WHAT ARE YOU FEEDING YOUR CHILD BEFORE SCHOOL?
ARE YOU FEEDING THEM RIGHT?
ARE THEY GETTING THE RIGHT NUTRITION TO BEST PERFORM IN SCHOOL?
A radio DJ, a vice president, a single mother and a housewife
share their views and experience on getting their child to eat right
Four mothers from different backgrounds but with one ultimate goal came together at a roundtable discussion to share their views and personal experience on the importance of feeding their child right. Hosted by Dutch Lady Milk Industries Berhad (Dutch Lady Malaysia), the roundtable discussion was held to understand what Malaysian mothers are feeding their school-going children and if their current lifestyle can be improved.
The four mothers involved were Vasanthe Narayanasamy, 43, a Vice President at Siemens, Ili Hana Hashim, 29, a housewife, Roslinda Abdul Majid (DJ Lin), 36, a radio DJ at Suria FM and single mother, Cat Ho Chooi Sun, 30, an entrepreneur. Celebrity mum, Aishah Sinclair was also present to moderate the session, together with Chang Sau Fun, a nutritionist from Dutch Lady Malaysia, who gave some nutritional advice and guidance to the mothers to ensure that the children’s nutritional needs are fulfilled.
Sau Fun kicked off the session by sharing the importance of breakfast. “Breakfast is an important meal that should not be skipped as it provides the body with the energy it needs to function throughout the day. Most people take breakfast lightly, but it’s one meal that should not be ignored, especially mothers who have children attending school,” she said.
Children who have breakfast are more energetic, active and are able to learn better in school, as compared to children who skip their breakfast.
“Breakfast is important to me and I would wake up early to ensure that my child has breakfast before he goes off to school or attend other activities,” said Vasanthe, who has a seven year old boy. “I would usually prepare different shaped sandwiches so that it will be more interesting for him,” she added while sharing her tips in getting her child to have breakfast.
Roslinda’s two children are given the opportunity to choose and try new products that they see on television, when she takes them to the hypermarket to do her grocery shopping. “I don’t have much time to see them and I let them choose what they like to eat because I know that they will consume it. I usually purchase the same item again if they like it” she said.
According to Sau Fun, allowing such privileges to children is a good method to expose them to a variety of new food so that they will not be picky with what they eat. However, the key is to take the variety of food in moderation to ensure a balanced nutrition.
“Sometimes, I skip breakfast due to my hectic schedule at the studio but I’ve always ensured that fresh milk or UHT milk is stocked in my fridge. I love fresh milk, but I usually provide UHT milk to my children as it is convenient for them to carry to school,” Roslinda explained.
While some children may have problems with drinking milk, Cat’s nine-year old daughter loves milk. “I see breakfast as a meal to kick-start the day but it is difficult for my child to eat as she is picky when it comes to food but milk is one item that she loves and does not run short at home,” she said.
“My trick to get my daughter to eat is by using technology! I would turn on her favourite programme on the iPad while she finishes off her food,” Ili shared her experience in the discussion.
The methods that these mothers use varies from making food look interesting to the use of gadgets just to ensure that their children gets the best nutrients. Sau Fun expressed that mothers should find different ways to reap the benefits of breakfast for their children as it affects their child’s performance in school.
According to Sau Fun, the food pyramid serves as a good guideline to select the variety of food we provide to children. She commented that each ingredient has its’ benefits and nutrients, and that parents should be smart in balancing out what is placed in meals and selecting the right food for children.
For working mothers, cereal served with milk works as a quick fix that is healthy and nutritious, as it provides the nutrients needed for growing up children.
“Milk is an essential food source in the food pyramid, with a recommended serving of one to three glasses per day. This should not be ignored,” she told the group of mothers earnestly. “Nutritional needs in children may vary due to the different stages that they go through and parents should be aware of their needs to optimise growth and learning,” she stressed.
Schooling children would need nutrients like Omega 3 and Omega 6 in the morning to help mental growth and to sustain learning in the classroom.
Recognising the nutrients needed for children to optimise their learning in school, Dutch Lady Malaysia has its Dutch Lady School milk to cater to pre-school or schooling children that is packed with Omega 3 and 6, Vitamin B3 and Vitamin B6 to help in enhancing brain development and improve attention span in school for optimum learning. Also available in Strawberry and Chocolate flavours, the milk packs comes in a convenient 200ml packs to allow children to drink on the go. It is conveniently packed for children to bring to school whenever mothers are tied up with work or are rushing to work in the morning.