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The first time I heard of oatmeal was when my mother told me the story of Goldilocks and the three bears. I asked my mom why the bears had ‘porridge’ for food. Why not upma and dosa, like we did? Well, oats is an incredible super meal and it gives you a lot of the good things you need for your body, she said. Everyone loves it, even bears! I wondered if it was some kind of magical food. My mother explained that it was a natural grain that grew in the fields, just like the other grains. The only difference was that it had all the heart-healthy stuff we needed and was a super food.
The next day, I was surprised when my mother told me that she was making Quaker oats for breakfast. Oats for breakfast? Yes, well it is the most important meal of the day and it has to be something nutritious right? Somehow I had the feeling that I may not like it as much as I did my regular breakfast. I also wondered if it was enough to keep my tummy full till lunch break. But my mom insisted that this was the food that would help me build strong muscles and stop my craving for food that wasn’t good for me (read: junk food). I was never a child who enjoyed drinking milk, but that day when I was given a bowl of oats cooked in milk, I loved the taste and wanted more. From that day onwards, my mother made sure we had a bowl of Quaker oats every morning before we left for school. The morning breakfast made me feel full and helped me get some of the most essential nutrients my body needed. How did I know that? Well, I could feel the difference in me. I became more active in school and even a star athlete. My mom once told me that horses were able to run fast, because they ate oats. And maybe that’s why I turned out to be a great sprinter too! I wasn’t tired when I came home from school. Even the number of colds I had grew less.
A couple of years later, as a mother myself, I give my kids the super food, called oats. While the older child relishes milk, my younger one does not like drinking it, just like me. I went through a period that most parents go through, worrying if my child was getting enough calcium and protein. It then struck me that my mom had ensured that I have a healthy breakfast by giving me Quaker oats everyday. Needless to say, it works for my child too. Actually, both the kids love oats and can eat it without making a fuss. I try to make it with a different flavor every day, sometimes by adding nuts, sometimes fruits. But they can eat it without any add ons too
As for me, I am still strong as ever and continue to feast on oats regularly for breakfast. It’s not easy being a working mom of two kids. With limited time on my hands every morning, making and having a bowl of oatmeal is easy. And the best part…. it has helped me keep my weight under check. Despite two kids and a hectic schedule, I have been able to maintain a healthy weight and an active lifestyle. And now, my kids get the same nutrients and love Quaker oats too! I should thank my mom for introducing me to Quaker oats many years ago. Or perhaps, I should thank Goldilocks!