FIGHT your mid-meal hunger pangs with Nutri Cookies, a healthy range of snacking option launched by Dr Charu Sharma. The cookies are loaded with the goodness of healthy ingredients like organic quinoa seeds, chia seeds and flax seeds. Nutri Cookies are rich in omega 3 and fatty acids that are beneficial for overall metabolism of the body. They are low in calories, no artificial sweetener and high in protein and antioxidants making them an ideal treat for all age groups. Dr Charu’s Nutri Cookies are available in selected stores in Delhi NCR and online on Flipkart and Amazon.
Feelings come and feelings go I never know what they’ll be Silly or angry, happy or sad They’re all a part of me…”
M&B spoke about emotional development to Swati Popat, author of the parenting bestseller and
president of Podar Education Network. Read on to discover how a little awareness can go a long
way in making your baby more loving and expressive
Babies have always learnt about emotions through human interaction, but recent research says that emotions can also be instinctive. A theory called the Bronfenbrenner’s Theory adds that the environmental experiences of babies, as they grow, determines their social and emotional development. Even before the first social smile appears around the age of two or three months, babies can feel curiosity, happiness or distress that they convey through facial expressions and body language.
Swati Popat, M&B’s early childhood expert, says that children start emoting from the time of birth. She explains that when a newborn is held in the crook of his mother’s arm, he can look into her face and respond to the sight. Explaining the ways in which a baby expresses his feelings, Swati borrows from Italian early education specialist Loris Malaguzzy’s poem ‘The Hundred Languages of Children’ that says that every child expresses himself through a hundred languages but the adult world steals away 99 of them.
Instinct and imitation
According to Swati, among the various ways in which a baby shows his emotions, some are based on pure instinct. This means that the body has developed specific mechanisms of expressing emotions. She explains that babies don’t have to learn to cry when they are hungry, give a shrill cry when they don’t get what they want or whimper when they are in pain or in need of attention. These are reactions thatcome naturally from birth. As they grow into the third and fourth month, says Swati, babies start imitating or copying. So when your little one smiles and sees a smile in return, a foundation of learning gets created. The baby’s interaction becomes more social and he learns that there is a special way of responding to a particular expression. Watching a display of emotions is essential for the child to understand how to be in sync with his surroundings. Imitation and recognition play an important role when it comes to expressing emotions, she points out. The baby does not get the right cues when he grows up being surrounded by very serious individuals who don’t smile or laugh. Swati maintains that if parents don’t baby talk or express openly, the child will not get the first lessons in socialisation and grow up to be introvert and inexpressive.
The first smiles of your baby are extremely important according to Swati because a smile happens without any conscious move. For a baby, a smile begins as a muscular movement but if it is reciprocated with a smile from the parent, then he learns that this movement gets the same response. And in this way the first social interaction with the display of positive emotion happens. At this stage, positive emotions are essential for brain and memory development and so it is important to reinforce positive emotions in the baby.
A mother’s nutrition needs never stop changing. In part one of this series, experts at Abbott Healthcare delve into a mother’s dietary requirements to fuel her health through her 40s, 50s and beyond
Prioritising a mother’s nutrition—from your pregnancy and lactation to grandchildren and your golden years—is vital to ensuring that you are the healthy, happy mother children love to be around. But just like motherhood never stops changing, neither does a woman’s nutritional needs. Here’s a decade-by-decade guide to fueling a mother’s health:
Nutrition Needs During your 40s and 50s
Befriend B12: Vitamin B12, which supports the health of both your red blood cells and nervous system, is a vital part of keeping you energised, especially when it comes to helping you make school lunches before work and drive the kids to football practice. However, throughout the years, your body’s ability to absorb and use the B12 you eat may wane. That’s because your gut gradually produces less Intrinsic Factor, a protein necessary for the intestines to effectively absorb B12. Severe fatigue and anemia can be the result of this. “B12 deficiency is very common among the Indian population due to poor dietary intake,” says Dr Irfan Shaikh, medical head for pediatric and maternal nutrition at Abbott Healthcare.
To make sure your levels are where they were in your younger years, a simple blood test at your doctor’s office can assess your levels. If you are low, talk to your doctor about supplementing or adding more meat, eggs and milk to your diet.
Consume more calcium: While calcium can help strengthen your bones in every stage of life, after age 50, your daily recommended intake increases from 1,000 to 1,200 mg per day. It’s important to talk to your doctor to evaluate your bone density, family history and calcium intake to prevent osteoporosis or to help slow the loss of bone density as you age. To increase your calcium intake, focus on incorporating whole foods including dairy, sardines, soy, leafy vegetables and salmon into your diet. Eat more fibre: In women, the risk of coronary heart disease increases after age 55, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. That’s where fibre comes in as it’s effective in lowering cholesterol levels and is said to improve heart health. To increase your levels of soluble, cholesterol-lowering fibre, reach for oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, fruit and vegetables. However, you need to make sure to gradually increase your fibre intake so as to avoid an upset stomach.
During your 60s and beyond…
Preserve muscle with protein: To walk your children down the aisle or run around the backyard with your grandchildren, it’s so important to maintain muscle mass. We naturally start losing muscle mass at 40 years of age —roughly eight per cent per decade. This number can nearly double to 15 per cent by the age of 70.
But to do so, you should pair regular physical activity and strength-building exercises with additional protein. Research published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, states that as you age, the body becomes less efficient at processing protein and incorporating it into your muscles. Incorporate protein-rich foods into every meal and snack. Fish, lean meats, eggs, beans and protein shakes are all great options. Bask in the sunshine: While you can get vitamin D in limited quantities from foods such as fortified milk, salmon and mushrooms, the vast majority of people’s intake comes through sun exposure. Unfortunately, many people don’t get enough of this important vitamin, and this defi ciency is increasingly common in old age. According to a study of 824 elderly people, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 47 per cent of women were defi cient in vitamin D throughout the winter, when vitamin D levels are generally at their lowest. Dr Irfan Shaikh points out that during old age, apart from spending less time outside, people can experience reduced skin thickness, impaired intestinal absorption, poor food intake of vitamin D and reduced liver and kidney function, further increasing the risk of defi ciency. For that reason, after age 70, the recommended daily intake of vitamin D increases from 600 to 800 IU per day. Talk to your primary care physician to have your levels checked.
Now, armed with all the right information, we surely hope that you’ll not only take better care of your children, but of your nutritional needs as well. After all, we all hope to live long enough to see our grandchildren grow, and one way to ensure you do so, is through proper care and a healthy lifestyle! MB
We naturally start losing muscle mass at 40 years of age —roughly eight per cent per decade. This number can nearly double to 15 per cent by the age of 70
Get your partner to take our parenting quiz to find what animal represents his approach to being a dad
1. How good are you at putting a babygro on your baby ?
A Fine, as long as it’s a normal one with poppers down the front.
B Not bad, but I always double-check I’ve got it rightonce it’s on.
C You can test me with my eyes shut—I’m an expert!
D I’m rubbish at it! Who invented those fiddly poppers?!
2. When it comes to nappies…
Not my department!
A It’s not my favourite job, but I do my fair share.
B If I’m there they’re my job.
C When my partner asks me to,
D I’m happy to help.
3. And speaking of nappies, do you know what size nappy your baby is currently wearing?
A I’m pretty sure I’d know which size to buy.
B Of course! I bought a pack at the supermarket last weekend.
C Do they come in different sizes?
D Let me just text my other half and find out.
4. Who chose your pushchair?
A My partner did—what do I know?!
B My partner and I chose the pushchair together—it needed to be a model we’re both happy to use.
C My other half did all the research and worked out which model was best, and then we talked the final decision through.
D I did—and it was really fun. And you should see the suspension on the model we’ve got!
5. Be honest now, who gets most sleep at night, you or your other half?
A She does—I don’t want to gloat but I’m great at getting our baby to go back to sleep!
B Me—I really can’t afford to be a zombie at work.
C Honestly? I’d like to say it’s half and half, but I probably get more zeds.
D We’re pretty much equal on that front, I can do the back-to-sleep routine as well as she can.
6. Your baby wakes up at 5am instead of his usual 6.22am. Do you?
A Fetch him from his cot and pop him into bed with us for 10 minutes of cuddles before we all get up.
B Make my other half a cup of tea, it’s going to be a long day!
C Once he’s had some milk, take him downstairs so my partner can grab some more sleep.
D Roll over and go back to sleep—my other half’s on it already.
7. How much do you enjoy playing with your baby?
A I love it, and he loves it too, even if we’re just playing peekaboo.
B My other half is always telling me to be careful when we’re messing around together, but our baby loves a bit of dad-time!
C Five minutes and I’m all out of ideas—and to be honest, I’m not quite sure what I’m supposed to be doing.
D I guess I’ll get involved and enjoy it more when he’s a bit older.
8. Your toddler scribbles on the wall with a crayon. Do you?
A Call my partner so she can sort it out–she’ll know how to get it off.
B Fetch a baby wipe to see if the mark will come off.
C Get down to his level and gently explain we draw on paper, not walls.
D Roll my eyes. Kids!
9. How often do you take your child out and about, just the two of you?
A I take him down to the park every Saturday for dad-time, but otherwise we like to be together as a family.
B Yes, as long as it’s between feeds or I’ve got instructions!
C Not very often, but I can’t wait to do it more when he’s a bit older.
D All the time, we’re buddies!
10. What’s your idea of a good evening?
A One where our baby goes to sleep before 8.30pm!
B Snuggling on the sofa with my little family before we do the bedtime routine together.
C I’m just relieved that it is the evening and we’re nearly there!
D A night where everything runs smoothly and our baby’s smiling.
11. When did you last tell your partner that she’s doing a great job?
A Yesterday. We’d be lost without her: me as well as our baby!
B Last week. Honestly, I don’t know how she does it!
C I can’t remember. But she is a great mum.
D This morning. I tell her every morning!
12. Do you most want your baby to grow up to be?
D His own person.
WHAT’S YOUR SCORE?
Add up your score for each answer:
1. A: 6, B: 4, C: 8, D: 2
2. A: 2, B: 4, C: 8, D: 6
3. A: 6, B: 8, C: 2, D: 4
4. A: 2, B: 6, C: 4, D: 8
5. A: 8, B: 2, C: 4, D: 6
6. A: 6, B: 4, C: 8, D: 2
7. A: 8, B: 6, C: 4, D: 2
8. A: 4, B: 6, C: 8, D: 2
9. A: 4, B: 6, C: 2, D: 8
10. A: 2, B: 8, C: 4, D: 6
11. A: 6, B: 4, C: 2, D: 8
12. A: 2, B: 4, C: 6, D: 8
A mother’s nutrition needs never stop changing. In part one of this series, experts at Abbott Healthcare delve into a mother’s dietary requirements to fuel her health through her 20s and 30s
Prioritising a mother’s nutrition— from your pregnancy and lactation to grandchildren and your golden years—is vital to ensuring that you are the healthy, happy mother children love to be around. But just like motherhood never stops changing, neither does a woman’s nutritional needs. Here’s a decade-by-decade guide to fueling a mother’s health:
Increase your folic acid intake
New recommendations published in the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, called Think Nutrition First, emphasise that your folic acid intake, years and even decades before pregnancy, can affect your fertility. What’s more, during early pregnancy, folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, helps ensure closure of the neural tube that becomes the baby’s spinal cord. By doing so, it helps to prevent neural tube defects (NTDs), serious birth defects of the spinal cord (such as spina bifida), and the brain (such as anencephaly). Dr Irfan Shaikh, medical head for paediatric and maternal nutrition at Abbott, says, “The most common birth defect in India is neural tube defects (NTDs) and has a prevalence ranging from point five to 11 cases per 1,000 total births.”
While you can find folic acid in dark leafy greens such as spinach, legumes, sprouts, nuts and liver, are good sources of folic acid. Besides, almost all patients are prescribed folic acid either before or during pregnancy.
Pump more iron
By helping your red blood cells transport oxygen to all of your tissues, iron prevents anemia and related fatigue. But during your childbearing years, you need to consume more iron to keep your levels where they need to be. Dr Irfan says, “Iron deficiency is the most common micronutrient deficiency seen in pregnant women in India. More than 50 per cent of women in the reproductive age group are iron deficient.”
During menstruation, your monthly loss of blood, could contribute to some iron loss each month as well. However, during pregnancy, the amount of blood in your body can increase by about 50 per cent, boosting your need for iron along with it. This increased iron consumption is needed for expansion of maternal tissues, including red cell mass, iron content of placenta and blood loss during parturition. More importantly, the need to increase your iron intake during one’s pregnancy is to effectively build the iron store in foetal liver to make it last for at least four to six months after birth. This is because the baby’s first food— milk is deficient in iron. While fertile and lactating women need 30 mg of iron per day, those who are pregnant require a full 38 mg per day. “Turn to pulses, sprouts, nuts, beans, dark leafy greens, tofu, meat, fish and poultry to fulfill your needs,” says Dr Shweta Rastogi, PhD, chief dietitian, Guru Nanak Hospital, Mumbai. Shake on some iodised salt Iodine can be tricky, especially for expectant mums. An essential micronutrient found in seafood, iodised table salt and even dairy products, iodine helps to regulate thyroid hormones for optimal physical growth and development of humans, and support your baby’s brain development during pregnancy. Deficiency of iodine causes goiter (enlargement of thyroid gland in the neck), neonatal hypothyroidism, and cretinism among newborns, mental retardation, delayed motor development, stunting, deaf-mutism and neuromuscular disorders. “However, in an effort to improve their heart health, many women are working to lower their sodium intake. Meanwhile, many moms shy away from fish during pregnancy and lower their salt drastically during pregnancy owing to edema or swelling in their feet. In that case, it’s easy for deficiency to occur,” explains Dr Irfan.
Find out why cuddles and cushions will help you and your baby live happily ever after
MEET THE EXPERT
Jessica Joelle Alexander is a Danish parenting expert and mum of two; jessica joellealexander.com
HYGGE was the big trend this winter 2016. In the shops, you can hardly move for all the throws, cushions and candles to make our homes more snug. But the Danish philosophy, which loosely translates as ‘cosiness’ isn’t just about interior decorating.
In essence, hygge (pronounced ‘hooga’) means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people around you. It’s enjoying a candlelit snuggle on the sofa with your partner or spending time over a meal talking about the meaning of life with those you love the most in the world. And it’s probably why the Danes are generally considered the happiest people on the planet and top the UN’s annual World Happiness Report year after year.
Jessica Joelle Alexander, co-author of The Danish Way of Parenting, says it does have a lot to do with this passion for cosiness, but there’s more to it than that. “Superfi cially, it might be about fi lling your home with candles and cakes,” she says, “but fundamentally, it’s a psychological space you enter into with your loved ones. Embracing hygge means the whole family focuses and connects in the moment.” Try this life-changing trend that is suitable for all ocassions.
MAKE BATHTIME EXTRA COSY
“Hygge is such a big part of Danish family life that they do it without thinking,” says Jessica. For the rest of us, however, getting into what she calls ‘the hygge space’ requires conscious effort. “The unspoken rule is that everyone leaves their own stresses at the door, so they can focus positively on the whole family instead of just themselves,” she explains.
One way to practise this is to choose a specifi c place and time during your day to focus on hygge: bathtime is perfect. “As a mum, you might be busy and stressed for a million different reasons,” says Jessica, “but try to close the bathroom door on all that. Remind yourself that the next few minutes are for focusing entirely on you and your baby, with no interruptions. Remember that time moves really fast: focus on this moment in time, when he is so little and adorable. Light some candles, well out of his reach, warm some fluffy towels, and play some calm classical music in the background to make bathtime as relaxing and bonding as it can possibly be.”
INCREASE THE CONTACT
“Massaging your children is super hygge too,” says Jessica. A lovely, simple start to baby massage is to lay your baby on his back on a towel, somewhere safe and warm. Using a little oil, wrap your hands around the top of one thigh and gently pull down till your hands reach his foot. Repeat, swapping legs. “This is something you can do with siblings too. Lay them next to one another, and it’s bonding for the whole family,” she adds.