Category: Tips

Art & Learning in Kids

How Art Boosts a Child’s Learning

From masterpieces on your white house walls to drawings, every parent should secretly treasures those milestones of growth. Parent should persuade children to learn more in a fun way, but in fact it boosts their memory skills and hand-eye coordination. Give them the tools, your moral support, and also of course do not forget food or supporting growing up milks (eg. Similac Gain IQ ) rich in brain nutrients for support from within.1, 5


Helps with Concentration

Children can remain focused on things more often than is believed by parents. This is so as long as it draws their attention and is up to them how they go about it. If you give them a topic and let them interpret the answers, they will concentrate on colors, shapes, and composition. Most children love drawing and it is a type of outlet to let them establish the concepts of concentration. Once they are done with their piece, asking them to explain what they drew will allow them to observe small details and recall memories, which will help your child mature in learning ability.1, 2


Boosts Creative Thinking, Expression, and Individual Confidence

With the right crayons, brushes, and a safe space to create, children can creatively explore art. It will help them express feelings in a way where words cannot. Here, it is a great way to let shy children tell you how they feel without having them be forced to talk.1, 3


When your child is allowed to make physical representations, be it through art or show & tell, of their feelings and ideas, they gain confidence. And what happens when a child has more confidence and better concentration skills? They become better at learning by making a child’s brain work visually, kinesthetically, and semantically. Cognitively, the movements of hands, wrists, and fingers while drawing helps improve them as it provides immediate visual feedback on how your child uses it.1, 3


How Nutrition Plays a Part

Breakfast can hold you over till the next meal without getting restless, especially a child with an active mind. Eating nutritious foods like avocado, kiwifruit, pineapple, strawberries, eggs, cheese, nuts, and oats provides your child with the necessary brain nutrients (Lutein, DHA & RRR Natural Vitamin E, folate, vitamin B6, choline, Zinc, Magnesium, Iron, Vitamin C, and Protein).4 Not only are those essential for brain development, these also help support the cells that help in regulation of mood and storing memory. In other words, the more colorful your child’s plate is naturally, the more their brain can concentrate on learning.4, 5


Art is not only reserved for classy museums, but for museums of the home and mind where we get to be a part of our child’s milestones. Let your child draw and create because it could provide them a head start in academia. Because good nutrients for the brain matters as much as a stimulating environment, it is important that your child eats a balanced diet. The right amount of nutrition matters and when food alone is not enough, Similac Gain IQ  can help.5 With a unique combination of DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid), lutein, and natural vitamin E to help support vision and brain development6,7 and 2’‐FL HMO & Nucleotides to help support immunity, your child can both learn and thrive.8,6 Talk, teach, learn, and explore together with your child as social interactions are as important as nutrition when it comes to helping them thrive.


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Food & Morning Sickness

Food & Morning Sickness

The sensation or urge to vomit during pregnancy, known as morning sickness, is common. Morning sickness commonly happens during the first trimester, which is likely due to fluctuations in hormones. It can happen again during other stages of pregnancy, but it is more likely due to the pregnant location pressing against the mother’s stomach.1

To alleviate morning sickness, try:

  • To eat frequent snacks or meals, five to six small, throughout the day.
  • Eating slower than usual.
  • To avoid foods with aromas that bother you.
  • Drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Avoiding overly fatty and spicy foods.
  • Taking your required supplements with food.
  • To eat a small snack, such as crackers, before getting out of bed in the morning.

Look to snacks for soothing morning sickness

You can ease stomach discomfort by:

  • Consuming cold foods such as smoothies and yogurt
  • Drinking the occasional cooling fruit-flavored carbonated water
  • Having easy-to-digest crackers, toast, and rice
  • Snacking on fruits such as bananas and fruit sauce
  • Having some real ginger soda, fresh ginger tea, or candied ginger

What to do when morning sickness persists

Morning sickness varies in every person and it is not harmful during pregnancy. But if the symptoms feel more severe than normal or are prolonged, please consult your doctor for diagnosis and instructions.



Benefits of Dietary Fiber for Digestion

Benefits of Dietary Fiber for Digestion

It is beneficial to include more fiber and other types of nutrition in your diet during pregnancy. It benefits your digestive health by preventing constipation and nutrient absorption. Though fiber is important, some mothers only consume less than they should, due to either loss of hunger or cravings for nutritionally poor foods. Today we will review some important fiber facts and provide beneficial information on how Similac MUM can support you during pregnancy.1, 3, 4

Fiber and pregnancy digestion facts

Fiber cannot be digested by the body itself and requires probiotics to do it. Fiber that feeds probiotics (the good bacteria in the gut responsible for fighting off the bad ones) is called Prebiotics. Here are some benefits worth highlighting for fiber:1, 2

Controls Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Gaining weight is a given, but it can be controlled. High-fiber foods keep you feeling fuller longer to prevent overeating cravings. Weight control during pregnancy allows for easier control while breastfeeding and post pregnancy. High-fiber diets, especially, can reduce caloric intake by 10%, which can be a significant amount by the fact that you will less likely be eating junk or fatty foods.1

Improves Bowel Movement During Pregnancy

Because of certain hormones (progesterone) being produced during pregnancy, constipation is common. Fiber helps with fluid absorption and softens stool so it is easier to pass so consuming more fiber will prevent discomfort. By the advice of your Medical Professional, consume fiber as recommended and ask about taking supplements to help.1

Regulate blood sugar and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease during pregnancy

Fiber slows down the absorption of food and sugar, thus preventing blood sugar from rising too quickly. Certain hormone production during pregnancy causes blood glucose to accumulate more in the blood so taking more fiber can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.1

If blood glucose were to be left unchecked, it causes damage to blood vessels and nerves related to the heart. This can cause a mother to develop heart diseases and increase the risk of strokes. Fibers help lower cholesterol by trapping cholesterol-rich bile acids in the digestive system so they do not end up in the blood.1

How to add more fiber to your diet

Fiber intake must be done gradually to give your body time to get used to that type of diet. Start out by spreading fiber content over six meals in a day or schedule them in during snack time. Good natural sources of fiber are bananas, dark greens, nuts, beans, and potatoes.1

You always want what is best for your child, so even during pregnancy you try your best to be healthy yourself. But sometimes we all need a little help and pregnant mothers need as much help as they can get. That is why when they feel like they are not getting enough fiber or other nutrients, Similac MUM as scientifically formulated to support the nutritional needs for pregnant and breastfeeding mums without causing excessive weight gain .2 The scientific combination of Lutein, Natural RRR Vitamin E, DHA, Chlorine, Folic Acid and Iron support brain and eye development.

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  2. Huynh DTT et al. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2017 May 7: 1-9 –
  3. Brown, Lisa S. PhD, RD et al. Nutrition Requirements During Pregnancy. Jones and Bartlett Publishers, LLC. pg. 5, 8. 2011 – (PDF document)

Managing Your Discomfort


Managing Pregnancy Discomfort

What you can do to help cure or ease some common complaints during pregnancy

Pregnancy can be a time filled with joy ‐ and, like many women, you may experience some physical complaints during that period. The list below covers some of the most common problems pregnant women experience, along with tips for how to manage them:



  • Painful muscle contractions in your calves, especially at night

What You Can Do

  • Massage the affected muscles
  • Walk around for a minute or two once the pain has eased to improve circulation
  • Eat more foods that contain calcium, such as milk and dairy products
  • Take calcium supplements (prescribed by your doctor)



  • Swelling of the feet

What You Can Do

  • Lift up legs when at rest

Varicose Veins


Enlarged, protruding, bluish veins, particularly in the legs

What You Can Do

  • Wear elastic stockings
  • Sit when you do not have to stand
  • Lift up legs when at rest



Perspiration even after very little exertion, or waking up at night feeling hot and sweaty

What You Can Do

  • Wear loose cotton clothes
  • Drink plenty of water



Red rash usually in sweaty skin folds, such as under the breasts

What You Can Do

  • Wash the affected areas often and with unperfumed soap; dry thoroughly afterwards
  • Wear loose cotton clothing
  • Soothe the affected area with calamine lotion

Weight gain during pregnancy: What’s healthy and what’s not


Weight gain during pregnancy: What’s healthy and what’s not

What you need to know about weight gain during your pregnancy and the best ways to eat well when you are expecting.


Bigger may not be better in pregnancy, according to Dr Adrian Tan, a senior consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at ACJ Women’s Clinic at Thomson Medical Centre. He helps bust the common myth that pregnant women should eat more, while sharing tips on how to improve your pregnancy diet.

Why you should watch your weight

Some mothers are preoccupied with their weight gain and they have the misconception that they should eat voraciously,” said Dr Tan. “Truth is, if you put on too much weight, you tend to have difficult delivery and more difficult for the mother to lose the extra weight eventually”. There has also been a rethink on the recommended weight gain. The Health Promotion Board recommends taking light snacks in between to gain the extra calories needed; most women gain an average of 10kg to 12kg during their pregnancy11.

The secret to a healthy pregnancy diet

A balanced diet that includes a wide variety of food from different groups, focusing on high nutrient foods and watching the total caloric intake, is recommended for pregnant women.

Added Dr Tan: “Women should concentrate on a high nutrient diet – more fresh fruits and vegetables without piling on empty calories: that is, less carbohydrates and fats”.

Folic acid supplements before and during pregnancy have been proven to be effective in preventing brain and spinal malformations12. The best sources for folic acid can also be found in fortified foods such as cereals and milk.

Some doctors may also advise pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers to add multi‐vitamins, calcium and DHA supplements to their diet.

Dr Tan explained: “There is merit in supplementing your diet with the recommended dosages of supplements. But a balanced diet, coupled with regular exercise and a renewed focus on positive family relationships, is still key to a healthy pregnancy.”


1Health Promotion Board of Singapore. Retrieved on August 28, 2015 from:‐article/3826.

Immune System Development

Immune System Development

Kids in their younger school years tend to fall ill to common colds, stomach flu, diarrhea, allergies, asthma and even eczema. One of the main reasons is that their immune system is still developing the right fighting mechanisms. The best of internal hidden immunity defense secrets can be found in the gut or the gut microbiome. And better yet, it is really easy to support these good bacteria with the right combination of good habits, food, and food alternative supplements.1, 5

The Gut Microbiome and How to Nurture Your Child’s Immune System

There are 100 trillion microbes in the body and most of them live in the gastrointestinal tract. The helpful boost immunity, improve digestion for nutrient absorption, and reduce gas, among other benefits. From time to time, the bad one’s cause illnesses when the immune fighting ones are weak. The balance between the healthy and harmful bacteria is what will provide your child with an immune system that is better prepared for common illnesses.1, 2, 3

  1. Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables
    Whole foods, including fruits, vegetables and grains, do not have artificial additives or extra empty calories. For example, bananas, nuts, beans, and asparagus have a high fiber content or prebiotic fibers, which feed the good probiotic bacteria to support health and immunity. To realign the good bacteria, you can feed your child probiotic rich foods like kefir and yogurt or any other type of fermented foods so long as they have live cultures.1, 2, 5
  2. Make sure your child’s diet has immune-boosting nutrients
    Make sure that they are not missing certain vitamins and minerals like Zinc and Vitamin A, C and E. These are responsible for preventing early cell oxidation and supports the health of red blood cells, all of which aids a developing immune system. Another set of important nutrients are Nucleotides, which are responsible for immune cell structure for function and replication to fight off infections.4, 5, 6
  3. Provide additional support with good nutrition rich in Oligosaccharides Nucleotides come from lean meats and mushrooms, but getting the right combination of it and Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) & Galacto‐oligosaccharides (GOS) prebiotics is not always easy.8 Children are fussy and supporting overall growth and immunity with liquid nutrition is an option. For example, Similac Gain IQ Ready to Drink Liquid pre portioned serving of a growing up milk, contains nucleotides and a unique blend of HMO that supports a child’s natural immune system. Through   on nutrition,7 Abbott Nutrition discovered how HMO is an important immune boosting ingredient that keeps a child’s tummy protected.1, 2, 3

The younger years of a child’s life is a critical stage for a parent to provide the right support for their immune system. First by building it with good food and nutrients that support a healthy gut and it also would be extra beneficial to promote a good amount of physical activity. Going outside exposes their body to the environment’s tests, thus further building up a child’s immune function. Help your child keep learning and thriving by keeping them strong with good food, exercise, and Similac for strength from within for protection beyond the digestive system.2, 3, 4, 6

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  7. Buck, Rachael, H. How Do HMOs Support Baby’s Immune Development?. Global R&D, Abbott Nutrition, 2017.

Bilingualism: Nurturing your child’s learning ability

Bilingualism: Nurturing your child’s learning ability

It is quite common these days for children to know more than one language, even if it does not include the English dialect. Due to either necessity or the dynamics of a multicultural family, did you know that a child who is bilingual can have additional learning benefits? It is a fact that because a child can understand more, they can better express their needs, fit in better with the environment, and ultimately socialize more with friends. It all starts with exposure to more than two languages, providing the tools to support, and many forms of good nutrients that support the brain (food and growing milks, eg. Similac Gain IQ ) from within.1, 7

How using more than one language helps development

Bilingual children may have a more adept focusing power and improved ability to provide a better response to questions or situations. This is because knowing multiple languages helps activate the parts of the brain that takes care of cognitive abilities. By improving “cognitive flexibility”, children are more likely to have more efficient problem-solving skills and more likely to think outside-the-box.3

One of the best ways to get your child to learn another language is to speak it yourself as a parent. Make it a habit of conversing in the chosen language you want to practice at home often. more than one language at home. And as a bonus, learning other languages can teach them the importance of their own or other cultures, enhance their socializing skills, and boost their confidence because they can understand more nuances.1, 2

Benefits of making learning fun

When a child is happy and engaged, they are more likely to enjoy that activity, especially learning. Similar to adults, being in a good mood helps with the perception of what is being taught and promotes a more positive sense of accomplishment. Humans, especially children, are emotional beings and for most things they learn, there is always an emotion-based aspect attached.1, 4

Physically, “having fun while learning” increases brain activity that uses neurons called Oxytocin (for happiness), Dopamine (for motivation), and Norepinephrine (for paying attention). Best way to increase those learning promoting neurotransmitters? Throw in surprises, humor, play scenarios, add props, or even change teaching locations from time to time.1, 4

Support with Nutrition

To keep both the mind and body healthy, having balanced nutrition is key, especially for children. And the reasons for that comes down to the brain & eye development supporting properties of nutrients like vitamin D, B6, C, omega-3, folate, choline, zinc, magnesium, iron, and protein. A combination of those nutrients also helps regulate mood for improved attention span and aid in memory retention. Typically, in a day, a child should eat the same portions of fruits (¼ plate), vegetables (¼ plate), proteins (¼ plate), and carbohydrates (¼ plate) as adults. The only difference is the portion size, which varies on individual child’s gender, age, and size.6 The more vegetables and fruits, and sometimes nuts, your child eats the better because of the high-quality Vitamin C, D, natural Vitamin E, and DHA (Docosahexaenoic, an important fatty acid for brain development) they provide.5

When it comes to helping your child be well nourished and a competitive edge in learning a second language to their native one, knowing their individual nutritional needs is important. To help support your child’s brain development, nourishment with supporting brain nutrients has equal value to a positive stimulating environment. There are several growing milk options that can provide support. Similac Gain IQ can help.7 With a unique combination of DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid), lutein, and natural vitamin E to help support vision and brain development8,9 and 2’‐FL HMO & Nucleotides to help support immunity, your child can both learn, be healthy and enjoy all the wonders of childhood.10,8

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Five Brain-Healthy Nutrients And Where You Can Find Them

Five Brain-Healthy Nutrients And Where You Can Find Them

Delicious and nutritious foods bring people together, keeping them healthy and mentally fresh. Our bodies, especially growing children, need all the good brain nutrients they can get to maintain good cognitive function and thrive. It is what will help them maintain focus and memory. Nutritional balance is key, but if you are looking for the best brain nutrients, here are five examples. We will also explore the best food sources and a child nutritional formula (e.g. Similac Gain) recommendation to fill in when need be.1, 6, 8


DHA & Omega Fatty Acids

Docosahexaenoic acid is actually an essential omega fatty acid and it is one of the most important ones for brain function and eye health. It helps the brain react and do better memory recalls, thus helping your child learn better. DHA is very sensitive to oxidative stress, as it breaks down easily, the body constantly needs to refill it through food.1, 7

Found in: It is quite a rare fatty acid to find in large quantities, usually in fatty fish, cashews, walnuts, almonds, and pistachios; some fortified foods like packed milk, snacks, and eggs must be provided.1, 7


Lutein & Zeaxanthin

Natural coloring or what gives fruits and vegetables their color are Carotenoids and they have a protective antioxidant role for the brain.2 Lutein & Zeaxanthin are carotenoids and have anti-inflammatory properties, especially for the eye and nerves. Since a child must have good eye health in order to see and learn, it is important that they get these nutrients as well.1, 2

Found in: It is quite an easy antioxidant to find as they are in pretty much any colored fruits like apples, strawberries, red grapes, beets, and even leafy parts of root vegetables.1, 2


Vitamin E (RRR Vitamin Ed‐alpha tocopherol)

Also, another important antioxidant, it helps keep blood vessels open and upkeeps their resilience, especially in places like the highly active brain of your child. Not only does it prevent oxidative stress, it supports the efficiency of other nutrients like the delicate DHA. Less oxidative stress on the brain means the brain’s health is maintained long term and improves memory retention.1, 3

Found in: Natural food sources of vitamin E are vegetable oils (pure safflower, soybean, sunflower), avocados, seafood (eg. shrimp & oysters), and edible seeds or nuts (eg. Pumpkin, sunflower, peanuts).1, 3



Quercetin is also an antioxidant that improves circulation, especially in the brain. Common in food, but often overshadowed by Vitamin E, Omega Fatty Acids, DHA, and Luein, it is essential for tackling forgetfulness.1

Found in: Quercetin rich foods are also not hard to find as they are in most red (red apple), green (green capsicums), and blue (blueberries) colored foods. It is truly 1 apple a day to keep the doctor away personified for your child.4



You or your child may think that they are drinking enough or think they only have to drink when thirsty, greater hydration equals better cognitive function. If you yourself as a parent have noticed that when you did not have enough water, you felt more irritated than usual with hot feeling eyes or headaches. Water helps lubricate bodily functions and is used by various parts of the system to send messages, distribute nutrients to organs, especially the brain.5

Best sources: clean and pure water is the best for hydration. To make it fun, infuse water with vitamin rich fruit and vegetable pieces for color and taste. Be a role model and drink plenty of water yourself as a parent. Fruits and vegetables with high water content are watermelon, pineapple, cucumbers, and any squeezable citrus fruits.5


Half the battle of keeping a child healthy is getting them to eat healthily. Due to sensory issues, parents may need the support of a child nutritional formula to make up for what nutrients are missing from food. Not all formulas are created equal and are loaded with palm oil fillers that upset the digestive system. That is why millions of mothers’ trust Similac to nutritionally support their children.8 Similac Gain has been scientifically formulated to fit an ever-changing nutritional needs of a child. The exclusive EyeQ Plus nutrition system efficiently delivers the brain nutrients Vitamin E, Lutein, and DHA. With an additional 10 key brain nutrients and fats made from vegetables, your child’s overall cognitive development can be supported when provided together with real food and fresh water.1, 6


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  8. Based on Abbott’s internal computation of Similac HMO global usage, as of Nov. 2018

How to boost your child’s memory skills

How to boost your child’s memory skills

The memory training tips to help your kids remember what they have learnt

As children get older, there are more and more things to remember and this isn’t always easy for them. Kids can learn and remember information in different ways, depending on their preferred mix of learning styles. Read on to find out about the different memory styles and how each of these can help improve your child’s memory skills.

Some children recall more details from pictures than through verbal reminders. Bright images and colors can leave lasting impressions that enable kids to remember things more vividly.

Some children may filter out information or choose not to complete certain tasks that are difficult to understand. These children only retain information effectively when learning strategies are kept simple.

Some children will tend to remember details most distinctly through conversations. When they share their experiences by talking about them, verbal reinforcement creates a more impactful way to remember what they have learnt.

Some children learn to remember facts and figures by writing them down. When these children pen down their thoughts, experiences and data they have gathered, they’re more likely to absorb and process it. This in turn will become their newfound knowledge.

Try cultivating these memory skills one by one, to find the best mix of learning styles for your child. Make suitable changes accordingly, if you find that your little one takes to one method better than the other.

Soon enough, you’ll be able to find the best ways to help your child boost her memory skills!

The basics of self-care during pregnancy


The basics of self-care during pregnancy

Many couples conceive almost as soon as they start trying but some are not so fortunate. In fact, one out of five married couples in Singapore have problems trying to conceive.

Common Causes of Infertility

Medical Factors

For females, it may be problems with ovulation. Some do not ovulate or have irregular menstrual cycles where ovulation is unpredictable. Another common problem is endometriosis where there is a back flow of menstrual blood into the pelvis. This causes scarring of the ovaries and fallopian tubes, leading to impaired fertility. For men, the most common problem is sperm dysfunction with low sperm count. In cases where there is no sperm production or where the ducts are blocked, pregnancy will be difficult to achieve.


Fertility declines with age. The optimal age for conception is between 22 and 26 years of age. The ability to conceive is reduced after the age of 30. It dips by half after the age of 35 and by another half every subsequent five years. Male fertility declines after the age of 40 as the quantity and quality of sperm deteriorate. Couples over 35 years of age who have had regular unprotected sex for six months without conceiving should seek medical advice as soon as possible.

Body Weight

For women, being overweight or underweight may affect ovulation. Women who are overweight tend to have more complications during pregnancy and birth, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Underweight women, on the other hand, tend to deliver low birth weight babies.


The timing for the sperm and egg to meet is also critical. The best days to procreate are likely to be 12 to 16 days into a woman’s menstrual cycle when ovulation is expected to occur.


Smoking, drinking alcohol and taking drugs affect fertility. These toxic substances can cause the menstrual cycle to be irregular and can also affect the quality and quantity of sperm. The risk of miscarriages and having abnormal babies is also increased.


Stress can also lead to infertility. In women, the menstruation cycle can become irregular or absent. In men, it can lead to erectile dysfunction as well as low and malfunctioning sperm. Stress also suppresses sexual desire, thereby reducing the frequency of sexual intercourse.


Food and fertility are linked. A balanced diet with optimal amounts of energy, protein, vitamins and minerals will improve a couple’s chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby.

Enhance Your Fertility

Reduce stress. Rest and recreation are important when trying to conceive. Cut down on cigarettes and alcohol and avoid illicit drugs.

Maintain a healthy body weight with regular exercise and a well‐balanced diet.