Boy Chun Fook

Complementary Foods and What We Can Learn From Babies

Recipe: Shoyu Poke

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Boy Chun Fook

Boy Chun Fook is a leader in the Hawaiian community in Washington and has devoted his time, energy and ike (knowledge) to bringing outrigger canoe paddling to the Pacific Northwest. 

He started paddling at 13 while living on O`ahu. He became involved with Kikaha O Ke Kai Outrigger Canoe Club when it was just an idea. The founding circle of uncles were looking for a coach and outrigger canoe and he was the perfect man for the job!

“The first meeting was at the Tam-Hoy hale and Kikaha O Ke Kai OCC was officially born in 1996. What was once an idea, was brought to reality. “I was able to share my mana'o and with my persistence, helped grow this hui wa'a. Kikaha continues to thrive and is one of the largest clubs in the Pacific Northwest.”  

There are categories for all ages: keiki, junior, adults & kupuna. If you’re interested in paddling, you can race or just paddle recreationally-this group mainly focus on fitness and technique. What a great culturally-based way to move your body and be connected to the wai. 

Why is it important to continue this cultural tradition here on the mainland?

“I want to continue this tradition because it’s one of only few connections to our Hawaiian culture other than hula and music. If we stop or even slow down this progress, the drive to keep going will suffer and sometimes clubs do fold and members fade away.”

Share your name, your `ohana/family names and your favorite `aina or wai...what land/water source are you most connected to and why?  

Clarence "Boy" Kaluhiokalani/Yadao Chun Fook. My Great Step-Grandpa Fook Chun adopted my Grandpa Clarence who was a Kaluhiokalani. My Mom's Maiden name is Yadao. My wife is Brenda and my daughters are Renda & Brittany and my sons are Isaiah and Gabby. I'm most connected from the mauka to the wai because everything between is life and spiritually connected, that is important to our survival and way of life.

What brings you joy? 

Seeing people smile, love, aloha and surfing on my OC1

During difficult journeys, how do you heal and restore your health and mental well-being? 

How do you share your mana`o and mana with your keiki?   

What is your favorite way to move your kino (body)?

For more information, check out their website:

Kikaha O Ke Kai – Outrigger Canoe Club – Tacoma, WA

It’s also important to share our culture with others. “I just came back from helping a Kumu Sui-lan Ho'okano do a cultural exchange with her students and the Muckleshoot people. We taught them about the Hawaiian outrigger canoe culture and sport. It was an all-day function but well worth the satisfaction for those students and tribal members that showed up.”  

What are you grateful for and why? 

I'm grateful for the many blessings from Akua for my `ohana- my lovely wife, kids and grandkids. It seems as though the more I give of my time for my family, I get blessed double fold. 

I rest my body, relax my movements and eat well.

I talk story with my kids of the old times we had growing up, show them our traditions and give them hands-on experience so they know how to how do things on their own.

Paddling at least 30 - 40 miles a week, cardio workouts and stretching.

What is a quote that empowers you?

Keep moving forward, not backwards. Learn by your mistakes and move on.

Would you share an easy, healthy-heart recipe that your `ohana enjoys?

Tofu Poke - 1 pkg Firm Tofu cut in 1-inch cubes. Chop some fresh ginger and green onions. 1 Tbsp low sodium shoyu, I tsp sesame seed oil and a pinch of Hawaiian salt. Top with Furikake. Mix gently and serve.

ʻAI PONO: Complementary Foods and What We Can Learn From Babies (

Complementary Foods

and What We Can

Learn From Babies

When we think about nutrition, we may not necessarily consider how our present health may have been impacted by our health as infants. 

During infancy, nutrition is especially important, as it is a period that can be linked with health during later stages of life. Studies have shown that early feeding practices can play a significant role in preventing diseases.

Marie Kainoa Fialkowski Revilla, an associate professor in the Department of Human Nutrition, Food, and Animal Sciences at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, spoke about the importance of good nutrition during infancy. 

“The likelihood for being overweight, when (babies are) older, can be influenced by, their diet during infancy. ... There's just lots of evidence that suggests that, through healthy complementary feeding, having a diverse diet, it's going to improve their health outcomes, reduce their likelihood for chronic disease,” she said. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines complementary foods as the solid foods that guardians introduce when infants reach a stage in which breast milk or formula can no longer provide them with all the nutrients they need. They are complementary because they are solid foods that guardians introduce along with breast milk or formula.

As the foods that infants are eating to help them grow into healthy children, there are four important considerations that the WHO 

suggests guardians take into account when selecting and preparing complementary foods for their infants. We should think about the best diet, the best foods. We want to be setting them up for success.

First, babies are ready for complementary foods when they are around 6 months old. Timing is important as it can impact the infant’s likelihood of becoming overweight or obese at later stages in life, as well as their growth and development. 

Second, make sure the foods you introduce to baby are providing adequate nutrition, energy, protein, and micronutrients. It's important that complementary foods are high in iron and zinc, as breastmilk and formula do not provide enough at the 6-month stage.

“With complementary foods, you really want to focus on the vegetables – poi, starchy roots,” she said.

Third, make sure the foods are safely stored and prepared hygienically.

Fourth, make sure infants are being fed enough and in the right frequency for their needs and age. WHO recommends starting off with mashed foods or semi-solid when babies are between 6-8 months old, and that guardians feed babies from two to three times a day, increasing to feeding them three to four times a day when they are around 9 months old. By the time infants are around 1 year old, WHO recommends introducing children to the foods the family is eating.

Traditional Native Hawaiian foods hold a lot of nutritional benefits for babies, along with having cultural value.

“We have a lot of really great traditional foods here, and we want to make our babies ʻono for those foods. Those cultural foods are very meaningful. They carry

a lot of value and spiritual benefit, and, with the idea too of the mana and food and things like that, it's such a shared experience.”

Some examples of traditional Hawaiian complementary foods can include ʻuala (breadfruit), poi, mashed kukui nuts, sauces made with opihi, ʻaʻama (crab), and vegetables and herbs.

“Our traditional foods, like when we think about lūʻau – the green leaves – I mean, that is packed (with) so many nutrients. It's so good – vitamins, the fiber – and it just tastes ʻono,” she said.

In one of her studies, she found that poi was an especially popular first food among moms. Poi is a good example of a complementary food because it's versatile, its consistency can be modified based on the baby's development, and it's nutrient-dense with minerals, vitamins, and fiber. She also noted that some moms mixed poi with breast milk or formula, others with sweet potato or rice cereal.

As important as nutrition is for infants, Fialkowski Revilla noted how nutrition is very much a family effort.

“We say that we want babies to be eating diverse diets, I think it goes the same for families. If they see mommy eating it, they see daddy eating it, they see brother and sister eating it, they see grandma eating, if they see everybody eating it, then they're going to be more likely to want to eat it. So, I would say it's not something that's in isolation. If everybody's working together, it's much easier to live that healthy lifestyle.”

 In one of the studies, she found that many mothers were seeking feeding advice within their own families – their moms, mothers-in-law, sisters, or aunties.

“We need to really think about our families, and the communities they live in, the policies that influence the communities that our families live in. I think it's not just a simple strategy to ensuring that our babies are eating well.”

Our families have to eat well, our mommies have to eat well, our communities have to have access to be able to eat well, everything is all connected,” she said. “The more we can involve everyone, so the whole family is involved in kind of preparing the meal and putting it together, everybody has kuleana.”

While it's important for babies to eat diverse diets, she notes that exploring food doesn’t have to be exclusive to babies.

“You want them to pick up and be exposed to lots of different textures. It's kind of like they're playing with their food, they're exploring with your food, and so why can't we also explore foods, explore different pairings, or explore different ways to make food? Just don't be afraid. Sometimes it'll come out great, and sometimes it may not come out that great, but it's OK, right? Because we're having fun with her food,” she said.

Try experimenting with foods by modernizing traditional Native Hawaiian foods.

“So, our traditional foods – instead of eating (just) poi, add it with some fruit, throw some granola on there. You can kind of modernize some of the foods, too, so that you can incorporate them into your diet in multiple different ways,” she said.  

Currently, Fialkowski Revilla is doing a study that tracks through photos that moms upload to a mobile app what babies eat throughout their first year. She hopes her study will provide pertinent data and information that comes from the community and ensures that foods and support programs, health promotion events, and activities are being delivered in an appropriate and acceptable way that addresses the needs of the community.

“Ultimately, I want a thriving lāhui. I want a healthy lāhui. I want our babies to grow up to be healthy adults,” she said.

Shoyu Poke Recipe

Mahalo Uncle Butch and Aunty Becki Porter for sharing your famous recipe with us! Uncle Butch is the kumu of Hui Paoakalani Canoe Club on the Great Salt Lake. 

2 parts oyster sauce

2 parts shoyu

1 part sesame oil 

1 part dried ‘ōpae

1sprinkle sesame seeds

1 part green onion

1 part red onion

1 sprinkle red pepper flakes

1 pinch Hawaiian salt

Can add: 

1 part Rice Wine & 1/2 part Coconut Vinegar

Combine and stir well, then add to cubed ahi.

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