Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

Making Sweet Rice Balls with my Preschooler

Happy Chinese New Year, everyone!  It is the year of the snake.  Click here to read my post from last year explaining this popular holiday celebrated in many parts of Asia.

So here was a fun activity I did with my five year old... we made "tang yuan" or glutinous rice balls... which is a chinese dessert that is yummy and so easy to make.

Ingredients:
-  sweet rice flour (or glutinous rice flour) which can be bought at an Asian grocery store
-  water
optional - food coloring (or we used pink sprinkles... the kind you can put on cupcakes)
-  brown sugar
-  you can also make these balls larger and put other things inside like red bean paste or even fruit etc.  but we didn't this time...

In a bowl, we spooned about 1 cup of the sweet rice flour.  Then I had my five year old spoon in water with a teaspoon until the consistency is just right... (comes out to be about 4 oz total).   Basically, you want the dough to be sticky so you can roll it into tiny balls.  We made some white balls and some pink balls by just adding pink sprinkles... she sprinkled and I mixed with my hand until we liked the color of the dough.   Just for fun since Valentines Day is around the corner we made some into a heart shape...  My daughter was specifying who she wanted each ball was going to be for.. so she made some real small (like the ones for her little brother or her baby cousin) and some she made real big... as you can see below...  she likes pink so we made more pink balls =)



To cook just drop them into a pot of boiling water.




They are done when they float to the top!  (about 5-10 min)

So add brown sugar to the water and then you have a sweet dessert soup...

You can also add these glutinous rice balls to other famous chinese desserts like red bean soup...
or green mung bean soup...

Anyways, this was fun, easy to make, and yummy... and an activity I could do with probably all my kids... even the one year old if I can stand the mess!  I didn't this time... maybe next time...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Food Poisoning vs Stomach Bug

So many families around us are coming down with the "stomach bug" that I figured it is only a matter of time before it hits us... especially since I'm exposed to so much of it from treating patients.

Well, Miss A threw up at least five times tonight.  Poor little thing, it is so heart wrenching to watch her small body writhe and retch and I'm amazed at how so much can come out of a such a tiny tummy!  I am not feeling so well myself even as I write this so I fear I'm going to be #2 on the hit list.  Unfortunately, if this is truly the bug and not some bad food she ate earlier today or yesterday... then it will likely go through most if not all of our family since the stomach bug is so contagious.

So how does one differentiate between a stomach bug and food poisoning?  It is not always easy to tell which is which since a lot of the symptoms overlap.  Here are some main differences:

Cause
  • food poisoning is due to bad food (usually something like potato salad)
  • stomach bug is usually due to a virus (rotavirus, adenovirus, norwalk virus etc)
Onset
  • food poisoning usually starts within 2-24 hrs of exposure
  • stomach bug can take from 1 to even 10 days of exposure before symptoms start
Duration
  • food poisoning usually lasts 24 hrs
  • stomach bug can last 3-5 days
Symptoms
  • pretty similar between the two with nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and sometimes diarrhea
  • if notice blood, should get evaluated by a physician
Treatment
  • again pretty similar between the two with rest and hydration being main focus
  • better to push small amounts of fluids more frequently than large amounts
Click here for a site that actually has a pretty good flow chart and you can click here to take a quiz to see which you likely have.




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