Parenting with Positivism : Issue 3

The Diwali or Deepavali festival marks the victory of good over evil. Mythological speaking, The Goddess of Prosperity, Maa Lakshmi is worshipped, and we also celebrate the homecoming of Lord Rama to Ayodhaya after slaying Ravana and a 14 year exile, as mentioned in The Ramayana. While you get all set to celebrate the festival of diyas and lights, make sure you coach and guide your children to conquer the evil within. Spending some quality family time is a must for all parents. Make sure you do it this Diwali!

Activities for Children

Find ways in which children can be involved in preparing for Diwali and making most of this family time. Let them share this day with their family and friends, to develop their personal and social needs and understanding about the world. Following are some tips:

Diwali story: Sit with your children and narrate to them the famous mythological stories associated with Diwali. Explain them the reasons of celebrating this festival.
Rangoli: Let children explore bright ecofriendly rangoli colours. Guide them to do painting by doing rangoli patterns experimenting with blocks, colours and marks. You can buy readymade rangoli pattern stencils from the market and ask children to make rangoli using it. Ask children to help you choose the colours of their choice.
Dressing up and decoration: Children will be dancing and dressing up, which plays a very important part in many festivals and celebrations. Ask them to help you decide your clothes for the day. Ask children to help you decorate the house by assisting you with cleaning of diyas and placing wicks in them.
Food preparations: Prepare some popular Diwali sweets and involve your child in the process of tasting and decorating and even preparing. It’s festival time, and bring out the little chefs!
Control firecrackers: Let your child know about the hazards of using crackers. Noise pollution, air pollution, hazardous chemicals, dangers of bursting crackers and so on. Educate them, but let them make their own decision after your education!
Social awareness: Encourage your child to spend some time with underprivileged children. Let him/her distribute sweets; donate old clothes, stationary, games, etc. to the needy children. Maybe plan a trip to an orphanage or an old age home. Spread the happiness beyond your immediate family.

Precaution during bursting firecrackers

There may be a situation where children would want to burst firecrackers. Make sure it is done in moderation, and with tremendous caution. Fireworks are fun to launch, and even more fun to watch! It’s important to set a good example by maintaining safety.

  • Always use fireworks outdoors. Using them indoors is dangerous.
  • Do not hold lit fireworks in your hand. Don’t attempt to launch bottle rockets, light and throw firecrackers, etc.
  • Keep a water bucket around.
  • Avoid synthetic and loose clothes.
  • Dump water on chain explosives. Even after they have gone off, the smoldering firecrackers still present a fire hazard. They should be left to soak outdoors in a bucket of cold water, and disposed of carefully the next day.
  • Stand back from all fireworks once they are lit.
  • Don’t allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode at any time.
  • Don’t keep extra crackers in your pocket.

Children because of their impulsive nature are particularly vulnerable this time of the year and should always be supervised. It’s imperative to lay down some ground rules for them.

First Aid in case of any mishap

If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don’t allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage. Also, don’t flush the eye out with water or attempt to put any ointment on it. Instead, immediately seek medical attention — If it’s a burn, remove clothing from the burned area and run cool, not cold, water over the burn (do not use ice). Call your doctor immediately. For serious burns, rush to the emergency room right away.

Eating healthy during festival

The festival of lights is all about fun and partying but we should not forget health in the heady spirit of celebration. Diwali, the biggest festival of the year has arrived. This festival means sweets, chocolates and all sort of rich food available in abundance for children. Along with this comes anxiety of letting children loose on too much of sweets etc. which could lead to health issues. To avoid these fun spoilers and reduce the panic, given below are some tips which can be followed to maintain healthy diet for children, and let them enjoy the festive savouries too.

  • Make homemade sweets and keep them in airtight containers. It would be a relaxed Diwali knowing that children are not eating sweets made with adulterated ingredients.
  • Plan a menu with the children a week in advance and allot work to them. This will encourage them to help in preparing these savouries and eating them too.
  • Use jaggery, cow milk and soya milk as much as possible to cut down the fat content.
  • Stock on fruits and nuts and encourage children to eat them during snack breaks.
  • Make sure to make healthy and filling breakfast every morning for the kids, as during the Diwali break children run around a lot due to the festive mood.
  • Carry homemade sandwiches and snacks while traveling for distributing gifts and festival shopping. It’s better to take out time for preparing these as opposed to binging on unhealthy food outside.
  • Create a nutritional colourful chart detailing the snacks to be eaten and paste it in the children’s room. It will add on to their knowledge and also encourage them to ask for them, as children ask for things which they see.
  • Go for walks in the morning and take children along. Fresh air and exercise would help maintain the calorie count.
  • Drink water regularly, preferably warm water to flush out waste from body.

Tiffin ideas

After Diwali festivities, kids would want the savories to continue in their tiffin boxes also. Here are some tips that might help you keep the taste buds while being healthy!

  • Keep it uncomplicated. Keep the tiffin wholesome, but dry. This way, your kid will not fear the lunch break getting a bit too messy. Paneer, cheese, or vegetable sandwiches are always a safe bet.
  • Take your child into confidence when planning the tiffin. They liked the pakoras during Diwali? Great. Maybe a piece of pakora along with an apple won’t be too bad!
  • Make stuffed paranthas of different kinds and roll it up in wrap so that eating the same becomes convenient. The same can be done with any vegetable and chapatti. Just take care to make is with minimum oil. Try using olive oil as much as possible.
  • Prepare the tiffin menu on Sunday.
  • Pack tiffin of raw veggies like carrots, bell peppers, baby corn with a spicy or cheesy dip. Variations in it will keep your kids happy, and also provide them with some health quotient.
  • Add leftover Diwali nuts as part of the tiffin to aim at wholesome meal.

Quick recipe

Homemade Doodh Peda/Milk Peda

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups of milk powder
  • 400 grams Condensed milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom powder
  • 1/4 cup butter or ghee, melted
  • A few sliced pistachios

Method

  • In a wide nonstick pan, combine the condensed milk and milk powder and mix it into a smooth paste without any lumps. It should be like a thick idli batter. Add in the cardamom powder, ghee or butter into the mixture and stir to combine well.
  • Place the pan on medium heat and stir continuously until it becomes a thick batter. Turn off the heat as soon as the mixture thickens and you see it leaving the sides of the pan. The process will be a little hard, as the mixture will thicken up quickly. The mixture will thicken further when it is cooling down.
  • Once it becomes thick and leaves the sides of the pan turn off the heat and transfer the peda dough to another bowl and allow it to cool to a temperature such that you can use your hands to knead them.
  • Once cooled, knead the peda dough until smooth and fluffy. You can add a little ghee to knead if the peda’s are too hard. Divide the dough into small lemon sized balls. Make an impression with the thumb in the center and place a piece of pistachio in the center.
    Serve the delicious Doodh Pedas as a snack or make them during festivals like Diwali.

Coconut Burfi Recipe (Kopra Pak/ Fresh Coconut Fudge)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups freshly grated coconut
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder

Method

  • To begin making the Coconut Burfi Recipe, we will first make the sugar syrup. In a medium size sauce pan; stir in the sugar and water with heat on medium. Once the sugar has melted continue to boil the sugar mixture until the liquid reaches a two string consistency.
  • To know the right consistency – do the cold water candy test. Take few tablespoons of water in a cup; add a drop of sugar syrup to water. If it holds its shape like a softball and doesn’t dissolve into water then it’s at the right consistency.
  • Add the grated coconut, milk and cardamom powder to the sugar syrup. With the heat on medium continue stirring frequently to prevent the mixture from sticking to the pan.
  • In 10 to 15 minutes, the mixture will thicken and will come away from the sides of the pan. This happens with the coconut releasing its oil. At this stage turn off the heat and be careful not to stir any longer on heat as the mixture can get over cooked and will not set to the consistency required. The sugar will crystalise making the burfi very hard.
  • Transfer the coconut burfi mixture to a tray (8 x 8 inch square which has a 2 inch min height) greased with ghee.
  • Level the burfi mixture. Run a knife to cut into squares and allow it to cool and set on the tray for more than a couple of hours.
  • Once cooled completely, separate the precut Coconut Burfi and serve for festivals and special occasions.
  • Store the Coconut Burfi in air tight containers in the refrigerator for about two weeks.
Have a great Diwali with your little one. Write back to us and let us know how it went. Do share pictures of your family celebrating the joyous festival, and we’d be happy to feature it on our website / social media plugins. Stay safe, stay healthy and a very
Happy Diwali!