Vacation Care Workshop
Working with children from primary school ages to high school kids is so rewarding. Today I was invited to join Lifetime Connect and OOSH Nambucca Valley vacation care. The focus was on knowledge of every day healthy foods, snacks and drinks. We did a quiz around the topic and had discussions on what, why and how we should eat. We all agreed on that mealtimes should be at a table and without devices. We also agreed on that hot chips for example, are sometimes food and can be a part of a healthy diet on occasions.
During my visit, I noticed that a lot of the children had a good understanding on what to eat and drink every day and why.
On the menu for the day was snacks in the form of spiced chickpeas, nori chips and a banana/ cinnamon smoothie. Maybe not what the kids was hoping for and some were very sceptic to the food. But it was really proven today that foods that children have helped to prepare, and they consume together in a group, really taste good. Even the most critical ones tried everything and some even went for seconds and thirds, I called that a success, thanks for having me!
Roasted Crunchy Chickpeas
1 tin of chickpeas
1 tbls of olive oil
1/2 tsp of light brown sugar
1 tsp of mild curry powder (hot if you like spicy food)
1/2 tsp paprika powder
A pinch of salt flakes
Turn the oven on to 175 degrees. Rinse the chickpeas and drain, pat them dry gently with a tea towel. Toss the chickpeas in a bowl together with olive oil and then spread them onto an oven tray lined with baking paper. Roast in the oven for approx. 45 minutes (or until crisp), stir every 15 min so they get roasted evenly.
Mix the spices together in a bowl and add the chickpeas while warm (to better soak up the flavours). The chickpeas keep crispy only for a couple of days depending on the humidity.
Variations: Try a seasoning of cumin, paprika and salt. If you like it spicy, add cayenne pepper or if you like it more Mexican, add some smoked paprika!
1 packet nori sheets
1 tsp Olive oil
Garlic salt to taste (or regular)
Turn oven on to 150 degrees. Arrange nori smooth side down onto paper lined baking trays. Brush with olive oil and season with garlic salt. Bake in the oven for approx. 3-5 minutes or until crisp.
Variations: Brush the nori with a blend of olive oil, tamari and sesame oil- scatter sesame seeds over. For a spicy version, add a little cayenne pepper. For thicker chips, brush with the oil and add one to two nori sheets on top of each other. Bake for a bit longer for perfect crisp!
Cooking classes- for children
Two days ago, we held our second cooking class workshop for children in our community. This is in line with Food In Focus Nutrition’s mission, to reduce diseases linked to poor nutrition. We believe that cooking skills and nutritional knowledge is the key to better health outlook for most Australians.
By teaching basic cooking skills, simple nutrition and sharing meals together in a relaxed environment, the children learn what real food is, what a balanced meal contains AND how food brings them together at the table.
A healthy lifestyle is not only about healthy so called “Super foods” (which most often is foods what we humans always been consuming anyway, (such as rolled oats, quinoa or berries), it is also about HOW we eat and WHY.
Our hope is that children who get the chance to learn one of the most important skill sets in life, cooking, will also grow to understand that REAL food taste best. It will also help them later in life, when establishing their own lives, to know how to feed themselves regardless of budget or taste.
With such an important mission, we will run more of these classes (and classes for adults) in the future.
Keep an eye out on our Facebook page!
This week I had the privilege to talk to the children and their parents at the play group in Scotts Head. This playgroup is arranged by the community organisation Lifetime Connect and run by Sharon and Heidi.
Me and the children started with a talk about the five food groups while we were making our own food circle together. This way we could talk about why we should include the foods in the food groups in our daily life. We talked about how these foods help our bodies in different kind of ways and which favourites the children had.
After some time with the children we had a more adult discussion. Me and the parents talked about how children get influenced by their parents e.g. if adults eat their vegetables, children are more likely to pick them up as well. We also talked about the importance to make mealtimes a pleasant and peaceful time were everyone sits down and participates in conversations and eating.
Next time we will take a close look at food suitable for children’s lunch boxes, how their needs will change when they start pre-school and kindergarten. Me and the children will do activities around their favourite meals and create our own food plates with paper and crayons, plus more.
Looking forward to seeing you all again, thanks for having me!
I was invited to do a nutrition talk to the local Encore group
(run by Ywca) last month. Encore is working with breast cancer victims, to give them support both during and after breast cancer treatments. They offer them exercises with e.g. yoga instructors, aquatic teachers etc. to help them both physically and mentally in their recovery.
We talked about the importance of keeping a good diet, and why it is important. When your body get sick and you may have to undergo treatment such as chemo and radiation therapy, it makes a massive impact on your body and mind. To help getting through the worst time and to help with the recovery, nutrition plays a big part. It doesn’t just only give your body the help to fight inflammation and to heal, it also affects your immune system and your mental health.
We discussed the importance of eating a balanced diet, to avoid heavily processed foods, add plenty of vegetables and fruits, and lean proteins. The discussion also included how to make changes and that healthy foods is often very affordable.
Thanks ladies, for having me, and thanks Encore for your amazing and important work you do!