• Mayura Mahajani

Little Krishna, Bittu: Milk, Curd, Butter, and Gopalkala

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Bittu, a small kid of my friend, Rupa was dressed up like Krishna. And was calling

his friends as well.

“Hey, is it fancy dress competition today?” I asked.

“Nooo, now my Krishna will come on TV”, Bittu replied.

Small kid, not even able to pronounce the name of the program clearly; he was so

much excited about the show!

Me: Ohh, so much interest.

“Yes. You won’t believe, Bittu now has started having milk without any

complaint, isn’t it good…?,” she asked me. I remembered, how Bittu uses to give

excuses for not having milk. And Rupa literally uses to run behind him with a glass

of milk daily.

Rupa said, “A few months back, he watched the movie, Little Krishna, with his

grandparents. And after that, he is so much inspired by the stories of Krishna. His

grandparents also bought a dress for him like Krishna. So out of excitement, he has

worn this dress today”.

So that’s the reason why Bittu was so excited. Animated stories and its

characters, sound and light effects attract kids and leaves a powerful impact on

their eating habits as well I noticed.


Bittu’s friend Pinku with his mother Reena also joined him. They were really

enjoying themselves together. Rupa prepared some dishes for them. Bittu and Pinku started

enjoying eating while watching their favorite show.

Bittu:” Give me some butter Mamma; I want to have like Krishna.”

( Rupa gave them butter )

Rupa was telling, ” Bittu has become so naughty like little Krishna, he loves

butter on whatever he eats. I started buying it readymade for him; that too

specific- salty he likes “.

“I too started buying curd for Pinku, regularly”,” Reena added.

. “But why you need to rush to the market for curd daily. Don’t you prepare it at

home” Rupa asked.

Reena was so shocked, “ can we make it at home?” “ We always buy from

the market,” she replied. She is a working woman and rarely been in the kitchen due to

her busy schedule.

“It is very simple, Reena. You just need to add a little starter to the lukewarm

milk. If you add it at night, morning you will get fresh curd. Curd sets in within

4-6 hrs depending on the season. And if you have curd with cream after

churning gives white, soft yummy butter”, I added.

“I never imagined that it is so simple to set curd. I will try it today for sure”, Reena

was so happy to know a new thing and was eager to implement it.

“Yes, my granny use to prepare butter and use to feed us with great love”,

Rupa remembered.

“Yes, fresh homemade butter is more tasty and healthy. But we need to have

in moderation”, I added.

“Readymade butter is most of the time is cream extracted from milk directly. But

the butter after churning the curd has a medicinal value from Ayurveda's point of

view. Also, readymade butter is salty as they have to keep it fresh for a longer

period. But such indirect consumption of extra salt is harmful over the time

period, even for kids”, I added.

“Even though homemade butter is tasty and good for health, in excess is harmful

and make you obese, “ I warned the Rupa.

“No no, I just have to be more careful now onwards, for Bittu. Good that you

explained to us” she assured me.

After some time I returned home thinking, the whole incidence.

Are we slowly losing our healthier, time proved, traditional practices and

moving towards unhealthy practices? I was concerned about the eating habits of

Bittu, Pinku as well. Because I just observed the impact of animated character

on the eating habit of Bittu. Bittu stated having milk is good but ready-made salted

butter in excess already made him extra chubby.

***


Little Krishna is such an amazing character from Indian epic stories that

fascinate all children and adults alike. No wonder that his mesmerizing stories

are popular in animated form as well on youtube, movies in different languages.

Little Krishna : Nandalala: Gopala raised in Gokul. Gokul relates to grazing cows,

an abundance of milk, curd, butter. All these products are Little Krishna’s favorite.

Krishna and his friends use to enjoy these things together. Many fascinating

stories are involved around it. And it has a great impact on Children’s mind. It

influences children’s eating habits as well. Many dairy brands also have been

well established in the name of Krishna. But we need to be more aware of its

use.

Grazing cow's milk- Has a lot of importance nowadays for better quality milk. It is

a source of Class 1 protein with having almost all nutrients ( except vitamin C,

iron), low in fat but rich in protein( whey and casein) and other micronutrients especially Vitamin B, and other minerals Calcium, Mg, Iodine. It is important for

bone development and muscle function in children. Milk proteins reduce the risk

factors for heart disease, cancer, Blood pressure, and an overall improvement in

health.

Curd – Curd is fermented milk. It is a part of a balanced meal. It is a probiotic,

easy to digest, helps, maintains the healthy gut flora of an individual. It improves

digestion. We have a tradition to have little curd before going exam or an

important event. It has almost the same amount of protein as available in milk And

has amazing health benefits.

Butter: It is a very tasty byproduct of milk prepared from the churning of curd. Eating

excess has a risk of obesity-related disorders. It is saturated fat and was

considered a culprit for heart disease. But it contains fat-soluble vitamins such

as Vit A, D, E, K, Vit B12. So need to be consumed in moderation. It is important

from an Ayurveda/ traditional point of view as well.

Gopalkala – This wonderful recipe, Little Krishna used to enjoy with his friends. It is a mixture of curd, milk, rice flakes, flattened rice, little freshly churned butter, cucumber, some fruits, dal, and some basic spices. It is an ancient recipe with, all radially available ingredients. It is easy to prepare healthy balanced recipes from a dietitian’s perspective as well. We should incorporate it on other days also.

So to conclude, animated traditional stories, or other cartoon films and their characters can leave a powerful impact on little ones. It could build a foundation of eating habits, and obviously the health as well. At early age habits set in easily. So this impact could stay longer. It is like a two-sided sword. Creating awareness about healthy eating practices among parents and kids is import


***

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