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For Parents Toddlers

Parents Share: How to Prepare Kids for their First Dental Visit

Parents are often unsure of when to bring their child to the dentist, and some wait until all teeth have erupted.

 

However, it is recommended that the first dental visit start from the moment the first tooth has erupted, and no later than one to two years of age. As with adults, children should visit the dentist once every six months, or more frequently if there is a dental issue.

 

Let’s find out how parents in Singapore made the first dental visit for kids less scary– with helpful tips for other families too!

 

Your child’s first dental visit doesn’t have to be as scary as you imagine!

 

#1: Search for a paediatric dentist

Mothers Jessie Pek and Larissa Sim agree that finding a good paediatric dentist is half the job done, as the experienced dentist would know how to manage kids better and deal with any fear that the child may have about having their teeth checked.

 

Jessie’s son was less than three years old when he went for his first dental appointment and the visit turned out to be surprisingly pleasant.

 

“There was a small decay, so the dentist suggested filing without polishing or washing other teeth to keep the visit short. After that, my boy has been okay with going for dental appointments”.

 

Larissa’s daughter encountered a bad experience at a generalist dental clinic as the cubicles were not soundproof and the cries and screams from another cubicle traumatised her greatly. Since then, she has switched to a private paediatric dentist.

 

Evonne Wong, mum to a three-year-old daughter, shares that her experience with a paediatric dentist was much better compared to the first time as the dentist was gentle. Her daughter reacted so positively to the dentist that “she will look for him whenever food is stuck between her teeth”!

 

#2: Familiarise them with the process

As there is fear from the unknown, children(and perhaps, some parents too!) tend to over-imagine things and scare themselves over the first visit to the dentist. The trick is to show them that it’s not so scary as they imagine! When explaining, keep it factual and avoid adding in emotions.

 

Mummy Larissa suggests reading a lot of books and showing videos of toddlers at the dentist, preferably those that feature dental tools and patients younger than your child to familiarise them with the process.

Use non-fluoride kids toothpaste for your child until they learn how to spit.

 

#3: Maintain healthy oral hygiene

Maintaining healthy oral habits on a daily basis is the key to preventing dental caries from forming in the mouth. Introduce the concept of brushing teeth with non-fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, especially after meals and before bedtime. Reinforce to them that the cleaner their teeth are, the lesser time they will have to spend at the dentist’s clinic.

 

If your child is able to spit, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste, as it is the key ingredient to keeping teeth squeaky clean.

 

For strong, healthy teeth, ensure that your toddler takes in essential nutrients such as calcium and Vitamin D through breastmilk and/or formula milk to support healthy teeth and gum development.

Parents can help children handle their first dental visit like rockstars!

 

#4 Be Positive

Mum Dandan Liang chooses to explain the positives of visiting the dentist to her son and it worked as her son’s first dental visit was a breeze. She took her son to the dentist as she was worried about some shadow on his front teeth. Before they entered the room, she described what the process would be like and what he needed to do.

 

“I told him that he had to open his mouth so the dentist could check what was wrong with his teeth and make it white again”, she adds. The experience went better than expected as the dentist fashioned a balloon with a smiley face out of a latex glove as a gift for her son.

 

#5 Expect the Unexpected

As the popular saying goes, “Expect the Unexpected”. There was no time for Mummy Jessica Lu to prepare her son, as his first visit to the dentist was an emergency when his sister knocked his front tooth loose. Surprisingly, her son remained calm and the dentist managed to save his tooth.

 

How was your child’s first visit to the dentist like? Do share your tips on making your child’s first dental trip a fearless one!

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For Parents Toddlers Uncategorized

Quick Tips for Potty Training Your Son

Potty training little boys is a process that requires cooperation and consistent encouragement from caregivers. Toilet training typically starts from 18 months of age in advanced countries where diapers are heavily relied on. The best time to start is when your son shows signs of readiness, and during a time where no major changes are expected.

 

Signs of readiness to use the potty include passing a motion at a regular timing, controlling his bladder, being able to stay dry for at least two hours and being able to pull his pants up and down.

 

Though most tips may apply to both boys and girls, there are slightly more challenges when it comes to potty training little boys.

Potty training your toddler requires patience and consistent reminders.

1. Teach your son to sit, not stand
One popular question when it comes to training boys is, “Should they sit or stand to pee?”. The answer is to sit. It takes more skill for young boys to keep still when peeing and sitting prevents the unnecessary mess. When they have successfully mastered the basics, you can then guide them to stand up to pee. Some little boys are able to stand and pee without going through the sitting stage – it all depends on your child’s readiness and comfort level!

 

2. Buy a cute urinal
Once your child can sit to pee, you can start training him to stand up to pee. There are child urinals which are colourful and attractive with water wheels to make it fun for your son to aim his pee at. They can be mounted on the wall and easily removed for cleaning.

 

3. Use loose fitting bottoms

Get him some loose fitting shorts with elasticated waistbands that he can simply tug down to remove when he needs to pass urine. To make it extra special, bring him along to shop for a few pairs with his favourite cartoon characters!

Be prepared to clean up accidents that happen during potty training.

4. Have potty training sessions
The key to successful potty training is consistency. Put your son on the potty every 15 minutes for two to three hours and whistle to encourage him to relieve his bladder, or ask if he needs to poop. At the end of the session, use regular diapers or training pants to go on with the rest of your day. Aim to have at least two training sessions in a day.

 

Training pants come in handy when potty training your son.

 5. Play a game of “Guess the colour of your poop”
For toddlers and preschoolers who can name colours, play a game of guessing the colour of their poop before putting them on the potty. Poop colour is a sign of your son’s health. If he guesses correctly after pooping into the potty, reward him with a small treat.

 

6. Do the Pee Whistle and Poo Hum
Studies have shown that sounds are an effective communication method to trigger the child’s bowel release. Mothers who practice elimination communication, the method of toilet training from infancy, use sound cues such as whistling to let their babies pee and humming for poo.

 

7. Settle day time training before a night training
It is tougher for your son to stay dry during his sleep as it takes much more awareness. Night training can be done after your son can keep his training pants or briefs dry during the day. You can use a waterproof mattress liner and sheet to contain accidental mess if you are letting your son sleep with loose shorts.

 

Limiting drinks before bedtime can help in reducing the need to pee while he is asleep.

 

Potty training involves a lot of communication and closeness to monitor your son’s cues. Don’t be disheartened if it seems to take longer than expected. If your son attends school, check with the teachers how you can work together to support your potty training attempts.

 

Is your son off diapers and uses the potty on his own? Share your potty training strategies in the comments below!

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Babies For Parents

How Can You Tell If Your Baby Has a Food Allergy?

Babies flourish on an exclusive diet of breast milk or formula for the first six months of their lives before they are introduced to solids, either through traditional weaning methods or Baby Led Weaning. Regardless of the method, extra care should be given to the ingredients used when introducing solids as some babies may be allergic to a certain food.

 

Food allergies occur when the body recognises a particular food as harmful and triggers the immune system to create antibodies to fight the food allergen. If the body is too sensitive, even touching or breathing in food can trigger a reaction.

 

Allergies vary from mild to severe and in some cases, can be potentially fatal. Reactions can occur within minutes or up to two hours after being in contact with the food.

 

A staggering 90%¹of all reactions in children can be attributed to eight common allergens: eggs, milk, peanuts, soy, wheat, tree nuts (e.g. walnuts and pecans), fish and shellfish.

Is your child allergic to eggs, a common allergen?

Symptoms of Food Allergies
Symptoms can present in any of these areas of the body:

  • Skin
    Itchy red bumps, eczema, redness and swelling of the face, swelling or the lips and tongue
  • Gastrointestinal tract
    Tummy ache, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Respiratory system
    Runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Cardiovascular system
    Dizziness or fainting

 

Food allergies can be life threatening if there is a severe reaction.

What to do if your child has a food allergy
Medical attention is necessary if your child exhibits the signs of a food allergy as the doctor can conduct further allergy tests to find out what else your child is allergic to. As food allergies are unpredictable, the same food that caused a mild reaction could cause a more severe reaction at the next feeding.

 

First foods
Soft first foods that seldom cause allergic reactions include avocado, banana, steamed butternut squash or sweet potato, steamed carrots and pear. Babies benefit from wholesome, fresh foods which will provide them with the necessary nutrients to grow healthily.

 

If you are following the traditional weaning method, you may want to make a puree using fruit or vegetables. You can start off with mild tasting foods like potatoes, avocado, spinach or the stronger tasting ones like carrot, pumpkin and beetroot. Puree can be made in advance, frozen and reheated.

 

Peanut allergy can be potentially fatal, and parents should seek medical help immediately.

When to Introduce Allergens

For decades, it was widely believed that allergenic food was to be avoided until a certain age in childhood. However, there has been growing evidence that controlled early exposure of allergens to young children could be beneficial in helping them develop immunity.

 

If your baby is at high risk of being allergic to foods, consult your doctor who can arrange for your child to be exposed to allergenic food in a controlled and safe setting. Termed as a “desensitisation” treatment, the process involves giving the child precisely measured doses of allergenic food in increasing doses in order for the body to rewire its response to the food.

 

At home, however, do observe your baby during mealtimes and record your baby’s meals, so that if an allergic reaction occurs, it would be easier to pinpoint the food which caused the allergy.

 

Does your baby have a food allergy? Share with us some tips on how you manage it in the comments below!

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Uncategorized

Baby Vision Development: From Birth to 12 months old

Newborn babies enter the world with extremely limited vision, which explains their quizzical look. Over the next few weeks and months, their vision will gradually improve until they have an almost complete vision at about six months old.

 

Newborns start focusing their eyes on their parents or people close to them by eight weeks old.

Birth to 3 Months Old
Even though a baby’s visual development begins in the womb, newborns are born with only the ability to see in black and white, as well as shades of grey. At this stage, there is much more to be learnt – how to focus their eyes and move them accurately.

 

Parents can help by displaying black and white visual aids with patterns and shapes near your baby’s cot. Their vision steadily improves in months two and three, when their eyes start moving together. Hand-eye coordination starts developing when they focus on an object of interest and try to reach out for it.


Tips:

Support your baby’s visual development by placing him on his tummy for a few minutes so he can have a better view of what’s around him, as opposed to staring at his cot and the ceiling. This activity has the added bonus of strengthening his neck muscles!

 

Exclusive breastfeeding from birth till at least six months old aids in your baby’s development as it provides all the necessary nutrients, minerals and vitamins.

Black and white images have high contrast and are easy for your baby’s eyes to detect.

Four to Seven Months Old

A few months in this world, along with sufficient brain development, your child is able to see more distinctly and even track moving objects. His hand-eye coordination has improved to the point that he is able to locate objects, pick them up and place them in his mouth.

 

Around five months old, your baby develops depth perception. Both his eyes can now work together for a 3-dimensional view of the world. At this point, his colour vision will be similar to that of an adult, enabling him to take in all the colours of the rainbow.

 

Tips:
Babies from six months old can be fed solid food to supplement their main diet of breast milk or formula milk with iron. The nutrients will aid in their brain and visual development. At about six months old, your baby should have his first visual examination to ensure that his vision is developing normally.

 

Eight to Twelve Months Old

Babies of this age are crawling and learning how to stand. They are more aware of their body and their improved vision comes in handy when coordinating body movements. Encouraging your baby to crawl for longer aids in the development of his neural pathways. They can judge distances and throw objects at a distance. His hand-eye coordination should have developed to a point where he can pick up small objects with his thumb and forefinger (pincer grasp) and would be able to feed himself with bite-sized fruit such as blueberries.

 

Tips:

An active and mobile baby is prone to bumps and falls. Invest in basic baby-proofing like table guards and door stoppers to prevent accidents. If you are intending to transit your baby from breastmilk to formula milk, opt for a formula milk brand that is packed with beneficial nutrients for your baby’s overall growth and development.

 

Do you have any concerns about our child’s vision development? If so, do speak to a paediatrician for medical advice soon.

Categories
Babies Babies For Parents Health & Nutrition

Is it Okay to Feed Solids to Babies Below 6 Months Old?  

At four months old, your baby is starting to become more active and even show some signs of wanting to wean, expressing interest in adult food or being able to sit up with support. However, waiting a little longer might be a good thing before rushing to feed your baby with solids.

 

Currently, it is recommended that babies be fed either breast milk or formula milk exclusively for at least the first six months of life, and solid food is added as a complement to milk up to at least one-year-old. This opinion is supported by many established organisations such as the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

 

After a baby reaches six months of age, the amount of iron in breast milk or iron-fortified infant formula is insufficient for his daily requirements. As such, solid food can be introduced to complement the main diet of breast milk or formula milk.

Newborns should be fed on an exclusive diet of either breast milk or formula milk.

Reasons Why Solid Food should be Introduced at Six Months Old

1. Baby’s digestive system will be more mature

Babies below six months old have immature digestive systems and do not have the proper gut bacteria to process solid food smoothly. Feeding anything but breastmilk or infant formula milk before six months old permanently alters this gut microbiota, causing potential problems like allergies or diarrhoea.

 

Enzymes to aid in digestion are not produced until three to four months old. Enzymes that break down complicated fats, carbohydrates and starches are not be produced until six to nine months old, resulting in fussiness from the baby when their tummy feels uncomfortable as a result of indigestion.

 

It is also the reason why breastfeeding until six months is recommended, as it allows beneficial antibodies to coat the baby’s digestive tract and provide immunity to diseases.

 

2. Baby is likelier to be physically ready

When babies less than six months old are fed solid food, it can be dangerous as their oral muscles are not fully developed. They still possess the extrusion (tongue-thrust) reflex which helps to protect them from food and choking. This means that they tend to push out food the moment it is placed into their mouths.

 

At six months old, they should be able to sit upright without support, and will likely have lost the extrusion reflex.

 

If you are doing traditional weaning, start with vegetable or fruit puree mixed with some formula milk or breast milk.

3. Lesser risk of obesity, diabetes, respiratory and ear infections
Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life has been shown to protect against childhood obesity and diabetes, among other diseases. A baby’s risk of becoming overweight decreases with each passing month that he is exclusively breastfed.

 

4. Deprives them of their primary nutrition source

Feeding solids to very young babies fill up their stomach quickly, leaving lesser space for breastmilk or infant formula which has been fortified with the types of nutrients that young babies require. Feeding solid food at too young an age means they will not be able to take in enough nutrients that are only present in milk, resulting in potential nutritional deficiencies.

 

Formula milk in Singapore meets the nutritional requirements set by local health authorities. Einmilk is a made-in-Singapore brand of formula with a range of milk powder that caters to babies, toddlers and young children so they obtain essential nutrients in their diet.

 

There is no harm in delaying the introduction of solid food until your baby turns six months old to maintain an optimal infant gut flora which supports the immune system. After all, they have the rest of their life to enjoy solid food, so there’s really no need to rush into it.

 

There are exceptions where babies start on solids before six months old, and parents usually do so under the recommendation of their child’s doctor or nutritionist. Should your baby have any medical condition, always seek advice from a medical expert about starting solids before the baby turns six months old.

 

Check this guide to see if your 6-month-old baby is ready for solids!

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Babies Babies For Parents Health & Nutrition

Did You Know that Babies Can Have Free Immunisation in Singapore?

Parents in Singapore are provided with a checklist of vaccinations for their child. At birth, newborns receive their first few shots to protect them.

 

Vaccines are made from the same viruses that cause disease. However, the viruses are in an altered state which encourage the immune system to produce antibodies to the particular disease while not causing the actual illness.

 

With the creation of these antibodies, the body can fight back if they ever come into contact with the disease in future. This, combined with exclusive breastfeeding for at least the first six months, helps to boost your baby’s immune system.

 

Vaccination in Singapore – are they compulsory?

 

In Singapore, parents need to note that the Diphtheria and measles vaccinations are compulsory by law.

 

Immunisation records are tracked by the National Immunisation Registry and are required for submission when children enter childcare, preschool and primary school. The Registry also monitors and ensures that every child gets vaccinated at the appropriate timing. If your child receives vaccinations at the polyclinic, the records will be automatically updated. If taken elsewhere, the records have to be updated by the paediatrician.

If your child is a Singapore Citizen, compulsory vaccinations at polyclinics are free of charge!

The compulsory vaccinations listed in the National Childhood Immunisation Programme are fully subsidised for Singapore Citizens if taken at a polyclinic.

 

Vaccinations – are they completely free, or do we have to pay for some of them?

 

At the polyclinic, if there are any developmental check-ups required on the day of the vaccination, it will also be fully subsidised. Parents usually just pay under a dollar for the paracetamol, which can be fed should a fever develop after the injections.

 

If you choose to vaccinate your child at the paediatrician or General Practitioner (GP), it will not be fully subsidised.

 

Many paediatricians offer a package deal for vaccinations and developmental checkups if your baby is not eligible for the subsidies under the National Childhood Immunisation Programme. The package is usually Medisave-deductible.

 

Among the fully subsidised vaccinations, there is a 5-in-1 injection that combines vaccines against Diptheria, Pertussis, Tetanus (DPT), Polio and Haemophilus Influenza type B (Hib) into 1 injection. The Hepatitis B vaccine is administered as a separate injection and provides lifelong immunity, whereas other vaccines may require a booster shot later in life.

 

There is a 6-in-1 injection that includes Hepatitis B but is not subsidised for citizens. However, this can be considered to spare your baby from an additional jab.

Recommended vaccinations that are

fully-subsidised (for Singapore citizens)

Recommended vaccinations that are

non-subsidised

Tuberculosis* Pneumococcal
Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis,

Haemophilus Influenzae Type b, Poliomyelitis

 

 

Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)
Hepatitis B  

 

Source:https://www.nhgp.com.sg/Our_Services/General_Medical_Services/Child_Health_Services/

 

In the list, only the Pneumococcal vaccine is recommended yet it is non-subsidised. There are a total of three injections and each costs $150 if they are taken at a polyclinic.

 

The pneumoccocal disease is a bacterial infection that often starts with a high fever and can lead to life threatening illnesses such as pneumonia and meningitis. It is the leading cause of infectious disease amongst children worldwide.

 

Although it is non-subsidised, it can be paid through Medisave or via the child’s Child Development Account(CDA), reducing the strain on your wallet. Children who are Singapore citizens receive $3,000 – $4,000 in Medisave grants from the government to defray their healthcare expenses.

Certain vaccinations, such as the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine may cause fever in children.

Common side-effects after immunisation

 

Vaccines are generally safe to take, and severe reactions are extremely rare.

 

Some babies may develop a sore armour feel lethargic after the vaccines. It is common for babies to develop a fever about a week after the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination.

 

After vaccination, the baby’s diet should remain the same. Some babies may adjust their milk intake, so parents will need to ensure that a balanced diet is offered either through breast milk, formula milk and/or solids. Breastfeeding mums may notice that their babies may wish to nurse more frequently or prefer comfort latching after the injections.

 

Knowing that there is free immunisation for our children is good news for parents. Besides the benefits of protecting them against potentially life-threatening diseases, every cent of saving counts when it comes to raising children.

Categories
For Parents Health & Nutrition Pregnant Pregnant

Tips on Managing Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy

Singapore has one of the highest rates of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in the world, affecting one in five births.

 

The condition is characterised by abnormal or elevated glucose readings which occur during pregnancy and is usually discovered through an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) taken between Week 24 and Week 28 of the pregnancy.

 

Mothers with the condition have an increased risk of high blood pressure, pre-term labour and stillbirth. They are also at risk of developing diabetes after delivery. Furthermore, children born from GDM pregnancies are likelier to be obese as children and develop Type 2 Diabetes subsequently in life.

 

Therefore, early detection and proper management of the condition is imperative to keep it under control and minimise the risks to mother and child.

 

Gestational diabetes is a possible pregnancy complication, usually detected between 26 to 28 weeks of gestation via an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT).

 

#1 – Ensuring a healthy diet
If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, a healthy diet is necessary. Instead of three main meals, have smaller but more frequent meals. As essential nutrients for pregnant mums are vital for the healthy growth and development of your baby, you can consult a nutritionist to customise a meal plan according to your health condition and needs.

 

Pregnant mums will likely need to monitor the amount of carbohydrates consumed per day, as over-consumption may cause a spike in blood sugar. Consuming more foods with a low glycemic load helps to keep blood sugar levels stable. If you do not take meat, there are vegetarian meal ideas as well. Also, do keep in mind the foods to avoid during pregnancy.

 

#2 – Keep a food log
As you will need to track your blood sugar levels daily, keeping a food log documents the types of food which correlate to blood sugar levels. You’ll be able to find out what type of food causes spikes in blood sugar and avoid consuming them.

 

#3 – Cut down on sweet drinks
Sweet drinks are a fast way to spike your sugar level, which is why you should cut them off until you’re cleared of gestational diabetes. Sweet drinks extend to sweetened tea, fruit juices and any drinks with added sugar. It is safest to stick to water, which helps pregnant mums to stay hydrated. On average, you need about 2.3 litres of fluid per day.

 

#4 – Exercise!
Exercising plays a part in regulating the body’s insulin output and in turn, blood sugar levels. There are many simple exercises that can be done in the comfort of your home, or simply sign up for prenatal exercise classes to keep active with fellow pregnant mums.

 

#5 – Find a support group
Gestational diabetes can be tricky. Finding a support group with other pregnant women suffering from the same condition can help – you can share meal plans, meet up for lunch and you’ll know that you are not the only one suffering from the condition. Most pregnant women have safe pregnancies and deliver healthy, term babies.

 

#6 – Ensure that your condition is monitored closely
Having gestational diabetes means that your baby may be at an increased risk of excessive birth weight, which may result in complicated labour or C-section. This happens when excess glucose in your bloodstream crosses the placenta and triggers your baby’s pancreas to create more insulin. This results in a largerbaby, and may pose potential pregnancy risks and complications during delivery.

 

Thus, it is important that you attend all scheduled gynaecological appointments to keep a close track on your baby’s predicted birth weight and make appropriate adjustments.

 

Gestational diabetes typically disappears after childbirth but may persist in some mothers, who may need to follow up with regular check-ups.

Gestational diabetes can be successfully managed with proper guidance from healthcare professionals and a supportive network.

 

Mummies who were diagnosed with withgestational diabetes, do share some tips on how you coped with the condition in the comments below!

Categories
Family Fun For Parents Toddlers Toddlers

Let’s Play: Animals in the Zoo (Free Printable)

Identify and trace the names of the animals.

 

Cut along the lines and piece the Animal Puzzle pieces together before a trip to the Zoo to spot them!

 

Theme: Zoo Animals

 

 

 Activity Experience

This puzzle activity promotes logical problem-solving skills, hand-eye coordination and encourages young learners to be focused. Your little one will learn about common zoo animals and how to piece puzzles.

 

Start by introducing common zoo animals to your child through books or videos. Point out unique characteristics of the animals, making it a learning activity by teaching them how to identify the various large cats e.g. cheetahs, jaguars and tigers.

 

These engaging activities help to train them to distinguish subtle differences, as they explore the zoo and learn more about the importance of wildlife conservation.

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Family Fun For Parents Health & Nutrition Toddlers Toddlers Toddlers

Benefits of Cooking with Kids

Cooking with kids has plenty of benefits for both parent and child. It is an essential self-care skill to possess, and an essential survival skill which would benefit him even as an adult. With the right equipment and guided opportunity to cook, your little one could very well grow up to become the next celebrity chef!

 

Parents, if you’re thinking of cooking with your kids, look beyond the mess and look forward to the myriad of goodness it brings for the junior.

Involving your child in the cooking process gives them a sense of responsibility and makes them feel useful!

 

  1. Encourages your child to have healthier eating habits

The process of cooking together starts from deciding on a dish to create, researching for recipes and shopping for ingredients. When you cook with your child, you can substitute unhealthy ingredients for healthier ones and makes changes to preparation methods. For example, instead of deep-frying chicken nuggets, you can air-fry homemade chicken and vegetable nuggets.

 

This influences your child to be more accepting of nutritious ingredients in his or her diet. Healthy eating habits that are inculcated from young play an important part in combating childhood obesity which leads to health problems.

 

  1. Cultivates Project Management Skills

Cooking is very much a project which involves various types of skills. Modifying the recipe amounts to suit the household, substituting ingredients, shopping for ingredients to preparation and plating – all these involves a fair bit of calculation and decision-making.

 

Teaching your child to wash the utensils and tidy up after cooking will teach them to be responsible and be in charge of their own mess.

 

All these are the fundamentals to essential project management skills that are necessary when your child goes to school and eventually, the workforce.

Pizza is a great beginner dish for little ones– try making them together with your kids!

 

  1. Teaches the importance of hygiene

Children who cook together can be taught the basics of food preparation and handling, which includes personal hygiene rules like washing their hands thoroughly before and after touching food and keeping long hair tied back.

 

This includes simple rules such as keeping raw ingredients separately from cooked food and using separate chopping boards for meat and vegetables. You can use this to explain how others may fall very ill if hygiene protocols are not adhered to in the kitchen.

 

  1. Introduces basic Scientific and Mathematical concepts

“250 grams of flour, 2 eggs, half a block of butter”.

 

Ingredient lists introduce your child to basic mathematical concepts such as weight and fractions. Moreover, they can visualise fractions easily during ingredient preparation.

 

Cooking is a mixture of Science, Math and Art. Through the various cooking methods like baking, steaming, boiling and grilling, different outcomes to the ingredients can be observed. Having hands-on experience helps them to remember these concepts clearly.

 

Making cookies with Mummy and Daddy will become one of their best memories– definitely a wonderful reason for cooking together as a family!

 

  1. Encourages picky eaters to try new ingredients

Preschoolers tend to be picky eaters. What better way to encourage them to try new ingredients than to have them create their own meals? Introduce them to some healthy ingredients and how it helps to keep them active and grow strong. Encourage your preschooler to touch, smell and even sample the ingredients while cooking.

 

For a start, try creating some of these easy and healthy pumpkin dishes together!

 

Have you been cooking or baking with your children too? Do share some of your best memories when cooking together as a family!

Categories
For Parents Health & Nutrition Toddlers Toddlers

Parents Share: What Was Your Child’s First Food?

Introducing solid food is an exciting milestone in a baby’s first year of development. It is recommended to start solids only when the baby shows signs of readiness and preferably after turning 6 months old.

 

There are two main weaning approaches – Traditional Weaning, where the baby is fed by the caregiver with a spoon, and Baby Led Weaning, where the baby is allowed to self-feed.

 

Safe foods are those with the least possibility of causing allergic reactions, such as homemade vegetable purees and fruit such as avocado and steamed pumpkin.

 

We asked some mums to share with us their child’s first food and how the experience was like.

Besides breastmilk or infant formula milk powder, baby’s solid diet should include healthy, wholesome food.

Mummy Joanne:
“I fed Liam banana and breastmilk for his first food and he puked it all out because he wasn’t used to the texture and it wasn’t smooth enough. That scared me! For Katie, I started Baby Led Weaning with her from the start. I gave her steamed broccoli and she took it like a champ!

 

Mummy Yvette:
“I was supposed to feed my baby avocado, like what I fed her elder brother, but I was lazy to go to the market that day and ended up feeding her carrots strips instead. She shivered with every bite and her brother got curious and tried taking one too. He immediately regretted it and put (it) back!

 

However, her unofficial first food was actually a custard bun that her elder brother accidentally left on the play mat, which she nibbled on when I wasn’t paying attention!”

Rich in healthy fats and essential nutrients, avocadoes make great first foods for babies.

Mummy Larissa:
“Cora’s first food was rice cereal because we attended some event where she was fed with rice cereal! She was greedy and cried when there were no more samples! Afterwards, I started her on avocado mixed with breastmilk.”

 

Mummy Cherie:
“Her first food was porridge! A Japanese friend gifted me a weaning book while we were living in Switzerland. Even though the book was entirely in Japanese, I could easily understand it by looking at the pictures. Of course, I had a little help from Google Translate too. It’s probably due to this way of weaning that allowed her to eat natto without a blink of an eye.”

 

Mummy Jamie:
“My elder girl was a few days shy of six months old when I prepared steamed pumpkin and grapes which were cut lengthwise for her. I practised Baby Led Weaning and sat her in a booster chair with a dining tray. It was such a mess! She nibbled on the pumpkin and the grapes but started smearing the pumpkin all over the tray! Clean up was a nightmare! Thinking back, it was a fun memory to have.”

When your baby is ready to eat solids, will you be practising Traditional Weaning or Baby Led Weaning?

A mix of milk with fruit seems to be a popular option as a first food. As infants below six months old are fed solely milk (either formula milk or breastmilk), it makes sense to mix milk together with a bland tasting ingredient such as avocado or rice cereal to encourage them to eat.

 

When preparing your first food for your baby, be sure to avoid honey, nuts and eggs as honey is unsafe for babies below one-year-old, and nuts and eggs are high on the allergens list. Have fun researching and deciding on the best first food for your baby!