Hesitant mum thankful for Formula To Grow

Hesitant mum thankful for Formula To Grow
Madam Saridah Abdullah, with her five children. Her youngest child, Fadirah, is one of the 60 children on the Formula To Grow scheme.

Having the cost of milk powder covered every month may not seem like a lot to some.

But to Madam Saridah Abdullah, it is a godsend.

The mother of five found out that her 16-month-old daughter, Fadirah, is one of the 60 children eligible for the Formula To Grow scheme.

Launched yesterday, the initiative provides formula milk powder to eligible children from disadvantaged families in Central Singapore district.

Madam Saridah, 36, said that with her husband earning $1,200 monthly as a private bus driver, they struggle to make ends meet.

The housewife tries to help the family of seven with what she earns from her online baking business, which comes to about $300 monthly.

She said: "My husband has to pay $600 in maintenance fees for his previous marriage. The balance is needed to settle the children's needs."

Their children range in ages from 16 months to nine.

In addition, there is the monthly rent for the two-room Toa Payoh flat that needs to be paid, Madam Saridah added.

Being put on the Formula To Grow scheme means she gets free milk powder till Fadirah turns three.

Before the introduction of the scheme, the family spent between $120 to $150 on milk powder, depending on Fadirah's needs, Madam Saridah said.

She started Fadirah, whom she used to breastfeed, on formula milk just last month after enrolling in cooking and sewing classes to upgrade herself.

COOKING COURSE

The cooking course, which involves four-hour classes held every Saturday, is paid for by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore.

Fadirah may have adjusted to the taste of formula milk now, but just a month ago, Madam Saridah was still hesitant and worried about switching from breast milk to formula milk.

She said: "I wanted to breastfeed her all the way as I wanted everything to be natural. I was also worried that Fadirah would not be able to adapt to the taste of the formula milk, or that it would not be suitable for her.

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