Newsletter, March 2014
I thought we would start a little competition for the moms and the franchisees of Little Cooks Club.
For more information, visit the competition page: How amazing are your Little Cooks Club parties?
I can’t wait to see how you have enjoyed your parties at Little Cooks Club, and I’m sure a voucher for R1500 to spend at Yuppiechef will be well enjoyed!
We would like to welcome two new members to our Little Cooks Club family.
Area: The Parks & Craig Hall. The children in her area will be so pleased, as she is so talented and dynamic.
Area: KZN Durban North. Yes, finally it’s happened. KZN, you will now finally have the pleasure of our amazing classes and parties that you have been waiting for, for so long.
All the best, ladies.
We all know how important breakfast is, especially for our children.
Breakfast is a great way to give the body the refueling it needs. Kids who eat breakfast tend to eat healthier overall and are more likely to participate in physical activities — two great ways to help maintain a healthy weight.
Skipping breakfast can make kids feel tired, restless, or irritable. In the morning, their bodies need to refuel for the day ahead after going without food for 8 to 12 hours during sleep. Their mood and energy can drop by midmorning if they don’t eat at least a small morning meal.
Breakfast also can help keep kids’ weight in check. Breakfast kick-starts the body’s metabolism, the process by which the body converts the fuel in food to energy. And when the metabolism gets moving, the body starts burning calories.
Also, people who don’t eat breakfast often consume more calories throughout the day and are more likely to be overweight. That’s because someone who skips breakfast is likely to get famished before lunch time and snack on high-calorie foods or overeat at lunch.
Breakfast Brain Power
It’s important for kids to have breakfast every day, but what they eat in the morning is crucial too. Choosing breakfast foods that are rich in whole grains, fiber, and protein while low in added sugar may boost kids’ attention span, concentration, and memory — which they need to learn in school.
Kids who eat breakfast are more likely to get fiber, calcium, and other important nutrients. They also tend to keep their weight under control, have lower blood cholesterol levels and fewer absences from school, and make fewer trips to the school nurse with stomach complaints related to hunger.
It would be great to serve whole-grain waffles, fresh fruit, and low-fat milk each morning. But it can be difficult to make a healthy breakfast happen when you’re rushing to get yourself and the kids ready in the morning and juggling the general household chaos.
So try these practical suggestions to ensure that — even in a rush — your kids get a good breakfast before they’re out the door:
- Stock your kitchen with healthy breakfast options.
- Prepare as much as you can the night before (gets dishes and utensils ready, cut up fruit, etc.).
- Get everyone up 10 minutes earlier.
- Let kids help plan and prepare breakfast.
- Have grab-and-go alternatives (fresh fruit, individual boxes of cereal, yogurt or smoothies, trail-mix) on days when there is little or no time to eat.
If kids aren’t hungry first thing in the morning, be sure to pack a breakfast that they can eat a little later on the bus or between classes. Fresh fruit, cereal, nuts, or half a peanut butter and banana sandwich are nutritious, easy to make, and easy for kids to take along.
You may also want to check out the breakfasts offered at school or daycare. Some offer breakfasts and provide them for free or at reduced prices for families with limited incomes. If your kids eat breakfast outside the home, talk with them about how to make healthy selections.
What not to serve for breakfast is important too. Sure, toaster pastries and some breakfast bars are portable, easy, and appealing to kids. But many have no more nutritional value than a candy bar and are high in sugar and calories. Read the nutrition labels carefully before you toss these breakfast bars and pastries into your shopping trolley.
Breakfast Ideas to Try
The morning meal doesn’t have to be all about traditional breakfast items. You can mix it up to include different foods, even the leftovers from last night’s dinner, and still provide the nutrients and energy kids need for the day.
I also know how difficult it is to get your children to actually eat a good breakfast before school, so early in the morning. It’s a huge challenge and can be very frustrating.
I was having coffee with my girl friends and we were chatting about what our children are eating and how to give them something healthy that will give them energy for the day – especially our older children. We all seem to be experiencing the negative, not in the mood for breakfast look.
Try to serve a balanced breakfast that includes some carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. Carbs are a good source of immediate energy for the body. Energy from protein tends to kick in after the carbs are used up. Fiber helps provide a feeling of fullness and, therefore, discourages overeating. And when combined with adequate liquid consumption, fiber helps move food through the digestive system, preventing constipation and lowering cholesterol.
Good sources of these nutrients include:
- Carbohydrates: whole-grain cereals, brown rice, whole-grain breads and muffins, fruits, vegetables
- Protein: low-fat or non fat dairy products, lean meats, eggs, nuts (including nut butters), seeds, and cooked dried beans, baked beans
- Fiber: whole-grain breads and cereals; brown rice, bran, and other grains; fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts
Here are some ideas for healthy breakfasts to try: just don’t buy the sugar cereals
Smoothies: Always a hit and a great way to sneak in goodness (don’t tell them what’s in the smoothie). I make these smoothies and its something they can drink in the car.
- Power Protein Punch: 1 cup milk, 1 small banana, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, 1 x scoop whey protein, 1 spoon almonds, 1 spoon maple syrup, 1 teaspoon flaxseed … blend. This Smoothie is great if your child does sport but it will dis colour so eat immediately.
- Berry Nice Smoothie: 1 cup vanilla yogurt, 1 banana, 1 handful berries or strawberries, squeeze of honey or maple syrup
- Banana-Berry Smoothie: 1 cup Greek yoghurt, 1 banana, peanut butter, flaxseeds, berries and 1 tablespoon oat bran, milk and honey
Whole-wheat toast or snack bread with sliced tomato and cottage cheese.
Whole-wheat toast with avo.
Baked beans on toast.
Whole-wheat pita stuffed with sliced hard-cooked eggs.
Hot cereal like oats topped with cinnamon or Greek Yogurt, honey and vanilla.
Peanut butter on a whole-grain bagel with fresh fruit (banana or apple wedges).
Vegetable omelet with orange juice.
Bran muffin and yogurt with berries.
Hummus on whole-wheat pita and milk.
English muffin with poached egg.
Heated leftover rice with chopped apples, nuts, and cinnamon.
At School Programme
Our At School Programme has become very popular. We are running our Spade to Spatula programme in the schools and children are learning so many beneficial things from growing food to preparing and eating it. If you feel that Little Cooks Club should be in your school, speak to your head mistress and contact your nearest Little Cooks Club representative and see if she can do a demo in your school.
Parties at Little Cooks Club
Due to the huge demand for our awesome parties, please plan your children’s parties in advance – about 3 months in advance. They are so popular and we want your child to enjoy the experience and have the best day ever.
The party themes are:
- Spade to Spatula – planting and cooking
- Whisks and Wooden Spoons – preparing one healthy delight and one naughty
- Kids vs Kitchen – team building challenges with prizes
- Liquorice and Lime – mystery baskets and tastings with prizes
- Frosting and Fondant – cake pops and cake decorating
Our parties are very personalized and special; we put so much emphasis on the children and what they are learning. Book in advance, as our parties are extremely popular. Some of the franchisees make the most beautiful cakes and cake pops if you would like to place your orders with them.
Please e-mail your closest franchise for their holiday programmes starting soon. Book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Timeless Family Food Journal
Please order online (www.timelessfamilyfoodjournal.co.za). Only R350 for a book that will last a lifetime. The recipes are fantastic and the children are really enjoying making the book their own with illustrations, pasting in pictures, and moms adding notes and treasured memories. It’s perfect for ages 2 to 14 years and a must have in every home. It contains some great holiday ideas on what to make from soaps and body scrubs to paint and playdough.