Cooking for kids – Secret is in the gravy

A lot of parents always lament and complaint that their children refused to eat. I have personally seen parents force feeding their kids or get their maids to chase after the little ones all over the housing estate just to finish a meal. This is a very bad habit and should never be practised. A kid will eat when he or she is hungry. Otherwise, leave them alone. If not, you will end up with a little monster who uses the mealtimes to be his/her negotiation battlefield. Once you let the kid has the upper hands, you are going to be their slaves.

So, where I am concerned, I have accepted the fact that every kids have their own tastebuds and they like different types of foods. They also do not tune their eat times to us and hence, they may not feel hungry when we are and they will demand for foods when they are hungry.

fish fillet with soya bean paste

For us Chinese parents, we may or may not get a kid who likes to eat rice. I have one who has a Caucasian tastebuds, one who sees rice like a plate of gold and two who are partial and hence, much easier to handle. Since most of our meals at home are mostly rice, the least headache for me is to boil them a big pot of soup with meats that are tender and a dish that has lots of gravy.

Above is a dish of ikan tenggiri or mackerel. Normally I can get them in huge slabs from Tesco. Just slice them thinly, rub a bit of salt and cornflour and pan fry them. To make the gravy, I use a little bit of ginger, slice into thick slices so that I can pick them and throw away before serving, chopped garlic and fermented soya bean paste (taucheo). In separate wok, just stir fry these three ingredients till fragrant, add water to make the gravy and put a little bit of sugar for taste. Add the fish and simmer. The reason you need to pan fry the fish is to avoid it turning flakey and it gives better taste that way.

After so many years of parenting, I know that it is futile to set down the green rule. I.e. they must eat green vegetables in their meals because they would rather starve than eat. So, as long as my children eat some carbo, some protein and some fibres for their main meals, I am happy already. I substitute with lots of fruits for them.

Therefore, if you have problem getting your little kids to eat, make sure you have lots of nice dishes with gravy. It works all the time.

2 Replies to “Cooking for kids – Secret is in the gravy”

  1. Hi! Thanks for the tip! I have a choosy kid too, however she is only 1 year plus. There is still time for improvement.

    Like you said, we need to carry her around to distract her and feed her while showing her something! Sigh! I know it is not the right way, but as long as I can put something into her mouth, it is the matter. She just love to play, not interested in food.

    We are still teaching her some table manner, as she has the tendency to throw things and cant sit still! Very active young girl. We really have trouble to control her. Hopefully she will grow out of it soon, otherwise we will just stick to eating at home till she is well behaved.

  2. hello. i have enjoyed very much your blog, thank you. i live in europe and it’s nice to read about familiar foods from back in asia.

    it’s amazing how you are able to manage work, kids, cooking and blogging! way to go!


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