Monday 3 April

Welcome back to Minus 5 Monday! We are excited to have you and your children on board. What we aim to achieve with our sugar reduction programme is to make a nations children, parents and teachers aware of the amount of sugar in the food that we are consuming and the associated health risks.

You will soon start to see our -5 label appearing on food and beverage items with 5% or less sugar making it easy to identify better options when grocery shopping. Our children are a great place to start, they absorb so much information, but they need your support to start making the right choices regarding their diets.

So let's make a difference, send your children to school on Monday with the best lunch possible and start making a difference! We have got some great information on the subject from our Nutritionist Stacey ( and 3 amazing lunch box options from Geraldine ( all depending on how adventurous your feeling. Don't forget! There will be certificates in every class for the best lunches.

Stacey 's Nutrition Blog

What is the healthier sugar?:Part 2.

In my first 2 articles I established two things

1. Kiwi Kids are eating too much sugar, and

2. If we are one hundred percent honest, sugar is sugar is sugar. There is no healthier sugar. 

All sugar is metabolised by our bodies in a similar manner. It doesn't matter if it’s source is sugarcane or maple trees; our bodies utilise and store it in essentially the same way.As with everything there are exceptions to the rules. In the case of sugar there are 2 types of sugar that sit outside the World Health Organisation Guidelines sugar intake.

Fructose and Lactose the 2 exceptions to the rule

These 2 sugars sit outside the WHO guidelines, not because they are metabolised in a drastically different way, they sit outside the guidelines because the foods that are natural sources of these sugars provide many health benefits and useful nutrients.

Fructose is the naturally occurring sugar which occurs in fresh fruits and vegetables. It is the sugar we eat when we have a piece of fresh fruit or a serving of fresh vegetables.

The World Health Organisations sugar guidelines do not include sugar intake from fresh fruit and vegetables, but they do discourage the intake of concentrated sources of fructose that are added to foods.

A piece of fresh fruit is considered fine by the WHO guidelines, but a product that has been

sweetened with concentrated sources of fruit, such as fruit juice is not. This sort of product is

considered the same as a product sweetened with table sugar. Some food manufacturers try to

market their products with phrases such as “no added cane sugar”, this does not mean their

product is necessarily low in sugar.

Concentrated sources of fructose

Below are some examples to help put this into perspective.

1 average orange contains 12g of sugar

1 250ml glass of orange juice contains 21g of sugar

¼ Cup fresh grapes contains 4g of sugar

¼ Cup raisins contains 24.5g of sugar

1 average apple contains 15g of sugar

1 250ml glass of apple juice contains 24g of sugar

1 250ml glass of apple juice concentrate contains 102g of sugar

100g corn contains 0.6g of sugar

100g of corn syrup contains 76g of sugar

As you can see concentrated sources of fructose can become very high in sugar

Lactose the milk sugar

Lactose is the naturally occurring sugar found in all dairy products. Actually, it is the sugar found in all mammalian milk products, even in breast milk. Dairy products (Milk, Yoghurts and Cheeses) provide many fantastic nutrients for growing kids, namely calcium and protein. As with fructose, naturally occurring lactose that occurs in dairy products is considered fine by the WHO guidelines. Dairy products however, can be a vehicle for added sugars. Flavored yoghurts and milks can be laden with either sucrose or concentrated sources of fructose. In fact, some yoghurts marketed to children can contain similar amounts of added sugar as ice cream. We know that ice cream is sweet, but often we assume a yoghurt is a good choice. It therefore pays to be a label reader when it comes to these products. This article provides a snap shot of the sugar content of kid yoghurts.

Standard milk has naturally occurring sugar content of between 4-5g per 100ml, and natural

unsweetened yoghurt is similar (although some can be lower than 2g per 100ml) If you are looking at a flavored yoghurt or milk and the sugar content is significantly higher than 4-5g of sugar per 100 ml then this will be added sugar.

The minus 5 program is therefore simplifying label reading. The goal is to have all products that contain less than 5g of sugar per 100g marked with the minus 5 logo and label.

Minus 5 aims to make identifying the lower sugar packaged products easier.

Check out the following links for more information on this:

Easy Peasy - Suggestion #1

Select tuna in spring water, Snax water crackers, Vine sweet mini peppers, Meadow fresh traditional cottage cheese, Bayley's green beans, Green Grapes


Ingredients used in this recipe


A good way to encourage children to eat vegetables is to offer a healthy dip with them such as cottage cheese or hummus. 

Additional Notes

Keep cool till School!

I'm feeling Adventurous - Suggestion #2

Mini pizza bites, edamame, popcorn, pear, feijoa 


Ingredients used in this recipe


Pizza doesn't have to be unhealthy. It is is a great way to add protein and calcium into a child's day. To make these: Lay a wholemeal wrap flat. cut out circles using a cookie cutter. Place cut circles in a non stick muffin tray. Top with a low sugar pasta sauce, sliced salami, onion, capsicum and cheese. place in the oven for 12-15 mins at 200'C. 

Additional Notes

Allow to cool completely before placing in the lunch box to avoid condensation, which will turn the pizza base soggy. 

I'm an Expert - Suggestion #3

Fresh salsa, plain corn chips, capsicum, boiled egg, mango, kiwi berries 


Ingredients used in this recipe


To cut a mango: Slice the sides off of the mango leaving the center stone behind. Cut lines straight down the mango without piercing the skin. Cut lines diagonally to create diamond shapes. Push the back of the mango and it will pop out and hold. 

To peal a boiled egg without damaging it you will need to allow the egg to cool completely before pealing. 

To make this version of salsa: Dice 1 large avocado and 1 medium sized tomato (seeds removed). Finely chop 1/4 red onion. Microwave 1/4 cup frozen corn kernels in water for 40-60 seconds to defrost.  Drain and rinse 1/2 can of mixed beans. 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh coriander. Mix all together in a bowl. Squeeze over the juice of 1 lime, salt and pepper to taste. 

Additional Notes

This will keep in the fridge in an air tight container for 2 days before the avocado starts to brown.