The names sounded the same, the children looked the same, and there was the same respect from both groups.
Our first week on the road with the Kids Can Cook Kitchen saw us visit New Zealand's largest secondary school, Rangitoto College in Auckland, which has just under 3000 students. We also visited one of the country's smallest schools, Rangitaiki in Taupo, with a roll of just 16.
Both of them impressed us with their mana and respect, and we congratulate them for shining the light brightly on the future young citizens of New Zealand.
It all starts with what you have for breakfast. Even the Aussies cannot get it right, with some 20 per cent of schoolkids there skipping breakfast.
In every school I visit with the mobile kitchen, I hear the same thing - not enough time. "Then get up earlier," I reply.
Not hungry? "Eat dinner earlier, and don't snack after dinner."
Not enough money? "Talk to your local church or food bank."
No-one at home? "Then have breakfast at your school."
Yep, I've heard it all, and there is always an answer for everything, except for . . . "There's nothing that I like to eat for breakfast," piped up one young citizen recently.
Wow - there's nothing at all that you like the taste of?
Knock me down with a bowl of cornflakes and pick me up with a soy milk latte. We are surrounded by so many different types of food that this generation has no idea of life before cellphones and flat screens.
Just like phones and computers, you can have your breakfast in any shape, size, colour or variety you like, but you can bet that some of these teenagers are more interested in what is happening in cyberspace than what is happening on the table in front of them.
Just imagine how much more clever New Zealand kids would be if they all ate breakfast - then we would all realise that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.
APPLE AND SUPER BLUE BIRCHER BREAKFAST
This serves a family of four, and is a great brain and energy food. The hardest thing is making it before you make dinner.
200g porridge oats
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
500ml milk or apple juice
4 apples, grated
100ml natural yoghurt
Mix the oats and cinnamon together, then add the grated apple and the liquid. Mix well. Fold the blueberries into the mixture and pour into cups. Top with natural yoghurt and a good drizzle of honey. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 12 to 48 hours, and serve chilled.
- The Marlborough Express