Tuck­shop gets top marks with the kids

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Scott Tib­balls

BUT­TER chicken, ba­con and egg quiche with salad, tuna and cheese pasta bake - this isn’t the menu of a trendy cafe but the spe­cials on of­fer at the Port Dou­glas State School tuck­shop.

Vet­eran chef and for­mer owner of Sam’s Pantry, Sam Fielden, has come on board as the new tuck­shop con­vener at PDSS, serv­ing up gourmet good­ies that will have par­ents jeal­ous of what their kids get to have for lunch.

“Chil­dren need good sus­te­nance, and they need good sus­te­nance that’s go­ing to fuel their brains,” said Ms Fielden, who ex­plained that re­mov­ing sug­ary items from the menu was im­por­tant for not only the health of the chil­dren - but the san­ity of their teach­ers.

“If they’re go­ing into the class­rooms filled up on su­gar that’s not go­ing to help.”

Ms Fielden is em­ployed by the PDSS P & C, and with her 30 years of ex­pe­ri­ence as a chef has set about bring­ing the school’s tuck­shop into line with the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment’s Smart Choices pro­gram.

“Ninety-five per cent (of the menu) now is all home made, which is where we need to be.”

While there are some fa­mil­iar old items on the menu the new menu is filled with healthy op­tions and a lot of the good­ies are them­selves filled with healthy in­gre­di­ents.

“They have no idea there’s a lot of good­ness go­ing into those like crushed up Weet­bix and grated ap­ple, and they’re ab­so­lutely lov­ing it.”

Re­vamp­ing the old menu isn’t all that is new.

“My other piece de re­sis­tance is that we do spe­cials - the rea­son I do spe­cials is to in­tro­duce them to some­thing new.”

Spe­cials changed ev­ery week, and ran on both Mon­day and Fri­day. This was so she could see how pop­u­lar an item was, “be­cause word gets around” with de­mand jump­ing on Fri­days if some­thing is a hit on a Mon­day.

“I put the but­ter chicken and rice on in De­cem­ber and it went like I couldn’t be­lieve it. It went off like wild­fire.”

Be­sides a var­ied (and chang­ing menu), stu­dents can look for­ward to sushi Wed­nes­days with the tuck­shop now to be open three days a week.

Pic­ture: SCOTT TIB­BALLS

Port Dou­glas State School Sam Fielden with a se­lec­tion of some of the new items on the menu for kids this year

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