Cooking at Choklits

Is there an easy way to cook healthy meals that my family will love and my children will enjoy eating? How do I teach my children to love their vegetables? How do I ensure a meal is healthy?

There’s a bit of a theme to the most asked questions here at Choklits and we’ve finally convinced our chef Helen to reveal her secrets in our very own cookbook!

A message from Helen,

Choklits Chef

It’s a real privilege to share some of our most loved meals and dishes from the kitchen here at Choklits. I may cook the meals, but it’s the children whom I adore and love that give me feedback, tell me what they enjoy and how my food makes them feel that has helped me learn and grow as a chef, so this really is a team effort.

These recipes may seem surprisingly simple to some and they are, but they are also very practical and easy to make, even at home.

Food is about feeling so when I’m cooking, I’m always thinking about that, I’m trying to help the children feel good and not to get caught up overcomplicating things.

In my experience, young children aren’t too interested in those fancy dishes and cooking techniques you see on TV. They just want yummy food that provides plenty of energy to run, to learn, to play and to share with their friends. I take care of the nutrition so they can focus on their education.

“I cook for the smile I see on the children’s faces. It’s so important for them to have a good nutritious diet and I feel lucky I can be part of that developmental part of their lives”.

Healthy Meals

We encourage all our parents to become involved in the meal and menu planning at Choklits. One of the questions I get asked most consistently is “How do I ensure a meal is healthy?”. Basically, if you avoid sugar and anything from a packet you can be pretty sure you’ve got a healthy meal, so that’s the way we think about it here.

As part of our commitment to healthy eating, we are currently working towards a no sugar, no packet policy at Choklits.

It’s a lot of work to make these changes as we are just like many of our parents, super busy every single day.

We know sugar is used excessively because it is a cheap filler ingredient and packaged food is popular because it’s a convenient option and saves time, but we believe the health of our children is more than convenience and one of the most important investments we can make.

Plant to plate

In early 2017 we began upgrading our veggie patches as part of our sustainability program called “Plant to Plate”. We now have two huge veggie patches growing strawberries, passionfruit, garlic, broccoli, tomatoes, lettuce, mint, basil and so much more.

My favourite cooking ingredients are fresh herbs so you can imagine how exciting it is to have a fresh supply on hand right here in our own grounds. Even better is that the children actually do the planting. Part of the curriculum here is caring for our crops from the seeding stage right up until when they are picked and served as part of our menu.

We have found that when children plant and care for their own food, they quickly develop a deep understanding of food cycles, appreciate food more and are more willing to try new things. When their minds are open, they are also much more likely to engage in new experiences with food.

Hopefully, you love these meals as much as we do. I’ve included some great ideas for lunches, dinners and snacks. If I haven’t met you in person yet, please come and say hello. My kitchen door is always open and I’m happy to share how I do occasionally have to hide the veggies in my meals to ensure even the fussiest of eaters get their vitamins and nutrients.

Helen Rooney
Choklits Chef
choklits.com.au/helen

As voted by our early learners, the 9 most loved Choklits dishes and how to make them at home…

  • Tuna and Rice
  • Banana or blueberry muffins
  • Ham, cheese and sundried tomato muffins
  • Shepard’s pie
  • Fresh vegetable pasta
  • Two ingredients banana pancakes
  • Beef casserole
  • Pumpkin soup
  • Apricot slice

Get the remaining 7 recipes here…

Can I cook for you?

I often make extra food for our parents, family and friends to try. If you’d like to taste some Choklits cooking, connect with us and you’ll know exactly when we have something special for you to try.

Notes:

This information has been collected and collated from many traditional and online sources which have been modified for our needs at Choklits. Remember that these recipes are just a guide, and what you eat should always depend on many factors such as age, physical activity levels and gender. You should conduct your own research based on your own nutritional requirements when deciding what to eat.