The feel good effect

12:54 PM

DH is back from China, and my week of solo parenting reached an end. I pulled off, not always with flying colours, but we did it. As usual I was on my knee and tired, s usual it was taxing, as usual I did scream and scolded more than otherwise. But hey I am only human after all.

The title of this post might puzzle, it’s more of a feel good moment for myself I am going to talk about here today.

On Sunday morning, with life as we know it as a family back to normal, I got to read the paper again (can’t bring myself to find the energy to do it or care when on double shift parenting duty). And the article on page 2 was about how their 80% of mothers in Mumbai think feeding kids in front of the TV easier. I knew about this trend, I even have a number of ladies in Mumbai and Bangalore that have suggested I start feeding Ishitaher to be too skinny and were concerned aboutin front of the TV because they found how much Ishi eats. Those not advocating TV, were advocating keeping her busy with toys and books and shoving food down her throat when she was not paying attention. I have seen that sneaky food ninja manoeuvre performed on kids at the playground, or in the street in Bangalore far too often:

“Distract the kid, catch them off guard and shove their mouth full of curd rice” SPLAT, if the kid whine, show them a tree, a flower, a toy, or whatever to make them feel better about swallowing the food.

This method has always shocked me, first because it doesn't teach the kid to pay attention to what is on his/her plate, then it doesn’t promote independence, and last it doesn't teach the kid to recognise what hungry and full actually feels like. Something that the experts in that article I read yesterday are highlighting as well.
The link to the online article is not as complete as the paper version where they added that mothers did resort to the TV to curb food related tantrums, and make their kids eat more and faster. And the experts to advise not to give in to the idea of a child special menu, when in reality kids should eat exactly what adults eat and not have any special treatment at meal time. One bit of information I found very startling in the article both on paper and online however, is this bit:

Vats said only 23% of the mothers said their children ate all vegetables while nearly half confessed their kids only ate potatoes and lady's fingers. Around 45% of the mothers said they didn't give fruits to children and some felt tetrapack fruit juices were a substitute for fruits.”

It startled me, but it is actually not a too shocking revelation, I suspected it was so for years. Some of my friends are actually amazed at the fact Ishita eats fruits, and at how much a variety of fruits I introduce in her diet, and how I limit things like juice and sweet drinks (or TV for that matter). Some confessed they don’t buy fruits because they are expensive, and sadly, yes they are. But then Ishita is usually sick less often than her friends and the doctor visits are few, so in a way what I spend on fruits end up not being spent in medical bills. There is also the fact that I prefer her to play outdoor rather than buying toys and DVDs or taking her to the mall all the time, again money saved that goes toward the fruit eating budget. But in general the fruit and healthy habit awareness in my circles is high, and most moms report that their children simply WON’T eat if not in front of TV or refuse to try new foods, if not served in a junk-foody way to the kids. So yes fruits are more appealing in the form of jam and juices, greens need to be hidden in potato dense cutlets, ketchup is the only tomato their kids will happily eats…which reflects what the survey did find out.

Let’s be clear, Ishita is no angel, and she is not an easy eater, far from it, we end up having food battles at meal time regularly. With her stating before even tasting something that she does not like it, and me staying firm saying that she must taste a little of everything on her plate…no ifs no buts, and certainly no substitutes offered.
I know that the job of a 4 years old and younger is to test their boundaries, that’s how they learn social skills, and how far it is acceptable to go. As a parent my job is to set the limits, I am a parent, not a friend to her, and that means my job might feel very ingrate at time, with her hating me for it now (but thanking me years from now, I can guarantee it). The concept of distracting the kids for them to eat things they would not otherwise eat out of free will is wrong on so many levels. I can totally get how the idea of having a tantrum free meal appeal to parents. Tantrums suck, they really do, and by the end of one, you parent feel like total crap. They are emotionally and physically draining, but they are NORMAL. They are supposed to happen, they are the sign of a well developing child, a child learning about life, who they are and how far they can go.
If you annihilate every chances of a tantrum ever occurring by dolling out candies, and giving the child everything they want at the first sound of a “wahhh” you are curbing your child’s healthy development. Being told “I hate you” by your kids might make you feel like you are a looser and a bad parent, but it is in fact quite the opposite. Parents aren’t friends, kids get to make friends in school, in the playground, in their extra curricular activities, they will tell their friends how much their parents suck, and find support:

“My parents are the meanest on the planet, they made me eat broccoli soup” to which a peer will reply “That’s nothing, my mom insisted I eat all my palak paneer…can you believe how horrible she is?”.
They will bond over the bad oppressor that parents are, find out that some kids have it worse than they do, and in the long run realise that you parent did a great job raising them to be sensitive adult.

So yes reading that article on Sunday after a week of solo parenting, handling tantrums alone and having almost completely stuck to my weekly planned menu (Dosa eat out aside) made me feel great. Made me feel very good to know that even beat and mushed to a pulp I managed to stand my ground and pumpkin and beans went down. And it also made me realise that the past 2.5 years of terrible twos, terrorist threes and freaking effing fours worth of food battles and tantrum were not wasted, she learned to like broccoli, she loves mushroom and eggplants, she likes tomatoes in other form than just ketchup, she ask for olives in her tiffin, gets exited at fruit shopping making requests for things like grape, pomegranate and plums. And heck she is even now asking to taste iceberg lettuce, oak leaf and aragula after realising that alfalfa sprouts were not toxic. She doesn’t like leafy greens much, but that doesn’t mean I don’t ask her to taste at least one bite of each when they are served at a meal. So yes the hours of my standing my ground on food related toddler issues are now only starting to pay off, we are far from being over with them, and I am not kidding myself, I continued testing my culinary boundaries with my parents until I was a teenager.

Reading that article, confirmed what I knew all along, that I was doing something right. After a week of just being alone on the front, this kind of confirmation is indeed my feel good factor.


  1. apple4:00 PM

    My son also does not eat vegetables/fruits etc. Now, he has started eating by himself. We were both working and were not able to give much time to him. Kids get a lot of attention with stay and home moms.

    Today, everything from vegetables to milk costs four times more than what it was five years ago. A few years ago, Rs.500/- would go a long way but now it is equivalent to Rs.100/-. You could buy bag full of vegetables with wallet full of money. Today you can buy only a wallet full of vegetables with a bagful of money. In winters the prices were less, but now they remain high throughout the year. We go to a local weekly vegetable market for weekly supplies of vegetables, where prices are reasonable. Then we go for the fruits as per our budget. The price at stand alone shops are very high. It last for four days. Then we go to another weekly vegetable market to pick up vegetables for few more days and also household items like buckets, knives, clothes etc. We had a Onion crisis when onions prices hovered between Rs.60-70 per kilo. Somebody jokingly said that now one kilo onion is equivalent to one dollar going by the exchange rate. Makes us feel very proud that our humble onion is worth a dollar.

    It really makes me wonder how our country has developed. We are facing exactly the same problems which my father faced thirty years ago with more problems.

  2. Oh lord! That's almost like force feeding a kid. Some kids are naturally thinner, I wouldn't stress over it unless she stops eating, decreases her eating without reason or starts to lose weight with no explanation. She'll be fine. Plus, a study here in the US found that kids who are overweight are more likely to be obese as adults. That's another thing you don't want to promote with Ishita.

  3. I was underweight my whole childhood, and my parents didn't freak out either. My pediatrician is fine with Ishita being the weight she is because what matters is how energetic a kid is, how many hours of sleep they get and how fast the height growth is. But a lot of people around here have that belief a child should be chubby to be considered healthy. I also heard our pediatrician in Bangalore urge a lady who came for a consultation about her son being a fussy eater not to force feed him, let him skip a meal if that must be done and not to switch any TV or bring toys, eating is an activity that need to be done consciously for the brain to register what is happening with the body.

  4. Beatrix4:57 PM

    Overnutrition (consuming too many calories) caused by overeating is also a form of malnutrition.

    The combination of people living in poverty and the recent economic growth of India has led to the co-emergence of two types of malnutrition: undernutrition and overnutrition.
    Several recent studies have concluded that undernutrition and over nutrition are epidemics of the impoverished AND the affluent in India
    Indian gov't data show that a third of children from the wealthiest fifth of India's population are malnourished.

    It is interesting that general consensus among NGO's that deal worldwide with child malnutrition agree that the malnutrition seen in India is due to 'dietary practices' rather than a lack of food (as seen in Africa).

    Some of the 'dietary practices' causative in child malnutrition in India are-

    'Low nutrient' food choices- feeding the child high 'empty' calorie food with little minerals (iron, calcium, iodine etc), digestible protein, & vitamins (A, B, C D, E & K) - a diet whose calories come mainly from white rice & white potatoes is a good example of this

    Poor feeding practices - first among them a failure exclusively to breastfeed in the first 6 months, secondly 'unsupervised' feeding of children in order to ensure proper nutrition (that's right, a parent needs to take the time & feed the child to ensure he/she is eating properly)

    And that is Beatrix' sermon for today on malnutrition in India!
    I suspect this will attract the anger & ire of Indians who just know all white people only eat junk food & the Indian diet is the 'healthiest', - To which I ask THEN WHY AREN"T INDIANS THE HEALTHIEST PEOPLE ON THE PLANET?!?

  5. AMEN! The article stated the need for potato in a urban dweller diet didn't make much sense at all too. The typical calorie intake and amount of carb that goes into the Indian diet is more suited to a heavy working field labourer than it is to a desk jockey. One thing that shocked me from the start was how over cooked vegetables are, no vitamins can really survive there, then the amount of carbohydrate is overkill. I never had issue before moving to India but then I suddenly became insulin resistant, I am sure PCOS had me be all along, but I never felt it the way I felt it there before. Going back to eat more fresh u cooked veggies, adding more protein and limiting the carbs to one western size serving at a meal went a long way into helping me control that insulin problem and the weight gain that would stop at nothing that went with it. Yet I keep hearing that it is all that continental junk food that is making urban Indians prone to lifestyle diseases???heck no it is the lack of excersize combine with double or triple the amount of carb one sedentary human being need in their diet and the lack of micronutrients and fiber rich food.

  6. We abandoned our natural diet and started eating possessed food at the turn of the century.

    Earlier brown rice or unfiltered flour was used. These were extremely good for providing nutrition and digetion. I have eaten brown rice and it is excellent for digestion. Polished rice causes indigetion. Polished rice/flour increases the dissolution of sugar quickly into blood. So, we are eating food which is pure carbohydrates without any nutrients. This combined with the pure dairy products which we were eating ensure that people were healthy. However, the bottomline is people walked for miles, worked in the fields and went to war eating heavy food. Now, we are also consuming traces of insecticeds with our food.
    When the British came, processed flour came into existence. The Indians being impressed by the British treated coarse grains as primitive and quickly switched to these foods. This was considered a sign of prospertiry.
    Are diabetic, becuase you mentioned you are insulin resistence more than one in your posts. My mother was diabetic and it is one hell of disease to manage.


  8. Yes I am insulin resistant! doing my darkest for it to never become more than that and envolve into diabetes. Empty carbohydrates are the enemy, I eat them in moderation, because I am also realistic and know that a slice of cake or noodles from time to time feels good. But I also be careful even with things like brown bread and rice, they are far more nutritious because they are unrefined and they take longer to break into sugar, but they still are a starch, so I keep my servings small and up the amount of vegetables on my plate instead. And of course I walk walk walk, a lot. People in cities should be careful about how much grains and starch they eat, this was a diet that worked when people were far more active like you said, but is less suited to a desk bound employee. Our diet need to envolve and provide more fiber, vitamins and brain food than it need to provide in raw carb energy a heavy labourer need. I am back to the good old diet standard we were taught in school back home: one part starch, two parts vegetables and one part protein

  9. According to my grand mothers, white flour was preferred in Europe for its longer shelf life the endosperm is full of good nutrients and oils but has the tendency to turn rancid fast, Ina country were nothing really grow in the soil for a solid 6 months a year it became vital to make the most of what was harvested during the summer and early fall and wheat flour was one of these staple that would keep one full enough to cope with the harsh cold winters, the problem was that the flour should not turn bad midway through the middle of the bad season or one would go hungry, hence the need to de husk wheat grains destined to become pantry stock. Brown bread was something for the late summer and fall when there was still some abundance. The British carried this mindset with them in their colonies! since they were pretty much treating their colonies as pantries fi

  10. Darn Disqus not allowing me to type more in the previous post, I was saying the British were more interested into getting grains processed to their standards to ship back home and introduced the notion of refined grains to India where people adopted it thinking that because it was from the British they were doing it better not realising that the reason behind the refining process was done for practical reasons related to the climate they had in England, a process that was far less necessary in India where various crops grow all through the years! reducing the need to stockpile greatly

  11. apple2:59 PM

    I think desi ghee also gets a bad rap. Research has proved that desi ghee in moderation is excellent for body as it provides lubrication to the joints and oveall energy the body.

    By the way, have you eaten food cooked in desi ghee. You should try it once for the sheer experience of it. It tastes divine. Desi ghee has a typically nutty, salty taste which it gives to the food. I once ate palak paneer cooked in desi ghee, it tasted magical. There is something about desi ghee (the pure kind), It turns ordinary food into magic. Cow ghee is the best.

    I also had the opportunity of tasting "Chaach" (butter milk) which somebody brought from a village. It was light like water and there was a taste of smoked mud in it. Probably from the mud vessel in which it was kept. Coke or Pepsi did nto stand a chance against it. City people rarely get the chance to taste such things. I can understand why the old folks were so fond of such food.

    Ghee was the "go to food" in olden days.

  12. Beatrix5:08 PM


    Polished rice does not cause indigestion.

    White rice, white potatoes, white flour are digested too easily & cause the blood sugar to SOAR (much like white sugar).

    I can't find any evidence that Indians were any healthier in the 'good old days'. Indians had sugar WAY before the British & Europeans did. (Sugar cane is native to India & will not grow in Europe.) From the histories of India I have read nutrient & protein deficiencies have been endemic in India for thousands of years. Let's not forget as recently as 1951 the at-birth life expectancy was around 37yrs which increased to nearly 65 years by 2011.

    A life expectancy of 37yrs isn't something to be prude of.

  13. Beatrix5:10 PM

    Proud not 'prude' ARGGH spellcheck!!!

  14. Sharmishtha7:47 PM

    @Beatrix. That low life expectancy was also because of diseases that are endemic to the climate. Starting in the 1960s began immunization drives. I was one of the first generations that benefited (and the last generation to be given the small pox vaccination). Life expectancy shot up after that, even among the really poor. The recently concluded anti-polio drive is another example of how immunization drives can benefit people. It's another matter that now Indians with our new found longevity don't feed ourselves well.

    About the carbs vs. protein debate, I don't want to get into that. All my life I ate fish twice a day (being from the East) with mutton or chicken being a very occasional treat. Was I better nourished than my vegetarian Jain friend? I don't know - she is the one who had the almost 9 pound baby. It really all depends on *what* you eat, whether vegetarian or not. I do know that I am extremely squeamish about eating raw or partially-cooked veggies in a sub-tropical climate. Would rather have the heck cooked out of them than pick up a parasite like tapeworm. One has to modify one's eating habits according to where one lives - the climate, availability of certain foods, etc. This goes for everyone, Indian and non-Indian. Sanctimony is the enemy of common sense. The cemeteries of India are full of dead Europeans who insisted that eggs,bacon, and cheese, were essential eating in a hot and humid climate, and who didn't live beyond their thirties. But they died feeling smug and superior so I guess that's worth it, then.

  15. I eat salads, been living 10 years in India and am yet to be sick or have worms, so the cement aires full of westerner who insisted on eating cheese and salads???doesn't add up to me.

  16. Sharmishtha8:21 PM

    I am happy that things are working out for you. Unlike those Europeans in the cemeteries, you've also arrived in India in the age of modern medicine so you should live to a ripe old age. While the plural of anecdotes is not data, I know several people who got tapeworm from eating salad (at home). The most high-profile case was Leander Paes, the tennis star. Good luck with your salads, I truly hope you never fall sick and that you continue to prosper. I'll stick to my gobi'r dalnas and chacharris.

  17. The main problem with ghee is not that it is bad for the heart, the problem is once again that people are far less active in cities these days and ghee is one of these super concentrated thing that packs nutrients and mineral in a high calories package that was meant to give more energetic value to a meal of vegetables and grains that would otherwise have a low calorie count and not keep active people working very long. There is too many calories going into the body of sedentary people these days, and the calories that go in need to be burned or end up being stocked up in the body under the form of fat for the body to use in time of need when the fresh fuel supply run low, but urban dwellers basically never really give a chance to their body to tap in these stockpiled resources as they continue eating more than the body can burn. So yes ghee taste great on certain food, but if one is going to cook with it too often they must be prepared to go burn it in a high energy activity later, and due to time constraint that is not happening in cities, and that overall excess in eating and bringing more fat to a body that is already naturally transforming the excess sugars it consumes into fat doesn't really help the cardiovascular system.

  18. Let's not forget the affect santitation has on health outcomes. Food also matters, but you can't indicate disease without discussing santiation/soap/clean water.

  19. I have googled on insulin resistance. It is the inability of insulin to process sugar in body. That's what I can make out. More close to diabetic I guess.

    I suggest you take jamun and kerala power with water on empty stomach in the morning. Or you can take it in the form of juice which is readily available. Meethi seeds which have soaked overnight, when taken in the morning on empty stomach is also very good. Jamun is consired the wonder fruit. The more you eat it, the more it is beneficial for you. These natural methords combined with diet is very good to keep sugar levels down. Once you have the disease it is medication and insulin shorts eventually follow.
    Once diabetics is a few years old, patients have to take insulin. The dosage has to be accurate otherwise sugar levels go haywire. I am not trying to scare you, but be very careful. My late mother had diabetics and it is quiet an awful disease leading to her death.

  20. Beatrix1:42 PM


    I agree that diseases took their toll on Indians prior to modern WESTERN medicine.

    Apple wrote

    "This combined with the pure dairy products which we were eating ensure that people were healthy."

    Apple (& most Indians) imply that Indians were healthy even previous to WESTERN medicine due to diet which is NOT true.

    I've never advocated eating raw/uncooked veg anywhere so I'm not sure where you've gotten that from (imagination?)
    You wrote-
    "The cemeteries of India are full of dead Europeans who insisted that eggs,bacon, and cheese, were essential eating in a hot and humid climate, and who didn't live beyond their thirties."

    Any proof of this?

    What cemetery is this with dead 20 yr old Europeans?

    Did they die of infectious disease or dietary issues??

    Because I don't eat bacon or European style cheese (and didn't advocatea diet solely of such) & I've yet to find them even if I wanted them in Nepal or India.

    Ignorance is the enemy of all sense (common or otherwise).

    The truth is the ghats are full of smoldering corpses here in Nepal (and India) whom have died horrible deaths due to diabetes related causes - I am suggesting they SHOULD give the sumo sized piles of white rice, potatoes, and rotis to keep their blood sugar in check & manage their disease.

    The ratio of protein to energy is vital to health. Now what your 'energy' comes from may be fats and or carbohydrates. For someone 'insulin resistant' (such as Cyn & someone whom is diabetic or pre diabetic their 'energy' is going to have to come from fats as they can not metabolize carbohydrates well.

    Unfortunately you seem to be coming off as a bit sanctimonious, smug & superior here.

    Perhaps you ought take the time to educate yourself on nutrition & malnutrition, & spend some time learning about the diabetes & cardiovascular diseases so many Indians suffer.
    Above all, at least try & improve your reading comprehension skills - it is pointless to discuss anything online without them!

  21. Beatrix2:25 PM


    I'd agree with Cyn.

    I have nothing against ghee, we were talking about excessive 'empty' carbohydrate intake in the Indian diet.

    As I described in an earlier post Indians need to increase their protein intake & choose more nutrient rich 'energy' sources.

    I don't know where you get that ghee 'lubricates' the joints of the body?

    No research supports that supposition.

    A basic breakdown of nutrition-

    Fat helps move the 'fatty' vitamins A, D, E and K into your bloodstream and absorb them into your body. 'Essential fatty acids' play roles in brain & nervous system development, blood clotting, the synthesis of sex hormones, & managing inflammation.

    Proteins are like the 'building blocks' of your body - hair, skin, eyes, muscles and organs are all made from protein. (This is why children need more protein per pound of body weight than adults; they are growing and developing new protein tissue.)

    The role of carbohydrates is to provide energy - The digestive system changes carbohydrates into glucose, also known as blood sugar. Some glucose is used for energy and the rest is stored in the liver and muscles for later use.

    Now the RATIO of protein to carbohydrates/fats is what is important.
    The average Indian meal has 75-80% of it's calories from carbohydrates (that huge pile of rice, wheat flour in rotis, starchy veg like potatoes).
    What research is showing is that a diet with 40-45% of calories from carbohydrate, 20-25% of calories from fats, & 30-35% of calories from protein is the ideal for preventing disease & malnutrition.
    If you choose to get your protein from dairy OR meat OR dal then FINE but that is not the issue here.
    If you choose to get your fats from ghee or sunflower seed oil that is FINE but that is not the issue here.
    The nutritional PROBLEM with the Indian diet is too many 'empty' carbohydrates (white rice, white potatoes, white flour) in PROPORTION to more nutrient laden foods such as proteins, fruits & veg.
    (and NO I did NOT say eat solely bacon, eggs, cheese, or that your veg needs to be eaten 'raw')
    You know this is a good example of when a culture becomes so stifling it becomes crippling - talking to Indians with their preconceived cultural myths about food & nutrition is darned near impossible.

  22. Sharmishtha8:09 PM

    @Beatrix.Take a walk around the old European cemeteries of Kolkata, Mumbai, heck, even some up-country graveyards attached to some little old church and read some of the headstones. How do I know? I have actually walked around some of them. Read some old accounts of Europeans in India. Those who didn't die of infectious diseases died of things like "apoplexy" which I think we can surmise was probably a stroke brought on too-much cholesterol-heavy food. Fact is, that *no one* in the past ate well and nutritiously, though some did eat more sensibly than others. And those who thought they had superior diets were just as liable to be struck down as those who they scoffed at.

    I'm glad someone brought up the issue of sanitation. In my mind, that has at least as big a role to play here as does diet. When I volunteered with migrant construction workers during my college years, one of the first things we had the kids do at the creche was to wash their hands and faces as soon as their parents dropped them off. Not one kid got dysentery, the absolute scourge of a growing child. Food was simple but always freshly prepared on-site with fruits and soya nuggets. I like to think that we helped at least some kids grow into semi-nourished teenagers.

    Of course it was modern "WESTERN" medicine that increased lifespans. But "WESTERN" medicine came to India in the 19th century too. So how come "WESTERN" medicine had no real impact on life expectancies until the 1960s? That's because the real revolution in modern medicine happened with the mass vaccination programmes heralded by the Jonas-Salk polio vaccines. Everybody started out as equals in this phase of modern medicine, including, would you believe it, Indians? That's why Indians are right up there these days in many of the science innovations that have happened since the end of colonialism. Everybody all over the world is learning science more or less at the same time. Science and medical knowledge are not zero-sum games as they used to be in pre-independence days.Some countries concentrate on some illnesses more than others. Clearly, it is better for American scientists to focus on Hantavirus and for Indians to focus on cholera and then to share their research because so much international travel happens these days.

    I don't know why you think that any nuanced discussion is an attack on you or your views. And about the salads, that is my personal take on raw veggies in the sub-tropics (in response to Cynthia). Where did I imply that you had said that? Anyway, I will let you have the last word. I'm sure you have something(s) to say.

  23. Yes it is the ratio of crab, fat and protein that matters, and this one is not a one size fits all, a sedentary person will need far less carbs in their diet because they are not going to burn it, so the need to keep the carbs to one part is a must, it is not potato+rice+roti! It is one out of the 3 option, to fill the stomach one need to increase the fiber serving, typically vegetables, and keep the protein at one part too not to put a strain on the kidney. If a person is active the carb AND proteins need to be hiked as that person will need the energy to burn and the protein to help the muscles regenerate and increase to keep pace with the intense activity. People with metabolic disease such as insulin resistance and diabetes can't process carbs correctly, so the amount that enter the body needs to be controlled, a small amount at a time and the type that releases slowly is preferred not to burden the system. Which is why diabetics and insulin resistant people benefit more from a several smaller meal a day plan than the good old 3 square meals. The protein/carb ratio also need to be custom made for that group of people, the body can process protein better and they will keep the stomach full longer avoiding the hunger pang and over eating since that group simply can't fill up on carbohydrates without consequences for their body and metabolism. The reason why diabetes is such a problem in India these days is not due to the arrival of junk food, but due to the fact the traditional Indian diet that was meant for a very active lifestyle is not suited to our current way of life anymore! that along with the fact that most Indians are predisposed to diabetes makes it what it is today. My endocrinologist stated it plain and simple: more vegetables, more protein on the plate, less starch. Avoid rice or limit it to one small bowl serving, no more than two roti a meal, and avoid using potatoes as a vegetable dish filler they do nothing good there.

  24. Beatrix10:33 PM


    This is a 'nuanced discussion'?

    Could have fooled me.

    I really don't see how asking Indians to improve their diet & nutritional health by increasing their protein, veg & fruit take and decreasing their 'empty carbohydrate' intake is in ANY WAY demeaning or 'scoffing' at Indians, their diets, or their culture(s).

    Do you really think those of us of European ancestry only eat bacon, eggs & cheese all day every day? If this is true you really don't know much about western cultures nor diets. (You also might find it interesting to note that 'low cholesterol' has been recently found to be a 'high risk' for stroke.)

    Like it or not vaccines are a 'western' invention (the polio vaccine was developed in 1952 by Jonas Salk at the University of Pittsburgh.)

    Like it or not persons suffering protein deficiency have been proven to FAIL in producing antibodies following vaccination against diseases, (including diphtheria and typhoid.) Malnutrition is also a major risk factor in the onset of active tuberculosis.
    Even moderate malnutrition weakens every part of the immune system.

    After a 15 yr career in UNICEF I can tell you malnutrition is a HUGE problem in India which is largely due to ignorance & 'dietary practices'.
    If that makes my views 'superior', well so be it!
    Until then-
    MORE VEG & FRUIT! (especially leafy greens)
    My ancestors lived in hot & humid climates in the Caribbean & Louisiana, somehow they all lived into their 80's & 90's eating a hell of a lot of pork & drinking copious amounts of rum. Go figure.

  25. Beatrix10:39 PM

    My body says CANDY!!! when it tastes potatoes, rice, rotis & bread. If I ate all that regularly I'd be in a glucose coma with 'thunder thighs'.

  26. I consider rice, potatoes and white flour things as treats just like cakes and candies, not forbidden but to be have in moderation :)

  27. Alexandra Madhavan2:08 AM

    I think putting the kids in front of the TV is just an easy fix and it is quite honestly lazy. I have done it myself in times of desperation, but try extremely hard not to - I use alternative methods like getting her to play with crayons, ice cubes, or reading books. Now since she has learned how to use her fork, she is quite entertained with the simple act of using the fork to pierce the food. Also kids always eat when they're hungry!

    My hubby has been abroad for 3 weeks so I have let my daughter watch 30 mins of Dora per day, and that is only so I can load the dishwasher.

    I take her out to restaurants all the time, and she has learned to sit for the whole meal with us. She waves at the waiters and plays with crayons. During the breaks between appetizer and dinner we take her to see the restaurant kitchen and wave at them. Every time we go out we see parents immediately pull out the iPad and put a cartoon on, just to pacify their child and I feel like it is an easy fix. Yes, sometimes we do need it in times of desperation but I feel like it should not be used as the first option.

    If adults can get addicted to screen time then children absolutely can.

    I read a study about it a while ago:

  28. Alexandra Madhavan2:20 AM

    @sharmistha -" I am extremely squeamish about eating raw or partially-cooked veggies in a sub-tropical climate" - I think that is your own fear. Australia, Japan, Mexico and SouthEastern US are also sub-tropical climate and everybody eats raw vegetables and salads there....
    And hello, South Indian Kosambari salads!!!
    FYI not all Europeans eat eggs, bacon and cheese. That would be like saying the only cuisine is India is "butter chicken" LMAO....

  29. TV happens only for about 2 hours in the morning while I get things done around the home and after that it stays off, half of the time Ishita doesn't even watch it anyway and it end up being a background sound because her crayons and books are more fun, or playing dress up for that matter. I go to restaurants too and insist on good manners, and she can sit nicely without fussing, in some restaurant the staff will even bring her some munchies to make her patient until the starters and main course arrive.

  30. Olga Kolobkova1:46 AM

    My friend tod me that his grandmother always used to put him in front of a TV, distract and then feed him all she wanted him to eat. And he ended up quite "well-fed". His grandmother even managed to make a normal cat weight about 9 kg.
    As an opposite, an aquainted of mine ate almoost nothing as a child. His only preference was a bit of buckwheat. Now he's about 27 and quite fit and well-built. So, it's no use overfeeding the children!

    And.. you're doing great job!

  31. Thank you, there is definitely no need over feeding the children, I often think they actually know better than adults when to stop eating.

  32. Hindus are predominantly vegetarian. But you would be surprised by the lack of fruits and vegetables consumed. It's understood that as long as we can afford curd rice, and make do, let us save the remaining money and buy gold. My own family is a victim of that.

    Anyway the point I want to make is tgat while my son eats a variety of fruits and vegetables at 1.5 years old. He is not fussy cuz I occupy his mind with baby apps. Which s wrong on many levels I know. Hence I would like you to write a post on how you initiated feeding and table manners. Mist indians feed their child till the age of 5. I would like to encourage independency but I obviously don't know how and I would like to stop the dependency on the phone for meals as well ...

  33. You have no clue how much this post rings a bell for me! I am usually rushed in the mornings and I just distract my son with baby apps while I make him gobble his breakfast, then I leave him with a nanny who also makes him gobble his food while looking at baby apps cuz its convenient for her. I try making him eat in the nights without a baby app on the phone but he finishes only half the portion size that he would normally eat without the phone apps and so I resort to the same so he can finish his meals and its easier after a stressful day at work.

    My son is well fed and the doctor actually says he is kinda over weight for his age. I am not worried on that for now as people change over time... But I always worry that I am not doing right as his mother and I would really appreciate if you wrote a post about how to ensure that kids feed themselves and how to ensure that they have good eating habits. I have no complaints - my son does eat all his fruits and veggies but the way we are feeding him is all wrong.... I do know - but in Indian culture force feeding with distraction is common and I am looking for suggestions....

  34. If the doctors are already saying he is a bit overweight, drop the distraction. The biggest challenge adults have when feeding kids is to forget what a kid portion actually looks like. Your son eats only half his dinner without any baby app to distract him...and that is what a normal portion for him looks like, so look at his plate and adjust the portion and see how he does with smaller meals and no distraction. As my pediatrician pointed, kids know when they are full, and no kid ever starved themselves, so it is better to follow their lead than try to coax them into eating an amount that is only looking reasonable to us parents. He will likely protest the no baby app treatment a day or two, be strong, he will get over it. Kids that young also tend to eat smaller but more frequent meals, the 3 square meal model is not suited to kids at all. I will definitely write about all this near future.


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