5 Healthy Summer Snacks for Your Kids

It’s summers and holiday season is here! It’s that time of year when kids are at home, mostly playing outdoors with mothers asking them not to play in the harsh sun. Well, we aren’t taking away anything from the moms but hey, kids gotta play! The summer heat can be harsh for your child’s skin and health especially from mid-April to June. Playing in the sun for long hours can cause dehydration and it is difficult to ask kids to keep themselves hydrated with water or liquid intake during their playing hours. To get rid of this problem, we are going to talk about super summer foods that will not only make your kids enjoy their meals without any fuss but will also help in keeping them hydrated.

Drinking water or consuming liquids is not the only way to stay hydrated during summers. You can eat your water too! Yes, you read that right. Give your kids foods that have high water content like melons and cucumber. Such foods will keep your kids hydrated as well as provide them with energy so that they won’t feel drained out by the end of the day’s play.

Here are give healthy summer recipes to keep your kids energetic and you, stress-free.

Fruit Popsicles

Summers are incomplete without gobbling down popsicles. Instead of letting your kids indulge in the roadside ice popsicles, make healthy fruit popsicles at home. You can try fruits like watermelon, muskmelon, lemon, kiwi, oranges etc. The homemade popsicles won’t just be healthy but also nutritious. Fruit popsicles will help in keeping your kids’ energy levels high.

Vegetable Cheela Rolls

This is the simplest recipe to feed some veggies to kids. The chana dal is high in proteins. Add as many veggies you can to meet the nutrition requirement of your kids. If your kid is still fussy about eating veggies in a roll, grate a cheese cube over it. Cheese is the most delicious way of consuming healthy fats.

Healthy Sandwiches

We all love sandwiches, don’t we? Now you might be thinking how a sandwich can be a healthy snack, isn’t it? Well, replace your regular white bread with a healthier option. You can opt for whole wheat bread or multi-grain bread. These breads are healthier than the regular bread. Replace the mayonnaise with hung curd. Sandwiches are easy and quick to make as well as to eat. This is one no fuss snack that we vouch for. Add vegetables or corn or cucumber or anything that your kids like. Add some cheese and ketchup and voila!

Raagi Cookies

Kids love munching on chocolate cookies and cream biscuits which have high contents of sugar and are unhealthy. Replace those cream biscuits and unhealthy cookies with raagi cookies. You can bake either butter raagi cookies or add choco chips for kids.

Fruit Smoothies

Summers are the time where one can simply live on a liquid diet. Summer provides with many options for beverages. If your kids don’t like to eat fruits, make them a smoothie! The best part about making a smoothie is that you can use any fruit that you like or is available in the kitchen, grapes, bananas, mangoes, strawberries, watermelons, muskmelons, et al. If the fruit is sweet enough, skip adding extra sugar. Watermelon, mango, orange, lemon, and berries are the best fruits to have in summer.

In addition to these, make your kids drink salty lassi or chaas. It helps in keeping the kid hydrated during long outdoor play hours. Imbibe chaas or lassi in your daily lunch menu. If the kid doesn’t want to have chaas or lassi, make cucumber raita for them. It has same effects as chaasor lassi has. Besides this, give them a glass of aam panna every time they move out in the sun. It helps in keeping fatigue away.

Limit direct exposure to sun and keep your children indoors. Apart from this, in our this blog, we also share some tips to avoid heat strokes in summer.  Summer can be a beautiful season for kids – you just have to take a little care when it comes to their health and food.

Not Just an Adult Thing – Mental Health Issues Can Affect Children Too

Children are exposed to a lot of different environments as they are growing up. As they grow, they learn new things, their body’s transform, and it’s all a very dynamic process. There are a lot of factors that need to work out properly for a child to smoothly transform into an adult. Many times, this process adversely affects the children, which might lead to mental illnesses.

Just as adults, mental health issues affect children of all family types and cultural backgrounds. Studies have shown that 1 in 10 children suffer from mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, psychosis, conduct disorder, etc. About 50-70% of these mental illnesses show up before the age of 18, and thus, have a huge impact on the child’s development.

Most parents are not ready to accept that their child could be suffering from a mental issue because they consider it as an abnormality. However, in reality, either the child is born with such issues, or it’s just a consequence of the environment and circumstance surrounding the child. The parents end up making the matter worse by not taking the help of psychiatrist counselling. It is extremely important for the parents to acknowledge that their child could be suffering from mental health issues and that they should support him/her to come out of this difficult period.

The emotional wellbeing of a child is equally as important as the physical wellbeing. Good mental health allows a young person to cope with change and deal with the various facets of adult life by developing them into mature people that can take care of themselves.

How to recognize if your child is suffering from a mental health issue?

The first and most important step in treating mental health issues is to figure out whether your child is suffering from those. Here are a few symptoms to look for –

  • Sadness of mood
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Lack of interest in everything
  • Aloofness
  • Disinterest in pleasurable activities
  • Change in eating and sleeping habits
  • Thoughts of hopelessness
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Extreme rage or anger and disappointment
  • Extreme thoughts like death or suicide
  • Staying away from family or friends
  • Lack of concentration

What are the various types of mental health issues?

Once you have identified that your child could have mental health problems, it is important to understand the exact issue. Here, the parents must take the support of a phycologist to better understand the illness of their child. Knowing the type of illness will allow you to make a proper plan so that you tackle it effectively.

Some common types of mental illnesses are:

  • Depression: Depression is more common in adults as compared to children. However, it has started affecting more young people today, than in the last few decades. Having said that, depression is seen mostly in teenagers as compared to young children. Depression usually affects the emotions and attitude of your young ones and makes them feel sad and irritated.
  • Anxiety Disorder: This disorder is the most common among young ones. About 6% of the kids suffer from this disorder at some point in the childhood and usually happens because the children are afraid of things or situations that happen in their everyday life.
  • Conduct Disorder: This disorder is also common in young people. Children who suffer from this disorder are generally averse to rules and can also exhibit an aggressive and destructive attitude towards other people.
  • Eating Disorders: Eating disorders generally start in teenage years and are, thus, more common among teenagers than young children. Eating disorders can severely affect the health and physical development of the concerned young person.
  • Self-harm: This is another very common problem among young people. Due to certain situations in their lives, young people suffering from this problem feel that by hurting themselves, they can manage their intense emotional pain and suffering. Examples could be cutting or burning themselves.
  • ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder): Just under 5% of the young people suffer from this problem and ADHD makes it extremely difficult for them to settle down and keep their focus on things for long.
  • Schizophrenia: This is a rare case but it does affect a few young people. This disorder makes it difficult for people to talk and behave in an organised way, with them losing touch with reality in certain cases.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): This disorder is a result of witnessing something extremely traumatizing or could be as a result of being a victim of bullying, sexual abuse or violence.

It is important that parents seek help and guidance from doctors and experts to resolve the illness affecting their young ones. This brings us to our next step.

Ways to help children suffering from mental illness

Parental Support

The biggest and most primary support for the children suffering from a mental illness has to come from their parents. As mentioned earlier, it starts with parents accepting the fact that their child is suffering from a mental health issue and then going on to deal with it. If parents can keep a warm and a loving relationship with their children, it makes the situation much easier as children are not afraid to share their discomfort with them. The most important thing here is for parents to listen carefully to their child’s problems and take those seriously.

Counselling

There is no shame in taking help from a psychiatrist or a doctor for a child suffering from any mental health issue. In fact, it is the best possible way to deal with the issue as psychiatrist and doctors are experts in these matters and can help. The psychologists know how the children suffering from a mental disorder feel and hence, are able to communicate with them in a way that allows them to come out of their shelves and slowly but surely resolve the issue. Also, there is no need to worry because these experts keep all the discussed matters completely confidential. Your family’s information will be completely safe with them.

Medication

There are many medications available for children suffering from certain types of mental ailments such as ADHD, mood swings, and anxiety. If you are concerned about the medications and how will they affect your child, then you can have an in-depth discussion with the doctors and they will tell you about the various risks and benefits of the medication. 

Support Groups

Sometimes, it helps to meet other people suffering from the same or similar difficulty. This is the logic behind the support group. Children suffering from the same or similar mental health issue come together as a peer group to help better their issues.

Just like adults, even children suffer from mental health issues. It is of utmost importance that the parents recognise the child’s illness and provide the right help and support so that the child can grow up to be a socially and emotionally healthy adult. Remember, mental illness is not a stigma. It is real, common, but definitely treatable.

 

“My Baby Healthiest” – The Ultimate Goal of A Mother

The weather is changing; the winter is coming and new mothers All Over the World know how hard it is to protect yourself and your little one from the flu season. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, most kids catch 8 to 10 colds in their first two years of life. But you know what? It is easy to protect your baby (and yourself) from colds and other such viruses. Follow these simple tips to stay on your goal keep your baby healthy, winter or otherwise!

Breastfeed as long as you can

Don’t be scared if you caught the flu or a nasty cold. You can continue to breastfeed through it all. Your body will send antibodies through your breast milk to your baby. Breast milk will protect your baby by boosting the immune system and many other wonderful activities that keep your baby healthy and thriving! So whatever you do, continue breastfeeding. According to the World Health Organization, breastfeeding until your baby is two years is beneficial for the physical and mental development for your baby.

Stay away from crowds

We know family gatherings or social meetings are important, but for a new-born with a brand new immune system, this is a little tricky. Be selective about where you take your baby. So unless it is fully necessary, taking your new-born to crowded malls, movie theatres or noisy restaurants is to be best avoided. Parks are great for open spaces and fresh air but you need to be alert if the children playing nearby want to come and mollycoddle your new baby.

Only clean hands

Insist on washing hands – not just for the enthusiastic loved ones who want to hold your new baby, but also you. If you are the primary caretaker, you have to wash your hands particularly after changing a diaper or preparing the bottle. If you have an older child, teach them manners about washing hands before touching and playing tenderly with your new baby. More tips for your toddler or the older sibling in the house:

  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into the elbow.
  • Wash hands immediately after coming home from school or playing outside.
  • Change outside clothes into home clothes.
  • Send home the sick neighbour kid who wants to play with your children.

Get more sun and exercise

Keeping yourself and your new-born cooped up at home is not healthy for either of you. Go on strolls around the society or visit parks with your new-born to get fresh air and the sun! The sunlight is great for your bodies, specifically during the cold winter days. So along with the vitamin D supplements, make sure you also get the real sun for a little while every day. Getting out of the house and getting the exercise is good for you too. Studies have shown that exercise helps remedy postpartum depression, uplifts your mood, and appetite too. This is very important because a healthy baby needs a healthy mother too.

Wear your baby

If you have to go out to the hospital, to the grocery store, travel in cabs or to go out to the park for your walks, try babywearing. This is a healthy way to bond with your baby too. In winters, babywearing helps you both to keep warm while you snuggle together in a safe baby carrier. Just make sure your baby’s legs are in an M position and not dangling straight down in 11 position. The dangling legs will put pressure on the baby’s spine and on your shoulders. The M position of the baby’s legs distributes the weight and keeps your baby in a comfortable sitting position.

Essential oil on clothes

Essential oils of eucalyptus and cinnamon are just fantastic to keep away colds or to treat stuffy colds fast. You have to remember NEVER use essential oils directly on the baby’s skin. These are remarkably concentrated oils and applying it on the skin can have harsh repercussions for your baby’s health. Apply few drops on the pillows and the baby’s clothes if your baby has a cold.

“My baby healthiest” – the absolute goal of a mother is perfectly achievable.

 

 

Mercury Rising – Here is How You Can Avoid Heat Stroke

Summer has come and with it, arrived weather-related illnesses. The weather change may bring slight discomfort and fever in little children but everyone has to know of a potential heat stroke. Did you know? Your body is an amazing machine that manages its temperature by producing its own heat in the winter times and cooling the body by sweating in the summer times. Your body can take care of itself around 37 degrees, but as soon as the mercury rises, your body’s mechanisms to cool may not keep up and it should. So, when your body cannot cool itself down in extreme temperatures, heat-related problems creep up.

Heat-Related Illnesses

Hot environments are a threat to your body. The most common heat-related illnesses are heat stroke followed by heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion is similar and also serious but not fatal like a heat stroke can be. There is a general weakness, heavy sweating, vomiting, partial loss of consciousness or pale skin.

Whether you are shopping outside, working in your garden or fields, exposure to extreme humidity and heat impedes your body’s ability to cool off. You may get heat rashes, faint due to heat exhaustion but a heat stroke is a deadly condition. If you don’t get to the doctor on time, it can even be fatal. You should know the warning signs of a heat stroke to make sure you and your loved one get immediate medical attention.

Warning signs of a Heat Stroke

If you were having a heat stroke, you may not know it! it’s funny, isn’t it? Well, knowing these signs will help you recognise the discomfort in your loved ones so you can get them help. While the signs may vary in different people, keep a lookout for these warning signs of a heat stroke:

  • No sweat and dry/hot skin
  • Profuse sweating
  • Strong pulse or heart rate
  • High temperature (above 39.4 degrees)
  • Confusion
  • Fainting
  • Seizures

What causes heat strokes?

Knowing the causes will help you do things to avoid heat stroke. Any kind of heat-related disease is because of your body’s failed heating and cooling system. When our body sweats, it is a natural way to cool it down. Working out in hot weather, wearing heavy clothing in the heat, consuming alcohol and dehydration are of the causes for heat exhaustion. Feeling exhausted by overheating for an extended amount of time can lead to a heat stroke. Even though anyone experiencing overheating is at risk for a heat stroke, other factors can also increase the risk of heat stroke.

Who is at risk for heat strokes?

As a general rule of thumb, little children under the age of four and seniors over the age of 65 are more at risk for heat-related diseases. This is because their bodies experience difficulty in regulation at such an age.

Do you or your loved one take medication for high blood pressure? Such medications and heart-related illnesses may cause dehydration which increases the risk of heat stroke.

Are you overweight? If you or your loved one weighs more than normal, your body retains heat more and finds it difficult to cool down fast also.

Planning a vacation to a warmer or cooler climate? If you go to a place with extreme temperature, your body may struggle to keep up and maintain balance. If you going to a hotter climate, your body may not regulate itself which may cause a heat stroke.

Focus on preventing heat stroke

Here are five ways to avoid heat stroke.

  1. Avoid overexposure to the sun: Even if you have to work outside, find a cool place in the shade and away from the heat of the sun. If that is not possible, then make sure you take a lot of breaks or reschedule to avoid working in the heat all together. Use sunscreen.
  1. Stay hydrated: Dehydration is one of the biggest causes of heat stroke apart from extended heat exposure. Drink water at regular intervals even before you feel thirsty. Remember, if you are thirsty, then your body is already dehydrated. Seasonal fruits like sugarcane juice, lemon juice, and all sorts of melons are excellent hydrates of the body.
  1. Wear appropriate clothing: Some people have a tendency to put on extra clothes on babies, even in the heat! Avoid this because even babies and little children need to regulate their body temperatures and are more at risk of a heat stroke. If you have to go outside or work outside, make sure to cover your head with a scarf or a hat. Wear cotton clothes that are loose and airy to help instant cooling of our body in the summer heat.
  1. Avoid heat-y foods: Replace caffeine and alcohol with smoothies, fresh fruit or vegetable juices. Eating spicy food also increases your body temperature. So eat light meals to keep your body cool this summer.
  1. Avoid sitting in a hot car: Don’t leave little children, the elderly or your pets in a parked car. In the hot summer heat, cars tend to heat up quickly and as the mercury rises, they are at most risk of heat stroke.

With heat stroke, it’s so important to focus on the prevention methods. Do you have more tips?

A Bright and Healthy Summer for Your Kids!

Schools are going to be shut for a few more weeks now. It’s that time of the year for which the kids wait all year round to enjoy the thrill of not having to go to school or sit and complete their daily homework. They sure have a gala time this season but the same creates feelings of anxiety and insecurity in parents. Parents do not have all day to spend with their children so taking care of how the kids spend their time becomes very important. As a responsible parent, it is your duty to ensure that they do not indulge in any kind of wrong activities and also stay fit and healthy!

There are a lot of ways in which you can take care of their health. Children need at least an hour of physical activity per day so getting them registered for a fun activity or sport, such as football, volleyball or badminton would really help. Find out what they like and make sure they enjoy the classes. This will not only keep them occupied but also teach them values such as teamwork, punctuality and maintaining a daily schedule. Do not let them get addicted to playing video games or watching TV. Too much of these will adversely affect their eyesight and also make them lazy.

Although children do not have to wake up early in the morning and get to school, maintaining a rough schedule for their day will really help. Make sure that they do not stay up too late in the night. Sticking to an agenda will make them organized and also make the transition of getting back to the routine of school a lot easier. Place unhealthy snacks out of their sight and reach. Surely, kids love munching on chips and biscuits, or resorting to a bowl of Maggi for their late night hunger pangs. By keeping them away, you can reduce their temptation and avoid the kids from mindlessly reaching out for them time and again. Instead, have a bowl of fruits such as banana, orange, and apple on the dinner table along with a jar of dry fruits such as cashews, almonds and pistachios. These will keep them from eating unhealthy and also provide health benefits.

Another activity which kids will heartily enjoy this season is swimming! Get them to join swimming coaching classes if they need to learn the sport or simply a club where they can go and swim. You will have to keep an eye out and ensure that they play it absolutely safe in the water. Once the safety precautions have been taken, swimming is one of the best summer activities for kids! Be it whatever sport you get the children to play, you have to make sure that they keep having a lot of water throughout and do not get dehydrated. Keep a bottle of water handy with them at all times and remind them to keep taking sips since kids often tend to get too involved with their surroundings and forget. Lack of water can cause serious problems such as dehydration and kidney stone. You can also give them fresh fruit juices of watermelon, lemon, orange and sweet lime. These will keep them hydrated and be tasty too.

Protect the kids from harmful UV rays. Make sure that they wear a cap when they step out in the afternoons, encourage them to put sunscreen and wear full sleeves to protect their skin. Too much sun can cause heat boils, causing feelings of itchiness and uneasiness. Direct exposure to strong afternoon sun can even cause heat strokes. Give them light coloured clothing and involve a lot of cotton in their wardrobe. Cotton keeps the body feeling light and absorbs heat easily.

Summer sunshine brings along feelings of joy and happiness. A little weariness from the sun and a few safety measures to protect kids from the scorching heat will keep them feeling fit and healthy throughout the season, and in perfect shape for the next academic year at school!