SINGAPORE - A healthy meal need not be a costly meal.
That is one of the things that the South West Community Development Council (CDC) hopes to demonstrate through a new healthy living guidebook launched on Sunday, to encourage vulnerable families to cook more at home and exercise regularly.
The "Healthy Lifestyle, Healthy You Guide" guidebook includes recipes by Shatec students and the Health Promotion Board using ingredients found in the monthly food ration pack which 540 families receive through the Food Connect @ South West programme.
From this year, the CDC will also provide a biannual Household Essentials Bundle worth $50 to the families, which will include toothbrushes, toilet paper and washing detergent.
At the launch, Mayor for South West District Low Yen Ling said it is especially important for vulnerable families and the elderly to get good nutrition so that they are well-placed to make good decisions and address bread and butter issues for their families.
"Our vulnerable families and individuals, other than coping with their circumstances, are also very much at risk of poor nutrition and a stressful and inactive lifestyle," said Ms Low.
"We felt that by putting together this book it will be able to demonstrate that it does not cost a lot to cook a nutritious meal."
She added that the aim is to roll out the guidebook to all 18 divisions in the district to help more residents, beyond those involved in the Food Connect programme.
Two new partners - Serial System Limited and Zhi Zhen Tan Dao Xue Hui (Singapore) - will be supporting the Food Connect @ South West programme, with support being matched dollar-for-dollar by the CDC.
At the event, Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower Amy Khor, who is also Hong Kah North MP, said the programme is "a good example of how we can build a more inclusive society, where the more able, the companies, the community, individuals, reach out together with the Government to help the less able and uplift their lives".
The guidebook should show residents that it is quite simple to prepare a healthy meal and cook more frequently at home, she said. "They can have a healthy diet and at the same time save money...and strengthen family bonds and ties."