Kai with Soul

Last updated 07:54 05/02/2013
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Zoe Parker and Murray Shields prepare strawberry muffins.

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The new school year is in full swing and we welcome back the students in their clean, new uniforms and latest fashion haircuts.

They look refreshed, recharged and enthusiastic to be back at school among friends.

The new term raises the issue of school lunches. This is no easy task, especially in households where parents are busy organising themselves for work, on top of children and teenagers getting ready for school.

Our recipes this week are to encourage the preparation of simple foods which are economical, but high in nutrition and flavour. Both breakfast and lunch are important meals.

Teenagers and children need these to supply energy and healthy nutrients for their working day.

Establish a routine in your household so they get out of bed with enough time to sit down and eat a balanced breakfast.

Students who skip breakfast will start to feel hungry on their way to school or during the morning lessons - well before interval. Students who don't eat breakfast often end up eating highly processed snacks loaded in fat, salt and sugar, inbetween classes. This is not a healthy eating practice, especially if they choose potato chips, biscuits or dried instant noodles.

Weet-Bix is a well-balanced, economical breakfast cereal. Read the nutrition label on the packet to see the healthy nutrients it contains.

It is also lower in salt, sugar and fat than many other breakfast cereals.

Weet-Bix is particularly suitable for teenagers who can eat a huge serve of cereal for breakfast to satisfy their hunger.

Served with milk, a spoonful of yoghurt and stewed fruit, it is an excellent source of protein, calcium, complex carbohydrate (energy), fibre and Vitamin C.

Stewed fruit is easy to make and you can use most types of fruit. We chose apricots because they are in season and at their best.

With the breakfast routine established, make sure school lunches are also a priority. While everyone should help to make the sandwiches, wraps or filled rolls, it will be the parents who are the driving force behind the management of this meal.

Planning, shopping, time management and task allocation are all crucial factors in making daily school lunches.

Leftover dinner items also make suitable lunchbox food.

Limit the amount of highly processed snacks that are so convenient to toss into the lunchbox.

They are often high in salt, sugar, fat, additives and low in nutrition.

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We suggest adding a homemade strawberry or fruit muffin with a pottle of yoghurt and one or two pieces of thirst-quenching fruit.

If you are too busy to bake, teenagers are capable of the task.

A new lunchbox and water bottle will make a welcome start to the school year.

Make the lunches the evening before and refrigerate them so the food will keep cool for longer, during the warm summer days.

Start the year with enthusiasm and organise it so everyone eats breakfast and takes a lunchbox of healthy, tasty food to school.

Eating healthy food and drinking plenty of water will optimise brain function in the classroom. That's got to be good for learning as well as feeling good.

? Content provided by Katy Power and the Year 13 Food and Nutrition class at Spotswood College.

- Taranaki Daily News

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