The Best Summer Food & Beverages For Your Kids

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Is your child getting unusually cranky at the dinner table? Finding it difficult to get them to eat food which they otherwise gobble up? What do you think could be the reason for this sudden fall in appetite?
It is the summer heat! It is the season when they expel more energy than their body has and are invariably dehydrated due to excess sweating.

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How Can New Mothers Improve Sleep?

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Sleep deprivation is common with new moms, which can affect their health and make motherhood a burden rather than a joy. These are some ways how new mothers can avoid sleep deprivation:

Be clear with your sleep needs with your partner and other people at home. Avoid taking up responsibilities and try to delegate more. Sometimes family members don’t understand the gravity of the situation, so it is better to discuss with them.

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Making our homes nature-friendly



The most striking feature of old traditional houses such as Chettinad mansion in Tamil Nadu, Tharavadu home in Kerala, and Guttina Mane in Karnataka is their non-dependence on modern technology and their use of nature to meet most of their basic needs.

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All work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy

Without time off from work, a person becomes bored and boring is what the proverb seeks to convey. It is supplemented by a second line sometimes,

“All work and No Play Makes Jack a Mere Toy.”


21stfebHumans do possess the capacity to shut themselves out from everything and concentrate on a single activity such as work.

Single-minded devotion is the word often used to describe the condition where factors other than those that help in achieving one’s goal are ignored.

But human mind is designed to work at its optimum best for certain periods after which the productivity diminishes. Brain needs rest.

Okay, you say, “Isn’t this an anomaly? We’ve always been taught that hard work is essential to achieving our goals in life.”

Yes, but it is equally true that our mind also needs distraction from time to time. Recreation is a useful distraction that can provide the fuel needed to power a person’s creativity.

The pace of modern life is such that people tend to become oblivious to their surroundings.

For example, busy people do not know or care what food they are eating. They tend to finish their meal in a jiffy or take inordinately long time to complete the activity. Often the food goes untouched.

A mother can recognise the early signs. She will try and get her child, the ever-busy professional, to slow down.

When that happens, pay attention.

It means, the ever-observant mother is beginning to get concerned that you are showing classic symptoms of overwork – failing to observe social norms like acknowledging the presence of other people around you.

At this stage, you are as bored of others as they are of you.

Take a break. Go on a vacation.

Pick up a hobby like gardening or join a citizens group.

Break the monotony.

The pressure to perform is not just the preserve of working professionals alone. Our Jacks (and Jills) are also under considerable strain to outperform their peers.

It is not uncommon to see young children cooped up with books all the time because parents worry that their kids are not putting enough effort to make the cut at certain prestigious educational institutions.

However, let us remember that good grades do not necessarily ensure blossoming of creativity in your child. Balancing study/work, fun, recreation, and social interaction is more important for your child to be successful and be a well-rounded personality.

Finally, the single most significant reason for achieving a balance between work and play is that the personality of your child is being moulded during this time.

Raising an independent toddler

Towards independence

Independent children are those who are no longer found holding on to their mother’s skirt. They have moved away from the mother in order to learn about their environment and about themselves. Mothers can make this process less painful for both, themselves and the child, first by taking the initiative to teach the child to be independent, and then learning to manage the child remotely during the period.

In a cartoon on parenthood, the sight of a mother duck, still carrying her overgrown duckling on her back makes her friend remark “For heaven’s sake, Martha, he has to learn to swim some day!” That pretty much sums up the need for mothers to teach their child to be independent.

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A thin line

Mothers need to strike a fine balance between teaching a child how to be independent but still have enough control over the child to be able to supervise and intervene when necessary. The parents have to walk a fine line and make a choice between being overprotective and letting go totally. Being overprotective can hinder a child’s development, while not exercising enough control over the child may result in children hurting themselves or others or damaging property.


How to  raise an independent toddler

Here are a few useful tips to help you raise an independent toddler.

  • Take yourself out of the picture: Make your child follow you around the house and then hide yourself in some place. Call out to them from your hiding place before appearing before the child. This helps the child establish the connection between your voice and you. Even if they cannot see you, they know you are around to protect them.
  • Separate baby not the mother: The way to help your baby to develop a healthy sense of self is by making the baby to separate from the mother and not the mother from the baby.

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A no-panic guide to fever

What is fever

A fever is caused by a number of medical conditions ranging from viral, bacterial and parasitic infections. Fever is one of the medical signs, an objective indication of some medical fact or characteristic that may be detected by a physician. Fevers do not normally go beyond 410 C to 420 C (or 105.60 F to 107.60F).


A trying time

A condition like the fever in children is a real test of parents’ patience and parenting skills as younger the children the scarier it is for the parents. Fever makes children cranky and  restless. Sleep eludes them and high fever causes children to whimper through the night, giving the parents some anxious moments. Parents sometimes blame themselves for not being careful enough.


How to deal with fever

Understand that falling sick is part of growing up and no matter how careful parents are, kids will fall sick at some stage. But it is important for parents not to panic. First check the temperature using a standard digital thermometer or a temporal artery scanner. Use a rectal thermometer for infants and young children.

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Tips for potty training in toddlers

The Parenthood

Being a parent for the first time is an experience one is unlikely to forget in a hurry. Raising a child, as parents soon find out, with sleeplessness and having to deal with illness, is a full-time job. Probably the concept 24×7 was coined by a young mother raising her child single-handedly. A young mother is easy to spot – she is that haggard looking individual, with dark circles under her eyes and who tends to doze off in the middle of a conversation.


A helping hand

If one is lucky enough, having one’s partner at hand to share some of the parental duties is a boon. Having one’s parents living with or even having them on a short visit is even better. Your mother knows how best to soothe a wailing infant, while your father will stay by your bedside to lend you the strength and extend moral support you so desperately seek.


A New Challenge

You heave a sigh of relief when the difficult initial months are over, only to be confronted by a new challenge – potty-training your child. This is the single most difficult challenge parents face with its potential to restrict your mobility and the need to clean-up often. The high cost of diapers and the anxiety to get your child to do what other children are already doing further weigh you down.

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The Importance of Self Directed Play in Toddlers

Consider the following things and how important they are in your life.

  • Successfully finishing a meeting and coming closer to winning the contract.
  • Having close buddies that you can trust with your life
  • Getting the best deal out of your interior decorator/land contractor or other similar expensive deals
  • Having a great relationship with your parents and siblings

The above pointers are largely broad generalizations, but I’m sure you understand the gist of it.


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Introducing Solids to Babies – The Importance of Annaprashan

Annaprashan is the Hindu custom that marks your baby’s transition from liquids to solid food. It is known as chorunoo in Kerala and mukhe bhaat in Bengali. The rites of Annaprashan may vary according to region, but the aim is the same. A successful transitioning and celebrating the fact of baby starting on solid foods.

Why is Annaprashan performed?
A baby who is on breast milk or formula fed milk gets all the nutrients that she needs from this liquid diet. But babies grow at a healthy rate and will soon need nutrients, particularly iron, that a liquid diet alone cannot provide. That is why an elaborate ceremony ofAnnaprashan is performed. From the day of Annaprashan, the family slowly starts introducing solids to the baby.

What is the best way to introduce solids after the Annaprashan ceremony?
The best way to is to introduce one solid food at a time. Every new food can be introduced on the 5th day.
Babies are learning not just about the taste of the food, but also its different textures and aromas. Just like the taste of cheese, these new attributes need to be given time to get used to.

Which is the best first food?
You can safely start with fruits like banana, vegetables like mashed potato and rice. All of these have a smooth and non irritating texture. Moreover there is usually less issue with their aroma and taste.

How and when to transition from purees to chopped and mashed food?
Every baby will take its own time to get used to a certain food and be ready to move on to the next. At 6 months, purees are your best friends. You can continue this for a month (or more if the baby isn’t ready for mashed) and at 7 months try to introduce the same foods in a mashed or chopped form.

Which foods to offer
At 6 months your baby’s immune system is still delicate so it is important that you use only filtered water and well cooked food to lessen the probability of acquiring a stomach bug.

Once you are sure that your baby likes any 2 different types of food, you can try to mix them and offer it to the baby. Don’t expect her to immediately take to it, though.
Seasonal fruits and vegetables offer the maximum amount of nutrients when compared to off season fruits and vegetables that have been lying around for long and most likely have been injected with preservatives. That being said it is also advisable to steer clear of salt, added sugar and foods that are high in sodium. Your baby digestive system doesn’t need these additives and isn’t developed enough to flush them out successfully.
The food habits that your baby acquires during this stage plays the groundwork for her food preferences in adult life. For example if your baby has been offered sweet foods more than required, your baby will be fond of sweets in later life.

Another important fact to remember during this time is that all the fat cells in your baby’s body are formed until 5 years of age. This means that you are actually in control of the fact whether your baby will be overweight in adult life or not!
Fats are important for brain development and should be offered regularly to the baby in the form of ghee, butter etc rather than empty calories like canned juices, biscuits, etc.

How to manage a working pregnancy

How to manage a working pregnancy

Ever heard stories about women who worked till the last day of their pregnancy? Then highly likely you have heard of women who couldn’t even manage to get out of bed most days, leave alone, get ready and work through the day.

Most women, who do not suffer from sickness and nausea can and do work through their pregnancy. If you plan on working through your pregnancy, we have a list that will help you along the way! [Read more…]