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Change Classroom Habits with this Rainbow Class Party Platter!

Change Classroom Habits with this Rainbow Class Party Platter!

Bel Smith | September 5, 2019

This week my Year 3 son’s teacher left because she was offered a job closer to home. A class party was in order to wish her well.

 

In steps my gorgeous rainbow platter of fruit.

 

Some people think that kids need loads of food, usually packets of chips and lollies, to have an enjoyable party. That’s not really true. This rainbow class party platter  made the whole class pretty happy! The students all had fun, they stopped class work, they ate, they chatted and gave the teacher lots of cuddles. There wasn’t even any comments about there being no chips, lollies or cakes.

 

Now, here’s the thing…

 

It’s true, if there had been chips, lollies and cakes on offer, along with this delicious rainbow platter, many children would have gone for the processed food first. Why wouldn’t they?

 

Processed foods are made using science to create flavours and tastes which make even the most astute consumer tempted to eat them. But, if you simply don’t offer the choice, they don’t notice it and it certainly doesn’t stop them from having fun. One of the most fun things about a class party is getting out of doing class work and being with your friends. The food is a bonus.

 

I wanted to share this with the TWC community because sometimes it is our own adult perception of what kids expect or want that drives the choices we make. Party food doesn’t need to be laden with sugar and additives such as colours and flavours for kids to have fun. Some people think that real food is more expensive but this delicious array cost $38 which is about $1.50 per student.

 

What if you want to provide chips, lollies and cakes for a class party?

 

If you really believe these sorts of foods are needed for a class party, then it is suggested you consciously choose the packet foods by asking “what’s in my food?” Turn the packet around and read the ingredients. Choose packets which are not likely to cause an energy burst (and subsequent slump) or trigger behavioural issues.

Here are some tips for you.

 

Choose:
Plain chips or crackers over flavoured – many of the flavour enhancers are linked to behavioural issues, asthma or eczema.

 

Plain chocolate over flavoured chocolates – the darker the chocolate, the less sugar content.

 

Making a cake at home where you control the level of sugar.

Lollies that use natural colours rather than artificial colours.

 

 

Find more healthy, wholefood, kid-friendly recipes on Bel’s website, The Root Cause.

 

Brown Rice, Lentil and Veggie Patties

Brown Rice, Lentil and Veggie Patties

Bel Smith | August 13, 2019

 

These delicious brown rice, brown lentil and vegetable patties are a great vegetarian recipe that you can use for dinner and lunch. They’re loaded with protein and long lasting carbohydrates, perfect for keeping tummies full. They’re delicious served warm with a great big dollop of hummus or tzatziki and a salad or steamed vegetables for dinner. The leftovers are super yummy for the lunchbox too. We served ours in cos lettuce leaves so wrapped around the patties.

Adjust the size of the patties for however you want to serve them. I made these ones into smaller shapes so they were suitable for the lunchbox as well as the dinner plate. See below for 2 other ideas. Let me know how you use them in the comments below.

Ingredients

1 cup cooked brown rice
1 x 400g brown lentils
1 small zucchini grated
1 small carrot, grated
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp coriander
½ tsp garam masala
½ cup gf plain flour
2 eggs whisked
S&P to taste
Sesame seeds to coat
Coconut oil to shallow fry

Method

1. Put all ingredients up to sesame seeds in a food processor. Blend for 30 seconds to mix then pulse a few times until it forms a thick paste.

2. Refrigerate 15-30 mins.

3. Put a big pile of sesame seeds on a plate, take a heaped tablespoon of mixture into your hands to form a patty. Drop in the sesame seeds and turn to coat it all around. This mixture is quite soft so you need to be a bit gentle with how you toss them. Repeat until all the mixture is used.

4. Heat a pan with a tbsp of coconut oil over medium heat. When heated, put in patties. Cook each side for about 3-4 minutes. Keep an eye on the heat, if it’s too hot the sesame seeds may cook too quick. You may need to add a little more coconut oil to cook all of them. Adjust the cooking time depending on the size of the patty you make. Bigger, fatter ones will require longer to cook through.

5. Cook in batched until all the mixture is used up.

 

2 Other Ways

– Make the patty bigger and fatter and serve as a hamburger. Choose a good quality wholegrain roll or sourdough, and load it with delicious salad items.

– Make smaller falafel size, and serve in a wrap with salads. You could even toast the wrap for extra yum factor.

 

The story behind this recipe

For the last year, we have been trying to have more vegetable based meals every Monday night as part of the Meatless Monday food movement. I have a tendency to fall back to curries and stir fries. This year, I am trying extra hard to create other dishes too which work well for dinner and lunch box.

This week, on Monday I did home ec with Indrani for her schooling and she asked to learn how to make spaghetti Bolognese, so we didn’t actually do Meatless Monday because she really wanted to eat the meal she made. No complaints from me there – a night off! But it did actually give me the headspace to try out some vegetable ideas. This brown rice, brown lentil and vegetable pattie was a success, so I am sharing it with you. I hope you enjoy them!
Just a reminder, you don’t need to be a master chef, or have a big spotless kitchen to make awesome nutritious meals or snacks for your family.

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