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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Importance Of Packing To School

As parents, we want to give the best for children to perform their best in school and in everything that they do. And providing the best nutrition for children will not only support them in their energy level to take on the day but it’s another way to let children know that parents care about them. One of the best ways to ensure that they have sufficient energy to focus in class is by packing to school!

Below are some of the questions asked by parents of our Facebook group - The Malaysia Primary School Parents On Facebook group during the first week of school.

Q: Hey there moms! What do you usually feed your kids for breakfast? My girl does not like to eat upon waking up and complains about tummy cramps if I give her anything to eat. Is it ok to send her school with empty stomach?

· Children lose energy during sleep and they require breakfast to replenish the energy lost the next day. Hence breakfast is very crucial.

· It is best to prepare your child with a complete and balanced breakfast before she heads off to school.

· Parents should also play a good role model and have breakfast with their children to cultivate good eating habits from a young age.

· School requires a lot from a growing child. Without breakfast, they will feel lethargic and won’t be able to concentrate in class. To get her to eat, you can create creative breakfast choices to entice children to eat their breakfast when it’s really early in the morning e.g. sunny side up egg with a smiley, sandwich shaped in their favourite characters.

· Opt for a delicious, familiar-tasting and nutritious malted beverage like MILO®. For a mother’s convenience, MILO® UHT can easily be packed into your child’s school bag for her to drink on the way to school

Q: Hi there. Would like to know what is usually packed in your kids lunch box. My son is in afternoon session and his break is from 3-3.20pm. He is entering standard 1.Besides bun, what else would be ideal to pack for him? Any suggestions are welcome. Tia.

In general, a balanced meal contains food from at least 3 out of 5 food groups:

o Whole grains: grains, breads, cereals
o Protein: beans, meat, eggs, nuts,
o Dairy & dairy products: milk , yogurt, cheese
o Fruits and/or
o vegetables

 The trick is to choose one with an appropriate mix of nutrients and calories. Choose one that contains carbohydrates for energy as well as protein, healthy fats and vitamins and minerals that fuel his body and brain

 For snacks, fruits, vegetables, crackers with a slice of cheese, peanut butter, plain high-fibre crackers or cereal bars and yogurt are ideal choices

 An ideal accompaniment to these snacks will be malted beverages. For busy parents who don’t have the time to prep too complicated lunchboxes, a malted beverage, such as MILO® UHT, in ready to drink formula makes a great compliment to sandwiches and high-fibre biscuits

 MILO® UHT contains a unique combination of PROTOMALT®, minerals and vitamins such as Vitamin B, specially blended to provide efficient release of energy from food to help your child take on a full day’s challenges. It also contains calcium to maintain stronger bones and teeth and vitamin C for increased absorption of iron from food

We are also happy to share the following recipes to help parents with packing to school. Here are 3 easy recipes for busy parents to try courtesy of Yan Diana a member of Kelab Bekal/Bento Malaysia.

Recipe 1 - Giraffe Chicken Sandwich 

  •  Cheese 
  •  Seaweed 
  •  Chicken strips 
  •  Baguette 
  •  Fruits - Guava, Orange 
  •  Mixed Nuts 

Recipe 2 - Japanese Scrambled Eggs Bento Box

  •  Cheese 
  •  Seaweed 
  •  Toasted Bread 
  •  Tomato 
  •  Baked beans 
  •  Scrambled eggs 

Recipe 3 - Rapunzel noodle box

  •  Cheese
  •  Seaweed
  •  Salad
  •  Fried Beehoon
  •  Scrambled Egg
  •  Cherry Tomatoes
Today with the internet at the tip of your fingers, recipe hunting is a lot easier! As you get more and more comfortable in preparing recess boxes for your children, you can also attempt to create your own recipe and even shape the ingredients according to their favourite cartoon characters!

With a convenient pack of MILO® UHT which can be easily packed into your child’s recess box or school bag, mothers can ensure that their child’s energy needs are fulfilled. MILO® contains Activ-Go™, a unique combination of PROTOMALT®, minerals and vitamins such as Vitamin B, specially blended to provide efficient release of energy from food to help them take on a full day’s challenges. It also contains calcium to maintain stronger bones and teeth and Vitamin C for increased absorption of iron from food.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Music Lessons – At Home Or At A Music School?

Should I send my child to music lessons at a centre or should my child have music lessons at home? Which is better?

According to Airina Lee from The Music Factory, this is one question frequently asked by parents. Here we share with parents, the following major differences she observes when a child goes to music lessons at a centre compared to having music lessons at home with a private tutor.

1. Students come to class mentally prepared

Having home lessons means students will enjoy the comfort of their own homes - sometimes being 'too comfortable'. They tend to get easily distracted with the on-goings at home, especially when the class location is not in a contained (i.e. a room) environment.

If lessons are conducted in a classroom environment however, they are emotionally prepared for lesson and better attention spans can be achieved. This is because most children are familiar with the classroom environment and conventional classroom rules.

Home-based learning might work better with adult learners as they are able to stay focused throughout.

2. Exposure

While it might save you some travelling time to have lessons at home, students who learn at home miss the opportunity to get to participate in activities like recitals, concerts, and group activities that are often held by music centres.

Through recitals, the child gets to learn how to play confidently at a young age. The importance of performance opportunities in young children should never be undermined, it teaches that practice makes perfect, and most importantly, is a great self-confidence booster! If you are good at something, wouldn't you want to be able to showcase it confidently to others?

Sadly in many children's musical journeys, the only audience they have is often the examiner when they undergo music exams.

3. A holistic learning experience

A large part of enjoyment in playing music is when one learns to play with others, for instance in a band, an orchestra, or chamber music groups. Being in a music school means the child will have a chance to meet others who share the same interests.

It serves as a source of motivation as well when they see their peers being able to master the instrument. They are given the opportunity to build friendships from there and eventually, form their own jamming sessions with students of the same age groups/ learning abilities. 

Music Lessons at home or at a music school? We hope that this sharing will give you a better idea of what to expect when you send your child to music lessons at a centre.

Here are some other tips brought to you by The Music Factory:

· How To Motivate Your Child To Practice Music
· Tips For Parents To Choose The Right Musical Instrument

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Milo® UHT Pack in the Energy for Champions Workshop

Recently a few lucky members from our Facebook group: The Malaysia Primary School Parents On Facebook had the opportunity to attend the Milo® UHT Pack in the Energy for Champions Workshop held at the Cilantro Cooking Academy in Subang Jaya. In this post, we will share tips we learned at the workshop with the rest of our FB group members who couldn't attend the workshop.

The Milo® UHT Pack in the Energy for Champions Workshop was moderated by Sheahnee Iman Lee, emcee, media trainer and former TV host who did a wonderful job getting the audience to warm up to the session.

Sheahnee Iman Lee, Puan Yan Diana and Puan Nurul Iliani
At the start, participants had the chance to get some tips from Senior NestlĂ© Nutritionist, Puan Nurul Iliani on the importance of packing to school and eating right. The most important tip is the fact that kids will go through energy deprivation in school at various intervals while at school. This is because the hours between breakfast and lunch is rather long with breakfast taken as early as 6 am in some cases. She suggests that parents pack recess or bento boxes for their children with healthy nutritious meals to counter this energy deprivation.

On this note, Puan Yan Diana an admin from Kelab Bekal/Bento Malaysia came on to show participants that packing to school doesn't need to be complicated and can be prepared in a flash. Puan Yan makes Bento Boxes on a daily basis for four of her school going children.

The creative Puan Yan Diana demonstrated how to make 3 creative Bento Boxes in quick succession. She made the adorable Giraffe Chicken Sandwich, a cute Japanese Doll Sandwich and an amazing looking Rapunzel Noodle Box in minutes.

Giraffe Chicken Sandwich
Japanese Doll Sandwich
Rapunzel Noodle Box

Quick Tips From Pn Yan On Preparing Bento Boxes

  1. Ingredients. Do not be overwhelmed by using unusual items. Use normal items that your kids like to eat like fried mee hoon, spaghetti, fried rice, bread, beans etc and build on those
  2. Preparation. Ingredients may be prepared the night before or during the weekend to save time
  3. Involvement. Involve your kids in the preparation and the ideas for their Bento Boxes. They will be more likely to eat them that way
  4. Shaping Items. Use cheese and seaweed sheets to carve out or cut out unusual cartoon characters or shapes. Tomatoes may be used to carve out lips or ribbons.
  5. Appearance. Use flat boxes so that your creation will maintain its appearance at recess time hours later to avoid them from tumbling about.
  6. Vegetables. Introduce vegetables slowly but repeatedly for the reluctant vegetable eater
  7. Drying. Do not mix wet items with dry ones. Wipe dry first before working on your Bento
  8. Cleanliness. Make sure you wash your hands before preparing and keep them clean throughout
Puan Nurul Iliani stressed that a balance of protein, vegetables, fruits and carbohydrates should be kept in mind when selecting the ingredients for a Bento Box meal. She added that children can greatly benefit from the Activ-Go™ in MILO®, a unique combination of PROTOMALT®, minerals and vitamins such as Vitamin B, specially blended to provide efficient release of energy from food to help them take on a full day’s challenges. MILO® also contains calcium to maintain stronger bones and teeth and Vitamin C for increased absorbtion of iron from food. You can easily add a convenient pack of MILO® UHT in the Bento Box or in your little one’s school bag to ensure he/she has sufficient energy to take on the day!

Finally, parents and children worked together as a team to create the most creative Bento Box in the MILO® UHT Bento Box Challenge. Participants were provided with MILO® UHT’s Bento Box, ingredients and a packet of of MILO® UHT that fits in nicely in the Bento Box.. 

Below are pictures of the ingredients, tools and Bento Boxes provided.

Watch the video below to see some of the creations by parents in the MILO® UHT Bento Box Challenge. You will be amazed at their creativity as many of them were preparing Bento Boxes for the first time. The video will also give you some ideas on what to prepare for your kids for recess.

Most importantly, everyone went home with new knowledge gained on the importance of packing balanced and nutritious meals for kids and how to do so in a non-stressful and fun way.  MILO® UHT comes in convenient single serve packs of 125ml and 200ml and is available in all convenient stores, mini markets, supermarkets and hypermarkets.

For more upcoming initiatives of the MILO® UHT Pack in the Energy for Champions campaign, visit www.milo.com.my.

Pack a MILO® UHT in your child’s bag pack for the energy they need to take on the day!

Congratulations to the winners of the MILO® UHT Bento Box Challenge

MILO® UHT single serving packs in 125ml and 200ml.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Chinese New Year School Holidays 2017

Today is 3rd January 2017. It is the first or third day of school depending on which state you reside in Malaysia. However, it is not too soon to plan for your Chinese New Year holidays because it is only about slightly over 3 weeks away. Since the school will break for about a week, all races can plan for the holidays irrespective of whether you celebrate Chinese New Year or otherwise.

If you have not had enough of the holidays, this must certainly be good news for you. However, you may face a small challenge to persuade the reluctant little ones to return to school after the festive break!

Now for the Chinese New Year School Holidays 2017 dates:

The first two days of Chinese New Year 2017 falls on 28 January 2017 (Saturday) - 29 January 2017 (Sunday) this year.

The Festive Holidays 2017 or Cuti Perayaan 2017 as allocated by the Ministry of Education, Malaysia (Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia) are as follows:

For Group A - In addition to 28/1 and 29/1 , the following days will be off 30/1, 31/1, 1/2, 2/2
(Schools in Kedah, Johor, Kelantan & Terengganu)

For Group B - In addition to 28/1, 29/1 and 30/1 (replacement off day on Monday), the following days will be off 26/1, 27/1, 31/1
(Schools in Perlis, Pulau Pinang, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Pahang, Sabah, Sarawak, Wilayah Persekutuan, Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya)

Source of Info: MOE, Malaysia (Surat Siaran Takwim Penggal Dan Cuti Persekolahan Tahun 2017)

Due to the different weekends, Group A schools should have something to cheer about because the festive holidays stretch over two weekends making the holidays 9 days in total.

Group A Schools
On the other hand, Group B schools will have a 6 day stretch unless you happen to be in Wilayah Persekutuan, Labuan or Putrajaya which will have an additional day off on 1st February 2017 for Federal Territory Day.

Group B Schools

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