In Australia, we fall very short on the consumption of fibre rich legumes such as beans and lentils. It is reported that as many as 3 out of 4 people don’t eat enough of them. Beans, lentils, chickpeas etc bulk out many delicious meals and add to the satiety of the dish. These delicious little devils can also help reduce blood pressure and are counted as 1 of your 5 vegetables per day.
At John Colet we • add red lentils to a blended soup. • combine chickpeas or green lentils with a salad of beetroot, avocado and rocket.
To improve your consumption of fibre, simply add some kidney beans to your next Mexican fiesta or, my favourite, add green lentils to cottage cheese/hummus cream with salad in a barley wrap.
We were not born with food cravings; they are long term eating patterns that make solid pathways in our brains as we grow. Any habits are hard to change but it is possible to retrain our brains to follow a better path. It is just like learning to walk after falling down 1000 times as an infant. If we teach our children from an early age to eat on the 80%-20% rule of 'Good' vs.'Bad' they will have an easier time when food choices become their own. Start with tantalising aromas in your kitchen and an honest smile of how great dinner will be. The sense of smell will drive the sense of taste. Never forget, at every opportunity let your kids help with the preparation of any meal.
The food bank report of 2015, ‘Hunger in the Classroom’, suggests that students that do NOT eat a well-balanced breakfast can lose as much as 2+ hours of learning time every day. The other thing we find is that most people believe that breakfast is a quick small meal that is eaten on the run. It is not. It should be the largest meal of the day. Try these suggestions to keep your kids going-
1-2 eggs, scrambled with any vegetable they will eat (eg mushroom and tomato) or tofu, on wholegrain toast + a small piece of fruit with natural yoghurt.
1 Weetbix with milk and ½ banana + a boiled egg with soldiers.
Muesli with fresh berries and yoghurt- prepared the night before.
Points to remember-
For any non-vegetarians, adding in or swapping lean breakfast protein is another alternative.
You can also prepare breakfast the night before, ready for heating.
If you must eat and run, grab an apple and a prepared protein toastie in a napkin, or the above muesli, and fly.
CHEESY TOMATO AND LETTUCE SANDWICHES (with mixed fruit yoghurt)
PUMPKIN SOUP AND SOLDIERS
Vegan, dairy free, gluten free and egg free options always available
As we are still grabbing every last ounce out of the summer warmth it may be time to start thinking of things to do with the relatively low price of great summer fruits before the autumn hits. Making popsicles is a great way to use up ready to eat (but no one is) fruit. Try;
Layer two or more different fruits with a layer of yoghurt.
Blend fruits with yoghurt or leftover bits of ice cream from the tubs. Whose house doesn’t have this?
Mix fruit with cold fruit tea (a favourite cooling popsicle amongst the grown ups).
Or simply make a little jam or bottle some great stone fruits.
Head of Kitchen
One of my favourite foods at the moment is the ‘kumara’ or the sweet potato. Not to be too closely associated with the white potato, the kumara is a starch root vegetable native to South America. The kumara also comes in white, orange and purple varieties, and derives its flavour from the enzyme that converts starches into sugar. These wonderful hearty vegetables are high in potassium, iron, fibre, beta-carotene and vitamin A, B6, C, E & folate.
So if you are someone who drops fruit from your diet when ‘dieting’ then always add in kumara - you will lower your GI whilst sustaining your vitamins and minerals that you lose from this practice.
TIP: bake the kumara with the skin on (and eat it) because this is where the majority of the fibre is and it is delicious!
It is that time of year when we ask for expressions of interest in working in the kitchen next year. Each year families leave the school and some vacancies open.
So if you have a little time and would like to help out and see your kids in action please let me know. We are always happy to see interested parents involved in daily school life.
Vegan,dairy free, egg free and gluten free options always provided
The benefits of the simple everyday 'super foods' are the cornerstones of a balanced, easier life around food.
The lettuce, tomato, carrot, kidney bean, eggs, multigrain breads and yoghurt are some of the simplest and yet richest foods you really can't eat enough of.
So stop sweating the big stuff, stop keeping up with the super food fads and go back to the basics. With a couple of boiled eggs, a green salad with a handful of beans over the top and you have a great meal that can be eaten any time of the day.
As many of you know one our favourite meals is our JCS Saucy Pasta. It may look like tomato sauce on pasta - but you would be mistaken. The sauce is comprised of a whopping 10 vegetables, red lentils, fresh herbs and spices.
Recipe for Saucy Pasta 2 cans of tinned diced tomatoes 2 onions, dices 2 stalks of celery 1/2 sml head broccoli (5-6 florets) 5-6 florets of cauliflower 1/4 cup peas or beans 1/4 cup of corn 1 zucchini 1 carrots 1 cup mushrooms 1/3 cup red lentils 5-6 cloves garlic 2 heaped tablespoons of tomato paste. Oregano, parsley, basil, chili flakes to taste Salt and pepper to taste.
Dice all vegetables roughly. Cook onions, celery and carrots until tender. Add in garlic, herbs, paste, S&P and fry for 1 minute. Add in all other vegetables and lentil with the tinned tomatoes. Add in 1/4 cup of water at any time if moisture is needed. Cook for about 20 mins until vegetables and lentils are soft. Blend with a stick blender, letting sauce down with water to your desired thickness.
Serve with pasta. Note- add spinach to make it a Florentine sauce.
This along with the pasta and cheese make for a high fiber and protein meal.
Calcium is a nutrient that is essential for growth and development, particularly in bones. Today a whopping 91% of women and girls still do not get enough calcium each day. Try these easy things to add more calcium to your day.
1.Drink a cup of Milo each day, both Milo & milk are rich in calcium
2.Top your breakfast cereal with a dollop of yoghurt and almonds
3.Use ricotta cheese as a spread on grainy toast
4.Add 30gr of hard cheese to your morning fruit