The best thing about school is . . . eating lunch. But judging by the juicy headlines of our current affairs programmes, this might be a thing of the past.
What we do know is that children will learn better when their stomachs and bodies are feeding their brains, and I am not talking about that sugary water called V or Red Bull, or salty hits of 90g of chip fat, but about real food items that fuel our bodies.
The fact that parents choose to send their children to school without sustaining lunchboxes is something that we would read about in a Third World country and not New Zealand, the land of milk and honey.
Is it to do with money? Is it to do with government agencies or volunteer community groups? Is it to do with time and the ability to structure one's day so that making lunch becomes a part of a parent's daily ritual?
Of course there is no one answer that fits all circumstances, and it may be a combination of many things that result in New Zealand children sitting in our classrooms with no lunch.
There is somebody that nobody has discussed yet - one of the most important people in every child's life, especially during the school years - Dad.
Yes, it is dads' fault that children are sitting at school with no fuel for their engines. Dad, do you not eat lunch yourself? Do you not get hungry half way through the day? Do you not start to slow down when your own body starts to tell you that it needs more fuel?
Mums are busy enough, so dads have to stand up and take responsibility for their families. They are supposed to provide for all. That is their role. Mum has got them to the 5-year-old stage. Mum got them to the first day of school, and now it is up to dads to make sure that their children have the tools to get through school and life.
Which part of your job description have you not read, Dad? Stand, get off your bottom and make it happen.
My father was famous for saying: “If you don't eat your dinner then you can have it for lunch” and that's exactly what we did - stir-fry sandwiches were his specialty, but with my father raising solo three boys under the age of two (yes, I am a twin) we never went without.
There was a vegetable garden and we lived in the middle of an apple orchard and my dad stood up and did his job, that of looking after his kids.
APPLE AND SPINACH CREPES
The key is to get the kids to make them as well. Crepes are easy and fun. You can use leftovers to fill.
250 g plain flour
1 cups of milk
Garden herbs, chopped
Spinach, washed and thinly sliced
Mix milk and eggs, whisk into flour and leave to rest for 20 minutes. If the mixture is too thick, thin with a little milk.
Ladle into crepe pans and cook until golden brown, leave to cool.
Mix apple and silverbeet together with a little cottage cheese and breadcrumbs to taste.
Add chopped herbs and roll up into a tight cylinder.
- The Marlborough Express