home economics notes

3rd Year Mock Practicals

Well done to all my third years who completed their mock practical exam recently. This exam is worth 35% of the mark for Junior Cert and this will increase to 50% with the new Home Economics specification in 2021. Cooking is such an important life skill, so glad to see it is being recognised as this. Below are a sample of some of the fantastic, colorful dishes the girls produced.

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Healthy Dinners

Junior cycle Home Economics students made a healthier version of chicken nuggets and chips. They made oven baked chicken goujons and spicy potato wedges. Leaving the potato skins on and using brown breadcrumbs increases the fiber content. We served this with a capresse salad to add colour, calcium and vitamin C, making it a very balanced meal.

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Cupcake Decorating Competition

Congratulations to Transition Years who took part in the cupcake decorating competition . The winners impressed the Deputy Principal, their Year Head and their TY coordinator by making Oreo butter icing and unicorn cupcakes. Well done 👍

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School Canteen


Thank you to John and the team in the school canteen for supporting the Health Promoting School team. John makes delicious brown bread with pumpkin seeds and home made soup every day. Water is the only drink sold in support of our Healthy Drinks Policy.


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Making a roux

Second years made a roux for the first time. A roux is equal quantities of fat and flour, we used it to make a white sauce for our macaroni cheese.

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Healthy Breakfasts-3rd Years

Third years prepared healthy school breakfasts this morning- Overnight oats- rich in calcium for healthy bone development  and high in fibre to help prevent bowel disorders. Followed by French toast and Fresh Berries-  we used brown bread to increase the fibre content and served with strawberries and raspberries to add vitamin C, which is really important at this time of year for general health.

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Why we are getting rid of sugary drinks in Manor House

HSE welcomes the Sugar Sweetened Drinks Tax
          6 in 10 adults and 1 in 5 children are overweight or obese in Ireland
          Sugar Sweetened Drinks are associated with weight gain, type 2 diabetes and dental issues
          Visit to make healthy changes for your family
The HSE welcomes the new tax on sugar sweetened drinks (SSDT), which will commenced today. Research tells us that these drinks can increase calorie intake, cause weight gain, contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes and tooth decay, and influence the development of obesity in children, adolescents and adults. This tax aims to reduce the amount of sugar sweetened drinks that Irish people consume every day and act as an incentive for the industry to reformulate their products.
Sarah O’Brien, National Lead for the HSE’s Healthy Eating Active Living Programme commented:
“The introduction of this tax is a definite step in the right direction in our efforts as a country to tackle obesity, which is one of the most serious and preventable health issues in Ireland today. With at least 6 out of 10 adults and at least 1 in 5 children now overweight or obese in Ireland, the associated health risks are placing a heavy burden on ourselves and on our health services. We need to use all the tools we have at our disposal to create an environment that supports us all to eat healthily, be more active and achieve and maintain a healthier weight”.
Prof Donal O’Shea, HSE Clinical Lead Obesity Management, notes the impact this tax will have:
Similar taxes on sugar sweetened drinks introduced in other countries, such as Mexico, France and Hungary, have demonstrated an impact by reducing the consumption and sales of SSDs. Positively, even before Ireland’s sugar tax has been fully introduced, it seems to be having an effect with producers reformulating their products, providing consumers with options that have less added sugar, or offering products in smaller portion sizes”. 
Sugar sweetened drinks contain much more than the recommended added sugar daily intake, which should contribute less than 10% (ideally 5%) to our daily energy intake. For example, a 330ml can of cola contains 139 calories and 35g of sugar. That’s more than 8 teaspoons! A litre bottle of cola or a similar sugar sweetened drink is equivalent to over 400 calories – that’s one-fifth (20%) of the daily recommended calorie intake for an inactive adult. To burn 400 calories requires at least 30 minutes of brisk walking in addition to being active enough throughout the day to achieve 10,000 steps. However, evidence suggests that only one in three of us achieve this every day.
Recently, safefood, the HSE and Healthy Ireland launched a new five-year public health awareness campaign – “START” – to set families on the path to a healthier future. For parents, the campaign recognises the realities of daily parenting, how difficult it can be to change habits or create new ones and how external factors can make that more challenging. The ‘START’ campaign messages have been created to help parents get started and build momentum by achieving one daily win – for example adding more vegetables to dinner time, swapping sugary drinks for water and milk. The campaign also recognises that parenting is tough, but that making healthy changes are necessary and worth it to help children on the way to a healthier life.
Visit  for advice on making healthy changes for your family.
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Step Challenge

hi logo-light green

This week the Health Promoting School Team proudly launched our Step Challenge during school at lunch time.  Students are encouraged to go to the hockey pitch at lunch-time and walk around it 3 time (1000 steps, takes approximately 10 Minutes) For this they will receive a stamp. The students with the most steps at the end of the year will receive a prize. Step challenge sheets can be obtained from library.

Getting out of school each day improves mental health and physical health and is great fun. Hopefully the weather improves soon and it will be even better.


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Healthy Drinks Policy


Manor House School are currently drafting a healthy drinks policy.  We are promoting milk and water as the only healthy drinks to be consumed by students in school. This decision is based on recommendations from the HSE and feedback from parents in the Health Promoting School Questionnaire.

What’s wrong with other drinks? 

Excess sugar causes tooth decay and can lead to obesity.  Drinking sugary drinks in school can cause a massive spike in blood sugars and then a sudden drop in blood sugars, making it difficult to concentrate and learn.  Diet or low calorie drinks often have sweetener added to replace sugar, however this is not  a healthy option either as carbonated drinks and sweetener also damage the teeth.

How much sugar should we have?

Many drinks have more than the total Recommended Daily Amount (RDA)  of sugar in one bottle. For teenagers the RDA is no more than 20 mg of sugar or 4 teaspoons.  Look at the following examples:


Drink Amount of Sugar
200ml carton of Capri Sun 4 teaspoons
500 ml bottle  Lucozade Original 4 ½  teaspoons
500 ml bottle Coca Cola 13 teaspoons
500ml bottle Club Orange 16 teaspoons
500ml 7Up 13 teaspoons
250 ml bottle pure orange juice 4 ½ teaspoons
250 ml bottle Innocent Strawberry & Banana Smoothie 7 teaspoons
500ml Ribena Blackcurrant 6 teaspoons
400ml Yazoo Chocolate Milk 9 teaspoons

This article on sugary drinks is also quite informative.




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1st Year Sewing

First years produced lovely neat cross stitch on their bookmarks.


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