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A Note from Ann

Smart Planner

Smart Feature


15 Non-Traditional Ways to Boost Baby’s Health

Smart Prizes


Get One for Free!

Smart Picks


Silly Bandz & Wishbone Bike

Smart Pregnancy & Baby

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Ten Effective Ways to Boost your fertility Feeding Baby from the Womb

Smart Child

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7 Great Outdoor Activities for Kids 7 Ways to Teach Kids about Money

Smart Bonding

16 17

See the Pink Dolphins

Smart Health

18 23

Reducing the Risks of Cot Death or SIDS

Air Pollution and Asthma

Smart Food

20 22

Turkey Tips and Alternatives

Family Favorites- Fast Food Made Healthy!

Smart Alert


Fisher Price Recalls- How Safe Are Our Toys?

Smart Education


The English Schools Foundation (ESF)

Smart Mom

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Pregnancy and Fitness

Ways to Pamper Mummy-to-be in Hong Kong

Smart Home

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Po Toi Island- Hong Kong’s Hidden Gem

Feng Shui and Our Home

Build a Green Home with your Family

Smart Travel


Atlantis in Dubai



Publisher           Alchemy Media Group Limited

Business Development Manager   Sandy Costales Advertising Sales Manager   Charles Alston Editor in Chief    Ann Snelling

Art Director        Sherwin U. Llames Contributors:      Jennie Peterson Angie Lee Grace Wu

Pamela Bradley of IPAC Financial Planning Accounts             Charles Ng

Printing Office:   Gear Printing Limited 1/F Express Industrial Building 43 Heung Yip Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong

The Smart Mom is published monthly by Alchemy Media Group Limited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any manner without the permission of the publisher. Opinions expressed in this magazine are the writers and are not necessarily endorsed by the publisher. The Smart Mom cannot be held responsible for any errors or inaccuracies provided by the advertisers or contributors. The publisher reserves the right to accept or reject editorial or advertising material. Publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material. Address all correspondence and subscription inquiries to THE SMART MOM, Alchemy Media Group Limited, 66/F, The Centre, 99 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong. Tel.Nos. (85) 3960 6395. Email: feedback@ For distributorship inquiry, call Sandy Costales at (85) 3960 6395. To subscribe to THE SMART MOM newsletter, log on to:


A Note from Ann


A very warm welcome to the first issue of Smart Mom Magazine! Our goal is to be your most trusted source of enlightening and valuable information on every area of parenting and the family. As well as addressing serious issues and everyday parental concerns, our magazine is above all a joy to read – fun and entertaining. We do not preach, nor do we judge, we simply provide well researched, valuable information to enhance your life as a parent or expectant parent. We believe in common sense and thinking ‘outside the box’ and that a happy parent often means happy children. Our monthly magazine offers fifteen regular ‘Smart’ sections with an average of two articles each. We cover all areas from our monthly feature article to ‘Ask our Smart Expert’ (our questions and answers pages). The wide areas in between include pregnancy and baby, child development, family bonding, health, education, an ‘Alert’ section addressing serious issues, food and drink, the home, travel, a whole section dedicated to mothers having fun, and last but not least, our diary and prizes. Hong Kong is fabulous in its November glory of cool sunny days and starry nights. What better than to get out and about with hubby and the kids… breathe that fresh air and bask in the autumnal sunshine? We have chosen two very special destinations that are off the beaten track and involve seeing our own native Pink Dolphins. Yes, they swim our seas! Following the recent Fisher Price recall, we are asking the crucial question of how safe our toys actually are? We addressed Cot Death and its prevention as well as Hong Kong’s pollution and its links to Asthma. More from this issue include ways to increase fertility and eating well for your unborn baby. Feng Shui and ‘green’ articles cover our home section, and for you expectant Mums out there - ways to let your hair down and advice on boosting your baby’s health. We all love food and travel and how better for us to contribute than by showing how to make your family’s favourite ‘junk’ foods healthy! As some of us will be celebrating Thanksgiving this month and most of us the festive season of December, we are providing some great turkey tips and alternatives to this old American bird. We will introduce a different international school every month and have kicked off with the grand dame of English speaking schools, the 43 year old foundation – the ESF. By the way, Atlantis is in Dubai! To see what I mean read on… By now, you can gather that we offer a very comprehensive source of information to our readers hoping to enhance your lives as parents. I would like to thank our writers and contributors for all their hard work, and Sandy our Business Development Manager who has worked tirelessly to make our launch as successful as it has been. Most of all we would like to thank you, the reader for making this possible for us. Should you have any comments, suggestions or articles you would like to see in the Smart Mom Magazine please do not hesitate to contact me on: I look forward to hearing from you.

thesmartmom | NOVEMBER 2010 |

For the Diary

Dear Reader,

November 2010


Food and Wine Themed Classes and Tours



Kowloon from 1881: A Century of Change Exhibition 1881 Heritage, Tsim Sha Tsui

continuation . . . Hong Kong Cricket Sixes, Kowloon Cricket Club


continuation . . . Arts in the Park MardiGras, Central Lawn, Victoria Park

NOV.15-21 New Vision Arts Festival



The Conrad Fair Conrad Hotel, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong 10:00 am to 8:00 pm


American Women’s Association of Hong Kong Charity Bazaar The Excelsior Hotel, 281 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay 10:00 am- 6:00 pm


NOV.4 Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibit Centre

Sai Kung Food Festival

NOV.12 Lan Kwai Fong Carnival

NOV.18-21 Hong Kong Open Championships, Hong Kong Golf Club, Fanling

NOV.25 American Thanks giving US


Symphony Under the Stars, Happy Valley Racecourse Recreation Ground

Hong Kong Cricket Sixes, Kowloon Cricket Club


Arts in the Park Mardi Gras, Central Lawn, Victoria Park

NOV.27-28 The 4th Hong Kong Dance Sport Festival, Arena Queen Elizabeth Staduim

UNICEF Charity Run 2010 (starts at Hong Kong Disneyland)

Until next month, enjoy! Happy reading,

Ann S. Ann Snelling Editor in Chief | NOVEMBER 2010 | thesmartmom




forgotten the significance of it, if not for the drastic rise of health and wellness centers all over the world wherein spa massages are almost always part of it. Fact is, a baby massage can assist in alleviating many health conditions, such as cold and cough, colic and gas, and other chronic diseases. A baby massage relaxes the body and mind and improves digestion, too. It contributes to good behavior because children who have been massaged are less aggressive and violent. Since a mother’s touch is very important, it also becomes a medium of communication between the baby and the mom, thus strengthening the bond between the two.


. Music

appreciation and exploration. We all know how music

feeds the soul. Now, even for babies, it does the same thing, too. Music has a positive effect on baby’s heart rate and oxygen saturation. Plus, remember how they also used to say that classical music is good brain-booster?


Non-Traditional Ways

To Boost Baby’s Health

A mother’s touch is like no other, so they say. But sometimes babies may need a little more diversity in order to boost their physical, intellectual, and psychological wellbeing and to develop other skills needed later in life. If you’re running out of ideas on how to boost your baby’s overall health, here’s how you can kick things off anew with your baby.


. Laughter

is still the best

medicine. The old adage is right from the very start. There is nothing you can compare to the lightness of being that laughter brings. Tickle your baby once in a while. Let your baby laugh. Do funny, goofy things with your baby to make each other laugh. Remember, if laughter is good for your baby, it’s good for you, too, as it takes stress away.


. Sink or swim. As early as six months old, swimming can be introduced to babies, both for health reasons and for pleasurable activity. Health-wise, swimming is a good cardiovascular exercise, supports lung health, and prevents obesity in children, among many others.


thesmartmom | NOVEMBER 2010 |


. Play with color. Expose your child to the wonderful world of colors. Pastels have been said to be perfect for improving the immune system, basically because these are tranquil to look at. Show your baby different colors painted on a piece of paper. Otherwise, let your baby do the trick of dabbing color on the paper. Coloring is a relaxing activity, so try to give your baby safe and bright-colored pens and toys to explore with.


. Baby massage. Although massage therapy has been proven in the early years to be an effective alternative to promote sound mind and body, the modern era has somehow


. Infant games. Try to introduce infant games according to age. Take for example a beach ball balance game that is perfect from zero to three months old infant. This develops baby’s upper body strength and improves balance. You could also try playing with puppets to develop eye-hand coordination, a pillow obstacle course that develops gross motor skills, coordination, and balance for your baby, or stacking bowls that supports creative thinking and problemsolving skills. 7.Baby yoga. Just when you thought yoga is only for adults, think again. You can enroll in mommy-baby yoga class or just do it creatively at home. Baby yoga fuels your baby’s senses and develops bones and muscles, too.


. Artsy-craftsy baby. Surprisingly, arts and crafts can be considered baby activities, too, calming the body and encouraging an out-of-the-box thinking from the baby. It’s also a healthy form of self-expression wherein there’s no right or wrong, but purely one’s creative imagination.


. Crib

toys and accessories in the bin. Some toys and accessories

for babies are considered unhealthy. Find out what are these, and take it away from your baby’s crib. A clear example is eradicating stuffed toys which are hazardous to asthmatic babies. Then just stick with toys such as rattles which improve eye-hand and muscle coordination, as well as train grasping reflexes of your baby.


. Stroller exercise. Who says only moms can get exercise routines? Babies can have one, too. Take your baby out for a stroller ride. Though

your baby may not be sweating like you do, sitting him up in a relaxed position and letting your baby look at the world through his eyes is already an excellent visual exercise, thus developing his sense of sight and observation skills.



session with a

twist. Reading is a timeless way to bond with your baby, but you can put a little spin on it by dressing up and acting out like the real character in your story. Doing so can ignite excitement, joy, and happy vibe on your child, besides developing his sense of sight and listening skill.


. Sign language. Though it may sound impossible to teach your eight-month-old baby the sign language, some say it is not. But it would take more than patience to accomplish that. The bestthing about this is, teaching sign language at an early age increases your baby’s IQ.


. Early proper hygiene. Admit it or not, many parents may have forgotten how to train their babies of proper hygiene. As early as possible, you should show and teach your baby how to wash hands properly, especially that baby’s hands are exposed to dirt and dust from crawling on the floor or picking up things here and there. A clean hand contributes to a healthy system because it prevents the transport of germs and bacteria from the mouth to the body.


. Snooze time. Aside from its free, taking a snooze is absolutely healthy for baby and mommy. If you’re having a hard time putting your baby to sleep, create a daily sleep routine that is specifically designed for your baby. Most kids nowadays have forgotten the importance of afternoon naps. Lest we forget that a happy, well-rested child is a healthy child as well.



for the preggy

mom. What better way to start keeping your baby healthy than taking care of yourself when you’re pregnant? Contrary to popular belief that exercises can harm the baby and strain the body of the mother, exercising while pregnant actually strengthens your baby’s lungs and nervous system. Keeping your baby healthy, inside and out, is not as difficult as it seems. All we need to do is learn how to recreate the old tricks we used to know and fit it in the ever-changing lifestyle of today. Add to that, maintaining a dynamic, chaos-free, and blissful home environment is, in fact, the first step to keeping yourself and the whole family healthy. | NOVEMBER 2010 | thesmartmom





Email your feedback and suggestions to and win one of these prizes for free!

30 3

Hocusadabra Bags worth 980 each

mins Flight Experience Gift Certificate worth HK$ 1,080

Silly Bandz They are no ordinary rubber bands, but Silly Bandz. And the kids are obsessed with them these days. Kids are going crazy over them, they wear them, they collect them, they trade them with other kids. They come in different shapes and sizes and colors, and some packed are themed such as animals and stars. The amazing thing of these bandz is that you can do whatever a rubber band can do and they fall back to whatever they originally are. And no need to worry about its safety, as they are made out of 100% medical grade silicone. Why not giving some color with your child and have some silly fun?


Wishbone Bike Ever thought about what you’ll do with that hunk of plastic on wheels that will last 6 months before you need to update it? We did and so we searched everywhere and ended up in New Zealand where we found the Wishbone Bike. Wishbone bike begins with three wheels offering lightness (approx 3.5kgs) and stability for your one year old. When your child is less wobbly, the wheels come off (in a good way) and it becomes a two wheeler. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, the Wishbone frame is flipped to become one of the largest running bikes on the market, perfect for your five year old! With it’s sustainable design and easy assembly instructions, you’ll never have another excuse for multi coloured land-fill again... available at Hocusadabra, HK$ 1950

Hyatt Shatin Overnight Stay for the whole family


thesmartmom | NOVEMBER 2010 | | NOVEMBER 2010 | thesmartmom





Ten Effective


Ways to Boost

your Fertility

We love to hear from you!

Email us your parenting concern

The sad fact is that approximately one in seven couples have problems conceiving. There are however effective ways to increase your chances. 1) Every Other Day

The most fertile time for a woman is 1016 days from when she starts her period. Sperm also stays alive in the female reproductive tract for up to 3 days. Hence, intercourse every other day during fertile time should be enough to conceive.

2) When to Get Help

After the age of 35 a woman’s fertility drops drastically. If you are between ages 30-35 and have been trying to conceive without success for one year, go and see a doctor. If you are over the age of 35 and have tried unsuccessfully, go after 6 months.

3) Weight & Food

Being underweight or overweight can affect the hormones that control fertility. This applies to both men and women. It has been advised that zinc-rich foods e.g. red meat and wholegrain cereals can improve the quality of sperm.

4) Limit Alcohol Intake


Total abstinence is not mandatory, however there has been a study suggesting 5 drinks a week to affect a woman’s fertility. Moderation is the key.

5) Stop Smoking!

Smoking harms the fertility of both men and women. Smoking reduces a woman’s chances of conceiving by 40 per cent. In men, the damage is reversible as they produce new sperm every 70 days.

6) Fun not Chore

Fertility problems strain relationships, so it’s important to think of sex as fun and not a chore.

7) Romance

Although intense stress for instance bereavement, divorce etc. can disrupt ovulation for 3-4 months, everyday stress e.g. work-stress does not. It only affects fertility as it stops people wanting sex. Counteract this drop in libido by being romantic and planning romantic meals – maybe a candlelit dinner at The Verandah at the Repulsebay. Alternatively try a cosy

thesmartmom | NOVEMBER 2010 |

weekend break away at the 400 year old Pousada de Sao Tiago, a romantic world away from the commercial modern hotels of nearby Macau.

8) Get Your Facts Straight

You do not need to raise your bottom after intercourse, or stay still for 30 minutes. Sperm are chemically attracted to cervical mucus, hence within seconds of ejaculation they are safely on their journey. Anything that escapes doesn’t contain any viable sperm.

9) Keep Sperm Cool

Heat causes sperm damage, and the testes should be 1-2 degrees cooler than the rest of the body. So boys, sitting at your desk is therefore bad for the sperm. Take a five to ten-minute walk every hour to cool them off.

10) Sexual Health

Sexually transmitted infections and diseases, such as Chlamydia, can harm fertility. If you suspect anything, make sure to check with your doctor. | NOVEMBER 2010 | thesmartmom





Baby from the Womb


he foods you eat are your baby’s only source of nutrition so eating healthily during pregnancy is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby. Clever choices regarding pregnancy nutrition can help you promote your baby’s growth and development. The following seven food groups are vital to developing your baby’s health as you feed baby from the Womb. Good Grains

Grains provide your essential carbohydrates and your body’s main source of energy. Wholegrain products contain fiber, iron, B vitamins, various minerals and even protein. Fortified cereals are also a good source of folic acid. Ideally take six to nine servings a day and trade sugary cereals and white bread for whole-grain cereals, whole-grain bread, brown rice and wholewheat pasta. All of these are available in Hong Kong at any good food hall e.g. Great, Three-Sixty and Oliver’s. Larger Supermarkets also stock good variations. Try delicious wild rice or barley in soups, stews, casseroles and salads. Look for products that list in their ingredients whole grains, such as wholewheat flour.


thesmartmom | NOVEMBER 2010 |

Fabulous Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are vital nutritional components of pregnancy. They provide various vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber to aid digestion. Fruit and vegetables are a main source of vitamin C which helps you absorb iron and promotes healthy gums for both you and your developing baby. Dark green vegetables such as broccoli and the Chinese ‘choi sum’ contain the other important pregnancy nutrients that are vitamin A, iron and folate. Five or more servings of fruit and vegetables combined are advised per day. Consider topping your cereal with slices of fresh fruit. Cook a vegetarian pizza and add extra vegetables. As we are in Hong Kong there are a huge variety of interesting exotic fruits. Instead of having your every day apples and oranges why not try mango, dragon fruit, passion fruit, fresh pineapple, custard apples, magosteen, lychees and persimmon etc. Vegetablewise sweet potatoes, winter squash and spinach etc are all good. Mix up a bowl of dried fruit and leave it on your side table for snacking on. Fruit juice also counts but remember that too much juice can lead to undesired weight gain due to the natural fruit sugars.

Power Protein: Meat, Poultry, Fish, Eggs and Beans

The protein, B vitamins and iron in this food group are crucial for your baby’s growth, especially during the second and third trimesters. You should take two or more servings of protein-rich foods per day. For example spread peanut butter on whole-wheat toast for breakfast. Have an omelet or scrambled eggs for lunch, then maybe a salmon fillet or a chicken breast for dinner. Add chickpeas or black beans to your salad. Snack on a handful of soy nuts. It is likely during the first trimester that your traditional sources of protein will no longer appeal to you. Be adventurous and try experimenting with other options. Fish is an excellent source of protein and ‘oily’ fish e.g. salmon and tuna are also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which can promote

your baby’s brain development. However, avoid fish that are potentially high in mercury such as swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish and shark.

Delicious Dairy

Calcium from all dairy products including calcium-fortified soy milk helps build your baby’s bones and teeth. Dairy products also contain vitamins A and D, and protein. The daily requirement is four or more servings. Have more milk in your cereal. Eat yogurt as an afternoon snack. Drink a glass of milk with

dinner and add cheese to your salad or extra cheese to your veggie pizza. Some mothers may have trouble digesting dairy products. Especially in Hong Kong where dairy products are not traditionally part of the Chinese food culture, there are a wide range of calcium-fortified foods and drinks ranging from calcium-fortified juices to calcium fortified crackers. If it’s the lactose you are intolerant to, experiment with lactose-reduced or lactose-free products – these are available at any good food hall e.g. Three-Sixty. Maybe use an over-thecounter lactase enzyme product when you eat or drink dairy products.

Where Would We Be Without Water?

Water is simply crucial. It carries nutrients from the food you eat to your baby. It also helps prevent pregnancy discomforts such as constipation, hemorrhoids, excessive swelling, and urinary tract or bladder infections. As

your pregnancy progresses, drinking too little water can contribute to premature or early labor. Drink at least six 8-ounce (237 milliliters) glasses of water a day. Drink another glass of water for each hour of physical activity.

The Indulgent Threesome: Fats, Oils and Sweets You are pregnant! It’s a nine-month celebration of developing a new life! So it is fine to indulge once in a while. Just

ensure that you are getting the vital nutrients and that your weight gain is on target. There are no minimum requirements for fats and sweets. Avoid going overboard and unwanted extra weight-gain by controlling your portion sizes.

Take Supplements

Even women who eat healthily every day may miss out on key nutrients. One tablet of prenatal multi-vitamins a day will ensure you have everything. Ideally start three months before conception. Your doctor or pharmacist can recommend special supplements if you follow a strict vegetarian diet or have any chronic health conditions.

Eating for Twins or Other Multiples

If you are pregnant with twins or other multiples, you will need more nutrients and calories than those ladies pregnant with one baby. Speak to your doctor about how much more to eat. | NOVEMBER 2010 | thesmartmom




Great Outdoor

Activities for Kids


As autumn has officially fallen upon the city, children are back hitting the books on their Monday to Friday school routine of backpacks and homework and anything related for their education. Some children might have more tight school and learning schedule than others, we should never leave their outdoor activities behind. As parents, we have to bear in mind that children needs more exposure to outdoors to breathe some real fresh air and give all their limbs and brain for a real workout. And the good news is now that the temperature is just right for kids to have some outdoor run around.

ccording to a new report by the U.S. National Wildlife Federation, “Back to School: Back Outside,” time spent outdoors both during school and at home helps children become high-performance learners. The outdoor experience opens their mind and knowledge to learn the world around them and, to make it simply: it can be really fun! It is not such a wise idea to get children stuck indoors all the time and let them spent most of the time on watching television and playing electronic games alone, and we are here to give you some great suggestions of different outdoor activities for your children to spend their time outdoors with quality.

Back to School: Back Outside,

1. Up, Up, and Away! Child Fun

Jet Flight Experience: Let your child be the Captain of a real jet airline! They will be undergoing a 35-minute simulating flight experience with a 15-minute briefing with instructor, to give them a taste of what real pilots do before their every flight. They then will get on the real cockpit and experience a 20 minute flight that follows all the ground procedures, take off, route navigation, and final landing all by themselves.


2. Horse Riding:

The Hong Kong Jockey Club is providing a public horse riding course to for the young to take horse riding lessons and enjoy this equestrian sport. Located in three locations in Hong Kong: Pokfulam, Tuen Mun and Lei Yue Mun, the horses at these schools were retired track racers. They are carefully selected and retrained to ensure safety and physically fit and suitable for public use. It is a great opportunity for them not only to get in touch with nature, but also to develop confidence and a sense of freedom for them to handle on their stables.

3. Get your kids to set sailing: The Aberdeen Boat Club offers training courses for children at all levels of capabilities to set their dinghies on sail. The programmes are run by experienced instructors. It’s a great way for children to get themselves to test the waters and gaining confidence in learning to control the dinghies.

4. Eco-exposing time:

It’s nature’s call to bring your kids to Kadoorie Farm and Botanical Garden. Located on the northern slopes at the highest mountain of Hong Kong, Tai Mo Shan, the Garden possess the utmost natural beauty with its streams, woodland, and facilities that serves as an educational time for your kids to engage and attach themselves with nature. Special events

thesmartmom | NOVEMBER 2010 |

and activities are organized every monthly to give your kids some real resourceful information in raising their awareness of sustainable lifestyles and biodiversity.

5. Get the ball rolling! SOCATOTS gave young

children an opportunity for their first acquaintance physically with the ball. It offers programmes and sessions at different YWCA, Hong Kong Football Clubs and other venues catering for young children starting from walking age to five years, from training the toddlers of basic coordination and balance to getting young children access to a variety of different types of ball games.

6. Family getaway at Pui O Beach: Another place

to bring your kids for a real outdoor fun is Oohlala at Pui O Beach. For approximately 45 minutes bus ride from Central, you and your kids can be able to put the work and the urban life behind completely and experience some real relaxing time on the beach. Oohlala organized various sporting and activities for a great day family fun. You can also look forward to spend overnight at either a campsite where they have tents ready for you, or in hotels in the YWCA or the Silvermine Beach Hotel in Mui Wo. (Contact number: 2984 8710 and email:

7 Ways to Teach Kids

about Money

From their earliest days, our children see money pouring out of machines and their parents slapping a piece of plastic on the counter to obtain whatever they want. Then you give them an Octopus Card – no wonder they think that money grows on trees!


esearch shows that children’s money behaviour is usually established by age 10. However, learning good money habits doesn’t happen by osmosis and it’s not genetic. Kids don’t magically learn to be financially responsible. Some will learn from their friends and what they see on television much more than from school. But the most powerful lessons come from the examples set by their parents and other adults around them. No one wants their children to be financially irresponsible. Imagine seeing your children in adulthood: • deeply in debt with poor money skills and being dependent on you • equating money to self-worth and becoming addicted to possessions • being unable to set financial goals or unable to save • experiencing family conflict due to financial problems Guidance in money management helps to teach children about the

positive and negative meanings of money and what thoughts and feelings go into making money decisions. Rather than letting your children grow up thinking that money comes easily, there are real benefits in teaching kids to understand and use money wisely. Teach them young and they will carry forward that knowledge and live a better financial life. As in all parenting decisions, a consistent approach to encouraging good money habits is essential.

So how do you teach them? The answer is to start young and be firm. Children who get everything they ask for will never learn the value of money. Children learn from observation and example: the most effective teaching is adult role modelling and practising good money habits at home. If you need some help with your own money habits, get advice.

Seven tips to help your kids learn about managing their money 1. encourage them to think about what they want, what they need, and to identify their savings goals (e.g. a new bicycle) 2. help them decide what they really want, and to focus on their most important goals 3. remind them to regularly set aside a specific amount of their pocket money towards the items they are saving for – start with saving 10% of their pocket money 4. help them to control impulse buying by reminding them of their savings goals when they get tempted to buy things that aren’t on the list 5. encourage them to put loose change into a savings jar at the end of each day and to use this little pot of ready cash to cover small personal expenses 6. use pre-paid cards for your children’s mobile phones and make your children top up the card themselves if they spend too fast 7. let them pay for their purchases themselves and in cash if possible. This helps them to learn about the true value of money and physically see and experience the transaction.

This article was contributed by Pamela Bradley. Pamela is the Head of Corporate Consulting Services and a SFC Licensed Representative (SFC CE no: ARH944) with ipac financial planning HK Ltd. Pamela is a Technical Representative with the Professional Insurance Brokers Association, Registration Number PIBA-0428-007917. Pamela can be contacted at Ipac is licensed with the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong, CE No. AAN641. ipac is a member of Professional Insurance Brokers Association, member number 0428. Please note this is general advice only which has not fully taken into consideration the person’s full circumstances, needs and objectives. Do not act on any information in this article but seek professional advice. | NOVEMBER 2010 | thesmartmom




See the

Pink Dolphins In this concrete jungle we call home, some of us appreciate the beauty of our beaches and the tranquil country parks for days out with the family, while others prefer the comfort of their own private clubs. Many would not hesitate to take the kids to see the Polar Bears in the North of Canada or the Penguins on Phillip Island, Australia tomorrow if they were a little bit closer. How about the Pink Dolphins of Hong Kong? This may come as surprising news to many of your readers but yes, we have native Pink Dolphins in our waters.


he Pink Dolphins are technically the Chinese White Dolphins and the adults are either white or pink. The population in our waters are pink due to the blood vessels for thermoregulation. The dolphins mainly inhabit the waters of Lantau North, Southeast Lantau, the Soko Islands and Peng Chau. The company Hong Kong Dolphin Watch has been running boat trips to visit the dolphins for over a decade now. These trips are held to build awareness of these beautiful creatures and strictly adhere to the Code of Conduct for Dolphin Watching Activities. The basic principles of this code are to always observe the dolphins from a distance, not to attempt physical contact,


thesmartmom | NOVEMBER 2010 |

Po Toi Island

Hong Kong’s Hidden Gem

Few people would have heard of Po Toi Island and even fewer still will know that Po Toi Island is the southern most part of Hong Kong. Famous for its rock formations it is known to hikers and junk parties dining in the seafood restaurants of its cove. Poi Toi Island has much to offer families who crave an outing with a difference. Only three kilometers from Stanley the island is reachable by ferries from Stanley and Aberdeen. On approaching, Po Toi appears as if it is on a floating platform. Well-known rock formations include the Buddha Hand Rock, the Coffin Rock and the Tortoise Climbing up the Mountain and many more. All of which are a joy for adults and fun for the kids to spot and see. Hiking trails around the island boast spectacular views of the South China Sea. For the more adventurous families why wait until Halloween to visit the ghost houses

of Disneyland and Ocean Park when at Po Toi there is an all year round ‘real’ Haunted House also known as the Deserted Mansion of Family Mo? The unassuming island silently boasts ancient rock carvings dating back 2000 years, all of which have been listed as Declared Monuments of Hong Kong. To rightfully quote the island’s District Council, “remember to open your heart and let your imagination fly.” Po Toi Island is certainly that kind of place.

not to feed or harm the dolphins, and to keep the boats slow (10 knots) when in close range maintaining parallel movement to the dolphins’ course. Although a primarily a business, ten percent of their profits go into research for Friends of the Earth (HK)’s Water Action Group, which is a charity aimed to raise public awareness of Hong Kong’s coastal environment. Dolphin visits leave every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 9am Kowloon Hotel Lobby or approximately 9.30am at the Tung Chung Development Pier. Tours last from 2.5-3 hours returning to the Kowloon Hotel at 1pm and Central at 1.30pm. Fares are $360/Adult and $180/Child (3-12yrs). For further information: | NOVEMBER 2010 | thesmartmom




the Risk of

Cot Death or SIDS

Cot or crib death, also otherwise known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or Sudden Unexplained Death in Infancy (SUDI) in other countries, is a silent infant killer. It is characterized by a sudden, unexpected, and inexplicable death of an otherwise unquestionably healthy infant, even after rigid forensic autopsy and scene investigation. According to research, it is considered a rare condition and risks are small, but risks become minimal only after five months of infant’s life when they tend to be more mobile.


o what are the possible risks of cot death? Recent medical findings have somehow recognized the risk factors of cot death, but the real primary cause of the syndrome remains unknown. Its frequency, however, has been generally identified according to the age, sex, and ethnicity of the baby, and also the education, social, economic status of the parents. In a medical study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on November 1, 2006, cot death babies have shown abnormalities in the serotonin signaling and in the brain stem that assists in control functions, like breathing, arousal, and blood pressure. Common bacterial infections, like Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus aureus (staph), according to one British


thesmartmom | NOVEMBER 2010 |

study, seem to be a factor in some cot death cases, too. It has been discovered that these bacteria were, in fact, existent in greater concentrations in babies who were victims of cot death. For prenatal risks, these include inadequate prenatal care and nutrition, maternal drugs, alcohol and nicotine use, overweight baby, overweight mother, teen pregnancy, and 60% of cot death victims are male infants. For post-natal risks, risk factors are low birth weight, mold, tobacco smoke exposure, no breastfeeding, imbalanced room temperature, excess beddings and sheets, co-sleeping and sleep position, premature birth, anemia, and the age of two to four months in infants are critical. To reduce the risks attached to cot death or SIDS, check out our handy tips and tricks to keep the syndrome at bay.

HEALTH To lie or not to lie

The most advisable and safe sleeping position for babies is to rest or lie on their back as their feet touch the foot of the bed. Letting your babies sleep on the side or on the tummy promotes the risk of cot death. But when the baby is conscious, allow them to take a mixture of positions beyond lying on their back. This can include allowing babies to rest on their tummy to let them play and explore, yet ensuring that they don’t sleep on that position. Baby resting on their tummy is a good ground for training head control, thus promoting healthy, independent development for them as well. When sleeping on their back, notice that one side of the head of your baby becomes flatter; this condition is referred to as plagiocephaly. Plagiocephaly is safe and doesn’t bring any health risks to your baby. Besides, the baby’s head naturally becomes rounder again as they age. Upon seeing that your baby has grown old and strong to roll over, allow them to do so.

No to smoking

It is a common knowledge how smoking kills and harms one’s health, so secondhand tobacco smoke for infants is definitely a no-no. Add to that, smoking while pregnant is equally detrimental to your baby’s health. Moms who smoke while pregnant are thrice most likely to have babies who surrender to cot death than babies of non-smoking moms. Just keep in mind that smoking severely shoots up the risk of cot death. As much as possible, maintain a smoke-free home zone. If you or any family member can’t give up smoking, then smoke outdoors and implement such strict rules for anybody who comes to visit your home.

Separate lives

Co-sleeping is not advisable and is

seen to be dangerous. Just for the first six months of your baby’s life, try to hop onto another bed away from your baby. Your baby should have a safe and secure place to sleep and breathe freely, and that is in a crib or another baby bed but in the same room with you. Accidents do happen, such as possibly suffocating, riding, or rolling over your baby in your sleep, baby falling out of bed, and other similar situations. If you have been smoking, taking medications that make you dozy or tired, or drinking alcohol, then it is even more hazardous to share bed with your baby. It is also risky to let your baby sleep alone in a bed for grownups. Same thing with sleeping on the couch with your baby, it swells the risk of cot death.

Not too hot, not too cold

Your baby’s room temperature is significant in keeping the risk of cot death at bay. It shouldn’t be too hot or too cold for the baby. Light sleepwear is most advisable for babies. Room temperature should be maintained between 16 and 20°C (61-68°F), and the ideal is 18°C (64°F). To monitor room temperature, make use of a room thermometer.

Say no to beddings and more

Avoid covering your baby with too many sheets, beddings, blankets, or clothing. Refrain from putting stuffed toys or pillows beside the baby. If unavoidable, ensure that blankets or sheets stay lower than your baby’s shoulders and are tucked in so as to avoid the possible situation of slipping over your baby’s head and struggling under the covers. For babies less than one year

old, don’t attempt to use electric blanket, hot water bottle, or quilt, and instead use lightweight blankets.

Breastfeeding for life

The importance of breastfeeding is no longer a rocket science at this age. Aside from the health and bonding benefits of breastfeeding, evidence proves that it helps minimize the incidents of cot death.

Suck it in

Pacifiers or dummies, as some studies have shown, may help lower the risk of cot death. But there is no clear, strong, and unifying evidence yet to prove so. If it falls out while sleeping, there is no need to replace it. Besides, experts still have opposing opinions until now whether dummy or pacifier use should be promoted or not.

Life-saving measures

Taking lifesaving or CPR classes is a preventive measure, too. Make sure to undergo regular checkups when you’re pregnant, or let your babies have regular checkups as well for the pediatrician to monitor their health. Nevertheless, just because cot death is rare and has small risks doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take precautionary steps to keep your babies safe and secure. Parents shouldn’t remain nonchalant about this. They should be aware and instead monitor their infants to entirely lessen the risks of cot death and ensure safety of their babies. | NOVEMBER 2010 | thesmartmom




Turkey Tips


and Alternatives

Roast Poussin and Sweet Potatoes

If I cook the poussins in the same pan as the sweet potatoes, I put a slice of bread underneath each bird in the tin, to absorb the juices and stop them from seeping into the sweet potatoes, which, in turn, would prevent them from crisping and browning. Ingredients • 2 poussins • 2 tbsp garlic oil or wok oil (or use a blend of vegetable oil, sesame oil and crushed garlic) • 1 sweet potato, weighing approximately 500g/1lb, skin on • ¼ tsp ground cumin • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon • large bunch watercress • squeeze lime juice, to taste • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whether you will or will not be celebrating Thanksgiving at the end of this month, our turkey tips and alternatives are fabulous ideas as we roll into December and the festive season.


thesmartmom | NOVEMBER 2010 |

Preparation method 1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. 2. Place the birds into a baking dish or deep baking tray and drizzle over one tablespoon of the oil. 3. Cut the unpeeled sweet potatoes into 5cm/2in cubes and place them into another baking dish. 4. Drizzle over the remaining tablespoon of oil and sprinkle over the ground cumin and cinnamon. Gently shake the tin to combine the ingredients. 5. Transfer both the poussins and the sweet potatoes to the oven and roast for 45 minutes, or until the poussins are completely cooked through and the sweet potatoes are tender.

6. To serve, place each poussin onto a plate with a handful of watercress and the sweet potatoes alongside. 7. Season, to taste, with sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and squeeze over a little lime juice. (A Nigella Lawson Recipe) For a vegetarian option, the Smart Team has chosen the BBC’s Luxury Nut and Seed Loaf with Cranberry, Apple and Brandy Sauce. Enjoy! ngredients • 225g/8oz bulgar wheat • 330ml/11fl oz boiling water • 3 tbsp soya sauce • 175g/6oz pistachio nuts • 175g/6oz pine nuts • 225g/8oz blanched almonds • 175g/6oz cashew nuts • 110g/4oz hazel nuts • 110g/4oz sunflower seeds • 110g/4oz poppy seeds • 250g/9oz onion, finely chopped • 4 tbsp fresh and finely chopped parsley • 2 tbsp dried thyme • 4 large free range eggs, lightly whisked • 4 tbsp olive oil • a little oil for pouring on roast For the sauce • 275g/9½oz cranberries • 275g/9½oz cooking apples, cored and thinly chopped • 150ml/5fl oz apple juice concentrate • 50ml/2fl oz water • 4 tbsp brandy Preparation method

irstly, if you are using frozen turkey make sure that it has properly defrosted. It is best to defrost in the refrigerator and will take approximately 24 hours per 5lb (2.27kg) of turkey. Check by placing your hand in its body cavity to feel if there are any ice crystals. Stuff the neck flap instead of the body cavity. To cook the perfect turkey simply place it on a deep baking tray and very loosely cover with foil so that the hot air can circulate. Roast it in the oven for 40 minutes per kilogram (2.2lbs) at 190c/Gas Mark 5 then add 10 minutes for every additional quarter of a kilogram (0.55lbs). During the last 20-30 minutes remove the foil and allow the turkey to brown and crispen. Allow the Turkey to ‘rest’ for 20 minutes out of the oven before carving. Goose or duck are rich flavorsome alternatives but how about an individual ‘mini-turkey’ per person? The children will definitely love the idea! Achieve this effect with a poussin (baby/spring chicken) each. The Smart Food team found Nigella Lawson’s recipe to be among the best and highly recommend it to you. Try it and make this Thanksgiving truly special or consider it for your decadent festive feast. | NOVEMBER 2010 | thesmartmom


Family Favourites

1) Guilt-Free Pizza

If you make your pizza dough at home you can replace half the white flour with whole-wheat flour to boost fibre and whole-grain nutrients. To add heart-healthy omega-3s, you can even add flaxseed into the mixture (replace 1/4 cup of flour with ground flaxseed). Even if you plan on using store-bought pizza crusts, you can still focus on healthy toppings. Try using reduced-fat cheese or skimmed-milk cheese, lean meats e.g. lean ham and turkey, lots of pizza sauce and plenty of vegetables. For a gourmet healthy pizza, try using low-fat crème fraiche, smoked salmon and baby leaf spinach.

2) Healthy Hamburgers

Ask the butcher at your supermarket to remove the fat and grind up a fresh, extralean, top-quality sirloin steak. Before cooking, to make up for that juicy fat you had trimmed out mix in moist flavourful ingredients such as soy sauce, minced garlic, tomato-based sauces, teriyaki sauce, or BBQ sauce. Shallow fry in a non-stick pan with a drop of oil or simply cook under the grill. For cheeseburgers top with reduced fat cheeses. Dress your burger with delicious condiments such as mustard and BBQ sauce but avoid heavy oil-based sauces like mayonnaise. Add plenty of raw vegetables and salad on your whole-grain bun.

3) Choice Chicken Sandwiches

Use skinless chicken and instead of frying, grill. Again dress with low-calorie condiments, and served on a whole-grain


bun. For grilled barbeque chicken simply marinate some chicken fillets in BBQ sauce and grill. The fillets cook particularly quickly and are relatively low in fat. Serve it on a whole-grain bun topped with plenty of salad.

4) Gorgeous Fried Chicken

We have included Nigella Lawson’s recipe to this clever take on the decadent Southern dish. The trick is to cook it in the oven but there are secrets to getting this right. Dip skinless chicken breasts or thighs (cut into strips if you prefer chicken sticks) in lowfat buttermilk, then coat the outside with a seasoned crumb mixture. Finally, coat the outside of those chicken pieces generously on both sides with cooking spray. Bake in a preheated oven of 450 degrees for approximately 20-30 minutes (depending on size), until golden brown.

5) Fabulous Milkshakes

This is very simple. For a healthier milkshake, just use light/low fat ice cream. Italian Gelato tends to be lower in fat. Sorbets are an even healthier idea. Then add low-fat or skimmed milk instead of whole milk and whizz to perfection.

6) Tasty Onion Rings and Fries

All you need to do to make tasty golden onion rings or French fries is a hot oven heated at 450 degrees. Cut the vegetables into your desired shape, add a small amount of oil or cooking spray and bake.

thesmartmom | NOVEMBER 2010 |



Fast Food Made Healthy!

We all know the old clichés, “What tastes good is normally bad for you” or “Health food can’t taste good”. Well, here are ways to make your family’s favourite fast foods healthy!



Try Nigella Lawson’s own delicious

‘Unfried Chicken’: Ingredients • 4 lb chicken pieces (we only like white meat in our house) • seasoning mix (choose your choice below) COATING • 2-4 c. Japanese bread crumbs (‘panko’) OR crushed corn flake cereal OR dry seasoned bread crumbs * (panko or cereal crumbs, season with salt and pepper) MARINADE • 2 c. buttermilk • option 1 1 envelope dry ranch salad dressing mix (add pepper or hot sauce to taste if you like) • option 2 1 t. onion powder 1 t. garlic salt 1 t. dried parsley 1/2 t. dried ground marjoram 1/2 t. dried basil 1 t. fresh ground pepper 1 T. salt 1 T. Worcestershire (Tabasco sauce - 1 t. or more to taste) • melted butter Method • Whisk choice of seasonings with butter milk Add chicken pieces (in large bowl or in large zip lock plastic bag) Refrigerate over night, turning/stirring occasionally • When ready to prepare, dredge chicken in your choice of coating (i like Japanese crumbs best), place on trays *even better if you put on wire racks on top of trays) • Let sit in fridge for at least 1 hr (up to 3 hrs) • Line baking trays with foil When ready to cook, preheat oven at 450 degrees •Drizzle chicken with melted butter •Dark Meat - about 45 min.. then turn down to 350 for 15 - 25 min •White Meat - about 20-30 min at 450 degrees **Check for doneness! No red juices but let sit for juices to redistribute. Great with oven roasted potatoes that cook at the same time as chicken and a crisp green salad.

Airand Pollution Asthma

One thing we need to adapt (and perhaps we already have) living in Hong Kong everyday is to inhale that black smog on the roadside traffic. We all know that air pollution is an attribute and also a health problem in Hong Kong, and its related respiratory problems, notably asthma, are grown on an alarming rate, especially for young children.


o give a simple and brief introduction, asthma is a chronic disease affecting the airways that carry air to and from the lungs. The inside walls of an asthmatic’s airways are swollen or inflamed. This swelling or inflammation makes the airways extremely sensitive to irritations and increases one’s susceptibility to an allergic reaction. The inflammation causes the airways to become narrow, results in less air can pass through the tubes to and from the lungs. Symptoms of the narrowing include wheezing (a hissing sound while breathing), chest tightness, breathing problems, and coughing. Asthmatics usually experience these symptoms most frequently during the night and the early morning. Gene, allergies, exposing to second hand smoke, and environmental factors are some of the causes that induce asthma. Reports also have shown that during periods of alarmed levels of air pollution, there tend to be an increase in asthma symptoms and hospital admissions with the related, especially in children. Smoggy conditions release destructive ingredients, causing coughing, shortness of breath, results in asthma attacks by constricting airways. Children may be particularly affected by pollution levels because they tend to play outdoors, have faster breathing rates, and depending on age, they may have lungs that are still developing, in which they are easily being allergic to polluted agents. Needless

to say that high levels of pollution is affecting everyone, but people with asthma are more sensitive to the polluted agents and experience the negative effects more quickly and severely. Additional studies have shown that ozone, particle pollution, and other forms of air pollution worsen asthma and increase hospital visits for people with asthma. And again, it’s kids with asthma that are especially vulnerable to these effects. Pollutants in the air have the same effect on people with asthma as other triggers. These agents reduce the regular functions of lung by inflaming the linings. Exposure to pollutants in the air can cause flare-ups and may increase the chance of upper respiratory infections, which can worsen the situation. If the allergens in the air are agents of an asthma trigger, which makes the lungs even more sensitive to them. Proper medication can prevent the symptoms from occurring, it cannot treat the illness in its entirety. There are some preventive measures parents can do for children with asthma, such as: • Keep your home clean and ventilated to prevent accumulation of dust and dust mites, vacuum and mop cleaning the floor daily when your children is not at home. • Avoid carpets, down pillows and quilts for any chance to collect any forms of dust. Bed sheets and quilt covers should be changed and wash frequently. • Clothes should be washed frequently and placed inside wardrobes • It is better to avoid having flowering

plants nor keep pets • Use blinds instead of curtains to lessen dust collection • Keep your home well ventilated at all times. • Family members should not smoke around the patient • Avoid bringing your children to crowded places such as cinemas or restaurants. Construction sites or similar places should particularly be avoided. • Avoid bringing your children to outdoor activities during drastic changes of temperature, where the breathing airways are easily being irritated. When going out in winter or when a cold front arrives, dressed warm but avoid down coats or sweaters that contains wool. Consult your doctor as soon as possible and take medication as instructed when your children suffer any form of respiratory tract infection. When going outdoors, always remember to bring along the medication so that it can come in handy when needed. If your child suffers an asthma attack, remember to stay calm and let your child rested in a place that is well ventilated, and give him lots of drinking water to ease breathing. You should also inform the school about your child’s illness so that they are prepared for an asthma attack during school time. And always, keeping a healthy lifestyle is crucial to avoid asthma attacks. S o u r c e s : m e d i c a l n e w s t o d a y. c o m , | NOVEMBER 2010 | thesmartmom



Fisher-Price Recalls

How Safe Are


Our Toys?



thesmartmom | NOVEMBER 2010 |

At the end of September 2010 Fisher-Price announced a worldwide recall of millions of toys geared towards infants and toddlers including tricycles and high-chairs. Only three years earlier their parent company Mattel recalled millions of Chinese factory-made toys, including Barbie, Polly Pocket and ‘Cars’ movie items, and warned that more could be ordered off store shelves because of lead paint and tiny magnets that could be swallowed.

How safe are our children’s toys?

Regulations on toy manufacturing became more stringent after the 2007 episode but how effective are these regulations when literally countless Chinese factories produce our toys for the big brands all around the world. How tight are the factories and suppliers being regulated in this cut-throat business of tight profit margins? Are standards still being compromised? Many reputable retailers have strict factory auditing policies in place and even stricter guidelines for quality assurance and for the chemical components that make up the toys. The problem may not lie with the retailers or the distributers or even with the reputable big toy companies, but a minority of ruthless suppliers and factories out to make a quick buck. Deprived of social-conscience or any thought for the families and children who purchase these toys, anonymous sources inform of the mal-practices of a reputable Hong Kong based supplier. This toy manufacturer/supplier supplies to the biggest names in the toy world e.g. Fisher-Price, Disney, Tomy, Bandai etc as well as supplying toys for the likes of Walmart, Toys R Us and Target etc. Although not the biggest toy manufacturer around, this medium-large company has about 1000 employees based between Hong Kong, China and the US. Mal-practices of the ethical order include using childlabour in their China factories. As this is against the rules of most reputable retailers, on the day of the retailer’s factory audit, these children are replaced

by adults for the day. This addresses the problems regarding set/arranged audit dates. However, most retailers will understand that should they request ‘open’ audit dates for instance over a 2 week period, many suppliers refuse, due to the unwillingness of these factories to be ‘spotchecked’. If these Chinese factories were adhering to all the set rules and regulations why would there be fear of such audits? So how are this sort of manufacturer/supplier and factories detrimental to the quality and safety of our toys? The answers lie in the practice of deceiving the auditors on which factory is actually making the product. There have been cases whereby the retailer has been informed of the details of the factory that will produce their toy order. The lengthy process of factory auditing then begins. After the factory has finally been approved by the retailer, the supplier pays off the factories and actually has the goods made at another cheaper factory instead to increase their own profit margin. Then on completion of production, the goods are delivered back to the audited factory posing as if the order was produced there. The goods are then shipped from that ‘original’ factory to the port for shipment. The retailer/distributer are none the wiser as the toys are then shipped over-seas and onto the shelves of the retail outlets and toy shops. So how safe are our toys? Unless even tighter regulation and monitoring of the suppliers and factories, the answer to that question would simply be… “Not”. | NOVEMBER 2010 | thesmartmom





The English Schools Foundation (ESF) The English Schools Foundation is the largest international educational foundation in Asia. It was established by an ordinance in 1967 to provide a ‘modern liberal education’ for expatriates in Hong Kong, back then mainly British. Today, the ethnic groups of the ESF students include local Hong Kong residents, Europeans, Australians and many others.



raditionally, ESF schools have provided education based on the British curriculum. Students are still geared towards the UK GCSE or international GCSE at Year 10-11. However, as the organisation has undergone transition to a more international curriculum, their schools also provide the International Baccalaureate, by changing the Year 12 and 13 programmes from the British GCSE A-Levels to the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme. The ESF started with two schools back in 1967, namely their flagship secondary school - Island School on Bowen Road (Mid-Levels) and the reputable junior school Beacon Hill School (Beacon Hill, Kowloon Tong). Since then, over the last 43 years this number has steadily increased to a staggering 21 schools covering kindergarten, primary, secondary and one for special needs. The foundation employs 850 highly qualified expatriate teachers. The ESF works on a catchment system, so which school the student attends depends on the area they live. Hence, the mix of students at every school differs depending on areas. For instance, as Bradbury School (Stubbs Road) and South Island School (Nam Fung Road), the prior being the primary school and the latter the secondary for the area, both covering mainly the leafy Southside of Hong Kong Island, Discovery Bay and Lamma, the student-mix is primarily expatriate. On the other hand schools like Shatin Junior and Shatin College are primarily local Chinese. There is a set link among the schools, for instance, those studying at Bradbury (primary) will automatically move up to South Island, while those at the Peak School (primary) will automatically move to Island School (secondary). The fees for the academic year 2010/2011 are: Primary $61000; Secondary Year 7-11 $93000; and Secondary Year 12-13 94000. Extremely reasonable by international school standards and all schools are well-equipped with top of the range facilities. The English Schools Foundation list of schools is as follow (in alphabetical order): Kindergarten




Beacon Hill School

Island School


Bradbury School

King George V School Renaissance College

Tsing Yi

Clearwater Bay School Shatin College

Wu Kai Sha

Glenealy School

South Island School

Kennedy School

West Island School

Kowloon Junior

Peak School

Quarry Bay School

Shatin Junior School

Independently Run Discovery School

Pregnancy and Fitness } {’re expecting a baby! Lace up those sneakers and keep moving to actively control your body’s abilities and fitness.


hroughout your pregnancy, stay motivated with coordinated maternity fitness clothes, an active weekly routine of fun, moderateintensity exercises you enjoy, and a social network of friends who will help keep you on track with activities throughout the transformational nine months to come. Physical health benefits include body fat regulation, improved strength, fatigue and back pain reduction, and improvement in your body’s circulatory and digestive systems. Consult your doctor in the first trimester for the goahead to begin gentle and moderate-intensity prenatal workouts such as walking, riding a stationary bike, swimming, and low-impact aerobic activities. As the second trimester nears, avoid lying flat on your back or abdomen to prevent the uterus from pressing on your spine, back muscles, intestines, and major blood vessels, which may lead to aches and impaired circulation. Instead, modify exercises into a standing

or inclined position on an inflated fit-ball, slanted bench, wedge, TRX cables, or walled position. A particularly key concern throughout pregnancy is taking care of your core muscles to prevent abdominal separation and splitting along the naval line. Help keep these muscles taught and connected by practicing light ab exercises and avoiding the use of your abdominal muscles to curl your body and pull yourself up from a sitting position. Maintaining the strength and control of these abdominals will ease labor due to your improved muscle efficiency and prevent a saggy post-partum midsection. Pilates and certain forms of yoga exercises are ideal for strengthening your core and pelvic floor muscles for a smoother delivery and faster post-operation recovery time. So get out there, shake a leg, maintain your mojo... you’ll thank yourself for the physical, social, and emotional health benefits you’re destined to receive.

Special Needs


thesmartmom | NOVEMBER 2010 |

Jockey Club Sarah Roe School | NOVEMBER 2010 | thesmartmom




1) Best Foot Forward: While

Ways to Pamper Mummy-to-be in HongKong

your feet may swell and become sore and chubby, pretty toes and smooth skin will make you feel attractive and feminine every time you look down or slip on your sandals. Regular pedicures and foot massages

5) Social Networking:

are a blissful treat...and you deserve a treat.

2 ) Maintain Your Mane:

People often think highlights are out of the question while pregnant, but according to top stylists, highlights are safe because the chemical is not directly in contact with your skin. Your hair will change throughout your pregnancy, so seek the help of a professional to keep your hair gorgeous and healthy through the transition. Keep in mind, long hair in a pony-tail is much easier to care for than a short pixie or crop style.

3 ) Girl-friend Getaway:


If there is one city in the world to pamper an expecting mother, it is Hong Kong! It is a city for indulging the senses, packed full of ways to feel beautiful and happy throughout pregnancy. So, as your body rapidly transforms physically and hormonally, take comfort in the following prenatal pleasures:


thesmartmom | NOVEMBER 2010 |

same for you. A week away in paradise for just the two of you to discuss the perfect human you are creating and some time together to discuss the birth plan, get a tan, and feel weightless in the surf. Take advantage of Hong Kong’s close proximity to Bali, Thailand, Sanya, and a variety of premium resort destinations throughout Asia.

Rally the troops for a weekend in Macau or Shenzhen for fun and games with the girls. It may be awhile before you have the chance to get the gang together without talk of late-night feedings and diapers. Your friends with children will enjoy tabling the baby-talk themselves for some much needed R n’ R, too.

4) Couples’ Retreat: Quick, grab your bikini and forget about how you look in it – head for the beach with your man. Spoil him, indulge him, and let him do the

Make new friends and reconnect with existing pals in group antenatal classes, yoga classes, online networking sites, and baby groups. Ask women to meet for a lunch or coffee and enjoy the chance to express your experiences. Talking, shopping, and sharing with others who are experiencing the same emotional and physical changes will be a saving grace on tough days when you need a friend in the same boat. Many women who become friends during pregnancy continue to be friends as their children grow and go through other changes together.

6) Oil + Soft music + Sleep = Ah, a heavenly massage: Hong Kong may be

the best city in the world for body massages and all things spa-related. Most premium spas and hotels offer prenatal massages which will ease stress, relieve tired muscles, and help boost circulation – definitely worth the time and money. Besides, your baby benefits from low stress levels... so take care of both of you and the little one with a bit of TLC.

7) Keep It Up: Maintain the same fitness level, or reduce if necessary, to keep fit throughout your pregnancy. Exercise is a pleasant retreat for many women with enjoyable daily activities such as prenatal yoga, pilates, moderate cardio & weight training, and group classes which will help you make friends while maintaining a “tight bump”. Swimming is especially loved by expecting mothers for the weightless feeling which relieves your stiff and tired joints. 8) Shop ‘Til You Drop: Even if you do not love to shop, you will likely have friends who do. Invite a

Be is a Hong Kong-based lifestyle company for creative-minded professionals seeking an image enhancement.  Professional services include wardrobe suggestions, personal shopping, and prenatal fitness and maternity style advice.  In tandem with personal services, Jennie has a PhD research student in Fashion and Textile Business in Hong Kong. friend to shop for prenatal vitamins, healthy snacks, paraben and toxinfree cosmetics, the perfect shea butter for stretch marks, baby gear, nursery accessories, and itty-bitty baby clothes. Besides all of that, you’ll need a whole new wardrobe before the second trimester... maternity jeans, empire waist knit shirts, and stretchy breathable fabrics are essential, but don’t buy everything at once because your tastes may change.

9) Mocktail Hour: Just think

about all of the fancy, non-alcoholic cocktails (mocktails) you’ve seen on the menu and never ordered. You now have the perfect excuse to order a deliciously fruity, flirty, and innocent concoction at your favorite restaurant... umbrella included. Sevva in Central is especially hip... bring a group and get there early for a couch and table outdoors.

10) Capture the Moment:

This might be a magical time of your life to capture on film... perhaps an abstract, black and white, nude, or family portrait. If this sounds interesting, consider interviewing a photographer for a home or studio session... then make sure to book a professional hair and make-up appointment to ensure the look is perfect for your model-moment. | NOVEMBER 2010 | thesmartmom




Feng FengShui Shui our Home the Home


—Grace Wu

Environment matters much to the growth of kids. As part of traditional Chinese wisdom, Feng Shui emphasises that everything is energy and human beings are in a constant energy exchange with everything around us. Therefore, how things around them are arranged is key to their well-being, and it is important to create a home with appropriate Feng Shui setting that can bring about a happy and healthy energy.


or a better life for kids using Feng Shui, start from their bedrooms. Feng Shui for a kid’s room focuses on improving balance and security, and promoting relaxation and coziness. Parents, in their first step, may take a nap in their kid’s room to get an understanding of their kid’s experience of being in the bedroom. Believe it or not, minds of parents and their kids are always connected. If parents feel something negative in their kid’s room, their kid, who is always said to be more sensitive to environment because of a pure mind, may have an even stronger feeling towards things around in the room. Next, parents may check the setting of their kid’s room. Electronic devices emit electromagnetic frequencies that indeed are harsh energies. They lower one’s production of melatonin which is a hormone that regulates sleep and mood. To help the kids have quality sleep, parents need to keep electronic devices away from kids in their bedroom. Keep clutter to a minimum and have a good storage for toys and books. A neat setting always looks comfortable and promotes calmness. If there is beam at the ceiling, never put the head of the bed under it as it will accentuate a feeling of downwar d pressure. Some parents may like to decorate the walls of their kid’s bedroom with posters. Remember, posters with cartoon characters with seemingly

threatening images are discouraged as they are negatives. A warm family photo is a good choice for decorate. It can also remind kids that they are part of a happy family. Feng Shui practitioners value a good balance between “Yin” and “Yang”. In our environment, things that are associated with “Yang” are all that makes you “awake” while “yin” suggests a quiet place with light colours. Bedrooms should be “yin”. In a kid’s room, it is better for the ceiling to be white or in any other pastel colours. Avoid bright and energizing colours in the bedroom as they can stir up hyperactive energy for the little one to fall asleep at night. Strong sunlight hinders a bedroom from being “yin”. It just makes kids think it is daytime, so the bed should not be too close to the windows or the kids may find it hard to sleep. The head of bed needs to be placed against a wall as well, as that can create a sense of security for them. Apart from the position of bed, the sleeping direction is important, too. Feng Shui masters always suggest that kids sleep in their right compass directions for receiving positive energy. Their legs should not face the room entrance direct because that would cause a loss of energy. Whatever Feng Shui applies to your kid’s bedroom, the most important thing is to spend time getting to know the feeling of kids. Their happy face tells you how much they love the environment around them.

feng shui helps set nice environment for kids 30

thesmartmom | NOVEMBER 2010 | | NOVEMBER 2010 | thesmartmom





Build a

home with your family —Grace Wu

A cozy home is a dream to all; an eco-friendly home makes the earth a better place for all, and building an earth-friendly home with your family not only helps save the planet but is also one of the ways to promote quality and harmonious life with your beloved.


hen you are about to have a new home with your family, you are recommended to have some green ideas in mind in your discussions about the home design. Using recycled materials is one of the typical actions for going green. Your local home improvement store or interior designers are supposed to have a wealth of information about instituting ecofriendly materials in every room of your house. For example, for kitchen, recycled counter tops made with paper stone are gaining in popularity over those made from granite. With just a little online research, you can also find companies that use recycled glass to create tiles. Applying the same green ideas used in kitchen to bathroom, you may pick showerheads and toilets that are water-saving and find a water heater that is energyefficient.

“reduce”, “reuse” and “recycle”


Furniture sets the tone and personality of your home. When buying furniture, pay attention to ecologically-sound items that can make your place warm, healthy and eco-friendly. Choose furniture made with hard wood as it is sustainable. It is also good to know what trees the furniture is from. Two green options are bamboo and eucalyptus. Alternatively, you may consider having your current piece of furniture repainted, refinished, retained, or dressed in a slipcover. Someone suspects that there would be a high cost for a green home design, but energy-efficient appliances suggest that you can enjoy savings on your energy bills. Nowadays, green choices among electrical items like refrigerators, air-conditioners and washing machines are nearly as many as their conventional counterparts. Check them out from your salesperson. Another key step to a green home is cutting toxic items in your checklist of daily necessities. Many conventional kitchen and bathroom products contain toxins and chemicals that are dangerous with repeated direct exposure. It’s time

thesmartmom | NOVEMBER 2010 |

to replace them with natural soaps and non-toxic cleaners. Going for organic products is another nice way to a green home, especially if you have children. Children like sleeping with their toys and putting things in their mouths, so buying baby blankets, toys and clothes made with organic materials should be a safe and green choice for them. Most adults are aware that “reduce”, “reuse” and “recycle” are the golden rules to creating a green earth. Instead of just realising these rules in life, they should treat it a mission to pass the rules to the next generations. Parents can promote green education to their children in many parts of life. For example, when they look for gifts with their children for birthday parties of any family members, they can shop for goods that have less decorative materials In supermarket, they can teach their children on how to check out recyclables by looking at the labels of a container, and let them know what can be recycled. They may also refurnish some items at home with their children for teaching them the value of reuse for the earth.




in Dubai

Luxury in the city of Dubai is nothing short of legendary. The Atlantis Palm Hotel located on the crescent of The Palm raises the standard to dizzying new heights. Few luxury hotels in the world provide so well for the entire family of all ages.


he Atlantis is a 7 Star resort covering 113 acres. The hotel itself and its 1539 guest rooms are located within the magnificent Royal Towers featuring towering arches, arabesque domes and ornate spires and is now a new City landmark. All the guest rooms and suites are sumptuous, spacious and well equipped with amazing views of the Palm, pools or the private beach. There are 17 restaurants including the prestigious Nobu and a wide selection of gourmet venues run by award winning chefs such as Michelin starred Giorgio Locatelli and Michel Rostang. The wealth of entertainment for adults range from 9 decadent bars to the chic Sanctuary Nightclub and an exciting entertainment programme. The Atlantis Spa is spread over 2 floors with 27 treatments rooms offering every kind of treatment imaginable, while the gymnasium is equipped with state of the art aerobic and cardio machines as well as skilled personal trainers. Children of all ages will enjoy the array of fun-filled clubs and programmes designed to

engage and excite including a Marine Welfare Programme. There are playrooms, games arcades, adventure grounds indoor and out. Splashers is an amazing children’s pool and play area with thrilling slides and structures. The Atlantis is home to the largest open-air marine habitats in the Middle East with 65,000 marine animals, including sharks and manta rays. The fascinating underwater Atlantis themed Lost Chambers is where guests can experience the marine life close up through glass underground passageways. The 42 acre water park Aquaventure provides hair-raising adventures from sliding down a 27.5m drop 61m long into a tube through a shark tank, to floating along on a giant swimming ring along a 2km river ride. There is something exciting for every one whatever your age group. Guests can also meet and interact with the dolphins at Dolphin Bay. The Atlantis offers everything a family could possibly desire on holiday. It’s luxurious, exciting, indulgent, extravagant and fun for all ages. The Atlantis celebrity guest list includes Kyle Minogue, the Beckhams, Robert De Niro and many more. | NOVEMBER 2010 | thesmartmom






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The Smart Mom Magazine November issue  

The Smart Mom Magazine November issue

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