Wednesday, 19 June 2013

It's no secret that what your child eats has a direct impact on his overall development. Nutrition plays a very important role in your child's growth and development.Keeping this in mind I have created a list of 7 healthy food's every kid should eat.They are as follows:

First in our list is,

1) Eggs: Egg proteins contains essential amino acids which are building blocks for hormones,skin,tissues and much more.Besides the also contain choline which plays a vital role in brain development.This nutrient is important for memory development in kids,by increasing the brain's ability to retain information.So parents should include eggs(preferably omega-3 enriched eggs) in your kids diet to ensure proper development.

Precaution: Eggs are made of proteins and proteins are complex molecules which are not very easily digestible.So make sure to give your kid no more than 2 egg per day.Otherwise it might lead to digestive issues.  

2) Whole grain breads:Whole grain breads contain Vitamin B and E,Iron,Zinc etc.All these nutrients are necessary for you kid and his/her promotes growth and development.For example Vitamin B converts food into energy efficiently.Iron helps in transporting Oxygen around the body,Zinc helps in healing and fighting infection etc.Unfortunately parents are unaware of these fact and they go for white bread.As far as white bread is concerned it is not healthiest.Various study has confirmed that children who continually feed on white bread, their glucose levels fluctuate leading to mood fluctuation and weight gain.So parents should make sure to include whole grain bread only in their kids diet.

Precautions:None,as of now.

3) Fish: Fishes like Salmon,Tuna and Sardines are rich in omega-3's.Omega 3 fatty acids are good for heart and brain development.It helps in cognitive development of your child and also promotes growth.It is already proved that more omega-3 we can get to brain, the better it will function.

Precautions: Fish products have been shown to contain varying amount of heavy metals,particularly mercury.The presence of mercury in fish can be a health issue for children.So be careful while choosing fish or fish products.

Apart from Fish other foods which contain omega-3 fatty acids are Walnuts,Flax,Beans etc.

4) Brazil Nuts: Brazil nuts are rich in Selenium.Selenium is a trace mineral which ensures good brain health.Whenever I advise people to include selenium rich foods in their diet they confuse it with selenium supplements.Though selenium is vital to immune system function and ensures brain growth in kids but selenium supplements should be avoided at all cost.The impact of selenium supplements on kids is still controversial.So there is no need to take any chances with supplements.

Precautions:You should limit your child's daily selenium intake to around 20mcg.Consuming this nutrient in excess can lead to selenium toxicity.Side effects may include fatigue and dizziness.

5) Oatmeal:  Oatmeal is rich in Protein and Fiber.Proteins are utmost necessary in kids as they are the building block of immune system.It is also rich in fiber and kids ages 3-10 needs 8-15 grams fiber per day.Oatmeal has 6gms fiber per cup.Oatmeal helps keep heart and Brain arteries clear.A Recent study reveals that kids who ate sweetened oatmeal performed better on memory related tasks than those who ate a sugary cereal.Besides, you can add cinnamon and chopped peaches or blueberries to make it taste better.

Precautions: Since oatmeal is rick in fiber,excessive intake can lead to stomach spasms or constipation as well.Limit oatmeal to not more than 11/2 cups daily.

6) Indian Dahi Curry: Yes.This came to my mind as right now I am in India.So what's with this Indian Dahi Curry? The answer is, Dahi curry contains Turmeric and Yogurt.And both of these aid to your child's development.Turmeric is rich in curcumin and research shows that curcumin fights inflammation and blocks Alzheimer's plaque formation.

On the other hand Yogurt improves brain health by keeping brain cell membranes flexible, helping them to send and receive information.And the best part is it is Delicious and kids are going to love it.

Precautions: Nothing.Just don't overeat it, because it contains yogurt and too much of yogurt can lead to digestive problem,upset stomach and diarrhea.Just half a cup of Dahi Curry is more than enough to load your child with all vital nutrients necessary for his growth.

7) Green Veggies:Greens are rich in calcium,magnesium,iron,potassium,phosphorous,zinc and vitamins A,C,E and K.They also contain fiber,chlorophyll and other micronutrients and photochemical.If Biology is not your thing then let me make it simple for you.The above mentioned nutrients have been shown to strengthen immune system,improve blood circulation,blood purification and much more.The benefits are countless.So you must add veggies to your kid's diet.But there is one small problem.Well, not no small one though, and that is 'Most Kids don't like Greens'.So how to get your kids eat leafy greens.Here are some ways which worked for me.They are:

  • Smoothies:Children might not like veggies but they enjoy smoothies.So just make the smoothies more enticing with colourful ingredients.You could also add honey as a sweetener.While preparing smoothies you can chuck things like Spinach and Kale into the mix and watch your kid sipping in the nutrients and enjoying it too.
  • Soups: I have noticed that kids don't like to eat greens but when when given in liquid form(soup in this case), they do not seem to have any problem with it.In fact they tend to enjoy it.Just Remember to add some flavor and garnish it well.
  • Oven baked Chips  and Grilled Asparagus Rafts: These are kid-friendly veggies which are approved my majority of kid.They all tend to love it.Don't be surprised if your kids ask for it again and again.
  • Purees: It is another sneaky way to make your child eat healthier.You can blend healthier veggies with the tasty ones.This tend to dampen the bitterness of leafy greens like spinach and makes it more edible for your kid.
  • Bribe: We parent have to resort to all sort of techniques just to make sure our kids eat healthier.This is one technique which most parents use when all other fails.And it works too Finish your food and you'll get one of your favorite chocolate(OK! lets make it two.Deal.)
How your kids develop depends on what he eats.So watch out what you put on your kid's plate.

NOTE:As discussed in this post,foods rich in omega-3 should form an important part of your kids diet but it must be noted that it is important to strike a fine balance between the level of intake of omega-3 and omega-6.So if your kids diet is too much omega-3 centric then you must compensate it with omega-6 rich foods like avocado,pumpkin seeds etc.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Book Name : How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character

Author Name: Paul Tough

Price: $12.88

Buy Now

Today I am going to discuss about a very popular child development book "How Children Succeed - Paul Tough". Actually this was the very first child development book I bought from a local bookstore.I read the entire book and was amazed by the insight this book provided on the development of children.This book immediately became my favorite book on child development.But, Back then I didn't realize that the book I was reading was one of the best sellers child development book of all time.It was only when I was searching for some story books on amazon, I came across this book again(in the 'Children's Book' section). It was only then I realized that I actually had a gem with me.

This book is like a breath of fresh air and provides fresh perspective on why some children go on to become winners in life which others are not so successful.It is generally assumed by us parents that children who score highest in various pre school tests and other exams go on to become more successful in life.But that's not entirely true.The author (Paul Tough) argues that qualities that matter most are not intelligence but character related i.e. skills like perseverance,optimism,self control etc. are those that determine the success of any child.This book changed my perspective completely as a parent.He uncovers numerous ways in which we parents do and do not prepare our children for the real test of life.This book is very well researched and discusses about the extremes of American Childhood in so much details.He discusses about the parenting ways of both the rich ones of the society as well as not so fortunate ones.The insights he provides is really absorbing.

After reading this book I presume that the author is a very good story teller and that he has used his story telling abilities to help the readers imagine and understand the life of children, who do not belong to well-to-do families, trapped in cycles of failure and poverty.He explains how nurturing character in children and adults is the key to their success.

Here is an interesting excerpt from the book:

"....There exists in our society a troubling and growing achievement gap between the have and the have-nots. The cause of that gap is neither merely poverty nor IQ, but a specific set of non-cognitive skills including executive function and conscientiousness...." , which Paul calls "character." Children who are taught these skills can break historic cyclical patterns of failure.

In one instance the author compares two schools which are very contrasting to one another.One school typically consist of children coming from rich families while other school consist of children who come from family with less strong economic background.However the aim of both the school is same i.e to prepare students for college and give them the necessary "character" tools for success.He goes on to show that some of the children who completed their schooling from the lower grade school also went on to become successful in their life owing to the strength of their character.It was an intriguing and motivational read.However people(or parents) who tend to blame their economic disparity,situations and environment for their failure are not going to agree with the author.Though I personally found it very motivational.

The book is both very interesting and enjoyable to read but the facts presented are not just philosophical in nature as everything written in this book is very well researched and logically based.

"How Children Succeed " book combines detailed studies with anecdotal narrative making it a compelling read.I would strongly recommend it to all the parents who want to inculcate and develop positive qualities in their children.

You can Get It Now at $12.88 from

Product Name: How Children Succeed - Paul Tough
Reviewed by Arthur Benjamin
Country: United States
Rating: 4.5

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Sharing Personal Experience On Children Development

First of all, Welcome and Congrats! Congrats because according to a survey only two in every five parent in the modern occidental society(comprising generally of countries of Europe and America) take steps to consciously develop positive qualities in their child and you are one of them.Its strange that about 60% of parents are not actively involved in the development of their children and leave it on chance(or rather destiny) to shape their child's behavioural traits and mould them as per their linking.Its sad but true.These parents must awake from their deep slumber and realise that their child is like a rough diamond which must be polished or the true luster of it will never appear.Chance and Destiny will not do it,you as a parent will have to do it, for your own child, for yourself and for the society as a whole.I can just hope that my post reaches those millions of ignorant parents so that they realise the need of the hour.

Lets move on! Most of you will agree with me when I say that present structured education system is not enough to develop and strengthen your child's innate character.So we parents have to take up the responsibility to develop positive traits in our child  In this post I will discuss with all you parents,  the perfect occasions and techniques to nurture your child with the positive qualities like honesty,kindness,courtesy etc.All right then! Lets begin.

The following step wise approach should be followed in order to instill the right qualities in your child.These steps are essential part of every child development programme, so you must follow them diligently.


1. Actively Monitor Your Child: This is the most basic thing a parent could do.Silently monitor him,see how he reacts to different situations.Mentally, keep a note of things(or even write it down on a piece of paper) you wish to teach him based on a particular behaviour.Do not interrupt immediately.Let him do his own thing while you make a note of things you wish he could have done in a different and better way.

2. Wait for a 'Teachable Moment': Now you know the things you have to teach him, wait for the right moment.By right moment I mean a moment when your child is in learning mode.It can be anyone of the following moment:

  •  When your child is curious(and asks you questions and then counter questions):You have plenty of such moments on a daily basis,don't you?
  •  When your child is emotionally open to suggestions: This moments are few and far between but you have to take advantage of it when this moment arrives.Let's say a close friend of your child has fallen ill temporarily and your child is sad because he/she has no one with him to play with, now is the time to teach him lessons of kindness and compassion ,he should be taught to display courtesy and kindness to his ailing friend.No other time can be better than this to teach him the importance of being kind and compassionate towards others.The whole idea is to connect emotionally and teach logically.
  •  Dinner table Discussions: Ronald Reagan once famously quoted 'All great change begins at the dinner table' .This quote is equally appropriate with respect to your little devil.A parent must learn to get the maximum from the dinner table chit-chats.For example you can playfully ask your little one to list all the activities he was engaged in throughout the day.I was surprised when I did this with my own kiddo.He told me everything he did in minute details (even the most naughty deeds and that too with a great sense of pride).This again goes on to show the pure innocence every little devil possesses.They are not even aware that the some of their deeds(naughty) might hurt others in one way or the other.For them its fun! At this point, we parents must intervene and take up the matter in our hands.It is our responsibility to teach them to differentiate the right's from the wrong's.This can be done in two ways which we are going to discuss next.

Besides, there are other teachable moments too, for example during morning(or evening) walks ,while visiting relatives, while watching TV,playing etc. but in my experience my little one tends to learn and follow instructions taught by me when he in is one of the above discussed learning mode.To be honest with you, experiment is the name of the game.What's working for me might not work for you but most often than not, children tend to listen and remember instructions taught to them when they are in one of the three modes discussed above, as Robert Siegler points out in his best selling child development book 'How Children Develop'. I would recommend the parents reading my blog to get a copy of this book as soon as possible.

 3. The Teaching: There are many different ways to teach your child, positive qualities but here are some of the most effective techniques parent can use to instill positive qualities in their little devils.These are discussed below:

  •  Direct Instructions (don't always work): When was the last time you told your little one not to do something and he immediately refrained from doing it.I bet you don't remember any such moment.Because there wasn't any such moment.I wish there was.But none.Direct instructions doesn't always work.It will only lead them to become more and more stubborn.The more you stop them from doing something, the more they will doing it. It is in these kind of situations that most parent loose their temper.But wait! There is no need to rush things.There are other ways to teach your child and make him follow your instructions.The most common way to do this is by Story telling.Yes you read it right.Its story telling.Story telling plays a very important role in child development.I have worked wonders using this technique with my own little one and it never fails.
  •  Story telling: Albert Einstein once said "If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales".The key here is to utilize your child's creative mind to teach him the difference between the right and wrong. One thing that every child share in common is the 'Power of Imagination'. There is no point in consciously telling them not to do something as it is wrong, because they just won't listen.So don't take the direct path.Just drop a message(using story telling) in their subconscious mind that doing a particular thing is wrong.You would never see him repeat that same mistake again as if almost magically.
    What you are doing here is, you are just dropping a message(using a story) in your kids sub conscious mind.Using his/her naturally gifted powerful imagination he would generate different permutations and combinations of the situation( i.e. story, which you have implanted in his mind) and eventually realise that what he has done(or has been doing) is wrong.After this you would never see him repeat the same mistake again.If story telling is not your thing(like me) then I would strongly recommend you to get a copy of 'Storytelling with Children' by Nancy Mellon.It was of great help to me. 

  • Lead By Example: The next best thing you could do after story telling, is to show them the way yourself.You must lead by example.There is no point in teaching your kid the important quality of kindness, when you yourself just acted rudely with someone in front of his/her ever observing eyes.So make sure to follow the same traits which you want to inculcate in your child.
You must realise that developing positive qualities in your child is the only way to make him successful in the long run.By investing time and effort in your child development now you will reap the benefits later.Your main focus should be on developing his character.The rest will take care of itself.Yes, sometimes we as a parent, have to make sacrifices for our kids too but I have realised that, nothing you do for your child is ever wasted.

After reading numerous books on child development I have realised  the importance of developing positive qualities in my child and preparing him for the game of life.I for one do not want to leave anything on chance when welfare of my child is at stake.I would also thank Paul Tough for the invaluable insight he has provided in his book 'How Children Succeed', which has completely changed my view of parenting.I would recommend it to all the parents reading this blog to take out some time from their busy schedule and read this book thoroughly.It will definitely make you a better parent and help you prepare your child in a better way.

Always remember that, we may not be able to prepare the future for our children, but we can at least prepare our children for the future.                       

I hope I was able to help all the parents reading my blog.I still remember the difficulties I had to face when I was a young parent like most of you.I did not had the luxury of so much of information about child development at my disposal then,I just had to rely on books.That's why I would like to help all the parents out there, sharing all my experiences with them so that they don't experience the same difficulties which I once had to.

It has been a pretty long post.But I would like to believe that you people enjoyed reading it.I will do my best to find a little bit of free time for my next post on child development.

Till then, See you later and Happy Parenting!