Healthy Choices Workshop

As a part of the Youth Attainment project, Council hosted a Healthy Food Choices for Families cooking demonstration workshop on 27 October 2012.

Local Chef Basil Smith joined parents and P&C representatives at the demonstration kitchen at CIT Reid to give tips on healthy food
substitutions for families.

Basil focused on local and fresh produce, and ways to get the whole family excited about healthy eating.

Each dish was prepared with both children and parents in mind.

Basil was generous enough to provide Council with his recipes from the workshop. These are also available on Council's website in a print friendly version.



  • carrot and celery sticks
  • sugar snap peas
  • salami sticks
  • cheese sticks
  • boiled eggs cut in half
  • 300gr tin beetroot
  • 100gr cream cheese
  • 1/2 bunch fresh mint finely chopped.


Make a beetroot dip by pureeing the tinned
beetroot (or fresh cooked beetroot) and
combining it with the cream cheese and mix in the fresh mint. Season to taste with salt and
pepper. Cut and place the other ingredients on a platter with the dip in a small bowl.

vegetabe crudity platter


Great for the kids!


  • lebanese cucumbers
  • button mushrooms
  • chat potatoes
  • sour cream
  • cheddar cheese fresh chives
  • cherry tomatoes
  • fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper.    


For celery boats - cut celery stalks into 4cm lengths and fill with sour cream & finely chopped chives.

For cucumber cups with mushroom filling – Make a mushroom duxelle by finely dicing mushrooms and sautee in a pan with the olive oil, salt and pepper to taste (you could also add a finely chopped shallot in the sautee).

Cut cucumbers into slices 10 to 15 mm thick, gently scoop out the centre of each piece and place the mushroom duxelle in each.

For chat potato – boil chat potatoes until cooked but still slightly firm. Cut into 10 to 15mm thick slices and top each slice with sour cream & finely chopped chives.

Cut cherry tomatoes in half and take a small slice off the bottom of each half so they sit flat on the plate. Top each with a square of thinly sliced cheddar cheese and a piece of fresh basil leaf.

canapes and snacks


Kids snacks or party food


  • 1 x watermelon
  • 1 x honeydew melon
  • Optional fruits such as 1x ripe pineapple strawberries and 1 x rock melon.


With a sharp long blade kitchen knife, take a small shallow (not more than 3mm) slice off the bottom of melon without cutting into the flesh, so that the melon will sit flat on the cutting board.

Then, 2cm to the side of the longitudinal line of the melon make a vertical cut down the length of the melon. Then make a horizontal cut half way down the side of the melon being careful not to cut pass the vertical cut at the ends of the melon.

Repeat the process on the other side of the melon being careful to retain a 4cm wide handle. Push out the cut out quarters of the melon and use them in a separate sliced fruit platter.

With a melon baller tool or a spoon, twist your wrist to producing a rounding motion and gently scoop out the flesh of the melon basket and set aside each ball. Be careful not to break the handle or scoop too close to the melon skin.

Cut up the other fruits into small slices or sticks about 4 to 5 cm long and place them in the melon basket with the melon balls that you set aside earlier. Place on the table and let everyone help themselves to the baskets contents. Do not lift the basket by the melon handle because it will break.

fruit basket



  • 175gm butter
  • 3 tablespoons of golden syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 250gm rolled oats
  • 100gm slivered almonds
  • 100gm sesame seeds
  • 50gm raisins
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (optional)


In a saucepan on low heat, gently cook the
butter with the golden syrup, brown sugar, peanut butter (optional) and the lemon juice until a light foam develops.

Pour this over a blend of the rolled oats, slivered almonds, sesame seeds, raisins and the pinch of cinnamon.

Place this mix into a paper lined baking tray and gently press into an even slice, bake for 20 minutes at 160c, cut into slices while still warm then let cool.



For students on the go.


  • 1 cup of instant mee goreng noodles or similar
  • Fresh shallots finely chopped
  • Snow peas sliced and Grated carrot
  • Bean shoots/spouts and fresh coriander


Cook the cup of noodles as directed on the packet, then place in a bowl and add the other ingredients. Stir and allow to stand for a few minutes then serve.

mee go reng noodles




Great for family weekend lunches.



  • Packet of flat bread
  • Punnet of fresh bean shoots/sprouts
  • 1 x grated carrot
  • 1 or 2 x chopped tomato
  • Grated tasty cheese
  • Light mayonnaise.



In a bowl, hand combine the bean shoots/sprouts, grated carrot, chopped tomato, cheese and mayonnaise.


Place mixture down the centre of the flat bread and spread evenly to near the edges. Gently roll the flat bread into a wrap and serve.

 quick wrap with flat bread



  • 125gm butter soft
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 3 cups of rice bubbles
  • 1 cup of muesli
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds


In a saucepan on low heat, combine the butter,
raw sugar & honey until sugar has dissolved.

Mix the butter combination into the rice
bubbles, muesli, desiccated coconut, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds.

Press into tray & chill. Cut into slices & serve.

cold set muesli bar

A special thank you to all the parents who joined Council at the Healthy Choices workshop.
Photos are courtesy of Executive Member Jenny Maskell.

This grant project was funded by the Department of Education,
Employment and Workplace Relations and the ACT Education and Training Directorate
through the ACT Youth Attainment & Transitions Strategic Funding Pool project.


This article was published in ParentACTion 4.2012, November 2012.