New Delhi, May 14 : Celebrity chef Maria Goretti says it is difficult to inculcate good eating habits in children for long term benefits, especially in an age when television and internet rules.
"As a mom, I think this is the most difficult thing to do.
Because no matter how hard I try and make things in air fryer, or bake them or boil with a sliver of butter, at the end, kids today have a mind of their own," said Maria, who is married to actor Arshad Warsi.
"This is largely because of the exposure to television and internet. They know what's going on and at home if you tell them to eat something healthy, they will ask to add some sauce or the other.
"So, as parents we must continue doing what's right for them and eventually they will get it," Maria told IANS in an email interview.
She also says that one should ensure nutritious intake in children from an early age.
"It should start when the child is really small and before he goes to school and checks out everyone's tiffins.
Because once they check out others' tiffins, they come back home and start comparing," she said.
Maria was a popular MTV VJ before she married Arshad.
She also hosted TV show "Do It Sweet", and made a special appearance in movie "Salaam Namaste" along with her son Zeke Warsi.
Apart from a small role in a movie "Raghu Romeo" that was directed by Rajat Kapoor.
Nowadays she is busy with her cookery shows with the latest being her cooking classes at Mount Litera School International on Mother's Day.
The school hosted an event for mothers with Maria who introduced her fellow guardians to healthy alternatives for snacks that were tasty yet nutritious.
Some of her interesting creations included Ragi pan cakes made of Ragi flour, eggs, curd and milk, giving a healthy twist to the regular flour based pancakes.
Another unique substitute she presented was whipped soy cream as opposed to regular and calorie-laden whipped cream.
So what are the healthier option she prefers at home?
"I do bake pizza's at home, and when I do so, I ensure I also make the sauce at home and not use the canned one.
I ensure I put enough veggies on it and also roll out a really thin base so that flour to veggie ratio is minimum.
"I don't like to use packed goods to put in my food and always prefer fresh food. In terms of pasta, I have switched from using the regular store-bought pasta to rice pasta which is gluten free and really nice.
"It does take a little bit of time to get used to it, but you have to keep making these changes at home constantly.
"All mothers try to give the best to their children, but I feel mothers are somehow fighting the bigger demons of advertising against healthy food," she said.
Maria says that the most healthiest thing you can pack for your kids is fruit and dry nuts.
"It's the healthiest and power packed food you can give them.
"Another thing I do is that I keep roasted chicken ready at home, and roll it up with chapati.
I also keep Keema Kebab and hummus ready for a quick snack since that's tasty as well as nutritious," she said.
(Nivedita can be contacted at email@example.com)