Theme Reveal #MyFriendAlexa S5 FOOD LOVE

I’m thrilled to be a part of Blogchatter’s campaign #MyFriendAlexa Season 5 this year. It’s my first time in Blogchatter’s campaign and October is going to be super busy and exciting.

What is #MyFriendAlexa by Blogchatter?
Blogchatter is a community of bloggers who have camapigns running all throughout the year. #MyfriendAlexa is one of the campaigns run by Blogchatter. It aims at encouraging bloggers to write more and also read what fellow bloggers are writing. This directly impacts your Alexa score and brings it a lower rank with respect to India and the world.


What is Alexa score?
Alexa rank is the measure of your website’s popularity in your own country and in the world. Alex rank is calculated with respect to the estimated traffic and visitors on your website. The lower your Alexa rank, the better your website is performing.

What does a blogger do in this campaign?
>Write 8 blogs in the month of October depending on your choice of theme or in general.
>Make unique reading and writing hashtag of your own. Example #seemabreads #seemabwrites.
>Read, comment and share on the blogs of your fellow participants provided in your FB and Whatsapp groups formed by blogchatter.

Over the years, I’ve grown fond of cooking. From a person who didn’t cook at all to a Wife and Mom who has tried and excelled at multicuisines, I’m excited to share my “FOOD LOVE” with you all. But it’s not going to be all recipes…


During the month of October you will find these blogs under #MyFriendAlexa campa

✓Foodart
✓Fun facts about food
✓Recipe with an unusual ingredient
✓Food records
✓Food challenge
✓Tools you should always have in your kitchen
✓Unsusal foods from around the World
✓Food phobias that people actually have

Hope you all enjoy reading as much as I’m going to enjoy writing….

Book Recos by my Baby

Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels

Babies are like a clean slate or an empty book. Upto the age of three they pick up their basic vocabulary and languages for communication. Introducing books to your newborn helps them in a lot of ways. Even if they do not talk, books are a great way of some learning and bonding time. All they are interested in are a lot of colors and shapes and pictures and you reading aloud the story or making up your own is an added bonus. 

Books are considered as a great gifting option too. They make wonderful return gifts for birthdays and other occasions as well. While buying or gifting books for babies and toddlers, first thing to keep in mind is that it has to be sturdy. Babies like to explore. They pull and rip, chew and munch on everything they find. So board books are the ones you always want to go for. 

I introduced the concept of books and reading to Eric even before he was born. It has made a huge difference in his interest later.

This image belong to https://myworldwitheira.com/
and reuse is strictly not permitted.

Eric has some favourite reads which have been constant over time and I’m happy to share them based on his interests and recommendations. 

1. Black and white/ High contrast books: Don’t you see too many black and white items in the baby’s section at the shopping malls these days? Why do you think so? These black and white or high contrast items and books are bound to have a great impact on newborn especially from 0 – 3 months. They visually stimulate your baby’s vision and brain growth. It doesn’t hurt to continue keeping them included even after that as they will always have your baby’s love being their first books. You can even find playgyms and toys of these colors. Our favourite is the “Baby’s very first black and white book of animals” from Usborne even after . a year. When asked for Eric’s choice, he always picks this one first. 


2. Baby faces books: Books with babies in it just click in no time. Babies relate to faces very soon after birth and these kind of books go a long way.  Books with real baby faces and having different expressions will make your baby very happy and respond more. You can even make a personalized book of your own baby with different expressions or milestones or a book with all your family members. I got “This Little Baby” from Bookstart publications. It has more of black and white contrast images and I chose this book as it would relate more when my son was 2 months old due to the contrasting pictures. After a point the mirror at the end of the book was a wonderful thing that he discovered. As if he was a part of the book.

 


3. Cloth books: Kids just love to mouth everything and books are no different. Cloth books are a great way to increase the interest and make sure they do not take a bite. Crinkle cloth books are one of the best and I got “Baby Touch Snuggle Book” from Ladybird for him. The bright colors and crinkling sound is the perfect way for him to play and read at the same time and if Mama has a hard time during his bath, this book makes its way to our bath tub too. Best thing about cloth books are that they are washable. 


4. Touch and feel books: These books generate curiosity in babies. They start exploring the use of their senses and how these textures feel different. These books being different than a regular board book makes them one of his favourites’. Eric has the “Baby Touch Flip Flap book” by Ladybird. The bright pictures and colors in this book is loved by babies and toddlers alike. 


5. Story books: Books with cute pictures and great stories are a hit with kids who are not babies anymore and are soon gona hit one. They love books with characters which they follow and find along the story as you turn pages and they explore. “The very hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle has been a favourite for both my kids. “Goodnight moon” by Margaret Wise Brown is a classic and another of our favourites. The simple yet contrasting images and one liner story makes it a perfect bedtime read for toddlers and beyond. 


6. Sound books: These are also a great option but since we have some sound toys, we want to keep books more to reading and listening rather than to musical sounds. “Peppa’s super noisy sound book” is one of the amazing options available.

Its never to early to start reading to kids. The sooner the better as reading is the best gift you can give to your child.

You may like to know about Early reading importance and how I introduced this habit in my kids. Kids’ books also have different stories which deliver different morals. You may like to know more about Beautiful Themes in Children’s Literature.

This blog is a part of #LBWP – Let’s Blog with PRI, Season 2. You can also check out blogs written by my fellow bloggers Hansa and Avin.

Hosted By : Prisha Lalwani Mummasaurus.com IG: @mummasauruss FB: /mummasaurus1

Kao Pad – Thai Pineapple Fried Rice with Shrimps

You are spoiled for choice when it comes to food in Thailand. Being a nation of mesmerizing beaches, seafood is a staple in Thailand. If you’re a non-vegetarian and planning to go to Thailand, I would highly recommend trying all your Thai meals in seafood version. You will be mind-blown by the flavors and the authenticity. What makes Thai food truly excellent is the sheer freshness of ingredients like lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, etc. Seafood comes from the beaches and the vegetables and meat from many of the farms and local plantations nearby. This freshness gives Thai food its own unique flavor and richness.

Thai food used to be very spicy in olden times as chili was not something they had in their country, so a mix of dried herbs was used to make food flavorful and spicier. In recent times, they have shifted from spicy herbs to fresh herbs like lemongrass. Thai food uses more of coconut milk. Even the desserts have coconut milk in them. But the curries are more thinner than Indian curries. There is also an emphasis on rice in Thai culture.

You may also enjoy reading my article about Thailand where there are ornate temples and beautiful mesmerizing beaches.

Pineapple fried rice is a classic dish that is a staple on most Thai restaurant menus. This fried rice is surely going to satisfy your taste buds.

Ingredients
1/2 pineapple (read instructions below in the recipe)
2 cups non sticky rice cooked (read instructions below in the recipe)
250 gm large shrimps (peeled and deveined)
3 large eggs
5 cloves of garlic
1 inch of ginger julienned
1-2 chilies according to spiciness
7-8 green beans chopped
1 large carrot diced small
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup cashews
1 tbsp of Thai curry powder
2 tbsp of light soy sauce
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce (can skip)
1 tbsp of oyster sauce (can skip)
1 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp. of black pepper
Oil as needed
Salt as needed

Instructions for Pineapple: Cut a pineapple in half and then slit it thru in cubes and scoop it out. Use the outer pineapple as a bowl for serving the fried rice later for the ambience of a restaurant.

Instructions for rice: Use non-sticky rice and wash it multiple times until the water appears clear. This shows that the starch in the rice is reduced. Now cook the rice. Here in India, basmati rice that we use for our biryanis turn out excellent for fried rice because of its non-sticky texture.

Recipe
Marinate the shrimp with a spoon of light soy sauce, salt and black pepper and set aside. For making the sauce for fried rice, in a bowl mix light soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, honey and Thai curry powder. Mix it all well and set aside.
Beat the eggs together with some salt and pepper.

Heat a wok and let’s get started…
Heat one tbsp oil and add the eggs. Scramble them but not too much. The scrambled bits should be bigger to be easily seen in the fried rice. Now remove it in a plate. This is the way, fried eggs go into Asian rice recipes. They are fried and taken out and then mixed back when the rice is done.
Continue in the same wok. Heat another tbsp of oil. Add the marinated shrimps and fry them until cooked and remove them from the wok.
Now heat 3 tbsps of oil and add garlic, ginger and chilies. You will get a great aroma of it. Now add carrots, green beans, cashews and raisins and stir fry them. Do not lower the flame as this makes the veggies soft and soggy. Keep stirring and adding ingredients on high heat. Now add the cooked rice nd mix it well with the veggies. Now pour the sauce made for fried rice around the wok and keep mixing the rice. Give it a minute. Now add the pineapple chunks. At the end, add the fried eggs and shrimps and stir fry again. Sprinkle shallots and give it a final mix.

Don’t forget the pineapple bowls we have. Fill them up with the fried rice and make sure you place some pieces of shrimps and pineapple on top.
Enjoy the tropical flavors of Thailand.

For vegetarians: Skip out on the fish sauce, oyster sauce and the shrimps. Add other veggies if you like. Believe me when I say, it still turns out amazing.

https://food2go4.com/2020/09/18/things-to-do-inspired-by-thesocialdilemma-on-netflix/This blog is a part of #LBWP – Let’s Blog with Pri, Season 2. You can also check out blogs written by my fellow bloggers Disha and Arti.


Hosted By : Prisha Lalwani Mummasaurus.com IG: @mummasauruss FB: /mummasaurus1

Thailand – Ornate Temples to Beach Waters

A place of island and beaches that can never be forgotten is Thailand or The Kingdom of Thailand as it’s official name. It is the biggest country in the middle of South East Asia. Blessed with tropical and warm climate and stunning beaches makes it one of the best travel destinations. Tourism is the country’s biggest and most important sector for economy. Tourists keep pouring in no matter the season. Since tourism country is so flourished for many years, traveling on your own is easy.


When me and my husband decided to go on a holiday, Thailand was the first destination we had in our mind. We were too tired of our jobs and wanted a place to relax and rejuvenate.

Wat Phra Kaew, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Bangkok, Thailand | © Courtesy of PIVISO/Flickr
.

Arriving at Bangkok, the capital, which is well known for its rich culture, unlimited shopping and street food. We stayed there at Holiday Inn. A lavish brunch was all we needed to start our day. You just cannot miss out on the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew ( Temple of the Emerald Buddha) . It was the former home of the monarch and now is only used for ceremonial purposes and as one of the biggest tourist attraction in Bangkok. It is located on the ground of the architectural wonder “Temple of the Emerald Buddha”. The whole premises contain more than 100 buildings made beautifully out of gold and diamonds in different colors and the architectural carvings of old – Bangkok style. 

At The Grand Palace, Bangkok
This image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com
and reuse is strictly not permitted.
At The Grand Palace, Bangkok
This image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com and reuse is strictly not permitted.

The Temple of Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) is regarded as the most important Buddhist Temple in Thailand and believers from all over Asia visit it often for graces. The Emerald Buddha is 66 cm tall, carved in green jade and clothed in gold fabric. The yogic posture depicted by the Buddha is a sight not to be missed. It is said that the figurine was found in northern part of Thailand in 1434. 

Wat Phra Kaew – Emerald Buddha
Believers at the entrance of the temple getting blessed with Lotus and holy water. This image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com
and reuse is strictly not permitted.

There are many other temples and exhibits inside the premises and should not be missed at all. The ancient stories and history can be known in detail from tourist guides available at the ticket kiosk. 

Buddhist monks at Wat Phra Kaew

After a day we started for Phuket. A place well known for its mesmerizing beaches and calm waters. We had decided to take a road trip on our own. An overnight bus ride to Phuket and we had reached Crowne Plaza. A perfect resort to relax with a beach of its own. 

Local ride in Phuket.
This image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com and reuse is strictly not permitted.
Crowne Plaza, Phuket Panwa Beach Resort
At Crowne Plaza, Phuket Panwa Beach Resort
This image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com
and reuse is strictly not permitted.

In Phuket we chose to go to Koh Hey Island which is also known as Coral Island. You can reach there in 15 mins by speedboat from Rawai Beach. It has two beaches of its own. Long beach and Banana beach.

Koh Hey Island
This image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com and reuse is strictly not permitted.

You can spend the day relaxing on the beaches or snorkeling, scuba diving and other sports which are easily available even in off seasons. The beaches there are mesmerizing and you can even choose others as there are many options available. 

Paragliding at Koh Hey Island
This image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com and reuse is strictly not permitted.
Banana boat ride at Koh Hey Island Koh
This image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com and reuse is strictly not permitted.

We loved to spend our days out and have relaxing evenings enjoying buffet dinners at the resort. Keeping in mind that we wanted to make the most of it. The scrumptious Thai food is another world altogether. Lemongrass and other traditional spices makes their mocktails and food so flavorful that one can’t resist it. Our dinners were made more entertaining with lively traditional music and dance performances. 

At Crowne Plaza, Phuket Panwa Beach Resort
This image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com and reuse is strictly not permitted.
At Crowne Plaza, Phuket Panwa Beach Resort
This image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com
and reuse is strictly not permitted.
At Crowne Plaza, Phuket Panwa Beach Resort
This image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com
and reuse is strictly not permitted.

Thai massages are so well known to the world and one should not miss out on them at all. Aromatherapy massages done using lemongrass oil is what I would highly recommend.

At Crowne Plaza, Phuket Panwa Beach Resort
This image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com and reuse is strictly not permitted.

We spent a week in Thailand and came back with truck loads of memory and camera full of scenic pictures. Thailand is a destination perfect for couples and honeymooners. If you have kids, do not worry, Thailand has everything to entertain everyone…
Thailand – A destination you just cannot miss!!

This blog is a part of #SpeakeasywithRuchiNDips blogging challenge hosted by Dipika and Ruchi.

Say It Right – Positive Parenting

Parenting is one of the most difficult thing on this planet you might say but so is being a kid. Every little thing is new for those tiny brains. New things, new experiences and new tasks everyday. Sharing a thought from their minds or telling what happened with between them and a friend is a task altogether as they do not know how it will be taken as by us. Their parents!!

It is our job to make it easier for them to express their feelings, their emotions and their questions. But how can we do that??? As an overtired parent handling home and work life, you might find yourself complaining and nagging but that won’t work on them. It happened for me too but it got my daughter upset and she just didn’t want to open up to me. There were days when she chose not to do play or do activities when something had gone wrong at school or with a friend while other days she was in a peppy mood. There were some days when her paintings were amazing and somedays everything she did looked like chicken dance. It was a code that needed to be cracked and me expressing my feelings and emotions to her made things easier. She became more confident when she was able to predict my reactions towards her. She started sharing more and knew I would listen. That confidence of her in me gave me tremendous peace of mind and heart and I had a happy child.

I’m sharing some of the phrases that I use with my kids on a daily basis and that made a huge difference. Using them at instances everyday will help alot and you will be able to see a positive change in your kiddos too.

  • I love you no matter what!
    Would you not love to hear this over and over again. So do kids! Think of it as a reminder. Especially for little ones. They can’t hear enough of it and will always share the feeling back. There is no better booster than a dose of love from Mama and Papa.
*Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels
  • I’m grateful for you.
    Having you is the best thing that happened to me. Mom and Dad have been blessed. You can even share with them the story of the day they were born with few hidden details of course. They feel special to know that you’re happy to have them. My daughter loves to hear over and over again how Dadda flew back to India from another country and was the most happiest Dad ever to have a baby girl.
  • I believe in you.
    When you say this to your kids, it boosts their confidence in you. They believe in you, trust you with their shares and secrets and want to come back to you with their problems. Even the things where they went wrong and everything went upside down.
  • You make me proud.
    This motivates kids to do better knowing that their effort is being appreciated. All they need is a pat on their back, a smile or a hug. These gestures shows that you notice their growth and they keep up with their efforts.
*Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels
  • You can always come to me.
    Everyone does mistakes and kids learn through mistakes, trials and errors. If as an adult you’re not left out of it so how can a kid be. But they need to know that they can always come back to you for comfort and that belief is very important.
  • When in doubt, follow your heart.
    Teaching them this value is gonna keep them rooted. Always choose the path that your heart believes in and gives you happiness but is also right and just. The best test for this is, “Think about how would you feel if the same was done or said to you and you’ll have the answer”. A thing that I’ve taught my daughter.
  • You did an awesome job.
    Appreciation goes a long way. When kids put efforts and proudly share it with you, it is very important to appreciate.
  • Be yourself.
    Be you. Be the way you are. You need not be like others. You are just perfect. All these make a huge difference and help them accept the differences they see in them and their friends and that no matter what, you love them.
  • I forgive you.
    One of the most important thing to say to kids. Forgiving kids in their mistakes and then letting them know that helps them a lot to come back to you. Of course you should have “The Talk” but there should be no punishments or consequences. You also teach them a value of forgiveness.
  • I’m sorry. That was my bad.
    When parents accept their mistakes instead of hiding them, kids learn the habit of admitting. Apologizing to them never goes unnoticed. They understand that they are not the only ones saying sorry every time. They get a chance to bring the value of forgiveness in use. They learn that everyone does mistakes but it is important to accept them, learn from them and forgive them.
*Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels
  • You are right.
    Won’t you love to know that you were right! Hear it! Especially when others were wrong. Kids love to know that they are right too. It makes them proud and makes them feel they are now growing up and able to take the right decisions.
  • Can you teach me to…..
    Its a moment for kids to enjoy when adults do not know something or atleast they pretend to. They love to teach their Mom and Dad. Learn how to make a drawing/craft or how to read a difficult word that they have mastered and see them bloom in happiness.

All we have to do is share our feelings with them, support them in their little issues and let them know that we understand. For them their issues are super huge and they need a little attention and a few kind words to make their world easier and tantrum less. Give them the joy of feelings and understanding.



This blog is a part of #LBWP – Let’s Blog with PRI, Season 2. You can also check out blogs written by my fellow bloggers Hansa and Avin

Hosted By : Prisha Lalwani Mummasaurus.com IG: @mummasauruss FB: /mummasaurus1

Friends Behind Walls – Book Review

Can we ever keep two kids apart and tell them not to play with each other? Will that actually work? Will they ever listen to you??

“Friends Behind Walls” is a beautiful story on similar lines about childhood and the strong friendship bond that forms between Putti and Inu.

Putti decides to spend his holidays in Deolali, his hometown where he has never been as his Dada Dadi had already passed away before his birth. But he had heard wonderful stories about Deolali fom his Nana Nani and wanted to visit the beautiful place.

He also makes a friend Inu who lives next door but their parents forbid them to play. All they have are grunts and stares to pass at each other. But why is it so? What happened between them? Why do they not talk? Putti and Inu start on their investigation to find answers to these questions so that they can continue with their friendship. But will they be able to do so? Will they find the answers to them??
This book took me back to my childhood times when me and my friends were just inseparable. Going to school, playing together and even studying for exams together. Our summer holidays were all about eating kulfis and golas and playing all day long.

It is a perfect chapter book for young readers. @harshikaa_udasi has given a fun twist to characters like Putti’s Dad who has a rhyme to every word he says and Eira just can’t stop laughing. She has made sure to introduce new vocabulary to young readers like “flabbergasted” and “brouhaha” with their meanings explained in the story itself. Eira is enjoying that alot and tries to use them in her sentences now. Illustrations by @krishnabalashenoi are beautiful and book cover designed by @devanganadash is very catchy.

My rating 5/5

Book details
Book: Friends Behind Walls
Author: Harshikaa Udasi
Cover illustration: Krishna Bala Shenoi
Cover design: Devangana Dash
Publisher: Penguin Random House India

Breastfeeding during Pandemic

Mother’s milk is a natural complete food for the baby. It works as the first natural vaccine for the baby. So every baby deserves to be breastfed and WHO (World Health Organization) and UNICEF recommends 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding.


But what if the Mother is infected by Covid-19?


Due to pandemic, this thought always kept running through my mind. What if this happens with me? What about my son? He is still dependent on me. Not completely but breastfeeding is still a major part of his daily diet as he is not even a year old yet. How many more mothers out there who think about the same or are suspected. I’m sure them and many more Moms like me must be having these questions bothering them.
So I thought of doing a little research of my own to get answers to all my questions and more.


First and foremost thing is to maintain social distancing. If you are a mom-to-be or a mother of an infant/toddler, the best thing you can do is keep yourself away from the crowd. Prevention is always better than cure.

Can a Covid-19 infected mother breastfeed her baby?
According to WHO, Covid-19 does not transmit through breastmilk. A newborn baby or a feeding baby should definitely be breastfed. Early start in breastfeeding after birth helps in building the baby’s immunity by direct transfer of antibodies and essential nutrients through breastmilk.

How can a Covid-19 infected mother prevent transmission to her baby?
Whether a suspected mother or an infected one, proper precautions should be taken.
Wash hands and sanitize everytime before touching the baby. Wear a mask properly covering your nose and mouth and if possible a shield before holding the baby for feeding. Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces is a must. Baby’s clothes and other stuff should be washed and sanitized properly and frequently.

What if the mother is severely sick or is in medical emergency and is not able to feed her baby?
If the infected mother is severely ill and unable to breastfeed the baby, she can opt for expressing/pumping her breastmilk that a family member can spoon feed the baby. Bottle feeding probably should be avoided for newborns. Donor human milk is also a better option than formula milk and is highly recommended by pediatricians. Wet nursing is also something that is being considered as some Moms are not in favor of donor human milk which has been stored for a few days or more. Lastly is formula milk.

How can the partner and family members help the Covid-19 infected mother and baby?
During pregnancy and the child birth, the partner can be as involved as possible to build the confidence of the infected mother, of course with all the precautionary measures. After birth, the family members can help with the care giving part of the baby. If needed, the mother should be provided counselling by the gynaecologists, pediatricians and lactation experts to build her confidence in handling her baby without any concern.

Should there be social distancing maintained between the infected mother and the baby?
Absolutely not! With proper precautionary measures as mentioned earlier, social distancing need not be maintained. If done so, it might hamper the emotional well-being of the mother and the physical health of the child. Keeping baby and mother together helps in better temperature control of the baby and adjustments to the new world, less stress for the mother and better breastfeeding.
All these measures can be followed so that the mother and baby can enjoy their new beginning and also get all the benefits of liquid gold that the mother has to offer. After all, a healthy start will give a healthy future.

Disclaimer: These suggestions are for expecting/breastfeeding women who might be suspected/infected due to the pandemic. Please consult with your doctor before consuming anything or taking any steps.

This blog is a part of #LBWP – Let’s Blog with PRI, Season 2. You can also check out blogs written by my fellow bloggers Hansa and Avin.

Hosted By : Prisha Lalwani Mummasaurus.com IG: @mummasauruss FB: /mummasaurus1

Top 5 Indian galactogogues for lactation.

When I became a first-time Mom during Eira’s time, every woman I met had some advice. For me, for the baby and mostly about what-to-eat and what not-to-eat. My Mom had this list of things which I was supposed to have on a daily basis and on the top of the list was galactogogues.
Galactogogues are foods that promote lactation. They help maintain the supply of breastmilk that kicks in the initial days and also helps increase it as days go by and the baby’s needs increase. Instead of trying them all regularly, which was not possible, I stuck to these 5 galactogogues which are highly effective and recommended by gynaecologists and pediatricians as well.

  1. Shatavari
    Shatavari also known as asparagus, is highly recommended for increasing breastmilk supply and the results can be seen faster. It also helps to heal the reproductive system of the new mother as it has the benefits of toning the system, encouraging blood circulation and regulating the hormonal functions. It is used for all stages of a woman’s reproductive cycle. It helps regulate the breastmilk supply in new mothers and helps in nourishment of young babies as well. Since it is a natural herb, it’s consumption by mothers does not harm the baby. It has antioxidants and helps prevent free radical cell damage.
    How to consume: Many good brands offer this herb in the form of a powder to be added with milk or juices. I consume it twice daily with warm milk and turmeric. Brands like Dhootpapeshwar Shatavari Kalpa and Balaji Tambe’s Santulan Shatavari Kalpa are ayurvedic and have the best results.
  2. Fenugreek/ Methi seeds
    Methi contains phytoestrogens and diosgenin, a key compound which helps increase breastmilk production. It is said to soothe muscle pain and cramps. It is a great digestive and soothes upset stomach.
    How to consume:
    Methi seeds are traditionally added to dosa batter and in the tempering of veggies but that little quantity is not enough. A tbsp of methi seeds should be soaked overnight and consumed early morning. Methi sabzi can be consumed regularly as that also helps alot. Methi laddoo is one of the oldest recipes that our Moms and Mom-in-laws have been making which not only help in lactation but also in reviving the new mother’s health and body. Other than that, methi sprouts or methi tea are also liked by many.
  3. Garden cress seeds/Halim
    It contains phytochemicals that resemble estrogen. They are packed with several essential nutrients like protein, calcium, beta-carotene and ascorbic acid. It is a great immunity booster and stimulates milk production.
    How to consume: Halim should be soaked overnight and then cooked with water. Add grated fresh coconut and jaggery to make a sweet porridge and have it as breakfast.
  4. Broken wheat/ Dalia
    North of India considers dalia to be one of the best lactation promoters. A new mother is given dalia porridge everyday for breakfast.
    How to consume: Dalia kheer and dalia upma is what I had very frequently. It tastes well and is very good for health.
  5. Fennel seeds/ Saunf
    Fennel seeds are a great digestive. They are packed with Vitamin C and help reduce gases. They are essential for new mothers and also for babies to reduce colic. They help in promoting lactation as well.
    How to consume: Fennel seeds can be consumed as a mouth freshner or added to veggies and salads for its unique flavor. I used to consume fennel tea after every meal to make sure the food I eat is digested and baby doesn’t get colic.

These galactogogues are easy to acquire, prepare and wil definitely help you. Make sure you exclusively feed your baby for 6 months of their age and upto 2+ years until you wean them. Wishing all new mothers a happy and healthy post-partum recovery.

Disclaimer: These suggestions are for BF and expecting moms but if you have any complications or allergies, please confirm with your doctor before consuming anything.

blog is a part of #LBWP – Let’s Blog with PRI, Season 2. You can also check out blogs written by my fellow bloggers Hansa and Avin.

Hosted By : Prisha Lalwani Mummasaurus.com IG: @mummasauruss FB: /mummasaurus1

Jaggery – The Ancient Sweetener

Have you tried Gur ka sherbet in summers or Gur with ghee and roti in winters? Those flavors are something that remind us of our childhood. My Grandma had the habit of using jaggery in many recipes where sugar was required. Even our sewaiyan and kheer have always had the unique sweetness of jaggery in them. This habit to affect has been passed on in our generations. Needless to say, I still enjoy that flavor and have been continuing it with my kids.

It is said that Portuguese introduced jaggery in India during the invasion over spice trade and the name is derived from the Portuguese word “Jagara”. But according to Indian history, it is believed to originate in India itself and somewhere around the Eastern part. Hence, Ayurveda has been using jaggery for more than 3000 years now and advises the use of it on a daily basis. It is best to consume it especially during winters because it is the season for fresh supply in abundance. It has two varieties namely sugarcane jaggery and date palm jaggery. Palm jaggery is considered more sweet and more nutritious as there are very less chemicals involved in making it.

Jaggery has many vital nutrients and has innumerous health benefits.

✓Wholesome diet: Jaggery is also called wholesome diet. It contains iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, glucose, fructose, protein and fat.

✓Boosts immunity: Jaggery helps the increase of haemoglobin in your blood. It is loaded with antioxidants and minerals which help our body to resist infections.

✓Blood purifier: Jaggery is known to be one of the best blood purifiers. When consumed on regular basis but in limited quantity it helps in cleansing of blood making our bodies more healthy.

✓ Detoxifies liver: Jaggery cleanses the liver by flushing out all our toxins. It effectively detoxifies your body.

✓Treats flu-like symptoms: Gur wali Chai is very famous in winters for the same reason. Jaggery warms up your body so either have a piece of it or add it to a glass of warm water or your cup of tea as a substitute of sugar and reap it’s benefits.

✓Prevents anaemia: Jaggery is rich in iron and and folate. This keeps our red blood cells count in check and maintains our haemoglobin. Pregnant women should definitely consider having it on a daily basis.

✓Energy booster: Sugar is easily broken down by the body and provides easy but short supply of calories while jaggery takes its time to be broken down and hence the rise in energy is gradual but long lasting. So there are no risks of diabetes. It also helps in problems of fatigue.

✓Acne and pimples: Helps in treating many skin problems like acne and pimples.

Common ways to use.
Til Gur laddoos and peanut chikkis are the easiest snack that can be made for your family. Instead of using jams and spreads, offer your kids roti with jaggery and ghee. Gur ka paratha is a kids favorite. Sugar and brown sugar can be substituted by jaggery in your cakes and cookies as well as in french toasts and pancakes.
A small lemon sized piece of jaggery is a must to have after every meal or at least post-lunch to get the most of it.

This blog is a part of #LBWP – Let’s Blog with PRI, Season 2. You can also check out blogs written by my fellow bloggers Sanandita and Sindhu.

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India – The Land of Spices

India finds its unity in its diversity and all this diversity brings alot of different people, cultures, heritage and flavorful foods together. Our taste palates are developed so well since a very young age due to the amazing kind of food we have. These lip-smacking flavors come from the amazing spices that our country has to offer.

Today it is so easy to sprinkle a little pepper over your salad or add cinnamon to make cinnamon rolls but once these spices were used to pay rent.

In ancient India, silk route was the only way to trade spices and was very restrictive and more monopolized. Spice trade was subject to constant robberies, storms and shipwrecks, and piracy. Despite the setbacks, however, spices were in such great demand that the profits outweighed the risks. Pepper, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg were such a hot commodity five centuries ago that they drove nations to sail across vast oceans. These spices tipped the balance of the world by not just making merchants rich but also established vast empires.

Christopher Columbus was funded by Kings and Queens of Europe to search a quicker route to India to explore the spice trade but ended up in America. In the so called “Age of Discovery” 1498, Vasco da Gama landed in Calicut. He was the first European to link Europe and India by ocean route. His discovery of India marked the beginning of Portuguese dominion over Indian spice trade. Over 16th century, half of Indian state revenue came from West African gold and Indian pepper while the proportion of pepper greatly outweighed the gold. Later Dutch overcame the Portuguese and England overthrew both being a great power at sea. In 1600, the British East India Company was chartered by Queen Elizabeth I, and its major objective was obtaining spice cargoes. The British rule that lasted over 200 years was the darkest period of Indian history. While they exploited alot of our resources, one of the significant things they took were our spices namely black pepper, turmeric, cumin, coriander and cinnamon.

In Ancient India, Ayurveda was the way of life and sages knew about the medicinal properties of these spices and used them in ayurvedic medicines and remedies to cure many diseases and illness and even in the modern times, we still use these spices as home remedies for treating cold, cough and other ailments.

So let’s know more about our spices which India is popular world over.

Black pepper
Pepper originated in Kerala and is now used world over. It was the most expensive spice and was used as currency. Despite its spicyness, black pepper’s unique flavor is loved by all. Be it any cuisine, you will always find a dash of black pepper in it. It has a powerful high flavor note that no other spice can replicate. It is a great antioxidant.

Turmeric
Turmeric is known as the golden spice and is a core part of Ayurveda. Ayurveda recommends it over any other medicines to cure ailments. A golden latte made with milk and turmeric is a go-to at every home from older generation to the the new. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Cumin
India is one of the largest producers of cumin. Today we produce around 70% of the world supply. It has an amazing flavor and any food tempering is incomplete without it. It is an antioxidant and an antiseptic.

Coriander seeds
These are the seeds of the cilantro plant also known as coriander leaves. Its one of the main spices in the south India and used in coconut curries and other dishes. The concept of using powdered coriander seeds stemmed in India. It has anti-inflammatory properties.

Cinnamon
The British East India Company established the Anjarakandy Cinnamon Estate in Kerala, which currently is Asia’s largest cinnamon estate. They were so fond of it that they took this spice to flavor up their cakes and breads. After Independence, the spice found its way to Europe, where it is used widely in hot chocolate and to make dishes like cinnamon rolls. It has antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.

These are just 5 of the many spices that India has to offer. With their rich and unique taste, these spices have made India and Indian food popular world over. Chicken Tikka is now a very popular dish served in United States and other parts of the world and thanks to these spices our cuisine is being loved and favored world over.

This Blog post is written for “SpeakEasy Blogging Challenge 2.0” hosted by Ruchi and Dipika.