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THE HERALD FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 9 2016


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MY SUBJECT this week is


what Merchant Seafarers have been accustomed to all their working lives, but, somehow, modern day parlance and business speak pigeonhole hand over procedures as 'Management of Change'. I suppose in our ever increasing


THANKS to Jamie Oliver, school


dinners have had a radical overhaul. But what about the lunchboxes we pack for our kids? It’s just as important to make sure


the lunchbox your child takes to school provides as healthy and balanced a lunch as what they would eat at home. This means plenty of foods that


contain the nutrients that children need, and fewer foods high in sugar and saturated fat. Learn about the healthy foods basics in food and diet. Preparing your child’s lunchbox • A balanced packed lunch should contain:


• Starchy foods – these are bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and others


• Protein foods – including meat, fish, eggs, beans and others


• A dairy item – this could be cheese or a yogurt


• Vegetables or salad and a portion of fruit Starchy foods are a good source of


energy and should make up a third of the lunchbox. But don’t let things get boring.


Instead of sandwiches, give


kids bagels, pitta bread, wraps and baguettes. Use brown, wholemeal or seeded bread, not white bread. Children often like food they can


eat with their fingers, so chop up raw veggies such as carrots or peppers and give them hummus or cottage cheese to dip the veggies in. Breadsticks and wholemeal


crackers are great finger foods that can be spread with low-fat soft cheese or eaten with reduced-fat cheddar and pickles.


Replace chocolate bars and cakes


with fresh fruit. Vary the fruit each day and get them to try new things, such as kiwi or melon. Unsalted nuts are a great snack


food for children to have at home, but it’s best to leave them out of your child’s packed lunch. Many schools ban nuts to protect pupils with a nut allergy. You could also make up a tasty


fruit salad. Be inventive and encourage your children when they try something new.


Note that dried fruit is no longer recommended as a between-meal snack as it’s high in sugar and can be bad for teeth. It may take a while for your


children to get used to a healthier lunchbox. But it will be worth it for their health, so keep trying. You can help by eating a wider


range of foods at home as a family. For ideas on how to introduce more fruit and veg into your family’s diet, read ‘5-a-day and your family’ on the NHS website.


Reading supermarket food labels


can help you buy healthier foods for your child’s lunch and family meal times.


Save chocolate and cakes for


occasional treats. Remember to praise your child when they’ve tried something new to show your encouragement. With more than half of children taking a packed lunch to school – that’s a staggering five billion lunches a year – not to mention the many office and outdoor workers who rely on them, it’s clear what a vital contribution lunchboxes make. That said, thinking up inspiring ideas can be a challenge. It’s tempting to fall into the trap of using packaged, ready- made options. Although these seem like the easy answer, they tend to be high in fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar. Keep choices varied, fresh and


tasty, high in protein, veg, fruit and fibre, but low in fat, salt and sugar. Lunch is an important point in the school day and should provide at least a third of your child’s daily requirements – without it youngsters struggle to concentrate in the afternoon. Pack plenty of sustaining, nutritious options to make the school day a productive one.


Involve your child in planning and


preparing their lunchbox – kids are more likely to try foods that they’ve been involved in selecting and making. Children are happier choosing


from a small range of foods. If your child seems to pick just one or two favoured things every day, this


is not unusual – gradually introduce more options but be prepared to be patient. If they refuse wholegrains, like


wholemeal bread, don’t worry – some small children find fibrous foods too filling and they may even upset their small stomachs. Instead, supply fibre by opting for beans and pulses puréed into a creamy dip or add to salads or sandwich fillings. Introduce brown versions of rice, pasta and bread when your child is a little older. Talk with other parents and use


their child’s healthy appetite as an example for yours to follow. Don’t use food as a reward – this reinforces the idea that sugary, fatty foods are


better options than healthy whole fruit or dairy products.


technological society, there needs to be certain issues to be addressed to this issue of change, but life was so much easier years ago, wasn’t it? In order to make a start on


this subject, I make reference to the Seamanlike issue of handing over a safe navigational watch, for example. On my ship visits, I find the ships’ bridge resonating with audible alarms, mostly spurious on investigation, but the new watchkeeper must be ‘up and running’ to appreciate events leading up to the start of his watch, for example. The routine years ago was to


appear on the bridge approximately 15 minutes before watch change in a position ready to take the new watch. There was little to hand over, with basic duties of reporting ship movements in the vicinity of our vessel, checking compass courses and the ship’s intended track on the navigational chart in use, making sure the new lookout on watch was posted and then accepting the handover from the last watch when ‘eight bells’ were struck on the bridge bell. Since then,


information


technology and science have taken a quantum leap! One cannot underestimate the amount of checking a watch keeper has to do in order to hand over the watch! So, in comes this idea of


‘Management of Change’. This is a useful tool (using current


management talk!) to appraise and follow through what needs to be addressed to bring any change to a successful conclusion. What this implies is that someone has sat down and put a procedure down on paper. Now, to gain specific benefit,


we (yes, we!) as persons afloat have to adopt (and adapt!) a common sense plan in which to efficiently handle change aboard. All too frequently, a procedure is not followed because it is not applicable any more. The world has moved on since that procedure was written! Also, the attitude of 'I don’t need a checklist. I know what I’m doing!' all too frequently leads to certain disappointment and failure. So, having set the landscape, here comes the Seamanship. It is you (yes, you!) that should


know how to hand over the con on your craft. If you don’t ,then don’t proceed on a passage until you do know. If you don’t know how


something works, then make efforts to find out – don’t rely on others. Make sure you have access to


relevant information before handing over a watch. Don’t hand over a watch unless


it's safe to do so. There are more hazards to navigation around now than ever before! Any deck duties you may have


with crew working on deck - be sure they are safe and have protective clothing on. Be sure to check this if you are handing over to a new watch keeper. So, as you go through a list of


checks and confirmations of what’s going on around you, there is much more to consider before standing down from duties. Once a safe routine is instilled


in your mind and after some practice, you may wish to make revision and update checklists or procedures. One is looking for a simple, efficient way of safely marking change afloat. I conclude with an amusing


story. I was a Third Officer once who was on duty approaching an anchorage in Singapore’s western roads. The Captain was not on talking terms with the Chief Officer and daily shipboard routines and practices were not the best they could be. The Chief Officer was standing


by on the ship’s forecastle in preparation for an intended anchoring. I was relaying Masters Orders by handheld radio from the bridge. The Master ordered 'Let go the


port anchor', to which I passed on to the Chief Officer. There was movement on the


forecastle and a cloud of rust and mud flakes to be seen. The vessel was brought up to


anchor with the Master reporting the anchoring time to Singapore Port Operations. The Captain indicated to me to keep a watch on the ship’s position and check the movements of other ships around our position. I was pleased with myself


having the confidence to handle a watch with the ship at anchor. Two things escaped my attention


– One was the Chief Officer let


go of the starboard anchor and not the port anchor as instructed, and the second was a phonecall from the ship’s Chief Engineer asking if the Captain had finished with the ship’s engine. The ships engine movement telegraph was still on dead slow astern!


Good sailing, keep safe!


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