Friday March 29 2019

Building a healthier relationship with food for our children

Anishya Kumar

ANISHYA KUMAR | Founder and Managing Director of Zinda Foods Ltd

Building a healthier relationship with food for our children

As parents we have a responsibility to look at what we pass onto our children and this is equally true with how we cook and how we buy the food we cook. Anishya Kumar, CEO and founder of Zinda Foods explains how she was concerned with the processed foods she saw in UK supermarkets and how wanting her child to have a healthy relationship with food led to her mission for Zinda Foods.

"There's science behind the way we've cooked for generations. And its never been more apparent than when my husband & I relocated to the UK from India 12 years ago. I found myself caught up in "nutrition transition". Back then in India, we had little access to processed foods, packaged foods, short shelf life, long shelf life, ready to cook sauces, etc. Its was all pretty much functional. You buy & cook fresh produce, with well thought out ingredient combinations, and the meal was meant to be wholesome, balanced and nutritious. And most of all it was really tasty! This meal never left us craving for snacks or eating between meals, which is a phenomenon unheard of today.

I was overwhelmed when I first entered a UK supermarket 12 years ago. And the regular supermarket shop was an ordeal which left me confused and frazzled being surrounded by an endless array of sweet & salty industrial concoctions far cheaper than produce in the fresh aisles. Suddenly my shopping & eating habits changed to a question of psychology, driven by the power of branding & marketing rather than taste & nutrition.

Eat this-don't eat that, obsessing with ingredients, skinny products, guilt-free snacks, paleo, low carb etc. Healthy & nutritious took on a whole new meaning (ambiguous to say the least) and like the vast majority I was left in a perpetual state of anxiety about what calories I've consumed- would it be feast or famine, binge or purge, yo-yo diets eliminating food groups seemed the fad & trend to follow & I soon developed an unhealthy relationship with food.

When my daughter Miel was born, I realised that as a parent I was going to hand-over this same dysfunctional eating psychology to her. Her taste will then be defined by food companies that push foods high in sugar, fat & salt despite their illusion of infinite choice and often disguised as being healthy!

She would be stuck in the self-perpetuating cycle with no reprieve. The approach was wrong, so as a parent, I had to relearn how to eat & cook and help my child build a healthier relationship with food.

And so the journey of creating products that would give us all nourishment with optimal energy balance, keeping us fuller for longer, started as a mission for Zinda Foods."

"There's science behind the way we have cooked, but I found myself caught up in nutrition transition. I had to relearn how to eat & cook and help my child build a healthier relationship with food."
Anisyha Kumar

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