Udon in miso soup


Veggie soup based – onion, tomatoes, garlic, celery, apple, carrot
Fresh shiitake mushroom
Dried seaweed (those used to wrap sushi)
1 tbsp miso paste

This is my 26m26d’s first try on miso. I have been reading that miso can help increase probiotics in our body (as I am not too ready to give my girl over the counter probiotics for her eczema) but hesitating as miso contains kind of high sodium. Nevertheless, my friend convinced me that we can adjust the level of saltiness by just putting a small amount of miso (which is true). Plus we are not eating it everyday and every meal. By the way, the amount of sodium for this brand is less than 900mg per 100g.

Breakfast – papaya with Farmers Union Greek Style Natural Yogurt, morning snack – honeydew

Celine Tan's photo.
Lunch done

Celine Tan's photo.

How playing puzzles help toddlers?

Extracted from “learning4kids.net”:

Cognitive Skills:

Puzzles come in a whole range of themes and topics such as alphabet letters, shapes, vegetables, numbers, pets, transport and colours.  It increases their visual spacial awareness and develops a deeper understanding of these themes and topics.  All children learn differently and puzzles may be their medium for grasping an understanding of certain themes such as alphabet letters.

Problem Solving:

Completing a puzzle, even the most simplest of puzzles sets a single goal to achieve.  Toddlers and children must think and develop strategies on how to approach in achieving this goal.  This process involves problem solving, reasoning skills and developing solutions which they can later be transferred into their personal/adult life.

Fine Motor Development:

Puzzles are a fun way for children to develop and refine their fine motor skills.  When engaged in playing with puzzles, children are required to pick up, pinch and grasp pieces (some with small knobs, pegs or chunky pieces) and move them around, manipulating them into slots, sorting them and fitting them into the correct places.

Hand and Eye Coordination:

Playing with puzzles requires a trial and error process which involves a lot of hand and eye manipulation.  For example, as a toddler or child places a piece of the puzzle that does not fit, they will try all over again where their actions involve doing what they actually see.


Puzzles are a great educational tool to enhance and promote cooperative play.  As kids work together to complete a puzzle, they will discuss where a piece should go and why, take turns and share and support each other when handling frustration, then sharing the joy of finishing the puzzle.

Self Esteem:

The accomplishment of achieving a goal brings so much satisfaction to a child.  Overcoming the challenges involved in solving a puzzle really gives them a sense of achievement and pride within themselves.  It provides a boost to their self-confidence and self-esteem as this prepares them for other challenges in life.

Puzzles are a fun educational toy that challenges young minds, teaching and preparing them early in life some very important life skills.


We started little 17chipmunks (seriously) on puzzles just days after she turned 2 years old when a friend gave some pieces of puzzles. Thereafter, we also bought some other puzzles for her. I would say that it is challenging to guide a toddler to handle the puzzles (alot today with patience), but within 2-3 months, we are almost there – for 12 to 16 pieces of puzzles.

12 pieces puzzle in slightly more than 5 minutes, with minimal guidance (nearly give up, midway though)… @26m25d <Video>

Fried chicken with homemade batter

Pretty clueless on what to cook for dinner especially need to figure out something which hubby can pack to work. So, I just fried chicken with self made batter.

Ingredients for batter, marinated for 4 hours (no specific amounts):
Fresh turmeric
Curry leaves
Alagappa curry powder
Tapioca starch
Corn flour
Self raising flour
Farmers Union Greek Style Natural Yogurt

Shallow pan fried.

Vegetable – stir fry broccoli, leek and long beans


Celine Tan's photo.

Eggless cream cheese seaweed cupcake for my 26m25d


30g unsalted President Ambassador butter
30g Philadepahia cream cheese
1 tbsp Farmers Union Greek Style Natural Yogurt
6-8 tbsp water (or more)
1 piece unsalted dried seaweed (those seaweed used for sushi)
50g self raising flour

Mix everything (except flour) and then fold in flour. Under preheated oven of 170 degree celcius, bake for 15 – 20 minutes.

Unique taste – indescribable!

Celine Tan's photo.

Radish beef soup


Pumpkin noodles in radish beef soup for lunch

Soup Ingredients:
Beef meat soup
Sweet corn

Boiled for 2 hours.

Someone gave me during cny

Celine Tan's photo.

Eggless banana cream cheese pancake:
50g cream cheese
1 banana

60g self raising flour
1 tbsp Water

Dry pan fry

After playtime, she had Emmi apricot yogurt

Celine Tan's photo.
On our way back, she had honeydew and banana

Celine Tan's photo.

8th ELC playtime in 2015 @ 26m25d


She woke up late and refused to brush her teeth. Then, I reminded her today we are going to see Aunty Fi and play with her friends and toy. She then quickly agreed to brush her teeth and take her bath.

Unlike previous weeks, she is more distracted today by the environment during introduction and singing. She also refused to put back the toys unless asked by Aunty Fi. It ended up she was the last holding some toys and artwork during the session. She was more patient and attentive during introduction of toys and story telling. And she has the greatest fun during bubble time! She happily waves goodbye to everyone and cuddled Aunty Fi after the session ends!

Teaching little 17chipmunks “numbers”


Besides recognising and saying/reading out loud “alphabets”, one of the early learning for toddlers is “numbers”. We do put on nursery rhymes videos for little 17chipmunks and she does learn from it – the sequence of numbers (from 1 to 10) is somehow engraved on her mind now at 26m24d.

This week is our numbers week. Besides the numbering sticks, we picked up beads to count. In fact, we have been counting mini coconuts in the playground.

Here is a video of the 26m24d learning how to count. She isn’t accurate yet and needs to be reminded, but I am definitely happy with her improvement. <Here>

Dinner: Chinese mustard leaves rice


White grain rice, soaked
Garlic, minced
Onion, minced
Dried shrimp, soaked
Fresh shiitake mushroom, diced
Lean pork marinated in sesame oil and pepper
Chinese mustard leaves or gai choy
Carrot, shredded
Olive oik

Browned everything except water. Then put in rice cooker, add water and click cook.

We had salmon ABC soup too:
Salmon bones
Baby carrots

Boiled for one and half hours

Celine Tan's photo.

Sweet potato and salmon patty for 26m24d snack


I have some leftover marinated salmon (salmon, lemon juice and pepper) from lunch (whereby we had stew salmon tofu). So, I just steamed one sweet potato and mashed it. Then add in the marinated salmon and some potato flour. Mix them well, shape into patties and pan fried it on olive oil.

It is chewy kinda texture, something like mochi.

This is my first try so not sure how it will taste like if potato flour is replaced by other flour.

Stew salmon tofu for lunch


Salmon, finely chopped and marinated with lemon juice and pepper
Young ginger
Baby carrot
Baby corn
Silken tofu
Soup (I used my salmon ABC soup that I just boiled today)
Olive oil
Stir fry onion, garlic and ginger in oil. Add in salmon and stir for a while. Then, add in other ingredients. Just simmer less than 10 minutes or until ingredients soften.

And it goes with mixed grains rice.