Why Playing with Food is Good for Children

Parents might find it frustrating to find children playing with their food instead of eating it, but it turns out that making a mess here and there could be good for kids’ development.

Playing with food helps children learn better and faster. A 2013 study by the University of Iowa found that children who poke, throw, feel and taste their food were more likely to name and identify different types of food correctly and more quickly than those who don’t mess around.

Dietitian Helen McIndoo told babycenter.com that through touch and play, children can learn about new objects and environments. “A little bit of squishing and squeezing and mixing and mashing, for example, teaches your child about the texture of different foods.”

Food exploration can also encourage children to have a more varied diet. A 2015 study by De Montfort University found that children who enjoy playing with their food are less likely to have a fear of new foods, or food neophobia. In short, allowing your children to have fun with food may make them less picky eaters.

“Parents might think less about pressuring or forcing their children to eat fruits and vegetables, and more about ways to foster fun, curiosity, and exploration,” nutrition researcher Myles Faith told Reuters.

Top 5 Cafes in Annandale

Annandale is the inner west treasure in Sydney, filling wide streets with history showcasing heritage homes and old vintage mansions. But for coffee lovers, and those in need of a foodie fix, here are the top five cafes you can find in Annandale.

Revolver, Annandale St
Breakfast classics like sourdough toast, eggs Benedict, brioche French toasts and Bircher mueslis can be found in this refurbished 1890s corner store. Not only is the coffee remarkable but they are known for their excellent service.

Source: http://revolver.com.au/galleria/food/

Vinery Foods, Johnson St
No one is a fan of Mondays at the Vinery, but they are known to be a classic breakfast hot spot from Tuesday onwards. If you’re into Jazz, they play live Jazz music on Sundays. The Vinery Foods is great for any standard brunch date with a seasonal Modern European menu. Wine lovers will also enjoy their extensive wine selection.

Source: vineryfoods.com.au

Black Toast Cafe, Booth St
Located inside a split-level converted factory, Black Toast Cafe is an industrial emporium of trendy produce-driven cafe meals. Unconventional in nature, they pride themselves for having a great selection of food and soy coffee.

Source: http://blacktoast.com.au/

Fat Fish, Johnson St
The name says it all at the Fat Fish Cafe with their usual servings of locally sourced seafood with salad and chips. Sit streetside as this fish takeaway shop exterior offers a fantastic selection of salads and large portions fit for a fishy feast.

Source: fatfishannandale.com.au

The Cafe Sienna, Annandale St 

All-day breakfasts are a luxury that we all deserve, and Sienna does it best serving hearty sandwiches and high tea in a modern style cafe. With its slick and stylish interior, Cafe Sienna is best known for its great coffee and good seating.

What’s New In Newtown?

Newtown is a vibrant village filled with eclectic and eccentric people. From the corners of Marrickville to the bustling streets of Enmore, there are plenty of cultured hotspots to grab a bite to eat at. Here’s our list of the current trending eateries around in Newtown.

416 King Street, Newtown 2042
Opening Times:
Monday – Thursday (5pm-late), Friday – Sunday (12pm-late)
Website: Bloodwood
In 2010, a former Newtown Observatory turned restaurant and bar opened at the end of King Street. Illuminated with industrial lighting, Bloodwood greets guests with its rustic interiors and serves artfully plated dishes infused with unique flavours matched with their funky cocktails. Bloodwood Restaurant also hybrids as a bar area/ waiting area, a mezzanine dining area, back deck dining area and a communal table in the basement gallery.

Sourced from: designrevolutionaustralia.wordpress.com

Oscillate Wildly

Address: 275 Australia Street, Newtown 2042
Opening Times: Tuesday – Saturday (6.30pm-11.30pm)
Website: Oscillate Wildly

Fine Dining finds an unusual spot in Newtown. Across the road from Black Star Pastry, you will find nestled off the main street of Newtown, a delightful restaurant with an irresistible degustation menu designed by former Marque chef, Karl Firla. Be inspired by his dishes and experience the decadence of Oscillate Wildly’s innovative creations.

Sourced from: restaurantguide.com.au

Miss Peaches
Address: 201 Missenden Road, Newtown 2042
Opening Times: Wednesday – Sunday (5-12am)
Website: Miss Peaches

Transport yourself to the Southern parts of America when you enter Miss Peaches, a jazz and blues-filled diner.Mimicking the exteriors of a Southern American shak, this soul food kitchen will give you a menu filled with Southern Fried Chicken, gumbo, pie, jambalaya and sliders.

Sourced from: The Urban List

The Animal at Newtown Hotel

Address: 174 King Street, Newtown 2042
Opening Times: Daily (midday to midnight)
Website: The Animal at Newtown Hotel
Have you ever thought about eating at a restaurant decorated with yellow rubber duckies? Me neither. But Newtown Hotel greets you with an abundance of yellowy friends suspended above the bar. The Animal is located upstairs, and true to its named, the menu serves animals, a line-up that does not cater very well to vegans or vegetarians. If you enjoy your meat cooked on coal-fire BBQ pits, The Animal is definitely the place for you.

Sourced from: Best Restaurants

Lentil As Anything

Address: 391 King Street
Opening hours: Open daily for lunch (12pm-3pm) and dinner (6pm-9pm). Weekend brunch (10am-12pm)
Website: Lentil As Anything

On the opposite end of the dietary requirement spectrum comes “Lentil As Anything”, a vegetarian restaurant that originally began in Melbourne, caters to those who enjoy organic, cruelty-free meals. Opened in 2015, the place also serves mocktails with a great upstairs hangout area. Staffed by volunteers and paid refugees, Lentil As Anything offers a community friendly experience.

Sourced from: MDIA


Things You Need For A Hospitality Job

Considered a career in hospitality? Hospitality jobs have always been a great opportunity as there are always openings and vacancies within the retailing and hospitality sector with 6,100 people hired in Australia per year.

With a hospitality qualification, you can picture yourself working as a:

  • Front office supervisor
  • Hotel manager
  • Housekeeper
  • Operations manager
  • Catering manager
  • Café owner
  • Operations manager
  • Concierge

Things you would need:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to work well with people
  • Confidence
  • Consistency with your service

There are plenty of hospitality courses that future workers can choose from. You may need to obtain a couple of hospitality certificates and statement of attainments in order for you to be considered for hiring. Here are some Hospitality courses available in NSW.

Certificate II and III in Hospitality
– TAFE: Illawarra, South Coast & Southern Highlands, North Coast, Northern Sydney, Riverina, Sydney, Western NSW, Western Sydney

Certificate II and III in Food Processing
– TAFE: North Coast

Certificate II in Kitchen Operations
– TAFE: Illawarra, South Coast & Southern Highlands, North Coast, Northern Sydney, Riverina, Sydney, Western NSW, Western Sydney

Certificate III in Commercial Cookery
– TAFE: Illawarra, South Coast & Southern Highlands, New England, North Coast, Northern Sydney, Riverina, South Western Sydney, Sydney, Western NSW, Western Sydney.

Statement of Attainment in Food Safety Supervision
– TAFE: Illawarra, South Coast & Southern Highlands, New England, North Coast, Northern Sydney, Riverina, South Western Sydney, Sydney, Western NSW, Western Sydney.

Work Experience 
Before you start the job, your employer would most likely ask you to obtain a Working With Children’s check and police check. This ensures that you are a trustworthy employee with no record of a criminal background.

A good supplier of Police checks is National Crime Check. National Crime Check provides police checks online making very easy to get a police clearance.


Work Life: Work Lunch Box Ideas

The best time of day is always lunch time. And if you’re on the grind with only a small break during work, it’s always a time and cost efficient idea to bring a lunch box rather than spend more money on fast food or take out. Here are some of the few quick and healthy lunch box ideas I have:

Chicken Wraps
Using a whole chicken from Coles or Woolies, shred the chicken into pieces and mix them up with a dollop  of mayonnaise. Wrap the chicken mix using a tortilla and greenery of your choice (lettuce, tomato, cucumber). It’s simple, tasty and quick to make.

Tuna Sandwiches
Using wholemeal bread from Aldi ($2), lightly toasted, butter each side and using the same chicken wrap recipe, do the same mixture with whole egg mayonnaise and add to your sandwich. Layer slices of tomato, cheese and lettuce and voila!

Tuna Salad
Toss a can of tuna together with a bag of $4 Coles 4 leaf salad leaves with a salt and pepper + olive oil and lemon dressing. It’s too quick and easy to make!

Carbonara Pasta
Grab a packet of Coles $1 Fettucine pasta and create a quick white pasta sauce using the ingredients in your house (flour, garlic, olive oil, butter, milk). Sprinkle a few leaves of coriander as a garnish. It’s great for dinner and lunch.

Best 5 Food Trucks in Sydney

There’s something appealing and maybe a little bit nostalgic about getting food from a truck. Lucky for us who live in Sydney, there’s now an app to locate food trucks in the city. Here’s a list of food trucks to help you make a choice in your street culinary exploration:

  1. Mister Gee Burger Truck (https://www.instagram.com/mistergeeburgertruck/)

Consistently ranking high in the Fatties Burger Appreciation Society, Mister Gee offers a range of burgers, sides (chips and onion rings) and shakes. Be prepared for the long queue, though!

Source: Mister Gee Burger Truck Facebook page
  1. Urban Pasta (http://www.urbanpasta.com.au/)

The place serves freshly cooked pasta, ranging from fusilli to gnocchi, topped with your choice of sauce, ranging from Napolitano to lamb ragu.

Source: Urban Pasta Food Truck Facebook page
  1. Mama Linh’s (http://www.mamalinhs.com.au/)

Get your Banh Mi fix here! From crispy chicken to shitake mushroom, Mama Linh’s Banh Mi is to die for. If you prefer not to eat bread, they also offer Vermicelli Noodle Salad Bowl that can be served with your choice of toppings. You would find Mama Linh’s truck around CBD.

Source: Mama Linh’s website
  1. Eat Art Truck (http://www.eatarttruck.com/)

For an American food truck experience, try out Eat Art Truck’s menu – from pulled pork bun to nachos, all foods are complemented with generous sauce and toppings.

Source: Eat Art Truck Facebook page
  1. Veggie Patch Van (http://veggiepatchvan.com.au)

Not a meat eater? Veggie Patch Van might be the right choice for you. All of the food choices on the menu, ranging from burgers to fritters and dips, are all veggie-friendly.

Source: Veggie Patch Van Facebook page


There you have it, the top five Sydney food trucks. What’s your food truck pick for this weekend?

A Day Out In Surry Hills: For Beginners

As described by local residents, Surry Hills is ‘a melting pot of cultures’ located in the inner city eastern suburb of Sydney. Picture a second cousin of Newtown fused with a few industrial, commercial and residential areas. It’s also a creative hub where hipsters from all around the city gather to Instagram their visits. From the borders of Elizabeth and Chalmer’s Street to the outskirts of Crown, Surry Hills is a thriving destination for food with its many choices of restaurants and cafés and a fantastic place to go shopping. To kickstart your own visit, I’ve crafted a short list as a guide to help you explore the best of Surry Hills:

1. Firedoor, Mary Street (https://www.firedoor.com.au/): 
If a community of pyromaniacs were to come together and create a restaurant, that restaurant would be the Firedoor. A place dedicated to cooking premium Australian food in the purest form using, you guessed it, fire.

Source: http://www.goodfood.com.au/eat-out/the-nine-woodfired-dishes-you-must-eat-this-winter-in-sydney-20150521-gh6pic

2. Bishop Sessa, Crown St (http://bishopsessa.com.au/): 
For an affordable pseudo-fine dining experience, Bishop Sessa offers a delightful dinner with a choice of an a la carté menu or the degustation course (six dishes for only $77 pp), a recommended place for a romantic date.

Source: https://enzovivo.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/257510.jpg
Source: https://enzovivo.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/257510.jpg

3. Porteno, Cleveland St (http://www.porteno.com.au/)
Porteno is a popular Argentinian restaurant in the heart of Cleveland St that only produces the finest culinary creations with variations that cater to meat lovers, vegetarians, and seafood lovers.

Source: http://www.porteno.com.au/images/uploads/porteno/galleries/gallery_01.jpg

4. Suzi Q Coffee & Records, Hutchinson St (http://www.suzieqcoffee.com.au/):
For the musos of Sydney, Suzi Q is your sanctuary for tune-age and great food. It’s not only an homage to musical artists and jazz players but also a fine place for a cup of coffee.

Source: https://www.broadsheet.com.au/media/cache/fa/69/fa694e1a859d0f117eb030906b1270eb.jpg


5. Bills, Crown St (http://www.bills.com.au/):
Bills is the ideal place to take your friends for a great brunch on a Saturday morning. I would highly recommend trying their infamous Scrambled Eggs or Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb Butter.

Source: http://hollylinfood.weebly.com/#/
Source: http://hollylinfood.weebly.com/#/

6. Bodega Tapas, Commonwealth St (http://www.bodegatapas.com/):
Bodega is Porteno’s trendy little sister –  an experimental latino restaurant that is well known for its top-knotch plating and stylish variations of tapas.

Source: https://www.timeout.com/sydney/restaurants/bodega-tapas-restaurant-bar#tab_panel_2
Source: https://www.timeout.com/sydney/restaurants/bodega-tapas-restaurant-bar#tab_panel_2

 Blacksmith, Chalmers St (https://www.facebook.com/blacksmithsurryhills/):
Blacksmith is a local watering hole for Surry Hill residents – from the workers to the creatives. A great place for coffee, lunch with friends or even a place for a few beers after work.

Source: http://static.wixstatic.com/media/

8. Beresford Hotel, Bourke St (http://merivale.com.au/theberesfordhotel): The Beresford Hotel is more than just your average pub on a Saturday night. It’s a gorgeous venue with a courtyard with food served at the front and a whole lot of partying in the back. A great place to bring your friends for a bite to eat, a few drinks and maybe a post-dinner dancing sesh.

Source: http://www.sydneynightlife.com.au/wp-content/uploads/venue/profile_image/full/faccc_Bero_prof.jpg
Source: http://www.sydneynightlife.com.au/wp-content/uploads/venue/profile_image/full/faccc_Bero_prof.jpg

9. Mum’s Table, Elizabeth St (http://www.mumstablesh.com/): For a cheeky Vietnamese fix, Mum’s Table on Elizabeth gives you an authentic home-made style lunch filled with an array of Vietnamese staple dishes such as pho and vermicelli. Take your friends there, it’s almost un-PHO-gettable.
Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 5.07.23 PM

10. Shakespeare Hotel, Devonshire St (http://shakespearehotel.com.au/): To eat or not to eat, that isn’t really a question at the Shakespeare Hotel. It’s a quaint little antique space offering a choice of reasonably-priced daily lunch specials and cheap drinks during happy hours.
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