The benefits of choosing a child care centre close to work
Dec23

The benefits of choosing a child care centre close to work

By Sabrina Rogers-Anderson  Am I the only one who blindly hopped online and typed in “child care centre” and the name of my suburb when searching for a centre for my child? It never occurred to me that choosing a centre near my work could have so many benefits.   I’m not alone in my thinking. Greenwood Mulgrave is one centre that’s located in the heart of the industrial and corporate world of Melbourne, and becoming increasingly popular with parents who are seeing the benefits of choosing a child care centre near their workplace.  Here are some of the upsides…   You’ll be right there if your child needs you There’s nothing worse than getting a call from your child care centre to tell you that your child is running a fever and then having to spend an hour stuck in traffic or on public transport before you can scoop them up in your arms. If your centre is close to your work, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you can be there in a matter of minutes when your child needs you.   You get to spend quality time with your child on the commute During the morning and evening rush, it can be practically impossible to find a free minute to engage with your child in meaningful ways. But when you travel together, you gain precious quality time that you’d miss out on if your child care centre was near home. Whether you sing songs in the car or read books on the train, those extra moments you get to spend with your child are precious.   You can drop in to see your child anytime For many mums, the start of child care signals the end of breastfeeding. But that doesn’t have to be the case – when your child care centre is close to your work, you can pop in anytime to feed your child! You can also drop by for a play during the day or to have lunch with your little one. While some centres discourage parents from visiting their children, Greenwood centres have an open-door policy and welcome families to come in as often as they like.  You can participate in centre activities When you have to drop off your child early in the morning to get to work on time, you often miss out on centre activities and celebrations for special events such as Mother’s Day. But when your child care centre is minutes away from your work, you have more flexibility to participate in those special moments that mean so much to your child.     But what about… ?  Parents sometimes worry about the potential disadvantages of choosing an early learning and child care centre in a busy business area. At Greenwood, we’ve thought of everything...

Read More
Greenwood Recipe: Rainbow Pizzas
Dec23

Greenwood Recipe: Rainbow Pizzas

Children may not like their vegetables, but they love their pizzas, and it’s amazing what they can eat if they created it themselves!   You can get inventive with many different colours and vegetable. Get the older children suggesting toppings to match each colour.  Some ideas for each colour:  Purple – Spanish onion, eggplant  Green – Broccoli, green capsicum, zucchini Red – Tomatoes, red capsicum  Yellow–  Corn, yellow capsicum, yellow squash   Makes 2 (each pizza can serve 12)  Tip: If you don’t have time to make your own dough, simply buy a ready-made one from the supermarket, or your pizza base of choice.    Dough ingredients:  ¾ cup lukewarm water  1 tsp dried yeast  1 ½ tsp honey  2 tsp olive oil  2 cups plain flour  ½ tsp salt      Topping ingredients:  2 tsp olive oil, extra  3/4 cup tomato puree or pizza sauce  2 cup (200g) grated tasty cheese  1 small red onion, diced  1 head broccoli, roughly chopped  125g can corn kernals, drained  200g punnet cherry tomatoes, cut in half     Method:  1/ In a small bowl, whisk together water, yeast and honey, sit 5 minutes or until it begins to foam. Stir in oil.  2/ Place the yeast mixture into a stand–up mixer, with dough hook. Gradually add flour and salt, knead for 3-5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. (Or get the children kneading!)  3/ Form the dough into 2 balls, place into greased bowls, cover lightly with plastic and let sit for 40 minutes, or until doubled in size.  4/ Preheat the oven to 250C. Grease and line trays/pizza trays. Roll dough to approx. 20cm. Brush with extra oil. Top with cheese.   5/ Arrange with alternating colours of vegetables, let the children get creative with the pizzas.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until crust is crisp and top golden.    6/ Cut into slices and serve. ...

Read More
The best meals to cook with children, according to Greenwood Duo’s chef
Dec23

The best meals to cook with children, according to Greenwood Duo’s chef

Meet Chef Wendy, from Central Park Duo. As the chef at this brand new child care centre in the heart of Sydney, Wendy has quite the challenge: create delicious, nutritious and fresh meals for children under the age of five. Daily. And appeal to all kinds of taste buds, even the picky ones!  Thankfully, Wendy has an extensive background to do with all things related to food. Having been the food editor for Woman’s Day, OK and Take 5 magazines, and written numerous cookbooks, Wendy is passionate about teaching children about food in a fun way. She is now ready to bring her wide array of recipes to the lucky children at Central Park Duo.   Check out Wendy’s top tips for cooking with children below, along with her favourite child-approved recipes to try out at home!     Kids in the kitchen   “It’s always fun getting children involved! Just be prepared for a bit of a mess, but that is all part of the fun,” Wendy says. “Create easier recipes and jobs with the younger ones, like placing muffin cases into pans, and scooping mixture into them. As they grow, get them involved with some more complex jobs, like kneading pizza dough and preparing vegetables.    Why cook with children?   Children are more likely to eat what they have made, as it creates a sense of ownership. They get excited to see the final creations once cooked.  It’s a great way to spend time together as a family. What’s better than chatting and cooking together, learning more about different ingredients, flavours and cultures?   It’s a wonderful way to introduce them to healthy eating.   Cooking is a life skill that will give them confidence. It’s also a great teacher for counting, fractions, using their fine motor skills and problem–solving.     Wendy’s top recipes   Rainbow vegetable pizzas  Wendy says: “I love this recipe! Children generally don’t love their vegetables, but they love their pizzas, and it’s amazing what they can eat if they created it themselves. You can get inventive with many different colours and vegetable. Get the older children suggesting toppings to match each colour.”  Click here for the recipe.    Sushi Wendy says: “This is a favourite for the children to get involved with. I usually premake the rice and have a selection of different ingredients in bowls. This allows them to choose their own ingredients, or opens them up to try new ingredients.  It’s a great fun way to introduce some Japanese food and the use of chopsticks! As the children get older, introduce them to wasabi and pickled ginger.”  Click here for the recipe.     Apple and oat pikelets  Wendy says: “Working as a child care chef, I have to accommodate many different allergies. This is a fantastic base recipe that uses no egg or milk and is naturally sweetened with the apple or banana. Get the children to help by measuring and mixing....

Read More
Greenwood Recipe: Sushi
Dec23

Greenwood Recipe: Sushi

According to Chef Wendy at Greenwood Central Park Duo, this is a favourite for the children to get involved with. If recreating at home, premake the rice and allow children to choose their own fillings. It’s a great fun way to introduce some Japanese food and the use of chopsticks!     Makes 4 rolls  Ingredients:    1 cup short-grain rice  1 tablespoon caster sugar  5 tablespoons rice vinegar  4 nori sheets     Try these toppings:  Strips of red capsicum and cucumber  Grated carrot  Canned tuna, mixed with a little mayonnaise  Blanched green beans  Cooked teriyaki chicken strips  Japanese soy sauce, to serve     Method:   1/  Rinse rice under cold water and drain well. Place rice and 2 cups of water in a saucepan and bring to boil. Decrease heat to low and simmer uncovered for 12-15 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand with lid on for a further 10 minutes.  2/ Place rice in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, 2 tablespoons vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt, and pour over rice. Stir to combine. Cover a flat tray with aluminum foil and spread rice on it to cool. The rice should be completely cool before using.  3/ Choose from a variety of fillings. We used tuna, cucumber and avocado. Combine remaining vinegar and 300ml cold water in a bowl.  4/Place 1 nori sheet, shiny-side down, on a bamboo mat (or non-stick baking paper). Make sure longest edge of nori is at top of mat. Dip hands in water mixture (to prevent rice from sticking) and spread a quarter of rice over bottom two-thirds of nori, leaving a small border around edge.  5/Spread a thin line of wasabi along the middle of the rice and arrange a little of the fish and vegetables alongside the wasabi. Gently lift the end of the mat closest to you, and roll it over the ingredients to enclose.  6/ Continue rolling the mat forward to make a complete roll. With one hand on top, gently roll mat back and forth a few times to make a nice round shape. Use a sharp knife to slice the rolls at 2cm intervals. Serve with pickled ginger, soy sauce and extra wasabi. ...

Read More
Greenwood Recipe: Strawberry and Mango Ice Blocks
Dec23

Greenwood Recipe: Strawberry and Mango Ice Blocks

The perfect recipe to keep the family cool in the summer months. Get the children involved, by encouraging them to help you chop the fruit and pour into the moulds of your choice.  Makes 4 depending on size of moulds.  Ingredients:  1 large mango, peeled and chopped  Juice of 1 lime  ½ cup water OR Greek yoghurt OR coconut milk   ½ cup strawberries, chopped  Method:   1/ Place the mango, lime juice and water into a blender and puree until smooth.  2/ Throw the chopped strawberries in (without blending) just before pouring the mixture into the moulds. Freeze overnight or until...

Read More
Greenwood Recipe: Apple Oaty Pikelets
Dec23

Greenwood Recipe: Apple Oaty Pikelets

If your children have allergies, or if you’re simply hoping to get more fruit into their diet, this is a great base recipe that has no eggs or dairy, and is naturally sweetened. Get the children to help by measuring and mixing.   Ingredients:   ¾ cups oats  ¾ cup self raising flour  ½ cup apple puree, or 1 ripe mashed banana  ½-3/4 cup dairy free milk (soy, oat, or rice milk)    Method:  1/ Place oats and flour into a medium bowl. Combine the apple and ½ cup milk. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, add wet mixture to flour and blend until smooth. Add extra milk if you prefer a thinner batter.  2/ Drop spoonfuls into greased heated pan, cook for 1-2 min each side.       OPTIONAL – Why not add a berry chia jam?  Makes 2 cups – can keep for up to 1 week    Ingredients:  2 cups frozen or fresh raspberries or blueberries  2 tablespoons chia seeds  1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice  1-2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (if needed)     Method:  1/ Place fruit into medium saucepan, add a splash of water if needed.  Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until fruit is softened, mash with a fork.    2/ Add chia seeds and juice, stir in honey or maple syrup if needed.  3/ Place into a heatproof bowl and allow jam to cool and thicken. ...

Read More