Sunday, April 27, 2014

Managing a Picky Eater... Useful Tips for the Parents! #PediaSureMY

Recently I was invited to participate in PediaSure® Complete Liquid with Elite Formulation programme with my 5yo, where I was among the few bloggers who had the privilege to listen to the talk on nutrition by the child consultant pediatrician, Dr Chin Wai Seong, and the Medical Director of Abbott Nutrition, Dr Shaalani Ramachandran, who is a beautiful mother of 2.

Dr Chin runs Dr Chin'd Child Specialist Clinic in Kepong and ABC Child Specialist center in Bandar Utama. He is also among the few doctors who are certified by IMFed, an organization with the mission to ensure children are getting sufficient nutrition through right diet intake. 

A few take away that I got that day, first hands through the specialists.

#1 Generally there are 4 categories of picky esters: 
  • High selective in food intake
  • Fear of eating 
  • Very active but eat little
  • Poor appetite in child
If your little ones fall under the category of a picky eater, perhaps you may want to find the cause and the right ways that can help to make him/her be less fussy with food, or at least, increase the food intake.

#2 How to Tackle Picky Eaters?
  • Make use of their curiosity. Do not offer the food directly to the little ones. Instead, parent starts eating the food and only share with the little ones when they ask for a try. I have used this tactic on my little girl several times and it had never failed to work. :)
  • Let hunger speaks. Avoid serving snacks before meal time, when the kids get hungry they will want to eat. It's human instinct to seek for food when in hunger, if the little tummy is filled with food / snack, that "alarm" for food may not get triggered.
  • Burn their energy. At such tender age, the little ones have lots of energy to burn and it is only normal they remain active during meal time. So, invite them to play outdoor - run, kick, slide, jump, hop, skip, spin, dance etc before mealtime (and you get to burn some fat too! ;) When it comes dinner time they will be less active and able to finish the meal without creating a huge mess. Just imagine they are like the bunny powered byenergizer battery   (it's a popular ad when I was a kid!) - the bunny clapped fast and nonstop when battery was full, but as the battery depletes, bunny slowed down and eventually stopped. Kids are just pretty much just like the bunny!
  • Make use of visual impact. Serve the food (especially vegetables) in different presentation that is more enticing to the little ones. If they don't like big cubes, cut the veggie into strips, star shapes, geometrical shapes instead. Of all you know a little change of presentation may makes a lot of different.
  • Avoid Interference during mealtime. Turn off the TV, iPad, smart phone... let the little ones (and big ones) focus on eating the meal without distraction or having someone to constantly spoon feed. Use cutlery sets and bibs designed for toddler so they can learn proper table manners as they eat and at the same time get to work out their motor skills.

And here are my views.. 
  • Starts young - introduce a variety of food to the little ones since young avoid possibility of a picky eater in later stage, when they had been exposed to variety of taste, they will not find the particular food 'alien' to their taste buds.
  • Involves the little ones in the food preparation, such as washing veges, setting up tables, or some simple chores. The kids feel involved and motivated to eat the food they help prepared.
  • Let mealtime be enjoyable. We often do casual chat and share jokes during mealtime, our duo have their designated seats - little one on her IKEA high chair full of Disney stickers and elder boy has a high stool so he can eats at same level us, using their favorite placemats, BPA-free plastic bowls and cutleries. So they feel like they are part of us and at the same time get to learn table manners by us being the role models. When they finish their food we will give praise, like "look, E had ate up all the noodles without needing help, good job!", or, "C, you ate all the broccoli in your plate? I'm so proud of you!". Don't underestimate the power of encouragement, my duo often race to finish their mealtime nowadays. I recall Dr Chin shared the same message too, so we are definitely on the right track.. :)
  • Don't let meal time be stressful time. While I believe in teaching the little ones table manners, we shall also discourage scolding, forcing, or yelling during the mealtime which may lead to dislike or fear of meal time. Instead, offer them the child friendly utensil and let them learn to eat at their own pace & experience with the food. Touching, poking may be just one of the toddlers' way of learning his surrounding and his food in the early stage, it maybe messy (compare to having someone to spoon feed), but it's part and parcel of the learning experience. 

#3 Use the Right Assessment

One important point that I managed to clarify with Dr Chin - apparently there are different children growth chart for Asian, Western or Canadian healthy organization. It is only right to determine a child is under or over develop using the correct chart, instead of giving yourself unnecessary stress. Besides, there is an assessment toolkit provided by IMFed (short for Identification and Management of Feeding Difficulties), that aims to help pediatrician to correctly identify and manage picky eating habits among young children from 1 year onward, hence providing age-appropriate nutrition recommendation. 

You may visit IMFed website to understand more or check out the list of IMFed clinics near you, if you need to get professional consultation.

About The PediaSure® Complete Liquid with Elite Formulation Programme

Now, back to the programme. I have signed up my little Captain E for the PediaSure Complete Liquid programme, where he has been drinking 1-2 bottles of the supplement drink daily for past 3 weeks (now entering the end of 5th week as this is a very much delayed due to my busy work schedule...)

The drink is mainly designed for children age 1-10 who are picky eaters. It contains over 20 types of plants-extracted vitamins and minerals, and it is gluten-free, dairy-free, glucose-free, which makes it an ideal supplement drink for children with allergy to gluten, milk-based products, lactose intorelant or those who are experiencing diarrhea or food poisoning, where intake of diary products shall be avoided.

So, What's the verdict after 3 weeks trial?
To begin with, my little handsome is not a picky eater, he eats most of the food we prepared with exception of garlic and onion (which I often mixed into fried veggies / rice / patty so he doesn't even notice). I didn't signed up for my girl as she has great appetite and she eats almost anything, and she has been rather strong build for kids her age.  


At 5 years old, my little captain is 116cm and weigh 22.5kg, so he is considered rather tall according to the Asian children growth chart. There is no significant weight gain after the 3 weeks consumption, however I do noticed improve of appetite. He is eating a much bigger portion for his meal now and he will proactively ask for dinner stating that he's hungry. So if you ask me, this is definitely a good improvement. Imagine I used to face his question like - "do we have to eat now? I want to play"... Instead of now having him coming to me and says - "I am hungry, what's for dinner, mommy?"

Good change indeed huh. :)

One of the PediaSure supplement benefits is that it improves immunity. However my little captain rarely fall sick since he passed 4 years old, at most some fever but even that he recovered rather quickly. So I am not able to tell the extra benefits of immune booster by this supplement, he remains healty and active as he entered 5th consequtive week of consumption now.


As for the taste, I took few sips and I liked the vanilla taste, it's not too sweet and my little captain liked it too. On the other hand, my Princess C was not too fond of the drink unless I add some Choco powder into it, she is definely chocolate drink lover, probably mommy's gene is too dominant in her (me too is a chocolate monster.. ;)

However, according to Leona Lim, the new blogger friend I met at the event, her 5yo who usually only takes chocolate drink likes the vanilla flavor too and has been consuming it daily  (although he still prefers chocolate flavor if there is a choice, lol). You may check out Leonal's post here.

Note: PediaSure currently only offers vanilla flavor in Malaysian market, however chocolate flavor is available in Singapore.


Now, this is something worth mentioning. PediaSure uses BPA-free containers with screw on cap and aluminum foil seals to lock in the nutrition and reduces risk of contamination. The screw on cup makes it really convenient to bring for outing or pack into the school bags - no fear of leakage or breakage. Besides unfinished drink can be kept refrigerated up to 24 hours for later consumption (as informed by the PediaSure reps), anyway my little captain always finish the entire 8oz bottle in one serving, which is equivalent to 260ml. My baby C, on the other hand, only takes about 6oz milk so I would have to chill the remaining portion before serving to her later.

Besides, the plastic cap allows me to make marking with his name, in case it got mixed up with other preschoolers. I had so much fun decorating the cap each day, see what I've doodled here :)

He actually looked forward to the new bottle each day, since each doodling only took me 1-2 minutes, I really don't mind. :)

So, to sum it up..
This is my little ones' first time trying out PediaSure supplement, it changes my perception that it is only for the underweight, in fact it can be introduced as a daily supplement drink and alternative option when little ones are unwell or low appetite to ensure they have proper nutrition intake. 

So, will I continue to offer this drink to my little ones? Most probably, but may be on reduced frequency instead of daily consumption, and is definitely my ideal choice when going travel or picnic.

Where to find more info?

If you are interested to know more about the PediaSure supplement drinks and it's benefit, go here..

If you want to find out addressing habits of a picky eater, read on more on IMFed here. Or if you want to find out more info about Dr Chin, check out his profile here and practicing clinic here.

If you want to get some ideas on how to get your little ones to eat more, get some happy meals ideal here. A little change in presentation may makes a whole lots of different. ;)

And here are some snap shots of the pictures taken during the intimate brunch organised by Abbott Nutrition, where me and some parenting bloggers participated. 

(Photos below courtesy of Abbott Nutrition)

Dr Shaanila and Dr Chin, our friendly hosts for the day who provided much insights. 

My little boy made a new friend. :)

That's all peeps. Hope you find this post helpful!

The above sharing on PediaSure® Complete Liquid is solely based on my personal view on the product and observation on my kid for the 3 weeks period who doesn't have any known allergic, I am not the spokesperson for Abott Nutrition nor paid any benefits for writing this review except for the free samples provided. So, drink at your own will.. ;)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Green Tea Milk Pudding, Perfect Dessert! #15MinuteSuppers 绿茶鲜奶布 丁,最佳甜品

Bi-lingual | 双语版

I love everything green tea, green tea cake, green tea muffin, green tea cookies, green tea Popsicle... And when I had the silky smooth green tea pudding served with brown sugar syrup in a Japanese fine dining restaurant, Hanare in Intermark recently, I felt in love with it instantly and was determined to give it a try at home.

So here you go, the tried and tested version. I have modified the recipe to include fresh milk, replaced heavy cream with condensed milk and reduced the sweetness to suit the little ones. Hope your kiddo like it as much as mine.

I served the pudding in my Chinese porcelain tea cups, paired with the silverware dessert spoons that I got from Bangkok many years back. Aren't they perfect match? :)

This is mine... It's not for sharing.

Preparation time: 5 Minutes
Cooking time: 10 Minutes
Serving for: 4-5 cup

3 table spoons / 4g Green tea powder
50ml warm water
350ml fresh milk
50ml condensed milk 
5mg Gelatin powder
5g Brown sugar syrup (adjust as per wish, I skipped)

The Making:

1. Dilute the green tea powder with the warm water and stir to dissolve. Heat up the fresh milk and condensed milk in a small pot, then add the green tea mixture.

2. Constantly stir the mixture with a spatula so it doesn't become lumpy. When the liquid starts to bubble, add the gelatin powder.

3. Turn off the heat, using a strainer, pour the liquid into the container. 

4. Let the pudding chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to harden. To serve, pour some brown sugar syrup or wild honey and top with some fresh berries of your choice, you are ready to enjoy!

We had ours without any syrup and it tasted just nice, the duo happily finished up their dessert and my little boy even gave me a thumb up. 

I'm looking forward to make more next weekend... :)

Just a note..
If you don't like the milky taste, just reduce the amount of fresh milk and replace with water.

我爱绿茶。绿茶蛋糕,绿茶松糕,绿茶饼干,绿茶冰棒等等... 全都是我的最爱。当我在城里一家日本餐厅尝到那丝般顺滑的绿茶布丁,还配着香浓的红糖糖浆,实在好吃得不得了,我就决定一定要尝试来个自制版。


我用了中国瓷器茶杯和曼谷带回来的小银匙搭配,是不是绝配? :)



3,息火,使用一个过滤器把液体倒入容器中 (我用了瓷器茶杯)。 


  • 我没有用任何糖浆,就这么即食,味道刚刚好。我的小哥哥还给了我竖起一根大拇指呢 
  • 如果你不喜欢太重的牛奶味,可以减少鲜牛奶的使用量,以同等分量的清水代替即可。

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Baked Chicken Kiev

It's been a while since the last publish of recipe, the water rationing had been going on for weeks in the city we live so I had been keeping to simple cooking that requires minimal washing, or just dine out. Despite the fact it's been raining almost every alternate days but the water level in the dam is still critically low?! Something is really really wrong here..

Anyway, I have been sticking to mostly one-pot or one-pan cooking but for this weekend, I though it's time to try out something different. So I made this, child friendly Oven Baked Chicken Kiev, served with some baked beans and toasted round buns. Simple but hearty family meal. After a busy morning attending a blogger event with the little ones (I will share that on a separate posting, it will be something useful for parents with picky eater!), it's a bliss to have a quiet dinner at comfort of home.

For my little ones. They shared one whole chicken breast. The elder ate with his hand while I helped my little girl cut the Kiev into smaller chunks so she can easily eat with a fork. They dipped the Kiev into the baked beans, just like how we usually eat our roti canai with some dhal curry. How I love watching their satisfied look as they gobled the food that mommy made. 

Kiev is actually a traditional Ukrainian dish, where it is named after their capital city, Kiev. It's a cutlet dish made with boneless chicken breast pounded and covered with bread crumb, either fried or baked. The one I made is a cross-mixed with Chicken cordon blue, where I used cheese instead of butter, however I skipped the ham. It would be a lot tastier to have that extra ham layer, but I though it's good to control intake of processed meat. But seriously, feel free to add the ham if you wanted richer taste. 

Anyway, ready to make some Kiev? Just make sure you have 30 minutes to spare and you are good to go..

Preparation time: 10 Minutes
Cooking time: 30 Minutes
Serving for: 3-4 person

3 boneless chicken breast
A teaspoon of salt 
A dash of pepper
2 clove garlic, crushed and chopped (I totally forgot to put this!)
A handful of rosemary and basil leaves, wash and chopped
3 slices of cheddar cheese (you may replace with 1/2 stick of butter instead, but I opted for the less fatty version) 
2 table spoons of bread crumb
2 table spoons of corn flour
2 medium size eggs, beaten

The Making:
1. Prepare a tray with a layer of aluminum foil (this is important to save you from the washing nightmare!). Preheat oven to 200°c.

2. Using a meat tenderizer, lightly pound  both sides of the chicken breast till tender. Rub with salt, pepper and set aside.

3. Prepare the bread crumb, egg liquid and corn flour in separate plate each. You'll need this later.

4. Sprinkles the fresh herbs and garlic onto the chicken fillet, add few drops of olive oil. Rub to coat the meat evenly and put the sliced cheese on top.

5. Roll up the chicken breast and secure it in place using a toothpick.

6. Coat the rolled chicken breast with a layer of corn flour, follow by egg liquid and bread crumb. 

7. Heat up 2 table spoon of olive oil in a skillet, lightly grill the roll till it turns golden brown (about few minutes), then place it onto the prepared tray. 

8. Bake the rolls for 20 minutes at 200°c, check to make sure it doesn't over burn. I added some pumpkin cubes into the tray, it tastes so sweet after baked that no additional flavoring required.

9. To serve, cut the Kiev into thick slices and serve with your favorite sauce - ketchup, Tabasco, Mustard, BBQ sauce.. Or like me, made some baked beans in 
tomato sauce.  Oh, and don't forget to remove that toothpick. ;)

Now, go enjoy the food of your labour, you deserve it!

Happy cooking.

• You can mix some dried herbs into the fresh leaves for stronger aroma.
• You may use cheese blocks instead of sliced cheese, it will work (better) as well. I just want to avoid washing another utensil for this round. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Glass Noodle Omelette soup 煎蛋冬粉汤, 妈妈家常菜 #15MinuteSuppers

Bi-lingual | 双语版

Today I am going to share a super simple childhood dish that my old ma always made for us, I am not sure if this is of Teoh Chew origin, or invented by my grandma, but it sure is one simple and delicious dish that our entire family likes.

This omelette has a chewy texture thanks to the presence of the glass noodle, which is actually a type of translucent noodle made of starch (green bean, yam or corn) and water. The original version only have glass noodles and eggs, I made some variation to make it more child friendly by adding some shredded carrots.

Hope your kiddos like this dish as much as my duo. :)

Preparation: 5 Minutes
Cooking: 10 Minutes 
Serving for: 3-4 little ones


6 medium size eggs, lightly beaten 中型鸡蛋,六粒
50g of Glass Noodle (also known as tanghoon冬粉半包/50克
1/2 medium carrot, shredded 胡萝卜半棵,切幼丝
1 teaspoon of soy sauce 酱油,一茶匙
A pinch of salt & pepper to taste 盐,胡椒粉适量
6-10 stalks of baby choy-sam, washed 小菜心六-十棵,洗净
Some spring onions, roughly chopped 青葱两根,切细条
2 table spoon of olive oil 两大匙橄榄油
1 pot of stock (I boiled mine with some anchovies, carrots and pumpkins) 高汤1锅

The Making:

1. Soak glass noodles in water for about 2 minutes until softened, drain the excess water and set aside.

2. Lightly beaten the eggs, seasoned with some salt, pepper, soy sauce and add the shredded carrots. Pour the beaten eggs over the glass noodle. Make sure the glass noodles are all all covered with the eggs.

3. Heat up the olive oil in the pan, pour in the egg mixture and spread it around to form into circular shape. Cook both side for about 2 minutes each, the remove from heat. 
At the same time, bring the stock to boil.

4. Using a clean knife and chopping board, roughly cut the omelette into 10-12 square pieces. 

5. Drop the fried omelette and baby choy-sam into the boiling stock and let them simmer for few minutes, add some salt to taste (as per your liking) and sprinkle with some spring onions before serving.

I served ours as dinner by tossing in some flat noodles in step 5. Took only about 1 minute for the noodles to cook so you can precook the soup and add the leafy veggie and noodle when it's time for dinner. I also added some pumpkin cubes and carrots into the soup for added nutrition and sweetness but they are really optional if you are in a rush. 

  • When serving for my little ones, I cut the stems of the baby Choy Sam with a kitchen scissor so it's easier for them to chew.
  • Personally I would not recommend  serving glass noodle to toddler below 2yo, who may find it difficult to chew and may not be able to digest properly. Let's wait till they have stronger teeth and digestion system.

煎蛋冬粉汤, 这是小时候我最爱的家常菜。我也不确定这是否潮州菜式或当年婆婆的自创,但肯定的是家中老少都喜爱的一道。浓浓蛋香夹着質地韌柔的冬粉丝,添加点青菜肉丸,好吃的家常菜只需十五分钟就可轻松上桌。


  1. 冬粉浸在水里约两分钟至松软,捞起备用。
  2. 鸡蛋打散,加入盐,胡椒粉,酱油调味,和胡萝卜丝混合后倒入冬粉里。
  3. 烧热两汤匙的橄榄油,把蛋液和冬粉倒入锅里用慢火煎熟至金黄色。每面约莫两分钟左右。
  4. 在干净的案板上,把蛋饼切成10-12片方块。
  5. 烧热一锅高汤,汤滚后把蛋饼和小菜心放进锅里煮两分钟,熄火,撒上一撮青葱即可上桌。也可以加点面条和青菜一起煮,当清汤面来吃也不错。