The Telegraph
Wednesday , December 12 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Fitness is fun for kids

Catch ’em young, they say. And so nutritionist and t2 columnist Hena Nafis has done just that — expanding her five-year-old clinic Nutrience into a child nutrition-cum-activity centre called Nutrience Kids Fitness Studio.

Located at 2B Colonel Biswas Road (near Mithai in Beckbagan), the 700sq ft centre makes fitness fun for kids aged 6-12, 13-18 and adults. “Around 50-70 per cent of obese children become obese adults,” pointed out Hena, who spent many sleepless nights at her clinic before converting her mother’s lived-in house into a swank fitness studio. “Many people discouraged me saying that something just for kids won’t run. But I was determined,” explained a happy Hena at the Saturday launch of her studio.

Nutrience Kids Fitness Studio may look like a playhouse but it’s a perfect combo of work and play. “It’s a complete package of zumba, pilates and yoga and a child who enrols has to learn all three,” said Hena.

Find hanging rods for stretching, a climbing wall to build stamina, a fun food pyramid, hoopla hoops and basketballs. “The point is to make pilates fun so that children don’t realise it’s work!” said pilates instructor Chandini Singh Siddiq, who also trains at Solace and will hold sessions at Nutrience thrice a week.

Yoga expert Shantanu Kumar Das, who will hold afternoon classes for children, listed “obesity, restlessness, height problems, menstruation and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease” as the main issues faced by them today.

But it’s not all about kids! Adults can have their share of power yoga and pilates in the morning and evening. Throw in pre- and post-natal classes, which are hard to come by in Calcutta.

For Hena, the bigger challenge is training children. “With adults, results come easy. With children, results are more difficult and that’s the real challenge,” said she. Parents also have a role to play. “All parents have to keep track of how many chocolates, chips and ice creams are being consumed daily. It’s a little like homework but it only takes a minute!” she smiled.


What can I give my child for tiffin?

When the child is young, give him/her lots of protein. Don’t spoil the child with excess butter and ghee. Also control the amount of pocket-money you give your child. Once, a 15-year-old boy came to me with high cholesterol after eating pav bhaji and chhola bhatura every day. I asked him where he got the money to eat out so often and he looked at his mother. So Step One is to stop ‘empowering’ your child wrongly.

My teenage daughter doesn’t like to carry tiffin because it’s not ‘cool’!

Many teenagers think it’s ‘uncool’ to carry tiffin but that’s just wrong. Plus, they don’t eat enough because they think that’s the way to get a size-zero figure! This leads to fainting in school. Eating samosas and chowmein from the school or college canteen every day is not healthy.