Enjoying freshly made yogurt offers a wealth of health benefits, particularly for growing children. In fact, recent research revealed 98 per cent of dietitians recommend yogurt as a healthy snack for children because of its health benefits.
Yogurt is an excellent source of protein and calcium. To maximise the benefit of live cultures such as probiotics, yogurt is best made fresh at home rather than purchasing from a supermarket shelf.
Encouraging little ones to eat nutritious foods can be challenging. It requires a bit of clever, fun thinking to convince kids that healthy food can also be delicious.
These ideas are designed to offer parents healthy snack food inspiration:
- Serve unsweetened yogurt with a drizzle of honey and fruit. It’s a great way to kick start the day and also makes for a nutritious after school snack.
- Add grated cucumber and garlic, fresh lemon juice and mint to unsweetened natural or Greek yogurt for tantalising tzatziki. Kids will enjoy eating this dip with carrot, cucumber and celery sticks. Any leftovers can be added to Monday’s ‘Sip and crunch’ and even used as a delicious sandwich spread for lunch.
- Yogurt is a versatile substitute ingredient in cooking. Replace sour cream with unsweetened Greek yogurt when making nachos and the kids won’t know the difference. Alternatively, try making café style pancakes using unsweetened natural yogurt instead of milk, add favourite toppings and enjoy!
- Enjoy greater control of ingredients by making homemade frozen yogurt popsicles. Simply add freshly cut fruit to favourite yogurt flavours and freeze in popsicle moulds for a fun, delicious and nutritious alternative to pre-packaged ice cream.
- Turn yogurt into an easy on-the-go travel snack or school lunchbox treat with yogurt pouches such as the range from EasiYo. Featuring three kid friendly designs, “Squeezi-yo’s” are available in packs of three from Australia Natural Care and EasiYo.
EasiYo yogurt is made effortlessly at home, is delicious, nutritious, vegetarian and gluten free. Simply follow the instructions – it takes just a few minutes to prepare – and let the live cultures work their magic overnight!
EasiYo is available from Big W, Woolworths, Foodland, Coles, IGA and online via Australian Natural Care or directly on EasiYo.com. For more information and recipe ideas, visit EasiYo.com.
School lunches can produce lots of waste from plastic wrapping to chip packets and sealed snack bags. Waste free lunches are designed to eliminate the use of unnecessary packaging by using reusable products that are environmentally friendly. This means no excess waste is produced in the making or consumption of school lunches.
Creating waste free lunches is an easy way to help ensure your child is consuming food that is nutritious and less toxic by reducing packaged and processed foods and introducing fresh whole foods. Tracey Bailey, founder of Biome Eco Stores lists six ways you can reduce the waste in your child’s school lunches.
The thought of packing good cutlery into a child’s lunch box can be worrying for some parents. Instead give your child the responsibility of taking care of their own cutlery and purchase a set that comes with a storage bag. This will ensure your cutlery won’t get lost and will prevent you from purchasing disposable plastic cutlery that takes over 100 years to decompose.
The convenience of disposable paper napkins or towels make it appealing to pack one in to your child’s lunchbox, however this single use product contributes greatly to landfill and destroys our natural resources. Instead pack a reusable napkin and wash it after each use.
A common lunchtime meal consumed by children every year are sandwiches which are usually packaged in plastic wrap or aluminium foil, methods of which contribute to excess environmental waste. Instead, try a reusable lunch wrap made from fabric. It will keep your child’s sandwich fresh without the use of plastic or aluminium foil wrapping and can be washed and used again.
Bento-style lunch boxes are a fun and waste free way to package nutritious food for your child’s lunch. The range of compartments allow you to provide a variety of different foods for your child to consume. From blueberries to rice, dried fruit or vegetables, this style lunch box is fun, nontoxic and completely waste free.
Disposable plastic water bottles are becoming a major environmental issue. They significantly contribute to landfill every year, litter our oceans and extract valuable natural resources from our planet. Instead of giving your child a plastic disposable water bottle or pre-packaged juice opt for a reusable stainless steel or PBA free plastic bottle.
Reusable pouches and plastic free container
Single use plastic zip lock bags contribute greatly to landfill and harm our planet in many ways. Instead of using single use plastic zip lock bags try reusable pouches or plastic free containers to store food. These reusable items will significantly reduce your household contribution to landfill.
Article Supplied by:
Back to School can conjure up feelings of joy for parents and trepidation for teachers. It’s hard to miss all the wild excitement for it, as five minutes after the post-Christmas sales finish, the back to School ads appear. So what are some considerations for heading back into a new academic year? From a teacher’s point of view, I’d love to see kids coming back having had an awesome break, feeling reinvigorated for their next year of learning with one or two goals in mind for what they want to do. So how can you achieve this? Most kids have no idea what they want. The same could be said for a lot of adults too, but you never know what someone wants until you take the time to ask them.
Whilst the cliché idea of the New Year’s resolution is nothing more than a notional way people feel good for a day or two before they go back to their old ways, goal setting with your kids is completely different and is an excellent way to create a positive and proactive start to the year.
Take some time in the holidays to spend a day one on one with each of your kids. A special day out with mum or dad. Do something fun and then ask the child about what he or she would like to achieve this year. What do they want to achieve academically, sports-wise and for their personal interest? What excites them? Is there anything that worries them, or anything they might see as a barrier this year? This can be a great and informative goal-setting exercise and you might discover interests that your kids have that you never knew.
This sort of one on one family discussion can quite often be missed due to the busy nature of our lives, but it can create focus and lead to other great conversations with your kids throughout the year. It’s really important you make the time about them. It’s not what you want them to do or achieve this year. It has to come from them. It’s about what they want to achieve. Your task is to tactfully frame the conversation and provide the opportunity for your kids to think about the idea of setting goals.
Having a healthy and proactive mind goes hand in hand with having a healthy diet and being physically active. So coming into the new year, set the scene for your kids to get the most out of 2017! Spend some time, set some goals and together you can look back as a family on the many proud moments that come from this. Have a wonderful and prosperous 2017!
Article submitted by David Gregory of Xcursion
I was sick to my stomach when my son Tim started school, wondering how I’d manage schools and special diets when I wasn’t there to control the environment. I couldn’t leave any stone unturned in making sure it was going to be safe.
Preparation and communication is vital. When you can pre-empt what might be a stumbling block and give clear instructions with easy alternatives for these situations, you should find that the school community is happy to help.
Here are some of the things I did that I hope might help you when you come to managing your child’s special diet at school.
- Firstly make a rule with your child – they can ONLY eat what you send to school or what the teacher approves.
- Talk to the teacher and ask what sort of rewards they use in the classroom. Please encourage them to use non-food rewards for good work – things like stickers/pencils. If they won’t, then give them a stash of acceptable treats they can use for your child. This is very important. You don’t want your child missing out.
- Ask the teacher to give you a schedule for any cooking they may be doing or any topics that are going to have food attached. Ask if you can send in substitute ingredients, modify the recipe for the whole class or send in something else for your child. I didn’t realise how much food was involved in a school day –you have movie days, days where you eat food from a certain country, cooking as a skill where you make something and eat it for morning tea, rewards after sports events, pizza for the class who wins a challenge .. and on it goes. You have to make sure you have contingency plans for all of these.
- Bake a few dozen, nicely decorated cupcakes and take them in a labeled container and leave them in a freezer near the classroom. It seems that there is a birthday every second day and there’s cake on offer! Again you want a great alternative so your child doesn’t have to miss out.
- Make up a sheet with your child’s name and picture on it and list all the foods they can’t eat. Don’t just write gluten or dairy for example as many people won’t know exactly what that means. Spell it out – list bread, cake, biscuits, milk, cheese, yogurt etc. Make sure this sheet goes not only to their class teacher but to the office, to specialist teachers (where they go to other classrooms like music and art) and also that it’s in the files for a relief teacher if your class teacher is absent.
- Make friends with the tuckshop convener at your school. Give them the sheet above and then go through the tuckshop menu with them and mark off what your child is allowed from there (if your school is anything like an average one, unfortunately this will be a very short list).
- Bake your own pies/sausage rolls/meals and send them into the tuckshop in a labeled container to keep in the freezer. That way you can give your child a tuckshop order every now and then and they feel just like the other kids and you know they are getting a treat but it’s a safe, healthy treat. Buy the tuckshop ladies a nice Christmas present and they will be happy to help you out. If all else fails, take over the tuckshop in your spare time so you are in charge of what’s on the menu J
With some preparation and planning, school can be a safe and enjoyable place for kids with special dietary needs. Good luck!
Article submitted by Kris Barrett
With the Aussie summer of backyard cricket just around the corner, it’s time to get those backyards cricket-ready for family and friends to enjoy a little healthy competition.
Legendary pitch maker, Les Burdett, who was Head Curator at the Adelaide Oval for more than 40 years, says that regardless of your turf variety, preparing a backyard pitch is easy and can be done in just a few simple steps.
“You don’t need to be a turf or cricket expert, or have a specific type of lawn to create a great pitch. The only tools you need are probably already lying around the house – a lawn mower, spray can of grass-friendly acrylic paint and a garbage bin or esky!
“Taking the time to create a simple pitch will pay off in countless hours of entertainment and fun for friends and family, especially during the upcoming holiday season.
“I’ve been privileged enough to travel the world making turf cricket pitches, but nothing is quite like a good old game of backyard cricket,” said Mr Burdett.
Les Burdett’s 3 steps to the perfect backyard pitch:
Select the best open space in your yard and give it a good water. Every space will have characteristics that give your cricket game its own personal character, whether it’s a shed, the hills hoist or an established tree.
Mark out your desired pitch and mow the grass low. Use string lines for a professionally cut, straight pitch and a cylinder mower if possible, as it will provide a light roll and a beautifully manicured pitch surface. If the grass is thatchy, lower your mower’s cutting height and repeat to remove more grass.
Mark the batting and bowling crease on the grass with either a grass-friendly spray can or create your own appropriate paint by watering down white water-based acrylic paint with 2 parts water, 1 part paint. Paint onto grass with a 25-50mm brush.
Want to make your pitch more pro? Top dress the pitch with a sandy loam to fill in any ridges or holes. This will provide an even better batting surface.
Post a photo of your very own backyard cricket pitch on our Facebook page, Lawnspiration, and go in running to win tickets to the KFC Big Bash in your nearest capital city.
For more information visit turfaustralia.com.au or facebook.com/lawnspiration