Monday, September 9, 2013

Should schools be responsible for what the canteen is selling to our children?

Apparently not.

In our last meeting with our school, we were told never to mention the canteen again. It is out of bounds, will not be discussed, is staying the same.

So the nuggets, hot dogs, Big M's and all the other highly processed food is staying on the menu. 

At least we have convinced them to swap the current sugar, flavour and preservative laden icy poles for a frozen fruit juice alternative.
Available everyday from our canteen.

Our articles that were appearing in the school newsletters have been cut down to two lines. My link to what is really in Chicken nuggets and Hot dogs did not survive the editing process. 

Here is how hot dogs are made

Our battle is lost.  At least we tried.

And the stupid thing is, we don't need to use the canteen anyway.  

We will continue to share healthy lunch box ideas through Instagram ( link coming soon), so be sure to come and follow us there.

Bean, pasta and rice salads are always popular in our house

Wholemeal crackers are also a hit

School holiday snack box. I always take food out with us, to make resisting chips and saving money easier.

Preservative, sugar and flavour free homemade icy poles.
This one is raspberry, watermelon and lemon juice.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Quick lunch box ideas

The  best way to tackle the morning rush, is to be prepared.

My healthy tuna balls were a surprise hit for dinner

       And did get eaten for lunch the next day.

I didn't measure or time anything, and they would be easy for kids to make.

Tuna and Veggie balls

1 tin tuna
mashed potato
Fresh steamed corn kernels
Any other finely chopped raw veggies and herbs could be thrown in.
Squash into golf ball sized balls
Roll in chia seeds
Place on a lightly greased baking tray in a hot oven and cook until crunchy on the outside, somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes. 

I think they were even tastier served cold for lunch the following day.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Eat well, all day, everyday.

I try to balance out all our nutritional needs throughout the day. I'm not one for giving anything up, and dieting has been proven not to work. If you eat your 6 veggies, three pieces of fruit, some protein, calcium, whole grains, legumes, and try to eat the rainbow, there is then not much space left for treats.

Thinking about what you can pack for lunch, when you are making dinner, can save a lot of time

Chicken tikka curry with LOTS of veggies, a little bit of chicken, rice (brown is best) and veggie packed Riata.

Left over curry and riata are great in wraps. I made scones with tapioca flour. Not a great success, but I'll keep trying different flours.

I'll boil eggs for egg salad while I'm making dinner, and pop corn ready for the next day.

If you haven't got a blender, go out and get one! Quick morning juices and smoothies set you and your kidlets up for the day. We did orange, lime, ginger and spirulina, that's why it's brown. My Dad rejected it but my little girl loved it. 
You can't win them all.
But at least we can all try.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A healthy school community


‘A nutritious school lunch increases children’s concentration, improves their behavior in class, and their chances of doing well and achieving their best at school’.-
School Food Trust Lunch and Learning Behaviour in Primary Schools 2009 

The aim of Munch is to share and swap healthy and fun lunch box ideas within our school and the wider community.

With obesity levels rising and poor diet linked to not only behavioral issues but also chronic illness, the Australian Government is getting the message out there that we need to be more aware of what our children are eating.

Healthy Lunch box ideas for busy families

We are all so busy these days, and a lot of us think we don’t have time to put together a healthy lunch for our children.

With a little bit of forward planning, a nutritious lunch can be made in less than 5 mins, everyday.

Here are a few tips…

Wash and chuck in whole fruits and vegetables. No cutting required.
Keep tins of beans and left over pasta and rice for quick and easy salads.

Occasional treats are ok. Home made is best. But remember, lollies are for parties, not everyday school lunches.

Make extra sushi for the following days school lunches. Most kid’s love making and eating it. Home made popcorn can be made while you make your morning tea or coffee.

And for those of you who are making multiple school lunches, here are Jo’s three lunches she made in three minutes.

Keep it simple. Keep it healthy. Get the kids involved.

We hope you enjoy our lunch box ideas.

We would love to see our whole school community embrace a healthy life style. It is much easier if we all do this together. It is hard for children to enjoy their carrots if the child next to them is eating Wizz Fizz.

If you would like to contribute or discuss any ideas, please leave a comment below, and we will get back to you.

The best place to start is to clear out your pantry and fridge. Get rid of the highly processed snacks and instead stock it full of healthy fresh food, and as a whole family make eating well a priority.

To keep it simple, here is a quote I have pinned up in my kitchen.

You won’t regret eating well, and your children will one-day thankyou for it.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

New Australian guide to healthy eating

To help you plan your meals.........

More quick lunch box ideas

Some more quick and easy lunch box ideas

 We are trying to phase out all wrapping, but nobody is perfect all the time, and these little organic yoghurt's are great for lunch boxes. An egg and lettuce wholemeal sandwich and some fresh fruit and veggies make this a protein and vitamin packed lunch.  

I was over ambitious and made sago pudding (lemons, orange juice  and honey), bean and corn salad and stove popped pop corn. All of it could be prepared the night before to save time. 

 Don't forget to make sure your kids start the day with a nutritious energy boost. I just put orange juice, lemon juice,ginger and a scoop of spirulina in the blender, and then mashed avocado onto sour dough toast.We avoid cereal and commercial spreads as much as possible. Have you ever taken a look at the sugar/salt/additives that are in our everyday breakfast choices?

What you feed your children now sets them up for life.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A healthy start to a new school term.

It is going to get very busy for us this term. 

 One thing I try never to let slip is eating well.

A quick and healthy lunch ready in 3 minutes.
But, as we come into winter , wouldn't it be nice if our canteen offered warming wholesome options? (see our mock canteen menu on our previous post)Home made soup to warm chilled little fingers and wholesome toasties to fuel them through an afternoon of learning?

And so, our campaign for a healthier school community continues..........

Let us know if you are on a similar mission,or even if your school canteen is leading the way to promote a healthy lifestyle.We would love to hear from you.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The two Michelles.

We had our school council meeting last week, where we proposed our idea of putting together a working party to tackle the issues of nutrition, the school canteen etc etc. 

They are thinking it over.

We might just be inclined to give up if it wasn't for inspiring women who are leading the way with this cause. First lady of the U.S.A Michelle Obama and Australian fitness queen Michelle Bridges. 

Michelle Obama has initiated her 'LetsMove'and'MyPlate'campaignes in order to save the children in her country from obesity. It would be so good to see something similar happening in Australia.

Here is a link to Michelle Bridges column in The Ages Sunday Life Magazine. for more information.

I hope our government/schools/parents do something before it is too late. 

2 minute lunch box idea
It actually takes less time to make a healthy lunch that it does to fill out a lunch order!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Lunch order blues

I had one of those mornings this morning. I simultaneously slept in and ran out of anything suitable to put in my little girls lunch box.

Thank goodness our school has a canteen.

The only problem is that our canteen sells hot dogs, nuggets, party pies, flavoured milk and blue icy poles , which are available every day.

When you have a 7 year old, this can lead to a long morning of arguing, begging, negotiating and crying (mainly me). 

In my ideal world the canteen menu would look something like this................................

It looks good, doesn't it?

Now we just have to convince our school council that this issue is worthy of some attention.

In the mean time, here are some more lunch box ideas from Jo.

Lunch idea 1: nude food lunch box! carrot and cucumber stick are so quick and easy, some rice crackers and cheese fingers, a scotch finger and red/green grapes oh and a nectarine!
Nude food (no wrapping/packaging) as well as a decent recycling system is another issue we would like to tackle.

Lunch idea 2: Yum, Yum, Yum, grated carrot salad with lemon and olive oil, some mint leaves, salt and pepper. Easy couscous salad with pomegranate (that had light pink seeds) sultanas or the like and almond slithers and my favourite chickpea salad with red onion cut finely, preserved lemons, olives, cucumber, olive oil, salt and pepper.

photo 1: zucchini and corn fritters with natural yogurt and a little salad of tomatoes and cucumbers tossed in olive oil 

               And don't forget that a healthy breakfast before you walk/ride /scoot to school.

photo 4: I love this breakfast and the kids really like it too, it can be fun if you get out all the extras they can add, like seeds, nuts, dried fruit, I don't even put honey on it anymore, but you could. And a good quality full cream milk!

‘A nutritious school lunch increases children’s concentration, improves their behaviour in class, and their chances of doing well and achieving their best at school’.-
School Food Trust Lunch and Learning Behaviour in Primary Schools 2009

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

We are what we eat

After school snack idea, home made hummus on wholemeal crackers with carrot sticks and fresh orange juice.

We all want happy, healthy kids, right?

So why do so many school canteens around Australia sell junk food?

Why are lunch boxes still being filled with unhealthy food?

Why is there little or no education in public schools regarding nutrition, cooking and health?

Why is the 'Healthy Canteens' guide line, just a guide line?

Why is more than 80% of Australia's population going to be obese by 2025?

There is something seriously wrong with the way we are all eating.

Wouldn't you think that schools would consider nutrition as important as reading, writing and maths.

Why are schools and parents blind to the fact that they are cursing their children to years of ill health, eating disorders, obesity, yoyo dieting, even a shortened life span.

And it is not that hard to make healthy lunches. But it gets harder and harder to convince a child to make healthy choices the older they get.

Our aim is to make schools a place where children learn about health and wellbeing.

We are two mums from Inner West Melbourne on a mission.

We are not health professionals. As well as being mothers we both  run small businesses during the day, so we know how busy life can get. We just see a problem, a ticking time bomb, and think we can help.

We will post healthy lunch box ideas and updates on our mission to get the healthy eating message into our school.

Healthy lunch box idea 1
Tin of plain tuna mixed with raw veggies and a tub of organic stove popped corn
a piece of fruit and a healthy treat. 

Healthy lunch box idea 2
Left over rice mixed with raw veggies  and a squeeze of lemon juice, a couple of pieces of fruit and a healthy treat. 

Healthy lunch box idea 3
Raw veggies and fresh herbs mixed with left over pasta, fruit and somehow a couple of chocolate cookies snuck in.

Healthy lunch box idea 4
Wholemeal crackers with Vegemite, organic yogurt, fresh fruit, whole carrot and some sultanas.

Non of these lunches take more than 5 minutes to make. I'm sure most kids would be happy to eat this, but it is hard when their friends are eating hot dogs, chips and strawberry milk.

 We would hate to see our canteen close down. It should be a place where children can learn about money, shopping, making taste choices, nutrition and even cooking. 

So let your kids decide what they want in their lunch box and lunch orders, lets just not give them any unhealthy options. It is as easy as that.

And feel free to leave a comment. We would love to hear your stories, advice or even share your lunch box ideas and school canteen experiences.