CONFINEMENT FOOD- What’s so nutritious about it?


“Pigs trotters in vinegar” did not sound divine to me. It smelled even less divine boiling away in the kitchen and making the house smell sour… but the taste was amazing!

So what’s with the confinement diet besides being a month long feast of delicious food and Chinese traditions?

For starters, the Chinese traditionally believes that confinement helps to restore the mother and recuperate her after the baby’s delivery where her body has lost much blood.

The confinement diet is thus not just some meaningless tradition of dos and dont’t eats, but is tailored to aid in boosting the mummy’s nutrition level and to help with breast milk production. Special dishes are served because of the vitamins and nutrients they have.

Some common ingredients you will come across during your confinement-

Black Vinegar:

The Chinese believes that this helps to purify the blood, remove wind from the body (thus preventing rheumatism and body aches), and cleanse the womb as well as the arteries when it is consumed. It is cooked with pork knuckles not just because it makes for a tasty dish but because the vinegar helps to strip calcium from the bones of the knuckle. This means the vinegar pork knuckle sauce is a great help if you are breastfeeding.

Old Ginger:

Commonly used in confinement food, doctors verify that ginger will not cause jaundice in your baby even if you breastfeed, so feel free to consume them. These expel wind from the body, improve blood circulation and aids digestion.

Sesame Oil:

Another common ingredient you will be tasting in your confinement food. It improves blood circulation, boosts your body’s immunity and is great for your overall health because it is a good source of iron, Vitamin E and calcium.


This yellow powder has antibiotic properties and is a great antioxidant. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. My dad used to marinate fish and meats with tumeric and fry them with ginger- tumeric is really fragrant to the taste.


Increases milk production and if you take oily fish like Cod, it is rich in Omega 3. Breastfeeding babies benefit from their Mummies who consume lots of fish. It aids in the development and growth of their brain.

Dried Longan, Red Dates with Wolfberry tea:

My Mum made this for me and we added some milk into it at the Malay Massage aunty’s suggestion- she says it further aids in removing “wind” from the water. I dont’t buy the “wind” theory, but it did make the drink taste even more yummy and more nutritious than it already was