Mommies, if you have recently been to see the movie Barfi, as most of us did, or if you’ve read about it or have seen any of its trailers, you probably already know that the main actors are a little special, with special needs and a very special and beautiful life….
As a mother myself, what I definitely loved about the movie is that though the characters are deaf-dumb and autistic, none of it is used to generate pity, and instead, we are shown what a beautiful and ‘special’ life they have, blessed to be able to enjoy life at its fullest.
When my daughter watched the movie with us, she obviously had a lot of questions, her first one being why can’t the person speak or hear, or why does this person have such problems (as a 5-year-old, she felt that the difficulties faced by autistic people were especially hard because no one seems to try and understand what they say or feel!).
I was very sure that I wanted her to know the realities, yet make sure that she wouldn’t end up pitying or feeling sorry for those with special needs. I told her that even if they can’t speak or hear, or have difficulties expressing themselves freely to others, they do have a special language of their own, one that comes from the heart, one that is filled with love, governed by love, and one that can only be understood by people who are loving and caring themselves.
I know its quite hard to explain the entire concept to a kid, that too keeping in mind that your child will form an impression of special-needs people based on what you tell them and how you tell them. But you know what, children are really smart and understanding, and when you tell them something in the right way, they do understand and listen!
Don’t avoid such topics with your little one, because sooner or later, they will get to know, and it’s always best that you are the one who tells them the realities of life, and explain to them the responsibilities of growing into a wonderful human being.
- Don’t shy away from showing your babies movies that have special-needs people
- Don’t show movies that show special needs people in a bad light
- Talk to your kids about people with special needs
- Encourage them to mix with and make friends with special needs people
- Let your child feel that special-needs people are normal too, just different in behaviour, like most people are different
- Don’t pity a special-needs person in front of your child, and remember to be polite and understanding in your behaviour towards them, as your child will pick up your behaviour
- To make your child believe, you need to first believe yourself that people with special needs aren’t an illness, but just a different way of living
This week, Manasi Joshi, mother of a 7 month old baby boy, asked us about what meal she can start giving her baby at this age along with her own feed.
She has already started with Cerelac and Khichdi. She also wants to know a routine which she should follow for her baby.
And, as we truly believe that ‘Mommy knows best’, various moms on our Facebook page have given their valued suggestions to help Manasi.
Here are some solid foods, that they recommend you should start with:
- Boiled and mashed fruits with yogurt
- Vegetable khichdi
- Ragi malt
- Mashed fruits
- Vegetable soup
- Mashed and boiled vegetables like potato, carrot, beans, peas, cauliflower with a little salt
- Moong dal
- Banana shake or any other fruit shake
- Coconut water
- Sabudana khichdi, suji kheer, upma, oats kheer, jau dalia or wheat dalia
- Ground leaves of palak and soya saag with little bit of honey
- Read Annabel Karmel’s book – Super Foods for Babies and Children
Some of our special mommies have also shared their routine:
Saumya Khare -
- 1 meal of Cerelac & khichadi/dal-chawal
- 2 meals of fruits
- 3 times milk
Sharmili Navab -
7 a.m.: Wake up and nurse for about 20 minutes.
7:30 a.m.: Play on the floor or outside with her toys.
8 a.m.: Breakfast, usually rice cereal or oatmeal and fruit (baby food).
8:30 a.m.: More play time.
Between 9 and 9:30 a.m.: Nurse for about 15 minutes, then nap.
11 a.m.: Wake up and play.
Noon: Lunch (baby food — a fruit and a vegetable).
12:30 p.m.: Play.
1:30 p.m.: Nurse for about 20 minutes, then nap.
3:30 p.m.: Wake up and play.
4 p.m.: Nurse for about 20 minutes.
5 p.m.: Dinner (baby food).
5:30 p.m.: Play, go for a walk.
6:30 p.m.: Bath.
7 p.m.: Nurse for about 20 minutes, then bed.
1:30 a.m.: She usually wakes up for a 20-minute nursing session.
Cynthia Haller -
- 3 solid meals a day along with the usual formula feed
- The amount of solids in the beginning was very small, not more that 4-5 tea spoons
- As she turned 5 months old and she was ready for solids, I started introducing my baby to a new food every week, never more than one, until she was 9 months old.
Debleena Choudhury Sarkar’s -
- My baby boy takes his last morning feed (mother’s feed) between 7.30 -8.30am.
- He wakes up at around 9am and plays for a while.
- Around 10am she gives him 1 spoon full Cerelac feed. Then nap.
- Then, oil massage and shower between 11am & 12.
- Around 12.30pm, boiled & mashed apple. My kid loves it. Sometimes little banana. Then nap.
- Next, around 2.30-3pm again, mother’s feed and then nap.
- Around 4.30-5pm, second oil massage followed her 2nd feed of 1 spoon full Cerelac feed.
- Rest of the evening & night he is on mother’s feed.
- Use honey and figs instead of sugar
Pooja Dhawan Verma -
11:00-my feed for 15 min. then, a nap
12:15-get up and take bottle feed
1:30-some solid like khichdi, daliya, custard or besan seera
3:30-bottle feed and nap
5:30 noon -biscuits mashed in milk or a fruit
9:30-my feed and nap
10:00-moong dal or vegetable soup
11:00pm -bottle feed
12:00pm-my feed and sleep
Rajitha Bhupalam -
- Morning- ragi malt or sometimes Cerelac
- Afternoon- homemade cooked grains powder and dry fruits powder, which is very healthy
- Evening- kichidi
- Night- boiled mashed fruits and vegetables
- in between -nurse her whenever she needs, after 1 yr you can give her extra milk, banana, chapathi, egg, bread and whatever food you eat try to give the baby also
Kirti Sharma Handa -
1. Breastfeed your baby only at night
2. Wake up early morning usually 6 or 7am and breastfeed him
3. Give Cerelac at 10 am and then at 12 give a bottle of milk
4. 1 or 2 pm you can give khichdi with curd
5. Give fruits at least once a day
Note – Many moms recommend not giving too much Cerelac to your baby. Try giving them homemade food at most times.
We thank all the mommies for the suggestions to Manasi and many other moms who are facing the same situation – Namrata Samel Dixit, Thazni Kabir, Surbhi Shukla, Nehali Khoche, Pooja Sachdeva, Renuka Patel, Supriya Tawde, Joie Bose Chatterjee, Deepa Shree, Shweta Manjul Jaiswal, Nisha Sharma, Veena Giri , Vaishnavi Seshadri, Shama Desai, Pooja Dhawan Verma, Surbhi Shukla, Sutiksha Devliyal, Aditi Goel, Deepty Mundhra, Namita Jain, Pallavi Kocharekar Dabgotra, Sharmili Navab, Prabhjot Kaur, Kumkum Pandey, Dew Sengupta, Shweta Pandharipande Maurya, Neha Wadhawan Mehta, Shikha Barnabas, Anitha Santosh, Shilpi Anand, Shilpa Vishal Ranjan
A special thanks to Hitesh Thakur, father to a 3 year old.
Mums, as much as you are trying to make your little one get familiar with meal times and trying out new food, there’s one thing that can definitely help make the process a little more cleaner and less messier – BIBS! Here’s a few that will make meal times fun and less messy!
Soft and simple to keep meal times clean
A simple cute bib for your cutie!
Comfortable set of wash cloths to gently clean baby’s face
Cute way to keep you tension free and let your baby enjoy food.
A fun way to keep the food off your little one’s clothes. Dishwasher proof and easy to clean and re-use.
Easy-to-tie and adjust. Use and throw.
Catches spills, easy to tie and clean.
Whether you’re going on a road trip with baby, a small journey, throwing a party for the little ones, or simply want to give your kid something healthy to eat in between meals, finger foods are always quite a hit with parents, as they are non-messy, easy to eat and can also be used to include added nutrition to your kid’s diet.
We prepared a list of the top 10 finger foods that will not only make munching time less complicated, but will also try and pack in some nutrition, while being yummy:
- Baked potatoes: these are really easy to make. You can choose to put them in the oven for a few minutes and add some butter, black pepper and salt to it. tasty and healthy.
- Cheese slices: no extra effort, just get them out of the refrigerator and hand to your child on a plate. Delicious and healthy all at once.
- Rajma salad: if you’re cooking rajma (kidney beans) at home, just take out a portion of salted boiled rajma and add some chopped onions, lime juice and black pepper to it. this will not only taste delicious, it will also give your child some much needed energy.
- Grated carrots: Hand over a bowl of grated carrots to your little one as they play and munch.
- Open Sandwich: Just place some grated/chopped veggies on a piece of bread, add a slice of cheese and some ketchup and sprinkle a bit of salt. Toast one side slightly on the pan with butter. To make it easier, cut into smaller bite-sized pieces.
- Frozen green peas: Get them off the freezer, thaw and put in warm water. Drain, add salt and black pepper, and a dash of butter. Healthy tasty and quick.
- Biscuits with toppings: Unleash your creativity and turn those cookies and biscuits into healthy tastier bites. You can choose from a variety of healthy toppings.
- Spinach and Corn Sandwich: These are quick and easy to make, and almost all homes with a kid have a pack of corn in the fridge. So make good use of it and add a power-packed sandwich bite for your little one.
- Roti Rolls: Easy to make and to make it less messy, cut them up in smaller bite size portions.
- Fruit Salad: Toss up a salad with various fruits and add a dash of chaat masala and lime juice.
Yes, we know it’s quite a difficult task to get your baby to like these. But as parents, aren’t you always trying. Threats, reasoning, love, anger, orders – you try every single method to try and make sure that your child gets the adequate amount of vegetable and fruits in the daily diet. But mums, if your baby isn’t interested while eating these, or if your baby is eating vegetables only out of fear, chances are, it won’t really benefit your baby as much as it otherwise can.
There are a few ways that as parents you can try out with your kid at home, depending on whether your child is a baby, a toddler, a young child or a teenager. Try and use the methods that will best suit your baby and you:
One golden rule to remember is never to give up. Try introducing new flavours, even though your baby might constantly refuse. You never know when they will start developing a taste for it.
Plan out meals with your child. Sit and talk about what your baby would like to eat, and then try and see how creatively you can include vegetables in them.
Make fruits and vegetables a regular part of all your meals. If they are not part of the main meal, try and add them in as many dishes as you can – grated, chopped, diced, mashed, baked, steamed.
Make interesting smoothies, shakes and juices fresh at home.
Make breakfast healthier by adding fresh fruits to cornflakes, or using fruits or chopped vegetables in sandwiches, porridges, toasts, poha, idlis, dosas, paranthas.
Shop together with your kid for fruits and vegetables.
Place a plate of vegetables and fruits on the table and play an eat-the game. ‘Eat the vegetable that is great for eyes and a favourite of rabbits.’ Or, ‘Eat the vegetable that was Popeye’s favourite.’
Let your child participate in cooking. Ask them to help with vegetables (bursting the capsicum, cutting the spinach with a big baby scissor and so on). Get them to clean them up for you before they break or cut them.
Have a colour day at the meal table. For an orange-colour day, go for pumpkins and oranges, for a green day go for spinach, beans, lady fingers, cucumbers, grapes, sweet lime, guava, grapes and so on.