They take to innovative measures to encourage healthy eating

Women staff at the Vaitheeshwaran Koil town panchayat cook nutritious food in mud pots for all staff members at the office.

Women staff at the Vaitheeshwaran Koil town panchayat cook nutritious food in mud pots for all staff members at the office.   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT

Authorities at Vaitheeswaran Koil town panchayat in Mayiladuthurai have devised innovative ways to encourage healthy eating. Following a discussion with hotel owners, a menu with nutritious food has been fixed and hotels across the town are to follow it from Saturday onwards.

The initiative stemmed from the idea that during the lockdown, people must consume healthy food despite being forced to stay indoors, said Executive Officer, K. Kuhan. The residents of the town had earlier taken part in various healthy cooking competitions and prizes were distributed to those who prepared the most innovative and nutritious food. The authorities noticed that even amidst the lockdown, bachelors, workers and families consumed food from hotels. To ensure that food at the hotels are healthy, too, a menu was created, he said.

The menu consists of pepper and cumin powder, dish made of leafy vegetables, sambar with all vegetables, thoothuvalai or solanum trilobatum and lemon rasam, ginger buttermilk and pickled gooseberries. “These items were specially selected based on local availability, and their health benefits,” said Mr. Kuhan.

Further, Himalayan salt, which has more health benefits than regular salt, will be used in all the dishes, Mr. Kuhan added. “The hotel owners were glad to be part of this healthy eating initiative. They welcomed the move and actively took part in the planning. We did not fix a price for the food, but a ceiling of ₹50 per meal is required to be maintained,” he said.

The town panchayat office has been converted to a ‘Cook from Office,’ model, in an attempt to follow the advice said Mr. Kuhan. “Since we are required on the field, we cannot work from home. To encourage healthy food habits even in the office, we decided to cook food for ourselves,” he said. Staff on a rotation basis cook nutritious lunch for all those who are unable to bring food from home.

The food is made at the office with organic rice and in clay pots to further increase its health benefits, Mr. Kuhan added.

The office has also done away with tea and coffee during breaks. In the morning, a drink made using lemon, ginger and turmeric is consumed while in the evening turmeric milk with pepper is given to all.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2020 11:01:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/they-take-to-innovative-measures-to-encourage-healthy-eating/article32309504.ece

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