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Get Ready For School Australia Review

t Ready For School Australia

I can’t believe how quickly time is flying, not only will Gracie be four in June but next year she will be starting pre-school.  I had been looking around for something to help ease the transition to pre-school and came across Get Ready for School Australia.

What I like about about Get Ready for School Australia is that their home program aligns to the Australian Curriculum.  The ‘how-to’ books have been cleverly written for Aussie parents to digest and use on their child’s learning and their printable materials use Australian School Fonts and are re-printable.

We were kindly gifted:  The Complete School Readiness Kit

 

 

 

What we received:

– A laminated Personalised Name Writing Set containing 6 write on and wipe off pages. 

– The book ‘How to Get Ready for English’ containing 70 simple, trialed fun activities.

– The book ‘How to Get Ready for Maths’ containing 97 simple, trialed, fun activities.

– The book ‘How to Get Ready for Science’ containing 36 simple, trialed, fun activities.

These How To guides are written specifically for Australian parents by an Australian Educator. They align to the Australian Curriculum and are parent friendly and easy to use. They act as a guide and journal for you to monitor where you child is at, and gather ideas of what you are going to do as a parent to support their next steps in learning at home.

– A printed Exploring Letters and Sounds Workbook in your State or Territory’s font.

– A printed Numeral Formation Workbook in your State or Territory’s font.

– A laminated Early Learning Sticker Chart for you to display on your fridge, or somewhere in your home, to monitor your child’s learning and celebrate their development.

– 90 Assorted Star Reward Stickers 

– A Write and Wipe laminated Personalised Name Writing Set

– A Write and Wipe Forming Numerals 0-10 laminated reusable worksheet in your State or Territory’s font.

– A Micador Early Start Safety Marker perfect to use on your laminated name cards.

– A plastic document box to house all of your learning materials

 

What we loved:

What Gracie loves:  The personalised first name writing cards and early learning sticker chart

What I love:  The way the pack has been simplified and created for parents to easily sit down with their child and do various activities.

 

Discount:

Save 10% off storewide by using code ‘LOVE10’ upon checkout

Disclosure: Please note this pack was kindly gifted to me but all opinions on this product are of my own.

 

Socials:

Website:  https://getreadyforschoolaustralia.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/getreadyforschoolaustralia

Instagram:  www.instagram.com/getreadyforschoolaustralia

Lifestyle

My top 10 Instagram favs – Family Dieticians and Nutritionists

I loveeee Instagram, but lets face it, it can be a minefield at times to navigate and find accounts that really resonate with you.  Over the past year or so I’ve been lucky enough to come across these wonderful accounts and can now call some of these wonderful ladies my friend.

I wanted to share with you my top ten instagram picks in the family, dietician and nutritionalist space that I feel are really worth checking out and giving a ‘follow.’

Feel free to share the accounts you love to follow in the comments section to!

Dr Jen Cohen – Jen is based in Australia and mum to two boys.  Her speciality is fussy eaters and shares her real life struggles with her own children’s eating.  Jen also blogs, does periodic amazing facebook lives and runs a wonderful online course.

Wholesome Child – Mandy is a paediatric nutritionalist based in Australia and mum to two.  Mandy shares gorgeous tips and recipes with beautiful photos.  Mandy has recently published an amazing book called ‘Wholesome Child: A complete nutrition guide and cookbook’, she also holds periodic workshops around Sydney.

Veggies and Virtue is jam packed full of tips and you can score some free weekly meal plans!

Motherhood and Meals – Noelle is a registered Dietitian based in Canada and Mum to three gorgeous boys.  Noelle’s account is jam packed full of helpful tips and recipes, from her #toddlertuesday tips to her #fitnessfriday you’ll sure to find something of interest!

Foost – Kate is a family dietitian, mum to four children and based in Australia.  Kate’s mission is to help people eat ‘colourful’ and this is truly reflected in her gorgeous and colourful account.  Kate has also written a few books and has some really cool mealtime products – my favourite pick is the ‘first knife.’

Nutrition by Gina Rose – Gina is a clinical nutritionist, mum to three and based in New Zealand.  Gina’s area of expertise is in women’s health, fertility and infant nutrition.  Amongst her beautiful images she often shares gorgeous recipes and lots of healthy tips.

 

The Nutrition Guru and Chef – Tara is a Nutritionalist (and Jeff is a Chef), mum to one and based in Australia.  Tara has a wonderful no nonsense style of speaking and sharing information.  She has really fab facebook lives with her adorable daughter and shares yummy recipes.

Veggies and Virtue – Ashley is a paediatric dietitian based in the USA and mum to two.  Ashley’s account is lovely and colourful, with lots of tips and hacks.  She’s also big on meal planning and if you sign-up to her mailing list she is sending out weekly menu plans which are family friendly and geared towards picky eaters.

Kids eat in colour – Jennifer is a registered dietician and mum to two based in the USA.  Jennifer has a beautiful and colourful account with Tuesday – Thursday exposure tips and tricks and Fridays are all about food battles.  I’m loving her latest videos and challenge #kidseatincolor where she videos her children eating certain fruit or vegetables.  The idea is that we show this video to our children, then later in the week serve it to them to see if they will try it!

Live Love Nourish Aus – Casey-Lee is a nutritionist and mum to one based in Australia.  Casey-Lee’s account is jam packed full of delicious and healthy recipes (all gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free) as well as sharing lovely giveaways from time to time.

Feeding Littles – Megan is a dietician and Judy is an OT feeding therapist and between them have four children based in the USA.  Their Instagram has heaps of tips, presented in a very clear and visual manner, recipes and lots of funny quotes mixed throughout.

Live Love Nourish has the most gorgeous account.

 

 

 

Disclosure: This post contains  affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my link.

Lifestyle

Secrets Organic December Box

I was recently gifted the December Secrets Organic box to trial and I wanted to share with everyone how amazing the goodies were in the box!

I’ve never subscribed to a box before, but I love the idea of trying new things from brands I’ve not heard of before and even better when all the products are Organic.

Bexx the found of Secrets Organic box has had a similar journey to myself with her oldest daughter having reactions with her skin and this lead her to research the ingredients in the products she was using to realise the ingredients were not as good as she once thought and this organically lead to Secrets Organic box being born.

 

secret organic box close up

 

What was in the box:

  • Bonsoy Organic Nigari Tofu thats shelf stable
  • Organic times 100% Organic Cocoa Powder
  • Spiral Foods extra virgin unfiltered organic coconut oil
  • Topwil Organic Coconut Cream
  • Happy skincare  pig in mud mineral mask sample
  • Herbalfix Relax – loaded with organic herbs like Valerian, Chamomile and Lemon Balm
  • Barney Butter sample – Honey and Flax
  • Vida Glow, Marine Collagen supplement in Peach and Pineapple flavour
  • Nail at Tiffanys nail polish (Vegan, Cruelty Free & PETA accredited!) – Gracie adored this colour!
  • Heilala Vanilla – Organic vanilla bean paste sample

 

Socials:

Facebook

Instagram

 

Would you like to save some money off your first Secrets Organic Box?  Use the code ‘healinggraciesgut’ upon check-out and you will save $5 off your first box.

 

 

 

Please note Secrets Organic Box was gifted to me. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are my own.

 

 

Lifestyle

Interview – Liezel Barnard Naturopath at Weleda Australia

Liezel Barnard

I’m so excited to bring this interview to you!  I chat all things skin with Weleda Australia’s Naturopath Liezel Barnard.

A large proportion of my community have some sort of skin ailment, are you able to talk us through what the main conditions people suffer from and why you think this is?

Most people who suffer from skin ailments have an underlying genetic susceptibility or weakness which has been triggered into disease manifestation by environmental and lifestyle factors. The three skin ailments I get approached about the most are eczema, psoriasis and acne.

Eczema

A typical western diet with high amounts of sugar and polyunsaturated fatty acids (particularly omega 6), antibiotic exposure during pregnancy and infancy, small family size, urban living and low humidity and sunlight exposure are all contributing factors to eczema. On the other hand, when babies have had exposure to non-pathogenic (harmless) microorganisms from living in rural areas, having older siblings or having pet dogs, their risk of developing eczema decreased. It is thought that a healthy and diverse gut microbiome trains a baby’s immune system to become more tolerant and less allergic.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is another chronic inflammatory skin condition that can be triggered by obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol intake, infections, injury to the skin and severe psychological stress.

Acne

The consumption of dairy (natural hormones in dairy), sugar and omega 6 fatty acids all increase the risk of developing acne.

To summarise, it seems that a typical western diet and lifestyle can increase the risk of immune system dysfunction and inflammation in the skin.

What would be the first thing you’d recommend to a parent who notices a patch of eczema popping up on their child’s skin?

Treat the eczema immediately with an anti-inflammatory cream or ointment. Eczema is usually very itchy and your child will want to scratch the eczema which will cause further inflammation and result in more damage to the skin and the skin barrier.

And the second consideration is to establish what has triggered the eczema and then to try and remove or avoid the trigger.

The most common triggers for eczema in children are:

  • Dry skin
  • Scratching
  • Contact with pollen, mould, dust mites or animals
  • Viral or bacterial infections
  • Temperature changes such as overly heated rooms
  • Exposure to water, soap, perfumes, washing detergents or other chemicals
  • Swimming in chlorinated swimming pools
  • Playing in sand and particularly sandpits
  • Sitting directly on carpets or grass
  • Woollen or synthetic fabrics
  • Psychological stress
  • Food allergies

Take note that you don’t have to avoid all the triggers listed, only the triggers that are relevant to your child.

Can you recommend some of your favourite go to Weleda products you would recommend for supporting a child’s skin?

The Weleda White Mallow Body Lotion is one of my favourite products for children because we get such great feedback on it from our customers. We use the gel from the white mallow root (also called marshmallow) which helps to relieve itchy skin. The product also contain plant oils rich in precious fatty acids that will absorb into the deeper skin layers and soften and soothe skin. In addition, we add ingredients that will form a protective layer on top of the skin and slow down moisture evaporation such as beeswax, coconut oil and cacao butter.

The Weleda Skin Food is another go-to product for children with dry and sensitive skin. This a very thick cream, closer to an ointment really. It contains extracts of calendula, chamomile and pansy to help soothe inflammation and strengthen the skin’s natural functions. One of the other key ingredients is hypoallergenic lanolin, which has this wonderful ability to trap moisture in the skin, with long-lasting results.

What would be your top tips for parents to help reduce the risk of their child/children developing over sensitive skin?
Moisturise, moisturise and moisturise!

Protect and maintain your child’s natural oily skin barrier. The skin barrier prevents irritants and allergens from penetrating the skin and causing inflammation in the skin. It also slows down moisture from escaping from the skin thus keeping the skin moist and supple.

A randomised controlled trial have shown a 50% reduction in the risk of developing eczema in high-risk babies (with one parent or sibling having eczema, asthma or hayfever) when their whole bodies were moisturised once a day for the first 6 months of life. (i)

For children who already suffer from dry skin or eczema, it is advisable to moisturise their skin as frequently as possible (2-3 times per day) and always after a shower or bath.  Parents often underestimate the amount of moisturiser needed for children with dry or eczema-prone skin. Experts recommend using at least 250g of moisturiser per week on children with eczema! (ii)

Avoid products and activities that will dry out or irritate the skin

Soap and bubble baths damage and dry out the skin, with sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) being one of the main culprits. Use soap-free washes or oils when bathing your child to keep the skin barrier intact. And babies and small children don’t need to be bathed every day as they don’t secrete much sweat or sebum yet. Just wipe their little faces and hands and feet when needed.

I’ve read that you’ve suffered from your own skin issues in the past, do you mind telling us about your own journey?

I have been suffering from blepharitis (inflammation of the eye lids) since I was 16 years old. My eyes are also very dry and sensitive. I visited a quite few eye specialists and tried their suggestions, including washing the eye lids with baby shampoo, taking long-term oral antibiotics and also cortisone eye drops. I experimented with countless herbal and nutritional supplements, herbal eye baths, exclusion diets and homeopathy. My condition started improving about 10 years ago when I weaned myself off cortisone eye drops and I was also taking a double dose of grapeseed extract at the time. These days my eyes seem to be coping well if I stay away from any triggers such as eye make-up, contact lenses and chlorinated and sea water.

I also have acne rosacea and generally a dry and sensitive skin which I manage to keep happy with our beautiful Weleda products.

What’s your thoughts on the connection between eczema and food allergies? And how can diet affect our skin?

Food allergies play a role in about 30% of cases where there is an early and severe onset of eczema in babies, however it has a much smaller role to play in mildly affected babies or older children and adults. Aside from food allergies, what you eat can either encourage inflammatory or anti-inflammatory pathways in your body which will ultimately affect the health of your skin.

We talk increasingly about the need to encourage and maintain good gut flora but can you tell us more about skin flora?

Just like gut flora, everyone’s population of skin flora is unique. The beneficial or harmless microorganisms compete for space on the skin with the more harmful microorganisms, so it’s a good idea to keep the skin flora healthy by not harming them with excessive washing or harsh soaps and chemicals. We also know that eczema sufferers have a less diverse skin microbiome, with a relative abundance of Staphylococcus aureus (golden staph) compared to those with healthy skin.

I’ve read that genetics can play a role in certain skin issues developing, what are your thoughts around this?

Yes, the strongest risk factor for developing eczema is a family history of eczema, asthma or hayfever. The strongest known genetic risk factor is a mutation in the filaggrin gene which causes a reduced barrier function in the skin making it prone to dryness and hypersensitivity.

Genetics have some role to play in other skin issues such as psoriasis and acne, but not as decisively as compared to eczema.

Footnotes:

(i) Simpson EL, Chalmers JR, Hanifin JM, Thomas KS, Cork MJ, McLean WH. Emollient enhancement of the skin barrier from birth offers effective atopic dermatitis prevention. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014 Oct;134(4):818-23.

(ii) Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA). ASCIA Action Plan for Eczema. 2013.

 

You can find out more about Weleda and their wonderful products here

Lifestyle

Biome Eco Stores – Tracey Bailey Interview

You may have seen me mention Biome Eco Stores before over on my social media channels, the wonderful eco-friendly store with heart.

I recently connected with Tracey Bailey the founder of Biome Eco Stores to find out more about herself and her wonderful store.

How did Biome come about?

Various factors influenced the launch of Biome from my simple upbringing in a small mining town in north Queensland, to my passion and consideration for animals and the environment. Growing up, I spent most of my time outdoors, camping, riding my bike and bush walking with my family. I became a vegetarian as a teenager and then later pursued a career in corporate communications working nationally and abroad with multinational companies. It was during this time I began questioning businesses ethical and sustainable responsibilities, and started to become more sceptical of consumer product marketing.

In 1996, I ventured deep in the Tanjung Puting National Park on Kalimantan, Indonesia, where I experienced a personal encounter with orangutans. This fuelled my passion to do more, and in 2003 I launched Biome, Australia’s first online eco store selling a carefully curated selection of environmentally and socially responsible products.

The purpose of Biome is to be part of the solution to the world’s environmental problems.  I want people to feel empowered about their actions and contributions to the planet no matter how big or small.

What’s your process for choosing what products you choose to stock?

Every brand and product sold at Biome is rigorously assessed to ensure it meets our strict standards before it is offered to our customers. I want our customers to shop with us knowing they are selecting from a range that performs well without sacrificing their health or impacting the planet. Each supplier is verified for truth in labelling, safe ingredients and zero harm to people and animals. This gives our customers peace of mind when shopping at Biome.

Our suppliers meet stringent requirements and are screened for:

  • Organic ingredients
  • Local / Australian made
  • BPA-free Plastic products
  • Palm Oil free
  • Sustainable practises
  • Fair trade
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Cradle to Cradle (End of life) programs
  • Recyclable components or packaging
  • Compostable components or packaging
  • Verified for all claims

You received an International B Corporation Certificate, can you tell us what that is?

B Corporation® certification recognises purpose-driven businesses that run with the highest level of transparency and accountability, and are committed to improving social and environmental conditions for all. B Corporations have one shared vision – to create a global movement using the power of business to drive positive change. They are driven by the value they add to the wider community, not profits, and operate at a higher social and environmental level, considering business impacts and being responsible for them.

Since launching 14 years ago, we have strived to build a sustainable and transparent business that supports employees, suppliers, community and the environment. We spend countless hours questioning other businesses and suppliers about their environmentally and socially responsible practices and values, and I wanted to show our customers we operate by the same principles we set.  I’m proud Biome has passed the rigorous assessment and joins the ranks of world changing brands that work towards creating a global movement using the power of business to drive positive change.

What are your top 3 favourite product picks?

KeepCup – my favourite product pick is my reusable coffee cup. I purchase an average of 1.5 cups of takeaway coffee every day of the year, which means I save over 500 single use disposable coffee cups annually. We recently calculated the waste the Biome community has save over 12 months. By simply using their reusable coffee cups, our community has saved over 2 million single use disposable coffee cups. It’s a simple change that prevents lots of waste. Click here to view the range of KeepCups

DIY skin care ingredients – Making your own natural skin care ingredients is best way to know exactly what you are putting on your skin. We have sourced the highest quality naturally occurring ingredients including activated charcoal, pink clay, bentonite clay and coconut oil. I love whipping up my own range of natural beauty products including toothpaste, deodorant and lip balm. It’s easy, fun and you can tailor the ingredients to suit your personal preference. Click here to view the range of DIY skin care ingredients

Konjac Sponge – Konjac Sponges offer a gentle zero waste way to cleanse your face without the use of additional products. Made from konjac root vegetable, this product is beautiful to use and can be composted at the end of its life. I have used this product for many years and absolutely love it.  Click here to view the range of Konjac Sponges

What inspires you?

I’m constantly inspired by the opportunity to make a positive change in the world, the Biome team, and Biome’s community of conscious consumers. I recently calculated and published Biome’s 12-month purchase and usage figures of reusable water bottles, coffee cups, straws, shopping bags and produce bags.  I uncovered in the last 12 months the Biome community saved over 6.7 million single use plastic items from production and waste. This has not only saved precious non-renewable resources and reduced landfill waste, but has helped our customers understand the true impact of their individual daily actions. I have always believed individual actions have the collective power to create significant change.

What exciting things are you working on at the moment?

As an environmentally friendly store with a strong zero-waste focus, I want Biome customers to be able to reduce their environmental impact as much as possible by offering recycling options they can’t access elsewhere. Currently there is a problem that most skin care, cosmetics and toothpaste plastic containers cannot be recycled through household Council recycling bins. I have just launched a complimentary in store ‘end of life’ recycling program to accept all used product packaging and beauty and cleaning containers, which I will then send to be responsibly recycled through the TerraCycle program.  This program will help to maintain and improve Biome’s and its customer’s environmental impact.

Please note this blog contains affiliate links, this means following these links earns me a small commission but you pay the same amount.

Lifestyle

Healing Eczema – A Nutritionalist view point

Healing eczema from a nutritionalist view point.

Hi there my name is Kim Holmes and I am a mum and Nutritionist. I have 2 children, my little B’s, hence the name of my business; The Healthy Little B. My eldest, daughter Billie has had in the past, only mild eczema, but a little patch on her face – it needed to go! If it were behind her knees or in the cracks of her elbows (where likely spots can be) – I wouldn’t have cared as much. In addition, she also had dust mite allergies, irritability and sensitivities – I knew I had to heal her internally as there was definitely a hypersensitivity going on. And by internally I mean treating her gut, reducing inflammation, performing food sensitivity tests and altering her diet.

Of course the food intolerance test showed up the ‘usual suspects’ – gluten, wheat, dairy, eggs. My kids don’t really have any gluten or much dairy but I was a little sad that eggs came up – a great nutritional powerhouse! Spelt, pineapple and almonds also were present. Perhaps I was over-dosing with almond milk!

Anyway, cutting a long story short, we removed the culprits, began our rotation diet and developed (with also the help of a fab Naturopath), a great supplement regime.

Here is what works with healing our eczema:

  1. Probiotics – there are many strains out there but the probiotic strain Lactobacillus Rhamnosus (LGG) is specific for its use in healing eczema.
  2. Other gut-healing nutrients – such as glutamine is a lovely nutrient to really heal any inflammation that may be present in the gut.
  3. Omega 3 – the ultimate in reducing inflammation and hydrating the dry eczema patches.
  4. Vitamin A – is needed for the health of the lining of our digestive system.
  5. Vitamin D – studies continue to show that vitamin D is needed for skin health and plays a role in allergy reduction. Don’t be afraid to get your little ones out in the lovely winter sun!
  6. Hydration – dry winter weather, heated air-conditioners don’t help with eczema. Drink loads of filtered water and research natural + organic topical creams to aid the healing.

(PS – after doing this for a while, we re-tested her intolerances. Pineapple, almonds and spelt had no reaction – yay! There was even a better tolerance to goat’s cheese).

Whilst it is great to have a diet rich in the above nutrients such as oily fish, flaxseeds, fermented foods etc – in order to really get a hold on eczema – it is good to invest in high quality supplements and in therapeutic doses to get any effect, just for a set amount of time.

This really worked for us. My daughter hasn’t had any patches for a while now. I believe a diet rich in wholefoods, low or nil gluten, sugar and dairy really does help. Not only for eczema but also for bloated little bellies, behaviour, attention and sleep.

Be sure to contact myself or another qualified health professional before you embark on a supplement regime.

About Kim

Kim is mother to two gorgeous children and a qualified nutritionalist based in Sydney, Australia.  She also holds a Bachelor of Health Science as well as a certificate in paediatric nutrition. Kim’s passion is to share her knowledge with other families and to help them reach their potential in terms of living a healthy nourished life through private consults, cooking workshops, education and more.

Find Kim here:

www.thehealthylittleb.com.au

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Instagram

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Lifestyle

The Wholesome Child – Interview with Mandy Sacher

Mandy Sacher

Mandy Sacher is the creator of Wholesome Child, she’s a Paediatric Nutritionist and SOS Feeding Consultant and mother of two based in Sydney, Australia.  Through her private clinical practice and seminars she has helped thousands of families improve their health and wellbeing.  She’s launched her first book ‘The Wholesome Child Nutrition Guide and Recipe Book’ which is available now.

I recently caught up with Mandy to find out more about herself and her new fantastic new book.

Fun question to start with!  What couldn’t you live without in your pantry?

The Wholesome Child Gluten Free Mix is my staple!!  It is used to prepare all the gluten-free recipes in the Wholesome Child Book.

What does a day on your plate look like?

  • Breakfast: Shakshuka with chia seeds and goat cheese, Snack: Turmeric and Ginger Smoothie
  • Lunch : Big mixed salad with either salmon or poached chicken with extra virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar Mid afternoon: Wholesome Child Flaxseed crackers with cashew cheese
  • Dinner: Shepherd’s Pie with parsnip and cauliflower mash, steamed vegetables and garden salad.

What’s your top 3 tips for parents with fussy eaters?

  1. Family meals. Have family meals together and make it a goal to have as many meals together as often as possible.
  2. Desensitisation. Encourage your little ones to touch, smell and engage with their food. This starts right from shopping for groceries. Can they help take items off the shelves? Encourage them to pick up a carrot, an apple or a zucchini from the shelf and place it in the basket or trolley themselves – this begins the engagement with the new food. Can they put the dish or new veggie onto the table for the family? Don’t be disappointed if they don’t eat the new food the first time it’s offered – stay positive, freeze what is not eaten and offer it again.
  3. Repetition: Make new foods familiar by repeatedly offering them in a calm, familial environment. A child will not go to a stranger the first time they meet them, but after a few visits they generally feel more comfortable to sit with them. The same goes for new foods. Repeated exposure aids the process of engaging with new tastes and flavours. You can also try offering these same foods in different ways – cut into fun shapes, laid out in colour patterns, steamed veggies rather than raw.

What’s your opinion on introducing solids earlier to babies to help prevent allergies?

I am all for introducing solids earlier and there is plenty of research which shows that it may help to prevent allergies. Allergenic foods can be introduced at 4-6 months of age to all infants, the basis for this new recommendation is that there is no evidence for delaying the introduction of allergenic foods beyond 4-6 months.   However, each parent has to follow their instinct and introduce solids when they are ready and when their child is ready.  Some babies are not ready at 4 months but are far more interested and equipped with the necessary skills closer to 5.5 or 6 months.  I see many mothers feeling pressurised to introduce solids at exactly 4 months and this is counter-productive as babies feed off their mother’s emotions. When it comes to offering a baby their first experience of solid foods it needs to be in a relaxed and calm environment.

What’s your children’s favourite meal?

Home-made fish nuggets with home-made wedges.

You’ve just launched your first book which is very exciting!  What drove you to create this book?

I wrote Wholesome Child: A Complete Nutrition Guide and Cookbook  to provide answers to the many questions parents have around kids’ nutrition, while offering strategies that really work.  My philosophy is simple: encourage children to enjoy nutritionally beneficial foods from a young age to ensure optimal development and establish lifelong healthy eating behaviours. The book incorporates lessons I have learned over the past 22 years in the health and wellness industry – plus my  own hands-on experiences feeding my two young children.  The book provides meaningful answers and proven solutions to the questions and challenges that are raised time and time again in my workshops, in parenting forums and by my clients and friends. The book also contains over 140 simple and delicious nutrient packed recipes that the whole family can enjoy. My goals for the book is to provide parents with an invaluable companion that will help support their family’s health journey while bringing the fun and enjoyment back to meal times.

For more information about Wholesome Child go here

Mandy has kindly shared with us her delicious Shepherds Pie below.

 

Wholesome Child's Shepherd's pie

SHEPHERDS PIE

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 40 Minutes

Ingredients

  • For the mash:
  • 3 cups cauliflower (about 500-600g), roughly chopped
  • 1 cup white sweet potato (about 250-300g), peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsnip (about 100-150g), peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbs coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 1/2 tbs arrowroot powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • For the mince:
  • 1-2 tbs coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 500g beef or lamb mince
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1-2 tbs mixed herbs
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2-3 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tbs tamari sauce
  • 1 cup beef stock

Instructions

1

Fill a large pot with water and bring to the boil. Add cauliflower, sweet potato and parsnip and cook vegetables for about 10-15 mins or until they are soft. Drain, rinse and allow to cool for a few minutes. Place all vegetables and coconut oil into a food processor and process until smooth. Add arrowroot powder and salt and process for another minute. Set aside.

2

Meanwhile, heat coconut oil in a large pan and cook onion, leek, garlic, carrot and celery for 3 mins or until they are soft. Transfer into a measurement jar or bowl and blend with a stick blender until smooth. Set aside.

3

In the same pan, cook the mince for 5-10 mins, or until browned.

4

Add vegetable mix, cumin, herbs, salt, tomato paste, tamari sauce and beef stock and let simmer for another 10 mins.

5

Preheat oven to 180oC.

6

Place the mince mixture into a deep baking dish, then top with the cauliflower mash and bake for 20 minutes (it won’t brown on top).

Notes

Serving and storing leftovers: Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Tip: If your children don’t mind chunky meals, you can leave out the step where you blend the onion, leek, garlic, carrot and celery and simply add them to the browned beef. You can also replace vegetable mash with potato or a combination of potato and cauliflower.

Lifestyle

Clearing Gracie’s Eczema

Eczema cured without steroid creams.

 

So I’ve recently created a Support and Chat group as an offshoot to my Instagram and Facebook pages as I wanted to create a comfortable and safe place for parents or carers to discuss what they’re currently going through and share knowledge with others going through similar.  I would love for you to join and for us to connect so we can share more of these stories.

Since creating this group I keep getting asked how I cleared Gracie’s eczema and I realised that I haven’t written a more clear and detailed outline on what we did and what worked for us.  Obviously every child is different and I’m not a medical professional, I’m just a Mum who did her research out of desperation to help her daughter.

You can read more about the beginning of our story here

Eczema is a sign that there is inflammation within the body, once you get your head around this you can move forward in working out the causes and helping your child heal.  Unfortunately creams just mask the problems and don’t get to the root cause (believe me I’ve been there!).

One of the main causes of Eczema is ‘Leaky Gut Syndrome‘ which Gracie was diagnosed as having.  This is when the lining of the gut becomes thin and small food particles leak through the gut wall and cause inflammation and food sensitivities.  Gluten and dairy are the biggest food causes for causing eczema, for us it was dairy.  Gracie would consume milk and within hours break out in hives and then eczema all over her body.

Now I understand there can be other triggers for eczema such as environmental rather than food but either way it all comes down to inflammation and the gut plays a major factor.

So how did we tackle it?

  1. We worked out what her triggers were
  2. We eliminated the triggers for quite sometime to give her gut time to rest
  3. We introduced gut healing food
  4. Reintroduction

Working out the triggers

So how did we work out the triggers?  At the beginning of our journey it was quite obvious that dairy was causing a lot of issues. Grace would have milk and with within hours be breaking out in hives and then eczema patches.  She had IgE testing and it all came back negative for the common food allergies and nothing else showed up in other blood work testing.

I decided to get her tested for food intolerances, IgG testing.  If you’re in Australia (Sydney) and interested in Food Intolerance testing I highly recommend Australian Biologics where I took Grace.  Otherwise an Integrative Doctor or even a good Naturopath should be able to assist you with this.

Food Intolerance testing is done via a painless finger prick test and they have a finer paediatric needle for children – Grace didn’t even flinch when she had hers done, which was a relief!  What I like about Australian biologics is that there testing seems to be way more comprehensive than any other tests I’ve seen on the market within Australia.

If you’re finding working out the triggers to be unclear, gluten and dairy are normally the two main food offenders for causing eczema and I would also recommend keeping a food diary to see if you work out a pattern.

Gut rest

Once we worked out the suspected triggers we eliminated them.   I had suspected dairy all along, it wasn’t until we saw Gracie’s Integrative Paediatrician who used her IgG test results as a guide that she just advised us to just stop completely which was overwhelming at first.  One of the main reasons I had sat on the fence for a bit, was my concern for her calcium intake  and how I would make this up without her consuming any form of  dairy.

As well as eliminating these foods I basically ditched anything that was from a packet or even remotely processed.

It took around a three months for Gracie’s eczema to clear completely, the early days are frustrating as you think nothing is happening but slowly and surely her skin cleared and it’s remained clear with no flare ups!

Healing Foods

During this time we rested Gracie’s gut, along with her supplements we tried to introduce as many healing foods as we could.

  • Bone broth – if you’re going to make anything make this!  It’s super easy to make and can be drunk as is, base of a soup and used for cooking casseroles etc
  • As well as taking a good probiotic, I try and make sure Gracie has foods that have Prebiotic properties – so foods that help the existing good flora within the gut.  So think banana flour, onions, leeks and garlic (she’s not keen yet on Sauerkraut ha!)

Reintroduction

Using her IgG test results as a guide, I have very slowly over time tested and reintroduced some foods that showed a lesser reaction successfully.  This is something that we continue to work on in conjunction with her chronic constipation issues (so far she’s never had an eczema flare up!)  The idea being if the gut is healed then these foods should be ok to reintroduce, but this is a process that requires testing and we still have some foods that we have yet to reintroduce on the advice of her doctor because her other issue is yet to be resolved.

I would like to thank Dr Ana-Maria Temple of Family Wellness Tips for allowing me to share some of her wonderful and informative videos that I think you will find really helpful connected to this subject.  Dr Temple is a Paediatrician currently practising in New Zealand, Wife and Mum to 3 beautiful children. Make sure you follow her on Instagram to watch her fantastic 1 minute Paediatric advice videos and wellness tips.

Dr Temple

Videos:

Gut Healing

Leaky Gut

Eczema

Dairy

Dairy Alternatives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How I cured my daughters eczema without steroid creams.

Lifestyle

Gracie’s Birthday Party

Cupcakes - Gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. Great for the school lunchbox to.

We recently celebrated Gracie’s 3rd birthday on Friday and had a lovely party at home.  Gracie had the best time and Mummy and Daddy were exhausted! I’ve had a few people contact me since and ask what kind of food we ended up making, so I’ve popped the low down here.

Banana cake, gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free.

Apple Donuts

No Birthday, would be complete without a Birthday Cake.  I decided to turn one of Gracie’s favourite recipes from Live Love Nourish into a cake.  I doubled the ratio of Casey-Lee’s delicious banana bread and then frosted it following her Coconut Frosting recipe (I coloured it with Beetroot powder) – it was a big hit!

I also baked Paleo Carrot Cakes , ever since I started making these Gracie goes mad for them!  They’re absolutely delicious and with 4 cups of carrots used this in the recipe, I’d say that’s a win!  I also made Chocolate Zucchini Muffins , you would never know these had zucchini in them and no refined sugar, they’re so easy to make and really delicious. And finally, I baked Apple and Cinnamon Donuts packed full of apple and can be made gluten-free, these were a huge hit!

What else:

  • Chopped cucumber and carrots with hummus
  • Fruit Platters
  • Souvlaki sticks
  • Frittata
  • Spelt Sandwiches
  • Zucchini Fritters

If you’re looking for more children’s food party ideas, check out the recent guest post by Little Foodies.

I had a lot of people messaging me, asking what the favours were at Gracie’s party.  I was gifted them from Sticker Me Team.  Sticker Me Team  are offering a 3 Month subscription for the price of 2 to all my followers – just use the promo code “healinggraciesgut” when you check out. One use per customer and valid until 31st July 2017 and only open to Australian residents. Check our their Facebook & Instagram profiles.

Lifestyle

Keep Calm & Carry On

Keep Calm & Carry On

Last week was finally the week we saw Gracie’s Integrative Paedritician Dr Leila Masson.  We had a big gap between her last appointment as she had to relocate back overseas, but she’s returned to Australia for a few weeks to see patients and to be a speaker at the International MINDD conference for practitioners.

As I mentioned in previous posts, the past several weeks have been tough with Gracie’s chronic constipation getting to the point where it was very hard to manage (and very stressful).  We pinpointed the change in her gut from a bad 24 hour Gastro bug she had which seems to have completely upset her system.

What I love about seeing an Integrative Doctor is the difference in how they look and treat their patients.  Dr Masson examined Gracie feeling her tummy, checking her skin, nails etc and the outcome of these examinations build up a picture and part of her treatment plan.

Because of the current blip and her severe constipation we have had to swap Gracie over to a stronger laxative (not happy!), so the plan is to increase her supplements a bit more and to try and work on weaning her back down on the laxative.

Dr Masson also recommended Gracie have a Faecal Microbial Analysis test (FMA), which is done via a stool sample and looks at the microflora of your intestinal tract – it is different to the standard stool tests you have done at your local GP.  The lab culture, identify and quantify faecal bacteria, including aerobes, anaerobes, and yeasts.  Luckily I had only recently done a FMA test myself for my own health issues and Dr Masson was happy to use my results as a guide in treating Gracie (a child’s gut flora is similar to their mother’s), so we are now sharing a Probiotic called ‘Mutaflor’ for different reasons.  Mutaflor is meant to be a very effective probiotic for treating chronic constipation. However, if  we don’t see any improvement after three months we are to going to get Gracie’s own FMA test done to see if it sheds any further light into what’s going on within her gut.

As we were discussing Gracie, Dr Masson made a really good point that Gracie is most likely picking up on all my nervous tension around her situation and that I basically need to back off a bit (which I find hard to do!).  All the way home I was thinking about it and realise how very uptight I’ve become about this whole situation and that I do need to try and back off as Grace is of the age that she understands and is picking up on everything and I definitely don’t want to do anything that is going to impede her.

When I look back I realise that we have come a super long way in our journey.  We’ve managed to completely clear up her eczema, which has never reappeared and also managed to reintroduce some foods that now don’t seem to be an issue.  Sometimes you get so caught up with the daily things you don’t realise just how far you have come.

So that’s where we are today – I’m hoping the Mutaflor plus all the other things we are doing will help to resolve her issues and I’m going to try and remain more calm about things (hmmm that might be the hardest part!)

If anyone is interested Dr Leila Masson has written a wonderful book called ‘Children’s Health A to Z for New Zealand Parents‘ it’s not just for New Zealand parents,  it’s for any parent who is interested in a natural approach to common ailments.  I have purchased it and its such a handy book! 

On a side note I also wanted to share that I’ve created a Facebook Support and Chat group  for parents who are going through similar issues and it would be great to connect with you all over there.

 

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