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From Junk Food to Healthy Food

Can you believe your money is making your kids unhealthy?

money gives us access to cleaner spaces, comfortable lifestyles and much more, but we get trapped in a vicious circle of choosing quick fixes and what can commonly be called consumerism and conspicuous consumption; as a result we consume food that is highly processed, sugar loaded, high in calorie and low in nutrition.

Processed food and fast food available in the restaurants contains lots of salt, sugar and saturated unhealthy fats. Regular consumption of such food can make us prone to many diseases.

Several studies in India have shown that the percentage of unhealthy and obese kids in middle and upper income group is way higher than in lower socio-economic group- the reason is quite obvious!

You don’t have to look at older kids (6-13yrs); I have seen parents offering *imported*( read expensive) packaged munchies to their 11-12 months old babies. We happily give fancy, packaged things that are marketed to us as healthy, tasty baby food, what we don’t realise is that it is the beginning of introducing your baby to the world of JUNK. Soon your baby will start fancying anything and everything that comes packed in plastic.

An article “hold your nuggets”  by Guardian talks about children and nutrition in the UK, but it holds equally true for India too.

Over the last 20 years, kids in India are seeing what kids in the UK went through 50 years back – consuming food that is designed for children like fries, chips, pizza, burgers and what not. Other food that does big damage is the packaged food that we start offering as early as few months is biscuits, cerelac, instant porridge mixes. Why would we let our kids/babies have things that even our mature body system fails to digest?

The best way is to start well.

To start your weaning journey on a positive note.

How to help your child establish a positive relationship with healthy food?

1. The key is to eat healthy as a family- Often the family itself thrives on JUNK and packaged food (we did too), we are now trying to make conscious changes after the birth of our child. When adults eat unhealthy it passes on to the kids as well.

2. Move to family meals for your baby as soon as you can- After ascertaining that your baby can sit on her own and has lost tongue thrust and is fine with the solid food that you have given in first 1 or 2 months of starting solids, you can move to less spicy family meals (mostly at around 8- 9 months of age) Moving to family meals will save you a lot of hassle of cooking separately and then coaxing your child to eat the baby food that he/she despises. Grass on the other side is always greener, children prefer things that adults in the family eat.

3. Eat together- Eating together will help them move to self feeding sooner. When they see everyone around them eating on their own, they would want to do that too.

4. Offer finger foods- finger foods help them improve the pincer grip, fine motor skills, hand and eye coordination and finally while playing with the food they learn about different textures. Kids who self feed end up eating well and just as much as their body needs because they are aware of how much they are eating. Finger foods may include- strips of chapati/paranthas, cut fruits (watermelon, thin slices of steamed Apple, grapes and strawberries, papaya etc) sliced idli, makhana, vegetable tikkis, sautèd paneer, flash cooked vegetables.

Make sure that you are around and alert while your baby eats.

5. Never force your baby to eat. There could be days when they are just not hungry, let them be, skipping a meal or two is fine. Forcing food down your baby’s mouth will have them develop aversion to it.

6. Substituting meals with JUNK food just so they eat and stuff their tummy is going to have long term impact. I feel guilty of doing that and I am sure many of you do that too. Starving them is better than giving them food that is unhealthy and root cause for many deceases.

You could check my detailed post on Starting Solids for babies.

Do share your views and tips on raising happy and healthy eaters!

Happy parenting.


This Post was originally written for Janini, a closed Mothers community on Facebook; Janini is a platform conceptualised to share & exchange ideas, seeking solutions & resolving issues through interaction in the areas of Personal Growth, Healthcare & Childcare. Rolly of  Rolly’s Yoga Art is the founder of Janini, helping expecting and new moms in prenatal, postnatal and childcare.

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An Interview with Dr. Rolly Wali Sapru – Yoga and Lamaze Childbirth Educator

An Interview with Dr. Rolly Wali Sapru – Yoga and Lamaze Childbirth Educator

Rolly and I happened to meet at a women’s networking meet. She had a presentation to give, I was amazed with her energy and clarity of thoughts.

Many of you will already know her, for those who don’t know her, she is a Health consultant, certified Yoga & lamaze instructor and a believer in the power of nature to heal, nurture and grow.

Let’s read on here what Rolly has to share with us about her Life, success, yoga and pregnancy.

NJM: Please tell us about yourself and your family.

Rolly: My name is Rolly Wali Sapru, I originally belong to the valley of Srinagar, Kashmir, now settled in Mumbai. I’m 51 years old, have four people in my immediate family—my husband, two daughters and I.

I am a true believer in the power of nature.

NJM: How did yoga happen to you?
Rolly: Yoga attracted me from childhood, I was very active in sports and back then, seeing on Television & magazines I used to try different yoga poses. I also bought yoga books wherever I found them those days, I would buy Yoga books from the Wheeler book stalls at railway stations, whenever we travelled.

NJM: How does the day begin for Yoga Instructor Rolly?
Rolly: My day begins with a good stretch when I get out of the bed, freshening up followed by sitting in silence for some time, and then it’s time for me to go for my first class which begins at 6 am.

NJM: What lifestyle tips would you give to new moms?
Rolly: find out time to do some stretching and exercise to keep yourself fit and consciously eat healthy food at regular intervals because if you are physically well, you will have strength to take care of your baby, and as the saying goes- “sound mind in sound body”; so you can be mentally strong too to deal with the pressures of new motherhood, which are aplenty.

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birthing centre, doctors, hospital, neonatal, pregnancy, prenatal

How to choose a hospital for your delivery?


I happened to switch 3 doctors in 9 months of my pregnancy; different doctor in different trimester and that is not how I wanted it. Pregnancy is a beautiful and unforgettable 40 weeks journey; made or marred by the doctors you choose. I had to change doctors, not because I wasn’t comfortable with them, but because of some unavoidable situations. I delivered in Gurgaon, which was a fairly new area for me and my family, that made it even more difficult for us to decide where to deliver. We got in touch with friends in and around Delhi/Gurgaon; each had a different experience to share about the various famous hospitals. We searched the internet; also checked the Facebook/google reviews of the hospitals and contacted the moms who delivered there (this was a slow process; but we got honest reviews from them). My Ob-gynae was a visiting doctor; she was attached to most of the top-rated hospitals in Gurgaon, but left it on me to decide where to deliver.  We visited two of the hospitals that we had shortlisted; did a hospital tour and then came to decide where we wanted to have our baby. It is important to have a good doctor first; hospital can be decided after choosing the doctor. Your task will be simplified if the doctor himself/herself suggests you the hospital.

The factors that could be kept in mind while deciding on to the hospital for your delivery

1.       Proximity to where you live, it is advisable to choose a hospital that you can reach in 20-30 minutes maximum. Please consider the traffic at the oddest hours, babies come unannounced and I am sure you wouldn’t want to deliver in a car, stuck in traffic; that would make a great birth story to tell though!
2.       Infrastructure, by infrastructure I mean the hospital should be able to handle any emergency that may arise and also should have in-house or empaneled reputed blood-banks, laboratory etc.
3.       Budget, of course to choose a hospital that promises to be in your budget
4.       It is also important to check with your insurance company which hospitals and up to what limit is covered by the company.
5.       Low C-section rate or a higher vaginal birth rate : If you are keen on having a normal delivery then this may be a thing to check beforehand.
6.       Old hospital vs New hospital; old hospitals have all the infrastructure established and set. The staff is familiar with the system and accustomed to the operating procedures; also the staff may be lackadaisical. New hospitals have their own set of challenges, having said that, a new hospital would always try to deliver what they promise.

Questions you may look at asking your prospective hospital before finalizing it

1.       Whether the hospital offers special birthing/delivery packages? Two of the hospitals where we checked at had same package rate for C-section and normal deliveries, only one extra room night was added to the cost of C-section as one generally needs to stay one extra night in C-section deliveries.
2.       Are consumables included or excluded in the package?
3.       Are there any hidden charges; like for printing of reports, registration etc.? I was told that many hospitals have these charges.
4.       Do you allow the spouse or a family member to be present in delivery room?
5.       Who can stay with me in the hospital?
6.       What kind of post-natal assistance is given in the hospital?
7.       Does the hospital have lactation consultants?
8.       Does the hospital have a neonatologist (a pediatrician who specializes in new born care)
9.       How long will I have to stay, in both the cases (C-section/normal)?
10.   Would the siblings be allowed in the labor and delivery room?
11.    What is the nurse and patient ratio?


These are the things that I could think of! If there is anything that you feel is missing please comment and let me know.

Hope this is useful for “parents-to-be” who are stuck in deciding the hospital for delivery.

Want to know where I delivered? click here

Have you packed your hospital bag? Not yet, click here to know what to pack!


9th month, baby essentials, birthing centre, C-section, delivery, diapers, hospital bag, last trimester, maternity home, normal, nursing gown, pregnancy, pregnant, what to pack

Preparing for the “D- Delivery” Day- My Hospital Bag

The good news is that your baby is coming soon; and the sad news is that you are going to miss the baby bump forever… oops not if you get pregnant again; but just like no two babies are same, each pregnancy is different. My pregnancy has been a really beautiful phase of my life, and as the due date was nearing the anxiety was at its peak. How will I know if it (labour) has started; how does water breaking feel, will I be able to endure the pain and so many more questions kept lingering all through. Well whatever happens the best thing is to be prepared for all odds, just as they say “ hope for the best and prepare for the worst”.
One of the things towards the end of your pregnant journey is preparing your bag for the hospital (just in case you don’t plan a home birth). Most of the doctors/hospitals will provide you with a list, mine did not and hence I thought I should write about it to help other new to-be mommies.
In the list below have included and excluded things that I didn’t take or took but didn’t need.

For the Mom during labour and postpartum

1.    Tooth brush
2.    Shampoo/body wash (if the hospital doesn’t provide these)
3.    Socks
4.    Slippers
5.    Cream/lotion
6.    A good camera-phone
7.    Your phone/ipod with your playlist with calming songs/music and ear phones.
8.    A timer or you could use your smart phone for timing contractions
9.    Tummy belt or a cotton dupatta (to tie your tummy after a vaginal delivery)
10.   Night gowns (preferably a nursing night gown)

    11.   Nursing bra
    12.   Nursing wrap
    13.   One or two decent nursing dresses that you may want to wear post-delivery(when there are visitors)/while going back  home

14.   Enough panties/disposable panties,If the hospital doesn’t provide.(you may need more than you think, because in case of a vaginal birth there is copious blood flow, so chances of staining are high)
15. Mobile charger
16. Some candies to keep in mouth and avoid it from drying (As in labour women are mostly asked not to drink or eat anything)
17.  lip balm
18.  A message/card ready to be sent out once the baby is born


For Baby

1.       Receiving blanket
2.       Swaddling sheet
3.       Onesies
4.       Pyjamas
5.       T-shirts
6.       Nappies
7.       A pack of new born diapers/ cloth diapers
8.       Face cloth
9.       Wash cloth
10.     Caps
11.     Mittens
12.     Socks
13.     Baby wipes
14.     Traditional steel or silver sippy spoon(paladai)/bottle just in case baby doesn’t nurse initially.
15.     Macintosh sheets/ Quick dry sheets
 Hope this helps the expectant moms, and the experienced moms reading this, if you feel I have missed out something, do comment below and let me know!

Keep reading, keep inspiring!

Click here, to see the review of the hospital where I delivered.