Moms and Their Struggle to Feed Picky Eaters.

Moms run tirelessly after their little ones to feed them

Moms and Their Struggle to Feed Picky Eaters


Every visit to my mom’s house is filled with questions about my kids’ eating habits. I always tell her the kids eat everything but she insists on making something special for them. Each time she calls, I put down the phone in a frenzy saying I am busy feeding the kids and will call back later. An hour later when I call her back she will ask, “Did the kids eat well?” In her mind I know she wonders why I get worked up about the kid’s meals. She will often say “I raised four kids but didn’t ever need to feed them. And they eat so healthy! Wonder how we did it?”

I know she empathises with me on how I manage my kids in today’s time but I also know that she wonders why it is so difficult to feed children today. Our parents probably didn’t spend half as much money or time in feeding us. Picky eaters were a novel concept back then. So really what has changed?

The other day I made dosa for my daughter and she insisted on having it with cheese. I growled like a mama bear, “How can every food item have cheese in it?” How do you know what it tastes like if it’s loaded with cheese and butter?

When I was a kid, I don’t remember cheese as a food item at all. I don’t remember butter even, except the white butter that we had with bajra roti.

Maggi, which was probably only Rs.5 back then seemed so expensive that our parents bought it only once in the summer holidays. Today, our kids grow up eating organic fruits and vegetables, cage-free eggs and gourmet foods but still it takes us an iPad, high chair, favourite TV show and a dedicated person to feed them. Parents are so particular about the source of food and where it comes from, how it is cleaned, where it is bought from and so on.

If you Google picky eaters in the 80s, it will be hard to find an article, and if you Google it without the year, you will find lots of ideas on how to feed them. There were no food art ideas, no blogs that helped you feed picky eaters and no time to wonder and discuss which food group your child is probably missing out on. My mom believes that it was because we had respect and discipline, but no compulsions.

I don’t think moms back then had the time or the help to blend all the vegetables the child needed to eat. I never heard of a child back then saying I don’t eat fruits and never saw moms running tirelessly after their little ones feeding them a garden snack.

As a Gujarati girl, I don’t remember my mom telling me not to eat jalebis, gathiyas or chakris because it’s junk. I made that choice. And in hindsight, the way our parents raised us seems way better than what we are doing today. As I serve more dosas to the daughter, I search for answers and think whether it is a choice that has really spoilt them or awareness that has us troubled. I am still wondering if it is the limited patience both in parents and children or manpower and money at disposal that makes food, a basic necessity for some, such an important part of an urban parent’s life.


Image courtesy: ©Thinkstock photos/ Getty images


5 Ways to Help Your Child Deal with School Stress.

5 Ways to Help Your Child Deal with School Stress

By  (

Stress at school is a common phenomenon that little ones face. Who would imagine tiny angels burdened with such a lot of pressure. But coping with schoolwork, homework, extra classes, tests and exams can be a tiresome thing and more so if they are disinterested. Top that with the pressure of being the best and you have a child who is fed-up with life already! As parents, we’ve got to set this right and help our kids lead a happier, stress-free life.

We need to help our kids deal with school-related stress and motivate them to grow stronger both physically and mentally. Here are some tips which may help you give greater support, encouragement and confidence to your little one and help her achieve the best she can.

1. Identify the symptoms of stress:

Firstly, identify the symptoms in your child that indicate that she is under stress. Some of the apparent signs and symptoms of being under stress are irritable behaviour, change in sleep and appetite, lack of concentration in studies and more. So, recognise these indications of stress in your child and help her cope with stress.

2. Talk to your child about her fears: 

Talk to your child about her worries, tensions and anxieties. By talking to her, you will be able to find out what is troubling her. Let her take time to calm down before she starts speaking. Further, listen to her carefully and assure her that you will help her find solutions. Make sure not to talk to your child about stress in front of others, as she may find it difficult to open up. Find a place within home or somewhere outside, where your child can freely speak her heart out.

3. Maintain a pleasant environment at home: 

Find out what changes can be made at home to de-stress those situations that can cause anxiety. Make time at the end of the day for the entire family to talk to each other about the day’s events and also involve your child in such conversations. Remember to maintain a congenial environment, as a stress-free atmosphere at home will help your child in conquering her anxiety, stress and tension.

4. Help your child finish assignments herself:

Assisting your child to finish her homework all the time will make her over-dependent. Moreover, as she grows, she may not be able to cope with her studies at higher grades in the absence of your supervision. This in turn may make situations difficult and stressful for her. Therefore, make your child self-dependent and capable of doing work herself without always seeking support.

5. Teach her good time management skills:

Good time management skills can help your child cope with anxiety experienced during examination and while completing lengthy home assignments. So, prepare a flexible schedule that best suits her learning style. Make sure that she can follow the timetable without much effort. However, do not set strict rules for studying, because if your child is not able to cope with the set guidelines, she may get tensed and feel stressed, which in turn may not bring the desired results. In the end, remember that although it is impossible to avoid the challenges in school that may cause stress, you can always help your child to overcome them in ways that would give her the foundation to solve problems later in life. Therefore, be a guide; a mentor; a moral support and above all, a stress-buster for your child so that she enjoys her school days in the best possible way.



10 Questions Moms Should Ask their Kids Everyday

Asking questions will encourage kids to share

10 Questions Moms Should Ask their Kids Everyday

By Mansi Zaveri.

Asking questions will encourage kids to share

Parents often hear monosyllabic answers when they ask their kids about their day. The answer “fine”, “okay” or “good” doesn’t tell us enough to know what our kids really did during the day while they were away. As a parent, I was curious to know how my child spent her day at school.  My husband always has an interactive session with the girls about how his day was and shares even the minutest details about his office, meetings, boss and lunch. At first, I would wonder how a three-year-old would articulate all that. But now when my daughter is six-years-old and the two chat about this every single day, I love to watch them exchange notes about their daily routine. Taking inspiration, I soon followed the same exercise of asking questions. I realised that it is extremely interesting to know the stories that kids have to share. Now, my daughter looks forward to each of these questions and in return I get to know more about her likes, dislikes, friends, class room conversations, bus rides and all the naughty things she does throughout the day.


Here are the 10 Question I make a point to ask my kids every day and you should too.


1. Highlights of her day at school – Three best and three not so good things that happened?


2. Naughty things on the bus ride.


3. What physical activities did she do today?


4. Three good things and three naughty things she did.


5. One thing that she did better today than earlier/the day before.


6. Who made her happy and who made her sad in school?


7. What did all her friends get in their snack box today? (Helps her realise that others are eating a variety of foods, some of which she may like while others are disliked. It also helps me get ideas on snack box options.)


8. Three new things that she learnt today: A word, a lesson/fact, about her friends, about herself, this could be about anything at all.


9. One act of random kindness she is proud of.


10. One wrong thing that Mom and Dad did today.


The answers will not only surprise you, but also enlighten you about your child’s experiences during the day. Morever, it will even serve as feedback from a totally unbiased soul.


Image courtesy: ©Thinkstock photos/ Getty images

10 Habits That Could Kill Your Joy: Part II

10 Habits That Could Kill Your Joy: Part II

By 10 Habits That Could Kill Your Joy – Part 2

 6. Hanging on to old beliefs

Take a few moments to listen to your inner soundtrack when you read or hear what others express. Notice that you have your own beliefs working as a filter or a lens through which you see and listen. Do you have an “always” and “never” mentality?
This is when you have a belief or statement that you use to generalize everything you experience. I won’t list too many of the common typical statements here but they resemble:
“People can’t be trusted.” (Or a certain sect of people can’t be trusted.)
“It is very hard to succeed.”
“Birds of a feather flock together.”
“Once bitten, twice shy.”
“I never win.”
“I always get sick after XYZ.”
It is the habit of generalizing where you make things either “good or bad”, “right or wrong” and you live in judgment. This is a double-edged sword as you will apply the same harsh rules to yourself. There is no middle ground.
Ease up and cut yourself and the people in your life some slack. Things may not be exactly as you see it. Your beliefs may be outdated and dis empowering. Give life a chance and learn to trust a little.
Here’s what Tony Robbins says, “All personal breakthroughs begin with a change in beliefs. So how do we change? The most effective way is to get your brain to associate massive pain to the old belief. You must feel deep in your gut that not only has this belief cost you pain in the past, but it’s costing you in the present and, ultimately, can only bring you pain in the future. Then you must associate tremendous pleasure to the idea of adopting a new, empowering belief.”

Every opportunity I get, I remind people that they are good enough, to be, do and have whatever it is they truly desire. “I am good enough” is the mantra to replace all the others that don’t evoke positive emotions in you.
In order to truly start embodying the new belief, you have to add action based on it. Not doing so, will only feed your old limiting belief. For example, if you had a belief that you are broke, you need to do something every day that shows you that you are wealthy and blessed. Take small steps to help breathe life into your new powerful beliefs.
Notice too when your thoughts and comments are extremely one-sided and judgmental. When you look through the filter of your beliefs, you can’t see both sides of the coin. Use the acronym W.A.I.T. (Why Am I Talking?), and take a few minutes to view the situation from different angles.
7. Not keeping your relationships in good repair.
Not giving affection to the special people in your life and giving too much time to the people who sap your energy.
We cannot deny that the people in our lives have a great influence on how we feel and we need to choose wisely. If you have a helper or employee who manages to upset you or bring out the worst in you, first, look at yourself and see if you are deliberately keeping this person in your life because you want a punching bag, or if this person perhaps is mirroring attributes about yourself that you are ashamed of and try to hide? If you can be honest that it is neither, then you can either change your attitude towards this person or you can also choose how much of power and time you’d like to give away to them.
More importantly, nurture the relationships you love. Make time daily and even several times a day to connect and GIVE love to the people you care about. Instead of waiting for them to show you appreciation and care, why not give it? The only way to have more joy and love in your life is to BE loving and joyful. Watch that your communication with loved ones is not always about getting them to do things or complaining to them.

 8. Ignoring your health 

This includes binge drinking, smoking or eating. It also includes always making excuses or postponing exercise or being healthy, thinking you are enjoying life and will be healthy later or tomorrow. Realise that you would enjoy life more if you looked after your health. Not making time for exercise is just making time for illness. Keep pace and maintain a sustainable lifestyle so that you can live it for the long haul with balance. It takes only a few weeks to form new habits and tastes. Even something like sugar, after a few days of drinking tea or coffee without it will get you used to the taste and you will start enjoying it. Exercising every day too, once you stick with it for the first few weeks, you will feel more uncomfortable when you don’t! Create healthy eating and exercising habits that will last you a lifetime. When you are older, you will thank you for it. Start today, if not now, then when?

 9. Having unrealistic expectations of yourself 

Having unrealistic expectations of yourself and others is the surest way to kill your joy. You just can’t lose 10 kilos overnight (even Lipo takes time). Your relationships won’t improve without your loving energy and dropping most of these killjoy habits. You won’t be able to pay off $32k debt in a week. Your new business won’t be profitable from Day 1. So be kind with yourself, be realistic and give 100% effort and then accept where you are with the faith that you are getting there, slowly but surely.
10. Entitlement issues with others
Your family doesn’t owe you anything, your friends don’t have to pay for your drinks, your child may forget to acknowledge your help. Your brother may not buy you gifts, your partner may not remember your anniversary. No one owes you anything. The sooner you accept this, the quicker you will take responsibility of your joy and become adept at creating it in your daily life independently! I believe that Emotional Independence is one of the most important skills you can learn.
Instead of always setting people up to fail, make crystal clear requests of them if you really want something and if you still don’t get it, check your communication skills and also learn to give more to yourself by yourself, so that you don’t feel your joy is dependent on anyone else. Being selfish is a word that has been misused.
Looking after yourself and doing things everyday that make you smile, whether it is playing or listening to music or taking a walk or even playing scrabble, look after YOU and GIVE yourself permission to have fun! Balance isn’t about staying in the centre. Even a car cannot move forward in neutral gear. It is about swaying from side to side. Be kind with yourself and acknowledge your efforts to replace your killjoy habits with joyful ones.

 Image courtesy: ©Thinkstock photos/ Getty images

10 Habits That Could Kill Your Joy: Part I

10 Habits That Could Kill Your Joy: Part I


10 Habits That Could Kill Your Joy: Part I


Life is all about the pursuit of happiness, isn’t it? Well, some of us, along the way tend to sabotage our own happiness and joy. Take a look at the habits you never thought could make you a terribly unhappy person.

1. Choosing to stay dissatisfied
If you view your life from another’s perspective (something I highly recommend you yourself don’t do –
comparing yourself to others), you will actually see that your life is the envy of so many others. You really do have a lot more than many. But all you do habitually is feel dissatisfied. Things are great but you keep looking at things that are not right or that could be better.

Habits can’t be eliminated they have to be replaced. If you think of taking something out of your mental schedule, you need to put something else in deliberately or some other sneaky disempowering habit will take its place. Replace this one by consciously choosing joy and remembering to be happy. Even when it feels impossible to do so, choose happiness and smile. When you smile long enough and look around you for only what is beautiful you will start to feel the happiness.

2. Compounding your worries
Again, I don’t know WHY we do this one, but it is a classic and I am sure you are guilty of it as much as me. We are having a neutral day, and things are fine, but we have one worry niggling at us, then one little event happens which we view as fuel to stoke the flame of the original worry. This then grows and grows as we deliberately look for all the probabilities we could worry about and before we know it, our lives become one big mess. We are so, so worried about so many things and we just can’t see beyond the fog.

Replace this one by forcing yourself to think about the possibility of this worry actually not happening, tip the scale to the other 50%. It can either go one way or the other. What you think about affects your own mood and will in turn affect the result. So the next time you sense a worrying thought, imagine instead what life would be like it didn’t happen and in fact the opposite did. Spend time in the joyful state of this fantasy. It’s all the same anyway. Not real, so why not play with it positively?

3. Feeling resentment
Have you heard the quote, “Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

Replace this habit with a short exercise. Realise that resentment is a feeling of a past or a situation that you cannot change. Accept it and let it go. If you have been rejected in any way by someone, realise that it was not personal and that we all do what is best for us at a particular time. Watch my Letting Go Video. Use the acronym HALT to assess where this resentment could be coming from – Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. When we feel either of these, we create a mental fertile ground for
resentment, bitterness and other negative emotions which we can all do without.

4. Comparing and giving into jealousy
This is a big one, as I mentioned in the first point. Comparing yourself to others in any context is the No.1 kill joy you could be feeding. Stop It. Can’t stop it? Watch this hilarious video by Bob Newhart. You know, you can read a hundred self improvement articles and books, but with some habits, you just have to STOP IT! Like with picking your nose in public, you don’t need 10 tips on how to stop it, you just have to stop it!

But I will say this much, when you compare, you are comparing the inside of you to the outside of them and just like with a watermelon, you are aware of your inside squishiness and comparing it to the other’s hard green exterior. It is easy to look at others who appear to be more successful, slimmer, better in various ways, but comparing your life to someone else’s will only make you feel dissatisfied and incompetent, however you look at it. So just STOP IT!

5. Negative self-talk about yourself & thoughts about others
If anyone spoke to you the way you sometimes speak to yourself, you would not be their friend. Pay close attention to some of the disempowering, mean things you say to yourself and replace them with powerful and happy affirmations. “I am not good enough” or “I am not XYZ” needs to be replaced with “I am good enough” like a MANTRA that you chant all the time that plays as background music for you everywhere you go.

The habit of always thinking that people are thinking badly of you or out to get you is another futile exercise that is sure to squeeze out any possibility of joy in your life. Be realistic and rational, people have their own lives; you are really, really not that important to them and if you were, then they need to refer to point number 4, they are unhappy and dissatisfied. Rejoice in one of two possibilities, either they are generally also good people like you and don’t mean you any personal harm or they are envious of you and be flattered by it. Again watch the “Letting Go” video.

Image courtesy: ©Thinkstock photos/ Getty images


How to be happier in life: 6 Easy Tips to Follow.

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How to be happier in life easy question right ? Not always, I visited an old friend of mine the other day. Their home is perfect, beautiful cars, two kids the perfect age apart; everything as it would appear is perfect. At work his career is going well. He is on track to become an executive at his company, which he has been at the perfect length of time, yet after spending a weekend with them it’s clear the family is a not a happy family. There seems to be a sense of disconnect, between them, the fighting, the negative behavior of the children, etc this is obviously a void that can’t be filled by all the material objects and work successes they’ve amassed.

I had to ask myself why is that ? How do you avoid letting your life get to a point where you have everything you need, or want but yet still fill unfulfilled ?.  Here are couple of tips I’ve discovered from a combination of books, magazine and online resources.

How to be happier in life Tip 1: Create a Plan for yourself

Create a realistic plan for goals that you feel will make you happy. Sometimes it’s not about completing the goal, but the effort and hard work you put to get there. Hence, the harder you work the better you will feel about yourself because you will feel better about going after something you value. If its not valuable to you, It will not be worth it to work or make the sacrifice to achieve the goal.

How to be happier in life Tip 2: Surround yourself with Positive People

This is often the hardest part of being happy, acknowledging the people you hang around with may not best for you, choose to surround yourself with happy and positive people, and relationships who accentuates the goals you want to accomplish for yourself. If you are around people who are happy with their emotional state, that feeling will be infectious.

How to be happier in life Tip 3:  Failure is inevitable

When something goes awry, or you fail at something don’t wallow in self pity. People who are happy accept their failures as a learning experience and move on. You can have a million failures; all you need is one great success moment. Mathematically speaking it’s statistically impossible to have all failures, you will eventually hit upon success, wallowing in self pity just make the failures last longer.

How to be happier in life Tip 4: Appreciate what/who you have

Don’t disregard the great things you currently have in life. Take a few seconds each day to think about the wonderful things, people, children, pets that are part of your life. These few seconds will give you the opportunity to focus on the positive things in your life and will often change your outlook on bad days.

How to be happier in life Tip 5: Treat Yourself

I once heard Oprah say, that “you must pay yourself first no matter what”, with that being said you have to take time each day and pay yourself, it maybe a compliment, a great lunch, or some extra alone time, these are all ways to subconsciously put yourself in a better mood.

How to be happier in life Tip 6 : Our biggest secret to Happiness…

You know this article had to come back to health and wellness, and healthcare has a lot do with your happiness. Maintaining your health is one of the greatest ways to achieve happiness. Being overweight or not eating nutritious foods can have a negative effect on your mood. Additionally, exercise, such as yoga, walking running and a myriad of other activities have all been proven to release endorphins that give you a feeling of happiness.

Life is full of so many wonderful people, places, and things. There will always be challenges and roadblocks to overcome. Choosing to focus on being happy and appreciating the things that are great in your life will provide you the necessary tools, and confidence to overcome the challenges and roadblocks you are facing, or will soon face.