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Develop Healthy Eating As A Habit For Kids

Headline : Develop Healthy Eating As A Habit For Kids

Media : Oriental Daily News

Date : 27 Apr 2016

Section : Supplement

Page No : L1TOL3

Language : Chinese


Event : MBG Fruit-tastic Tales

Event Date: 7 April 2016 (Thursday)

Time: 11 AM

Venue: The Parenthood Family Park, Sunway Putra Mall


Kuala Lumpur, April 7 – MBG FruitShop’s “Fruitastic Tales” CSR campaign (from April 1 – 30) is set to inspire children to appreciate good foods, fruits and vegetables.

Teaming up with The Parenthood’s London Street-themed Family Park and Institut Jantung Negara’s expertise to celebrate International Children's Book Day (April 2), the campaign headlines author Ms Mohana Gill and her award-winning fruits books.

Mohana’s “Hayley’s Fruitastic Garden” is made available at MBG outlets at special prices or on a complimentary basis with fruits purchases.  The book was the recipient of Gourmand’s Best Health & Nutrition Book in Malaysia in 2010, with honourable mention in the children’s category at 2011 New England Book festival.

MBG also embarked on a school roadshow to promote the campaign to more than 20 schools in the Klang Valley.

A mother of three, Mohana is the author of award-winning popular cookbooks, such as Fruitastic, Vegemania, and Myanmar: Cuisine, Culture And Customs. She is a five-time winner of the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Award, and recently won the Best Fruits Cookbook award at the Gourmand Awards Best of the Best for Fruitastic.

In her years of writing books, Mohana was approached by mothers who had difficulty getting their children to eat fruits and vegetables.  This inspired her to write books to motivate children to eat better – in the likes of Hayley's Vegemania Garden and Hayley's Fruitastic Garden.

The books which introduce children in a fun kind of way to the world of fruits and vegetables, are beautifully illustrated with interesting stories and fun facts. They also have a number of exciting recipes that the children can try out themselves.

According to Mr Adnan Lee, Managing Director of MBG, the company has spearheaded this campaign targetting children to eat better through story-telling. “Most kids love junk food and shies away from nutritious foods, fruits and vegetables.

“The food a child eats in their early years can influence their dietary habits in life, so it is important to instill good habits and a healthy relationship with food from an early age. Story-telling is an effective way to speak to the young ages,” said Adnan.

According to Malaysian Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents published in year 2013, it is recommended that we eat a variety of fruits and vegetables everyday. It is good to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, choose a variety of fruits and vegetables as snacks such as bananas, guava, cucumber slices, tomatoes or carrot sticks.

According to Institut Jantung Negara’s dietitian Ms Chong Mei Kee, schoolchildren and adolescents in developing countries consume minimal nutritious animal products, fruits and vegetables. Consequently, many children are deficient in micronutrients.

For centuries fruits and vegetables has been recognized as a good source of fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants vital for children’s growth and development. Current research has proven that people who have high consumption of fruits and vegetables may live longer, suffer less chronic diseases and disability and have lower risk of getting illness such as heart disease and cancer.

For children, fruits can help boost immune systems, weight management, create better school performance, and helps fight diseases.  It’s best to eat different coloured fruits as they represent different vitamins and antioxidants found in the fruits.

For example, red fruits such as strawberry and watermelon have protective effects against cancer and heart disease; green fruits such as guava and kiwi are rich in vitamin C and contain antioxidants which support gum health and immune system.

As for fruits portioning, Mei Kee recommends:

For children below 7 years old, give 2 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit daily.

For children and adolescents aged 7 to 18 years, eat at least 3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruits daily.

Choose fresh fruits over fruit juices. Fruit juices should not replace more than 1 serving of fruit.

Serve fruits and vegetables creatively to encourage consumption.

Ms Lilian Chong, owner of the Lillipilli Café at The Parenthood’s Family Park, who used to run PACE (Processing and Cognitive Enhancement which is a mind enrichment centre based on a non-academic program) shares, “I have helped children develop their cognitive skills via non- academic methods.

“Children these days have shorter attention span.  Through healthy eating, children were able to stretch their attention capabilities,” said Lilian.

Mr Barry Siah, the current Head of Sales for The Parenthood is also involved in kids’ fitness industry. He designs new programs together with the trainers and child experts, conducts R&D on new and effective approach for children to stay and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“Our innovative concept combines effective and fun workouts together with a nutrition curriculum,” said Barry.  This ensures we advocate self-esteem, healthy living & eating, and fitness for children in a fun and positive environment,” explained Barry.

The Fruitastic Tales campaign also addresses the hike of obesity and depression amongst children.  Malaysia has been labelled the region’s fattest nation, and the sixth most obese country in Asia. Between 2006-2011 the country recorded a 14% rise in obesity among people aged 18 and above, counting 2.6 million obese adults in the country by 2011.

A survey by the Ministry of Health revealed that just over a quarter of Malaysian school children were obese or overweight. “Prevalence of obesity has clearly increased in the past decade,” said Dr Mohd Ismail Noor, President of the Malaysian Association for the Study of Obesity (MASO).

Reading can also lift the soul and opens the child’s mind to a whole world of possibilities, ideas and creativity. It is proven that reading helps create positive and sound mental conditions. According to Malaysian Ministry of Health’s 2013 statistics, the number of children aged 15 and below with mental problems are on the rise in Malaysia.  The Ministry revealed that mental health problems involving children rose to 13% in 1996, 19.4% in 2006 and 20% in 2012.

Depression will be one of the largest health problems worldwide by 2020. Health surveys also shows that mental disorders occur 1 in 5 people or 20% of the world population each year.

In conjunction with The Fruitastic Tales campaign, MBG will be offering The Parenthood members’ rebates on fruit purchases. The Parenthood member card users who flashed their cards at MBG outlet in Sunway Putra Mall, Kuala Lumpur are entitled to discounts on fruit juices from April 1 to 30.

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