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Many new places popping up for families come up with various attractions like kids play zone, special brunch, colourful themes and decor, discounts for kids parties etc. Places like 'The Yum Yum Tree' at New Friends Colony offers Sunday brunches that are loved by all for their separate activity area with a special meal, entertainers, performances and games for the kids. Dee Mougliz - Dining in the wild at Prasant Vihar and Jungle Jamboree at Gurgaon boasts a unique jungle themed ambience that is an instant hit among the kids.
Roots - Cafe In The Park, an eco-friendly outdoor cafe situated in the Leisure Valley at Rajiv Gandhi Renewable Energy Park is also a major attraction. "As the cafe is situated inside the park, it allows the children to play around and run across the large open spaces. We also have lip smacking delicacies like exotic pastas and sandwiches which are liked by children," says Vinod Dani, Manager, Roots Cafe.
Photo Credit: Facebook/Roots - Cafe in the Park
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Baking classes for budding chefs
With the popularity of cookery shows like MasterChef Kids on television, many children are getting inclined to experiment with their culinary skills, specially baking. Anjali Vohra, co-owner of Little Cheflings at New Delhi says "When we introduced this venture three years ago, we had children aged between 6-14 years who wanted to learn baking. Now we have special mother and child programs, summer workshops etc. where kids of the lower age groups also take part. They particiapte in hands-on activities at their own cooking stations and take back home various recipes."
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International burger joints coming to India
Burgers- one food that has always been an instant hit with people of all age groups, specially children. This year saw opening of various new world famous burger joints like Burger King, Wendy's, Johny Rockets, Carl's Jr. etc which tuned out to be major crowd pullers. Offering an array of items on their menus they clicked well with the Indian audience.
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Revised menus at school canteens
Being the Vice Principal of a school in Dwarka, Seema Balli tries to constantly communicate to her students and teachers about eating right and eating healthy."In fact even before schools were asked to implement the FSSAI guidelines about 'no junk inside food premises', I had started making changes internally. Our school serves mid-day meals and we ensure that we provide the children with healthy and nutritious food items. Once a month we do put junk items such as noodles but that too we ensure are made of 'atta', not 'maida'.
More and more schools are introducing classes and contests as a part of extra- curricular activities so that students develop good eating habits in their formative years. Neha Deshwal, teacher at DAV Public School, Sahibabad explains,"We at our primary wing organize festivals like 'Food without flames' where children get a chance to experiment and showcase their creativity in making foods like salads, deserts, decorating cup cakes etc that doesn't require working with flames."
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Food fests for Kids
A two day food festival at New Delhi, Kids Culinaire was the first of its own. The main objective was to educate young children about balanced food choices and fun around food. It included activities & workshops around 'dining eiquettes', 'health & hygiene'& 'eating habits'. "When we go abroad, there's so much that you can do with your kids, but in India that concept of a picnic or fest is quite undermined. It's nice to engage in outdoor activities that are not just fun but at the same time educational. Besides, parents are always worried about their children's food and nutrition. So, we decided to fuse the two and come up with a fun concept," says Ratika Bhatnagar a young parent and the idea initiator. The 2015 Ice Cream festival at DLF Place Saket was also a major attraction for kids. Others like the Grub Fest and Palate Fest also had lot of fun outdoor activites and food stalls for adults and kids.
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Rise of healthier alternatives
Since it has become difficult now days to stop children from eating junk food, parents have started opting for healthier alternatives at home. Substituting whole wheat breads with white breads, 'atta' instead of 'maida' in kathi rolls, controlling the intake of excessive aerated drinks by making homemade mocktails using natural coolers like 'khus' etc. Indu Arora, mother of a four year old says,"I usually incorporate loads of fruits,veggies, milk and some amount of honey to make a fruit smoothie which my kid enjoys. By this I ensure she enjoys the drink keeping in mind its nutrition value too. "
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From caramel to cheese and chocolate to fruity, flavoured popcorns are selling like hot cakes. Also available in beautiful packaging, they are trending massively among kids. Founder & CEO of 4700 B.C. Popcorn, Mr.Chirag Gupta says,"We have around 20 flavours but the one that is loved most by kids is the caramel flavour. Our new flavour, 'Magical rainbow potpourri' is now topping the list due its fruity flavour and is relished all."
Photo Credit: Facebook/ 4700 BC Popcorn