Reflections

How Immunity impacts growth in children #Immunity4Growth

Indiblogger Horlicks Meet Immunity4Growth (5)

My association with Horlicks began long before I was born. In fact, my grandmother, who fasted twice a week, believed that it was equal to a meal replacement and claimed that one glass of Horlicks made her feel full and energetic. When I was old enough to enjoy this health beverage, I preferred to eat it directly. Oh the joy!

Through the decades, a bottle of Horlicks on the kitchen shelf next to the coffee jar, and refill packs in the pantry have been a constant. We’ve indulgently watched the transformation of Horlicks into various attractive flavors, pack designs and size variants, but we’ve loyally stuck to the classic malt version. It has been the go-to “food” as a quick hunger-buster, a pleasant choice for those recuperating from an illness,  or just perfect to sneak into the kitchen on some pretext and eating a couple of spoonsful.

Indiblogger Horlicks Meet Immunity4Growth (5)

When my son was born, it was only natural that we give him the Horlicks advantage of being taller, stronger and sharper, as the slogan goes. I also believe it helped raise his immunity, gave him a healthy appetite and encouraged him to eat healthy.

My Mum would often say that a child’s food habits during his 2nd and 3rd year determine his lifelong food habits. So far, that has been true – he makes healthy food choices, understands the value of eating right and loves home-made versions of all the exotic stuff he comes across. He still loves his “Loglicks

Yes, blessed. That’s what I am.

So I was quite excited when the dynamic team at Indiblogger organized the Horlicks blogger meet focused on the subject of immunity and its implications on growth in children and registered to attend.

I enjoyed the meet and would like to share my experience with you.

Horlicks #Immunity4Growth Indiblogger meet

Sunday evening at 4 pm saw me at the Taj Vivanta, in anticipation.

The Indiblogger team was there to welcome the participants and we were ushered in to the hall where the meet was to take place. Coffee and tea, and Horlicks were already being served and I gratefully helped myself to a couple of cups of coffee. Don’t judge!

The event began with Anoop’s usual energetic welcome, as he invited a few bloggers to introduce themselves.

Indiblogger Horlicks Meet Immunity4Growth (5)

photo courtesy: Indiblogger

First on the agenda was Ms.Jill Castle’s keynote presentation

Jill Castle is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and a childhood nutrition expert. With over 25 years of experience with babies, toddlers, children and teens, in a variety of settings from private practice and consulting to author and writer, and as a mother of 4, Jill is sought after as one of America’s childhood nutrition experts. Jillcastle.com

She has a very informative website and you might want to sign up for her mealtime mistakes manual.

Indiblogger Horlicks Meet Immunity4Growth (5)

Her talk covered:

  • Importance of micronutrients in our diet and their role in boosting the immune system and thereby combating disease.
  • Research findings and  the horrifying statistics on the Indian malnutrition scene in children.
  • An interesting concept I had never heard of – hidden hunger.
  • How malnutrition increases absenteeism in school.

Malnutrition in children is a very serious problem. Did you know that India has the highest percentage of children with vitamin A deficiency and millions of school children are iodine and zinc deficient? Not something to be proud of.

To stay healthy we need both micro and macronutrients including healthy fats, protein, fiber, carbohydrates, calcium, vitamins and minerals. Unless these are available in the daily diet, one cannot develop immunity. For children, unless they develop immunity through healthy food as they grow up, how can they live healthy lives and have the stamina to achieve their dreams?

Sadly, most families are in a situation where the child leaves for school with a glass of milk as breakfast. Milk, which is over-boiled and is devoid of nutrition. Now, we are aware that if there is one thing we should do to start the day right, it is not skipping breakfast. In fact, a breakfast that combines protein, carbs and fruits is a must to keep us energised through the day. It also holds us back from opting for junk food when hunger strikes.

Ms. Jill Castle specifically mentioned that enhancing that glass of milk with a health food beverage can go a long way in helping the child get her day’s quota of micronutrients – which is why Horlicks is now enhanced its Vitamin D and Selenium content – both of which are critical for good growth.

I was fascinated when she talked about “hidden hunger” – something we are all familiar with, but had no idea what it was called. Inadequate intake of micronutrients wreak havoc on our health. This creates a deficiency, especially in pregnant women and growing children and results in “hidden hunger”. For pregnant women it can mean premature deliveries and affect brain development in the fetus.  Hidden hunger is especially rampant in developing countries where the diet is deficient is essential vitamins and minerals.

Most people are unaware that they don’t have to boil pasteurized milk and also end up overcooking food, removing its nutritional value.

Also – looking healthy needn’t always mean being healthy. We have to consciously make sure we get all the necessary nutrition in the right proportion.

The focus was on children’s health, creating an awareness about child nutrition to give them a headstart in life by ensuring that they ate well with a diet that gave them a variety of food and got plenty of exercise outdoors. Ms.Castle emphasized the importance of getting our five helpings of veggies and fruits every day.

Presentation by Mr Amaan Khan

Then the marketing head of the Horlicks brand, Mr. Amaan Khan took the stage to talk to us about the initiatives  being taken by GSK to address malnutrition via urban and rural campaigns. He referred to the extensive IMRB research data, sharing the statistics and impact of nutrient deficiency. Quite alarming.

Indiblogger Horlicks Meet Immunity4Growth (5)

He highlighted the 23 essential nutrients that went into making Horlicks. Horlicks is now in a new pack design and enhanced with 2X Immuno Nutrients with twice the quantity of Selenium and Vitamin D. Horlicks contains all the 9 nutrients which are scientifically proven to strengthen immunity, make bones stronger, increase concentration in children, build stronger muscles and healthy weight.

Children must be strong inside to grow outside

He also informed us about the Horlicks Nutrimeter, a tool to identify those hidden gaps in our daily nutrition. This tool offers full nutrition assessment and covers Indian food items as well. You can also give a missed call to 8000980009 to download it and keep track on daily nutrition.

It was interesting to know that Horlicks is keenly addressing the issue of malnutrition through school outreach programs, and also extending their concern to the rural areas where micronutrient deficiency is common.

Mr Khan talked about democratising nutrition.

As mothers, we are ideally placed to pay attention to our child’s nutrition and healthy growth and give them the gift of health. We try to do our best on this front. It is good to have Horlicks help us along.

We saw a beautiful video clip, a tribute to a Mother’s loving sacrifice in bringing up her child – I had to hold back the tears. Enjoy!

Panel discussion

A very interesting panel discussion followed this, and included a Q and A with paediatrician Dr Hegde, a nutritionist, Ms.Jill Castle, Mr Amaan Khan and the lively moderator, a technical writer.

Indiblogger Horlicks Meet Immunity4Growth (5)

While Dr.Hegde talked about his experience with children in Bangalore, the nutritionist spoke about why a balanced diet is critical. She recommended using “5210” where:

5 pertains to 5 servings of fruits and vegetables in our daily diet

2 recommends restricting screen time to 2 hours or less

1 is for at least one hour of vigorous activity

0 is the number for fizzy and artificial beverages.

Those present posed questions to the panel which were answered, and we all benefited from the knowledge. One of the attendees asked how micronutrient deficiency manifests in pregnant women and whether they could do something to prevent their child from being born with a deficiency and Dr.Hegde gave the example of a child being born with congenital hypothyroidism due to the mother’s iodine deficiency. Congenital hypothyroidism is life threatening. He also shared how most mothers were usually happy with their child’s growth during the first year, when the baby is exclusively breastfed and has all the nutrients for 6 months and then continue to show the expected growth. But during the second year and forward, they started worrying about every minor sign, little realizing that there was a possibility of the child not getting the nutrients she needs.

Did you know: Only mother’s milk and egg have 100% nutrients

Quiz time

It was time now to see how much information we had absorbed and we were divided into teams for a quiz session comprising 7 questions. The two best teams were awarded with prizes and a photo with the presenters. One of the teams had taken photos of every slide shown during the presentation and I was impressed.

Next, we grouped for the “Indiblogger photo” for our memory files with the traditional enthusiastic “hur hur”.

Indiblogger Horlicks Meet Immunity4Growth (5)

photo courtesy: Indiblogger

By this time, a sumptuous dinner was served and over a pleasant interaction with our blogger friends, we enjoyed our meal.

At 7.30 pm, the meeting concluded and we were ready to head home. Some of us who had tweeted out photos with the #Immunity4Growth hashtag received gift vouchers.

Indiblogger Horlicks Meet Immunity4Growth (5)

My gift to my son on Mother’s Day was the two packs of Horlicks (that makes it 4x nutrition eh?) that I got to take home in my goodie bag. I am gratified to say that he immediately opened one and ate a spoon (maybe three) on the pretext of checking out the difference.

As always a fantastic blogger meet, wonderfully organized with great takeaways. Thank you Indiblogger.

Vidya Sury gratitude

Resources:

Visit this link for detailed information on:

  • how immunity helps growth
  • Right nutrition and immunity
  • Factors affecting immunity

To know whether your child is meeting her growth milestones, see this.

Do you enjoy Horlicks?

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Nicola
    May 17, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday, Vidya. The video is beautiful. Being a mother is such a wonderful gift.
    I used to drink Horlicks when I was a child. For some reason, I no longer stock it in my kitchen cupboard. I can’t remember why or when I stopped drinking it. Reading your lovely post has reminded me of that nurturing feeling I used to get when my brothers and I cuddled up on the couch drinking our Horlicks. I must put some in my shopping trolley next time I go to the supermarket. Thank you for sharing all the information about your Indiblogging meet.
    Nicola recently posted…Liebster AwardMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      May 20, 2016 at 1:42 pm

      Thank you Nicola! So nice to see you! It was indeed a lovely afternoon and evening – Indiblogger always hosts great blogger meets. I’d love to know how you felt about tasting Horlicks all over again! Hugs!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…How I Learnt To Connect With My Teenage SonMy Profile

  • Reply
    Darla M Sands
    May 18, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Very thoughtful post. Now I want to look up this product, too! I bet we have something comparable in the United States that would be good for my family. Blessings to you and yours, my dear!
    Darla M Sands recently posted…Konjac KrazinessMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      May 20, 2016 at 11:52 am

      Apparently Horlicks is not marketed in the US, but I am sure there are comparable health beverages, Darla. The nutritionist claimed that it is healthy to start the day with them, because they’re packed with vitamins and minerals. Thank you for your comment! Love and hugs!

  • Reply
    ROMA GUPTA SINHA
    May 24, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    This is an extremely useful and thoroughly informative post dear..more so for me as a mother of a small kid. Thanku for d same.

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