Shahrukh loves tomatoes. Sania Mirza spinach. And Deepika Padukone’s favourite food is Tinde ki sabzi.
That’s not the only thing students get to learn from the latest edition of YUVA School Lifeskills Programme, a book that extols the benefits of healthy eating to a generation hooked to fast food.
The book, taken out by the Delhi Education Department, is part of the syllabus at government-run schools.
The book lists a number of favourite dishes of actors and sportspersons, all cooked from ordinary vegetables, in an attempt to get students hooked to vegetables and healthy eating.
They are not only taught about vegetables and their nutrient value, but also how to grow some at home.
While not entirely trashing fast food, the book encourages students to eat burgers, noodles and pizzas cooked in a healthy way.
“Although the previous handbook had chapters on healthy eating, we have tried to make it more interesting this time by naming diets after the likes of Aamir Khan and Sania Mirza,” said Rina Ray, Education Secretary. “Nobody wants to read about the benefits of bhindi and tinda. Now they will at least go through the diets just for the sake of their idols.”
The recipes have been given for Classes VI to XII. “We want students to start liking vegetables and understand their health values. So while students may not like Tinda, Deepika Dilbahar sounds much more exotic,” said Ray.
Another important addition is the inclusion of junk or fast food. “Instead of doing away with burgers and pizzas, the adolescent programme has given detailed recipes of making them in a healthier manner. “Fast food is here to stay. Since we cannot fight them we should join them. And replacing maida with wheat in case of pizza and noodles, making fillings rich in vegetables are great options,” said Dr Parmeet Kaur, Chief Dietician, AIIMS. Taking the help of youth icons would work, she said. “Schoolchildren are easily influenced and they want to be like their role models,” said Kaur.