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June 5, 20200

Gnudi is a variation of gnocchi with no or very little flour. Often served with butter and sage, I like baking them in homemade tomato sauce instead because it’s lower in fat.
This recipe is healthy, gluten free, simple to make, and absolutely delicious!  You need to use firm ricotta otherwise the mixture tends to be a bit soft. Otherwise you can add breadcrumbs or flour to the mixture to make it firmer, but of course then it won’t be gluten free any more.

Serves 4

Ingredients

500gm firm ricotta
200gm spinach
50gm Parmesan, grated
2 eggs
pinch nutmeg
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely sliced
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs tomato paste
1 x 400gm tin crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper

Method

  1. In a hot pan, wilt the spinach with a few tablespoons of water and transfer to a tray to cool.
  2. Once it’s cool enough to handle, squeeze out all excess moisture with your hands and chop the spinach finely.
  3. Mix together the spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, eggs and nutmeg and salt and pepper until well combined.
  4. Roll heaped dessertspoon amounts of the mixture into balls.
  5. Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft.
  6. Add the tomato paste and cook over a medium heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the tinned tomatoes, bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Pour the sauce into a greased ovenproof dish and space the ricotta balls evenly on top.
  8. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes at 180°C.
  9. Serve with a simple green salad and crunchy bread.

Print Recipe HERE >>

More about Matt HERE >>

 


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June 4, 20200

sKids has been teaching kids to cook healthy meals since 2016, so we are already sold on the massive benefits learning to cook can have for life long health and wellbeing.  Celebrity Chef Matt Golinski shares his story on how ‘Cooking’ helped him through tragedy.


When the worst imaginable life event happened to Matt Golinski, it was cooking that helped him navigate his way through it. In 2011, the celebrity Australian chef lost his wife Rachel and three daughters in a fire at their home. Matt suffered severe burns in the blaze, and spent the next four months recovering in hospital.

When he got out and started the long journey of trying to put the pieces of his life back together, Matt turned to his lifelong love of cooking. He found getting into the kitchen to create a simple meal helped bring a sense of normality back into his life at a time when things felt completely out of control. In this blog, Matt explains the role cooking has played throughout his life, and the positive impact mental health it can have on anyone. He also shares one of his favourite family recipes for you to try at home.

What role has cooking played in your life?

I decided I wanted to be a chef from a very early age, and 40 years later I still love every day I spend in the kitchen. When you’re lucky enough to choose a profession that you love doing it never feels like work. Through cooking I’ve made hundreds of great friends, travelled all over the world, and had the opportunity to make thousands of people happy by filling their bellies.

How did cooking help you through the traumatic experience of losing your family?

In a time when I was feeling so helpless and most things were out of my control, I was still able to do the thing I loved and that helped a lot. After four months in hospital, the first thing I did was pick up a knife and make dinner so I could at least have that tiny bit of normality back in my life.

What are some benefits of children learning to cook at home and school?

Cooking involves organisation, timing, science, patience and fine motor skills which can all be transferred to other aspects of life, but most importantly it’s an opportunity to be creative and have fun. And the best part is that the end product is something you can eat!

Any tips for parents wanting to get their children more involved in the kitchen?

Always keep things simple and fun. Choose things to cook that don’t make piles of mess or take a long time. Food doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious.

More about Matt HERE >>

 


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May 22, 20200

 “There’s nothing better than having an activity like baking or cooking together because it allows you to do something while also allowing you to talk one-on-one.” Dr Sarah Watson, Senior Child & Adolescent Clinical Psychologist

The pandemic has changed so many aspects of our daily lives, including an extended period at home for most families. As children start to return to their schools many parents are wondering how to best support them through this transition.  For many children, the return to school will be a straightforward one. They’re excited about seeing friends, getting back into the classroom and taking part in their regular activities. For others the change will be harder. COVID-19 and measures to contain its spread have disrupted nearly every aspect of children’s lives, potentially fuelling anxiety.
As a parent or caregiver, you can help support your child’s healthy development and relieve their stress, as they return to school. In this blog, senior clinical child and adolescent psychologist Sarah Watson explains how spending time with your children and doing simple activities can make a difference.

Communication

One of the most important things parents can do is talk to their children about returning to school and find out how they’re feeling. Some children will be excited, while others may be concerned, uncertain and anxious.
If the latter is the case it’s important to give them as much information as they ask for, says Dr Watson. “What breeds anxiety is often the unknown. So the more information you can get from the right source, the better.”
Regardless of age, children need to know you’re available to listen so ensure you make time for them, which will promote a sense of security and protect their mental wellbeing. “Foster an environment where asking questions is encouraged and non judgemental answers are provided. Children won’t ask parents questions if they patronise or criticise.”

Warning signs

Look out for any extreme changes in your child’s mood and behaviour over an extended period, particularly withdrawal or anger, as this can be a concern, says Dr Watson. The causes of this change can range from bullying to friendship issues, hormonal changes, or the impacts of COVID-19.
Particularly for younger children, proximity seeking is another indication of anxiety. This is when a usually independent child suddenly becomes clingy with a primary caregiver, to gain a sense of security. If your child shows these signs, it’s time to try and find out the origin of their feelings and potentially seek support from a professional.

Have a plan

If your child is feeling nervous about returning to school, think of ways you can help ease their fears. If you can’t answer a question they have, it can also be useful to get in touch with their teachers for extra information.
Find out what is worrying them in particular and come up with a plan together. For example, if they’re worrying about the social aspect of school, you could organise a place where they can meet a friend before school starts so they can go in together. “Often once they get past that first day, sometimes it’s even just the first 10 minutes, they feel a lot better,” says Dr Watson.

Shared activities

One of the best things parents can do to support their children, particularly through this time of transition, is to build a trusted relationship. A great way to do this is to do activities with your child because it creates a safe environment, says Dr Watson. “There’s nothing better than having an activity like baking or cooking together because it allows you to do something while also allowing you to talk one-on-one.”

Children thrive when they feel safe and protected and when their family connections are stable. So spending quality time with your children and regularly checking in on their wellbeing will make them feel loved, accepted and secure.

 

About Dr Sarah Watson

Dr. Sarah Watson, BA, MA(Hons), DClinPsych, MNZCCP
CLINIC DIRECTOR & SENIOR CHILD & ADOLESCENT CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST (REGISTERED – CLINICAL SCOPE)
Dr. Sarah Watson is the Clinic Director and a registered Child & Adolescent Clinical Psychologist at Totally Psyched. Sarah has over ten years experience as both a Psychologist and leader across a variety of settings, all specialising in working with children, adolescents and their families.

Sarah worked for many years in one of Auckland’s Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) as a Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Lead of teams and led many specific multi-agency ministerial projects. Prior to her doctoral clinical training and having a family of her own, Sarah worked in South London & Maudsley for several years as a Residential Social Worker and Assistant Psychologist; working with children with severe mental health needs who were in residential government care (‘children’s homes’).

Sarah has successfully been in private practice based in the hub of Auckland’s North Shore for over eight years. She is regularly asked for her expert opinion and has appeared on various radio and television shows including The Project, Breakfast, Seven Sharp, The Paul Henry Show and is regularly contributing to the NZ Herald and other media. She is also a speaker at professional development conferences for GP’s, Teachers, Professionals, Social Workers, RTLB’s and Counsellors nationwide.

Sarah maintains a small clinical caseload, working with children, adolescents and families across a variety of areas. She is particularly interested in working with families affected by neurodevelopmental delays (ADHD & ASD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Professional Qualifications
Doctorate of Clinical Psychology, University of Auckland
Master of Arts (Psychology), awarded with Honours, Massey University
Bachelor of Arts (Education and Psychology), The University of Auckland

Memberships to Professional Colleges/Boards
New Zealand Psychologists Registration Board (Clinical Scope)
New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists (NZCCP)
ADHD NZ, Clinical Advisor & Board Member


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May 18, 20200

COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS UPDATE
Update | 18 May 2020 | sKids Safety at Level 2
Super excited to be open today and we wanted to assure you about the safety of the children in our care under a return to work scenario.

  • All staff have completed COVID-19 return to work training
  • All staff have completde a Return to Work health survey
  • COVID-19 awareness posters will be on display during sKids operating hours
  • We have a contactless option available for sign in and sign out of children
  • For parents who are unable to use the contactless solution there will be hand sanitizer available for them to use prior to signing in /out on the tablet and the tablets will be wiped down with disinfectant wipes before and after each use
  • All other visitors will be required to sign the visitor register to ensure contact tracing can be undertaken if necessary
  • All our standard Health and Safety procedures will continue to apply as per normal
  • All equipment will be thoroughly cleaned prior to opening
  • Equipment will be cleaned daily after use
  • Extra emphasis will be placed on hand-washing before and after activities (especially small group activities)
  • Where possible we will encourage physical distancing
  • We have issued a new COVID-19 onsite safety checklist for each site to ensure that all staff are aware of and follow the new procedures
  • We have provided each site with a COVID-19 RAMS checklist to assist with mitigating any additional potential risk factors