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.

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.

Marriage and Parenthood Schemes in Singapore

Raising and caring for your children is easy here in Singapore. Many people consider the country as the haven of perfect medical treatments especially for soon to be mothers or new mothers. The government prepared “Marriage and Parenthood Schemes” to help the couple get through their family life. This scheme is really a big help to the family. It is important that you know what you are entitled. You should learn everything about this scheme. You can begin by considering:

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Medisave Maternity Package (MMP)

The MMP can be used by parents for pre delivery medical expenses and delivery expenses. You should know that under the MMP, you are allowed to pull out up to S$450 every day you are in the hospital plus you can get an additional S$450 and more for the surgeries you’ve undergo. For example, if the mother endured normal deliver and she is hospitalized for three days, she can claim up to S$2,550. If the mother endured a caesarean delivery and she us hospitalized for four days, she can claim up to S$4,400.

Medisave Account for Newborns

The Singapore government seeks to support parents when it comes to their children’s medical needs. Children who are born after August 26, 2012 shall have a Medisave account. Newborns can receive up to S$3000. The S$3000 will be given in two bundles-the first 50% will be given right after the registration of the child’s birth and the other 50% will be given in the succeeding year as long as they are members of the Integrated Shield Plan.

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Medishield for Neonatal and Congenital Conditions

Good news for mothers with babies suffering from neonatal and congenital conditions- starting from March 1, 2013, Medishield will be extended to their babies. All Singaporean babies born after March 1 will be automatically covered. As long as the parents never leave them out, the babies will be automatically covered without being assessed. This is effective as soon as the child’s birth is registered.

Medisave for Conception

There is such thing as Assisted Conception Procedures (ACP). This is for couples who are trying to conceive. Medisave will the couple withdraw a total of S$15000 for this one. But the S$15000 will be given in three bundles for the first till third treatment. Starting this October 1, 2013, the withdrawal limit for the first cycle is S$6000. The second cycle is S$5000 and S$4000 for the third and the succeeding cycles.

Government Co-Funding for ART Treatment

Singapore is encouraging its people to conceive thus the government co funding for the Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) treatment. This is especially for couples who are in the middle ages and trying to conceive. ART treatment like in-vitro fertilisation can increase the couple’s chances of conceiving but this is costly. ART employs techniques that entails assimilation of sperms and eggs outside of the body.

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Apart from this, there are other schemes and subsidies the government of Singapore prepared. All citizens and permanent residents are entitled to such depending on the type of scheme and subsidy. Truly, the government is banking on the population because the health of the people is important in nation building. Without its people, Singapore will not be the place we know now-strong and healthy. We should be empowered. When we feel uncomfortable or in pain, we should seek medical attention right away to protect our health and the health of the people around, in case it is contagious.