As the weather gets rainier, the meals at SOEL get heartier with our range of SOEL Winter Menu recipes. SOEL follows the Australian National Dietary guidelines and recommended dietary intake of nutrients for children when menu planning. As a result, we incorporate healthy, nutritious meals and snacks into our menus for children to enjoy.

Experiments with Food

SOEL provides children with a healthy, wide variety of nutritious and age-appropriate meals in a comfortable, relaxed space. We allow children to enjoy, experience and experiment with food’s taste, smell, and texture. SOEL Chefs are passionate about providing meals the children enjoy eating. Food foremost should be an enjoyable, social experience. By offering nutritious meals that look and smell inviting, we allow educators to support children. Consequently, educators encourage children to discover food and food preferences (which we all have!). Some of us are never going to like peas or fresh tomatoes, and that’s completely okay.

SOEL understands all children have different likes and dislikes. We acknowledge these as not wanting to try something is entirely normal. Having a variety of meal and snack options for children allows them to manage their eating choices. Children observing their peers trying and enjoying foods often encourages other children to try things they initially didn’t want to. Foods prepared or served differently can sometimes help. However, generally, children will eat most foods by the time they start school. As they grow, they will continue to try new foods and add to their list of likes and dislikes.

SOEL Winter Menu 2021

SOEL kitchens have completed two four-week rotations of the winter menu. During this time, we trialled new recipes and ingredients. Our Chefs all met last week to discuss and tweak the current SOEL Winter Menu. Our Chefs will implement these changes to the SOEL Winter Menu over the coming month. Information around the meals and snacks of the day are available via the menu board located in each centre. Staff and parents can expect the daily menu is as listed, and our Chefs will post any changes. Occasionally Chefs may be required to swap days or meals around due to delivery or supply issues. 

The four-week rotational weekly menu always includes fish, vegetarian, red or white meat main meals served hot at lunch, such as our Fruity Chicken Curry recipe. The menu also has morning and afternoon tea that is either sweet or savoury, hot or cold. A late snack (usually savoury) bridges the gap for children between afternoon tea and their home evening meal. We use sugar and salt minimally and strive to use alternative ingredients of naturally salty or sweet produce. This experimenting with flavours and alternatives is an ongoing process of trial and error. Our aim always is to produce healthy, nutritious, low sugar, low salt meals and snacks.

The main lunch hot meals are oven-baked, slow-cooked and cooked on the stovetop daily. Flavours and spices from many cultures are incorporated gently so as not to be overpowering. Children with food-related allergies and intolerances are managed daily by Chefs and Educators.

SOEL Winter Menu Examples


  1. Main hot lunch meal of the day, served with protein, variety of vegetables, and a side of either:
    • brown rice 
    • pasta
    • quinoa 
    • polenta
    • noodles (rice & egg)
  2. Thick soups
  3. Warm toasties
  4. Muffins 
  5. Crumpets
  6. SOEL Baked Beans
  7. Fruit-based slice
  8. Biscuits for children to make with educators
  9. Seasonal fresh fruit and veg 

SOEL Summer Menu 2021/22

SOEL Winter Menu goes through to the end of October when the SOEL Summer Menu starts. The SOEL Summer Menu runs from November 2021 to March 2022. We welcome parent recipe suggestions for the SOEL Summer Menu of meals or snacks their children enjoy at home.

SOEL Fruity Chicken Curry Recipe

One of the SOEL favourites is our Fruity Chicken Curry recipe. Please enjoy this meal with your family at home. We have modified the recipe below from the large amounts we require daily. The recipe, however, may need further adjusting for your home situation.

How to make Fruity Chicken Curry

Time needed: 1 hour

Fruit Chicken Curry Ingredients
– 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
– 1kg diced skinless Chicken thigh  (breast can be used) 
– 2 brown onions, finely dice
– 2 Celery sticks, finely chopped
– 2 tsp Garlic, minced
– 3 tbsp Mild curry powder
– 2 tbsp ground coriander
– 1 teaspoon ground Turmeric
– 1-2 Carrots, grated
– 2-3 Apples, red or green, cored and finely chopped or grated (skin can be left on)
– 1½-2 cups Sultanas
– 1-2 cans Diced Tomatoes
– 2-2½  cups Chicken, or Vegetable Stock (Homemade if possible or low salt store bought)

Slow Cook Tip: This is ideal for slow cooking over 5-6 hrs. Add vegetables and cream in the last hour.

At SOEL our fruity chicken has other veggies added depending what’s in season or available from our suppliers. Veg we add diced are, sweet potato, squash, zucchini and cauliflower.

  1. Sauté the onion and celery.

    Add oil to a pan, and turn the heat to medium. Add the onion & celery, sauté until the onion translucent, then add garlic.

  2. Add diced chicken.

    Increase heat, sear diced chicken (no need to cook all the way through).

  3. Add carrot, capsicum and curry powders.

     Add the carrot, capsicum and curry, coriander, turmeric powders and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add a splash of stock to stop sticking.

  4. Leave to simmer.

    Add remaining ingredients and allow to simmer for 15 mins, covered. You may need to add a little more liquid at this time.

  5. Leave to cook.

    Simmer uncovered for 15min or until the chicken, vegetables are cooked through and the sauce has thickened slightly.

  6. Plate up and serve.

    Serve with brown rice (or serve with your family choice such as pasta, mash, couscous, polenta. etc).

    Note: If you have added too much curry and find it’s too spicy, stir through some natural yoghurt or coconut milk.