Hi from the kitchen!
We have had heaps of new allergies start recently and I would like to thank the families for liaising with us so the children are well cared for. Please remember that we are always happy to help. We require you to fill out appropriate forms if new allergies arise or if allergies no longer apply.
Not much else to report from us, I’ll be going on maternity leave in early September so there will be updates on my replacement before leaving.
Carrot cupcakes were a hit at home so this time I have included a savoury meal the children love to eat here at care. Of course its pasta!
Have a nice month and enjoy your Ekka holiday!
Cook pasta according to the packet instructions, drain and set aside.
Sautee the onion, garlic, zucchini and carrot. Add the bacon and cook for further 2 min.
Add cream and simmer for 2min.
Add the pasta and heat through.
Chopped parsley or chives is delicious in this one.
Keeping 1 cup of pasta water can help with adding moisture if the meal dries out before serving.
This recipe can be made gluten free by using gluten free pasta and bacon.
When sauteeing cook on a medium heat in some oil. Sautee means to sweat or cook without colour, so you want your vegies to look almost tranlslucant. Onion is always the best to tell by.
You can sneak in more vegies if your kids will allow it! I finely chop up broccoli (it falls apart that much it’s too hard to pick out) or throwing spinach in last minute is a yummy one too.
Kelly & Wendy
I have provided a recipe this month. Carrot cake is enjoyed by a lot of children and is a yummy afternoon snack. A few tips for this particular recipe:- Some graters grate quite large so to disguise the carrot use a finer grater or once grated chop it up further on a bread board. If you don’t have fresh orange juice on hand you can always squeeze fresh oranges. You will need around 1 large orange for this recipe. Crushed pineapple freezes well, so if you don’t use it all freeze it in measured out lots ready for next time you make this recipe – ezy peezy.
Have a lovely month enjoying the beautiful Brisbane winter and don’t forget the kitchen is always open to answer any questions you may have.
Kelly & Wendy
This month we have and will continue to focus on allergies. With new permanent staff members joining our team it is important to educate them on our procedures. In addition it is a priority to laisse with all staff to ensure those with allergies are getting variety and eating their meals. Wendy has been doing some additional cooking to cater for those with dietary requirements within the Centre. Thanks Wendy!
It’s a special time when your little ones become another year older. They really enjoy celebrating with their daycare friends and it is lovely to see so many children bringing in cakes or ordering one through the kitchen to celebrate. If ordering through the kitchen pop in to the office and ask for a form or click here, it has all the information you need on it. It would be appreciated if at least one weeks’ notice is given. The cake can easily be charged to your account and the rest will be taken care of. If you ever have any questions that the office can’t answer, Wendy and I are always happy to help in the kitchen. If bringing in a cake it is a requirement to supply a list of ingredients so we can ensure all allergies are catered for. Generally the children will enjoy their cake at afternoon tea time so if your cake needs to be refrigerated, please lete us know as it’s no trouble at all.
If you are new to the Centre and you have any concerns or questions regarding food and your child, please know the kitchen door is always open or have the office phone me to have a chat.
Kelly & Wendy
I would like to welcome Wendy to the team. Wendy is coming on board to cook in the kitchen for Thursdays and Fridays. Wendy is experienced and a qualified cook who has worked in childcare kitchens. We will job share and between us continue to provide nutritious meals for the children. Kelly will continue to run the kitchen operations and ordering so if you have any questions or concerns please pop into the kitchen and have a chat Monday to Wednesday.
The menu has recently been changed to a 6 week rotating menu and balancing out the meals more appropriately and adding more vegetables! This will help with cooking around allergies and religious preferences. You might notice new menu items and some previous meals have been deleted.
The Centre celebrated Chinese New Year. From the kitchen we had Fried Rice and Noodles to celebrate! If there is a special day in your culture you would like to share with the Centre I’d be more than happy to discuss a meal appropriate to share with your child’s friends.
Kelly & Wendy
Over the coming weeks I will be revising the menus and adding some of my own nutritious items. I have touched base with a few parents especially those with allergens. I can’t encourage you enough to bring in suggestions for the menu and if you have any enquiries come see me or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I sliced them up with a sprinkle of salt.
Clever Elora took her second slice of radish and replanted it where she saw us pull them out of the garden. Fast learner!!
Latest research has our governments changing our guidelines for allergies. All infants should be given allergenic solid foods including peanut butter, cooked egg and dairy and wheat products in the first year of life. This includes infants at high risk of allergy.
The recent recommendations was for three changes to the Australian infant feeding guidelines:
(1) When your infant is ready, at around 6 months, but not before 4 months, start to introduce a variety of solid foods, starting with iron rich foods, while continuing breastfeeding.
(2) All infants should be given allergenic solid foods including peanut butter, cooked egg and dairy and wheat products in the first year of life. This includes infants at high risk of allergy.
(3) Hydrolysed (partially and extensively) infant formula are not recommended for prevention of allergic disease.
During our recent first aid course we were told of the importance of advising pregnant ladies to eat peanuts etc. So spread the word, and peanut paste, to help keep anaphylaxis to a minimum.
To read the full article and see a short video click here.
I have found a good parents site called Parents Voice. It is an online network of parents who are interested in improving the food and activity environments of Australian children. It has a very impressive list of people on their committee.
Please click on the link to see where Dr Rosemary Stanton looks at a range of breakfast products and snacks marketed for our children. Sanitarium Weetbix for kids was recommended and also got a big tick from product review.
Many children attend early childhood services and some spend long periods there. This means children can eat many meals and snacks away from their home. Food should be nutritious and also help to meet the social, cultural and educational needs of children.
The early years are a time when food habits are being developed. Most children have formed lifelong eating patterns by school age. It is an important responsibility of carers to guide children towards sound food habits which will help them maintain a healthy weight and good health in the long term.
Early childhood services have a responsibility for the nutrition of children in their care. This is reinforced under the National Quality Framework for Early Education and Care. Practices and policies need to address issues of nutritional balance, mealtime environment, food hygiene, safety and individual dietary needs. We have just updated our menu with more vegetarian options. Gluten free and Vegetarian are now highlighted on our menus.
Picture: Educator Alona with this weeks fruit and vegetable order.
This month we held a Food Safety Training night. It was a fun evening with our staff being let loose in the kitchen for some practical experience. The focus was on the importance of our food handling.
It may be comforting to know childcare, along with hospitals and aged care, are highly regulated. Some of our authorities are Australia and New Zealand Food Standards; HACCP which stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point; Queensland Health, with independent auditors checking our Food Safety Program – which we have to have under the Food Act 2006 and Brisbane City Council also inspects our kitchen with it’s ‘Eat Safe’ initiative – we proudly have 5 Stars.
Is it any wonder we have such rigourous standards with stats on gastro so high in children under 5. The chart on the left I found on Queensland Health’s website.
A number of factors appear to increase the risk of developing allergic disorders. We have no control over some risk factors such as family history, whilst there are other environmental factors that we might be able to influence. Identified risk factors for developing allergic disease include:
1. Family history of allergic disease in a parent or sibling (family history of allergic disease in both parents OR a parent and a sibling is associated with a further increased risk).
2. Introduction of cow’s milk or soy milk formula before 3-4 months of age (an increased risk for eczema and food allergy).
3. Introduction of solid foods before 3-4 months of age (an increased risk for eczema and food allergy).
4. Birth in spring – a risk for seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever).
5. Passive exposure to cigarette smoke (a risk for increased respiratory symptoms).
For further information on allergy prevention please click here.
I would also like to remind all parents that the Centre is NUT FREE and to be aware not to bring in any nuts when bringing in cakes, chocolates etc.
Paula from the Wombats Room and I recently had an inspiring day at an Embedding Sustainability workshop conducted by Lukas Ritson. More on that later ….. He recommended everyone should watch a documentary called “Sugar Coated”.
I can make a birthday cake, or even an ice cream cake, to celebrate your child’s birthday.
Just fill in the birthday cake form click here and return to the office. One weeks’ notice is all that is required.
We will also take a photo for you to remember this special day.
500g minced beef
1 onion diced
1 tin red kidney beans (I mash or blend them to disguise them)
1 can tomato soup
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
Salt & Pepper
Brown mince and onion
Add remaining ingredients
Cook for 20 minutes
It may be necessary to add more water
Top with grated cheese and serve with brown rice and a garden salad
Yes it sure is.
We have just had an independent food safety audit and I am happy to say that our assessment was successful.
This is an annual assessment and is separate from the Brisbane City Councils Eat Safe initiative for which we have been awarded 5 stars again for 2015.
This recipe was given to me when I first started here some 6 plus years ago. It is still my favourite cake recipe. I love it for birthday cakes as it can be cut and shaped well for themes. It is also egg and dairy free.
• 1 1/2 cup plain flour
• 1 cup sugar
• 4 tbs cocoa
• 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1 cup water
• 1/3 cup vegetable oil
• 2 tbs white vinegar
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
STEP 1 Combine dry ingredients.
STEP 2 Combine wet ingredients and stir into flour mixture.
STEP 3 Pour mixture into a 20 cm round tin and bake at 175-180C for 25-35 minutes (pan should be 1/3 to 1/2 full, to accommodate rising).
STEP 4 Stand for 10 minutes before turning out. Cake will be delicate while still hot.
STEP 5 Microwave: Using a ring or bundt microwaveable pan, lightly oil the pan.
STEP 6 Cut a paper ring to line the bottom of the pan. Pour in batter and microwave on high 5-7 minutes on a rotating turntable.
STEP 7 Stand 2 minutes in oven when done. Cool for 10 minutes.
With good food habits and daily physical activity you will be well on your way to a healthy life. Easy to say, but sometimes not so easy to do! Our busy lifestyles can be hard on our family’s health. Rushing to and from school and work can make it hard to find time to be physically active. We can also slip into the habit of choosing unhealthy snacks and take-away foods or spending our free time watching TV or in front of the computer.
However, these choices can be dangerous for our health and our children’s health – both now and in the long-term. That’s why it’s so important to stop, take stock and make a conscious decision to follow a healthy lifestyle.
What can I do?
There are five simple ways for your family to lead a healthy lifestyle and get back on track:
I recently put out a memo to our staff about yoga classes. Ten (10) of us are interested in attending one night per week with classes being held here at the Centre. We were wondering if any of our parents would also be interested in joining us. An instructor will be needed if we get enough interest. Perhaps you know someone? So let me know via email@example.com.
Donna Reid, Chef
There are lots of yoghurts available in supermarkets, and the small print labels on the back, along with differing serving sizes, makes it almost impossible to determine which is the healthiest.
I think that most people just assume that yoghurt is a healthy food. I used to – that is until I learned that every 4 grams of sugar added to foods equals 1 teaspoon of sugar. Yep – you read that right. I was very shocked at the sugar levels in the yoghurt we served and have been very conscience of the yoghurts we use ever since.
We have weaned our children off the high sugar dessert type yoghurt like Ski, Vaalia etc. Then we used a sweetened Greek yoghurt that contained 14.5% sugar that equals 3.62 teaspoons of sugar per 100 gms (1 serve), which is the total amount of the recommended daily intake of sugar for preschool children. We now use Black Swan Creamy Natural Yoghurt that contains 6.8% sugar that equals 1.7 teaspoons of sugar. Served with fruit it makes a nutritious snack.
Go check out the yoghurt in your fridge. If it has 24 grams of added sugar, there are 6 teaspoons of sugar in that. Many yoghurts are no longer a healthy choice.
Some food safety hints from our 5 star food safety rated kitchen!
Serving Food Safely
There are a number of steps that can be taken to ensure that food is safe, including the following:
Be sure that all children and adults wash hands before preparing food or eating.
Food Preparation with Children
Thanks for your compliments for the cakes I made for our working bee.
I hope they gave you some energy for all that hard work.
Here is the base recipe for the Coconut Cake:
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup of castor sugar1 cup of self-raising flour
1 cup of milk
This recipe as is makes a super easy and delish cake.
However there are so many variations you can do – dried fruit, frozen fruit, choc bits or jam glaze when hot.
Add a splash of butterscotch ice cream topping in the mix to make the cake from the working bee.
Our Children’s Favourite Macaroni Recipe
250 g bacon diced
1 kg beef mince
1large diced onion
250 grams frozen carrot cubes or any other frozen veg on hand
250 grams of frozen spinach
1 tin tomato soup
Water or mix of water / milk
Cheese to top
Bag of Macaroni
From your Childrens Chef
Thu 19 Feb 2015, 9:15 AM
Have you got a green thumb?
Or any other coloured thumb?
Red, yellow, black or white!
We would love to start up our herb
and veggie patch again.
Maybe plant some citrus
or pretty flowers.
If you have a little spare time
and would like to help our kids
please let us know.