Make your little one’s meals tasty yet nutritious.

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“Finish your veggies if you want to go out and play” Did you ever have to use such threats on your little one to get them to finish their meal?

We all know that healthy food is usually not the tastiest, and no parent wants to force their kiddo into eating something they’d probably not like and throw a tantrum about. As such, parents end up taking the easy way out and often settle for fast food or other unhealthy but tasty meals.

What if we told you that you can serve those foods that are high in fibre, low in fat, have calcium, iron and other vitamins, and is yet very tasty?

Here’s a list of check list of food that you can include in your kiddo’s meals:

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Milk & Milk Based Products: Make milk and milk based products like cottage cheese, yogurt and tofu etc. part of your child’s everyday diet. It is a good source of calcium, vitamin D and protein. If he or she is not a big fan of milk go for fruit shakes – all the more healthy!

Nuts & Dry Fruits! : Throw in a few chunks of almonds, cashews, pistachios, apricots, dried dates, berries and raisins in his or her bowl of cereal, or just pack it separately for snacking. A perfectly tasty choice filled with proteins and nutrition.

Cereals: Choose a whole grain cereal that is calcium fortified and has added fibre, and top it up with milk and dry fruits. What more? You can also add a handful of chopped apple, cherries, and banana to that bowl of goodness!

 

Veggies! : Surprised? Don’t be. We are not talking about the usual raw veggies that you sometime serve as salad on the side. Sauté veggies like mushrooms, potatoes, corn, and peas in slight butter, with salt and black pepper and serve it with whole grain bread on the side.

Salmon and other lean meats:
It contains heart-healthy omega-3 fats. Serve it as salmon cakes, in burgers or salad (mashed and mixed with low-fat mayo).

Always know that chips, cupcakes, cookies and other not-so-nutritionally-noble foods will find their way in your kid’s mouth. You can’t always avoid it, but if you balance it out with proper healthy meals instead of totally depriving your child of the things he or she may want to eat, you will end up raising a not so happy kid. Add Chocolate sauce to a whole-grain cookie, or, make a burger sandwich with ‘extra’ salad. The trick is to bring in the healthy foods in their diet without giving them a chance to complain or protest.

Source:

http://pediatrics.about.com/od/nutrition/tp/0708_best_foods.htm

http://www.parenting.com/gallery/toddler-superfoods

How to manage illness & injuries of your child?

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Mommies, it’s only natural that you’d want to rush to the emergency room or the family doctor the moment your child gets sick or injured. Taking care of your sick or injured child is a daunting experience, and sometimes, it becomes difficult to decide whether visiting a doctor is necessary or not.

 We understand that you have your reasons to worry. You may be scared that an injury or illness could affect your little one’s immunity, strength and health; that it could be a traumatic experience for him or her and lead to a lifelong disability.

Instead of panicking, it is important that you ensure your child is strong enough to recuperate from his or her injuries and illnesses not only physically but mentally too.

 

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  • First and foremost, maintain a small diary or database of emergency contact numbers – doctors, specialists, hospitals in the vicinity, family member who can be available during emergencies etc.
  • Keep a well-maintained first aid kit handy. If needed, take a first aid course.
  • For minor injuries and illnesses, home remedies can do wonder, though, always make it a point to consult a professional health care provider.
  • Understand his or her body’s reaction to certain weather changes or allergies from a certain kind of food. It helps you stay proactive in the future.

 

Last but not least, encourage your little ones to open up to you and clearly express themselves when they are hurt or injured.  Build a close relationship with your child during such difficult times and ensure you are always supportive. If need be, take help from a child psychologist.

 

 

 

Source:

 

http://www.health.qld.gov.au/rch/news/CALD-res.pdf

 

http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/childinjury/

http://www.mkupdate.co.uk/courses/urgent_and_emergency_care/the_injured_and_the_sick_child

 

http://www.kidsmatter.edu.au/families/mental-health-difficulties/trauma/managing-trauma-and-ways-recover

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shopping for your baby: top tips

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From essentials to extras, the shopping list for your first child can be overwhelming. But, follow this checklist and you will be fully equipped (but not broke and drowning in baby gear) for the first six weeks and beyond.

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Pre-arrival

 

The last thing you’ll feel like doing once your baby arrives is making a trolley dash to get all those essentials. So, just in case of an early delivery, head to the shops before 38 weeks and tick these off your list:

 

• Babygrows

 

• Hooded bath towel

 

• Bibs and burp cloths

 

• Nursing pillow

 

• Nipple cream and breast pump if breastfeeding; if not, bottles and steriliser 

 

• Car seat

 

• Moses basket

 

 

 

On the move

 

It’s one of the biggest baby buys – the pram or stroller. But, it is the one that leaves parents-to-be the most baffled. Check for the following before you wheel your purchase away:

 

• Does it have a lie flat option or carrycot, which is essential for all newborns?

 

• Can you attach a car seat?

 

• Will it fit in your car boot when folded?

 

• Is it easy to collapse?

 

• Does it have a forward-facing option?

 

 

 

Changing time

 

There’s no getting away from the mountain of dirty nappies – as many as ten per day in the first few weeks. So, start buying early for nappies, baby wipes and nappy cream from the second or third trimester, to help spread the cost. Also, a practical changing mat with a wipeable vinyl surface is much easier to keep clean after you battle against squirting pee at changing time!

 

 

 

On a budget?

 

Save your cash for the big-ticket items like the pram and cot, and look for ways to save money on clothes and toys. Keep your eyes peeled for seasonal sales, BOGOF offers and second-hand markets. Don’t go overboard with all those cute little newborn onesies, but stock up on clothes in varying age ranges as your little one will grow faster than you think. 

 

 

 

Safety first

 

Do not scrimp on the all-important car seat. Check that the seat meets international safety standards, and make sure that you have the correct seat for your child’s age and weight; a newborn up to 13kg will need a rear-facing car seat. It’s worth paying extra for a seat with an ISOFIX fitting system – it’ll save you fiddling with seatbelts while trying to calm a screaming baby – and one that can be easily fitted to your pushchair.
 
 

 

Your essential guide to weaning

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You may have mastered the breast or bottle-feeding stage, but you’re not a fully-fledged mum until you’ve had pureed carrot flung into your hair. Making a mess is all part and parcel of the weaning process, that time when your baby switches to solid foods. But, while you may have many mucky mealtimes ahead of you, this is an exciting time for your little one to try new tastes and textures.

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Getting started

 

So, when’s the right time to start? You should only start weaning at six months, regardless of whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding your baby, as babies get all the nutrients they need from breast milk or infant formula prior to this. Any earlier and your child’s digestive system and kidneys are not ready to deal with solid food. Also, early weaning has been linked to digestive problems and obesity later in life. 

 

 

 

Then, look out for the surefire signs that your little one is ready to take on the hard stuff. They can:

 

• Stay in a sitting position

 

• Swallow food safely

 

• Pick up food and put it into their mouths, unaided

 

 

 

Weaning wish list

 

Gear up for the feeding challenge ahead with a highchair (always opt for one that is easy to wipe clean), soft weaning spoons and plastic bowls, bibs, disposable or plastic messy mats to protect the floor, and a blender to turn all those dishes into baby-friendly mush.

 

 

 

Feeding tips

 

There will be days when your baby will gulp down every spoon, and others when it is just a battle to get them into the highchair. But, you can increase your chances of success with these tips:

 

• Timing: start at a time when your baby is fully awake, happy and half full 

 

• Keep it simple: for the first time, try basic baby rice to get your little one used to a thicker texture

 

• Have fun: forget all your table manners and get messy and playful with the food 

 

• Small measures: start with just a few spoonfuls

 

 

 

What’s on the menu?

 

Start with a simple vegetable or fruit puree, carrot or pear are always popular, and then you can move on to blended or mashed potato, parsnip, apples or bananas. If your baby doesn’t find these too hard to swallow, introduce a new taste every three to four days – and start to combine flavours. 

 

 

 

Homemade is always best and, to save time, make up batches of different pureed dishes and freeze them in individual serving pots. 
 
 

 

 

Ready for Back to School?

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It can seem like a mission impossible – getting the kids packed up and off to school on time and juggling a career. But, with a few simple steps, you can organise your household and start the term stress free.

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Schools essentials
As tempting as it is, don’t leave shopping for those school essentials to the last minute. Beat the back to school rush and shop early for new uniforms, sports kit and school shoes, lunchboxes and flasks, stationery and exercise books, and the all-important school bag. Don’t forget to label everything; pre-order those personalised nametags well ahead of time.
 
Dates for the diary
At the start of each term, add all schools events, meetings and holidays to an online calendar, which can send you text alerts to keep mix-ups to a minimum. To help keep track of all those after-school activities, keep a weekly timetable on a whiteboard on the fridge. 
 
Early to bed, early to rise
Once the holiday ends, the late nights and long lie-ins are over. Get the kids into a good bedtime routine a week before term starts, and send them to bed five to 10 minutes earlier each night. Now’s also the time to replace holiday treats such as TV and computer games with a more relaxing story time.
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Start the day…
…with a healthy breakfast! Save the fry-ups and sugary cereals for the weekend and give your kids everything they need to stay alert in class: healthy porridge, fruit and yogurt, or scrambled eggs on brown toast.
 
Be prepared
Once your kids reach five, hand over the responsibility of packing their school bag to them – and make sure this is done the night before to avoid any morning madness. And, while it’s easier to put your feet up at the end of the day, prepare packed lunches and iron school uniforms the night before: if nothing else it buys you an extra 10 minutes in bed the next morning.
 
Do your homework
Help to prepare little ones moving up from nursery to ‘big’ school by making sure they can get dressed, put on their shoes (avoid laces at first), and open their lunchbox. Help your older children to brush up on their learning by practising their reading, writing and maths before term starts.
 
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How to inculcate good reading habits among kids?

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In the era where technology is taking over and toddlers know their way around iPad, it’s not easy to get your child to read. Inculcating good reading habits take time, patience, and routine. It also takes vigilance. Start early, stock your home with books, read in front of them, read with them and they will start to emulate you.

Let’s look at all the ways you can develop your little ones’ reading habits one by one.

 

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Create a library for your child at home:

Build a collection of Age appropriate books. For example, picture books for babies and toddlers and small story books for preschool and kindergartens make for a good choice.

Begin with fun and easy reads:  

Get your little ones small, picturesque books that they will enjoy reading, or referring to. Make sure the books you get them doesn’t take too long to finish, keeps them engaged and can be finished in small reading sessions.

Read with your kids: 

Don’t just expect your kid to open his or her book and ace the art of reading. You need to turn reading into a team activity. It always works better as opposed to you ordering your kid to read for an hour or two.

Discuss the book:

Often, after finishing a certain book, discuss it with your child. Ask them what they liked about it. What did they think about the characters? Etc. Asking their opinion will encourage them to read more often.

Get them excited and curious about books:

Take your little one to book fairs. Let your child enjoy the experience of purchasing a new book. Get them to choose depending on the colours and content. If they feel the ownership, they won’t only take good care of the book but also indulge in reading it.

Also, take them to the library:

Visit libraries so your kid can get used to being around books. Leave your little one alone in the kids section to discover different kinds of books.

Last but not least, remember – Reading anything is better than not reading at all.

Encourage all kinds of reading: Newspapers, packaged food cartons, websites, brochures and even comics and magazines are reading material.

Source:

http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/inculcating-the-habit-of-reading-books-among-children

http://www.wikihow.com/Teach-the-Habit-of-Reading-Books-in-a-Child

When is the right age to start schooling?

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When is the right age to start schooling?

 

Are you wondering if your child has reached the right age to start school?  Some believe that starting the school sooner means better results while others say that formal schooling should be delayed until the age of six or seven.

Globally, there is a big disparity surrounding the appropriate age for a child to start preschool.

Education world: Too much, too young?

So, why is there so much of hullabaloo around deciding the right age to start schooling?  As most parents will admit, preschool can be quite a leap for kids.

Going to bathroom, walking into a classroom full of new faces, getting onto a giant yellow school bus adds to some level of stress among kids. As your child’s fine motor skills are still developing, opening lunch boxes or zipping his/her school bag can easily turn into a baffling experience.  Does this mean putting off formal schooling for a year or two?

Age and educational transition

“Ultimately, studies show that the outcome in later years among all children entering school at different ages has no significant effect on their developmental and academic progress,” says Mariam Srour, the nursery director at Humpty Dumpty Nursery, Abu Dhabi and Khalifa City A (www.humptynursery.com).

So what do you think is the right age for a kid to start school?

A) Three

B) Four

C) Five

D) Six

E) Seven