Sneaking Sustansya in Sinigang and Other Tips on Teaching Kids About Nutrition and Veggies

When the pandemic hit and governments responded with community quarantines in March 2020, parents everywhere found themselves working from home, parenting at home 24/7, taking disinfection measures AND looking for supplies of vegetables to strengthen their family’s immune systems.

A sinigang dish with fish and green leafies by one of our subscribers
A sinigang dish with fish and green leafies by one of our subscribers

This got us asking our subscribers about how they provide for the health and nutrition of their kids as well the lessons they impart about our food systems in the Philippines. 

These subscribers include popular social media personality Johanna de Larrazabal (also known as Joey), designer, business owner and work-at-home mom Lauren Sakuma, former Doctor to the Barrio and essential oil enthusiast Tina Langit, a mom and her doctor husband and other parents who subscribe to our vegetable deliveries for their families.

A few things our team have learned from these moms are that what the kids eat is usually a collaborative effort with the moms as final decision-maker and that it’s okay to enjoy treating yourself once in a while and to tackle teaching children about food, health, nutrition and farming in strides.

What’s the task that you need done that GFC helps you with?

According to Joey, Good Food Community helped with “Getting my gulay conveniently, and getting them directly from farmers!”

Other moms shared the same sentiment of being able to get fresh organic produce delivered to their homes for their families.

What do you and/or your partner often teach your children about health and nutrition?

Lauren shares, “Eat more plant-based cooked from home. Slowly doing ‘garden to table’ edibles.”

We also love the tips from Joey about keeping “Everything in moderation. Don’t forget your veggies. Exercise and movement is important. It’s OK to treat yourself 🙂 “

What do you and/or your partner often teach your children about Filipino farmers?

While moms are understandably taking the task of teaching their children of everything going on in our food systems, Tina put it best when she said we need to support our local farmers. They’re one of the poorest despite the fact that they ensure that we have food.

What do you and/or your partner often teach your children about the environment?

Tina shared, “We are given the responsibility to take care of the environment God has blessed us with. Before the lockdown we make sure every month we go to a park, trip to nature. We limit plastic usage and bring reusable shopping bags to market & grocery. We did eco-brick.. we do bulk-shopping for food staples, make a lot (of meals) from home.” See her post about a pre-quarantine beach cleanup with her daughter below.

Another one of our subscribers told us that her kids grew up seeing different places and experiencing the joy of nature so respecting the environment is fundamental to them. They make a conscious effort to engage in activities that are sustainable for the environment because that’s really the only way children learn. 

Others shared that while they teach their kids about the need to respect and preserve the environment because it nourishes us, most kids nowadays seem to know more about it!

How did you and your partner communicate the changes to food security, mobility and health and nutrition brought about by the Coronavirus and the Community Quarantine to your children?

One of our subscribers said, “They see the choices we make when getting basic necessities, sacrifices and adjustments made; we discuss why we cannot do certain things; they are very much aware since they’re already older. My husband is a cardiologist, so they also know about medical and health challenges during this time.”

Mom and child washing hands by Ketut Subiyano
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Lauren adds her take on the pandemic and food security, “We started having a lifestyle change years ago. One of the reasons I got into container gardening in a condo setup is food security, and a lot more.”

What is one meal with fruits and vegetables that you often prepare for your children?

A lot of moms talked about sinigang as a go to dish! While others shared how they often prepare fresh fruits like watermelon or mango for dessert.

For breakfast, Lauren and her kids have fruits and rolled oats and they prepare plant-based lunches and dinners.

Tina shared that sautéeing veggies makes for quick and easy food prep. And we totally get this!

But we were delighted to learn that one of our subscribers shared a step by step guide to making tuna niçoise salad. You can get the recipe below!

A tuna nicoise salad by one of our subscribers
A tuna nicoise salad by one of our subscribers

Tuna Nicoise Salad Recipe:


  • Mixed greens
  • Seared tuna
  • Hard boiled egg sliced
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Blanched French beans
  • Baby potatoes
  • Onions, thinly sliced
  • Parsley


  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Dijon mustard
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • Mix the vinaigrette in a small jar or bowl.
  • Toss the other ingredients in a big bow.
  • Pour over the vinaigrette.

Subscribe to our vegetable delivery service in Manila for your family while helping urban poor families. Get a Gulay Pambahay pack when you order our Gulay Para Sa Lahat Share. This is part of our Lingap Maralita project in partnership with The Vegan Neighbors Philippines.

Gulay pambahay - vegetable delivery for large households in Metro Manila

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