Quaker Oats Recipe – Oatmeal and veggies

oats patty with Quaker oats

vegetable patty recipe

 Oatmeal and vegetable patty recipe

Healthy Oatmeal Recipe

Oatmeal and vegetable patties are super healthy snacks for fussy kids! My little one refuses to have oats in any other form esp. when cooked with sweetened milk. Vegetable patties with boiled veggies and oats is power packed with nutrients, fiber and energy, enough to get your little ones up and dancing on their little feet.

Oats – 5 tablespoons
Boiled potatoes – 2
Boiled and mashed veggies (carrots, green peas, french beans) – 1 cup
Coriander-Cumin(dhania zeera) roasted and powdered – 1/4 teaspoon
Carom seeds(ajwain) – 1/4 teaspoon
Red chilly powder – as required or optional
Salt – as required
Onion finally chopped – 1 teaspoon
Fennel seed powder – 1/4 teaspoon

How to prepare
Powder oats in a mixer to a rough consistency. Mix together mashed vegetables, boiled potatoes, onion and all spices/condiments together. Make small oblong flattened balls and shallow fry on a non-stick frying pan with very less oil. Use just enough oil to grease the pan, that is all. You can even use a microwave. Keep it on a HIGH for 50 secs or so, till the vegetable patties are cooked thoroughly.

Serve hot with tomato sauce or cheese dips!

High fiber foods like Oats eases  constipation in children. Made these today morning for kiddo’s first snack break at school. Make sure you let these oats vegetable patties cool off .Wrap them in foil,when  packing for kids lunch boxes. And don’t worry, its not time consuming. You can even boil the veggies the night before and refrigerate.

Relaxation techniques for stress

When totally stressed out, depressed or lacking interest in activities, you can practice a variety of relaxation techniques.Relaxation techniques are methods that assist a person to achieve a calm and stress free existence.  Relaxation techniques eliminate stress,depression and motivate you to perform your day to day tasks even better. You can achieve miraculous results at home and work, by practicing these techniques daily. There are many DVDs,VCDs and online videos that demonstrate the benefits of using relaxation techniques.

Relaxation techniques for stress relief


  • Meditation is a holistic way of mental exercise.
  • It benefits the body, the mind and the nervous system.
  • It eliminates stress and lowers high blood pressure  to a great extent.
  • It enables you to be energetic.
  • It gives relief from migraines, any tension related pains and insomnia.

How to meditate

  • Find a quiet place to meditate. Sit in any comfortable posture. Close your eyes.
  • Breath in and breath out, slowly and deeply.
  • Initially, your attention may start drifting away, thinking of many issues. Every time this happens, remind yourself of breathing process that you are engaged in.
  • Think of how nice it feels to breathe slowly.
  • You could turn on some soothing music that you love to hear. Listen to it while breathing slowly and steadily.
  • Practise this daily at least for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Do not get disappointed or dejected if of other issues crop in while meditating. Daily practice will help you to think about breathing and not anything else.
  • Make it a daily practise. You will learn to face and handle difficult situations in life with ease and in a stress free manner.

Video on How to meditate

Deep breathing exercises for stress

  • Deep breathing is done by abdomen expansion as against shallow breathing which shows chest expansion.
  • Lie down comfortably and let your body muscles be loose. Place your hands sideways.
  • Inhale deeply – Exhale deeply. Repeat this for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • You will feel relaxed and free of worries and tensions.
  • Do breathing exercises before meals but never immediately after meals.

Video on Deep Breathing for Relaxation by Stress management expert Jordan Freidman

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

  • This is a method of alternating tensing and relaxing body muscles.This is used to treat stress related maladies.
  • Lie down comfortably in a quiet room. Starting with your feet, contract muscles of each part way above to your head and face, one at a time.
  • Then slowly release each tensed muscle one at a time from head to toe.
  • Repeat this three times.
  • This technique is very useful to treat insomnia and stress.

Visualisation techniques for relaxation

  • This involves closing your eyes and seeing a mental picture of a serene and beautiful place or a scene where you feel protected and relaxed. Maybe a beach, with your dear friends or sprawled on the side of a grassy hill.
  • Imagine a cool breeze blowing and you lazily making letters on the beach sand with your toes. Imagine you have dabbed some favorite perfume and think of the fragrance.
  • Do this for 10 minutes in a quiet place in a relaxed position. After you finish visualising, breathe slowly and open your eyes slowly.
  • You can also visualise yourself winning a competition. This can build confidence and make you more relaxed.

Video on Visualization Technique for relaxing and being stress free.

Practicing any or all these relaxation techniques will definitely help you be calm and at peace with yourself. Remember, a calm and peaceful mind will keep you free from stress and more focused.

Stress Management-Positive Thinking

What is Stress Management?
Stress is the physical and emotional tension caused by our response to several factors whether actual or imagined like:

  • Relationship demands
  • Long office hours/ workplace stress
  • Medical problems
  • Money (It is always less no matter how much you have)
  • Responsibilities
  • Kids : diet, homework, finding time for them etc.
  • Trying to be a perfectionist

Stress management focuses on handling stress the right way rather than attempting to eliminate it entirely. You come across stress on a daily basis, but dealing with it the right way will make life much more simpler. The first step towards effective stress management is positive thinking.

Dealing with Stress
Positive thinking tips –  Some factors are under our control and some are not. Here are a few tips to deal with factors that can be controlled.

  • Be realistic and easy on yourself before setting schedules and goals. Its easy to get disappointed if you are not able to stick to the schedule. Break big tasks into smaller tasks which can be easily achieved.
  • Concentrate on the task at hand. Stop thinking about how many tasks are yet to be done. Focus on the present.
  • Ensure a clutter free home. Assign a day in a week, preferably weekend mornings to sort, file and discard letters,publications,notices and the like. Keep a proper place assigned for books,toys,clothes etc. Ask kids to help out by keeping their rooms neat and tidy. Reward them with something reasonable like their favorite snacks, videos or spending time with them doing what they enjoy. A clutter free home saves unnecessary time spent on finding things, thereby reducing stress.
  • If you are working, use domestic help to do the initial meal preparation like cutting vegetables,fruits etc. and the basic things  so that you can prepare meals easily after coming home from work. If appointing domestic help is not feasible, chop vegetables and fruits for the next day in advance and refrigerate. Promote healthy eating habits. When you come back, you can save time on meal preparation. Saving time here enables you to retire early and have more hours of sleep.
  • Love yourself. Treat your body well. Eat well. Sleep well. Live well.
  • Listen to your favorite music. It helps a lot to calm frayed nerves.
  • Play with pets.
  • Read good books and motivational stories.
  • Make new friends, maintain contact with old friends. Friends listen and sometimes you just need somebody who listens.They also provide valuable advice when you need it.
  • Laugh often.Change your desktop wallpaper to something humorous. Watch comedy programmes on tv.
  • Help someone in need. You will get immense satisfaction after helping someone.
  • Practise relaxation techniques

For factors beyond our control here are a few tips:

  • You cannot control the behavior of others, but you can control your reaction to their behavior. If you are having issues with a difficult boss, in-laws, someone in your area, remember you have to be calm and confident in your approach to such people. Do not react to their comments and be an easy target for additional attacks. Practice this and you will be able to ignore such comments in due course. Once you start ignoring, such people will stop verbal attacks as it won’t have any effect on you.
  • You cannot control certain situations like natural disasters, rush hour traffic, unexpected guests, illnesses.They will take place when they have to.There is no point worrying about such situations. Instead when such thoughts trouble you, do something which motivates you, like reading motivational stories,listening to music,talking to someone who encourages you etc.
  • Stop worrying about the future.You must think of the future when it comes to savings. But live in present moment. Reduce the number of ‘What Ifs’ to zero.
  • Look at the bigger picture.You may not have as many cars as your neighbor, but then there are many in this world who don’t even have food to eat.
  • Avoid company of selfish and negative people. They transmit negativity.

A few self-motivational quotes for effective stress management

  • I cried my heart out because I did not have shoes till I saw a man without any feet.
  • People often say Motivation doesn’t last.Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.
  • ‘Stressed’ spelt backwards is ‘Desserts’.
  • When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us. – Helen Keller

In addition, adequate physical exercise and yoga will help you in your stress management initiatives.



What is depression?
Depression is a mental state characterized by negativity, self-pity, sadness, lack of interest in day to day activities etc. Depression is caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors. Your relationships, lifestyle and coping skills matter a lot. Depression occurs in different forms. It may be mild, severe, seasonal, or in extreme cases, people may contemplate committing suicide, in which case, expert advice and treatment is a must.

Causes of depression

  • Divorce, relationship problems.
  • Loss of job.
  • Chronic or terminal illnesses.
  • Loss of a loved one.
  • Fear of losing a loved one to chronic or terminal illness.
  • In-laws/relatives with a negative attitude towards you.
  • Post-partum depression
  • Hormonal changes during PMS, miscarriage, pregnancy, menopause in women.
  • Financial problems
  • Issues like divorce, loss of a loved one, relationship problems

The people involved have to face a range of emotions: anger, sorrow, frustration, bitterness, insecurity about the future and a question “Why Me?” . Feeling of low self-esteem, betrayal and reluctance to mingle with people persist after a divorce, loss of job, loss of a loved one etc. This is when depression creeps in, as the same thoughts keep recurring in your mind.

How to cope:

  • First and foremost, release pent up emotions. Its absolutely okay to cry, scream, speak to someone about your feelings and emotions.
  • Take long walks outside, mingle with friends and like minded people who can empathize.
  • If possible, speak with someone who has faced a similar situation and has overcome depression.
  • Its okay to speak with a professional counselor. A counselor will not judge your character.
  • Join support groups. Many churches and social service NGOs offer support.
  • Finding help lets you move past your problems.
  • Taking initiative to find help is a sign of strength.

Financial problems
Debt, low income, being compelled to live frugally etc. trigger anxiety and depression. Turn in to friends, senior persons in the family or a financial counselor/advisor for proper money management tips. Decide your financial priorities. Worrying will not solve your problems. You can even chat with online financial counselors of repute.

Mother-in-law issues
A mother who brings up her son lovingly feels insecure when a new woman enters his life. She feels that she may no longer be important to her son. This may cause her to find faults in her daughter-in-law to degrade her in front of her son and relatives. Any relation needs time to grow strong. Being a daughter-in-law treat your mother-in-law well, not in a subdued manner, but confidently. Showing fear enables anybody to control you. Listen to her. In certain areas, she is more experienced than you. Acknowledge this fact and take tips from her for issues like planning your monthly budget, caring for babies etc. That way, she feels important and won’t try to subdue you by finding faults.

In case of persistent nagging, ignore comments by going away to some other room. Continually ignoring comments will put an end to nagging, as the person will feel that her motive is not being achieved. The most common mistake is to retaliate and shout back as the argument will never end. Don’t think, “why should I ignore and keep quiet” Do it as it is a sure shot remedy for nagging. At the same time, do not show any kind of disrespect in any way. Just IGNORE COMMENTS.
Treat her as you would like her to treat you.

Never complain to your husband. Show him that you care for your mother-in-law. Do not expect him to correct his mother as husbands prefer to stay out of this even if they don’t say so. Assure him, all will be well soon.

Share this problem with friends. If your own parents are not very sensitive and overly protective of you, you can share it with them, else they may worry and make matters worse.

Daughter-in-law issues
A daughter-in-law may have had wrong notions about her mother-in-law before marriage, possibly triggered by her own mother, out of concern, or by some friends/neighbors who have had bad experiences. So she misbehaves with her mother-in-law to show her authority and prevent any form of harassment in future.Being a mother-in-law, treat your daughter-in-law well and gain her confidence and trust. Donot force your views on her. Wait for some time before giving advice unless she asks for it. Treat her like you would like her to treat you.

Dos and Don’ts
This is a very delicate relationship and needs time to mature. A confident smile, listening attitude, taking care when ill and lots of patience will help in the long run.

Avoid arguments and counter accusations. Take deep breaths and count till 100.Do not stop till you have finished counting.That will calm you down for the moment. Then go to some other place in the house.

Do not hesitate to seek legal advice or help from a counselor if there are issues of physical harassment. Remember you have just one life and it is a sin to keep quiet and suffer for the whole of this life.

Terminal illness and depression
In terminally ill patients, depression is treated by a combination of psycho therapeutic intervention, cognitive approaches, and behavioral interventions. Friends and family play a great role in providing emotional support. Counseling helps these patients to realize coping strategies. Counselors can be family members, friends, social workers, clergy etc. The best person to speak about handling depression in terminally ill would be their physician, health care provider or psychiatrist.

Hormonal changes in women

  • Post partum depression : New moms face this kind of depression. Researchers feel this happens due to hormonal changes before and after pregnancy. New moms feel restless, anxious, fatigued and worthless. Some get nightmares and feel no one loves and understands them. Fights with husbands are commonplace. Some worry they will hurt themselves or their babies. The best person to confide in is your health care provider. Medicine and talk therapy can help you get well. Eat well, listen to your favorite music. Ask close friends to visit you, esp. those who have had babies.Postpartum depression takes some time to go away completely. So don’t feel irritated if your symptoms come and go. Just keep doing what is suggested above.
  • Premenstrual syndrome and Menopause: Research shows that low serotonin levels trigger mood swings and depression during during PMS and Menopause. For this, changes in diet, mild forms of exercise, relaxation techniques and breathing help combat depression.

Seeking professional and medical help
If depression is chronic, you are getting suicidal thoughts and physical problems like migraine, increased heart beats etc.
seek immediate help from a medical practitioner/psychiatrist. Appropriate treatment by good medical practitioners can get you out of depression completely. For depression treatment centers in Indian cities like Mumbai, visit justdial.com

General rule of the thumb
When you are depressed stay away from anything that will make you even more depressed like crime news,
negative people who gossip, junk food, carbonated drinks, tea, coffee etc.

You can spend your entire life blaming a host of things/people for your depression or you can choose to live and learn
from this experience and create a new beginning. The choice is in your hands.

Exam fear

Every student, young or old has exam fear and panic attacks before exams. Every well-informed person knows that fear is the basic ingredient for great achievements. Getting through exams with sufficient marks is an achievement, perhaps, the best memorable achievement among many others, in one’s life. Why, then, is there so much talk about exam-fear ahead of forthcoming exams?

Out of all who prepare for the exams, a few get over-ridden with fear and the fear becomes uncontrollable in such a way they exhibit the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Dry Mouth
  • Trembling hands
  • Blank and empty feeling
  • Lack of concentration
  • Difficulty in speaking
  • Inferiority Complex
  • Confusion and hopelessness
  • Increased palpitations and sweating profusely
  • Sleeplessness
  • Nausea/vomiting

When exam fear becomes uncontrollable and when conscious attempts to reduce panic attacks in children, are not made, the aspirant student may not answer questions in his answer sheets; may write answers but the answers may be incomplete, out of context, wrong; may not answer any question and keep the answer papers blank; may skip the exam on some pretext or the other; may even take extreme steps to destroy oneself.

As for students resorting to self destruction and suicidal attempts out of exam fear, one has to be more sensible. The general tendency of the public and news media is to attribute such acts of an youngster to exam fear. This is basically incorrect because there is an involvement of other factors which may lead to suicidal tendencies.

These other factors may include family environs, neighborhood influences, and widely published reports of suicides across country due to  various reasons like failures in farming sector, industry, competitive ventures, marriage problems, diseases and the like. Coupled with multiple shadow influences, an already depressed person might take to extreme steps as a way of escapade. These important aspects must not be ignored while dealing with exam phobia in students.

Commonly traced reasons for fear of exams can be summarized as follows:

  • Lack of self confidence: Every individual is capable of facing situations and making achievements. A child who has cleared previous examinations is definitely capable of it, else he could not have cleared those tests and cross that level. This is the first and foremost realization each and every individual student has to imbibe.Growth from childhood to adulthood is the result of a natural ability present in every individual. Nobody should doubt this inherent ability. Education and learning, attending schools and colleges and facing examinations are all essential parts of this natural ability. Once this basic truth is recognized, an individual becomes confident of his ability and power to face situations in the journey of life.
  • Memory problems and forgetfulness: Memory problems and forgetfulness are commonly cited by students, parents and teachers as reasons for exam fears. It appears that there is a total misunderstanding about what constitutes memory and how forgetfulness takes place. A scientific evaluation of both the processes is necessary to find solutions to these fears. Mind is an essential part of the body. Every healthy body is endowed with a healthy mind. The brain is the work-shop of every mental activity and a healthy brain ensures a healthy mind. The process of intellectual activity is called cognitive function of the central nervous system (brain centres). It starts with sensation and images. When a person sees or hears some thing, the first stage is sensation and then an image of the object one sees or hears takes place. That leads to perception and conception of the object. There, ideas and meanings are invoked which then get absorbed as memory. Power of conception enables reproduction of the memory through words. The cognitive process is natural faculty of brain and hence no one needs to have to concern about memory and reproduction of what is stored in memory unless the nervous function is blurred or retarded.What is essential to uphold this natural process is to ensure that while reading and learning, images and perceptions do take place according to what the learning material contains. In simple terms, it is devoting of attention to what is being learnt. Worries and concerns of various nature are causes that might blur or retard attention. If these factors are restricted any healthy person’s memory could be bright without  forgetfulness of any sort.
  • Fear of adverse reaction from parents and teachers: Youngsters fear that their parents and teachers might blame or accuse them if they fail in exams. Young students under the care of ill-informed parents become target of such blames and accusations. Here both parents and teachers should  refrain from scolding, accusing or blaming children for inadequacy in learning and encourage them with positive suggestions and advice. On the other hand, children should understand that once they properly attend to their lessons and classes, they are sure enough to pass tests and exams. The parent-teacher combine has moral responsibility in this context.
  • Past experiences: Some students remember past experiences of failure in exams. When such students face exams, they fear that they may fail again. This is a common phenomenon. Truth has to prevail in such situations.Previous failure might have happened due to circumstances prevailing at that particular time; the student has to reaffirm his strengths and realize that the past is gone and that she/he is in the present to face the future. Since the student has prepared well for the coming exam, there never exists any chance for repeated failure. Parents as well as teachers have a role to play here in convincing the child.
  • Health problems: General health problems may not create hassles in general study and preparing for exams. However, whenever health becomes a real problem, the issue has to be adequately taken care of by appropriate medical treatments.

Top tips for students to eliminate exam fear

  • Never under estimate yourself.
  • Make study a routine practice, avoid the tendency to study only when exams are near.
  • Do not see others writing in the examination hall. Don’t pay attention to the writing speed etc. of others present in the exam hall.
  • Do not bother about others asking for additional supplementary sheets.
  • Relax, set your mind to proceed in good speed and spirit till the end of time.
  • Never go blank on seeing tough questions –  just skip that question and go ahead with the next simple one. In the mean time, your brain will become energetic enough to answer any sort of questions in an easy manner.
  • Take a snack break, listen to some soothing music in between study times.

Top tips for parents to eliminate exam fear in children

  • Teach your children to be relaxed but not lethargic.
  • Teach them to ask questions, explore, read more books – never allow them to learn by rote.
  • Encourage them.
  • Make them attempt practice test papers several times before exams.
  • Do not interfere while they are studying.
  • Do not force children to achieve the unachievable.
  • Allow the child to take short breaks in between study times. He could listen to some music or have a snack break in between study times.
  • Teach the child relaxation and breathing techniques. To read more on relaxation techniques Click Here

Eliminating exam fear in children can be achieved by the combined effort of parents, teachers and the children themselves.

Parents, teachers and students who need counseling and advice can call the toll-free number of the “Zindagi Se Dosti Campaign” – A Times Of India Initiative for preventing student suicides.
Call (+91)(022)(25706000) or 1860 266 2345 toll free if you know anybody who might be in depression or needs help.





Have you been wondering why your kid is lagging behind in studies and simple tasks like comprehending spellings, reading, writing etc.? In many cases, it is due to negligence on the part of parents and sheer laziness. But it also may be due to dyslexia, which often goes unnoticed.

What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a learning disability which deters the ability of a person to read, spell, write and speak. Dyslexia is normally found in children of school going age and persists throughout life.

However, do not get disheartened if your child is diagnosed as having dyslexia. Dyslexia IS NOT due to mental retardation. Some believe it is due to poor vision or hearing or lack of knowledge. But this is not the case. Children with dyslexia are intelligent and sometimes have special skills that other normal children of their age do not have.

The earlier dyslexia is treated, the better. A child with dyslexia finds simple reading and writing extremely difficult. He may develop a dislike for school and have low self-esteem.

Signs of dyslexia
The most common signs of dyslexia are seen while writing letters and numbers. A dyslexic child writes numbers and letters in a reverse fashion. Please note that this is perfectly normal in children under 7 years of age. But beyond that age, if this habit persists, then there is a chance that the child may be a dyslexic.

The child may not remember easy to remember things. He may not be able to comprehend spatial limits, speed and left and right sides while playing games. Comprehending multiple instructions at a time is difficult. The child may fail to understand something as simple as “Open page no.31, go to paragraph 3, line 2.”

The child will know what to say but will not be able to express his feelings in the right words. He may mumble words in great speed.

Sounds of letters of words may not be heard correctly. The child may feel that the words or sounds are jumbled.

Movement to rhythm of dance and music may be uncoordinated. Dyslexic children may also have difficulty in games and sports. For example, they may not be able to gauge distance and speed  of a ball coming towards them, and hence not catch the ball at all.

A dyslexic child may be depressed. They lose interest in academic activities and appear as demotivated and lazy to the teachers. They try to act naughty and irresponsible, just to draw attention away from their learning difficulty.

Steps to take once you know your child is dyslexic
Parents generally come to know if their child has this condition only after teachers start complaining that the child is not active or intelligent. Parents must get all the related details from teachers during Parent Teacher Interactions. Take additional appointments with teachers if needed.

The next step is to consult a developmental paediatrician or a child psychologist who may conduct certain tests to rule out physical and neurological disorders. An IQ test may be conducted to check if the child is performing below potential, by which the child’s language skills and memory is evaluated. These tests  are standardized and are reliable. Speech pathologists and occupational therapists may further diagnose specific learning disabilities like difficulty in expressing thru language may  also be diagnosed by a speech pathologist and an occupational therapist.

For parents and teachers of dyslexic children
First and foremost, realize that dyslexic children are of normal or higher than average intelligence. There are many ways to teach them to read, write and spell. These are unconventional methods that follow a multi-sensory approach including seeing, hearing and moving called Visual-Auditory-Kinesthethic method or VAK method.

Different art materials may be used for teaching. For teaching letters and numbers, make the child use materials like play-dough or make them cut out letters. Make these kids write really big on a large surface.

Few important things to note
Do not do your child’s homework. Have lots of patience. Divide a task into many small portions. Make a child do his homework. Ask him many questions.

You know your child best. Meet his teachers, therapists and decide on a proper plan containing his routine time table and all extra activities that will help you to minimize weaknesses and build upon his plus points.

DO NOT pity yourself or your child. Remember, dyslexic children have a lot of potential. You just need to get the right developmental plan and routine.

Read out books slowly and loudly, especially those stories which children love to read. Be expressive. Encourage your child to read books. Get books with large and bold print and lots of pictures in them.

Be sensitive to your child’s feelings. Do not punish or yell at him if he is feeling down or is exhibiting aggressive behavior. Such children often get frustrated by sarcastic remarks of insensitive people and children. Handle this aggressiveness with care.

Foster a hobby. Hobbies help a lot of dyslexic children to vent their frustration and boost self-esteem. It maybe any activity that your child enjoys doing, like painting, craft, any kind of art-work,music,dance etc.

Praise your child for small accomplishments. It will make him feel a lot better.

Did you know?
All these famous personalities had dyslexia. Many of them lived in an era where minimal or absolutely no research had been done on dyslexia. And yet, they turned out to be great people and visionaries.

Henry Ford –  Founder of the Ford Motor Company
Leonardo Da Vinci – famous painter, architect, sculptor,writer and what not!
Tom Cruise – famous actor
William Hewlett – Co-Founder, Hewlett-Packard
Muhammad Ali – World Heavyweight Champion Boxer
Pablo Picasso – Spanish painter, sculptor and draughtsman

Your kid is a wonder kid in the making! Realize his true potential and go ahead!

Movies on dyslexic children
Tare Zameen Par This is a beautiful, heart rending tale of a 7 year old dyslexic boy Ishaan and how his teacher helps him achieve what others feel is impossible for the boy!
TV series
Backwards: The Riddle of Dyslexia

Developmental pediatricians in Mumbai, India
Dr Vibha Krishnamurthy
Ummeed, 7-A Chinoy Mansion, Bhulabhai Desai Road, Mumbai 400 026.
Tel: (+91)(22)23632932
(+91)(22) 23632258
Email: ummeed@vsnl.net Website: www.ummeed.org

Dr. Roopa Srinivasan
Consultant Developmental Pediatrician
Fellowship in Developmental Pediatrics(Vellore)
Advanced Training in Rehab Medicine(Australia)

Sandhi Children’s Clinic,
Nerul(East), Navi Mumbai, India
Tel: (+91)(22)32253665
Time: By appointment 7pm – 9pm(Mon – Fri)

Salma Prabhu
Registered Clinical psychologist, therapist and counselor.
ACE Resource Center,
Sector-17, Vashi, Navi Mumbai.
Email: contact@acetherapist.com
Mobile: (+91)(09699889581)
Note: Testing for Dyslexia is done here in addition to several other tests.

Dr Rajeshwari Ganesh
Consultant Developmental Pediatrician
Fellowship in Developmental Pediatrics [Singapore ]
By prior appointments
Bethany Hospital
Contact : 02221725100
and at
Jeet Child Developmental Center
Mobile : 9819010027

Note: This list will be refreshed as and when we get more details. We need more information on developmental pediatricians, occupational therapists in India and worldwide. We would appreciate related information from readers like you!



Aggressive Behavior

As children grow, some turn out to be nice and acceptable, some turn out to be kids of irregular behaviors involving violent outbursts and yet a few become dull and idle. As for nice children who are intelligent of their age with a nice attitude and behavior, parents do not have problems. However, in the case of children with violent behavior, parents  face serious difficulties trying to bring them up as normal intelligent adults having good health and integrity. This section offers tips to help parents to manage aggressive behavior in children.

In the early stages, parents rarely take note of aggressive behavior displayed by children due to several reasons. One of them being, love and affection towards their children. As a result, occasional erring and defiant behavior of a child is considered to be a minor issue and is appreciated. Many parents unknowingly encourage their kids’ tantrums by fulfilling all their demands. Violent behavior in children must be taken seriously. It requires remedial and preventive solutions at the hands of parents, other family members, teachers and concerned people.

Children who exhibit aggressive behavior display deliberate attempt to hurt others. This can be seen  in a number of ways:

  • hitting
  • kicking
  • spitting
  • biting
  • pushing
  • throwing objects
  • destroying property, especially, toys, plates, TV Screens, decorative articles etc.

One might wonder why aggressive behavior becomes a habit in some children. The reasons are simple but intriguing in  nature.
The reasons are many:

  • low self esteem
  • limited communication with parents
  • limited problem solving skills
  • frustration
  • stress
  • exposure to violence in the home, community or visual media
  • emotional problems
  • abuse
  • spending time with peers who are aggressive
  • temperament

How to deal with Violent Outbursts in Children?

Children tend to repeat certain behavior till  their attention is diverted to some other activity or issue which interests them. This is inherent in every human being. Craving to get engaged is a  reason for such attitude in children.

Repeat of one action or behavior several times forms new temporary nerve connections between different sensory centres in the cortex of brain. These temporary nerve connections are called conditioned reflexes. Even a small temptation or craving will be enough for the conditioned nerve connection (reflex) to act. To avoid such contexts, provide them with consistent, positive attention to eliminate aggressive  behavior. In children this is easily done by diverting their attention to activities which are interesting.

Keep consistent watch and prevent children from consuming stimulant materials that trigger violent outbursts.

Surroundings  can set the tone for calmness or chaos . Clear efforts at the hands of parents and family members are called for to control surroundings  that influence children. Be selective about the types of television programmes children watch. Don’t let them view shows that depict violence as humorous, or as a way to deal with problems. This is a way of controlling surroundings that influence children.

Acknowledge the child’s feelings while setting boundaries. Maintain eye contact with  children  and find ways to help them  communicate their anger. Let them know that it’s okay to be angry but hurting others is not acceptable. You can say, “I understand that you’re angry but I expect you to (state the boundary).”

Make sure that children have opportunities to expend excess energy by getting plenty of physical activity each day. Parents must also learn to control themselves while in an angry mood. If parents express their anger in quiet, peaceful ways, the child will follow suit.

All children need a certain level of aggression. Without it they are likely to become targets for other children. If your child gets angry it is nothing to worry about either. Anger and aggression become problems when a child attacks another child or adult or the child resorts to destroying things, throwing things and shouting violently. The main causes for these behaviors are frustration, attention seeking and gaining upper hands in matters. Frustration can have a number of triggers. For example it can be caused when a child has been told, it is time to stop playing, to carry out an activity the child does not wish to do or when the child cannot get something he wants.

There can be many  triggers for attention seeking. An example of this is where there is a younger sibling and the older child perceives the younger one is getting more attention than the older one. The older one in such case may become aggressive in order to grab attention. Such situation needs to be tackled carefully by devising proper parental approach so as to make the older one to feel equal care and attention that the younger one is getting.

Similarly, when a child is playing happily himself another child appears to join. If the first child does not want the company of the second child to play, the first child may show aggression towards the other child and may try and drive the second one away from the scene.

Aggressive behavior is most likely to be found in younger children. As their vocabulary evolves through the development of second signal system of spoken words, they are more likely to be able to demonstrate their dissatisfaction through words of shouting rather than hitting.

Controlling Aggressive Behavior – Top Tips

To help overcome problems of aggression in a child here are our top 10 tips:

  • Watch for triggers: Check out triggers that regularly cause aggressive behavior.It can be as simple as children regularly arguing and becoming aggressive over what television program they like to watch.
  • Be careful when you react: If you react to any problems at home by shouting or hitting out, your children will follow suit. Your child may learn from you that shouting and hitting  is normal and acceptable behavior. Therefore if they are in a situation that they find frustrating they are likely to react in a similar, aggressive manner.
  • Discuss appropriate and inappropriate behavior: If you have had a hard day, wait till there is a period of calm and discuss your child’s actions with them in a peaceful way. Explain the likely results of the child’s actions. For example explain that when they hit or bite it hurts and that other children may not play with them in future.
  • Give attention and show affection: All children need attention and affection. This is especially true for older children with younger siblings. A first born child gets used to a certain amount of attention and affection. They can find it very difficult to understand why they have to share their parents with a younger child. This can make them  feel rejected and isolated. Make time to pay them special attention.
  • Monitor TV programmes and plays:  Although the effect of television on children can be overstated, there could be a link between your child’s aggression and what the child watches on television screen. If he likes to watch programmes that include a level of violence then this can have a negative effect on the child’s behavior. n a similar way take note of the type of games your child tends to play. If children play lots of games with toy guns and swords or online games of a violent nature, it may be a good idea to try to change the balance of their play and introduce them to other games of calm nature as well.
  • Monitor the influence of friends:  If you have always lived in a quiet, peaceful environment then the introduction of a new friend can have an impact on the way your child behaves. For example if the child sees the new friend arguing with their parents or hitting other children, the child may start thinking this as acceptable behavior. In such situations it becomes necessary to end the new friendship.
  • Give warning time:  Most children get frustrated and can show aggression if they are busy playing and the parent suddenly tells them that it is time to stop and go. Although it is not always possible, try to give them a warning that it is nearly time to stop playing. This gives them the chance to get used to the idea and you are likely to get a more positive response.
  • Provide alternative toys and stimuli :  If you sense a child is getting bored or frustrated with what he is doing, be ready to suggest something different. A child who is trying to do something difficult to do, may run out of patience and lose his temper. Watch out for signs of such happenings. Whenever possible have some alternatives ready to be introduced for the child to do. This is especially the case when the child has learning difficulties or is simply bored to start doing home work or hates a particular subject at school.
  • Encourage child to discuss problems:  The more you talk to a child the easier the child will find it to establish its own vocabulary and rapport. Quietly explain to the child how he can resolve differences through discussion and negotiation rather than through violent behavior.
  • Praise good behavior:  Always take note of good acts done and achievements made by the child. When a child has behaved well  then praise the child sincerely. Such actions will make the child feel good and want to behave in a positive manner more often.

There will be times when no matter what you do your child still shows aggression. If this happens make sure you keep a close eye on your child when you think a flashpoint may arise. Be prepared to step in quickly and guide your child away from the situation as calmly as you can.

Whatever be the situation, it is advisable for parents of aggressive children never to consult psychiatrists, psychologists or hypnotists for remedy. Parents are the best therapists for aggressive preschoolers and small children. Psychiatrists are needed in cases where neurological problems are involved. Hypnotic suggestive therapy is advisable for persons above 15-18 and above age group. Why waste time on these sources when parents are the best therapists available at easy reach and access!

Read “How to empower and discipline your child”


Pudina chutney recipe

pudina chutney recipe

pudina chutney

This sweet and sour pudina chutney reminds me of fun school days when mom kept yummy vegetable sandwiches ready when I returned from school.  She would put this delicious spread on all bread slices with tomato ketchup and good old ‘aloo ki sabzi’ – potato side dish, capsicum and thin slices of onion. Sometimes, I preferred plain cheese spread to tomato ketchup. Pudina chutney is also super tasty when served as mint dips for starters, both vegetarian and non vegetarian.

Well, the other day, I called her up and got the recipe. Decided to recreate the pudina chutney sandwich magic for my 6 year old son.

So here is how you make it!

You will need:

Fresh mint leaves (Pudina) – 2 cups
Fresh Cilantro / coriander leaves / Dhaniya – 1/2 cup
Raw mango pieces – 1/2 cup
Coconut grated – 1 cup
Green chillies – 1
Sugar – 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste

How to prepare
Grind all these ingredients to form a smooth paste like consistency. Spread this on brown bread sandwiches or use this as tangy mint dips for starters. This sweet, sour and spicy pudina chutney with a mouth watering aroma of cilantro and mint will remind you of good old days and everything mom-made 😉

And don’t forget to check out my crispy prawn starter recipe !


Remove Stains – Top Stain Removers

Stain removers are an absolute must among your household cleaning supplies. Many times you get confused when it comes to regards to picking out the best stain remover amongst other similar products. Chances are that the ones you buy may not even clean stains properly. To know which stain remover is best suited to your needs, read on.

Types of stain removers

There are basic ingredients that a good stain removing agent must have. Depending on the basic ingredients, they can be used on different stains.

Enzyme stain removers are the best in league for removing organic stains such as vegetable stains, blood, oil, turmeric etc. These stain removers usually have amylase, protease or lipase as ingredients. They are mild on hands.

Laundry pre-treating agents like aerosol sprays and stain removing sticks work best on grease stains and carpet stains. You can use them to pre-treat  stains for easy removal later on.

Oxygen based cleaning agents like Oxy Clean work best on tough fabric stains including those from ketchup, sherry wine, mustard and oil.

Quick fixes at home

Hydrogen Peroxide works well on fresh blood stains. Just rub a little solution containing 3 percent Hydrogen peroxide on the stain, rub it, rinse. Repeat the process till the stain is  removed.

Rubbing alcohol works well on ink stains. Rub some using some cotton or sponge on the ink stain, till the ink stops spreading on the fabric. Repeat till the stain appears very faded. Then rinse with hot water.

Nail polish remover is also an efficient ink stain remover. Just rub some nail polish remover on the stained area of the fabric, followed by rubbing some liquid detergent. Then wash the area well with water.

Top  stain removers available in the market

Check out the best stain removing products available in the market today.

1. Didi 7 universal stain remover

This one works best on all kinds of stains including vegetable stains, ink stains, sweat stains on collars and cuffs,  on fabric, upholstery, sanitary fittings and other surfaces.

2.Super Iron Out IO65N Rust Stain Remover

This stain remover specializes in rust removal from laundry, bumpers, tools, porcelain surfaces, glassware, toilet and flush boxes in addition to cleaning water softeners of iron and rust deposits, lengthening the life of the softener.

3. Amway L.O.C High Suds

Amway L.O.C High Suds review

Amway L.O.C is a multifunctional cleaning agent for all kinds of washable surfaces from kitchen utensils, floors, walls, sanitary fittings and polished wooden furniture. This one is a superb stain remover. When used undiluted, it fights tough stains – even blood stains and iron rust stains. You can use this to remove mold and mildew stains and crayon marks  on walls.  To top it all, this is a 100% organic cleaner, made from coconut oil derivatives and extremely gentle on your hands.

Price – $6.70 for a 1 liter pack.
Rs 385 for a 1 Liter pack and Rs. 257 for a 500 ml pack in India.

You can buy Amway L.O.C High Suds from Amway business owners. You can also also buy this online from the Amway website at www.amway.com

4. Shaw Carpet & Rug Stain & Soil Remover GREEN Formula

This one fights household spills and stains and can be used on all  types of  fabrics and upholstery including wool. It removes tough stains from carpets and rugs without getting rid of the fabric color.

5. Clorox Bleach pens

Clorox bleach pens let you get stains off from small spots say on a white area in between designs or stripes on your shirt. You can even clean stains on tiles, porcelain and grout. It has a narrow precision tip for targeting narrow and small areas plus a broad scrubber tip for handling larger surfaces.


Jewellery Designer Mumbai – Bhakti Maru Gogri

jewellery designer - mumbai

Beautiful jewelry is always in vogue; never goes out of fashion. But getting the right kind of jewelry design suited to your taste can be quite a pain. Not if you find the right jewelry designer who offers you resplendent and exquisite personalized jewelry that makes you stand out from the crowd.

jewellery designer - mumbai Bhakti Maru Gogri

Jewellery Designer

Bhakti Maru-Gogri is one such exceptionally talented and creative jewelry designer from Mumbai. She specializes in personalized jewelry with many satisfied clients across Mumbai. Her fascinating custom jewelry designs eventually metamorphose into stunning creations fit for different occasions like weddings, parties, traditional Indian functions and so on.

Bhakti studied Jewelry Design and Manufacture at the reputed Premila Vithaldas Polytechnic, SNDT, Juhu – Mumbai .  She was the university topper. She says “The practical hands-on experience with designing and manufacturing jewelry was excellent. It was like passing thru a sugarcane crusher, the sugarcane gets crushed to pulp, but the sugarcane juice is so sweet.”

She was awarded the Smt.Indira Randeri Award for standing first in the university final examinations, at the Annual Convocation of the S.N.D.T University. She has also won the Best Manufactured Collection Award and Merit Award for scoring the highest grade in the overall academic performance while studying Jewelry Design and Manufacture.


indian jewellery designer


Jewellery designer mumbai

Bhakti has worked as Marketing Manager & Product development head – (studded diamond  jewelry ) and has a fair hands on experience with export houses and local market companies.  She has designed jewelry for Surya Gold, Nakshatra Diamonds and many leading jewelry brands. Her favorite Indian jewelry store is Jewels Emporium from Jaipur – their creations are always showcased at the well known IIJS (India International Jewelry Show). Her favorite international jewelry brand is Van Cleef and Arpels, from Paris. Now a mom to  a 2 year old daughter, she mainly caters to clients from home, maintaining a wonderful work-family balance. Her main source of inspiration for designs comes from nature, arabic inscriptions and ancient Indian architecture. She adds, ” A design must have a strong meaning. The concept and meaning must be clearly justified by your design“. She does not favor simple western jewelry, but would rather go for a fusion of western and Indian designs, suitable for western outfits and casual occasions.

Jewellery Trends

Bhakti says current jewelry trends in India favor diamonds. Plain gold jewelry is passé. Young women are more in favor of a combination of gold and diamond jewelry. Diamonds are no longer meant only for the rich and famous. People from all classes are open to experimenting with diamond jewelry . Also youngsters love to experiment with a combination of colored gemstones and diamonds while the more traditional ones want only diamond and gold jewelry.

Customized jewellery

Bhakti offers  Made to Order Jewelry aka fully customized jewelry . The main advantage of going for customized jewelry is that your jewelry includes all your personal preferences. You can customize jewelry based on your choice of design, gemstones or even metal. Custom made jewelry is not for the masses and hence more emphasis is laid on personal choices that eventually makes your jewelry unique in all respects. Bhakti proclaims to customize a unique set of collection that every client  will be proud of owning. She espouses distinct designs, stunning displays and a personal touch that enriches your experience leaving you entirely satisfied with every purchase made and ensuring you  that everything that glitters can be yours!

The collection ranges from varieties in Cocktail Rings, Bangles, Pendant Sets, Chandelier Diamond Earrings,Necklace Sets, Earrings etc. Her collection comprises of an extensive range of diamond jewelrys, semi precious and precious gems, with various colors of gold, pearls, latest trends and ornaments that will truly make you the focal point  at all occasions.


ganesh pendant rudraksh

Featured above is a Ganesha pendant made of Gold, diamonds and a Rudraksha bead. It symbolizes Om – Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesha and is traditional yet trendy.

Bhakti’s Jewelry Showcase

Check out this fascination collection of stunning jewelry pieces designed and manufactured by Bhakti.


  a necklace Delicate necklace – Journey from illustration on paper to finished piece

Floral Bouquet Pendant Set Smoky Quartz Diamonds Floral bouquet inspired pendant set in smoky quartz and diamonds

diamond pendant Diamond pendant – inspired by nature

Floral Pendant Set Cabachons champagne diamonds White Diamonds Floral inspired pendant set with cabochons, champagne diamonds and white Diamonds

bangles Bangles

bangles Bangle with pressure set diamonds

mangalsutra design Mangalsutra design

necklace design Necklace

ladies ring Ladies ring

mens ring Mens ring

mens jewellery  sartej Sar pej for men

mens jewellery  kurta buttons diamonds amethyst Kurta buttons with diamonds and amethysts

Her favorite jewellery for an Indian Bride – a pair of anklets and a necklace.
Her favorite jewellery for an Indian Groom – Sar pej (an embellishment or accessory worn on the turban or head gear)
Her favorite jewelry for a baby girl – a pair of anklets and small diamond ear studs in gold.

Contact Bhakti at bhakti.gogri(at)gmail.com for personalized jewelry .

Talking of family support

All this could not have been achieved without determination and staunch family support . Bhakti is very grateful to her parents, especially her father who stood like a rock behind her and who always supported her dreams of being a successful jewellery designer one day. Her husband, Pankaj shares her enthusiasm and is proud of her achievements. Her business has spread by word of mouth, with many customers coming back for more.

Bhakti’s advice for aspiring jewellery designers

Many ladies who are homemakers and college students aspire to be jewelry designers one day. But they are not aware of the right institutions to undertake an appropriate course. Many institutes offer training on jewelry design and do not focus much on jewelry manufacturing. In fact, they do not offer hands on training for manufacturing. A good looking design may not always be practical or wearable. So learning how to manufacture a design is a must. A good institute must compulsorily offer training on jewelry design, jewellery manufacture, market research and must also offer placements. They must have proper affiliation to well known universities and good knowledgeable and experienced teachers. Bhakti vouches for PV Polytechnic, SNDT-Juhu. Also, make sure that you have a lot of time to dedicate to training. This requires plenty of patience and hard work.

Bread Recipes – Bread Roll / Bread Pakoda

 Bread roll recipe or Bread Pakoda is a tea time snack loved by all. Ideal for serving with cups of steaming hot tea. You can even make this from leftover bread.

bread roll/bread pakoda

Bread Rolls with Cheese dips and Heinz tomato ketchup

You will need:

Bread slices – 10
Boiled Potato – 1
Garlic – 4 pods
Red chilly powder
Chopped Cilantro  ( Dhania )
Curry leaves ( optional )
Chickpea flour ( besan ) – 3 small cups
Turmeric powder

How to prepare bread rolls

bread roll/bread pakoda
Make a batter of gram flour and keep aside. Pound the garlic pods, slightly. Mix together the bread slices, boiled potato, crushed garlic, chilly powder, turmeric powder, chopped cilantro and salt to form a dough. Make rolls from this dough.

Heat some oil in a frying pan. Dip each roll in the batter and deep fry in oil till golden brown. Serve hot with yummy cheese dips and Heinz tomato ketchup or Maggi tamarind sauce.


Window Garden – DIY

Window garden - window sill garden - window herb garden
Adding a bit of green  to your living space, creates a calm and beautiful atmosphere at home. Window gardens are the best way to plant a garden in less space, especially when you live in apartments or condominiums. Planting organic window gardens are ideal for the aged, with mobility problems. Using window planters and flower pots, you can grow your very own kitchen  garden with organic herbs, medicinal plants, flowering plants. Learn how to garden with a window box suited to your window. All you need is a few basic garden supplies and planters.

Tips for a beautiful window garden

Plants shown in the picture above are basil or Tulsi, Murraya koenigii or curry leaves, yellow hibiscus and a few flowering plants to make your window garden look pretty. Basil, hibiscus and curry plant have medicinal properties and can be used in curing a variety of ailments. Of these, basil and curry leaves are used extensively for cooking.

Choose terracotta planters, as they are porous and allow the roots to breathe. Also, they do not retain too much of water and have good thermal properties. Use planters that are at least 6 inches to 12 inches deep. You may use individual containers or a single long container for 2 or 3 herbs planted together. Mix some organic fertilizer or organic compost to the potting soil. Add 2 inches thick layer of  this potting mix, place the plant over this. Fill in the remaining potting soil, firm it around the roots. The soil texture must be just right i.e. a proper mix of sand, clay and silt, properly aerated. Make sure you leave 2 inches space from the top of each planter for watering.

Ensure that you do not overcrowd your window with planters; this may block the view from your window. Leave some space in between the planters. In case of window grills, you can use a wrought iron or steel rod for hanging flowering shrubs from the top, as shown above. Ask for shrubs that do not grow tall and just trickle down the sides of the flower pots. You can even grow bougainvillaea, money plants etc. in hanging flower pots, keeping the growth in check by trimming the leaves periodically. Grow ginger, tomatoes, chillies and useful herbs this way.

Tips for choosing plants for your window garden

Select plants whose growth is suited to the available space. I planted yellow hibiscus for the medicinal properties of the flowers and leaves. Hibiscus flower tea taken internally lowers blood pressure and reduces bad cholesterol levels(LDL). Tea made of hibiscus leaves is an excellent conditioner for your hair and a good remedy for dandruff. However, the plant grows quite tall unless you prune the stems and leaves as and when required.

While selecting flowering shrubs, make sure you ask the expert at the local nursery, if the pollen or any part of the plant can be allergic to you.

Find out the watering requirements for each plant. Check whether they grow well or wilt in direct sunlight depending on the placement of your window w.r.t sunlight.

All said and done, give a green thumb to container gardening in your apartment windows that will be well appreciated by friends and guests alike. Plus, you also contribute to a greener urban environment by reducing your carbon footprint. Following these tips, you can also learn  how to garden for kids.



Best out of waste – Pencil holder

Best of waste - popsicle stick craft - pencil holder

Pencil holder by Ananya Menon. Idea credits-Sushmita Menon

 A recycled  pencil holder made of waste popsicle sticks and used plastic container – is a great craft idea for kids and equally good for best out of waste craft competition at schools.

You will need:

An old plastic bowl or used cardboard box – small
Popsicle sticks / Ice cream sticks
Poster colors
Glitter and other embellishments

How to make

Color each Popsicle stick with poster colors. Glue them one by one onto the plastic container or the cardboard box to cover the box entirely.  Allow this to dry. Paste shells, beads or other embellishments on the outer side of the popsicle sticks. your popsicle stick craft  pencil holder is ready in minutes. This is an ideal best of waste popsicle stick craft for kids in kindergarten and elementary school.

How to grow ginger – top tips

Growing ginger in a pot is a great idea for urban gardening. You can grow ginger root with minimum resources in your balcony or roof gardens. All you need is a plant container and some rich potting soil which is loose and does not become solid over time. Do not use any pesticides or artificial fertilizers and you can grow organic ginger root in your garden.

grow ginger root

Tips to grow ginger

Fill a 12″ wide and 10″ deep plant pot with rich potting soil. Place a firm and healthy piece of ginger  just below the surface of the soil.  Place the pot in a sunny place. Cool temperature will result in poor growth. Pour less water initially before the shoots begin to appear. Use boiled and cooled,strained, plain black tea water to water the ginger plant. Tea is an excellent organic fertilizer for plants.

In 4-6 months, the ginger plant grows 2-4 feet tall. When the leaves begin to wilt and dry, it is time to dig out the ginger root.The ginger plant in the picture is mature and the leaves have started drying. Cut the wilted leaves. Then dig out the ginger root with a garden spade.
grow ginger root

Clean and wash the ginger. Place the washed pieces in the sun to dry.

grow ginger root
The best part is, it was planted by my little boy. He was so happy to harvest his very own organically grown ginger. So you see, this is an ideal  DIY organic gardening project for kids.

Health benefits of ginger
Ginger aids digestion. Hot ginger tea is a good remedy for cold and flu. It boosts immunity and is a powerful anti-oxidant. It lowers blood cholesterol levels and is good for bowel disorders. It also relieves headaches due to indigestion, morning sickness and eases asthma symptoms if taken regularly.

Health benefits of Indian Spices

Paper Plate Crafts For Kids – Smiley Hat

Paper plate crafts for kids can be fashioned out of  left over paper plates from a birthday party! This is a great way to keep naughty kids busy and engaged. Look at this paper plate hat  – It makes up for a great best out of waste project as well.

paper plate crafts for kids

A paper plate hat with a smiley face on top  is the easiest among various paper plate crafts for kids. Let us see how to make this funky paper plate hat. You can use left over paper plates from a birthday party or any other occasion. Team it up with colored paper, paints and unleash your creativity.

Paper Plate Crafts For Kids

You will need:

2 Plain white paper plates – medium or large size
Compass circle and pencil
Poster colors
Marble papers – (optional)
Black marker

How to make a paper plate hat

1. Take a plain white paper plate. Draw a circle with a compass, leaving the rim of the paper plate.

2. Using the center point marked by the compass, draw 3  diameters to the circle. You get a set of six triangle shapes. Cut along the lines avoiding the triangle bases. Bend these triangles upward to form a crown, as seen in the picture above.

3.Use poster colors and color this in different designs and patterns. You can cover the triangular shapes with glazed marble paper or color them plain.

4. Take a second paper plate. Cut out a circle, same size as the circle you drew on the first paper plate. Color the plain side with any bright poster color and make a smiley face out of it, with eyes, nose and a cute smile. Highlight the borders of the smiley face with a black marker. Paste some pieces of paper plate cuttings for the hair.

5. Now take the first paper plate and slightly bend the tips of the triangles, outward. Apply glue and paste the smiley face on these.

6. You can add your own embellishments or decorate using glitter, to make the paper plate hat more lively.

This paper plate craft is sure to get keep kids busy and enjoy what they are doing. Try out other best out of waste ideas that make up for great craft ideas for kids.



Vegetable Cutlets

veg cutlets for kids

A tasty and quick tiffin idea for kids – yummy vegetable cutlets. These can be made in minutes from fresh ingredients as well as left-overs, mainly left-over bread slices and left-over aloo ki sabji (spicy potato side dish).

vegetable cutlet recipe Vegetable Cutlets

You will need:

Bread slices – 6
Roasted cumin powder – 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder – 2/8 tsp
Coriander powder – 1/4 tsp
Boiled vegetables(potato, green peas,carrots and french beans)
Left over vegetable side dish(potato,green peas,french beans or brinjals)
Juice of 1/4 lemon
Salt to taste
Semolina(Rawa) – 3 tbsp
Chopped coriander leaves – 2 tbsp
Cooking oil for shallow frying


How to prepare Vegetable Cutlets

Mash the bread slices with the boiled vegetables or the left over side dish. Make sure that you go easy on the spices in case you are using a left over side dish. Add coriander powder, chilly powder, cumin powder, lemon juice, chopped coriander leaves and salt to taste. Mix well. Make flattened balls of the mixture. Coat them evenly with semolina and shallow fry in a non-stick fry pan. Semolina makes crispy cutlets. You can substitute semolina with dry bread crumbs.

Serve crispy veg cutlets with tomato sauce or mint chutney. You can even pack this for kids lunchboxes. Veg cutlets are equally enjoyed as a tea time snack and are easy to make especially when unexpected guests turn up.

Creative Bags – Amruta Deshsmukh

Trendy Indian Bags -Amruta Deshmukh


Amruta Deshmukh
Amruta Deshmukh is like any other cheery and happy-go-lucky college goer but with a difference. This highly creative, artistic young lady takes art seriously. She has put to good use, her passion for creativity and strong desire for financial independence by converting it into a profitable business. Her amazing collection of  college handbags, creative bags, clutches, sheet bags, photo frames  and portfolio holders is often sold within hours of being put up on her website.

Amruta is a graduate in Mass Media and Communications. She has also done certificate courses in photography, photo editing, film making, vfx, editing and MAYA animation basics. She has been learning to draw since grade IV, has cleared elementary and intermediate drawing exams at school level in addition to signing up for constant hobby classes. Quite impressive!

So what fueled her passion for making business out of art?

Well, this is what she has to say ” It is quite a story, actually I love bright colors. I had a good collection of t-shirts. Since they were getting old, my dad was forcing me to get rid of them.  I loved them and did not want to throw them off. I suddenly got an idea and  converted it into a bag. I had no idea about sewing machines, so my first ‘t-shirt bag’ was made up of stapler pins and cello tape. It was a bright green bag and I was feeling very awkward to carry it to the college. but people loved it, and my friends forced to make similar stuff for them”

She does not restrict herself to any single product, experimenting with trendy handbags, college handbags, handmade clutches, accessories, wallets and much more at affordable prices.

Check out her wonderful collection!

Portfolio HoldersBlack n Red bag with a roseDragon BagCanvas with a clockEmbroidered handbagGreen Lady HandbagJeans HandbagTrendy College BagStars HandbagMirrorwork HandbagTrendy WalletsBlue and White Handbag

Her primary source of inspiration is  her best buddy ‘Kusum’ and her family. And she adds “Every person who likes my artwork is an inspiration.”

She loves experimenting with colors and is constantly innovating new stuff.
Check out her artwork at Artist Collections

A true inspiration for many home makers and college students who wish to make a business out of their hobbies, passions or avid interests.

Best of waste kids craft – Alien Spaceship from waste materials

A recycled  alien space ship made from waste materials  is a great best out of waste kids craft idea. Not only is it easy to make, but the materials used are waste materials found easily at home. This is an excellent idea for kids craft competition at school.

Alien spaceship - best of waste


You will need:

An old CD
Old magazine cover
Glue – (Fevicol or any other strong kid friendly glue)
Waste paper cup/transparent plastic cup
Clay dough – 2 different colors
Glitter – 2 different colors
A pair of scissors
3 matchsticks
Black marker pen

Best of waste – An alien spaceship from old CDs

Place the CD on the old magazine cover. Cut out a circle in the shape of the CD. Paste this paper circle on the printed side of the CD(not on the glossy surface).

Alien spaceship - best of waste

How to make an alien?

Make 3 small balls from the play dough, in decreasing sizes. 2 of one color and 1 of a different color. Place the largest play dough ball at the bottom, a different colored one in the middle and the smallest one at the top. Insert a matchstick thru all the three clay balls, to keep them in place. The striking tip of the matchstick must protrude from the topmost clay ball – resembling an alien antenna. Insert the other two matchsticks on the sides of the middle clay part, resembling alien arms. Make 2 eyes and a nose with a black marker. Paste this alien in the centre of the glossy side of the CD.

Apply glue to the rim of the transparent plastic cup and paste it, inverted over the alien, on the glossy side of the CD. The dome of your spaceship is ready with an alien sitting inside! Allow it to dry.

Alien spaceship - best of waste

Now for some decoration!
Take out your glitter tubes and make large circular dots near the rim of the glossy surface of the CD, a little away from the inverted plastic cup. This adds some bright lights to the spaceship. Apply a differ colored glitter on the top of the dome i.e. the plastic cup.

This is an easy to make craft idea from waste materials, for kids craft competitions.


You can cover the matchsticks with glitter.
You can even make a landing spaceship with an inverted bottle cap pasted below the CD for the lander and a small ladder made of old rope or an old toy ladder.
If using paper cup for the dome, color it appropriately and cut out a window to show the alien inside.

There are many more kids craft ideas for best of waste competitions here – Kids Crafts

Fried prawns recipe

Crispy prawns fritters are lip smacking accompaniments to elaborate lunches and dinners. No lengthy procedures, this prawns recipe is a quick fix guide to making the perfect, crunchy prawn fritters.

prawn starters                                                      Crispy Prawn Fritters

You will need:

Medium sized prawns(cleaned and de-veined) –  1/4 kg
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Red chilly powder – 2 tsp
Black pepper powder(optional) – 1/4 tsp
Fennel seed powder – 2 tsp
Garlic – 25 pods
Lemon – 1/2
Semolina(rawa) – 5 tsp
Salt to taste
Cooking oil – 3 tbsp

Method of preparation

Make a fine paste of garlic pods and fennel seed powder. Add red chilly powder, salt, turmeric powder, black pepper powder, juice of half a lemon to this paste. Marinate cleaned and de-veined prawns with this paste for 15 minutes.

Heat oil in a pan. Roll each prawn in semolina and deep fry till crisp and light brown.
Place the fried prawns on absorbent paper to get rid of excess oil.

Crispy prawn fritters are ready to eat!

Chicken curry recipe – Easy chicken curry

Interested in cooking up some spicy and easy Indian chicken curry? But then you don’t want to go into that elaborate cooking method and procure a really long list of spices. Besides,  you  just have 30 minutes in hand to whip up a spicy chicken side dish with some gravy. Never mind, this simple and instant chicken curry recipe is sure to get you going!

Instant chicken curry recipe Easy Indian Chicken Curry

You will need

Chicken legs – 6 or  Boneless chicken – 1/2 kg
Garlic – 25 pods
Fennel seeds – dry roasted and ground to a fine powder – 1 tsp
Onion – 2 (chopped)
Tomatoes – 2
Coriander leaves – 2 medium cups
Mint leaves – 1/2 small cup
Red chilly powder – 1 tsp
Curd – 1 cup
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Cooking oil – 3 tbsp

Easy Chicken Curry

Clean the chicken legs/boneless chicken pieces and keep aside. Make a paste of garlic pods, fennel powder, yoghurt, mint leaves, red chilly powder and salt. Marinate the chicken with this paste for 5 minutes. Grind chopped onions and tomatoes to a fine paste.

Heat 2 tbsp cooking oil in a fry pan. Add the onion-tomato paste and saute for 2 minutes. Add the chicken pieces. Turn them over so that they are evenly covered with the onion tomato gravy. Cover the pan and cook over low flame for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the chicken pieces, add some 1 tbsp oil and cook for 10 minutes on low flame without covering the pan.

Do not add water as the chicken pieces release water when cooked. Continue cooking till the gravy reaches a thick consistency. Garnish with lots of chopped coriander leaves/ cilantro.

Slurp up this easy chicken curry with steamed rice or Indian breads.