12 Baby Food Ideas For Busy Moms (6-12m)

Cooking for our little ones is one of the most satisfying activities, isn’t it? But here’s a confession, there have been days when I couldn’t provide her with nutritious meals due to my busy schedule and trust me, I used to feel extremely guilty about it. I’m pretty sure there’re many mothers who are going through the same.

There’s a famous quote by Bill Gates where he says, “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”

I’m that lazy person :p

Here are a few baby food recipes for moms of 6-12 month old babies out there! These recipes are very quick and easy, just make sure you you do your pre-preparation and planning right.

If you’re a new mom, I’d urge you to to read my article on introduction to solids (click here) to get your facts correct before you start. Also, to read my take on baby-led weaning, click here.

Before we start, here are some guidelines for you:

1. Make sure that your recipe has at least 2-3 food groups.

2. Avoid processed and packaged foods, no matter now fancy the packaging may be.

3. Your child doesn’t need sweetness or salt in his food. Try to avoid that too.

4. Dal water, rice water or basically anything just boiled in water is not a healthy option!

Let’s delve straight into the recipes now!

Age: 6-7 months (Puréed to soft mashed foods)

1. Ragi apple/mango porridge:

Boil apple and grind it into a paste. For mangoes, you can just peel and grind it.

Take some ghee and lightly roast ragi. Add this purée and gently stir it. Add some water to make a thick paste! And voila, it’s ready

2. Sweet potato and strawberry purée

Boil and grind sweet potato with fresh strawberries until a thick creamy paste is formed. My girl loved this!

3. Beet root, banana and berries smoothie

Take boiled and chopped beet root, add sliced bananas, a few berries of your choice and some homemade curd. Blend all of this together and serve.

4. Chickoo Sheera

This was my girl’s absolute favourite. Sauté some rava in ghee, add puréed Chickoo and water. And it’s ready! You can try this with mangoes too.

Age: 7-10 months (Semi-solids to solids)

By 7.5 months, my girl was eating pretty much all solids that we did. We had a smooth transition because she loved eating on her own and showed interest in what we ate.

1. Mashed Cutlets/kebabs

I remember, this was my go-to food for a long time because she used to love kebabs

Boil potatoes and chicken (or soya nuggets/pulse of your choice). You can add blanched spinach too. Mix it all and add some lemon, finely minced onion and cumin seeds. Mix it all and dip in egg (or rawa) and shallow fry. Mash if needed or give small bite size pieces to your baby.

2. Roti porridge

Take 1-2 chapatis and chop them into small pieces. Take some ghee in a vessel, sauté cumin seeds and finely chopped onions. Add some ginger garlic paste. Then add chapattis and turmeric powder to it. Once soft, add some fresh curd and voila! It’s done.

3. Vegetable Paneer khichadi

Take dal and rice in equal amounts and soak. First, take ghee in a pressure cooker. Sauté cumin seeds and add chopped onions and tomatoes. Chop a mix of veggies and paneer and add to it. Then add rice and dal and allow it to cook in until soft.

4. Oats Upma

Lightly roasted and grind instant oats. In a wok, add ghee/oil and your regular Upma ingredients like onion, tomatoes etc. Then add oats and sauté, until it’s slightly cooked. Once done, add water, cover with a lid and cook until ready.

Age: 10-12 months (Solids)

1. Instant Coconut Idlis

Mix rava and curd in equal amounts. Add desiccated coconut (easily available) or you can use fresh ground coconut too. You can also add finely grated carrots to add some colour to it. Add optimum water until the required consistency is obtained. Place in an Idli maker and steam until done.

2. Spinach Cheela

Blanch and grind spinach. Mix it with besan (chana flour). Add water, cumin seeds powder and turmeric to it. Spread like a dosa and keep flipping until both the sides are well cooked. Grate some cottage cheese (paneer) on it and give small bite size pieces to your baby. (Can be made with moong dal too).

3. Mango, papaya and dates smoothie

Chop and grind mango, papaya and dates with a little curd and water. You’ll get a smoothie which serves as great evening snack for babies.

4. Chickpea and egg yolk patties

Soak, boil and grind chickpea. In a grinder, mix it with a clove, cumin seeds, lemon and boiled egg yolk (optional). You’ll get a smooth textured thick paste after blending them together. Add chopped coriander leaves to it. Make small flat balls and shallow fry them until well cooked.

(P.S. use just egg yolk and not the white until your baby is a year old)

Hope you found these recipes useful! Please subscribe to be notified whenever I post an article! 🙂

Have a great day and happy parenting!

Love,

Elina

(P.S. Images are for representation purposes only)

My Mom Was Right!

There’s no denial to the fact that our mothers are always right. In fact, even if they aren’t sometimes, it’s always ideal to stick with the belief that they are 😀

For me and my brother, funnily enough, we had no choice. I don’t know if it was a creepy yet funny coincidence, mere childhood innocence or just our perspective of looking at things, but whenever my mom told us to do (or not do) something and we didn’t oblige, something strange happened. Not sometimes, but always! For instance, if we were watching TV after school and she wanted us to have lunch, and if we didn’t obey, there used to be a sudden power cut. Or when we played computer games and she wanted us to study, the computer used to stop working suddenly.

Now as I write this, I realise that she was probably very smart! Having a power cut or stopping the computer from working isn’t something a person can’t do 😂

Long story short, we grew up believing that mothers are always right and that we should obey them no matter what. And then, adolescence happened, which changed our mind altogether. Sadly, there were other people, books, modern scientific facts etc. which started to influence us and unlike how we felt in our childhood, our mom wasn’t the most perfect person on the planet anymore!

I then got married and found out about my pregnancy. She stood like a rock behind me and took care of me like no one else throughout. She was there beck and call for me and attended to my tiniest need!

In 9 months (which back then looked like a decade), I delivered my baby, and for her, a whole new project began- ‘Project Customary 40 Days’. Right from arranging a masseuse for me to making different varieties of food, she had everything covered.

Throughout the duration, I kept arguing with her, telling her that I don’t need massages and I don’t want special food, that I’m a normal human and want to be dealt with normally, but she insisted on doing these things because ‘they made her happy’.

After those 40 days were over and I came back home, I realised how right she has been!

Since I had a cesarean section, giving me light massages helped in early recovery and made me feel good from within. It also lowered my postpartum depression significantly, because who doesn’t find massages soothing to the nerves, afterall?

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The food I was given- i.e. hot bajra rotla (thick chapatis made of Bajra flour) topped with a dollop of ghee along with some fresh vegetable sabji, was just the right food I was supposed to eat. Bajra being high in carbohydrates gives sufficient energy and keeps us full while ghee has enough fat which ensures that the pace of digestion is slowed down- together which keeps us satiated for a long duration. The problem with lactation is that we feel hungry very often and this was her master plan to keep overeating and junk intake off the table.

Sometimes I think, no matter how alluring western lifestyle may be, but our basics are always right! And so are our moms!

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This post is a part of a blog train organised by me where I brought 20 Indian moms together to write on how their own mothers were right!

Also, make sure to check this interesting article written on the same topic by a fellow mom blogger, Nayantara (click here to reach her page)

<< t;<<< Thank you for stopping by and reading this article! Take care and happy mothering! Love, Elina

5 Quick Indoor Exercises for Busy Moms: Beginner Level 

As much there is a burning desire to lose weight and look fit again, the truth is- getting back in shape post pregnancy is a real challenge! Especially if you’re put up in a nuclear family and if you’re single handedly managing it all, finding the time to go to the gym is close to impossible!

If you’re facing the same challenge, I’ve a solution for you!

Sharing with you all 5 easy indoor exercises that won’t take much time and will help you tone up your body and lose some fat too. Try performing these regularly for at least a month to see a visible difference in yourself. Good luck!

Here we go!

1. Push Ups


Image courtesy: Popsugar Fitness

Method: Lie on your tummy and lift it from the ground while firmly supporting your body on your palms and toes.

Reps recommended: 10-15

2. Chair Dips


Image source: Rodale Wellness

Method: Sit on a chair holding the edges with both your hands. Slowly slide down with your arms behind you still holding the chair. Keep yourself in the position as long you can abd get back up. 

Reps recommended: 20

3. Mountain Climbers


Image source: Popsugar Fitness

Method: Get in a plank position and rest your arms on the floor. Lift your left leg and try to bring your knee to your right chest. Perform the same vice versa.

Reps recommended: 10-15

4. Step Ups

Image source: Popsugar Fitness

Method: You’ll need a stool/some wooden blocks/chunky books or basically anything that will stay still and provide you with the required height. All you have to do is- step up with one foot and bring the second one beside it. Stay for a few seconds and step down in the same manner.

Reps recommended: 30

5. Lateral Hops


Image source: Popsugar Fitness

Method: It’s a simple side to side hop wherein basically you have to make small lateral jumps. Easy and effective.

Reps recommended: 30

If you’re a bavywearer, there some awesome exercises that will help you OTB significantly more. Stay tuned because ok sharing those too!

Thanks for stopping by! Try religiously performing these and let me know if you could see a difference in yourself 🙂

Have a great day ahead.

Love,

Elina

The Hairfall Story- Why it happens and how can you treat it?


If you’re a mom and you didn’t face this, girl, you’re lucky! 😀

Generally after 3-4 months of delivery, most moms face postpartum hair loss. In fact, I’ve lost so much hair in this one month, that I feared I’ll go bald! (FYI: that never happens, no matter how crazy your Hairfall is!) 

It’s is a major concern for most moms, especially if their hair is scanty and thin like mine. Hence, I did a little research to jot down why this happens and how can you control it!

  • Generally our hair goes through two phases- Growth phase and resting phase 
  • Normally, 85-90% of our hair is in growth phase and 10-15% is in resting phase, which is why we lose around 100 strands a day and that’s perfectly normal.
  • During pregnancy, our estrogen levels rise, thus freezing the resting phase. This is the reason why women generally during pregnancy have long, thick and lustrous hair.
  • After delivery, the estrogen levels collapse and a lot of hair go in resting phase, this is why women start shedding way more hair than they normally do. 

There’s not much you can do to reverse it, but yes, there are a few things that’ll make your existing hair look healthier!

  • Oil your hair as much possible with a mix of almond oil, castor oil and coconut oil.
  • Make hair masks of ingredients that are known for maintenance of healthy hair- like eggs, banana, curd, henna etc.
  • Include proteins in your diet- that will go a long way in giving your hair optimal nutrition.
  • Protect them from direct sunlight.
  • Decrease your hair length. It’ll give them an illusion of bouncy healthy hair and will also be easier for you to maintain! 

The good news is that this is a temporary condition and your hair growth will be normal by the time it’s your child’s first birthday, so rejoice! U 😀

Exclusive Breastfeeding and Fasting in the Month of Ramadan

When asked if I’m fasting while still nursing my 4 month old, who is still exclusively on my milk, my reply often gets a jaw dropped expression. Yes, I do, and with absolutely no problem, Alhamdulillah 🙂

Many are worried about the supply being reduced, or milk composition being affected and so I thought to jot down a few points which I gathered after tons of research in this area. I’m a qualified nutritionist, and I don’t derive any conclusion without research from authentic sources, so you can trust me with my words 🙂

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Firsty, according to the law of Shariah, pregnant and lactating women are EXEMPTED from fasting and can choose to do so if they’re able to keep their health good and if they’re comfortable with it. So there’s no hard and fast rule here, but I chose to fast because:

1. I’m never motivated to compensate for the missed fasts because there’s no company

and

2. I love fasting. Yes. Though it might sound very taxing or difficult, I feel fasting rejuvenates me in some way. I’m way more active and focused while I fast 🙂

For all those confused or worried, I’ve jotted down all the common questions and answered them individually. If you have any more queries, feel free to ask in the comment section and I’d be more than happy to help.

Q. Will fasting affect the quality and quantity of the milk?

This might surprise you, but no, milk production is not affected, unless the fast exceeds 24hrs, which never happens. I’ve even noticed forceful let down on a couple of occasions while fasting, so I’m sure about this part! Talking about the quality or nutrients, only a few micro nutrients like zinc, phosphorus and magnesium are slightly on the lower side, but the macronutrients remain unchanged.

Q. Will I not be dehydrated?

There’s a possibility of dehydration if your water intake is not maintained well. But if you try to compensate for the liquids during the non-fasting period i.e. From Iftaar to the following suhoor, it can be managed well and will not result in dehydration. However, if you notice any of the signals (mentioned below), it’s best to break your fast.

Q. How will I know I should break or skip my fast?

If you notice any of these symptoms or signals, I would strongly suggest you to not consider fasting since your body may not be prepared for it:

1. Weakness or dizziness

2. Yellow or dark coloured urine

3. Nausea

4. Splitting headache

Or if you notice any signs in the baby such as incessant crying due to hunger, constipation or green coloured poop, less playful or active than usual etc.

Note that the chances of this happening are very bleak since milk is produced from blood and storage we already have and it’s the sucking reflex that increases the production, but still, if you observe any of the above, I would strongly advice you to take a break for a day or two and see if fasting is the reason for the occurrence and then judge accordingly.

And guess what? You may also lose upto 1kg per week while breastfeeding and fasting without affecting the nutrient composition of the milk if you make sure to eat healthy. However, if notice weight loss more than 1kg/week, it would be best to discontinue fasting and you should probably see your doctor.

I have, so far, managed my fasts pretty well and never felt low or ill, hence I can say this with assurance that if you eat well and stay hydrated, you can fast and stay healthy too 🙂