Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Appetite enhancer? No thanks!

Recently, you may have seen a new product launch at local supermarkets - Yang Sheng Le. Basically, it's herbal soup in a bottle. Instead of having to spend hours boiling and double boiling traditional Chinese herbal soup, the folks at Nestle have cleverly pre-packed Eu Yan Sang herbs in a concentrate. Just add water and the accompanying sachet of wolfberries, bring to a boil and voila! Ready to drink herbal soup.

You may wonder why I seem to be doing an advertising spiel on the product. Self-promotion lah - I wrote the text for the packaging and marketing materials. As I don't often do writing for retail products, I was quite eager to see how it would turn out. So when the NTUC auntie asked if I would like to try the sample, I readily agreed, even if just to get a closer look (and taste).

Yang Sheng Le comes in four flavours and retails for $6.00 – $8.50 per jar which serves four. When this particular auntie saw that I had kids with me, she immediately served up Liu Wei soup for them, saying it's to "补胃口" (increase appetite). Upon which I exclaimed, "不用了! 他们胃口太好了!" ("No need! Their appetite is very good!") She looked at me like my kids were from outer space (or maybe she thought I was from outer space), and dished out the Cordyceps soup instead (for nourishing lungs) which my kids promptly slurped up and declared very delicious.

You see, both my kids are foodies. From age 2, Lesley-Anne would dictate her own menu - "milk!" "macaroni!" Bringing her out was a breeze - from age 5 or so, I could just bring her to a cafe, order a large serving of pasta and she would polish it off, leaving clean plate. Travelling is easy too since she's always game to try new cuisine.

Andre had a fussy start but once he entered p1, he started eating like he was making up for lost time. In fact, thanks to my very good French pal Isabelle who has over the years, invited us to her place to sample French food, my kids have become willing gastronomic guinea pigs, from foie gras, escargot, stuffed peppers, greasy marinated duck but most of all, cheese. Blue cheese, camembert, brie, goat cheese, boursin, my kids can eat a truckload of them.

Last week, my sister and brother-in-law treated us to the Tung Lok ala carte seafood buffet and Lesley-Anne gamely tried a raw oyster, with a hint of lemon. I can't stomach raw oysters myself, much as I love seafood, so I couldn't believe it when she loved it so much that she downed three. Andre tried one and made a face. By the way, whenever we order or lua (oyster omelette), the kids would attack the oysters and us sua ku parents stick to the flour and egg LOL!

Having foodies for kids has its downside though. Some families can just tah-pao 4 packets of wan ton mee from the coffee shop as a quick Sunday dinner but for us, a dinner decision can be as complicated as trying to negotiate a Gaza Strip peace settlement. It's hard to find something from one coffee shop that will please the discerning palates of every member of this family.

When parents ask me how to get their kids to eat, I don't know what to tell them except it's hard not to love food when you're born in a makan-crazy family! Kenneth's family especially, live to eat - before they've had lunch, they're discussing where to go for dinner. For now, my kids are still within a healthy weight range but Andre is teetering dangerously on the edge, having been identified for TAF club. I'll have to keep an eye on him to ensure it doesn't become a problem.

In the meantime, I'm just slightly comforted to know that at least I won't have to worry about my kids having eating disorders anytime soon... unless over-eating is considered a disorder.

Andre demolishing his favourite pork ribs from Cafe Cartel.

13 comments:

The Chengs said...

I can't start to see HOW Andre could be identified for TAF club!!! Not from that photo!

monlim said...

LOL!! TAF measures weight in relation to height, so since he's a shorty... That's my explanation anyway :)

Lilian said...

Wahhhh, Andre eats a LOT! That's a HUGE slab of pork rib.

And oysters, oooh, my favourite! I'm one of those kiasu folks you see at buffets who pile their plates with oysters, again and again! I believe I've polished 30 at one go once at Triple 3. You mean both you and Kenneth don't eat oysters? You don't know what you're missing lah!

So this Tunglok buffet, good or not? How much? hehe, planning my gastronomic adventure already.

Alcovelet said...

LOL! Look at Andre's portion! TAF club aside (which I also think, is that height issue), he's obviously burning it off by being so active.

But isn't it great to see the kids tuck in? I feel so fulfilled when I see RK eat heartily - like that's my primeval motherly instinct coming out to the fore. Imagine ourselves 2m years ago - nagging about hunting homework and watching them eat their grub (literally). Things haven't changed much, I'm sure!

Alcovelet said...

Meanwhile back at the present day, I'm gonna try the liu wei (the writer got promotional price or not?). RK's a gourmet, but he sure can do with some volume.

monlim said...

Lilian: Tung Lok buffet ok lah but I dunno how they can call it a seafood buffet when they limit a table to one chilli crab! And most of the items are not seafood. But there's oysters (limited to 2 a person) and unlimited sashimi.

Ad: When Andre picked at his food, I worried. Now when he eats like a horse, I worry too! Yup, some things don't change :) Sorry, no promotional price as I was ghost writer, haha. But the can try it, it tastes really good!

Anonymous said...

Mon, you are blessed in more than one way. To eat is 福, so your family is truly blessed.

qx

monlim said...

QX: based on that saying, I should have amassed a great fortune by now! LOL

Veronica_L said...

Wow! That's a big portion of ribs! For me, if I eat the fries, I'm full already. You must spend a lot to keep them well-fed and full! Andre shouldn't have to go to TAF club, he exercises so much. By the way, wasn't it abolished about two years back?

monlim said...

Veronica: That's why cafes and restaurants are very occasional treats! It's mostly home cooked food or hawker centre/food court/coffee shop for us.

TAF club by MOE was stopped but most schools still have their own fitness programme for overweight kids aka TAF club disguised :) But it's no longer compulsory for identified kids.

elan said...

Uhh...Mon, how come they asked you to write the copy but never gave you lots of samples to try first?
Should have asked them for it, lah!

monlim said...

Elan: Haha, I wish it worked that way! Then I'll go looking for more clients in the F&B industry :D

eunice said...

Better to have kids who like to eat than have to beg them or chase them round for every meal. Andre looks JUST right.

Haha.. you are like me, don't eat oysters. Sean not into sea food except fish. Recently discovered crab so I have competition now.

Am glad to know that my family is not the only ones that plan for dinner at lunch.

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