Food

Mums in the kitchen

Getting kids to eat healthy is an eternal problem most parents complain about. From bribing them with treats and distracting them with stories and television shows while eating, to chasing them around the house and the colony, most parents have tried everything before giving up and letting their child devour that packet of cookies or instant noodles. But, it is exactly this that Delhi-based Meghana Narayan and Shauravi Malik, two young mothers, wanted to change. Worried about the level of contamination and adulteration in several foods available over the counter, the duo set up Slurrp Farm, a range of healthy snacks that does not compromise on the quality of ingredients used. The range includes cookies and cereals made with ingredients such as ragi.

According to Narayan, the idea came about when she was looking for healthier alternatives for her child. “For both Shauravi and me, when we became mothers, the first big challenge was feeding our kids right, while being working parents with time constraints. We have experienced the trials and tribulations of feeding children. We felt that there are several problems with the food chain today; this thought was the trigger for us to set up Slurrp Farm. The contamination at every level has frightening repercussions on societal health outcomes. We believe that we need to change how we are eating as a society. Not just little tweaks here and there; the fundamental notion that drives us is that we need to eat like our grandparents did.”

Launched in October 2016, the products are available online and also across select offline outlets in Delhi. “But we have a strong clientèle in Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai and Hyderabad, as well as in other tier-two and three cities.”

Despite the focus on healthy food, the duo has not compromised on taste. “We worked with Mandakini Gupta, owner and chef of Smitten Bakery in Delhi, to come up with a range of cookies. One of the first cereal prototypes came straight from my grandmother’s kitchen,” says Narayan. The idea, the duo says, is to get children to eat well from the start; they then carry that forward on their own. “We work with nutritionists, paediatricians and industry specialists to ensure balanced nutrition in our products,” she says.

Slurrp Farm’s products shun transfats (dalda, edible vegetable oils), hydrogenated fats, palm oil, invert syrup or golden syrup and high fructose corn syrup, and have little or no maida. “All the things that make food products inexpensive and addictive also make us spend money on long-term illnesses,” says Narayan. The duo has also brushed aside the superfood fad and focussed on native grains. “One of the things that became obvious to us when we looked at the market for products was the lack of millet-based options. They have been a huge part of our food while growing up, and we wanted to practise the same with our children. This really got us thinking about filling the void with the right kind of products,” says Narayan.

The company currently focusses on breakfast and snack options. Narayan says they are yet to venture into wet food products, due to shorter shelf life. “Our cereals are practically roasted whole grains, but the roasting gives it a shelf life of one year.”

While the company currently makes cereals and cookies, it has a whole lot of ideas up its sleeve for a wider range of consumers. “Some of the segments we are working on include prenatal, postnatal and and nutrition options for the elderly,” says Narayan.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 5:07:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/mums-in-the-kitchen/article18255710.ece

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