Starting your baby on solids is a fun and exciting journey!
Most babies are ready to start at around 6-months old, and it is essential to ensure that your child can sit upright with minimal support to reduce the risk of choking.
During the initial stages of traditional weaning, babies are typically spoon-fed with soft food such as purees.
In contrast, Baby Led Weaning allows your child to self-feed, and purees are skipped. However, the method of making purees lets parents create pasta sauces, dips and soups for their little ones too, so baby’s food menu can creatively include a variety of baby-friendly food.
Making homemade purees is easy, and provides a wealth of fresh nutrients to your growing child. Busy parents may also prepare them over the weekend and freeze them in bulk so that the weekday caregivers can conveniently defrost and heat up the purees before mealtimes. This saves time and makes having homemade food quick and easy too.
Guide to making vegetable purees
Vegetables are great options to start with for their neutral flavours and are favoured for their naturally sweet taste. Follow these simple steps to make your baby’s vegetable purees.
Step 1: Wash and cut vegetables into smaller chunks (if necessary)
Step 2: Steam or boil them
Step 3: Mash them with a fork and add water into the mixture to achieve desired consistency.
Alternatively, put them in a food blender or food processer to blend.
To freeze and store purees, ensure that freshly-made purees are cooled before transferring them to air tight freezer-safe containers. Avoid putting them next to raw food to reduce the risk of cross contamination. Don’t forget to label them with the date it was prepared.
To defrost the frozen purees, leave in the refrigerator overnight to thaw. You may also submerge the jar of frozen food in a bowl of hot water prior to mealtime. Warm up over stove before feeding baby, and check the temperature before offering baby with heated purees.
What vegetables should I use to make purees?
Most readily available vegetables at the supermarket can be used to make baby’s purees.
Experts recommend offering a range of colours so that your child obtains different vitamins and minerals across the food chart.
Some parents prefer to start with the blander tasting vegetables before progressing to the sweeter ones. Vegetable purees can include potato, spinach, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, lentils, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, butternut squash, zucchini and beetroot.
Tip: Let your baby try out a new food for three days and observe for any allergy reaction before starting on the next one. If your family history includes food allergies, or if your baby has food allergies, do consult your child’s paediatrician before introducing your baby to a new food.
After tasting these single flavoured vegetable purees, you may like to mix them up for your child to experience new flavours! After all, trying out new food is part of eating which allows children to explore new tastes and encourages their physical developmental milestones too. Support your child’s healthy development by starting with the right nutrition in their diets. Have fun raising curious and happy world-ready children!
Do you offer homemade vegetable purees to your babies? Do share what your child’s favourite first foods are!
With a newborn or a toddler, the subject of ‘sleep’ is often discussed and pondered over.
It is essential for babies and children to obtain sufficient sleep as having ample rest supports healthy development. The younger the child is, the more sleep they need. And while they sleep, parents can get their rest too, or possibly score some pockets of time to prepare meals or simply “me time” to unwind for the day.
So, what do you do to get a baby to sleep? When do babies sleep through the night? That sounds like a distant dream!
Let’s hear it from parents in Singapore who have successfully found ways to get their babies and young children to sleep – yes, tips and tricks that work!
#1: Trial and error to more zzz’s
As with parenting, there comes certain situations where trial and error becomes your best bet. Armed with the mission to ensure your newborn sleeps well, and clocks in sufficient naps throughout the day, parents pretty much start from Ground Zero.
Some parents may discover certain sleep strategies that work for their kids. Like Elizabeth Wu, who has 3 children, she counts physical caress as a technique that works for her family.
“Stroking the bridge of the nose gently, white noise and gently running fingers through hair!” she shares.
It sounds so easy, but when she first tried it, the kids probably thought that mummy was playing with them!
Getting the children to sleep also calls for disciplined parents. These parents unanimously agree that a bedtime routine is essential, since children learn through conditioning and repetition.
For Serynn Guay, she believed in sleep training her newborn. Here’s what she does, which involves her special magic trick on days when getting her child to sleep becomes a tall order:
“Nothing forceful, but I established a routine – after wipe down, change PJs, tuck in with baby and turn off the lights. Even now (boy is 3 years old), turning off lights is always a solid cue to sleep. Usually I’ll pretend to fall asleep too (sometimes I’ll fall asleep for real!). If all else fails, use Hylands Teething Gel. It knocked my baby out goooodddddd!”
Most parents who successfully establish a bedtime routine that syncs with their baby sleep patterns are all praises for this must-do!
All of them agree that the familiarity and association with pre-bedtime activities allowed kids to understand and anticipate that it’s almost bedtime. Parents advice? Start early.
Mummy Ryn Ryn started a bedtime routine when she was pregnant. She turns on a particular piano music throughout the night until now whenever her three-year-old daughter sleeps or naps.
“(It has) became a(n) SOP… sometimes if I forget, she will say “mummy please on the sleeping music”..!”
Besides developing a routine, being consistent from the start is equally important, shares Qiqi Low, who has 2 young daughters. She also shares that when the kids start Primary School, the bedtime routine will then have to change to accommodate the child’s schedule so it’s still boils down to making it work for the family.
Parents who have a consistent bedtime routine in place for the children are really pleased with the “results”. While some days are hits and misses, Maria Wee explains that “(Our bedtime routine) is part of his everyday life…. now, he falls asleep within half an hour but most of the time within 15 mins or so. If he’s tired, even faster.”
While it sounds like clockwork going on, what happens if schedules on some days are out of the norm, or, the kids are home later than their usual bedtime?
Mok Yizheng shares, “Both my kids sleep by 830 every day (except for the odd weekend we are out till late). It’s also routine… after dinner they play awhile then when it’s bathing time they will know it’s sleeping time soon. We’ll go into the room and they’ll drink milk around 8pm.. cuddle abit and they’ll fall asleep within 15-20mins.”
Elayne Gan seconds that routine is key and helps to manage the family’s schedules. She affirms, “Regardless the time, the routine remains. That’s one way for baby to recognise it’s bedtime.”
Both mummies Mok Yizheng and Elayne Gan stick to their daily practice even if it means doing certain activities twice, or the same activity at close intervals. For example, bathing them before changing into the pyjamas despite a bath just a few hours ago.
“So many points but so important for sanity!” Elayne quips.
That’s pretty true! Anything to keep parents sane counts as an ally!
#3: Have a game plan to get the kids to sleep
As your children grow older, their bedtime routine may change and morph into something quite different. Or at least, not what you may have expected at the beginning.
With 2 or more kids, siblings may get up to quirky antics at bedtime, which can be really heart-warming to watch after a day of being away from them.
Raye Kiu, sticks to a bedtime routine for both kids. Things are a little different now as the routine “includes silly dances, silly games … milk … brushing teeth, (switching) off (the) lights”. She occasionally resorts to white lies as well by announcing that it’s 11 pm, when it’s just 9.45pm. Things parents do to get their kids to bed!
Also, expect that what used to a fool-proof plan to get them to sleep may suddenly not work when your child is older.
For Mel Goh, “initially, playing soothing baby sleep music helped a lot… once after 6 months, it didn’t really work that much.”
So, her game plan had to change. Now her son hugs a bolster instead. If they are out and her child is yawning, she babywears him and pats him to sleep.
#4: If your child fights sleep, it’s time to see the fun side
If you’re feeling frustrated when trying to get your baby to sleep, remember to see the fun side of things and breathe a little easier.
Researchers have been linking insomnia and intelligence, so who knows? Your sleep fighter could be a little genius! At least that’s what Drea Kang Gruszka convinces herself too: “Take comfort in that possibility the next time you’re ready to slaughter them… At least that’s what I psycho myself to believe when (my daughter) Kinia is driving me nuts at midnight!”
Managing a child who fights sleep can be nerve-wrecking, but with a simple routine in place, you might find one that works for your family. Raising happy, healthy children takes patience and some experimentation at times – we hope you find a way to develop healthy sleeping habits with your children.
Do you have any tried-and-tested methods to get your children to sleep? Do share them too!
Eating well and eating right offers your children with the right nutrition to meet their growing needs.
“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Health Promotion Board of Singapore (HPB), “For optimal growth, development and health… recommend exclusive breastfeeding (with no other food or drink) for the first 6 months (i.e. 180 days) of a baby’s life. Mothers are encouraged to continue breastfeeding their children until they are 12 months old and thereafter as long as mutually desired, together with the timely introduction of solid food from 6 months of age.”
Breastmilk is the most natural and best milk source for babies, and breastfeeding is encouraged by medical experts. When it is not practiced due to medical conditions or other concerns, formula milk is introduced, and toddlers may continue to consume breastmilk, formula milk or start on fresh milk to complement their diet.
What are some of the essential nutrients toddlers need?
Children from one to three years old enter toddlerhood, and this is also the phase when they undergo development in all areas such as cognitive, emotional, motor skills to name a few. Nutrients from the food they eat provide them with the essential nourishment to promote and support healthy development as their organs mature alongside their physical growth.
Some of the essential nutrients that toddlers need are:
Carbohydrates provide a source of energy to toddlers, and these active bubs need plenty of energy to fuel their daily activities.
Food sources: Carbohydrates can be obtained through food such as grains, rice, noodles, bread and cereals.
Proteins are necessary to help babies build their bodies and supports their growth. Dietary proteins are digested into amino acids, which help maintain the development of organs, muscles, bones, teeth, hair and skin.
Food sources: Offer high protein foods such as vegetables, meats, beans, eggs, dairy products such as cheese and yogurt.
Besides supplying a major source of energy, lipids help reduce body heat loss and act as padding to protect body organs. Lipids also aid in the absorption of Vitamin A, D, E and K, which are needed to build baby’s immunity, vision and skin health. Essential fatty acids (e.g. ARA and DHA) associated with visual and neural development while further studies are warranted (i.e. sample size, duration, dosage)*.
Food sources: Fatty fish such as salmon and cod offer healthy fats such as DHA and Omega-3 along with proteins. Avocadoes are fruit sources that provide good fats to support healthy development, and are known as superfoods as they pack wholesome nutrients
Needed to build strong bones and teeth, calcium absorption is enhanced with the presence of Vitamin D. Experts suggest that an adequate intake of calcium during childhood may help reduce the risk of osteoporosis during the later years.
Food sources: Milk is a common source for calcium for children. Besides dairy options such as cheese and yogurt, other non-dairy food with high calcium includes tofu, soy beans and soy milk, oranges, almonds, beef, broccoli, peas and ikan bilis.
Required for the normal functioning of cells, choline is linked to memory and learning functions of a child too.
Food sources: Animal and plant-based sources such as beef, eggs, salmon and cauliflower.
Iron is necessary for the formation of haemoglobin, which help to carry oxygen around to the organ and muscles through red blood cells. Research advise that iron deficiency leads to poor weight gain, irritability, pale skin and poor appetite. Toddlers with low iron levels or are anaemic, iron-rich food should be added to their diet. For ideal absorption, consume with food rich in Vitamin C.
Food sources: Heme sources (meat) such as beef, pork, lamb, liver, veal, chicken; non-heme sources (plants) such as spinach, broccoli, legumes, beans, eggs, lentils, and iron-fortified food such as cereal, whole grain bread and enriched pasta.
Vitamin A is needed to support toddler’s visual development, immune system and promotes healthy skin and hair.
Food sources: Eggs, milk, and dark coloured or orange coloured fruit and vegetables like carrots, spinach, kale, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, apricots, papaya and peaches.
A powerful antioxidant, Vitamin E helps to protect the body against germs, and supports healthy development in toddlers.
Food sources: Nuts such as peanuts, peanut butter, almonds, sunflower seeds, spinach, wheatgerm, broccoli and kiwi.
Besides promoting the absorption of iron and calcium, Vitamin C is needed for wound healing and resist infection, and helps maintain bone and teeth health in toddlers*.
Food sources: Citrus fruit such as oranges and lemons, guava, kiwi, strawberries, honeydew
Depending on individual babies, nutritional needs may vary. Experts advise that a healthy balanced diet would suffice in providing the essential nutrients needed for toddlers. While supplements should not substitute a diet, toddlers on special diets or have medical concerns may consider doctor-prescribed supplements.
Consult a nutritionist of health expert when in doubt. After all, eating right is key to raising world-ready citizens for our future too.
Potty training is the process of getting your child off diapers to relieve themselves in a potty or adult toilet. Going diaper-free is a huge milestone not only for the child but the parents as well. In some parts of Asia and Central America, the “elimination communication” method of toilet training is used, and infants learn from young to control their bladders.
For children elsewhere, diapers are used from infancy until they can control their urges successfully. Children can start on potty training anywhere between 18 months to 4 years old, and when they are ready, some children show cues of potty-training readiness especially when they are able to communicate their need to pee or poop.
We have compiled a few quick tips on potty training your daughter that you can try out. A tip from one parent to another: loads of patience needed!
Let your daughter choose her own potty Potties come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and range from the simple pot-like potty to the fancy, mini-sized version of regular toilet bowls, complete with flushing sounds and music. As the potty is something your daughter has to be comfortable to relieve herself in, letting her choose her own potty can make her open up to the idea of using it.
Incorporate potty time in her daily routine By now, you should have a rough idea of how frequently your daughter passes the motion, and when. Ask her at frequent intervals if she would like to try using the potty, or have specific “potty times”, where you lead her to the potty and sit her down. It doesn’t matter if nothing comes out, as the point is to get her familiarised with the action of going to the potty.
Buy cool training pants or panties Bring your daughter out to the nearest shopping centre for a mission – to buy cool training pants or cute panties, depending on your tolerance for accidental leakages. She may feel motivated to wear them if it has her favourite patterns or cartoon characters.
Set up a rewards chart For each time she successfully relieves herself in a potty, pass her a sticker that she can paste on a board to chart her progress and exchange for a small treat. Positive reinforcement (praises, treats and privileges) has been shown to bring out better outcomes than negative reinforcement (chiding, scolding, withholding affection or privileges).
Observe poop together While it may smell, paying some attention to the appearance of your child’s output can give you an idea of your child’s well-being. After all, hospitals use stool samples to check for health conditions. Teach your child to look out for healthy poop and encourage her to eat more vegetables in order to produce healthy poop.
Check out this poop guide as the colour and consistency of poop depends on the type of diet your toddler has. Making poop observation a joint activity can encourage her to poop into the potty.
Encourage, encourage and encourage Some children get comfortable on the potty within days, while others may take a longer time. Parents have to constantly encourage their child that it is okay even if there are accidents. Most importantly, assure her that you will be there for her no matter how long it takes for her to be off diapers.
Ultimately, it all boils down to the comfort level of your daughter and while there are many potty-training tips out there, some trial and error may be needed to find out what works for your daughter. She may just surprise you one day by simply deciding that she no longer wants to wear diapers!
Have you started potty training your daughter? Do share some of your most memorable potty-training memories with us!
Our child’s poop can vary in colour, consistency and frequency. Yet, it can tell us a lot about our child’s health condition too. We probably never expect to be as intrigued and concerned over somebody else’s poop until we become parents. Whether your baby is breastfed or formula-fed, you should observe your baby’s output to watch out for warning signs about your baby’s health.
The first few poops that a newborn produces is meconium, and it is made up of amniotic fluid and other waste materials from the womb. It resembles tar and is black and sticky. After the meconium days are over, your baby’s poop will reflect the body’s reaction to his or her diet, which is made up of breastmilk or infant formula milk.
Breastfed Baby Poop
Breastmilk is naturally produced by human mothers for their babies, and its nutritional composition is customised according to your baby’s needs at a particular stage, as well as his health. It contains two types of protein – whey and casein. The composition of 60% whey, 40% casein is the perfect balance for quick and easy digestion by infants.
A watery, golden mustard yellow is the standard for breastfed baby poop. Seedy and pasty looking, it resembles diarrhoea. As breastmilk is so easily digested, very little solid waste is produced, making it more watery compared to formula-fed baby poop. For healthy babies, the poop smell is less offensive for babies on breastmilk as compared to babies on infant formula.
When solids are introduced after the baby turns six months old, the stool may take on a thicker consistency, and colour of poop changes.
Babies who are on breastmilk have a varied stool frequency with some passing motion as many as 10 times a day to once every 10 days! Though this may scare new parents, if the baby is producing enough wet diapers and the baby is feeding well and active, it is likely not a cause for concern. However, do check with your baby’s doctor if you are feeling unsure, or notice a change in the stools.
Green and frothy poop means that your baby has ingested too much foremilk (low-calorie milk) and lesser hindmilk (higher fat milk). To resolve this problem, simply let your baby finish feeding on one breast instead of switching sides after a set duration.
Formula-fed Baby Poop
Yellow, brown, green, tan – formula-fed baby poop may take on these colours depending on the composition of formula milk. The iron content in formula milk causes stools to take on a green tinge. The consistency should be like that of peanut butter.
When formula-fed babies start on solid food, their poop may become harder. Hence, it is important to offer your child with water throughout the day. This helps ensure your child is well hydrated as having sufficient water plays an essential role in digestion.
Generally, as formula milk contains a higher percentage of casein, the digestion process differs and thus, formula-fed babies may poop less often than breastfed babies.
What you should look out for
Whether your baby is formula-fed or breastfed, if you notice that their stools are hard and pellet-like, it is a sign of constipation and you should feed them more water or breastmilk.
For breastfed children, it could be due to a change in maternal diet which disagrees with the baby’s gut. Each child’s body reacts differently to different brands of formula milk, so it’s common to observe constipation symptoms during the initial transition from breastmilk to formula milk.
If your baby’s poop appears different from normal, it could warrant immediate medical attention.
Slimy, green streaks with glistening strings is a sign of mucus and could be due to infection.
Dark, sticky and black poop is a sign of digested blood
Red blood in poop could be due to a milk protein allergy, but if it is found in diarrhoea, it could be due to a bacterial infection. However, blood in poop could be a sign of other underlying issues, so it’s best to check with your child’s doctor for advice
Pale, chalky poop could be a sign of liver or gallbladder failure
Poop takes on many appearances and most times, it shows that your baby is well-fed, healthy and growing normally. However, if you notice a drastic change in your baby’s poop, observe the situation and contact a medical professional. If possible, bring along the soiled diaper in a ziplock bag or take a photo for the doctor to make a better assessment.
Have you been observing your child’s stools too? Do comment below on your experience with your baby’s poop diary too!
With so many different brands of formula milk available in Singapore, it can be difficult to choose a suitable brand for your child. How should parents decide which brand or type of formula milk for their children? Read on to find out more!
According to the standards set by the Sale of Infant Foods Ethics Committee Singapore (SIFECS) Code of Ethics, nutritional information must be displayed in detail on formula milk tins.
The most commonly available type of formula milk is milk-based and made with cow’s milk, vegetable oil, vitamins, minerals and fortified with iron. There are also soy-based formula milk powders and specialty milk powders meant for infants with varying allergies and requirements.
All formula milk brands have been tested to be nutritionally adequate for babies and toddlers, and are in line with the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) requirements for milk powder sold in Singapore. From 6 months of age, although milk remains the main diet of babies, solid food can be gradually introduced to ensure that their diet is balanced and nutritious.
Formula milk is called “formula” milk for a reason. It simply indicates each brand of formula milk powder has their own formulation, made up with varying amounts of ingredients. Some may offer higher levels of certain ingredients such as Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), which also leads to a different price tag. If your baby or toddler has a balanced diet, your child will obtain nutrition from fresh food sources too.
There are two major ways of processing formula milk – wet mixing and dry mixing. As the names suggest, wet mixing mixes milk and other ingredients into a liquid form before drying into milk powder. In dry mixing, all ingredients have to be dried before they are blended according to the formula.
It is not uncommon to see brown specks in your child’s milk powder because high heat is required to turn wet ingredients into dry ingredients; it is part of a safe manufacturing process of milk powder and does not affect the taste or nutritional value of the milk powder.
A major point to take note of is how well your child takes to the formula milk. Take note for any diarrhoea or rashes which may be a sign that your child is allergic to certain ingredients in the formula. Having said that, if you are currently breastfeeding, remember to consult your paediatrician prior to formula-feed your baby, let him or her offer recommendations based on your child’s dietary needs.
And do you know all formula milk has to be sent to AVA for approval to sell in Singapore, prior to distributing out to the market? All formula milk sold in Singapore, regardless of price, has been tested to be safe according to the standards set by the AVA. Formula milk brands sold in Singapore meet the nutritional values required for your child’s developmental stage, regardless of the different formulas, made up with varying amounts of ingredients.
How to prepare Formula Milk
Formula milk should be prepared in strict accordance with the instructions on the tin. Einmilk range of formula milk powder, for example, has specific instructions listed on the back of the tin along with the water temperature required to prepare milk. Always prepare the milk powder in the right proportion for your child as recommended by age, using the accompanying scoop which is included in each tin.
In general, all formula milk brands sold on supermarket shelves in Singapore are nutritionally adequate and a higher price does not necessarily mean that it is superior. With a tighter marketing budget, Einmilk’s pricing is kept affordable so that more families are able to nourish their children without fretting over the rising costs of raising children in Singapore.
Have you tried Einmilk for your baby? Let us know in the comments!
Breastmilk is universally acknowledged as the best form of nutrition for infants and its benefits extend beyond satiating hunger. However, due to a multitude of reasons, some parents choose to stop breastfeeding and transit their children to formula milk.
If you have been breastfeeding and intend to switch to formula milk for your babies, there are some things to take note of.
Reasons for changing from breastmilk to Formula
Insufficient breastmilk supply
Self-weaning or desire to stop breastfeeding
Inconvenience encountered when expressing milk at work
Hunger Cues for babies
Babies start showing signs of hunger by nuzzling, hand-sucking or rooting for the nipple or teat. If there are not fed, they will fuss, get upset and cry. Crying is usually the last hunger cue and it is better to calm your baby down before feeding him or her.
Choosing a baby bottle
If you are transitioning your child from direct latching to formula feeding, select a baby bottle with an anti-colic air vent to prevent excessive intake of air. Do choose a teat that is recommended for your child’s age. You may need to go through a few bottles of various brands and models before settling on one which your baby likes.
How to transit from breastmilk to formula milk
An abrupt switch from breastfeeding exclusively to formula milk in a bottle may be hard to accept for baby and mother. Breasts operate on a supply and demand basis for breastmilk and switching entirely may cause engorgement which could lead to mastitis, a painful and serious condition.
Try to start by swapping one milk feed with formula milk in a bottle. If your infant is already used to drinking expressed breastmilk from a bottle, he or she may take to formula easier as formula milk tends to be sweeter than breastmilk. If you are expressing breastmilk, space out your pumping intervals and drop pumps slowly and gradually. This allows the breasts to condition to the lowered output of breastmilk needed.
Babies who are used to direct latching may not take to milk bottles easily and may refuse feeds. An option is to let another caregiver try feeding the child with formula milk while mummy is out of the house. If you are feeding your child with the bottle, hold him or her close when feeding, to mimic the close bond experienced during latching.
Choosing formula milk
Check our Guide to Choosing Formula Milk to make an informed decision on the right formula brand to buy for your infant. All formula milk sold in Singapore is tested for safety in accordance with the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA)’s guidelines and is nutritionally adequate for your infant’s needs, regardless of price.
How to prepare formula milk for babies above 6 months old
To prepare Einmilk milk powder (Stage 2 Follow-Up Formula) for babies between 6 months to 12 months old, pour 180ml of lukewarm water into the bottle and add 6 level scoops of Einmilk formula into the bottle. Cap and mix well until the powder is dissolved.
The full transition process may take weeks or months and requires patience from all the caregivers. Do you have other tips to share with fellow parents on how to transition from breastmilk to formula milk too?
Vegetarians do not consume meat for a variety of reasons, and pregnant mums who are vegetarians may be concerned about obtaining sufficient nutrients in their diet.
Can pregnant women maintain their vegetarian diets while supporting a healthy pregnancy? The answer is yes, as rich sources of essential nutrients can be found in non-meat products.
Consuming a healthy variety of vegetables, legumes, nuts and fruit is beneficial to both mother and baby. With proper meal planning, plant-based diets can be continued throughout pregnancy.
The key nutrients to focus on are protein, iron, calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 and folate.
Vegetarian meals can be nutritious and a delight to the palate. We have curated some palatable meal ideas that brim with healthy wholesome nourishment for vegetarian pregnant mums!
Chickpea Hummus on toast Hummus can be easily made by blending boiled chickpeas with tahini and lemon juice. An excellent source of iron, Vitamin B6, magnesium, protein and fibre, chickpeas also contain folate, Vitamin K, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, choline and selenium.
Banana Pancakes Pregnancy may cause fatigue to creep any time during the day, so this easy two-ingredient recipe is not only easy to whip up but also contains protein and carbohydrates to power you up.
When it comes to fruits, aim for a colourful variety. Eat a rainbow of fruits to increase the number of nutrients consumed to support a healthy pregnancy. Passion fruit, blackberries, green grapes and starfruit are some of the fruit you can add to your vegetarian diet.
Nut butter on crackers
Nut butters are incredibly easy to make and you can choose from almonds, cashews, hazelnuts… the choices are endless! Nuts contain monounsaturated fatty acids for a healthy heart and are packed with protein.
Simple Vegan Pizza Surprise, you can have guilt-free pizza that is as satisfying as its traditional counterpart. Vegan cheese is made from blended cashew nuts and does not contain dairy. If you do not have an allergy to nuts, the copper in cashew nuts helps the body to make use of iron efficiently. It is a good source of monounsaturated fats. Top it with roasted vegetables and add spinach for your daily iron requirements. Iron is a necessary nutrient as it supports additional red blood cells, placenta and the growing baby.
King Oyster “Scallops” When prepared a certain way, king oyster mushrooms can pass off for scallops. Mushrooms have long been used as a vegetarian substitute for meat. King oyster mushrooms are low in fat and calories, yet high in fibre and protein. A cup of sliced mushrooms provides 6% of daily protein requirements and 8% of dietary fibre for women.
Vegetarian Sushi This vegetarian maki roll is light and satisfying as it has carrots, omelette and cucumber enveloped in fluffy, vinegared sushi rice. Some vegetarians consume eggs and dairy products, so it depends on how strict you are. Eggs are a source of iron and egg yolk contains Vitamin D.
Vegan No-Churn Chocolate Ice Cream Indulge in smooth, creamy, chocolate ice cream made from only 5 ingredients! This recipe contains dates, which are high in fibre and antioxidants. It is known to relieve constipation, a common bugbear of pregnant women in their second and third trimesters. Dates lower blood cholesterol, regulate blood sugar and keep you satiated and feeling fuller for longer.
As you can see, there are plenty of non-meat substitutes and meals that vegetarian mums can enjoy and maintain a healthy pregnancy at the same time. Enjoy guiltless and delicious meals without compromising on nutrition and taste!
Are you a vegetarian pregnant mum? Do share some of your favourite vegetarian recipes too!
Pumpkin is a fruit which tastes great as in ingredient in cooked food. More than purely a Halloween decoration, it is chock-full of nutrients, rich in vitamins and minerals yet low in calories.
Beta-carotene, the compound that gives pumpkin its orange colour, is a powerful antioxidant. Ingested beta-carotene is converted into Vitamin A. Vitamin A also supports children’s immunity by keeping the cells that line the respiratory, digestive and urinary tract healthy.
Incredibly versatile, pumpkins can be incorporated into soups, salads, rice and pasta or even made into butter!
We’ve compiled some tried and tested pumpkin recipes using healthy cooking methods to minimise the loss of nutrients, and are healthily delicious dishes for children.
Soups and starters
Cream of Pumpkin Soup This comforting cream of pumpkin soup is relatively simple to make, comprising only five ingredients. Sauteeing the pumpkin bits before adding chicken stock adds to the sweetness of the soup. Wholemeal bread croutons provide dimension and crunch to the dish.
Baked Pumpkin Wedges Pumpkin caramelises when roasted and it becomes a guilt-free side snack for the weight conscious. Children can munch on these wedges freely too, as each serving is only 90 calories, compared to a staggering 312 calories for french fries!
Rice Cooker Pumpkin Rice Did you know that the rice cooker can do more than just cook plain rice? One pot dishes are the perfect solution for time-pressed parents. It is a quick and easy cooking method – simply place all ingredients into the cooker to create one-pot meals that are yummy and balanced in nutrition.There’s less washing up to do afterwards as well! The Chinese-style recipe calls for mushrooms, Chinese sausages and pumpkin to be fried before adding rice and water into the rice cooker.
Seafood Stew in Pumpkin The presentation of this dish is appealing as the pumpkin is cut open like a flower and used as a serving bowl. This recipe uses steaming, stir-frying and baking, all of which are healthy cooking methods. Adding grated mozzarella cheese as a topping is a sure crowd-pleaser. Extra calcium to build strong bones and teeth for your little ones!
Chilled Lemon Pumpkin A cold dessert that provides refreshment and relieves fatigue, the chilled lemon pumpkin dish is power packed with Vitamins A, C, E, dietary fibre and potassium. Boiling is used as a cooking method to soften the pumpkin.
Pumpkin Ice Cream Even children with picky taste buds will find it hard to reject pumpkin in this form. Pumpkin can be turned into ice cream without an ice cream maker! Make this sweet treat on a hot day to pamper your young ones!
Formula companies and hospitals acknowledge that breast milk is the best form of nutrition for babies below six months old due to its superior nutritional value and antibodies which helps babies build up their immune system.
One particular component that human breast milk has is a high concentration of nucleotides. Nucleotides have been found to promote healthy gastrointestinal and immunological growth in babies and toddlers. They are found in many foods, especially in animal proteins such as beef, lamb, chicken, fish, and shrimp.
As babies and toddlers may not be able to consume solid foods well, formula companies such as Einmilk have included nucleotides in its formulation for babies and toddlers.
What exactly are nucleotides?
According to medical journals, “A nucleotide is one of the structural components, or building blocks, of DNA and RNA.” Nucleotides are biological molecules – nonprotein, nitrogenous compounds which form the foundation of DNA (nucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid).
Benefits of Nucleotides for Babies
Increases weight gain and head growth
A randomized trial involving nucleotides was conducted and it was found that babies fed with nucleotide-supplemented formula milk had a greater weight and head circumference than babies who were fed formula milk without nucleotides.Head growth is essential for babies as it is a critical period for brain growth and plays a part in long-term cognitive development.
Enhances development of gastrointestinal system There are potential benefits to intestinal health when nucleotides are consumed. The protective intestinal mucus grows and intestinal enzyme activity increases, creating a stronger gut.Nucleotides have been shown to reduce incidences of diarrhea and speed up the recovery of babies suffering from diarrhea.
Improves immunity Nucleotides have been observed to significantly increase the response of the body towards vaccinations. A better response to vaccinations means that the body can develop its own resistance against the particular strain of illness after reacting to it.
Benefits of Nucleotides for Toddlers
The benefits of nucleotides extend to more than just babies – toddlers and adults benefit from having nucleotides in their diets. Beyond the first six months of life, nucleotide-supplemented formula milk supports healthy developmental growth. It’s no wonder why you should look out for added nucleotides when choosing formula milk for your child.
Supports learning Nucleotides support multi-dimensional learning in toddlers. Multi-dimensional learning is a combination of observation, study, play, and a strong immune system. Though not a direct causative link, nucleotide-supplemented formula encourages healthy cell growth in the brain.
Iron absorption Nucleotides improve iron absorption. Iron builds blood cells and helps the brain to develop. Most infant formulas contain iron and the nucleotides complement iron absorption.
Good for metabolism Toddlers expend an incredible amount of energy each day and nucleotides are known as the “energy currency”. As such, consuming nucleotide-enriched formula is good for their high metabolic system.
When consumed in appropriate amounts, nucleotides are beneficial for babies and toddlers as it is an essential nutrient which promotes healthy cell growth.
Einmilk formula milk follows the EIN-VOLUTION system and is scientifically formulated to suit each age group. Besides Nucleotides, Einmilk milk powder contains other essential vitamins, minerals such as DHA, RHA, taurine, and iron to ensure that your baby only gets the best.
The role and function of nucleotides in infant nutrition and formula milk for babies and toddlers are essential for raising world-ready children.
Are you providing your baby with a balanced milk-only diet or diet which includes formula milk too?