Saturday, February 25, 2006

Worldly toddlers diets 

I am always looking for new ideas for foods to feed Isabella. She is so picky, and I wind up rotating the same handful of foods over & over again. But here are some other suggestions from what toddlers eat in other parts of the world (most of this I read in one of the parenting mags). Some of these foods sound delicious, while others I wouldn't even eat as an adult!

* Australia - vegemite; Ryvita (crisp bread); Jalna (Australian made yogurt); Cheesymite scrolls (based Vegemite and cheese bread); spaghetti bolognese; meat pies; beets and beet sandwiches, Weetabix cereal, sultanas, muesli bars, berries
* Brazil - lots of stews; rice and beans w/ a protein or vegetable (potato, broccoli, spinach, peas, carrots); coxinha (chicken croquette); pao de queijo (cheese bread); geleia de mocoto (calcium rich pudding); fresh fruit
* China - rice porridges (jook) with a protein and vegetable; rice noodles; barbecued pork buns; salted fish with rice; steamed fish
* Denmark - meatballs, chopped salads, smorrebrod (open faced sandwich made with rye/pumpernickel bread and different fillings like liverwurst, ham, cod roe, frikadeller, mackerel, sweet red cabbage, marinated red beets, cheese)
* Germany - potato and goulash
* India - khichdi (mushy rice & lentil based dish w/ carrots/green beans/squash/okra and a protein); potato and cauliflower curry; parota, nan or chapati eaten with onion sauteed vegetables (e.g. diced potato with fenugreek, bitter gourd or cabbage); lassi; kheer (rice pudding with cardaman)
* Israel - olive and butter sandwich; salted cottage cheese sandwich; Israeli salad made from diced cucumbers, carrots, celery, onion, peppers, olives and parsley, tossed with olive oil and lemon juice
* Japan - egg flavored rice with broiled fish or seafood; lightly cooked seasonal vegetables; miso soup (w/ tofu); soba and udon noodles served in a soy flavored fish broth with vegetables; tofu with veggies; bento with rice, pickled veggies and other sides; kimi balls (egg flavored, rice flour based sugary treats)
* Korea - kimchi, kim bab (like maki but with sesame oil and spinach, eggs, cucumber, kimchi); bibimbab; Nongshim (spicy Korean ramen noodles) with eggs and onions; Pong Pong (round rice cracker)
* South Africa - mealie pap (maize/cornmeal based porridge); marmite sandwich; guava and passion fruit; bread with nutella
* Sweden - mac & cheese; Falukorv (swedish sausage), meat stews, fried fish or fish fingers, mackerel, meatballs, porridge, pancakes, bagels, sponge cake, rice pudding
* Turkey - sebze yemeg or turlu (vegetable casserole); use seasonal vegetables (celery, peas, green beans, spinach, artichokes, zucchini) and add white/brown rice; bulgur cracked wheat, red lentils, minced chicken, lamb or beef; tomato, cucumbers and pepper salad; mini shish kebabs; grape leaves; kashar cheese; pureed spinach

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Always speak your mind 

I always wonder why my father developed lung cancer despite the fact that he never smoked. He was a very quiet, sweet and mellow fellow, and talked little. Over the years after I moved out of the house and he retired, I noticed that my Mom talked more and more, and he became quieter and quieter. She would dominate conversations, nag or complain, and he would always have a strong face, soak it all in or ignore it all. He was a very friendly fellow, and always said hi to people with a big warm smile, but he didn't really have friends that he hung out with and was pretty isolated. He liked his TV, to which he would always escape. So he didn't really express himself, let alone talk to anyone. I was his baby daughter and I tried very very hard - believe me! Anyway, I developed a personal theory that he developed his cancer because he never expressed his feelings, and all of that stress just got bottled up inside, all of those unvoiced emotions that never had an outlet, and instead developed into a foul, terrible physical disease. I thought it was my own hokey theory until I read this article as a warning to women (who have more tendancies to keep tight lipped to keep the peace, but obviously this can apply to men too):

"Women who practice 'self-silencing' have four times the risk of early death (from chronic ills like heart disease, cancer, and stroke) as those who speak their minds, according to data from a ten-year National Institute of Health study. No one is sure why, but staying silent may create hormonal imbalances, wihch can make chronic disease more likely, says Elaine Eaker, lead author of the study."

As a person who keeps a lot of things inside or brushes many things off, it is a good warning not to let things slide too much, and instead speak your mind!