Why don’t I give my daughter juice?

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A few years ago, my friend and I took our kids to a park. After playing for a while, the kids got hungry and demanded food. I looked into my bag and realized that I had left the tiffin box at home. But, my friend, fortunately was carrying hers. She took out 2 tetra packs of mixed fruit juice and a big pack of biscuits.

“I got juice and oat biscuits, at least kids will have something healthy than those chips!” She announced. I chose to stay silent. My daughter was hungry, and I didn’t have anything else to offer to her. So, she got a treat of packaged juice and biscuits.

On reaching home, I narrated the whole incident to my husband. Shock, indignation and disappointment were writ large on his face.

“This country is doomed forever if its educated citizens think that packaged juices and oatmeal biscuits that come out of a packet are healthy for kids!” He cried.

See at the back of any tetra pack containing fruit juice – it would say natural fruit sugars and added sugar. Natural fruit sugars is fructose and added sugar as we all know is pure white sugar. Also, there is no mention of any fibre of the fruit, because the juice contains none. So, basically, we are giving our kids an overdose of sugars. It causes blood sugar levels to rise rapidly resulting in a burst of energy that is short lived. High blood sugar levels cause the body to store the excess energy as fat. Also, once the sugar gets stored in the body, the blood sugar levels come down leaving the child tired and cranky. So, giving a packaged fruit juice to your child doesn’t the purpose.

But, wait it doesn’t get over here. Learn what all it can do to your child.

As the blood sugar levels come down, the body craves for more sugar that it just lost. So, the child will start demanding for sweet stuff. You got him or her into this vicious cycle!

Juices are overloaded with calories, empty ones. Your child is not getting fibre, or enough protein and healthy fat out of these. No wonder, we see child obesity and type 2 diabetes on a rise in India. Juices, cola and sweets all contribute to it!

And to all those who say juice contains real fruit, no…it doesn’t! It contains fructose-concentrate juice. 1 orange juice (200 ml) = goodness (what does it even mean) of 3-4 oranges (yes, I read it on the advert of a popular “no added sugar” orange juice…it said 17 oranges for 1000 ml pack!!). 1 apple juice (200 ml) = 4-5 medium sized apples.

Now, tell me honestly, can our kids eat so many oranges and apples at a time. No, right! Then, why are we feeding them so many fruits in the form of juice?

My daughter loves juices so much, she can finish the entire 200 ml pack without taking a pause. Yes, kids love sugar…don’t they just! However, I restrict these juices to occasions…she can have them as treats at birthday parties or at picnics.

I have stopped giving her homemade juice as well. Why?

Simple rule – drink not what you can eat!

If she can eat 2-3 oranges and 2 apples, I have told her, she can have her juice, which hasn’t happened so far! So…..

Read more about myths and facts about fruit juices here – http://bonhappetee.com/blog/2015/10/27/myths-and-facts-about-fruits-and-fruit-juices/

It’s not only about fruit juices, but pretty much about everything that we eat and feed our kids. Let’s be informed before we put stuff in our kid’s mouth. Parenting is not only about sending kids to the best of schools and classes, buying them the best of toys…but it is also about feeding them the best foods.

Oh, and now I always make sure I am carrying a dabba of snacks from home!

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What are 6 year olds talking about these days?

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Image Credit: I couldn’t find the photographer, but I still couldn’t resist using it, because of the powerful and unmistakable message it sends out.

On a recent phone call with my friend, I came to know that her daughter who is also my daughter’s friend and classmate, brings home her school tiffin untouched. When my friend probed her daughter, she came to know that a couple of girls in the class told her, “If you eat a lot, you will turn fat!”

That I was shocked beyond words wouldn’t even superficially touch what I felt on hearing that. Seriously, the ‘body shaming monster’ that plagues every girl right from her teenage to the day she dies, is rearing its ugly head and is not even sparing little girls.

6 year olds, what do they know about being fat? No, really, it couldn’t be their words. These words have been implanted in their mind. And by none other than the family and the society. So when they hear their mommy or daddy complaining for the umpteenth time about “how she needs to diet because she has put on weight” or “he needs to eat sparingly to cut down that flab”, they create their own perception without really understanding the whole picture. What they listen and understand is “eating makes one fat!”

Things like this are the reason little girls develop eating disorders and start hating their body.

Yes, India ranks third in child obesity in the world, and yes, we need to take extreme measures to rein it in. Yes, obesity leads to many lifestyle diseases like thyroid, diabetes, PCOS…but, that doesn’t mean, children should stop eating. When has dieting or fasting helped anyone, let alone children?

Eating a lot is not good; not for anyone, irrespective of their waste size. But, more important is the quality of food and its nutrition value. The sad part is when we feed our children processed cheese, we don’t think they are getting fat? When they gulp down an entire bottle of packaged juice or eat biscuits and chips, we don’t complain much. But, when it comes to dal, roti or subzi…we get stressed looking at the quantity.

Here are a few things as a parent you should take care of:

  • Do not perpetually talk about your weight gain or loss in front of kids. They don’t understand the context and more often than not interpret it the wrong way.
  • To an older child (once she turns 6-7 years), you can make them understand that being fat is not bad. But yes, one should eat right (junk should be limited to once a week) and exercise every day.
  • Teach them about the quality of food. Tell them eating 2 rotis are better and healthier than 1 bag of chips. Food is first about quality, and then quantity.
  • Pack tasty but nutritious home made food in your child’s dabba. Fortunately, we are in/come from a country that has hordes of regional nutritious recipes. Plus, Google is always there to expand our recipe repertoire.
  • Body shaming starts at an alarming early age nowadays. Monitor her influences (friends, social media, siblings, etc.). Teach your child to be confident about her body and the way she looks.
  • Don’t glorify thinness or slimness in your home. Instead of fat or thin, focus on being fit. A person can be thin, and yet not be fit.

Let’s not snatch away the innocence from these little kids. They should be talking about dolls, legos and stuff, and not worry about weight gain at their age. What do you think?

 

 

 

Hypothryoidism – Do not suffer in silence..!!

I am not sure whether I have shared with you before, that I have Hypothyroidism for last 12 years, and been on medication since.

Now, an underactive thyroid has a host of unappealing symptoms: brittle nails, hair loss, fatigue, lethargy, brain fog, hoarseness, depression, joint stiffness, muscles aches and pain, sensitivity to cold, constipation, slow metabolism, unexplained weight gain and inability to lose weight, complications in conceiving/carrying it full term.

So, this small gland secrets hormones vital for your body functions, Now, medicines help but they do not repair your gland. Even after taking medicines, I still suffer from all these symptoms, their intensity might be low, but they still plague me one way or the other. People close to me know my constant struggle with fuzzy memory and weight loss.

So what option you have other than taking medicines for your whole life?

Yoga, of course helps. Yoga has specific asanas namely:

  • Sarvangasana
  • Bhujangasana
  • Naukasana
  • Ushtrasana
  • Dhanurasana
  • Chakrasana
  • Simhasana
  • Surya Namaskara and many more.

Recently, I came across this video by Luke Coutinho, a well known nutritionist from Mumbai/India who has shared great tips to manage your hypothyroidism. And, one of them is consuming Coconut Oil. So here it is. My bottle of cold pressed virgin Coconut Oil. A spoonful daily, doesn’t have any taste. But, can work wonders.

coconutoil

So let me get back to you after a few months on my hypothyroidism status.

For all ladies suffering from hypothryoidism, do not suffer in silence. Act today!

Check out this link –
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64eVj9hwRm0&feature=youtu.be

Disclaimer – This is not a product review. This was the cheapest bottle of cold pressed virgin coconut oil available on Amazon.

9 Reasons Some Babies Refuse To Eat Food, No Matter How Much You Try

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Feeding a baby is not an easy task at all. I am sure that all of us have experienced this as mothers. While there are some days when your baby agrees to feed/eat, there are other times when he/she REFUSES straightaway, no matter how much you try!

As soon as the baby turns 6 months old, most doctors recommend to slowly introduce solids. It is an exciting time for parents, mothers especially, as it means her breasts can finally get some rest! And also, babies get the opportunity to widen their palate, which till now has been exposed to only breast milk.

But, it’s not as simple as it sounds. As a mother who has experienced this phase, I have concluded that feeding baby food is not an easy task all! Come summer and many babies face feeding and appetite issues even more. So, why is that babies refuse to eat food on certain days? Is there some reason other than just moodiness?

In the course of my parenting journey so far, I have found some reasons why some babies refuse to eat food, even when you try really hard. If we manage to deal with these reasons, our babies might just regain their appetite!

1. When She is Not Feeling Comfortable

If your baby is not feeling comfortable, is colicky, is wearing tight clothes, is feeling too hot/humid, or has a full diaper, she may not want to be fed. If she has been vaccinated recently, that might spoil her appetite too.

2. When She is Full

Believe it or not, kids cannot overeat, unlike adults. So, if your child is full (was she recently breastfed?), she may not want to eat. Don’t force her. Either she will not take the food inside or vomit. It is best that we try to keep an adequate gap between two mealtimes.

3. When She is Constipated

If you notice that your baby has not been eating or taking breast milk, try to remember when she had last passed stool. She might be constipated and uncomfortable. Pooping problems affect many babies, and at these times, it is no wonder they don’t feel like eating.

4. When She is Teething

Has your little one crossed the 6 months mark? Some babies begin teething quite early. During teething, your baby might not be feeling well or comfortable, and may also experience some pain. This could be why they are refusing food.

5. When She is Fed a New Food

Have you recently introduced your baby to a new food? A baby may not like a new food and reject it! This may also lead to her refusing to eat anything in general.

Keep on reading at – http://www.worldofmoms.com/blog/9-reasons-some-babies-refuse-to-eat-food-no-matter-how-much-you-try/1397/2

My 5-year old is eating right, thanks to this food app!

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I have been using this food app, called bon happetee, for more than 6 months now. Developed by my husband and his team, this mobile app is for food lovers to indulge in their love for food without compromising either on the taste or on their weight loss or fitness goals.

Bon happetee is my fitness partner helping me with my lifestyle goals of losing weight and staying fit. It is my nutritionist, menu setter and lifestyle supervisor all rolled into one. It is simple and interactive use, and unlike other weight loss apps, doesn’t judge me when I tend to overeat on certain days, but gently guides me back to my pace. It is really…ok, I must be getting on your nerves by now with bon happetee this and bon happetee that.

So let me tell you the real reason behind this post. I log my meals in bon happetee app on a daily basis and exclaim with delight whenever I hit the score of 8 and above. Yes, it has a meal scoring system and like any examination, if you consistently score high, you keep on losing weight or maintaining it. So, yes, one day just after my lunch, as I logged my meal, the app told me that I had scored a 8 consistently that week. And, so in my happiness, I broke into an impromptu jig. My 5-year old who was watching me with unfeigned amusement, asked me what I was so happy about. I told her I had scored high on my meals on papa’s bon happetee app.

She innocently asked me, “Mama, can bon happetee give a score on my meal too?”

“Why not?” I said.

So I started logging her lunch –

1/2 small ladle Aloo Gobhi Mutter subji (Cauliflower potato peas)

1 small bowl plain Curd/Yogurt

1/2 Chapati

The app threw a score of 6. Unhappy, she asked me why it gave her such a low score. I just knew the answer ‘why’, and deep down she knew too. No dal and 1/2 Chapati was no decent for an active 5-year old. But, my previous advice had all fallen on deaf ears. Still, I could resist commenting, “If you don’t eal dal and eat only half a chapati, of course, you will get a low meal score”.

The next second, she asked me if there was any dal left. I put a bowl of masoor dal and the other half of her chapati in front of her, which she excitedly finished. When I again logged her meal, it gave her a score of 9. Needless to say, she started dancing too.

Another time, my daughter’s friend had joined us for lunch. I had made Rajma-Chawal (Kidney beans- White Rice). After finishing their meal, my daughter asked me to log in her meal on bon happetee. I complied and she got a score of 9. This interested her friend and she pleaded with me too.

“Aunty, mine too!” I logged in her meal as well, and she too got 9. Both girls were super happy.

It was a Sunday afternoon and my husband was at home. He witnessed the incident, which gave him the idea of incorporating certain features in his app for kids too. Most kids are fussy eaters, but they get a motivation to eat right, they will certainly do it.

My daughter is certainly motivated to eat right just so that she can score high on bon happetee. If you have a fussy eater at home, bon happetee might help you too! Eat good, be happy. For both you and your kids!

Download the app, click here.

7 Foods That Really Helped My Baby Put On Weight and Get Healthier

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My daughter was born a tiny baby. She gained weight with time, weighing a whopping 9 kgs when she was 9 months old. However, she also began losing weight once she started crawling. Her reed thin body bothered me, especially because I had seen her chubby avatar…

I discussed this with my pediatrician. He reassured me that my child was fit and healthy, and many babies tend to lose weight when they start crawling. To encourage my little one to gain weight, I had to introduce the right foods in her diet. However, I also knew the alarming rate with which child obesity is increasing in India. Unhealthy and excessive weight gain can be harmful!

I have always been a big promoter of fresh, home cooked foods. I promised myself that I would give my daughter good foods to eat that would help her put on some kilos – but in a healthy manner.

I am sharing with you the 7 foods that helped my daughter put on weight and get healthier. If you too are concerned about your baby, I hope these super healthy, wholesome foods will come to your rescue.

#1: Paneer

I do not believe in giving my daughter cubes or slices of processed cheese. But freshly made home-made paneer is my go-to alternative and it really helps my little one put on healthy weight. Paneer is a rich source of animal protein and also has essential vitamins and minerals like calcium and phosphorus.

How to feed: I give my daughter 4-5 small cubes of paneer, slightly roasted in desi ghee. As per most experts, cheese can be introduced to your baby at about 7-8 months.

#2: Milk

Fortunately, my daughter always liked milk and drank it without a fuss. I never (till today) give her sweetened milk or any other milk powder, but just full fat milk from my neighbourhood dairy.

How to feed: My daughter has consumed 2 mugs of milk and a bowl of curd daily ever since she turned 1.

#3: Popcorn

This may seem a bit odd, but popcorn actually has a good amount of dietary fibre and protein which makes it ideal for a snack. Plus, as moms, we have to remember that foods can’t always be about fruits and vegetables; kids get bored after some time. So, I try to include interesting foods in my daughter’s diet to keep her happy about meal-times.

How to feed: I pop corn kernels at home in butter, salt and turmeric, and my daughter loves ghar ka popcorn! Whenever her little friends come home, I give them popcorn for snacks for healthy and guilt-free munching.

Note: It’s important to stay away from unhealthy, processed popcorn that has too much salt. Also, avoid this for babies younger than 3 as small pieces can be a choking hazard.

#4: Peanut Butter

Many kids do not like to munch on peanuts; the same holds true for my daughter. She cannot eat whole nuts…but she absolutely relishes home-made peanut butter. It is a great food for healthy weight gain in little ones.

How to feed: I generously spread peanut butter or strawberry jam (homemade with 1/3 the amount of sugar as available in the market and no preservative) on paratha or roti and give it to her in the morning for breakfast.

#5: Sukhdi

Read more at – http://www.worldofmoms.com/blog/7-Foods-That-Really-Helped-My-Baby-Put-On-Weight-and-Get-Healthier/1296/2

These Doctor-approved Teething Foods Helped My Baby Maintain Her Weight!

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Your baby doesn’t have to stop eating or start losing weight just because she is teething. Here are some interesting doctor-suggested foods that will help your baby to eat right during the teething phase.

My daughter was very tiny when she was born. She weighed only 2.2 kgs. However, she put on weight faster than anyone could have imagined. At 4 months, she was weighing 6 kgs. Even her doctor was surprised and asked me what I was feeding her. Of course, she was on breast milk exclusively. Although friends and family admired my chubby baby, they also scared me saying that when my daughter started teething, she would lose her chubbiness. As soon as my daughter turned 6 months old (usually the time when babies start teething), I visited my daughter’s pediatrician for his advice.

The wise doctor placated me and told me very confidently, “Teething only causes teething. So do not worry!” Of course, he told me that she might have soreness and irritation in the gums and might start drooling more, but that was nothing to worry about. These are common symptoms of teething.

4 Foods I Fed My Baby During Teething

My daughter’s pediatrician suggested a few foods that I could feed to my daughter during teething. Luckily, I had already introduced solids in her diet. So introducing these foods to my daughter was easy.

1. Finger Foods: Cut Cucumber in long, thick slices and put it in the refrigerator to chill. Give these chilled Cucumber slices to your baby. Chilled foods can help soothe sore gums. I sometimes even gave her well-cooked, but not mushy, slices of Carrots for her to gnaw at.

2. Soups: I gave her a soup of 2-3 vegetables mid-morning. Every time I used a different vegetable like Carrots, Spinach, Pumpkin, Bottlegourd and Tomato.

3. Pureed Fruits: My husband and I love fruits, we can simply live off the fruits if need be. And, we wanted to develop the same love for fruits in our baby too. So, we tried to give her a variety of fruits every day. Of course, some fruits like banana were off-limits till she turned one, but she had plenty of other options to make up for. I grated Papaya, Mango, Soft Peach, Pear and stewed Apples before feeding her. I also gave her Watermelon slices sans seeds – she absolutely loved them!

Keep on reading at http://www.worldofmoms.com/blog/These-Doctor-approved-Teething-Foods-Helped-My-Baby-Maintain-Her-Weight/1283/2