Baby care can be challenging for the first time parents. After learning how to feed, clean and put a baby to sleep, it is always helpful to know how to relate with your baby when he/she is awake, even though it is usually never for more than a couple of hours at a stretch!
In this video, I share my suggestions on how to make your baby “awake time” a very valuable time for parent-child engagement, learning and fun. The exercises help keep your baby’s mind stimulated and active.
The purpose of the suggestions is also to help bonding between the baby and other members of the family who would now be able to interact better with your baby, much more than the usual “kuchi koo..”
The video will take you through 20 different ways, and although the list is not exhaustive, these are the ones I have used with all three of my babies. After learning to recognize your voice, your face and your touch, your baby will start responding more to you during these months and even give you a smile! 😁
And Hey….Playing with your baby can help them achieve important language and growth milestones. If you feel I have missed out on a way to entertain a 0 to 3 month old baby, feel free to let me know in the comment section. I would love to hear your experience, as would all my readers. . TAG SOMEONE WHO THIS WOULD BE USEFUL FOR❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Every mother makes a CHOICE based on her situation and her need. We all have our own unique path and no one way is the best way. We always hear about how breast feeding your baby is the ultimate thing but we need to understand that sometimes its not possible for some mothers to breast feed and so we need to SUPPORT them rather than criticize and put them down.
Some mothers POSTPARTUM are unable to breastfed for whatever xyz reasons. We need to know that ultimately how ever the baby is fed, what is important is good health for BOTH the baby and mother.
If you are a formula fed mother let me tell you today don’t not be shy, do not fear judgement, you don’t need to hide anything nor do you need to justify or explain your decisions to anyone because no one needs to know!
No mama should feel guilty for how they take care of or feed their baby.
Just OWN MOTHERHOOD in your own beautiful way and make the decision and choices you want to, as in the end you know you will do what is best and right for your family.
Be confident in your motherhood journey, we all have that inner mother instinct which will guide us to doing whats best. And remember if anyone judges you…Its on them…not you…😊 So go ahead and enjoy every moment with your little one, love on your little one and be brave to do what works for you. They key is
𝑇𝑢𝑚𝑚𝑦 𝑓𝑢𝑙𝑙 = ℎ𝑎𝑝𝑝𝑦 𝑏𝑎𝑏𝑦 ☺️☺️☺️
And hey…Formula feeding doesn’t make you any less of a mom. You ARE a FABULOUS mama no matter how you’choose to feed your baby.
All that counts is those MAGICAL moments when you give your little one the bottle/breastmilk and your little baby looks into your eyes, that bond, that love, that skin to skin contact and just that amazing feeling when they fall asleep in your arms. That never changes…..❤️
Bored at home with kids during this lockdown? Wondering how to make your children’s time more productive? Here’s a cool game we tried out as a family which involved thinking and drawing – a fun combination!
Things you need: Color Crayons Paper Pencils Ruler Marker (optional)
The game first involves drawing 15 to 20 equal squares on a sheet of paper.
Then begin the game by reading out a question and giving the child 5 minutes to draw and color after guessing what the object is. Once done, move on to the next question till you complete all the squares. Its fun trying to guess the answers and you also end up learning something new. This game is good for children and for a family and can even be made to work for a group of friends at a party.
Below are a list of questions you can choose from to play the game with. Feel free to use your imagination and make your own questions.
1. Where can you find cities, towns, shops, and streets but no people? A map.
2. What has a neck but no head? A bottle.
3. What is full of holes but still holds water? A sponge.
4. What begins with T, finishes with T, and has T in it? A teapot.
5. What has to be broken before you can use it? An egg.
6. I come in a pair, I am black and white in white… if you cover me it becomes all black and if you uncover me I can see everything in colour. Eyes
7. I am orange in colour with a green crown on my head. Bunnies love me and I make your eyes healthy. Who am I? Carrot
8. When you light a fire on my bum, I fly high, high up in space! Not everyone is allowed to come along with me! Who am I? Rocket
9. The more you use me the smaller I become. Everyone in the house uses me. I have different colours and fragrances. I am very useful in fighting germs! Who am I? Soap
10. Be it monsoon or be it a sunny day, people open me to protect themselves! I come in beautiful colours and sizes! Who am I? Umbrella
11. I have a face, two hands but no arms and legs! With my two hands I cannot clap. You will find me in various shapes and sizes. Everyone keeps me in their house and I am very important to keep you on track! Who am I? Clock
12. Honey bees love me! You see me all around in beautiful colours and fragrance! You find me in gardens and park. You offer me to God as well! Who am I? Flower
13. What is that, that is only yours but everyone else uses it. You only don’t use it often! What is it? Kids you can use doodle art or some good fonts to write this!!! Make it look beautiful and nice Write what is yours!! Name
14. Some have 10, some have 11. I help you hold things and write. I help you to shake hands and wave goodbye! Who am I? Hand
15. What becomes wetter the more I dry? All family members use me daily! Who am I? Towel
16. We r millions in the sky. I have a rhythm to my name. I am high up in the sky, watching you every night! Who am I? Stars
17. I move around super slow and I have no legs, I carry my house on my back! If you scare me I tuck away in my house. Who am I? We have to find the one who doesn’t have legs. Snail
18. I have hair but you can’t use me to comb your hair. Some use me daily – once or twice. I help you keep them pearl white and healthy. Who am I? Toothbrush
19. Come birthday or come anniversaries, without me the celebration is incomplete! I am yummy and everyone loves me! Sometimes I have a candle on my head! Come on kids make a yummmmmmmyyyy one!! I come in a cup, I have many colours and flavours. Who am I? Cake
20. What has a thumb and four fingers but is not alive? A glove.
21. I’m full of keys but I can’t open any door. What am I? A piano.
22. Give me food, and I will live. Give me water, and I will die. What am I? Fire!
One of the most important challenges of parenting springs up in a very timely manner once a year called – the birthday party! An all-important day when both the expectations of your child and his friends have to be met with utmost sincerity and high regard. From the cake to the birthday theme, working out all the nitty-gritty of the party can often be challenging for the parents, while putting their ideas into action with the same pomp and splendor that they intend to is another story altogether. With rising costs, it has only become more expensive to celebrate something as simple as a birthday, and the combination of all these factors can put a lot of pressure on unsuspecting parents.
Year after year I have toiled hard for my children’s birthday parties, right from hiring the hall to decorating it and running around for the catering and cake. Each birthday went by with me getting extremely exhausted and not getting the opportunity to enjoy the day with my child and celebrating something so beautiful that I had been an integral part of myself. So, when it was time to organize my son’s birthday last week, I decided to do something different without having to go through the feeling of carrying the world on my shoulders to make it happen.
This time I organized it at a play area called MOJO KIDS in Bandra west. And believe you me, it made my life much more easier helping me to actually enjoy and celebrate with my son, something I hadn’t been able to convincingly do over the past few years.
MOJO KIDS is a soft play area which has a ball pool and an interactive slide that responds to touch and has images playing on it, a large trampoline, a soft merry-go-round, choo-choo trains, role-play toys, car coin games and many other activities to keep children busy. In addition, there is a large adjoining play and cafeteria area which turned out to be perfect for celebrating my son’s birthday.
The place had dedicated staff who very courteously did the decoration for us, set up the cake table and kept a watch on every kid’s safety. My son had a long list of friends he wanted to invite and the place accommodated them all pretty well. The play area is well lit and supervised and I was happy to know that it gets cleaned and sterilized every morning and evening to keep it contagion free.
Catering was in-house and included french fries, pizzas, nuggets and noodles – all served hot and fresh. Bottled water and juices were also made available which literally flowed with these kids full of energy and charging around the play area. Thankfully the cafeteria was open to taking orders as and when the food fell short which was really helpful in ensuring that food never ran out and neither was wasted.
To summarize, I have listed the advantages I enjoyed having celebrated my child’s birthday at MOJO KIDS play area:
1. No worry about organizing games or activities for the kids. There was so much to do, that the kids were pretty busy having fun, giving their parents time to interact among themselves.
2. Food and beverages was taken care of completely making it easier to ensure that everyone had their fill without worrying about food getting wasted.
3. Staff served as extra helping hands with everything from decorating to taking care of the kids, which really helped keep the party under control.
4. The entire area was extremely hygienic with a clean washroom. The ambient temperatures were well maintained even with all the kids running around and nobody broke a sweat! I was thankful that I didn’t have to clean up after every one left.
After we were done with the party and we were on our way home, I realized that I was not as tired as I would normally get after organizing these birthday parties. Thankfully, Mojo Kids helped cut my effort in half while still keeping the fun level high. Nothing is more precious than having your birthday child profusely thank you for giving him the best birthday ever! Thank you MOJO KIDS for making this possible!!
If there is one thing that I love more than eating mangoes, it is eating home-made mango jam. My mother is really good at making it, evident by the fact that my school friends used to love to share my jam sandwiches. That had always been my favorite childhood snack, and till date she sends me a bottle of jam without fail during every mango season.
This year too she did that, but with a twist. Instead of using the conventional glass bottle that she usually does, she sent me jam in a Vaya Preserve Jar. It was a nice black color jar with a grey screw lid. The jar seemed to hold more than the usual volume of jam that I receive every year and that was already making me fall in love with it.
We subsequently used the Preserve every day at breakfast, each time scooping out some delicious jam on hot toasted sliced bread. What was interesting was that the jam didn’t harden like it sometimes did in the glass jars, but retained the flavour and texture right through the three months it was in Vaya Preserve.
After we were done with the jam, and believe me it was hard rationing it in my jam-loving family, I decided to hold on to the jar. I was curious to know whether I could use it for other food stuff. I had read online that it can keep food hot or cold for up to 6 hours and decided I wanted to test that feature out. I ordered a Vaya Preserve Jar set from Vaya.in. Although I was tempted to order in all the elegant colors, I chose the graphite ones, because I loved how my mom’s jar looked in my kitchen cabinet.
So, I put the jars to test with common foods over the past month – first hot soup, then homemade popcorn on our road-trip to Pune. The PreserveJar doesn’t disappoint one bit in its capacity to retain the freshness of its contents. Also, the soup stayed hot when we had it 4 hours later. I then checked to see if it will keep my one-pot meals hot as well. I was planning to put to use the two different sizes effectively, and so I carried hot pasta in the 500 ml jar and some cold kheer in the 300ml one to work the other day. I had an incredible meal time that day, and had all my colleagues look at me appreciatively as well! The pasta was not just fresh, it was warm, just the way I like it and the kheer was cold and delicious! I am now currently using it for storing garam masala and other spices I made last week.
I have always had trouble looking for storage containers that serve well to preserve the integrity of my masalas and other spices, and now after having used the Vaya Preserve for storing my garam masalas I know what I need. I am already planning to reorganize my kitchen, with these stackable Vaya Preserve Jars. I have always used the conventional plastic containers, but with environmentally conscious children who have criticized my use of plastic, I decided to go in for a more eco-friendly option of storing food. And you know what, these look great too!
My mum called me up yesterday asking for her Preserve Jar back. Apparently, she had forgotten that she had given it to me. I assured her I would be sending it back to her in the coming week, but now I’m having second thoughts about giving it back! Hopefully, next mango season she will send me another helping of jam in another Vaya Preserve Jar, because that will give me one more to add to my collection!
Vaya Preserve is available in other stunning colors, and you can buy these jars at Vaya.in.
Dr Kshama Chandan – a leading dental practitioner in mumbai spills the beans on nutrition and oral health.
What role does nutrition have on oral health?
We all treat our teeth like windows, the better we clean them from the outside, the healthier they look – of course that is true but oral health goes way beyond that. Our teeth and gums need to be nourished externally as well as internally. When it comes to the health of our teeth, “We are what we eat”.
If our body isn’t getting the essential
vitamins and minerals then our teeth and gums also get affected. Oral hygiene
maintainence and regular clean-ups is essential, however eating right is
How does poor nutrition affect the oral cavity?
In India, malnutrition affects 1.3 million people over the age of 65 and
leads to many oral diseases, as well as issues like poorly fitting dentures and
receding gums. Soreness in the oral cavity leads to poorer oral intake, which
worsens the underlying cause.
How important is a healthy diet?
diet is extremely important but we must look at the bigger picture. Sleep,
hydration, our environment and exercise all play a crucial part in our general
health which in turn affects our oral health. Anything that is good for our
general health is good for our oral health too.
are recommended for optimal oral health?
Eating a balanced diet, limiting in
between-meal snacks, reducing the intake of sugary beverages and substituting
them with healthier options is the key to maintain optimal oral health. Meat, poultry,
fish, milk, broccoli, spinach, oranges, nuts, carrots and eggs help to
strengthen teeth . Safe snacks in between meals include nuts, cheese, fresh
vegetables and yoghurt.
What should be avoided?
While chocolate, sweets, candies,
fruit juices, fizzy pops, alcohol, give you a short burst of energy and satisfy
your taste buds ,they are packed with ingredients that lead to long-term
problems like tooth wear, gum disease, tooth loss, tooth decay as well as wider
health problems like diabetes and obesity. Avoiding sugary and acidic food and drinks between meals
is important, as the acid and sugar can attack tooth enamel. As
part of an overall balanced diet, ensure you eat plenty of greens, lean proteins,
nuts and healthy fats,avoid processed foods and refined carbohydrates including
white bread, pasta and processed meat.
A healthy diet has an extremely positive
impact on our mouth and teeth. Tooth-friendly choices can do wonders not only
to our mouth but our body too. By removing unhealthier options and replacing
them with nutritious alternatives, our physical health, mental well being and
our smile will all feel the benefits. Say no to the potential damage caused by
sugar and acid and give your mouth, teeth and gums the best chance to flourish.
For more information you can book an appointment with Dr Kshama Chandan, MDS Prosthdontics running a private practice at the The Dental Worx located in Lokhandwala & Santacruz (west).
“The most beautiful moments always seemed to accelerate and slip beyond one’s grasp just when you want to hold onto them for as long as possible.” ― E.A. Bucchianeri
I can’t believe how its been over a decade since I first met my husband. It feels like it was a few months ago, all the dating, courting, the all-night phone calls, and the desire to spend the rest of our life together. Now, after being married for almost a decade, two children and a whole lot of ups & downs, I am so thankful to God for a life partner who has stood with me through it all. To celebrate our love that has stood the test of time in spite of all the tribulations that came along, my husband organized dinner at a very special dining place, which actually took us 10 years into our past together because the food served there was reminiscent of what we used to eat during our dating years. Although we ate out a lot in the past, it was often an excuse to meet up, and the only way to keep the weighing scale from getting upset was to eat tasty & healthy food. Today, we are much older and probably have different reasons to continue to eat healthy, and so we went to the best place for Lebanese food in Mumbai – Mabruk!
Located in the 5-star deluxe Hotel Sahara Star near Mumbai’s Domestic Airport, Mabruk is an open air restaurant with a breathtaking scenic view. Flowing streams of water just adjacent to the restaurant provide a very soothing ambient sound which cuts off all the noise that might have been expected from traffic flowing right outside the hotel. The relaxing ambiance is complimented by a wide open spaced seating layout in comfy sofas, soft lighting and a very tender genre of instrumental music playing in the background. The mood of the restaurant is very calming & relaxing and is a welcome contrast to what us Mumbaikars are exposed to in our daily routine.
At the outset we were greeted by Chef Jihad El-Chami who is a very jovial and down-to-earth kind of person. We spent the initial several minutes deeply engaged in a very interesting conversation about how an authentic Lebanese chef of Lebanese descent landed up in a city like Mumbai, and how he has grown to love living here with his family. It was amazing to hear how he had adapted to life here and how well it was working out for him. He then took us through the menu, helpfully advising us based on our expectations.
We started off with the Mezze, which is a big part of middle-eastern cuisine and consists of a platter of selected appetizers served as part of a multi-course meal. This is often the routine practice in the Middle East and North Africa. Classic Lebanese cuisine calls for two such platters – Mezze Albard (Cold) & Mezze Alharu (Hot). Here is what we enjoyed:
Mezze Cold: This cold platter had servings of 5 different items –
Hummus – This was a chickpea (kabulee chana) puree with garlic lemon juice and tahina (sesame sauce).
Babaganouj – This consisted of roasted eggplant relish with mint, parsley and bell peppers.
Fattoush – A very popular Lebanese chunky salad tossed in lemon, mint, olive oil and sumac spice (which has a taste very similar to vinegar)
Mou’hamara – This was a walnut tomato and chilli piquant sauce
Labneh Balade – These were small yogurt cheese balls rolled in Za’atar (which is a mix of sumac spice & sesame seeds) & preserved in olive oil. We were told that it is a common Lebanese snack and can be stored in the fridge for over a year very easily.
Mezze Hot: This hot platter also had servings of 5 different items –
Meshwi Mishakkal – Consisting of a platter of char grilled succulent lamb and mildly spicy chicken kebabs, the meat chunks were large and juicy.
Safi’ha B’jibneh – These were halloumi (unripened cheese made from a mix of goat and sheep’s milk) and za’atar stuffed mini open pies.
Falafel – An Arab classic this consists of chickpea & broad beans patties with tahina sauce.
Sambousek Jibneh – The sambousek looks similar to the Indian samosa in that it consists of a small patty stuffed with feta cheese and thyme (ajwain) but tastes completely different.
Manakeesh Zatar – These looked like small pizzas topped with thyme sesame seeds and olive oil.
The Main course – Tagine Laham, was served in a Moroccan Tagine Pot, which is a ceramic cooking vessel with a unique ability to give the food a earthy and rustic aroma to the food cooked in it. The dish is a traditional Moroccan mutton stew with potato, beans and almonds accompanied with couscous (steamed broken wheat with a texture very similar to fine chopped rice).
For desert we had the famous Lebanese crispy pistachio pastry called the Baklawa. This has been a favourite of my parents for years during their time in the Middle East, and is one of my favourite deserts as well.
Our drinks were two of the Koshafs which is a noticeably thick mix of apricot & orange juice on a mango pulp base decorated with dry fruits.
I have known Lebanese food to feel light and easy on the stomach no matter how much is eaten, primarily due to its preparation involving a combination of herbs and olive oil. The dinner was sumptuous, the spread extensive and we were satisfied to the fullest. A beautiful surprise in the form of a delicious anniversary cake was next and I just loved this end to a fantastic meal. A special thanks to our host Niraj & Chef Jihad El-Chami who made this possible for us. Overall, Mabruk is a wonderful place to make an occasion special.
On the way home, I realized that I have had such a wonderful last decade and now looking forward to the next together as a family.