Categories
Toddlers

Is It Okay for My Child to Eat What We Have When We Dine Out?

Imagine this scenario: You didn’t prepare a home-cooked meal for your young child and it is nearing dinnertime. Is it really okay for him or her to have the same food as you when dining out? We explore deeper into the heart of this question.

 

Your children have extremely sensitive taste buds and no to little seasoning is required when preparing child-friendly meals. The consumption of excess sodium and processed foods may lead to high blood pressure in adulthood and place extra stress on the kidneys and liver, which are the organs responsible for filtering waste. As such, it is best not to introduce them to heavily seasoned foods too early.

 

Most dishes sold commercially are laden with seasoning to placate the seasoned taste buds of adults, who have been accustomed to deep, complex flavours and smells. Inculcating a preference for healthier foods from young can prevent childhood obesity and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and high blood cholesterol.

 

If your diet is mainly plant-based with whole foods and you frequent restaurants serving healthier food choices and healthier cooking methods, it is likelier that herbs and natural spices are used to flavour your foods. If so, it is likely that you can portion out a bit for your child’s meal.

 

Steak is red meat and contains over 12 essential vitamins and mineral, which are essential for healthy development.

 

Now, what if you don’t specifically pay attention to your diet? When dining out with children, it wouldn’t hurt to select healthier dishes to accommodate their diet and give ourselves a break from all that greasy, overly-flavoured food.

 

If you are dining at a restaurant, it is likely that there will be a kid’s menu where you can choose from. Otherwise, you can put in a special request to make the meal child-friendly by adding more vegetables, reducing salt, omitting sauces and/or switching to brown rice instead of white rice.

 

It could be slightly more difficult if you’re having your meals at a casual eatery such as a food court or hawker centre. You can browse this list of eating light at a hawker centre to make prudent choices about which dish to choose which you can also share with your child. Some parents bring along a flask of hot water to rinse off sauces and flavouring before feeding their children.

 

Are you unsure of which dish to order that is suitable for both you and your child? As a general rule, choose soup-based dishes, opt for whole grain rice or noodles and go for dishes which use healthier cooking methods such as steaming, boiling, sous vide or baking.

 

It won’t hurt to indulge your children with sweet treats on special occasions, and moderation is key!

 

On special occasions such as family gatherings or birthdays, it wouldn’t hurt to surprise your child with an ice cream or dessert. Sorbets are made of fruit and can be a tasty yet healthy alternative to cake and ice cream.

 

When dining out with our children, we can take into consideration their requirements and make adjustments for that meal.

 

In conclusion, children can share our meals, but if they are doing so, it would be nice to make adjustments and pay attention to the type of dish we order.

 

Here are more tips on how to help your children eat better when dining out. Parents, what do you usually order when you dine out with your children?

Categories
Family Fun Toddlers

10 Fun Activities To Do With Your 24 – 36 Months Old

With your active toddler now officially between two to three years of age, this is the time where they are learning about boundaries and struggling between their total reliance on their caregivers and their independence. As their reasoning skills, gross motor and fine motor development are further enhanced, parents can engage in simple yet interactive play with your tots!

 

Here are 10 fun and easy toddler activities to try out at home:

 

Tangrams can be used to create a variety of patterns, and toddlers sharpen their observation skills while playing.


1.  Tangram puzzles

Tangram puzzles are typically made of wood and come in a set of assorted shapes like hexagons, diamonds, triangles, squares and trapeziums. Seemingly simple, tangram puzzles enhance spatial intelligence and enable children to visualise structures. Spatial skills have been linked to better academic performance.

There is no fixed way to play with tangrams; you can let your child make his or her own complex shapes or follow the puzzle card to form shapes.

 

2.  Tapes on a mirror

Get a child-safe mirror and paste a few strips of masking tapes or washi tapes on top of the mirror with ends folded in for easy gripping. This activity helps young children improve their dexterity. An alternative to a mirror would be a large baking tray.

 

3.  Build calming bottles

Calming bottles can be made easily using glitter, liquid glue mixed with water and some embellishments. Your toddler can assist by pouring the ingredients into a clear plastic drink bottle using a funnel. Remember to seal the cap tight with a hot glue gun to prevent a glittery mess all over your furniture! Those pretty colours and embellishments provide a visual experience for your toddler as they learn about shapes, sizes, colours and even movement as they tilt the calming bottles.

 

4.  Racetrack

A clean, large, cardboard box can be cut open and drawn on to become a low-cost yet usable race track for your child’s toy vehicles. Involve your child by letting him or her decorate the race track with markers or crayons. Then, let your toddler place vehicles, animals, or any other toys or items from the home to create roadblocks. Your child’s creativity is in charge!

 

 

Most two to three-year-olds should be able to place ingredients on top of bread to create a sandwich and help create a simple meal.

 

5.  Obstacle Course

Create an indoor obstacle course by placing pillows, boxes, crates and furniture strategically for your toddler to jump, climb, manoeuvre and crawl under. Such activities not only train their balancing and coordination skills but also their spatial awareness. Just remember to take precaution about safety, and avoid playing near the window, or balcony.

 

6.  Make a sandwich

Lay out ingredients such as sliced bread, butter or jam and other ingredients like ham, tomatoes or cheese for creating the sandwich on a large food tray. Your toddler will have fun spreading the bread slices with a butter knife and assembling his or her own sandwich. This activity works on their fine motor skills, hand strength, coordination and attention span. Mummy’s little chef in the making!

 

7.  Dance to music

Perhaps the easiest activity to set up – dance time! Simply switch on your child’s favourite tune of the moment and start dancing! Parents can hang loose, and enjoy the disco time with your little tot – watch him or her groove!

 

Water jug stations are quick and easy ways to keep a toddler busy, and helps build confidence too.

 

8. Water Jug Station

Toddlers love to perform tasks by themselves. Setting up a water jug station that is easily accessible to them gives them the opportunity to practice transferring water from a jug into a cup. This task takes practice and you will have to keep clean towels handy to wipe up spills.

 

9. Mirror Paint

Create symmetrical artwork by folding a paper into half and dripping different colours of paint near the middle on one side. Fold the paper and unfold again to reveal symmetrical shapes. The visual wonder is sure to garner plenty of “oohs” and “aahs” from your little observer!

 

10. Straw painting

The last activity is art related as well. Drip a large drop of paint onto paper and let your child control the route of the paint by blowing through a straw. This activity builds up their attention span, and as they create their straw painting masterpiece, they would also discover about cause-and-effect at play!

 

What is your favourite activity for 2 to 3-year-olds? How did they react? Let us know in the comments!

 

Categories
Babies Toddlers

Checklist – Things to Prepare for Bottle-feeding

An alternative to direct latching is bottle feeding with formula milk or expressed breastmilk.

Bottle feeding can be a great way for other caregivers to bond with the baby. We have a list of what you should get to make sure that you’re all set and prepared for convenient, fuss-free bottle feeding.

 

Bottle-feeding offers the convenience of allowing any caregiver to feed your baby, anywhere and at any time.

 

At Home

 

  • Bottles

Newborns do not have the ability to burp out excess air that they take in, therefore after each milk feed, they need a helping hand with burping. These days, anti-colic milk bottles are aplenty – some anti-colic bottles have physical valves but unscrew into four or five parts, whereas other bottles have an air vent at the teat to let air out. If you are using the latter, be sure that the air vent faces upwards when feeding your baby.

 

  • Bottle & Teat Brush

Both expressed breastmilk and formula milk contain fats which will cling onto the inside of the bottle. Use a bottle brush and give the insides a good scrub with bottle liquid cleanser and some water.

As bottle teats are narrower, use a special teat brush to clean the entire teat to ensure milk remnants are removed to prevent bacteria breeding.

 

  • Baby-friendly Bottle Liquid Cleanser

Milk leaves an oily residue and it is necessary to wash it off with baby safe bottle cleaning liquid. Select plant-based formulations with no artificial fragrances or colouring and preferably free from Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLS), a chemical which may cause skin irritation even in small amounts.

 

  • Bottle Steriliser

Newborn babies have sensitive tummies and although you can use the traditional method of boiling bottles in water, you will need to be extra careful to prevent scalds and the bottles will have to be dried on a drying rack.

Steam sterilisers are commonly used but unless they have an inbuilt drying function, the bottles and teats will also need to be taken out to dry separately.

If you have the budget, invest in a UV steriliser which is convenient, doubles up as a drying and storage cabinet and can be used even for cutlery, toys and toothbrushes!

 

  • Bottle Warmer (Optional)

A bottle warmer may come in handy to warm up cold breast milk to a temperature suitable for a baby. However, we’ve found that swishing the bottle of cold milk in a pot of hot water does the trick too.

 

  • Handkerchief

Newborn babies tend to regurgitate a lot, so keeping a handkerchief close by will be useful to wipe up vomit.

 

Bring along a thermal flask filled with hot water to prepare milk feeds when your baby is out and about.

 

Outside

 

  • Bottles

Bring enough bottles for the number of milk feeds, to serve as a backup. You can pour warm water in the bottle, store it in a thermal bag and simply add formula milk before serving.

 

  • Thermal bag

If you are feeding your baby expressed breastmilk, you will require a thermal bag with ice packs to keep the milk at a cool temperature so it doesn’t turn rancid.

 

  • Milk powder dispenser/Breast Pump

You can store formula by serving size into milk powder dispensers for convenience, or use formula milk storage bags. Exclusive pumping mothers will need to bring along a portable breast pump to express milk directly into bottles for feeds.

 

  • Thermal Flask

A thermal flask is handy to have to store hot water for milk feeds when baby needs to drink milk urgently and there is no hot water dispenser nearby. The hot water can be used to rinse milk bottles when needed.

 

  • Handkerchief

Keep a handkerchief with you to wipe up spills, or tuck it into your baby’s top as a bib during milk feeds.

 

Bottle feeding can be a breeze with the right equipment!

 

With the right equipment and this checklist, bottle feeding will be less of a hassle. What is your must-have item for bottle feeding?