Mommy T's adventures; bringing up Baby T

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Dining out Dairy-free: Tips to stay safe & enjoy eating out

A major dilemma and source of stress when we want to eat out is ensuring safety of our son. Eating out can be a great source of experiencing new cultures, cuisines, meeting friends and bonding with family. Not to mention the celebrations and new experiences you get to enjoy. While we have had multiple experiences where things have gone wrong and we have had to administer medicines to our son after accidental ingestion of dairy products, we have not banned eating out. We have only learnt from it and today I would like to share some tips with you. These could help you not just if you are dairy free like us but also if you have other dietary restrictions or preferences.

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Culinary Cornerstones: Dairy free cooking alternatives

If you’ve been keeping up with the previous blog posts on this topic of Dairy Free living, then you will know that giving up dairy can be quite a challenging prospect. This is because a lot of dairy products are used as cooking essentials. Think butter for frying, yoghurt for marinating, cheese in sauces. A dairy free world then seems unimaginable. But for many this is not a choice, its a necessity. Hence finding dairy free cooking alternatives is the first step to adopting a dairy free lifestyle.

Milk, butter, cheese, yoghurt, cream are present in almost every cuisine and in all types of recipes – be it cakes & baking or in main courses, with meats, carbs or even in drinks such as milkshakes or the summer favourite spiced buttermilk. It is very easy to find substitutes for all of these and to suit the ingredients that the recipes call for. It may take a while for you to adapt to the slight change in flavour that comes with a dairy free diet. In the case of our son who has never been able to taste milk based products, due to his milk protein allergy, the adoption has been seamless.

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Back to Basics: Benefits of Going Dairy-free

It is estimated that around 2 to 3% of the population have a dairy allergy. 50% of children with cow’s milk allergies were also allergic to other foods. Additionally, a recent study by Hindustan Times highlighted that almost 60% of the Indian population had a lactose intolerance. Dairy allergies are more common than you may think and it becomes necessary for a large section of people to opt for dairy-free diets. In a land where milk and its allied products are considered next to God, the prospect of adopting a dairy-free diet seemed unthinkable even to us. But in practice we have realized that it may have been a God-send to not consume dairy after all – especially the milk which is far from its pure, Godly form that it once used to be. Maybe there are some solid benefits of a dairy free diet.

Yes enough research has been done to show that milk and the related products contain several nutrients that are good for the body and especially for the growth and development of children. But there are ALTERNATIVES and milk is not as essential as it is made out to be. A dairy-free diet can be healthy, nutritious and with some good planning can stand up to all the goodness and more that can come from including dairy in your diet.

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Allergic Adventures: Our Dairy-Free Life

Do you know people who have allergies? I am sure you do! There seems to be a rise in the number and varieties of allergies that people experience these days. And then there are the allergies in children – milk allergy, or allergies to nuts, gluten etc. Surely, allergies are not a new occurrence or worse a new epidemic. They have been around for time immemorial. But people may have put up with them as a ‘Maybe I was born with it’ or just an irritant that they manage. Today, we realize that there are options or alternatives and life can be normal for people with allergies. There may even be ways for people to deal with and overcome their allergies. Counter medications are also available as there are cases where allergies can cause considerable medical damage or even fatalities.

Living with an allergy is however far from easy. One has to be careful, cautious and find ways around it to ensure safety and at the same time to enjoy all that life has to offer. We are a dairy-free household and this happened when our dear son was born with a milk/dairy allergy. In the 8 years that he has been around, we have navigated our life quite well, barring one rude shock. This journey is all about how we identified, coped and manage his milk allergy. The intention is to share our learning and experiences and help others out there like us, who suddenly find themselves coping with an unexpected gift.

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The Alpha to the Omega of blogging experiences

April 2018. What a month it has been! I have always noticed and said to people too, that in my life I see a complete scarcity of action and experiences and then face a flood, nay a cloud burst, of activity. So too with this April. And when that flood happened I felt so overwhelmed to even acknowledge that I faced it all – joyful moments to utter remorse and despair. But the bottomline is that I emerged. And lived to write this gratitude post. Continue reading

Zero screen time Vs Mom’s sanity

There was a whole generation of babies that was raised on screens. Screens while they ate, dozed off and played. Then came a time when it was uncool to shove a screen in front of a baby. Zero screen time was the order given. Research papers proved how screen time was damaging not just our children’s eyes but their brains too. But is a zero screen time feasible at all in a world which is becoming increasingly online? Does it not put immense pressure on the parent to “entertain” their child themselves without relying on technology? Is it really a positive thing to do in a world where technology is everywhere? What happens when the parent needs a break badly.. even if it is just to have a quick shower? Is it bad to rely on technology then?

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Yell free parenting

Yelling. It is so common for parents to subject their children to yelling. And then one day start receiving it all back in return, until all you hear are yelling matches in the house and no one is winning. I think we will all agree that yelling is unhealthy and best avoidable. No parent enters their parenting journey wanting to yell. But somewhere along the way it just happens. And then there is no turning the clock back to a time when there was no yelling. But like everything else, yelling does not have to be the point of no return. With conscious “no yelling” and consistent practice, yelling can be relegated to a place from where it will never return. Continue reading

Xennial Mom – kind of stuck in the middle

In my circle of mommy friends, I am perhaps one of the oldest. Sometimes I feel like an old fogey and cannot make any sense of what the mommies are talking about. Other times I feel like the enlightened one who has had the privilege of seeing a few more (or decades) of summer than the gang. For the longest time I felt trapped and did not know if I was part of this cool gang. Nor did I feel comfortable with the older lot of mommies whose children were finishing school and exiting their teens. I thought something was wrong with me. Then I discovered I was not the only one.

1979. This was the problem. It was not me or you. It was the damn year that I was born in. Continue reading

Whole Brain Child – parenting a balanced child

Right brain or left brain? Logic or emotions? Did you know you can actually consciously program the brain and develop it. There are even ways to help sharpen your brain as you grow older, such as these brain focus supplements if you are really struggling to develop your brain. Sure, you know that all your life’s experiences contribute to shaping your thoughts, feeling, emotions and personality. But did you stop to think, that in physiological terms, all that you do – from breathing to deep analytical thinking, everything is controlled by the brain. How then as parents, can we ignore this important aspect about our babies and children? Surely when we parent children and aim to give them the best of food, health, experiences, skills, we can also focus on the brain, right? Wow, one more thing added to the list. Hurray, or maybe not! Continue reading

Vegan by choice – how to raise vegan children

Vegan! It seems to be in fashion right now. In every corner of the globe, veganism is in. People are asking “Is it vegan?” And that’s not all, parents are choosing to alter their lifestyles in order to raise vegan children. Has the world gone mad or is this a call which will truly save mankind and this planet?

What is veganism?

Veganism is beyond vegetarianism. While being a vegetarian means you can include dairy products in your diet, veganism shuns everything that comes from an animal. So that includes dairy, eggs, seafood and obviously animal meat, but also things like honey.

Being vegan also means saying no to using any product that may contain animal products. This includes footwear, bags, cosmetics, belts and even using animals for hunting or transport. Continue reading

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