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The Southern Cross : February 2012
Page 20 February 2012 www.thesoutherncross.org.au Back to school feature The Southern Cross has consulted some of the nation's best pint-sized chefs to get some insider info on how your child can return home with an empty lunchbox. Keep it simple; fresh is best; something with crunch in it and food on-the-run (literally) are the mantras of Catholic primary school students and former Junior Masterchef contestants Miraede Bhatia, Chandler May and Steven Tsoukatos. The trio has prepared their "perfect" lunchbox for parents' inspiration as thousands of students return to Catholic schools this month (see below). Stephen says a trip to the Central Market is always a great way to help kids make healthier choices and get involved in what they eat. "Theme days are also a good idea: meat- free Mondays and package-free Tuesdays. But even better would be to get kids to grow their own veggie patches and bring their home grown produce to school for lunch." Miraede says it's all about enjoying the simple things. "Don't put too many choices in our lunch boxes... and prepare food that is easy and quick to eat because, let's face it, play time is the most important part of any kid's lunchtime." "To make lunchboxes more exciting, mums and dads need to put in wraps and homemade mini pizzas, and something with a bit of crunch to it, not just a sandwich!" says Chandler. Practising dietician and mum of two Kate Di Prima says the right quantity of food in a lunchbox is just as important as the essential five foods (protein; fruit; dairy or soy; vegetables and grains). "I can't stress enough the importance of a protein nutrient-rich lunchbox to keep children alert and give them sustenance for the long school day," says Mrs Di Prima. For Kate Di Prima's five-day meal planner for lunchboxes see page 22. O n Tu h 2012 5.30- .30pm D li in p i li ' u i n in A l i Bl kf i P i h l i C h li h l f i h pp im l 1,000 u n f m p i n 12. E li h in 1953, Bl kf i i i h u i n f un m n in in n imul in n i nm n in h D mini n i i n. W in i u j in u n Op n D i n h i u f h Au li n Cu i ulum n h n n u n h hi full p n i l. 1 P p , P p A 5082 08 82 9 333 i @ p . . u. u p . . u. u f k. m/Bl kf i h l FRESH FOOD FUN: (L-R) Steven Tsoukatos, from Christian Brothers College, Chandler May, from St David's Parish School, and Miraede Bhatia, from St John the Baptist Catholic School, tuck into their idea of a perfect lunch. Brains behind the food By Miraede: Brainfood/Recess: fresh fruit kebabs (thread pineapple, grapes, strawberries, etc through wood skewers). Portable and tasty. Lunch: sushi with a twist. Replace seaweed wrap and rice with rolled wholegrain/meal bread or a flat bread and fill with left-overs -- like cold roast lamb or beef, with mashed avocado, left-over roasted veggies (pumpkin or carrots), a squeeze of lemon or lime juice and some lettuce or spinach leaves, (pictured above). By Chandler: Brainfood: grapes (can't go wrong). Recess/snack: homemade cupcake or muffin. Lunch: wrap with roasted chicken, avocado, lettuce and mayonnaise. By Stephen: Brain food: mixed veggie sticks and pita bread with eggplant and feta dip. Recess/Snack: can of tuna with some juicy cherry tomatoes and mini toasts. Lunch: leftover roast or schnitzel in a sandwich/roll/wrap with salad or greens, a slice of Jarlsberg cheese, and a smear of skordalia (bread and garlic dip). Fruit: mango cheeks. They look great when you twist them out and bite into them. The perfect lunchbox