The school holidays are here again and the question of what to feed the kids is top of mind. So how do you have healthy holiday food for the kids and still have fun treats?
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that homemade is the best option. This way you know exactly what is in the food, especially if you have extra mouths to feed. So many children have food allergies these days and react to preservatives, colourings and sugar.
Kids love bite sized food that they can eat with their hands. Try my low-fat Sausage Rolls (Book 2), Mini Quiches (Book 4), Mexican Meatballs (Book 1), Chicken Bites (Book 3), Mini Pizza Breads and Potato Wedges (Book 4) to name but a few. I also have a Party Food section in Book 4 that will help.
Many of my recipes can be made ahead and frozen. Encourage the kids to get into the kitchen and help with the cooking. They say variety is the spice of life and it’s no different with kids’ food, keep it interesting and they will look forward to meal times.
Here are more suggestions:
- Pizzas made on Lebanese bread. These are delicious and much cheaper and healthier than the bought variety. Kids love ham, cheese and pineapple. Let them add their own toppings.
- Sushi is popular with kids. Slice it up for littler kids to make it easier for them to handle.
- Salad wraps are great. Cut them into small sizes so they can eat them easily.
- Kids love dips. Avoid ones that are high in salt and fat and serve with rice crackers or carrot/celery sticks, snow peas or cucumber
- Corn on the cob. Leave the husk on and microwave on high for 3-4 minutes for a delicious treat, no butter required.
- Homemade popcorn is always a winner.
- Pre-packaged options such as cheese sticks or snack sized Vege Chips are an occasional treat.
- Fresh fruit with a yoghurt dipping sauce is a welcome sweet treat. Think grapes, strawberries, small dices of melons, apple or whatever is in season.
- Small boxes of sultanas or Be Natural muesli bars.
- Check out the baking section in my cookbooks.
It’s how we sell ‘healthy’ to our kids. I was in the supermarket recently and heard a mother ask her little girl who was sitting in the trolley “would you like a lolly?” The little girl answered with a very excited “yes please.” The mum reached into her bag and handed her a dried apricot. “Yum” said the little girl. Make healthy the hero!
Article submitted by Annette Sym of Symply Too Good
Managing medical concerns at school and on excursions is one of my biggest worries as a teacher! Keeping anaphylactic children safe at school & on excursions is at the top of that list. Since a reaction can be almost instant from the allergen and has a cascading effect. This means the longer you leave it, the more difficult it is to recover. However, despite this serious concern, it just means effective strategies need to be in place to ensure preventative measures are the number 1 priority.
In outdoor education, we usually run our programs a considerable distance from emergency medical care. As a result, this adds an additional layer of risk to any trip away. However, rather than worry about this and feel as though it’s too risky to take kids away; my focus has always been on effective preparation and management. This ensures that the chances for an anaphylactic reaction becomes so low, it’s not an is-sue.
If a student’s medical profile is flagged with an anaphylactic allergy, I’ll phone home and talk to mum and dad. What I need to know when I call is what are the specific triggers? Can they have foods which might contain traces of the allergen? When was the last re-action and what happened? Even though this information might be in the medicals; I prefer the first hand information from parents, so I can effectively brief my staff. I also want to know how well their son or daughter manages their allergy. Are they aware of what can happen? Are they aware of what foods they can and can’t have? This information is vital in helping provide teachers with the best management strategies in the field.
As an example, on one program, I had 247 students out in the field for a week long camp. 11 of the students had allergies which could result in an anaphylactic reaction. Based upon the information from the parents, and the fact some activities were hours away from emergency care; I carefully placed students with the highest needs in the closest proximity to emergency healthcare facilities. In one of the extreme cases, given the number of allergens that the student was affected by; I asked his mum to provide and pack the week’s food in an esky for her son and I provided a clean stove which was specifically for his personal use.
At the end of the day, it about clear channels of communication between parents, teachers and the child. All staff are trained in first aid and anaphylaxis treatment, effective preparation and prevention is far more important. For every activity we do, we go armed with a list of dietary requirements and only shop according to each individual excursion. We don’t plan meals months in advance to save time. It’s about providing the best meal options for each individual group. This way, we’re prepared and able to ensure we provide a safe environment for every child and a wonderful memorable experience away from school.
Article submitted by David Gregory of Xcursion