It might be a chef thing, but I’m thrilled to present our new winter menu here at Choklits! As you can see below, we’re including some yummy winter warmers for our early learners which are perfect for the cooler days and have added a number of dishes for the very first time.
A lot has gone into the creation of our menu over the past 18 months as we continue the development of our food curriculum. Our Plant to Plate program has been a great success. We’ve really been surprised by how many of the children have responded to caring for their own food. What started as a fun gardening activity has quickly turned into one of the most loved projects here at Choklits.
I’ve written about it before, but we’ve found that when children understand where their food comes from and the full lifecycle of food produce, they tend to appreciate their food much more, are more willing to try new foods and enjoy eating food more. We now have many of our children asking to try green vegetables, the same children that described anything green as yucky only a few short months ago!
“Plant to Plate” takes another step forward
We really wanted to take the children’s education and experiences with food to the next level. Currently, they grow many of the vegetables we use here in the Choklits grounds and do their own cleaning and washing up after meals. However, we really wanted to give them the opportunity to be part of the preparation and cooking of the food as well.
So, this winter we have added a few new dishes to the Choklits menu that the children can prepare and cook for themselves! The educators and I will be there to help guide them as they learn about preparing a nutritious meal, but they will put together some of their own meals.
We plan to set up food stations and start with the older children making their own mini pizza’s. Make sure you connect with us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram as we’ll be posting updates all throughout our trial.
My favourite dishes
My favourite dish this winter has to be the curried sausages. We cater for many different dietary requirements at Choklits including some children who are strictly vegetarian. The part I really like about curried sausages is being able to serve all the children food that looks exactly the same. It’s very easy to swap out the beef sausages for a vegetarian option.
The shepherd’s pie is another wintertime favourite at Choklits. I don’t know what it is, but our tummies seem to love a good hearty meal on cold days. Everyone loves my shepherd’s pie here at the centre and you know you’re doing something right when the staff come back for seconds!
For the first time at Choklits we will be serving coconut slice. Another one of our criteria’s while creating this menu was to ensure we continually offer the children new things to help broaden their pallets. Very often, we can find ourselves eating the same things continually. A bit boring if you ask me! I’m looking forward to the challenge of perfecting this slice for the Choklits Community and seeing how the children respond to something completely different.
I’ve been at Choklits for over 8 years now and many of you know that I have developed a few tricks in that time for hiding vegetables in our meals, although I am doing it far less these days with the success of our Plant to Plate program.
We have some great new winter herbs and vegetables growing quickly in the gardens at Choklits, including some native Aboriginal plants. I really am excited to learn more about bush tucker as part of our cultural educational program, but I’ll continue to hide these herbs and vegetables if and when necessary!
Thank you all
Thank you all for the opportunity to cook for your children. This job is a privilege and I’m very lucky I get to play this important role for our community’s children, I take this responsibility very seriously.
I really look forward to seeing the children involved in the kitchen this winter. Cooking is messy, it’s hands on, and we’re going to have a lot of fun!
As always, my kitchen door is always open, so please pop in and say hello. We encourage everyone at Choklits to get involved.
Below is our new menu, see you soon!