What makes you happy after the Covid-19 circuit breaker? Dining out, getting your hair or manicure done? Ask celebrity mum Jamie Yeo and she would probably tell you that it was having her feisty preschooler Luke, who is turning three, back in school.
While she enjoys bonding with her kids, Alysia and Luke, the 43-year-old TV host and former radio deejay shares that juggling work at home and parenting had been rather stressful in the past months.
“Luke can get quite naughty. He screams when he throws a tantrum. It was quite challenging as my work still had to go on. I was doing content creation and juggling live streams as well,” says Jamie over a Zoom interview with Young Parents. She also recently started her own jewellery line, Lula J Jewelry.
“When preschool opened on June 8, I was so happy because it felt like I could get my life back. See? I even remember the reopening date so well!” she adds with a laugh.
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Her daughter Alysia, 10, on the other hand, was able to handle her home-based learning independently.
“Her school’s home-based learning was quite intensive, so she’d be in her room doing the assignments,” Jamie says.
Work-from-home stress aside, the busy mum is thankful that her kids’ health has been good in the past months.
“Even if they have the sniffles, they get over it in a day. They’ve been healthy, which I’m really, really thankful for,” she says.
With Covid-19 still lurking in the community, Jamie has been extra vigilant when it comes to keeping her kids’ immunity up with a nutritious diet. Plus, she knows how miserable it can get whenever the kids come down with digestive problems or tummy upsets.
So while her kids love their carbohydrates, like bread, pizza and fries, Jamie makes sure that they eat at least two types of vegetables and fruit in their meals.
Sharing how Alysia, who was born 10 weeks early, used to struggle with a host of digestive problems, Jamie says: “For some reason, Aly’s (digestion) seems less hardy than Luke, probably because she was born premature at 30 weeks. From the get-go, Aly had a lot of reflux. She would vomit a lot and easily regurgitated her milk.”
Going to the toilet used to be a source of stress for little Alysia, too.
“When she was a baby, she used to bleed a little (from constipation) and she would get upset having to go to toilet. There was a period in her life as a toddler when I had to hold her hand while she did a poo,” says Jamie.
Thankfully, Alysia’s digestive issues have gone away with age and a healthy diet supplemented with lots of gut-friendly foods like yoghurt and probiotics, she adds.
While Luke appears to have a hardier digestive system, Jamie sometimes worries about his huge appetite.
“Luke eats as much as Aly at breakfast. He loves anything potato-ish – mash potatoes, sweet potatoes, all of those starchy foods. He can eat as much roasted sweet potatoes as me. Sometimes, I look at the way he eats, and I’m scared he’d explode,” she says, laughing.
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How Jamie gets her kids to eat better
A #momhack that Jamie uses to get her kids to eat more nutritious, immune-boosting vegetables and fruit is to let them to create their own colourful, artistic plate – the kids think they are in control and Mum wins.
To give her kids’ digestive health and immunity an added boost, they also take probiotics every day.
Jamie says Alysia and Luke currently supplement their healthy meals with Enterogermina Probiotics, which she tried and tested. The probiotics has worked well for her sensitive tummy and her kids because it is tasteless, odourless and can be added into their water, milk or juice, says Jamie.
At home, Jamie tries to limit her kids’ sugar intake, which is why she prefers not to give them sweetened probiotic drinks every day.
“The kids love them obviously, because they are sweet but I personally don’t believe in giving them a sweet drink every day because my kids on sugar go absolutely nuts and can’t sleep,” she says.
Having said that, Jamie adds that she is also mindful of being overly restrictive with their sugar intake, which may backfire when they are older.
“I feel kids shouldn’t be ‘caged up’. They still need to have some sweets every now and then, so they don’t go crazy over sugar when they get older,” she says.
(Photos: Jamie Yeo/Instagram)
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