to a child up to 12 years of age but few are not able to fulfill this dream of theirs and hence have to console their child that it is okay, so that the child doesn't develop inferiority complex. Every mother tries to provide all the nutrients like proteins, vitamins and minerals to her child by providing milk, egg, green vegetables, fruits etc. but faces lot of hurdles as children are quite choosy about many veggies like Gourd, Sponge Gourd, Ladyfinger, Tinda, Bitter Gourd etc. 

But not anymore as on 15th May, 2016 an IndiMeet with a difference was organized at The Lalit, New Delhi. This time a product launch was done exclusively for a group of bloggers only. 

Anoop started with his usual number game for first timers to acclimatize them to the customary fun activities for us bloggers. First timers gave their introduction and spoke about their blogs. In the number game, Anoop asked bloggers to choose any number between 0 to 10 based on which he announces prizes, each time. Dr. Mandira and her husband Dr. Manoj won 500 and 200 bucks. Mr. Rahul got two roses which he gifted to his friend who had come from Bangalore for the Meet. Ms. Chichi who was a first-time attendee was asked whether she loved Apple or not. She replied in the affirmative and Anoop gave her one apple to eat amidst jolly cheers! Numbers chosen by various bloggers were 2, 8, 1, 6 5, 7, 9, and 10. Anoop had missed out on numbers 3 and 4 by mistake.  

This fun activity was followed by a Panel Discussion which was moderated by Ms. Natasha Badhwar who is a renowned entrepreneur, media professional, and blogger. She herself is mother to three children. Hence she could correlate to the topic with ease and had her own anecdotes to share too. 

The Panelists were:- 

1. Dr. Rajeev Chhabra – He is the HoD of Pediatrics at Artemis Hospital. He has been practicing since 17 years during which he worked at Max Hospital, Seth GS Medical College, St. Mary's Hospital and Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute & Research Center. He completed his MBBS from Rajasthan University, and MD from Mumbai University. He has also done a post-graduate program in Pediatrics Nutrition from Boston University, USA. 

2. Ms. Satinder Kaur Walia – She did Masters in Psychology with specialization in School Psychology from University of Central Oklahoma, USA. She has a decade of experience of working with differently abled individuals at a global level. She is also running her own 'Learning at Potential' center for educational and psychological assessment of individuals. 

3. Dr. Jyoti Arora – She has more than fifteen years of experience of working with Fortis, Artemis, Max, and Paras Hospitals. She is presently Head Dietician at Batra Hospital. She regularly conducts training sessions. She is also involved in many research projects related to nutrition. 

Dr. Rajeev talked about the importance of balanced and proportionate growth in children with respect to the right height and weight at a given age during their growth period. He also threw light on various symptoms one can spot if one’s child is lacking behind on growth curve and prevent its detrimental impact on their self-confidence. He also talked about the anxiety faced by the parents when their child shows depression signs after facing humiliation among his peers. Parents are in a fix having diarrhea of thoughts but constipation of words while dealing with it.

One important point highlighted by Dr. Rajeev was about obsession of Indian parents with Milk which is nothing but 90% water. He suggested the parents that if the child doesn't like Milk there is no need to force feed him with it. Rather more Milk at times leads to more Calcium deposition in body which in turn leads to Anemia as Calcium leaches out Iron from the body. This can further lead to slow IQ development of child.

Ms. Natasha rightly pointed out that few mothers are over-concerned about their child's diet all day long. They want to keep on feeding them throughout the day even if the child throws up what he eats. Although their intentions are good but the process is not. Overfeeding can also lead to obesity which is a silently growing epidemic throughout the world. Actually parents should tune themselves to the natural rhythm of child's body and act accordingly.

Dr. Jyoti gave her own example that although she was a nutritionist but she gave birth to twin daughters who were born preterm weighing 1 and 1.4 Kg and were in nursery for as long as 33 days. Although doctors and other family members advised her to keep them in nursery for some more time but she preferred to take them home as mother's touch has its own importance. 

I totally agree with her on this point as mine was a similar case where my daughter was also premature and weak but the love and care and proper balanced nutritive diet later on helped her in gaining her strength. Ms. Walia stressed upon the fact that the family should focus on adopting child-centric parenting instead of following Tom, Dick and Harry's Internet based advice. She also said that at times more than children, parents need counseling so that they can follow their instincts and pay attention to a child's needs accordingly.

An emphasis was also laid on the importance of the bygone ritual of eating at least one meal of the day with the whole family sitting together. This way the child at times doesn’t refuse to eat something nutritious which everyone else is eating even if he doesn't like it.

Ms. Walia gave one example that whenever she takes her son for any birthday party, to avoid the junk food there, she makes him eat some nutritious stuff beforehand. I think a bit differently in this regard.
Being a psychologist she should rather address the parents present in the party to not keep the junk food on the menu and rather have some nutritious alternatives. As Dr. Jyoti pointed out, there can be various options like: 

  • Instead of regular Maida Burger, one can go for Wheat burger which provides good fibre.
  • Burger patty can be made nutritious by using Cottage Cheese, Corn etc. which is delicious too.
  • Whole Wheat Pasta/Atta Noodles can be mixed with Green Veggies like Broccoli, Spinach, Capsicum etc. to make them relishing as well as nutritious for the children.
  • Instead of carbonated drinks like Cola, child should be encouraged to have salted or sweet Lemon Water or Fresh Fruit Juice.

Dr. Jyoti advised that the child's day must start with healthy proteinaceous food like Oats, Ragi, Corn, Eggs etc. Later on in the day a bit of junk food once in a while is not a taboo. Excess of junk food should be discouraged.

A child's growth in terms of height and weight also depends on their genetic and environmental factors apart from the nutrition given. Importance of exposure to sunlight to prevent Vitamin D deficiency which is quite prevalent now a days is must for child's bone development and strengthening. At least 40 minutes of sunlight 5 days a week with least clothes is necessary as our skin manufactures Vitamin D. But one should avoid the time slot of 11-4 PM when UV rays are harshest and can lead to more harm than benefit.

Children are lacking outdoor physical activity now-a-days as they are more into social networking/mobile games etc. These lifestyle changes play a negative role in achieving proper growth in terms of height and weight. The lack of activity to burn calories leads to obesity. 

The Panel Discussion was followed by Q&A session where bloggers cleared their doubts with the panelists: 

  • A mother expressed her grievance - “My child is fussy and blackmails me by sulking and not eating any food when he doesn't get the junk food he demands.” What shall I do? Dr. Jyoti answered and others also agreed that everyone including adults resort to such tactics but we should not disrespect food and one can always do positive bargaining with the child to eat nutritious food in lieu of going to say a water park/mall/cineplex etc.
  • A father asked - “Is there any need of a dietary supplement apart from the nutritious balanced diet for a child?” Dr. Rajeev answered in the negative.

After this, Mr. Amaan Khan who is the Marketing Lead for Horlicks for the Indian sub-continent, GSK Consumer Healthcare addressed the bloggers and declared that the solution to all the discussed problems found in pre-pubertal children (boys aged 3-9 years and girls aged 3-8 years) regarding lacking height and weight are resolved by the age old famous company GSK by providing advanced nutrition for growth and development in the form of a health food drink called Horlicks Growth+

Then, he unveiled the product packs amidst loud cheers and music. Within minutes, the hotel staff was ready to serve the sample to all for tasting. The product is presently available in two of children's favorite Vanilla and Chocolate flavors. After tasting, one of the bloggers asked if we adults can drink it too daily without any harm as it tastes like melted vanilla ice cream. He was advised that once in a while it is okay but you should not forget that it is not your routine evening drink but an exclusive product made for short and lean pre-pubertal children

HorlicksGrowth+ is available in a large pack of 400 grams costing Rs. 585 and a small 200 grams pack is costing Rs. 315.

Dr. Aditya Kaushik, Head Medical Affairs for Indian Subcontinent, GSK Consumer Healthcare said that the company claims for clinically proven visible growth in six months among children of 3-9 years as according to pediatricians this is the critical growth phase for children. Growth lost during early childhood requires specialized nutrition. Horlicks Growth+ provides good quality Protein with key amino acids and fats, Calcium, Vitamin C, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A etc. which helps in naturally enhancing height and weight to optimize growth without obesity. 

High quality protein used in the product is specially formulated which is easily digestible and is absorbed fast. But he also emphasized that this is a specialized product and hence parents must take the advice of the pediatrician before starting using this product for their child. 

The RDA i.e. Recommended Daily Allowance of Horlicks Growth+ is 48 grams, 2-3 times a day with Milk or Water as prescribed by the Paediatrician.

He explained that the product is for any short and lean child who is less than 10th percentile (as per CDC Growth Chart) on weight or height e.g. a 3-year old boy with height less than 90 cm and weight less than 12.5 kg.

This product is not a replacement but only companion to a nutritious balanced diet.

Mr. Jaideep asked about the study conducted before manufacturing this product for which Dr. Kaushik described that it was conducted among 200 healthy, short and lean pre-pubertal children of age group 3-9 years with height and weight less than 10th percentile. It was a random study which was Placebo controlled that is 100 children were given this formula and 100 were given a placebo which was a low protein formula with no added vitamins and minerals over a period of 6 months. By the end of 6 months in comparison to the children in the Placebo group, the children who consumed the nutritional formula had gained more height and weight without any changes in their BMI i.e. growth without any obesogenic effect.

The research and design for the study was initiated in 2011. Clinical trials were over by 2013 and the result came in 2014.

Mr. Amaan Khan replied to a question that presently Horlicks Growth+ will be available in Delhi NCR, South India, West Bengal, Mumbai, Pune and then they plan to expand its reach to other regions too. Online retailers shall also be involved.

During a short tea break, the company took some video snippets taking viewpoints of various parent bloggers present there into consideration. Yours Truly was one of them.  

After the break, the Meet received its final touches in the form of a video making competition among 8 teams of roughly 10 bloggers each who got various props from the Horlicks team in the form of Horlicks Growth+ packs, fruit baskets, measuring tapes, lab coat, etc. which they were to use to make an interesting and relevant video promotion of 30 seconds and upload it on Twitter. We all enjoyed a lot making these videos. 

The day ended as usual with a group photograph of all the bloggers going hurr-hurr in fun and returning with a pack of Horlicks Growth+ too. 

P.S.: All images carrying the date '15.05.2016' have been attributed to the Author and carry a copyright of the Blog. Images without such a time stamp have been taken from IndiBlogger's FB Page. 

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