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Chocolate is the default gift option in our minds for kids. When will this change? Why can’t we think of other, more healthy, and imaginative options?
Very recently, I realized that there is a certain phenomenon happening with my girls. It looked so innocuous that somehow I missed it completely. It was just off the radar for me and now when I look back at all these incidents, I realize that these happenings have become so ingrained in our lives that we do not even notice it.
I am not referring to any top-notch event. Just that every now and then, with quite a bit of eerie frequency, my girls are being gifted chocolates. It is not just the relatives or friends who keep showering their love and affection through the brown thing, but the medical store guy, the security guard, neighbours, parents of children whom we meet at the park, why even the shopkeeper from whom we bought the feed for the pigeons; all of them keep giving the girls chocolates / lollypops (once a neighbour gave a giant-sized lollypop which was made in China, the girls had to finally throw it off after 10 minutes).
This may sound like a bit of a kill-joy from my side as to why I won’t let my daughters enjoy. Well, read on, and let me know your views after reading this.
As I type this, I have the ingredients and nutrition information of Cadbury Gems in front of me.
Per 100 gm of Gems, we have 75.1 gm of sugar and 13.8 gm of saturated fat, with a 0.1 gm of trans fat added, we already reach 89 gm of the 100 g of Gems. It is made of hydrogenated vegetable fat – I don’t understand this ingredient, but it surely does not sound/look good. (There might be a debate about milk chocolates and all imported ones. Let me know if you find one with sugar and saturated fats below 50%, at any point in time).
If I pay Rs. 5/- for 8.9 gm of Gems, it means that it is Rs. 562/- per kg. Another way of looking at this is that raisins and dates are way cheaper than these chocolates, and almonds and cashews are just about 50% more expensive. Yet, none of these are anywhere seen as gifting options for children.
Talking of options, my girls have a great liking for carrots, they can have cucumber and beetroot (which is currently Rs. 12/- per kg) as well – raw. I am sure that barring some exotic fruits that have been imported from Antarctica, all fruits will be cheaper than these chocolates. But, none of these gets considered when it comes to pampering the children.
All the people who do gift chocolates get looked upon as favourites. We, the parents, who ask them to share/have it later are often considered as villains of the piece. Come on people, chocolates cannot be the sole way of getting yourself popular with the kids. Use your imagination, please.
A whole lot of marketing around chocolates has ensured that we lack imagination beyond them for options as gifts to children or ways of pampering them. Leave aside fruits and dry fruits, there are no options of chikki, til laddu, puffed jowar, ragi mudde, coconut laddu for children. Either it is not available in the first place or if present, it will be in such shabby form that children used to glossy covers will gloss over them.
I am in no favour of processed food loaded with sugar and fats to start the dietary journey of my children. For that matter, anywhere as the part of the food journey.
#NoChocolateForMyChildren. What’s your say?
Credit: Have adapted the title of this blog from a Charles M. Schulz quotation.
Published here earlier.
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Stay-at-home father to twin daughters and an amateur blogger, ex - rat-racer. I
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