Easter treats for children
Easter can be a very difficult time for children who suffer from allergies or if you are wanting to control how much sugar your child eats. Commercially, Easter treats for children focus on foods like chocolate eggs and bunnies, marshmallows and mass produced hot cross buns. These treats line supermarket shelves and are advertised on television which add to the desire to indulge. As a society it is hard to escape the constant pull of sugar from every direction.
Hearty Health pride themselves in making sure all children in child care are included when it comes to eating delicious clean healthy food. “The key is to make sure kids don’t feel like they are missing out” says Hearty Health owner and qualified chef Russell Chasteau. “We have found that as long as kids are still involved and eat tasty food, they are happy and feel involved”. Russell has had many years’ experience working with children’s food and says a big part of the equation is allowing occasional treats.
Easter is a time of celebration and, as much as we don’t want to admit it – sugar has crept its way into most Easter treats for children. “It is up to us as care givers to manage this intake and make sure that we reduce sugar and processed food as much as possible and of course stay vigilant with allergens” continues Russell.
How do we reduce sugar at Easter when it is everywhere? Russell suggests it is all about offering delicious alternatives such as homemade dips, fresh seasonal produce and basically clean nourishing food. “It can be as simple as dishing up meals which are more appealing for children” he says. “Try making the shape of a rabbit on a plate using carrot sticks, tomatoes and cheese or a treasure hunt with apples and bananas for something fun and different”.
Our favourite Easter treats for children
Replacing highly refined sugar with its natural counterparts is also a good start for the occasional treat. Honey, maple syrup, molasses, dates and fruit purees provide a sweet taste without using refined sugar.
Our favourite and easiest Easter treat for children (and parents) would have to be our decadent chocolate slice. It is perfect for working mums and dads who want to make a quick treat for their kids while still watching how much refined sugar they digest this Easter!
The kids will love helping out too – so roll up your sleeves, pop on an apron and it is as easy as 1,2,3!
Hearty Health Chocolate Chips
*gluten/grain free, refined sugar free
1 cup coconut, desiccated or shredded
1 cup cacao powder
1 cup melted coconut oil
1 cup any organic dried fruit (I had apricots in the pantry)
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl
2. Pour into to a grease proof paper lined slice tray and for some extra fun and festivity – sprinkle with hundreds and thousands
3. Place in freezer until set and slice into chunky portions that look like fat chips to serve – yummo and filling too!
Note: this chocolate is best kept refrigerated
More Easter treats for children – keep an eye out for our delicious homemade hot cross buns that are baked from scratch in our Hearty Health kitchens and will be delivered to all our valued Hearty Health child care centres next week!
Happy Easter from the team at Hearty Health.
Click here for more Hearty Health recipes
Food safety and hygiene in child care centres is extremely important. Both parents and child care providers know how quickly illness can spread among children in a centre.
Workers can unintentionally contaminate food they have prepared if they have recently been sick and contaminated food can be brought into the kitchen from elsewhere and cause an outburst of sickness.
At Hearty Health, we use the freshest ingredients sourced every day and make delicious meals for children in child care. If produce is not deemed fresh or safe enough to serve by our chefs, then replacement items are always substituted regardless of the menu listing.
Seasonal factors and contamination
Food safety and hygiene in child care centres is important all year round. Food contaminated with a virus or bacteria can cause sickness that will spread rapidly among children. Some of the most common ways that viruses and bacteria spread between children are with shared toys, mats, toilet facilities and food. Close contact such as hugging and kissing will also spread the virus or bacteria.
Mostly all viruses, bacteria, parasites and moulds can contaminate both cooked and raw foods. However, good food safety and hygiene in child care centres is the best prevention of diseases and illness.
Quick tips on how to maintain food safety and hygiene in child care centres
Always make sure that food is fresh. A good rule of thumb is to throw the food out if it is more than three days old or if it smells or looks bad. Unfortunately, most food borne illnesses do not change the smell or taste of your food. So if in doubt, throw it out!
- Food safety should be practiced with everyone, not just the cook or food handlers in your centre
- Wash all raw vegetables and fruits before using
- Use only wholesome and clean food from reliable sources
- Always sanitise and scrub all cutting boards and knifes after they come in contact with cooked or raw meat, poultry or fish
- Avoid cross-contamination during storage, preparation and service
- Put uneaten food into a new shallow container and refrigerate according to food safety standards
At Hearty Health, we take a lot of the worry and stress out of food safety and hygiene in child care centres. We work with centre staff to ensure the required food handling processes are in place. We also encourage good hygiene practices to ensure children and centre staff remain healthy and happy.
For more information on having your children’s meals freshly catered for by professional chefs contact Hearty Health here.
Our Hearty Health Chefs are always creating new recipes in their seasonal menus for children in child care.
The Hearty Health Autumn Menu is now ready to be launched into Hearty Health Child Care Centres around Australia. New additions like our Hearty Health Bliss Bar is absolutely sugar free and bursting with loads of flavour and nutrients. We have also reinvented our classics like our Chicken Cacciatore with mash potato which uses traditional flavours and seasonal produce which is always a big hit with the kids.
We love launching seasonal menus for children in child care every quarter because there is nothing better than using seasonal fresh produce!
Benefits of eating seasonal fresh produce:
Seasonal produce is fresher and tastes better, especially if naturally ripened on the vine or the tree.
Higher Nutritional Value
Produce that is eaten in season has a higher nutritional value. Some anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C, folate and carotenes will decline when stored for periods of time. Fruits and vegetables that are stored for long periods of time due to transportation or to be used at a later date, have a reduction in phyto-nutrient content.
Eating seasonally reduces the demand for out of season produce. This also supports local farming in your area which means less transportation, less refrigeration, less hot houses, and less irradiation of produce.
No one wants to eat the same meals day in and day out and kids in long day care are no different. It is important that children have a varied menu that keeps them engaged and excited. At Hearty Health we understand developing good food habits in children is for life and realise the important of starting these habits at a very young age.
So keep your eyes out for the Hearty Health Autumn Menu and enjoy!
To sample any of our delicious meals including our Hearty Health Bliss Bar or popular Chicken Cacciatore in your child care centre, contact the Hearty Health Team here
Yum – it is well and truly apricot season at Hearty Health! This Summer, apricots feature in our Summer menu for children in child care to enjoy.
Delivered to our door directly from the wholesale fruit and vegetable market, our apricots are as fresh as fresh can be and turned into a selection of snacks and meals that are rated highly.
Packed with goodness:
Hearty Health feature apricots in their meals not only because they are in season and are delicious, but because they are so healthy for growing children. Apricots contain Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Potassium and are rich in fibre and antioxidants ensuring we are getting a big dose of yummy goodness.
Apricot season at Hearty Health keeps children healthy by:
- enhancing vision
- keeps the immune system in check
- protects and revitalises skin
- keeps the digestion system ticking along
- helps to reduce the bad cholesterol content in the body which protects the heart
- helps the body get rid of toxins that can collect over time
- help strengthen growing bones
How to buy apricots:
Our Hearty Health Chefs recommend that you look for apricots with a rich orange colour and avoid those that are pale and yellow. Fruit should be slightly soft. If they are too firm they have not been tree-ripened, and tree-ripened fruits always taste best. For the most antioxidants, choose fully ripened fruit.
Storing apricots for best quality:
You can store apricots in the refrigerator but they will retain better flavour if kept at room temperature. They can also bruise easily so try to avoid stacking them on top of each other.
A quick apricot snack for Summer:
With the Summer weather heating up this week, try blending fresh apricots with some orange juice and freeze in ice cubes or icy pole molds for a quick and delicious afternoon snack with the kids. Apricot season is a yummy season at Hearty Health.
For more information on the Hearty Health Summer Menu contact us here