Food Glorious Food – Lunch boxes, Oliver & other Notes

The term is whizzing by and we at Hedley are gearing up for the Halloween Spooktacular that is our annual Witches Walk, this year we are meeting at the “big steps” just inside the side gate of Merrion Square at 11.30am on Friday October 28th.  It’s a lovely high note on which to begin our half day to the first midterm of the academic year.

Last year we encountered a lost Witch in the park and with the aid of our brave and clever pupils we found all the ingredients for her spell! She thanked us for our kindness by casting a “sweet spell” which we all enjoyed! 🙂

Bats, Newts and a box of Frogs, thats some lunch list Ms Witch!

I am looking forward to all the cute and cool costumes the children come to school in. On the morning of the Witches Walk we will have face painting and some fun party games to get everyone in  spirit! 🙂

Parents are reminded that our midterm break begins after the Witches Walk; so all children are to bring a small snack and no lunch on the day.  The air can be nippy this time of year so costume wearers should remember warm undergarments, tights or a wizardly cloak to keep away the chill on our hunt!

On the topic of keeping in good health, a note about our “Healthy Hearty Lunch Policy”. As you are aware we encourage fruit and veg, fresh milk or plain water and balanced protein and carbohydrate lunches and snacks only.  We offer food heating for those who prefer their child to enjoy a hot lunch, but sometimes a cold choice of colorful food groups are more appetizing to a young child.

We all want to give our children a balanced and enticing lunch but sometimes inspiration can be hard, when you are tired, under time pressure and perhaps stuck in a rut. I found this great website with lunch box ideas that are sure to get even the pickiest eaters bitten by the “bento box” bug.

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I’ve included a couple of my favorites, but go check out Wendolina’s blog for yourself!

Here is  her_Lunch_Box_Idea_List Save it and print it out, then pin it to the fridge. This takes the pain out of packed lunches  just make sure you have 2 from the carbs, 1  from the protein, 2 fruit, 2 veg and a little bit of dairy, to keep those bones strong. Scrumptious snack time awaits!

Our last food related note is another of the annual Hedley Park events, The Big Breakfast Together. It takes place on the morning of Thursday, 18th November. There will be lots of healthy breakfast fare, and some special treats to share so make sure you pencil it in. It’s a lovely morning and all the family are welcome to come spend some time together in Hedley with us all.

I’m sure by now all you parents are aware of our drama selection for The Christmas Show. Last year it was a “Pirates Life for Me” with Peter Pan but this year, “You can Consider Yourself One of Us!” as we are all living the life of Oliver! in the West End adaptation of Charles Dickens’s novel Oliver Twist.

Please Sir, Can I have some more?

It will be a “Fine Life”  watching Fagins gang, “Picking a Pocket or Two” and I for one will “Do Anything” to be there, in the Pavillion Theatre on the day itself. The Dress Rehearsal is planned for Wednesday 7th December (All children from Junior Infants upwards must attend the theatre) there will be school as normal for the preschool children. The Grand Performance will be Thursday 15th December, all staff and pupils will be required to meet at the theatre that day as the school building will be closed. I know this won’t be the last you’ll hear of our grand performance, but it’s time now to mark those days on the planner to make sure you miss nothing of the action!

Hedley's Beanies mean Warm Ears!

Finally don’t forget, as the weather turns crisper we should wrap up warm for our daily park outings. Last years popular beanie hats are back again, and keep those ears toasty warm. Our school scarf, and the warm wool winter overcoat  along with an extra pair of thick socks in our Wellington boots keep jack frost at bay as we hunt for acorns and horse chestnuts!

Warmest Wishes from the Staff and Students at Hedley Park.

PS. On Monday of this week we passed 9,000 views of the blog, so I want to say a quick thank you to you all. In a little over 12months of posting thats a really great stat for viewership, so thanks  again for reading our blog and passing it on to friends and family. I personally love sharing the work of our young learners and its wonderful to know people are enjoying reading it! Thank You!

Little School Food Revolution.

Hi Everyone,  time for a catch up with the smallest of our charges! Yes its the Nursery School Junior Class 🙂

If you have watched Jamie Oliver’s American Food Revolution, or his earlier UK-based show. You will probably have been inspired, shocked and moved in equal parts at the diet of this generations school going children in both the UK and US. As Ireland does not have a tradition of “school dinners” Irish children in the main have been raised on packed lunches, which looks in comparison to be the better option.

Hedley Park students have benefited from parents that care enough to give their children the healthiest packed lunches. This is supported by the staff and directress ensuring that evening snack is equally fresh and nutritious.

Fruit Bowl Art

Our curriculum  provides opportunity for students to be  educated in good food choices through circle times and various exercises during the school day. While their palates are informed to new flavours at mealtimes and “make and munch” sessions, all of which opens the child to the world of healthy eating we hope they will carry throughout their lives.

This starts at the very beginning of a child’s education in Hedley Park and continues right through to our sixth class students, laying strong foundations for good food practices as an adult.

We all know how resistant to new foods children can be, creatures of habit they like to stick to what they know to be tasty. Repeated introduction in small amounts, visual stimulus and community effort will make a big difference to the reception of new foods. At home, eating together as a family, new foods being introduced in tiny portions, a rule of “try everything on the plate”, and if needed sticker charts when foods are tried/finished will really see your healthy eating child growing strong and positive about food.

Junior Class Healthy Eating Wall

Marianne in the junior class has devised a fantastic project to support her students and their parents in this endeavour. Each day the children in her class are offered a sample of a new fruit or veg at circle time. They talk about the new food, smelling, tasting and talking about its colour, shape and texture.

Healthy Eating Sticker Chart

Children who try the new food are given a sticker for their “Healthy Eating Sticker Sheet” providing a visual stimulus to taste the fruit and a record for them to show off to friends and parents giving them a sense of accomplishment even many days later. In week one the children tried strawberries, blueberries, grapes, pineapple and banana, In week two they tried pear, apple kiwi, mango and avocado.  This week they begin on veg!

Circle time is a perfect arena for this tasting exercise. Allowing the children to encourage each other to try the foods, talking about the taste and texture normalizes the experience and develops taste buds and expands vocabulary to boot! 🙂

After circle time the children create their artistic interpretations of the new fruit or veg. The fine motor skills involved in gluing, cutting, painting the fruit alongside colour and shape matching adds unseen dimensions which aid the child creatively and cognitively, all helping to make this a fun and rewarding introduction to new foods.

Many parents of children in the Junior Class have remarked that their children are taking about the fruit at home, and are more receptive to new foods in their lunches and at family meals. It is amazing to see how a simple but effective Montessori class project can make a difference in our students lives.

Week 2 Fruit Art Assortment

Well Done Junior Class you are setting a great example to your older schoolmates! 🙂