Chef: Cook for your kids, not dish out nuggets

KOTA KINABALU - The practice of feeding children with processed food such as nuggets seems rather "distasteful" to celebrity chef Datuk Ismail Ahmad.

He said many parents, due to their busy schedule, resorted to giving their children food such as sausages and nuggets for convenience.

"I am not saying this type of food should be stopped," he said after hosting a cooking show organised by Pensonic here.

"But these are snacks, not meals. Many mothers tell me they don't think twice about serving such snacks to their children for lunch or dinner because they are too busy to prepare a proper meal."

Ismail said time constraints should not be an excuse for not serving proper meals to their families.

"Malaysia is blessed with an abundance of fresh foods," he pointed out.

"Shallow frying a fish, stir frying some cabbage or boiling rice does not take three hours," Ismail added.

"Similarly, a chicken could be marinated earlier and stored in the fridge, then cooked for dinner on a week day," Ismail said. "It's a matter of being smart."

He said parents should be encouraged to cook for the family frequently as "a house does not feel like a home without the smell of cooking".

"Get the children involved in the kitchen so that they would want to eat quality food," he added.

Ismail, who has been visiting Sabah frequently since 1996, said among his favourite food in the state were jeruk bambangan (pickled local mango) and tarap (fritters made from a local fruit).

"It's nice to eat bambangan as it is," he added.