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Words of Wisdom

The 1st Middle East Vegetarian (MEVEG) Congress, Part 17 of a Multi-part Series, Dec. 6, 2010

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Mohana was born in Myanmar, and graduated with a diploma in industrial administration from the University of Manchester, and an MBA (Master of Business Administration) from the University of Toronto. She’s worked in the educational sector in Malaysia, Myanmar. And she is the author of two award-winning and very, very lovely, colorful books for children called, “Fruitastic” and “Vegemania.” It generally talks about infiltrating healthy eating habits at a young age.

“So today, I just want to talk to you very briefly about how to make it easy for children to eat more fruit and vegetables. I want to start a program, which they have in the United States, called ‘Kids in the Kitchen’. Bring the young children back into the kitchen, let them play with their food. If they make a mess, it doesn’t matter, but they will always eat what they cook.

So, I think by cooking together and by doing it we also will be able to bring the families back to the table. And I think that’s what we need to do today – to bring the families back to the table to eat together. Taking them to supermarkets, showing them the foods, letting them choose. Of course, another way of introducing is books, to show them books, or to buy them little cookbooks and get them all involved as well.

So, I think when we are cooking, we have to bear in mind a couple of things, that the food must be delicious. And it must be nutritious. It must look good. And then you also need to keep fruit and vegetables where the children can see them. Instead of buying a lot of junk food, we have more fruit and vegetables in our refrigerators. Because the food that we put in front of them is what they are going to eat, and what they are going to grow up with.

So, I always say that at dinner time – no phones. And I think we as parents, if we will take care of our children and we come up with a new generation of kids, who are healthy – physically, mentally, then I’m sure that somewhere along the line in the world we’ll have a better future.”
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