child development, healthy food, Relationships

Training the Fussy Eater

Toddlers can be fussy eaters who refuse to try a new food at least half of the time. Approximately half of all toddlers fit this description, so it is no wonder that food issues are a source of stress for parents.

Establishing healthy eating patterns is important to avoid problems such as obesity and eating disorders later in life. Various strategies can help your child accept a wider range of foods.  It may be necessary to offer food to your child as many as 10 different times before they choose to eat it. The problem is, many parents get frustrated and give up before the fourth or fifth try.

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Try to make foods fun.  Colorful foods like carrot sticks, raisins, apples, grapes, cheese sticks and crackers can all be fun and healthy choices for your growing toddler.  Explain to them that eating good food is important so they’ll grow big and strong, and how it will help them run faster and play longer.

Children learn behaviors from their parents. If you restrict yourself to a narrow range of foods, your child will take notice and mimic your caution. Don’t limit your child’s food variety to only those foods you prefer. It may be that your child’s tastes are different to yours, and perhaps you are simply serving them foods they don’t happen to like.  Try to set a good example and try a variety of foods in front of your child. It could motivate them to do the same.

If your child seems healthy and energetic, then they are eating enough. If you are still concerned, keep an eye on how much food they actually eat over the day. Children tend to graze constantly, rather than restrict their eating to three meals per day like adults. You may be surprised how those little handfuls and snacks add up. For further reassurance, check your child’s growth and weight charts, or check with your child’s pediatrician.

Try not to worry, and remember, that unless a child is ill, they will eat.   Children are very good at judging their hunger and fullness signals. Try to stay relaxed about mealtime and offer your child a wide variety of foods, and most importantly, remember to set a good example by trying a wide variety of foods yourself.  You may discover you and your toddler share a new found favorite food!


 

how to effectively breastfeed babiesGet a  book by the author Bakshi Sidhu

child development, healthy food

Weaning Your Baby: Is it Time to Stop Breastfeeding?

Do you feel that you have been breastfeeding your baby for so long to the point that you are now being restricted to do other important things in life? Would you like to know when is the right time to wean your baby?

What is weaning?

Weaning your child basically means that you allow her to get nutrients no longer from your breastmilk but from other sources of nutrition. It is when your little one stops nursing from your breast and starts to feed solely on real food such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and more. Weaning is not necessarily moving away from the usual mother-and-child bond but it is only a step further for your child to grow physically and emotionally.

When is the right time to stop breastfeeding?

Every mother has her own right to determine the length by which she will continue to breastfeed her little one. It is totally the discretion of the mother to stop at six months, to continue until a year, or go further until two years old. Most health institutions would agree that babies shall be exclusively breastfed until six months and the optimal length for their breastfeeding is until one year.

Here are the things to consider when you shall start weaning your child:

  • Baby-Led Weaning

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Most babies would wean by themselves. As you start introducing solid food by the time that they are six months, then you will gradually notice that they would lose interest in nursing from your breast. They may choose instead to munch on mashed potatoes or nibble some peas rather than latch on your nipple. That’s the best time to slowly move away from giving your breast every time she feels hungry.

  • Age-Based Weaning

Some people feel awkward when they see a three-year-old still feeding on her mom’s breasts. But then, other people have no business with your breastfeeding journey. It is only you who shall decide when to stop breastfeeding. However, most mothers would choose to stop breastfeeding after a year. That’s when their babies are already capable of feeding on healthy adult food or fresh milk. Another sign that your baby is ready for weaning is when you notice that she becomes fussy, disinterested, and impatient when breastfeeding.

  • Mom-Led Weaning

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If the optimal length for breastfeeding is a year, then moms could definitely start to choose to stop at this stage. Since babies of this age have already grown a couple of teeth, some mothers may experience pain from sudden nipple bites. If you are constantly having problems with wounded nipples, then you can decide to start weaning your child.

We also have to acknowledge the fact that breastfeeding is truly a sacrifice on the part of the mother. There are so many things that she has to let go just to be able to feed her child. If the breastfeeding journey is already taking a toll on the mother’s emotional and mental health, then she could choose to wean her little one. Weaning is also best done when the mom chooses to go back to work and continue growing her career.

Weaning your child is a family decision that other people shall not dictate upon. No matter what your mother-in-law, your relatives, or the society tells you, know that only you could decide when to start weaning your baby. Every mom is different. Every baby is unique.

35Get a  book by the author Bakshi Sidhu

child development, healthy food, Relationships

The Importance of a Regular Routine to your Child

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Regular schedules provide the day with a structure that orders a young child’s world. Although predictability can be tiresome for adults, children thrive on repetition and routine. Schedules begin from the first days of life. Babies, especially, need regular sleep and meal programs and even routines leading up to those activities.

As they gets older, when a child knows what is going to happen and who is going to be there, it allows them to think and feel more independently,  and feel more safe and secure. A disrupted routine can set a child off and cause them to feel insecure and irritable.

Dinnertime is a great place to start setting a routine.  Sitting together at the dinner table gives children the opportunity to share their day and talk about their feelings.  This is also a great time to include some responsibility in your child’s routine, such as helping to set or clear the table.

And regardless of how exhausted you or your children may be, don’t be tempted to skip winding down from the day.  This is part of a nighttime ritual and allows both child and parent to decompress after a busy day. It also helps bedtime go more smoothly.  This is usually the time of day when parent and child can spend some quality time together, so fight the urge to start the laundry or do the dishes until after the child has gone to bed.  If this isn’t possible, consider trading off these duties with your spouse each night to ensure your child has quality time with each parent on a regular basis. Take the time to find out what wind-down strategy works best for your child.  Some children are actually energized instead of relaxed by a warm bath, so if that’s the case with your child, bath time should be saved for a different time of day. Whatever routine you settle on, make it quiet, relaxing, and tranquil for everyone.  

And though routines are essential, there should be some room to be flexible as well.  You might be out late at night on a family outing, have unexpected company show up that may result in a skipped meal or nap in the car while running errands in the evening.  In these instances, it’s important for you to keep your cool. If you express frustration or anger about disrupting the routine, your child will as well. Prepare children for such unexpected events and show them that though it can happen from time to time, the routine will return the next day.

how to keep your sleeping baby safeGet a  book by the author Bakshi Sidhu


 

child development, healthy food, Relationships

The Family that Eats Together Stays Healthy Together

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Recent studies have shown that not only do children like to sit down at the dinner table and eat a meal with their parents, but they are more likely to eat a well-balanced, nutritious meal when they do.  But with the hectic lives we seem to lead these days, getting the family all together in the same place at the same time can be a difficult chore. Between work schedules, after-school activities, errands, and the like, it seems we have less and less time.   But with a few simple ideas and some planning, meal time can be an enjoyable and treasured family time.

Designate no less than one night per week to have a sit-down meal with your family.  Sunday nights are usually a good choice for this because you have more time to relax and the weekend chores have been completed. 

Involve your children in the meal planning and preparation.  This gives them a strong sense of self and the foundation for a lifetime of healthy meal planning and preparation.

Make sure the television is off, and make it a rule that all phone calls go to voice mail or the answering machine during the meal.  Take this time to visit with one another and enjoy one another’s company.  This is a great time to reconnect and find out what events happened this week.  Take your time eating, and teach your children how to do the same in the process.  Eating slowly is a healthy habit.  Don’t jump up and start clearing dishes and putting things away until everyone is done eating and talking.

On those days that you can’t sit down as a family, try to make a habit of sitting down and chatting with them while they are eating, instead of rushing around catching up on the chores.  This shows them you’re interested and that you care and want to be and involved and important part of their every day life.


 

how to effectively breastfeed babiesGet a  book by the author Bakshi Sidhu

healthy food

The Best Ways to Promote Good Eating Habits for Toddlers

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Have you ever found yourself agreeing to the “Terrible Two” concept? Maybe, you are facing such a terrible phase in your parenting life where your toddler just keeps on running around, chatting until your energy drops, making a mess on the table during meal times, or refusing to eat what you offer her. The toddler stage is really one of the most trying times of your parenting journey because it is when your child would explore more of her surroundings.

Since your child would be extremely active during this stage, you will have to nourish her with the age-appropriate meals and snacks. However, you also have to start training her on the right eating habits that she must remember until she grows up.

Here are the best ways to promote good eating habits for your toddler:

  1. Let the greens and the colorful fruits be a constant.

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Do you know that you can actually train your child’s taste buds? Yup, that is exactly right! Why do you think Korean kids become easily trained to eat their local staple, kimchi? That’s particularly because the culinary tradition of a family affects the taste preference of the child.

If you want your child to be healthy, then you will have to keep the greens and the colorful fruits as a constant part of your dining table. Even when they seem to be refusing the vegetables and fruits at first, do you think that they would still be able to reject them when they’re already hungry? I don’t think so.

  1. Practice your creative culinary skills.

If you want your meals to be more exciting, there are cool ways to incorporate veggies and fruits in kiddie meals without being noticeable. You can add mashed carrots in a spaghetti sauce or a mashed broccoli in chicken nuggets. Expand your culinary creativity to make meal time for kids as health and as exciting as possible.

  1. Set a mealtime routine.

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Your child has to understand that meal times are not done randomly. You may definitely explain it to her verbally, but it would be more effective and practical to simply follow a mealtime routine. It is ideal if you could set all meal times together as a family. But if your schedules do not permit, then you could at least set breakfast and dinner together.

  1. Understand and respond to your child’s hunger cues.

You surely do not want your child to be hungry just because she has to wait for the exact mealtime. Learn to know your child’s hunger cues. Observe her facial expressions, body actions, and verbal phrases before and after she eats. This way, you can start to gain understanding of her hunger cues.

It is also important not to force your child to finish eating her meals when her tummy is already full. The practice of forcibly letting your child to eat can be traumatic to your toddler. Your child has to be excited about food and never fearful of mealtimes.

  1. Give your toddler her own set of utensils.

18097_1_1200pxGiving your child her own set of utensils can make her become aware of the importance of utensils in eating. At first, she will be messy and clumsy, but you will need to be patient in teaching her how to use the spoon and fork. She may be wanting to eat with her hands, but gradually train her with the use of utensils.

  1. Check her milk intake.

Milk is definitely important for your toddler’s growth. However, you have to know that your child has to get most of her nutrients from real food. If your child drinks milk for more than three times a day and you notice that she barely wants to eat during mealtimes, then there could be something wrong with that practice. Limit her milk intake so that she could start appreciating what’s on your dining table.


how to effectively breastfeed babiesGet a  book by the author Bakshi Sidhu