Sunday, 19 October 2014

Snacks for the go!

What would be your choices of power food to bring along as snacks for our little ones? We have some favourite snacks making frequent appearances in our to go list. Whenever I'm out with the kids, some of my friends would laugh off at the contents in my bag. A mother of 2 toddlers who are dipaerless and off milk bottles should be travelling light. Okay, that's just me having some unusual weight over the shoulders. 

I've Activities for the go and adding to the weight, snacks for the go!

1. Easy fruits

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Apples, Bluberries, Grapes and Straberries

Apples, berries and grapes are some of Js favourite fruits. They are convenient and don't have to be sliced for bring out. An easy wash and slight trim off the strawberries, they're all ready to fit into a cooler container or ziplock for go. We know fresh fruits are one of the best stuff we can offer our little ones. It's power packed with vitamin C!

If you are concern about that shiny wax coating that apple skin, organic apples might be a better choice. It's more promising that organic growers don't coat their apples with wax. I'll buy organic apples for to-go snacks, where they would crunch that apple together with its high fibre skin.


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Oh so yummy tomatoes!

I know cherry tomatoes are fruits, but I'm just gonna park it here because I use it more often as a vegetable than a fruit. Like how some people would argue over it's breed. Jare has this interesting affair with cherry tomatoes, he loves eating them! These cute little orangey fruit doesn't seem to entice Jazz though. And yes, it's another vitamins rich snack. You go, boy!

It's also said the compounds in tomatoes might offer protection against skin damage caused by ultraviolet light. So yes, I share their snacks too.

Another easy to bring out vegetable would be baby carrots. Js love it. I'll usually buy the smallest pack of baby carrots in the store. It's fresh for eating within 30 days of opening. Carrots contain beta-carotene, a substance that our body converts to vitamin A, an important nutrient for eye health and vision. But we don't need a bunny-like appetite for those good eyes. Remember to spread the carrot days out so we don't risk turning our children into the colour orange.

3. Dried fruits

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Dried apricots

Some fruits can yield its best nutrients by the process of drying. Such examples are apricots and prunes. Although the drying process degrades their content of water-soluble and heat-sensitive vitamins, other nutrients become more concentrated. They are excellent sources of fibre, Iron, calcium, anitoxidants and potassium. I've read somewhere that potassium helps prevent the forming of moles on our skin. Not sure if that's a fact or myth though. Dried apricots and prunes are really easy for bring out, and they could easily survive the heat and foot steps of our long day out. So are the next few favourites.

4. Nuts

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Nutty affair

I like to pack a mix of almonds, cashews and peanuts for bring out. Js have varying taste preferences. They both loves peanuts. Jazz loves almonds and Jare loves cashew. That explains our mix of nutty affair.

Nuts are powerful brain food. Perfect companions for our schooling and learning little ones. These tiny little nuts contain a lot of goodness and essential nutrients. Albeit high in fats and calories, I don't think it's a bugging concern in kids, who are usually high in metabolism. Almonds are also high in calcium, which makes it a good option for those little growing bones. And of course, eat nuts as they are. Not fried, not sugar coated, not chocolate coated or fancifully coated. We love it nakedly baked.

5. Small packed snacks

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Sachets to go!

When I'm in a very rushed mode, it's always a saviour to have pouched snacks in our pantry. And here's what we were recently introduced to, Kiwigarden dried apple slices and yoghurt drops. It's highly attractive to parents because there is no sugar added. Yeap, No.Sugar.Added. I am usually attracted to kids' snacks that states no preservatives, no artificial colouring or flavouring, no sugar or low in sugar. Being packed in small convenient pouches usually increase my chances of buying it. So yes, I love individually packed small pouches.

I did a quick read into the yoghurt drops' ingredients. Found it to be containing lesser ingredients than some other brands. One of my philosophy in selecting food off the shelf is to study its ingredients carefully (That's what Motherhood did to me). Comparing similar choices here and there, my final choice would be the one that has less ingredients added during its process to the end product. Less is truly more.

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Ingredients for dried apple and yoghurt drops

The kind people from foodpath sent us these healthy kiwigarden snacks, and we fell in love with them instantly. They have also included some Mother Earth's snacks for the purpose of our feedback, which are a little towards the sweetened side. It's some alternatives if you're looking into more tummy filled snacks for delayed meals or even to substitute a meal. The man grabs a granola bar for go on his rushed mornings.

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Some samples from Mother Earth's range

Mother Earth snacks are sold through supermarkets like Cold storage, Jasons, Market Place and Fairprice finest. Kiwigarden products are not available in supermarkets yet, but you may get them online at foodpath .

It's not too long that I can hover over everything Js eat. If I'm still able, while I still can, I'll introduce and offer the better alternatives to them. I look forward to every opportunity in being kind to their teeth and body. Most times, the trick is to avoid leaving 'undesirable' food before their eyes. Replace them with the healthy favourites that they can reach freely.

There are plenty of chances to indulge in those sugary sweety moments. Think parties, grandies, uncles and aunties who love bribing pampering them this way. After all, there's always that childhood and desires in them. Just don't get caught, oops!

What would be your child's favourite healthy snacks? Let me know by leaving a comment. Would be happy to hear from you.

While I was planning to draft this post, I asked if foodpath would like to spread the goodness and wellness of healthy food to a lucky reader of Mum's calling. And Yes! They are giving a hamper of good and nutritious snacks worth $80. I am just so excited to be sharing this good news with everyone.

It's looking something like this:

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Photo credit: food path

Definitely a nutritious pack for win! To take part, simply enter the following steps in the rafflecopter widget below. Do ensure you've completed at least steps 1 to 3 in rafflecopter to qualify. Step 4 gives you additional winning chances. Good luck!
1. Like Mum's calling on facebook
2. Like Foodpath on facebook
3. Like and share this post with the following comment, "Win a nutritious hamper worth $80!"
4. Follow us on instagram @mumscalling (Optional, but nice)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Terms and Conditions:
  • This giveaway ends on 26th Oct 14, 11.59pm 
  • Open to Singapore residents only 
  • Winner will be contacted using the contact particulars provided when entering this draw
  • Winner will have 48 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be drawn. 
  • All incomplete entries will be disqualified. 
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  • To be fair to our sponsors, please note that all fake Facebook accounts (eg. accounts set up purely to take part in contests with no or very few real friends) will also be ineligible to win." 

Disclosure: We were given some snack samples for the purpose of reviewing. All opinions and pictures, unless credited are solely ours. 

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Paint Brushes on strike

Our paint brushes decided to go on a strike. Js worked with the really basic resource, their tiny hands! They went free flow painting, and kept asking for more papers.

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Painting with hands
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Finger painting

Then Jazz asked to paint with her feet. Of course, the quick Motherly instinct in me said, "No!" Then I retreated a little and thought, why not? No harm, no cost and no penalty for using those feet. I gave the go, and they went stamping happily.

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"How has you feet grown?!!"
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He used both feet!

I realized, it really wasn't too difficult to agree on feet painting. As little as they still are, I could easily carry them into the bathroom for a wash. How nice to take steps back and take thoughts slow in considering their desires. While the little and petite things last.

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Their creations!

Looking at their creations, these hands and feet have grown so much. I always struggle emotionally when I put away an old pair of shoes they no longer fit. Treasuring the now, I had better do more hand in hand walks before they decide to go that independent path.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Dining by the Ocean

After our exploration in the aquarium, we knew we had to try dining at the Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora, developed by renowned celebrity chef and the first female Iron Chef in Singapore. We didn't make prior reservation, so we sat in for a very delayed lunch. It was very much worth the wait. Well compensated by its food. 

We had its set lunch ($60++) which came with an appetizer, 2 small portions of mains and a dessert. Non of them failed us. It serves seafood on its menu, which kinda made us feel sorry for eating them in an aquarium. But knowing that they serve only sustainable seafood, it sets us free from guilt. 

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The mains

I highly recommend the Pan Seared Glacier 51 Toothfish and braised beef short ribs.  Top left and bottom left of collage. The kids shared a platter fish and chips ($22) from the kids' menu. Good portion for 2 toddlers.

The food serving pace was kinda slow, but good time for diners to appreciate the aquarium view. Js spent much time viewing marine life prior meal, they got a little restless while waiting for food to be served. Minimum spending per adult is $38+ in the restaurant. Easily attained if you plan to do set meal. The place was beautifully embellished with swim creatures in the huge aquarium just next to you. This magnificent view of the open ocean habitat was a truly unique experience for all of us. If you call in for reservations, you could probably request for a table next to the aquarium. If not, all table views are great. There are mirrors on the opposite side of the aquarium, so diners sitting with their back facing the ocean creatures can view them through reflection. 

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Aquarium view
You may enter the restaurant without being a paid visitor in the S.E.A aquarium. Admission to Ocean Restaurant is via RWS's West Zone Carpark, B1M. Diners can park near Equarius Hotel. 

Operating hours:
Lunch 11:30am to 3:30pm
Dinner 5:00pm to 5:30pm
Location: S.E.A aquarium, Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa gateway

It's really nice to be catching up with my non-sponsored posts. So many things, so little time. 

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

S.E.A Aquarium

We dived to the S.E.A aquarium in Resorts World Sentosa last weekend. It was a pleasant journey in and out of the waters. After surfacing, it seemed like Underwater World takes a back seat now. Like a Chinese saying goes, 一山不能藏二虎 (Two tigers cannot exist in a mountain).

The welcoming sight into the realm of marine life wasn't much of an expectation for us. We were introduced to a level named as the maritime experiential museum, where bustling ports along the silk route were recreated. The then traded goods and culture were extensively displayed for visitors to appreciate its history. Everything seemed almost unrelated to the purpose of our visit that day. The man joked that they probably changed their mind after building this much. 

While purchasing another ticket over the counter, we paid an additional of $2 for a typhoon theatre experience within. No idea what we were in for, it simply stated a 360 degrees screen shipwreck simulation enhanced by special effects. Skip this if your very young children are terrified of darkness, loud sounds and flash lighting. Else, I think it's a meaningful link to bringing us into the ocean deep down. It was only after this typhoon experience that we understood the initial sightings. The silk route, trades and shipwreck were brilliantly weaved into an unfolding story. 

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The shipwreck linked from typhoon theatre

Our Mother Earth is made up of 70% water, a walk through the aquarium unfolded the magic and stories of the marine life within. Deep in the ocean unveils a beauty.

We were coincidentally visiting near Halloween, the aquarium was donned spookily with pumpkins and skeletons. Even divers slipped in their skeleton suits. Js were given a little activity map to identify and visit the 'spooky animals', as well as the trick and treat stations. About 4 stations that day. Collecting candies sure got them smiling ear to ear.

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Happy Halloween!
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Skeleton diver
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First station
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Hammerhead shark on her head

The ocean journey was very impressive. Just a tour within, I can't help but to think of the good old days when we frequent the Monterey Bay aqaurium in California. Same but different. Having greater focus on sustainability, young kids' activities or a kiddy corner in S.E.A aquarium would be more attractive to locals, not just tourists.

There was a  discovery touch pool for visitors to get fingers close with sea stars. Was hoping to touch a sea urchin, but it probably decided to sleep in that day. No signs of it. We journeyed further to explore the realm of the blue, most impressed with the bottlenose dolphins and the really interesting sawfish shark. Try spotting them if you make a trip there. We left the camera at home that day, it's a pity we didn't capture excellent pictures with our mobile.

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It feels rough, sandpaper maybe?
A memorable takeaway I had was walking across a floor of glass with swim creatures beneath my feet. That was really cool!

There's just so much to explore and great knowledge to attain on our blue planet. S.E.A aquarium is home to more than 100,000 marine animals of over 800 species, across into 49 different habitats. A lovely place indeed. It's very well built up to create that almost like, diving in the ocean experience. A very magical feel. It's also very wheelchair and stroller friendly. Weekend crowd was rather manageable that day too. 

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Colourful World
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Looking like Alaska crab!

This aquarium journey is an experience our little ones should not miss. A good time to teach and talk about sustainability too. We had 2 S.E.A aquarium passes upon signing up for the RWS invites member. You may check out their other promotional pricing here.

Churning out a next post soon on our dining experience in Ocean restaurant. Other than restaurant, there were a few snack stops where you can grab quick food like sandwiches, pastries, fishballs, nuggets etc. If not, head out for meals, the variety of food choices never runs out in RWS. We spent about 2 hours (excluding lunch) in the aquarium, which was very well paced. 

Plan a visit soon. If you wish to experience that spookiness.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Hospital Land

Couple of weeks ago, I signed Jazz and her friend, Nad for Hospital a day, a similar event to Doctor for a day we did previously. This time round, the girls had a taste of the different occupations in the hospital. It's more than just a doctor in a hospital. They tried minutes of being an Anaesthetist, Optometrist, a Pharmacist, Radiologist, Surgeon and Nutritionist. Though this round they were not donned in that cutesy scrub, they were rewarded with pin badges after completing each station. Lovely momentos to bring home.

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Badges for bring home

The whole event was held at the lobby of Mount Elizabeth Novena hospital, which I thought was rather noisy during the time of our session, with a lucky draw session going on concurrently. I could barely hear the facilitators, even though I was quite near. I hoped it wasn't the same for the kids.

The first station they embarked on was being an optometrist, where they learn to determine their master eye and help their friend's identify any eyesight problem with colour and reading charts.

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Being an optometrist

They then trooped off to be minutes of Pharmacist, where they learned to prescribe and dispense the right medication for patients. The pretend tablets were so huge and colourful. They sure know tablets aren't any form of candies after this station.

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Ready to dispense medication

They then switched roles to become a radiologist and surgeon. In the radiologist section, they learned about medical imaging technologies like the x-ray and PET- MRI scan (Read that it was the first and only machine in Singapore). Little ones take turn to be the patient and radiologist.

Getting more serious was being a surgeon, where they were introduced to the different parts of our seemingly intriguing body. They learned to arrange the different organs like our brain, heart, lungs, stomach and intestine onto the correct parts of our body.

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Competing in teams
Their last station was introducing an app on the ipad. An app developed by Mount Elizabeth, Doctor for a day can be downloaded for our young aspiring doctors. Yet to explore, but it does sound educational and fun.

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Game on the ipad
After which, their hospital journey ended. I really can't recall where the anaeathetist station was, even though they were awarded a badge. It was probably replaced, removed that day, or I missed it out. 

My favourite stations were the 2 stations open to non-registered public. That's where our less than 4 years old can join in the fun. They learned to be a nutritionist and did some bandaging lesson for first aid.

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Little nutritionist
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Completed the memory game
There was also a bouncy castle on site for the kids. Nice play area to keep our less than 4 years old waiting siblings occupied, but it can get too rowdy when older kids get on.

The girls enjoyed their time, and again, slots were snapped up fast within minutes of event registration launch. I do hope they will be running it again, so stay tune with their updates here (Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital) and here (Parkway East Hospital).

They are fun experiences not to be missed.