10 Expectations of School Canteens

Original article published by:                  Momma 2

School 4Running a school canteen can be a tough and thankless job so firstly we would like to say “Thank You” to all of the volunteers and workers that give their time to our schools.

However, just as we expect a standard of education from our schools we should also be expecting a standard of nutrition from the school canteens. (When we say “we” we mean parents, teachers, society and the government)

Why should we all care?

Well parents should care because we are parents and we want our children to be happy and healthy. Teachers should care because when our children go into the school yard and eat unhealthy food they come back to the classroom and the teachers are on the receiving end of the mood swings. Society should care because “un”health care is costing us a fortune, plus our tax dollars are going into education and we should be expecting a good return on investment.

The Government should care … the Government should care like crazy … because health care and unemployment cost the Government big dollars. (Let’s face it, if the Government are spending big dollars on the sick and unemployed they will have less dollars to spend on the country and themselves)

So here are the top 10 expectations of school canteens we should all have:

  1. No added sugar – with so many natural, healthy alternatives this is so unnecessary. Don’t know how to cook with honey or brown rice syrup instead of sugar? Ask us!
  2. Stop using white wheat flour – Approximately 75% of Momma Green’s clients test positive for wheat intolerance. Imagine 75% of school children filling up on white wheat sausage rolls, pies, pasties, sandwiches? It has chaos written all over it! Don’t know how to cook without white wheat flour, check out our recipes.
  3. No high fructose syrup – high fructose syrup is just as bad as sugar and has exactly the same behavioral consequences.
  4. No maize – Just as we are seeing 75% of the community with wheat intolerance problems we are also seeing approximately 65% of the community experiencing an intolerance to maize.
  5. No Soft Drink – None at all, it doesn’t matter what type of drink it is they are all dangerous to the health of our children. No sports drinks, no energy drinks, no canned drinks! Let’s get some juice and smoothie bars happening. Don’t forget water, good quality, filtered water should e freely available in every classroom, after all, no water = no learning.
  6. No Coffee – No doubt some teens love the coffee high but the coffee low is frying their brains in the afternoon. If teachers want coffee put a coffee machine in the teacher’s lounge but coffee is not helping teachers or students focus in the afternoons.
  7. Don’t be a corner store – At a corner store or petrol station we expect to find highly processed, pre-packaged items like ice-blocks, chips and lollies. That is the reason many parents choose to avoid these stores but when you put them into our schools it makes it impossible for our children to avoid them, help us out here and take them out of our schools.
  8. No colors, flavors, preservatives or e-numbers – If our kids can’t read it, pronounce it or understand it we don’t want it in their mouths. Let’s be honest most adults can’t pronounce these ridiculously long names but we can tell you what the majority of them mean … behavioral and learning difficulties that’s what. Doesn’t this seem counter-productive?
  9. A plant based menu – Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, lots of home-made ice-blocks, juices, smoothies, Mexican and Italian food which kids love and are so easy to add vegetables to. Fruit salad, crudites and dips, sweet potato chips … the list is endless … ask the kids what healthy foods they love and cook that, kids are creative you will be surprised by some of their ideas.
  10. Lastly and most importantly, Health over profit – With a lack of volunteers many schools are taking the easy way out and outsourcing their canteens, this is akin to privatization of the health care industry and deregulation of banking, put simply when money is the focus and people are a secondary concern money is going to win. So how do we fix this little dilemma?

How about Government incentives for canteens that adopt a better way of doing things? Wouldn’t this help everyone? It would help our canteens get creative, our children would be healthier and better able to learn, our teachers would be able to teach more effectively and as parents we would be picking up healthier, happier children that have been educated in the classroom and nourished during meal time. Isn’t that what we should all be expecting from our schools?

http://www.mommagreen.com/10-expectations-of-school-canteens/

HEALTH: Essential Benefit Of Cocoa Products

Cocoa

Thousands of people use Cocoa products, such as body cream, drink cocoa beverages and eat chocolates, yet don’t know the raw material which chocolate products are derived or how a Cocoa pod or bean looks like.

A journalist holding a Cocoa pod stops few people to see if they can find out what it is. Nobody was able to say what it was. Some said pawpaw and one said mango, that’s shocking because there is a big difference between mango and a Cocoa pod.

Ivory Coast is the leading country in West Africa producing 1.6 million tons of cocoa beans every year, making the country the world’s largest exporter, followed by Ghana. Other countries in Africa where Cocoa is grown is Nigeria, Cameroon, Togo, Liberia and Sierra Leone, which together represent more than 70% of world cocoa production.

In Africa Cocoa is also produced in Uganda, Tanzania, Madagascar, Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome & Principe. Every year thousands tons of Cocoa beans are exported to Europe and America, which are processed to different consumer products, such chocolate bars, cosmetic products and drinks.

Cocoa trees begin to bear fruit when they are three to four years old, seldom reaching more than 7.5 meters (25 feet) high. There are two harvests in a year when the fruit is ripe. A split Cocoa pod, has the beans embedded in a soft white-jelly sweet tissue, which are dried in the sun. During fermentation the pulp which becomes a liquid drains away leaving behind the beans.

Cocoa 2

Cocoa beans used to manufacture cocoa drinks, chocolate, body creams, soaps and body lotions.

The dried beans become raw material for the manufacture of Cocoa products such as chocolate, fertilizer for cocoa, vegetables, food crops, soft drinks, alcohol, Jam, marmalade and other products. It is also widely used in cosmetic products such as moisturizing creams and soaps. In the picture is a full and half pods of Cocoa with fresh beans, when the beans are dry, from which chocolate is derived.

There are many Health benefits of consuming Cocoa Products, following the discovery that they are a rich source of catechins, which are polyphenols of the flavanol group, and which are believed to protect against heart disease, cancer, and various other medical conditions.On the skin, Cocoa butter is high in antioxidants, which help fight free radical, that is stresses and signs of aging. Women, especially Africans claim that Cocoa butter help to reduce stretch marks.