Food for thought…

Food for thought…

Life has been hectic, weather has been bad, germs have been thriving… triple whammy, I think to myself. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„

For friends who know me personally, I prefer natural remedies to manufactured medication, real food to processed ones, in building up the body.

Regardless of how busy life and demands are, I try to prepare dinner for all, to have a taste of home cooked food at least once a day. Food, real and natural, used for nutritive value and medicinal properties, is what motivates me to ‘keep calm and keep cooking’. ๐Ÿ˜†

You do not know how many times I’ve kept flyers of Tingkat, toying with the intention of relying on them for daily cooked meals, and only to crush them before willing myself to the kitchen. And I still do look at these flyers every now and then when they find their way into the letterbox… ahh, that struggle is so real lor. Today is another mad day, but something that cannot be compromised is really the health of the family. So the children and I had honey citron tea with a mini bun and an egg for breakfast, before rushing out one no-brainer recipe of chicken stew (and putting as much ingredients in as possible), and preparing macaroni lunch for J2, before a late morning appointment.

So for now, the Mummy-guilt is temporarily lifted from me, and I can have a less stressed day, having in mind that meals have more or less been settled. Maybe this one trait of mine might just leave me with being a SAHM for a longer time (or permanent?) ๐Ÿ˜† since I really cannot bear to think of is having every member of my family reverting to my old lifestyle (when I just got married) of eating 3 meals of outside food.

Outside food isn’t totally to be shunned, because it comes with conveniences when we cannot afford time to prepare meals from home. On the other hand, having too much outside food might have unforeseen repercussions later in life, owing to the amounts of sodium and sugar added to make it more appetising.

At one point before the children came along, when I was going through the motions of eating to live (or to survive after a day of irregular meals), I recall feeling lethargic and bloated after meals, and there was a constant craving for more and more of such food, not to mention the very occasional lure of fast food (they are so convenient to buy these days, isn’t it? Just a call away…) I couldn’t figure out what caused my health to deteriorate till J1 came along and I started learning to cook from scratch, eating what he eats.

Surprisingly, hubby and I began to see changes in our tastes. After a period of more home cooked food, our taste buds seem to have awaken and sensitised to natural flavours. We began to feel less lethargic and bloated. Sounds too good to be true, we thought… so we continued with this lifestyle. We were all the more convinced by this when we were at our favourite haunt for dinner but, that time round, all of us couldn’t finish the meal because what tasted fine and yummy to us a few years ago, then tasted far too salty.

5 years on and I think this has done us more good than anything else. Most of the time, our comfort food is found from home in the form of cheesy eggs, steamed sweet corn and even wolf berries on its own. On cheat days or on days I didn’t want to enter the kitchen to cook, we would then eat out. This provides more of a balance to my processed diet from the past.

Looking forward to better health in the years to come, as I plough deeper into the wonders of food that God has so richly given us to eat.

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Catch them young!

Catch them young!

J1 has always expressed interest in food preparation and today, I roped him in to help me out in the preparation of meatballs. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ He used a chopper to mince the chives, mushrooms and onions before mixing it in a bowl of minced meat with sesame oil and soy sauce.

He was all excited to help me out, and kept asking when he could start ‘work’. Haha! What keenness to learn. As much as I had other washing and cutting to do at the kitchen sink, I tried to hasten my steps so that he could be involved soon. With an enthusiastic learner, the least I could do is not to quench that thirst to know and to do more.

J2 was just as keen to find out what was going on. He seemed hesitant though, about getting his fingers all oily and sticky, but stayed to watch on. J1, on the other hand, was quite garung, and nonchalantly washed his hands with soap and water after he was done with the mixing.

Looking forward to more hands-on experiences with my boys. The time they have with me at home as preschoolers is short, and I can’t afford to wait for them to grow up a little more to try these out. By then, they would have their own activities to occupy their time, and it would be a different kind of motivation for them to pick up what they were once interested in.

So, catch them young, for it’s never too early!

Yummy!!!

Teachable moments

Teachable moments

The planes were at it again, blaring their engines one after the other in the skies. J2 stopped his activity and immediately did this:

He was frustrated and scared, due to the loud noise.

I saw it as a teachable moment to tell him about what our Air Force is doing to protect our skies. We cannot take peace in our country for granted and there are many people in the backgrounds doing all they can to ensure the safety of Singapore. This, I needed to let J2 (and J1) know.l, lest they become complacent that we will never be attacked by enemies.

I will be showing this to my boys as well about what takes place in the skies as we go about our daily lives. Maybe they will come to appreciate these sounds one day, when it all clicks and makes sense.

Another heartmelt moment… just got to document this down!

Another heartmelt moment… just got to document this down!

Today, I decided to bring the trolley down from home to get grocery. As usual, the boys would take turns to push it down for a short distance, and then ask me to take over from there.

J1 helped push it to the bus stop, where he boarded he bus to school. J2 took over dutifully, and pushed it all the way to the supermarket. It was about his size but it didn’t matter to him. He was all charged up to help! He did not want me to take over as he wanted to do it on his own.

I took it as a step of independence and eagerness to help out. He did it beautifully! No accidents at the supermarket, no wheel going over other’s feet, no banging onto shelves, and he managed it excellently.

Hope to see more of such moments!! Gave him encouragement and a word of thanks for his help.

My heart melted quite a bit…

My heart melted quite a bit…

J2 saw the clothes that have been hung to dry on the rack in the hall. On his own accord, he went into the kitchen, grabbed the laundry basket, dragged it into the hall, started flinging the clothes out from their hangers, and then helped me load the dry clothes into the basket. He did it without a single word and I was so touched of his act of thoughtfulness.

โค๏ธ Such is love in action. โค๏ธ

And I know, he’s a baby no more… ๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿป

Intentionally teaching life skills

Intentionally teaching life skills

Having being taught how to make lists and label priorities from secondary school post exam workshops and through picking up experiences over the years, learning about life skills was a haphazard journey, very much left to experimentation and opportunity.

Living in an even faster world today, our children are expected to be equipped with some life skills before they even go to a primary school. How then, can I as their Mum, give ample chance for them to be exposed to some of these skills, which will not be taught in school but required to have when they finally integrate into society in the future?

Some of the things I can start out with is to open their eyes to the tasks that I do on a day-to-day basis. As they spend most of their time at home with me, it’s probably the best opportunity to impart some of these in a fun and non-threatening way.

So J1 went grocery shopping with me and he became the ‘shopper’, with the list of items to purchase on one hand, and went in search for them one at a time. There were about 4 items on the list, and I thought he did rather well, for the first timer, except that he got really distracted at the game stand and forgo all his responsibilities momentarily. ๐Ÿ˜† Children being children… what more can I say? Haha… I had a good laugh inside me, though I looked puzzled and asked him if he were already ready with all the items. Apparently not. The game was more fun than shopping.

The next shopping trip will be better, and the challenges will ease out with time and experience.

Shopping aside, a few posts back, I was sharing about helping out in chores and as my boys go through the routine of helping to hang clothes, again and again, their clothes hanging skills are improved!

As they grow, there will be more they need to know of. I hope to continue to stay relevant to what they ought to pick up, and guide them through this learning journey.

Kuti fever

Kuti fever

A few nights ago, I took out a bag of kuti-kuti to show my boys. For those who are familiar with kuti-kuti, it is a traditional game played in Singapore where players who each have a collection of kuti-kuti, choose one to pit their flicking skills against other players. Turns will be taken to give a single flick to the kuti-kuti. The winner is the player whose kuti-kuti touches an opponent's kuti-kuti. There, the winner wins over the opponent's trinket and adds it on to his collection.

J1 understood the instructions of the game and hence caught on it fast. Playing on the floor wasn't too much of a kick and, the next day, we transited to playing it at the study table. J2 attempted to be part of the game too, and playfully snatched a few of our kuti-kuti away to form his own collection.

Whilst such traditional games may not be such huge magnets in drawing children to it, as compared to electronic devices, I seek to keep my children as gadget free as possible. I know that the inevitable will come when they are finally exposed to the world of gadgets, so whenever I can, I try to introduce to them a little of my own childhood.

In time to come, I hope to introduce to them the intricacies of playing five stones, and perhaps a fun game called 'Pepsi Cola 1-2-3'.

Here is a link to the various traditional games of Singapore which you might be interested to read on. Inexpensive and full of nostalgia, I urge you to try them out with your children as well. They can be excellent fillers, as well as ice breakers when it comes to a gathering of friends.

Have fun!