Saturday, February 6, 2016

In an aim to prevent Iron Deficiencies in Children.

11 months later and I look back amazed at how everything went by, just like that. I am now faced with a wobbly bobbly little munchkin who loves chatting, singing, dancing and terrorizing the dogs. (Sad but true)

As like many other parents, I can't help but wonder if I've been doing my job well enough. The best judge would be the baby, but the baby can't speak! So, many a times, I've caught myself googling and searching to see if there are signs that point towards things like dehydration, lack of nutrition, lack of exercise, lack of this and that.

"Is my baby growing normally? She's not putting on enough weight. Her growth seems to have stopped." - Things that run through my mind every now and then.

I know, I know, I sound like one of those paranoid, kancheong spider type of moms, and here's the disclaimer: I really am not. Certain situations, however, do set me out of kilter, and nutrition is one of them. Simply because it's a basic need. We all have to eat right? And if the baby if rejecting food, or refusing to eat properly, that's where that tiny voice in my head turns into a chao ah lian, scolding and cussing any and everyone who gets in the way of me doing my duty as a mother.

Now. In a country like ours, people generally take it for granted that all foods are clean, and that children won't get nutritional deficiencies because everything is so easily accessible, etc. NOT TRUE. I won't talk about hygiene because that is generally up to the parents (I allow the 3 second rule on certain occasions), BUT nutritional deficiencies? Studies have shown that up to 12% of the children in Singapore suffer from Iron Deficiencies.

When I heard this, trust me, I was SHOCKED. That's an alarming number. Lack of iron can result in pretty dire circumstances you know.

Based on the talk that I attended by Nestle Cerelac, and some further research online, here is a short explanation on why Iron is so important, especially for babies:

Iron is an important dietary mineral that is involved in various bodily functions, including the transport of oxygen in the blood. It plays an important role in muscle function, energy creation, brain development and is essential in providing energy for daily life. As a result, a child with iron deficiency may have learning and behavioral problems.

Babies, toddlers, preschoolers and teenagers are at higher risk of iron deficiency, mainly due to increased iron needs during rapid growth periods. Without intervention, a child whose diet does not provide them with enough iron will eventually develop iron deficiency anaemia.

Sounds scary? Yes. Do I sound crazy? Maybe yes, too. But between sounding crazy, and ensuring that my child gets the nutrition she needs, I choose the former. Because it's better to be safe than sorry.

So now that it's placed out there and we all know why Iron is a crucial ingredient in our children's diets, how and where do we ensure they are getting what they need?

According to Betterhealth Channel, a baby’s iron stores run low in the second half of their first year. (6-12 months old) Iron deficiency can result if their diet doesn’t include enough iron-rich solid food. At around six months, two servings a day of plain, iron-fortified infant cereal mixed with breastmilk or infant formula can start to be given. Plain pureed meats can soon be offered with other solids, once your baby is used to the cereal. Late introduction of solids into the baby’s diet is a common cause of iron deficiency in this age group.

Thankfully, Dr Prathiba, the pediatrician we've been seeing since Day One, ensured that I was well-informed about starting My Sweet Kambing on Cerelac at the right age. With so many different brands of cereal on the market, at that point of time, I did wonder, "why Cerelac?"

It was only after the talk that I realized it's because Cerelac is made with higher Iron content, Vitamins A & C and BIFIDUS BL probiotics. And this is where I ask: How much of the iron is actually able to be absorbed by our bodies?

This is the same question with Calcium. A lot of people think that as long as one has a lot of calcium, it is sufficient, but it is not true. One must have Vitamin D as well, because that is the mineral that helps the body ABSORB the calcium!

So, in the case of Iron, how much is actually absorb-able Iron from the cereal? Quite a large percentage, actually. A study was done and the results show that each bowl of Cerelac meets more than 50% of baby’s daily iron intake.

So, make the right choice for your children. If eating just 2 bowls of Cerelac a day can ensure that they get the Iron that they need, then why not?

I'm off to feed My Sweet Kambing now!

If you're still unsure about whether or not your bub is getting the Iron he/she needs, you can use the Nestle Iron Calculator to help you figure it out!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

To revamp or not to revamp??

How time flies! In just a blink of an eye I realize that months have gone by since my last post.

I am constantly amazed at my ability to procrastinate. Well, to be fair, I do have a lot on my hands right now. 

I do want to get my act together though. I've been recently attending events that I believe will be very beneficial to others as well, just that I can't seem to find time to write about it.

Also I'm considering revamping my blog. The whole thing already seems so outta date in considering a fresh new start!!! 

What do you think? To revamp or not to revamp?

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Natal Kitchen Food Review

I never quite planned on being a "mommy blogger" but ever since Kambing, it seems like I suddenly have so much more content to blog about. Well, I guess you can say she kinda re-lit my fire. And with SO many people having babies, it's nice to read up and share experiences.

My Sweet Kambing vs Sleep
When one is stuck in a tornado-hit home, baby in arm, laundry undone,  it's also nice to go online and find out one is not alone.

That said, one (that being me) would like to share a recent experience with one's friend's latest start-up, The Natal Kitchen. One was lucky enough to have one's friend deliver a bento set to one's house while she was kinda stuck trying to get the baby to take the afternoon nap. (Is it just my baby that refuses to sleep?)

Anyways, the bento arrived at the perfect timing, and I was so glad I didn't have to brave the blistering heat and go out to buy my own food. Cooking is beyond the question.

So, what exactly is The Natal Kitchen? As the name suggests, they specialize in providing nutritious, nourishing food for mothers serving their "confinement".

For the benefit of non-South East Asian readers, a "confinement" period is a month or two after birth, where a new mom is confined to post-natal practices aimed at helping her recover from the rigours of pregnancy, labour and birth. Traditionally practised by the South East Asian community in various ways for years and years, some practices can be easily dismissed as old wives tales. Some others, however, do, in fact, make a lot of sense and hold a wealth of truth.

A good example would be the diet of the new mom. In any culture, a new mother would need a nutritious diet to help her gain back all the blood, sweat, and tears (literally) lost during the trying past couple of months. Likewise, in Chinese tradition, the confinement menu consists of foods that are rich in nutritional value, and that "warms" the new mother's body up, and helps her to retain as much "heat" as possible. It is believed this will help her avoid health problems such as rheumatism, arthritis, headaches and body pains later in life.

Therefore, even though I didn't quite practice the traditional act of confinement, like not bathing for the entire month and not washing my hair (HOW TO TAHAN SO HOT!!?!?), I would've liked to have a good, yummy menu sorted out for me every day. Good food all day errday, why not?

Unfortunately, The Natal Kitchen had not started business in the early days of my post-partum period, so I didn't get the chance to book their services. BUT, after trying their food... I am so tempted to have another baby JUST SO I have a good reason to order their food!!!

Firstly, if you think that confinement food is tasteless and boring, think again. Their team is without a doubt, experts in their field. Not only did they manage to whip up meals that are wholesome and nutritious (I don't know how many times I'm going to type nutritious in this post), they also taste absolutely fabulous!

So let's start off with the packaging of the Bento. It came in a thermal bag to ensure the food stays nice and hot. Inside, the food is packed in HACCP, food grade and micro-wave safe bento boxes. The kicker is that it is packed and sealed (and I mean SEALED) using a special machine to ensure FRESHNESS and QUALITY. I emphasize these two words because when I was researching for confinement menu packages, I read a couple of reviews, and ended up ordering none. Based on the many pictures I saw, the packaging could really use some work, and the food really didn't look very appetizing.

The Natal Kitchen, however, has each dish neatly placed and sealed off in the bento, meaning the sauce or soup won't spill into the other dishes and that the flavour stays INTACT. Call me fussy but I really don't like eating food that looks ... questionable. Therefore, double thumbs up for good packaging. It is in these little details that I know the good people at The Natal Kitchen put pride in their work.

湘莲红豆午鱼汤 + 芫莤姜茸牛奶鸡 + 黑豆莲藕虫草花肉片

Now on to the food. These were the dishes I had.

Firstly, let me just state that I wasn't prepared for such large portions. I mean, the bento looked deceivingly shallow, but they REALLY put ALOT of LIAO in there. I was eating forever. Between watching Kambing and eating I took about 2.5hrs to finish everything! Major Burp. And it was so good I HAD to finish up every morsel of it.

At first look, I was most eager to try the chicken because it looked like green curry, and I was thinking "wow. Green curry for confinement food?" So I dug in, and well, it wasn't green curry, but it was just as good, if not better! I wasn't quite sure what it was because there was no menu and I had to find out from them later on what the dish was called, but I could certainly taste some ginger in there. It was also very creamy and aiyah, just divine! Thinking about it now is not good because I want to eat it now, like NAO.

Next up is the lotus root dish. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from it. It looked like one of those #eatclean aka #tastelessandboring dishes, but boy, was I wrong! There were so many flavours going on at once I didn't know what to think. On top of that, the lotus root was cooked to perfection, leaving it scrumptious, refreshing, and very delectable. I'm no connoisseur but I'm pretty sure alot of red dates were used to make the sauce.

Finally, I was on to the fish soup. When I was serving my confinement, my mom kept cooking fish soup with papaya that tasted absolutely horrid. Not that my mom's cooking was bad or anything but fish and papaya just don't go. That said, I would be lying to say I wasn't quite keen on trying this, but I did anyways. Because well, if it's good for baby and good for me, why not? The good thing is, if not for the fact that they had placed a fish steak there, I TOTALLY wouldn't have guessed it's fish soup! Not fishy AT ALL! They also had slices of lean meat in there, which I believe was meant to somehow filter out the fishy taste. Great combination, and I must say, they certainly don't stinge on ingredients! There were so many herbs in there! Now I remember asking someone before why confinement catering is a great deal more costly than regular catering, and she said it's because they use a lot of herbs. However, as mentioned earlier, how can one be sure that they REALLY used alot of herbs? You never know if it's just MSG or seasoning right? In this case, it shows for itself when you put your spoon in and scoop out tons and tons of various herbs and spices that you know are good for you! Also, The Natal Kitchen prides itself in using ZERO MSG and Premium Ingredients.

Even for the longan red date tea, they add black dates (5 times more costly than regular red dates) to give it an extra oomph and of course, to boost it's nutritional value.

"Mommy, can I have some too? Pretty Please?"
Finally, I dug in to the dessert. At first I thought it was Tea Leaf Egg (茶叶蛋) because there was an egg in there. And I even wondered why the soup was so sweet. Then I realized it was the dessert! (Free desserts every Friday) It had a unique taste, not quite like anything I've tasted before, and I'm not sure, but I'm assuming it's the team's special concoction. Whatever the case, pairing it with an egg was really smart, because the egg really brought out the taste of the soup, and vice versa. Sweet and savoury, all at once! Of course, as with all the other dishes, a whole bunch of herbs in there as well!

All in all, it was a VERY good meal that left me craving for MORE! Ok I really have to stop talking about it now or else I'll start getting very hungry!

If you're interested to find out more about The Natal Kitchen or book their services, visit their website at

They can also be reached at Tel: 6635 7940 |

This photo is taken from their Facebook page. I think they're also having some special promos going on right now.

Hey look, it's US! (Just wanted to show off the banner with my photo on it. Haha!)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

KFC's Battle of The Wings

Choose a side, warriors, and may the odds be ever in your flavour!

Uh, I mean, favour. 

KFC's latest Battle of The Wings rides on the has-been-here-and-will-go-on-forever J-pop and K-pop waves.

See, for some reason, the pop culture in Japan and Korea has always been the leaders of the pack here in Singapore. Maybe it's the incredibly good-looking guys and girls, the daring styles, or maybe just their really good food.

Whatever the case, KFC has taken up the challenge and produced two of the latest flavours, Umadare and Yang Yeum, heavily inspired by the two pop powerhouses in Asia. I've never been a very adventurous food consumer, but with the really good deal KFC was having, why not? 

I ordered BOTH flavours and I'm glad I decided to try. 

The MAIN PROBLEM IS, both flavours looked kinda the same and I couldn't figure out which is which. One bite into each, though, and the answer was clear. One was tangy, yet savory and the other was kinda sweet and spicy. There was a burst of so many different flavours in my mouth, I felt like I was in love all over again.

So, if you ask me, which team I'd choose to be on, #kfcoishii or #kfcmashisoyo ?

I'd say... BOTH!!! 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Baby Hates The Bottle (Part Deux)

So, it took me a while to "muster up the courage" to get Kambing to feed from the bottle. According to Doctor Ong, I must not be the one to feed her. Babies are very sensitive to the scent of their mother, and when they know that the original source of milk is available, they are more likely to refuse the bottle.

Some of the other things he mentioned about getting baby to bottlefeed was: 
  • Do not be in the room when someone else is attempting to feed her from the bottle.
  • Do not give in.
  • Do NOT give in.
  • DO NOT give in.
  • Try and stick to a routine where she feeds from the bottle at the same time everyday.
  • If she still refuses, try and stick a bottle into her mouth while she's sleeping aka dreamfeeding.
I had to get it right. I had ONE CHANCE. And I sure as hell didn't want to mess it up. So when Hegen was kind enough to send me a couple of bottles and teats that was suitable for her age, I took a while to let Kambing familiarise herself with them.

The photos you see here are the result of the "bottle familiarisation", as I would like to call it. Heh

So far, so good. She seemed pretty eager and curious about each item presented to her.

Of course, I had to strategize. I wasn't going to feed her right away! Not with milk at least. We then headed out to participate in her SG50 Baby's Day Out: My First National Day Party. 

My plan was to wait to see if she got fussy while we were out, and to give her the bottle as a source of distraction from the flurry of activity around her. Instead of putting milk in there, I put a wee bit of water and kept it on standby.

There was much to see and do that day, and she sure had a good time. As expected, she readily and sportingly flashed the camera her signature look: The Panda Cheese Stare.
Sidenote: This baby is super sensitive to spying cameras. She will be laughing and smiling but the minute she realizes the lens is on her, the face changes.

She was on her best behaviour and I almost had no chance to pull out the bottle until we were on our way home! Then, she started to gripe about having to sit in the stroller while the exciting world rolled by. 

"MUAHAHA! It's TIME," I chuckled out loud (maniacal laughter included), whipped out the bottle, and handed it over to her. Thankfully, she's at the age where everything given to her would go straight into her mouth ("the odds are so ever in my favour, my child"), so the bottle was no exception. 

I couldn't tell if she had any water to drink, because she didn't seem to be sucking as much as she was chewing. But at the very least, she wasn't rejecting it, as she did with the 250716 (I'm exaggerating) other bottles we gave her.

Whoppeedoo! Looked good so far. 

Who's to know, the very next day was The Day for The Ultimate Test. I had intended to rush home from Jurong between my shows to feed her, but something came up unexpectedly, and I wouldn't have been able to make it home in time and back. This provided a window of opportunity for us to put the Hegen to the test. I called home and got Chun to TRY and feed her, and as soon as I could, I called home again to see how things were going. 

She had finished a whole bottle of expressed milk. Heartily and happily, she drank it all. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, and repeated my question several times to the same answer; SUCCESS.

Once again, THANK YOU HEGEN!

Hegen products are now available in the following outlets:
Motherswork Tanglin Mall 3rd Level #03-11C  
MothersWork Great World City
Takashimaya Department Store, Level 4 Infants & Kids Section

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Baby Hates The Bottle (Part Uno)

So My Sweet Kambing had always been a VERY EASY baby to look after. Within the first month of her exsistence, she had tuned herself into my rest time and slept through the night, or at the very least, slept when I slept. She never cried much, was good with strangers, and seemed like a very thoughtful, sweet baby in general. I credit it to pure luck and the lack of any expectations. You see, I figured, whatever we plan for will not go according to plan anyways, so we might as well just wing it.

I don't want to brag but it seemed to work out pretty well for us!

That said, we did start to face a bit of a problem when my work started getting more hectic. Very soon after the baby was born, I was scheduled for assignments, but really short, simple ones. It was perfectly manageable because I would feed the baby, go to work, finish up within an hour, and make it home in time for her next feed.

The nature of my work also means that it is possible for me to breastfeed the baby exclusively. However, now that work is getting more hectic, I'm finding less and less time to rush home in between, and the poor Kambing will end up waiting for me to come home to feed her. Still being the very sweet baby that she is, she would wait doe-eyed, and only burst out in tears on the sight of me walking through the door.

I told myself, however, that this will not do. Her weight gain had slowed down (although on hindsight I don't think it's because of the feeding) and I started to feel unforgivably guilty for it. This was when I was presented with a lightbulb moment *DING!* The Bottle.

Who's to know that my sweet little even-tempered Kambing would suddenly turn into a grumpy goat child at the introduction of The Bottle?!

She absolutely REFUSED to drink from it. Crying and fussing and wailing and refusing. We tried everything.

5 different adults trying to feed her in my absence - No.
Bottles from various brands - No.
Various bottle teats from various brands - No.
Dreamfeed - No.
Singfeed - No.
Dancefeed - No.


I actually felt a slight flutter of pride in my heart. In her eyes, nothing was as good as my neh neh.

And then I felt my heart sink.

This means that the poor baby is going to go on hunger strikes everytime I go to work.

I actually had started to give up, figuring that since she's already four months old, I might actually be able to keep putting off work until she's on solids, and not as dependent on me anymore as a sole source of nutrition.

And then, I got invited to attend the launch of Hegen, The Quantum Leap in Baby Feeding Products. I was skeptical, yet eager to find out if this "Quantum Leap" had any solutions to my feeding woes. Still doubtful though, right until during the talk where it seemed like their star feature was the PCTO (Press-to-Close, Squeeze-to-Open) bottles. Their PCTO feature meant that moms could conveniently close bottles with just one hand instead of having to free up both hands to twist them close, saving precious time while preventing their hungry babies from crying the house down. Also, the milk storage and bottles were easily interchangeable, meaning that you simply Press-to-Close a bottle teat unto the milk storage bottle and feed directly. This way, the valuable nutrients from breastmilk does not get lost in the process of transferring to and from storage to bottle. It was then that I decided they had nothing for me. Sadly, I didn't face any of these problems because my baby didn't even want to drink from the bottle to begin with!

Out of being polite, and curious to hear more about what feeding issues "regular" mothers were facing, I stayed on. I even went on stage to see how quickly I could put together a milk bottle as a challenge against another participant.

Thankfully I stayed, because Doctor Ong Eng Keow then came on to talk about the wonders of breastfeeding. I was so happy to get the chance to replenish my arsenal of fact-based rebuttals to anyone who is to come and tell me that my baby is not getting enough nourishment from my neh neh milk. Being the opportunist that I am (#AuntiePatternAllComeOut), I stayed to chat with Doctor Ong about Kambing's resistance to the bottle, and he gave me a few pointers.

I then checked out the Hegen bottles that were on display and was surprised to find that the bottle teats were very soft! I was told that the silicone teat was one of its key features. Super soft and elliptical-shaped, it mimics the natural breast of mothers to promote natural latch-on for babies. This minimises nipple confusion, making it easier to combine breast and bottle feeding. Also, its asymmetrical, off-centre teat allows for natural upright feeding position similar to feeding from the breast. This minimises the tilt that conventional baby bottles require, reducing the risk of milk back-flow which may cause mid-ear complications.

Armed with the Hegen bottle that I won during the challenge, and the tips from Doctor Ong, I headed home with a new-found hope.

Did baby accept the bottle? Find out more in my next post!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Magic hands make for magic moments

Not long after the birth of Baby Beth, I was invited to Osim's media launch of their latest product, uMagic. Already a fan of Osim products and in dire need of some relaxation, I was quick to say yes, and soon found myself making my way to their HQ in Ubi. Now, you would think being located in an industrial estate would mean something rather... well, industrial. Wrong. I made my way up to the top floor and was greeted with a sprawling swimming pool and fairy lights. A quick chat with one of their staff and I learned that the event venue is actually the staff lounge. There are gym and karaoke facilities, (and sauna cubicles in the changing room!) but mainly, on any day, it is furnished with MASSAGE CHAIRS and various Osim products, aimed at helping their staff relax. Talk about welfare! Talk about walking the talk! For an organization that believes strongly in their staff's well-being, I know for sure that they'd surely provide only the best for their consumer's well-being! 

So the night started off with a magic show. Yes yes, the theme being magic and all. After the opening act, one of their staff took the stage and talked to us about their latest product, the uMagic - Neck and Shoulder Expert.

Now the reason why they came up with this massage chair that focuses on the neck and shoulders is because many people nowadays, due to constant usage of their mobile devices, suffer from neck and shoulder aches. Hands up if you're one of them!

And if tight and tense head and shoulders have been bothering you, you would also be no stranger to backaches and headaches as well, I suppose? The thing is that, these muscles are all joined together and if you are aching in one place and do nothing about it, chances are, the pain will spread. 

Therefore, Osim's uMagic offers massage movements similar to a masseur's hands with finger pressure and grip to relieve aching necks and shoulders. One of its signature programmes, 'Magic Moments', provides a powerful, deep-tissue massage with life-like hand movements. I tried it out for myself and couldn't help but utter, "what is this sorcery?!" Yes, magical, it may seem, but tiny elves hiding inside the massage chair, trained to relieve your tension at the press of a button, not likely. 

After years of innovative massage technology, it is without surprise that OSIM has, once again, outdone itself with this revolutionary hand-grip massage technique, the very first in its industry. Life-like and realistic in application, the Magic Hands emulates the skillful techniques of a professional masseuse, tracking and treating every countour of the body, delivery utmost relief, comfort, and massage pleasures. 

This massage chair features its Magic Hands highlights, the Magic Moments programme, and the Shoulder Delight programme, as well as a suite of lifestyle massage programmes that are tailored to satisfy the diverse needs and well-being of everyone in the family. 

Furthermore, instead of having to invest in a whole new massage chair whenever there's a new programme, the uMagic allows you to discover more massage pleasures simply by downloading from its ever-expanding suite of lifestyle massage programmes via a Bluetooth connection to your smartphone!

Finally, if you're worried about a big, bulky massage chair taking up space in your home, you can order it, and send it over to MY HOUSE! 
Just kiddin'! 

The uMagic is chic and streamlined, with a touch of polished chrome curvatures, and upholstered in quilted leatherette. A combination of form and functionality, this wee bit of space it takes up is certainly a good exchange for the many nights of enchanting massage pleasure that it will give you in return.


uMagic can be found at all OSIM outlets. Drop in for a trial today!

*psst* Mother's day coming already ah! 
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