Children are a notoriously difficult group to cook for, as many parents around the world can surely attest.
Fussy taste buds and moods that change by the hour do not make for the easiest customers to please.
These are some of the challenges the nutritionist at Singapore Sports Institute (SSI) faced when organising a cook off session for children from the ActiveSG Football Academy
A participant engrossed during the cook off session for children from the ActiveSG Football Academy. Photo: Sport Singapore
To overcome these challenges, the nutritionist had to look at dishes that would appeal to kids, such as pasta and eggs.
Two dishes, catered to these fussy eaters, were taught to parents and children at the nutritional workshop: chicken balls with tomato sauce on pasta, and an Asian noodle omelette.
“We purposely chose a menu that is kid-friendly, that kids like to take and at the same time meet the nutritional requirement,” SSI Associate Sports Dietitian Parimala Sivaperuman said.
While the dishes had to be delicious enough for the children to want to eat them, they also had to be nutritious enough for the rapidly growing children – particularly so for the active ones who take part in sports.
Participants watching attentively as the chef demonstrates the steps required to prepare a healthy and delicious meal. Photo: Sport Singapore
“If you go to any restaurant, you can see pasta as a common dish for kids menu, and normally tomato sauce is added to that,” she said.
“We have the pasta going as a quick carbohydrate source, and the tomato sauce is not just tomato, but we added on some vegetables and we blended it together. So we have those nutrients coming in.”
“A lot of kids don’t like to take fruits and vegetables so this is one good way to add it on to the sauce.”
The nutritional workshop was organised by ActiveSG Football Academy and SSI as a fun way for parents to learn about the nutritional needs of their active children.
She said: “We want to make sure the parents and the players understand about sports nutrition and it can help them in their sporting performance.”