Healthy Snack Box Ideas for Kids However, due to lack of ideas and time we often tend to fill their snack boxes with junk food or repetitive food.here are some ideas that will help you next time you are packing your kid's snack box. These foods are not only tasty but nutritious too. * Sweets: Homemade oats and cashew cereal bar Egg less chocolate cupcakes Short bread with jelly spread Sweet suji (semolina) halwa Homemade banana muffins Oatcakes with treacle dip Pumpkin pancakes with in honey Yogurt with homemade granula crumbles and chopped fruits Waffle cone filled with frozen yogurt Banana pieces coated with sweet yogurt and then dipped in grated nuts. * Breads: Multi-grain mint sandwich, with mashed sweet potato Pita bread, stuffed with cheese and a homemade mint-curd dip Wholemeal sandwich, with fish paste and cucumber Brown bread sandwich, with corn and cottage cheese Chapatti rolls with homemade jams Cheese omelette rolled into chapattis Naan rolls with melted dark chocolate Pizza on a corn tortilla base, with grated carrot, pineapple and cheese Soft buns, with chunks of chicken and tomato slices Rye bread sandwich, with tofu or baked beans Hamburger rolls, with minced meat or minced legumes Potato or onion paratha pieces * Salads: Pasta and cherry tomatoes tossed in freshly squeezed lemon juice Poha - puffed rice and boiled vegetables Potato, sprouts and egg salad Fruit salad with nuts tossed in olive oil Sabudana (sago) khichdi with grated carrots and beans * Others Vegetable cutlets with tomato puree sauce Cheese and potato rolls with raita Cottage cheese or egg pakoras Chicken or vegetable spring rolls with coriander chutney Sausage rolls Digestive biscuits with different toppings like - cheese, fruit pieces, slices of cold cuts, peanut butter etc. Bread sticks with tomato and basil dip or cheese spread Bread pakoda - slices of bread dipped in besan (gram flour) and then fried * Liquids: Soups and broths in a flask, especially during winter with cheese crackers Hot chocolate with whole fat milk Fruit and yogurt smoothies Fresh fruit juice with soda water Flavoured milk

How to Make your Baby fall asleep ? It is said that, when kids sleep, everyone is at peace , but when kids are awake, nobody is asleep! The simple time tested method to make babies of all ages asleep as per Yoga is here: 1. Using your ring and middle fingers, gently form circles over the kid's forehead. 2. Place the child in your lap if possible, 3. One must start from near the ear towards the centre of the forehead. 4. Use gentle pressure, like we employ to use Mouse of the computer. 5. Rotate in anticlockwise direction to put to sleep. 6. The best part is that after your kid has gone to sleep, you can use the same on your forehead. If you rotate in clockwise direction, you will feel energized. If you rotate in anticlockwise direction, you may feel mildly asleep.

Need for a Healthy Diet for Childrens A child’s family, especially the mother, plays a prominent role in shaping a child’s physical, mental and spiritual health. A child’s nutrition is dependent on the food types and habits that he or she acquires from childhood. Instilling wholesome food habits from the formative years of the child is crucial to form a strong foundation for a healthy lifestyle. * A single food source cannot offer all the nutrients that a child requires. Nutrients vary largely between different food groups. It is quite feasible to meet the nutritional needs of a child, with a correct balance of healthy food sources. * Pediatricians all over the world, strongly recommend parents to follow the food pyramid as a guide to serve food from all the food groups. This makes sure that the child receives all types of essential nutrients that are necessary for the overall health, growth and development. The food guide also warns against certain foods and encourages children to eat more of nutrient-dense foods. * Grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy-products, and proteins are the five major food groups. Whole grains that are rich in carbohydrates provide energy to a growing child. Rice, bread and pastas belong to this group. Vegetables and fruits supply fiber, vitamins and minerals for the smooth functioning of the body. * Milk and dairy products contain calcium and proteins, which maintain the health of the bones. Human body requires proteins to grow and develop the body-muscles. Eggs, nuts, meat and legumes belong to the protein food category. Other foods, such as fats and sweets are not preferable, and parents must restrict the intake of such foods. * Parents are the role models for a child. They should exercise extra care to influence them to eat and drink wholesome food/drinks. * Setting a good example is a great necessity to make sure the family lives a healthy lifestyle. Since children closely observe and imitate parents’ behavior, it is quite easy to mould them into sound eaters. Children have fewer options of eating unhealthy food, if parents buy and offer only healthy food. * Careful planning can make mealtimes a fun-filled experience. Various textures, colors, shapes, odor, temperature, and taste encourage the children to develop a taste for healthy and nutritious food. * The rest of this series takes a closer look on the food and nutritional needs of a child belonging to different age groups.

How To Cleaning Baby Ear The outside of the ear and the ear hole. While on the inside there are various organs of hearing. Ears need to keep it clean, but just the outside or the earlobe only. * Besides having its own cleaning system, ear hole newborns is still difficult to enter stemmed cotton (cotton buds). Do you actually hurt him. * Humming gently, or take the baby talk while you clean the ears. * Prepare all the equipment before starting to clean the baby's ear. ie : round cotton, cotton-stemmed, a container of warm water, baby oil, and a washcloth or handkerchief soft towel. * Dampen a cotton round with warm water, then wipe the front and back of the earlobe. * Ear notched section can be cleaned with a slightly in-stemmed cotton soaked in warm water or baby oil. * Once clean, dry the entire outer ear by gently rubbing a soft towel

How to Teaching Colors to Young Children All you need is some patience and some creativity to make them learn colours. So go on, and have fun with them, while you teach them the colours. * Dance Stick coloured paper on square pieces of cardboard. Now arrange them on the floor and start your toddler's favourite song. Ask her to keep dancing till the music stops. Once it does, call out a colour and she has to step onto the square of that colour immediately. * A Packet of Gems Buy a packet of Gems and empty it into a bowl. Then ask your baby to sort out the colours one by one. The fun part is, once all have been separated, she can also be rewarded with a few of her favourite colours. * Toys Attach a magnet to the end of a pole, and ask your baby to pick up magnetic objects of a certain colour with it. Initially, maybe just calling out the colour name may not work. In that case hold up a piece of paper of that colour too. * Baskets Buy baskets of different colours, and teach your child which toy goes into which basket. For example, puzzles in the yellow one, books in the blue one etc. Repeat this a few days and thereafter tell her to first, say, clean up all her blue toys and then the yellow toys etc. Not only will this teach her the colours it will also make her feel that she is helping out too. * Photos Click a picture of your child in dresses of every colour possible, and then stick it on a cardboard, write out the colour name, and then hang that from the wall. Whenever possible, keep pointing and say things like, ‘see that is you on the beach in a pink swimming costume’ or ‘you in your white party dress’ etc. * Shopping Whenever you go shopping, point out the colours to your child. It can be a pair of blue jeans, a red ketchup bottle, yellow shampoo, or even the colours on a roadside hoarding. * Food Take your toddler to the kitchen. Whenever you use a particular food name the colour. For example, green lady's finger, yellow turmeric, white salt, brown bread etc. Do the same when you serve a food to her as well. Once in a while reverse it and ask her to name the colour instead. * Nature Walks Take a sheet of paper and stick small pieces of different coloured paper to it. Then take your child for a nature walk, and ask her to find one item of every colour that has been stuck on the paper. For example, green leaf, brown mud, red rose, white pebble etc. * Books Get story books with bright coloured pictures, and few words. Keep reading the same story to her, all the while mentioning the colours. After you feel that you have read the book for several times, ask her to name the colours instead. * Painting Use crayons and water colour to draw objects of a particular colour, and give her only that colour to paint with as well. For example, one day will be only a red day, where she gets to paint pictures of a rose, watermelon, fire engine, post box etc. This is a good familiarization activity. Just make sure you repeat the name of the colour each time she begins to paint a new picture.

Development of Infants 0-4 Months To find out if your baby is born in good health, you can read in "The Birth of Healthy Babies". Furthermore, following the development of normal infants from the age of 0-4 months. Months-1 * Do not panic if the baby's back or bottom there is a blue skin such as bruising, or grayish. These patches usually disappear after age over 1 year. * Do not panic too if your baby's head shape is less symmetrical, because he had just gone through the narrow streets, the hip of the mother. His eyes will probably look a little swollen, his nose was very flat and looks a bit weird ears. He will continue to "improve" her appearance really ... * Even in some infants, you can see the soft at the top of his head throbbed. It still includes normal. In the first few days, the eyes of the child usually will continue to close. After that will be able to keep his eyes open for a longer time. He will be able to see your face at a distance of about 20 cm. * At this stage the baby can move and rotate his head to look for their mother's milk, can stretch his hand, and holding your finger with his fist. Month-2 * At this stage the movements of his body is getting better. He can reach things that attracted him, can hold small objects with his grasp if only briefly, even he could have patted his favorite objects. * Try smiling at her ... do not be surprised if he smiles back at you. Try also making various sounds in the nearby without surprising him. Some babies will listen to the sound carefully, while others may actually be crying. * At the end of this stage, most babies have started to lift her head and tried to look around the room. * If your baby is happy, then he will make a variety of responses, such as looking at your face, trying to grab you with his hands, smiling and babbling. * Conversely, if he is upset, then the response is made, among others, turned his face away from you, crying, struggling, and breathing rapidly. * Little has also started to like to explore using his mouth to suck what is and is comfortable to suck. He started a lot of experimenting with his voice, as well as the view distance was increased up to a few meters ahead. The 3rd month * Little has been getting stronger lift her head if you lay it in the prone position. Often do not even have to lift his body a bit at this position. * He became more adept at using his hands. He would love to touch, hold, and flailing with both hands. He also would really like to see his own reflection in the mirror. * At this stage, your baby will begin to recognize faces of people nearby and various objects that are familiar with it. The 4th month * Your baby will observe the variety and imitate your facial expressions. Some babies are already able to roll into the prone position itself at this point. But it would be easier for him to roll over from prone position to a supine position. * Some babies are already beginning to emerge teeth at this stage, although this is strongly influenced by heredity. * Thus the outline of your baby's development since the age of 0-4 months. All you need to remember is that every baby has unique developmentally. If your baby is rather slow progress, do not panic ... mostly remained within the limits of reasonableness.

5 Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids at Home Kids always want a delicious meal that can be eaten fast while parents want a meal that can be prepared rapidly, but should not be full of vacant calories. Every day give your kids something new to look forward at lunch with a range of options which they won’t trade away! Do you give money to kids for buying their lunch at school and cross your fingers as they choose a healthy lunch? Check out here the collection of 5 kid-friendly lunch ideas that takes less time to prepare at home as well it help to keep lunches healthy and enjoyable. Kids can learn how to plan, prepare and eat a different diet rich in nutrients with these healthy lunch ideas. * Tomato salsa Salsa, which means "sauce" in Spanish comes in several different ways, the most widespread being chopped tomatoes, onions and chile. Salsa has the benefit of being a salad, sauce as well as savor - all in one. There is neither fat nor sugar in it, and the flavor is amazing. To make tomato salsa, you require diced ripe tomatoes, small onion, lime juice, garlic clove, cilantro leaves or parsley and salt. This is the perfect salsa to keep stocked in your fridge at all times. Tomato salsa is packed with vitamins, antioxidants and minerals that kids require. * Watermelon pie Summer can be best dealt with by a cool slice of fresh watermelon. Watermelon pie is very much refreshing that it lasts only for short time on warm summer days. Watermelon and a little convenience items make it a lovely dessert that doesn't need much effort. To produce a yummy low-fat, no-bake pie, draw on low-fat ingredients united with watermelon. * Strawberry soup Strawberry soup is a flavorsome combination of roasted strawberries, yogurt, sugar, and cream. It could remind you of a Smoothie. It is a good dessert to make if you have a plenty of luscious tasting strawberries, rather ones you have chosen yourself at your local u-pick strawberry farm. The sweet, healthy treat, packed with vitamin C, can be made in advance and chilled until serving time. * Potato chips When it comes to potato chips or wafers, mostly all agree that you can't stop with simply one! Particularly, when it is something you prepared at home. Make your own potato chips using lighter cooking oil for a healthier alternative. It really tastes better compared to their bagged counterparts. Choose big sized potatoes to obtain chips of larger diameter and utilize a mandoline slicer to get identical pieces. For making them stiff, we normally put them in ice and water for about 10 minutes before frying. The basic chips are cooked and salted, and even add black pepper, cheeses and other spices. * Toasted cheese sandwich spread Queso fresco can be mixed with cream cheese, toasted walnuts, mayonnaise and dried cranberries in this sandwich spread. A crumbly white cheese, Queso fresco holds its shape when heated. Spread Queso fresco on whole grain bread, warm it under the broiler for a short time, and get amazing results. This is one such recipe that can be prepared in minutes, so simple but really tasty. You can add any vegetables in this including capsicum.

Newborn Care for Winter Babies new born baby winter care, newborn baby care tips, newborn baby boy care, newborn baby skin care, new born baby winter skin care, how to care for a newborn baby bird: Special care needs to be taken to ensure that your baby is healthy and comfortable during the winter months. Winter safety tips and snow safety tips for newborns, infants, toddlers and kids including don't overbundle. Keep you and your baby safe from winter bugs by following some basic preventative measures. * Frequently washing hands is the simplest and most effective way of getting rid of cold and flu germs. Wash your baby's hands as often as you can, especially if he keeps putting them in his mouth. * As most winter diseases are spread through coughs, sneezes and direct contact, keep your baby away from sick people and avoid going to crowded places. * Ensure your baby's vaccinations are up to date to protect him from viruses and bacteria. * Naturally boost your baby's immunity by breastfeeding him. * Dehydration is a common side effect of winter diseases. Sore throats and stuffy noses can make it difficult for your baby to drink. Give your baby plenty of breastmilk (or formula milk if you aren't breast feeding). * Avoid irritants like smoke or sprays. They can trigger a coughing fit.

Benefits of Ragi for Children Packed with so many nutrients, ragi is absolutely very beneficial for consumption by everyone, especially children. Ragi-based foods are easy to digest because of the high fiber content. In their growing years, kids need optimum amounts of protein, iron, calcium and minerals for their bodies to develop healthily. Ragi gives all of these and much more. * Ragi is the most useful for children during their teething years because of its high content of calcium and amino acid threonine. * Regular consumption of ragi boosts immunity in children and lowers the levels of harmful cholesterol. * Ragi improves bone structure and health. * The amino acid tryptophan found in ragi keeps children mentally agile, and helps to overcome feelings of anxiety and depression. It also induces peaceful slumber in kids who have difficulty sleeping at night. * The iron in ragi aids in blood formation. * Ragi induces release of growth hormones in children. * Amino acid methionine keeps the skin and hair healthy. * Ragi helps control blood sugar in obese children.

Biological Children After Adoption Around 10 years back, as social awareness grew, adoptions by childless couples no longer saw raised eyebrows.But nowadays, it is no longer restricted to childless couples. As horizons widen and boundaries shrink, today there are a lot of couples with biological children who are opting for adoption to give their child a sibling. * Preparing the biological child for the arrival of an adopted sibling, and vice-versa, is of primary importance. As Vanashree says, ‘We told Antaraa that it was her guardian angel that told us that her sister was waiting for us to come and pick her up.’Nisha, on the other hand, linked the adoption of Ayaan to the story of Krishna being born to Devaki, but being brought up by Yashoda. * However, even after a lot of preparation, the first few months of adjustment can be difficult for the entire family. As Deval says, ‘The first month was very painful. Saumya used to call me didi and she would be very silent with me and my husband. She used to relate better to my biological sons. We gave her lots of time and space and then, after around eight months, she turned around so beautifully that today nobody looking at her would think that she wasn’t always a part of our family.’ * Discipline is a big part of parenting and parents should not hesitate to discipline their child, adopted or biological. When a situation involves disciplining an adopted child, just take a minute, step back and ask yourself how you would have handled the situation, if it involved your biological child and then, do the same thing. * Do not try to hide the fact that your child is adopted, either from the children or from outsiders. But on the other hand, do not go around advertising this fact also. * To outsiders, disclose this information on a need basis, and only if you are sure that they are not going to be judgemental about it. As Nandini says, ‘While trying to explain about the concept of adoption to both the girls, we found it simplest and most effective to say that Sumedha chose us for parents while we chose Sukriti for a daughter.’ * Despite all these preparations, brace yourself for some conflict situations between the children, especially if the age gap between them is very less. Be fair to both kids and take a balanced view. Adopting, while already having a biological child, is a big decision to take. Do it only if the immediate family is on the same page as you are. * Follow your heart. Don’t do it for charity or to prove something to somebody else. Do it only when you know with certainty that that adopted child will be the one to complete your family.

How To Help Your Child Through Puberty The primary thing in the mother’s mind then is the dilemma of how to talk to her daughter about what is going on and what to expect. It is understandable that this is not an easy topic to broach but it is immensely important that we all do so. Maybe these pointers can lead you to find your own direction. * From a much younger age, let your daughter know she can discuss her body with you. Make her understand that these conversations are private, between the both of you, but not a taboo. Almost as young as four or five, if she asks you about your breasts, tell her it is a woman body part and as she becomes a big girl she will have them too. Make it seem normal. * Have lots of small talks instead of The Big One. Whether you want it or not, girls are tight with their friends and they would have had conversations even before you know it. So, it is even more important that the right information comes from you, instead of from someone else. * As soon as you notice body changes, like under-arm hair, talk to her. As a mother, around this time, you will be asking her to dress more appropriately. Instead of ordering her, you could explain to her that she will be growing underarm hair and developing breasts and hence she needs to be more in control of her body. * Ask her if she notices her friends going through the same changes. and what they talk about. Explain to her the reason why she is changing, the concept of a period, shedding and body changes and that it is perfectly normal. Make the talk a two-way street. and let her know that you are open to any discussion. * From the onset of puberty, pay a lot of attention teaching her about hygiene and make it way of life to keep her privates clean, using deodorants to avoid body odour. Introduce her to trainer bra’s and panty liners. Some girls tend to develop infections if health is not taken care of at this time. * A point here to note is that some women centric hospitals like Cloud 9 etc provide pre-pubescent counselling for girls and their mothers; this is a good thing to explore if you feel that your daughter is apprehensive about her puberty changes. * Some girls go through psychological issues; body hair and for some the onset of acne may make them uncomfortable. At an age where hair removal is not advised, they may begin to withdraw or feel insecure about their looks. Spend time with them. Help them cope by explaining that it is perfectly normal. Tell them you went through it too and it isn’t permanent. Beauty therapies are available as they grow older, which they can participate it after they are sixteen.

Time Management For Working Mothers Being a working mother can be tough and here you'll find help with managing your time so that you can also enjoy life.The term working mom, I think is a misnomer. If you are a mom, you already have a full time job. So, if you also decide to take on a paying job, then you have two full time jobs. No wonder then, that you are exhausted and flustered most of the time. * A working mom needs super-efficient planning skills. On the weekend, discussing with the kids about what they want for lunch for the next five days, make a lunch chart and stick it up on the fridge. * Complete the required shopping for the week to avoid impromptu runs to the grocer or changing the lunch chart. Kids can get cranky if you change such decisions last minute. * If you have the luxury of a maid, make sure all the preparation work is done she leaves for the day. * Try to train the kids to eat cereal, eggs, toast, fruits, and milk or juice, for breakfast. If you pick the right cereal and juice, you will have a healthy breakfast in no time. * Not just for the kids but for you. Disable the snooze button on your alarm. Even the extra five minutes you have before the kids wake up is important. Use it to have your morning cup of coffee in peace. * Finish your morning chores or bath etc before the kids wake up. * Make rules for both your kids and yourself and do not bend them. Kids will slowly understand that these are not optional. If bedtime is 8:00 or 9:00 pm, do not under any circumstances push it. A well-rested child is a less cranky one in the morning. Further, that gives you a good two hours for finishing your work before you get to bed. Packing up school bags, laying out clothes for everyone including you can all be done at night. * To make up for it, weekends can be fun time for eating out, staying up for an extra hour etc. * If your in-laws or parents live with you, include them in your kids’ lives. If you can enlist their help for at least one activity a day, they feel important and you can use their experience. * Discuss with your spouse and enrol the kids for some hobby or sports class on the weekend which he will take the kids for. Don’t push the kids to excel in it. Let them just do it for fun. Make that daddy’s time with them. * This will give you enough time to get your chores done, cook a weekend lunch, or maybe just put your legs up, and do nothing for a few hours! (Oh! how we all wish!) * Say this aloud ‘I love my kids and I know it.’ Repeat it. * Remember that you don’t have to prove it to the whole world or even to yourself. It is perfectly acceptable to want some time away from them, whether it is for yourself, your friends or to be intimate with your husband. You aren’t a bad mom for thinking so. So, go on phenomenal women, good luck!

How To Feed Your Baby When I got pregnant for the first time, I was really excited. I love reading a lot, so I began to fill my free time reading health magazines and related books. Of course, like every expectant mom, I also had some tensions and anxious thoughts. However, nothing bad happened, and I became the mother of a cute little angel. * I was very particular about the food that I used to give her. Many people told me to give her tinned foods, but as I was not very sure about the quality and credibility of such artificial items, I decided to seek advice from a doctor. Fortunately, for me, our family doctor recommended a good pediatrician. He was a very experienced person in his profession. He gave some excellent advice for me and my baby. * From my experience, I would like to share with you some thoughts related to baby health care. The expert's first advice was about breastfeeding. As we all know, breast milk is the key nutritious product. So at least for two years, you should breastfeed your baby. For the first four months, breast milk alone is all that is needed. * You need to feed the baby once in every two hours. For the production of breast milk, the mother should eat sufficient nutrients. Drumstick leaves are good sources of breast milk production. Include enough drumstick leaves in your daily menu. Have four glasses of milk daily. Eat iron and calcium rich foods. * After four months, you can introduce semi-solid foods. I appreciate my doctor's valuable advice here. Thank God! He was totally against tinned foods and other artificial food items. Today, for many reasons, a lot of parents depend upon such easy methods. * Most tinned foods contain artificial preservatives and a lot of sugar particles. Though they claim many things, these ingredients may cause mucus or other troubles if we give them to babies over a long period. Not only that, as it is very tasty, and it has a lot of sweetness, babies love eating it, but they may not show interest in eating plain foods and vegetables. However, for traveling purposes and so on, we may have to give them tinned foods, but it is better to avoid it for regular use. Remember, it is reported that, in many cities, today's doctors stopped prescribing artificial food for babies. * If you have enough breast milk, avoid giving formula milk or cow’s milk to your baby, until she turns one year. I know there are many people who give cow’s milk in the early months. It is good, but actually, the animal fat is very difficult to digest in the human body, so it can cause allergies or even loose motions. In some children, the cow’s milk will cause mucus formation. * Introduce raagi, raw banana powder, wheat, oats etc. As per my doctor’s advice, I gave raagi and raw banana powder. I used jiggery instead of sugar. Jiggery is rich in iron and never produces any troubles. I never used cow’s milk to prepare these and only used water and jiggery. * You can introduce steamed fruits like steamed banana, apple, pineapple, etc. * Mashed and boiled vegetables are also very good. * After six months, you can slowly introduce mashed rice and other plain foods like idli, dosa etc. * It is better to avoid bakery items and other junk foods in that period. I know that after three or four years, it is not very easy to keep the child away from such temptations. However, you can teach them to eat high quality food items. In other words, it is your duty to give them proper knowledge about good eating habits. Sprouts, boiled vegetables, dried fruits and other homemade items should be plentifully included in their diet. If they get enough nutrition in the early years, it will reflect well in their health, intelligence, and even in their behavior!

Umbilical Cord Blood Banking Well, everyone does that. It’s the most logical thing to do. Mothers especially are too cautious when it comes to taking decisions that concern their children’s health or wellbeing. If you are a mother or a parent of a child, you will better understand what I am talking about. * Consider this scenario. You are presented with the opportunity of taking a crucial decision. This particular decision could be the only alternative to save your child, if he/ she suffers from certain health disorders in the future. Would you say yes or refuse to go with this option? I guess this question is irrelevant because of the logical conclusion that you would jump at such a chance, wouldn’t you? Trust me; any parent in your shoes would have done just that. * Understanding Umbilical Cord Blood Banking : Stem cell banking or cord blood banking is something that promises exactly that. All it takes is merely a simple decision on your part to preserve your newborn baby’s umbilical cord blood. This can go a long way in preserving good health for your child, close family members or even to utter strangers in future. * Range of Possibilities: Medical research has confirmed that the stem cells that are found within the umbilical cord blood possess the ability to replicate themselves and form any cell of any organ of the body. This particular unique characteristic trait of these stem cells beholds innumerable treatment possibilities in the current medical scenario. The best part about this wonderful breakthrough in medical science is that it is absolutely undemanding and does not need any surgery or complex medical procedure to source the umbilical cord stem cells. All that you need to do is to arrive at a decision to bank or preserve your baby’s umbilical cord. Considering that the umbilical cord is something that you would be throwing out after birth of your baby anyway, your decision to preserve it for future treatment possibilities is certainly a tremendous decision on your part. * Benefits of Umbilical Cord Blood Banking: The stem cells that are sourced from umbilical cord can be utilized in treating a variety of disorders like cancers, Thalassemia, Diabetes, Stroke, Cerebral palsy, brain injury etc. These stem cells sourced from the umbilical cord can be used for the child, his/ her sibling, a close family member or to someone totally unrelated. * Full blown research and clinical trials are going on in this comparatively new method of treatment. So a decision to preserve your baby’s umbilical cord blood can signify that in future when treatment of newer diseases using cord stem cells is made possible, your child stands to have an advantage over others who do not have their umbilical cord blood preserved. * As a parent you may take many important decisions on behalf of your children, but the decision to store the umbilical cord cells definitely tops the list. What else could be more comforting to parents other than securing the health and longevity of their children?

Mental Health Awareness in Schools I was in a rural area this week and happened to visit a couple of schools run by an NGO. Let me first tell you about the mission of this organization. It is to raise awareness among parents in rural areas about the quality of education. * The organization serves more as a catalyst and the villagers themselves form a committee which supervises the running of the school. The organization takes on hiring teachers/training them, etc while the committee decides on budgeting, admission criteria (these schools serve families in the lowest strata-economic and social) and such. * The professionals work to create a scope and sequence of skills in the subjects and the classes are multi age groups. The kids help their parents on the farm during harvest time and stroll in-even 5 yr old kids walk 4-5 km to come to school. They bring their own lunch but they come! After the initial couple of years the families (who are poor) joined forces and donated land for the school -with ample play ground space. * The kids come in the morning and join the teachers in play or in cleaning up the school grounds. Then comes the assembly- where they sing, enact plays and interestingly enough-change the school timings-because the weather is so severe over a period of time, the hours of the school changes during those months. * The kids and teachers vote on what is best and majority wins. Kids don't have to ask for permission to get up and go to the bathroom or to drink water. They come right back...They understand that it is shared control rather than authority handing down rules. * As the neighbouring villages realized the quality of education in the first school, they grouped together and asked for a similar school near their villages...even the nay sayers agreed eventually. * I liked how the teachers taught and how the kids took to learning. It was a distraction to have us in their rooms (one little girl let us know at assembly-Ay Madam, meri class ajao), and the teacher redirected them to their task. "It is exciting to have people but if we forget our job, it affects only us. So let's see if we can calm ourselves soon so we use our time well." Who says it is difficult managing a large classroom? * The kids were very well behaved but I think it was because they were free from the pressure of the academics and some of the rigidity in typical schools-they were assessed but no painful exams. The fidgety children have plenty of room to move/jump/rock and then settle down to work. * Some children were in tattered clothes but not one expected a handout-they just wanted to read and show us what they knew. Mental health is not just about what is lacking-it is also about what is abundant. There was confidence, pride and ownership and the kids were very happy to share those with us.

Senile Dementia in Children Over the years, medical science has made great progress. We have either eradicated many life-threatening diseases of the past and are also able to control or treat a lot of ailments, thus increasing the life span of human beings greatly. * Unfortunately, however, Mother Nature has other tricks up her sleeve and continues to show us who is boss. We might live longer, but along with that there is an increase in the incidence of a host of physical and mental illness that are associated with old age. * Senile dementia and Alzheimer's (which is a kind of senile dementia) are commonly seen in elders and are seen with alarming frequency these days. * Dementia is a loss of brain function which occurs with certain diseases. It is caused due to degenerative changes and is irreversible. It impairs cognitive functions, memory, thinking, language, behaviour and judgement. Dementia occurs more commonly in elderly people and is rare in people under the age of 60. * Dementia in old age occurs often because of abnormal protein structures in certain areas of the brain. Dementia can also be caused by strokes i.e. vascular dementia. Diseases which can lead to dementia include illnesses which affect the neurological system including the brain such as Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington's disease and infections such as HIV/AIDS and Lyme disease. * Other diseases which can cause dementia include metabolic disorders such as imbalance in blood sugar, blood electrolytes (sodium, calcium, potassium), low vitamin B12 levels, but the good news is that if these are detected early, the symptoms of dementia can be reversed. Alcoholism is also another cause of dementia. * The first sign of dementia is forgetfulness. Some people suffer from mild congnitive impairment. Here there is a problem with thinking and memory, but this does not necessarily interfere with normal activities. MCI does not necessarily lead to dementia.

Adopting After Having a Biological Child Till about a couple of decades back, adoption was talked about in hushed tones, and if it was happening, it happened only within the family, so as to maintain the so called ‘purity of the lineage’. Then, around 10 years back, as social awareness grew, adoptions by childless couples no longer saw raised eyebrows. * But nowadays, it is no longer restricted to childless couples. As horizons widen and boundaries shrink, today there are a lot of couples with biological children who are opting for adoption to give their child a sibling. * Preparing the biological child for the arrival of an adopted sibling, and vice-versa, is of primary importance. As Vanashree says, ‘We told Antaraa that it was her guardian angel that told us that her sister was waiting for us to come and pick her up.’ * Nisha, on the other hand, linked the adoption of Ayaan to the story of Krishna being born to Devaki, but being brought up by Yashoda. However, even after a lot of preparation, the first few months of adjustment can be difficult for the entire family. * As Deval says, ‘The first month was very painful. Saumya used to call me didi and she would be very silent with me and my husband. She used to relate better to my biological sons. We gave her lots of time and space and then, after around eight months, she turned around so beautifully that today nobody looking at her would think that she wasn’t always a part of our family.’ * Discipline is a big part of parenting and parents should not hesitate to discipline their child, adopted or biological. When a situation involves disciplining an adopted child, just take a minute, step back and ask yourself how you would have handled the situation, if it involved your biological child and then, do the same thing.Do not try to hide the fact that your child is adopted, either from the children or from outsiders. But on the other hand, do not go around advertising this fact also. * To outsiders, disclose this information on a need basis, and only if you are sure that they are not going to be judgemental about it. As Nandini says, ‘While trying to explain about the concept of adoption to both the girls, we found it simplest and most effective to say that Sumedha chose us for parents while we chose Sukriti for a daughter.’Despite all these preparations, brace yourself for some conflict situations between the children, especially if the age gap between them is very less. Be fair to both kids and take a balanced view. * Adopting, while already having a biological child, is a big decision to take. Do it only if the immediate family is on the same page as you are.Follow your heart. Don’t do it for charity or to prove something to somebody else. Do it only when you know with certainty that that adopted child will be the one to complete your family.

Keeping Babies Warm In Winter This winter, babies need about the same number of layers as adults for comfort and protection, indoors or out. A newborn’s ability to regulate body temperature is not well developed, so you need to pay special attention to how they are dressed. * Some sleepers have cuffs that fold over to keep hands warm, but as babies find their mouths with their fists, be sure the sleeve cuffs are kept dry. Evaporating moisture in wet clothes tends to cool the hands and body.For tiny babies, cotton jersey knit gowns that tie at the bottom keep feet warm and are convenient for changing diapers. As baby grows, soft one-piece knit sleepers with feet and a gripper or zip opening from neck to toes make baby easy to handle. These do not gap open at the waist as can happen with two piece outfits. * The first week or two, your baby may feel more secure if wrapped snugly in a flannel receiving blanket.Keep blankets away from the infant’s face, and place babies on their backs for sleeping at night to reduce the risk of smothering.Cloth diapers need to be changed more often than disposables. Change them whenever you find them wet, to reduce the chance of diaper rash. Disposable diapers may be required by day care providers and are more convenient for travel. * Wrap small babies in a soft cotton flannel “receiving” blanket. Wrap heavier fleece or quilted blankets over the first one for added warmth and protection. When you dress a baby for travel in a car, a snowsuit or car seat-friendly bunting with a button hole for the seat-belt is needed to fasten the baby in the car seat. * A snowsuit should have feet and hand covers. A snowsuit should have a wind and water repellent outer layer and an inner layer of fiber-fill, flannel, or fleece that holds still air to insulate. A warm blanket may be neededover these suits, if it is very cold outdoors. * Remember to protect the baby’s face from wind and sun-burn. Usually, you can drape one of the blankets loosely across the face during trips between the house and car. Be sure to uncover the child’s face afterward. Be careful that the blankets used to wrap the baby are not so slick that the baby slips and falls out of your arms. * If you are indoors, such as at a mall for an extended period of time, take the baby out ofthe snowsuit or from under the covers, to prevent overheating and perspiration that can dampen clothes. Clothes that are damp will not be warm when you return outdoors again.