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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 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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For Parents Pregnant

Pregnancy Week 13 – 16: The Start of Second Trimester

Of the three trimesters, the second trimester is said to be the most comfortable and easiest as most nasty symptoms such as nausea and fatigue begin to ease off.

If that doesn’t happen to you, unfortunately you could be one of the few women whose symptoms continue through the fourth and fifth months, or even until delivery.

Let’s see what lies ahead in the second trimester!

The second trimester is when most pregnancy symptoms from the first trimester disappear and the pregnancy is considered stable.

Week 13: Peach

At around the 13th week of pregnancy, your baby’s intestines and vocal cords are developing. From a space in the umbilical cord, the intestines are now making their way into the abdomen. At this young developing stage, some foetuses can even bring their thumb to their mouths!

In the second trimester, you may experience an increase in sex drive and we encourage you to embrace it – sex is a healthy way for couples to maintain intimacy and bond and it will not harm the foetus which is safe in the womb.

To support your growing placenta and foetus, it is imperative that you tweak your diet to include essential nutrients for pregnant mothers. Including more colours in your meal is one way to absorb a wide variety of nutrients.

Week 14: Lemon

 By around week 14, your baby’s intestines start to produce meconium, the black, sticky substance that will be your baby’s first poo. Baby’s digestive system is beginning to develop as well.

Hair starts to sprout on your baby’s body. His or her body will be covered with lanugo, a coating of hair that provides warmth to your baby. This lanugo will shed over time as your baby accumulates fat that will take over this function. Some babies, especially premature ones, are delivered with lanugo that will disappear soon after birth.

At week 14, the baby bump won’t be too big that it obstructs physical activity. In fact, with the increased energy, you can safely continue whatever exercise that you used to do before pregnancy. You could also start some simple exercises at home to stay fit and active even when you are pregnant. Just be sure not to overexert yourself. Your immune system will be weakened as your body does so to prevent your foetus from being rejected by your body. Be sure to load up on vitamins and maintain proper hygiene.

Keeping yourself active during pregnancy helps to increase blood flow and keeps you active with your baby bump


Week 15: Apple

 A foetus at week 15 looks a lot like an actual baby rather than an embryo. Your baby’s ears are now at the sides and the eyes are gradually moving towards the centre. While you might not be able to feel it yet, your foetus is busy practising for life in the world after birth. Your baby is working on the required skills in the comfy confines of your womb, such as breathing, sucking and swallowing, kicking and moving about.

For yourself, the disappearance of morning sickness and increased appetite could result in heartburn or indigestion, which is what happens when too much food is consumed at one time. If this happens to you, try having smaller, frequent snacks about five to six times a day instead of three large meals. This could alleviate pregnancy heartburn.

Do you find yourself becoming more and more forgetful? Thanks to “pregnancy brain”, the loss of brain cells during pregnancy which makes you forget details. Make use of your smartphone to record important information and alerts.

Week 16: Avocado

By week 16, your gynaecologist should be able to distinguish your baby’s gender, but depending on who your gynaecologist is, you may not be able to know until the 22nd week scan, unless you’ve taken the Harmony test in the first trimester.

At 16 weeks, you could be experiencing backaches, larger breasts, constipation and dry or itchy eyes. There is one positive symptom though – your skin starts glowing, and that’s the “pregnancy glow” that everyone talks about!

The tiny bones in your foetus’s ears have started to form and this is when your foetus can hear your voice from inside the womb. Studies have shown that babies after birth recognise sounds and songs that were sung to them in the womb!

What were some of the pregnancy symptoms you encountered during weeks 13 to 16? Let us know in the comments!

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Babies Babies For Parents Health & Nutrition Pregnant Pregnant

Pregnancy Weeks 6-9: Congratulations on your pregnancy!

Congratulations! You may have just found out that you’re expecting and the news may be a little shocking. Pregnancy symptoms are starting to become more obvious and you may experience morning sickness. Some women have a severe type of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum, characterised by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss and possibly depression. Thankfully, this condition only affects about 0.3% to 3.6% of pregnant women.

Between week 6 to 9 of your pregnancy, your baby will grow from the size of a sweet pea into the size of a peanut.

Week 6: Sweet Pea
At six weeks pregnant, your gynaecologist may be able to pick up your baby’s heartbeat using an ultrasound probe. Foetuses are measured crown-to-rump, and at six weeks old, 4.5mm. Your baby’s face is starting to take shape.

 You may be starting to experience full blown pregnancy symptoms including nausea, fatigue, breast tenderness, bloating and gas. You may have heard that pregnant women need to “eat for two”. However, that doesn’t mean you need to consume two adult servings each meal. Rather, it means that you should be consuming more nutritious food to support your pregnancy.

Week 7: Blueberry
A mucus plug is a protective barrier that forms at the opening of your cervix, sealing and protecting your womb from bacteria. This makes its appearance at Week 7 and will stay until it falls off during labour. Your baby’s brain has developed and the arm and leg buds are present. Arm and leg buds are webbed feet and hands which will separate as baby develops further into fingers and toes.

 The amazing thing is that even at the size of a blueberry, your baby is already 10,000 times larger than at conception! You may find yourself frequenting the toilet more often than usual due to hormonal changes, but this doesn’t mean you should cut back on water! Instead, aim for at least 10 cups of fluids daily to stay hydrated especially with the hot weather in Singapore.

Yoga can be relaxing and calming for pregnant women. Consider attending a prenatal yoga class to learn yoga poses safe for pregnant women.

Week 8: Raspberry

Week 8 sees the development of all your baby’s essential organs. Pigment is forming in your baby’s eyes, giving them colour. Your baby is growing quickly, about 1mm per day. This measurement includes the growth of your baby’s hands, legs and other body parts. Your womb is expanding to accommodate the gradual changes in your womb.

Eating right in pregnancy is key. For a start, “eat a rainbow” to maximise the essential vitamins and nutrients that your body requires. Eating a colourful variety of fruits and vegetables also aid in smooth bowel movements and combats against constipation, a condition that many pregnant women suffer from.

You’ll notice that what you used to like now makes you want to retch, and even start to crave food that you never used to enjoy!Your taste buds might also turn bland making you lose interest in eating.If they are not foods to avoid during pregnancy, it’s okay to indulge a little to satisfy those cravings. Do watch out for high sodium or high sugar foods and go easy on them especially if there is a family history of health risks.

Sushi and sashimi are best avoided during pregnancy as they contain raw ingredients which may increase the risk of food poisoning.

Week 9: Peanut
This week, your baby looks less like a blob and more like the shape of a baby. It somewhat resembles a peanut and is also the size of one. Your baby’s muscles are forming and gaining strength, but you won’t be able to feel your baby kick for at least another month or two.

The good news is that for most pregnant mums,morning sickness starts fade over the next few weeks until the placenta is completed. If standard meal portions make you lose appetite, try splitting your meals into several nutritious bite-sized snacks throughout the day. Keep your arsenal of healthy snacks such as nuts, grapes and berries, small cubes of pasteurised cheese and low salt crackers close by. Eating well to obtain balanced nutrients help support healthy development of your foetus and promote a healthy pregnancy too.

Your gynaecologist may also have prescribed prenatal supplements to support your diet and baby’s growth. Folic acid, DHA, and calcium pills are some common supplements pregnant mums take from the early weeks of pregnancy.

You’re nearing the end of your first trimester! What is your preferred method to combat pregnancy symptoms? Let us know in the comments!

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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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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!

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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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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!

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Health & Nutrition Toddlers

Hand, Food & Mouth Disease: Help Your Child Feel Better

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) is a much dreaded viral disease that most commonly occurs in children below five years old and leaves them feeling immensely uncomfortable. It is contagious and easily spread by direct contact of bodily fluids. A child with HFMD may suffer from fever, sore throat, ulcers and a rash on their hands, feet and buttocks.

 

The first symptom noticeable in your child is usually fever, followed by a sore throat, accompanied by a decrease in appetite. Painful sores and ulcers and rashes subsequently develop a few days after the fever begins.

Fever is the common first visible sign of HFMD. 

As there is currently no treatment for HFMD, the uncomfortable symptoms can be relieved, as child and parents have to wait it out. Because the disease spreads so easily, especially among young children, it’s advisable to avoid public places and stay home until the doctor gives your child the clearance, and that it is okay to return to childcare or school.

 

Ways to relieve the pain and help your child feel better when diagnosed with HFMD

  • Create an oatmeal bath

Blisters are a much-dreaded symptom of HFMD. Oatmeal is effective for soothing inflamed skin and is extremely relaxing. To make an oatmeal bath, simply grind a cup of raw, unflavoured oatmeal into a warm bath and mix it until it is thoroughly blended into the water. Soaking in an oatmeal bath for 15 to 20 minutes helps to calm those angry rashes on your child’s body. Remember to moisturise after drying off!

 

  • Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!

To deal with skin irritation, lots of moisturising is necessary. Apply coconut oil or skin moisturiser liberally and frequently after baths to help your child deal with those rashes or blisters that are prevalent during the course of HFMD.

 

  • Offer nutritious food in creative ways

Kids who are down with HFMD may refuse food because the painful ulcers in their throat making it hard for them to swallow. Despite the pain and decreased appetite, it is still important for them to take in nutritious food, and stay hydrated. Chinese soups are nutritious and comforting for poor appetites.

 

The icy temperature of frozen breastmilk popsicles or fruit lollies can ease their mouth sores and relieve pain. If they are unable to take in solids, offer non-citrus juices, cold fresh milk or Einmilk formula milk to ensure they receive the daily essential nutrients, especially when their body needs to fight the HFMD bug and heal on its own. Lots of plain water is recommended to flush out toxins.

Frozen fruit popsicles can provide a cold, healthy relief for children with low appetite when HFMD strikes.

 

  • Plan some indoor activities

Besides feeling lethargic and listless, your child will feel uncomfortable dealing with the HFMD symptoms and may feel sad being homebound for more than a week. Look on the bright side – when was the last time you get to spend so much time with your child alone? Though sick, your child will likely enjoy your undivided attention. If your family is open to screen time, you can indulge your child with his favourite movie. Otherwise, work on simple craft activities together, like this lion mask. Set up a teepee or makeshift indoor tent with blankets and pretend you’re at a safari camp! When stuck indoors, imagination works wonders to broaden the mind.

 

  • Lots of Tender Loving Care

Lastly, shower your child with lots of tenders, loving care and attention. Emotional encouragement aids in speeding up the recovery process and builds up a stronger parent-child bond too!

 

What are the best ways to provide relief for your children when they are down with Hand, Food and Mouth Disease? Do share with fellow parents below!

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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!