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What matters now? Parenting your baby at night time


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The gifted and talented program helps me to think deeper about topics that I have never considered. Tristan, Year 11

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This year marks 19 years in business for us and equates to 153 editions of On The Coast publications. Those stats bring to us a sense of accomplishment and pride and possibly a little emotion too. We’ve stood the test of time, navigated ourselves through the ebbs and flows of business (including a pandemic), and made the most amazing friendships that will last a lifetime. All in all, it’s been the most incredibly satisfying two decades and instilled in us, values and knowledge that we will carry with us always. Theodore Roosevelt once said “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain & difficulty”, and he is right. Every time we challenge ourselves, strive to make a difference, introduce something new or take a risk, we are vulnerable. But daring to try new things and undertake new adventures, brings us a renewed sense of excitement and a new found purpose. So with that in mind, we need to share with you, our valued and beloved readers, that it is time to hand over the “On The Coast” reins to new owners, who will bring future editions to you with fresh eyes, creative ideas and new energy. We are so thrilled to introduce to you – Tanzie & Luke Carpenter, who officially take over On The Coast Publications from June 1. They have extensive experience in the publishing industry, are designer extraordinaires and most importantly, are an amazing, kind, driven, fun couple who will give this business the new zest it is ready for.

4 Collagen...fad or fabulous? 8 Matrescence

10 What matters now? 12 Warm up your wardrobe style!

14 Parenting your baby at night time

We wish to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your loyalty and support over the past two decades. Thank you for loving our magazines as much as we have and for always grabbing them off the shelves at our distribution points or reading them online. We will miss you! Our favourite Dr Seuss quote sums it up for us “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened”. THANK YOU! <3

Simone and Debbie



Simone Evans

Spotpress Pty Ltd – 9549 1111

Art Director Debbie Elliott

Photography – Cover image Taleah and Marlee Cloud Nine Photography

22 Welcome relief for Central Coast families

26 Shining a light on mother rage

28 Allergies & intolerances

Imagery Publisher Phone: 4325 3393 Debbie Elliott – Ph: 0421 026 915 Simone Evans – Ph: 0413 186 431 trading as On the Coast Publications ABN 66 765 066 257 54 Hills Street, North Gosford 2250 Contributors Dr Alison Mooney, Sam Woods, Jordi Woods, Catherine Brown, Diana Arundell, Alita Blanchard, Catherine Schasser

30 Harvest Festival

Warranty & Indemnity

Advertisers and/or advertising agencies upon and by lodging material with the Publisher for publication or authorising or approving of the publication of any material INDEMNIFY the Publisher, its servants and agents against all liability claims or proceedings whatsoever arising from the publication and without limiting the generality of the fore-going to indemnify each of them in relation to defamation, slander of title, breach of copyright, infringement of trademarks or names of publication titles, unfair competition or trade practices, royalties or violation of rights or privacy AND WARRANT that the material compiles with all relevant laws and regulations and that its publication will not give rise to any rights against or liabilities in the Publisher, its servants or agents and in particular that nothing therein is capable of being misleading or deceptive or otherwise in breach of Part V of the Trade Practices Act 1974. The views expressed in On the Coast – Over 55 are not necessarily those of the editor or publishing staff. While every effort has been made to insure accuracy of the information in this publication, no responsibility will be accepted by On the Coast – Over 55. No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission of the publisher.



fad Collagen or fabulous? BY DIANA ARUNDELL



he health and wellness industry often seems to have a ‘miracle’ or ‘fad’ type food or supplement of the moment. We’ve lived through trends of kale, coconut oil, cacao, celery juice (which pumped up the prices of celery bunches from $3 to $9!!) just to name a few. Many of the ‘superfoods’ that gain attention are actually super healthy foods, however none of them are the one magic thing that will fix all health issues as they’re sometimes marketed. Collagen has recently gained some attention and the right form of collagen can indeed be beneficial in supporting the strength of the musculoskeletal system including bone, tendons, cartilage, muscles and improve skin tone. Collagen production naturally reduces with age so a good quality collagen supplement can be beneficial to a number of health issues associated with the ageing process. Collagen is a protein and like all proteins it is made up of amino acids which are considered the building blocks of protein. Collagen can be likened to a piece of rope made up of tiny fibre strands intertwined and is an important structural protein found in our connective tissue such as hair, skin, nails, muscles, joints and tendons. The role of connective tissue includes structural connection, hydration, cushioning and support. Collagen peptides are tiny protein building blocks concentrating the amino acids glycine, hydroxy-glycine and proline which all contribute to the body’s essential amino acid requirements. There are several clinically proven collagen peptides that have been studied and shown to improve cartilage health, skin elasticity and stimulate the synthesis of bone matrix. These are Fortigel, Verisol and Fortibone respectively. Other collagen peptides have been studied and proven to support muscle mass maintenance and healthy body composition. Some of the main areas that can be supported by collagen is that of joints and cartilage. Joints that are affected by osteoarthritis caused by age or wear and tear, respond well to collagen peptides



such as Fortigel. This form of collagen peptide has been proven to stimulate the growth of cartilage and ease joint discomfort. Almost 70% of cartilage mass is made up of

Collagen production naturally reduces with age so a good quality collagen supplement can be beneficial to a number of health issues associated with the ageing process collagen protein and supplementing with Fortigel collagen peptides for three months has shown significant improvement in joint cartilage tissue metabolism. Our skin structure is primarily made up of collagen and Verisol collagen peptides have been shown to improve the texture of skin by nourishing and hydrating from the inside out. This may result in smoother skin texture, plumping up wrinkles and improved growth of hair and nails. Results may be noticed after 4 weeks of continued dosing. Fortibone collagen peptides improves the synthesis of collagenous bone matrix. This anabolic effect on the bone matrix has shown signs of improving bone mineral density scores in menopausal women with osteopaenia and osteoporosis after 12 months of supplementation. Collagen is found more abundantly in animal products such as bone broth, fish, beef, chicken and pork skin. These are broken down via our digestive tract to the collagen peptides however may

not be absorbed as effectively as the hydrolysed collagen peptides. Collagen production in the body is enhanced by vitamin C so eating an abundance of vitamin C rich foods such as red and orange coloured fruit and vegetables and broccoli can assist natural collagen production. It’s harder to find good quality collagen sources in a vegetarian or vegan diet although the following vegetables contain reasonable levels of proline and hydroxyproline which are the main amino acids that form collagen: beans, cheese, eggs, soybean, wheatgerm. Collagen powder is easy to take as it’s tasteless, it’s well absorbed and has minimal potential side effects so may be well tolerated by sensitive individuals. Good quality collagen powder can be added to cooking as it remains therapeutically stable. As with all supplements, it’s important to choose an evidence based, practitioner quality formula as these products have been proven to be effective. If you are unsure speak to your naturopath or nutritionist for advice.

Diana Arundell is a university qualified naturopath and consults from her Avoca Naturopath clinic. She has a special interest in fertility and pregnancy health, digestive health, immune function and family wellness programs. She is a lecturer of Nutrition at Macquarie University, and an accredited Journey Practitioner. For further information or to make an appointment please contact Diana Arundell at Avoca Naturopath on 0410 465 900.



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Central Coast Conservatorium Children’s Choir to perform with

Opera Australia’s Carmen


he Central Coast Conservatorium of Music has been invited to form a Children’s Choir to perform with Opera Australia in their regional tour of ‘Carmen’ at The Arthouse Wyong on Tuesday 13th July and Wednesday 14th July, 2021. 23 students are involved in the choir, and are going through a weekly choir and performance class. These classes consist of choir training and technique with Artistic Director Patrick Brennan, basics of drama, understanding stage directions and some fun choreographed movement to get the students comfortable with moving on stage with teacher Nicky Castle. The students will learn how to warm up their voices, how to sing together, and how to present with confidence on stage. “This is an exceptional opportunity for our students to perform with Australia’s largest opera company, and refine not only their musical skills but also their stagecraft,” says Patrick Brennan, Artistic Director of the Central Coast Conservatorium. “We are delighted to be able to provide this experience to our students,” says Irena Tasevska, General Manager of Central Coast Conservatorium. “These opportunities are what sets the Conservatorium apart, and enable us to provide the most enriching musical education possible for our students.”

Tickets will be on sale from the Arthouse Wyong for the performances on Tuesday 13th July and Wednesday 14th July, 2021.



Active kids? Ball loving kids?


Carter O’Neill Legal

Then Ready Steady Go Kids is for you With 10 sports taught across 2 terms, the kids never get bored. They are always challenged with something new and exciting. Some kids find sport comes naturally to them, and others struggle to find something that suits them. This is the reason we started ready steady go kids on the coast. To give all preschool aged children an opportunity to participate in sport in a friendly, fun filled, non-competitive environment whilst trying new things. Classes start from 18 months old. These Get Ready classes are filled with activities that toddlers can explore and get their first taste of sporting skills in a semi structured class where all modified equipment for the littlies is used. As the kids get older, we move to a structured class where they learn all the basics of each sport and they

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also get to test their ability on our agility circuits. Lots of hitting, kicking, running, throwing, catching, balancing, swerving, thinking, sharing, turn taking and listening are all a part of our classes. Our program is progressive, which means as your child gets older the skills get progressively harder and more challenging. Our school readiness GO class is great for kids starting school the next year. We teach all the sports that they will learn at school, the best part is your child will already know the basics when they get there and are a step ahead of kids who haven’t done our classes.

For more information on our classes or to book your FREE TRIAL CLASS, head over to or find us on facebook “ready steady go kids central coast”

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hey say that when a child is born so too is a mother. The path to motherhood was termed ‘matrescence’ by anthropologist Dana Raphael in the mid-1970’s. This journey is possibly the most significant transformation that a woman will undertake and so we must acknowledge and normalise the process. In the words of Maya Angelou, “we delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” Western culture tends to focus on the care of the baby rather than viewing the mother and child as a dyad; a unit that consists of two distinct elements, each requiring special attention. My journey I had always dreamt of being a mother, however the journey took a lot longer than I expected. I will never forget the pain of longing for a child. It was truly heartbreaking to see others moving on with their lives when I was experiencing disappointment after disappointment. I found it was possible to feel happiness for them but to also be devastated in my desperation. It was a lonely time. In hindsight, the struggle through fertility treatments, negative pregnancy tests, failed embryo transfers and a miscarriage strengthened my relationship. I naively thought that IVF must be one of the toughest challenges for a couple to face. All I wanted was a baby, perhaps I was too scared to think beyond that dream in case it never happened and so I was



not emotionally prepared when it did! Finally, after the 6th embryo transfer, the second pregnancy, a large bleed and emergency visit at 15 weeks and a whole lot of worry later I received the greatest gift of a healthy baby boy! Little did I know that the real challenge was just beginning. I had a baby in my arms, but I felt like I had lost my husband and, in many ways, myself. I was now a mother but I’m not quite sure if I felt like one. Shouldn’t it be an instant identity shift? Difficult thoughts and feelings Matrescence is a highly individual process that will take varying lengths of time and while some may breeze into it, others may find it an extremely confronting experience. A woman may be facing many challenges and adjustments, including physical, mental, emotional, economical and spiritual, all the while doing her best to meet the needs of her baby. The human brain is a problem-solving machine, and it goes into overdrive during this time. You may be feeling utterly exhausted but unable to sleep while your baby is sleeping, be worrying intensely that something is wrong with your baby and just leaving the house seems like a momentous task. Your brain can give you endless unhelpful thoughts such as ‘I’m no good at this, everyone thinks I’m a bad mother as I can’t stop my baby crying, this is so easy for everyone else, there must be something wrong with me.” Most women will experience difficult thoughts and feelings, it is entirely

natural to feel discomfort as your whole world turns upside down! Becoming a mother can be the best AND the worst thing that has ever happened to you. The ambivalence of this thought can be very uncomfortable to sit with. Peer support Mothers groups can be the most wonderful opportunity to connect with fellow women also undergoing matrescence. For me, I honestly don’t think I would be the mother I am today without the friendship of so many kind, supportive and strong women However, some may find groups anxiety provoking as it is only natural to compare. We may try and pitch ourselves to impossible standards. We may put on a ‘brave face’ as you feel no one wants to hear that actually you’re not ok, this gig is really tough, and you don’t think you’re feeling how you’re supposed to. There is great shame in admitting that you are not coping but there is so much bravery in being vulnerable and the bravest act that you can do is to open up and ask for help. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to one another, you never know, that other mum that looks like she’s got her s*** together may just be having the same thoughts as you. Coping strategies Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an exciting new form of cognitive behavioural therapy that can be extremely useful during matrescence and can be practiced anywhere at any

time. It acknowledges that everything worthwhile in human life will bring with it joy AND pain and normalises the difficult thoughts and feelings that arise rather than trying to get rid of them. It allows us to accept the things that are out of our control to facilitate commitment and action towards living a rich, full and meaningful life. ACT invites you to pause and ask yourself questions to figure out your parenting values, such as, what sort of mother do I want to be? At my child’s 18th birthday party how would I like them to describe me as a mother? You can then take action in alignment with those values, to be the type of mother you want to be deep in your heart, rather than being hooked by unhelpful thoughts and feelings. Self-compassion Dr Kristin Neff has described selfcompassion as being warm and understanding towards ourselves when we suffer, fail or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating

ourselves with self-criticism. To wake in the morning and acknowledge that you are not perfect and to realise that it truly does not matter what you do or do not tick off the to do list, beneath it all you are worthy, and you are enough. You may find it helpful to talk to yourself as if you were talking to a friend who was feeling the same way. Many of us would be far kinder to a friend than we are to ourselves! As a mother we make the greatest sacrifice of all, our sense of self. However, if we embrace matrescence we can view it as a way to rebuild ourselves. To emerge stronger, wiser and more capable of love than we could have imagined. I am writing this on Mother’s Day, my 3rd as a Mother. I am so grateful for this wonderfully exhausting privilege. As

There is great shame in admitting that you are not coping but there is so much bravery in being vulnerable and the bravest act that you can do is to open up and ask for help Gretchen Rubin so aptly said, the days are long but the years are short. So, eat that cake, buy those shoes, embrace your babies and be kind to yourself on those long, hard days. You’ve got this. Resources

Originally from Scotland, Alison achieved her Medical degree at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 2008 and has lived and worked on the Central Coast since 2010. She is currently working part time as a GP at Wamberal Surgery. Alison has recently undertaken further rigorous training and is proud to be the first Neuroprotective Developmental Care (NDC/Possums) accredited practitioner on the Central Coast and is thrilled to share her knowledge with families in her new service, The Moon Clinic.

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What matters



t’s said life is made of seasons. A time to be young and free, a time to ‘settle down’, a time to work hard and save, and a time to relax. There are times for sorrows and times for joys. Times to sleep and times to wake. Times to move and times to be still. Life is an ebb and flow of this and that, backward and forward, up and down. “Swings and roundabout” a previous colleague used to say. “It all comes around.”

“Nature gives to every time and season, some beauties of it’s own.” Charles Dickens Encouraging mindfulness of these universal truths helps foster clarity, calm and purpose to your days. And couldn’t we all do with a bit more of those! Do you ever feel a bustling in your brain, where roles and responsibilities swirl unending until their weight rests so


heavily, it tolls on your body? Headaches, fatigue, stress and pain. What if you could ease these feelings and reduce these impacts? An impossible task you may believe but trust me. It doesn’t have to be this way. “There is a way to flow and co-operate with universal laws which can be beautiful and kind.” Bryant McGill


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If you COULD ease feelings of heaviness, overwhelm and frustration: ƒ How would your relationships improve? ƒ What benefit would mental clarity have on your productivity? ƒ What would the results of more rest and less stress be in your days? Now let’s return to what we know about the game of life. There are seasons, a time for everything…just not all at once. And this concept is as applicable to a day as it is to a lifetime. In your quest for greater connection and a more meaningful life, its imperative to gain clarity of what your life is NOW. ƒ What stage of life are you in? ƒ What’s currently taking your time, energy and attention? ƒ What is your priority at this time? These questions apply to daily moments such as family dinners, a meeting with a colleague or doing the groceries. That is, what’s your reality and what matters at this point in time? These questions are also significantly applicable when taking a broader view of your life and when applied, help you experience greater peace and success.

Social media, societal expectations and even well-meaning family and friends can have you chasing expectations or ‘goals’ that are not only unobtainable and unrealistic, but irrelevant to you! Only you know the truth of your needs. Take those three questions and apply them to your life right now. Are you a mum with four children under six? If so, your reality is going to be very different to a child-free 23 year-old, or an empty nester. Are you grieving the loss of a loved one? Have you experienced a recent health scare? Are you starting a new business? Honest assessment of your current life situation is not only beneficial to ease your mental and physical load, it’s ESSENTIAL. This recognition of where you are and what matters right now, is the key to reclaiming you. From this understanding of your reality, you are then empowered with the truth of what season you’re in. Perhaps it’s spring and

things are blossoming for you, or maybe it’s your winter, where you feel cold and dark. Either way, resisting what is promotes persisting of what is. Accepting this season of your life is the first step to moving forward with purpose, control and intent. “Accept then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept is as if you’d chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. This will change your life in miraculous ways.” Eckhart Tolle You can do it. In fact, you’re the perfect person to take back control of your life. Sincerely Catherine If you’d like to access more from Catherine, go to www.developingdreasms. or follow Developing Dreams on facebook. 1:1 and online life coaching options available.

Catherine is the co-founder of Developing Dreams, a local company ‘empowering children one adult at a time’. This vision is achieved through the educational curriculum at Developing Dreams Early Learning Centre named 2019 Best Small, Private, Regional Centre in NSW, and through coaching programs written and facilitated by Catherine. Email for further information or to find out how you can be EMPOWERED in your life.



Warm up


your wardrobe



hen it comes to winter clothes many of us have full wardrobes of cozy knits, denim jeans and ankle boots. However, this season there are a few warm “style” additions that will update your look leaving you feeling modern, cozy and looking different to the Winter before. Each season we forecast and collate the new colours, shapes, footwear and accessories in a VC Colour/Trend Report* so our clients can inject some of these things into their existing wardrobe to give it a fresh, modern feel. *the VC Colour/Trend Report can be downloaded in the VC Style & Beauty Portal here: The knit dress The bodycon knit dress is a trending piece this season. However, many people are frightened of this piece as they feel it will accentuate their “lumps and bumps”.



This is not the case! There are so many of these dresses out there of various fitted and looser styles, and we have had great success fitting a number of different body shapes and sizes into this new season dress shape. No matter what size you are fitted fabrics do require some extra attention when it comes to ensuring it flatters the figure. Therefore, always wear the correct underwear and/or panty hose to ensure a smooth, seam free finish.

with a pair of heels for dinner dates or as a workwear option. If you have a checked blazer in your existing wardrobe be sure to pull it out and team it back with some of our other Winter Warmers.

The “Shacket” This newly curated piece combines a shirt and a jacket. So hence the name, this piece is worn as both a shirt and a jacket. The Shacket is often a softer fabric and less structured than a jacket, however slightly more of a firmer fabric than a blouse/shirt. The Shacket can be worn done up or open over a lace cami to create interest to an outfit. The Shacket can also be half tucked into bottoms or tied at the waist for a more relaxed chic look. No matter how you decide to “style” your wardrobe this season, always remember our mantra…”You can never be overdressed, only inappropriately dressed!” Vibrantly Yours, Sam & Jordi Woods x

A felt hat Hats are nothing new and either is the felt hat however, this season they are a real staple and being worn indoors as well as outdoors. Not only are felt hats being worn for fashion, they are a new version of the “beanie” and are being worn for warmth. A tip when it comes to wearing hats indoors is; be respectful and aware of where you are. If you are in an RSL club then a hat indoors is disrespectful however, if you are at the shops it is acceptable – just ensure people can see your eyes (so tilt it back a little if need be).

A gumboot Every season there is a new shoe and this year we are welcoming a boot that is beyond versatile for our La Nina that is due to hit and bring with it lots of wet weather! Like all boots it is important that the gumboot you choose works for your body shape, fits the leg and works with your outfits. Treat the gumboot as a typical boot however, embrace the versatility of this waterproof shoe. This fashionably functional footwear is naturally, the perfect choice for play dates in the park or running around with the little ones on those rainy days.

The check blazer A modern classic that has made yet, another comeback. Regardless of the shape or colour of this piece, the check blazer is being dressed down with slouchy pants (aka the High-Low Dressing trend) or worn over a dress

Understanding styling and fashion is one thing. Having a super-natural flair for making everyday people look incredible is another. Once you’ve met Sam & Jordi Woods, it’s hard not to catch their infectious passion for dressing to match your own lifestyle, personality and charisma. Through their consultancy ‘VibrantConcepts’, Sam & Jordi have transformed the lives of thousands. Let Sam & Jordi show you how to look and feel fabulous everyday at their Style Studio in Erina – learn the art of illusion dressing, colour matching, styling, translating fashion trends and savvy shopping with their unique VC Signature Styling Systems and services that are truly personal and really work! To contact VibrantConcepts phone 0425 221 676.

Images; Jordi Woods & VC Supplier



your baby Parenting



arenting your baby at night time is not about a set of rules and sleep strategies. Parenting your baby at night time is about connection. As a new parent I was shocked to find myself feeding my new baby literally around the clock. Eight weeks into being a new mama I was desperate for sleep. I called in the big guns, a local midwife! Her response was, ‘did you know that in about 95% of cases the reason your baby will not sleep is due to sleep associations. Your baby has a dummy AND you breastfeed her to sleep.’ These were her exact words stated to me as I was crying and feeding my eight week old daughter to sleep. She went onto say ‘if you feed or rock your baby to sleep that will be one of your biggest parenting mistakes.’ Unfortunately for me being a firsttime mum, I was not immune to these comments and I believe that many of us still aren’t. Why you ask? Because society says so. Because it’s convenient. Fortunately for myself and my husband we did not continue the ‘sleep training’ merry go ‘round, we found ourselves co-sleeping and I continued to breastfeed my little love to sleep. Yes, as new parents there is no doubt that you will find yourselves shocked to the core in the realisation that your new baby feeds around the clock. Did you know though, that the average new baby will sleep for up to 19 hours of a 24-hour day, but some may sleep for as little as 8.


at night time


ALL babies are unique. In those first few weeks post-partum your new baby will wake, feed and then fall asleep again. Only to wake no more then 2-3 hours later, yes, for yet another feed! As your new baby grows so does their appetite, you will find that your baby will want bigger feeds as opposed to more frequent feeds, they will tend to be more active between feeds also, which will then (fingers crossed!) allow hopefully, for a deeper and longer sleep later in the day. If we can find ourselves listening more to what our baby needs and if we can grow in bravery and lean into that, we will find ourselves softening rather than becoming increasingly more rigid within our ‘sleep’ approach. What your baby needs is a loving, responsive interaction with you, always. This is an essential foundation for connection and the beginnings of building trust. Your touch is just as important and as fundamental as the food that you provide for them.  There is absolutely NO doubt that infancy is challenging, but babies are simply too young and inexperienced to handle their own causes for crying whatever that may be, be it sleep, a change of nappy, needing to be fed again but more so for comfort, or just because they feel overwhelmed and they need you.  It is up to you as their parent, to take responsibility in meeting your baby’s needs, their need for nurturing from you, your security and unconditional love.  

And if I’m being honest. We as parents, as human beings need that too. As humans we long for connection and affection. Why shouldn’t our little one’s needs be met for this too. Let’s move back to that omnipresent terminology, ‘sleep associations!’ Who here has been told NOT to breastfeed their little ones to sleep??  Most babies will need milk during the night within their first year. Many milestones are slowly developing and then happening, for example, crawling, first words, and walking. Their brains are developing at lightning speed, there are mental leaps, teeth erupting, illness…the list goes on. They will always get back into their own rhythm once they are past whatever it is that is going on for them, in the meantime though give them what they need, which is you, and no doubt their mama’s comforting milk. Breastfeeding creates that beautiful and much needed loving connection for you both. When you are breastfeeding your little love to sleep at night your milk has already developed the amazing hormones that are specific for that settling feed. Melatonin is one of the peaceful, sleep inducing hormones that is released, and then there is oxytocin a wonderful ‘feel good, relaxation’ hormone that is released for the both of you. Your breastmilk creates a wonderful concoction of hormones to help your little love off to sleep. So why wouldn’t you use it!? 

Another sleep association that I’m going to delve into is ‘spoiling,’ this is yet another well used term within Western society, it is about nursing and holding your baby too much. Time and time again with our first newborn baby, it was repeated endlessly to me that I was “spoiling her by holding her too much,” “just let her cry,” “you’ll spoil her by feeding on demand.” ‘Spoiling’ is one of those mindless ideas that gets passed down from generation to generation, even though on the surface it is ridiculous! It is instinctive to rock your beautiful new baby and to hold them, it has been done for millennias! Think of your fourth trimester with your new baby as an extension of your pregnancy because for nine (or ten months if you do pregnancy like me!) long months they have been with you. Listening to your heartbeat from the inside. Why wouldn’t they still want and need that beautiful comfort? Who ‘decided’ that breastfeeding, rocking and cuddling your new baby off to sleep was taboo and creating ‘sleep associations’ or the other good one that I love, ‘creating a rod for your back!’   Whatever happened to creating healthy attachment?  Co-sleeping, another controversial subject! I know that desperation of no sleep first hand, after a long and traumatic delivery of our first daughter and once home, we discovered that she would sleep no longer than two hours at a time, both day and night. Unfortunately for her, she was misdiagnosed early on and her sleeplessness was due to a severe case of oesophageal reflux. Prior to her diagnosis and due to our desperation, we had tried everything!

It is up to you as their parent, to take responsibility in meeting your baby’s needs, their need for nurturing from you, your security and unconditional love. Crying it out, leaving her in her cot for timed intervals responding minutes later. We tried long walks and 3am car trips, only to pull into the driveway an hour later and her eyes would spring open, wide awake! There were long and heated discussions with well-meaning family members, very little contact with friends and family and a husband working two hours away I was a time bomb of emotions about to go off. It was at that point I realized that rocking our baby to sleep and breastfeeding every hour, every night was getting to be too much for myself and my family. Safe co-sleeping saved my sanity, it saved my marriage and it created a connection that I so desperately needed. Quite simply put, when you as a mother sleep next to your baby you are more able to use your own instinctive responses

that every new mother has, it is a very similar instinct to your reaction to your baby’s first cry. PRACTICAL TIP: We used a snuggle bed which is put between you both (so you can still hold your partners hand at night!) or you can move the bassinet to be right next to you and the bed.

Dr William Sears a renowned American paediatrician has also been quoted to say ‘often times I felt ridiculous giving my seal of approval to what was in reality such a natural thing to do, sort of like reinventing the wheel & extolling its viruses. Had parent’s intuition sunk so low that some strange man had to tell modern women that it was ok to sleep with their babies?’ Lastly, when in self-doubt ask yourself is it safe? Is it respectful? And does it feel right intuitively for you and your family? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then do what feels right for you because that is what your baby needs. And if there is only one thing that you take away from reading this, I want you to remember that – Sleep is only a problem if it is a problem for you and your family.

Nikki Smith, is the founder of Earthway Parenting and mother to 3 beautiful, sensitive, and boisterous little women. She has been a Registered Nurse for the past 12 years with a 4-year hiatus in between so that she could be a mum. Nikki also has a Postgraduate in Maternal Child and Family Nursing and has been working and supporting families on the Gold Coast, Northern Rivers and now Central Coast of NSW Australia over the past 5 years. Nikki’s expertise is in early infancy and toddler behaviour, she is passionate about maternal and infant mental health and well-being as well as providing wholistic conscious parenting support. You can find further inspiration, support and information from her socials below.

30 Renwick Street, Wyoming Phone: 4328 2122 Vasectomies are a permanent and very effective way to stop unwanted pregnancies. They are performed under local anaesthetic and have a quick recovery time.

IS YOUR FAMILY COMPLETE? Have you thought of your options? Have you considered a vasectomy?

For more information regarding the procedure, fees or any other issues of concern please visit our website or contact our friendly staff.



The course can be done over one day or in two x 3-hour sessions, either face to face at Ourimbah or Gateshead or online via Zoom. We are currently accepting enrolments, so with limited spaces available, head to the Central Coast Community College website for more information or to enrol. For more information contact: Natasja Brazao (Lead Digital Mentor) Phone: 0415 758 404 Email:



I moved to Ettalong Beach which has a high number of older residents. I noticed the stress that digital COVID tracing and payments was causing people in this group. I would be casually teaching people tips and tricks while waiting in the line outside cafes and shops and thought how nice it would be if there was a formal program to help them. I was googling... and found the course to become a formal digital mentor. I’ve completed the training and looking forward to helping the first group of people improve their digital literacy and be safer online. Angela Bradley


Promoting the value of childhood Wyong Erina

Tuggerah Kincumber



he Beach Early Learning Centres promote the value of childhood at a time when children are curious, capable learners and co-constructors in their life journey. Curiosity in young children is essential because it helps them understand the world around them and supports their learning. When we encourage children to be curious they become more observant and think about things and try to figure them out. At the Beach Early Learning Centres we see it as absolutely vital in fostering curiosity and encouraging enquiring minds so that children will ask questions and extend their learning. We believe that early childhood is a unique stage of life. We are committed to the care and individual interests of each child. We believe that we enable this by providing a safe, fun and friendly environment where children can foster and maintain friendships with each other and educators. The relationships we build with all children and families influence every single aspect of our centres, from our rostering, right down to what we display and document in our learning spaces.

To us, the relationships we have with our children and families are an important part of our culture and are embedded across our centres, which is why we are able to base every decision we make on how they will affect children. At the Beach Early Learning Centres we believe that Early childhood is a time for children to discover who they are and how they fit into the world. Essential to this, is the freedom to explore, to be a child and to be protected. The early years in a child’s life are instrumental so we aim to provide children with opportunities to thrive and wholly participate in learning through guidance, relationships and resources, maximising every child’s potential. These are visible at our centres through an inclusive and respectful framework and open learning environments. At The Beach Early Learning supporting each child’s individual learning and development is central to the way in which our Directors Emma, Rebecca, Ashleigh and Bec lead the team of Educators to ensure individual needs,interests and strengths are considered, as well as the strong level of cultural diversity in the centre.

B.H.Sc (comp medicine) B.A., N.D., Dip. Nut, D.R.M.

Nutrition Herbal Medicine Fertility Management Children’s Health Wellness Programs 0410 465 900

nutrition and wellness | herbal medicine | fertility | children’s hea B.H.Sc (comp medicine) B.A., N.D, Dip. Nut, D.R.M.

118 Avoca Drive, Kincumber



A U S T R A L I A N D E N TA L & I M P L A N T G R O U P

Transforming Coasties’ smiles with

TEETH ON IMPLANTS Permanently replace your teeth and get the beautiful smile you deserve! Are you missing teeth? Are you sick of loose and uncomfortable dentures? Well guess what you don’t have to worry any more, TEETH ON IMPLANTS® could be your ideal solution. Do you want to improve your smile permanently? If you are embarrassed to show your smile because you have lost teeth over time, TEETH ON IMPLANTS® can make you smile again. The TEETH ON IMPLANTS® system is a highly effective dental technique that offers a permanent solution to missing teeth. The treatment refers to supporting all teeth on multiple implants, making them look, feel and function just like natural teeth. The procedure is particularly suitable for patients who may have missing, decayed or broken/ chipped teeth. Dental implants are considered the gold standard in tooth replacement. Strong, lifelike, and long-lasting, they offer a level of function and consequently self-assurance you’ll wish you knew about years ago. Implants can improve biting efficiency, nutritional intake, aesthetics, stimulate the bone, and much more. How TEETH ON IMPLANTS can enhance your smile? TEETH ON IMPLANTS® is a complete oral rehabilitation that will give you beautiful looking teeth and allow you to speak, smile and laugh with renewed confidence. Your new set of teeth will be perfectly aligned and have just the right shade to match the rest of your remaining natural teeth if you choose to restore only one arch. TEETH ON IMPLANTS® Major Benefits: ƒ Speak with confidence ƒ Enjoy eating again ƒ Minimal pain during treatment ƒ Look and feel like natural teeth ƒ Long lasting solutions for single or multiple missing teeth ƒ Efficient treatment & recovery time ƒ Minimal maintenance



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8 reasons why TEETH ON IMPLANTS® is the preferred implant option Performed by qualified implant experts Local dental implant experts, Dr Ned Restom, Dr David Bassal and their teams have completed extensive training specifically in TEETH ON IMPLANTS® and smile design. They are highly qualified and experienced in the area and are aware of all the contributing factors that are necessary to provide exceptional results for you and your smile.


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Digital Smile Design prior to treatment Before your procedure you can view exactly what your new smile will look like and work together with your dentist to codesign your beautiful new smile.


Not just ALL On 4 With TEETH ON IMPLANTS® you can get as many implants as you require to ensure your full arch is secure, and at no additional cost. The TEETH ON IMPLANTS® protocol has improved on outdated modes by enhancing your treatment, through the

addition of more implants we aim for an outcome that is more sturdy – standing the test of time.


No unsightly gap Unlike other implant approaches, with TEETH ON IMPLANTS® you will have no gap between the gum line giving you a more comfortable fit – thanks to our cutting- edge digital scanning methods.


Material diversity With the evolution of stronger, more lifelike materials – TEETH ON IMPLANTS® offers you a material solution recreating your smile that is a class above the rest.


Bone grafting TEETH ON IMPLANTS® believe in giving you the best option every time, unlike other methods there is no extra charge for bone grafting to increase bone volumes for the longevity of your smile! Where can I get TEETH ON IMPLANTS®? TEETH ON IMPLANTS® treatment is available at Australian Dental & Implant Group practices part of the Central Coast Implant Institute including Mingara Dental & Implant Centre, Warnervale Dental, Avoca Beach Dental, Saratoga Dental, Empire Bay Dental, Bonnells Bay Dental. We are also pleased to offer implant treatment in our premium Sydney location at Complete Smiles Bella Vista. Your dental implant expert is here to guide you Every patient is slightly different and has unique needs and it is impossible to ascertain suitability or the exact treatment or cost without an assessment by one of our dental implant experts. Please note that all surgical procedures carry risks, including infection. These treatments do not apply and cannot be performed on everyone. A process of thorough examination and assessment are required, and the outcomes may vary depending on multiple factors.

Welcome to the Central Coast Implant Institute Central Coast Implant Institute (CCII) comprises of a network of independently owned and operated premium dental practices located across Central Coast and part of Australian Dental & Implant Group including Mingara Dental & Implant Centre, Warnervale Dental, Avoca Beach Dental, Saratoga Dental, Empire Bay Dental, Bonnells Bay Dental and Complete Smiles in Bella Vista Sydney. Utilising the latest and most advanced technology, techniques, and equipment the dentists of CCII provide a consistently exceptional standard of care and believe in building long-lasting relationships with patients by creating value in their service. With a Vision of providing care and attention above all else, they take caring for every patient very seriously and cater to individual needs and requirements personally. Want to take the next step towards getting the smile you deserve?

BOOK A CONSULTATION TODAY! Visit one of the clinics below to receive premium dental care:



Payment plan options are available Dental treatment can be costly, and we believe that everyone deserves to get the smile of their dreams which is why we offer a range of payment plan options. Our friendly team can run you through these during your consultation.




Welcome relief for Central Coast families


tudents from Central Coast schools which were affected by the 2019/2020 fire season have had a helping hand with back to school costs thanks to a grant from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR). Social Futures, The Central Coast’s Partner in the Community for the NDIS, was successful for the grant and has worked with Central Coast schools to distribute one thousand $50 vouchers to affected families. “I have had a lot of calls from grateful families and teachers” says Social Futures Senior Customer Experience Officer Kim Riches. “Many families said they were not only affected by bushfires but, more recently, by floods. It’s been a tough year, so a bit of a boost to help with school costs was really appreciated.” The vouchers were sent electronically for students, or their schools, to print and exchange for school-related items such as books, clothing, shoes and stationery.     “It was a really big task finding the most affected schools and students, and we relied on the schools to fill in the

picture for us” Ms Riches said. One school which was significantly affected by the bushfire season is Blue Haven Public School. The fire burned through hundreds of hectares of bushland before destroying homes and buildings in Blue Haven on New Years Eve in 2020. Jarrod Miles, Assistant Principal Wellbeing at Blue Haven, said the fires came within 100 metres of the school. “Our school was forced to close for a period of time due the fires and then, more recently due to flooding,” Mr Miles said. “Many of the families of our students were directly impacted. Some families lost homes, some lost their livelihoods. The fires came so close, it was a really frightening time for our community. “Though $50 isn’t a fortune, when it comes to replacing the little things for school, it really does help and I know families are really thankful for it,” Mr Miles said. Social Futures CEO Tony Davies said he is glad they have been able to lend a hand. “Social Futures has been delivering Local Area Coordination Services for the

NDIS in the Central Coast Region for 18 months now, and in that time we have been making strong connections with schools and communities. “We were really happy to make use our networks, and I thank the staff that put so many hours into coordinating this, to see the vouchers get into the hands of the families that need them most,” Mr Davies said. Jarrod Miles said 385 families who were most affected by the fires at Blue Haven received vouchers. One parent, Mrs Taylor, talked about their experience during the bushfires saying, “It was the scariest thing, you just can’t imagine. It was raining fire, and pitch black. The fire went from a kilometre away to being right on our doorstep - it just jumped. Trees exploded. We had 8 minutes to get out.” Mr Miles said Blue Haven School has worked through the year to support the resilience and coping skills of students and now these vouchers bring welcome relief to families of students.

Below L to R: Jarrod Miles, Assistant Principal Wellbeing, the Taylor family, Karen Craig Deputy Principal (Relieving), and Dale Edwards – Principal (Acting).






Creating beautiful, healthy smiles across the Central Coast.

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It’s official, the Central Coast’s newest and only private maternity service is open!


osford Private Maternity Services officially opened its doors recently welcoming our next generation of parents and families. Bateau Bay couple Kurt and Cassie were our very first family to experience an individualised birth in our new, luxurious birthing suites. Indiana was welcomed into the world in one of our spacious immersion baths under the guidance and care of Dr Peta Skilbeck and our skilled midwives. Cassie told us that they chose to birth at Gosford Private Maternity Services because they wanted individualised care for her pregnancy and birth journey. “I didn’t want to be just another number, I wanted to receive a higher standard of care and we had some very specific ideas in mind for our birth plan,” Cassie said. “It made all the difference that we could receive support and encouragement to birth how we wanted to, with care and compassion. “I love that the birthing suites don’t feel cold and clinical and instead feel really warm and intimate. “We have been made to feel like a part of the family here and the individualised care has been consistent from birth to the postnatal ward.” Maternity Unit Manager Robyn Gasparotto said it has been an absolute dream to share the new ward with families. “This world class facility has been designed and developed with families in mind, to offer intimate, individualised and comfortable care in luxurious surrounds,” Ms Gasparotto said.



“We’ve had an amazing first week and we are so proud to offer premium care to families as the Central Coast’s only private maternity service.” Natasha, Matt and Baby Monica were among our last families to transition into the new Postnatal suites and shared that they have felt part of the family. “The new ward provides such a beautiful intimate setting so it’s the perfect start to our lives as a new family,” Natasha said. “The transition to the new unit has been so smooth and without a doubt, the best partner accommodation we could have hoped for, these Murphy Beds make all the difference.” The new luxuriously appointed maternity ward features three spacious and modern birthing suites equipped with immersion baths and partner accommodation and are located in prime position next to our brand new Level 2 Neonatal Special Care Nursery. Able to take unwell babies born from 32 weeks, the Special Care Nursery is equipped with state of the art facilities including bubble CPAP ventilation system and on-site experienced

Paediatricians and Neonatologists. With extended five to six night stays available for all birthing parents and partners, which include around the clock support, murphy beds and meals and snacks for partners, the private postnatal suites provide the ideal place to start your new life as a new family unit. According to Maternity Unit Manager, Robyn Gasparotto, another exciting milestone was also reached recently, with the birth of our first set of twins. “We are a specialised, dedicated and personalised service that is focused on providing a tailored pregnancy, birthing and postnatal experience,” Ms Gasparotto said. “Everyone is different, everyone has different values or priorities and our focus at Gosford Private Maternity Services is to make sure that those who birth with us, feel their needs and priorities are met to provide the ideal experience for them. “Our birthing families aren’t numbers to us, they are like family and it’s a privilege to be there helping them on this journey.”

If you would like to learn more about our services, including our Birth and Beyond classes and postnatal care please visit:



ARE YOU PREGNANT OR CONSIDERING HAVING A BABY? Begin Your New Life with the Central Coast’s newest and only private maternity service

Burrabil Avenue, North Gosford NSW 2250 T: 02 4304 3260 /

@GosfordPrivate #gosfordprivate #BeginYourNewLifeWithUs

Shining a





lmost every mother feels it. Almost every mother acts on it in challenging moments. Many mothers experience it deeply as yelling, screaming, adult tantrums and perhaps physical punishment. And yet not many mothers talk about it or want to admit to it. There is a lot of shame around feeling anger and rage. I want to shine the light on this very common experience within motherhood. If you are in cycles of anger, rage and then guilt and shame, firstly please know you are not alone and you are NOT a bad mother. Anger is a common and healthy human emotion that can tell you when a boundary has been crossed or that you have unmet needs and it can highlight a need for change or growth. Rage is a state of uncontrollable anger and can feel frightening and intense. It might look like a screaming match with a partner, verbal abuse and screaming at a child, or it could be physical aggression that hurts another person.

Why do we feel anger and rage so deeply as mothers Many mothers are overburdened with responsibility – trying to do too much for everyone else and not meeting their own needs. As modern mothers, we are raising our children in a society without a village of support, intense mental load, often a lack of healthy family support, huge expectations on our role in mothering as well as many roles on our plate – mother, wife, home maker, business starter, full time work, nutritionist, nurse, teacher, part time study, community carer, administration, helpful friend and the list goes on. Self care can quickly disappear in the early months of motherhood and for many mothers it never returns. Healthy meals, exercise, sleep and connection with friends can feel like long lost dreams. It doesn’t take long before the new mother feels physically and mentally depleted.


on mother


We need to feel our feelings To be human is to feel. To be a fully expressed human is to express your emotions. And yet so many mothers do not feel safe with their anger or with their childrens’ anger. You may feel guilt, shame or fear when you express anger and rage because, as a little girl, your anger likely wasn’t accepted. It wasn’t acknowledged. It was shut down. You may have been punished or threatened. Perhaps you had angry caregivers who yelled, screamed, smacked and shamed you. So when you notice yourself doing the same, you feel guilt and fear. Perhaps when your children or partner express anger you feel fear and even terror. You might go into a “freeze state” and shut down emotionally. All of these feelings and responses are actually quite common. They are signs that you have big feelings that need to be expressed. When you feel triggered. So many parents have suppressed emotions from their childhood that start bursting out in parenthood. This often starts in the toddler years. That sweet baby suddenly becomes a moving mini being full of frustration, anger, discovery, joy, messiness and all the things. Their full emotional expression (which is healthy and developmentally appropriate) can trigger or activate anger within you that you didn’t even know existed. How anger shows up ƒ Snapping constantly ƒ Gritted teeth ƒ Grabbing a child roughly ƒ Yelling ƒ Screaming ƒ Breaking and throwing items ƒ Hitting children/smacking These triggers are very real. And your healthy anger can be a powerful catalyst for change and growth. Regular rage is a sign that you need to make some changes now. We should always express our emotions rather than suppress. We just

need to find more safety for our anger – both within our own bodies and within our homes so it is not being directed at our children. Yes I know it can feel like “If only they would listen, I wouldn’t need to get so angry and scream”...and also, there is often a wound within us around not being heard as children that needs to be looked at here. What to do when you feel anger and rage rising? Slow everything down and bring in some awareness. This takes practice. It’s like building a muscle. Then choose some practices to try from the below list and see what helps. Notice what doesn’t. We are all wired differently and need a variation of calming tools. ƒ Notice your feelings. Practice awareness. ƒ Leave the room. Take a moment of space. Say “I am feeling angry and I need to take some space.” ƒ Your brain may say “keep yelling, keep screaming, they need to know how bad they are” – this is survival mode from your lower brain and your own childhood wounds being activated. ƒ Breathe. Just notice your breath. Focus on a long exhale. ƒ Voo Breathing – Breathe in and exhale chanting “Voooooooooooo” – this tones your vagus nerve and tells your nervous system you are safe. ƒ Mindfulness practices are helpful to build an inbuilt pause button. Try Insight Timer app for anger meditations (it’s free). ƒ Take a walk around the garden or house if possible. ƒ Move your body – swing your arms in big circles, jump up and down, run on the spot, go to your bedroom and thrash the rage out on your bed. ƒ Run up some stairs. ƒ Shake your hands vigorously. ƒ Repeat a mantra such as “I am safe. I can feel this rage and release it in a safe way. I can give myself space. I am human. This is hard. I am still a good parent.”

ƒ Self nurture – gently stroke your arms repeating “I am safe” ƒ Clench your hands on your upper arms, like you’re giving yourself a hug, working in a top-down motion, repeatedly. ƒ Laugh. Fake it till you make it. This can feel very hard for many people. ƒ Rage journal – write out your feelings. “What am I feeling? What have I been holding in that I really want to say?” ƒ Scream it out (in a safe space alone) – feel the rage and scream it all out. The car is great or into a pillow. Scream, yell, curse and express. It might feel weird. Notice that. ƒ Listening Time – find a person to listen and hold space with empathy. ƒ Learn about nervous system regulation and how to build flexibility and capacity in your body to feel your anger. (Google “ Irene Lyon – Anger” for amazing YouTube videos on releasing anger and nervous system calming practices) Radical self care is vital Meeting your own needs as a mother is critical to your physical and mental wellbeing. You can start meeting your needs with more rest, movement, extra water, reduce sugar and toxins, setting boundaries, reduce screen time, take a social media break, meditation before bed, asking for help, nutrient dense food, better sleep hygiene and slowing life down. Yes I know some of this feels impossible but there are always solutions. Just pick one and start there. Rage could be unprocessed grief that needs to be expressed If rage is regular, you may need to start processing grief. Many mothers carry

layers of grief. This could be grief for babies that you have lost, old friendships, your life pre motherhood, family relationships that have changed, parents who have died, a childhood you wish had been different, lack of support and community and so on. This grief needs to be expressed, witnessed and felt. Mental Health check in If your anger goes to rage regularly, it may be time to consider further support to heal deeper wounds under that rage. Seeing a psychologist, counsellor or therapist is a great place to start to make sense of your feelings. Find someone you feel safe to express with. Also, yoga, mindfulness and breathwork works for many. Education, podcasts and workshops are good for understanding yourself more. And finding a supportive space to be heard might be through coaching, mothers circles, listening time and emotional release work. If you know you have significant trauma and complex triggers like grief, anxiety, childhood, trauma or abuse, start with a mental health specialist and build on it from there. Steps to healing mamas angry outburst So you have yelled, screamed and raged at your child. Now what! One of the most beautiful gifts of conscious parenting is learning the power of Rupture and Repair. This is modelling a true apology to our children.

Meeting your own needs as a mother is critical to your physical and mental wellbeing 1. Self compassion – Remind yourself that you are a human and we all have tough moments. 2. Awareness – Be aware that a rupture has happened. 3. Reconnect – Connect with your child and apologise “I am sorry.” 4. Repair – Make a repair “I was feeling angry and I lost my temper. Please forgive me?” 5. Understand their needs – Ask your child about their feelings “Are you willing to share with me how it felt??” – Listen and offer empathy. 6. Explore any unmet needs in your child or yourself ie. Does your child need more play? Do you need more self care? Do you need cooperation? Do they need more nature time? Less screens? More connection? 7. Explore some solutions Reconnect and repair as soon as possible – for a child 6 and under it’s preferable to do within an hour or so. Ages 6-8 within a day. Ages 9 and older within a week or longer. It’s never too late to heal the divide. If all of this feels overwhelming, start slow. Just take the one next step and reach out for support.

Alita Blanchard – The Aware Mama Alita is a mother of 4 young boys (including a stillborn son Remy) on the NSW Central Coast. She is a trauma informed Conscious Parent Coach, Women’s Circle and Rites of Passage facilitator. She provides regular mothers circles, workshops, events, listening time and parent coaching programs. Alita is passionate about creating a safe space for mothers to feel heard and seen in the intensity of their motherhood journey. She supports and guides mothers in their transformation through motherhood and helps to bring awareness to their own needs and emotions so they can feel more aligned, aware and connected to themselves and their children. Socials: @alitablanchardspace Email

Formulating The Future One Thought at a Time...

Workshops Early Learning Centre Mentoring Workshops 1 Bridge Avenue Early Learning Chain Valley Bay Centre NSW 2259 Mentoring 4358 3155

1 Bridge Avenue Chain Valley Bay 4358 3155 JUNE/JULY – ISSUE 112





How to adopt a restricted diet without feeling so restricted. BY CLARE MARCANGELO


urrently there seems to be so many new diets and ways of eating available, clogging up the internet and social media and popping up all over cafe menus. This emergence is due to many factors, such as a new awareness of the potential effects of foods on gut health, allergies and intolerances and



inclusiveness of religious and cultural eating. We may choose to embrace these new options, or shy away from them and stay within our eating comfort zone. But what happens when our child is forced out of this comfort zone? There are many reasons that children may have to change their diet to improve

their health and wellbeing. It may be due to a newly diagnosed allergy or intolerance, or a diet protocol suggested to aid with repairing digestive health, or to improve energy, focus, and even mood. Coming to grips with these potential new changes can be challenging for adults, but when it is our children, these

diet changes need to happen for, it can be extremely overwhelming. Fortunately, there are some strategies that can make this transition far easier. Firstly, educate yourself. It is true what they say, knowledge is power. You don’t have to become an expert by any means, but without knowing the general mechanisms of your child’s new diet and how it should help them, it can be impossible to convince them of the benefits. Or convince well-meaning family members or school parents who question the “necessity “of this new way. Additionally, it can be hard on yourself as a carer to continue to spend money on or prepare foods that you don’t truly understand. Using resources available, or the guidance of a Paediatric Nutritionist or Dietitian can help you feel empowered enough to make the leap and stay consistent. Secondly, take it slow. If there is an allergy or intolerance, obviously we need to remove that allergen entirely from the diet entirely (at the guidance of your diagnosing practitioner), however when it is a new diet being adopted, changing one or two things each week may feel more workable. It may feel tempting to throw all the other foods in the bin and have a complete overhaul, but even if you manage not to overwhelm yourself doing this, you may cause anxiety or resentment in other household members. Children need to feel that they have control of their own worlds so to have all

their favourite treats disappear at once will only reduce potential compliance. And a diet that your child refuses to adopt, is a diet that is not going to work. In many cases there really may be no option for your child to reject the new diet, so its crucial we allow for strategies that help acceptance from the minute we start it. I find that children strongly dislike having their familiar foods “taken”, so wherever possible, aim to merely alter their foods to be friendly to their new restrictions. For example, although a child who needs to remove gluten and currently enjoys processed, store bought chicken nuggets, would clearly benefit far more from something like some homemade rice flour chicken tenders. However this change may be far too much for them. In these cases, I suggest using “gateway” foods swap for store bought gluten free nuggets at first. Long term, we would love to see this child move away from this processed food, but first we may need to show them that gluten free isn’t as different as they’d expected. They can come on board and continue to feel safe in their world. Of course slower going approach this helps carers too – if we don’t have to all of a sudden start cooking brand new things from scratch we can of course

It may feel tempting to throw all the other foods in the bin and have a complete overhaul, but even if you manage not to overwhelm yourself doing this, you may cause anxiety or resentment in other household members also ease ourselves into this new protocol without overwhelm or resentment. The families who feel resentment towards the diet will tend to lapse, then not reap the benefits, or see much progress and thus often give up entirely. If we can start out with a calm perspective, not taking on aspects that we can’t honestly expect to maintain, we can slowly embrace this new way of eating, modelling a positive attitude to our children. Once we start to see a positive difference or hear our child remark that this new food is “so yummy”, we can start to relax and know that this is absolutely for the best, and we are truly helping our child begin to thrive.

Clare Marcangelo is a local registered Children's Nutritionist and former Early Childhood practitioner who specialises in children’s health. As a mum herself, she knows how hard it can be to make even the smallest of changes to a family diet.



The farm gates are ready to open as

Harvest Festival

returns this June long weekend


oodies, families and fun-seekers will flock to the Central Coast hinterland over the June long weekend for the return of one of Central Coast Council’s most anticipated annual events, Harvest Festival. A celebration of the Central Coast’s spectacular hinterland, Harvest Festival 2021 will offer a wide range of unique events and experiences across thirty event hubs over 12 and 13 June. Council Director Community and Recreation Services, Julie Vaughan said the festival is an opportunity to recognise our region’s outstanding local produce and producers.



“This is a rare chance to take a glimpse behind the farm gate as you explore eight rural farming communities and their picturesque heritage villages right here on the Central Coast,” Ms Vaughan said. “Follow the Harvest Festival event trail to visit local farms, sample local produce, soak up live music and entertainment or join in a range of family-friendly activities designed to show off the unique charm of our region’s hinterland. “From paddock to plate dining experiences and wine tastings to produce picking, hands-on workshops and much

more, the two-day program truly offers something for every taste and interest. “This year, a number of event hubs are offering the opportunity to pre-book experiences in advance, so be sure to check out the event program early to ensure you don’t miss out.” As a special treat for music lovers, this year’s event will include a special showcase of local musicians from the Wyong Creek, Yarramalong and Jilliby communities as part of Council’s ‘Harvest Songs’ program. Community members can tune in for a live online concert on Sunday 13 June and access a selection of home-grown

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songs via Spotify, with full details at info. Council Administrator, Dick Persson AM said Central Coast Council is proud to be delivering this much-loved event again in 2021, which attracts visitors from across the Coast and beyond to the region’s hinterland communities. “One of the Coast’s most popular events amongst locals and visitors alike,

Harvest Festival builds local pride, celebrates sustainability and boosts the local economy,” Mr Persson said. “The 2019 event attracted over 32,000 visitors, providing the Central Coast economy with an $8million boost and while the event format moved online last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s event is anticipated to deliver similar returns to our community.”

Harvest Festival 2021 will run from 12-13 June 2021. To see the full calendar of events and pre-book your Harvest Festival experience visit

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8/2 London Drive WADALBA ( (Near 7-11 & Wadalba McDonalds)



Profile for On the Coast Publications ~ Families & Over 55

On the Coast – Families June/July 2021  

On the Coast – Families is a bi-monthly lifestyle publication for families living on the Central Coast.

On the Coast – Families June/July 2021  

On the Coast – Families is a bi-monthly lifestyle publication for families living on the Central Coast.

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