With so many advertisements and media shouting in support of the many health supplements and energy drinks for children one really gets confused as to whether or not to give them to your children.

A basic thing everyone has to understand is that our body as of all the bodies of animals and plants does require a number of nutrients- macro and micro- to function in a normal way. Now that we have so many researches going on and results published day after day, the exact amounts of these nutrients have be calculated and presented in front of us.

Well, we have this table which shows there is requirement of nutrient A and in so much amount, and along with this report, is presented why the nutrient is required and what function it does in your body.

Within a week?s time you get a health drink in the powder form or any other form which says that it contains all the nutrients required in the right amounts. And parents swarm like bees towards drugstores and supermarkets to buy them.

Is this a right mindset? Are we doing the right thing?

The Indian Mindset

Somehow we Indians have long been easy prey to external influences; this may be mainly due to those 100 years in which we were subdued by the British government or a general lack of interest or enquiry. Whatever it is, it has come to a point where one finds it easy to attract Indians to a product mainly due to huge advertisements ? magi and ervamatin are super examples of this.

There is not much scientific proof or quality testing required, if we on TV we buy and use it. All that is required is that the person posing for the advertisement must either be a foreigner or someone with a star value, and that?s it.

Health Supplements and Children

How many Indians from a generation before had been having health mixes such as Boost and Complan with their milk on a daily basis? Surely not many and those of who have had them would have had it instead of mil and not mixed with milk.

However today every child has some or the other formula mixed with their milk and consumes it twice daily. The main reason behind this is the said health benefits. Whether there is an improvement in the health of children or not is a secondary issue, however what the primary issue here is how many of us, parents; really know what the ingredients of these health mixes are.

The Ingredients

The advertisers say of the benefits of health mixes but do they say what exactly is present in the product, well, let?s have a look of what exactly is present in our popular drink mixes

Horlicks ? Malted barley, milk solids, sugar, wheat flour, malted wheat, minerals, protein isolate, emulsifier, salt, acidity regulator, vitamins, natural color

Bournvita ? Malt extract, sugar, cocoa solids, milk solids, caramel, liquid glucose, permitted emulsifiers, vitamins, minerals, raising agent, salt

Complan ? Skimmed milk, lactose, vegetable oil, maltodextrin, sugar, glucose syrup, fat reduced cocoa powder, dextrose, flavourings, magnesium sulphate, thickener (xanthan gum), vitamin mix, mineral mix.

Boost ? Malted barley, wheat flour, sugar, milk solids, minerals, colour, glucose, salt, acidity regulator, cocoa powder, vitamin, protein isolate, edible fiber, nature identical flavouring substances.

Understanding Deeply

I know you still are not worried because there seems nothing harmful in the ingredients, there is malt, grains and sugar, and so what?s wrong. Let?s dig a little deeper.

Horlicks

What is stated What Reality is
Malted barley Grain (quality no one knows)
Milk solids Junk from processing of milk
Sugar sugar
Wheat flour Grain (Flour they say)
Wheat Grain again
Minerals Artificially prepared, What and from where is a question not answered
Protein isolate Junk
Emulsifier Junk
Salt Junk
Acidity regulator Regulates acidity caused by the drink, why would it cause acidity in the first place
Vitamins Artificially prepared
Natural color Unnecessary junk

 

Similar is the story of Bournvita, Complan or boost, all of these contain only

Grains+Sugar+Junk+artificial nutrients

Do You Need To Give This to Your Child

That is one major decision you have to take. There is in fact no sense per se in these drinks being called as health drinks, all they do is affect the acid base balance of your child?s stomach and nothing else. You could simply give them some junk food instead, which most of us feel guilty to do.

So how much time I spent doing this research?

Just five minutes, all I had to do was pick up a bottle of health drink and check the ingredient equivalents in the internet. Of course I was shocked too, however I have decided I would not give these junk no use health drinks which are making someone?s pockets fat and reducing our children?s? health.

Do we have a substitute, of course there are. Did we not have a generation who had never heard of all these health drinks and yet were healthier than today?s kids? Let me list them tomorrow for you, till then think over the real ingredients and whether they are important for your kids.

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