In January 2020, Kinderland looked to revamp the menus served at its 16 locations around Singapore. The emphasis? Incorporating “power foods” that could boost the immunity systems of its students – from weaning infants to 6-year-olds.
“Strong immunity comes from a well-balanced and wholesome diet every day,” explains Kua Jo Ann, Kinderland’s Food, Nutrition and Hygiene Specialist. “Parents can work with the schools to find out what is served to their children in the school. So, they are able to plan better their children’s diet to complete their daily nutrition needs.”
Here are some of the power foods that Kinderland children are enjoying every day:
Green Leafy Vegetables
They contain important antioxidants that help build immune system of kids. For example, spinach and chye sim (Chinese flowering cabbage) are rich sources of vitamins and minerals.
These include milk, egg, lean meat and pulses. Protein is an essential macronutrient that plays a key role in maintaining and repairing body cells and tissues to build immunity. “We cook eggs in many ways such as boiled, braised and even mixed into soup, so that the children will not tire of it.”
Lean meat and poultry contain important vitamins and minerals that help to increase white blood cells to fight infections. Poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese and soybean are complete proteins which contain all the nine essential amino acids. Beans are rich in polyphenols, which are a type of antioxidant, to help protect the body from illnesses.
Oats and barley are two good examples. They are rich in beta-glucan, a form of soluble dietary fibre that contains antimicrobial
and antioxidant properties. Beta-glucan provides a number of health benefits which include lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, improving blood sugar levels, and enhancing immune system functions.
Think carrots and bell peppers (capsicum), both of which are rich sources of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene has been shown to increase immune cells and functions. Bell peppers also contain more vitamin C than citrus fruits.
Also known as wolfberries, they contain high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties which help to fight harmful free radicals. Goji berries also contain beta-carotene. Their benefits range from glucose regulation to immune function support.
From The Finder (Issue 302), March 2020
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