Do you ever wonder why it is important to eat vegetables and fruits?

Today, MOMmy from Energise Kids is going to share with you about how eating vegetables and fruits are going to help us strengthen our body and improve our general well-being!


Did you know that our body is actually made up by approximately 70 percent of water? Our body needs water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other important bodily functions. This is because our body can easily lose water through breathing, sweating and digestion. Hence, it’s important to rehydrate by drinking plenty of fluids.

In this video, our Mommy – Emiza from Energise Kids reminds us to drink water regularly and should not drink only when we are thirsty!


via Firstcry Parenting: A decade ago, no one was familiar with green tea but to this day, Green tea has found a permanent place in every kitchen in our country. Green tea has many health benefits but if you are wondering if green tea is good for children and whether or not you can add it to their diet, here’s everything you need to know.

What is Green Tea?
Green tea is one of the most consumed beverages in the world and is made from unoxidized (unfermented) leaves found mainly in Japan and China. It’s laden with several antioxidants and heart-healthy nutrients, thus having a powerful effect on the body which makes it one of the healthiest drinks.

Can Children Have Green Tea?
Whether or not green tea can be given to children depends on their reaction to the caffeine content in it. If your child exhibits hyperactivity and wears out too quickly to the brink of exhaustion, then it’s a good idea to not give teas of any kind at all, including green tea. Other telltale signs of whether green tea is suitable or not for your kids are insomnia, lack of focus, and short attention span. If your child doesn’t crash after sipping on a little green tea, then you can give it to him.

Benefits of Drinking Green Tea for Children
The following are the benefits of drinking green tea for toddlers and children-

1. Good Oral Health
Children who drink green tea are less likely to experience cavities or any form of tooth decay. ‘Catechins’ contained in green tea fight against cavity-causing bacteria and sulfur compounds which cause bad breath.

2. Fights Against Flu
Green tea has antiviral properties which fight against infections like the flu. It is reportedly an amazing detox drink for kids and drinking one to five cups a day is recommended. No additional benefits are found in those who drink more than five cups of green tea a day.

3. Prevents Clogged Arteries
Green tea is highly beneficial for cardiovascular health since it prevents arteries from clogging up, keeping the blood flowing and heart pumping. And the result is regulated blood pressure.

4. High in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are known to prevent oxidative stress, fight against free radicals and prevent the formation of cancers and various diseases by boosting immunity. Green tea improves cognitive health and prevents Parkinson’s disease as well.

5. Improves Bone Density
Want your kids to have healthy bones? Science says that regular intake of green tea over a prolonged period has been shown to improve bone density and prevent osteoporosis in later ages.

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Side Effects of Giving Green Tea to Kids
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows when it is about giving green tea to kids. Green tea has its share of side effects, particularly for those who are sensitive to caffeine and have an underdeveloped immune system. The following are its side effects:

1. Hyper Activity
Your kid will literally prance around from corner to corner till he drops due to exhaustion. For kids who are sensitive to even the tiniest amount of caffeine, this is what happens.

2. Short Attention Span
Hyperactivity and lack of focus go hand-in-hand. Don’t expect your child to sit down and listen to a lecture for 10 minutes if you’re giving him green tea.

3. Insomnia
Children have developing metabolism and it processes caffeine and sugar too fast. This is also another reason to avoid green tea as it will keep them awake in the middle of the night, therefore it’s not a good idea to give them green tea. Caffeine may also affect a child’s various bodily processes.

4. Acidity
Green tea also contains caffeine in small amounts which may cause acidity. This can even lead to issues like stomach pain and even nausea.

5. Anaemia
This is a condition when the blood doesn’t have enough iron. This is because green tea has tannin which reduces the ability of the body to absorb iron from iron-rich sources.

6. Vomiting
Taking green tea in excess of 400mg per day or on an empty stomach may lead to vomiting.

7. High Blood Pressure
If the green tea being consumed has high caffeine content, then your blood pressure is likely to spike due to the high-absorption rate of flavonoids.

Whether or not you should give green tea to your kids will depend on their age. Think about their age, nutrition, and activity levels before giving green tea to them. You could always try experimenting but it’s always best to ask a paediatrician before you take matters into your own hands especially when their nutrition is concerned. Drinking green tea occasionally won’t hurt and if your kids stay healthy and seem fine (without showing any signs of the reported side effects), then they can keep drinking it.


via theAsianparentSingapore: For most Asians, no meal is complete without the addition of a few spices. It’s a part of our lives and adds enjoyment to every meal. I personally like all my meals to be extra spicy. But when it came to introducing spicy food to my toddler, I was of two minds.

I feared that spicy foods might not agree with his fragile digestive system. But, I also knew that I had to do it someday.

Introducing spicy food to your toddler: A guide for all new parents

As you know, spicy food triggers pain receptors in the mouth. Most of them have an active ingredient known as capsaicin. When eaten, the capsaicin binds with vanilloid receptors inside our mouths. This triggers sensory neurons to depolarize and send out a signal indicating the presence of spice in the mouth.

While an adult can handle this stimuli, it is far too much for a toddler.

Now some may argue that if eating spices can trigger pain the mouth, why would you want to subject babies to that pain? Well, the answer is simple. Spices are not just flavourful, they also add nutritional value. In most cases, they have remarkable health benefits.

What spices and herbs can I give my toddler?

Since herbs and spices are loaded with health benefits, you can introduce them all. Take turmeric, garlic and cinnamon for instance. Each of them are rich in phytochemicals, and are anti-inflammatory. They also help wounds heal faster and boost the immunity of the body.

Also, because they are packed with flavours, they decrease our dependency on ingredients such as salt, sugar and added fat.

Incidentally, you can introduce aromatic spices and herbs including cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, garlic, turmeric, nutmeg and dill to infants as young as six months.

Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of common spices and herbs that you can easily give to your toddler.

  • Cinnamon. This easy-to-find herb is low on sweet taste, and fights of bacterial infection. It also helps to reduce inflammation and fends off free radicals that damage the skin and cause premature ageing. In addition, cinnamon helps to lower blood sugar in the body.
  • Ginger. This spice includes the compound allicin and gingerol, both of which have medicinal properties. It also reduces muscle pains and soreness and is especially beneficial in battling colds and coughs.
  • Turmeric. This spice has anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, it helps heal wounds faster, eases joint pains and also treats inflammatory bowel diseases and indigestion. In India, most homes regularly use this spice in all their meals and therefore, it is natural to introduce it to their kids as well.
  • Garlic. A common household herb, garlic has anti-inflammatory properties and is an antioxidant. It is also one of the most common dietary condiments because it stimulates digestion and absorption. It also has antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties.
  • Cardamom. This herb is rich in magnesium and zinc minerals. It is useful in overcoming digestive problems such as an irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), heartburn, intestinal spasms, constipation, gall bladder complaints and even loss of appetite. It also combats cold, cough and even bronchitis.
    When you do add all these spices into your toddler’s diet, remember the key is moderation. Begin with adding a fairly small amount into his meal and add the next spice or herb after a few days.

This window will allow you to analyse if your toddler is allergic to any of these herbs or spices.

Now the next question: how exactly should you introduce spicy food to your toddler? Here’s something to get you started.

Is introducing spicy food to my toddler easy?

Yes, it is.

The key is to first prune their sensory receptors. So introduce spices slowly and individually rather than together in a single meal. Also, choose the spices and herbs carefully.

You don’t want to add chillies into your baby’s food right away and burn his mouth.

  • Choose one spice at a time. Don’t get too excited while introducing spicy foods to your toddler. Take it one spice at a time, especially in the case of aromatic spices. So for instance, you can garnish some cinnamon on top of your toddler’s cereal. Or alternatively, add garlic to his lentil soup.
  • Observe before introducing next. Give your toddler a minimum of five days to analyse if the herb or spice you just gave him agrees with his tummy. Sometimes certain spices like garlic do not agree with some kids. So it’s best to let time take its course so you have a better understanding of what works for your kid.
  • Add to the pot. Once you are confident that your toddler is able to handle all the spices you have given him, try to add two or three together to the pot. So for instance, if you cook chicken curry or fish soup, you can add just a bit of salt and pepper with garlic powder. Keep the quantities minimal and introduce this concoction to your toddler in a small quantity.
  • Share your food. The next best way to introduce spicy food is to just share your own food with your baby. Whatever you prepare for yourself, share a little of it with your toddler. If you feel your food is too spicy, you can dilute it for your baby.
  • Be careful about red chilli. While introducing spicy food is fine for a toddler, when it comes to red chilli, you might want to be extra cautious. As explained before, hot spices such as a chilli can stimulate the pain receptor in the mouth and that might be too much for a toddler. So stay away from adding it into his food till you feel he is ready to try it later on.
    Take note that introducing spices is a personal choice. It is not a compulsion. However, doctors will advise you to add items with various tastes and textures into your toddler’s meals only because it expands their palate.

Introducing spicy food to toddlers: Two recipes to try at home

Here are two simple recipes you can prepare at home with the addition of a few spices.

Spicy Chicken shreds

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces boneless chicken breast strips
  • ¼ garlic salt mix
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Method:

  • Sprinkle garlic salt mix on the chicken breast strips. Lightly cook them on a nonstick pan over medium heat.
  • Remove the chicken strips and add grated cabbage and ginger to the pan.
  • Shred these chicken pieces and serve them as they are or add a mixture of vegetables that your toddler loves.

Spicy roast vegetable mix

Ingredients

  • ½ cup mixture of any of the vegetables including cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, or winter squash
  • Olive oil
  • ¼ salt
  • ¼ garlic
  • Rosemary

Method:

  • Break the vegetables into bite-sized pieces.
  • Choose a pan and add olive oil to it, then add the vegetables, salt, and grated garlic. Garnish with some rosemary, although this is completely optional.
  • Mix it all well.
  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and roast the vegetables for about 20-25 minutes.Let it cool down and serve slightly warm or cool it completely to serve it later.

While introducing spicy food remember that the key is to keep it simple at the start. Go slow and gradually add more flavours into the mix.

Also, from a safety stand point, make sure the spices are fresh and have not been sitting on your shelf for the past five years. When it comes to baby food, it’s important to check the expiration date of everything you give them.

Most importantly, do not worry too much about introducing spicy food to your toddler. In most South East Asian cultures, kids are given spices from an early age and if the mother eats spices too babies get a taste through breast milk anyway.


The stomach is one of the important muscular organs that is located on the left side of the upper abdomen in human body. A stomach is the size of a fist, so a carefully planned meal must be taken in order to protect our stomach. In this video, MOMmy – Emiza from Energise Kids is going to share with you on how to measure the size of a stomach and some helpful diet tips to improve your stomach’s health.

Check out more nutrition tips from our other postings under Kids’ Health!


via Bumpsnbaby: Is ginger for colds and coughs effective?

Can ginger be used as a home remedy for babies and toddlers?

How to use ginger to relieve cough and cold?

This is the hard season change time when your babies and kids are more prone to get infected by cold and cough.

Cold and cough makes the babies cranky and increases their discomfort. They may find it difficult to sleep or to engage in any activities due to cold and congested chest and helpless babies thus turn cranky. As parents we tend to take utmost care of children especially during their discomfort.

In most of the cases cold and cough can be treated with home remedies as there are many home remedies available for these common infections in babies/ kids. Most common and popular one is the use of ginger.

Ginger is often used for medicinal purposes especially for soothing sore throat, cold and cough caused by common cold.

This article will give you detailed information on how and why you should use ginger for colds and coughs remedy.

What is so special about ginger?

Ginger is a flowering plant with leafy stems. It is closely related to turmeric and cardamom. It is also called inji or adrak.

The rhizome, that is the underground root of the ginger plant, is used widely as a spice in various cuisines and for medicinal purposes and is called ginger root or simply ginger. It is pungent, aromatic and spicy.

Ginger root is a powerhouse of nutrients and bioactive compounds that are beneficial for your physical and mental health.

Ginger root can be used raw, dried, powdered or can be even pickled. The juice extracted from the root is also used in many recipes, both food and medicine.

The unique flavor and fragrance of ginger root is attributed to the natural oils present in ginger. One of the important natural oil is gingerol. The presence of gingerol gives ginger its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties making it an apt ingredient in many medicines and home remedies.

How can ginger help to treat cold and cough?

  • Ginger has anti microbial properties, which help to cure cold and fight against infections.
  • Anti oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of ginger help in boosting immunity.
  • Ginger contains aromatic chemicals called phenyl alkyl ketones (a gingerol), which have medicinal properties.
  • Dried rhizomes of ginger are proved to have anti-rhino-viral activity. Rhinoviruses are the major reason for common cold in humans.
  • It acts as a antihistamine and decongestant that helps to reduce cold symptoms.
  • Ginger contains essential oils that help in reducing cold and cough symptoms
  • Natural sedative in ginger comforts the babies/ toddlers from the cold and congestion symptoms.

Now you know how is ginger good for colds. Yes due to the above properties it is very commonly used to treat flu symptoms.

Is ginger effective only for relieving cough and cold symptoms?

Nope, the powers of this wonder rhizome are not restricted to treating common cold and cough only. The medicinal properties of ginger can be utilized and is effective for a wide range of ailments. The benefits of eating ginger are many.

  • Ginger is used for enhancing digestion and absorption
  • It is good for nausea and morning sickness
  • Ginger can fight bacterial diarrhea
  • Ginger can reduce vomiting and motion sickness
  • Ginger has anti-tumor activities that can help fight certain type of cancer
  • Ginger can reduce muscle pain and soreness
  • Ginger helps improve the health of your heart

Even after having knowledge of benefits of this wonder spice, many don’t know how to use and give it to kids/ babies.

Is ginger safe for babies?

Yes ginger is safe for babies if given in small quantities. Ginger can be introduced to babies from 10 to 11 months. Some even introduce it at 8 months of age.

Apart from using it to treat cold and cough in babies, it can be included in their food too to spice up their food.

Raw ginger is less hot while dried ginger is spicier. So use ginger accordingly for babies and kids as they may not be able to tolerate the spice levels of ginger. A very small quantity is enough for babies and kids.

Now as we know that ginger is safe for babies and it can help treat common cold and cough let us see the ways you can give ginger to your babies/ kids to treat cold and cough.


Wholesome foods are fresh foods that have not been processed and are so called “good foods” that your body would really appreciate as they can help you stay to healthy! In this video, MOMmy – Emiza from Energise Kids will be sharing with you why we should eat wholesome foods instead of processed foods, and she will also quote some examples for both wholesome foods and processed foods so that you’ll have a better idea of what foods to take and which to avoid.


via Cincinnati Children’s: Have you heard of GERMS? Do you know what a germ is?

Germs can cause you to be sick. They’re tiny little microorganisms that exist all around us. And they are invisible, so small you can’t even see them.

But, they’re real, and here are a few common nasty ones. Scary-looking, I know.

These germs have favorite places to hide and live, too. We call these areas germ hot spots, like kitchen counter tops, door knobs, and even your gaming devices and cell phone.

And they love to live in your bathroom. If you don’t kill these germs, they can spread and get on you and then inside you and make you sick.

But here is the good news: You can kill these germs and help protect yourself by following these three simple clean and healthy germ knock-out rules.

Number one, build you immune system. A healthy body is a strong body. Always eat lots of veggies and fruit to build your immune system to protect yourself if and when a germ attacks your body.

Number two, wash your hands regularly with soap and water. Any time you encounter a hot spot where germs live, scrub your hands all over, front and back, between fingers and around nails, for as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice to really knock those germs out.

And three, germs love to spread from one sick person to another. So try to keep your germs to yourself. Cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow to keep your hands clean and your germs contained. Then, wash your hands.

Just remember, germs are out there. And they can make you sick. Do your best to help prevent the spread of germs, and knock them out.


via food.ntv: A popular ingredient finding its way into many Indian gravies, cashew – a plant originating from Brazil, is a nut high in minerals. Brought to India by traders, the cashew tree grows up to exceptional heights having a rather irregular trunk. Hanging from the branches are large juicy apples at the bottom of which are attached the cashew nut. Made available round the year, the nut has a great shelf life if stored properly. The nut and the fruit, both have multiple uses. The nut, often known as the poor man’s plantation although now it is sold for steep prices, is used to make delectable and rich curries and also roasted and eaten dry. They are an intrinsic part of our festive celebrations too. Just imagine how incomplete Diwali celebrations would be without ‘kaju ki barfi’. Back when nomads had no idea how to consume the fruit, the nut was discarded while the fruit was given more importance. A book written by SP Malhotra, World Edible Nuts Economy, points out, “Natives also knew of many medicinal uses for the apple juice, bark and caustic seed oil that were later exploited by the Europeans.”

Contrary to the popular belief that it can make you gain fat, a considerable amount of cashews in your diet can provide you with many health benefits –

1. Heart Health

The National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in its case study points out that nuts are likely to be beneficial for health, keeping a check on various ailments, such as heart disease. Studies consistently show that nut intake has a cholesterol-lowering effect, in the context of healthy diets, and there is emerging evidence of beneficial effects on oxidative stress, inflammation, and vascular reactivity. Cashews help lower LDL and increase the carrying capacity for HDL. HDL is responsible to absorb the cholesterol from the heart and take it to the liver where it can be broken down.

In 2003, the Food and Drug Administration had stated that a fistful of nuts a day as part of a low-fat diet may reduce the risk of heart disease. The heart association recommends four servings of unsalted, un-oiled nuts a week and warns against eating too many, since they are dense in calories. Another study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), also establishes a significant association between the consumption of nuts and a lower incidence of death due to heart diseases, cancer and respiratory diseases. The study stated that nutrients in nuts, such as unsaturated fatty acids, protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants may confer heart-protective, anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties.

2. Prevents Blood Disease

The consumption of cashews on a regular basis and limited manner may help in avoiding blood diseases. Cashew nuts are rich in copper, which plays an important role in the elimination of free radicals from the body. Copper deficiency can lead to iron deficiencies such as anemia. Hence our diet should contain recommended quantity of copper. And cashew nuts are a good source.

3. Protects the Eye

In the urban environment matched with its excessive pollution, our eyes often suffer from various infections. Cashews contains a powerful antioxidant pigment called Zea Xanthin. This pigment is readily and directly absorbed by our retina, says nutritionist Anju Sood. This then forms a protective layer over our retina which prevents the harmful UV rays. Dr Anshul Jaibahrat Bhatnagar says small quantities of Zea Xanthin helps prevent age related macular degeneration in elderly and hence helps maintain eyehealth.

4. Good for the Skin

Derived from the cashew seeds, “cashew oil does wonders for your skin,” says Gargi Sharma, Manager Weight Management, Aayna. Cashew nut oil is rich in selenium, zinc, magnesium, iron and phosphorous. Also, they are great sources of phytochemicals, proteins and antioxidants. The high percentage of selenium in cashews is not only good for your skin but “helps prevent cancer as well,” says nutritionist Anju Sood.

5. Weight Loss

In comparison to diets excluding the intake of nuts, people consuming nuts on a moderate and regular basis lose weight faster. Based on the evidence from epidemiological and controlled clinical studies, nut consumption is not associated with higher body weight. The study done by the Journal of Nutrition states that the epidemiological evidence indicates consistently that nut consumers have a lower BMI than non-consumers. With respect to clinical studies, the evidence is nearly uniform that their inclusion in the diet leads to little or no weight gain. Moreover, nuts like cashews are “packed with Omega 3 fatty acids that contribute to giving a boost to the metabolic process to burn excess fat,” says Delhi-based nutritionist Shilpa Arora. Nuts are a great snack for those who are looking to lose weight as they are nutritious and tend to keep you full for a longer time. “Nuts should always be eaten raw and unsalted, so they are beneficial for weight loss efforts,” adds Shilpa.

6. Source of Dietary Fibres

According to studies, cashew nuts have a great percentage of dietary fibers. The two essential dietary fibres required by our body are, oleic acid and palmitic acid. “These fibers are not produced by our body hence they need to be consumed externally,” says nutritionist Anju Sood. Cashew nuts are good sources of these fibers. Dietary fibers help digest food better, however excessive consumption may cause bloating and significant intestinal gas production. Consumption of nuts like cashews have been related to decreased incidences of several digestive diseases.

7. Healthy and Shiny Hair

Experts say that the consumption of cashews as well as the application of cashew oil on your scalp ensures healthy hair. “Copper present in cashew nut oil helps in the production of skin and hair pigment called melanin,” says nutritionist Gargi Sharma. It also enhances hair colour and can provide a silky-smooth texture due to the presence of linoleic and oleic acids.


via LiveStrong: It wasn’t too long ago when your toddler was eating the softest, purist foods you could supply, but now that she and her appetite are expanding, it’s a good idea to ask which new foods are appropriate and which aren’t for her young, growing body. Pickles are a relatively nutritious finger food, appetizing to many toddlers, but are they healthy enough? While they can be a great source of Vitamin A, iron and potassium, there are some ingredients to watch out for. Whether or not your toddler should be eating pickles could depend on the brand.

Sodium Content

Despite being, technically, a vegetable, most pickles are sky high in sodium content. Doctors recommend no more than 1000 mg per day of sodium for toddlers, since sodium can tax your toddler’s kidneys and lead to hypertension. Many brands contain more than 1200 mg for a single pickle. Select low-sodium varieties, which can contain as little as 12mg of sodium — far more healthy for your little one.

Sugar Content

No longer relegated to little white packets, sugar now hides everywhere–in drinks, in packaged foods and even in processed vegetables. The pickle, so seemingly fresh and healthy, undergoes quite a bit of processing before it reaches your pantry, so check the label to be sure the sugar content isn’t too high for you toddler. Experts recommend that little ones have no more than 1 tbsp. per day per year of age –or 15 to 45 grams in the toddler years. A store-bought jar of pickles will usually have 5 or so grams of sugar, quite a lot when you consider that the pickle is just a snack.

Natural Flavors

Almost anything packaged and store-bought these days comes with a load of preservatives and chemicals we didn’t bargain for — and pickles are no different. Watch out for added chemicals like “natural flavors,” which are anything but. Natural flavors are designed by flavorists who test natural and synthetic chemicals to create their “natural” tasting concoctions. Look for natural and organic brands with few preservatives and added flavors.

Homemade Pickles

One great way to control the sodium, sugar and chemical content of the pickles your toddler eats is to make them yourself. Perhaps your toddler can even lend a hand. For dill pickles, you’ll need fresh, crisp cucumbers, a handful of dill, a few cloves of garlic, and salt and pepper. The website Vegan Reader has a very workable recipe (See Resources).