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Babies For Parents Toddlers Uncategorized

How to manage older siblings while breastfeeding

It’s your second baby and you’re all excited to breastfeed the way you want it to be this time round. You think you’ve got all the techniques down to a T and you’ve diligently taken your supplements and fluids and soups in a bid to boost breast milk production.

You pick up your baby to nurse and suddenly, in comes your toddler, throwing a tantrum or insisting that you carry him instead. All your grand plans seem to have gone out of the window with a crying baby and a whiny toddler at hand. But rest assured, there are ways to make breastfeeding manageable, and even an enjoyable journey, for everyone in the family.

Breastfeeding not only provides babies with the necessary nutrients, it’s also beneficial for mums!

Talk to your older child(ren) about breastfeeding the baby

If you can, speak to your older children about breastfeeding the baby before the baby is born. Let them ask whatever questions they might have and answer in a way that they can relate to and would understand.

After the baby is born, and before feeding time, speak to them again to remind them what you have discussed earlier. If they have any more questions, they can still ask them. Keeping them informed and involved would help them to cope with the anxieties and insecurities of having a new baby sibling around.

Involve your kids during nursing time

We all feel slightly more forgetful after childbirth, and sometimes we forget that extra cushion or pillow to prop ourselves up or that little hanky to wipe the dribbles off baby’s face. In come our little superheroes to save the day.

Instead of disrupting the feed, simply get the older siblings to help bring you the items. Remember to lavish them with praise, to thank them for their effort in helping to make nursing the baby go smoothly. Children love to be involved and praised, and you’ve just done both, so you’re off to a good start.

Make those breastfeeding sessions a special time for the family

When I used to nurse my baby, I’d read to my older child or sing songs with her. She’d get to pick out the book before the feed and sit right next to me during the feed. Sometimes, she would want to sing and dance to a song and we’d have a good chuckle.

If that’s too much activity for your nursing infant (not all babies are the same), you can try putting on a special cartoon or movie to watch together with the older siblings, or allowing them access to some toys which are only available to them during nursing time. You would be surprised that the older siblings might look forward to breastfeeding time!

A simple box containing some special toys reserved for nursing time can come in handy to keep older kids entertained when you need to breastfeed your newborn.

You can always ask for help from those you trust

“It takes a village to raise a child.” We are not supermoms all the time. Sometimes, even supermoms need a breather and some help. You canask for help when you need it. It is understandable that not everyone provides good or reliable help, so ask from those whom you trust your children to be with. They could take the older siblings for a walk in the park or keep them entertained while you nurse. That’s when dads could chip in too!

Dads are often neglected when it comes to the topic of breastfeeding. However, they can play a crucial role!

Mothering is a rewarding but challenging task. Not every day will be a good day and there might be more bad days than good ones at the start. But knowing what to do and having someone to help out and share the load with would make it less overwhelming. Continue to hang on in there as you supply your little one with liquid gold!

Do you have any more ideas on how to manage older siblings during breastfeeding? Tell us in the comments below!

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Babies Health & Nutrition Toddlers Uncategorized

Where to Buy Einmilk Formula Milk in Singapore

Whether we are supplementing breastfeeding with formula milk or formula-feeding, as parents, we would try to provide our babies with the most wholesome and nutritious milk, within our means.

Einmilk offers complete nutrition with its range of formula milk for babies and toddlers.

Key ingredients in Einmilk:

  • Taurine(found in breast milk, helps infants’ liver gain or maintain their weight)
  • DHA and AHA(helps promote the growth of cells in the eyes and brain)
  • FOS(facilitates absorption of nutrients in the intestine and digestive system)
  • Nucleotides(increases metabolism and immunity by increasing ‘good’ bacteria and decreasing ‘bad’ bacteria),

Einmilk formula provides better value to parents and the finest in paediatric nutrition to babies and toddlers at the most crucial stage of their development, helping them along as they achieve their developmental milestones.

Einmilk infant formula and formula milk powder for toddlers are scientifically designed and produced with care, to provide complete nutrition for each stage of child development. Most importantly, you can be assured of its quality as it is made in Singapore.

With Einmilk’s formula milk powder produced in Singapore, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are feeding your baby the best.

 

For those residing in Singapore, you can purchase Einmilk infant formula and formula milk powder for toddlers from retailers near you.

Where to buy Einmilk milk powder:

Developed with cutting-edge technology under the strictest quality controls, Einmilk is meticulous during every stage of product development. From where the ingredients are sourced to how the formula milk powder is produced, the highest level of hygiene and food safety are practised in every stage of the production.

This is the predominant reason why Einmilk infant formula and formula milk powder for toddlers are popular, not just in Singapore, but in Malaysia and China too. With the knowledge that Einmilk is produced by SMC Nutrition Pte Ltd, which is certified by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA), and that the company is also FSSC 22000 certified by SGS, we can be rest assured that our babies and toddlers are drinking quality milk powder manufactured under Singapore’s strict food regulations. Made with all families in Singapore and beyond in mind, Einmilk is also HALAL certified by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS).

Overall, there is strong trust in a made-in-Singapore brand of quality formula milk that is not only good for baby or toddler, but easier on our wallets too. Amidst parents’ growing concerns of increasingly expensive formula milk powders, Einmilk is affordably-price so more parents can provide milk to their children.

For those residing in Malaysia or China, you can purchase online through Einmilk’s website(subject to delivery fees).

If you are still wondering whether to purchase Einmilk from their online store, or, from the shops in Singapore listed above, you can request for a sample first.

 

Where’s your favourite place to buy Einmilk formula milk for your kids? Share with us in the comments below!

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Babies For Parents

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Is your child allergic to eggs, a common allergen?

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

When to Introduce Allergens

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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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 Babies For Parents Health & Nutrition

Mum’s Checklist: 5 Essentials Breastfeeding Mums Need

Breastfeeding is a wonderful way of bonding with your baby as it provides closeness in addition to your baby’s nutritional requirements.

Mums who breastfeed may do it in different manners: Some breastfeeding mums latch their babies directly, other nursing mothers practice exclusive pumping, while some mums offer mixed feeds to their babies with both breast milk and infant formula milk powder.

Many mums who return to work after their maternity leave struggle to keep up with maintaining their supply especially when their work schedule makes it inconvenient for them to pump.

Thus, we have compiled a handy checklist of breastfeeding essentials for you to power on in providing the best nutrition for your baby! Also, always remember to practice good hygiene by washing your hands before and after pumping.

  1. Breast pump with proper flanges

A breast pump helps to express milk efficiently into storage bottles for feeding your child. Hand expressing and manual breast pumps are cheaper than electric breast pumps but can lead to sore fingers and cramped arms.

There are a number of decently priced electric breast pump models in the market which serve the same function. Certain models have a separate message mode that sends vibrations to relieve engorgement and stimulate the breast for letdown before expressing milk. Be sure to get flanges of the right size, as flanges that are too small can result in nipple abrasion and flanges that are too large take in too much areola. Improper flange sizes result in a poor fit which in turn lead to less milk expressed from the breasts.

Using a compatible breast milk storage bottle with your breast pump reduces the risk of contamination.

  1. Breast milk storage bottles or breastmilk storage bags
    If you’re expressing milk, you’ll need a hygienic receptacle to store it in. Breast milk storage bags are widely used as they are disposable and can freeze flat, but they are not eco-friendly as the bags cannot be recycled or reused.

Choose breast milk storage bottles that are compatible with your breast pump so that you can express directly into the bottle for storage. This reduces the chance of contamination as there is no need to transfer the breast milk from a bottle into a breast milk bag. For most breast milk storage bottles, there is an accompanying bottle adaptor that allows you to fit a feeding teat over the bottle to feed your baby directly and saves time from transferring the breastmilk and risk spillage.

  1. Nursing bra and handsfree accessories

Nursing bras provide easy access when latching or pumping. Supportive nursing bras can be purchased from Lazada or Qoo10 online or from stores that retail maternity wear. Pumping bras come with slits to hold your breast flanges in place for hands-free pumping. Keeping your hands-free allows busy mums to multi-task, and this luxury can come in the form of hands-free flanges or breastmilk collection cups. Do ensure that the flanges and collection cups hold well in place as the movement may lead to leakage of liquid gold during pumping.

  1. Nursing cover
    A nursing cover comes in handy when you find yourself in a situation where there are no available cubicles or nursing rooms. A nursing cover lets you pump at your desk, or simply to cover up when latching your baby while protecting your modesty.

A nursing cover doubles up as a scarf in cold spaces!

  1. Contacts of lactation consultants or massage ladies
    New mums may find themselves engorged easily due to the overwhelming hormones and unregulated milk supply. Having a lactation consultant or reliable massage lady that can relieve blockages will be a godsend for times when you encounter problems with breastfeeding.

If your baby is above six months old, you may consider supplementing with infant formula milk powder if you find your supply dipping or if you wish to wean your baby. Though breast milk is the golden standard, infant formula that is enhanced with nucleotides can assist in helping your child develop healthily.

Do you pack other essentials for your breastfeeding journey too, mums? Share with us in the comments below.

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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

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!