Make a Rakhi with your Child

India is a country of colors and festivals. There is hardly a month in the year when we do not have an important festival. Rakhi or Rakshabandhan is just round the corner. Rakshabandhan is a very special festival for me, being an only sister to two brothers, it holds fond memories of childhood. And even if the three of us stay in different corners of the world now, I still ensure my rakhi reaches them well in time.

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6 Tips to help Child Adjust to PreSchool/ Home to Preschool transition

6 tips for easy Home to Preschool Transition

First day at pre-school


Starting school is a very big milestone for a child and parents. Most kids start preschool or playgroup when they are between 2 to 4 years old. Preschool offers many benefits, but it can be daunting for the little one to leave the safety and familiarity of home and join a new establishment full of strangers. Parents might also be anxious whether the child is ready for playschool or not. Here we discuss a few steps you can take to make it easier for yourself and your child to adjust to the new school.

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Creative Popsicle Flash Cards to teach alphabet to pre-schoolers

Flash cards are a common and effective way of introducing new stuff to toddlers. Aanya has started school and they are getting introduced to Alphabet these days. Even though I introduced her to letters much earlier and she can recite her ABCs and recognize many of the letters, it is still fun for her. We made some really cute flash cards for her and thought of sharing those here.

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Omellette Pizza


My daughter is not very fond of eggs, so I have to device different ways to make them look appetizing. She has gone through different phases of disliking and liking eggs. There was a time when she would spit out egg in any form, then started tolerating omelet and then hating it. If boiled, she only eats egg whites and leaves yolk. But I would like her to have it atleast sometimes a week since it is so rich in protein.

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When your Child Gets Sick: How to Deal with Common Childhood Illnesses

As parents, it’s our duty and instinct to worry about our children, but when dealing with childhood illness, it can be difficult not to panic. We all know that children get sick a lot, particularly when they start going to school, but did you know our children’s immune systems actually continue to develop right up until their teens? This means they are more susceptible than adults, to any form of illness, from a common cold to viruses, like chicken pox or typhoid. Providing your child has access to the right vaccinations, however, means you won’t have to fret too much about serious problems.

Sick Child


It is important to understand that a natural part of growing up is to experience some childhood infections, in order for the body to build its own defences. This way, your child will be less prone to diseases as an adult. But how do you know when to take care of your child yourself, and when to seek out medical advice or treatment? Here is some guidance on how to monitor childhood illnesses and a few preventative measures you can take as a family.


How to deal with colds and mild infections

It’s unfortunately a fact of life that children will contract one or more of the most common viral and bacterial illnesses at some point in their young lives. The trick is learning to recognise these illnesses, and understanding that – in some cases – caring for your child at home really is the best thing you can do. Here are some of the most frequent childhood complaints:

Common cold – a virus with symptoms that include: a running nose, ear infection, sore throat, blocked sinuses, and coughing.

Influenza (flu) – a virus which is most serious for young children and presents symptoms that are similar to a cold, but it lasts longer and requires several days of bed rest.

Strep throat – tell-tale symptoms of this bacterial infection are a high fever, combined with an extremely sore throat. You child may refuse to eat or drink.

Croup – characterised by a ‘barking cough’, usually experienced by children under 6 years old.

Stomach flu – a highly contagious virus that causes diarrhoea and vomiting.

Generally, most fevers, the flu and ear infections cannot be healed with antibiotics, and must be allowed to clear up on their own. Some colds can take up to two weeks to leave your child’s system. Give your child plenty of fluids and let them rest for a few days.


Child medications – such as over-the-counter nasal decongestants and throat tablets for colds – can be soothing, but often disguise symptoms and do not help to clear them up. Suitable painkillers – like paracetamol or ibuprofen – can also be bought from your pharmacy and may be soothing too. Always check the label or ask your pharmacist for advice on the quantity you should give your child, as this varies with your child’s age and weight.

Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish a harmless virus from a more serious infection, so be sure to consult a doctor if your child’s symptoms change, worsen, or do not disappear.


Signs you should take your child to the doctor

There are of course some occasions when immediate medical assistance should be sought. Phoning for an ambulance in busy urban areas is not always the quickest solution for getting to the emergency department, so see if you can get to the nearest hospital another way. Any of the following symptoms may be warning signs of something serious:


·         A fever over 38.5 degrees

·         Breathing problems

·         A persistent headache

·         Severe diarrhoea or vomiting, especially if containing blood

·         Prolonged drowsiness or a stiff neck

·         A persistent rash, in particular one that does not disappear if you roll an empty glass over the surface


It’s important to observe your child’s behaviour to determine how serious their condition is. High fevers, for example, are not always cause for concern, if they are short-lived, or if the child is still playing and acting normally.


Some helpful preventative measures for your family’s health


Getting sick is unavoidable for families, but there are a few ways to keep the germs at bay and reduce the risk of illnesses recurring in your household:


Clean Water. Make sure your child is drinking plenty of clean water that has been purified, especially in the hot summer months. Natural liquids, such as coconut water and lemon juice are also good for long-term hydration, as well as being nutritious.


Healthy food. Prevent food- and water-borne viruses, like cholera, entering your home by avoiding fruit and vegetables bought from the roadside. Reduce the amount of spice you add to your child’s meals, as this may also aggravate young digestive systems. Provide a balanced diet based on fresh ingredients and a healthy amount of fibre.


Sanitation. Ensure your child is following proper hygiene rules: washing hands after using the toilet and before they sit down to eat. Be especially vigilant about this if you hear of a virus at school, or if another family member is ill.


The most important piece of advice is not to panic! Most Indian parenting styles do not focus on trying to protect children from everything that life throws at them; they emphasise allowing children’s bodies to develop naturally. Though this means you might have to get used to dealing with a few sick days along the way, if you’re armed with a good awareness of childhood illnesses and a sensible approach to their treatment, you won’t have to rush for the phone every time you hear your child sneeze!

This is a guest post by SurfExcel team.


Easy Atta Banana and Walnut bread

My daughter Aanya is a relatively good eater, but she has her bouts of pickiness and at such times you have to serve dishes which will look appealing to them but are also packed with nutrition. This bread below is an easy recipe which is made of wholewheat flour, banana and walnuts which are all great for kids. So when my girl wants to have cake for a snack or meal, I give her this which is moist and delicious enough to pass as a cake and yet full of nutrition.


Atta Banana and Walnut bread

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Make your own Toy Aquarium for kids


craft aquarium

My little girl is enamored with aquariums. She can watch fishes swim for hours. Once we could not enter a restaurant for a long time even though there was place available, because they had a large aquarium in the waiting area. She finally relented after much cajoling but dinner was interspersed with many breaks to see the fishes.

I have been toying with the idea of building an aquarium for her for some time and yes, I finally did it. I made this while Aanya was taking her nap, so it took me less than a couple hours. Here is a picture process of the same.

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7 tips for parents to get kids to eat less sugar

Child obesity is a big problem worldwide, maybe not so much in India. But more and more incidents of diabetes and hypertension are getting known in kids as young as 13 or 14. This is an alarming situation and most parents want their kids to eat healthy from a young age. But consumerism means they are exposed to advertisements and made to believe that sugary treats are not just tasty but cool. Kids as young as 1 and 2 want to have soda and soft drinks instead of water.There are also kids who have get their cavities filled and even worse, teeth extracted at the age of 3.

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Recipes for Mums

This section contains recipes which are good for expectant and breastfeeding mothers.

Gond ke Laddu



Very good for new mothers and young children. This is a simple laddu on demand of a user through Ask Ma, which is great during winters. Gond or Gum resin is an edible gum. It is procured from the bark of a tree and looks like a yellowish crystal. These gum crystals are roasted are roasted in ghee and are known to warm our bodies and hence they are given to new mothers who are recovering from pregnancy as well as kids during winter.




Gum resin (gond) – 50 grams

Lotus seeds (Makhane ) – 50 grams

Wholewheat flour (atta) – 500 grams

Ghee – 300 grams

Nuts (cashews, pistachios, almond) – 1 cup

Melon seeds (magaj dana)  – ½ cup

Powdered sugar or boora – 250 grams

Cardamom – 4-5 pods –powdered

Black pepper – 10 peppercorns crushed



Heat half the ghee in a heavy bottomed kadhai or pan.

Add gum resin or gond to ghee and cook on slow fire, till puff up to double the size. It happens very quickly. Don’t leaveit in ghee for too long or it will become bitter. Keep aside.

Crush the fried gun resin using a rolling pin to a fine pwder.

In the same ghee, add makhanas.Let them also puff up. Crush them coarsely and keep aside.

Roast nuts. Crush and keep aside.

Dry roast melon seeds and keep aside.

Add the remaining ghee to the pan and roast flour stirring continuously till it turns brown and gives a nice roasted aroma. Do not let it burn.

Turn the heat off.

Add fried gum powder to roasted flour and keep stirring as you keep adding ingredients.

Once mixed well, and makhanas and mix well.

Add and nuts and melom seeds.

Add cardamom powder and crushed pepper corns.

Add sugar and mix everything well.

Allow it to cool a little, so that it can be handled by hand.

Take a small amount in hand and make balls of mixture to make laddus.

You could also spread this mixture in a greased plate. Let it set in fridge and then cut into diamonds or squares to make Gond ki barfi.

Keep in an airtight container. They keep well for many days.


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