How do you normally cook porridge for your children? For us, our common practice is to cook everything together – a portion of meat, vegetables and rice – all in the same pot, boiling till desired consistency is achieved. I believe that is what most of us would do, especially if we’re Chinese (or Asian).
Recently, I’ve been reading up more and been pondering if it’s the optimal way for our children to obtain the most nutrients, proves that it may not be so.
Meat is where the proteins are. When it is boiled for a prolonged period of time, the water-soluble vitamins are lost to the water, and some destroyed, however the proteins are still intact in the meat itself. Hence if you are offering meat for the purpose of protein intake, the meat still needs to be consumed.
We've mentioned before that stock is superior, and that is in terms of taste. With respect to protein value, even powders would surpass stock/broth because powders are finely ground meat, thus proteins are still present.
Although it may be true that the vitamins will seep into the water, by the time the porridge is complete, vitamins have already been destroyed by the heat and prolonged cooking; especially the important but unstable water-soluble vitamins like Vitamins C and D.
One of the best ways to preserve vitamins in vegetables would be to freeze, or freeze dry them (just like our freeze-dried Broccoli powder). Alternatively, we can also choose to dehydrate them under low heat. The trick here is to either reduce heat exposure or shorten cooking times.
So if you have some time on hands once in awhile and don't have to cook in a rush, I'm sure you wouldn't mind making an extra effort to ensure your child has the most nutrients on his plate! Here's something for your reference:
This method of cooking porridge is a great balance between flavour and nutrition!
- Bring water and rice to a boil in a pot.
- Put in the desired meat in a large block (minimise surface area and reduce nutrient loss).
- Let it cook evenly for approximately 5 minutes and remove from heat (minimise heat exposure).
- Continue to let the porridge simmer.
- Shred meat and season with pepper and Ikan Bilis powder.
- Steam vegetables in a separate pot for 3-5 minutes (minimise heat exposure and nutrient loss through water).
- Cut vegetable into smaller pieces and season with sesame oil and Scallop powder.
- After the porridge is done, mix all the ingredients and additional seasonings together in a serving bowl, or separately (as shown).