The Art of Nutrition at the boy’s school

The Art of Nutrition at the boy’s school

I was very privileged to be invited to share my healthy food passion with the students at the boy’s school. I hosted two sessions on consecutive Friday’s, the first for the younger half of the school and the second for the older kids.

A fun group of parents agreed to help out and we spent a manic 2 hours setting up, coordinating and clearing up afterwards. It was fabulous fun, rewarding and all of us learnt so much.

I spent the morning before each lunchtime session chopping a selection of fruit and veggies to use. I had everything from grapes to radishes and cut them into various shapes. We had carrots cut into circles, half circles, triangles and batons and celery in batons and curls. I even threw in a bunch of celery leaves.

The Art of Nutrition

We had a big room with a sink and then an annexe with a right angled bench seat. We set up the annexe with a table and chairs to become the shared eating section complete with plastic tablecloth and adult to supervise. As the children came into the large room they washed and dried their hands. Then they made their way to one of the 3 tables that were set up with tablecloth, plastic plate for each student and a platter heaving with brightly coloured fruit and veg. I also got my boys to do some designs for inspiration and printed out the photos to place on the tables.

Healthy food in schools

 

Everyone was charged with the task of creating a design on their plate to showcase the fruit and veg they had chosen to use. We then took a photo of each student proudly displaying their plate (to be printed, picked up and taken home). The children then went to sit at the communal eating table where Kathleen encouraged everyone to chat whilst they ate.

 

It was a beautiful thing to behold. The children were delighted by the whole experience and they created with excitement and then ate with gusto. Many tried foods they would not normally eat (like celery leaves and red cabbage) and there were a lot who demolished one plateful and came back to make and eat another plate.

Healthy food in schools

 

The most sought after food – celery! Who would have believed how versatile celery is? It can be limbs, fence posts, noses, motorbike struts and much more besides. And the leaves … they can become trees, hair, brooms and all manner of other things. The imagination was certainly not lacking and I have to say gave me lots of ideas for future designs!

Healthy food in schools

I learnt a lot from running these sessions. We had over 150 children participate and all embraced the idea, the selection of food and all tried the fruit and veg on their plates. It also reinforced my belief that children are more than happy with healthy food options especially if there is something exciting happening or when they are presented creatively.

Healthy food in schools

 

There has been some great feedback from parents. One mother of a 5 year old told me that her daughter asked whether she was able to have celery in her lunchbox as it is so delicious (that celery again!!). She did however, request that it was cut into curls as it tastes better that way.
Another parent said that since the session his daughter has been so focused on the veggies on her plate and they have become so important as they are easy to arrange!

Healthy food in schools

The Art of Nutrition session at the school was a great way to bring fruit and veg into the school in a fun and communal way and it seemed that most students got so caught up in the exercise they were happy to eat whatever was on their plates and do it with pleasure.

TAON - Max & orange

 

I am happy to bring The Art of Nutrition into schools in the Greater Wellington area and can be contacted via the website.

 

*For privacy reasons only a few of the photos will be posted.

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small..

Fun Ricey Hot Air Balloon

Ricey Hot Air Balloon

Hot air balloons are such fun to make with lots of patterns and bright colours that give you so much scope for creativity. This is my rice and veggie version.

Healthy food for kids

 

I realised that having a mold would make life so much easier so I made my own. This was actually the most time consuming and frustrating part of the whole exercise. I cut the inside out of the top of an old plastic pot as it was the oval shape (ish) I was looking for. I have washed and kept it for future use!

Recipe

– Mold – (makes it easier but not essential)

– Cooked rice – I used wholemeal

– Veggies of your choice. I used peas, grated steamed carrot and corn

– Steamed cauliflower for clouds (ricotta cheese makes great clouds)

– I used a cut piece of eggplant/aubergine for the basket

– Wholemeal spaghetti for the ropes (any herb stalks or cut beans would be a good substitute)

Method

1. Put a layer of rice into the mold.

Ricey Hot Air Balloon - 1 Rice

2. Then a layer of peas.

Ricey Hot Air Balloon - 2 + peas

3. Any veggies will do but contrasting colours work best. Grated carrot layer next.

Ricey Hot Air Balloon - 3 + carrot

4. Then some corn.

Ricey Hot Air Balloon - 4 + corn

5. And a last layer of rice.

Ricey Hot Air Balloon - 5 + Rice

6. Then I took it carefully out of the mold. If it’s packed densely this works surprisingly well.

Ricey Hot Air Balloon - 6 out of mold

7. As usual I am disappointed by molds (even the ones I make myself) so squished it out to give it a more rounded shape. Again this worked remarkably well.

Ricey Hot Air Balloon - 7 fattened

8. Then I added the eggplant/aubergine basket and spaghetti ropes.

Ricey Hot Air Balloon - 8 + basket

9. And some lovely, fluffy cauliflower clouds.

Healthy food for children

Float gently into dinner …..

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small..

Fun Underwater Fish

Underwater Fish

We all love seafood in our house and here in New Zealand it’s easy and economical to find fresh catches – yummy!!

I couldn’t help myself using the seafood as the sea bed in this fun food dinner plate.

Healthy food for children

Recipe

– Mashed pumpkin (for the fish) – or sweet potato/potato/carrot/parsnip

– Rice (I used brown) for sea bed – or cous cous or other grain

– Peas and green beans – for fishes features and bubbles

– Broccoli, green beans, carrots, parsnips corn – for sea bed

– Prawns (shrimp), mussels and calamari (squid) – for sea bed

(Substitute in any veg/sea food you have on hand).

Method

1. Make the sand with the rice.

Underwater Fish - 1 Rice

2. I used a fish mold to get the fish shape.

Underwater Fish - 2 Fish Mold

3. Then I used a pea for her eye and a green bean for the mouth.

Underwater Fish - 3 Fish

And of course you need bubbles ….

4. I placed veggies and seafood to create a busy sea bed.

Healthy food for children

So simple, appealing and a lovely balanced meal.

Healthy, creative, fun food for kids big and small.
The Art of Nutrition.

Fun Two in the Bed

Two in the Bed

I love using my healthy pastry filled with hearty ingredients as a fun food centrepiece for a meal. Making and cooking the pastry doesn’t take a lot of time (recipe stored in Substitution Sunday section) and is very simple. It is also very flexible with lots of creative scope.

1. Make pastry

2. Roll out thinly and fill two greased tins. I have bought two baking tins from a catering store that I find very useful but anything that is the right shape would work.

Pastry in tins

3. Pre-bake for 20-25 mins at 180 degrees.

4. Fill with filling of your choice. I often use a healthy pie filling (will post recipe soon) or quiche variation.

Meat pie filling

5. Make mashed potato bedding (mashed sweet potato or other veg that hold together is a great substitute).

Mash bedding

6. Cut a steamed carrot across the wide end to make a head (cucumber, parsnip or other cylindrical veg could be substituted).

7. Add “hands” by cutting indents into a smaller piece of carrot.

Creative food for kids

8. Make eyes from mash/peas/corn.

Two in the bed - original

9. Fashion a nose and mouth and hair if you’d like.

Healthy food for children

10. Use your creative talents to display.

Healthy meals for kids

11. Serve warm with steamed veggies for a great meal.

The Art of Nutrition

Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small.