Back to Basics: How to organise a healthy lunch box for school

This week our columnist Lydia Harvey has some helpful tips on tackling that daily task parents wish they could avoid - packing the school lunch box.

I don't know about you, but one of my biggest headaches every week is trying to organise what my kids will be eating for lunch at school. 

Like every parent I go through the whole process of thinking is this healthy? Will it sustain them throughout the day? Will they even eat this?

While I'm no lunch box "expert" I have come up with a few tricks for making the process of getting lunch ready for my kids a bit easier and faster without breaking the budget each week.

Use the leftovers

Generally anything left over from dinner or snacks the previous day are the start of our lunch box for the following day. This can be anything from rice (add some frozen peas and corn and rice vinegar or even mayonnaise and curry powder with chopped capsicum) to cold meat or salads.

Go to the garden

If you have a garden grab produce from it for your children's lunch box. Raw vegetables from carrots to peas are an easy and great snack for the kids' lunch boxes.

Get creative

Play around with ideas and food groups for your children's lunch boxes. Add dips, or a fruit kebab or stuff avocados or capsicums. Sushi wins in our house they get to lunch time they can wrap, stack and eat it all on their own.

Good food is simple food
Sometimes we over complicate the need for elaborate lunch boxes but no matter where you stand on the lunch box ladder keep it simple and don't stress about having to have "the latest" food trends in your children's lunch box. Simple healthy foods like vegetables and fruit will get your child through their school day.

Lydia's homemade bacon and cheese scones.
Lydia's homemade bacon and cheese scones. Source: 1 NEWS

From Lydia's Garden: Bacon and cheese scones.

200 grams roughly chopped bacon
7 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
Spring onion
Handful of grated cheese
Pastry


Roll pastry and cut into sizes big enough to fill in a muffin tray.

Mix bacon, eggs, milk, spring onions and cheese together then scoop into muffin tins.

Bake for half an hour or until cooked and wait until cool to remove.

Tip: Line trays with baking paper to make it easier to remove scones from the trays.
 

Source: 1 NEWS



1080 case goes to Māori Land Court as two Northland men challenge DOC's right to drop on Russell State Forest

Two Northland men challenging DOC's right to drop 1080 on Russell State Forest say it needs to show it has consent from Māori and the community.

Riki Ngakoti and Hayward Brown have applied to the Māori Land Court for an injunction to stop the pesticide drop that's set to happen in the next fortnight.

Auckland opponents of 1080 trying to stop a drop in the Hunua Ranges, have taken their case to the Environment Court.

But Mr Ngakoti said he had sought advice from the Tikanga Māori Law Society and believed the Māori Land Court had jurisdiction.

"There will be arguments by the settlers of New Zealand - our fellow Kiwis - and government officials, that the Department of Conservation manages Crown land. We had that argument from the court when we applied, but we...interpret that land to be Māori customary land."

Mr Ngakoti said he and Mr Brown were not so much anti-1080 as anti-risk and DOC had not provided a forum in which that risk could be publicly evaluated and debated.

"We have tried to do a bit of research but some of the risks we haven't been able to satisfy ourselves about are the effect of 1080 on the environment below the ground... the micro-organisms, the works, the bugs - there hasn't been thorough research."

The Māori Land Court will hold the injunction hearing on Monday in Whangarei.

Meanwhile the lawyer acting for the Auckland 1080 opponents, Sue Grey, said further court challenges to the use of 1080 were inevitable.

"There has been no forum for public conversation and it got much worse last year when the former Minister for the Environment Nick Smith passed...regulations exempting 1080 from all the usual resource consent processes.

"You need resource consent if you want to extend your fence - but DOC doesn't have to get a consent or have any public consultation for dropping poison into public areas."

That had led to a build-up of pressure because people had genuine concerns and nowhere to air them, she said.

DOC has linked the anti-1080 spam campaign on Facebook to threats against its staff, based on misinformation about the toxin

But Ms Grey said she stood by her advice to 1080 opponents to use social media to promote their cause.

"I would never advocate any threats or violence. My view is that the court processes are there and we need to use them and that's what I encourage my clients to do."

Ms Grey said there had been a lot of allegations made about threats but she had her doubts.

"I've just seen an OIA response from the police and it seems that very few of those alleged incidents did happen," she said.

"There seems to be a pattern of exaggeration of these threats."

However DOC and Forest and Bird sources told RNZ there had been very serious threats made and staff were worried.

By Lois Williams

rnz.co.nz

Source: rnz.co.nz

TODAY'S
TOP STORIES

Private housing tenants evicted over meth contamination should also be compensated, says advocate

Tenants in private housing incorrectly evicted as a result of methamphetamine contamination testing should also be in line for compensation, according to Action Against Poverty.

Ricardo Menendez, from Action Against Poverty, said as many as 2400 evicted tenants should be in line for compensation despite Housing Minister Phil Twyford announcing yesterday that around 800 Housing NZ tenants would be reimbursed for costs related to their evictions.

“These (the 800) would have the Housing NZ tenants that would have fallen into the catchment but I do feel that all tenants should be up for compensation as well even though some (were in) private housing,” Mr Menendez told TVNZ1’s Breakfast.

“A lot of these tenants were evicted through the testing as a way to pave for redevelopments or developments for housing so I think it was just an excuse to push people out of their communities."

Housing NZ tenant Kathleen Paraha said she the meth contamination evictions had taken an enormous toll, with WINZ blaming innocent people for being evicted.

"These people have lost their furniture, their clothing, and when they go to WINZ, they’ve been declined of clothing and stuff because they think it’s been contaminated so they’re not offering enough,” she said.

“They’ve been put in debt because they’ve been evicted, because WINZ have been saying that they did this themselves, it’s their fault.”

“For one thing they should clear the debt that the government has put them in the first place.”

“They’ve been told to pay for their motel bills if they put them into motels, they’ve been told to pay for it because it’s their fault.”

Kathleen Paraha said the Housing NZ evictions took an enormous personal toll on those evicted, putting people in debt and often leading to drug use among those left homeless. Source: Breakfast

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

Police seeking information over terrifying early morning robbery at Tauranga home involving an axe

Police are seeking public information after a terrifying assault and robbery at a Tauranga home where two offenders broke into the house early this morning armed with an axe and crowbar.

Officers responded to an aggravated burglary on Waterford Park Drive in Papamoa at approximately 4.30am, Detective Sergeant Darryl Brazier said.

Two men had entered the property and assaulted two occupants of the house, a man and woman, before stealing two cars from the property.

The two victims received minor injuries but did not require ambulance treatment though they are receiving continued support from police, Detective Sergeant Brazier said.

Police have recovered the vehicles nearby and are currently examining them while a scene examination is also underway at the property.

If anyone in the area has any information which could assist with the Police investigation we encourage them to ring Tauranga Police on 577 4300.

Information can also be given anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Man with axe
Source: istock.com


Disturbing new study finds Kiwi teens are fatter and less fit than their parents

Today's teens are more fat and less fit than their parents' generation, according to disturbing new research out of the University of Otago.

The first-of-its-kind study, published today in the New Zealand Medical Journal, measured the fitness of 343 15-year-olds whose parents had been tested in the 1980s. Each generation was tested on an exercise cycle.

"We have seen a 25 per cent decline in fitness in girls compared to their mothers and about a 15 per cent decline in fitness compared to their fathers," researcher Helena McAnally told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning, explaining that the findings are unlikely to be unique to New Zealand.

"I think there's been a lot of social change over the years between the Dunedin study in the 80s, when they were 15, and now," she explained. "We're looking at increasing levels of physical inactivity in developed countries across the globe."

The downward trend is a concern, she said.

"Historically, we've been seeing health and wellbeing tracking towards more positive outcomes," she said. "This is looking like this generation is going to be less healthy than their parents' generation.

"Poorer fitness now could potentially lead to long term health problems later."

Professor Bob Hancox, who led the study, said in a statement that the findings fit the perception many of us already had of young people being outside less and tethered to screens more than any generation previously.

But Ms McAnally said today she remains optimistic that the situation could change. As happened with smoking, studies about the health implications could help prompt government initiatives that eventually see healthier outcomes.

The $7 million plan to tackle the fat is being deemed too weak. Source: 1 NEWS

She suggested ad campaigns and increased opportunities for people to be active.

"I know in Australia some schools have an afternoon dedicated to physical activity so that people don't have to organise taking their kids to sports outside of school hours," she said. "So there are things like that we could change that would be systematically embedding physical activity in young people's day-to-day routines.

"Investing in the health and wellbeing of our young people now is going to save money in the long term, so I think it's a sensible move."

Researchers tested the 15-year-old children of teens who were studied in the 1980s, researcher Helena McAnally explained to Breakfast. Source: Breakfast