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    Tuesday, April 29, 2008
    Are the under-5’s being under-fed?
    (another one... this time from - proves how tricky having kids is!)

    Are the under-5’s being under-fed?

    Children aged 1 to 4 have very specific nutritional needs, so if they eat a healthy diet designed for adults it can give them too much fibre and not enough sugary goodness. A recent report from one local authority area found that their nurseries weren’t all getting the balance right, and controversially claimed that some were giving kids ‘excessive amounts’ of fruit and veg. So if childcare institutions can’t get it right, what hope have parents got? We hear from mums and carers on what they think is important to give their under-5’s, and Jenni talks to Sam Montel, a nutritionist from the Food Standards Agency and Judy More, a paediatric dietician, to find out exactly what you should feed a toddler.


    Just like adults, young children need energy (calories) from food and nutrients such as protein, fat, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals, to make sure their bodies work properly and can repair themselves.

    If you want more information than is given here, contact your health visitor or GP.

    What to give Babies and toddlers
    At this age, children grow very quickly and are usually very active, so they need plenty of calories and nutrients. A healthy and varied diet should provide all the nutrients your toddler needs.

    Remember to include these sorts of foods every day:
    * Milk and dairy foods - these provide calories, protein, vitamins and minerals.
    * Meat, fish, eggs, beans, peas and lentils - these are rich in nutrients such as protein, vitamins and minerals. You can give boys up to four portions of oily fish a week, such as mackerel, salmon and sardines, but it's best to give girls no more than two portions of oily fish a week.
    * Bread, and other cereals such as rice, pasta and breakfast cereals, and potatoes, yams and sweet potatoes - these starchy foods provide calories, vitamins, minerals and fibre.
    * Fruit and vegetables - these contain vitamin C, and other protective vitamins and minerals, as well as fibre.

    How a toddler's diet is different
    Although toddlers can eat the same food as adults, before they're two years old children can't eat large amounts of food at one sitting. So, until then, give your child meals and snacks packed with calories and nutrients (nutrient dense foods) such as:
    * full-fat milk and dairy foods
    * meat
    * eggs

    Don't forget to give them fruit and vegetables and starchy foods as well.

    But if you tend to eat high fibre foods, remember that young children's stomachs can't cope with foods such as wholemeal pasta and brown rice. Also, too much fibre can sometimes reduce the amount of minerals they can absorb, such as calcium and iron.

    By the time they're five years old, young children should be eating family food, which is more bulky as it contains lots of starchy foods and plenty of fruit and vegetables. But make sure it doesn't contain too much saturated fat, which is found in butter, hard-fat spreads, cheese, fatty meat and meat products, biscuits, pastry and cakes.
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    What to avoid
    Take care to avoid the following foods:
    * Raw eggs and food that contains raw or partially cooked eggs because of the risk of salmonella, which causes food poisoning. If you give eggs to your toddler, make sure the eggs are cooked until both the white and yolk are solid.
    * Whole or chopped nuts for children under five years old because of the risk of choking. It's a good idea to crush or flake them.
    * Shark, swordfish and marlin because these fish contain relatively high levels of mercury, which might affect a child's developing nervous system.

    You might also want to avoid giving raw shellfish to your toddler to reduce their risk of getting food poisoning.

    There's no need to add salt to your toddler's food. From the age of 1 to 3, children should be having no more than 2g a day. If you're buying processed foods, even those aimed at children, remember to check the information given on the labels to choose those with less salt.

    There's no need to add sugar or honey to food for your toddler.

    Don't give sweet drinks such as fizzy drinks and fruit squash because they cause tooth decay. If you do give fruit squash or sugary drinks, make sure they're well diluted with water and drunk at mealtimes. Between meals, it's better to give water or milk to drink.
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    Full-fat or semi-skimmed milk?
    From two years old, you can start giving your toddler semi-skimmed milk. Fully skimmed milk isn't suitable as a main drink until they're five years old, because it doesn't contain enough calories for a growing child.

    Vegetarian diet
    If you want to give your toddler a vegetarian diet, it's important to make sure their diet is balanced and includes all the necessary nutrients.

    Make sure you give them foods rich in nutrients such as milk, cheese and eggs. This will mean their diet won't be too bulky and they'll get plenty of protein, vitamin A, calcium and zinc.

    Iron is found in many vegetables and pulses (beans, lentils and chick peas), in dried fruit (such as apricots, raisins and sultanas) and in some breakfast cereals, but it's more difficult to absorb from vegetable sources than from meat, so:

    * give your toddler foods containing iron each day
    * try to give foods high in vitamin C - such as fruit and vegetables or diluted fruit juices at mealtimes - because these make it easier to absorb the iron
    * don't give young children tea or coffee, especially at meal times, because this reduces the amount of iron they can absorb

    If you want more information than is given here, contact your health visitor or GP.

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    Seven medicines you shouldn't give your child

    Children are much more likely than adults to have adverse drug reactions, so giving your child prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medication is serious business. Here are some medicines you shouldn't give your preschooler:

    Never give your child aspirin or any medication containing aspirin. Aspirin can make a child susceptible to Reye's syndrome — a rare but potentially fatal illness. Don't assume that the children's medicines found in drugstores will be aspirin-free. Aspirin is sometimes referred to as "salicylate" or "acetylsalicylic acid." Read labels carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you're not sure whether a product contains aspirin.

    Over-the-counter cough and cold medicines
    In October 2007 a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory committee voted to recommend that these medicines not be given to children under 6 years old. Little or no testing has been done to determine how effective they are in young children (although studies have shown them to be no better than a placebo in kids under age 2) and what dosages are safe. And an overdose can cause dangerous side effects. So if your preschooler is miserable with a cold, try other options, like a humidifier and plenty of liquids.

    Anti-nausea medications
    Don't give your child an anti-nausea medication (prescription or OTC) unless his doctor specifically recommends it. Most bouts of vomiting are pretty short-lived, and children usually handle them just fine without any medication. In addition, anti-nausea medications have risks and possible complications. (If your child is vomiting and begins to get dehydrated, contact his doctor for advice on what to do.)

    Adult medications
    Giving your child a smaller dose of medicine meant for an adult is dangerous. If the label doesn't indicate an appropriate dose for a child, don't give that medication to your preschooler.

    Any medication prescribed for someone else or for another reason
    Prescription drugs intended for other people (like a sibling) or to treat other illnesses may be ineffective or even dangerous when given to your child. Give him only medicine prescribed for him and his specific condition.

    Anything expired
    Toss out medicines, prescription and OTC alike, as soon as they expire. Also get rid of discolored or crumbly medicines — basically anything that doesn't look the way it did when you first bought it. After the use-by date, medications may no longer be effective and can even be harmful. Don't flush old drugs down the toilet, as they can contaminate groundwater and end up in the drinking water supply. See what our expert says about how to safely dispose of expired medication.

    Extra acetaminophen
    Some medicines contain acetaminophen to help ease fever and pain, so be careful not to give your preschooler an additional separate dose of acetaminophen. If you're not sure what's in a particular medicine, don't give her acetaminophen or ibuprofen until you've first gotten the okay from your doctor or pharmacist.

    A cautionary note
    These two types of medications aren't 100 percent off-limits, but you should carefully consider whether and how to give them to your child:

    Most preschoolers can handle chewable tablets, especially those that are fast-melting. But keep an eye on your child when you give him a chewable, especially if he isn't proficiently chewing solids yet. If you think chewables might be a choking hazard for your child, crush the tablet and put it in a spoonful of soft food, like yogurt or applesauce. (Of course, you need to make sure your child eats the entire spoonful in order to get the complete dose.)

    Some herbal remedies
    Many herbal remedies are gentle and safe, but just because something is natural, or derived from a plant, doesn't mean that it's safe for your preschooler. Herbal products can cause allergic reactions, liver damage, and high blood pressure. In certain doses or when combined with the wrong medications, they can be fatal.

    Check with your child's doctor or an alternative medicine practitioner before giving your child any herbal products. And always let the doctor know about herbal remedies your child's taking before she prescribes a medication.

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    Thursday, April 24, 2008
    In Barcelona
    we celebrated my birthday with a 3-day trip to barcelona. one of the perks of living in switzerland is it's so central european that you can practically have daytrips to neighboring countries. of course, the country itself is beautiful and full of interesting sites that you don't really need to go far - unless you've already exhausted all the must-see places and would like to go on a road trip. :)

    so this year, my birthday trip is to barcelona. last year it was paris, sounds bongga 'no?, but financial-wise, it's just like going to boracay in pinas - well, i am a bargain hunter so others would have it more expensive! we spent 3-whole days bonding, walking, sight seeing, eating, picture taking and more walking! all i can say is, barcelona is a beautiful city, i liked it better than paris, actually! we had low expectations before we went so we were pleasantly surprised at the beauty the city had to offer.

    when we arrived in barcelona, it was raining so we were a little bit disappointed, but we didn't want to waste our time and our trip, so after we left our luggages in the office of the apartment we were staying in, we started walking around the old town. check out photos here from day 1. there were already lots of interesting sites within the old town and all were walking distance and then went to the casa mila and other nearby attractions. we ended the day at about 11pm, from a paella dinner by the bay in barcelonetta.

    day 2, we woke up at around 8am but didn't go out until 11am, we started slow, had breakfast in our apartment and then went out. and guess what? it rained again! but again, there's no stopping us from touring, so off we went to park guell which was just impressive! the rain was on and off when we were at the park but finally and thankfully when we were about to leave at around 2pm, it was all sunny and shiny for the rest of the day. we then went to very popular tourist attraction - the sagrada familia, still under construction since 1882 and they're looking at at least 30 more years for it's completion. we also went to the placa espanya, mont juic, and in poble espanyol where we had tapas dinner and pizza for franco. we got to our apartment at around 11pm, again!

    we were finally granted a beautiful day on our last day, my birthday. we had our lunch at the moll d'espanya in port vell - it's not a mall but a park beside the port, went to torre agbar, walked along barcelonetta and finally proceeded to the train station to take us to the airport. oh, i must say, i did a bit of shopping in barcelona, too! where shopping is just heaven! so many shops... so little time! :)

    so... until our next adventure... we have another long weekend coming up but looks like we're going to take it easy this time... where to? i don't know yet! :)

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    Wednesday, April 23, 2008
    Britain's Got (Another Filipino) Talent
    This I got to post! From Manchester's Pinoy Madonna, here's a British-Pinoy (his mum is Pinay) already a little star from Droitwich, Charlie Green. Can't help but smile while watching him. Thanks to miyam for the link, I haven't seen this on TV yet, or maybe I missed it! I will definitely be watching the show because of these Pinoys! Charlie is just impressive, a breath of fresh air, indeed! Makes me want to start training my very own francroban :p.

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    Tuesday, April 22, 2008
    Britain's Got (Filipino) Talent
    another pinay makes waves in a talent show, Britain's Got Talent - with the Pinoy-OCW story to tell... watch this! :)

    "Madonna Decena misses her two daughters desperately but she has had to travel alone to Britain to earn enough money to improve their quality of life back home.


    Arguably, the star of the show was Madonna. No, not the leotard-wearing lady-of-the-manor, but Madonna from The Philippines, who arrived in the UK just six months ago.

    Tearfully she explained that she had to leave her two children behind with their grandparents, until she had raised enough money to send for them. Her rendition of I Will Always Love You made sure there was not a dry eye in the house."

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    Tuesday, April 15, 2008
    last weekend's outing
    more photos here.

    here's a glimpse of annecy, france where we went to last sunday afternoon. DH went ahead of us to serve in choir at the mass so we took the train and he picked us up at the station. i even met a french guy in the train and we spoke for the whole 15 minutes of the ride in french... NOT! :p we spoke about life here, why he's here, how we were here, family.... and then our conversation ended up him giving me his contact details so i can "refer" him to friends... he looks like a decent guy, maybe around early 40's... any one up for the challenge? just say "I". hehehe. :)

    anyways, the town of annecy is very charming, a 1h40m drive away from home. they have a big park, a castle and small canals that gives you the ambiance of venice sans the gondola's. the old town is full of character, and there were ice cream shops in every corner of the old town... but much to our disappointment, the ice cream didn't meet our expectations. while waiting in line for our turn, an embarrassing mommy moment transpired. here's how it went:

    Me: Franco you ok there? Stay close, ok?
    Franco: Yes, mommy.
    (the little boy stayed in line, as well, patiently waiting. then he suddenly approached me looking very excited...)
    F: Mommy, I see the biggest, biggest, biggest... PWET!
    M: Huh??!!
    F: Mommy, look (pointing to the lady in front of him, blocking his view). See, that's the biggest pwet!
    M: Sshhh... Franco, wag ka maingay. Don't say that, that's not nice.
    F: But mommy, I can't see the ice cream because the big girl is there with her big... (still pointing!)
    M: Stay here na lang on the table and chair ok? Just wait for me, and don't point and be quiet!
    F: Ok. (smiling innocently)

    (i was trying very hard not to laugh, but it was very funny so a little smile escaped and i had to look away)

    I felt a warm rush to my face, even though they were french and probably don't know what pwet mean... but the finger pointing to that direction and if they heard "the biggest, biggest" would most likely give them THE clue. kids say the darndest things, indeed! whew! :D

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    Wednesday, April 9, 2008
    a trip to the zoo
    we spent out saturday on a visit to a zoo about 1h 20m away from home. the boys had fun, there were a fair number of animals including a kalaw and a kangaroo! it was a nice place to spend a day. there were lots of chairs all over the place so parents can rest while the little ones are either busy playing or petting the animals. here are some of the animals we saw... for more photos, click here. hope you had a relaxing weekend! :)

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    Tuesday, April 8, 2008
    on cars

    lately we've been thinking of getting a new car. you see, our current car is a sedan-type and with kids always in tow, it gets a bit crowded with all their gadgets, toys, snacks, etc. so i guess we will eventually need to get a bigger car. we've been looking at buying either brand new or used cars from a reliable dealer. and what are the important things to put on the list when looking to buy a car? here's mine: the price, the mileage run (if already used cars), the number of seats, the gasoline consumption, insurance cost, space for luggage, comfort, brand, safety features, maintenance cost... among others, not in that particular order, though. this website on used cars offers a very comprehensive list of choices, covers the important things you need to know when buying a used car by giving excellent advise on questions to ask the sellers like why they are selling their vehicle, if they are the original owner, or how many miles on the clock. they also give you tips on how to inspect a used car both before and after a test drive (there are nine points pre-test drive and at least seven points post-test drive: best advice is to look at the car during the daytime and to also listen for any strange sounds as well as to paying attention to any unusual smells!). they also have safe buying tips and as if that weren’t enough, they also provide you with an 18 points buyer’s checklist! at this day and age, buyers should be armed with all the wisdom and research, especially when buying used cars.


    Monday, April 7, 2008
    PH#4: glass
    Photo taken a year-and-a-half ago in a "mirror house" in Luzern, i can't remember what the name of the place is, but it's some kind of a mirror labyrinth :). our friends' daughter in the picture. more photo hunters here.

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    Saturday, April 5, 2008
    Seven new deadly sins: are you guilty?
    in case you haven't heard of this yet... ... what say you?

    March 10, 2008

    Seven new deadly sins: are you guilty?

    Pope Benedict XVI

    Pope Benedict XVI said that an increasing number of people in the secularised West were making do without God

    Drug pushers, the obscenely rich, environmental polluters and “manipulative” genetic scientists beware – you may be in danger of losing your mortal soul unless you repent.

    After 1,500 years the Vatican has brought the seven deadly sins up to date by adding seven new ones for the age of globalisation. The list, published yesterday in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, came as the Pope deplored the “decreasing sense of sin” in today’s “securalised world” and the falling numbers of Roman Catholics going to confession.

    The Catholic Church divides sins into venial, or less serious, sins and mortal sins, which threaten the soul with eternal damnation unless absolved before death through confession and penitence.

    It holds mortal sins to be “grave violations of the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes”, including murder, contraception, abortion, perjury, adultery and lust.

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into Hell”.

    Although there is no definitive list of mortal sins, many believers accept the broad seven deadly sins or capital vices laid down in the 6th century by Pope Gregory the Great and popularised in the Middle Ages by Dante in The Inferno: lust, gluttony, avarice, sloth, anger, envy and pride.

    Christians are exhorted instead to adhere to the seven holy virtues: chastity, abstinence, temperance, diligence, patience, kindness and humility.

    Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Vatican body which oversees confessions and plenary indulgences, said after a week-long Lenten seminar for priests that surveys showed 60 per cent of Catholics in Italy no longer went to confession.

    He said that priests must take account of “new sins which have appeared on the horizon of humanity as a corollary of the unstoppable process of globalisation”. Whereas sin in the past was thought of as being an invididual matter, it now had “social resonance”.

    “You offend God not only by stealing, blaspheming or coveting your neighbour’s wife, but also by ruining the environment, carrying out morally debatable scientific experiments, or allowing genetic manipulations which alter DNA or compromise embryos,” he said.

    Bishop Girotti said that mortal sins also included taking or dealing in drugs, and social injustice which caused poverty or “the excessive accumulation of wealth by a few”.

    He said that two mortal sins which continued to preoccupy the Vatican were abortion, which offended “the dignity and rights of women”, and paedophilia, which had even infected the clergy itself and so had exposed the “human and institutional fragility of the Church”.

    The mass media had “blown up” the issue “to discredit the Church”, but the Church itself was taking steps to deal with it.

    Addressing the Apostolic Penitentiary seminar, the Pope said there was “a certain disaffection” with confession among the faithful. Priests had to show “divine tenderness for penitent sinners” and admit their own failings.

    “Those who trust in themselves and in their own merits are, as it were, blinded by their own ‘I’, and their hearts harden in sin. Those who recognise themselves as weak and sinful entrust themselves to God, and from Him obtain grace and forgiveness.”

    The Pope also complained that an increasing number of people in the secularised West were “making do without God”.

    He said that hedonism and consumerism had even invaded “the bosom of the Church itself, deeply undermining the Christian faith from within, and undermining the lifestyle and daily behaviour of believers”.

    Eastern Catholics do not recognise the same distinction between mortal and venial sins as the Western or Latin Church does, nor does it believe that those people who die in a state of sin are condemned to automatic damnation.

    The original offences and their punishments
    Pride Broken on the wheel
    Envy Put in freezing water
    Gluttony Forced to eat rats, toads, and snakes
    Lust Smothered in fire and brimstone
    Anger Dismembered alive
    Greed Put in cauldrons of boiling oil
    SlothThrown in snake pits

    Source: The Picture Book of Devils, Demons and Witchcraft; Ernst and Johanna Lehner

    Modern Evils
    Environmental pollution
    Genetic manipulation
    Accumulating excessive wealth
    Inflicting poverty
    Drug trafficking and consumption
    Morally debatable experiments
    Violation of fundamental rights of human nature


    Thursday, April 3, 2008
    it's huge!
    no, it's not a wordless wednesday nor a photohunt entry, i just wanted to show off :-P to you guys our newest purchase, a brand new 50" full-hd plasma... it's just huge (i think!) and very heavy. it's taller than my 22-month old! and oh, we got a new dvd player, too... not a blu ray yet, though - still not that crazy about it since the discs are still expensive and i don't think there's a lot of rentals out yet (but how would we know, we aren't updated!). we might wait another three years for that - yes, we waited that long for this plasma since the prices were just too high for us when it was new in the market, even though we were really tempted... self control, eh?! (or should i kurips kaya?!). at least our watching-movies-in-an-actual-movie-house deprivation will be a little bit compensated - it's been just two cinemas in 5 years - kakaawa, ano? :)

    it is a huge box, delivered in the morning of holy thursday!

    i don't think the little one likes it out of the box... hmm...

    in it's very own place... we should get a new tv unit, it's getting crowded already.

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    Wednesday, April 2, 2008
    PH#3: high
    my photohunt for the week is from our Holy Week trip last month.

    Valle Verzasca Dam, Ticino, Switzerland
    The Contra dam (or Verzasca dam) is a 220-meter high arch hydroelectric dam in the Val Verzasca, Switzerland. It was constructed between 1960 and 1965.

    The dam forms Lago di Vogorno, an artificial reservoir. It was designed by Lombardi Engineering. Made of concrete, the structure dams the Verzasca River and retains over 100 million cubic meters of water. The builder and owner is Verzasca SA, an electricity generator which has an 80-year concession to expire in 2046. It generates 105MW of electricity. The designer, Dr. Lombardi, considers it one of his most aesthetically pleasing dams, primarily because of the slenderness of the concrete arch; the smaller volume of concrete also kept construction costs low. It is the 25th tallest dam in the world.

    The dam is one of several at which the filling of the reservoir has triggered small earthquakes.

    The dam leases access to a commercial bungee jump operator. The opening scene of the 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye was filmed here. In the film the dam doubles as the fictional Arkangel Chemical Weapons Facility located in the northern Soviet Union during the Cold War.

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    WW#4 - The Boat
    while strolling along the lake on our way to church last saturday, we chanced upon the ferry leaving the port. another photo opp! :)

    check-out more wordless wednesday entries here

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