Monday, June 25, 2012

Recipe for pappu annam (paripu sadam) for 6 month old

Here is the recipe for Pappu Annam (dal-rice) Actually, people in India start feeding infants with cereal after they complete 3rd month itself. So, by the time the annaprasanna is done in 6th month, kids are usually ready for mashed rice. I started Megha with cereal only after she competed 5 months. Needless to say, she is just not ready to take anything even with a little bit of grain. Anyway, here is the recipe. It's fairly simple. My sil showed me how to do it. It was her who fed her rice for the first time after annaprasanna but Megha didn't like the taste at all. poor thing, sil really did mash it well and tried it but no luck.

Rice: 2 tbsp Dal (toor dal/kandi or moong dal): 1 tbsp Salt: a pinch (optional) Ghee: 3 drops Soak rice and dal in water for 30 mins. Pressure cook with a lot of water. I usually keep for 4 whistles and it comes out fine. 

 It's not advisable to feed salt to babies. But almost everyone in India does it. We (sil and I) tried feeding Megha without salt and she just wouldn't have it. So we gave in and added a little salt and a little ghee (homemade).  Initially I mashed it and gave it to her. She was revolted by the taste, even though I mashed it thoroughly. Aftr 2 days of failure, my sister vineeela  suggested that I use mixer grinder and grind it fine.

That's what I did and voila! She had 6 spoons! I know, it's not much but at least it's a start! After feeding her 6 spoons, she made some chocking sounds. So, I stopped and fed her the oat cereal until she is full. That's how the journey to rice began. I am not planning on giving her rice again until  3 weeks. I want to introduce veggies and fruits slowly. Just wanted to make sure she eats rice, that's how the introduction to the flavor started.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The little heart

The little heart It took so long to write about him; yes, I am talking about my nephew, Shiv Karthik. Oh what joy it was to see him!  It was 10 months since I had seen him last and he had grown up soooo much! I was joking saying that in the next couple of years he will be as tall as I am; maybe I shouldn't joke about it. Maybe it's just true :)

He started talking and one of the first words I heard from him was his wishes for Mothers day! He did me proud. His wishes were one of the first besides Megha's. He said those words soooo sweetly I just can't forget.  The day he came home (for Megu's annaprasanna) he was a little shy. Owing to the long flight he hardly came to speak with me. But the next day was a different story. He spoke so much and he also showed how a dinosaur shouts :) he also says Meeeega in the cutest way possible :)

The next day he was feeling unwell (cough); he went to the doctors but he was a brave kid. He took the medication and was playing like a toddler. He cried from time to time when he thought his mom went away leaving him alone but the moment we distract him with a toy, he was playing again.  He loved the toddler mum mum biscuits we had brought. I am glad I picked them up as he was snacking on those when the adults were indulging with a samosa.

In the evening we (anand and i) took him to a park and he played just fine!! Thought he would cry when he didn't see his mom but he played just fine. I am glad he enjoys outdoors.  Below is my FAVORITE  picture.

 I got to feed him dal rice mixed with ghee and a little samosa stuffing. Oh it was soooo yummy! Something about kids food I must say, it's just so yum! I made him (and of course for my sil and bil) banana bread the day he was leaving and he seemed to like it. When the time came for him to leave, I was feeling so sad. I wish he had stayed a little longer. But perhaps when he grows up a little, his mom wouldn't mind leaving him here with us for a couple of weeks in summer. What say Shanti?

Monday, June 18, 2012


Megha's Annaprasann, Friday 01June2012
According to our Hindu tradition, there are a few 'samskaras' (duties, if you may) which we need to (rather, try to) do for our children. I was told that the first one starts with seemantham (Godh Bharayi) where a priest will do some prayers for the well being of the fetus and its healthy delivery. Post delivery, the first ceremony which we do to our child is Punyajanam (naming ceremony). The second one after delivery is Annaprasanna, first introduction to solids. Anna-rice, prasanna-starting.
Its either done on 6th month 6th day or the day which is good according to the birth star of the baby,

After checking with elders in our family and according to Megha's birth star, 1st June was the best date we could find and so we decided its the date we will do her annaprasanna. Her Aunt, uncle and cousin flew over from Calgary for this occasion. 

After much discussion and persuasion (by Anand), we decided to cook for all our guests. It was so overwhelming in the beginning but once we started the process there was no looking back. Of course the menu can consist of anything, there is no hard and fast rule as to how many verities we should cook. Below is our menu (Apart from beans and Channa masala, it was all Anand's cooking while I was caring for Megu)...hey, before you tell me off, I did help him in chopping veggies :) that must count, isnt it? 

Channa Masala
Gobi mattar
(We chose the above 3 because they freeze well)
Drumsticks & brinjal fry
Curd Rice
White Rice
Appalam (papad)
Paruppu Payasam (Moong dal ki Kheer)

We got so many compliments from everyone for homemade food!! Our SIL and BIL helped us a LOT the next day in arranging for the Puja. I was so busy with Megha and they (along with Anand and two other close friends) pretty much took over which helped me in attending to the guests. 
If you ever plan of cooking yourselves for the party, make sure you have enough time to defrost (if you are freezing food). 

I dressed up Megha in Pattu pavadi and she was looking like an (Indian) angel! She managed to wipe off her pottu (bindi) not once but twice :) her cousin Karthy was also wearing traditional cloths and he was looking so handsome. 

My SIL started off the puja. I made chekkara pongal (sweetrice with jaggery) and parripu sadam (dal rice) as suggested by my mother in law and my SIL made kesari to start off Megha's solids.

Megha sat in my BIL's lap as is our custom and Anand fed her, her first ever grain of rice followed by me and SIL. Everyone blessed us.

Like I said, lunch was a huge success. We packed up most of the leftovers for our guests and everyone were so happy to be there. When the last of the guests have gone, we did a quick clean up...well I couldnt do much as Megha kept waking from her afternoon nap. Anand, SIL and BIL did the cleaning up.

Megha received so many gifts but the highlight was the gifts she received from her aunt. She was showered with soooo many cute outfits and a lot of jewellery. As the day came to an end, my SIL and BIL did another quick puja to get ri of any evil eye (dishti/nazar).

Thus ended a beautiful day and thus began Megha's journey to solids.

I couldnt have asked for a better way to get this done. I am sooo happy that my SIL, BIL and my nephew came all the way for this. A big thanks to them. A big thanks to Anand as well for pulling this off so well on short notice. A HUGE thanks to Megha for being such a sweetheart that she is! Cant wait to share with her all her milestones.  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Yummy in her lappy

Yummy in her lappy 19May2012: I am delighted to share with you all that Megha had 1 full tbsp of cereal today! And it only took me 45 mins to feed her! Wow!  On the down side, she has this habit of keeping her (index) finger in her mouth for all sorts of reasons. If she is hungry, her hand goes in; if she is sleepy, her hand goes in; if she wants to play, her hand goes in; if she is bored, her hand goes get my point?  So after I fed her, I knew for a fact that she would keep her finger in and throw out everything. So, I hurried to fill the water in her cereal bowl so that it wont dry and by the time I returned, guess what happened? That's right. Yummy in her lappy happened! He somehow decided that she will keep her finger in her mouth in the 10 secs I have gone away from her. Since its soon after eating, most of it came out. So, I am not sure if I should actually be delighted that she ate 1 full tbsp or sad that atleast half of it came out.
 (background picture! like it? Anand and I)
When my first nephew (Jayeesh) was about an year old, my sis used to feed him this. Some days at the end of it she would lightly give a little spank on his bum. I used to get upset with her saying, "I don't understand why you do that. He is a kid...sometimes kids throw up". Well, now I understand..after trying to feed him for 1 hour, if he does this, no wonder his bum gets a tiny spank(of course that's still no reason to spank).

Home Remedy for Digestion

Digestion tip!! Like its been followed by many generations, I give gripe water to Megha in evenings and on the days when she is being fussy. It is said that gripe water improves digestion.  Apart from that, my mom in law told me another tip.  Boil 1 jeera (jeerakam/cumin/ jilakara) in water, strain it and give while feeding her cereal. Since boiling 50 ml would put me at the risk of evaporating all the water, I boil 2 jeera's in 100 ml water and give that to Megha during feeding time. Yes, she does not have a problem with indigestion at all (touch wood).  Her poop was also normal. What a relief! Constipation and indigestion was what I was worried about but thank God, neither of them affected Megu.

Note: I usually boil jeera in very little bottled water and mix it with the remaining water after i boil it (that will keep the water taste intact). If you are using tap water, you can boil all of the 100 ml. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

First Trip to ER :( Monday, 4th June

A day where no parent ever want to be! Megha had a little nasal congestion (cold) since 2 weeks. It was only a little bit and it was tapering off by the time we had her Annaprasanna (will post later about this). I am not sure if its because of too many people during the function or its because I gave her quarter of a ripe banana (apparently we are not supposed to give bananas to babies when they have cold). The congestion aggregated on Sunday evening and it has become so bad that we had to rush her to the emergency in the wee hours of Monday morning.

The doctor checked her lungs, ears and eyes and told us that there is no infection. Phew, what a relief. However, since she has cold, she has trouble breathing. For that the doctor didnt advise anything which we were not already doing. i.e keep giving her saline drops (nasal sea water drops), squeeze out the mucus, keep her elevated while she sleeps, apply vicks and use humidifier in the room.
By Monday evening she started getting high fever (37.8 C) and vomiting along with cold. We bought some homoeopathic medicine which didnt really work on her. We gave her Tylenol which she was vomiting. She really suffered a lot. For the very first time since she was born, she was crying so much; More so because we put saline drops for her and tried to get the mucus out.

Anand and I took turns and held her upright pretty much all night long (well Anand was with her in the night and I took over from 4 AM). I was hoping that Tuesday (Anand took a day off) would be better. It was better but only by a very teeny bit.

Today also she has fever but about 37.2 which is good compared to two days ago, occasional vomiting and persistent cold.

One of our friends brought me some Ajwain (perungaayam) and told me that I need to boil it in water and feed her...supposed to help. I am trying that tonight.
I took a picture of her lying down elevated but its so heart breaking to see her that way! I cannot post it hear and make my parents, sis and sis-in-law cry. She already lost weight and her cheeks have shrunk :(

My friend told me that every mom must have gone through what we are going through and that we will come out of it soon. I cant wait for her to be better again.