Artist Shows Fun Way to Get Kids to Eat Healthy

Can’t get your children to eat up healthy veggies, fruits and the like? Food artist Dharmangi Bhatia is here to sook up some magic.



By Afshan Ahmed (afshan@khaleejtimes.com)

Published: Sat 30 Jan 2010, 9:16 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:42 PM

Bhatia’s oeuvres have the allure of the ‘wicked witch and her eatable house’ in Hansel and Gretel, but on the healthy side of the food spectrum.

Dharmangi Bhatia with some of her creations made of food at her Jumeirah Beach Residence.— KT photo by Kiran Prasad

Armed with fun ways to creatively present and cook recipes, she had managed to take eating for kids a healthy step further, making them nutritious dishes in the shape of bumblebees, snakes, ships, X-mas trees and more.

Playing with food to promote the concept of balanced diet among children, the Dubai-based mother recently established Sway2theheart — a catering service that makes ‘nosh that’s fun to look at and yum to eat’.

“I try to prepare food that is healthy and when children look at it they get excited as well,” said Bhatia, who credits her daughter for unearthing the creative streak within the former CFO of a head-hunting agency. “I can mould just about anything that can be eaten into interesting shapes,” she says.

At play dates, her daughter’s lunch box contents became an instant hit with other children and their mothers, as a result of which tiffin requests started pouring in for Bhatia. “My signature dish is a butterfly sky scene that is completely healthy, made of rye bread, cheese and parsley.”

Dharmangi moved from New York to Dubai with her family two years ago. After browsing through the several racks in many supermarkets, she was left dissatisfied with the food options for young children. “Food plays a very important role in a child’s development during the first two years of life,” she said.

After carrying out a thorough research and scanning books on a balanced diet, she decided to go creative with food for her child and other parents recently. “Right now, Dubai is really geared up to fight obesity and the one way to do so is to inculcate good habits in the early years,” she says.

“If healthy eating habits are inculcated when the palette is opening up, by directing kids to the right food and making it interesting rather than forcing them, it stays for life,” she says. Food out of Dharmangi’s kitchen is fresh and wholesome. “My top ingredient is olive oil and of course, I avoid frying as much as I can,” she said. “The oil is good for the digestive system and skin. I also love including peanuts and almonds in my recipes because they help in the development of brain.”

Along with a team of four, she has opened shop at her home in Jumeirah Beach Residence and caters for theme parties, nursery and school learning activities and Tiffin requests. Parents can go to www.sway2theheart.com and select from a menu or send across their specific requirements.

The food artist will also be found impressing audiences with her talent on Saturday (January 30) at ‘Against the Tides!’, an exhibition organised by Women2Women, a group that provides business networking opportunities to women.

Exhibition onBoat Today

More than 30 UAE artists will display their diverse talents while bobbing on a boat at the ‘Against the Tides!’ exhibition that will be held today between 10am and 10pm.

Women2Women (W2W), an organisation that holds networking events for women in the UAE will host painters, photographers, food and graphic artists, jewellery makers and sculptors on the ‘O’ de SQUISITO boat docked in Bur Dubai Creek with the aim to provide a platform to upcoming artists.

Partners Zareen Khan & Merciana Lopez of W2W say the event pays a tribute to the artists who work against all odds and create even in times of recession.


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