Wyeth talks to moms about picky eaters

Aqiva, a milk brand under Wyeth, recently held an advocacy event attended by health experts and celebrity Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski to educate how moms can cope with kids who are picky eaters.

Called "Food Talk," the short forum talked about diet shift, a period where most kids aged between four to seven start to prefer unhealthy foods over nutritious ones.

Experimenting and trying new foods is all part of growing up, said Dr. Bernadette Benitez, medical director of Wyeth Nutrition Philippines, but parents should be able to supplement what kids miss out in their diets with healthier food options.

"It is normal for a child to go through a diet shift ... the problem is when the child gets exposed to more types of unhealthy food, and would start to prefer these over other food that are ideal for his age."

Creativity can work wonders during meal time with kids, said celebrity chef Jackie Laudico. From experience as a mom, she shared healthy food recipes that looks as good as it tastes that appeal better to kids without neglecting nutritional value.

Organized by Ogilvy PR and Red Events, media, bloggers and moms where given kits to do one of the recipes on their own- a colorful wheat bread sandwich with veggies cut to look like cartoon animals.

"Mothers need to be creative when it comes to their children's nutrition. There should be no shortcuts and they should not only focus on making meal times healthy but also fun and enjoyable to the kids," shared Dr. Benitez.

Aqiva was also promoted in the event, which trumpets containing 25 essential nutrients that can compensate for poor food decisions by kids.

But rather than position the brand a cure-all for diet shift, Aqiva senior product manager Carlo de la Paz told Marketing that Wyeth is striving to introduce the brand as supportive of healthy eating habits by educating moms who are influencers and grocery decision makers.

"Aqiva proudly takes on the advocacy of raising healthy children through healthy eating habits and proper nutrition. We want to help moms instill the importance and value of healthy eating in their children, and at the same time, we want children to enjoy their healthy meals--to actually like what they eat," he said in a separate statement.

While keeping sure that foods are flavorful, colorful and have varied textures may seem to be simple answers to cope with picky kids, it addresses quite serious health issues.

Aqiva cited a recent study that found only 20% of Filipino children ages one to six years old in the National Capital Region consume fruits & vegetable at least once a day. Also, only a third received adequate amount of complementary & iron-rich foods.