Super-easy Baby food recipes

One of the baby milestones that a new mother looks forward to is introduction to solid foods. It is a huge milestone in the development of baby. A baby starts giving hints as to when he/she is ready to start solid foods. It generally happens between 4 to 6 months. A few of the visible pointers here are:

a) able to hold up her head.
b) starts taking interest in what you are eating and tries to reach out to it.

My baby girl started showing these signs at around 5 months. Traditionally, most Indian households have a food-eating ceremony for a baby where baby is officially introduced to solid foods. Ours was no different. We had her “Ann-Parashan” ceremony when she was almost 6 months old. That was the first time she tasted solid food for the first time. Till then all she did was drink her milk and eyed our food with curiosity.

Introducing solid food is an adventurous journey. You start planning how much to begin with, when to feed, what all nutrients to take care of and how to cater balance between milk feed and solid foods so that the child gets enough nutrients. As my baby is nearing her first birthday, I look back at our solid food journey with fondness. Some times, the things work and sometimes they did’nt, but all in all what an adventure ride it was. And I am equally thrilled at the prospect of introducing newer food recipes to make for her as she gets older and more active.

Here, I am sharing the recipes which are full of nutrients and are my go-to recipes. These recipes are easy and does not involve much cooking and hence perfect for a mom on the go. Rich in fibres, vitamins and minerals, they are great for babies.

  1. Mashed carrot and beetroot: When she started out with solid foods, it was winters. Winters in north India means loads of carrots, green leafy vegetables. Oh, the choices. Carrot was my go-to vegetable to make recipes for her. Initially I started giving her carrot puree. But later, to introduce different vegetables to her I gave her beetroot puree which she didn’t like much. That’s when I decided to make carrot-beetroot puree and it was a hit from Day-1. Both carrots and bettroot are good source of Vitamin A, iron and fibres and beetroot helps in boosting immunity.  Without further ado, here’s is the recipe:

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Ingredients: 1 carrot medium size cut in medium-sized chunks.

1/2 medium sized beetroot finely diced/ grated.

Pressure-cooker them together with 1 cup of water for 10 minutes or for 4-5 whistles.

Pro-tip: Beetroot takes much longer to soften than carrot. So try to cook it for a little longer than you normally do for carrots alone.

Take out the boiled veggies in a bowl and mash it with a master or spoon. One can blend it in a blender as well. I mashed it with a spoon and hence the texture is not puree-like but chunkier.

Tmi tip: if the input is red carrots and beetroot, the poop also shows shades of red. So don’t fret. Thank you in advance 😆.

2.  Oats banana pancakes : Ever since my baby turned 7 months, I started to feed her at least one fruit a day. Most of the days, it is the easily available and nutritious bananas. The first time I made oats banana pancakes was when I had a ripe banana and it was mealtime. It contains the goodness of oats with essential vitamins and minerals of bananas. Simple to make and act as a good finger food or babies.
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Recipe: 1 ripe banana

3 tablespoon oats.

Mash banana in a bowl and add oats and mix well. Put a frying pan on flame, add a little ghee and spread the batter on it. Cook both sides well. Since there is no binding agent like eggs, the pancakes might break while flipping it. Mine did when I tried themtfor the first time. The above picture is the proof. Since bananas are naturally sweet, I don’t add any jaggery powder in it.

My baby girl loves these. She is not a very fussy eater and sometimes I like to give my healthy diet during pregnancy some credit 😋. But she being not a fussy eater makes feeding her a bit easy. Do share your feedback and your go-ro recipes for your baby.

This blog post is a part of #Baby/ToddlerFood blog train hosted by Me(Anisha) from momzdiary ,Danisha from Lovethatyoucanbuy and Deepali from myteenytot.

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We 40 Mom Bloggers are here with some amazing Baby & Toddler Food Ideas just for you.

This is a month-long blog train. Stay tuned for some very healthy and yummy recipes everyday.

I would like to thank Amitoj, a wonderful blogger who writes at http://www.tryingtobeasupermom.wordpress.com for introducing me. Now I would like to introduce Sonam Jain, a food artist blogger and a mom of one year old toddler. Her platters are colourful whimsical and creative which ensures kids start enjoying their meal.You can check her work at http://themagicplatter.com/ and  superb food artist of http:\\magicplatter.com .

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Let’s talk about Menstruation

Did you know 28th May is celebrated as Menstrual Hygiene Day. I didn’t. But the moment I get to know about it, I jumped at the opportunity to use this platform to talk and share awareness about it. Because menstruation, like any other topic need to be talked about openly.

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Did you know 50% of the girls in the world don’t know about menstruation before they reach puberty. I remember as a young kid, I was curious of the Whisper (a sanitary napkin brand of P &G company) advertisement that used to come on TV. So one day, when I was watching the TV and that ad appeared, I asked aloud to my aunt and mother who were sitting nearby “What is this ad all about?” My aunt laughed and hushed me stating that it is not your time to know about this. You will get to know once you grow up. Grew I up and only then I got to know about it.

Did you know that there are so many superstitions and taboos attached to menstruation. I was blessed to have liberal parents who didn’t give a damn to any such taboos or superstitions. But few of friends were not. “Don’t touch the pickles as it would rot if you touch it”. “Don’t enter kitchen in those 5 days”, “Don’t enter the mandir in those 5 days”, “Don’t touch anybody in the house in those 5 days”, “You are impure so stay out of sight of family as much as you can” are few of the instructions that menstruating girls were subjected to.

Did you know there are girls who quit school as they start menstruating. Getting periods and hitting puberty means a girl has matured into a women and a study suggest that in low-income groups, parents are prone to get their girls out of school as she starts me  nstruating. This could be a cultural thing or lack of menstrual facilities at school or home or shame because of lack of knowledge about menstruation. I didn’t notice any such thing growing up but notice I did that how some of the girls would stop participating in the sports and other physical activities in “those days” or how girls would skip school on one of the days when they are menstruating.

Did you know that there are millions of women around the world who are not practicing proper menstrual hygiene. The reason would be lack of knowledge, lack of proper sanitation facilities, toilets, menstrual hygiene products and thus are at a risk of Reproductive tract infections and other diseases. Cleanliness of body, using clean sanitary products (and changing them every 4-6 hours in case of sanitary pads and tampoons) are the basics of menstrual hygiene.

Menstruation is a natural process but we are hushed to talk about it, sanitary pads are wrapped in black polythenes to not be seen, people (read men) are conditioned to act as if they don’t know or talk about it. It is seen as a women problem, something which is to be discussed by women only that too in a hush voice. But it is now time to change. In fact, times are changing. You and I are changing it. But so much more need to be done at our level, at national and international level. How, you ask?

  • By educating people about menstruation. There has been a lot of talk to teach sex education to children and it has been started. Similarly emphasis is to be given to teach about menstrual hygiene to students, to workers. So that when puberty hits, a girl knows what is happening to her body and accepts it as a natural phenomenon. So that a woman knows how to maintain menstrual hygiene and be infection-free. Only by education, empowerment can happen. And when we are educating, let us not make it gender-specific because men also need to know about menstruation.
  • By breaking the chain of superstitions and taboos that surround menstruation. In 21st century, where you are just a click away from everything, to believe that pickles would rot or a menstruating girl is impure makes a very sorry picture. It is important to encourage girls to not restrict themselves during menstruation and that they can play or do any physical activity as they would do in any other day.
  • By providing proper mentstruation facilities in institutions and public places. Today, schools and organizations keep sanitary pads and other menstrual hygiene products to distribute to students or anyone who is in need of one. Proper toilet facilities, separate bathrooms for girls with sanitary pad disposal systems need to be there at schools. We keep on hearing about Sanitary pad vending machines. They should be installed at public places.
  • By being open to talk about it. And this where role of media comes into picture. Lets talk about the Indian movie “Padman”. When a mainstream movie starring a big actor is based on menstruation, it helps in making menstruation a topic to discuss in the living room of the house or say in a public place. And isn’t this is important to break all the taboos.
  • At national and international level, we need to make the menstrual hygiene products affordable so that more and more women can approach these products and have safe and infection-free periods.

Menstruation does not limit, it empowers. I didn’t realise it then when the first time I menstruated, but later it dawned to me that menstruation has given me a power, a power to reproduce, a power to create a new life. As a new mom, one thing that I am amazed of is human body. How it bleeds, stretches itself many folds, carries a new life inside its own body and delivers it and return to its previous form. Also how a tiny squiggly creature that was born  grows a little bit everyday in all spheres and turn into a strong and mature individual. Menstruation is the basis which leads to all this wonder and isn’t this worth celebrating about. There is no limit to a woman. #nomorelimits.

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This World menstrual Hygiene Day (May 28), our endeavor is to break the taboos that engulfs this natural phenomenon that is the basis of very existence of human life on earth. This post is a part of blog train hosted by Anupriya of www.mommytincture.com where 14 wonderful ladies have stepped forward to express themselves this #MenstrualHygieneDay and stress on the fact that there are #NoMoreLimits for a woman. I would like to thank Siddhi of www.ofbookbabiesandmore.wordpress.com for introducing me. Give her page a read where she has written her ideas on menstrual hygiene day.

And also I would like to take this opportunity to introduce Disha, an IT professional and a lifestyle blogger who writes about travel, food and fiction at http://lifemyway.in . Check her site to read her views on menstrual hygiene day.

But wait there’s more. You stand a chance to win a DEA Corp Menstrual Cup worth Rs.2500/-.You just have to visit http://www.mommytincture.com/2018/05/27/menstrual-cups-boon-menstrual-hygiene/ and leave a comment about your #NoMoreLimits experience.

Top image source: https://www.impatientoptimists.org/Posts/2014/05/Menstrual-Hygiene-Day-A-Milestone-for-Women-and-Girls-Worldwide

The mother in me

The mother in me feels ecstatic when the baby latches perfectly,
And then worries if the baby is getting enough milk.

The mother in me feels blessed to have an angel of a child,
And is then ashamed of the times when i felt irritated and frustated.

The mother in me waits for the baby to sleep so that she can finish the household chores,
and then finds herself longingly scrolling through the hundreds of baby’s pictures and videos on her phone and waiting for her baby to wake up.

The mother in me can’t wait to see her baby crossing another milestone,
And yet wants to cherish the present a little longer.

The mother in me is proud when the baby finishes a cup of carrot puree,
And then worries the next day when she sees red bits in baby’s poop next day. ( well, hello solid food adventures).

The mother in me wants to record baby’s every little update
and at the same time fears of missing out on any of the baby’s firsts.

The mother in me is in awe of my mother who sings lullabies to my baby every single time to make her sleep,
And then wonders if i can be as good as a mother as her.

The mother in me shared all my vulnerabilities and fears to my mother, to which she simply replied “it happens with every mother.”
The mother in me, i guess, is like every other mother.

Dedicated to all the mothers. Happy Mother’s Day.

Letter to my eight month old

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Dear Baby,

You are eight month old today. Yes!!Eight month old. I will not say what I usually say but really Time flies. How you were a chubby, wriggly, tiny and so delicate new born eight months back and look at you now- this beautiful, tall, laughing, trying to stand on her own little baby girl.

I have been writing letters to you in my head since the day you were born. While I am preserving memories in my heart but what I have realised is that memory is ephemeral. What  I remember today very clearly will soon be clogged with more data and with passing time. So I put pen to paper, or in this case, fingers to keyboard to write to you before it’s too late. What better day than today when it is your month anniversary.

This past month has been a revelation. This was a month of so many ‘firsts’. You are crossing your monthly milestones with aplomb. While I understand that every child has its own pace to grow, and I am not very much concerned to hit every milestone right on time, but it is a matter of contentment when I see you grow and learn new things at your own pace.

Crawling: You started crawling this month!! and mom’s life has changed..lol. While you have started showing symptoms of crawling from 6th month onwards and were commando crawling whenever you got opportunity, this was the month when you finally crawled. And I was there to witness it. I have recorded it as well. Pat on my back.  How happy and proud I was to see my little baby crawling and making grumpy noises at the same time as if you have placed all your energies to crawl and were motivating yourself with pep talk. Now this mamma is on her toes literally all the time. You have crawled on all fours and have toured the whole house nibbling on slippers along the way.

First Word: You said your first word. On 25th Feb. It was ‘Nana’. I was so elated. Then you graduated to ‘dada’, ‘data’, ‘tata’ etc. but no ‘papa’ or ‘mama’. so much for teaching you how to say ‘Mama’, huh.:) There was a time when you were on a roll and uttering all you had in your vocabulary non-stop. And then you stop. I am waiting for you to talk again. Waiting to hear you say ‘Mama’ .

Clapping: Just one random day, you started clapping your hands by yourself. Now sometimes when you wake up, you sit and clap your hands or just like that you clap your hands because you are happy. ala Pharrell Williams.

Standing with support: When I am lying down beside you, you stand leaning on me. I give you my hands and you hold them and tries to stand on your feet. Given any standing object lying next to you, you try to take its support and stand on your feet. The view from standing up must be great, as how you scan all around after standing. Now you, my little daredevil have learnt one more thing which is, you leave your hand from your support and try to balance on your own to stand independently. Ofcourse, you fall each time but you keep doing it. I am amazed at your perseverence and independent streak and wish that you keep it up.

Smile at strangers: You have been doing this since you were little. But now, before smiling you scan the face of the stranger with your bold stare for long and if you like it and they smile at you, you give them your brightest smile. Have I told you yet that you have the brightest, cutest and loveliest smile in the whole world. Your mouth opens up to a toothless grin and your eyes cringe with happiness that light up the room and my whole world.

Put everything in your mouth: Slippers, shoes, my toes, our toes, blanket, clothes labels, toys, books, your own fingers,bottles, my hair. Enough said.

There is one more thing that you have been doing lately. Sometimes, when you lie on me or trying to stand taking my support, you pause and lay your head sideways on my stomach, shoulder or whatever surface you have access to, for a second or two with your eyes open. It lasts at most for 5 seconds but it is so precious. I can’t describe it in words. I wish I can capture that moment. To me, it feels like I am your shade where you are resting and keeping your guard down. Remember my baby, your mamma is always there for you.

Now a secret. I have not told this to anybody. Not even to your father. These days I see a little dimple on your right cheek when you laugh. And I am secretly happy that you are going to have dimples on your cheek. I don’t know if people are born with dimples or they grow at a later stage, but whatever, you have a little dimple right now.

So dear baby, I promise to write more to you, about you. You have been the best thing happened to me. I am not the perfect mother, God knows that but to me, you are perfect. ‘And I thank you life for giving me this opportunity’.  I copied this heartwarming message from Rafael Nadal’s (you mama’s favourite) winning speech from Wimbledon’2017 but the message conveys my emotions best. Thank you Life for this opportunity to be your mother.

love you,

Your mamma

Photo credit: Picture copied from http://www.footfiles.com/health/childrens-foot-care/article/how-to-keep-your-babys-feet-warm-what-parents-should-know

The __________ in me

I am participating on an Instagram theme “oh lovely woman” where one of the prompts is “the _____ in me”. The blank space is to be filled with anything you think you are. For e.g.: artist, reader, mother, traveller etc. Ever since I have seen this prompt, a verse started building itself in my head, for my daughter. So here it goes:

The ______ in me is no more a ________ any more.

It has stood up,

Turned and twisted,

shifted and sorted,

Folded and molded

itself.

The ________ in me is now a ❤️.

Brimming with

Love and care,

wonder and amazement,

joy and happiness

Unadulterated.

The __________  which is now a ❤️ is no more ‘in’ me.

It is outside.

Tiny hands and feet,

bright eyes,

wide smile

My sunshine.

My daughter.

 

 

A step forward

I used to blog at blogger many moons back but had not written anything for the past year or so. So Today when I decided to get active on my social media platforms especially blog, after umpteen attempts to break in, I realised that I don’t remember my password of blogger.  I initially thought to revive my password and the blog so that the river of my thoughts continues in a seamless manner but then I said to myself “you are on a new journey, to write about new experiences and memories of motherhood. This is a chance to start anew from a clean slate.” (Side note: actually reviving password seemed too much a hassle)

So here I am. Making my debut on WordPress.

Don’t Ask if blogger is better or WordPress. And of course, this place will be a haven to all my ramblings, memories, dreams and experiences as a new mother.