Sharifah Sofia tells us her trick to raising healthy kids
How do busy working mums such as Sharifah, make sure the kids are getting the right kind of nutrition? Read on...
We asked Sharifah Sofia if being a mum is the most demanding job in the world. There’s no manual on how to be a good mum AND you won’t know if you’re doing a good job until your child is all grown up.
Mums tend to be too hard on themselves, judging themselves and trying to compete with other mums. Besides striving to be a good mum, mothers are expected to work, do the household chores, cook and some mothers even have to study.
Well, we recently caught up with Sharifah Sofia; a full-time mummy to 2 beautiful little girls, an actress, a teacher, a blogger on her site With Love Mummy to talk about family, raising kids and nutrition.
We asked her to give us some advice about the importance of nutrition and bringing up healthy and happy kids by starting early.
Sharifah Sofia doesn’t allow her daughters to take sugars until they were 2 years old. She adds that it’s important to teach them from young that sugar is bad and if they didn’t grow up with sugary treats, most likely, they won’t want sugar as they grow. Her daughters only take milk and water.
Anmum Essential formulated milk powder for children with No Added Sugars is a good example of a healthy drink. It promises to provide all the important nutrients that your growing child needs, without compromising on the delicious taste, and with no added sugars.
As a smart mum, you need to learn how to read the labels. For example, jams. Jams are normally made with fruits boiled with some sugar and set. But, on the label of certain jams, it will state sugar first, followed by strawberries and other stuff.
This means the main ingredient in the jam is sugar because ingredients are listed according to the amount by descending order. This is wrong because it’s a jam, the main ingredient should be the fruit instead.
So, when buying jams, try buying one with fruits listed first. And companies don’t put sugar on their labels (cause sugar is such a bad word!) so, they tend to use other words like sucrose, glucose and all that. Go on to Anmum’s website, they have a list of the common examples of added sugar names. Read the labels, and if you don’t know the ingredients, don’t get it. Why feed your child something that you don’t know?
Anmum Essential was recommended to Sharifah and her family and it’s the first milk they’ve tried and the only milk they drink. “My 2 girls liked it instantly the first time we tried it. They never had much sugar growing up so, they love Anmum Essential.”
Sugar can be addictive, once a child has tasted sugar, they would constantly crave for it. If a child that wasn’t exposed to sugar at a young age, like Sharifah’s 2 girls, they tend to limit their own sugar intake.
“Kids being kids, they like the colourful swirls of candy, the sweetness of chocolates but they don’t gorge themselves on it. They stop after one or two and they know their limits,” she adds.
For a year, her family only ate at home. Sharifah Sofia would cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for her family. By doing this, she’s able to limit her daughter’s intake of sugar and salt. After a while, she decided to start her own baby food business, selling healthy, homemade baby food that sold fresh food that her daughters enjoyed eating.
“I don’t consider myself a good mum, I mean, I have cravings too. My weakness is chocolates and I have a secret stash of chocolates that I’ll eat in the kitchen away from the kids. There's also the occasional McDonald’s craving and I would feel guilty if I don’t get a Happy Meal for them,”
Being a good mum is very subjective, most mums are stressed out, especially working mums. Working mums are always in a rush, rushing to work, rush through their work, and rushing back home.
By the time they get started on the chores and taking care of their kids, they don’t have time to cook a healthy meal for the family. “Mums have to sacrifice something. Maybe leave the chores for the weekend and cook a healthy dinner for your family?” Sharifah suggested.
No matter what women do, they’re constantly judged. You should breastfeed your child, you should give your child formula, you should let your child cry it out, you should hug your child, nowadays, and everyone seems to have an opinion or advice.
“I try to not give advice because I think there’s enough to go around, but if I have to, it would be, to follow your instincts and follow your heart. Don’t listen to others cause everyone has an opinion on how to raise your child, all you have to do, is to do the best and provide the best for your child. You’re the child’s mum, you know what’s best for your own child.”
As a mum, we have to do what’s best for our child and let’s learn to lead a healthier lifestyle. Learn to read food labels and better yet, learn to cook and prepare the meal yourself. Not only it’s going to be fresher, you’re able to control what goes into it.
Log onto Anmum.com.my for more details on reading labels and added sugars!