mom of all trades

mom of all trades

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Breath of life

Last week changed my life.(yes.. I am a drama queen!!!!) It happened when I began to give importance to the most taken for granted aspect in my life- my breathing. I attended a three day workshop conducted by the “Art of living” foundation. It was an eye opener for me to make certain changes in the way I was living and thinking. When I learnt how to become fully aware of my breathing, and started doing it consciously; a wonderful thing happened. I slowly learnt how to immerse myself fully in what I am doing at the moment. For the first time in my life I was able to give my full attention to the present and it was a wonderful feeling. Another thing I will cherish forever is the way I learnt to enjoy daily meals; savor each mouthful , be aware of its texture, its taste, the sensations it produces in my mouth. I try to do it at least one time a day.. even if its just a handful of raisins popped in when I am waiting for my son at school. Try it its addictive.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Annual day. with the king of my heart!!!

This morning marked a sort of land mark in Nachikaet’s social life.. his first stage performance. It was a fantastic debut (well I am his mom guys, what did you expect!!!!)

His class performed to a medley of songs by the late “king of pop”. What amazed me was that the class teacher had managed to transform a group of boisterous four-year olds into dancers, belting out classic Michael Jackson steps, leaving the audience asking for more.

It set me thinking about the efforts teachers put into molding our kids thoughts and actions. Teachers, especially in the nursery levels, are an under paid lot doing a largely thankless job. My son and I decided this afternoon to use these Christmas holidays to make a card together, list out all the things he has learnt from her this year and thank her..all in his own words ( I, being the scribe). Here is a picture of him beaming at the camera in his “beat it’ costume. He sure is the king of my heart!!!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Power of praise..try it with your child

Last week I was waiting for my turn at a doctor’s clinic, when I chanced upon an article in a magazine. It made me think about a topic I had never associated with parenting..praise. The article speaks about how praise, if used in the right way, plays a vital role in boosting your child’s confidence levels. As human beings,we all have an inborn need to feel loved and appreciated. As parents we some times forget that children define themselves based on what their parents or peers think about them. They are more likely to turn out into what they constantly visualize themselves to be. I found the ways  suggested by the magazine, to weave praise into our daily lives, very practical and doable. Here are a couple of them. Instead of saying vague things let him know what exactly you are appreciating. So if he helps you lay the table, instead of saying’ you are the sweetest child in the world’; try “that was very helpful of you, mama felt very happy when you helped” This will help the child understand why he  is being praised. In most cases appreciation works better if done privately, rather than in front of everyone. This will avoid situations where the child will feel embarrassed or spark sibling rivalry. Another thing most parents need to be aware of is what they speak of, behind the child’s back. Put off discussing negative behavior till you are sure the child cannot over hear. So try tapping the potent power of praise. You will be surprised by the results.. I was!!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sneaky ways to introduce healthy snacks for kids

For most of us mothers, unhealthy snacking among kids is a reality we face on a daily basis. Fuelled by a daily dose of advertisements and peer pressure, all kinds of processed food find their way into their daily diet. My son was also introduced to this kind of snacking when he started preschool; so it was like “Amma, Nikhil has got chips for break time I want ‘just like that only chips for snacks’.. you get the picture. There were nights when I would lay awake wondering which of the “forbidden foods” he would be introduced to the next day!!! Finally it dawned on me that “if you can’t beat ‘em join em!!!”. That’s when I began to look out for alternative home made substitutes. It is a slow process but the results are worth the effort. My son enjoys these two substitutes most times.

When he wants something crunchy like potato chips, I entice him with chatpata puffed rice chat –sauté puffed rice in a little oil until crisp (don’t over fry), keep aside. Sauté shredded carrot, boiled sweet corn kernels (I use saffal frozen corn), thinly sliced yellow and red capsicum for color... basically any colorful veggies in bite sized pieces in a little oil; add a little chat masala, salt and lemon juice. Mix with the puffed rice and serve hot.

Whole wheat crackers topped with flavored cheese spread with a topping of your choice and zapped in the microwave is another option.

When he wanted ice cream every day I tried out a recipe I read in a magazine and it was very successful. Mix pureed fruit pulp into yogurt, add honey and freeze and scoop out servings into a bowl using an ice cream scoop (to retain some level of authenticity!!)

Please send me any sneaky snacking recipe which you may have tried out!!!!

Let us join hands in this noble endeavor!!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Unlikely Hero

If any one were to ask my son, about his favorite superheroes (yes he has a list of them)
they would be very surprised. Of course there is the ‘chota Bheem” “spiderman” “BenTen” array; but among them, one stands out for the mere reason that my “superior adult mind’ would never have put him in this category. He is my son’s auto driver or auto uncle as he is fondly known as. It all came to light when a well meaning guest asked nachikaet what he wanted to be when he grew up. pat came the reply..”auto uncle’ . The guest and I were equally bewildered. To him, the way his auto uncle maneuvers around traffic to get him to school on time, screams at people who dares to delay their daily jaunts, allows him to drive the auto on by lanes is nothing short of heroic. It set me thinking that if we allow ourselves to look at world around us, through our children’s’ eyes once in a while, I’m sure we can see a hero in the most unlikely places. My son made me realize that the world we live in has so much to teach us if only we choose to open our eyes and ears to its marvels

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

An ‘after school energizer’ smoothie for kids

Last week my friend’s 8 year old came home exhausted from school at 4pm ..what with sports , extra curricular and projects children nowadays are seriously loaded with work. With a quick “hi’ to me he flung his bag down and yelled”Amma no snacks today gimme energizer” My friend gave me a triumphant smile and sailed to the kitchen. This is what she whipped up:

1 .Banana (med sized ) ripe – sliced 2
2 Cottage cheese(panner) ½ cup
3 Milk 1and ¼ cup
4 Dry fruits of your choice ..i used 1tsp almond powder(almonds roasted without oil and ground in a dry mixie jar to a fine powder ..can be stored for 2 weeks) and 1tbsp lion dates syrup)
You can use whole dates, presoaked almonds, figs,apricots..what ever your child fancies.( 3-4 nos)
5 Seasonal fruit of choice ½ cup
6 Ice cubes, large ½ cup
7 sugar/honey (optional)

Wrap the banana slices in a foil and freeze them over night or for a couple of hours.

Mix the frozen bananas with the milk, fruits, dry fruits and cottage cheese. Blend till the consistency is smooth, adding more milk if required. Add ice cover and blend again.
Refrigerate this mixture if using later or serve immediately. You can garnish it with strawberry or slivered almonds or chocolate shavings(grated chocolate)

This is a thick shake. It provides energy and hydration when children are not in a mood to eat normal meals. Nachikaet loves this shake. I’ve invented a name for it and he thinks it’s a magic potion which will grow muscles. It is a sight to see him run to the mirror immediately after drinking to see if his biceps have “grown”.. will post the picture soon