Friday, 24 April 2015

All about Fish - Part 1


So cliché. Just because I'm talking about fish today, I go all nautical with my lingo.
Embracing the sea vibes you see, hah!

This was a picture I took years ago in Perth. I can still remember strolling by the lake.

Bubs was introduced to fish when he was about 10 months old. After a little research, I found out that fish is safe for babies to consume at 9-10 months of age, but a number of studies now say it's good to introduce at 6-7 months. I personally felt like it was too soon for Bubs at 6-7 months. I'm no nutritionist but I do take 'some' advice from Bubs pediatrician, however, I follow my instincts and Bubs cue. 
I was curious too see how he would react to the taste of fish, so I kept his meal simple. Plain oats with a little bit of broccoli and blanched fish. It was too fishy for me but Bubs went for it!
Today, approaching his 14th month, the boy loves his fish. It was even one of his first words (I say one of his first words because I can't remember which came first, either fish, car, or bubbles, haha!). Side note, I'd like to add that a few days ago he said 'eyes' (23rd April) and 'dog' ( 24th April)!!! Tee hee, stoked Mama is writing this for her own reference. 

Fish was the first type of meat Bubs ate. I'm not sure what I would classify fish as because its flesh from an animal but we usually refer meat to beef, pork, chicken or some sort of mammal flesh. Anyhow, I won't go much into categorizing cause I'm sure this post will drift to a whole different direction. 

Why fish? 
For the simple reason that it is a complete protein source (contains all 9 amino acids that our bodies need but can't produce) high in good fatty acids - Omega 3, and Vitamin D. These nutrients are crucial for a developing brain and nervous system. It is advisable even for us mothers to take fish oil during pregnancy and while lactating.

Such an amazing gift from mother nature yes? We humans just had to pollute the waters resulting mercury in them. Yes mercury exist naturally, for example from volcanic eruptions and forest fires, but we make it worse by emitting mercury from industrial wastes, power plants emissions, you get the idea. Fishes with high mercury are so toxic, it has the ability to impair brain development. Therefore I feel it is wise to be aware of the types of fish our little ones can consume. 
Definitely gave me a headache this one, first I worry about mercury levels, then I worry about the use of formalin (liquid form of formaldehyde) on fishes to keep them fresh in wet markets and the unsettling games your brain plays in your head on the freshness of frozen fish. 
What, when, where. Howwww??!

We can educate ourselves on the types of fish that are high or low in mercury. Various sources are available online. For example, these fishes are a big no no to Bubs due to high level of mercury;
1. King Mackerel        
2. Shark (Ikan Yu, honestly even I don't eat them, especially shark fin soup)
3. Tuna
4. Swordfish
5. Barramundi
In general, most large or predatory fishes are high in mercury. It makes sense to me, because the longer the fish stays in the water, the more mercury in absorbs. Plus fishes that eat smaller fishes accumulates more mercury.

Whereas, these are types of fish with low mercury levels that Bubs has consumed;
1. Threadfin (Ikan Kurau)
2. Fourfinger Threadfin (Ikan Senangin)
3. Salmon
4. Cod 
5. Pomfret (Ikan Bawal)

Fourfinger Threadfin (Senangin)
*Photo credit:

Pomfret (Bawal)
*Photo credit:
Other examples of low mercury fishes that Bubs have not tried are as follows;
1. Indian Mackerel (Mabong)
2. Tilapia
3. Terubok (that is the Malay name)
4. Anchovies

Indian Mackerel (Mabong)
*Photo credit:
I used to think that buying fish from the wet market is the best, until I googled fish preservation. I discovered, a little too late, that most wet markets use formalin to maintain the freshness of the fish. Apparently to tell if it contains formalin, the fish will smell and break apart during frying. These chemicals should be banned, its carcinogenic even. Sigh. I'm hoping that all of us will have that trusted fishmonger or...let's just all move to an island.

Ever since I started cooking at home, visits to the local market every week was a norm. Though I'm not very good at spotting fresh produce yet, I am learning, heh. If you are a newbie in the wet market like me, here are some tips on selecting fresh fish;
1. Bright, bulging eyes
2. Red gills, (Not brick red. If it's too slimy, could be a sign of excessive formalin)
3. Firm and elastic flesh
4. Scales should be close to each other (Not dried out or ruffled)
5. I know fish smells BUT it shouldn't stink. It should only smell like seawater, seaweed, anything sea-like.
With regards to frozen fish, look out for ice crystals in the packaging. This indicates moisture loss, not a good thing as its probably a result of thawing and refreezing.

I'd love to share with you on cleaning a fish, but I don't know how to, haha! My dear fishmonger does it for me, I even ask them to fillet it for Bubs. 
That shall be my next project to share with you, with my chopping board and loadsa lemon juice after.

I hope my post will be of some help for many of us newbies in the kitchen, whether or not you are a mum. 
You are always welcome to share your thoughts and views, I'd appreciate it actually. We all learn something new everyday.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

Kisses of cool sea breeze from That Skinny Elephant.

* is an online fish market. They delivery fresh fish to those living in Penang, Malaysia.

Monday, 20 April 2015


My dear blog, its good to be back.
I missed you.

I had to type that, I think I may have personified my blog, haha!

Somewhere along my break, I got an invitation from the sweetest media rep to do a review on HappiKiddo store launch. Oh boy, was I stoked! I loved browsing through baby stores, you can imagine my excitement when I received her e-mail.

Meet Elaine Chew, the Founder and Managing Director of HappiKiddo, a store by a mum for mums. Such an approachable lady who wore warm smiles throughout the whole day!

Myself, Bubs and Elaine
The workforce needs more of a family friendly ambiance like this moment right here, Elaine and her kids, all together, while she delivers her speech. Pure bliss.

Grand opening speech
It always gives me a little comfort knowing that a baby store such as HappiKiddo is a store by a mum because the design is executed with parents and baby in mind. I'm sure dads would do the same too, but there is just something a little different when a mum is involved, like lavender scents all over the room, hah! Kidding. That would be lovely though. Tee hee.

Established since 2012, HappiKiddo has opened it's fourth store in Quill City Mall, and it's by far the largest. I must be honest, I am not really into big stores/shops. I find it too commercialized and is usually lacking good old warm customer service. Yes, being in the customer service line in the past has risen my expectations in various aspects in my life these days, haha!
However, upon stepping into HappiKiddo, besides being welcomed with courteous staffs, I am glad that it's massive. Really. With over 6000 square feet of baby goodness, I know I will get what I'm looking for or at least a substitute.

I sometimes baby-wear, however most of the time I don't because I do have an issue with my back. A store that is stroller-friendly is important to me, hence I fell in love with its space. The arrangement of goods and walkways are just right.

A snippet of HappiKiddo's layout. Pretty easy maneuvering my stroller.
Photo credit: HappiKiddo
HappiKiddo carries a vast number of both international and local brands.They are the exclusive retailers of RICE, from Denmark. I fell in love with its colorful melamine products which are Bisphenol A and Phthalates free.

I adore that rhino lamp. Comfortably eccentric
Have a look at these little buds. Aren't they the cutest thing? My sis-in-law thinks its a little weird. Well, she might be right, a baby sleeping in a peanut or a snow pea..I don't know man. Tad bit confusing to explain to bubs why is it a baby instead of a peanut in a peanut shell.
Anyhoooos I still think its adorable, plus I'm sure our bubs will learn their veges faster, right?!

These Huggers, I like much too. My English has even left the building.

HappiKiddo houses everything you and your kids need from your pregnancy right up to the precious toddler years. Tanamera confinement packs, nursing attires, travel gear, car seats, educational toys, books, and the list goes on! I'll let the pictures speak for itself now.
Tanamera products. 

Thermal jackets. Got to get these for Bubs, he loves playing in water.
I swear by Earth Mama Angel Baby nappy balm
Skip Hop & Beaba
Board books. Bubs loves flipping through these books, especially the Toilet Time book cause of the sound it make makes when you press the flush button.
Furniture & Strollers section.
Photo credit: HappiKiddo
HappiKiddo has a family friendly cafe right inside the store called Big Daddy Little Chefs. I find it pretty convenient as I can sit and nurse comfortably or just to take a break after all that shopping. They do offer toddler friendly meals with no added MSG or preservatives. I have yet to try it, hence watch out for this space.

My idol (my mummy) and Bubs having a conversation, or something like that. Tee hee
 Bubs doesn't feel like sitting down? Not a problem, off to the kitchen he goes!

Spot the wooden mixer? I almost fainted.
With a minimum purchase of RM20, kids are welcome to use the playground in the cafe. Bubs felt at home immediately, thanks to the familiar pots and pans. In addition to the little kitchen which I really want to get for Bubs, there is a pool of citrus Korean wood-chips where kids can sink their legs in and go all cray cray! Best part, the wood-chips are anti bacterial, it carries a natural scent too.

Keeping a close eye on Bubs, cause the boy will definitely attempt to put the wood-chips in his mouth. I'd say the pool is much more suitable for older toddlers.
Big Daddy Little Chefs Cafe
Photo credit: HappiKiddo
In honor of its biggest store launch, HappiKiddo teamed up with celebrity and mum-to-be, the ever beautiful Elaine Daly.

On its collaboration with Daly, Chew remarked: “We are honoured to team up with Ms. Daly and have her represent our brand. Her solid background and accomplishments reflect the versatility of today’s modern women who are capable of achieving whatever they set their minds on, whether in their career or as a full-time mum.

Let's have cake!
HappiKiddo is conveniently located on the second floor of Quill City Mall, right opposite to AEON. Why do I say convenient? Well it is on the same floor as Kids Paradise (massive play area), private nursing rooms and baby changing rooms (in AEON).

All the more to stop by, yes? Here's another bonus, with every purchase of RM250 and above, you are entitled to a VIB card (Very-Important-Baby, tee hee) which gives you 5% off future purchases and 20% on your birthday month.

I sure do hope this post gives you an idea on what to expect during your visit in HappiKiddo. The following are the addresses of HappiKiddo outlets for when you plan to check it out. Opening hours are from 1000hrs till 2200hrs daily.

      Happikiddo Quill City Mall
Lot No. 2.26 - 2.31, 2nd Floor, Quill City Mall, 1018 Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.
+603-2602 1596

Happikiddo Citta Mall 
Lot No. F23-F25, 1st Floor, Citta Mall, Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya.
+603-7859 9330

      Happikiddo Publika
Lot No. 9 Level UG 1, Publika Shopping Gallery, Solaris Dutamas, Jalan Dutamas 1, Kuala Lumpur.
+603-6206 1830

      Mum Over The Moon
Level G3-49, Publika Shopping Gallery
+603-6211 2258

For their latest updates, have a look at their website or follow HappiKiddo on social media.
·      Web: (our website is currently undergoing a revamp and will be ready soon)  
Instagram: @thehappikiddo
Twitter: @happikiddo

We had such a blast during the launch, thank you for the wonderful experience HappiKiddo.

Kisses of lil peanuts from That Skinny Elephant.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Solids - Bubba's 8th Month

#delayed post

Two front teeth are breaking through!
Oh boy!
Teething and the beginning of growth spurt season.
Double trouble.
Bubba's started going through his teething phase again from the 2nd week of his 8th month mark.
I can only imagine what's he is going through, oh gosh.  So I nurse him pretty much the whole night through these days. I'm a zombie most of the time but anything for my little man to feel better.
Surprisingly his apetite is good! I was preparing myself mentally that he might be rejecting food but nope, still excited as ever!
Introduced a couple of solids in the month of November. Even tried making my own cereal using brown rice. I posted the recipe here - Homemade Brown Rice Cereal
I am trying to remember what I've served him so far, there's quite a number of ingredients this month!

High in Protein, Vitamin A & C, Iron, and Calcium
Snow peas, aren't they lovely. Steam the peas, remove it's skin and mash it. Pea skins are a little hard to digest, hence it is advisable to remove it.

Snow Peas/ Snap Peas
It requires some patience removing these peas. Sizes vary from big to small to tiny. If you have the time, prepare a big batch and freeze it. Your very own version of frozen peas, heh.

Much easier to use frozen peas from the supermarket but just so I have a peace of mind of knowing where the peas came from, I chose the tedious path. However, no matter what, avoid the canned peas or canned whatever at all costs! Preservatives and sodium galore in that tin.

Beef broth
High in Calcium, Folate and Iron.
I got a few chunks of beef bones and meat and put it in the slow cooker.

I then added in water, carrots and leek. Boil on 'low' for more than 8 hours.

Pack the broth in little containers and freeze it. Use it as a base when preparing oats, brown rice or soups.
Broths are so good for our lil bubs and us. I need a dedicated blog post to share the benefits of it, hence watch out for this space :)

Egg yolk
High Vitamin A, D, E, Calcium, Iron, Folate and the list really does go on. 
Boiled egg yolk is pretty easy. I just add to any meals I make for Bubs.

Pumpkin & Egg Yolk
The whites of an egg are best to introduce after bubs is one, or even longer if bubs is prone to allergies or have any skin conditions like eczema.

High in Calcium and Protein.
I use fresh yoghurt with no additives or sugar. Perfect for breakfast paired with any fruits.

Pear Puree & Yoghurt

Yoghurt originates from milk, however lactose is broken down during the culturing process. This results in lesser milk proteins which is easier to digest.
Whole milk yoghurt is great for brain and vision development, therefore kindly skip the low fats, heh.

High in folate and Iron.
All you got to do is steam and pureè. Ensure you choose broccoli that are still green. Its not as nutritious once it has yellow patches, applies to most vegetables.

Brocolli & Pear
High in beta carotene.
I started bubs on organic carrots instead of regular carrots because I'm paranoid like that, hahah! Personal choice I would say, but here's a tip if you are on a budget like I am, go for organic if the vegetables and fruits are in the dirty dozen list. The list is updated every year, have a google at it.

Carrots take a little longer to get soft, early prep is a good idea.I steam carrots twice in my Beaba and mix it together with either egg yolk, pumpkin, butternut or brocolli. 
Carrots may constipate. I ensure bubs drinks high amount of water and/or balance their meal with pears, pumpkins, plums or sweet potato, the happy transition bunch, heh.

As you may have noticed, I prefer to steam his food rather than boil. Steaming method retains much more nutrients than boiling. Microwave is out of the story when it comes to bubs food for at least..forever! 

During bubs 8th month, I maintained with abundant fruit and vegetables purees. Introduced my homemade brown rice cereal to bubs when he was approaching his 9th month. Breastmilk was still his primary meal, everything else was complementary.

Till the next tooth pops out, Au revoir!

Kisses of sweet carrots from That Skinny Elephant.