Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Benefits of probiotics for kids

Happy Wednesday to all. Very happy to march towards a long weekend. I am pretty sure most of you must have plans for the long weekend or some of you might have been just back from vacations and use this weekend to rejuvenate.

Before my kids were born I had no idea about antibiotics and probiotics. I have hardly taken any medicines in India other than Crocin for fever and our  family doctor always gave us  white tablets in a small brown cover and no one dared to ask what it contained. We just blindly followed what he said. More than the medicine, if I visit the doctor itself I would feel better.

Later with my son whenever he had ear infection or any other bacterial infection the doctor always prescribed antibiotics. During a stage of his life he was on antibiotics for more than 3 months. His stomach used to be affected a lot and our doctor asked us to give him more yogurt. This is when my curiosity on this topic increased.

As I started reading more about the bacteria in our system I came to know about good and bad bacteria and what happens when there is an imbalance between them in our digestive system . Then I understood that  antibiotics not only kill the bad bacteria that causes infection, it also kills the good bacteria in our system. So it is required to take probiotics as it strengthens the immune system.So it is very much required to give a probiotics to kids on a daily basis.

 Florastor Probiotic for kids  is what we use  and have seen excellent results. These are the scenarios I would immediately give my kids this probiotic
*Whenever their stools are loose could be even due to teething.
*When they are sick and are on antibiotics.
*When they have severe diarrhea
*When they have allergies
*We carry this to India . Last time when we went to India, I gave 2 packs one in the morning and one in the evening along with yogurt to my son and he never got sick even if he ate out.
In fact it is really a good idea to take a probiotic for adults too whenever you are travelling. We also carry this Culturelle probiotic for adults when we go to India. We will pop a tablet and eat even on road side shops and our tummy never gets affected. We also take it on a regular basis even when not travelling.

As always check with your doctor on the dosage. My doctor told me it is really good to give kids a lot of yogurt everyday to maintain the good bacteria's in the digestive system. On occasions where you feel just yogurt is not enough then you can always give probiotics 2 pack a day. Please share your thoughts on this.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Should we really ban circus???

Hello All, Hope all of you had a very nice weekend. My weekend was very  busy . On Saturday we went to the circus at Frank Erwin Center and then to a birthday party. Sunday we had other things to get done and by Monday morning I was very very tired.

If you are looking to buy a juice for your kids with less sugar I highly recommend this  Honest kids juice. We buy this and  add it to a part of my son's snack at school. Please comment below some of the snack items that you send as snack for  your kids. I am currently running out of ideas and have to switch my sons snacks as he is getting a little bored with the routine ones except this juice :)

On Saturday we went to the Circus. This is my first experience watching circus as an adult. As a kid I have been to circus multiple times in India and enjoyed it so much. So when we heard that circus is going to be to Austin my husband immediately booked the tickets and we were all excited to go and watch the show. My son was a very good boy the whole of last week in order to enjoy the circus show on Saturday. We told him about the animals and then showed some videos so he doesn't get scared.

On Saturday we went to the venue and as we were walking toward the theater we saw some people holding signs "Ban circus as they ill-treat animals ". It was something new to me. I have never seen circus from that point of view.
Then we got into the auditorium. The show started and my kids enjoyed every part where an animal was involved. We saw elephants, tigers , horses and dogs.But when I saw those animals I could see a fear in them,  for every beat of the music they had to perform correctly. In-fact I got tears in my eyes after I saw the tigers act. I was wondering if these tigers even knew they were tigers for real.
I came out with a heavy heart. The elephants also didn't look that well fed. Then one of our friend told us that they drug most of the ferocious animals for safety reasons. This whole circus experience was very new to me. I really pity the animals and I doubt if I would take my kids again to a circus show. Please share your thoughts on this.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Is going to India from US with 2 young kids for 3 weeks classified as vacation??

Hello everyone...This week has been really busy .Happy that it is "Friday". In summer, weekends are also busy. I really feel like I need a longer break and the magic word is "Vacation".

If any of you are travelling and looking for some sale on baggage, this is a sweet deal on Olympia 30 inch baggage. It has very good reviews. Its original price is $164. With 47% off it is only $86.94.

After thinking through different places for vacation most of us (Indians) finally decide  to go to India. Around four years back when it was just me and my husband I used to be all excited about the idea.Now I see "going to India"  as a relay race with so many hurdles. Let us see all the hurdles one by one

*Get the vacation dates approved and book the tickets (Later feel wow tickets for 4 people is expensive)
*Next hurdle to cross is getting the  "visa documents" ready and book the visa appointment dates.
*Then do the required shopping.
*Packing : This is a big one. Have to carry most of the required ones for the 3-4 weeks we travel. Especially when you have kids it is a difficult task.
*Finally when the day to leave arrives put a Face Book status update that you are going to India. Then promise some friends to meet there. The "flight journey" which is 24 hours is really scary with kids. It is hard to keep the kids in a confined space.I have done it with just one kid. I am yet to know how it would be with a toddler and a 4 year old.
* Hopefully the flights are on time and land in India safely.
*The first week goes with jet lag and sleep deprived. Kids also are cranky.
* Attend the visa interview and pray that we get the passports before the date we have to  leave.
*Travel between parents and in-laws place.
*Carry mineral water everywhere.
*Somehow get out of the jet lag  during second week.
* Then go to pilgrimage tours. Pray that no one gets sick, welfare of family  and also we should get back to US safe.
*Third week is when you start doing the shopping of list of all items that you want to get back.
*Pack them all and hopefully passport is back.
*End of the trip feel like want to go back home and sleep in our bed in US.
*On the day of leaving, feel really bad to leave the loved ones so many miles away.
*On the flight the thoughts that flash are  "What am I doing??, Why dont I go back to India?? , Kids will enjoy their grand parents if we go back..Our parents are getting older can see them slowing down cant even go and look at them every year".
*Finally reach US and be jet lagged again. Load yourself with coffee and get back to work.
*Answer all colleagues when they ask about your vacation as "I enjoyed my vacation and had a wonderful time".
 Come on what are we all trying to do here. I never treat going to India as a vacation. I cant deny I have some very nice moments and memories, but the whole process is too hectic to call it a vacation. When someone tells me that they did nothing on  a vacation I would really envy that. We Indians try to be over achievers in everything right from education to work to vacation. Now I understand why most of my uncles and aunts who have kids never visit India frequently. Is there any way to make this simpler?? Please share your thoughts.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

What is the last name of Okra??

What an amazing weekend. Was out most of the weekend to attend baby shower, birthday parties and visited and had some guests over.Was very busy and I didn't realize when the weekend started and ended.One more reason for weekends to get busier is the classes. We just started our son for his swimming classes and I already see some part of my weekend taken away. August has been the busiest month with respect to birthday parties. We have one more next weekend to attend :).

There is an amazing deal going on for the Royal India restaurant in Groupon. We have been there once and we like it. Click me to see the groupon advertisement.Also if you have read this post General energy and money saving tips, I have mentioned that during winters it is a good idea to have personalized space heater. I found this with $20 off on amazon and has good reviews Lasko ceramic heater tower with remote control. If all of you including kids sleep in the same room just like us if you have this space heater you can maintain your home little colder. That way you dont heat the whole house.

Happy Krishna Jayanthi to everyone and today's topic is something about what my little Krishna told me today. My son really loves okra. We grow okra plants  in our veggie garden and he helps my husband water it and pluck the good ones.Usually as soon as I get 5-6 Okras I make sambar and my son will be very very happy to eat it with dosa. Now I am collecting more so I can make a curry out of it.

                                                Our yield so far from the okra plants

My son asked me today why I haven't made the "okra sambar" for a while. I told him I am collecting more so I can make "okra curry". He got very upset and asked me not to call okra with that last name. I didn't understand what he was saying. He told me "Amma listen, Okra's last name is sambar and broccoli, potato and cabbage's last name is "curry". I was wonder struck. I didn't know he interprets first and last name for the dishes we make.  This is how little minds work???. To read more about topics related to kids click here.Have a nice week ahead and stay tuned :)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

What is #ICE BUCKET Challenge and ALS??

Hello everyone..Hope you all are having a wonderful week. Mine is very busy and also tiring.

The main job that really takes a lot of my time and very difficult to do is cleaning after dinner. With small kids it is getting tougher and tougher. The only thing that saves me is the hand vacuum that I have. Amazon also has very good 50% off on hand vacuums now. Black+Decker hand vacuum , this one is pretty good and has excellent reviews. With the sale it is 30$ off, so you get $69.99 vacuum for only $39.99 and it is the perfect price for free shipping.

Many of you must have seen celebrities pouring a bucket of ice on their head for a cause and donating money to an organization. I was very surprised to see CEO's of big companies doing it and also nominating/challenging CEO's of other companies take do it within 24 hours and also donate to ALS. Some of the celebrities who took the challenge are Mark Zukerberg (CEO of Face Book), Satya Nadella (CEO of Microsoft),  Dick Costolo (CEO of twitter), Phil Schiller (Vice President of Global marketing @apple inc). After taking the challenge they have nominated Larry Page, Tim Cook , Reed Hastings and other celebrities to take it. Here is the clip of Mark Zukerberg taking the challenge

I went ahead to read what ALS is all about. It is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal chord. Basically what it means is that the nerve cells between the brain and spinal chord and various parts of the body weaken and slowly the person gets paralyzed and dies. There are so many people diagnosed with this disease every year and there is only one medicine that helps to slow down the rate at which the cells degenerate but no cure. With all the money collected through this #ICE BUCKET challenge they are aiming to find a cure for this disease.
There are so many other diseases that we are unaware. I really feel sad for the  person diagnosed with such diseases and their  family , since these types of diseases will completely change the mood and tone of every member in the family.I am really happy that something like this is getting some attention and it is all over the social media. Hope all this serves the purpose. Please share your thoughts on this.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Why should you cook your own food??

Hello friends..Happy Rakshabandan and Avani Avitam . I cooked a nice lunch today with vadai and kheer. But the whole cleaning process  after that took a long time. As I was cleaning the dishes I was just thinking about our maid in India.My mom used to be just tired cooking, but the maid would take care of cleaning. Here I have to do the cleaning part too. All these questions rose in my mind
*Why dont we make our cooking process easier??
*Why am I wasting my whole weekend just cooking and cleaning??
*May be I should make some changes to what we eat??

After I was done with cleaning , I started browsing through Facebook  and one of my friend posted this amazing video about goodness of home cooking.

The professor in this video clearly explains how the whole fast food industry came into picture and why we should not rely on these industries to get our dinner. With this fast paced world we all think that we dont have time for cooking. But just listen to this video and it might help you have a new perspective about it.

Eating out is in the rise everywhere. Last time when we visited India I was surprised by the amount of people eating out on a weekday. Earlier when I was little my parents used to take us out on rare occasions, mostly only on weekends and now it is very different.
Also this video made my day and made me feel better. In my household I make sure at least 90% of what my family eats is home made and I try to make it healthy to some extent. I never buy frozen veggies or any canned foods. I always like to make my own yogurt and grind idly/dosa batter to avoid the preservatives in them. I like cooking as I am creating something new. My main aim on doing all this is not to live longer, but to be more active and mobile and give myself enough work :)  and on top of all, a feeling of satisfaction. Please do share your thoughts on this. Check other posts related to this topic here General tips.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Beware of your surroundings in a gas could be easily looted

Hello everyone..It is almost Thursday and weekend is so close. I am always  more happy on Thursday's as we start planning for the weekend on Thursday.Had a normal day at work and played with my kids for a while in the evening.

For people in South Austin there is a good deal going on Wazoos inflatable if you take your kids to bouncy castle often this is a great deal. This is valid fro 4 months so you can take your kids there during winter too for indoor play.

Whenever you pump in any gas station make sure you dont pay the full gas price. Read this post fro more info Never pay full price at the Gas station. Apart from this you have to be very careful. These are the things that you are supposed to keep in mind when you pump gas in a gas station :
    *Never leave your purse/wallet on the passenger car seat take it along with you
    *Never leave your phone in the car when you get down to pump.
    *Lock the car if possible after you get down to pump.

Cops have found a new type of robbers called "sliders" who just come in another car, park close to your car while you are pumping at the gas station and slowly open your car door from the other side take your belongings and drive away. Their main targets are "LADIES" who are alone. You will not even realize that you are robbed. Watch this below video to know more


Be very careful. After I watched the video I realized that I do all the things that I am not supposed to and I  have been lucky. But I cant rely on luck always. I am making a mental note to be more careful about what I do in a gas station. Please share your thoughts on this.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Fakeness in everything??

Hello everyone...Hope all is well. Had a very busy weekend with so many events to attend and friends visiting us. Just sailing through the week to get to the next weekend to relax.

One of our friends gave us raving reviews about chrome-cast to  project videos from laptop/phone  on to TV. Here is the link to it Google chrome-cast for streaming HDMI videos.

Recently I read an article about the various "fake foods" produced in China. I was very shocked and could not believe what I was reading. Earlier in India , my grandfather had farm lands and they produced their own rice, vegetables and owned a cow from which they got milk. My mom told me all these stories and she complained that there were no variety on vegetables. It used to be only okra, brinjal or  plantain. I kind of envy that life on seeing and hearing the things happening now due to the conversion of farmlands into concrete buildings.

Some of the products that the article claimed to be  produced fake in China are:
*Rice: It is believed that a mixture of potato, sweet potato and plastic resin is used to produce fake rice .
*Egg: The chalk powder is used to make the outer shell and then some chemicals are mixed and injected into the shell to make fake eggs. You will know they are fake once you break it.
*Beef: Pork is marinated with some synthetic beef extract and after 90  minutes it becomes like beef.
*Infant formula: There was a case in 2009 where 47 people accused of selling fake infant formula.
*Noodles: Mostly wax is used in manufacturing noodles. Also ink is used to stain the noodles to believe that they are made from potatoes and sweet potatoes.

Wow after reading I started to research on what all we buy and is it fake or real. Come on , I have heard of adulteration in food. This seems even a step ahead and the food is not what you believe it is. I have serious doubts about the world our kids might have to deal with. Dont even want to think about it !!!!. Please share your thoughts and comments on this.

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