Tricks from the past & present generations: S’porean parents share how they keep their kids healthy & boost their immunity 

Health is wealth.

| Melanie Lim | Siti Hawa | Sponsored | July 28, 2022, 11:12 AM

Raising children is no easy feat and keeping their kids healthy is typically one of the top priorities for parents.

New parents are also likely to seek advice from their peers, parents and even past generations when it comes to helping their kids thrive.

We spoke to three Singaporean parents to find out how they keep their kids in tip top form, and they shared everything from old-school tips to more ‘modern’ tips.

“Tried and tested methods”

Diane Choo, a mother to three boys uses “tried and tested methods” that were recommended to her by her own mother.

“My mother’s top tip is to apply telon oil to my kids’ stomach after baths to ensure good digestive health. It’s very popular and my siblings and friends use it for their kids too.” 

“We also give walnut oil which provides essential fatty acids and is supposed to be good for their gut health and immune system.”

“Growing up, my mother would also apply Zambuk (a medicated ointment) whenever I had bruises, cuts and even mosquito bites. We use it for my sons too.”

While some of these ‘old-school’ methods are still used by today’s parents, other practices such as sleep training and focusing on nutrition have taken center stage. 

“Find nutritious diets that your child can take well to”

First-time mum Magdalene Lim finds it important to expose her son, Asher, to a wide variety of foods early. 

This was something she had learnt from her own parents, as well as books she had read.

Lim believes that consuming a wide range of nutritious foods can help kids boost their immunity by providing them with a range of vitamins and minerals.

Introducing a variety of food early might also help them to become less picky with their food.

Besides not forcing her son to finish his food, Lim also reintroduced food Asher may not have liked the first time because he is not used to it.  

She recommends following the Instagram accounts of these mothers who share meal inspirations for kids:

“Help [them] develop a greater curiosity for trying new types of food, start sleep training early”

Zacharoy Dass, places great importance on his daughter, J, eating and sleeping well.

“We make sure that J is exposed to various food textures and tastes. This has certainly helped her to develop a greater curiosity for trying new types of healthy food!”

Zacharoy and his wife are also very intentional about sleep training as they believe that good sleep quality is beneficial for a child to stay healthy.

Many pages on Instagram offered helpful perspectives and routines, and gave them suggested timings for wake/sleep windows that were age-appropriate. 

“It took awhile to get into the rhythm but it definitely helped J (and our sanity). Even though there were moments when she was going through periods of regression and we had to let her cry it out on her own (when going to sleep), it eventually helped her develop her ability to self-soothe. Persistence is key! And not reproaching yourself even when the crying is heart-wrenching.” 

Zacharoy also recommends getting a white noise machine as “letting your child sleep in a room with white noise turned on allows you to carry on doing your own stuff outside without worry about disturbing him/her.”

Sufficient sleep regulates the immune system

These tips, while seemingly straightforward, are pillars to our children’s health and wellness.

Kids need sleep to grow and stay healthy as sufficient sleep helps their bodies to repair themselves, according to HealthHub.

Having enough quality sleep is also imperative in regulating a child’s immune system, which makes them less prone to diseases and illnesses.

Help kids pick up healthy food habits 

Apart from sufficient sleep, fruits and vegetables are also beneficial for a child’s immune system as they are filled with vitamins, minerals and fibre. 

Helping your child pick up healthy eating habits might mean that they will develop a preference for them when they are adults. 

For starters, parents can offer a variety of colourful vegetables and fruits each day to help their kids make better food choices. 

Cutting fruits and vegetables into different shapes and sizes and finding creative ways to present them may also help. 

Other ways to boost your child’s immune system

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to parenting. The tips provided in this article are based on each parent’s own unique experiences.

Ultimately, it is still best for parents to decide what works best for their child, based on their own needs.

However, the general understanding is that a balanced diet, a good night’s rest and an active lifestyle all seem to play a part in helping to boost their kids’ immune systems and stay healthy.

If you are looking for other ways to boost your child’s immune system, here’s how Aptamil can benefit your kids.

Aptamil, Gold+ Stage 3 with Immuno-Nutrients+ to provide immunity support and brain development as it has:

  • One billion probiotics~ which help to fight against harmful bacteria in the digestive system, thereby helping to maintain a healthy digestive system
  • Unique Prebiotic Blend scGOS : lcFOS (9:1) to help support your child’s natural defenses^
  • Iron, Zinc, Folic Acid, Vitamin C & D which are necessary for the normal functioning of the immune system
  • Highest DHA compared to other growing up milk, that helps support brain development

Charis Cheah, a Certified Nutritionist with Danone Specialised Nutrition Singapore Pte Ltd shares how these ingredients are being prioritised by parents:

“Parents these days are paying more attention than ever to look out for immunity boosting ingredients such as Pre- and probiotics, DHA, vitamins & minerals with antioxidant properties to provide immunity support for their kids due to the pandemic. 

Cheah also explains how some of these ingredients help to boost immunity:

Based on studies, omega-3 DHA and EPA play key roles in reducing susceptibility to infections and supporting cognitive development and function1. Some vitamins also help enhance the function of immune cells in the body to modulate immune responses2.

Parents who are interested in trying out Aptamil can redeem a Free V 900g Aptamil big tin when they participate in Aptamil’s poll here.

This sponsored article by Aptamil Singapore made the writer learn more about how she can keep her child happy and healthy.

+ Immuno-nutrients referring to Iron, Folic Acid, Vitamin C & D contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system.

^ Contains unique prebiotic blend, scGOS:lcFOS (9:1) to support child’s natural defences. Arslanoglu et al. 2008. Journal of Nutrition, 138:1091-1095

V T&Cs apply. Only applicable for new users. Redemption is strictly limited to one sample per entity. Impersonation of another entity for sample redemption is not allowed (e.g. using another entity’s username, password, or other account information). Multiple accounts creation for the purpose of sample redemption by the same entity will be deemed as fraud and may be reported to the relevant authorities. Excludes infant and follow on formula (0-12 months).

Applies to Aptamil Stage 3 (128mg/100g) & Aptamil HA Stage 3 (87.3mg/100g) Growing Up Milk vs other Growing Up Milk (Stage 3) sold in Singapore as checked on 9 July 2021. 

Applies to Aptamil stage 3 only.

~ 1 billion Probiotics BBM-16V (1X 109 cfu/100g) to fight against harmful bacteria in the digestive system, thereby helping to maintain a healthy immune system

1Hathaway D, Pandav K, Patel M, et al. "Omega 3 Fatty Acids and COVID-19: A Comprehensive Review." Infect Chemother. 2020;52(4):478-495. 


2 Džopalić T, Božić-Nedeljković B, Jurišić V. "The role of vitamin A and vitamin D in modulation of the immune response with a focus on innate lymphoid cells." Cent Eur J Immunol. 2021;46(2):264-269. d