Quick & Healthy Carrot Apple Smoothie Recipe For Moms And Toddlers

The Mommy Blog

If you have been following my blog for sometime now, you know that I have two super active kids and ever since we moved here to Qatar, I have forgotten the last time I sat and peacefully finished my breakfast. It’s always two on one and I’m always in a hurry. And I’m sure there are many moms out there who just skip their breakfast like I do most of the time (yes do I!).

This quick smoothie recipe is what I discovered a couple of days ago and trust me this keeps me sane and sound for at least a couple of hours. Plus it’s super easy to make and healthy to have. The Little Thing enjoys it as much as I do.

We have all grown up with the knowledge that carrots are good for your eyesight. They are famously rich in beta carotene, which the body processes into vitamin A.  Carrots also pack a well-rounded nutritional punch including vitamins C, B3, B6, E and K as well as minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, molybdenum and potassium. They are also a great source of dietary fiber.

And apples are probably one of the healthiest fruits on the planet. They are rich in fiber and vitamin C. Plus they are also low in calories, have only a trace of sodium, and absolutely no fat or cholesterol. So if you are trying to shed some kilos and still remain healthy. This is the tastiest and simplest way.

So here’s the recipe for you.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/2 Apple sliced
  • 1/2 cup of 100% Mango Juice
  • 2 tablespoons Milk

Method: 

  1. I cut apples and carrots into small pieces and freeze them overnight before using them.
  2. Blend apples and carrots with mango juice.
  3. Add milk and blend until it’s creamy and lump-free. That’s it.

The reason I don’t add everything together and blend is because I want a creamy smoothie not a thin one. I keep adding juice gradually until the deserved consistency is achieved. Serve it chilled.

If you liked this recipe please don’t forget to give my blog a thumbs up on Facebook.  :)

 

Counting Boys

mapIt’s a no brainer that India boasts of the all too skewed up sex ratio. With such a patriarchal society like ours, every house wants a boy. Well, every house, except for my hubby’s. Their’s is a small family comprising of two uncles, four cousin and two brothers. A total of ten men (including DH & FIL) in a combined family of fifteen. This lopsided figure started turning for the better when ladies came in as spouses. However, it was safe to say that if India primarily had more boys than girls, I think my new family had a very major part to play.

 Baby no.11:

So it didn’t come as a surprise that everyone prayed hard for a girl when the first of our cousins got pregnant (As they all had when the aunts in the family were expecting, but we know how that turned out!). Oh how badly everyone wanted a girl. Everyone’s hopes soared high, and excited talks prevailed in every house. Counting minutes to D Day for when the lil angel would make ‘her’ appearance. The lady of the hour was finally wheeled into the hospital as the family stood with waited breath… On Feb 15th 2011, a beautiful baby was delivered. A beautiful baby boy. And no matter how the family felt about another boy joining the jing bang, celebrations rolled out to welcome the new arrival. After all, what really mattered was that both mother and baby were healthy, right?

 Baby no.12:

Three years on, my hubby and I announced our big news. This was now also a time of family group chats on Whatsapp. As the family got bigger and mostly living away from one another, the minute to minute update of food, clothes, jokes, ‘Goodmornings’ and ‘Goodnights’ ensured everyone stayed closely connected. And no matter how far my delivery date was, the excited talks on having a girl had already begun. Not a day went by when ‘we hope it’s a girl’ line wasn’t brought up. Few weeks down the line, another cousin got pregnant. The family was bursting with happiness. 2 girls maybe?? Were we both finally going to break the jinx? Bets were made, praying was made mandatory, and a conversation which went something like this ensued every other day:

“So how many girls in your house Dee?”

“Your parents had 2 girls”

“Your sister also had 2 girls”

“So isn’t it true that most of your cousins are girls?”

Everything that hinted at how high the chances were to have a girl in the family, thanks to me, was discussed. In a weird way, I felt the pressure that women in a patriarchal society feel, except that we had the gender in reverse. And before you get all judgmental about my hubby’s family, you should know that everything was always said in jest, and the pressures from such jokes n teases were more in my head than in actuality. But even so, I felt it.

Feb 16th 2015 arrived all too quickly. I was finally wheeled into labor room, and in a matter of hours, delivered our beautiful baby. A beautiful baby boy! The count of boys just went up to 12. But no matter how disappointed the family must’ve been, I was congratulated with full fervor. After all, the baby and I were both healthy.

The Mommy Blog

 Another baby:

 Few weeks on, the other cousin was wheeled into the delivery room. Now all eyes and attention was on them. Were the prayers finally going to be answered? Was the jinx finally going to be broken? We all waited and waited and waited for the big news. On 24th April 2015, the cousin delivered a beautiful baby. A beautiful and gorgeous baby girl!!! Can I possibly explain how ecstatic the family was? Probably not. Let’s just say, they were happy and relieved (And that all phone lines jammed from Mumbai to Muscat and Whatsapp just crashed!). It was now possible to welcome baby girls into the clan. Needless to say, everything pink was drummed out and the whole family was finally going to get a lil angel to spoil <3

My boy is now 3 months old, and I love him no less than I would have a girl. He’s perfect. But something my dad said the day he was born, makes me smile each day….

“Now I won’t feel outnumbered in a family of girls. MY supporter is here :) ”.

The Mommy Blog

Top 5 Pregnancy Apps For Android & iOS

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Pregnancy can be very overwhelming especially if it’s your first time. As it doesn’t last long, every mother-to-be obviously wants to make the most out of those nine months.

I’m a mother of two and trust me when I say this, the excitement of learning about all those big and small developments your unborn baby is undergoing, is just so amazing.  I when I pregnant I never shied away from having multiple pregnancy tracking apps on my phone.

You can do the same. You can track your baby’s development, time your contractions, or even pick a baby name with one of these excellent pregnancy apps. When it comes to pregnancy, there is most definitely an app for that. Here are five of my favorites.

 What to Expect Pregnancy & Baby:

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 Image source: thebrowngothamite.com

The very popular pregnancy book, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” has it’s official free app which includes a very good amount of information. The app has a due date calculator, week-by-week photos of your baby’s growth and development and pregnancy countdown. There are also a lots of other interesting features scattered throughout this app. For example, did you know that at 13 weeks your baby is the size of a  pea pod?

 My Pregnancy by BabyCenter:

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Image Source: itunes.apple.com

My Pregnancy app is by BabyCenter. It’s another free app. This app is very much similar to the What to Expect Pregnancy app as discussed above,with a bunch unique features. For example, it includes some very realistic yet scary illustrations of babies in the womb along with a number of videos on real birth. You can even manage your pregnancy to-do list and join a due date club. Also it is very reassuring to know that all the content in this app is reviewed by a medical advisory board.

 I’m Expecting – Pregnancy App & baby guide:

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Image Source: itunes.apple.com

This is again a  free app which includes online community forums based on the month when you are due, or on your age. It has a very sleek design and tons of helpful features have helped to make this app a favorite among parents-to-be. Using this app you can create a virtual scrapbook of baby bump photos, and even track your symptoms. I’m Expecting is very easy to navigate, and helps you keep all of your medical and personal pregnancy information well organized at one place. However, this app doesn’t include a contraction tracker, which I think is very important as you near your due date.

 BabyBump Pregnancy:

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Image Source: babybump-pregnancy-free.en.softonic.com

The BabyBump Pregnancy has two versions, one is paid and the other is free. Since I already had too many pregnancy apps, I didn’t bother buying this one. I downloaded the free version and it was decent enough. This app includes week-by-week development information and also lets you keep a journal of your progress and create a birth plan for the big day. You can also connect with the other moms and discuss via social forums.

 Pregnancy Sprout:

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Image Source: itunes.apple.com

This is another app that has two version. The paid one costs $4 approximately. And the free version, Pregnancy Sprout Lite gives free access to the full app for a two-week trial period. The week-by-week graphics are very attractive. It has all of the basic tools  such as a kick counter, a contraction timer, hospital bag checklists and a doctor visit planner, where you can add questions for your provider. This app doesn’t have any community forums but it’s easy to navigate and a solid choice.

Pregnancy is a phase that you won’t be able to enjoy if you’re anxious about your or your baby’s health. These apps will guide you to just about any information you need. Or at the very least, they’ll explain what you need to ask your doctor and what you need to know prior to your delivery.

So while you reach there, you can spend your time finding names and keeping journal notes or sharing photos with friends and family until the time arrives. Enjoy this special time and use these apps to get the most out of your pregnancy. GoodLuck :)

 

4 Exciting Things Of Our Journey To Being Parents

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The Test:

June 2014 – A quick trip to the washroom, and within minutes there had been 2 beautiful solid lines on my home testing kit that said my husband and I were pregnant! Our celebration had consisted of excited talks at a supersonic high pitch, giggles that resembled the banter of school girls, and our crazy pet dog who jumped about excitedly on our bed.

To make the arrival of our little bub more comfortable, my husband and I decided to get things organized in our house and lives that very day! Lists were made, parenting styles discussed and the house rearranged to accommodate our baby’s arrival. All at 6 weeks pregnancy. Enthusiastic much? That was us.

Going shopping:

 Not wanting to waste a minute, we had head to the closest shopping centre with our ‘list’ in tow. We not only planned on doing a reconnaissance of baby items, but we intended on buying stuff as well. Unfortunately, no matter which maternity / baby store we went to, there was a clear cut division between things for ‘girl’ babies or ‘boy’ babies. Majority of them had a section for ‘newborns’, however we found them all to lean towards a certain sex, either blatantly obvious in their display, or subtly color coded and accordingly accessorized to imply the gender it’s meant for.

The lack and scarcity of ‘neutral’ (clothes, baby books etc) disappointed us, but we didn’t let it dampen our childish stupor. Onwards we continued with our mission towards the next stop – the toy shops. And guess what? You either have to turn left for boy toys and right for girls’ (‘cuz girls are always ‘right’ haha). I wondered how everything in today’s age and time became so gender oriented. Who decided that girls can’t play with remote controlled cars and boys sit with doll houses? Who said that girls shall be in everything pink and boys have to do all things blue? Suddenly we faced a big dilemma. Do we fall into this trap even before our baby is born? Is it responsible parenting on our part to mould him/her into a certain stereotype?

 2Baby Shower:

Our woes didn’t end there. Eventually, planning a baby shower was just as difficult for my sister. We were ‘those’ kind of parents-to-be who didn’t know the sex of their child till the day he made his grand appearance. However, everyone wanted to know if we were going to have a girl or a boy, mostly so they could procure gifts accordingly. And I don’t blame them, the market trends don’t make life any easier. But for parents like me who want to ensure that their child is exposed to all the colors of the rainbow and is open to all kinds toys and play, it becomes very difficult to search and choose gender neutral products. I want my child to decide what he/she likes, without being pressurized into conforming to the society’s prejudices; is that wrong?

IMG_1645The Arrival: 

 In due course, we were blessed with a healthy baby boy. But I guess there was a certain gamble involved for all our family and friends when they bought presents for the shower. He now owned everything in either shades of blue or hues of pink. There may have been a few things in yellow or green dotted about, may have.

So here are some fun facts* for you:

1. Most babies are color blind when there are born and can only see shades of grey for atleast a few weeks.

2. In June 1918, an article from the trade publication Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department said, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl”. Ha!!

So for now, I make peace in dressing up my son in blue AND pink, till the day HE decides what his favorite color shall be :)

*source:

http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/babies-born-color-blind-7978.html

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/when-did-girls-start-wearing-pink-1370097/?no-ist

Babywearing in India — Getting Started

What’s the first thing you hear when you give birth? Your baby’s first cry…. Aah, the sweetest sound that you’ll ever hear!

What’s the only thing you hear over the next few days, weeks… baby’s ‘constant’ crying, uh-huh, correction, the sweetest sound is now a ‘wailing’! No, it is not because your baby is clingy, and it most definitely is not because ‘your milk is not enough’!!

Your baby rightfully is crying for you, for you to hold him, comfort him, keep him safe like you have all these past 9 months. While it’s an aww moment the first few times, it really does tend to break your arms after some time. It did for the first 2.5 months for me.

And then I discovered Baby-wearing (no it is not a fashion term!). I was trolling Facebook when I followed a friend into a Baby-wearing page and thought of giving it a shot. We haven’t looked back since and LO is now 15 months old.

What is Baby-wearing? 

According to Wikipedia, it is the practice of wearing or carrying your baby in a sling or in another form of carrier. In short, it is keeping your baby close helping him transition to a life outside the womb.

Why should I wear my baby?

Contrary to popular belief that the womb was the quiet environment that a baby has been used to, a womb is probably the noisiest place, what with the constant motion in the amniotic fluid, moms beating heart, stomach churning, etc., which is why when baby-wearing, the baby quietens soon as you start walking. The motion helps calm him.

Research shows that keeping your baby close is crucial to his health and development. Such infants produce more immunoglobin protecting them against respiratory infections. The constant touch also improves intellectual and motor development immediately. The benefits are many! The image below drives home the essence of keeping your baby close.

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How should I wear my baby?

There are various ways to wear your baby. While Google can easily assist in finding brands, it is not essential to spend a bomb on a carrier. A sari or even a dupatta can double up as a carrier.

There are a few safety rules that one has to be absolutely thorough about, irrespective of the carrier that you choose.

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Image Courtesy: schoolofbabywearing

Carrier Categories:

Ergonomic carriers are the way to go. Sounds scientific? Well, it is. A carrier is designed not just to carry your baby, it does also help in baby’s development- physical included. The way your baby’s hip is positioned in the carrier will help or harm the hip development. Perfecting the M position is as important a part of baby-wearing as is TICKS.

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Okay, now that the research is out of the way, we can greedily discuss the various types of carriers and what they do and how:

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When should I baby-wear?

What started off as a necessity for me almost a year back, is now something I am passionate about. Especially since I’ve seen up close how it transformed my clingy, cranky, always ‘hungry’ infant into a confident, independent, creative, intelligent and social toddler.

I highly recommend wearing your baby soon as you hear, read or see about it. And do not be surprised if you bump into me giving someone a download of it in a mall… I really do feel strongly about it. Whether am in the kitchen, traveling (plane, train, anything), even window shopping and the most when the baby has been under the weather, baby-wearing has come to the rescue time and again.

Until what age can I wear my baby?

It does not stop when the baby starts walking. Most carriers allow for a 15-18 kg weight limit and will also allow you to carry a child of up-to 4 years of age.

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Why do I recommend baby-wearing?

Baby-wearing has opened up a whole new world for me. Keeps my baby close AND keeps me hands free. It has helped us in soooo many ways including traveling without any hassles.

I do hope you are able to enjoy and explore baby-wearing as much as we have been. The pic below is of the first time ever that I wore my baby. You can see how peaceful we both look.

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Reason I chose to be stay at home MOM

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There he was sleeping peacefully my little Angel…I just Love love my little baby :) Isn’t he the most precious gift I can ever ask for in my life?!! Isn’t his smile makes everything possible in the World ?!! Isn’t he the best ??!! isn’t he my reason to love my self and love everyone around him ???!!
 My thoughts started flowing endlessly . There was no full stop, comma or even exclamation mark !! As if I couldn’t swallow anything..Only thing was questions and questions in my mind and heart??????
I was on maternity leave and was going to start work in two months time. Those two months now seemed to be such a short period to me on that long night.. I just couldn’t sleep and kept thinking and fighting with my own load of questions, which had no answer from my side.
Till that time I was so much prepared that I was going to start working and look after my boy too. Now it seemed like some impossible task. Then I got what I like to call as answer of my never ending questions.
YES.. I would love to be STAY AT HOME MOM :) or home maker or house wife whichever name we like to call it and happily look after my little bundle of joy. And here are the reasons I chose to be stay at home Mom.

1. To be able to breastfeed:

I exclusively breastfed my boy for the first six months and started baby led weaning after six months. I wanted to continue feeding him on demand. Of course I could have pumped it and someone could have fed him while would work but I did not want to miss the special time we both spent with each other. It’s so priceless and precious.

2. To never miss a milestone:

I never want to  miss any of his milestone, it’s something I never knew I will be so keen of. But the joy to see my son achieving all his milestones, is just unbelievable. I had always visioned him to start walking and come to me with a big smile on his face! I’m still waiting for that day to come. Keeping my fingers crossed!

3.  For those cute baby things:

Is it only me who just loves baby fragrance? I have always loved how my boy smells! His hair smells, his tiny face, little hands, everything smells just so awesome. I didn’t want to miss those morning cuddles and those lovely hugs from him.

4.  To live the moment:

To live the moment, this is something he has taught me. He is so full of energy, and always ready to learn new things even if he fails so at it, in the beginning. His love for me is so pure and unconditional. Children teach us so much about life. How could I just miss those beautiful years of our lives?

5.  To be there for my child: babythemommyblog

Above all, my child always wanted me, his mom to nourish him. To be with him, spend time with him doing silly yet fun things. He wanted to sleep with him, snuggle him, feed him. His life revolves around me and my life around him.
 So I wanted to make these first few years, the most precious ones of our life. I knew these initial years are going to work towards building up strong foundation for his future. Every one in the world needs someone who loves them unconditional – he is sleeping peacefully next to me. He who heard my heart beating when he was in my womb. He who loves me. He who chose me to be his mum.
I chose to stay with him. To be his MOM!

4 Tips To Keep You Kids Hydrated In Summer

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Summer is one of the favourite seasons for almost every kid. With a lot of outdoor activity happening around this time of year, mostly under the scorching sun. And the temperature can be anywhere between 35 degrees to 41 degree Celsius.

So it’s very important to see that our kids stay hydrated. As proportionately, children have more body fluids than adults and also they can get dehydrated faster than adults.

And these lost fluids need to be replaced immediately in order to stay healthy. And sometimes keeping young children hydrated can be very challenging from parents.

Here are some suggestions that may help you in keeping your little one healthy and hydrated this summer.

1.  Drink mostly water:  

Yes water is the best fluid for you and your kids. Let them have their sippers and bottle close enough for them to grab it on their own, as and when they want to. Remember when a child asks for water, you should know that dehydration has already begun.

And if they does not want water, diluted fruit juice also is fine but not good for teeth so it’s goes best with meals.

2.  Serve milk and yogurt for breakfast:

 Milk and yogurt are not just rich in calcium but they are also two best ways to provide your kids the fluids that they need. If you prefer to not serve cow’s milk, homemade almond milk is great alternative.

Yogurt with honey makes a wonderful snack for kids for hot summer mornings.

3.  Keep fruits handy:

Whole fruits are not just loaded with mineral, fiber and vitamins. They also have plenty of water in them. Fruits like oranges, grapes, watermelons, as well as vegetables like cucumbers and tomatoes are excellent sources of water.

So, if your kids are interested in having a snack, how about serving them slices of tomatoes or a bowl of grapes.

4.  Make Popsicle:

Although fruit juices mainly contain loads of sugar and carbs, eating fruit in its natural state is beneficial to ensure your kid stays hydrated. But who doesn’t like popsicles?? Use juices with minimal sugar. Remember not to use sugar-free, those are not very good for health.

Making popsicles be as simple as just pouring some juice into a plastic popsicles molds and popping them into the freezer. You can also freeze yogurt, diced fruits with some lime juice poured over. If you don’t have popsicle molds, use ice-tray. Just get a little creative there! ;)

Have a safe and healthy summers!

haajra