Top 5 healthy snacks for kids and picky eaters

Healthy snacks for picky kids

Tired of handling kids who are picky eaters? The best way to make healthy snacks for kids is to dress up regular food in the form of Pizzas, Dosas, Sandwiches and Bhels in order to make them look appetizing. Tame your picky eating children with healthy snacks with attractive names, in interesting shapes and colors. Check out these five, super quick, scrumptious healthy snacks for kids that will make your picky kids drool all over.

Healthy snacks for kids - picky eaters


Healthy snacks for kids, picky eaters


Fuse a South Indian uttapam with an Italian pizza to make a delectable Uttapizza. For the uttapam, use dosa batter prepared by grinding soaked rice and urad dal in the ratio 2 cups rice : ¾ cups urad dal. Allow the batter to ferment overnight. Spread the batter on a hot tawa, turn over and cook well on both the sides. Now for the pizza topping, spread 1 teaspoon of Amul cheese spread evenly all over the surface of the uttapam. Add stir fried veggies – shopped capsicum, shredded carrots and green peas over the cheese spread. Sprinkle oregano spice mix all over. Cut this Uttapizza into triangular pieces just like a regular cheese pizza. Serve hot with some tangy coconut and mint chutney.

Baked corn and sweet potato patty dolls

Kids love shapes. Baked patty dolls made of corn and sweet potato are fun to eat, healthy snacks for kids.

Cook and mash 2 sweet potatoes. Add 1 teaspoon boiled corn. Mix well with salt, a pinch of chilly powder, half a teaspoon cooking oil and 1 teaspoon chopped coriander leaves. Make small flat doll shapes(a round head, a triangular body, rectangular hands and feet) from this mix. Coat both sides with sooji or powdered cornflakes. Place them on a greased baking tray. Cook in a microwave for 1 minute. Serve these cute patty dolls with sauce or chutney.

Sprouts Bhel

Getting kids to eat sprouts is quite an uphill task. The problem is with the raw taste of sprouts. Saute a pinch each of mustard seeds, asafoetida, cumin, red chilly powder with curry leaves and a teaspoon of cooking oil in a frying pan. Add sprouts to this, turn off the cooking gas supply and cover the pan with a lid. Next, take some puffed rice in a colorful round bowl. Add nylon sev, chopped coriander leaves, chopped tomatoes and the sauteed sprouts to the puffed rice. Tasty sprouts bhel is ready. Your picky eaters will simply love this easy to make snack.

Egg wraps

Attractive names coax kids into trying new snacks. ‘Egg wraps’ sound better than ‘Egg Rolls’ or the rather plain ‘Egg with chapati and cheese’. Here is how you make it –

Slice boiled eggs. Sprinkle salt, and a pinch of chilly powder over the sliced eggs. Spread a generous dollop of of home made butter on a regular wheat chapati. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon chopped coriander leaves over the cheese. Wrap the seasoned egg slices in the chapati. Transform a simple chapati egg roll into a fabulously rich egg wrap and see the difference!

Spinach Cheese Sandwich

Kids who are picky eaters will not refuse green leafy vegetables if you hide them in sandwiches. Clean and wash 2 spinach leaves. Saute ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon finely chopped onions, 1 teaspoon chopped garlic and 1 teaspoon of shredded potatoes with some salt, chilly powder and 1 teaspoon cooking oil. Cook this for 2 minutes. Place the spinach leaves, the sauteed mix and 1 teaspoon of grated cheese between two slices of brown bread. Cook in a microwave for 60 seconds. Cut into triangles and serve with tomato sauce or tamarind sauce.

Prepare these super healthy snacks for kids, one day at a time. You will have your little picky eaters eating out of your hands in no time.


Photo Credits: John Schilling

Activities for kids – physical activity and educational games

activities for kids

To find creative and fun activities for kids  is not an easy job especially when it  rains i-Pads, i-Pods and what nots. Kids are hooked onto online games, TV and mobile games. The point is how to make these naughty little chaps appreciate  the goodness of outdoor activities, educational games, cycling and reading books (of course not on a kindle!) among others.

activities for kids

Being a mom, I know how difficult it is to cash in on the 4-5 hours break kids get after they come back from school. We end up scheduling  snacks, home work and  play within this time frame, leaving kids exhausted. So here is my list of fun activities for kids which can be taken up one day at a time. This ensures overall child development and gives you some pure family fun.

Outdoor activities for kids

This is the best activity to get kids to love nature. Lack of space in urban areas need not be a hurdle to begin gardening at home. You can place flowering pots and planters in window sills, or in your balcony. Take old plastic sippers, transparent plastic containers, or a medium sized wooden box. Add potting mix and plant seeds or saplings. Teach them the importance of herbs and spices like growing ginger, turmeric, basil etc. Allow them to plant sprouts. Teach them to make self watering planters. You can come up with a colorful landscape with plants having different colored leaves. Use shells, pebbles or stones to give an attractive fencing to your kids miniature garden. Get a glimpse of several miniature gardens for kids here.

Physical activity – Field day games and fitness activities
Enroll your kids in professional training centers for skating, martial arts, swimming, football, cricket or badminton. These activities are conducted weekly. Some schools conduct these activities as part of their daily schedule. You can search your local yellow pages for these training centers. Enrolling your kid in any one of these will ensure overall development of your child. It also makes your kid confident, plan strategies well and able enough to combat stress in later life.

For Badminton and Cricket coaching in Navi Mumbai contact  NMSA – Vashi,  and DY Patil Sports Academy, Nerul. For basketball, swimming and football coaching contact Fr Agnel Sports Complex-Vashi. Swimming camps are also conducted at NMMG, Vashi.

Music & Dance
Learning music and dance has many benefits. It teaches children a thing or two about your tradition and culture. It improves motor skills and makes kids confident to perform before many people. Music and dance also inculcate discipline in kids, as it requires a lot of patience and training.

Indoor fun  for kids
Every day may not be great to pursue an outdoor activity, especially during monsoon. So let your kid take up DIY craft projects, pursue a hobby or become an entrepreneur.

Art, Crafts,Hobbies and educational games
Let kids create a bottle piggy bank to their pocket money. This will teach kids the value of money. Teach them to make a bubble blower, popup cards, bottle cap or button jewellery, leaf printing art etc. has a wide range of art & craft project for kids. Get kids to make their own board games with a new set of rules and funny looking dice. They can play educational games like word games, monopoly, General Knowledge games and the like. Encourage kids to be little entrepreneurs and earn some money. Help them to start their own Rent-a-Book  library  or organize a kids garage sale.

You heard right! Engage kids in baking cakes, breads and muffins. Let them beat the eggs and mix stuff. Make them create smiley faces for the icing using candies, chocolate chips or fruit jam. You will love the smile on their faces when they see that their freshly baked cakes and muffins  are ready to eat.

Activities for kids must be a proper mix of physical activity, educational games and family fun. These are sure to sky rocket your kids’ overall performance in academics as well as in sports.


CBSE vs ICSE – Education sytem in India

CBSC vs ICSE, education system in india

CBSE vs ICSE , which is better?

This is an oft-asked question. November – December is that time of the year when new admissions are registered and  forms handed out by schools to parents for admitting their wards to Kindergarten, pre-primary and primary levels.  Parents face a dilemma when it comes to choosing the proper school curriculum for their kids – CBSE, ICSE, IB, IGCSE or State Board syllabus. Selecting a particular school syllabus has an impact on academic future of your child. Also, you can check if admitting your ward to a school with a particular syllabus and then later changing the syllabus by admission to another school will have any problems. This article examines each of these school curricula in detail so that you can select what is right for your kid.

CBSE board

CBSE stands for Central Board of Secondary Education. It is a board for both private and public schools under the Central  Government of India. The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) decides the curriculum. CBSE conducts  two  board examinations i.e.  the All India Secondary School Examination – Class 10 and the All India Senior School Certificate Examination -Class 12. CBSE pattern is more oriented towards Maths and Science and prepares the students for several national level competitive exams like IIT, CAT, IIM etc. in the future. CBSE schools offer several extra curricular activities. There are many CBSE schools, all over India. Some schools like Ryan International allow internal transfer of students in case of relocation to another city.

The age criteria for children being admitted to pre-primary , primary and secondary sections varies with different CBSE schools. For instance, APEEJAY, Nerul has made the minimum age for admissions to nursery class , to be 3 years and 6 months as on June 1st(Source:Apeejay, Nerul). And at Sister Nivedita school, Hyderabad the minimum age criteria for nursery is 2 years and 3 months as on June 1st. (Source:

Hindi is taught from Jr.Kg as against ICSE schools where pupils are taught Hindi from Std.I onwards. Multiplication tables are taught from Std.I in CBSE schools, whereas in ICSE schools, multiplication tables are taught from Std.II onwards. Again, it varies with different schools.

CBSE syllabus is focused and not very vast. It has a single English paper, science paper, and social studies paper. A student following the ICSE syllabus on the other hand  has to appear for two papers in English, three papers (Physics, Chemistry and Biology) in science,  and two papers for the social sciences (History and Geography).

It is said that CBSE syllabus is slightly tough right from the beginning i.e. from pre-primary onwards. The students get automatically groomed to solve tough problems. In ICSE schools, however, the syllabus is very easy in the initial pre-primary and primary years. The syllabus gets tough all of a sudden from std. VI onwards.

ICSE board

ICSE stands for Indian Certificate of Secondary Education. It is governed by the ICSE council established by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate. Two examinations i.e. one for  Std. X called ICSE(Indian Certificate for Secondary Education) and for Std. XII called the Indian School Certificate (ISC), are conducted by the council.

ICSE syllabus is vast and in-depth as compared to CBSE syllabus. It focuses more on languages. Besides, technical subjects like Maths,though taught well, are less emphasized upon as against CBSE syllabus. However, ICSE is recognized by several foreign universities. For instance, a student aiming for higher studies in UK can directly skip bridge courses and A-level tests, if he has  cleared the ISCE exam.

Students have to be four years and above for admission to Jr Kg. In std X, the student must be 16 years of age at the time of appearing for the ICSE examination. But again, different schools have set different age criteria.

SSC Board

SSC stands for Secondary School Certificate. This is a public examination conducted by the State Boards of different states in India. Learning the local language of the state is compulsory. This syllabus is not ideal for kids whose parents relocate often, on account of transfers. The content is limited and comparatively easier to the syllabus offered by other boards.  Additional coaching is required when these students have to appear for competitive examinations. State board schools have a lower fee structure as compared to other boards. However, the quality of education differs from school to school. Many state board schools have set an unparalleled standard in the field of education, for example – Holy Cross Convent School, Kalyan and Father Agnels, Vashi. More emphasis is laid on sports and extra curricular activities.

 IB Board

IB programme stands for  International Baccalaureate programme. This was founded by the International Baccalaureate Organization, IBO – an NGO based in Switzerland. The syllabus is on par with international standards, resulting in a more application based practical and interactive teaching methodology. It focuses on all round development of the child. This curriculum is suited for those who keep relocating to different parts of the world. The syllabus offers a variety of subjects. There is no stress for the students. No examinations are conducted till standard X. Kids can get admission to any IB school across different countries.


IGCSE stands for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education. It is a two year programme encompassing Std.IX and Std.X. Students from other boards can join the IGCSE programme in Std IX.IGCSE examination is conducted by Edexcel, UK and Cambridge International Examinations(CIE), UK. After passing IGCSE, a student is thoroughly prepared for any international pre-university programme,  Cambridge Pre-U, AS Level and A Level study, IB Diploma programme and other exams of similar nature. It is recognized by many institutions and employers across the globe. IGCSE guarantees an all round development of the child and offers a wide range of subjects to choose from. An application oriented teaching methodology is followed. IGCSE certificate is conferred for each subject paper a student attempts. Compulsory subjects include a First Language paper, Second Language paper, Maths and Science.  A student can opt for additional subjects like Creative Arts  and Social Sciences. Recently, many schools in India have started offering IGCSE curriculum.

Schools offering IB and IGCSE programmed are some of the most expensive schools around. The only problem with these  systems is when the child takes up further studies after Std.X, in India. Here, UG and PG programmes involve learning facts by rote. Of course there are projects and practicals, but the ability to memorize often rules the roost in Indian academics. Besides, not many teachers in India are trained for this kind of teaching methodology. Here students from CBSE boards have an added advantage since most of the entrance examinations conducted in India are based on CBSE syllabus. Also, IB and IGCSE schools are few and far between. In case of relocation to another city, the student may have a tough time getting admission to other boards.

All said and done, schools and boards do make a difference to a child’s future. But the rest depends on the student, his parents, surroundings and upbringing.  A person who is determined and intelligent can be educated in any situation, even under a street light.


Check out this link to find schools offering CBSE, ICSE, IB, IGCSE and SSC in India. This site offers a wonderful listing of schools filtered by the different boards of education.



Gateway paper – Handmade Paper – TK papers

Where can we buy gateway paper, tinted paper, leatherette paper, TK sheets and tinted papers used by students of Art, Architecture and Interior Design in Mumbai at lesser prices than local stationary shops?

Gateway paper is used for tracing layouts, floor plans and basic construction drawings. It is also used for DIY projects like Lamps. Tinted paper and TK papers are often used by students of Interior Design for preparation of concept sheets, mood board and perspective drawings. Unlike TK papers and tinted papers, Gateway paper and handmade paper is often not available at local stationery shops in Navi Mumbai and Central Mumbai suburbs. Or else they are very expensive. To buy handmade paper and gateway paper or coloured gateway paper, some shops in Bandra offer reasonably low prices, you can even buy in bulk from here.

Virat Paper Bazaar
Shop No 2 Coin House,
Opp Janta Book Centre,
Station Rd,
Bandra West,
Mumbai , India

They deal in handmade paper, craft paper, leatherette paper ,blossomed paper, textured paper, gateway paper and many more kinds. You can even negotiate prices for bulk orders.

Students can buy paper in groups to reduce individual total cost.

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: Website:

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.
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”


Money Management For Kids With A Piggy Bank

Money Management - Piggy Bank - Kids

Money Management - piggy bank

Money management for kids must be taught at an early age. Have you seen  kids who always insist on buying the latest toys and gizmos? Or kids who who make a huge fuss at supermarkets for buying everything they see? Well, some parents may argue that they are financially well off and there is no harm in pampering kids and meeting their demands and so on, as it keeps them happy. But have you heard of the saying “Give a man a fish and he will eat  for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime” The same goes for kids.

Now the next question would be, “How do I teach my kids money management?” The answer to this is not akin to studying rocket science, you just need loads of common sense.

Money Management Tips For Kids

Start At The Right Age

The best age to start teaching kids about money is from 5yrs-6yrs onwards. Smaller children are likely to accidentally swallow coins. So you need to be very careful.

Get A Piggy Bank

First and foremost, you need to buy an interesting money bank for your child. It may be a small toy house, you keep a coin at the doorstep, the door opens and a dog collects the coin before closing the door. The coin gets collected at the bottom of the toy house. Kids have short attention spans. The more interesting you make things for them, the more they will be keen on accomplishing tasks.

Teach Kids The Value Of Money

Next you have to tell them the reason behind parents going to work. They have to understand that you have to pay money for food, school fees, household expenses, petrol etc. Tell them nicely that people have to work and only then do they get paid.

Introduce kids to coins first. Encourage them to put coins in the piggy bank. Also make sure it is locked. You can tell your child that it will be opened on the first day of every month. This also inculcates some discipline in the child.

Play Money Games

Make them notice when you pay for groceries at the local grocery store. Show your kids that you have allocated a budget for groceries and you are going to spend within the limits. Any loose change that you get after paying for groceries can be given to the child as savings meant to be put into the piggy bank. Introduce role plays for money games like monopoly.

Teach Kids To Save

Encourage teens to go for summer jobs. For instance, if they want a trendy new bicycle, they can use their salary to get it and you may even chip in some more money if needed. This will inculcate self-esteem in the child, in addition to learning how to save.

A rule of the thumb is to teach a child to set goals for saving money.You need to explain the actual cost of a toy that he may want, for instance, and the rate at which he needs to save and the time after which he can take money out of the piggy bank to buy that thing. Put up a money tree on the notice board in your kid’s study. For every penny saved, put up a coin sticker on its branches. You may even  put up stickers on money worksheets.

Start Off With A Monthly Allowance

All said and done, you can begin by giving a monthly allowance for your child. Initially, make sure you are present when he spends the money. Advise him on the quality of the product he is buying. Teach him to understand if he is spending wisely on the right product. Let him not spend the entire money, you see, the purpose of this exercise is to make him save. So that has to be kept in mind.

As your kid grows, you can explain the concepts of debit cards, credit cards, ATMs, aspects of financial management and more.

Now you have something to start with. So go ahead and teach your kids the proper tricks of money management. And remember, this is a long process, you have to be there for kids to guide them on money matters till they are mature enough to take their own decisions.
Photo Credits – kenteegardin

Learn to read with Phonics – for little kids

Learn to read-phonics-for kids

Books are an ocean of knowledge. This is true about all kinds and forms of books, including e-books, kindles and all. Little kids can learn a lot from good books. As a child, you may have enjoyed the stories that your parents read out at bed time and otherwise. Slowly, you too learned to read. Now, you want your kids to read as efficiently as you, if not better. But how to improve your child’s oral reading skills in a smooth and effective manner? Here is how you do it!

Learn to read-phonics-for kids

Get the basics right! The phonics i.e. alphabet sounds must be clear. The concept of vowels and consonants must be clear.
Here is a very useful online resource for how to learn to read with ABC Phonics – the very basics of reading that will promote phonological awareness in your child.
Teach phonics

You will find additional useful resources to teach a child to read, here
Teach your child to read

The next step is to encourage the child to read. Small children need visually appealing books to at least take a look. Make sure you buy kids books with lots of informative pictures in them. Keep these books within reach of your children(unless they are too small and have a tendency to tear off pages).

Start off with small story books of animals, birds, fish etc. Read the story out loud till you reach an interesting point. Then stop reading and ask your child to read. Better still, you could take turns reading and keep a prize for the one who reads without any mistakes!

Buy good kids books that do not scare the child or teach immoral values or support physical violence in any manner. Initially buy books written in an easy to understand style. Complicated words will discourage the child from reading. A child’s memory skills and  oral reading skills are directly proportional to the number of books found in his home.

When reading out stories, try enacting them by making simple sounds or funny faces. You could add your own description of people and situations. Ask him to do the same. This makes the child more creative and triggers his imagination to a great extent.

Encourage visits to the library! Visit book fairs especially those which are held at school. Involve your child in the book selection process.  Guided reading can be practiced to teach the child, how to read, fluently.

Read daily. Make it a practice to read a book after snacks or after coming home from school. Repetition makes a child learn faster. So read the same story with interesting voices, expressions etc. and make the entire reading experience more lively and interesting.

Many books have an e-version in the form of CDs where stories are enacted as cartoons, movies etc. Take some time to browse thru a CD store for kids’ stories. They’ll surely love the animated version of the stories that you read out!

Check out YouTube videos for children’s stories.

Do not criticize the child if he makes mistakes while reading. Do not expect him to learn reading all at once. It will take some time.  Practice patience and you will see your child’s oral reading skills improve.


Photo Credits: aidanmorgan

Fancy Dress Competition Ideas For Kids

fancy dress competition ideas

Coming up with new Fancy Dress Competition Ideas for school contests is not an easy task. Some parents take it up as a challenge, some worry about how to dress up their child for the event, some surf the internet for ideas and so on. All this leaves parents thoroughly confused. A few are creative enough to tide through the situation.

Here are some images that give you an idea for decking up your child for fancy dress competition. The pictures are of children from India. Click on an image for enlarged view.

Loading Images
Snack In Minutes Contest
Shivaji Maharaj
Unni Archa - a brave lady warrior from Kerala
Mango Tree
Netaji Subhashchandra Bose
Rani Laxmibai
Save The Earth Crusader
Bunny rabbit
Army Man
Vegetable dress
Lord krishna
Spongebob Squarepants
Statue of Liberty
Coconut Tree Climber

Top Fancy Dress Competition Ideas

1. Select a theme for your kids fancy dress.

  • Flowers
    Use paper craft to create petals for sunflower,lotus etc.
  • Fruits and vegetables
    You can create colorful fruits like apple,mango,grapes using paper,colors and balloons. Don’t forget to make a few leaves and a cap with a stem.
  • Slogans
    like Go Green, Save The Earth, Eat healthy etc. You can use different materials with slogans written on them to prove your point.
  • National Leaders
    Here you may have to rent a dress to make your child resemble a well known national leader.
    fancy dress competition ideas Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj
  • Festivals
    Christmas, Gokul Asthami, Diwali(Indian festivals): a few ideas are Santa Clause, Reindeer, Christmas tree,angel,sledge,gift box,Easter Bunny, Easter egg,kite,lamp(diya),fire cracker,Lord Krishna, Lord Ganesha etc.
  • Cartoons
    You may choose your child’s favorite cartoon character to prepare/rent a dress. Ben10, Flintstones, Simpsons, Barbie,Mickey and Donald,Tom and Jerry etc.
  • Community helpers
    Doctor,Painter, Janitor, tailor, electrician, milk man etc. are a few ideas.
  • Birds,animals and insects
    You can dress up your child to resemble a parrot, tiger, elephant or a butterfly among others.
  • National Costumes of people from different countries.
  • Other ideas
    Clock, Milk Carton, Rainbow, Tree, Clown etc.

2. Then teach a few lines related to the character that your child is supposed to enact, for the fancy dress competition. The lines must provide accurate information about the character  being portrayed and must begin with a proper introduction.

3. Practice patience and do not force the child to learn the lines and how to enact, all at once. Teach the child to begin with a smile.

Video on a child dressed up as Shivaji Maharaj

Done! Your child is all set for the fancy dress competition!

Some more pictures on fancy dress competition ideas from the world!

fancy dress ideas Photo Credits:Some girl named Jen

  fancy dress competition - spiderman
Photo Credits:Justin Beckley

fancy dress ideas Photo Credits:karindalziel

fancy dress ideas Photo Credits:paul schultz

How to start potty training – For Toddlers

potty training toddlers

Potty training is an important part of development of your child.

How to start potty training?

The right time to potty train your toddler depends on the following:

  • Your child is between 18 months – 3 years.
  • The child knows specific signals/words to indicate the need to do potty.
  • The child has learned to walk and sit.
  • The child knows how to control bladder movement( this will be indicated by a gap of some hours between urination spells).

Potty seats – types

There are basically two types of potty seats for toddlers and preschool going children.You can potty-train your toddler using these basic types of potty seats.

how to start potty training
Potty chair

Chair type Potty

This comes with a gap in the seat for the stool to pass thru which gets collected in a container attached under the seat.


: It is just the right size for your toddler to sit on. You can place it in a comfortable environment if the child is uncomfortable using the bathroom.


: It can be a tedious task to clean the container every time you child soils it.

how to start potty training
Toilet seat for kids

Kiddy Toilet seat

This can be placed on your regular toilet seat.


Easy to clean and maintain. All you need to do is wash it with a cleaning solution. You can teach your toddler to flush.


Some regular toilet seats are too high for toddlers. You may need to place the child on the attached small toilet seat or keep a stepper for him to climb on.

Its a good idea to start with the chair type potty seat for toddlers who have just started to walk and sit and then slowly upgrade to small toilet seats when they can easily walk and sit. Small toilet seats must be used for preschool going children.

Potty training – Top Tips

  • Set a daily routine. Potty training must be done at a time when your child is most likely to pass stools. Even if he does not pass stools, let him sit on  the potty seat at a predefined time.
  • Make them enjoy the transition from diapers/ nappies to underwear. Take them along for shopping underwear. Let them choose ones with cartoons/pictures that they like.
  • Stop using pull ups or diapers as they prolong the entire procedure of potty training.
  • Keep your toddler busy  giving a small toy in hand. Teach him proper words to indicate passing of stool and urine, like poo and pee. Grabbing his attention will stop the child from getting up and going somewhere else.
  • Initially, your child may show lack of interest or tend to run away. Do not show irritation and shout at the child. The entire potty training exercise will be a form of punishment for him and he will hate it. The idea is to keep the child interested.
  • Get colorful potty chairs and small toilet seats in cute animal shapes or depicting cartoon characters.

Follow these steps patiently. Some toddlers learn in a few weeks while others may take a few months.


Picky Eaters – Tips to handle them

Picky eating habits in children

Picky Eaters – It can get pretty taxing to handle them! Do you have a toddler or preschooler who refuses to eat healthy food? This is generally the case in many households. There are many reasons for this.

Why are kids, picky eaters?

picky eaters Sometimes, parents are to be blamed for poor eating habits of a child. Working parents have no time to prepare nutritious meals for kids and end up serving them packaged food and drinks. Fast food like burgers and hot dogs, fizzy drinks, chocolate bars, fried snacks are kept within easy reach of children. As a result, the child does not wish to eat raw fruits and vegetables which are more nutritious than their packaged counterparts which have preservatives and are far from fresh.

Picky Eaters – How to handle them

Make food look attractive

Parents must make sure the child gets at least 3 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day. It does not take much time to serve chopped fruits topped with cream and a cherry. Remember, the more attractive you make food look, the better. You could serve a cheese-vegetable sandwich with a smiley ketchup face and call him Mr Smiley. I tried this and it worked!

Avoid large snacks before meals

Make sure kids do not eat a large snack before dinner. If they are very hungry you could serve them dinner a bit earlier. And if they ask for food later, you could hand over fruits instead. Tell them they can have only fruits or may be munch on some nuts(if not allergic to nuts) and be firm on that.

Story telling with fruits and veggies

Make kids aware of the importance of fruits and vegetables by telling them stories of fruits and vegetables where each fruit/ vegetable is a living character. You could find many stories online or in books.

Serve small meals at short intervals

Instead of having three large meals, serve smaller helpings at regular intervals. The child will not feel stuffed and will be willing to eat.

Flavor plain milk

Many children refuse to drink milk. You could flavor it with chocolate, strawberry, mango flavored nutritional supplements. If this does not work, make sure they have other dairy products like yogurt or cheese.

Be good yourself

Set a good example yourself. Kids learn from you. Make sure you eat salads, sprouts, fruits etc and set an example to your child. When kids in the neighborhood or at school fall sick, you can tell your child that it happened because those kids did not eat healthy food. This will show your child the importance of healthy food.

Avoid junk food

Do not buy junk food. Stock up on nuts and fresh fruits instead. you can show the child that this is not available and he can eat only what is available. Do not give in to tantrums and buy it from out. Let your child help with meal preparation. You could let your child do simple tasks like removing peas from pods, or rolling out small chapatis or tortillas. Let them do tasks that are not messy. When the food is done congratulate your child and encourage him  to taste it.

Force feeding – Avoid it

Never ever force feed your child. Your child will begin to hate the very process of eating and will deliberately pretend to eat very slowly and may even hide food under the table. Be gentle and allow your child to finish his food. Follow these tips to make your child a healthy eater.

Practice patience along with these tips and see your child’s eating habits improve.