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For Parents Health & Nutrition Pregnant Pregnant

5 tips for post-delivery mums to maintain a balanced diet

Congratulations on your bundle of joy! You may have gained a few kilos from the pregnancy, and the post pregnancy body may not look pretty. Unless you have your doctor’s recommendation to do so, don’t be in a hurry to shed the weight gain just yet!

Fat gained in pregnancy on various parts of your body are actually stores of energy to help you through childbirth and the energy-sapping months that follow.

Although you were not exactly “eating for two” during pregnancy, you and your baby thrived on nutrients from your body and you need to maintain a healthy diet to restore important nutrients, so that you can be healthy and well to care for your newborn. Furthermore, if you choose to breastfeed, your body needs additional calories and nutrients everyday in order to produce quality milk.

Tips on eating healthy after having a baby

Don’t be surprised, good eating habits and a balanced diet can actually help you lose some of the weight you gained. Here’s a list of our tips for eating well to help you maintain a balanced diet after childbirth:

#1: Drink enough quality fluids

Soups are one of the most nutritious fluids that post-delivery mums can enjoy.

Your body needs a lot of fluids daily, particularly if you are breastfeeding your baby. We all have a preference in the type of fluids we enjoy having, but if you choose quality fluids like water or nutritious soups over bubble tea or sugary drinks, you would already be winning on fueling your body with the necessary nutrients.

#2: Nutrition over quantity

New mothers have high nutritional needs but are often exhausted – you may even find yourself opting to sleep instead of eat. It is good strategy to choose quality food that covers good carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fibre, vitamins and trace minerals each time you eat, regardless of the frequency or quantity you eat. (Read: Essential nutrients for pregnant mums are also good for postpartum mothers)

This strategy ensures that you are packing in your needs at every meal. (Read: This recipe for Wholesome Baked Eggs in Avocado packs wholesome good and healthy fats that are good for mothers too.)

#3: Choose natural instead of processed

When you consciously make the decision to pick natural foods over processed food, half the battle is won. For example, rice is a carbohydrate and so is bread, but rice is a much better source of carbohydrate as compared to bread, because it is a natural, whole food that contributes to nutrition instead of empty calories. (Read: Vegetarian mothers can eat natural whole foods too!)

#4: Limit instead of omitting

Post-delivery mums, setting boundaries allows you to truly enjoy your snacks and cravings!

Snacking can be stress relieving for new mothers and it’s entirely normal for us to have cravings from time to time. Emotional or irrational eating is not encouraged, but it is okay to indulge once in a while as a little treat. In fact, telling yourself that “I can’t snack” could backfire and trigger episodes of binge eating. To overcome this, you can decide that “I don’t” eat beyond a certain quantity rather than “I can’t” eat this junk food. Making and honoring your personal decisions on snacking sets helpful boundaries, which empowers you to relax and truly enjoy your treat without guilt or affecting your commitment to a nourishing diet.

#5: Choose quality snacks

A snack of nuts and chocolates makes a satisfying treat of energy boost for new mummies too.

Choose nutritious snacks like nuts, fruits or even good quality dark chocolates when you are not particularly craving for something. These are good opportunities to pack in beneficial nutrients while enjoying a nibble. Breastfeeding mums need an additional 500 calories so making smart food choices help fuel the body too.

We hope you enjoyed these practical tips and that they truly help you in working towards a sustainable, balanced diet. Don’t be surprised; you may also lose some of the pregnancy weight by adopting these tips. Do you have any personal tips that worked for you? We’d love to hear, please share them with us in the comments!

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Babies For Parents Uncategorized

Mums share: Breastfeeding concerns that we struggled with!

Breastfeeding has many benefits for babies and mummies. However, it is a skill that needs to be picked up by both mother and baby. Some may learn it faster than others, but contrary to what most mums think, this learning process may not be instinctive nor is it one that naturally falls in place for some of us. In fact, many variables make breastfeeding challenging for a majority of mothers, even those who are not first-time breastfeeding mums.

Often, breastfeeding is an emotional process. It is the next immediate emotional rollercoaster you ride on after birthing your baby. Do not be surprised if you feel intense feelings from time to time and there is nothing to be ashamed of if you decide it is necessary to prioritise your family’s well being and opting for infant formula instead.

To provide solidarity for mums who may be struggling during their breastfeeding journey, we ask our friends to share about their own breastfeeding woes and how they eventually handled them.

Some breastfeeding mum don’t have enough support

One of the most common encounters amongst our friends is a lack of support for their breastfeeding journeys, largely from extended families, particularly those with whom they live with. Husbands, who may or may not be supportive themselves, may feel trapped between his wife and his other family members.

When members of the household are not equipped with breastfeeding knowledge or unwilling to respect a breastfeeding mother’s decision, it gives rise to tremendous pressure for the breastfeeding mother to “perform” and/or persist in breastfeeding. There may be a domino effect from these pressures which add additional stress onto the new mother.

Some of our friends mitigated the situation by attending breastfeeding courses with their husbands during their pregnancy, and, share nuggets of breastfeeding knowledge with extended family gradually over the course of their pregnancy.

Equipped with breastfeeding knowledge, you can also take the chance to gradually and gently set expectations with household members on how it might be like during breastfeeding, so that they would be mentally aware of what it entails. Adjustments and compromises can be made as you go along, to reach a balance that works for everyone in the family.

Breastfeeding mums believe that they do not have enough breast milk

It can be devastating and stressful for breastfeeding mothers if they experience a delay in milk coming in, are not aware of how little baby actually needs initially or, have to endure opinions of this nature.

One of our friends broke down in tears after trying to express breast milk for the first time, because all she managed was a tiny ring of milk that covered the base of a milk bottle, in addition to having to endure comments that her baby was inconsolable from being hungry due to her insistence to breastfeed.  Unknown to her at that time, the amount of breast that she managed to express is actually just about the amount her newborn baby can stomach.

Newborns only require a very small amount of breastmilk. 

Knowledge gives rise to confidence that we are progressing in our breastfeeding journey. With the necessary breastfeeding knowledge, you are less likely to panic, feel out of control when you encounter situations that may not seem to be in your favour.

Breastfeeding mums endure sore and cracked nipples

Almost every breastfeeding mother has experienced sore / cracked nipples at least once, usually in the beginning of their breastfeeding journey. This commonly happens because baby may not yet have a correct latch, or, when mums have sensitive nipples that suffer abrasion from having to repeatedly

Cracked and bleeding nipples during the start of your breastfeeding journey can be nerve-wrecking for new mums.
Photo credits: Estella Goh

The breastfeeding mother can bleed from her nipples due to repeated latching after abrasion and the baby may even swallow blood from her mother’s nipple. The pain and sight can be scary for a first-time mum, as she struggles with getting her baby fed while riding through her physical pain.

Breastfeeding mothers can apply lanolin cream, nipple relief cream or breastmilk to relieve themselves of sore and cracked nipples.

Breastfeeding woes with mastitis

Mastitis is an infection that occurs from plugged milk ducts in your breasts. Usually, this can be encountered at any point in your breastfeeding journey, especially when mums do not empty your breasts of breast milk efficiently enough.

Symptoms include fever and flu-like symptoms as well as a pair of painful, rock hard breasts. Mastitis may need to be treated with an antibiotic treatment, during which you may have to pump and throw away breast milk within 2 hours each time you consume the antibiotics. Wasting breast milk is a huge source of distress or breastfeeding mothers, who may already find it difficult to provide enough milk for their baby.

Cold cabbage leaves work to reduce milk supply quickly and are very effective in reducing engorgement. They could be used in initial treatment of mastitis, by leaving these cold cabbage leaves on for about 5-10 minutes. As this method is also used by breastfeeding mums who wish to reduce their milk supply, remember not to leave them longer for 10 minutes as some may experience a reduction in breastmilk thereafter.

Having to express breast milk in unsuitable environments

Not all workplaces are breastfeeding-friendly and breastfeeding mothers who need to return to the workforce may not have a suitable place to express and collect their breast milk hygienically.

Several mothers reported that they were required to express their breast milk in the toilets or storerooms. To manage the situation, they suggest procuring a suitable container, which you can sanitize daily, to hold your breast pump, parts and bottle during expressing. At the very least, the surfaces that are in contact with your pump equipment are clean!

Travelling for work while breastfeeding

Many working mothers have to travel on work assignments. In order to continue giving their babies breast milk, they need to ensure that their milk supply does not drop or prevent themselves from suffering infections such as mastitis, breastfeeding mothers have to work around their pump times and/or figure out how to transport expressed breast milk from one country to another.

Our friend, Florinda Tay, felt compelled to share her knowledge on preserving and transporting expressed breastmilk on a work trip in her photo album here: https://www.facebook.com/florinda.tay/media_set?set=a.10156206580292794&type=3

Photo credits: Florinda Tay

We hope that these true stories of breastfeeding struggles can give you some insights on how every breastfeeding mother may experience their own challenges. Hopefully these stories can help support and encourage you on the tough journey of breastfeeding.

We’d love to hear your breastfeeding stories too, share with us in the comments below!

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Babies Babies Family Fun Health & Nutrition Toddlers Toddlers

Delicious & Healthy Lactation Cookies Recipe

Lactation cookies have won praises from breastfeeding mums for helping to improve and maintain breast milk supply.

 

Breastfeeding has benefits for both mum and baby, and breast milk has been proven to contain all the required nutrients and antibodies of growing babies. It is a versatile ingredient that can be added into your baby’s first solid food or frozen to soothe your baby’s teething gums. Breast milk supply is largely affected by diet and hence, mummies worry when their supply dips, and is unable to meet the demands of their hungry babies.

 

Galactagogues are foods that are reported to boost breast milk supply. Galactagogues are also called breast milk boosters. On the other hand, ingredients that cause a visible dip in supply are known as milk killers. Of course, other factors come into play when breast milk supply dips.

 

Apart from being quick healthy snacks that help breastfeeding mum stave off hunger, lactation cookies well-loved for helping to increase breast milk for some mums.

 

In Singapore, there are many stores selling lactation cookies, but you can easily do your own with your favourite ingredients too! Here’s a quick recipe to make lactation cookies!

Who says healthy lactation cookies recipes can’t be delicious at the same time?

 

Delicious and healthy lactation cookies recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons flax seed meal
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brewers’ yeast
  • 1 tablespoon wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chips


Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C.
  2. Mix flaxseed with water in a small bowl and let soak for 5 minutes.
  3. Beat butter, white sugar, and brown sugar together in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Add egg yolks and vanilla extract; beat to incorporate. Stir flax seed mixture into the butter mixture.
  4. Mix flour, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar in a separate bowl; add to butter mixture and stir until just combined. Fold oats and chocolate chips into the dough.
  5. Roll dough into walnut-sized balls and place 2 inches apart onto a baking sheet.
  6. Bake in the pre-heated oven until the edges are golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe Credit: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/232191/lactation-cookies/

 

Recipes for lactation cookies contain known milk boosters and it is not surprising that this recipe contains oats, flaxseed, wheat germ and brewers’ yeast. Oats are high in iron that maternal mothers mostly lack. When the iron levels are replenished, milk supply should increase as well.

 

As for flaxseed, it increases the ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid), which partially converts into omega-3 fatty acids, a must-have for breast milk production. Excessive consumption of flaxseed could lead to an increase in weight and food intake.

Brewer’s yeast and wheat germ contain iron, protein and complex carbohydrates. Brewer’s yeast has a distinct strong smell and can be omitted if you prefer. To increase the fibre content, try replacing the all-purpose flour with wholemeal flour.

 

Lactation cookies may work for most mums, but, do note that overconsumption of these snacks could lead to weight gain, so as with other foods, eat in moderation.

Your kids can participate in cutting out cookie shapes when you’re baking those lactation cookies!

 

If you have an older child, he or she can help you with cutting out shapes for the cookies as there are many known benefits of cooking and baking with children. It’s a great bonding activity too!

 

Do lactation cookies help boost breastmilk for you? Try this easy and delicious lactation cookie recipes and let us know in the comments!

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Babies Babies For Parents Pregnant Pregnant

Breastfeeding Mums share: 5 Foods that Boost Milk Supply

During the first six months of a baby’s life, breast milk is the perfect food as it is tailored towards the baby’s requirements for healthy development. In addition, breast milk also strengthens the baby’s gut and provides lifelong benefitsfor both mother and baby.

Breastfeeding mums require an extra 300 to 500 calories on top of their daily nutritional requirements. There are certain types of foods which are known to boost breast milk supply. These are known as “milk boosters” and some of which are listed below. However, not all mums have the same reaction, and a milk booster for one mum may be a milk killer for another.

Keeping yourself sufficiently hydrated is essential when it comes to breast milk production. 88% of breast milk is water, so be sure to drink at least six to eight glasses of non-caffeinated water.

  1. Dark Leafy Green vegetables

Dark leafy green vegetables are a good source of calcium, iron, folate, Vitamin K and Vitamin A. Incorporate them into your diet by simply blanching these vegetables to retain the maximum amount of nutrients. Examples of dark leafy green vegetables include kale, spinach, broccoli and kale, among others. Chock full of fibre to aid digestion, dark leafy green vegetables also contain phytoestrogens that positively affects breast milk production.


2. Avocado

Over 75% of the fatin avocados are good, unsaturated fats. These good fats help the body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Creamy and mild, avocados can be used to make guacamole, milkshakes and can even be shared with your baby if he or she has started weaning!

Avocados are heart-healthy and help you to keep satiated. Some breastfeeding mums have reported that regular consumption of avocados have resulted in their breast milk becoming creamier!

3. Salmon

Salmon is regarded as a galactagogue as it contains a rich amount of Vitamin B12 and Omega-3 fatty acids. It is one of the few foods that contain natural Vitamin D. Both Vitamin B12 and Omega-3 may help in fending off postpartum depression.

More importantly, salmon contains a large amount of DHA which is important for the development of your baby’s nervous system. DHA is often added to formula milkfor the same reason, in addition to supporting healthy eye and brain development. If you’ve held off eating salmon sashimi during your pregnancy, now’s the time to pamper yourself and boost your breastmilk supply at the same time!

4. Oatmeal

Low iron levels may result in a decreased breast milk supply. Oatmeal is the main ingredient in lactation cookies. Full of nutrition, oats contain proteins, vitamins, minerals, zinc, manganese and calcium.

An excellent source of soluble fibre, oats contain vitamin B that increases energy, regulates your mood and reduces your stress levels! Oatmeal can be eaten as porridge or left in a mug with fresh milk overnight to make overnight oats – a healthy breakfast for breastfeeding mum!


5. Sweet Potatoes

In just one sweet potato, you get all the Vitamin A you need for the day. Vitamin A is necessary for healthy vision, bone growth, immunity and cell growth. Breastfed babies rely on your diet to absorb the Vitamin A that they require.

High in fibre and potassium, sweet potatoes contain more grams of natural sugars but with more nutrients and fewer calories than a normal potato, making it the healthier choice for breastfeeding mums.

Naturally sweet, sweet potatoes can be served in a multitude of ways in various types of cuisine. Mashed, baked, as chips, the possibilities are endless!

Breastfeeding mums, which foods are your milk boosters? Have you consumed a milk booster that turned out to be a milk killer for you? Let us know in the comments!

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Babies For Parents Toddlers

How to Wash and Care for Milk Bottles Effectively and Efficiently?

The fundamental basics are to wash milk bottles immediately after use, rinse thoroughly and dry as both infant formula milk powder and breast milk leave an oily residue.

Did you know that there is more to caring for your baby’s milk bottles?

If your baby is below six months old, their immune system is still developing and extra attention is needed when washing and caring for your baby’s bottles.

Washing

Bottles should be fully disassembled for easier and more thorough cleaning.

Wash your baby’s bottles with a baby bottle detergent that has no toxic ingredients.Use a clean bottle brush and teat brush to ensure that all nooks and crannies of the bottle can be reached. In addition, remember to wash your hands before and after handling bottles. It’s tedious but necessary as our hands carry many germs from the surfaces that we touch regularly and not washing your hands thoroughly may lead to viruses that cause diarrhoea.

If washing by hand instead of in a dishwasher, it is recommended to place the bottles into a large container and pour hot soapy water into it while scrubbing the interior with a bottle brush. Before putting the bottles and equipment away, ensure that they are entirely dry before keeping them aside to prevent the proliferation of bacteria.

Sterilising

Sterilising is recommended especially for premature babies and newborns to kill off harmful viruses that may remain in the bottles after washing. The most traditional method of sterilising baby bottles is to boil them in water.

However, this method can result in burns and scalds if you are not careful. There are steam sterilisers and more recently, UV sterilisers. UV sterilisers are considerably pricier than steam sterilisers but there is little effort required as the baby bottles can be left in the steriliser until the next use without needing to dry them on a drying rack.

Types of bottles and recommended usage period

Most baby bottles currently sold in the market are made from polypropylene (PP) plastic. These bottles lose their transparency and change colour with time. This indicates a chemical breakdown in the plastic and thus, should be changed when it happens or every 6 months, whichever happens earlier.

Polyethersulphone (PES) is tougher and safer than PP bottles. It can withstand a higher temperature than PP without breaking down chemically. If exposed to boiling water, PES will start disintegrating. PES bottles look cloudy or have a honey-coloured tint. It is advised that PES bottles be changed every 6 months.

Polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) bottles are the sturdiest of the three plastics with the highest durability and heat tolerance. It does not absorb odour or change colour and is suitable for repeat sterilisation. Despite this, you should get new PPSU bottles every year.

Glass bottles are likely the most durable of the lot. However, it may be too heavy for a baby to hold on its own and require special silicone holders for a better grip.

These bottles can be purchased from stores that sell baby products such as Lazada Redmart.

How to look out for wear and tear

Scrutinise your baby’s bottles daily for cracks or chips that could break and cause milk to leak. Scratched plastic bottles should be tossed as bacteria could breed inside the scratch lines. Replace teat nipples when they become cracked or gummy or every 3 months.

A speedy way to check is to observe how the formula flows from the teat. If it is in even drops, then it is good to use. If it is in a steady stream, it means that the milk is flowing too fast and could lead to choking. If the milk flows too slowly, consider using a nipple with more holes or switch to the next stage for a more comfortable flow.

How do you care for your baby’s bottles? Let us know in the comments!

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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!

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Health & Nutrition Toddlers

Fun Books that Teach Toddlers Nutrition and Healthy Eating

Nurturing healthy eating habits in young children starts at home.

 

Besides leading by example and offering nutritious homecooked meals where possible, there are several ways parents can encourage healthy eating habits and teach them the benefits of eating well.

 

Developed by the Health Promotion Board (HPB), My Healthy Plate presents the ideal servings and food suggestions for feeding your toddler. Babies above 6 months of age can be fed with formula milk such as Einmilk, as part of their daily diet to supplement their required nutritional intake.

 

The importance of eating nutritious food and healthy eating can be instilled in toddlers so that they understand how to take care of their bodies from the early years.

 

What better way than to learn from books? We’ve compiled a list of fun books on toddler nutrition and healthy eating for gadget-free, parent-child bonding time.

 

Fruits and vegetables should ideally form half of your toddler’s plate. Brown rice and grains can be limited to a quarter and the remainder for meat and others. Credit: HealthHub
  • Why Should I Eat Well?
    Clare Llewellyn
     

    Why Should I Eat Well? is a question and answer picture storybook that answers the common questions kids have about food and how eating well relates to their fitness. The book shows how eating fried and fatty foods make one lethargic and even sick while eating well makes skin shiny and keeps them energised. There are notes at the back for teachers and parents with follow up questions and suggestions, so parents can pique their child’s mind through discussions about healthy eating. 

 

  • I Eat Vegetables
    Hannah Tofts
     

    Comprising clear photographs of vegetables with their names, I Eat Vegetables is a perfect book for very young children to learn about commonly seen vegetables. In addition, they learn which types of vegetables need to be peeled before eating.You can prepare some vegetables for your toddler to touch and feel while reading the book for a multi-sensorial experience.

     

 

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar
    Eric Carle
     

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a perennial favourite with children. Other than teaching toddlers about the life cycle of a butterfly, it shows how the caterpillar starts with healthy food and eventually falls ill after gorging itself with junk food. Children learn not only about eating healthy food but eating in moderation as well. The holes in the pages make it fun for toddlers to poke their tiny fingers through.

 

When it comes to choosing fruits for your kids, the colourful selection is the key to getting more vitamins.
  • Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food
    Stan and Jan Berenstain
    Old but gold, the Berenstain Bears are a familiar classic for kids. In this book, Papa bear and the cubs learn how to adjust their diets after gorging on too much junk food and tipping the scales.

 

  • I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato
    Lauren Child
    In this book from the Charlie and Lola series, Lola is a fussy eater who absolutely refuses to eat her carrots, mashed potatoes and many other things, especially tomatoes. Her brother Charlie uses imaginative ways to describe the vegetables to eat. This book presents encouraging support from siblings, and some kids do need creative encouragement when it comes to eating their veggies.
Books that feature photographs of real vegetables and fruit can help children form a better link to the food on their plates.

 

These children books can be purchased from bookstores or borrowed from our local libraries. As with all habits, healthy eating habits in toddlers take time to develop, so don’t feel too discouraged if you don’t see instant results!

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Health & Nutrition Pregnant Uncategorized

Meal Ideas for Vegetarian Pregnant Mums

Pregnant women need to ensure their diets include essential nutrients and avoid taking potentially harmful foods during pregnancy.

 

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!

 

Start your day with hummus on toast and a side of mixed fruit.

 

Breakfast

  • 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.

 

Light Snacks

 

  • Fruit Platter
    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.

 

Dairy-free cheeses can be used as a topping for pizza.

 

Lunch/Dinner

 

  • 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.

 

The colourful appearance of vegetarian sushi can help improve appetite and makes for a delish meal for pregnant mums.

 

Dessert

 

  • 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!

 

Categories
Health & Nutrition Toddlers

Yummy and Healthy Pumpkin Recipe Ideas

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!

 

You can make pumpkin puree for babies and there is a high chance that your baby will accept it as pumpkin is naturally sweet. Its high fibre content promotes smooth bowel movements too, but do not be alarmed when your child’s stools turn out orangey. After all, children’s poop comes in a myriad of colours!

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.

 

Cream of Pumpkin Soup offers a comforting and nutritious dish for young 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!

 

 

Baked pumpkin wedges are a nutritious alternative to the ever-popular potato wedges but with a natural sweetness.

 

Main dishes

 

  • 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!

 

Dessert

 

  • 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!

 

As you can see, pumpkin can be used in various ways and cooking methods as a source of essential nutrients that your growing toddler requires. Low in fat and calories and high on nutrients, this is one ingredient you should be using more of in your cooking.

Are you adding pumpkins into your child’s diet? Tell us which is your child’s favourite pumpkin dish!

Categories
Babies Health & Nutrition Toddlers

Benefits of Nucleotides for Babies and Toddlers

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).

 

Nucleotides are added to the formula composition in Einmilk’s range of milk powder to support children’s healthy development.

 

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.

 

 

Einmilk contains added nucleotides for the pivotal growth of your child.

 

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.

 

Nucleotides play an important part beyond infancy as well.

 

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?