Monday, 11 July 2016


The growing years of a child are similar towards laying the foundation stone of a building. Just as it takes brick by brick and stone by stone while laying the foundation with meticulous precision before it takes shape of a villa or cathedral likewise cementing the life a child with proper nutrition, good moral values and a sound education are paving the way towards their future as an adult. And in this entire process, all it takes is a single brick to be out of place for the structure to crumble. The same situation can be applied to the life of a child till he matures as an adult, once the balance is skewed, it causes impediment towards growth, progress and development for a healthier future.

I remember an instance when I was once visiting an old friend and I casually inquired after her daughter who was away to school at that time. I learned of the hectic lives the couple were leading where both were working on 9 to 5 jobs and hardly found time for one another where the child was left to the care of the nanny. Recently when their daughter was hospitalized,their work schedules went for a toss and both parents had to take turns to tend to their daughter. So what went wrong here? What was the health issue the child faced? It was a case of acute diarrhea as a result she had become weak and had to skip school for a week or so. Then I casually inquired from my friend about her diet and had well hoped that she was monitoring her child's eating habits closely after this health scare. But I was astonished! She casually told me that her daughter threw a tantrum at her food and somehow never relished home cooked food. Thus she would give her money to enjoy her lunch at school canteens (which also served nutritious meals...but then children being children would always opt for junk food considering that no adult was watching them!) How was a child suppose as young as 7-8 years suppose to know that missing out on veggies and fruits in their diet can be a reason for their lost growth? Thus I had to gently explain my friend without implying anything towards her that perhaps making the food look interesting and a story to go along would evoke her daughter's interest towards eating the right diet for her age vis-a-vis the requirement for her height and weight. And perhaps spending more time with her daughter would cement that emotional bond between them which I sensed was somewhere lost in this melee of life where a single person's income alone cannot run a household in today's day and time! I had to explain her that just as we recite fairy tales to children to put them to bed, likewise a story around food during dinner time could possibly do the trick! Though I was not a parent myself I thought she would not like my ideas but somehow she did! 

Some months later when I was visiting her once again, I met her daughter and found her looking healthier and cheerful which I sense was months earlier not the case. And what more...mother and daughter had taken to swimming on weekends!

I would like to reiterate that despite not being a parent myself...parenting is a tough and full time job in itself. I admire working mothers who are able to strike a perfect balance, though in my view it is an uphill task...achieving the impossible. However, at the end of the day what's important is that your child does not miss out on his growing years or feels singled out for not looking his age with factors like stunted or delayed growth, pale countenance or fatigued appearance further taking a toll on them. But the brighter side is that these factors as parents are well within our control. Love, patience and gentle care in guiding our children towards the right direction when they are young can pave a way for their healthy future and help in catching up on lost growth!

This post was written for Horlicks Growth + 

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