Healthy food and drink swaps can make a big impact on kids’ health. That’s why giving veggies the chance to shine is one of the bite-sized changes organisations can adopt as part of the Vic Kids Eat Well movement.
Winter is a great time for kids to try new tastes and flavours. Potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli and parsnips are just a few of the hearty winter vegetables now in season across Victoria. Not only are fresh fruit and vegetables most delicious when they’re in season, it’s often when they’re the best value. Frozen veggies also have excellent nutrients and can be a convenient and affordable option too.
If you’re involved with food that’s served to kids at your local school, outside school hours care, sports club or community organisation; here are some winter menu tips that will not only refuel kids but warm them up too!
Have you tried a big pot of pumpkin soup for your students? Vic Kids Eat Well schools are raving about soup days, either sold via the canteen or as part of a healthy fundraising activity – which is another Vic Kids Eat Well action area.
Baked potatoes are also a hit with kids, which can be filled with delicious toppings like baked beans, chopped cabbage, carrots, celery, melted cheese and a dollop of Greek yoghurt. How about warm egg frittata packed with veggie goodness including potatoes, canned corn and fresh or frozen spinach? We’re also hearing about tasty pasta-bake trays selling out in canteens; try chicken, spinach, broccoli and cheese fillings flavoured with dried or fresh herbs from the school garden, if available. Frozen veggies can be used in pasta bakes too. Sweet potato, spinach and cheese toasted sandwiches are warm ideas too.
The ‘hot’ offerings as part of outsourced lunch orders are also popular; kids are trying vegetable dumplings, vegetarian fried rice, baked chicken burgers with healthy filings and honey soy chicken, veg and rice.
Outside school hours care providers
OSHC clubs are giving kids a warm start to their morning with porridge; you could try adding colour and flavour with cooked rhubarb or poached pears. Scrambled eggs on toast are a kids’ classic that prepares them for learning and fun-filled activities.
Later in the day, try refuelling tired and cold kids after school with non-fried fried rice that’s packed with veggies, where kids might get to help with stirring the pot. Many little hands making their own vegetarian pizzas after school is also a fun-filled activity.
Hello healthy lasagne night! Packed with vegetables like carrots, zucchini and pumpkin and always a sell out after a big training session. Forget the snakes, on game day kids are quenching their thirst, getting energy and a vitamin C hit from good old cut oranges which are in season in Victoria during our cooler months. Kids are also and warming up post game with hearty hot veggie or chicken soup and wholemeal bread. If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, falafels or spinach gozleme could be winners. Creative clubs can also offer curry or souvlaki nights with plenty of chopped vegetables to accompany the pita bread, meat and tzatziki. Others are bringing in pita pizzas that are loaded with vegetables – yum!
Need help with healthy changes?
Join Vic Kids Eat Well to receive useful resources and hands-on support from an expert health promoter in your local area.