This Mother’s Day we navigate the deep waters of kids and nutrition with mom influencers

Tanya Mehra, Mona Narula and Swati Sharma, spill the beans on what are their go to tactics to ease the trials and tribulations of motherhood, when it comes to nutrition

Update: 2024-05-10 03:43 GMT

Every year, on the second Sunday of May, we observe Mother’s Day. A day dedicated specially to celebrate the matriarchs of the family. And as the day approaches, in this special article, we delve into the essence of motherhood, celebrating the unbreakable bond between mothers and their children. From heartfelt anecdotes to insightful reflections, we applaud mothers for carrying out a multitude of rules with nary a complaint and the profound impact they have on our lives.

In a tribute to the nurturing spirit of mothers, we are felicitating three mom influencers, who execute the role of a mother so flawlessly, while at the same time, also put in the efforts to build a community and ease new moms into the journey of motherhood. Whether it's sharing cherished memories or letting the audience in on some top-notch parenting tips, Tanya Mehra, Mona Narula and Swati Sharma, break it down for us as to how as mother’s they take on the behemoth task of child care.

Edited excerpts from the interview.

Tanya Mehra
For this Mother's Day special, we had the privilege of connecting with Tanya Mehra, a single mother and dedicated child nutritionist, to glean insights into her approach to fostering healthy relationships with food and managing picky eaters. When asked about ensuring her child's healthy relationship with food, Tanya emphasised that ‘parents should lead by example. Avoid labelling food as “good” or ‘bad”, and steer clear of using food as rewards or punishments’. She also stressed the importance of offering a variety of foods and setting boundaries rather than categorising foods as "healthy" or "junk" as this could lead to children developing a liking to food that they aren’t ‘allowed’ to eat.

Transitioning to dealing with fussy eaters, Tanya said ‘the best way to deal with a fussy eater is to involve toddlers in meal planning and preparation. Making meals fun and appealing, offering a variety of foods, and being patient and persistent in introducing new foods helps make it easier for the child as well, because then they aren't stuck with just one option and they get the liberty to choose what they want to eat. But of course these choices should be offered within limits and avoid pressuring them to eat. This way you can create a positive mealtime environment.’

Delving into her goals for promoting food and nutrition within her family and social media community, Tanya said, ‘I am committed to creating informative and engaging content. The aim is to share nutritious ideas, practical tips for meal planning and preparation, and strategies for mindful eating’. Additionally, Tanya expressed her desire to encourage family involvement in meal-related activities and her wish to collaborate with experts to provide evidence-based information on food and nutrition topics. ‘Through my channel I want to continue to inspire and educate families on the importance of nourishing relationships with food’, said Tanya.

Mona Narula
Meet Mona Narula, the creative mind behind Kidzapzoe, an Instagram channel dedicated to help parents make nutrition fun for kids. When asked about fostering a healthy relationship with food for her own child, Mona responded, ‘it definitely helps when I turn mealtime into an adventure. By introducing my daughter to a variety of foods and involving her in meal planning and preparation, I try to instil a sense of curiosity and appreciation for different ingredients. And let’s face it, when you carry out such fun activities that evoke a positive response you in turn tend to lay the foundation for a positive relationship with food.’

There is no picky eater greater than a toddler and Mona had a couple of tricks up her sleeve to tackle this issue as well. ‘Dealing with a fussy eater is like playing a game! You need to try different moves to see which one will finally succeed. One trick I follow is to make mealtime colourful and fun. So we turn veggies into fun shapes or create stories around healthy foods to make them more appealing. Another tactic is to involve the little one in the kitchen from shopping for groceries and cleaning to cooking — let them play chef to ignite their interest in trying new foods. Praise every small victory, every time they try a new food and soon enough, they will begin to develop a taste for it’, says Mona.

When we asked her about her future goals for her family and digital community she said’ Within my family, I want to make mealtime more interesting and engaging for my daughter. Organising themed dinner nights where she can help me prep a meal or a kitchen scavenger hunt to learn about different ingredients, those kind of activities. As she is growing up, I want to help her understand the benefits of various foods and help her make informed decisions. On social media, I want to extend this passion for nutrition to the community I’m building, through content that's informative but also fun.

Swati Sharma
Enter Swati Sharma, a homemaker and mom blogger on a mission to cultivate a healthy and simplified lifestyle, both in her own family and within her social media community. When asked about ensuring her child's healthy relationship with food, she said, ‘I used to discuss food with them, you know things like what they wanted in tiffin and what they wanted for breakfast, things like that. I used to make sure there was a little variety of food on the dinner table because a healthy plate is not a single ingredient, it's a combination of food. They would eat some, leave some, reject some and praise some and that’s fine. I remember my elder daughter hated paneer till she was 6 but I never forced her to try it, because there are other sources of protein. As a parent, I must give them the right food, teach them good eating habits and at the least ask them to try out something. But that's it, I can't force them to eat what they don’t want, and that's the first step to food positivity.’

We then asked her how she dealt with a picky eater and to this she answered, ‘just communicate with your kid. Have space for open communication and discuss their likes and dislikes, what they want to eat, what food is good or bad and what food is exciting. Just talk to kids about food and do this often. It's all about creating interest. You can also offer a diverse array of foods on the plate to encourage exploration. And finally, don’t panic. Remember that eating habits evolve over time, and your immediate goal is to first create a relaxed mealtime environment for your child.’

Looking ahead, Swati's goals for promoting food and nutrition revolve around simplicity and sustainability. ‘First and foremost, I want to focus on healthy and wholesome food habits. And secondly I want to promote the idea of making and eating homemade food. My mom and grandma did.not follow trends, or fads. In a time where digital media was not a thing their focus was on simple home-cooked food that took care of hunger, taste and health. Following in their footsteps I want to cater to and build a community where we can explore the idea of simplifying cooking processes, try new recipes, evolve and experiment with food. And in the midst of that, find ways to attain sustainable home cooking and meals’, said Swati.


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