Date: 8 May 2016
Time for another blogger’s meet organized by the fine folks at Indiblogger! This time it was hosted by Horlicks, at Taj Vivanta, near Trinity Circle. The theme was #Immunity4Health, part of their marketing pitch for the new Horlicks, now with twice the content of micro-nutrients. Today being Mother’s Day, Horlicks were especially honouring the efforts mothers play in raising children. So needless to say, there were no shortage of ‘mommy bloggers’ who also made their presence felt at this event.
The event began with a presentation by American blogger and Pediatric Nutritionist, Jill Castle, talking about children’s nutrition in general and how some diets still lack essential micronutrients. What are micro nutrients? As opposed to macro nutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat), micronutrients are vitamins and minerals (iron, iodine, zinc, etc.) which are required in small quantities to ensure normal metabolism, growth and physical well‐being.
Jill showcased a study showing that 48% of Indian children are stunted — meaning they don’t reach their potential height. She also said faulty practices such as repeated boiling of milk only helps in killing nutrients found in milk. Jill also admitted that it is a struggle for American kids to be lured away by the calorie and sugar-rich foods that dominate the marketing of food targeted at kids. Jill knows that it’s a trend that is emerging in India and just hopes that kids in this country do not get as hooked as their American counterparts already are.
Jill didn’t say the solution to all this is drinking Horlicks everyday, but she did allude to the fact health drink substitutes are an easy way to get kids to consume things they wouldn’t otherwise consume in any other shape or form. The same goes for supplement capsules.
It was a good informative presentation. Following that was a talk from the marketing manager for Horlicks.
He spoke about their Nutrimeter App – http://nutrimeter.horlicks.in – which can tell you how good your daily diet is, what’s missing and how Horlicks can fill the gap in what is missing.
Then he played their popular commercial thanking mothers everywhere:
Finally, a panel discussion was held on stage to discuss the health issues plaguing children in India. It was hosted by a medical writer and featured all the specially invited guests, including two medical professionals.
It was very interesting listening to the pediatrician. I got to know milk and eggs are the only complete foods — as in, they contain all the essential nutrients a growing child needs. No other food types have it packed as good as milk and eggs do. The nutritionist spoke of how we Indians are losing touch with our “traditional” dishes for things like breakfast. I didn’t quite agree with that statement. No matter how hard the Western food brands Kellogg’s try to push corn flakes, I see no reduction in popularity for our dosas or idlis. I don’t know how many kids demand pancakes in India. Our breakfast items are pretty damn good, which is why we remain hooked on to them. Unlike in America where breakfast cereals are now the norm — when it always wasn’t the case more than 50 years ago.
After the panel discussion, they opened up questions from the audience. I asked the panel about how effective the mid-day meal scheme in India was in meeting the essential nutrient requirements for children at (mostly) government schools and what other natural substitutes are rich micronutrients. I didn’t stick around for the rest of the Q&A as I had to tend to a call (and some of the questions asked were outright irrelevant to the discussion).
After the panel discussion, there was a quiz organized by the Indiblogger team. We were divided into team based on the tables we were sitting at and were asked 7 questions, all based on what was discussed earlier by the guests. Good thing I took notes and photos throughout the various presentations. Long story short, my table got all the right answers and we won first place! Every member on my table got Flipkart vouchers worth Rs. 3000 (Rs. 1000 x 3).
Post dinner, we all received a goodie bag containing two jars of Horlicks and a guide on the micornutrient content in each jar. All summed up, this was yet another fun and interesting blogger meet. It’s not easy to get a brand that many not be convincing enough to a bunch older bloggers but somehow the Indiblogger folks manage to fine tune the content and activities to make it interesting for all.
As always, looking forward to the next Indiblogger meet in Bengaluru.