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!
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.
5 most frequently asked questions about Cloth Diapering
I have written a few more posts on Cloth diapering, covering topics like diaper types, maintaining, washing and storing cloth diapers and on night time diapering.
I am often asked questions by expecting moms and new moms about cloth diapers, here are some of those.
1.What are cloth diapers?
Most of the modern Cloth diapers ( MCDs) will usually come with 3 parts- an outer layer which is waterproof and thus prevents clothes from getting wet, an inner stay dry layer which prevents the baby from feeling wet and a middle absorbant layer, which absorbs and holds the pee. The snaps of One Size (OS) diapers can be adjusted as your baby grows.
There are different types that you can check here in my previous post.
2. How soon can I start cloth diapering my baby?
Babies and five senses
Have you ever thought what life would be if we missed one of the Five senses that we have? Well, I have often wondered and shuddered with the fear of missing on to so much beauty that the world brings along.
This post brings into light how little babies and toddlers perceive things through the 5 senses. I had written on 5 senses last year for a photo challenge and it has been long that I wanted to share it here on the blog.
The first thing that occurred to me when I thought of smell was the connection between mom and the new-born and the breast crawl that reaffirms the fact that babies’ can identify the odour of nipples.
Our Olfactory glands get activated soon after the birth and breast-crawl is a proof to it.
I have always wondered how, even when in deep sleep, Little A always managed to turn the right way to find the boob.
It was a miraculous sight, when A was put on my chest some less than half an hour after being born and in no time he was doing what he had to, suckle like a pro with just 9 months of existence in the womb and few minutes outside. I was all tears, looking at him and that feeling is inexplicable!
Olfactory response is the most researched input for the Breast Crawl and is believed to be the most important one too.
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.