The usual festive snacks such as prawn rolls, pineapple tarts, bak kwa, cookies and chocolates are readily available in malls and markets during the Lunar New Year season. With new snacks and unique flavours in stores, it is common for families to buy multiple bottles or tins of goodies. It is the best opportunity to sample the most variety of snacks when visiting your friends and relatives!
During this season, we are usually offered an elaborated spread of sweet and salty treats that carries symbolic meanings. This is also one of the biggest tradition and culture in many Chinese homes. However, as we enjoy the tasty goodness of the snacks, here are two ingredients to look out for:
Excessive sugar consumption can be devastating to your health and your developing child. Overconsumption of sugar has addictive effects. It is one of the few foods that causes dopamine (a neurotransmitter in the brain) to be released, which causes addiction and impairs memory and learning skills.
The adults are not spared too! Consuming excessive sugar is also a risk factor for age-related cognitive decline and dementia. It may contribute to depression and anxiety.
Foods to cut down on Bak kwa, kueh lapis, pineapple tarts
Caffeine is a stimulant that affects primarily the brain, and other organs. Consumption of these caffeinated food products may also cause jitteriness, nervousness, upset stomach and the lack of concentration and sleep.
Caffeine is found in an ever-growing variety of food and beverages. It is in many usual food sources for children- chocolate, ice cream, jelly beans, lollipops, marshmallows, gummy bears, energy drinks and soda.
Foods to take note of: Chocolate snacks, soda, yoghurt
Did you know?
On average, 100g of Cocoa beans contains roughly 200 mg of caffeine. While a chocolate bar typically contains less than 10 mg of caffeine, be wary that your child doesn’t pop in one too many pieces during this festive season!
A gentle reminder
Some reunion dinner traditional dishes may not be appropriate for young children, especially Chinese meat and seafood dishes that add rice/cooking wine in it. Do check it before serving young children.
Young children are likely to be allergic to foods like peanuts, honey and berries. The new year snacks usually contain these sensitive foods. Know your child’s sensitivity levels and be safe!
Let your child try different snacks and traditional dishes this festive season, but remember, eat everything in moderation!
From all of us at Little Footprints, here’s wishing you a Happy Lunar New Year!
Head of Training & Curriculum (Overseas) at Nurture Education Group.
MEd (Early Childhood, BSS (Family & Children Studies), Dip ECS with Leadership & Management,
ACTA certified, PITC RIE-Pikler Inspired, CIMI IAIM Certified
Mrs Nancy Lee-Wong’s passion in Early Childhood Education led her to begin her career as an assistant Kindergarten teacher to a Centre Director, and even certified as an IAIM infant massage instructor. She was also an accredited QA consultant with ECDA, a WDA-ECDA accredited trainer/lecturer and practicum supervisor for Preschool and Early Years Care & Education and Early Years Educare.
Having been in the early childhood industry since 1979, Mrs Nancy Lee-Wong has been actively involved in the field movement promoting the care and education of young children. She strongly believes that “respecting children’s authenticity and supporting their needs for exploration are fundamental to early child care and education.”