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Introducing new foods to toddlers

Toddlers get bored with the usual menu. Moreover, the calories obtained from breast milk or formula milk is no longer sufficient to meet the energy demands of these tiny tots. Introducing new foods to your baby in his or her early years is much easier than trying later on. Nevertheless, if you haven’t introduced new foods so far, it’s alright. It’s never too late to begin.

Let’s find out some ways to introduce new health foods to toddlers. Remember:

  • Try introducing only one new food item every week. Don’t overdo it.
  • Introduce one food item and then check for allergic reactions.
  • Give your child time to look at the food, touch it and examine it for as long as he or she likes. Don’t hurry them.
  • Depending on your child’s motor skill development, he or she may want to hold a spoon. Allow them to do so and let them feed on their own. It may be a messy affair; however, it will encourage your child to try new items.
  • Don’t pressurize your toddler to taste or eat anything. This will cause the little one to dislike food-tasting sessions.
  • Do not introduce new stuff when your baby is extremely hungry, cranky or ill.

You may get all kinds of advice from family and friends, regarding the best time to introduce new foods to toddlers. However, it is best to consult your pediatrician before doing anything. Moreover, be patient and persistent. Don’t be quick to assume that if your child has rejected most of these foods, he or she will be a picky eater. Let your child take his or her time to develop an interest in these new foods. All the best!

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How to Raise Happy Children

A happy person is the one who has loving relationships, who knows how to care for other people, who can give, be responsible and is ready to compromise, if the situation demands. A person is happy when he is positive, confident and values himself as well as others. As parents, it is very important to incorporate all these qualities, in kids, right from childhood itself.

Tips on How to Raise Happy Children-

Appreciation and Positivity: Appreciate your child. If he has learned something new or achieved anything, even if it is very small, point it out and praise him. Appreciating the child and positive reinforcement goes a long way in making a child confident and happy! At the same time, do not overdo it! Do not use words like “the best” or “perfect” or “brilliant”, as it will raise expectations, which can pressurize a child and cause him stress.

Allowance for Mistakes: Tell your child that it is all right to make mistakes as long as he remembers them and does not repeat the same! Childhood is a time of experimentation. Children are up to trying all kinds of things and in the midst of it, can end up making many mistakes. Instead of scolding and criticizing the children, parents should instead talk to them about it, explain to them why a particular action is wrong on their part and that they should not repeat it. Scolding, being aggressive with the children – these are some things that parents should completely avoid as they can have an adverse effect on a child’s psyche.

A Loving Family: A touch is very important in building relationships. So, hug your child, kiss him and embrace him, to show that you truly love him. Also, take out some “family time” every day and eat together, while discussing how the day went for everyone. This will also give you an opportunity to assess whether your child is facing any kind of problems in school or how he is faring, in terms of his relationships with his peers and teachers.

The Art of Giving: Teach your child to be “giving”. You can do this by taking him to an NGO and involving him in doing something for the have-nots of the society. Let him join some charity too and help him raise funds for it. If you want to keep things simple, get him a pet or keep a potted plant on his bedroom window sill and make it his responsibility to take care of it. These are some ways in which you can teach your child not to be individualistic and self-centric, but to help others, do something for fellow beings, animals and plants, without any kind of expectation. As true happiness lies in “giving”, your child will become happy from within, while caring for and nurturing, those around him.

A Fit Body: Healthy children are happy children. So, provide your child with healthy meals, which are preferably cooked at home. Suggest healthy food choices to your children. For instance, instead of sodas, ask him to drink low fat milk, instead of pizzas, give him fresh fruits to eat. Make most of his diet from fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. If healthy eating habits are inculcated from childhood itself, it is much more likely that they are carried right through adulthood, thus keeping a person disease-free and happy.

As you can see, there are no fixed ways and rules with regards to how to raise happy children. Good parenting is all about being positive, giving time to your child, supporting him, being there for him and involving him in all kinds of activities which enhance his creativity, natural goodness, knowledge and intelligence.

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Ten tips to improve your child’s IQ

Raising IQ in your children involves a series of activities that focus specially on developing the mental faculties as well as physical abilities. Enhancing IQ is also a dedicated activity that needs plenty of patience, will power and knowledge from parents. Learning House Jaipur suggests some simple techniques and methods that are known to raise IQ levels in children:

1. Are you an expecting parent? If yes, talk to your baby every day, sing songs and rhythms and say pleasing things throughout the day.

2. Help your children sleep early. Children need a minimum of 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep and ensure that they get it without fail. Available research findings suggest that brain function drops drastically with decreased sleep.

3. Never, ever exert too much pressure on your children! It may be counter-productive in the end! Set realistically possible expectations for your children and never be hasty in your efforts.

4. Love your kids and adore them for their good qualities. Shower affection whenever necessary.

5. Young children need intelligent and smart toys to play with and develop a range of useful skills like motor and cognition. Choose your toys wisely and intelligently. Toys are available in a number of forms, patterns, shapes and activities.

6. Reading bedtime stories and singing lullabies are known to boost brain growth. It will also help your child develop an emotional bond with you.

7.Never, ever provide lead-rich playthings and toys as lead can seriously impair brain growth functions. Ensure that you are buying lead-free and toxic paint-free toys for your children.

8. Encourage your children to eat plenty of vegetables, proteins and good carbohydrates. Make breakfast a mandatory activity. Give them full and complete meal consisting of eggs, fish, green vegetables, good oils and recommended nutritional supplements. Control intake of caffeine and nicotine rich beverages. Instead, promote nutritional drinks.

9. Repetition helps your children master academic studies. To master any type of technique, your child may need to repeat the process many times over and develop his or her brain power to achieve the best in life.

10. Daily exercise, aerobics, sports will help your child boost oxygen supply to the blood and brain which eventually result in brain development. Physically active children are agile and intelligent.

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11 Resolutions for happy parenting!

Learning House, Jaipur strongly advocates good parenting as one of the most important factors in a child’s development. We understand that being a parent means working endlessly towards your child’s development and assuring a bright future.

To help you a bit, Learning House suggests you to take up these resolutions for better and stress-free parenting:

Resolution #1: Don’t try to fix everything.

Give young kids a chance to find their own solutions. When you lovingly acknowledge a child’s minor frustrations without immediately rushing in to save them, you teach them self-reliance and resilience.

Resolution #2: Say “I love you”

Express your love whenever you feel it, even if it’s 746 times a day.

Resolution #3: Gossip about your kids.

Fact: What we overhear is far more potent than what we are told directly. Make praise more effective by letting your child “catch” you whispering a compliment about him/her to Grandma, Dad or even his/her teddy.

Resolution #4: Avoid food fights:

A healthy child instinctively knows how much to eat. If he refuses to finish whatever food is on his plate, just let it go. He won’t starve.

Resolution #5: Avoid expensive “event parties”

Avoid throwing expensive “event parties” for your children on their birthdays. Instead, confine all birthday celebrations to your family, including extended family. Keep it uncomplicated: a special dinner of the birthday boy or girl’s favorite food, a cake, the song, and a few simple gifts, mostly clothing or other useful things.

Resolution #6: Play. Be silly. Act like a child.

Have fun with your kids by being a kid. You will notice the connection you form instantly.

Resolution #7: Get out of the way:

Adults sometimes need to get out of children’s way. Give your child unsupervised time, either alone or with friends. Teach your children to trust in themselves. Let them make mistakes and experience the consequences.

Resolution #8: Reclaim your home:

Resolve that one day each week will be a day without television, videos, computers and electronics of any sort. Shut the things off! Be present with your child without beeps, flashes, music and voices other than your own distracting you from one another.

Resolution #9:Talk about what it means to be a good person.

Start early. When you read bedtime stories, for example, ask your toddler whether characters are being mean or nice and explore why.

Resolution #10: Celebrate boredom.

Resist the pressure to become your child’s day planner, social secretary and entertainment organizer. Allow for days where nothing is planned. Don’t protect your child from a day with nothing to do. Day after day filled with adult-organized activities and events destroys any possibility of creativity or self-discovery.

Resolution #11: Get creative together:

Play together, fantasize together, and get creative together using only the simplest of materials: old clothes, a cardboard box, crayons, paper and glue. Pretend to explore a world under the sea or find wood nymphs and fairies. Make up characters and go on grand adventures.

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Five steps to a better handwriting

Five steps to a better handwriting

Earlier, we discussed how writing process is an integration of a variety of sensory-motor skills. Today, Learning House, Jaipur presents five steps that will ensure a better handwriting:

 

1. Get a Great Grasp

The way you grasp your writing tool is pretty important for your writing. If you don’t hold your pen/pencil in proper manner, your writing will get messy. The best way to hold a pen/pencil is to let it rest next to the base of your thumb. Hold it in place with your thumb, index finger and middle finger.

 

2. Let the Lines Be Your Guide
Lined paper is your friend! Those lines can help you create letters that are the right size and proportion. The capital letters should stretch from the bottom line to the top one. Lines also can keep you writing straight instead of uphill or downhill.

3. Slow Down
If your writing is hard to read or you erase a lot, try slowing down a little. For some kids, going slower solves the problem. If you rush, it’s hard to control where you stop and start your letters, and you end up making more mistakes.

4. Lower the Pressure
Some kids press down really hard when they write, punching holes/dents in the paper all along. That makes it harder to make the smooth lines needed for writing, especially cursive. Try easing up, don’t grip the pencil as tightly, and let your pencil mark the paper without going all the way through.

5. Play Games
Yes, games can improve your handwriting! Lots of games require you to write or draw pictures. So even though it’s not official school work, you’re still using the skills you need to control your pencil better. And if you want to strengthen the muscles you need for writing, you can also do that while you’re playing board games. Use a clothespin instead of your fingers to pick up your game piece and move it around the board.

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No More Mess!!

Kids can be the biggest mess-makers, so don’t mess around when it comes to teaching them good organizing habits! The sooner you can empower your kids with these concepts, the better. Preparing our kids to be independent adults will be much easier if they’ve been taught these skills and habits early on. And it helps make your life easier too. Here are a few tips to make them organize better:

Develop morning and Evening Schedules:

Though morning and evening schedules are more or less same every day, still it’d help if you articulate the steps to your kids. Stick a checklist on bathroom mirror or bedroom wall to list out things like packing your bag, getting dressed, getting lunc h box, etc to keep them a track of their morning activities. Similarly, evening routine like brushing your teeth, organizing your toys, etc, pave a smoother path to sleep.

Easy as A-B-C-D:

The A-B-C-D prioritization tool works for everything and helps kids and grown-ups:

An “A” toy is a favorite one that you love and play with all the time, as often as we eat or brush our teeth.

“B” toys are ones you play with a lot, as often as we go to the supermarket.

“C” toys are those you don’t play with very much, as often as we have a birthday or holiday.

“D” toys are ones you really are not playing with at all. And D also stands for donate.

We want to store our A and B toys where we can reach them and put them away easily, and our C toys up higher in a box or on a shelf.

Teach Kids the One-In-One-Out Rule:

Our children need to understand that storage is a finite thing, and that continuing to collect eventually leads to clutter and chaos. When you get a new toy, an old toy can be donated. When you get new jeans, your old jeans can be given to another child. They should also understand that donating our excess helps people and the planet. Birthdays and holidays are especially good times to teach the concept of “out with the old, in with the new.”

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Developing Fine Motor Skills!

We believe good handwriting is an important skill for everyone to have even in this keyboard and technology world. When children are taught handwriting skills at a young age, they are positioned for a lifetime of legible handwriting. Good handwriting is like knowing how to ride a bike – it’s something you never forget.

Your child will enjoy the benefits of good handwriting for a lifetime.

But before giving handwriting practice of your kid, we need to focus more on their fine motor skills development.

In order to maintain the correct grip for holding a pencil, their fine motor skills need to be improved and encouraged.

Fine Motor refers to the development of small muscles of the body (particularly the small muscles in hands) which will enable actions like grasping small objects, clicking, correct writing grasp etc. By developing your child’s fine motor skills, it will enable their finger and muscles to become stronger and provide them with the ability to control the way they hold a pencil.

There are many activities that are enjoyable for children and aid in the development of the fine motor skills,

Here are a few suggestions on how to develop your child’s fine motor skills.

  • Using scissors to cut out shapes or cut paper.
  • Threading shoelace through sewing card holes (this can easily be made by making holes on a piece of paper, using a hole punch that your child can thread a shoelace through).
  • Manipulating play dough and using cookie cutters to make various shapes and designs.
  • Picking up objects using tweezers.
  • Threading beads on a string (making a bracelet or necklace).
  • Drawing (get some blank pieces of A4 paper and make a drawing book).
  • Painting.
  • Sand manipulation (get some buckets and spades for your child to use in the sand).
  • Coloring in (coloring in within the lines is a great way for your child to practice hand control).
  • Tracing shapes, designs, letters etc. (Draw different shapes, designs and letters on a piece of paper that your child can trace over).

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If your child’s fine motor skills are not yet fully developed, also consider working with your child on some activities that focus on tracing lines, shapes and curves. Once your child can successfully trace these lines and shapes, he will be ready to write more complicated figures like letters.

Once the child is comfortable with his fine motor skills, start focusing on his writing skills.

We will be covering writing skills in our next blog, so stay tuned……..

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Gardening with kids

 

Gardening is one of those activities that soon grow into a hobby. It keeps you busy, it makes you sensitive towards environment, it makes you appreciate nature and more than anything else, it cheers you up. Due to time and space constraints, you may not indulge into gardening but believe us it helps your kids too. How? We’d tell you.

 

With a bit of your participation, your pre-schooler can learn many things from helping in a garden. They learn to be responsible and patient while caring for a tiny seed as it grows into a plant. They discover self-satisfaction in raising something beautiful. The simple act of digging and planting also helps physical development, strengthening both gross and fine motor skills.

Beyond what your child will naturally learn from being outdoors, there are ways to make the gardening experience more educational for him. Help him to make a chart of his plants and teach him to predict how the flowers will change each week or month. Then, work on basic math concepts by measuring the plants together every Saturday. Talk to him about the principle of cause and effect as he waters the seeds and they later sprout. As the summer wears on, the cycle of life unfolds magically in front of him, from sowing seeds to growing plants to harvesting flowers and veggies.

But be assured to assign him a duty. Put him in charge of certain tasks, like watering the plants. Plant a “pizza garden” of tomatoes, peppers, and basil or a “rainbow garden” with flowers of each colour in the spectrum. You can go all out with your creative theme gardens. Most importantly, gardening is a great way to bond together in the great outdoors.

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Eat it Right!

Eating habits of your child is an insight to his health in his later years. If candies, chocolates, wafers, cakes, burgers are his first and only choices, get on your toes mommies! It’s time to act! Though junk food looks attractive and tastes better, but it will increase the chances of obesity and droopiness in your child as he grows in an adult.

Learning House suggests these points to be followed religiously:

1. Include servings of fruit in his diet every day.

2. Your kid should have at least one meal of vegetables, chappatis and daal everyday. Ask your kid to eat small but sure portions of every food type.

3. Expose your kid to different types of food at a younger age- give him tofu, soy, dahi, salads, porridges. Variety will get him interested and give some more nutrients too.

If you find it tough to make them eat nutritious food, try it with a twist. Decorate your servings of vegetables; fry your daal with lots of veggies; cook some stuffed paranthas and serve it with chutney instead of ketchup; replace plain dull-looking dahi with tasty fruity smoothies. There’s no limit to letting out your creativity in your cooking skills. Make it presentable; make it look delicious and your kid will learn love all the healthy eating options he has.

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Let’s Play Safe during Monsoon!

The rains are here to stay for a while and so is the mood for hot, spicy snacks. Street food like pani-puri, bhel-puri and sandwiches may tempt you, but these are foods that you simply must stay away from in the monsoons.

Say No to Street Food

Say No to Street Food

This is because monsoon is the time for germs and bacteria which thrive in the unhygienic roadside eateries. As a rule you should avoid eating raw foods during the rains, refrigerate leftovers immediately, wash the vegetables used to make salads thoroughly and clean leafy vegetables with care. Above all, try to keep eating out during the monsoons at an absolute minimal.

Instead enjoy roasted corn, homemade Pakoras or drink hot soups.

Roasted Corn is especially delicious when you add spices to the ear of corn after roasting it. The  spices liven up the flavors and add an interesting spin on basic roasted corn. Nothing can beat hot cup of soup with crispy pakoras during rainy days 🙂


 

Let’s play yourself safe with following tips:

  • Keep yourself hydrated
  • Have a balanced diet
  • Eat clean, fresh food
  • Keep monsoon ailments at bay
  • Avoid puddles
  • Exercise and rest during monsoon
  • Loose, cotton clothes are the best during monsoon.
  • It is advisable to avoid jeans as they do not dry quickly.
  • Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly, particularly leafy vegetables and cauliflower

“Keep your self and your loved ones healthy..”

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