Early Childhood Association (ECA) demands ” one nation one policy” from the Govt

Social activist Shabana Azmi has always believed that ‘children’s issues must not remain invisible and unrecognised.’  Her presence to inaugurate the Early Childhood Association (ECA) conference, is to underline issues facing India’s children- and therefore the ecosystem of Early Childhood Care & Education in India.

Dr.ReetaSonawat DrSwatiPopatVats ShabanaAzmi Dr.KaminiRege AshaMehta DrRekhaShahani

At the event, Azmi  along with Dr. Swati Popat Vats, President of ECA Dr.Reeta Sonawat, Executive Director of ECA, Dr.Kamini Rege, Treasurer of ECA,  Asha Varma Secretary of ECA and Rekha Shahani, Joint Secretary of ECA, launched the following;-

  1. The Early Childhood Association Comprehensive Quality Audit tool for Preschools/ Kindergartens / ECE centres.
  2. Teacher Training Module for Early Childhood Care and Education
  3. Early Childhood Education Teacher Training Enrichment App

Speaking at the event, Shabana Azmi said, ” I grew up in a humble background, and my mother and father both worked hard. Once when I got a zero, in my report card, my mother said, ‘she’s not dumb, she’s protesting.’ How many parents listen to their children today- like mine did? I run a school in Mizwan, Azamgadh. I have seen that we need to reach our children, compassion, mindfulness, emotional intelligence and the ability to work with people around them.”

Dr Swati Popat Vats clarified the purpose of the conference and said, ” The government should be able to have “one nation one policy” for curriculum, age of entry, teacher training and assessment for early years. I humbly request Shabana Azmiji to represent us to the powers that be.”

The following were the key discussions of the day- by the National Committee of The ECA and over 600 participants in the hall.

1 Schools from grade one have a board affiliation (though the boards in India affiliate only from grade 7 or 8) but the preschool is without any affiliation except in the case of IB (International Baccalaureate) that affiliates from Nursery onwards.

2 So with no affiliations or accreditations in place how can one be sure of quality of curriculum or safety or other developmentally appropriate standards that affect the development of young children? Can we have affiliation board/s for Early Childhood Education.

3 We have a well drafted Early Childhood Policy and Curriculum by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development? Our problem is that one ministry at the state level does not handle education. Early childhood care is handled by WCD but early childhood education is not looked into by anyone at the state level!


4 This leaves no choice-  so preschools have to make their own curriculum or become ‘preparatory centers’ for first standard . And here in lies our problem, because Toddlers as young as two years are made to hold pencils and go over dotted lines in worksheets. Three year olds are made to recite rhymes in front of a class and then graded and marked on their ‘performance’. Children are taught number 1 and then number 7, skipping the rest in between because standing line numbers should be taught together! Completely overlooking the fact that letters need not be taught in the A to Z format but numbers need to be taught in the order of counting or else children will not have a foundational base of what number comes before, after etc. This is the confused state of preschool curriculum.

5 If you ask the preschools they blame it on parents, it’s the parents that want their child to read and write at an early age.

6 Having an affiliation board for preschools in our country would be a logical solution that would benefit all three stakeholders- children, parents and preschools. The government can still license the schools or take care of the NOC requirements but the curriculum, philosophy and other important aspects can be done by the affiliation/accreditation board of ECE

7 So what would be the parameters of this affiliation of ECE centers? Globally the largest association that affiliates most of the preschools in USA is naeyc.org (National Association for the Education of Young Children). Our preschool Quality audit is in line with the naeyc 10 quality standards that are:





Assessment of child progress


Staff competencies, preparation and support


Community relationships

Physical environment

Leadership and management

Their  process of affiliation/ accreditation is as follows:

  1. A self-study,
  2. An application (and fees),
  3. A validation visit to verify information,
  4. And yearly certification through written documentation.
  5. Upon receiving official accreditation, the provider receives a certificate that verifies status.

Early Childhood Association (www.eca-india.org) now  has a quality audit tool and has quality audited more than 400 private preschools in India, so definitely they can take it up on a larger scale. An updated version was launched at the conference today.  (attached)

In addition to these discussions, several awards were given away today at the Early Childhood Association recognizing the exemplary contributions of personalities doing exceptional work in the field of early childhood education whether it is safety, inclusive education or overall contribution.

1 Felicitating the author – Ms Neeha Gupta- youth ambassador Kailash Satyarthi Childrens Foundation.

2 Most Committed NGO in Early Childhood Education –  CANKIDS, Childs rights foundation, Life Trust

3 Most Committed journalist in Early Childhood Care and Education-  Ms Vinaya Patil – Sakal News – Pune and Ms Jhinuk Mazumdar – The Telegraph – Kolkatta

4 Exemplary contribution in  Early Childhood Care and Education – Ms Zarin Malva and Ms Lina Ashar

5 Exemplary contribution towards Safety in Early years- IPS Ms Aparajita Rai and Betterplace

6 Most committed CDPO – Preeti Ben ( Bhavnagar)

7 Most committed supervisor from ICDS – Laxmi Bai ( Telangana)

Clearly the ECA wants to achieve the point where all preschools (private or government) are meeting or exceeding quality and safety standards.

But the goal has to be real and have sustained improvement, not knee jerk reactions, nor quick fixes and that is possible with affiliation boards that are established by associations or universities that have early childhood experts on board and the research and man power to sustain this in the long run.



Prenatal Yoga Can Helps Mother To Hold Flexibility Wellness And Connect With Baby

Yoga is a regularly known non-specific term for the physical, mental, and profound practices or teaches which began in ancient India with a view to accomplishing a condition of lasting peace. It is rehearsed in a wide range of courses everywhere throughout the world. Yoga has additionally been prevalently characterized as “union with the celestial”.

prenatal yoga gran canaria 1

Pre-birth yoga is a multifaceted way to deal with a practice that empowers, mental focusing and centered relaxing. The research proposes that pre-birth yoga is protected and can have many advantages for pregnant ladies and their infants.

Prenatal yoga can:

• Reduce stress and tension

• Increase the quality, adaptability, and continuance of muscles required for labor

• Decrease  back agony, sickness, pelvic passage disorder manifestations, cerebral pains

• When matched with a cardiovascular exercise, for example, strolling or swimming, yoga can be a perfect approach to remain fit as a fiddle among your pregnancy. This well-established practice keeps you flexible, tones your muscles, and enhances your adjust and flow, with little, assuming any, an effect on your joints.

Prenatal yoga can likewise enable you to meet and bond with other pregnant ladies and get ready for the worry of being another parent. Being in a positive, steady condition with others like you, can give you a consistent passionate lift and keep you inspired to keep working out.

Yoga is additionally valuable since it causes you figure out how to inhale profoundly and relax, which helps amid work, birth, and parenthood. A standard yoga practice will enable you to battle the inclination to take care of when you feel pain, and express to you proper methodologies to relax. Yoga enables the body to manage optimum heart and breathing rates and bringing down circulatory strain which can profit new mothers after the infant’s conceived, as well.


Yoga well-being precautionary measures amid pregnancy Similarly as with any activity, you have to avoid potential risk when you’re pregnant.

• Consult your obstetrician before beginning any type of activity.

• Always have a teacher who is prepared in prenatal yoga.

• Keep yourself all around hydrated.

• Avoid overheating. Wear free garments.

• Avoid asanas which include lying on your back for a longer time. Additionally, skip positions that extend the muscular strength excessively, for example, profound forward and back curves and profound turns.

• Discontinue immediately on the off chance that you encounter pain in belly or draining of liquid from the vagina.

Pre-birth yoga can be begun in the principal trimester, i.e., from the time you get pregnant, and can be proceeded till the day of conveyance. Afterward, it can be supplanted by postnatal yoga, after the time of puerperium.

Inputs By Dr. Divya Sharad , Medical Officer at Swami Parmanand Nature cure and Yoga center is a guided Health and wellness center offering lifestyle programs through Complementary and Alternative healing principles of Naturopathy, Yoga, Ayurveda etc. People of all ages can visit the premises.

Helping Your Child with Autism -Dr. Vandana Sharma, Director- Principal Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan

There are many things parents can do to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) overcome their challenges. But it’s also important to make sure you get the support you need. When you’re looking after a child with ASD, taking care of yourself is not a luxury or an act of selfishness—it’s a necessity. Being emotionally strong allows you to be the best parent you can be to your child in need. These parenting tips can help by making life with an autistic child easier.

f you’ve recently learned that your child has or might have autism spectrum disorder, you’re probably wondering and worrying about what comes next. No parent is ever prepared to hear that a child is anything other than happy and healthy, and an ASD diagnosis can be particularly frightening. You may be unsure about how to best help your child, or confused by conflicting treatment advice. Or you may have been told that ASD is an incurable, lifelong condition, leaving you concerned that nothing you do will make a difference.

2-Specially-abled children at MBCN

While it is true that ASD is not something a person simply “grows out of,” there are many treatments that can help children acquire new skills and overcome a wide variety of developmental challenges. From free government services to in-home behavioral therapy and school-based programs, assistance is available to meet your child’s special needs. With the right treatment plan, and a lot of love and support, your child can learn, grow, and thrive.

Connecting with a child with ASD can be challenging, but you don’t need to talk—or even touch—in order to communicate and bond. You communicate by the way you look at your child, by the tone of your voice, your body language – and possibly the way you touch your child. Your child is also communicating with you, even if he or she never speaks. You just need to learn the language.

Look for nonverbal cues. If you are observant and aware, you can learn to pick up on the nonverbal cues that children with ASD use to communicate. Pay attention to the kinds of sounds they make, their facial expressions, and the gestures they use when they’re tired, hungry, or want something.

Figure out the motivation behind the tantrum. It’s only natural to feel upset when you are misunderstood or ignored, and it’s no different for children with ASD. When children with ASD act out, it’s often because you’re not picking up on their nonverbal cues. Throwing a tantrum is their way of communicating their frustration and getting your attention.

Make time for fun. A child coping with ASD is still a child. For both children with ASD and their parents, there needs to be more to life than therapy. Schedule playtime when your child is most alert and awake. Figure out ways to have fun together by thinking about the things that make your child smile, laugh, and come out of her/his shell. Your child is likely to enjoy these activities most if they don’t seem therapeutic or educational. There are tremendous benefits that result from your enjoyment of your child’s company and from your child’s enjoyment of spending unpressured time with you. Play is an essential part of learning for all children and shouldn’t feel like work.

Pay attention to your child’s sensory sensitivities. Many children with ASD are hypersensitive to light, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Some children with autism are “under-sensitive” to sensory stimuli. Figure out what sights, sounds, smells, movements, and tactile sensations trigger your kid’s “bad” or disruptive behaviors and what elicits a positive response. What does your child find stressful? Calming? Uncomfortable? Enjoyable? If you understand what affects your child, you’ll be better at troubleshooting problems, preventing situations that cause difficulties, and creating successful experiences.

Dealing with Autistic children: Technology provides the best support

What is the driving force behind the largest rehabilitation charitable institution for differently abled in India? Its firm belief and empathy! Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan (MBCN) runs on its founder’s belief that any barrier comes first at the mental level; social, intellectual or physical barriers come later. Of all the different disabilities, the institution has an expert team to deal with autistic children. In MBCN there is a special section of children with autism to address special needs of 94 such children out of 1000 children with different disabilities.

Provide structure and safety

Learning all you can about autism and getting involved in treatment will go a long way toward helping your child. Additionally, the following tips will make daily home life easier for both you and your child with ASD:

Be consistent. Children with ASD have a hard time applying what they’ve learned in one setting (such as the therapist’s office or school) to others, including the home. For example, your child may use sign language at school to communicate, but never think to do so at home. Creating consistency in your child’s environment is the best way to reinforce learning. Find out what your child’s therapists are doing and continue their techniques at home. Explore the possibility of having therapy take place in more than one place in order to encourage your child to transfer what he or she has learned from one environment to another. It’s also important to be consistent in the way you interact with your child and deal with challenging behaviors.

Stick to a schedule. Children with ASD tend to do best when they have a highly-structured schedule or routine. Again, this goes back to the consistency they both need and crave. Set up a schedule for your child, with regular times for meals, therapy, school, and bedtime. Try to keep disruptions to this routine to a minimum. If there is an unavoidable schedule change, prepare your child for it in advance.

Reward good behavior. Positive reinforcement can go a long way with children with ASD, so make an effort to “catch them doing something good.” Praise them when they act appropriately or learn a new skill, being very specific about what behavior they’re being praised for. Also look for other ways to reward them for good behavior, such as giving them a sticker or letting them play with a favorite toy.

Create a home safety zone. Carve out a private space in your home where your child can relax, feel secure, and be safe. This will involve organizing and setting boundaries in ways your child can understand. Visual cues can be helpful (colored tape marking areas that are off limits, labeling items in the house with pictures). You may also need to safety proof the house, particularly if your child is prone to tantrums or other self-injurious behavior

What is Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan ?

Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan is one institution in India where rehabilitation of more than 1000 specially-abled children is undertaken. Spread over an area of 1 acre, this is a part of The Ponty Chadha Foundation under the philanthropic wing of the Wave Group.  As its corporate social responsibility, the group trains the autistic children to develop social and communication skills in addition to academic and independent life skill training so that they can mingle with the society in a positive way. It is a charitable organization that is dedicated to take care of these children. It is the largest day-care special school.

The staff closely works for holistic and complete learning for them which aims at maximizing the potential in activities related to daily living, communication, social understanding, play and leisure. The training programmes start with an initial assessment of the child. Based on the child’s strengths, behaviours, learning patterns, and the teaching and learning methods best suited to him/her, an Individualized Educational Plan is made keeping in mind the child’s current needs as well as the parents’ immediate concerns.

The school believes that if people with autism are to have an opportunity to reach their maximum potential, the community of parents, siblings, other relatives, and professionals will have to continue to work together as a team.


Use of technology

The school uses latest assistive technology to improve expression in children with autism. The school has developed an android application VAAKYA which can be used as a very effective and useful tool for alternative augmentative communication especially for individuals with autism. It can be an asset to them to express themselves.

VAAKYA is an extremely diverse and flexible AAC application which does not rely on internet connectivity. The custom information added to the application such as user accounts/actions are stored within the application itself. This utilizes the phone’s own memory, thereby marginally increasing the size of the application depending on user accounts/actions created.

Multiple User Accounts: Educators/rehabilitation professionals, can add multiple students/patients to the application with unique actions and speech relate-able to each individual. This reduces cost as most applications available can register only one user on each device and would require multiple devices for different individuals.

Language Flexibility: Speech associated with actions can be recorded and played back in any language.

Image/Action flexibility: Images for actions can be replaced with existing images on your device or through your device camera directly. Additional actions can be added to each user account.

Flexibility of use: Parents/guardians can use the application differently by adding situations instead of users and images associated with each situation for the individual.

Integrated shopping portal

The school website, apart from providing quick and easy access to the essential information about the school, therapies, success stories, counselling, etc., now also includes an integrated shopping portal. This portal allows customers to buy hand-made products made by the special children of the school. These products are the outcome of years of vocational training which is given to the special children and the profit earned from the sale of these products is given to the differently abled person. With the help of this portal, people can admire work of these special children. The shopping menu consists of different product categories like wedding gifts, packaging items, office stationery, paper bags and other gift products. Product details like price, size and other specifications have been mentioned along with customers review as well. The prospective buyers can log on to the school’s website and select the products and add to the shopping cart using the simple user interface.

Inputs –  Dr. Vandana Sharma, Director- Principal Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan


Spark the creative instinct of your child with just one box!

Build your child’s creativity with LEGO’s The Build Amazing Starter Set for kids

A child needs to have a creative flair to think out of the box, to see what no one else can, and to make happen what no one possibly had ever imagined… and it all begins right from childhood. Enabling your kid to model his or her unique creativity at the most opportune moment, LEGO, the iconic building block manufacturer has launched Build Amazing Starter Sets in India. Priced between INR 399 to INR 2,500, the unisex building set for the age groups of 4 to 12 years is available at Hamleys, Funskool, Crossword, and Landmark toy stores all across India and also on online platforms such as Flipkart and Amazon.

sec-38 GIP mall me What_s more - Take home LEGO Mascot, Charlie The Chameleonprogramme 7

A very remarkable activity is happening in your brain right now. It is transmitting electrical signals via synapses from one neuron to another. But putting even you to envy, the little toddler sitting right next to you has more brain connections than you do at present. How many will remain by the time he or she reaches your age? And more importantly, will the ones that make him or her an inventive leader stick around? It only depends on how he or she is making use of the brain power at the moment. LEGO’s Build Amazing Starter Sets are the perfect way to ensure that your child’s inherent cognitive and cerebral strengths are honed right and are given that perfect razor-sharp edge.

At the launch, LEGO spokesperson said, “A child’s brain is unrestrained from the shackles of formal structuring that we’ve all passed through over the period of time. It is an undiscovered realm deriving some of the most unique ideas, and laying the foundation of the very innovative instinct that all of us strive for. But the only way to tap their inventiveness is by enabling them to model their brain’s creation and turn them into real-life structures. LEGO’s Build Amazing Starter Sets, with its most eclectic building set, is the perfect tool to do the same. With the launch of LEGO’s latest offering, to make your child think out of the box, now all you need to do is open one.”

LEGO’s Build Amazing Starter Sets are in line with the brand’s overarching objective to nurture children’s creativity and unlock their true potential for a successful future. You can also bear witness to this change as your young one turns the LEGO blocks in the shape of a rocket, a candy cloud, flying house, a tree, a spacecraft or even a full-fledged township your child no longer has to hold back his or her creative ideas. The easy-to-build figures are based on more than an 85 years expertise of the global manufacturer and employ the use of child safe materials.

93% of Indian Parents Admit To Talking To Their Children About The Dangers Of Cyber-Criminals And Identity Theft


  • 84% of Indian parents allow their child to bring an internet-connected device to bed
  • 54% of Indian parents claim they have discovered that their child visited an inappropriate website; highest when compared to 13 other countries
  • Only 36% of Indian parents admit to using software to monitor their children’s activity on their devices.

INDIA- APRIL 26, 2017 – McAfee today released findings from a recent global study, “New Family Dynamics in a Connected World,” that aims to better comprehend how families’ attitudes and habits are evolving as their homes and lifestyles become increasingly connected.  This study underscores the need for simple ways for parents to manage internet connectivity in their homes – from blocking inappropriate sites to controlling the amount of time users spend on their devices.

The growing integration of connected devices in the lives of children is paving way for unique and hackable gateways for cybercriminals into the smart home network of consumers. Gartner forecasts that “there will be more than 10.5 billion ‘things’ in homes by 2020,” which, we believe, would further create a larger potential risk that the devices and personal data, that flow from them, can be compromised. While internet-connected devices offer consumers new opportunities, they can also come with some drawbacks and potential risks that can be the detriment of relationships.

“In today’s connected world, parents play a crucial role to decide on the usage of technology and how it can influence their kids’ lives,” said Anand Ramamoorthy, Managing Director, South Asia, McAfee. “As Indians shift towards smart connected homes, we must help parents actively manage the way their families interact with connected devices to ensure that security and privacy measures are implemented. When these measures are realized consumers can enjoy the full potential that connected devices and smart homes have to offer.”

Current Monitoring Methods Don’t Keep Pace with Technology

  • Parents tend to use older methods to monitor the device usage of their children. For example, 59% of Indian parents monitor their child’s device usage by keeping the device in their possession and only giving the child the device when the parent can monitor. Only 36% of Indian parents are using software to monitor.
  • 49% of Indian parents are concerned about their child potentially interacting with a social predator or cybercriminal online.

Today’s Digital Habits Cause New Parenting Concerns

  • Bedtime habits have changed a lot since the introduction of smartphones and tablets. 84% of Indian parents allow their child to bring an internet-connected device to bed.
  • Not only are parents concerned about who their children are interacting with online, they are also monitoring how much time they spend in front of a screen. 57% of Indian parents allow their child to have 1-2 hours of screen time per day, and 21% allow their child less than one hour a day.
  • The need for monitoring internet usage is real, though, with 54% of Indian parents claiming they have discovered that their child visited an inappropriate website, highest when compared to 13 other countries:

o   Australia (26%), Brazil (45%), Canada (25%), France (41%), Germany (33%), Italy (33%), Japan (18%), Mexico (35%), Netherlands (26%), Singapore (37%), Spain (32%), U.S. (37%), U.K. (23%)

  • 50% of Indians stated that they have argued with their child about bringing a device to bed.
  • Conversely, kids aren’t the only ones who are using devices when they shouldn’t: Approximately 71% of  Indian parents surveyed also claimed that their child has called them out for being on their device during family time.

The Good News: Online Safety Conversations Are Happening Between Parents and Children

  • Indian parents understand the importance of talking to their children about the potential dangers on the internet, with roughly 93% having addressed the risks with their children at some point.

Tips to Keep Families Secure in Year Ahead

To stay protected in the evolving online world, McAfee has the following tips for parents:

  • Start conversations early. If you start talking about online safety early on, it will make your job that much easier when your children get older. If your kids are young, you can start with simple rules like “don’t open emails from people you don’t know.” Treat rules for online behavior just like any other rules. You want online safety to be part of normal behavior.
  • Set a good example.It’s easy to get caught up spending a lot of time paying attention to our smartphones and tablets.  Kids pick up our habits, both good and bad, so you can set a positive example for them by limiting your time on social networks around them.  Putting down the phone during dinner and family time will let your children know the importance of interacting with others in person as opposed to online.
  • Set password rules.To show camaraderie and trust, teens may share their social media passwords with friends or acquaintances. Friend or not, this is a dangerous practice. Put a consequence in place for breaking this critical password rule.
  • Gain access.Parents should have passwords for their children’s social media accounts and passcodes to their children’s devices which allow them to have full access.
  • Up your tech knowledge.Stay one step ahead and take the time to research the various devices your kids use, as well as creating your social media accounts. Staying knowledgeable about the newest and latest social networks is an important way to understand how they work and may help you determine whether your kids are on them.
  • Keep strangers out.  As children use technology so frequently they can become desensitized and let their guard down, potentially allowing the wrong people into their circle. Your child could be interacting with (and manipulated by) a social predator or dangerous person posing as a teen (catfish). A false sense of security can set in not just on social networks it applies to services such as Uber*, Lyft*, and Craig’s List*, where safety is an assumption. Remind kids that anyone can create a profile and to turn down friend requests from strangers.
  • Take control of your home network.The home network is the hub for all of your connected devices. New solutions, such as McAfee Secure Home Platform, help you easily manage and protect devices connected to this network while providing parental controls with permissions that can be tailored to the entire household.

First 1000 Days are critical in Development of the Baby

The 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s 2nd birthday offer a unique window of opportunity to build healthier and more prosperous futures

Nutrition during pregnancy and in the first years of a child’s life provides the essential building blocks for brain development, healthy growth and a strong immune system. In fact, a growing body of scientific evidence shows that the foundations of a person’s lifelong health—including their predisposition to obesity and certain chronic diseases—are largely set during this 1,000 day window


The first two years of your baby’s life are more important than we know

In the first 1000 days, your baby grows more than the entire remainder of their life. In the first year alone, your baby’s weight triples and height increases by 50%. What’s more, a staggering 80% of their brain and cognitive development is complete by their second birthday, with their brain size tripling from birth to two years; Babies are born with immature immune systems and it takes up to 2 years to strengthen it.

With a pace like that, it is no surprise that the food they eat shapes how your baby grows and develops in the first 2 years. There are changes you can see, and changes that you can’t. But the one thing that is clear, is that your baby needs a whole lot of nutrition during this time, more so than at any other time in their life.

But did you know, that what your baby eats in the first two years, determines your baby’s potential for the rest of their life? The right kinds of food have the power to ensure your baby reaches their full potential when it comes to physical growth, learning capacity and also ensure that your baby isn’t susceptible to illness as a child and as an adult.

If your baby doesn’t get the right kind of nutrition that meets all their requirements, there are very real risks of irreversible damage to their brain development and physical growth.

What does your baby need for this rapid growth and development…

Your baby needs two kinds of nutrients: macro nutrients and micro nutrients.

Macro nutrients are responsible for providing energy and aid physical growth and development. For example, proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Essentially this is development we can see with our eyes.

What you can’t see developing within the baby are the brain & immunity growth and development. These are fueled by the micronutrients which your baby needs & are very important during this phase. Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients. Iron, zinc, vitamin A for example, aid in brain development and immunity.

The green & white revolutions in India during the 60s, 70s & the 80s has been instrumental in delivering high quality macronutrient rich food for a large population of India & health indicators for macronutrients have gone up. But micronutrients still remain an issue wherein India needs a micronutrient revolution to make sure every child is able to meet their potential.

Micronutrients need special attention in the first 2 years because any micronutrient deficiencies during this time could lead to impaired cognitive development and affect immunity. This affects brain growth and immunity and leads to reduced learning capacity later in life and can also make your baby more susceptible to infections throughout life.

Your baby’s milestones are a source of great pride and a sense of achievement. With the right amount of macronutrients, the physical milestones are obvious to the eye. But because you can’t see the consequences of micronutrients deficiency immediately, most people tend to miss out on ensuring that their babies get enough micronutrients.

How do you ensure that your baby gets the right nutrition in this critical stage?

In the first six months, breastmilk is the gold standard & is sufficient to meet your baby’s needs. Once your baby turns six months, breastmilk needs to be supported by other foods.

When starting off on solid foods, your baby can’t take in more than a few spoonfuls of food. This, as you know, is because your baby’s stomach is incredibly small. It is the size of their tiny fist, which is only 20% of the size of an adult’s stomach.

The surprising part, though, is that while their stomach size is so much smaller, they actually need more nutrition than adults to support their incredible growth rate. Babies need 5 times more nutrition than adults at this stage.

 So the limited amount of food that the baby eats needs to provide all that the baby requires. While breast milk still continues to provide partial nutrition to your baby, the other foods you give bear the huge responsibility to bridge the gap that breast milk can’t fill.

How are these complementary solid foods doing in meeting your baby’s requirements

Indian diets are majorly grain and plant based, with little to no intake of pulses and green leafy vegetables. These diets are high in macronutrients but are very low in micronutrients, iron, zinc and calcium.

This is a cause for concern because the percentage of these nutrients that need to be met by complementary foods is extremely high. 98% of your baby’s iron and 72% of your baby’s zinc needs should be fulfilled through complementary food but our Indian diets are insufficient to do so.

Gaps in micronutrient delivery is the highest when your baby is moving from exclusive breast milk to complementary feeds, because the needs are going up whereas delivery is going down at the same time.

Couple this with the size of your baby’s stomach, and it becomes next to impossible to meet their needs through regular food. For example, to meet the daily requirement of Iron for a 6-12 month old child, the mother would have to feed 9 bowls of spinach puree!

*% of RDA to be sourced from complementary foods

So how do you manage your baby’s micronutrient needs?

You need to give your baby small quantities of food that are packed with more nutrients than your regular food. Nutrient dense foods or complete foods that are fortified with minerals & vitamins like iron, zinc etc. so that your baby can get all they need in the amount of food that they can actually eat.

Iron plays a very important role in your baby’s brain development and cognition and iron and zinc help in the development of your baby’s immunity

Fortified cereals and foods have been found to be the most effective way of ensuring that there are no micronutrient deficiencies in children.

In addition to fortified/complete foods, you need to ensure diversity of food groups in your baby’s diet by including foods from all food groups on a daily basis for a balanced diet.

Supplements are a solution to tackle the issue, and you can give supplements of various vitamins & minerals after consulting your pediatrician. However, fortified foods are safer and closer to regular food and more effective. Additionally, the palatability of supplements is not very high especially for babies, and leads to very low compliance, thus beating the purpose of supplements, whereas fortified foods become a natural part of the baby’s diet.

Hence you could use fortified food like Atta, Salt etc. readily available in the market to ensure your baby gets the right nutrition for his/her proper development.

In fact, 2 bowls of fortified cereals a day bridge the nutrition gap in your baby’s diet

By ensuring that your couple fortified foods with your baby’s regular diet of homemade foods, you can rest assured that your baby’s nutrition needs are fully met.

Inputs by Manjari Chandra, Consultant Nutrition, Multi-Specialty Centre

Dettol helps new moms to provide a germ free World for new borns

Dettol, the leading germ protection brand from the portfolio of RB (formerly known as Reckitt Benckiser) organised an insightful session dedicated to expecting and new mom’s in Gurugram today. The event saw participation of specialists like, Dr. Sanjay Wazir, Paediatrician, Cloudnine and Dr. Geetika Ganlovgwani, Lactation consultant (IBCLC) & Women’s health physiotherapist, Fortis Mamma Mia. The focus of discussions was to educate the mothers about the importance of health and hygiene for their new born.


Good hygiene for a clean Nursery

When your baby comes home, until their natural immunity has developed, it’s important that everything they come into contact with is hygienically clean. This means making sure surfaces are not only cleaned but also disinfected (using a antiseptic liquid) to properly kill germs. Choosing suitable baby essentials will help.

  • Make sure your changing mat is waterproof so it can be regularly cleaned and disinfected
  • Choose toys that are easy to clean
  • Have Dettol Multi Use Hygiene Liquid to hand for wiping contaminated surfaces
  • Choose a cot that is safe and is easy to wipe clean if your baby is sick

Preparing for hospital

A pregnancy checklist will help you stay organised right up to the time you’re ready to go to hospital to give birth. Here are some things to get ready in advance.

For you:

  • Your birth plan
  • Dressing gown, slippers, old nightdress for labour and clothes for afterwards
  • Underwear
  • Toiletries
  • Dettol Wipes
  • Hand Sanitizer

For baby:

  • Nappies
  • Muslin cloth
  • Baby blanket
  • Clothes to wear in hospital and to travel home in

Preparing for birth

During birth you and your new baby are vulnerable to germs and bacteria. Good hygiene is therefore vital to keep you both healthy.

For a hospital birth:

With good hygiene as one of your baby essentials, you and your baby can be sure of a healthy start.