PAP Seniors Group launches healthy recipe collection

SINGAPORE - When Miss Eunice Wang started work a few years ago, she fell into the habit of eating out everyday, consuming a lot of greasy food.

Homecooked meals with her family on weekends were her chance to eat healthy, and she began looking for healthy cooking tips on the Internet.

"These days we eat more brown rice, use more olive oil, and I taught my mum to blanch the vegetables instead of stir-frying them," said the 28-year-old human resource officer.

"My mum was open to changing her cooking style when she saw that there were better options, and the food still tasted good."

Healthy food that still tastes good is the idea behind a recipe card collection that the PAP Seniors Group (PAP.SG) launched on Saturday (Oct 15). The advocacy group within the People's Action Party (PAP) focuses on elderly issues, and one of its aims is to encourage healthy living among seniors.

Ms Wang was among eight party activists and Members of Parliament who contributed healthy recipes to the collection, which will be made available in English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil at PAP branches islandwide.

The collection includes a recipe for mixed-rice porridge with sliced fish by Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, and low-fat sayur lodeh by Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob.

Madam Halimah, who is also chairperson for PAP.SG, said she hopes that older Singaporeans can start "a bit of a quiet revolution" to change the way everyone thinks about their health, starting from the way food is prepared at home.

"With 68 per cent of Singaporeans having at least one meal a day at home, the way we prepare meals has an impact on how healthy and nutritious our meals will be for ourselves and our family members," she said.

For her sayur lodeh recipe, which she makes for her family on special occasions like Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Haji, she suggests using skim milk, soya bean milk or coconut water instead of coconut milk, which is higher in fat.

"People say it's not the same, but they should try. It may not be perfect like coconut milk, but it's 90 per cent," she quipped. "Sometimes it's a question of adjusting our minds on the kinds of food we want to eat."

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who was at the launch at the Singapore Flyer, along with some 200 party activists, agreed.

"You want to eat healthy, but you don't have to eat boring," he said, as he sampled a mouthful of lentil, raisin and cashew rice pilaf from a recipe by fellow Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Darryl David.

"This recipe shows that it can be tasty, simple to prepare, but it's also good for you, healthy, and will help you stay well."

The recipe cards can also be downloaded at bit.ly/RecipesFromHeart.