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Friday, March 19, 2010

Start Them Young

Came across this post some days back from Terri of Hunger Hunger and thought it would good to share with you. While I could not load the video (not sure why), but reading what she wrote is enough to convince me. She is a sincere blogger and writes what she believes in. Do hop on over to her blog as the areas covered by her are vast. I am picking out just one of points mentioned as I was astounded by the message Jamie Oliver wanted to bring across. The amount of sugar found solely in milk consumed by a child over a period of 5 years is incredible. After knowing this, it would make any parents think twice about giving out carbonated/cordial drinks, sweets and chocolates freely. Below, are some of my efforts to introduce healthy eating habits to my kids.

Speaking of which, I am guilty of giving my kids cordial drinks like Ribena. Though I did not start this habit but I did not stand firm enough stopping IH from buying it. These 2 months however, I started buying barley and boiled them with some pandan leaves. The kids are getting use to this. It's now either barley water or just water. As for sweets, chocolates and carbonated drink, as long as you don't have them at home, they can't ask you for it. Simple as that. I don't stock sweets, chocolates and ice cream at home. Occasionally, I will buy them sweets and chocolates in smaller packagings or ration out to them. We bring bottles of boiled water when we are out, so no excuse for ordering carbonated drinks.

Being a baker, it is inevitable that there will always be cakes, bread and cookies at home. One benefit of homebakes is that you can reduce the amount of sugar used. That is what I did for most of the recipes I have tried out. With the constant supply of homebakes, I would always ask my helper to share with my neighbours, their kids and helpers. This way, my kids learnt about sharing. In fact, my kids must have gotten tired of my bakes these days.

I breastfed Ah Girl for 6 months and Ah Boy for a year. When they were weaning, the first solids were vegetables puree which I made myself. Pumpkin, carrots, potatoes, chinese spinach, corn, peas are some examples. All of which are unadulterated with seasoning. My mom had advised me to feed them pork bone or fish porridge but I believed that by starting them with vegetables to their untainted palate, they would be more receptive towards vegetables when they are older. Indeed, nothing makes me happier to hear my kids say, 'I want vegetables' or 'I want some broccoli'. Though they are quite picky when it comes to fish, I'd rather that than them picking out vegetables from their plates.

As mentioned before in my earlier posts, I do not offer deep fried food at home. Once in a while, IH will bring them out to McD's. Probably due to the lack of exposure to deep fried food, they usually cannot finish the chicken nuggets or french fries. It is some relief that McD's now offers yoghurt, apples and corn cup in their kid's meal. I believe all kids love McD's for a reason. The same for my kids; its toys. In general, Ah boy and Ah Girl prefer homecooked meals. There is pros and cons about this. They usually can't eat much when we eat out.

A must-have for my kids is soup. Particularly, clear soup. Soup is good for 2 reasons; nutrients in soup are easier absorbed by body and it hydrates the body. There must be soup in 1 of the meals for them. Besides the regular ABC soup (potato and carrot soup), below are 2 soups which I usually cook for them. For soups to be clear, it is important to remove the scums during boiling.

I believe that all parents want to inculcated healthy eating habits in their children but sometimes, we adults who are 'young at heart' inevitably fall into temptation ourselves. If we as parents do not check ourselves, wouldn't it be hypocrisy to ask our young kids to exercise self restraint?


Sweet Jasmine said...

Its good to start them young on healthy eating habits.
For a clearer soup you can also blanch the meats for a minute in a pot of boiling water before adding to the soup.

Blessed Homemaker said...

Rei, thanks for sharing this.

I'm also a believer of starting them young but I must confess we are guilty of feeding them some junks too. I stock up on dried fruits and give them fresh juices instead of carbonated drinks. Deep fried food are rarely offered at home but they still love french fries and nuggets from Macs. To satisfy their craving, I use frozen fries and have them oven baked instead.

Tricia said...

Another thing to take note on the foods that are served outside, pre-cooked or pre-package are the sodium.

Some of them have over 2,000 mg per serving which is what is allowed p/adult per day.

Big-Girlicious said...

Hi Rei!
Well said in your post!!
and i agree totally with your views~
I will not deep fry any food in my new home too.
your kids are so lucky!!

And just do u get so much time to juggle full time work with cooking and to take care of your kids at the same time? =) *salute*

terri@adailyobsession said...

you're doing a great job, rei! yes, i find tt when moms bake a lot at home, the kids (n spouses) don't yearn for desserts unlike those in deprived households :D you r doing everthing right--ur kids eat veg, prefer home cooked meals n don't eat deep fried food (my wey loves them) n sweet stuff. n most of all, they were brestfed 6 to 12 monhts. wow! mine only 2 months bc i had to go back to work. i wish i had taken unpaid leave for 6 months:((( tt's smthing i truly regret, not breastfeeding my kids long enough.