Monday, December 27, 2010

Toddler Learning/Teaching -- Books, CDs

Sree (India):

Usually kids learn and grasp faster, so pointing and identifying objects colors and stuff together will help in learning quicker even if it is everyday objects.. like green tree, blue cup, red shirt, white teeth.. whatever.. identifying color, object texture all going together.. this along with lot of one-on-one time books and visuals aid in making learning fun.. rather than rote.

Board Books For Learning
Colorful, sturdy, tear resistant, able to wipe clean books which are good to read and to play for the kids.

Vicky's
Sterling
Visual Dynamics
Vicky's books have painted pictures where as the others have photos which are bright and color and easy to identify with and remember later on.. (personal opinion). but kid identifies all of them be it art or photo, so go for your pick.

These books are available with wide range.. alphabets, animals, veggies, fruits, shapes, colors, vehicles, flowers.. you name it they have it, just look around when you go out.

Touch and Feel Books by Bright Baby, McMillan...

Baby Eistein DVDs.. A set of 4 for colors, vehicles, wild life, and farm animals for the ages 6 months and above.. amazing clarity and the puppets and  babies.. kid is hooked to them, unsure of availability here got them from US.

Sesame Street Learning DVDs, charts are good too.. I like the charts because they are laminated, wipeable and reusable sheets.

Little Genius Wooden Learning Games..
I like the puzzles, blocks, abacus, stackers, bead shuttlers and spirals to keep the kid engrossed and also help in aiding coordination and manipulation, color identification, etc. 100% satisfied.. I get them in Om Arts and Prints Vja.

Magic Slate.. the magnetic doodle board, similar to doodle pro but costs less

Animal Toys.. the rubber toys available in packs like farm animals, wild animals, aquatic animals etc.. which come in small, medium large sizes, I personally preferred medium size which cost somewhere between 35 to 100 rs/- available in almost all the kid stores.. once the kid has learned not to lick or swallow we can introduce them.

Play-Doh , non toxic play doh to make shapes and teach colors, etc.

Washable, nontoxic Crayons


Telugu Rhymes DVDs
Chinnari Chitti Geetalu
Chinnaari baala siksha, etc.
Tenali Rama, paramaanandayya sishyula kadha.. Chota Bheem, Birbal, Vikram Betal and a few moral stories.

Lakshmi Kalyani (United States):
"I can Read" series to read.
Big Board First 100 Words (Bright Baby)"

Vidya Eda (United States):
My Review::::::::::

Books:-
.............
books lo chaala varieties ye unnayi

...My first words ani pillaliki basic words tho start cheyadaniki baa upoyoga padathayi
ilantivi bathtime chadivevi kuda untayi vallaki interest kalagadaniki

...alagey animal sounds vi books like animals pictures untayi nd if u press them u can hear what sound they make nd also what animal it is

...baby faces book...this book helps your child learn to recognize emotions by naming what each child is feeling in the pictures

...baby signs book okati

...rhymes books

...potty training books

...colours, numbers, alphabets, shapes books

...small one sentence story books

...body parts book to help them in recognising head,shoulder,knees nd toes

...tranportation book

...the toddlers busy book which consists of creative games and activities

...Fisher Price Let's Go to the Zoo Lift the Flap book which helps in knowing the animals as well as counting them nd the sounds they make nd also what the babies of each animal called as

...farm animals book

...things that go books

...i spy books

...big nd little books

...feelings book

...abt manners/behaviour

...teeth nd its care abt brushing,visiting dentist,saying no to candies

...abt sharing

...colouring books

...stickers book to entertain them in reading nd appreciating

...Know Ur Series Books from India containing opposites/flowers/flags/alphabets/number
s/rhymes/colours/wild animals/domestic animals/insects or amphibians/tables/human body/safety/shapes/manners

ivi 15 books untayi nd very helpful nd hard cover books...nenu india nunchi vachetappudu techa nd khyati used to love them reading

...clean up time books
...brenestian bear books....ivi khyati deggara most of the collection 35 books unnayi nd she likes each nd every book..very informative in teaching them with the help of stories

...teaching abt weeks and months book..ivi manaki school charts available aye shops lo untayi with charts so kids ki interest vasthundhi as we daily change the day and also it mentions to change the weather also

...puzzles/mazes/dot-dot connection books which help them in concentrating nd gives sharpness to the brain

 Pushpa (United States)

First each letter ki sounds nerpinchanu..this they learn in no time...actually nenu shradhdha ki oka dvd techchanu and she learnt in just 2 days!  idi vachchina taravata, u can get leappad or any similar system...adi first read chestadi and adi choosi pillalu follow ayipotaru....nuvvu oka system konte chalu, library lo daaniki kavalsina cartridges chala untayi...okati bore ayiopote inkoti techchukovachchu...and ila reading konchem vachchina taravata u can start getting level 1 books from the library...anni collections bagovu...konni untayi, very small books with only few number of words in the book and more picutures...naaku aa series peru gurtu ledu, but shradhdha aa books valla chala baaga pick chesindi..aa taravata valla speed ni patti u can switch to higher level!   Samples here.

Archana (United States):
Happiest Toddler on the Block Videos.

Kumari (United States)
baby einstein first baby book of number
baby einstein alpha books board book set.
very hungry caterpillar board book (bedtime stroy), good
First 100words bright baby board book
First 100 words animal board book
colors,shapes,

dvds
best -leapfrog(teaching words,letter factory best with in one week kids learn them)
baby einstein -world of colors
Aquadoodle for painting, a good nonfussy kit to learn.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Moisturizing Dry Skin/Winter Care For Kids - Mom Reviews

Sree (India) :

No vigorous massaging, nalugu during winter.  also keep combing the hair of the kid every day after bath with a soft comb so that it does not crust over and also not get tangled.

If in the habit of applying oil to the skin, apply a good half-hour to hour before the bath, let it sink in and then give bath with mild soap.. and do not use very hot water in spite of being winter, keep the water temperature lukewarm and do not take a lot of time for bath..

After the bath, do not rub or dry vigorously, just pat dry and when the body is still moist with water (tadi-podigaa), just patting away the water droplets, apply a dab of moisturizer liberally over the skin.

Kids suffering from allergies/skin conditions like eczema have skin which cannot retain moisture for long in spite of supplementing, so clean up with wet (nonfragrant tissues) or warm water and apply the cream evenly over the skin multiple times and ensure that the skin does not get dry.. it can vary from 5 to 6 times or above in case of extreme dry conditions.

Take the advise of a physician before trying or applying topical steroidal creams to the skin..

The types of skin of the kids might vary and some may respond to some and some dont but by and large appropriate and multiple applications at the time of flare of any cream should do good.

Cetaphil.
This one is for fragrance free and good for dry skin conditions, which I use when there is a flareup of rash on the body.  I also find that cream version of it is a bit more greasier and useful than the lotion when there is an outbreak of rash.



This is the lotion form of the same..

We also get lightweight moisture treatment for regular use, so when there is no flare I go with that for regular use irrespective of the season.

There are cleansers and soap bars also from the same brand which can be used in combination if it works good for the kid's skin.

I did not get this particular item in AP anywhere, since it worked good I get it from US when someone can manage to bring it.

J and J (Indian manufacture)

This maybe good if all is well with the skin but in extreme dry conditions, I found it of little use.

Vaseline Intensive Care

In case we do not have access to Cetaphil such as in AP, India, I found this as an okay alternative than the others available in the market like J and J, Himalaya.  In desperation, when she had flare I even tried applying Nivea cream which did keep the dryness away but then Revathi sent me another pack and back to Cetaphil.

Meera (United States)



Dry skin/flaking in babies is a very common problem. Use Cetaphil lotion right after bath. Bath alternate days or once in 3 days must be enough in this cold climate, nothing much is needed. You can give him sponge bath if u want, in between. You get bodywash also in Aveeno which is moisturizing wash. Try that one. It won't dry his skin. And do not apply Vaseline.. what the doctor says is right if you apply Vaseline at such an early age, the skin pores will get blocked and will produce even more oil.. you keep the kid moist not greasy.

Rashes/eruption in the scalp/head and hair is cradle cap ..it is kind of baby dandruff but does not look like it completely... But it is red bumpy, and flaky.  It will increase if you apply oil to it...

Cetaphil will work good for overall moisturization

1. Finally..apply cetaphil right after bath.
2. Give him bath alternate days.
3. Keep the humidifier running at all times.
4. No sunnipindi at all.
5. Do not apply oil to the hair... take a soft combing brush and comb of the crust very slightly.. if it is too hard, the crusting then better leave it alone...

Majority of it will go away between 3 to 6 months, so do not worry.

Soumya, Kumari, Shruthi, (United States):
Aveeno.
Baby Aquaphor.
Cetaphil.

Pinxav..  for diaper rash.. available over the counter good for diaper rash (Pushpa, US).

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Febrile Seizures/Convulsions

Febrile seizure is associated with fever in children. A myth about FS is it usually occurs when the temperature spike from normal to really abnormal range like 103 or 104. Even though it is true in some case, not necessarily for all children, it can occur anytime a child is under infection.
The research shows that there is nothing we can do to prevent a FS, but that doesn’t mean you as a parent have to sit there and wait for it to happen.
Try to avoid exposure to infections.
If you child has fever:
Dress him in light cloths; don’t use heavy blankets and other stuff.
Give him paracetamol and ibuprofen every three hours alternating between the two
Make him sleep, don’t deprive him of sleep. Sleep slows down the brain activity.
don't do anything else please.

Most children outgrow the FS by age 5 so don’t worry too much.

There are different types of FS.

Here is a link to the different types of FS.

http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/about/types/types/index.cfm

Neurologist

Need to see a neurologist who specializes in epilepsy.
You also have to do an EEG test on the kid's brain in sleep deprived, sleeping, photo sensitivity, normal conditions.
With the EEG you can make sure there is no underlying abnormal wave pattern in the brain that may lead to epilepsy or other conditions in the future.


When a FS occurs

You need to stay calm
Remove dress
Put the kid in side position
Don’t put anything in the mouth, because the mucous or saliva should flow freely out of the mouth. Other wise the baby will choke in his own saliva.

Notice the FS pattern and you need to inform this correctly to you neurologist.

If it doesn’t stop in 5 mins.. Take the kid to Emergency..

Snoring Queries

1) Does this have a relation with wheezing?
-There is no relation of snoring with wheezing.
2) Does this snoring need medical attention?
-Snoring can be because of various causes. In children, adenoids is one cause and it needs medical attention. Sleep apnoea is another cause in children. Obesity could also be a reason for snoring.
3) Will this breathing problem subside with these medicines?
-Breathing problem in an asthmatic child can be controlled by medications.
4) Does ear wax formation cause the nasal block as well?
-There is no reelation between ear-wax and naal blockage.

Snoring can be cured by:
-Treating the underlying cause.
-sometimes by changing the posture of sleeping
-reducing obesity
-singing. Its has been observed that practicing singing for about 25 min daily tones the soft palete and reduces snoring.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Play-Doh Tips

If the play-doh becomes hard and begins to break.. add very little water to it and press the dough for a little while until it retains its normal soft feel.

Keep it in closed container once the kid is through with playing.. once in a while if you feel it is getting harder, just a little water does the magic.

Good Parenting Guidelines

If A Child Lives With. . .
by Dorothy Law Nolte

If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.
If a child lives with fear, he learns to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Vomiting vs GER -- Dr. Sanjay Replies

Excessive vomiting in spite of burping.

It seems to be a case of gasto-esophageal reflux (GER) to me, which can even be confirmed by a nuclear GER scan. It is not uncommon in small children, esp. Infants.

When to intervene, even if it’s positive ?
If Child is not gaining weight or symptoms are that much, to cause even respiratory symptoms.
At that stage may be some medication (antireflux/antacids) may help in decreasing that.
Even if you don’t give any medicine, it’s going to improve with time, may be by one year.


Do not worry much. Just follow simple instructions, which you are already doing, like
- Burping longer for 30 mintues after each feed.
- Use a pillow (to elevate his head), whenever he is lying on bed.
But if symptoms persists, and worsening, may be its time to go for GER scan and medication.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Abacus Versus Vedic Math - A mom review

Abacus Versus Vedic MAth

Abacus - A system of amthematics that allows us to do additions and subtractions easily with some core formulae.

target audience - any child who knows how to add and subtract.. best standard UCMAS.

Disadvantage - if a child has to attend regular school math (non abacus) after knowing abacus they will use that trick and write the answer.

the normal process and steps will be missed (tis human nature fo find answers the easy way) .... if your child is patient and will do both where applicable please feel free to join.

PErsonally - i have not joined hitu because he is always in a hurry to finish - so his math wil go for a toss.......


VEDI MATH - a system of mathematics that a child can understand only after grade 5 (sq roots, cube rooots etc are also covered).

Extremely useful since the child will know - whwere to use it and where not to..

typically many students derive the answers using this process and then compare their final answer to this - so their scores in math are always good.

EXTREMELY imp for comeptetive exams like eamcet where its multiple choice and timing is an issue.........

MAny centres but its not for kindergarden and primary schoolers.......

HOPE this helps....... 
 
Courtesy:  Uma Duddu

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Diaper Bag Suggestions - Mom Reviews

Praneetha (United States)

Skip Hop Duo Deluxe Diaper Bag - Blossom

Below are the points i find the bag very useful:
1. It looks trendy, stylish and very chic.
2. It has ample space for all the needs for a baby.
3. It has two insulated pockets for the bottles , in each pocket it holds 2 bottles ( i use brown's and playtex ventaire wide bottles - so this shd accommodate any 2 bottles) and 2 side pockets where u can keep the flask/sippy cup.
4. It has 2 zippers on the top where u can keep ur personal belongings or something tht u need to grab right away... they are pretty spacious too.
5. Inside the bag I usually keep 4-5 diapers, wipes, his food, his snacks, one extra dress for him, a recieving blanket, washcloths, sometimes even a spare dress or a top for me depending on where we are going - STILL THE BAG DOESN'T LOOK STUFFED .
6. U have a compartment on the backside of the bag for the diaper changing pad and its good there...
7. Best part about this is, it has one knee length shoulder(just in case ur husband wants to access the bag) handle and 2 normal size handles for ur convenience..
If you don't want the single strap, u can take it off and they have provided with 2 extra buckles inside the bag.. these buckles u can strap onto any stroller,shopping cart, any trolley easily - this benefits u bcoz u need not carry the bag all the time or keep the bag under the stroller n dig for stuff when u need... this way the bag is hanging right in front of u and u can access easily.

Sree (India):

Baby Master (spacious and roomy)

 1. I personally use Baby Master bag which is a medium size bag, not the extra large stuffed looking one.. pale English colors with predominant yellow pattern, which is the kid's favorite color.

2.  I liked its pricing, very less and looks very trendy, costs just around 300 rs/-, got it from Big Bazar, Vijayawada.

3.  It has 6 compartments in all, 2 at the side to hold the wide-size 9-oz Ventaire bottles also, so can easily hold normal ones.  Can hold a wide sipper in the front pocket.

4.  Can hold the hospital record and bills etc in one exclusive velcro compartment.

5.  Can easily accommodate a couple of dresses to change, a baby blanket, first aid kid, towel, diapers and even a couple of comfort toys without actually looking stuffed up and also an additional compartment to store up the soiled clothes.

6.  Basically, above all I love its compact size and easy compartments to organize and look for.  It can be carried in two ways one long removable strap which can be modeled to backpack or just hang along and one usual small straps easy for the helping aide to carry around.  On top of it, it handles rough usage, kid keeps dragging it around, stores her stuff in them, learning zipping and unzipping on it and still it is holding up, so for me it is a paisa vasool item.

PS:  It was not an intentional purchase but something fancy that caught my eye for a steal and hence it is.. otherwise, the good old bags in India do just fine.


Keerthi (India):

General Utility Bag

I have no specific diaper bag designated for that specific purpose, in fact that concept is something which is alien to a lot of people out here in India.  I use a bag that I got from a jewellery shop which is in blue n pink colors and looks very cute, so it is set for the purpose of baby bag.  It can hold up to 3-4 diapers, dress, his sipper (insulated), water bottle, towel, napkins, food/snacks, my purse.  In other words, just a normal handbag which serves the purpose of a diaper bag :).

Usha Jasti (United States):

  

From Pottery Barn Kids, similar to the skip hop ones.

The bag is stylish..:) does not give a feeling of carrying a diaper bag and was comfy too.  It has a long handle so it could be worn cross the shoulder and it is very helpful when carrying the baby as the bag falls sideways and there is an extra handle which allows it to be worn as a school bag on the back.. Personal engraving is a plus for these bags.


  Meera Girija (United States):

Compact Hobo Diaper bag

 I am using this bag for almost six months now. I am a first time mom and use it on a regular basis for all sorts of trips. It is a messenger bag model diaper bag.
Pros:
It is trendy and won't look like a diaper bag at all. Even men won't feel bad wearing it. It has adjustable strap, so can be worn sidewise, diagonally and can also be hung to the stroller. The color is vibrant and modern. Will pass for a school bag. Has 2 insulated compartments that can fit 2 wide or regular bottles. Has microban protected lining. It has 4 interior pockets, that can fit upto 4 diapers each. Has a good changing pad that has 2 pockets for taking diaper and wipe along with u to rest room , instead of carrying the entire bag.
Cons:
I read other people's reviews that it ripped off soon and had bad construction. I have been using it pretty roughly and so far no issues. Since it is a compact bag, it becomes a little small after the diapers start getting bigger in size and when u have to carry additional clothes or other stuff.

Altogether it is a smart bag for everyday use. If you need a big roomie bag, this not the one for you.

 Divya (United States):




Lots of storage space to carry everything baby needs, like diapers, toys, feeding bottles, bowl,spoon, burp cloths,receiving blanket,extra dress...
i even take 12 oz formula box/tin in it sometimes... 2 small bottles of nursey water,2 gerber food(fruit/veggie), n 4-5 ready to use formula bottles.....
It comes with a matching little brag book to show off baby's special moments.

# Bag opens wide for easy access.
# Inside organizer pockets.
# Zipper closure at the top.
# Two external bottle holder pockets.
# Two sturdy flexible handles with metallic hardware.
# Includes matching changing pad.
# Mini brag book holds 24 photos. Acid-free pages.
# Easily wipes clean.

but
as it looks like a regular handbag u'r husband can't hold it when needed..
..i stuff too many things in it...so difficult to carry for long time....

finally its gud and suggest others to buy it...if u alone can carry for long time without u'r husband's help

Visa (USA):

I had planned Pooh theme for the kid's nursery....so I bought a character themed diaper bag @ babiesrus. I tried searching for the model and they no longer carry it. I could carry a lot!!! really a lot in the bag!
The bag had a compartment for wet and soiled clothes, diaper station and three other compartments. I could fit in a set of clothes, formula, snacks, bottles, spare nipples and liners, Tylenol (is a must...) pretty easily.

Cons... the only thing that bothered me was that I had to compromise the stylish look for a character themed one...otherwise no problems with anything.

I used it for 2 to 2.5 yrs and it had lived itz life....I had to discard it recently.

Now am carrying a backpack with the kid's name engraved on it. Though he'z out of diapers, I still carry his water, snacks and a set of clothes and pull ups :)

Diarrhea in Toddlers

Toddler’s diarrhea is common between 1-3 years, which we often linked with teething. Actual cause for it is not clear, probably your daughter is having same thing. It usually doesn’t need any treatment, it goes by itself gradually.

When to intervene?
If your child develops any blood or mucus in stool.
If she has fever.
If she develops any dehydration.


If the kid has received full course (5 day) antibiotics already, it’s unlikely to be infective diarrhea.
Well you can still wait if it is decreasing gradually, otherwise get one stool examined (both routine and culture), anytime you feel its worsening.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Honey -- Some Facts and Concerns

Truth is everything depends on what type oh honey are you giving to your kid. Don't look for big brands, look for quality. Most of the famous or infamous brands, whichever have honey, most of that honey comes from apiculture (bee keeping). Apiculture is an agro-based enterprise, which farmers keep bees in their farms to take up for additional income generation. You can also call them pet bees. This honey has very very high amount of insecticides and pesticides in it as the bees prefer to suck nectar from the crops grown in the farms and this honey is not good for anyone.

Also during rainy seasons, winter or during the times when there are no flowers, farmers or bee owners start feeding them with sugar. Honey produced during those days is almost near to sugar serum. This type of honey is then mixed with honey produced by bees when there was availability of flowers, is also not good for health. We think we are giving our kids honey but the truth is we are giving them sugar serum.

Apiculture bees are said to forage 12 km radius to collect nectar but studies have shown that average apicultures bees in India forage only about 4 km radius to collect nectar. This honey does not have good mix and quality of local area vegetation nectar. Also these bees live in almost same area for their entire life so their honey does not have that good quality.

People say honey acts as excellent antibiotic. It is wrong to say this. Honey manufacturing companies in India took advantage of it. They started adding antibiotics to sugar serum or to honey produced by apiculture. This honey acts as antibiotic not because it possess those properties but because it has antibiotics added to it. But is is good for our health? well, you know the answer. This honey weakens our natural strength of fighting against disease.

It is natural RAW HONEY which is true honey. Raw honey is antiseptic, antibiotic, antifungal, antibacterial and anticancer -- it never spoils

Raw honey is antiseptic, antibiotic, antifungal, antibacterial and anticancer -- it never spoils

Wild bees those make raw honey forage 100s km to collect best quality nector to make honey. These bees prefer to suck on wild flowers and vegetation. They are not like apiculture bees which will be like, ok, this is our area and this is what we have available, lets make honey out of this. Funny hmm. Or its not like the honey sold by many companies with antibiotics added to sugar serum.

If you are in western countries then its worth visiting to the natural health food stores. You will find raw honey there. This is the honey you should be giving to your kids.

If you are in India then you can get this raw honey in villages. If you have family, friends or relatives living in a village then give them call to help you get raw honey. Though this kind of honey is expensive these days but considering its health benefits and other uses its worth spending your bucks there. You will get this honey with much ease in villages.

Raw honey, due to its anti-biotic and anti-allergen nature is given itself or along with garlic/ginger/onion/citrus fruit nectar for cough, pollen allergies, rashes, burns, abrasions, ulcers and certain fevers. Garlic/ginger/onion/citrus fruit contain NATURAL ANTI-HISTAMINES. Antihistamines are anti-allergens. These natural anti-histamines are more nutritious, healthy and have no pesky side-effect.

If you are a victim of pollens then make a routine of taking about 1-2 teaspoons of raw honey everyday from about a month or so before the spring season. Raw honey contains a certain level of pollen in itself and will thus adapt your system to the allergen early on so that when time comes your immune system is super ready to deal with the drasted pollen.

Raw honey is the ultimate moisturizer. Smooth a small amount of Really Raw Honey lightly over the skin; easily remove later with splashes of cold water or comfortable warm water. It will leave your skin baby soft.

Raw Honey acts as bath and antibacterial soap. Facial blemishes and acne caused by cosmetics or allergies will clear up quickly using a nightly treatment of raw honey.

Raw honey is used for hair and scalp treatment.

It is also used for dental care and mouth sores. It cleans teeth, mouth and dentures and stops bleeding gums. Canker sores, blisters and mouth ulcers respond to application of well to its application.

Application of honey keeps foods fresh and moist longer and retards spoilage.

Few drops of raw honey mixed in a glass of warm milk taken everday prevents osteoporosis and arthritis.

Unprocessed honey found in ancient tombs was determined to be edible and was even used to preserve bodies.

Testing for purity
one way to test honey is to dip an unused matchstick into the comb honey. Then strike the match, if it lights up continuously then it is "pure honey" .If adulterated, the presence of water will not allow the honey to burn, If it does, it will produce a cracking sound. honey adulterated with water will moisten the tip of the matchstick thus getting it wet making it unable to light and burn.

***dip a cotton bud in honey and it should burn smoothly
***it takes some time to dissolve in water
***Pour a teaspoon of your honey onto a blotting paper. Unlike the impure honey, pure honey will not be absorbed by the blotting paper.
***pour the teaspoon of honey onto a piece of cloth and then wash the cloth. Pure honey will not leave a stain on the cloth.
***Pour a few drops of honey into a clear glass of water and we could see the drops settle at the bottom of the glass, . If the honey completely dissolved in water, it is impure, if it stays as a mass, it is pure honey.

*dip a spoon in the honey and raise it about 8 inches (or more). If it comes down in a steady, thin stream, it is likely pure.
*taste it to see if there is an unpleasant aftertaste. if Sugar or corn syrup is added to honey it will leave a fermented-like taste in mouth.

It is also said that if honey is pure a dog will not lick it; ants, flies will not sit on it (bees add some enzyme to the honey that keeps them awy) 
Organic Health Food

Natural health food stores like "Nutritional World", Nutritional Foods", "Grains and Greens", "Natural health" and many more. Organic food stores are different and vegetarian food stores are different and so are the natural health food stores. Those are different too.

Even at health food stores you will find two types of honey.
1. Bottled honey with company name.
2. Raw honey in open containers.

There is a big difference in organic and raw honey. Every natural thing is not organic, and every organic thing is not natural. Its not Google where every natural search engine position is labeled organic and organic links are called natural positions.

Every state in US or every country in this world has its own definition of organic. Like in my state is food is labeled as organic if the land where it is grown is not sprayed with any insecticides, pesticides, urea or any other chemical or such thing for 10 years. Plus the seeds those were sowed in the ground to produce the crop were organic and fed with only organic compost/manure. Few states have it to 8 years instead of 10 years.
Source:  Indian Parenting.. (Stay Cool).

GIVING HONEY TO KIDS AND FROM WHAT AGE IS A BIG QUESTION.. DEFINITELY NOT IN FIRST YEAR OF LIFE WITH SO MUCH OF CONTRADICTION FOR IT.. THIS POST IS JUST ABOUT HONEY, USES AND TESTING PURITY..  USAGE MUST BE ACCORDING TO PEDIATRICIAN'S ADVISE.

Flat Head



Plagiocephaly in medical terminology and flat head for a layman is a cause of concern in infants... from too much of lying down in the same position to the same side, they may develop a soft spot and the shape of the head may become a little flattened.  A little of this is not a concern but obvious mis-shapening should be avoided... There is a lot more attached to it than a cosmetic problem.  Nothing about to raise your panic antennae up though.

Tummy time and keeping interesting things on 4 sides of the room to look at, consciously making it a point to divert the kid's attention to turn around and look in all directions, top, left and right... these are the simplest measures from day of birth.. :) Repositioning to ensure equal time spent on both sides is vital.. also while being cautious that the kid does not suffocate self, adequate tummy time is the key.

The babies are not born with a perfect round shape head, it gradually takes one shape as the skull hardens.. so, all we need to make sure is that the growth is uniform in all direction rather than one flat spot at one side which was not there earlier during birth.  simple!!  Most of this occurs during the early stages of life say first 3 to 5 months where the skull is very soft.  So changing the baby sleep position and side every 2 hours or so or after every feed between 3 to 4 hours if the kid tends to sleep just on one side should solve the problem.

A baby pillow serves two purposes in the infant.. one keeping the head a tad bit elevated and also holding the head in a proper position.


A traditional baby pillow made of mustard seeds

Dried yellow mustard seeds, a method traditionally used in India for hundreds of years to help preserve the round shape of the new-baby head. The mustard seeds mould to the natural shape of the new-born baby head and prevent the head from becoming flat at the back.  Yellow mustard seeds are preffered to black ones as they have a smoother surface and therefore slide more easily against each other, enabling the pillow to form more snuggly to the shape of the baby's head and therapeutically too mustard seeds are believed to reduce back pains, migraines and joint pains, so no harm making one for the kid.

Do not panic if there are signs of early flattening just focus on keeping baby's head position uniform in all directions and gradually it will go away.

PS:  The rai seeds/aavalu/mustard seeds should be packed loosely so they have moving space in the pillow rather than packing it tightly.. something akin to a micro bead pillow.  The size of the pillow actually is very small, a big notebook size, not very stiff, not very high... in short maybe about one and a half or double the size of the baby's head (length/breadth everything put together), not very big or fluffy just the correct size.

I used something like the one in the picture above, which we get in all the baby stores in India. A very tiny pillow. Preferably, stitch a cover for it so that you can wash it regularly and keep it clean for the kid.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Omega-3 supplements for Vegetarians

Are plant sources of omega-3 sufficient for human needs?

Vegetarians and vegans have no direct sources of EPA and DHA (long chain omega-3 fatty acids) in the diet; hence they must convert alpha-linolenic acid to EPA and DHA in the body.

Scientific studies suggest that although the conversion is slow and incomplete, and although vegetarians tend to have lower blood levels of long chain omega-3 fatty acids, it is sufficient to meet the needs of most people

In addition, infants convert alpha-linolenic acid to DHA and EPA more slowly than adults. Studies have provided evidence that preterm infants do not have the capacity to form sufficient DHA, resulting in reduced visual acuity and brain function. Thus DHA must be considered an essential nutrient for these babies. Currently, infant formulas in the U.S. are not fortified with DHA, although several companies have patented DHA blends for this purpose and DHA-fortified formulas are expected to hit the U.S. market sometime this year. Several European countries, including the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland and Spain, presently produce DHA-fortified formulas

Breastfed infants generally receive ample DHA from their mother's milk, although amounts vary. Vegetarian and vegan mothers have lower concentrations of DHA in their milk, although infant levels of DHA appear to be only slightly less than that of infants of omnivorous mothers. A DHA supplement based on cultured microalgae (under the trademark Neuromins) is now available from natural food stores nationwide.

So, one thing is clear, if someone takes fish, no issues.

If someone is purely vegetarian, may be for preterm child, we need some supplements. For a full term child, who is otherwise well, I will not suggest any supplementation unless more guidelines are available.

Food Allergies

Food allergies affect about 3.5% of US population.
Around 6% of children experience food allergic reactions in first 3 years of life
Out of them 2.5% comprise of cow’s milk allergy, 1.5% egg allergy and 0.6% peanut allergy.
Other allergies are – fish, soy, wheat allergies.
Symptoms may be in skin, Gastrointestinal, respiratory or cardiovascular.
Diagnosis is done by skin testing (IgE mediated) and other by proper history, elimination trials etc, which may vary from 2-8 wks in different conditions.

Good thing about these allergies is that, almost half of these children with milk or egg allergies outgrow by 2-3 years of age, as their immunity improves.
But around 80-90% of children with peanut, sea food allergy retain their allergy for life.

So, in nutshell, be hopeful, things are bound to improve with time. Your concern about soya milk is not valid. We have used it in many children from years. It’s safe.

Fortunately, these food allergies in India are not that common as it’s there in developed world for many unclear reasons.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Joining Job After Maternity Leave ..

Clinginess is normal for this age, and thats the typical time, will last may be up to 2 years at least. Regarding your concern about joining job after maternity leave, its difficult to answer, but I know that working mothers face many challanges, but with carefull planning you can make a smooth transition, here are some tips :

Before you return to work

While you're still on maternity leave, set yourself up for a successful return to work:

Let go of the guilt. Returning to work after maternity leave can pose emotional conflicts for new mothers. Working outside the home doesn't make you a bad mother — and it's OK to look forward to the challenges and interactions of your job. Remind yourself that you're doing what's best for you and your family. Don’t worry, children learn to adjust.

  1. Find dependable child care. Look for a safe, stimulating environment and qualified caregivers.
  2. Talk to your boss. Clarify your job duties and schedule so you'll know what's expected of you after your maternity leave. You might ask about flexible hours, telecommuting or working part time.
  3. If you're breast-feeding and plan to continue doing so after returning to work, ask your employer about a clean, private room for breast feeding, if possible.
  4. Get organized. Make a daily to-do list. You might divide the list into tasks for work and tasks for home, or tasks for you and tasks for your partner. Identify what you need to do, what can wait — and what you can skip entirely. (Try to maintain a daily work diary with you)
  5.  Stay connected. Plan at least one daily phone call to your baby's caregiver to find out how your baby's doing. Place a favourite photo of your baby on your desk or in your work area. Set aside time after work to reconnect with your baby.
  6. Make backup plans. Know what you'll do if your baby is sick or your baby's caregiver is unavailable on a workday — whether it's taking the day off yourself or calling a friend or loved one to care for your baby.
  7.   Seek support. Don't try to do everything yourself. Accept help from your partner, loved ones and friends. Speak up if you're feeling guilty, sad or overwhelmed.
  8.  Nurture your own well-being. Relax in the tub after you put the baby to bed, or unwind with a favourite book or soft music. Cut down on unnecessary commitments. Pick a reasonable bedtime, and stick with it. On weekends, sleep when your baby sleeps.

Above all, maintain a positive attitude. Tell your baby how excited you are to see him or her at the end of the day. Your baby may not understand your words, but he or she will pick up on your emotions.

Hope this will help you in preparing and taking your guilt out.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Booster Seat


Running around the kids with a bowl/plate of food in hand is a common sight for Indian mothers or most of the mothers of toddlers and even kids of 4 to 5 years of age back in India.

Sorry if I offend anyone but I seriously dont like running around the kid :((... they have to learn it and learn it right is my purely personal opinion.  They eat well when we feed/force feed them but I do not want to encourage it..

I was in a dilemma whether or not to go for a high chair in granite/marble floor setting with a hyperactive kid trying to do everything possible to escape the food.. one tilt of balance and am scared about the fall from height in spite of the shopkeeper assuring me that they are well equipped and all such stuff..

Finally, after much thinking and checking out a whole lot of high chairs available in the market, I narrowed down on this booster seat which I felt is safe and is easy to be carried.  I find this foldable one handy and comfortable, easy to clean, the cloth is easy to wash and it holds the kid well and since we have the chair grip, we need not be scared as well.  We both sit in opposite chairs and she is belted to the seat until she finishes it.  There is resistance initially but now it is a routine that this seat is for her meals..

Any reviews for high chair on a stone flooring?????

In celebration of milestones...

Back down in Andhra Pradesh, we celebrate each and every milestone of the kid preparing something or the other..

Celebrating the firsts...

Oolu kodite kudumulu/undraallu (cooing)
Navvithe - nuvvula unda (first social smile)
Borlaa padite bobbatlu/boorelu (turtling/flipping on tummy)
Paakite paakam undalu (crawling)
Gadapalu daatite gavvalu/gaarelu (crossing doorsteps)
Aduguleste ariselu... (taking first steps)
Chilaka palukulu - panchadara chilakalu (sugar tho chilakala shape lo chestharu choodandi avvi)

Oolu kottinappudu - Cooing - By the around the third month, the tiny tot usually opens its palms and tries to grasp at objects.  This small gesture is marked by motivating the child to play at grasping.
The mother places the child in her lap, with a plate of undrallu pindi and encourages the child to grasp the mixture and fashion balls, making muddakudumulu or undrallu (cooked rice ravva made into balls, also made during Ganesh Chavithi. Undrallu are distributed to the family and neighbours.

As the baby turns over and lands on the stomach called borla padadam in Telugu, bobbatlu or polelu are made.

The day the child starts crawling, pakadam, is marked by preparing pakam chalividi a sweet made of rice flour with sugar/jaggery syrup.

And while crawling if the toddler were to cross the threshold, gadapa daatadam, garelu, or vada are made.

Finally, the first walking steps (adugulu) are welcomed by distributing ariselu.

Each milestone is a celebration with sweets which signify happiness in our tradition varying with the place they are from.

Inputs from Jyothi.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sleep Time in Kids

Regarding normal sleeping time, what the books says is this:
Age Night time sleep Daytime sleep Average total sleep
2 years 10.5 to 12.5 hours 1 to 3 hours (1 nap) 11.5 to 15.5 hours
3 years 10.5 to 12.5 hours 1 to 3 hours (1 nap) 11 to 14 hours
4 years 10 to 12 hours 0 to 2.5 hours (1 or no nap) 10 to 13 hours
5 years 10 to 12 hours 0 to 2.5 hours (1 or no nap) 10 to 12.5 hours
6 years 10 to 11.5 hours none 10 to 11.5 hours
7 years 9.5 to 11.5 hours none 9.5 to 11.5 hours
8 years 9.5 to 11.5 hours none 9.5 to 11.5 hours

But remember two things:
1. Though this chart shows the average time, but individual variations do exist. Individual variations are to an extent that even 8 hours sleep for a toddler can be normal.
2. Sleep is not a continuous process; it has different phases of light sleep and deep sleep, and each phase last for about 60-90 minutes. So, it’s possible to wake up in between these phases many times.
So, I just advise you to make the sleep time more comfortable like:

Let the baby prepare for sleep around 10-15 minutes before you go to sleep, like keeping his toys with him, using his favourite pajama, cloths, pillow etc. Some soothing songs or lori can help. Keep trying this.

Grandmother's Tips

The baby has a fever, the next dose of fever drops is not until 2/3 hours away and I feel helpless seeing the baby burning hot...

Cut an onion in two halves, placing each half into one of the baby's socks with the cut side of the onion against the baby's soles in the socks.  Keep the socks for a few hours or until the fever breaks.

Fluid in the ear and pain

Heat one cup of rock salt in microwave for 2 minutes, then pour it into a thick athletic sock and tie it at its end.  Test to make sure it is not hot enough to make the skin burn.  Allow the child to lay her head with the painful ear down on the warm sock.

Irritable and itchy baby with dry and scaly skin (eczema)
Applying Shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, flaxseed oil... even though the baby gets slippery and surroundings get messy this seems to work for good.

Tugging on the ears has ear infection.
Put a drop of warm garlic oil in the sore ear.

Baby's Teeth are coming and pain keeps him awake.
Rub a small amount of clove olive on the gum where the tooth is erupting.

Courtesy:  Durga, an excerpt from a magazine.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Travel Tips..

For frequent travelers who make 2 to 3 day trips with the kid...

Compact First Aid Kit
================
1) Band-aid , small cotton ball , earbuds.
2) Small Savlon/Dettol bottle.
3) Over the counter medicines for fever, cold, cough, vomiting, diarrhea, electrolyte drinks, ORS sachets just in case of an upset tummy.
4) Small Vaseline/skin ointment bottle/tube.. something soothing in case of emergencies.



 OR
Routine Medical Kit we have ready at home for the kid.

Compact Cosmetic box
==================
1) Soap, preferably liquid soap.
2) Shampoo.
3) Hair oil.
4) Talcum powder, moisturizer/skin lotion.
5) Clean combs.
4) Tooth paste/brush kit.

DIAPER BAG.

Food containers and dispensers along with tinned/canned food we need to give the baby, add a couple more to each as an emergency measure.
If all the three are in place, you can just throw them all together and get ready for the go..

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Swine Flu Vaccination

Swine flu is a type of flu virus, a new virus which presented with a pandemic recently.

It a mutant type of flu virus. Usually in west people take vaccine every year against flu before season starts.  No such practice was there in India.

Now separate vaccine has been introduced only against swine flu, approved by US FDA, so that people can take it to prevent if any such pandemic emerge again. But nobody can promise that the new virus which comes next year will be the same or different, as this virus is known to cause mutations.

In short, nobody is sure, whether this vaccine will protect against flu attacks in coming year or not (if this virus changes, will need new vaccine).

So, no harm in taking this vaccine, if you wanna take it, as no serious side effects have been reported except mild fever or pain. But not must to be taken by everyone.

But it’s advisable to be taken by health professional’s atleast, as they are always at high risk.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Instant Food Recipes For Kids

1. Oats...

Just boil in water and finally add a little salt and butter and feed. (Not started giving milk to him. Others can add milk. Also sugar can be added instead of salt. My son doesnt like sugar) ---- Can be given from the age of 10 months

2. Banana boiled and mashed....

Cook banana in the idly vessel (like water in the vessel and in the top plate keep the banana and cover with the lid), with little scrapped jaggery for 5-10 mins. Then just mash and give this. This will help to add weight also. You can also crush and mix paapad if your baby likes that. ---- Can be given from the age of 8 or 9 months. But in my place some people used to give even from 5th month

3. Rice flour / Ragi flour / Wheat flour mix.....

Mix either one of the above said flour with water and boil for 5 mins (or until u feel it is cooked fully). Add salt or sugar as per your baby's taste along with butter / ghee / milk ------ Can be given from any time after 3 months. I started from 4th month. But mother's who have less breast milk level can start giving early.

4. Egg

In a pan, put little oil and add little onion and little frozen peas (it will get cooked in 1 min) and then add a egg, and little salt and pepper. Make a scramble.....done....tasty and healthy ------ Safe after 1 year

5.  1 cup whole wheet flour
2 tbs desi ghee
dryfruits mix(nuts)

dry roast dryfruits a little then grind them and do not roast kishmish(optional) if u want to mix.keep it aside.Then roast flour in dry kadhai on slow or medium flame for some time till it slightly changes colour and u get a nice aroma.Then add ghee to it(if home made well n gud).And keep frying.Add the dryfruit mix to it and fry till it starts giving nice smell and changes colour.Butit shd not burn.then take it off the fire and let cool down.then pack in containers.Whenever have to give add sugar little lukewarm milk and sattu and it's ready.

But if u r in india then u can add raggi, bajra,jau,roasted chana,roasted rice(no rice puffs or flakes)all roasted with a little mungphalli roasted and ground.And most importantly dryfruits whichu add should be in small quantity or else it causes loose motion.

Lunch Box Recipes By Shraddha

EYEBALLS ON CRACKERS

INGREDIENTS

Eggs; hard boiled
Black olives
Salty crackers like Monaco
Red food coloring

METHOD

1. Cut hard boiled eggs in half lengthwise. Remove yolks and make filling for deviled eggs.
2. Cut out small hole from bottom center of each egg (about 5/8" diameter.) Poke a black olive partway through each hole and hold in place by filling eggs with yolk filling.
3. Place each egg, olive side up, on a cracker.
4. Paint red lines, resembling blood veins, with a toothpick on the eye. 

Apple Smiles

INGREDIENTS

1 Red medium apple; cored & sliced about 1/3" wide, not skinned!
Peanut butter (creamy works best)
Tiny marshmallows.

METHOD

1. Spread one side of each apple slice with peanut butter.
2. Place three or four tiny marshmallows on top of the peanut butter on one apple slice.
3. Top with another apple slice, peanut butter side down.
4. Squeeze gently. ..makes 8-10 

Clown Faces

INGREDIENTS

Large Pancake / Dosa
3 Orange Slices
2 Poached or fried Eggs
1/2 Cherry Tomato

METHOD

1. Make the pancakes / Dosa in advance and set them in oven to keep them warm.
2. Poach or fry the eggs.
3. To assemble the faces, place the pancakes / Dosa on a plate, with eggs for eyes, orange slices for ears and mouth, and a tomato half for the nose.

NOTE:
For a lighter meal, omit the eggs and use apricot or peach halves for eyes and half a fresh cherry for a nose.
Or, omit pancakes, assemble eggs directly on plate, and add a smile made from
chopped, sauted potatoes. 

CHEESE PAPAD FINGERS

INGREDIENTS

Papad 8 nos.
Grated cheese 1 cup
Oil for frying

METHOD

1.Hold the papads one by one over boiling water for a few seconds to make them
soft.
2.Then cut each papad into three strips.
3.Spread some cheese on each strip, roll and fix with a toothpick.
4.Deepfry these cheese papad fingers and then drain on paper.
5.Serve with mint chutney. 

Idli Upma

INGREDIENTS

Idlis
Onions
Red chillies
Urad dhal,
Mustard seeds,
Curry leaves,
Green chillies,
Salt
Oil

METHOD

1. Saute mustard seeds, urad dhal, red chillies, green chillies and curry leaves in oil.
2. Meanwhile, break the idlis into coarse powder.
3. Mix it to the above mixture, add salt. 

MULTI GRAIN ROTI

INGREDIENTS

1 cup wheat Flour
1 cup Rice flour
1 cup maize flour
1 cup Ragi flour
1 cup Jowar flour
1 cup gram flour
1 cup bajra flour
Salt,
Chilli powder,
Garam masala powder

METHOD
1. Mix all the flour add salt, chilli powder, garam masala powder, turmeric and knead it. 2. Now make chappatis with this, smear it with little ghee
Eat this healthy chappati with dal or any sabji. You can apply Jam or Cheese Spread and make a roll to give in Tiffin. 

Oats Chapathi

INGREDIENTS

Wheat flour - 1 cup
Oats powder - 4 tbsp (grind quaker oats into a fine powder)
salt to taste
Water to knead
Sesame oil - 1 tsp

METHOD

1. Mix wheat and oats flour.
2. Add salt and knead the flour into a nice dough.
3. Spread the sesame oil and leave the dough for atleast half an hour.
4. Take required amount of dough to make one roti and spread it into a circle shaped roti of 7" diameter.
5. Cook it on both sides. 

Oats Dosa

INGREDIENTS

Oats - 1 cup
Buttermilk - 2 cups
Besan Flour - 1/4 cup
Sooji -1/4 cup
Salt to taste
Green chillies - 2 (acc to taste)
Onion - 1 finely chopped
Curry leaves and coriander leaves - few
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cashews - few
Asafoetida powder - a pinch
Oil - 2 tsp

METHOD

1. First grind the oats into very fine powder. Keep it aside.
2. Now take the buttermilk add oats powder, besan flour, sooji and salt and mix it well. Keep it aside for half an hour.
3. In the mean time, preheat a drop of oil, splutter mustard seeds, when its done add cashews, onion, asafoetida powder and green chillies and fry it till it becomes golden brown.
4. Now add curry leaves and coriander leaves to it and saute' for a moment and pour it on top of the batter.
5. Mix it well.
6. Pre heat a dosa skillet, pour a laddle full of batter and spread it into a circle, pour a teaspoon of oil and let it cook under low flame (because it becomes very dark).
7. When it is done flip it over and pour the remaining oil and cook it.
8. Serve it with some chutney or sambar. 

CARROT RICE MOULD

Do children love fancy shapes? Try out moulds ranging from simple jelly moulds to fancy ones like hearts and guitars. And watch this rice preparation leap to life !

INGREDIENTS

1 teacup rice
1/4 teacup moong dal
2 cloves
2 sticks cinnamon
1 bay leaf
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tablespoon chilli powder
2 large carrots, chopped
1 tablespoon oil
salt to taste

METHOD

1. Wash the rice and dal and keep aside.
2. Heat the oil and add the cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf and fry for 1/2 minute.
3. Add the onion, chilli powder and fry again for 1 minute.
4. Add the carrots, rice, dal, 2 1/2 teacups of water and salt.
5. Cook in a pressure cooker.
6. Press into greased moulds of the desired shape and unmould on a serving plate. Serve with youhurt.

Tips

Goodness Guide :
To combination of grains and pulses delivers essential amino acids required for growth as well as carbohydrates for energy.
The carrots deliver Vitamin A.

Nutritive values Per Serving :
Protein 6.5 g
Cho 48 g
Fat 4.2 g 

CORN AND POTATO ROSTI

Rosti is a favourite Swiss delicacy. The crisp potatoes go well with corn.

INGREDIENTS

4 medium par-boiled potatoes
3/4 teacup cooked corn
1 onion, chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated cheese
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

1. Peel the potatoes. Grate coarsely or slice. Sprinkle salt and pepper.
2. Heat the butter in a large frying pan (preferably non-stick). Add onion and cook for 1 minute.
3. Add the potatoes and corn and mix well. Spread the mixture in the pan.
4. Sprinkle the green chilli and cheese on top and cook on a slow flame for 10 minutes.
5. Turn the cake upside down in one piece.
6. Cook until crisp and brown on the underside.
7. Cut into piece and serve hot.

Tips

Goodness Guide :
Both corn and potatoes are excellent sources of energy.
Besides, they are laden with complex carbohydrates, fibre and a variety of minerals.

Nutritive values Per Serving :
Protein 3.5 g
Cho 27.9g
Fat 3.6g 

JAFFLE TREATS

What do you get when you cross a toasted sandwhich with a waffle? A Jaffle!

INGREDIENTS

4 bread slices, lightly buttered (1 1/2 teaspoons butter approx.)

For the stuffing (no.1)

3 tablespoons crumbled cottage cheese (paneer)
6 tablespoons grated apple
2 tablespoons finely chopped celery (optional)
1/2 teaspoon chopped green chillies
salt to taste

For the stuffing (no.2)

3 tablespoons grated carrots
3 tablespoons crumbled cottage cheese (paneer)
2 tablespoons chopped dates
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped green chillies
salt to taste

METHOD

1. For the stuffing (no. 1), mix all the ingredients very well.
2. For the stuffing (no. 2), mix all the ingredients very well.
3. To proceed, place 2 slices of bread, buttered side down into a sandwhich maker waffle iron.
4. Spread the desired stuffing mixture and cover with the remaining two slices, buttered side up.
5. Toast for a few minutes or until golden in colour. Cut into two.


Tips

Goodness Guide :
An appetizing, low fat, easy to prepare treat.
Comes in handy when kids rush home hungry from school. 

nutritious cheela

ingredients:
rice
Mung pulse
Moth pulse


method: take these three things in a bowl in ration:2:2:1
and soak for overnight ! grind them in morning add tomato ,onion ,coorainder leave , salt according to taste and Caron seeds,for digestion purpose.
spread it on hot Tawa to make cheela of the same.
this will be a very nutritous cheela for ur kid! i've tried the same and my daughter loved it so much . 

Daliya n Oats fritters.

Recently tried this one for my daughter, this is my genuine recipe. Hope you all like it.

Soak daliya in hot water for 1 hour, dry roast quaker oats.
Strain daliya n mix oats to it.
Now add poha ( beaten rice ) , chopped onions, coriander leaves, garam masala , ginger garlic and green chilly paste and lemon juice and salt . If its too dry then add few drops of water. Shape as rolls or tikkis and roll in gram flour .
Deep fry in oil till brown and crispy. 
Courtesy:   Shraddha from Babies, Food and Much More...

obesity In Children

Obesity in children is an upcoming hormonal problem, parents are facing now a days and most of the time it is due to inappropriate lifestyle of parents and hence children.
Parents usually encourage the child to eat as much as he/she can and that the junk food most of the time.

So we can say continous junk food and sedentary lifestyle (like instead of doing physical activities children are watching TV or playing video games) are the main causes of the obesity or weight gain which in turn leads to other multiple problems like young onset of Type 2 Diabetes, High Cholesterols, Heart problems, puberty problems, growth disorders, Gall bladder stones and many other innumerable medical problems.

Diabetes In Children

Symptoms to watch out for diabetes in children.

1.Polyurea (throughout day and night ) - Child is going for urination again and again.
2. Increase thirst of child.
3. Weight loss (This is the most important symptom. Sometimes only complaint of parent is that child is not gaining weight inspite of ruling out all other common conditions.
4. Frequent infections.
5.Pain Abdomen This is more specific as there are two types of dibetes Type 1 and Type II .Type II belongs to adult diabetes and Type 1 Belongs to children onset diabetes Ketone are usually formed as there is deficiency of insulin in Type 1.Ketone formation leads to acidosis (ph of blood become more acidic) Child usually complaint of pain abdomen due to ketones.Sometimes pain in abdomen is so severe that child has to be admitted for the same. So history of recurrent pain abdomen with one or two admission in hospital is the indicator childhood diabetes.
5. Growth pattern of diabetes affected.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Diaper Rash treatments

Recently my little one had a bad diaper rash after i took her to pool for swimming.. she enjoyed being in water. I had not got her swim diapers and the regular diaper really affected her a lot.
She suffered a lot from it. there are some tips that i got it from my friends , elders and nurse.

1. Apply olive oil or castor oil on the affected area.
2.Pure corn startch is really good. Every diaper change put the pure corn starch and it will soak the moisture.
3. 1 OZ of vinegar in a tub of water and making kid sit in that for 3-5 min.
4.Tripe paste-ointment for diaper rash is really best one. works fine and we can see changes in one diaper change( suggested by Nurse)
5. Do not apply powder when there is rash. My doc said NO to the powder.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Shraavzz Toy Review... Sounds, Light, and Music.. Learning Toys

Vtech Spin & Learn Top

This is the toy my daughter plays having fun and learning in the process. When we went to walmart one day, i was just searching for some new toys. While i was searching and showing my little one few of them, she immediately got excited seeing this particular toy. Dint give a second thought before buying this toy.
This toy has four modes of Play
If we press the top button down, it spins making some funny noises .
if we press the animals, each animal gives its intro, for instance saying..''iam the monkey'' ''iam the lion''
there are 2 more animals Elephant and the Bear.
and they makes different animal sounds and asks to find out which animal makes such sound. So kids can learn in the process..
I try to teach my daughter showing ,this is the monkey or this is the elephant.I will spin th toy and ask her show me the monkey..where is the bear or the lion or the elephant. Its fun to play.
We can give this toy when they learn how to sit and play by them selves.

the only con for this toy is the music is not loud enough..well this is my personal opinion.


FISHER-PRICE GO BABY GO! CRAWL ALONG MUSICAL BALL

This is a Fun Toy, I bought this toy for my little one when she was 5 months old and was crawling on her tummy..Usually Babies will have lots of fun watching this monkey making all the funny sounds .My daughter too loved this toy and was always paying attention when we switch on this toy. The money makes all sorts of funny noises and grabs all the attention of the babies and in the learning process,gives them a reason to learn crawling across the floor chasing this monkey on the ball..Over all its a mere fun toy and the sounds are great and funnily effective.

Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Storybook Rhymes

My Daughter loved the Rhymes and all the Songs since she was days old. I use to sing her all the rhymes and she used to stop crying and all she did at that times was giving mommy all the cuty smiles listening to the songs. So thats the reason i bought this Toy for her and she instantly loved it. This toy looks like a Caterpillar holding the book.There are four pages in this book ,quite colorful and and she can turn the pages easily by her self and every time you turn the page , there comes 2 Rhyme songs with the lights and pictures in every page. The sound effects are great.

Fisher Price Musical Learning Duck

OMG, what to write about this cute little thing.This is my daughter's favourite toy of all .Her face just lits up when ever she sees this duck. She especially likes the way it Quacks and sings the songs . and I usually move the duck as if it is dancing while singing the song and my daughter laughs and screams will all the excitement and i my face also lits up seeing her happy and all excited. There were quite a few days when my little one hugged this ducky to bed and slept the whole afternoon.She Just loves and loves and loves this toy.
Fisher price laugh and learn bunny

Well this bunny looks funny.It has 2 bumby feet where we can change the mode of the songs to just music or numbers or fun songs . When we switch on this toy it laughs and says''heheh..iam up and ready to play'' when ever my daughter hears to this bunny..she even wakes up from her sleep to play with this toy :) and this toy gives the description of it self with saying..I have bumby feet and two long ears and a fuzzy tail and a short nose and makes funny sounds along the way.

CAUTION : WHILE BUYING THIS TOY GO FOR THE SECOND EDITION. THE FIRST EDITION HAS BEEN RECALLED.

ONLY BUNNIES WITH 3 DIMENSIONAL NOSES ARE RECALLED AND NOT THE BUNNIES WITH FLAT NOSES EMBROIDERED AND STITCHED ARE NOT RECALLED



Vtech - Move and Crawl Electronic Activity Ball

This is a very nice nice activity ball to play with.Babies usually love this so much but unfortunately my daughter does'nt show much interest on this toy to play with. Its spins by it self singing the songs and there are 3 animal buttons, Monkey,cat and the puppy and number 1,2,3 buttons on this toy .If we press the buttons the animals makes thier noises , like the cat makes meow meow and the number says 1 ,2, 3. there is a little lady bug on the top of this ball to spin around.



LeapFrog Learn & Groove Musical Table, Pink

My daughter loves this toy.This is like her first Musical table . She gets excited and engaged with this toy . What can i say, this toy is full of entertainment for her with music ,songs and colorful sparkling lights .

There are two modes of languages, English and Spanish . There is a piano on one side with 4 different color keys and it sings colors while playing with the piano. One the 2nd side, there is a spin rattel with colorfull tiny balls inside and it sings ABCD song. On the 3rd side there is this musical instrument which looks like a trumphet , and there is a key where the baby can slide from both sides and it sings the Numbers 1 to 10. On the 4th side there is a Case where the baby can learn to open and close it and says the same, when the baby opens the case it says "open'' and when closing it says ''close''. Usualy i ask my little one to open and she does .

and in one corner beside the Trumpet, there are 3 key buttons in the different shapes, Square, Circle and Triangle in 3 different colors Red,Yellow and Green . So when the baby is playing with those buttons, it says its shape and color and in this process the babies can learn different shapes and colors too. Daily i sit and teach my daughter those shapes and some times if i ask her to show me the Circle, she does . There is a Violin in the another corner where she can slide the button on it. and it sings Up .High..Low..Down . In the final corner in between the piano and spin rattle , there is a tortoise with a guitar where the baby can spin it and the colorful lights sparkle around the music table saying, lights on...lights off .

last but not least and most importantly there is a book in the middle of the table where the babies can change the page mode to just music or songs.

The babies can either play with toy standing having fun or sit and play removing all the 4 legs of the toy .

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Introducing Foods In First Year -- The Indian/AP Baby Way

I was advised to introduce solids after completion of 4 months but it was reiterated to me that milk should be the primary meal to the kid and solids is just to get the kid used to various textures gradually. Excessive drooling and those very observant glances whenever anyone ate (the Brahmi way ;)), I was told was the indication that the baby was ready for solids. However, the signs and readiness may vary from baby to baby. The pediatrician would let us know in one of the monthly or regular checkup visits.

Beginning With
Very ripe mashed banana without the seeds.
Cooked and mashed carrot.
Cooked apple without the skin.
Cooked peas, beans, beetroot.

The quantity however is really less, a spoonful or so to begin with. If the baby wants more, no problem.. but ensure that the milk intake at that point is not compromised and that milk is still to be consumed at a regular rate.

Cereals like Farex, Cerelac, Easum, First Foods or store-bought varieties based on the age-appropriate guidelines mentioned overleaf or as per the doctor.

Fruit juices
Home made juices of pomegranate, carrot, beetroot.. do not overdo on citrus juices like orange unless we get a nod from the ped.

Soups:
Homemade vegetable soups.


Rice:

Completion of 5 months, 6th month.. rice and dal fried and ground to a soft texture and cooked along with finely cut veggies.

The consistence of this rice and dal mix should be varied as per the kid's tolerance and taste preference. I used to give it in ghee (home-made). I find Durga Ghee to be tasty personally and so does the kid.

From 7th month onwards, the ped gradually asked me to try all the vegetables and I had tried a majority of them but avoided brinjal, bitter gourd.

By the end of first year, the kid should be able to eat more or less everything we as elders do, pretty much everything healthy and edible. Also, the powder texture should be made coarser gradually and by 11th month or so very softly cooked complete rice grains should be fine.

Sweet potato could be cooked and mashed but this is a little heavy on the tummy.

About giving Ragi, there are varied views but I was told to keep it until a later date so towards 8th month started on Ragi java or porridge based on kid's preference.

No added salt and sugar initially and gradually go for very very little salt. We might not like the taste without salt but for kids who are not introduced to that flavor it doesnt matter, so limit the sodium intake in first year of life.

Dairy
Rice with buttermilk was also introduced around the same age. There are again varied views as to when to go about introducing dairy products for a kid. here I was given a go ahead in the 7th month and started giving rice with curd/buttermilk.

However, introducing to whole milk or cow/buffalo milk was put off until the kid turned one year old at the best.

I started introducing porridge made of milk little by little as the kid showed no signs of allergy.

Water at this stage should be introduced with a glass or a spoon and the bottle dependence should gradually be weaned.

Egg

Again, there are varied views as to how and when to go about.. Some wait until the 10th month, but I was told to introduce it in 7th month, starting with egg yellow and not the white. White was told to be avoided up until the kid turns a year old. So, hard boiling the egg and giving the kid yellow if he/she likes it. As the time passed, introduced various forms of it like omlette in ghee, scrambled egg, bread omlette sweet/hot.

Non-Veg
After completing 9 months, I was told to try very softly cooked chicken and mutton kheema and fish gradually checking for allergies based on baby's preference. I started with fish, very little but not on a regular basis.. the number of times were few and far between. It again is a debatable issue and doc has mentioned that this or for that matter any new food should not be forced on kid and if and if they do want a little they will have it. Soups can also be given. Mooliga or the gravy in the bone is supposed to be a real healthy food and given to the food.

Whole Milk:
I was told to introduce it gradually substituting one routine feed with the whole milk, diluting at first and then switch completely from around 11 months of age or close to one year.

Sweets, ice-creams, chocolates should be avoided as much as possible but are definitely not a sin is what I was told from the age 10 months onwards... I personally feel that kid is fine enough getting the natural sugar from fruits rather than sweetening agents.

Date syrup is a good alternative for sugar in infants as it is told to avoid honey in the first year of life.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Walker Experiences

When the kid could stand on her own without any support and was attempting to walk, that is around her birthday, I gave her a walker which kind of looked like this, had 6 wheels, had a foot rest, sun shade, handling stand.  It is a bit expensive, we can invest on it if we start the kid early on on the walker, like when she/he is just sitting without support.

Like in various other posts, I was a no walker until the baby stands up mom...  The doctor has specifically mentioned not using the walkers until the baby does it on her own or stands up on her own at least.  To my horror, a few of my cousins  put the kid in the walker as and when she/he could sit up or make an attempt to sit as early as 6th or 7th month onwards.  Those kids walked real fast and met that milestone pretty fast, but still what doctor said lingered on in my mind.  I used to wonder when those moms compared milestones with my kid if I was depriving my kid of something by not providing an aid to walk... well, it is a personal choice to go for one or not.

My reviews on what I had used are as below...

  Sreya walked on her own only in her 13th month after her birthday.  She was able to stand and walk around the bed a little with the help of a the bed edge but nothing much..  As soon as I put her in a walker, within a week she was walking really well, halting a little but walking steadily. 



I had gotten her a rocker/walker/swing combo by Amardeep when she was 9 months old but since it had just 4 wheels and the kid tended to walk side ways rather than to the front, she had a couple of real bad falls even when we were close behind watching her, so my personal experience, for kids who have learnt walking and who are yet to learn, it is a bad choice of a walker.. DO NOT USE THIS AS A WALKER.  Rocker/stroller if you have a handling rod attached to it is fine.. but as a walker, strict NO.


The one in the topmost picture is the one like I said that could be bought if we start early... costs around 1600 to 2000/- which I felt is waste of money as the kid hardly used it for a couple of weeks. Again, it was because I started when she was totally ready to walk on her own, she had the stamina but did not know how to go about at that time, it was just a little push towards the final step... but like I already mentioned, early starters will have a little longer use of this...

If it is late starters like me, then this one which costs around 450/- to 500/- at the max should solve the purpose because once the kid starts walking on his/her own, she will no longer need this...

This one is a traditional yet good model which I got so that she can walk around on her own and since she was an on-the-go baby with most people carrying her all the while in the village, I had to have 2 spares, one to take wherever she goes and one to keep at home, this one was for us to carry around where she goes like a temple, any neighbors place, etc.

Above everything I would say round walker helped me a lot, relatively less expensive considering the very short span of time it had been used by me..

But as usual you need to keep a close watch when the kid uses it and ensure that the ground is even, without any ridges between stones/granite, uneven mud, etc.  With an active kid like mine, there were falls even in this when she started running around enthusiastically in this one when she realized that she could mobilize from one place to another and pull and pluck things :((.. so caution must be exercised at all costs...


The one in the picture is a sit to stand walker.. once the kid is walking on her own without falling, this would be of good use because with my kid, she used to bend forward a lot to play with the games rather than use it as an aid to walk... the toys in front provided distraction from walking, so I got the one in the toy section pictures with less games... It is according to me, not a very good buy for Indian kids or rather kids in India since it is very light, the kid would fall unless he/she understands grip.

I loved my traditional 3-wheeled walker, wooden one the best of all because that provided a good grip to stand on with the heavy wooden bottom.. will put up the pic when I get it from the neighbor I handed it over to..

Whatever be the walker, the ground rule is stay close, really really close and keep a watchful eye when you let others handle this for you.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Points on Child Abuse...

One thing that scares the hell out of me each time I think about... a fine line between being cautious and paranoid...

Childhood Depression??????.....

Isnt it really scary getting to know a lot of things right when you have a little kid to raise... pheww!! nothing to get scare (I tell this myself every day) just another insight, another view point... 
 
Check out...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Toy Review - 1

This is one post that I have been wanting to do for a while.. when I look at any sites for toy reviews, I get the review as a product but not a mother's review on it.. as to how useful it would be and stuff like that.y

When I knew I was pregnant, I must confess that one of the primary reasons to be happy other than the emotional part of it was that I could now buy and play with all the toys without getting those looks ;).. but only when it came to reality did I know choosing toys is the toughest job I had to date.. utilities are something which are a must and even when there is choice you know it fully well as to what suits the needs, but what suits the baby needs.. no idea!!

The first toy I got to her was a mobile for her cradle/swing, the traditional model with just toys, something like this, they say the first few months or at least a month the kid cannot focus on anything but still for my satisfaction... and with a month or so when the kid would play with her hands and feet they would touch the mobile toys and that would be a game for her.. later on as months passed by 3rd month beginning she was holding the toy and pulling it and trying to hold another one, so it was a good time-pass item is what I feel..  Along with these, we get those good old jhoomars plastic ones which make sounds with manual key, they like the sound and bright colors of them too... Alternatively, I tied a small brass temple bell to the swing which would make that sweet jingle noise when we swing the cradle and was pleasant to my ears, so you can try it as well.

Rattles:
Then came rattles, the typical hello baby plastic ones we get in Indian Market along with Etikoppaka wooden rattles that I got from Kalanjali and a few craft melas.. basically reading a lot about lead poisoning and effects of bad plastic usage I was kind of scared to use any toy as the kid tended to put everything in her mouth.  So, my obvious choice was washable ones with good plastic.

Sounds and Sights:
When the kid could recognize sounds and lights my hunt was for toys that would give out sound and also bright and safe for her and since I stayed in a remote area, the choice was less but the key with colors and sounds was something that I liked and the mobile phone which would recite ABCs and 123s with music and lights was the second one.

The cloth book which worked as a teether as well as a book and for sounds is a good pick too as the kid liked the bright colors, the plastic figurines worked as teethers and it was washable.

Then came the board books which had bright colors and pictures and more than as educational medium I used them for sights and even if she licked them or put them in water, I could just wipe them clean.. as for the books I prefer anything other than Vicky Series as the other models have bright photos closer to real ones rather than the painted ones in Vicky Series.. check out the pictures before you get them, they should appeal to the eyes.

When the kid could sit and play, I went to the stacking toys, both traditional Indian doll in doll ones and the FunSkool ones, the kid could not actually understand the doll-in-doll set but liked to play with bright rings and gradually learnt to stack them and now over time identifies colors as we talk casually, so it was a good investment too..

Finally, when she could sit and scribble on the floor and tear paper into pieces I went for this magic slate on which she could scribble and pass her time, however, this should be under strict supervision as the pen has a pointed edge and she can put it in eyes or hurt herself. and this is a toy only after a year or so..



One more toy set that caught my attention and was really helpful in keeping her occupied was the vegetable and fruit set, plastic ones which were available in the market.. the colors were bright, they looked good and the kid had a nice time playing with them... we should, however, be there all the time to see that the kid does not put them in mouth and check the set and see if there are any toys with sharp edges.  I must say these are the ones which provided her a lot of playtime when she was just about rolling over and sitting up with support, the bright colors caught her fancy and she used to play with them happily... As a toddler, she happily carries them around in a basket and gives them one by one when we ask their names, so it is fun and educative at the same time.

Puppets:


These hand puppets and finger puppets are good interactive toys as we can make sounds and play act a lot of things and the kid loves it when we speak in funny tones... since I was a non TV person, she had to make do with these active play sessions.. Thanks Caps for the idea, your rabbit gift gave me ideas to get more..

Swing:

The swing which kind of looks like this is a good source on enjoyment and once the kid was sitting upright on her own, I got her this one.. in fact a few of them and set up at various locations so that she can swing and watch out things on road, she loves it and so do I as it keeps her busy.. but the down side is she is so used to it that she wont sleep without a swing ;).


Bath Toys:

The plastic ducks, kitty toys, Mickey set and the other toys which would make that squeaky noise are good for bath time when the kid starts throwing tantrums to lie down still or sit up still.. these are of good use to me now after one year.

When she came to the age where she could sit with confidence and needed no support then I went for a baby pool as it was summer.. this was an inflatable pool and provided ample of cushoning for the kid to sit it, splash in some water and have fun.. I used to throw the plastic veggies, bath toys and a ball and the kid would just squeal and play with delight, so according to me a good buy... the balls that you get in the market, those very soft exercise balls would be a good idea rather than the plastic ones.. remember the smiley ones, yellow ones... also, the ball in the picture is an inflatable one with colorful designs, light weight and a good source of entertainment.
Since I was a strict no-walker until she stands on her own parent, I had gotten her a sit to stand walker, which had some play stuff in front and 4 wheels to walk which we made her do under supervision.  The kid initially was scared to walk on it alone but now when she loves walking all over she likes using it like a stroller and have loads and loads of fun pushing it around.. I have the traditional wooden 3-wheel walker which was of great help too as it was heavy, it provided her the much needed balance.  This plastic one however, is very light weight and when the kid is learning to walk, it is not a good idea as the grip to stand is not provided.  So, for starters go for the sturdy old wooden one and go for this later on if you have space to put it at home :).  There are ones in the market with more toys and frills in the front but the kid's focus would be more on front than on walking, so went for a simple one, this one cost me 450/-



Pillow Toys:
One gift that my mom got and I and the kid love to bits are these convertible pillow toys.. which she can play with during the day and sleep on them at nights, so they are her full-day companions and the bright colors make them appealing to the eye.  They are easy to wash and light weight.  The velcro underneath it makes them toys and undo the velcro and it is a pillow, priced at 100/- each, they are a good buy.

The latest to the collection is her tricycle.. she is mostly an outdoor person and I cannot carry her around, so I find it really useful... it is different than the conventional ones in that it has a handle which can be used to push along without bending, has a sun guard, foot rest and a whole lot of attachments which can later on be taken out as the kid's requirements keep changing..  This particular one has a supporting rod and hand rest like a stroller which would keep the kid inside without falling forward, the tyres are strong and I feel that 1900/- bucks that I spent for is worth it as I can use it for the next couple of years conveniently.

More later... waiting for a lot more reviews from this site users... moms, please help!!!