Parenting with Positivism : Issue 4

Spring’s all buttercups and breezy. Summer’s hot and bumblebees-y. Autumn’s bright with colored trees-y. Winter’s cold, sniffly, and sneezy! Winter, the cold season is slowly setting in. Starting from November lasting till March, the soft sun of the winters will appear to be singing soothing lullabies which may make your kids fall asleep as soon as they sit under sun. But the fun of sun is interrupted too at times by the winter chills and rains and severe cold waves from west to east passing through the northern part of the country, mainly during November to April.

Winter fun is beckoning, but keeping kids healthy, warm, and entertained can be trickier than putting boots on a squirrel. Little guys and gals rush out to enjoy their evening games and are on maximum exposure while leaving homes early morning for their schools.

 

Protect your tiny tots from cold

 
  • Ensure they stay warm while waiting for school bus
  • Keep them as dry as possible in cold weather
  • Make them wear properly fitting warm clothes.
  • Cover their head, face and neck as much as possible. Inadequate head protection leads to loss of almost half of body heat.
  • Don’t allow them to overexert and sweat. Sweating cools the body which is hazardous in winter and it becomes difficult to warm up again.
  • Keep them well hydrated as they may not drink sufficient water in winter due to less thirst.
  • If your child is allergic to winters or pollen, be careful not to expose him/ her to cold.
  • Avoid taking cold food and all that causes allergy
  • You would notice that appetite tends to go up during winters. Now who doesn’t like hot chocolate or gajar ka halwa on a particularly cold day!? This winter, tickle your child’s taste buds with sweet, sour and salt tastes! Satisfy their appetite with hot soups, milk and balanced food.
  • Pamper their body with mild oil massage. Use Homemade natural scrub for winter. Here’s how!

Mix yellow gram (channa), green gram (moong) , fenu greek seeds (methi) in equal proportion. Get this mixture floured. Use this flour as scrub while taking bath instead of soap and body washes. Mix few drops of coconut oil in little water. Rub this all over body at the end of bath or shower. Dab the body with towel. This helps to increase the moisture of skin naturally.

The Winter Cold and Flu

 
  • Cough & Cold – that make children feel miserable but are not dangerous. Extra fluids, elevated head of the bed, salt-water nose drops, and humidified air can sometimes help alleviate symptoms. If your child has a history of asthma, respiratory disease, chronic heart disease or other chronic illness, he/she may benefit from the flu vaccine which is a preventive measure to consider.
  • Burns are more common in winter. Heaters, radiators and wood stoves now become a hazard and we serve more hot soups and drinks in the winter. If a child should get burned by a hot liquid remove the clothing immediately as it will hold the heat against the skin. Put cold water on the burned area as soon as possible. The sooner you cool off the burn area the less deep the burn will become.
  • If your child suffers from winter nosebleeds, try using a cold air humidifier in the child’s room at night. Saline nose drops help keep nasal tissues moist. If bleeding is severe or recurrent, consult your pediatrician.

Remember- Cold weather does not cause colds or flu. But the viruses that cause colds and flu tend to be more common in the winter. Frequent hand washing and teaching your child to sneeze or cough into the bend of her elbow may help reduce the spread of colds.

Activities for Children

Indoor Activities

Play board games and Make a puzzle: Either buy or cut out fun puzzles for your kids. Play age old board games instead on playing with technology!

Teach your kids to sew or knit: Interesting and useful!
Story telling: Tell them real stories about your family and make them aware of the family history. Help them prepare a family tree tracing generations behind. Think out of the box.
Making Gifts: Involve kids in designing New Year Cards and homemade gifts; involve them in designing an extended family tree and tracing the family history by asking their grandparents, uncle and aunts
Make a puppet theatre: Help them make a puppet theatre and encourage them to use their puppets and do role plays.
Host a party for kids: Host a hot chocolate tasting party for kids. Include all goodies that kids love to have during cold weather. Organise indoor games like treasure hunt, musical chair, passing the parcel etc.
 

Outdoor Activities

  • Sun time: Look out for days which are not windy. Do take them to the park and let them run around and play. Make sure they drink fluids and remain hydrated.
  • Preparing the garden: Let them help you plan and prepare your garden beds to plant winter flowers and vegetables
  • Look at holiday decorations: Let them give ideas to decorate house for Christmas and New year and start looking for decorative pieces.
  • Bird watching: Enjoy bird watching with your kids as this is the time that a multitude of migratory birds can be spotted living in a harmonious conjunction with the resident birds.

Foods For Childrens

Winter is the season of fruits. We get different kinds of fruits during this season. It is good for your kid’s health.Food is not just a feast for the taste buds. While we may believe it targets just one sense, following ideas will help in catering to the sense of smell, of taste, of sight and of touch as well.

  • Give your child options: Involve your child in preparing a weekly menu chart for his/her tiffin box. This will help your child to develop decision making skills and stick to it.
  • Leave a note for your child every day in the lunch box like “You make us proud”, “You are the APPLE of my eye”, “You are PEAR-FECT” or “You are awesome”.
  • Avoid food items with use of Ghee in it as once cold, digestion may become difficult.
  • Add colors to the tiffin: It’s fun, inviting and even nutritious like carrots, bell peppers, types of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, strawberries and so on.
  • Have fun with shapes: Collect shape cutters like Christmas tree, circles, triangles and small squares. You can use them to cut breads, cheese, and fruit, to name a few.
  • Offer variety by adding nuts, juices, salads, vegetables and dips, etc.
  • When children are at the lunch table, priority is not eating, it’s socializing. Send easy to eat food items like sandwich cut into 4 pieces instead of two, roti rolls, smaller idlis & uttapams and so on.
  • Include a treat: Children love sweets and there is not getting away from it. Once a while you can include it in the tiffin to bring a big broad smile on his/her face.

Tiffin ideas

To tickle the taste buds, some easy to make bread spreads

Mustard and black pepper dip:

  • 1 Cup hung curd;
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon crushed black pepper
  • ½ Onion chopped
  • ½ Carrot grated
  • ½ Capsicum chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Mix well in a bowl and you are good to go!!
Cheesy Tomato spread:

  • 3 Tablespoons cheese spread
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tomato puree
  • ½ Carrot grated
  • ½ Capsicum chopped
  • ½ tea spoon oregano
  • Few chopped leaves of mint and parsley
  • Add salt to taste
  • Just mix it all up and spread the cheesy goodness which children will thank you for!!

Spending some quality family time is a must for all parents. Make sure you do it this winters! The laughter and the family cuddles with keep you warm! Take care.