We enjoy a meat free Monday in our home. It has so many benefits. I don’t need to think too much about dinner ideas as I know it’s a plant-based supper those nights. I find that takes the some of the stress out of the start of the week! It is good to have a bit of direction as to what I am going to whip up 😉 It is healthy and nutritious. It boosts our fibre intake. It is great for the environment.

If you haven’t adopted this Monday menu yet, why not give it a try? It is easy, quick and allows for delicious family meals. I challenge you… Monday is around the corner 😉

What you need:

  • 1 and a 1/2 Tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 250g button or portabellini mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp whole cumin
  • 2 cups water
  • 250ml brown lentils, sort through them to check for small stones and debris
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 5ml marmite
  • 125g smooth, full cream cottage cheese
  • 60ml parmesan cheese or mature cheddar, finely grated
  •  Seasoning of choice

Optional:

  • Extra parmesan cheese or mature cheddar, finely grated
  • Pea shoots, chopped 1cm long

OR

  • Curly kale, steamed and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp butter

What to do:

  • Pour ½ a Tbsp olive oil into a thick based pan. Heat and add the onion and sauté until softened and golden brown. Set aside.
  • Add ½ Tbsp oil, heat and add mushrooms. Fry until golden, tender but still firm. Set aside.
  • Add the remaining oil and the ground coriander and cumin and the whole cumin. Fry for 30 seconds to enhance flavour. Be cautious to stir so that it does not burn. (You will know it is ready when you can smell the aroma of the spices)
  • Add the water, lentils, cooked onions and coconut milk and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on until the lentils are soft. (This should take about 30 – 35 mins.) Stir from time to time and check the consistency. If it gets too thick, add additional water ¼ cup at a time until the sauce consistency improves.
  • Add mushrooms and mix well.
  • If using kale, pan fry the cooked kale in butter.
  • Add pea shoots or kale to the lentils and stir well. (If you have chosen these optional extras)
  • Remove from the heat and add the marmite, parmesan or cheddar, cottage cheese and seasoning to taste (Remember the marmite is salty, so be cautious when adding seasoning).
  • Serve sprinkled with a few whole pea shoots and finely grated parmesan or cheddar. This is delicious served on a bed of brown rice, barley, spelt or quinoa.

Susan sits intensely focussed on her daily cartoon show, Gabby is playing her favourite computer game, and Kyle is so engrossed in his Xbox combat game that he’s practically non-responsive – even to the calls of pizza.

What do all three scenarios have in common?

Each child is playing with technology; blocking the child off to nature and the outdoors, active play and to listening and engaging with others – a frightening situation becoming more and more typical in the lives of our children today.

Kids’ lives have become fast-paced, highly scheduled and abnormally adult-like. This leaves them very little time to be children.

Back in the day, previous generations spent hours in the garden exploring, smelling flowers, and touching plants (with the odd snail taste test here and there). At family gatherings, children would spend time running around outside and creating fantasy games that they could immerse themselves in with other children. Children would draw and entertain themselves quietly, without being glued to screens of sorts, as they are today.

Some favourite childhood memories may entail having fun in the sun and making mud pies. Can you recall your special memories playing and exploring?

Sensory Play and Early Childhood Development

Back then, even as blissfully unaware children, senses were being developed – such as touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing.

From the day we are born, our senses play a huge role in our overall development – building nerve connections, supporting language development, enhancing our ability to memorise, and developing general sensory attributes such as hot or cold.

With kids losing interest in being outside, and instead choosing to play with technology, we’re left wondering how complete our children’s development can be.

Sugar & Spice Nanny Training Cape Town

Kid’s Play Workshop Cape Town

At Sugar & Spice Nanny Training, we’re all about your children, their development, and of course, your nannies.

We have designed a kid’s play workshop that includes a number of games and activities that incorporate each of the important sensory milestones. Each activity taught aims to help your child develop cognitively, linguistically, socially and emotionally, physically and creatively. An emphasis is given to fun outdoor activities and the need for children to spend more time in nature.

Developing children’s senses outdoors not only benefits their health by improving their immune system but it benefits the health of Mother Nature, teaching children the importance of looking after the environment.

Register for a Kid’s Play Workshop near you.

For more information, please contact us.

 

We all like a quick supper! The person who cooks it. The hungry people who are waiting to eat it. What better option than a trusty stir-fry! This is also so easy to adjust, based on what is in your fridge. Feel free to ad lib and replace certain items with those you have on hand. This is always a forgiving dish to make!

For those that would like a plant-based meal, or on the days you are preparing a meat-free meal, take a look at a great alternative ingredient to replace the beef with. We enjoy the salty soy taste and the punch of Sriracha. Give it a go!

What you need:

  • 500g beef stroganoff cut (sometimes these strips tend to be very long. Slice smaller if you need to)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 125g button mushrooms, halved
  • 125g portabellini mushrooms, sliced thickly
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced at an angle
  • 125g thin asparagus spears, cut at an angle into 3cm pieces
  • 125g bean sprouts
  • 2 Tbsp Soy sauce (we prefer Kikkoman)
  • 2Tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • 60ml Cranberry juice
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Seasoning of choice – Optional:

  • 1 x box Fry’s Family thick cut chunky strips (these can replace the beef strips should you want a meat free meal)
  • Or 250 g dried Chickpeas, soaked and cooked. (Tinned chickpeas make for a very quick substitute)

What to do:

  1.  Pour ½ a Tbsp olive oil into a thick based pan or a wok. Heat and add the mushrooms. Fry till
    cooked but so that they still have a bite to them. Set aside.
  2. Allow the pan to heat up, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and then fry the beef in three batches until golden brown. (This is key so that the pan retains heat, and thus beef goes golden). Season lightly while cooking each batch. Set aside. (If using Fry’s Family thick cut strips, pan fry at this stage, instead of the beef)
  3. Add the remaining olive oil and allow to heat. Stir-fry the vegetables till they soften but stay crunchy. Add the mushrooms and beef to the vegetables.
  4. Mix the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Pour over the stir-fry mix that is in the pan, stir and heat through.
  5. Check seasoning and add more should you need it. (Should you be using chickpeas, add them here and heat through) Remove from heat.
  6. Serve with rice noodles, rice or wholegrains of your choice.
  7. Remember the leftovers make an awesome filling for a wrap or pita bread for lunch the next day!

At Sugar and Spice Nanny Training, we believe that empowerment and open communication channels are key ingredients to any employer/nanny relationship. For this reason, we have aimed our nanny course at cultivating both the skills and increasing the knowledge base of nannies, as well as improving communication and openness between nannies and their employers.

Nanny Training Cape Town

On a daily basis, we rely heavily on our nannies to help make sure our homes and children’s lives run smoothly.

Therefore, the ideal relationship between nanny and employer would be one where both nanny and employer feel comfortable enough to voice any complaints, preferences or cultural differences. We are aware that there are often cultural differences, however, in a manner that shows respect to both parties, we feel after a discussion takes place, solutions can be found. We highlight that nannies and employers may have different ways of doing things but always make sure our students know that they should take the lead from the employer. It is so important to adopt their approach to doing things, as they are the parent. We encourage nannies to ask questions if they do not understand and encourage both parties to be frank and caring in their conversations.

This is often tricky at first. However, it does become easier when both the nanny and employer make open communication an everyday occurrence. Transparency is best. Being proudly South African, with years of experience in the nanny training industry, we understand that there may often be a language barrier between nanny and employer. This can make communication quite challenging, sometimes causing frustration for both parties. Our nanny training course recognises these issues and offers a great solution.

Nannies in Training

Our nanny course runs over 4 weeks, at 3 hours a session. Throughout our course, we help to guide nannies through the process of communicating with employers, helping them to understand how to approach and discuss a positive or negative situation correctly and openly.

During our 1st session, nannies are shown the importance of creating routines for children, how to properly manage their time, as well as which danger signs to look out for. Once again, nannies are guided through the 1st session with the key goal of open communication and empowerment through better understanding.

First Aid Training for Nannies

Entering the 2nd session, nannies are taught about the practical management steps of a number of medical emergencies.

First-aid skills are crucial for nannies to have when handling children. Additionally, nannies are shown how to properly assess and explain an emergency. This session is aimed at improving child safety and empowering nannies through skill development and understanding.

Child Nutrition and Hygiene

This session is aimed at sharing baby and child nutritional knowledge with nannies. Nannies are shown what creates a healthy diet and how to introduce solids while weaning babies off milk.

We also aim to encourage nannies to discuss menu planning and address both personal and baby hygiene best practices. Through open communications, nannies feel comfortable with discussing and sharing their understandings and possible cultural differences.

Stimulation through massage, play and fun

During this session, we discuss the importance of early childhood development and how nannies can assist with making sure your children receive the best possible childhood development. This is a great section for the nannies, as they can then also use the early childhood development skills learnt for their own children.

Sugar & Spice Nanny Training

When nannies and employers feel comfortable and at ease with each other their relationships flourish. Empowerment through skill creation and sharing of knowledge is highly important to the success of any working relationship.

Throughout our course we make sure that nannies understand the importance of open communication and that they receive empowering knowledge and credentials. On completion of the course your nanny will receive 2 certificates and manuals – The Sugar and Spice Nanny Training manual and certificate, and the First Aid manual and certificate, which is accredited with the resuscitation council of South Africa.

If you would like to book a spot in our course for nanny, please contact us.

 

Another wonderful group of ladies recently completed our Nanny Training course held in Gardens. Please go to our website to view the entire gallery.

Here is a teaser…

nanny training nanny training nanny training

 

empower nanny training

As an employer of a nanny, you have the opportunity to take charge of their situation and empower your nanny’s life. You are able to play a pivotal role as a mentor and guide them as to what they can do to upskill themselves and further their current situations.

In this article, we’ll be sharing a few great ideas you can offer to empower your nanny.

Nanny Training Course Cape Town

Our nanny training course will give your nanny the confidence, skills and qualifications she needs to establish herself as a professional child caregiver.

This will not only assist her in her current position with you, but will put her in a better position for future employment, when your family no longer need a nanny. It will also improve her salary possibilities when that time arrives.

Additionally, the first aid course (as part of the course) is a great way to ensure your nanny has the skills she needs to handle an emergency. This is crucial when caring for children.

Providing your nanny with these important lifesaving skills not only enables her to look after your family, but it also puts her in the position to provide emergency assistance to her own family and her community. Ensuring her first aid qualifications are up to date and renewed every two years is so important.

Kid’s Play courses for nannies

Our Kids Play Workshop includes a host of inspiring ideas designed to keep little ones busy, happy and having fun during school holidays as well as during term time! We teach nannies what they can do and motivate them with various topics and play activities! They are encouraged to vary activities in order for your little one to get optimal benefits and stimulation.

We guide nannies to make the most of the home environment, using and re-purposing bits and pieces they find in and around their workplace. We share ideas and highlight that your nanny does not need to wait for shop-bought toys or craft items. Our aim is to empower nannies to use their inititative during play.

Cooking classes for nannies

Our Family cooking classes are run from the comfort of your own home and help your nanny to understand the makings of a nutritious, home cooked meal.

Several lessons are currently on offer (all are fantastic family focused recipes):

  • Chicken Dishes
  • Chicken and pasta dishes
  • Fish Dishes
  • Beef Dishes
  • Light meals
  • Snacks
  • Desserts
  • Protein dishes
  • Carbohydrate and Vegetable dishes

Swimming lessons for nannies

If you have a swimming pool it is vital that your nanny knows how to swim, along with your children. Having a nanny who can swim also allows your children to safely have fun at the pool. See our affiliate links page.

Learning to swim is a great life skill to have and can save a life one day.

Giving your nanny’s child a school education

Empower her through education is one of the most effective ways to make a difference in someone’s life. By helping your nanny put her child or grandchild through school, helps to guarantee the future of both her child and her family.

Help your nanny to set up her pension

Often, nanny’s work their whole lives without saving for retirement. This becomes problematic, as the state pension is currently R1690.00 per month, and survival off that is virtually impossible.

Help your nanny to set up a pension fund. By contributing a small amount to your nanny’s pension fund, you will be giving back to a key caregiver, who has devoted so much of her time to your family.

Sugar & Spice Nanny Training Cape Town

Empower your nanny through skills development and training You can improve her employment potential, while improving her possible salary earnings and builds her self confidence.

For more information on the above courses, please contact us.


A few comments from some of our nanny training attendees:

My name is Talent Ndlovu, I wanted to thank Kim from Sugar and Spice Nanny Training. It is because of Kim’s hard work and the nanny training course that I am employed today. I did the nanny course and I was not working at the time, but the course really helped me to find work. I got a job soon after I finished the training course.
Some of the highlights of the course:

  • How to prepare food for kids,
  • Hygiene and health,
  • Keeping a weekly routine.

Not to forget the great cup of coffee and biscuits during break time. I also enjoyed Kim’s teaching, she is a very blessed person and teaches with great passion.

Sugar and Spice Nanny Training is the right place for all ladies who want their tomorrow to be as joyful as mine. Don’t look anywhere else, the Sugar and Spice team make you feel at home and you will enjoy the course with Kim.

Thank you, Kim, and keep up the good training!”


Anna Zvidzai

“Sugar and Spice Nanny Training is a place where I learnt that being a nanny is not only about keeping a child alive. The course opened my mind to a whole new way of looking after a child.

As a nanny, I have learnt that I need to develop not only their physical aspects of a child but also their learning skills, how to express and deal with their feelings, teaching them what is right and wrong, and to respect others and how to share.

Furthermore, I learnt about safety in and around the house, time management, nutrition (giving kids a balanced diet) and child CPR – in case of an emergency.

I can proudly say that after all I learnt at the Sugar and Spice Nanny Training Course, I am a better, more efficient nanny.

Thank you, Kim, and the Sugar and Spice team. You guys are the best!”

Bringing up children as well as trying to manage a career is not easy. Life becomes fast paced, moments of relaxation become shorter and often healthy meals become somewhat unheard of, let alone a focus on child nutrition.

This is mainly because by the time you get home its half past late and Susan, your 4 year old, refuses to eat anything but chicken nuggets, chips and tomato sauce.

At this point you’re exhausted, your mind is still at work and you just can’t face having to beg, bribe and force feed your now temperamental child.

So naturally you reach for the (sugar packed) tomato sauce in the cupboard, then head over to the freezer grabbing the box of nuggets and the bag of “freshly” frozen oven chips.

The words “freshly” and “tomato” makes you feel slightly less guilty but also you’re too preoccupied and not willing to lose any more sleep over it.

Susan happily digs in, giving you enough time to make the three phone calls you forgot about, reply to that email, run Susan a bath and find that invoice you had in your hand just a second ago.

Sadly, nutrition and Susan’s healthy balanced diet is the last thing on your mind.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. This happens more than often and that sacred hour you have to yourself every week is not the problem.

The truth is majority of the time children will always turn their noses up at healthy food or anything that looks remotely healthy.

And as parents wanting to love and be loved, we often give into their demands and end up purchasing their favourite treats, sweets and foods.

We frequently overlook the need for a healthy eating plan for both ourselves and our children and this impacts us more than we realise.

A poorly balanced diet impacts on our work performance, stress and energy levels, everyday moods and depression, and over time contributes to the risk of developing certain illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.

Having to enforce a healthy diet on your child from a young age may seem like an uphill battle but luckily there are options out there that make the whole ordeal far less challenging.

Sugar & Spice Nanny Training Cape Town

Firstly, and this is a must – Take back your control over your child’s diet.

Secondly, pick your battles. Make the important issues about food count and deal with these accordingly, and let the rest slide.

Thirdly, invest in the person who spends the most time with precious Susan, your nanny.

The role your nanny plays is just as important as yours. Your nanny holds a strong ever-present relationship with your child.

During the day she spends hours alone with your child, feeding, bathing and playing games. Often nannies spend more time with our children than we as parents do.

  • But is she aware of what a healthy diet for kids consists of?
  • Is she able to make healthy food choices from what is available in your home?
  • Does she give your child “brain food” so that your kids are mentally and physically at their peak?
  • And are you sure your nanny has the proper skills and experience to handle an emergency situation?

These are all questions you have to ask yourself.

Our Nanny Training Course

Sugar & Spice offer a nanny training course which addresses each of these questions.

In this course we provide the necessary information on why nutrition is so important for a child’s development.

We help nannies to identify foods that can be used in healthy recipes and daily menu planning.

We deal with the importance of personal and child hygiene, child and nanny environmental safety and how to balance housework duties.

Nannies enrolled in our childcare course receive first aid training equipping them with skills need to effectively manage an emergency situation such as choking or drowning.

Nannies are taught gross and fine motor stimulation games which aid in your child’s overall development.

This training course for nannies aims to help make your life easier, whilst giving you peace of mind and enriching your child’s everyday development.

We also focus on child nutrition in our family cooking course.

For more information please contact us.

Our nannies, housekeepers and gardeners are often left with the huge responsibility of caring for our homes and their expensive contents.

As such it is important to educate them on what they can do to help protect themselves, our children and our things.

Be aware of your surroundings:

Our domestic workers walk the streets of our suburbs every day and are often far more able to identify suspicious people and vehicles than we are.

Your nanny needs to walk to work taking note of people and vehicles that look suspicious and out of place and alert you or your security company.

She needs to take note of details such as colour and make of vehicle, try and remember the registration number and take note of the people – what are they wearing, how tall are they etc.

She needs to be careful not to make it too obvious that she is noting all of this to prevent becoming a target herself.

Do not open the gate or door unless it is safe to do so:

On arriving at work – your domestic worker needs to check that there are no strange people lurking in the bushes or hanging around near the house, if there are, she/ he needs to keep on walking to prevent an ambush as the gate opens.

When she feels safe, she can phone you and ask you to come to the gate to open it for her or alert a neighbour.

When arriving home after fetching the children from school – your nanny and children are very vulnerable. Give her a remote panic button that she can put around her neck and use in case of emergency.

When someone comes to the door asking to be let in – nobody should be allowed into the property unless you the employer have told your domestic worker you are expecting someone, even if she thinks you know them or they look honest enough.

She must rather call you to check first, you also need to remember to let her know someone is coming.

Do not talk about your employers’ things

Your domestic worker needs to be careful not to talk about your property and new purchases with her friends as criminals may threaten her and her family in order to get to your things.

Keep the doors locked and unbarred windows closed

This is especially important when she is cleaning or busy with children in the house as she is not able to hear someone coming in at the other end of the house.

Give your domestic worker a panic button which she can keep on her when she working, playing in the garden with the children, hanging washing, opening the front gate.

It is also important to be sure that she knows where the panic buttons are in the house and knows when and how to use them.

It is also a good idea for her to come to the car, with the panic button, when you arrive back as she can help you get the shopping and children out of the car and be an extra set of eyes, looking out for any strangers who may be hunting for a soft target.

The Sugar and Spice Nanny Training course empowers domestic workers who are employed as nannies with all the essential knowledge they need to care for babies and young children.

The nanny course covers Safety and creating a childproof environment, First Aid, Hygiene, Nutrition, Time management and Routines and Developmental games and activities.

Sugar and Spice offers nanny training in Cape Town, whilst also offering Family Cooking, First Aid and Kids Play short courses.

“Play is so integral to childhood that a child who does not have the opportunities to play is cut off from a major portion of childhood.” – Musselwhite

Technology and the world around us are rapidly evolving.

Our action packed lives leave us wanting more with less time for actual living.

We struggle to find time for our children, work, and social life, leaving us juggling all three at a barely manageable pace.

This pushes us to a point where we rely heavily on communication technology, information technology, and transportation technology to make our lives simpler, easier and more efficient.

We have begun to depend on innovations such as television, the internet, video games, iPads, and cell phones to keep our children busy when we cannot.

Due to these technologies rapidly improving on a daily basis, families have barely noticed the significantly negative impact and changes they actually have on their family structure and lifestyles.

According to a study by Childwise which was reported by the BCC children in 1995 spent on average 3.5 hours staring at screens, whereas now children spend on average over 7.5 hours staring at screens.

What is the impact of kid’s spending less time playing?

  • Research shows that between the ages of 3 and 12, a child’s body experiences it’s most important physical growth. Without physical activity and play children lose out on important developmental growth.
  • Childhood obesity is on the rise. In 2013, a study conducted by WHO found that 42 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese.
  • Kid’s play encourages role playing. Without it, children cannot naturally develop the skills necessary for adult life. This includes social competence, problem solving, creative thinking, and safety skills.
  • Children spend less time outdoors, leading to little or no appreciation for Mother Nature with less exercise and gross motor activities

Kid’s Play Workshop Cape Town

Our workshops are held to inspire nanny’s and child minders with ideas to keep little ones active, stimulated and on the go. These fun filled, hands on sessions teach a range of creative enjoyable activities for toddlers and young children up to the age of five.

We include favourites like musical bits and bobs, active play (both indoors and outdoors) as well as painting, cutting, sticking and fun in the garden and loads more.

These activities help develop gross and fine motor skills and stimulate intellectual growth.

Please contact us for more information on our kid’s play workshop for nannies.