Teaching Kids How to Cook

Encouraging your children to practice cooking at an early age can help them become responsible eaters and independent individuals because they know what happens from purchasing to preparation and serving.

After all, it’s a basic survival skill that they will have to learn sooner or later. What can you do as a parent to teach your kids to love cooking? Here are some tips.

Cooking Activities by Age

Some psychologists recommend that you should expose your kids to certain preparation techniques appropriate for their skills to avoid accidents in the kitchen. For example, at age 3 or below, you can start by letting the child wash vegetables, stir room-temperature ingredients, place ingredients on scales, or mash ingredients with a fork.

By 5 years, the child should be able to knead, sieve, weigh, wash fruits and vegetables, roll the dough, hand-mix, and use the mortar and pestle. At age 7, your child can be taught to handle small knives and scissors and set the table. Eleven-year-old should be able to identify most ingredients, make simple salads, open cans or use peelers, and operate the oven and microwave.

Assign Chores in the Kitchen

To avoid accidents, your child should be assigned to help in smaller and easier tasks that don’t involve carrying or touching sharp, pointed, and breakable objects. Toddlers should be encouraged to watch you prepare while older kids younger than 12 should be able to identify the various fruits, vegetables, and meat.

Do not be afraid to relinquish control or worry that your child will get dirty. As long as they are not playing with open fire and are safe from dangerous objects and substances, let them help if they want.

Master Simple Recipes and Learn Responsibility

Snacks, simple breakfast, smoothies, and salads are the easiest recipes kids can learn on their own. It could be as simple as scooping and spreading ready-made ingredients on bread, peel fruits, and make toast.

Not only will you encourage them to love cooking, but they will also become aware of the effort it takes to prepare food. Next time that they go to a restaurant or a street food stall, they will have more respect towards people in the food business and will hesitate to waste leftover food.

Safety First

Some kids will ask that they be allowed to cook on the stove, but if you think they are not yet ready to handle open fire, you can let them watch you cook instead. That would be the perfect time to teach them about safety and responsibility. Point out which items they are allowed to use and why they are not yet allowed to handle knives.

Explain that they will one day be able to cook for themselves once they have mastered the basic preparation techniques. These include washing hands before handling food, keeping the kitchen and utensils clean, which food must be refrigerated, how to determine which are raw or ready-to-eat, and when to taste food.

What is Beer Crafting?

If you love beer, then you will know there are thousands of beer styles and brands all over the world, some of these include craft beer including those made in Singapore bars and restaurants.

Unlike wine and other alcoholic drinks, you can make your own beer with minimal equipment and training, but making a great beer requires practice and knowledge of the key beer ingredients.

Here are the basics of beer crafting for beginners.

Brewing Materials

You might want to invest in home brewing-designed materials for beer crafting such as the following:

  1. Airlock, which is used to prevent contamination of the ingredients. This comes in many styles but the most common are the three-piece and bubbler types.
  2. Boiling pot that can hold 3 gallons or more. Pick models that are made from durable but affordable materials such as stainless steel or ceramic.
  3. Fermenter, specifically the food-grade types made of plastic which can hold at least 6 gallons. Once you are used to the beer brewing process, you can invest in more expensive fermenters.
  4. Racking cane used for siphoning which leaves the trub.
  5. Siphon, usually made of plastic and connected to a racking cane and bottle filler.
  6. Bottle filler is a tube used to fill up beer bottles.
  7. Bottle capper for sealing the beer bottles.
  8. Measuring cup, specifically those made from heat-resistant glass for measuring the ingredients.
  9. Thermometer for getting the temperature of the wort.
  10. Stirring paddle made from food-grade plastic to stir the wort.

Additionally, you will also need a supply of bottles and bottle caps if you want to sell or give samples of your beer.

Brewing Ingredients

Most beer, those made commercially by large brewers and craft beer made by small brewers, are made with barley or other grain, hops, water, and yeast. The differences in the amount of ingredients and the type of grain creates different flavors. Additionally, you can include sugars, spices and flavorings, salts and treatments, and beer finings.

Brewing Process

The homebrewing process is almost similar to commercial beer brewing and follows the basic steps of malting, mashing, boiling, fermenting, bottling, and aging.

  • MaltingFirst, the grains are processed by heating them and then drying out and cracking to isolate the enzymes.
  • MashingOnce the malting is done, the grains are steeped in hot water for an hour. Do not boil the grains so that the sugars can be released and broken down. After about an hour, the water is drained. This liquid is called the wort.
  • BoilingThe wort or the sticky fluid is boiled again for an hour. The other ingredients such as hops and spices are mixed to preserve and add flavor to the wort.
  • FermentationAfter boiling the wort, it is set aside and cooled before it is strained and filtered. Next, it is placed in a fermenter and the yeast us added. The wort and yeast are left in the fermenter for weeks in room or cold temperature.
  • Bottling and AgingFinally, the beer is carbonated then bottled.
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Simple Healthy Habits for Your Body and Mind

You’ll be surprised at how a lot of people don’t actually pay enough attention to their own well-being. Fortunately though, there are a lot of habits we can do to keep our mind and body healthy. Here are only some of them.

Stay well-hydrated

Drinking enough water each day will benefit our overall health. It keeps our organs functioning at their best, it keeps mind sharp, it keeps your skin healthy, and many more. That’s why it is important not to neglect your water intake. Especially in Singapore where it gets hot often and you might sweat a lot. So, remember to drink enough water throughout the day!

Eat healthier food

Another pretty obvious habit you should have is to eat more healthy food. Fruits and vegetables are just as important because they also provide the necessary vitamins and nutrients we need daily. In addition to that, they are also low in fat helping us prevent the unhealthy build-up of plaque in the arteries or the blood as a whole.

Don’t follow fitness trends

If someone claims that they have the key to quick weight loss using a certain diet, don’t believe them. Unless that topic is actually well-researched, don’t assume anything from different fitness trends. Of course, there are some who trends that can be effective. But most trends are fads and still stem from poorly-researched endeavors.

Exercise regularly

Regular exercise is also very important for the body and mind. For one, it helps us maintain our weight. Losing fat and gaining muscle to achieve your ideal weight can have many benefits you don’t even know about. It keeps our heart and lungs healthy, it keeps our blood flowing efficiently, and it also boosts brain function.

Walk more often

You might not notice it but people actually walk less and less in today’s time. This may be because of a sedentary job or maybe the person is just lounging around and scrolling on his phone. Because walking is a natural part of our life, we need to start doing it again more often. Try to get at least 30 minutes of walking each day.

Have enough sleep

Another important practice to keep our brain and body healthy is to get enough sleep. It’s already known that Singaporeans lack sleep. But getting enough shut-eye is really more important to your well-being than you think. It gives your mind some much-needed time to rest and take a break and it also allows your body to recover muscles tissues just as well.

Have a hobby

Have a hobby that you’re sure you can have fun with. Having a hobby is a great way to relieve stress. Of course, de-stressing is very important and beneficial not only to our mind but also our body. If you’re stressed too often, your blood pressure will rise and your immune functions will also weaken. So, find a way to relieve stress!

Self-Limiting Beliefs That Might Be Holding You Back

Humans have unlimited potential. The thing is though, too many of us today don’t think highly of ourselves. But usually, it’s really just our minds playing tricks on us. Here are some limiting beliefs you need to watch out for.

I don’t have enough time

Sometimes this can be true but saying it too much can cause us to believe that it’s actually true. The thing is though, you do have time and sometimes you just don’t notice where you’re wasting it. Today, the most common thing that wastes our time is social media. No matter where you are in Singapore, you’ll see people stuck scrolling on their phones for hours. If you think about it, you can do so much more instead of just keeping your eyes glued to your phone.

I’m not like them

Another limiting belief that can be caused by social media is comparison. Although, in this case, social media isn’t the only culprit. Comparing yourself to others can really put you in a bad position when it comes to self-consciousness. If you do find that you’re already comparing yourself to others, remember that we all have different upbringings. Though some are more fortunate, they still have their own ups and downs just like you. So, there’s no need to think that you can’t live a certain way because you’re not as good as others.

Others might judge me

Another very common limiting belief we say to ourselves is to just avoid doing something so that we won’t get judged. For example, you plan to go jogging in a park somewhere in Singapore but decide not to because many other runners already look fit while you’re there just starting your weight loss journey. What you should remember is, people generally only pay attention to themselves. They have their own problems and reasons to go jogging, so they won’t really mind another person they have nothing to do with.

One needs to struggle to succeed

Of course, it’s true that we need to work hard to succeed in life. But that doesn’t mean that you have to suffer during the process. This is limiting belief is not something we have at the start. It’s usually a mindset that we begin to develop, especially when we start having a hard time. But you should remember that struggling does not equate to hard work. If you align your actions accordingly to meet your goals, you’ll rarely develop this self-limiting mindset.

I don’t know what I want yet

Another excuse we usually say to ourselves is that we’re still not sure what we really want to do with our lives yet. Even so, this is really not a good excuse to stop yourself from growing up and exploring new things. You’ll never find out exactly what you want if you stay there doing nothing. But that’s the thing too, you’re not exactly doing “nothing”. You’ll usually learn more about yourself by simply looking at your current lifestyle.

A Simple Introduction on Setting Up a Smart Home

Many Singaporeans already utilize some level of integration into smart homes. But it really is a whole different experience controlling your lights, TV, and aircon with just your voice! Now, more and more people are starting to set up their smart homes. If you want to get on the hype train, here are some things you need to know first.

The smart assistant

When setting up a smart home, the first step is to get the main voice assistant. There’s Google Assistant, Siri for Apple, and Alexa for Amazon. These are basically the devices you speak to when you give voice commands. Because Android devices typically dominate in Asia, Google Assistant should be one of your first choices.

In America, on the other hand, more people choose to use Alexa for their smart homes. Either way, this is one of the first things you should focus on. Do your research regarding these different products to find out which one will be the best for you.

Smart speaker

These assistants are usually already a feature of smart speakers. Smart speakers, as the name suggests, deliver audio content from your media library or even other platforms like Spotify or Apple Music. Or when you ask for a recipe, your smart assistant will also dictate the instructions through those speakers.

Smart lights

Too tired to get out of bed and switch the lights off, well, this won’t be a problem anymore once you’re done setting up your smart home. You can simply use your phone or issue a vocal command to your assistant and voila, you can switch your lights on or off without standing up.

When installing smart lights though, you’ll have to change what you already have in your home. If you think your lights are still fully functional or you just don’t intend on spending money there, you can opt for smart light switches instead.

Security system

You can also get smart locks that will allow you to lock your doors with your phone. This can be especially advantageous because you won’t have to worry about losing or forgetting your keys. You can also integrate cameras, doors sensors, and even a siren for better security as well. You can even set up a doorbell camera system too so that you can see who’s at the door without having to go out anymore.

Do I need the internet?

Most, if not all smart devices are controlled with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. In essence, you do need the internet for your smart assistant. And because the smart assistant is where you issue commands, the internet is all the more necessary. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to turn on your lights or adjust the aircon temperature without it.

Why You Should Encourage Your Child to Play Team Sports

Basketball, football, and cricket are only some of the popular team sports in Singapore. At some point, your child will ask you about these sports and maybe even say that they’re interested in one. They might start playing basketball at school or maybe they know friends who play soccer.

If this is the case, allow them to do so and encourage them! You never know, they might be the next big star of the sport! But aside from that, there are really many great reasons to let your child play team sports. Here are only some of them. 

They’ll have other mentors and role models

Just like how teachers become the child’s “second parents”, coaches can also be great mentors and role models. Kids need to learn from other grown-ups outside of their homes. This is particularly beneficial because they’re opened up to many different perspectives about life as they grow up.

The coach acts as a leader, teacher, disciplinarian, and an overall foundation. He can teach your child about hard work, determination, the importance of working with others, and many more.

Team sports encourage cooperation

We all know that humans always thrive when they are in groups. Our ancestors hunted as packs and fought as groups. We can confidently say that cooperation is a natural part of human life.

Playing in team sports, of course, highlights the importance of working together with others. The goal of winning is something everybody strives for. Hence, children are taught to cooperate with their fellow teammates in order to achieve those goals.

It can teach them about status

One of the more important advantages of playing in team sports is that it checks one’s status. When you’re on a team, you’ll know soon enough if you’ll have a main role or become a substitute player. This can be a big test for your child. If he becomes a substitute, he might be discouraged.

Even so, he will learn that he can have fun even without being the team’s best player. Then, that will encourage him to work even harder to actually get a spot as a starter. Of course, learning about status at an early age will help them manage their life and career as they grow older.

It can make your child competitive

Usually, there are two factors that will motivate someone playing for a team. One is the desire to be the best player and the other is to beat other teams. Playing a team sport puts your child in a constantly competitive environment.

Most of the time, you’ll see these affect other aspects of their life positively as well. The competitiveness they get in the sport will also move to their education, and then their careers sooner or later.

An Introduction to Acupuncture

With the different medical advances made in recent years, the name acupuncture seems like a thing of the past only witch doctors would perform. But there are benefits to it that might help several conditions. By supplementing your main treatment with alternatives like acupuncture, you might have a better chance at recovery.

Here is everything you need to know about acupuncture.

It has been round for thousands of years. There are records detailing the use of acupuncture as holistic treatment since 1000 BC, but the earliest materials used for the practice were dated at 6000 BC. The goal of the treatment to is give the correct stimulus to return the body to its balanced state.

It uses the concept of meridians and qi. Qi is the name for the energy that flows through the body and is used to maintain health and balance. The meridians are the channels through which the qi flows.

The system consists of 12 main channels that represent the important organs in the body. There are 365 points in the body that are considered the openings to the channels. If there is a disruption in the flow of the qi, the person gets sick.

Acupuncture is used with other treatments. Acupuncture complements other forms of treatment, which means that you also need to improve your diet, take medication, and consider other treatments such as massage, herbs, and heat therapy.

Acupuncture modifies the flow of the qi. To return the flow of the qi to normal, you can disrupt that flow by inserting needles into one of the many channel openings. The needles used are different from the ones used for sewing.

It is mainly used to address chronic illness. Acupuncture seems to work well in addressing chronic pain for a lot of people who have tried various treatments. Although not yet confirmed, the stimulation is believed to boost the body’s ability to release painkillers because the nerves and muscles are stimulated.

Your doctor in Singapore might recommend acupuncture if you have any of the following conditions: headaches, migraine, back pain, menstrual cramps, respiratory disorders, dental pain, osteoarthritis, and many more.

There are different styles of acupuncture. Some styles of acupuncture specialize in various methods. This is why you need to ask your doctor for the options if you have a bleeding disorder, a cardiovascular illness or if you are pregnant. You should only go to a certified acupuncturist to avoid possible complications from malpractice.

There are risks. Although it doesn’t happen to everyone who tried acupuncture, there are risks if you go to an inexperienced acupuncturist. You might experience bleeding, bruising, soreness, infection, and even premature delivery if you are pregnant.

If you are also using a pacemaker, you should not go to an acupuncturist who uses electrical pulses. You will know if an acupuncturist is legitimate if the practitioner examines you first before performing the procedure. You should also asked for details regarding the procedure to know the risks.