Quell the shriek

Babies are too fragile to handle. They look so cute when they are asleep or make faces or gurgle or squeak but when they cry of colic pain they are the most poor thing to console. There are some advice that may not completely cure the pain but might be a relief to the suffering parents somewhere.

The best thing is that colic disappears as mysteriously as it begins. It is more severe at 4 to 6 weeks of age and gradually subsides by 3 to 4 months.

Extend your arm with palm up ,place the baby on the arm with chest down , head in your hand and his legs on either side of your elbow. Support the baby with your other hand and move around . It definitely console the baby.

Burp the baby frequently while feeding. Some babies have more abdominal gas than others.

Sometimes colic can occur if the mother is drinking cow milk. Eliminating milk from mothers diet may help the baby.

Sometimes there is a correlation between the colic and mothers diet. Some troublemakers are caffeinated drinks , chocolate, bananas, oranges , strawberry and strongly spiced food. Keeping a log would be very good idea.

Wrapping the baby snugly in a blanket has a calming effect.

The vibrating sound of vacuum cleaner or clothes dryer really soothes a colicky baby.

A hot water bottle placed on the tummy sometimes helps. Place a towel between the baby and the bag so that the baby is not burned.

Motion type things are good for colic. Swing the baby slowly.


We feed the child traditional porridges like ragi porridge , wheat porridge, rice porridge and many more. A child is too small and so his stomach. These porridges are bulky. They absorb about twice as much water to become soft. Even small amount of this porridge fills the baby’s stomach and they feel uncomfortable. If diluted with water, the nutrient content lowers. So what is the solution?


Add one -fourth of a teaspoon or 1 to 2 gms (not more than that) to the cereal porridge.

ARF is Amylase rich foods. It is a flour obtained from germinated cereal flour. Germinated grain flour contains a lot of an enzyme , amylase which makes the porridge less bulky , soft , thin and easy to eat. The best part is that it does not reduces the nutritive value. Amylase is an enzyme which aids in splitting starches so that it is easily digested.


It is very easy to make . Take 200 gms of wheat grain. Bajra , jowar or maize can also be used if wheat is not available. Soak the grain in triple volume of water (600 ml)for 12 hours. After 12 hours , remove the grains from water and wrap it in a wet cloth for 48 hours or 2 days. You will see grain sprouts. Dry it in the sun for about 6 to 8 hrs . Remove the sprouts from the well dried grain . Take the grain and grind it to a powder. Store it in an air tight container. Do not use more than 1/4th tsp in a bowl of porridge. The powder is sufficient for 30 days .

Preparing it is a bit tiring but we all want to give our child the best ,isn’t it?



Science is fascinating. I used to love studying Human Physiology, Child Development, Human Nutrition, Food Science while in college. Counseling patients gives satisfaction but implementation of these subjects in own life is more satisfying and helps to counsel others in a more better way.

When I was blessed with a baby, the academics became practical for me. After all I had to take care of it on my own. I had to manage the home , the work,the baby. I had to give him the best. Started with the purest food, the breast milk. But a child needs nutrients as it grows up. Breastfeeding is no doubt the best but the demand of iron and other nutrients is important for a growing baby.

I started early weaning.

Children love to explore different foodstuffs but they get confused easily. Start with a food item at a time. I started with orange juice when he was three months old. On first day I gave him only a teaspoon of orange juice in the midmorning. Next day increased the amount to two teaspoon. By the end of the week he was enjoying half a cup of orange juice. The next week started with apple juice and so on. When he was a year old he knew the taste of most of the food.

Children love to explore:3 mths old

Start with orange juice followed by soft rice , mashed cereals , soft fruits , soft cooked potatoes and other vegetables, puddings. When the baby is about a year old , start with hard boiled egg yolk then egg white, fish , chicken or poultry , meat.

Children enjoy finger foods , finger sized piece of papaya , apple or toast massages the gum when teething begins.

The motor development skills are essential : 4 mths old

I used to have lunch alone when he was not there but after his “annaprashan”(the introduction of cereals to a child at about six months or appearance of the first tooth , whichever is first), we enjoyed lunch together. I used to cook rice , dal , veggies, sweet chutney , set the table took him on my lap, and used to eat. Yes , the food was normal, less spicy but children love texture, appearance and aroma of food.

Annaprashan :the introduction of cereals : 5 mths old

Fix a proper mealtime and place for the child. No television, no mobile phones, no laptop, no birdwatching at the time of meal. Mealtimes is only mealtime and children will be grown up in some time. Good habits should be implemented from the beginning.

The meal time should be relaxing.

I have food preferences and everyone has it. A child is an individual and he also has it. But don’t show your preferences to the child. They are good in grasping the words. “What a tasty food !” helps the child to eat it instead of “ohho!again this dal .” Acceptance of food helps in proper feeding.

Children develop good taste: they know the kitchen : 14 mths old

Children love colour. The food should be colourful

Food should not be used as reward or punishment. Don’t bribe the child of his favourite food. We want our children to be good citizens .

Don’t force the child to eat. How would you feel if someone forces you to eat his favourite dessert but you don’t like the smell of it? Insulting. So why a child? If he doesn’t like any food item just remove it. Try again after few days.

Don’t give anything to the child in between meals except water.

A child may eat less sometimes or more, it depends upon the weather, the room temperature, etc, don’t force the child and the food should be given according to the season.

Children love to act as a grown up. Let them to feed on themselves. Clear the mess afterwards. Provide proper utensils for them.

Children imitate adults : 24 mths old

Along with the supplementary food or weaning food , breastfeeding should be continued.

The food should neither be too hot or too cold.

Don’t overfeed the child , give small helpings at a time .

Proper coordination between mother and child creates a positive and happy environment and the child is not a fussy eater.


Breast milk is the vital food for any child. But feeding a child is the most tiring job. Most of the new moms complain about the quantity of milk , discomfort during feeding and appetite of the child. There are certain nursing ideas which can make both child and mother happy.

How to feed the baby?

Right position of the baby. The baby should position the mother entirely; head , chest , genital , knees. Grip the baby so that the buttocks are in one hand and the head is in the bend of the elbow. Let the other hand slip under the breast with all the four fingers supporting the breast but not on the aerola , the darker area around the nipple. Tickle the baby’s lower lip with the nipple to get the mouth open wide. Pull the baby’s body in quickly so that the mouth fixes on the aerola.

There should be no pain while feeding. If the baby is sucking incorrectly, use fingers to break the suction and reposition him.

If the baby is drifting while feeding , burp him , wake him and switch sides. Feeding time varies from 20 to 30 minutes.

Nurse on one side, if the baby is losing interest ,switch side. Next time start with the side the feeding ended the time before .

In the early weeks, a baby feeds 8 to 12 times a day. Human milk is designed so that a baby needs to nurse frequently. It creates better bonding between mother and child.

If the baby is positioned right, there is no soreness of the nipple.

There are glands to provide oil to the feeding area so no chemicals or soap should be used.

Burping the baby is necessary after every feeding. Babies usually swallow air. It is most likely to happen if the baby cries during feeding. The swallowed air takes up room in the stomach, making the baby uncomfortable. If the air is not removed, it may spit some of the undigested milk. If babies slow down while eating ,even though they have eaten little, they need to be burped in the middle of the meal. All babies need to be burped till 3 months of age. By 5 months ,they learn how to burp themselves.

A mother should talk to the baby, play and tickle the baby before and after feeding. This provides an affectional bond between them. This promotes the social development of the child. If the feeding situation is not pleasant, if the mother is tensed or frustrated and doesn’t feel like feeding, holds the baby awkwardly or handle him roughly , the baby will associate discomfort with the mother’s presence , the child will grow up as an irritable person. The child learns social development ,trust , emotional development from the early days of life.


If a mother is hungry, she is irritated while feeding. A mother needs more food than she was pregnant. The food should be rich in nutrients. Effect of mother’s diet depends on the composition and output of milk. In addition to calories , the need for proteins, calcium, iron, vitamin A or beta carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, Ascorbic acid and vitamin B12 is considerably high during lactation. The growing infant needs sufficient amount of nutrients for rapid growth of tissues. The infant takes all these nutrients from mother’s milk.

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Include generous serving of milk , citrus fruits , green leafy vegetables and whole grain like ragi in the diet.

Along with the increased food intake , increased fluid intake is also necessary to maintain adequate supply of breast milk. Liquids in the form of juices , tea , milk, milk based beverages ,lemon drink , coconut water can be taken in between the meals.

Food with strong flavour may alter the taste of breast milk. Such foods should be avoided.

Alcohol and drugs enter the breast milk and interfere with infant development. Such food should be restricted.

Sufficient rest is needed .

Encourage that the women is not emotionally disturbed during lactation.

There are certain traditional foods which are “galactogogues”. Sago , black cumin , garlic, rice, toor dal , sabja seeds ,khas are some food items which increases the milk production.

There are certain superstitions and myths associated with breastfeeding which are harmful for both mother and baby. These has to be taken care of.


I am blessed with a child and I am grateful for it. When I was pregnant, my doctor told me that the child is in breech presentation. I was mentally prepared to feed my child with “my milk” for two years. I was selfish. I knew the advantages of mother’s milk and the most precious colostrum. When the child is born by C section, the hormone prolactin activates after few days unlike a normal delivery where the brain gets the signal that the child is delivered and the milk production starts instantly. I had to be patient. I attempted the next day, it was my first attempt and with few trial and error both of us succeeded.The suckling stimulation of the child helped. It helped in the production of colostrum.

Colostrum a thick sticky yellowish fluid. It has life saving properties. It has an especially high concentration of antibodies and white blood cells which protect the newborn from infections. It also contains certain growth promoting substances. The infant body does not contain these substances nor does the body have the capacity to make them.

I fed the child with the most purest food. Mother’s milk is free from contamination. Yes , human milk does have a low concentration of certain nutrients as compared to other animal milk but it is specially designed for human baby. It suits the baby’s tender digestive system and it gets easily assimilated in the body. Breast milk has a high content of carbohydrates, specially lactose ,essential fatty acids and certain protective nutrients like vitamin A and Vitamin E which are beneficial for the infant.

Olden time Indian houses were filled with lots of people. They all used to take care of a child. The mothers used to take care of the household tasks but now most of the families are nuclear and both the parents are working. I was not the exception. I started working as a consultant when my child was about 3 months old. I used to take my child to the office. It was easy. I did not had to carry any bottles . The bottles have to be cleaned thoroughly and sterilised. I didn’t have to buy any milk formula , medicines for colic , fever , etc so I saved the cost ,time and energy of purchasing and making the formula . It takes time for a baby to learn to be hungry at a certain hour. During the early weeks of life a flexible feeding time can be done but as the child grows a schedule is important. If the child feeds all the time, it would have been very difficult for me to take care of myself , my home, my work everything. A child has to be disciplined,after all he would be a responsible person in few years. I had a special bonding with my child. Breast feeding is psychologically valuable. I felt that I am giving something no one else can. My child was not constipated or digestive upset , did not cry from colic pain , did not suffer from any cold , cough, infection, fever. He had a healthy, happy ,active childhood. He never cried of hunger because I didn’t left him to prepare the milk in the pantry , it didn’t disturb my husband’s sleep as well. He had an ideal weight for height. The teeth and gums were healthy and strong. He didn’t suffer from dental problems which the bottle fed suffer from. He was not getting added sucrose or sugar. The active suckling needed to draw milk from the breast stimulates the development of the lower part of the baby’s face. The best part was I lost my excess weight. I was slim. The baby’s suckling stimulates the breasts and helps speed the return of the uterus to its former size and condition. Breastfeeding is very important method of contraception. The hormone prolactin which is secreted by the anterior pituitary gland in response to baby’s suckling has an anovulatory effect. In many societies sexual abstinence is practised during lactation amenorrhoea. This too helps to increase the birth interval.

Sometimes I felt uncomfortable, tired , nervous and irritable but it was my fault. The food is very important for a nursing mother.

Once I had mastitis. My grandma advised that my child can only rescue me from this problem. Continuous breastfeeding only helped me from the pain.

Breast milk is good for health and to be fed excessively till the start of supplementary feeding to the child. It can be gradually reduced after the child is six month old and can be further reduced when the child is a year old and then stopped gradually. Mother’s diet and health is more important at this stage.

In spite of the advantages of breastfeeding it should not be done if the mother’s or father’s attitude toward it is not good . The love the baby receives during a feeding period is far more important than the method of feeding.

MOTHER’S MILK: Nature’s gift


The stimulus for active milk secretion comes largely from the hormone prolactin, which acts on mammary alveolar cells and promotes continual milk production and release. The enzymes lipase and transferase is stimulated by prolactin. Hormonal control of the glycerol precursors and the enzymatic release of fatty acids is also associated with insulin, which stimulates the uptake of glucose into the mammary cells.

Oestrogen level is higher during pregnancy which inhibits the secretion of prolactin. If the level of oestrogen is too low then also there is no prolactin secretion. If the level is normal then the pituitary gland discharges prolactin.

It is a complicated theory made simplified by Mother Nature in the form of inexpensive Mother’s milk “a perfect food for the child”.


Mother’s milk contains energy,protein, fat,lactose,calcium,phosphorus,magnesium,zinc,trace of iron,copper,iodine,selenium,vitamin A, vitamin B1,vitamin B2,niacin,vitamin B6,folate, ,vitamin C,vitamin D. A mother should be healthy and well fed to provide such a nutritious milk. What else does an infant need from its mother!

Synthesis of protein in milk

Protein present in normal milk are specific to mammary secretions and are not identified in any quantity elsewhere in nature. The protein in milk is derived by two ways. Some protein is synthesized in the mammary gland and rest by the plasma. Plasma derived proteins are found abundantly in the early secretory product colostrum. Casein, lactalbumin, beta-albumin, which is the main component of milk are synthesized in the gland from amino acid precursors . The essential amino acids and some of the non essential amino acids are directly from the plasma. Some of the non essential amino acids are synthesized by the alveolar cells of the gland.

The uniqueness of the mother’s milk cannot be prepared in any factory but only by a mother. It is the best food for an infant.

Congratulations!! You are pregnant!!!

These words add colors to a women’s life. We are women of modern developed India and these type of words have taken backseat in our life. We want to be better mom but before that we want to look glamorous, be career oriented,look for a suitable partner because after so many biases and restrictions we have educated ourselves.

India is changing positively since it got its Independence.Before independence,girls were married at an adolescent age, there were multiple births,infant and maternal mortality rate was too high.Family was not planned resulting in over population.Post independence, there is remarkable change.Technology has advanced giving more opportunities to women in every field and interesting part is that a women can conceive when she wants and by different scientific methods. It’s true that technology can help in conceiving and at the time of birth of the child and during pregnancy as well but for a healthy offspring a healthy mother is needed rather a healthy womb is needed because the mother may deliver a child who might be a dignified personnel in the future. The health of the women is so much important for the nation. Care should be taken but not while pregnancy but right from the beginning when that women is in the adolescent stage.

According to the world health data” Indian females are malnourished”. An adolescent girl who is in middle school dreams to have a zero figure like a famous actress and starts crash dieting along with her middle aged mother who is more interested to have a nice figure. Both of them count the calories, take supplements, various herbs , follow one day as cheat day, involve themselves in rigorous physical activity , follow the recent health and diet trends. To be the part of the society ,take a drink or two in social gathering. After these vigorous efforts,the increasing incidence of thyroid issues, obesity, vitamin D deficiency, type 2 diabetes, dysmenorrhea, poly cyst ovarian disease , ovarian cysts, etc are of major concern.

Lifestyle changes and changes in food habits might help solve the problem and have a healthy womanhood starting from menarche to menopause.

Include rich sources of energy, protein, iron and calcium.

Do not include too many fast foods.

Whole cereals are far more better than refined foods.

Avoid junk foods.

Include milk, milk products, dark green leafy vegetables and fruits.

Too much of processed foods,soft drinks,products containing high fructose corn syrup , some oils , mono sodium glutamate harm the body.

Do not adopt extreme”diets” meant to reduce weight or build muscles. Such diets are usually useless and sometimes dangerous.

Avoid too much of fat rich or sugar rich foods.

Alcohol,smoke,drugs,tobacco has only harmed the body. Avoid unhealthy style statements.

Some herbs can have a side effects in later life. Avoid the use of unknown herbs and spices and never overuse any food items as a” health food”.

Pills , shakes, drugs to beautify the body may have after effects so always consult a medical professional before starting these types of product.

Every women is unique and her body is a blessing. Do not experiment with it. Fluctuations of weight harms the body . Enjoying a month with good foods and then going on a crash dieting leads to poor feminine health.

Along with food , sunlight, physical activity , proper lifestyle and emotional wellbeing is important for all females.

It is doleful to see career women trying their best to plan for the motherhood and getting success after considerable efforts. Proper health and nutritional care is important for an adolescent so that she can emerge into a healthy women. Enjoy the womanhood. !!!

Are we really hungry at times?

HUNGER or APPETITE or satiety

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On weekends we go to watch movies or go for shopping at the mall. What a pleasant aroma of buttered popcorn or burgers! We feel instant hunger and . munch. The aroma is irresistible. Actually we are unable to differentiate between “hunger”,”appetite”,”satiety”.

Hunger is usually an unpleasant sensation that compels a person to seek food and eat it. It is a physiological condition which is associated with the contraction of the stomach. The contractions are forceful and occur for a period and then die away as the stomach passes into a resting stage. If food is not eaten , the contractions reappear later and with great intensity. There is rumbling ,tensed feeling and a feeling of emptiness. It further leads to weakness, irritability, occasional headache or even nausea.

Appetite is a pleasant sensation. It is for a certain kind of food. It is a desire.It is basically a psychological state. It is less localized than hunger.Temptation of eating chocolates or gulab jamuns or ice cream after a full meal is an appetite. Eating four rotis with the favorite veggies instead of two normally is appetite.

Satiety is the sensation accompanying the satisfaction of the desire for food that comes after eating. In Hindi, it is known as” tripti“or “santripti“. It is basically not hunger but has less sensation than it. Hunger builds up slowly but satiety occurs rapidly.It is best observed when we are with our family and friends enjoying our favorite food. Absence of this desire is an abnormal condition and termed as Anorexia.

Do not be HUNGRY, curb your APPETITE,feel the SATIETY from the food

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My cousin delivered a baby, the baby was crying, we fed it soft drink.

I went to a funeral, I took a box of chocolate pastries for the grieving family.

I went to a North big fat Indian wedding , the menu was thin sambhar and boiled rice.

Such weird statements. Crazy isn’t it. Have thought of something like it ?Just think ,went to a dinner party, took out two pieces of dried bread from the purse on the dinner plate and start eating it . !!! Totally abnormal. These are all food items but food is intimately woven into the physical, economic, psychological, intellectual and social life of man. It is a part of his culture and is filled with many different meanings and symbolism for all individuals at various age and stages of their maturity.

Man’s basic drive for food is to satisfy his hunger.

A would be mother is fed her favourite food on the occasion of baby shower. A child is fed payassam or rice kheer or rice pudding on it’s Annaprashan. Birthday is incomplete without cake. Wedding parties are served with variety of food. We celebrate any occasion with variety of food items. So food has a Sociological factor.

All through history food has played important roles besides that of nutrition. Wars were fought for food. People had steal , rob , killed for food. Explorers have searched the world for new foods.

We all are individuals. A toddler also has his own choice of food. Some of us like sweets , some sour , some spicy, some sweet and sour. Some like crispy food and some soft mushy food. So there is individual preference related to food.

Food is a source of power. People have been starved for submission. Wars have been won by blockading food supplies to the enemies. Power of food is used in society and in the family as a reward or punishment. A child may be sent to bed without food because of bad behaviour or given something special for some achievement.

Food is a source of security. An infant learns security from the way his mother feeds him. His behavioural pattern will be influenced by the extent to which he feels secure regarding his food supply. Similarly a growing child gains confidence and a feeling of belonging when he is assured that there is food in house and he is well fed. People feel secure when they have enough food at the time of scarcity. Familiar foods give a sense of security when one is eating away from home.

The economically poorest society spends sixty percentage of their monthly budget on food and the top quintile spends about forty four percentage of their monthly budget on food in India. The economic factors depend on food selection, purchase and consumption.

The well-to-do eat foods the common man cannot afford may not be nutritious. It is prestigious to buy expensive food items like white rice , white flour , etc. We serve certain foods for family meals and different foods when we have guests. Food is a status symbol.

India is famous for its cultural diversity. Food is related to festivals, localities, religion and part of India. Sevaiyan is related to Id , Gujiyas for holi , til laddoo for sankranti. Some food are specifically designed for certain areas of India like Hyderabadi biriyani , Agra petha , Amritsari Kulche.

“Loose motions,eat thin khichri . Non oily food for stomach ailments, Non spicy food for liver disease , green leafy vegetables to cure anemia. Acceptance of food is related to our physiological factor.

Food is a symbol of hospitality and friendship throughout the world. We express our hospitality to a guest through an offer of an food or drink. In times of disaster or sorrow we take food to the affected person. Offering a cup of tea or coffee is a gesture of friendship.

Feeling happy, enjoy with food. Feeling stressed out, frisk out in refrigerator or cabinet for something to munch or stop eating anything. Loneliness and boredom are relieved by continous nibbling of food. Anger and frustration may turn one against food. Specific foods are associated with unhappy experiences. Food consumed by some are unacceptable and even revolting for others. These type of concept have no rhyme or reason nor are they related to nutritive value ;they are just emotional reactions. Food is an outlet of emotions.

Food fads are also a factor for accepting food. Foods are classified as “hot”foods and “cold” foods. People avoid milk and fish together in some community and believed to produce white patches. Some people avoid onion with curd as onion is hot and curd is cold. There are numerous fads.

Food is not just to fill the stomach but the factors are more important to lead a healthy happy life.


It always happens to me! I think it happens to most of the dietitian. Whenever I go to a social gathering and introduce myself as a dietitian, the first reaction is “oh !you are a dietitian. Suggest something, I am gaining weight. ” Is diet means just related to weight gain or weight loss ?

I did my internship from a government hospital to take care of patients who did not have sufficient food to eat. It was a challenging task to prescribe a diet , a nutritious diet to patients who cannot afford food. Most of them were daily wagers.Two decades later , things have changed a bit. We have globalised. We are growing economically. We are getting food items from all over the world. We have so much to choose from. The mass media is full of such advertisements which suggests what to eat and what not to.

The most interesting part is that the people suggest anybody anytime about the pros and cons of the food. Thanks to the search engines which advertise about certain food items. We have become self conscious because of this dieting. If you search the word “diet” in the best dictionaries of the world, it is stated as the food and drinks which is consumed on a regular basis. But the common theory of dieting is limiting your food intake and the dietitian is one who restricts the food intake. But is this the proper definition of a dietitian?

We dietitians are meant to help the people with their food so that they can lead a healthy lifestyle. Dietitians are trained for at least 5 to 6 years so that we can guide other people. Food and diet has a crucial role in our life . People need food as soon they enter this world and eat till the day they are living. And the whole journey is not dependent upon soups and salads and health drinks , etc. They do eat the real food according to the age , sex , caste , cultural beliefs , health conditions. We qualified dietitians are there for suggesting diet to people of all age groups according to their sex , caste , cultural beliefs , health conditions. Dietitians calculate the nutrients to give a balanced diet to each and every one. They calculate the micronutrients and the macronutrient for a weaning child or a school going one or a teenager or an office going person or an elderly person. Dietitian are of various types and work in various places like hospitals, health centres, fitness centers , sports nutrition, researchers, schools, food industries, etc.

Dietitians are specified as

Clinical dietitians, Community dietitians, Food service dietitians, Gerontological dietitian, Neonatal dietitians, Paediatric dietitian, Research dietitian, Administrative dietitian , Business Dietitian, Consultant dietitian. And the work is to provide proper meal plan by calculating the nutrients.

So eat properly, respect the food . There is no miracle diet or food . No bad food or good food either. Food is a necessity and diet is vital. In schools we are taught to thank the God for the food. It should be followed till later.

Enjoy your food and “Diet” well and let the Dietitian do the calculation for your “Diet -ing”