Fundraising In The Holiday Season

It can be very difficult to raise money through donations during a time of the year when everyone seems to be strapped for cash, but never fear!  Remember these few tips, and you will have no trouble with your next holiday season fundraising project.

 

Enlist Friends and Family

Sure, they may not be paid to do this, but your friends and family can always be a valuable asset in spreading the word about your project or organization.  When you feel like you are not able to reach enough people on your own, ask those who are closest to you if they wouldn’t mind telling others about what it is you do, and why donations are so necessary at this time of the year.  Chances are, someone you know will know someone who can pitch in.  Never underestimate the power of word of mouth!  Especially now in our technologically advanced times, it is even easier for you to reach friends through social media who can then reach their friends—and so on.  Networking has never been so stress-free!

 

Stay on Task Everywhere

Going grocery shopping?  Consider taking along some pamphlets to hand out while you’re standing in the long checkout lines that seem to pop up during the holiday season.  Eating lunch out somewhere?  Leave a card or a small leaflet along with your tip for the wait staff or owners to peruse.  Sending holiday cards to your friends and family?  Don’t forget to mention how great things have gone with your organization this year.  No matter where you go, you can find an opportunity for spreading the goal of your non-profit organization or project, and you may potentially make donating contacts just about anywhere!  Remember to follow rules and laws when you do this, however, as asking for donations may be considered soliciting depending on the way you approach the task.

 

Bank on Charitable Sentiments

During the holidays, people may have tighter budgets than they usually do, but they also tend to feel more generous.  There is nothing wrong with cashing in on the sentimentality of good people at the holidays.  Share some stories from your clients or those you have helped (and remember to get permission to use names or likenesses!), and you are sure to see an increase in donations.  Tugging on the heartstrings is always a good way to gather new donations for your cause.  You can also reconnect at this time of year with those who have donated in the past, in the hopes that the spirit of the season might inspire them to give even more this time around!

 

 

Although it may seem like a daunting task to convince people to donate to your cause during the tumultuous holiday season, following these few tips will help you stay on top of your donation quotas with ease.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help, talk with strangers you meet during your day, and play to the sentimentalities of new and recurring donors as well.  Good luck with your fundraising endeavors, and happy holidays!

Keeping Food-Safe This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is perhaps the most popular food-related holiday in the United States.  Families throughout the country sit down on the last Thursday in November every year to enjoy a delicious feast of tasty food, including turkey, pumpkin pie and everything in between.  And one of the greatest parts of Thanksgiving is sometimes even more celebrated than the initial meal itself – the surplus of leftovers!  Unfortunately, Thanksgiving foods tend to be stored haphazardly after the meal is done, and there is an unpleasant trend of post-Thanksgiving leftover consumers who end up sick from food poisoning when the holiday is over.  Prepare your food safely and store it correctly to ensure that your holiday is free from any unwanted illnesses.

Preparing Food

 Safe handling and preparation of the meal is the first step toward a healthy Thanksgiving.  Many home cooks are put off by the idea of cooking a whole Thanksgiving dinner at home, but even the most nervous of these amateur chefs eventually caves in.  Whether this is your first time preparing Thanksgiving food or you have done it for years already, it is important to take note of several safety tips.

  • Never purchase a fresh turkey more than 48 hours before the meal.  You can buy a frozen turkey a couple of weeks ahead of time and keep it in your freezer.
  • The best way to thaw your turkey is by moving it from the freezer to the refrigerator several days in advance.  This provides a slow thawing method that won’t allow bacteria to grow on the meat.  The second-best option is to place the whole frozen turkey (still packaged) in the sink and run cold water over it until it has thawed.
  • Wash your hands before touching the raw turkey and immediately after touching it, before you come into contact with any other items or surfaces.  Use hot water, antibacterial soap, and wash for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use a food thermometer inserted at the thickest part of the turkey breast, and again at the inner part of the turkey thigh, to be sure the meat is fully cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Many cooks like to stuff their raw turkeys and cook everything at once.  This can be done safely, but it does come with more risks than separate cooking.  Always measure the turkey for doneness (not the stuffing), and prepare the stuffing in a separate bowl away from the raw turkey meat before filling the cavity of the bird.
  • Do not rely on the included pop-up turkey timers that come with many packaged birds.

Storing Food

 After the feast has been devoured, store the leftovers safely to prevent any unnecessary contaminants.  Storing your leftover turkey meat, in particular, is just as important as cooking it properly.  It may be tempting to let the leftovers sit on the table while everyone gathers to watch football or partake in some other family activity afterward, but don’t neglect your leftover storage!  The turkey should always be handled first, but be sure to take care of your side dishes as well.

  • Do not let the turkey sit for too long after the meal at room temperature.  This will cause bacteria growth.
  • The easiest way to store the leftover turkey is to shred the meat from the bones and keep it in shallow glass storage containers in the refrigerator.
  • Do not refrigerate leftover turkey for longer than four days.  If you want to keep the meat for longer than this, freeze it.
  • To freeze leftover turkey, place the cooled, cooked turkey meat into gallon freezer bags and seal tightly.  Store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  • Do not store stuffing inside the turkey.  Always remove it and keep it a complete separate container.
  • Refrigerate pumpkin pie after it has been sliced to help preserve freshness.  Pies only have a refrigerator life of a couple of days.
  • If you have kept any leftover gravy, always be sure to boil it before serving it again.  This will help improve its safety as well as its taste!

By following these simple tips and directions, you will be well on your way to providing a safe and healthy holiday for yourself and your entire family.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Identifying Different Types of Learners

There are many different ways that people learn, and in any classroom, you are bound to encounter several students from each learning category.  While one method of teaching may work very well for a certain type of learner, another type may not respond at all to what you try.  As a new teacher, it is very important to learn how to identify the different types of learners in your classroom, and then to make sure that each one of your lessons takes into account every style of learning that your students may need.  To become an effective teacher, you must anticipate the needs of your students and tailor your lesson plans to best benefit each type of learning your classroom.

 

 

Auditory Learners

In the past, most styles of education relied on the belief that all students were auditory learners.  This has, of course, since been proven incorrect, so you should never rely solely on auditory teaching methods to reach your class.

Auditory learners focus best on verbal, spoken language, but may struggle with the written word and with hands-on projects.  While listening to information over and over again can help an auditory learner remember much more easily, the same student may get nothing out of reading a chapter silently out of a book.  These students are easy to identify, even as a new teacher, because they tend to be the most outgoing students in the classroom.  They may be social butterflies who enjoy talking and hearing themselves talk, and they tend to be class clowns who always seem to be at the center of attention.

 

 

Visual Learners

Visual learning focuses on the interpretation and absorption of taught information by seeing and processing it.  Visual learners are slightly less common than auditory learners, but still may comprise the majority of your classroom.

A student who learns best visually does well at quiet reading time, and can learn material from watching movies as well.  The same student may struggle with directions that are given verbally, and may not do very well when trying to construct something by hand.  Visual learners can be identified by their strong attention to detail and need to be organized, even at a young age.  These students are good at one-on-one conversation, but may not be part of a larger group, and may be much quieter than their auditory counterparts.  Noise often distracts a visual learner, and these students may need you to physically perform a task before they can repeat it.

 

 

Kinesthetic Learners

Although kinesthetic learners are not quite as common as auditory and visual learners are, they are still common enough that you are sure to encounter a handful even in your first class.  They may be more challenging to teach, but if you are prepared you should not have any trouble.

Kinesthetic learners are best suited to learning by doing.  These students retain information when they are able to manipulate objects or understand information by interacting with parts of it.  They may not do well when given verbal direction or shown how to do something, but instead want to dive in and try it on their own.  You can identify a kinesthetic learner in your classroom by pinpointing the students who cannot seem to sit still while you are teaching them.  Gain their attention by providing lots of hands-on class experiences.

 

Identifying and teaching different learning types in your classroom does not have to be a difficult achievement.  Simply keep these tips and strategies in mind, and you will be well on your way to successful teaching in no time.

The Good Teacher’s Guide

A child’s education is nothing without a quality teacher to provide it.  But just what makes a good teacher?  What are the characteristics that all teachers should strive toward in order to have the biggest influence on their students?  Read on to learn all about the ways in which a teacher can go from being simply  a teacher to becoming a good, effective teacher.

 

Use Understandable Objectives and Goals

Every teacher needs a lesson plan, but if that plan is complicated, confusing, or does not seem to have an endgame in mind, it is useless.  Teachers often fall into the trap of teaching scattered subjects from all over the place, when in reality, a good teacher is one who can focus his or her time and energy and cover every subject in a sequential order.  In the same way, a teacher must provide consistent feedback through grades and notes.  The grading policy should not change in the middle of the year.

 

Engage While Teaching

Many teachers feel that all they have to do is stand in front of a class, give a lecture, ask a few questions, and move on.  This is one way to dispense information, but it is not a viable method of teaching successfully.  Students get bored with this type of instruction very quickly, and they do not retain much of the information provided if they are not engaged.  Ask students to look at facts that have presented and come up with their own conclusions.  Keep questions open-ended whenever possible, and be sure to call on students equally without returning to one or two favorites.

 

Know What You Teach

A great teacher must be an expert in his or her field of education.  If you teach science but cannot explain the difference between a proton and a neutron without looking it up, your students are going to lose faith in you quickly, and you will not be able to reach them.  To be a good teacher, you must be able to answer basic questions about your subject at the drop of a hat, and you should be prepared for students who want to study the topic more in-depth.  If you are good at what you teach, and you teach what you know, you are bound to make a connection with a few students who want to go on to focus on your field as well.

 

Talk To Parents

It may be daunting to try to communicate with parents, but this is a very important part of any good teacher’s job.  Schools usually require parent-teacher conferences at least twice per semester, but it can be beneficial to you and your students as well if you send home letters explaining how the student is doing throughout the year, or even reach out with a phone call if your school allows it.  If you are worried about how a student is doing, talk to the parents.  They will be pleased, and you will be better equipped to help that student succeed.

 

 

It does not take much to be a good teacher, and anyone can do it, but you may need to re-evaluate your methods in order to reach that goal.  Do not be afraid to try new things, to talk to parents and engage students, and to be sure you are well equipped to teach your subject matter.  If you follow these few tips, you will be well on your way to being an excellent teacher in no time.

Traditional Education: Does ‘later’ always mean ‘greater’?

Traditional education is, at its core, the most commonly practised form of education throughout much of the world.  This term refers to a back-to-basics way of teaching, where a single instructor (or perhaps an instructor with an aide, for larger classes) speaks to a group of students who are seated at desks or tables.  This teacher-driven type of education has been called into question in recent years, with some groups hoping to reform the educational system and provide students with a task-oriented learning environment that is not so rigidly structured.  This means that teachers must rethink their strategies and try to determine where they and their methods fall in the world of new education reform.

 

“Old School” Educational Methods

For a long time, education has been centered around traditional “old school” methods of providing students with information.  To this day, several of these methods are still used in the classroom, but they are becoming much less commonplace.  For example, English and vocabulary lessons are no longer based on the study of root words and phonics, as they once were.  Students of the past learned new vocabulary words by identifying their roots and thinking about where they could have come from.  The word “questionable,” for example, has a root word of “question,” which can lead a student to make a good guess as to what the word means.

Math, too, was once taught much differently than it is today.  Students were required to memorize their times tables when they learned multiplication, and classrooms were filled with math pupils who recited, in unison, simple multiplication based on number families.  Some schools even went so far as to have students write their times tables by hand over and over again to ingrain the information into their minds.

Even handwriting has fallen to the wayside and is no longer explored in the classroom the way it used to be.  Students are no longer taught cursive writing at all, save for in certain private schools, and penmanship is not a subject that is graded by teachers any longer.  Students are allowed to write in whatever hand they develop, so long as it is somewhat legible by the teacher.

 

New Methods of Teaching

There are many ways in which teachers are moving from these traditional, teacher-centered ways of presenting students with information and into a more hands-on, student-driven educational environment.  Perhaps the largest of these new methods is student engagement.  This refers to a teacher giving students basic information and then engaging them in a conversation about the subject matter.  Students learn analytical skills by thinking about the facts they have been given and working toward understanding why things happen the way they do, and how the information pertains to them and their personal lives.

Engagement also refers to giving students hands-on experience in any given subject.  Field trips are much more common in an engagement-driven classroom, and students visit locations where they can watch real world applications of the subjects they learn in school.  Even a local business office can be a great field trip location for students who want to see how math, communication, or other subjects can affect their adult lives.

Some teachers are beginning to adopt a concept called spaced learning for information presentation in the classroom.  This works with the short attention spans of today’s students by combining a small amount of rote memorization with plenty of fun activities to keep the brain moving.  In a spaced learning classroom, a teacher sets aside about an hour to an hour and a half of class time to focus on a subject.  The information is taught to the students first for about fifteen minutes, in a condensed format.  Students then break for a physical activity that lasts ten minutes, before returning to hear the same information repeated in the same order for another fifteen minutes.  The ten-minute physical activity break is repeated, and finally, the fifteen minutes of information is repeated once more to solidify the learning experience.

Spaced learning may seem a little strange at first, but it is a great way to keep students interested in the topic at hand by providing them frequent mental breaks.  The repetition of the information helps keep the subject fresh in their minds, and the physical activity keeps them from getting bored and losing focus.

 

Why Should Teachers Be Current?

It is very important for teachers to remain up to date with current trends in educational practices.  Prepared teachers who are willing to try new methods of helping students learn are some of the greatest teachers out there, and the results from their classrooms will surely prove that.  Continuing education courses as well as lectures from successful teachers can provide plenty of opportunity for educators to learn about new methods for their own classrooms.  As society and children change throughout the years, the needs of students and their ability to focus and pay attention also changes.  It is vital for teachers to be ready to combat these changes with a dynamic strategy for their lessons.

Teachers Will Soon Celebrate the 100th Day of School

We all look forward to little milestones in life as they tell us when we’ve reached our goals.  Lately, it’s been a trend of some teachers and students to celebrate the 100th day of School.

The 100th day falls exactly on the 100th day of the school year and is an important milestone for both teachers, and students. This makes it a fantastic reason for celebration and the perfect excuse for taking some extra time to teach all things ‘100’.

Why not try some of our ideas for celebrating the 100th day in the classroom?

You could have your students:

  • Look at a collection of 100 things
  • Do ten sets of exercises (eg: star jumps, sit-ups etc.) and count them as they go
  • Do 100-piece puzzles
  • Make fruit loop jewellery using 100 pieces of cereal
  • Build a paper chain using 100 strips of paper
  • Collect 100 coins for charity
  • Write what they would do with $100
  • Blow up 100 balloons
  • See if they can name 100 countries

We periodically release shirt designs just for this special day.

Is this something you’re doing at your school?

How do you celebrate? Comment below to tell us how you like to celebrate the 100th day of School!

10 Healthy Living Tips For Winter Health

In winter, holiday spirits may be up, but general health tends to be on the decline. It’s not hard to see why—between the freezing weather, increased travel, and busy schedules, most of us aren’t making self-care a priority at this time of year.

But to get through the coldest months in good health, it takes a little extra effort. Keep yourself happy and healthy during the winter with these 10 tips:

 

  1. Boost your Vitamin D
    Vitamin D is known for its powers to bolster heart health, mental well-being, immunity, and even the condition of your skin. But as the sun gets scarce in winter, it gets harder to soak up this vital nutrient naturally.

You can take a supplement, but getting your vitamins naturally is best. One option is to eat more fatty fish such as wild salmon (farmed varieties pack less vitamin D punch). Or, look to improve your health by losing five percent of your body weight to get your body to boost your vitamin D for you. Exercising or lowering your cholesterol will also help you make up your winter D-ficiency.

 

  1. Get vaccinated
    There’s enough fear of needles that many are more afraid of getting the flu vaccine than they are of getting the flu. But consider this: In 2014 in alone, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimated the vaccination averted about 7.2 million illnesses, 3.1 million doctor’s visits, and 90,000 hospitalizations.

If you’re afraid of needles, consider the nasal spray, which is just as effective with out the prick. And remember—getting the vaccine doesn’t just protect you, but it helps promote herd immunity, which protects everyone around you, too.

 

  1. Wash your hands frequently
    Winter is a season where people travel more, spend more time cooped up together, and immune systems are down. Washing your hands is the best way to protect yourself from getting sick or passing germs on to those around you.

Always use soap when washing your hands, and rub them together for at least 20 seconds. If you want an extra line of defense between washes, consider an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

 

  1. Exercise
    It may be harder to motivate yourself to exercise in winter, but it’s especially important this time of year. In addition to the obvious fitness benefits, exercise can boost your vitamin D, keep your mood up, and strengthen your immune system.

So get up and hit the pavement in the morning. Or, wait for the rest of the family to wake up and hit the ice skating rink together.

 

  1. Eat a healthy breakfast
    Starting your day with a healthy meal can help stave off winter cravings—as well as the temptations of holiday parties.

A bowl of balanced carbs like oatmeal or porridge is especially good for winter, as it loads you up on healthy starches and fiber that can boost your energy while helping you feel fuller longer. Avoid sugar, and flavor your bowl with fresh or dried fruit and nuts instead.

 

  1. Make time to de-stress
    Winter, particularly the holidays, can be an especially stressful time for many. But it’s also the time of year that stress can hurt you the most, lowering your immune system and weighing down your mood even more than the cold weather alone.

To combat stress, take fish oil supplements (proven to reduce anxiety by up to 20 percent), be sure to give yourself downtime, and consider adding meditation to your regular routine.

 

  1. Stay hydrated
    Getting your eight glasses of water in each day can help address many of winter’s big health issues, from stress to fighting off disease, and even helps to keep your skin looking great.

 

  1. Consume more dairy
    Go-to dairy staples like milk, yogurt and cheese offer a strong foundation for winter health. Get your daily servings in for craving-stifling protein, bone-strengthening calcium, and a germ-battling army of vitamins and minerals.

 

  1. Fighting the holiday blues
    A lot of people get down during the winter months. Often, it’s simply hard for reality to live up to the romanticized holiday vision society builds up for us. On top of that, the end of the year prompts people to take stock of where their lives are—and where they’re not.

To lift yourself out of a case of the blues, focus on what you’re grateful for, take good care of yourself, and consider volunteering for a cause. Even better, plan a vacation. The anticipation has been shown to improve moods as far ahead as two months.

But if you suspect you suffer from clinical depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), talk to a psychologist.

 

  1. Catch up on sleep
    Though we’re supposed to get seven to nine hours of sleep a night, most of us get an average six and a half.

But in the darker, colder months of winter, our bodies naturally crave more sleep than usual. Go with it, and let your body catch up on missed REMs.

 

 

A Little Self-Care Goes a Long Way

Winter is a season with its own set of challenges … from the stress of the holiday bustle to the latest round of the flu. But a little self-care can go a long way to keep you healthy all season long. Make the effort to stay healthy and you can enjoy all the fun winter has to offer.

Start Green Fundraising

Schools and non – profits have to raise money to keep themselves running. One tried and true way to do it is by selling products throughout your community. But the standard wrapping papers and cookies are not exactly green—or healthy. Besides, everyone else is pushing these same products too.

Instead, consider standing out from the crowd and extending the positive impact of each buy with environmentally friendly products.

These days, there’s plenty of eco-friendly twists on this traditional fundraising model, and options range widely, from chocolates to cleaning supplies to green equivalents of classic fundraising staples.

 

Take a look at these great green fundraising options:

 

Jewellery

Green fundraising company Nature’s Vision offers environment and wildlife-themed jewellery, along with a slew of other accessories, tees, and bags. Order using the forms and helpful promotional materials on the website, and collect a percentage of every sale you make.

 

Pampering

Among its many product offerings, Greenraising offers a line of environmentally friendly personal care products. Just encourage your community to shop on the website, and designate your organization as the beneficiary of their purchases.

 

Treats

Treats can be guilt-free when they’re Fair Trade. Irresistible options include Divine Fair Trade chocolates or Grounds for Change Fair Trade coffee.

 

Wrapping Paper

If you want a more traditional fundraiser, take a look at Mother Earth Fundraising’s 100% recycled wrapping papers, gift bags and cards. Your loyal customers won’t even miss your old standbys.

 

Recycle

If pushing products is not your organization’s style, you can still earn by taking environmentally friendly actions. For example, Terracycle lets organizations profit for collecting and recycling waste items such as empty product bottles, baby food containers, and much more. Earth Tone Solutions lets organizations profit for recycling empty printer cartridges.

 

Go Green, Make Green
With so many organizations in a constant battle for those fundraising dollars, a unique green product can help you stand out from the crowd, while offering an extra incentive to give. These are only a few great options for running your own green fundraiser—there’s plenty of ideas out there to meet any need. Get out there and take your organization green!

60 Class Projects for Art Teachers

It is well known among teachers that children respond well to art. Whether they are simply looking at it, learning about it or creating it, using art in the classroom is a fantastic way to get kids engaged and offers many benefits for their development.

According to studies, children who regularly participate in art are more likely to achieve academically, and are more likely to score higher marks in standardized testing. Studies also show that children enjoy coming to school to participate in art lessons as they enjoy the hands on focus of art lessons and producing pieces which they can take home and show off.

Art offers a very tangible sense of achievement for children –they learn the skills required, study the techniques and then produce something which demonstrates what they can do, to their audience (usually parents or grandparents). It helps to build confidence and encourages students to think positively about their education and about what they are capable of doing. Art is also a fantastic way to foster creativity in children young and old and helps them to develop their critical thinking skills as they learn to observe, analyse and synthesize the world through an artistic lens.

Statistically, engagement in art is linked to higher test scores, lower drop-out rates at high school level and increased engagement with their community as an adult. Even if you are not an artistic person, or you are teaching a group of students who are not particularly artistic, you should still consider integrating some art into your classroom. Using art can liven things up and expose your students to character building experiences.

Depending on the level of your students, you may want to try offering a variety of lessons using different mediums.

Here is our list of 60 different art lessons for your classroom.  Try making:

• Nature collages
• Portrait sketches
• Cartoon strips
• Shoe-box puppet theaters
• Finger paintings
• Scrapbooks
• Painting of fruit or vegetables
• Mobiles
• Fairy gardens in an ice cream container
• String art
• Melted crayon art
• Dyed pasta jewelry
• Homemade snow globes
• Paper snowflakes
• Origami
• Paper Mache’
• Paper lanterns
• Paper chains
• Yarn Easter eggs
• Potato stamped paper or fabric
• Decorated newsprint for personalized gift-wrap
• Sock puppets
• Salt dough pinch pots
• Christmas wreaths
• Paper dolls with split pins
• Christmas cookie ornaments
• Homemade greeting cards
• Dyed Easter eggs
• Paper beads
• Clay masks
• Painted national flags
• Create or color in coloring pages
• Picture frames from card
• Fingerprint trees
• Weaved paper coasters
• Button art
• Yarn wrapped letters
• Paint chip bookmarks
• Tie Dyed shirts
• Cups decorated with a sharpie
• Leaf paintings
• Coin rubbings
• Rock paintings
• Geometric drawings
• Foil art
• Paper plate masks
• Puffy paintings
• Bird feeders
• Painted pinecones
• Surrealist glue art
• Mixed media boards
• Milk art
• Modern tin art
• Bottle cap murals
• Body tracings
• Grape and toothpick sculptures
• Leaf printing on fabric
• Air dry dough beads
• Shaving cream marbled paper
• Plaster of Paris sandcasts

Whichever lessons you choose to work on with your class, remember – exposing children to art is not just about teaching them how to recognize a Picasso. It is about exposing young minds to experiences that will change their view of art, and the world.

Fun & Healthy Lunchbox Ideas for Kids

Many studies have proven that children need to eat a nutritious breakfast in order to perform well at school, but what most parents don’t realise is that having a healthy, balanced lunch is just as important.

Children need a nutritious meal in the middle of the day to re-boost their concentration and give them the energy they need to power through the mid-afternoon slump and get the school day finished.

 

School Provided Food

Most schools regularly send home information about what food or meal plans are offered through the cafeteria. Look through the material with your children and plan on the days when your child will eat from the school’s menu, and what days he or she will take a packed lunch. If your child would like to purchase his or her lunch from a school vending machine, be sure to check that they stock healthy choices your child can choose from such as yoghurt, fresh fruit and water.

 

Packed Lunches

Providing a packed lunch for your child can be a fine balancing act. Parents who prepare their children’s lunches realise that they are playing an important role in their child’s diet, and overall health.

Studies have shown that children who are healthy and eat well balanced meals tend to out-perform those who do not, particularly in school. This means that it is important to ensure that each lunch is healthy and filling, providing an opportunity for your child to do their best at school.

A nutritionally balanced diet should contain a mixture of the following:

 

  • A filling, starchy food such as bread, rice, pasta
  • A food high in protein such as egg, meat or beans
  • One or two serves of fruit or vegetables
  • A low fat dairy item such as cheese of yoghurt

 

These items can be made fresh, or can even be made up from leftovers. Whatever you use, make sure you add variety – mot children do not enjoy eating the same things every day so play around with the following ideas and introduce them to some healthy new foods:

  • Carrot or celery sticks with hummus
  • Trail mixes
  • Wholegrain pretzel sticks with herbed cream cheese
  • Granola bars
  • Fruit salad
  • Cheese cubes
  • Fruit and nut quinoa
  • Beef jerky
  • Tapioca pudding
  • Fresh fruit and yoghurt
  • A few small squares of dark chocolate
  • Homemade sushi
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Air popped popcorn
  • Sugar snap peas and sour cream dip
  • Fruit or vegetable kebabs
  • Pickles with tzatziki dip
  • Mini muffins
  • English muffin pizzas
  • Pasta salad
  • Unsweetened apple sauce
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Apple slices with peanut butter
  • Mini pancakes with honey
  • Filled pita bread
  • Sliced bell pepper and salsa
  • Rice salad
  • Meat roll ups

These simple, healthy ideas will boost your child for an active afternoon and will fuel their bodies to support their learning.

 

If you are providing a packed lunch, be sure to also keep these tips in mind:

  • Always pack lunches the night before – that way you won’t be tempted to quickly add packets of processed foods because you are rushing.
  • Ensure that your child’s lunch box or bag is clearly named in case it gets lost.
  • Involve your kids in the lunch-making process. Having your child help you will help to teach them about making healthy choices and will increase the likelihood that they eat their lunch, since they helped put it together themselves.
  • Think about what packaging you will use. Most schools now prefer ‘rubbish-free’ lunches which means using small reusable containers. Just make sure they can open them independently, and that they are secure and won’t leak.
  • Don’t give into peer pressure. Children are masters at telling parents what the other children are having in their lunch. Only you know what is right for your child – go with your gut.
  • Be creative! Kids love tiny portions, fun shapes and variety! Experiment with cookie cutters, toothpicks and make sure the lunchbox contains a variety of color to keep them interested.