It is not always easy to cook with herbs and spices when cooking for children. I have been watching the children grow and develop over the past months and years and notice a steady lean towards the tastier foods offered. Many of our students are now seeking out the more spiced and aromatic dishes that we once thought only the teaching staff would enjoy.
Cooking with spices adds an authentic touch to international cuisine, helps in easing many ailments and improves your health. With a little know how you can boost your nutritional benefits every day.
Cook with foods that contain spices such as cinnamon - for blood sugar regulation, fenugreek - for muscle cramps, turmeric - for colds and flu, pepper - for immune system and ginger - for inflammation.
Spring is very much upon us, so our focus in the kitchen this term is cooking with love and purpose. You cannot cook for so many so often without the core value of service to others but the Spring season allows us to source so many naturally fresh and tasty foods that our great love of each other should shine through our meals.
By looking at nourishment over a 24-hour period you will be able to balance your nutritional needs with more efficacy. So read the daily menu and balance your child’s other daily meals around their midday meal and you will see them flourish and sleep so much better.
Last week of term we often do as many favourites as we possibly can. Five different individuals who have been well mannered and helpful throughout the term have requested this week’s menu. They also asked for pizza and sausage rolls which we will bring in the first two weeks of term 4. As a very special request, we are having a last day of term BBQ out in glorious sunshine... weather permitting!
Watching your dietary intake in cold weather is one of the hardest things to do. Our history drives us to ‘fill up’ or ‘warm up’ with the onset of cold weather. This is metabolically true. The hard thing is to fill up on good sources of winter warmers. As you can see with our daily lunch menu we have added hearty but not excessive meals, which the children enjoy. Beans, vegetables, noodles, lentils etc. disguised into favourite foods is the key to keeping children satisfied over the winter months. For myself, bring on summer!
The wet weather has yet again spoiled our great intentions of delivery of the all powerful pizza lunch. We rally together (under a banner of cheers and applause) and delivered our world famous 'sausage' rolls instead this week.
As you can see the elusive pizza day has been pencilled in for Wednesday, a day in which no sport, rain or heavenly body requires the use of the hall…thus far!
Last week’s weather and enormous sickness saw some disappointed diners this past week as the menu had to change to suit our indoor sports program. But don’t despair ‘the hits just keep on coming back’. The main lesson found in helping with change is that of ‘service to others’. In the kitchen we are constantly wading the tides of change as the school grows or just needs a helping hand. People may not always like change, but being able to accept it, move on and experience the joy of contributing to a peaceful solution is one of life’s great attributes. I applaud the students and lunch ladies who didn’t complain once. Please enjoy next week’s favourite food menu.
PLEASE REMEMBER TO PACK YOUR PLATES. It is usual to let winter drag us into bad eating habits. Whatever your reason, some small changes on the path to Spring should be to eat natural meals according to your natural cycle of daily life and balance your food intake. This will not only see you to better sleep but increased working energy.
• Mornings - hydrate, eat protein and carbs and crank up your furnace, exercise should be ‘giving to the earth’ like yoga or walking.
• Mid-morning – eat fruit to fill your body with enzymes.
• Lunch – eat a nourishing meal that will sustain you.
• Mid-afternoon – eat protein and salads; exercise should be aerobic (cycling, running).
• Dinner – protein and vegetables for easy digestion and nutrient density…and relax, exercise should again be nurturing but more slightly powerful than mornings like yoga, stretching or lightweight resistance.
Vegan, egg free, dairy free and gluten free options provided.
A very heart felt but simple ‘thank you’ to every one of the lunch ladies that worked this week. They have ventured into unchartered waters with our Infants Shakespeare Festival and embraced the challenges of me ‘thinking on my feet’! Our motto this week has been…’ The one thing we can count on….is that everything changes!’ Finally, for 2C , we are having SAUSAGE ROLLS as per their gracious, if not relentless, request.
Eat Well Donna Moor
Some of our Upper First students having salad rolls as a picnic lunch this week, while the dining hall was being used for Shakespeare Festival.
PLEASE REMEMBER TO PACK YOUR PLATES, PARTICULARLY ON BREEZEWAY DAYS.
IT IS INFANT’S SHAKESPEARE WEEK so the menu is suited to constant change and major movement!! Always remember to pack a healthy morning tea full of fruit and low GI carbs to keep your child happy and attentive in class and full of energy in the playground. One great piece of advice is to check the daily menu and know your child’s favourite school lunches so you can base your morning teas around them. On their favourite days, you may not need to pack a large morning tea, as they will eat an even heartier lunch.
Eat Well, Donna Moor
Nasi Goreng (Malaysian Fried Rice) from last week's menu.
Parents, please send a soup CUP in on Monday! Over the next couple of weeks we are being dislodged from our dining hall as it turns into the ‘MPC’ we would love to have. This week we are outside due to debating and next week for infant’s Shakespeare. Please remember to pack your plates, particularly on these days.
You may notice a few different meal offerings above. We are trying to develop some newer, updated recipes that the children may enjoy. Here are some of the dishes they have asked me for over the past 2 terms. And yes, sausage rolls and pizza are coming over the next few weeks.
Some people may think that meals like Nachos or simple saucy pasta are ‘junk foods’. They’d be wrong here at John Colet. We create original hearty meals that are palatable to our students by stripping away the additives, processed packets, over processed and salted cans and make our meals from scratch…and then add plenty of vegetables. A bowl of fresh vegetables mixed with legumes, tomatoes, fresh herbs and spices, a little cheese and salt reduced corn chips is a great meal. You then add a side of salad and fruit and you can make it a great wholesome meal, fit for all ages.
The first week of term 3 is upon us. Winter is moving on but still lingering so we will start the term with some Winter warmers and school favourites. One of the many things we constantly do is to find ways to pump up the nutrient density of the students’ meals, particularly protein. Growing children need a varied source of protein in their diet, so with a constant mid-day vegetarian meal it is sometimes hard to combine vegetarian protein into small children’s taste buds. Some of the ways we do this is by the addition of lentils, beans, dairy and my current favourites, quinoa and chia. These products can be purchased in many forms and added ‘quietly’ to any meal to boost the meal’s natural goodness. Some tips for home: - add chia to breakfast cereal - add chia or quinoa to plain rice - add lentils to your spaghetti sauce - add all of them into a soup.
Welcome to the last week of term 2. Where did it go? As it is the last week of term, I have decided to go out with a bang instead of a slow thud. The children’s most preferred food are the 3 P’s and 2 C’s…pizza, pasta, pastry, chips and of course chips!!!! Fortunately, we disguise all forms of vegetables, legumes, dairy and basic ‘healthy stuff’ in all of our recipes. We hope they enjoy them all. Best wishes for the holidays.
I have been playing with the ideals of a healthy lifestyle or a balanced diet and this lead me to realise that these are the product of a varied diet. Many schools, government, hospital and workplace canteens run on a weekly rotation of the same foods. This helps for bulk ordering, staff management and learned ordering behaviours from their customers. Here at John Colet we have over a 3-week rotation of meals and menu plans for each season and over 40 different dishes. There are of course the favourites that pop up all year round but we are very lucky here to have the initiative to use current seasonal produce to our personal needs. The simplicity of a daily, varied diet and vegetarian meal each and every school day is a wonderful start to every child’s life…even if they don’t know it yet! My son, Tom, now asks for or orders a hot meal every day at his high school and eats everything – something I could not have said in 3rd class when he ate virtually nothing. Persevere with a healthy and varied diet in your child’s life and they will thank you for it. Eat Well, Donna