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Health & Wellness

Health & Wellness
Health & Wellness



Home remedies for common kids sicknesses (fever, flu, cough, sore throat, diarrhea)

I'm pretty sure all moms know what common kids sicknesses are: fever, flu, cough, sore throat, stomach flu, diarrhea, Roseola, hand-foot-mouth-disease (HFMD), chicken pox. So far, my 18.5-month old little one has had all except HFMD and chicken pox.

About home remedies, after reading up information from fellow mommies in FB groups, I believe every household should have at least these three must-have items ready in their pantry:

1. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
2. Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO): Read up about VCO's health benefits
3. Raw Honey e.g. Manuka Honey (UMF >10)

Other good to-have ingredients include lemon, garlic, small red onions, ginger.

Disclaimer: When in doubt, you should always consult your child's pediatrician before attempting home remedies. Every child is different and might react differently to the ingredients in the home remedies. Please do your own research well. 



From MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: Fever is the temporary increase in the body's temperature in response to a disease or illness. A child has a fever when the temperature is at or above one of these levels: 38°C measured in the bottom (rectally); 37.5°C measured in the mouth (orally); 37.2°C measured under the arm (axillary).

Fever is an important part of the body's defense against infection. Although a fever signals that a battle might be going on in the body, the fever is fighting for, not against the person.

Note: Do follow your motherly instincts. If you think you should send your child to his pediatrician or ER, please do so. Home remedies are only recommended for very mild fever in order to sooth the child, not to combat underlying causes of the fever.

This is the guide that I always follow. Go to the clinic if your child:
  • Is 3 months or younger and has a rectal temperature of 38°C or higher
  • Is 3 to 12 months old and has a fever of 39°C or higher
  • Is 2 years or younger and has a fever that lasts longer than 24 to 48 hours
  • Is older and has a fever for longer than 48 to 72 hours
  • Has a fever of 40.5°C or higher, unless it comes down readily with treatment and the child is comfortable
  • Has other symptoms that suggest an illness may need to be treated, such as a sore throat, earache, or cough
  • Has had fevers come and go for up to a week or more, even if these fevers are not very high
  • Recently had vaccination

Here are some home remedies for fever that I learned from fellow mommies.

#1: Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

ACV reduces fever quickly because its acidity helps to draw heat from the skin.

Add 1/2 cup ACV to lukewarm (NOT cold) water in a baby bath tub. Soak in this bath solution for 5-10 minutes. I usually do this twice a day - late morning and early evening.

Soak a washcloth in a mixture of one part ACV and two parts tepid water. Wring out excess solution and place it on your forehead and tummy. Change the cloth when it becomes warm. Repeat as often as required until fever reduces.

Soak socks in a mixture of one part ACV and two parts tepid water. Wring out excess solution and wear the socks. Change the socks when they become warm. Repeat as often as required until fever reduces.

#2: Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO)

Drink neat, 1 teaspoon 3-4 times a day.

#3: Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated

Example: plain water, fresh coconut water, barley water, clear broth.


Flu & cough

Here are some home remedies for flu & cough that I learned from fellow mommies.

#1: Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) + raw honey

Mix 1 tablespoon ACV and 1 teaspoon raw honey in a cup of warm water. Drink 3-4 times a day. This remedy is NOT suitable for babies below 1 year old.

#2: Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO)

Drink neat, 1 teaspoon 3-4 times a day.

#3: Ginger + lemon juice + raw honey

Cut a thumb-sized ginger into slices and crush them slightly. Boil them in a cup of water. Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon raw honey. Drink 3-4 times a day. This remedy is NOT suitable for babies below 1 year old.

#6: Chinese double-boiled pear (Chinese golden pear or Korean pear)
1 Chinese golden pear or 1 Korean pear + 1 luo han guo + 3 large Chinese honey dates + 2 soup spoonfuls Chinese almonds (north & south) + 600-900ml water. Double boil for 3 hours.


Sore throat

Here are some home remedies for sore throat that I learned from fellow mommies.
#1: Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO)

Drink neat, 1 teaspoon 3-4 times a day.

#2: Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) + raw honey + lemon juice

Mix 1 tablespoon ACV with 1 teaspoon raw honey and 1 teaspoon lemon juice in a cup of warm water. Drink 3-4 times a day. This remedy is NOT suitable for babies below 1 year old.

#3: Homemade popsicles

Mix fresh fruits with plain or Greek yogurt and freeze them into popsicles. Eat as and when needed.



Here are some home remedies for diarrhea that I learned from fellow mommies.
#1: Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated

Example: plain water, fresh coconut water, barley water, clear broth.

#2: Eliminate dairy products

Especially fresh milk, cheese, and cow's milk-based formula milk.

#3: Eat plain yogurt

Dairy products should be eliminated because they worsen diarrhea. However, yogurt is an exception. Yogurt contains live-cultures, i.e. gut-friendly bacteria that provides protection in the intestines and helps generate lactic acid to flush out toxins.

#4: Eat BRAT food

These are bananas, rice, applesauce (cooked apples), and toast. Clear broth and watery rice porridge are okay too.

#5: Take a course of probiotics after diarrhea is over

A course usually lasts two weeks, with 1 serving a day. Here's my toddler's experience. 


Feel free to suggest other home remedies that you're using.

Thank you!


Banana Bread with White Chocolate Chips

Banana Bread with White Chocolate Chips

There's a big bunch of overripe bananas in my kitchen. I always believe that the best way to "get rid" of them is by baking them into a loaf of fragrant banana cake/bread.

Previously I have baked Diana Henry's Best Banana Cake. This round, for IHCC's February potluck, I choose Donna Hay's simple banana bread. For mine, I add white chocolate chips.

Recipe from Donna Hay's website.

(Serves 8-10)

4 medium ripe bananas (800g), peeled and chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 & 1/2 cups brown sugar (I used 1/2 cup molasses sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 & 1/2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

How to:

1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Lightly grease and line a 25cm x 11cm glass loaf pan with non-stick baking paper.

2. Place bananas in a medium bowl and mash with a fork. Add the olive oil, eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract and whisk to combine.

3. Add the flour and cinnamon and mix to combine. Finally, mix in the white chocolate chips. Pour into the prepared loaf fan.

4. Bake for 80 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Those white lines are from melted white chocolate chips.

Those white lines are from melted white chocolate chips.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) for this week's theme, February Potluck!


This post is also linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up (February 2015 Event: Cocoa) organized by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids), Doreen (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Grace (Life can be Simple).

This post is also linked to Cook and Celebrate: CNY 2015 organized by Yen from Eat your heart out, Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe, and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.


Cornmeal & Creamy Corn Pancakes

Cornmeal & Creamy Corn Pancakes

I love pancakes. As always, pancakes are easy and fast to make and they are delicious and pretty too. They make great finger food and snacks for toddlers to munch on.

For a change, I use cornmeal and cream-style corn. The pancakes are heavier and chewier, not as soft and fluffy as conventional pancakes.

(Makes 20 if you scoop the batter with the measuring spoon set's tablespoon)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup molasses sugar
1/4 cup fresh milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 egg
3/4 cup cream-style corn

How to:

1. In a bowl, mix together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, molasses sugar, milk, butter, and egg. Gently fold in cream-style corn until well distributed.

2. Heat up a frying pan and lightly grease with vegetable oil.

3. Scoop one tablespoon of batter by using the measuring spoon set's tablespoon onto the hot frying pan.

Note: The batter is not as runny and is a bit sticky.

4. Cook until the edges turn brown. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side. Repeat with remaining batter.

5. Stack and serve with maple syrup and yogurt.

Ready to serve.

Drizzle with some pure maple syrup.

Pancakes served with yogurt and maple syrup.


4 points to consider when you decide to babywear

I'm pretty excited with my new toy, my dream soft-structured carried (SSC) - the awesome Manduca! Mine is a Manduca Blue / NewStyle Navy.

A little back story: I took a break from babywearing for nearly a year, partly because I bought two WRONG carriers. One was a counterfeit ERGO SSC and another was an i-Angel hipseat carrier. I stopped using the counterfeit ERGO (known as FERGO) after I read about possible mishaps such as dangerous sudden clasps breakage. I stopped using the hipseat because it's a non-ergonomic carrier, i.e. it's not conducive for baby's hip and spine development.

Here are four points to consider when you decide to babywear:

#1: Know the benefits of babywearing

Read this awesome post and get yourself convinced first. Newborns NEED to be held; there's no such thing as spoiling the baby by holding them too much. You CANNOT spoil a baby with nurturing, but you can with neglect. Absolutely no argument with me on this point because I don't support cry-it-out at all.

Even toddlers need to be held. Don't deprive them from your affection with the reason you want them to learn to become independent. Independence in future comes from adequate nurturing, affection, and attention you give them when they are still young.


#2: Know the importance of ergonomic carriers

In short, ergonomic means the carrier should provide proper support and doesn't put strain on your baby's developing hips and spine. Proper support means natural seating position (M-shape) - the recommended position for healthy hip development.

Non-ergonomic carriers that doesn't provide proper support include hipseat, crotch carrier, and carriers that promote front-facing. More info below.

To view bigger image, refer this source.

Please read this explanation about how improper support in carriers leads to hip issues. This is especially true if you're using a crotch carrier and narrow-based carrier. Explanatory diagram below.


Hipseat carrier causes pressure at baby's spine. Please see explanatory diagram below.


Please also read up about reasons not to carry your baby facing out.


Note: Believe me, you don't want to waste money buying the wrong carrier. Educate yourself well. Also, please avoid buying counterfeit (fake) carriers and baby sling/bag. To put in simple term: they are dangerous.

#3: Know the baby carrier categories suitable for your baby's age and size

The two images below show the six main recommended categories: woven wrap (WW), stretchy wrap (SW), ring sling (RS), pouch (P), soft-structured carrier (SSC), and Mei Tai (MT).

To view bigger image, refer this source.
To view bigger image, refer this source.

I prefer to use the soft-structured carrier (SSC) because it's easy to use. SSCs are soft-bodied carriers that have buckle waist and shoulder straps (resembling a backpack). I can carry my toddler with him facing me, or with him behind my back.

I hate maneuvering the stroller at escalators in shopping malls. With an SSC, I just need to strap it around my waist, put my toddler in it, buckle him up, and off we go! Fuss-free, stress-free, guilt-free, bulk-free! Hahaha!

#4: Know the T.I.C.K.S. rule for safe babywearing

To view bigger image, refer this source.

Read the following Babywearing Safety Checklist by Liza Snuggbaby.

Baby's breathing well
  • Always make sure that baby's airway is not obstructed.
  • Baby should get good airflow especially when you babywear at stuffy and crowded places.
  • Don't always ASSUME quiet/sleeping baby a content baby. Make sure of it.
  • Nursing while babywearing is a very handy skill but always make sure your boob is not covering baby's nose.
  • Face baby towards the side (preferably facing slightly upwards) when they fall asleep and make sure their face is not pressed against your body.
Naturally curled vs. too much curled (especially with newborns)
  • It's okay for them to curl a little because even when you carry them with bare hands, their spine is naturally slightly curved BUT babies shouldn't be curled further caused by bad positioning in the carrier.
  • You know it's wrong if baby's chin is pressed against the chest.
  • When you look in the mirror (with slings), baby's body should be making more of v-shape rather than c-shape or u-shape in cradle position.
  • With tummy to tummy, baby's back should be supported by fabric or mei tai straps to avoid baby from slumping into carrier.
  • Use support by folding a nappy or small towel placed at baby's back if it's necessary to achieve good positioning.
Not too hot or not too cold
  • Slings and carriers are an additional layer around your baby so dress lightly in hot weather.
  • Avoid constrictive clothing like tight denim as this may add pressure points onto your baby.
  • Put on sunblock if you plan to go outdoors in daylight.
  • In cold weather, babywearing gear only even though thick is not enough to protect baby against cold. Put on layers and cover the head.
The first time
  • Have someone to help you.
  • Try your carrier near soft landing like sofa or bed.
  • Wear your baby as low as possible and stand up when you're confident that you're wearing correctly.
  • Both you and baby should be calm.
  • Stop and rest if baby struggles too much and try again when baby is calm.
To babywear or not to babywear
  • If you need to put on some form of safety gear, chances are you're not suppose to wear your baby, e.g. rollerskating, operating heavy machinery, biking.
  • Don't wear your baby in the car. Car seat is the safest place for baby.
  • If you happen to fall into water, baby will be safer if not strapped on your body.
  • Activities that involves a lot of bouncing and shaking shouldn't be done with your baby strapped on your body, e.g. running, aerobics, jumping.
  • To travel by plane is an exception.
Beware of graspy baby
  • Baby is at the same level as you, what you can reach most likely they can too.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Cooking should be done very carefully especially when dealing with sharp knives and hot surfaces.
  • Be careful when dealing with laundry detergent or misc. cleaning liquid; make sure baby don't accidentally touch or ingest them.
  • Remember that they can reach things with their feet too.
Inspect your carrier for wear and tear
  • Make it a habit to inspect your carrier for any signs of wear and tear.
  • All support seams should be intact.
  • Buckles and rings shouldn't have cracks.
  • Fabric shouldn't have signs of ripping.
Check, reposition and adjust
  • Eventually while babywearing carriers may come loose, baby's position can be shifted.
  • Stop and check positioning in the mirror.
  • Make sure baby's leg doesn't turn blue.
  • Tighten or retie your knots and readjust if necessary.
  • Bouncing a bit or repositioning from time to time may help baby's circulation.
Listen to your body
  • You are carrying extra weight but with good weight distribution that comes with babywearing, sometime you don't feel this extra weight.
  • Ideally you should take a break from time to time.
  • Don't try to exert yourself and risk injuring your muscles.
  • If you can, switch shoulders now and again with single shouldered carrier.
  • Share the weight between you and your partner if you're babywearing for long period of time.
  • Enjoy all the incredible benefit that comes with wearing your baby safely!

Now, what are the recommended brands? Here are some brands that are recommended on Malaysian Babywearers FB group (listed in alphabetical order):

Note: Some are big brands in the market, some are manufactured by small companies or work-at-home moms and may only be available for purchase online or in specialty stores.


Note: Babybjorn and Stokke carriers are not recommended because they are mainly narrow-based carriers that don't promote good M-shape positioning. i-Angel that sells hipseat carriers are not recommended as well.


Read more:

Join Malaysian Babywearers FB group for more discussion with seasoned babywearers.


Blueberry Ricotta Hotcakes

Blueberry Ricotta Hotcakes
I have always wanted to try ricotta. Ricotta is a soft Italian curd cheese made from whey, which is drained and then lightly 'cooked'. It's light and creamy with a slightly grainy texture and delicate flavor. It's quite low in fat. [Source] 

I'm so happy with IHCC's theme for this week, Curds & Whey! whereby we can make Diana Henry's dishes that contain any of these ingredients: yogurt, labneh, cottage cheese, feta, ricotta, and other cheeses.

Without a doubt, I choose her Blackberry Ricotta Pancakes but I substitute blackberries with fresh blueberries (which are easier to find in Malaysia). :)

Recipe adapted from here and here.

(Makes 28 if you scoop the batter with the measuring spoon set's tablespoon)

1 cup ricotta cheese (I used 1/2 cup ricotta + 1/2 cup softened cream cheese + 1/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese)
3 eggs, yolks and whites separated
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons molasses sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup fresh blueberries, with extra for garnishing

How to:

1. Mash ricotta, cream cheese, and grated Cheddar cheese in a bowl with egg yolks, one egg white, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Fold in flour and whisk until smooth.

2. Beat the remaining two egg whites until stiff, then carefully fold into the ricotta mixture followed by the blueberries. Mix well and stand for 10 minutes.

3. Heat up a frying pan and lightly grease with vegetable oil.

4. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side. Repeat with remaining batter.

5. Serve warm, garnished with more blueberries.

Ricotta, cream cheese, grated Cheddar cheese.

Mash and mix the wet ingredients.

The pancake batter.

Note: I'm actually quite surprised with the effect of incorporating meringue into the pancake batter. If you look at the list of ingredients again, there's no milk or water or juice. So, the initial batter is quite sticky, resembling cookie batter. But after incorporated the meringue into it, the batter becomes perfectly runny!

Pan-frying the little blobs.

Stack and garnish with blueberries and serve!

Perfect for breakfast. :)

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) for this week's theme, Curds & Whey!


Happy Goat Year 2015!

To all my readers, wishes you Happy Goat Year 2015!

Huattt arrr!!! Onggg arrr!!!

You can also keep in touch with me via

The little one is gonna be so excited! :)


Monthly recap @ 17 months

Mother and son.

My little one is growing up up up! He's officially 18 months now! No more little anggugu. This 18-month boy has a mind bigger than his size and he's getting more and more independent too.

Monthly recap @ 17 months


Week 1

Your child's growing independence is asserting itself in numerous ways. He may be able to take off his own socks or diaper and brush his own teeth (though "brushing" at this age pretty much means sticking the toothbrush in his mouth and chewing on it, so he continues to need your help).

Regarding speech, lisping and mixing regular words with babbling phrases isn't unusual at 17 months. As your child's tongue and mouth muscles develop, enunciation should improve. Help him out by repeating what he says.

Trying out his new backpack.

Week 2

Does your child ignore you when you ask him not to do something? Try not to lose your temper. At this age, it's best to choose your battles wisely. Making a big deal over little things like pulling petals off a flower or spreading newspapers around the house may inspire your toddler to test your limits even more. Save your lectures for the really big "no-no's," like biting a playmate or pulling the dog's tail.

Screaming is one of the less pleasant habits your toddler might develop. As with everything else in his life, he's constantly experimenting, and his voice is an instrument that can do all kinds of neat things. What's more, shrieking gets immediate attention. Some kids condition their parents to give in to make the shrieks stop. To avoid that, explain that yelling hurts your ears. Tell your child that you can't respond until he uses a normal voice. But take care not to yell your instructions. You can also say, "That's your outside voice. It's okay to use your outside voice when we're playing at the park."

Show your child other ways to have fun with his voice, like whispering or singing. In fact, if you really want to get your child's attention, try lowering your voice to a whisper – it's even more powerful than raising the volume. It sounds not only different from the usual but special and secretive, and just might stop him in his tracks.

"Strumming" his plastic guitar.

Week 3

Your toddler probably has a language of his own – it may seem like you need a translator to understand him. When you really can't decipher what he's saying, try taking a guess rather than saying "I can't understand you." This will only cause him to feel stressed and frustrated. Speak in clear, simple sentences to encourage your child's articulation and make it easier for him to understand you.

Week 4

Your toddler's probably on an emotional roller-coaster now: One minute he's as happy as ever, and the next he's a mess. It may be a year or two before he outgrows temper tantrums. Until then, expect to deal with regular outbursts of anger and frustration. While it's difficult to predict what's going to spark a tantrum, you can cut down on their frequency by making sure your child gets enough sleep and eats well during the day. Remember, a hungry, sleep-deprived toddler is a meltdown waiting to happen.

Tantrums are an expression of frustration over something a toddler can't do, either physically or because it's not allowed. Mix in fatigue or hunger, and kaboom! Tantrums are more likely to occur when your child is hungry, tired, or over-stimulated.

As much as you may wish you could soothe the savage beastie right away, there's no magic formula. A tantrum usually burns itself out faster if you act neutral or even ignore it instead of responding with a sympathetic cluck or rational explanation. Sometimes a tantrum is a plea for your attention: a reassuring hug and your undivided attention can make the storm clouds go away.

Tantrums aren't easy for parents. It can be hard to listen to a lot of crying, or to have your child be angry at you. But tantrums are a completely normal part of toddler development. Once your child calms down, offer her a lap and a chance to regroup. Try distraction (rather than giving in to something you refused). Don't punish a tantrum. At this age, your child can't help himself.

Read more:

Dealing with tantrums (scroll down the post to find the guide)

Taking a nap or my lap.

My little foodie insists on feeding himself.

I update his food journal to recap what he has been eating. :)

The spaghetti was "stranded" on his head. :)

Make every meal time, FUN time.
The floor will be messy. Just clean it up.

Father and son - my favorite photo!

I've started to understand that to a young child, LOVE means TIME and time means everything. When I learn to spend time with him - just sit with him, play his toys with him, sing to him, read a book to him, make funny faces and sounds at him - tantrum occurrence is almost 0%.

But, there are house chores to do; I still need to cook and bake and blog; I still need to prepare his next-day meals to be sent to babysitter; I still have to clear away the toys...

Amidst all these, I've learned that I shouldn't get things done at the expense of his happiness and my sanity. I look for a balance. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail. But I learn again. I believe I'm becoming a better (although far from perfect) mother each day.

I hope one day, when he has grown up to be a fine young man, he will cherish his childhood days and there will be no regrets..... :)