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Monday, July 28, 2008
My experiments with chicken and kids

Few days back, my niece visited me. Like many children, she was also very choosy about what she will eat and what not. One thing was clear after seeing her likes and dislikes that she was a game for junk food and I was very disappointed on seeing her eating habits.

On a lazy Sunday, she was insisting badly on going out to have burgers. I somehow persuaded her to stay at home by bribing her with her favorite toys and stuff and promised to cook some really fantastic things for her. Although, not really convinced, but she agreed. And here I was, sitting and wondering what to make which does not require me to roast in the kitchen for the whole day, which is nutritious and she should find it delicious.

Bingo, came up with the idea of making chicken pineapple salad and chicken kathi rolls. Very healthy, nutritious and yummy. I went to the near by store and got all the ingredients. For me, they were so easy to prepare and for her believe me, they were lip smacking.

I think kids like good-looking food, which is different from the routine stuff. And for mommies it becomes a challenge to have correct blend of nutrition, taste and looks for that matter :)
I look forward to do some nice experiments so as to give healthy food and inculcate healthy eating habits in my little son.

For now, here comes my chicken pineapple salad:

Juicy chunks of chicken with even juicier pineapple mixed in generous amounts of mayonnaise (you can use hung curd as well to increase the nutrition factor) is sumptuous.

And here are the chicken kathi rolls:

Piping hot paranthas covered with beaten egg, having succulent pieces of chicken are heavenly when eaten with green dip or sauce.
You too enjoy the treat :).

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Monday, July 21, 2008
Making bath fun time
Although my son kept floating in water aka amniotic fluid for 9 months, but the first touch of water when he came out was not really rosy for him. He used to cry at the top of his voice and if it would have been possible, he would have ran his way out of the bathtub. And to be honest, I was not happy. I thought “ everyone likes water, what’s the matter with him”. What I didn’t realize that its actually his reaction to something alien.

Then I started looking out for techniques to make him friends with water. He initially didn’t liked the voice of filling the bath tub, so I decided to bring him in the washroom only when his tub is ready and somehow it seemed to appeal him. And now.

Here he is trying to catch the stream of water.

Instead of wetting him completely in one go, I made him touch water, then put it on his feet, hands.legs and then complete body. It allowed him to get familiar with the temperature and it worked.
Making him ready before the bath also helped. Following the same routine and speaking same words “Its time to take bath” allowed him to know that its time. And I observed, that he seemed to start enjoying it.
That’s when I decided to get a pool for him. And when I first put him inside his pool, his reaction was, if he could speak, “Oh My God, Mom where am I?” I think it’s the same with everyone, a child or an adult, change is not easily accepted. So I used a trick. He loves to play with his ‘Rock –A- Stack’. So I took its rings and put them in the pool.

When I brought him in, he was so excited to see his favorite rings in there, that he wanted to jump in.

See how excited he is.

Luckily, the toy he loves the most is waterproof and I could easily put that in water.
Now I am planning to get some goodies for his pool, squeezies, glow worms and most importantly mugs. This would help improve his motor skills.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Child Abuse:Break the silence
"Child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime" -Herbert Ward

Child Abuse is as common as it is shocking.Each year,thousands of children suffer from some kind of abuse whether it is physical,emotional or sexual leaving them scared for lifetime. Sexual abuse is heinous of them all and is a major problem in all countries particularly India. Lack of proper laws and lack of awareness on the subject causes criminals to walk scott free.

Most of the time the abusers are the ones whom you know and the child is supposed to trust, some relative,a friend,a caregiver,a neighbor, a teacher,coach or someone you religiously trust. A child in the fear of you not believing him or will be angry,choose not to speak, taking all the aftermath on him.And if in case,he or she choses to speak,you in the fear of embarrassment leave this topic unheard as if nothing has happened leading to double trauma for your child. Its you who can bring change and solace to the life of your child. No matter how big a scar is,proper nurture can heal it.

Come to terms with reality and realize before giving in to any societal pressure,that nothing is more important than your child's well being and I am not just talking about the physical well being.He needs to be cared for his emotional and psychological well being too.

Before going into the ways of handling it, I want you to always remember that Sexual abuse is never a child's fault.You need to believe that no matter what the adult says in his or her defense,the child does not invite sexual activity and the adult behavior is wrong.
  • Bring confidence in your child that you believe him no matter what.
  • Don't be angry if he comes up with any problem related or unrelated to this subject so that he feels free to approach you.
  • Encourage him to share with you if someone inappropriately touches him or forces him to undress,spies on him in bathroom or bedroom, exposes to adult material or exploits in anyway.
  • Along with encouraging an open talk,keep a close eye on behavior of your child,he suddenly becomes silent,starts remaining aloof, does not like to be in company of a particular person,afraid of being around a particular person.
  • These days,abusers do not even spare infants because they are easy targets and don't speak. So be alert and attentive when your baby is with a so called known person alone. I am not saying that you should start doubting every other person around but at least don't trust blindly.
  • And if unfortunately something happens with your child,please be there for him or her.Do not hush up. Confront the person and take him to task.
  • Fathers should teach their boys how to treat girls.Boys pick up habits from their fathers,coaches so be an example and show them how to respect a women and not outrage their modesty.
Remember,you did not took the pains and fathers you did not waited endlessly to bring your child into the world to make him or her suffer for lifetime. So stand up against this evil and break the silence.

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Friday, July 4, 2008
Religion:Passing on faith
Few days back,I was going through one of the blogs and read about religion.I started thinking about how I would want my baby to inherit the religion.

I would like him to tread he path of religion like I did,on my own. Every religion teaches faith in God but not every religion has same God. I believe in the existence of the ultimate power that always backs you. This faith not only has given me the high of life but I have always remain grounded as well. No matter how bad a situation is,I have always turned to Him and found a way out. If in any situation,luck matters, God brings me that luck. I always felt myself as God's chosen one because He is always been there for me.

I want my child to believe in the Almighty,find peace in His blessings. I want him to know that if he is working hard,giving his best and is being a good soul,he will always be treated as God's special child.He will always be taken care of. I hope I will be able to instill in him the Faith and give him high moral values.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Introducing new foods
Being a mother of 8 month old,I can tell you how difficult it is to make your baby eat for the first time. But,contrary to what I earlier thought,IT IS POSSIBLE.

The baby,I don't know about others,but mine is sure to reject any new food not once but many a times. I felt so disappointed that I started thinking, will he only be surviving on milk? But thanks god,to my much needed relief, after a number of unsuccessful attempts I finally got it right. Some mothers start the first foods when the baby is 4 or 5 months old but some over cautious mothers like me don't do it until that 6 month mark is reached.I started with cereals because they are most risk free and does not cause any allergies. Rice cereals works best initially but I think babies don't like it much.

This is how I managed my trysts with the first foods:
  • I tried many times inspite of him rejecting it. In a single day, I tried twice and then again the next day and gradually found him developing a liking for it. Probably he was not getting used to the taste and the idea of eating.
  • Another trick i tried that got me through was to give food with the milk feed. Some amount of milk and then something to eat. This strategy allowed him to relate eating to hunger.Then later on,I started giving him food in between feeds and it works fantastic.
  • Remember,the babies think that the only way to satisfaction when they are hungry is milk because this is how it is always. So never give them first foods when they are very hungry and also not when when they are not hungry. That's why the above mentioned strategy in the last point also works.
  • Try milder foods at first with less odour and if possible no odour at all.That's why certain babies don't take bananas well as a first food although it was not the case with my baby.
  • Distraction works. Initially distracting the baby with a toy or using some ploy to open his mouth is okay so that he starts accepting things. But make sure it should be used as sparingly as possible because he should have a habit of having food without any prop.
  • Go slow and don't introduce a number of foods at a single time.I introduced one food at a time for few days and then tried another one so that he becomes familiar with whatever is given to him.
I am still trying and making him familiar with different types of foods and preferably not the sweeter ones because I don't want him to develop a sweet tooth in the beginning itself. You can find your child picking up a fruit from the table in later years but he will be selective with the veggies. So I am trying my hand at veggies more so that he starts and develops a liking towards them.
Would really like to know some more tips and tricks from your side.

Its really important that a child has healthy eating habits so that he becomes a healthy adult and if that is possible by putting a little extra effort on my part,I won't hesitate to do it.

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