The plan was always to parent only one child – but I inadvertently ended up with two.
The younger one of the pair – I must admit has always been much easier to parent – primarily because she was born to me and is aged eight
Parenting the older one is a task that has always required much more brain manoeuvring on my part – first, because I acquired him by marriage and second, because he is Forty two.
In the fifteen years that I have been married I have had to parent my husband much more diligently – especially where healthy eating habits are concerned – than I have ever had to parent my daughter.
Like father – like daughter – the taste buds of both - veer in their likes towards anything that is tasty. And so they always try to pick out the tastier versions of Healthy Food.
I however am quite the stickler for genuine taste. I insist that they develop a taste for the unmasked versions of healthy food.
Clouding the taste buds and fooling them into thinking they are eating chocolate or strawberries – when they are actually drinking milk – is something I am very much against.
Father and daughter however are quite unscrupulous in this regard – and do not hesitate to con their taste buds whenever they can.
With this being the prevailing scenario in the house we have always had this raging debate about flavoured milk in the house.
I insist that milk packed in Tetra Pak cartons is so tasty by itself that it does not require any additional flavouring. They argue otherwise. They say that when a tasty thing has been made tastier still by adding flavour to it – why ever should they not consume that?
My warnings - some audible and some not so audible - about the excess sugar that they take in by drinking flavoured milk – follow them around in a steady stream as we wind our way through the aisles of departmental stores. But I am usually badly outnumbered – and we still come back with a stack of flavoured milk.
In the past I have always had the pleasure of being in the right. I used to snootily look down my nose at the lesser mortals in my house as they indulged themselves with flavoured milk. I used to proudly raise my eyebrows, twist my mouth in disgust and fix them with cold stares whenever they decided to actually drink the bought flavoured milk.
But not anymore.
Ever since Mooshake arrived in the market the father daughter duo have had the upper hand. As they drink the flavoured milk of that brand – if I fix them with a cold stare – they challenge me with their questioning – “What?” expressions.
Mooshake is a brand that has added Haldi to the milk they package in Tetra Pak cartons and then they have gone a step ahead and added totally yummy flavours to the Milk and Haldi mix. The result is a delicious delicious drink. Even I have to admit that.
The drink - as is pointed out to me time and again by my family – is endowed with the goodness of Haldi (an ancient Indian spice which is considered an all-round home remedy) and of course Milk (which is almost every nutrient you need for good health in a neat package – as I repeatedly remind them).
What can you not like about it?
Very little – I have to admit.
Of the four available flavours - the family favourite is definitely the Peachy Strawberry flavour with Slurpy Mango coming a close second. We like the Oh So Chocolatee when it is chilled so that has earned it spot number three on the list but Nutty Badam we think tastes a little too rich. It tastes OK however when it is chilled. The other flavours of course are just mind blowing when they are chilled.
And so with the arrival of Mooshake - flavoured milk has found favour in our home at long last.
I have had to replace my downturned grimacing mouth – with a benign upturned smiling mouth. Everyone in my house is delighted. I can’t say – I am not.
At 7 pm on a Wednesday evening – I call my husband with a heavy heart.
I am just starting for home from a meeting at a distant location from home – and the traffic I see on the roads that lead home – tell me that there is no way I will be home in time to fix dinner for the family tonight.
With a drooping heart – drooping shoulders and a drooping mouth – I call home to tell my husband that.
He listens gravely and assures me that I need not worry at all.
All that he says sounds absolutely genuine and above board – but I find my Mom instincts kick in suddenly.
I am suspicious. Do I sense a celebratory mood at the other end of the line?
And then – as I hang up – I hear a shouted word that confirms my doubts.
Before the line goes dead – Father and daughter shout – YIPPEE!!!
They are delighted!
My not being home on time will mean that the duo will be able to feast on Yippee noodles tonight.
A wave of indignation sweeps over me – but when that is over – my drooping smile is replaced with a happy laugh.
Yes – it’s going to be a Maida (refined flour) dish – instead of a whole wheat Atta dish on the table tonight.
Yes - the veggies in the noodles are not going to be farm fresh and will come from a packet instead.
Yes - the meal won’t be as high on the nutrition scale as I like daily dinners to be.
But at least it will be a real meal. And more importantly it will fill the house with laughter and smiles.
I can almost hear the joyous shouting – “Yippee!! Yippee!!” – as the noodles cook in my house.
After all the recent controversy and panic – it is good to have instant noodles in the clear at last.
Of course the controversy was never about Yippee noodles – but I have to admit that as one brand of instant noodles (that a whole generation grew up on) – took the beating – I couldn’t but suspect my current family favourite – Yippee noodles – of all the terrible things that the other brand was accused of.
Even though I knew fully well that Yippee Noodles was just an instant bystander in the raging crossfire - I had banned its entry into my house.
Yippee is brand from the ITC group and funnily enough however - suspect it as I may have, of various flaws – I continued to buy and serve other brands from the ITC group with great confidence throughout. Aashirwad whole wheat and multigrain atta continued to make it to the table at every single meal – because quite simply – I just couldn’t home in on a better brand.
Thinking back now – I think the controversy about instant noodles was a quite a typhoon and I think I was just caught up in the wave that was sweeping over all of us.
I have worked in some of the best medical laboratories in the country – labs that have had ISO and NABL accreditation. And I have also set up a good many labs. So – while the controversy was raging -I did have some niggling doubts about what I read and heard – but life being as busy as it is – I never had time to give it that much thought.
Then last Saturday ITC Foods division volunteered to clear these doubts.
In the luxurious environs of the ITC Gardenia Bangalore –at the YAWA (You Ask We Answer) session organized for Bloggers - I had the pleasure of listening to and interacting with the Divisional Chief Executive of the Foods division of ITC – Mr V L Rajesh, the Head of Marketing for the ITC Foods Division - Ms Kavita Chaturvedi, The Chief Operating Officer of the ITC Foods Division Mr S Ganesh Kumar and several other people on their team.
Sincerity always shines through and it shone like a beacon as these people spoke.
Yes – they stood there in the line of fire and answered all the questions all us gathered bloggers had to ask.
Here are some things that they said that really got me thinking and also answered a lot of questions I had.
As a Mom and Doctor – there is no doubt in my mind – that what we serve our children must be safe and healthy.
But as a Parenting and Wellness Consultant I definitely believe that we must give children “CHOICE” and infuse their meals with “FUN”
I was delighted to know that the Marketing head of ITC Foods said that – that was what she found in her research. And that these were the two elements she looked to provide as well when she went about creating the Yippee Noodles.
There is something about meeting people who have spent their lives creating brands that they believe in - brands that are part of their personalities and their lives.
I think my Saturday was well spent because I met so many such people of the ITC foods division. People who have invested more than a decade of their lives building products with passion and sticking by them through good times and bad – because they knew what they knew and because they were convinced that they had always been doing what was right.
It would have been the easiest thing in the world for these people to jump ship when instant noodles went through the recent rough patch.
But the faith that they had – to stick by their creations - to sail through that storm that threatened to wipe them out – has reinforced my faith in all the ITC foods brands.
Yippee noodles make it to my table now – because I am convinced – to convince yourselves – look here