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Interacting with kids (age 8 - 12) on food and nutrition...


Baingan Swaraj, the book i wrote 14 yrs back has been taken up by a class of students baingan-swaraj(age 8 - 12) for reading and after completing they wanted to meet the author... It was an amazing interaction to sit and listen to them today and share some thoughts and answer many questions. What started off as a half hour interaction ended up with two hours and another 3 hours with the faculty later on.

Unlike adults who often are waiting to talk about themselves in an interaction, children are still curious, they listen, ask equations, think, ideate, and are playful and creative in their expressions as well. Below is a short transcript of my interaction with the kids on food and nutrition. 


Me: what is nutritious food and what food is not nutritious?

Little Girl on the left: ‘junk food’ is not nutritious.

Me: So what all is junk food?

Everyone pitching-in: potato chips (girl from the back: they give such small quantity of chips in a packet), ice cream, burger, pizza, cake and pastries, carbonated drinks, deep fried food…

Me: How will you avoid junk food and eat nutritious food?

Boy on the right: avoid eating packaged food and eat fresh unpacked food.

Me:  But, do you eat packaged food?

All together: ‘’yes’’

One student adds: it is tasty and addiction, because they add addiction things in it.


That is what we have done to our future generations today. They know that they are being literally fed addictive food because we have created a society in which such food is freely produced, advertised, promoted, and consumed often as a symbol of upwards social mobility and wealth.

It was as an outcome of the meeting that started to wonder why is it that we do not have any short report that maybe useful to the parents of these children about the trends in consumption that is turning toxic increasingly across India. 

This thought lead me to work on a report which is available online for download now

As an outcome we have also started a forum for responsible consumers that people can register here.


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