Mommying BabyT

Mommy T's adventures; bringing up Baby T

Category: Food

The Green Snack Co. – Healthy snacking made yumm!

BabyT is a foodie just like his parents. He loves his broccoli, Brussel sprouts, black olives, and Kiwi fruit. Yes, you are reading it right. Of course, I am fervently praying that his taste buds stay this way and he isn’t swayed by the junk food brigade that will smack him in the face once he is out in the real world.  I am no healthy eater myself. But after babyT’s arrival, I try to consciously incorporate healthy options in all that we put into our mouths – meals or snacks.

Snacking is such an important aspect of food intake. While most people equate snacking with an opportunity to binge on the quickly satisfying but not so healthy foods, there are others who utilize snacking to build up on their daily 5 a day’s. Snacking can be healthy – snacking fills an important gap between meals and as such keeps your metabolism going. And this is just as important for babies and young children who are watching your every move. You are inculcating healthy eating habits after all.

Add to this the fact that I am still breastfeeding,I get ravenously hungry between lunch and dinner time. I  mean I can only eat so many fruits in a day. I don’t always have dry snacks around the pantry like murmura or makhanas. At such times I will admit I have popped open the packet of Farsan or store bought glucose biscuits (not proud of it.) and even indulged in a pot of instant noodles. I feel guilty because I know babyT is watching me and also because what I eat passes to him too. I would have really loved to have a ready to eat food which is not only healthy but also yummy on the palate.

Sometimes when I send a wish out into the universe, it comes true and here came knocking at my door a bag full of surprises from The Green Snack Co. 

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Goodies from the Green Snack Co.

I got the Quinoa Puffs in two flavours  – Zesty Kale and Saucy Salsa and the Kale Crisps in Sea Salt & Vinegar & Thai Sweet Chilli flavour.

They are available in these flavours too –

  • Kale crisps – Cheese & Onion
  • Quinoa Puffs – Peppy Cheese

The Green Snack Co.’s Kale Crisps are made of a unique process of dehydration which preserves the nutritional value of the leaves. Kale in itself is a super food, rich in B-vitamins, iron, calcium, fibre and protein. The flavourings added to the leaves are all natural and contain no preservatives. Kale Crisps are priced at Rs. 200 for a 30 gm pack and are available in 3 flavours.

The Green Snack Co.’s Quinoa Puffs are made up of 6 grains namely

  • Quinoa,
  • Amaranth,
  • Ragi,
  • Soy,
  • Rice &
  • Maize

These are roasted. Together they are a good source of fibre, protein, and minerals along with vitamin B and antioxidants.  Quinoa Puffs are priced at Rs. 80 for a 50 gms pack and are available in 3 flavours.

Verdict: A big thumbs up from #babyT and me. I did not expect him to love these snacks. But he did. Yes, even the Kale. Should I jump for joy about my super healthy baby? Well not really, because it means I will have to share. 🙂 I have developed a great fondness for the Zesty Kale flavoured Quinoa Puffs. In fact, I am munching on them right now. The Kale is nice too. Kale is an acquired taste for many people. Here in our household, we did manage to finish the pack in one go. BabyT and I even fought for the crumbs. WIN!!!

You can buy these products from stores like Nature’s Basket and HyperCity. They are also available online from Amazon.

 

Have you tried the Green Snack Co. products yet? If not then you must try them for sure. And don’t just take my word for it… scoot over to my dear friend and fellow mom blogger Shalu Sharma Rathod’s blog  at The Dreamer Mum to see what she has to say about The Green Snack Co.’s products.

Sipahh Straws: Review & Giveaway

Including essential nutrition along with variety and novelty is the key to developing good eating habits in younger children. With #babyT, we followed baby led weaning and ensured that he began family food once he started solid foods. And like most parents today we followed the ‘no salt’ and ‘no sugar’ principle till he turned 1. Now that he is 1.5 years young he truly does eat all types of homemade food. This includes all flavours – sweet, spicy & savoury. ‘Anything in moderation is fine’ is my mantra and I am happy that he is not a fussy eater. My pain point however was MILK. And before I begin my Sipahh Straws review I want to share what the current scenario in our household is like.

BabyT cannot have animal milk & other dairy products due to a dairy sensitivity and it was important to introduce some form of liquid nutrition in order to add calcium and also wean him gently. Although I found my solution in Soy Milk, I had a problem on hand because I was not sure how to make it exciting for him to drink it. Flavoured Soy Milk contains a lot of artificial sweeteners and flavourings. I was sure I did not want to give him that. Enter Sipahh Straws. 🙂

Sipahh Straws is an Australian company started by a father to make drinking milk more exciting for his children. And like most parents he was turned off by the amount of artificial colourings, preservatives and sugar that most children’s milk flavourings had. Even the regular powders we have grown up on contain scarily high quantities of sugar. So Peter, the father behind Sipahh  introduced these milk flavouring straws which promised to let children enjoy the goodness of milk as part of a balanced diet – with less sugar and no artificial colours or preservatives. The first Sipahh Straws review from his children was a big Yes.

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The Story of Sipahh

The Sipahh Straws are hollow straws with an inner compartment where the flavour granules are present. There are two filters on either end that allow milk to pass through the flavoured granules and acquire the flavour and voila!! You have flavoured milk in the mouth.

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The granules are made of Cassava or Tapioca (yumm I love tapioca chips) and dissolve completely in the milk as you drink it up.  No harmful chemicals & preservatives here.

Now my Sipahh Straws review would be incomplete and unfair if I did not tackle the elephant at the dining table. 🙂 What about the sugar content? Isn’t sugar bad for babies & children? Sure it is. And avoidable too. But did you know even if you are not adding sugar to your foods, you are actually consuming a lot of hidden sugars everyday. Take a look at this chart which shows how much sugar is present in some of these daily foods you and your children may be consuming.

As for Sipahh Straws each straw contains less than 2 gms of sugar which is half teaspoon of sugar. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that children up to 10 year’s age should receive no more than 13 gms of added sugar per day. Compared to the so-called health and energy milk flavouring powders Sipahh Straws is a clear winner.

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Sipahh Straws comes in 10 different flavours. They have exotic names such as Fruit Salad Swirl, Lamington Dream (a quintessential Australian cake), Hello Marshmallow, Luscious Strawberry, Coco – Bean Chocolate. #BabyT tried the Luscious Strawberry and Hello Marshmallow. He loved them both. I will confess I was too tempted and snuck in a Fruit Salad Swirl when babyT wasn’t looking.  AND I have to admit I loved the flavour and the concept. The milk acquires a very subtle flavour. The first sip was a bit too sweet, but as I drank some more of the milk the sweetness was well adjusted and just about right.

And how convenient are Sipahh Straws? You just need to RIP – DIP – SIP. It’s as easy as that to have flavoured milk. You can use Sipahh Straws with cold or even room temperature milk.  No peeling, chopping, mixing, grinding, spooning or stirring – all while a HANGRY (Adj:/ informal. Bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger) toddler is gnawing at your ankles. Sipahh Straws 1 – 0 Other milk flavouring powders. 

Sipahh Straws Review Ratings by MommyT:
  • Novelty – 5/5 This is such a cool concept. Children & adults alike enjoyed the Sipahh Straws in our house.
  • Taste – 5/5 So many unique flavours to choose from
  • Convenience – without a doubt 5/5. Just have to Rip the cover, dunk and you have flavoured milk.
  • Cost – 3.5/5 a bit steep if I consider that you will need one straw per day. A pack of 10 costs Rs. 150, a pack of 40 costs Rs. 520.
  • Availability – 3/5 We ran out of our straws (all the grownups hadone, humph!) and I had a tough time locating a local store that stocked them. Found them on Amazon and got next day delivery on it. <3

Have you tried Sipahh Straws? If not then you need to right now. And you are in luck because I teamed up the Sipahh team to bring you a giveaway. Yes you can win these delicious straws for your little ones. Ok and for not so little ones too. (I know you are eyeing them yourself.) Scoot to my Instagram and Facebook page, look for the Sipahh Straws Review posts to take part now.

Be a #MealMate for a child suffering from Cancer

Love is a medicine for the sickness of the world; a prescription often given, but very rarely taken.

Cancer. A word that can strike terror in anyone’s heart. We may have never have experienced this disease in our immediate circles but it can still be a very scary & traumatic experience to even imagine. What is more unbearable is to realize that it is innocent children who suffer from Cancer. It really pushes you to question why and what that little child did to deserve a suffering like this?

And when cancer strikes, it doesn’t affect just an individual but the entire family. When a child is the one who has to cope with the disease, it seems so unfair and one cannot even begin to imagine what the parents, especially the mother, are going through. Add to that the burden of poverty which makes the situation even more unbearable.

cancer children jamms mealmate donate

What the children need besides timely and effective medical intervention is also nutrition. This is to help build their body’s ability to withstand the harsh treatment and build a fighting mechanism. With this view in mind JAMMS – Journey about Mast Moms has decided to associate itself with Accesslife (www.accesslife.org) to ensure that these children get their fighting chance and the necessary food nutrition through the initiative 1100 Meal Mate. JAMM’s network has now been in existence for 1100 days and this initiative is a marker in its history of giving back to society. After all, mothers know about giving of oneself and bringing joy to others.

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On completion of this big milestone of 1100 days of existence, JAMMS – Mumbai and Navi Mumbai based Moms support and networking group is aiming to provide 1100 nutritious meals for children suffering from Cancer via Accesslife – a Mumbai based NGO providing stay and support to families with cancer stricken kids.

For these tiny soldiers, healthy and hygienic food plays a very important role to boost their immunity. By being their #MealMate you can be the donor of a meal (Rs. 999 onwards) I have donated to this cause, won’t you? 

To donate and be a part of the initiative –

PayTM on 8080222377 or click on the link below for contributions http://bit.ly/ALJAMMS

This is a crowd funding social campaign initiated by #JAMMSNetwork and is on till May 25th. 

 About JAMMS

JAMM’s network – *Journey About Mast Moms*, is initiated by Ritu (Chief Connecting Officer). It is a multi-award winning Mumbai based Moms support group for networking. It started in April 2014 and has been steadily expanding and evolving since then…

Over 20,000 Moms from various areas connect and communicate online via what’s app & a secret Facebook group + meet offline every month via their complimentary workshops, seminars and events which aid informed/conscious parenting decisions!

Over 365 underprivileged kids received haircuts during JAMMs network first anniversary event – Happy New Hair. 550 needy visually impaired people received white canes & dark glasses during their ‘i-light’ social initiative. The ‘Mast Santa’ social campaign done in Dec 2015 donated unused handbags with goodies to homeless women. ‘Step-Up’ was their April 2016 social initiative where 730 underprivileged children received footwear and over 910 sarees were collected & donated to less fortunate women during their Nov 2016 social drive.

jammsnetwork@gmail.com  +91 9930203454

About Accesslife

Access Life Assistance Foundation provides a loving home for the parent or care taker and the child under treatment. Our mission is to offer a home-like environment for these families. We also try to improve the quality of life of these children by providing practical support services. These include educational resources and recreational programs.

We understand the financial pressure children cancer puts on some families. We provide them dignified accommodation at no cost while their child receives the treatment. In a country where care for the needy has long been accepted as dismal, Access Life is working to not only fill in a large unmet need but also to fundamentally change this mind-set. www.accesslife.org

 

Mommy’s Day out – Brunching at SodaBottleOpenerWala

Mommy’s day out… such a rare phenomenon once you have a baby and add to it if you are a SAHM whose baby is so used to having you around the house that stepping out alone seems next to impossible. But leisure time for moms is so important because a happy mommy means happy baby right?

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So when Ritu the founder of JAMMS (Journey about Mast Moms) network organised a mommy brunch at the newly opened Sodabottleopenerwala at Powai (#SBOWPowai) I jumped at the chance. I made arrangements to leave #babyT with his maternal grandparents and “dressed up” to go brunching with some fellow mommies from JAMMS.

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With Ritu founder of the JAMMS network

Sodabottleopenerwala has been open in Mumbai with their outlet in BKC and then in Thane. However both have been a bit out of bounds for me since I was pregnant and then with a small baby and so never got around to visiting them. Powai is really central for people like me who live in the western suburbs. It is also convenient for people in the central suburbs. The arrival of #SBOW in Powai is therefore a great chance for people in Mumbai suburbs to savour some lipsmacking Parsi food.

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Look at that burst of colour

It is also a real treat to the eyes with all the quirky and delightfully Parsi decor they have up on the walls. A colourful, feast for the eyes indeed. And some bits which will have you chuckling at the tongue-in-cheek Parsi humour.

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Our lunch at #SBOWPowai was curated by Chef Hemant. He had planned a wide spread of starters and maincourse and then dessert which would allow us to savour a variety of flavours and textures and experience the ones which are famous for being truly Parsi.

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But before I get your taste buds salivating with what we ate… I have to share this drink with you. It is called Sekan-je-Bin and I have never had such a unique beverage before. It is a drink inspired from the city of Shiraz in Iran and is a mixture of prunes and jaggery, topped with lemonade and mint leaves. It is truly refreshing and a flavour so unique. Do try this one when you visit #SBOWPowai.

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Sekan-je-bin a very refreshing drink. Great for the summer. ❤

Some of my mommy friends tried the Raspberry Soda. Raspberry Soda is a very iconic feature of Parsi restaurants and my Parsi friends have grown up on the stuff. It is stuff that childhood memories are made of for them. However for many others it is an acquired taste… but where #SBOWPowai scores on this is that they have actual raspberry bits in the Soda and so the drink tastes more like heaven and less like cough syrup.

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Chicken Farchas

We were then introduced to our Parsi meal with Chicken Farchas –  crispy deep fried chicken, but unlike the ususal chicken Farchas I have had before, this one was boneless and so easy to eat. It disappeared quickly. Only to make way for some baida roti (a street food made famous by Bademiyaan’s in Colaba, Mumbai , it is paratha stuffed with chicken keema and eggs) Sadly this got swiped clean before I got my hands on it, but I did get to savour the really fresh and summery Shirazi salad (broccoli, zucchini, peppers & chicken tossed in a mint sumac dressing), kolmi fry, mushroom khari and prawns patio.

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Kolmi Fry

Kolmi fry was a pleasant surprise. Kolmi fry actually means fried prawns but this one was a work of art. It was shaped like a nest made of onion rings with the prawns hidden inside and then coated with batter and fried. It was something I have never seen before and I highly recommend you try this.

Mushroom khari saw the humble khari elevated to levels of gourmet cuisine – fresh, crispy and warm khari topped with mushroom mince and then sprinkled with cheese (cheese makes everything better right?) was such a delight to experience.

Another delight that arrived at our table was Breach Candy Awesome Okra. It took us a minute or so to catch the intriguing full title of this dish. And then we got so trigger happy with the way this was presented that we were almost sorry to dig into it and eat it.

 

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Bohri Kheema Pav

For the main course we were served Bohri Kheema Pav which is mincemeat cooked in spices and served with warm bread. This is a pretty regular feature at our house and I can pretty much cook kheema with my eyes closed. So do take my word for it when I say the Bohri Kheema Pav I had at #SBOWPowai has me craving it so much that I am really looking forward to going back there again just for this dish. It is buttery, creamy, well spiced but still pleasantly mild. You can even choose the option of having a multigrain pav/ bread along with your Kheema.

This was only paralleled with the specially curated Persian menu by Anaida (the singer, performer) and we had the Irani Haleem. Haleem is a traditional dish of slow cooked lamb and wheat flavoured with cinnamon and fried onions. The Haleem is almost pasty but oh-so-rich in flavour and a spoonful transports you to food bliss.

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Chicken Dhansak

When you are eating Parsi food can Dhansak & Berry Pulao be left far behind? Our serving assistant then brought over a tiffin carrier like the ones the dabbawallas of Mumbai carry and slowly un-ravelled the tiered boxes to reveal the ubiquitous Dhansak and browned rice. There was almost a squeal of delight at our table as most of us moms were waiting to taste the Dhansak. We were served the Chicken Dhansak – chicken cooked well in lentils and spices which is comfort Parsi food to many.

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Berry Pulao

The Berry Pulao too was perfectly cooked and the rice mildly spiced but really flavourful. Did you know the Berry in this Pulao is actually an Iranian berry called Zar.

But there’s always room for dessert…

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Really soulful Apple, Pear & Plum Pie

Dessert followed next and we ordered almost everything on the menu – Parsi Dairy Kulfi, Apple Pear and Plum Pie, Lagan Nu Custard, Jeroo aunty’s Toblerone Mousse, Red Velvet Brownie. Now I have to make special mention here, I have never been a fan of the much hyped Lagan nu Custard but #SBOWPowai’s LnC leaves me with a changed opinion. I couldn’t get enough of this one and I will surely try it the next time I am there.

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Brunching Mommies

Overall the #SBOWPowai brunch was a much needed break from the usual routine for me and I also got to meet and spend time with the familiar names from our JAMMS WhatsApp groups. It is a pleasure meeting Ritu always and also Rashna from StitchMyFit, fellow mommy bloggers Latika from OneStopPageforReaders , Umaima from BeingaMommy, Rini from MomBloggersClubofIndia and some new faces too but one’s that we will keep in touch with I am sure. Because bonds formed over some scrumptious food are the most lasting. <3

And when you are a mom of course you wonder if you can take along your family to such a beautiful restaurant. And the answer is Yes. They are baby friendly. They can customise a meal for baby. I usually order some soft boiled vegetables for babyT and judging by the fresh and well cooked vegetables in the Shiraz salad I had, I think babyT would love it. The chicken farchas would also work well for him. So do make a family outing of it if you’re planning to go.

And lastly, I would urge you to call on the restaurant’s phone and listen to the beautiful message narrated by a Parsi bawa. It will have you smiling at the warm hearted welcome and the typical Parsi nuances and tone used. Enjoy dikri and dikras. 🙂

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