Most Chinese children in Singapore have porridge for lunch and dinner every day. This porridge is made primarily of white rice. Although white rice is a staple in most Asian cultures, it is not the healthiest option. Each rice grain is stripped of the most valuable nutrients during the milling process.
Oatmeal on the other hand is the only cereal which contains plant protein, is a complex carbohydrate which releases energy gradually, comprises of soluble fibre which helps lower blood cholesterol and protect against heart disease. It is also the one thing the kids both love and do not get any of in day care. So Saturday lunches are almost always oatmeal.
Fuss free, easy to prepare, nutritious, and it is so easy to hide healthy vegetables in their oatmeal.
Basically I try to always include 1 type of protein (Anything from Tofu to Pork), 1 type of green leafy vegetable (Spinach is my favourite) , and 1 type of starchy or hard vegetable (Pumpkin, Carrots, Parsnips etc.).
Recipe for the bowl of Oatmeal you see in the pictures:
Serves a 2 year old and a 4 year old. Suitable for babies from 6 months onwards.
6 Tablespoons of Quick/Instant Oats
1 Rice bowl of room temperature water
1 cup of chopped Spinach
1 cup of small cubed Pumpkin
1 Small piece of Flank steak, minced.
1 Teaspoon of Marmite
1. Place oats and pumpkin in water and put on stove over a medium fire.
2. Once the oatmeal comes to a simmer, bring the heat down low.
3. Add the chopped Spinach and minced beef, stir till well mixed.
4. Once oatmeal is thick and smooth and beef is cooked through, stir in marmite. Serve while warm.
Tip: Start cooking the oatmeal in room temperature. Adding your oats to hot water will just cause the whole mixture to clump up.