Vijaya Selvaraju Encourages Newcomers to Embrace the Canadian Cold.

Quaker ‘Warm Welcome’ provides new Canadians the gift of some warmth.

Vijaya Selvaraju was about 3 years old when her family moved to Canada from the West African country of Cameroon. Her family arrived in the fall and quickly had to prepare themselves to face their first cold Canadian winter. “I remember my mom walking us to and from school with the cold wind and snow blowing into our faces,” she said. Coming from a warm climate, this took a bit of getting used to. “However, we were excited about our move to Canada, and embraced the winter!”

They quickly learned that layering clothing and eating hearty meals were the keys to victory in staying warm. Hats, boots, scarves, and of course a winter coat were all important to have.

My mom always made sure I ate a warm breakfast like oatmeal to help me get a good start my day,” said Vijaya. “The excitement of seeing snow for the first time, tobogganing down slippery ice laden hills, and building snowmen also helped keep our spirits warm!”

Vijaya is so excited about the Warm Welcome campaign Quaker launched this fall.

Over 200,000 newcomers will be moving to Canada this year, and will experience a freezing cold Canadian winter for the first time. There are so many life changing elements involved in a big move like that, and Quaker wants to help out by providing those in-need with the gift of a warm winter coat. The brand has been providing Canadian families with a warm start to their day for more than 100 years, and this is a great way to extend that commitment a step further.

When you purchase a specially marked package of Quaker Instant Oatmeal or Quaker Chewy Granola Bars, a portion of the proceeds goes towards buying warm winter coats for newcomers in-need. So be on the lookout the next time you head to the grocery store!

The amazing thing about Quaker Oats is that they are so versatile. No matter what part of the world you come from, you can inject a bit of your own culture into a bowl of oatmeal.

I’m from the South of India, and love using oatmeal to prepare Upma, a savoury South Indian porridge. It is hearty, flavourful, and such a great way to start the day!”

Check out Vijaya’s hearty Oatmeal Upma recipe below.

Oatmeal Upma


3, 28g Sachets Quaker® Regular Instant Oatmeal (approx. 1 cup)

1 tsp, Ghee

1 small Onion, finely chopped

2 Thai Chilis, split lengthwise

1/4 cup, finely cubed Carrots

1/4 cup, Frozen Peas

1/4 cup, Fried/Roasted Cashews

1.5 cups, Water

Salt to Taste

Chopped fresh Coriander to garnish



In a small frying pan on medium-high heat, toast Quaker® Regular Instant Oatmeal for 2-3 minutes until slightly golden with a nutty aroma. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

In the same pan, add Ghee. Add Onion, Ginger and Chilis and sauté until softened. Then add Carrots and Peas, and sauté for 2 minutes to make vegetables tender.

Add Roasted Cashews, Water, and Salt to Taste. Increase heat to high, and bring mixture to a rolling boil.

Once boiling, drop heat to medium, and stir in toasted Oatmeal. Continue stirring mixture for 6-7 minutes, until almost all the water has been absorbed and the mixture takes on the texture of a thick porridge.

Remove from heat and garnish with fresh chopped Coriander. Serve immediately. Enjoy! 🙂