Asian Style Steam Swai Fillet

Growing up by the coast has given me the opportunities to try vast variety of deep sea fish. It is sort of sad that I couldn’t find a lot of the fish I enjoyed eating at home when I moved to America. Though, I always find ways to curb my home sickness with a little bit of twist and substitution here and there to make it work.

This time I use Swai fish (Vietnamese catfish), it is tender and has a milder taste. It doesn’t have that “muddy” earth like taste of the regular catfish so it might be more acceptable to the little kids to try. You can use any type of white fish as well, cod, grouper, catfish, tilapia, flounder, sole, bass or snapper as you wish.


Serves:3-4 servings (4 oz per serving : 140 calories, 20 gm protein)


2 medium Swai fillets (~8 oz fillet each)
5 1/2 inch thick sliced ginger – julienned
3 Garlic clove – minced
2 Green onions stalk – cut into 4 inches length and slice thin
1-2 Tomatoes (half and slice ) *optional
2 Tablespoon cooking oil
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
A pinch of Salt & White Pepper


  1. Rub salt and white pepper powder on the fish fillet.
  2. Layered sliced tomatoes at the bottom of a 10 inches deep dish.
  3. Steam fish for 8 minutes (longer if a thicker cut fish is used).
  4. In a separate small skillet add cooking oil and heat up under medium
  5. Once the oil started to glisten, add in the ginger and garlic, sauteed until slightly golden brown then toss in the sliced green onions and continue to sauteed for 8-10 seconds. Add in a tablespoon of soy sauce at the end and turn of the heat.
  6. Pour the sauce mixture over the steam fish and serve immediately.



Baby’s Poop 101… What parents should know!

“Did they poop? How much they poop? What’s the poop look like ? Is this normal ? ” Those are the thoughts process always going through new parents’ mind on a daily basis when taking care of their babies.

Well, what does nutrition has to do with it ?? The answer is EVERYTHING ! Food consumption, digestion and defecation is an important indicator for healthy gut, digestion and food tolerance. A healthy gut and healthy poop means your baby will be absorbing the nutrients he/she is needing and grow without major problem.

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Baby’s stool frequency,  color, and consistency tells me a lot about their diet and whether if there’s something the parent should be concerned about. Whether it be allergies, intolerance, dehydration, constipation, malabsorptions, irritable bowel etc – poops are usually the first tell tale signs of something has gone awry or it is completely normal.

What’s normal?? There really isn’t a concrete answer. Some baby goes everyday with 2-3 soiled diapers  or more and some only goes once per day. As long as they don’t look uncomfortable with harden belly or straining too hard when they have to go, there’s nothing to worry about. Exclusive breastfeeding baby sometimes can go several days and up to 7 days without having a bowel movement and this is completely normal as well.


Black, Sticky, Tarry (First  1-3 days of life) Meconium (the first poop from the intestine of newborn)
Yellow, Seedy, Curds like Breast feeding poop (Breast milk is very easily digested and move through the intestine quickly. Therefore, it’s yellow/mustard yellow color most of the time).
Darker Yellow/brown Combination of breast milk and formula feeding
Dark brown/Tan/Light Tan Formula feeding or sometimes when your baby is on goat’s formula or goat’s milk.
Yellow  with Mucus Sometimes this is normal, usually when baby is teething and is swallowing more of their saliva. But it can also means some intolerance to milk (check the frequency and when in doubt-call the doctor)
Green frothy Imbalance of foremilk (watery clear)and hindmilk (rich creamy milk) Note: Just make sure to feed baby long enough on one breast to empty the rich creamy hindmilk before switching to the other breast.
Darker Yellow/ Dark brown soft solid with undigested food–It could be orange, dark blue, dark green Transition between milk to solids, and when they start eating more solids food, undigested food chunks will be identified in their soft formed poop. Colored poop as long as is not black and dark red is normal based on the type of foods they are eating. If it is darker red (make sure baby hasn’t been eating beets or cherries the day prior).

NOTE: Remember the faster the food goes through the intestine tract, it will be yellow, when it’s a slower digestion, it will change to green, brown then dark brown to black (which will lead to constipation)

Green If your baby are those select few that were solely on amino-acid based formula such as Elecare® or Neocate® or Alfamino®. Don’t be alarmed if their poop is green.
Diarrhea Food/milk intolerance, malabsorption, or it could be viral illness as well.  Note: Make sure baby is well hydrated. If it lasted more than 2 days, contact your baby’s pediatrician.
Very dark brown/black, hard small pellets, marbles like size Constipation.  This could mean they have extra iron in their diet, not enough fiber or not getting enough liquids. Note:  Offer prunes, peaches, pears and massage their belly gently if they are older than 6 months old. Making sure baby (6 months and older) getting enough liquids (breastmilk or formula and 1-2 oz water daily). You can also look into probiotic drops or formula that contains probiotics for your baby if he/she is prone to constipation.
Bloody tint/streak in yellow stool Sign of food allergies. Usually milk protein allergies. Note: Remove cow’s milk formula and use an semi-elemental formula (Alimentum®, Nutramigen®Gerber® Extensive HA®
or Pregestimil®). If you are breastfeeding, you’ll need to eliminate all dairy from your diet.  Check with your baby’s pediatrician to complete a milk protein allergy testing to get a better picture.
Bloody stool Milk, allergies, intestinal infections, or gastrointestinal bleeding.  Call the pediatrician right away!
Chalky White Liver or gallbladder problem because of bile malabsorption. Call pediatrician right away!

There’s several parenting sites that has visual I like that decipher the baby’s poop mystery for mothers (and fathers) to look at.  First one is from Parents: Baby Poop Guide they also have a very nice pdf file to download and keep it handy at home. All you have to do is simply becoming a member with no fees or obligations. Here’s their PDF Parents_Baby_Poop_Guide to save you a trip to sign up if you don’t want to subscribe.  Second site is  Baby poop: A complete guide | BabyCenter and the third one is from Similac Diaper Decoder. I quite like the Similac decoder page because it tells you the reason why the poop is the way it is and if you should be worried.

Again, this is all just a guidance for the first time parents. A proper diagnosis from your child’s pediatrician is highly recommended if your child is experiencing any abnormal signs and symptoms of their bowel movement!



Macaroni with Sauteed Mushroom and Tomatoes


This simple vegetarian dish is something anyone can cook real quickly after a busy day from work. Less than 30 minutes you’ll have a meal on the table.

A family friend has given us a bunch of oyster mushroom earlier this week and I think it goes quite well with the macaroni. You can definitely substitute with other button mushroom as well.

My daughter ate a heaping portions of it and I hope yours does too. If you have leftovers, or just would like a little extra protein, revamp the dish and topped it with steamed broccoli, grilled chicken or shredded rotisserie chicken.

3 cups cooked macaroni (about 1 1/2 cups dried macaroni)
1/2 can of small (10.5 oz) cream of mushroom soup
1/3 cup pasta water (reserve the boiling liquid from cooking the macaroni)
1 1/2-2 cups grape tomatoes (halves)
2 cups oyster mushrooms
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper (optional)

1. Cook the dried macaroni in a 2 quarts pot of salted boiling water (1 teaspoon of salt). About 6-7 minutes or until al dente. Reserve 1/3 cup liquid, drain macaroni and keep aside.
2. In a separate saute pan heat up olive oil in medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 10-15 seconds.
3. Once the garlic turn slightly golden, add in the mushroom and saute for 1-2 minutes with a splash of water to prevent the garlic from burning.
4. Next add in the cooked macaroni, mushroom soup and water. Stir the content until evenly coated or well mixed. Let it cool together for another minute.
5. Lastly toss in the grape tomatoes, stir it a few more times and remove from heat.
6. Add some freshly ground black pepper before serving.

Easy Greek Yogurt Creamsicle (酸奶冰条)

As the weather warming up in Oregon, making some cold snacks has been the routine between me and my husband.  Now we have a little tot running around, I’ll have to make something sweet but at the same time nutrient pack as well.

I’ve recommended this type of greek yogurt pop for a lot of the kids I see in clinic to help them get the calories and protein they need to gain weight. Greek yogurt is caloric dense, less sugar and high in protein, plus the probiotic benefits is good for their digestive system as well.

I’m using the full fat type of yogurt as fat free is not recommended for any children age 2 and below because they needed the fat for their brain development. If you have an older kid, feel free to use the low fat yogurt to cut down the calories unless they are underweight and needing the calories for weight gain.

This is another easy recipe that can be enjoyed by everyone in the house 🙂


5.5 oz of full fat peach Greek yogurt (one container)
2-3 Tablespoon regular strawberry yogurt (to add a little sweetness or you can use frozen strawberries puree too)
2 Tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt
1/4 Cup of orange juice


  • Mix all ingredients together and put into the Popsicle mold or use paper cups with ice cream sticks.
  • Tap the bottom of the mold to ensure the content settle to remove the air bubbles.
  • Put in freezer and let it freeze for 2-3 hours. It will make 4-5 creamsicle depending how large the mold is.


Nutrition for Infant 6-9 Months

If you are a first time mom (FTM), surviving the first 6 months after your baby is born is definitely worth celebrating. If you are an experienced mom, then kudos to you for your bravery to take on the second or third kids challenge.

Being a mother is a 24/7 job and  not counting the sleep deprivation, trying to establish breast milk supply, constant worrying and the emotional roller coaster post-partum and the list goes on. None the less, you have made it past the most difficult months but there’s still a lot more ahead we have to know about your baby’s nutritional well being when they are ready to embark on the solid foods journey.

Now that you’ve mastered their schedule down to a tee, let’s talk food 🙂

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6 -7 Months

Starting solids is a big step for your baby. But where do you start ? Answer is start simple, one food at a time and there’s no right or wrong on whether you start rice cereal, fruits, vegetables or meat first. There’s no research to support whether the starting order of vegetables first will make your infant to be more incline to eating vegetables later. Nope, no such things. Breast milk and infant formula are sweet to begin with, so most babies will have a tendency to like fruits much better than others.

Offer a wide variety of foods (cereal, fruits (no juice at this time), vegetables, meats), but only single food at a time. Start with one food, offer for 2-3 days and then introduce the next to rule out any potential allergies. But do remember, do not add salt at this time as baby’s kidney are still developing. This will go on for about two months time to let them try as much food as possible. By the end of 7 months, the list of food they can consume will grow to about 30-35 foods.

You can also lightly seasoned the foods with spices, herbs as well at about 7 months. Introducing purees doesn’t equate to eating bland foods for your children. Expose them with different flavors which in turn will help them be more of a adventurous eater later on. They don’t have to like it, by just exposing them with variety of flavors profile will do.

How much to offer ? About 1/2-1 Tablespoon is a good start at each meal. Let your baby be the guide on how much they wanted to eat. Baby will turn their head or spitting out food when they are done with eating.

Key Point:  At 6-7 months of age, solids foods are consider a “complimentary” foods. As in it is just supposed to be letting the infant to experience the different taste of food and continue to work on their oral motor development. Food at this point are not suppose to replace their major source of nutrition (breast milk or infant formula. 90% of their caloric intake should still be breast milk or infant formula at this time (approximately 26-32 ounces daily).

8-9 Months

After your baby has time to master the oral motor skills for 1-2 months. Now is time to introduce some chunky purees now. If you are interested and aren’t afraid of baby led weaning (BLW) techniques, you can also try giving your baby well cooked vegetables, soft ripen fruits (cut in stripe or small cubes), soft/ground meats (fish/meat balls) with careful supervision at dining table. At this time, most baby has the capability to chew with or without teeth and swallow without much difficulty.

You can start introduce cheese, yogurt (not cow’s milk or goat’s milk yet), egg yolk and egg whites if you like. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Allergy organization have released reports that early introduction of high allergenic food such as egg whites, wheat, nuts can reduces even high risk infants of developing egg/nuts allergies later on.

How much to feed ? Making sure to offer about 1-2 Tablespoons of each food groups (Grains/bread, fruit, vegetables, meat/meat substitute) at meal time if possible. They can have more if desire. Can start offering snacks in between feeding such as cheese, yogurt, teething biscuit, cut up fruits.

Don’t let anyone (family, friends or co-workers) to put you down whichever methods you choose and how you feed your children.  As long as your baby is growing well and eating nutritious meals within the recommended guidelines, do what works for your family! One size doesn’t fit all.

However, do remember that at this time. Baby still need their main source of nutrition from breast milk and infant formula. About 70-80% of caloric intake from breast milk/infant formula (~24 ounces per day) and the rest from solids. Continue with no to minimal salt with cooking for the foods that will be served to your baby at this time frame.

Once they started to eat more solids, their poop will change to more of a darker solids form and sometimes even becoming less frequent with their bowel movement. Offer 1/2-1 ounce of water during meal time and also feed your baby fruits that helps to relieve constipation such as prunes/pears/peaches/plums. If your baby hasn’t poop in 3 days, you can offer 1 oz prune juice / apple juice mix with 1 oz of water and massage their belly to help stimulate bowel movement. Always call the pediatrician for advice when you are worried.