Horlicks Masterclass for consumers, mothers and media was held at a private hotel in karachi. The session was hosted by Sidra Iqbal and she invited a panel of 3 women; fashion model, mother and actress Sunita Marshall, along with an expert nutritionist and pediatrician. The session highlighted the fact that milk alone cannot meet the daily nutrition intake needed for school going children as they need a supplement that increases the strength of milk and helps make a child taller, stronger and sharper.
The three panelists – Sunita, nutritionist Amina Mujib Khan and pediatrician Dr. Durr-e-Shehwar – emphasized that nutritional supplements are essential for children’s vital growth years. Horlicks when added to milk is scientifically proven to provide sufficient nutrition to help children reach their growth potential. A research conducted compared Horlicks enriched milk to non-fortified whole cream milk which proved that Horlicks added to milk doubles the intake of Calcium, Zinc and Iron. Horlicks triples the delivery of Vitamin A, increases the delivery of Vitamin D and adds Vitamin B6 as well as folic acid to milk. With on-going dietary issues that Pakistani children face, these supplements are integral for growth.
Dr. Shehwar said an unbalanced diet leads to less growth in height and weight of children. She claimed that there is rising deficiency of vitamins and iron in children which can affect their vitality, cause anemia and also hinder brain development. “It is estimated that around 31% of children are malnourished. This percentage is according to the research conducted, but according to my estimate, more than 50% of our children are malnourished,” said Dr. Shehwar.
The pediatrician reiterated that giving children supplements such as Horlicks, along with regular daily diet, will provide them with the required amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, fats and other vital nutrients that may make their bones and muscles stronger and boost their height. In addition to these, it also helps in the development of their brain, helping to concentrate in their studies and other activities.
Another issue discussed which is usually overlooked is called hidden hunger. Nutritionist Amina Mujib said that the deficiency of macro-nutrients is known as hidden hunger, i.e. deficiency of proteins and carbohydrates which become prevalent when the child is not growing properly. “But hidden hunger affects the brain, the vitality and the stamina of the growing child. These signs appear when a child starts going to school and faces issues like weak memory or the inability to concentrate.”
Sunita was on hand to state that the key to encourage children to eat well is to always eat healthy food in front of them, as children imitate their parents a lot. “Being a good role model for your child is extremely important, which is why I always eat healthy food. What you do not want your child to eat shouldn’t be eaten in front of them.”
Sunita ended the panel discussion by saying that the most important thing is your child’s happiness. If your child is happy your entire life is settled and parents do not realize how much of their child’s happiness something they control is. It is a parent’s responsibility to be informed about what is best for their child and provide it.