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Winter 2011


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Making of a Crib Write a letter to Santa

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Grandp d n a s t Paren r Kids, o f e n i Magaz

Issue 16

Growing Up in Malta

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Making of a Crib Super Mum! Write a letter to Santa


What to do this Christmas is Here! Summer with the Kids!

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Paul Grech Tel. 79014601 n Time Competitio Editorial Additional Stephanie Galea Sylvana Brannon Annabel Desira & Rachel Schembri Matteo Enrico Vella Veronica Stival Mediapack Summer 2008

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GrandParents Contents Issue 16 - Winter 2011

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42 In This Issue:

20 Next Issue: Spring 2012 Issue 17 

Spending time with your children this Christmas Bethlehem of Ghajnsielem Dad in Prgress - Christmas Gift Dilemma Making of a Crib Nuts about Chestnuts A Dog friendly Christmas A book for Christmas Kids Pages Billy and Bangle help Santa Write a Letter to Santa Results BlueZoo Stroy Competition - BlueZoo Under Attack Inspired Fun-filled Theraphy and Learning Parents to Be Babies eating habits MumTime - Are you a Problem Parent Growing in every sense Shop & Win Where can I find Growing Up in Malta?

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Winter 2011 - Issue 16


Spending time with your Children at Christmas by Rachel Schembri, Senior Executive and Annabel Desira - Parental Empowerment Programmes’ Co-ordinator - FES

The Christmas holidays can be a stressful time for parents as it is a juggling act to keep children occupied during the busy season without spending too much money. Children can become bored rather easily with expensive gifts or activities. What will be treasured after the festive season passes are the memories of quality time activities and traditions within the family niche. For instance, I cannot help but go back to the time I had to babysit a friend’s child; what he enjoyed most was standing up in a large carton box while I pulled him around the house as he pretended to drive a train. We had such a great laugh! He still mentions this event even though he has recently turned 18!

What parents need is time, patience, creativity and a sense of adventure! Here are a few ideas to get you started ‌ Create Christmas Tree Decorations! This can be a messy activity if you are not well organised. Start collecting toilet rolls, empty cereal boxes, coloured wrappers and craft materials early on. You can find many Christmas craft ideas on sites such as: http://crafts.kaboose. com/paper-angel.html The craft activity could be making an angel, Santa Claus, a snowman or a reindeer. Free printable patterns are easily accessible on the internet and they are meant to facilitate such craft-making. Let your children own the activity; include them while you are searching for different decorations that you can make together. Cook together! Coconut balls and Christmas logs are two simple recipes because they do not require cooking and they are ideal to keep tiny, and not so tiny, hands busy. Many Christmas recipes are easy to find online. Do not worry if things get somewhat messy; let your children play with the dough, form cookies, taste different ingredients and help you mix everything together. Cooking with your children can be an educational as well as a fun activity, since it involves weighing, calculating, estimating and presentation skills. Discuss all these aspects with your children and encourage them to ask as many questions as they like. Remember an inquisitive mind is an intelligent mind! Prepare Party Hats for all members of the family. Recyclable materials can be utilised for this craft activity. Let your children design the party hat with your guidance. Alternatively, you can find cheap ready made carton hats which your children could personalise for each member of the family by using glitter glue, squiggly eyes, coloured kite paper etc. Creativity plays an important role; there are no good looking hats or bad looking hats. It is all about letting your children express themselves, whilst keeping them occupied and having fun! Lay the Table for Guests! Children love to feel involved especially during the Christmas season. You can assign them specific tasks to make them feel responsible. Older children, as well as, younger children can be shown how to lay the table. Explain where the cutlery, plates and glasses should be placed. Do not leave such preparations until the last minute. Explain calmly and show them more than once if need be.

Growing Up in Malta

time of year the many pantomimes that are being organised this year. Attending a pantomime is usually a fun outing the whole family looks forward too. Children are not the only ones who enjoy that Christmassy magical feeling! Whether you choose to attend a pantomime in Maltese or in English, I am sure that it will be an enjoyable event for all the family. After the pantomime, encourage your children to talk about what they liked most and perhaps what they would have done differently. You might be surprised with the ideas they come up with! Also check out what is being organised locally during this Christmas period; there are numerous Christmas events that are being organised for families in mind, at no or little cost!

Create an instant book or a quiet book! If you have very young children, quiet books in particular need to be prepared beforehand. However if you have older children, instant books could easily be created together. Both books are made using supplies and material found around the house. There are plenty of examples online particularly on YouTube. I have chosen two links to get you started: watch?v=MWuCRVrVRvM Both books take some time to prepare but your children will appreciate them as they are special books created by their parents/guardians. Make a Christmas Collage! Collect old Christmas cards to create these Christmas collages! Choose the pictures you would like to cut out, ask your children to arrange them on a cork board and pin each picture to the board. This easy-to-make Christmas collage would be used just for this Christmas season. Alternatively, Winter 2011 - Issue 16

the picture cut outs are placed on an A3 sheet and glued in a decorative way. Add the year the collage was made and also write the names of the persons involved in creating it. Laminate it and keep it for next year’s Christmas decorations. You can do one every year either with old cards, magazines or even family photos! This is one way of recording Christmas family activities and keeping the memories alive. Organise a walk with all the members of the family or watch a pantomime together. Children get bored if they feel they are trapped inside most of the time during their Christmas holidays. Try to balance out family activities; it is beneficial to spend time at home however it is also important to organise fun activities outside the home. These are a few ideas: wrap up warm and take your children out for a walk in the countryside; encourage them to collect leaves or pine cones which could be used for art activities later in the holidays. Visit different villages or towns to view the Christmas crib exhibitions and street decorations. Purchase tickets for one of

Play a board game or invent your own word game. Board games and card games are fun, social activities that can be enjoyed with family and friends. Besides the educational element of learning new words or techniques children also learn to follow rules, take turns and strategise. Make sure that the game you choose is age appropriate otherwise younger children will become frustrated and older ones will get bored. You could invent your own game and individualise according to your children’s interests and hobbies. One example is to cut out pictures from magazines. Distribute them evenly among family members; each player takes turns to narrate a story using the pictures and/or words on their cards. The next player should continue the story utilising their own cards and so on until each player has added their bit and the story is concluded. Great laughs are guaranteed as the storyline develops from one player to the next! Store bought games can also be utilised especially if you already have a range of games at home. Alternate between educational and vocabulary building games and fun family games. Organise a Treasure Hunt around the House Tell your children that the Christmas Star or Angel has been misplaced! Since the Christmas Tree is not complete without the star or the angel it is essential that they look carefully around the house to find it. Make sure you hide the Christmas Star or Angel in a suitable place, depending on the age of your children. You could create cards with clues to guide the children. If you do not have time to prepare clue cards, play the traditional fire/water game. Shout “fire” if they are close and “water” if they are further away from the hidden item. Continued on page 8


Christmas Continued from Page 7

Spending time with your Children at Christmas Story-Telling Ask the children to choose a story to narrate and act out involving different members of the family. The story can be a well known fairy-tale that can be altered and given a different twist. Older children love to adapt stories and give them their own slant! On the other hand, the story-telling session could be loyal to the book. There are no rules for this activity as long as your children are having fun listening to and participating in the storytelling session. If the story is a well-loved tale, it is a good idea to create activities and games around that story and collect the materials in a story bag or box. The various activities would avoid repetition but at the same time, keep to the theme of the well-loved book. Young children, often much to their parents’ dismay, love hearing the same story over and over again. You could bring the story to life by using different voices for each character, creating sound effects or asking your children to invent different conclusions. This site will give you further ideas of storytelling examples and techniques to explore together with your children: http://

Information about the Foundation for Educational Services (FES) Established since April 2001 Location: c/o St Nicholas College, Boys’ Secondary School, MTF 1140 Mtarfa, Malta Who are we? Launched in late 2001, the Foundation for Educational Services (FES) was conceived as a mechanism that works hand-in-hand with, at that time, the Education Division at the Ministry of Education to provide a range of innovative educational initiatives including

ones in the field of literacy, family learning support and parental participation. Currently, the Foundation is focusing on before and afterschool services for children and their parents as well as Parental Empowerment programmes, Childcare and the Youth Programme. Our Mission The Foundation for Educational Services aims to work with families and individuals through the development and implementation of programmes and services to promote integration and social inclusion, bridging the gap between formal and non-formal education provision. Services Offered : • Childcare Services (0 - 3 years)

• • • • • • • •

Klabb 3-16 After-school care service (3 - 16 years) (16 - 21 years) NWAR Id f’Id Klabb Ħilti Malta Writing Programme (after-school services) Klabb Naħla Training Courses for Parents and Educators

Email Phone 21455600 / 21455607 Facebook Page Foundation-for-Educational-Services Growing Up in Malta

Winter 2011 - Issue 16


Bethlehem f’Ghajnsielem by Paul Grech

With Christmas fast approaching what can be more exciting then planning your visit to Gozo to

major crib exhibition during Christmas and in many there are even live ones, with actors taking on the roles of the main protagonists in the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. Whilst most of these are impressive, none can match the one at Ghajnsielem

experience the meaning of Christmas... for sheer size and ambition. For one thing the whole village is on a stretch of land that measures 20,000 square metres. Which, let me tell you, is huge.

What is It? Up till 2008, the Ta’ Passi fields on the outskirts of Ghajnsielem lay abandoned with the accumulating refuse creating an eyesore. Then, in the space of a few weeks, these fields were cleared of rubbish and in their place rose a life size replica of Bethlehem village imagined in the style of a crib. This village comes to life in the weeks leading to Christmas with around one hundred volunteers dressing up as villagers, shepherds, Roman legionnaires and the Holy Family. Why Go There? There is barely a town in Malta where there isn’t at least one

Naturally, the main attraction has to be the grotto with Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus but there is so much more to see. There is, for instance, a wide variety of animals that includes cows, donkeys, sheep and chickens that are always a hit with children. Then there are the carpenter’s and blacksmith’s houses, the bakery, a market selling fresh fruit and a wine tavern. There is even an inn where those willing to do so can pay to stay overnight on the site in rooms that have been styled to resemble those around the time of the birth of Jesus Christ. All visitors will be given a map of the village and a children’s quiz book whilst thousands of cypress tree seeds will be distributed to visitors in collaboration with Eco-Gozo and Hands-on Farming. Whilst a trip to Bethlehem f’Ghajnsielem is always a thoroughly enjoyable experience, we do recommend doing so on Saturday nights where the bonfires and oil lamps that are lit up add to the ambience. How to Get There? Visitors can choose to leave their car at Cirkewwa Terminal and walk up to the crib from Mgarr Harbour. To who do so however, have to be warned that the walk is a steep, albeit short, one. Alternatively, one can park in the Ghajnsielem centre and walk down to the entrance. No bookings are required and entrance to Bethlehem f’Ghajnsielem is free. Further information can be found by looking at the official site at http://


Growing Up in Malta Winter 2011 - Issue

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Places to go

The nativity village opens on Sunday the 11th of December and will be animated as following:

DECEMBER 2011 4.30pm - 9.00pm Sunday 11th 9.30am - 12.00am Monday 12th 2.00pm - 7.00pm Tuesday 13th 9.30am - 12.00am Wednesday 14th 4.30pm - 9.00pm Saturday 17th 2.00pm - 7.00pm Sunday 18th 3.00pm – 7.00pm Saturday 24th th 3.00pm – 8.00pm Sunday 25 3.00pm – 7.00pm Monday 26th 3.00pm – 7.00pm Thursday 29th 3.00pm – 7.00pm Friday 30th st 3.00pm – 7.00pm Saturday 31 Sunday 1st Saturday 7th Sunday 8th

JANUARY 2012 3.00pm - 8.00pm 4.30pm - 9.00pm 2.00pm - 8.00pm

Should weather not permit, the organisers reserve the right to cancel the animation on any date. Winter 2011 - Issue 16

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Dad in Progress

TheChristmas Gift Dilemma There are fewer more insistent reminders of what time At least that is my experience based on the six years during which I’ve been a of year we’re in than the ever increasing number of


leaflets promoting what they claim to be ‘the ideal It is also why this year I’m trying to do things differently. Rather than go for

the kind of toys that are disposable and which they’ll get tired of quickly I’m

Christmas gifts’ with which our letterboxes are stuffed aiming for gifts that have a bit more longevity to them.

on a daily basis. It isn’t easy. Books are perhaps the obvious choice here but, although my kids Without wishing to enter into a moralistic debate of whether this is a good or bad thing, receiving and giving presents is how many define Christmas. And it is this culture that drives so many people to the shops as they look to ensure that they keep friends and family happy. The pressure to do so increases when you’re a parent. Children are being constantly by Paul Grech bombarded with things that they MUST have. Watch a couple of kids’ shows (at least those on the foreign stations) and try to keep track of how many different toys they promote. And, if your kids are anything like mine, each different advert will be accompanied by their demands to get it. Of course, most of the time they’ll ask (or, rather, nag) for whatever toy is being hyped and you’ll refuse. Christmas, however, is different. You feel obliged to get them the thing that they really want even if you know that it costs too much and a couple of months down the line it is likely to become another discarded toy lying around gathering dust. You want to see your kids happy and that look of pure exhilaration on Christmas morning as they tear up the wrapping to find the toy of their dreams is what every parent lives for. It is that prospect of seeing their whole face light up that makes you forget that the toy in question will keep them content for a couple of weeks at most.


do like books, the fact that they can get as many as they want (well, almost) for the library means that they aren’t special enough gifts for Christmas. What else is there? Bikes they’ve got, clothes aren’t gifts and puzzles ultimately mean more work for me trying to hunt down the missing pieces.

The solution that I’m veering towards at the moment is board games. They’re fun, educational, can be enjoyed by everyone and they can keep on playing them. In other words, they’re precisely what I’m looking for. Yet the doubt remains: will they like them? Or, rather, will they like them enough? It is a dilemma that I’ll only be able to answer on Christmas day. The good thing is that my kids are young enough to believe in Father Christmas so, if they don’t like them, I can always shift the blame on to him!


Christmas Disney Soft-Toy with any 1 pack by 4 cups of Mio Frutta Grattugiata or Mio Merenda al Latte Available in four different flavours: Mio Frutta Grattugiata Mela (Apple) Mio Frutta Grattugiata Mela e Banana (Apple and Banana) Mio Frutta Grattugiata Mela e Pera (Apple and Pear) Mio Frutta Grattugiata Frutta Mista (Mixed Fruits)

Winter 2011 - Issue 16

Offer valid until stocks last. Available from leading outlets and pharmacies. These products do not contain preservatives, colourings and flavourings.



The making of a Crib by Paul Grech

It was my grandfather who used to take care of my When I entered my teens, however, other interests took precedence. By the time the desire to have a crib came back, my grandfather had passed away

Christmas cribs when I was growing up. If he wasn’t and it dawned on me that I didn’t actually know how to build it. doing the whole thing from scratch, he would be

The easy solution to that problem would have been to go out and buy one. Yet

building a windmill or some other structure to add somehow that didn’t seem like a satisfying option: I wanted to build it myself. to the existing one. And whereas initially they were So I turned to the Ghaqda Hbieb tal-Presepju - Malta (the Malta Society of the Chrismas Cribs’ Friends) and went to one of the courses.

rather small and simple designs, as I grew older he

There I found a group of like-minded other enthusiasts - some beginners and

started building bigger and bigger ones so much that others simply looking to get better – and over the three months I built my first eventually he made one that took up a quarter of a crib together with them. Setting it up wasn’t the magical experience that it was when I was a kid but it was extremely fulfilling to know that I had created

decently sized room... it. The process of setting up the crib and putting in the figurines used to be a magical experience for me. Seeing that miniature village come to life with those characters was enthralling and I used to spend countless hours moving them around. Just as I would spend countless more dreaming of how I could improve it further.

Then last year I built the first crib together with my kids. And when I say together, I do mean together. I’d show them what they needed to do and then let them get on with it only stepping in when they were either getting things too wrong or else when it was something that they could hurt themselves doing. It took us three weeks of almost daily work to finish and, truthfully, on most of those days I would have rather sat down to watch television instead. What kept me going was seeing their enthusiasm, their increasing excitement as it started to take shape and their joy of working towards a common goal. Aesthetically, the end result wasn’t the nicest looking crib around but it was one that we had done together and, emotionally, it was easily the most rewarding. Something about the Ghaqda Hbieb tal-Presepju- Malta Although the tradition of crib making is an old one in Malta, towards the middle of the Eighties it was felt that slowly this was dying out as foreign traditions started creeping in.

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Growing Growing Up Up in in Malta Malta

time of year

It was this belief that led to the formation of the Ghaqda Hbieb tal-Presepju - Malta in October 1986 which a couple of months later organised the first crib exhibition; an exhibition that has been held on an annual basis ever since. Over the years the society has thrived thanks not only to this exhibition but a whole range of activities that include trips to visit cribs overseas, talks about the crib and obviously the lessons on crib making. Those who want to try their hand at building their own crib can do so by following the very detailed instructions (albeit exclusively in Maltese) that can be found on the society’s website over at Attending one of the courses that are organised every year is, however, recommended. Children older than six can also attend these courses.

A Quick Look at the History of the Crib in Malta There are few Maltese homes where a crib is not set up during Christmas. It is a wonderful tradition, one that reminds what is being celebrated in a period where it would easy to be fooled that the real centre of attention is Father Christmas and the gifts that he brings. It is also a tradition that has been around for centuries. In the monastery of Winter Winter 2011 2011--Issue Issue16 16

the Benedictine sisters in Mdina there is a crib that bears the mark of its year of manufacture - 1826 - making this one of the earliest examples of cribs that have survived to this day. However, it is unlikely that this was the first crib that made it to Malta. Indeed, it is believed that a crib used to be set up in the Dominican friar’s church in Rabat as early as 1617 although it is unclear what form this took. Other later cribs are associated with individuals such as Fra Benedetto Papale (1875), Antonio Muscat Fenech (1870) and Duminku Pace (1877). It was Papale, a Sicilian priest who spent some time living in Malta, who first introduced the Sicilian style crib to our islands. In Malta, as with other countries, the crib’s popularity started to spread at the start of the nineteenth century. More likely than not, this happened because the cost of manufacturing the figurines began to decrease through automation making it easier for people to afford them. The typical Maltese crib bears a significant resemblance to the Sicilian rather than the more colourful Neapolitan one something that is largely due to geographical factors - Sicily is obviously closer than Naples - but also stylistic ones. From early on, however, typical Maltese figurines started appearing. These represented local crafts and trades such as the baker and the farmer as well as the traditional folk singers (ghannejja).

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Nuts about Chestnuts by Stephanie Galea, Registered Nutritionist & founder of Nourish

As the weather gets colder and Christmas approaches, chestnut season begins. Unlike other nuts, chestnuts are relatively low in calories and contain far less fat. Notwithstanding they are still richly packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that benefit health. First and foremost, chestnuts are rich in starch and therefore release energy slowly and steadily in the body, helping to stabilise blood-sugar levels, and helping us to remain fuller for longer. They are also rich in dietary fibre, where 100g of roasted chestnuts provides 5g of fibre. Fibre in our diet is important for regular bowel movements and the health of our intestines. It also helps lower blood-cholesterol levels by absorbing excess cholesterol in our blood. Chestnuts are a very rich source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin which does not get stored in the body. We therefore need to be consuming this vitamin on a daily basis in order to have good health. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that protects our body from harmful toxins or free radicals. This vitamin is useful in helping wounds heal quickly and to prevent gums from bleeding. Vitamin C helps the absorption of iron from food or iron supplements and this is essential to prevent or treat anaemia.

Chestnuts are especially good for women trying to get pregnant due to their folic acid content. Folic acid is a vitamin especially essential in the first few weeks for pregnancy for the prevention of neural tube defects in a foetus. However this vitamin is also needed by all of us since folic acid is required for the formation of red blood cells and DNA synthesis. Over and above all these great nutrients chestnuts are also great sources of minerals such as manganese, copper, potassium, phosphorus and iron; and also vitamin B6, B1, B2, B5 and vitamin K. In Malta, come Christmas time, a popular chestnut recipe Imbuljuta is traditionally prepared as either a warming winter drink served after midnight mass or a dessert served after Christmas lunch.

Imbuljuta • • • • • • • • • •

By Matty Cremona

½ kilo Good Earth dried chestnuts The rind of 1 orange and 2 tangerines A piece of lemon rind 100g dark chocolate 4tbsp cocoa powder 4 heaped tbsp brown sugar 1 heaped tbsp white sugar 8 cloves 1tsp grated nutmeg 1tsp ground mixed spice

Wash the dried chestnuts, sort them out, removing any bad ones and soak them overnight in water. Next morning, rinse them well and remove any brown bits of loose skin on the chestnuts. Rinse them, cover them well with water bring them to the boil and simmer till just tender. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring back to the boil and simmer till the chestnuts are meltingly soft and have absorbed all the delicious flavours. Either serve this cold, at room temperature or warm it up with a tot of brandy to enjoy after midnight mass. Serves 8-10 portions

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Growing Up in Malta

Winter 2011 - Issue 16



A Dog Friendly Christmas by Dog Trust Malta

Christmas is always a time of indulgence as we tuck into our mince pies and much favoured Christmas puddings. Sadly, many people also unwittingly over-indulge their dogs with festive treats and human foods that in some cases can prove fatal. Dog poisoning is a serious problem and every Christmas a worrying number of dogs become seriously ill after eating human foods such as chocolate and raisins. Feeding your dog human foods can have dire consequences such as vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy and in some cases chronic breathing difficulties. Other dangerous foods for dogs include dates, grapes, mince pies, Christmas puddings, whole brazil nuts, excessive amounts of cheese, alcohol, onion, raw potato (green), turkey bones and high content cocoa chocolate.

unaware of the hidden dangers and was simply intending to be kind to their dog who was eager to share in the festive treats. Like with humans, all foods should be given in moderation.

However, it’s not always the dog owner’s fault. Greedy dogs have been known to feed on festive treats such as chocolate tree decorations when their owner’s back is turned. To prevent an emergency trip to the vet this Christmas ensure all naughty treats are hidden and out of sight and smell of greedy paws!

However, help is at hand. Dogs Trust has devised a delicious, healthy and safe three-course Doggy Christmas Menu specially designed with dogs in mind. Veterinary approved dishes include Mutt Nog, Cranberry and Turkey Goble Gobble, Pooches Glazed Vegetables and Doggy Mince Pies.

Dogs Trust Veterinary Director, Chris Laurence, suggests: “As a vet I have seen some terrible examples of dog poisoning over the Christmas period. In many cases the owner was totally

Other festive items to avoid giving your dog include Hollie berries, Mistletoe, xylitol based sweetner and alcohol such as mulled wine.”

We got in touch with writer and actress, Jo Caruana, whose much loved dog, Bunny, was the first to take part in a canine taste test. Jo explains: “Bunny has certainly given her paw of approval to this risk-free Christmas treat. Despite being a fussy eater, she especially loved the Paw Lickin’ Mutt Nog – she wolfed it down in 30 seconds flat! Bunny is an SPCA rescue dog who was left in a terrible state after being abused by a previous owner. Though still very nervous, she’s a very happy dog, and these kind of treats make all the difference in adding an extra wag to her walk!”

Jo Caruana and her much loved dog, Bunny.

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Case study Mario Fenech’s dog Tina, a five year old mixed breed, learnt her lesson the hard way. Last Christmas Eve, Tina had an unfortunate incident with a chocolate bar that resulted in her stomach being pumped and a 24-hour course of charcoal tablets. Mario explains: “Christmas 2010 was a nightmare for Growing Growing Up Up in in Malta Malta


Doggy Christmas Menu Starter Paw Lickin’ Mutt Nogg (Egg Nog)

Ingredients • • • • • •

250 gr of turkey breast 1.4 litres water 140 gr wholeweat flour 2 eggs Fresh parsley Sprinkling of parmesan cheese

by Dogs Trust Malta - Il Fondazzjoni tal-Klieb Boil a turkey and remove from water to cool. add flour to turkey wat and beat out any lumps. Add beaten eggs Cook on low heat until mixture thickens. Mince turkey in food processor and add to gravy. Add more water if needed. Place in dog bowl with a spinkling of fresh parsley and parmesan.

Main Course Cranberry & Turkey Gobble Gobble (Festive Stew)

Ingredients • 225 gr of potatoes • 225 gr of squash • 110 gr of sellery • 250 gr of turkey breast • 240gr turkey/vegetable stock • 2 tbsp flour • 55 gr fresh cranberries

Peel and dice the vegetables. Boil for 3-5 min until they go soft. Add cooked turkey to the saucepan. Whisk the flour into the turkey stock. Add turkey stock to pan and simmer for 10 min stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and place in a dog bowl (serve at room temperature)

Main Course Pooches Glazed Vegetables (Roasted Vegetables)

Ingredients • 210 gr parsnips • 210 gr carrots • 210 gr potatoes • 2 tbsp sesame seeds • 2 tbsp olive oil • 2 tbsp honey • lemon and orange zest/juice

Pre-heat the oven to 190°C. Peel and scrub vegetables and cut into bite-sized pieces. Boil and drain vegetables. Mix sesame seeds, olive oil, honey and orange zest/juice in a bowl and pour over the vegetables. Bake in the oven in a roasting pan for 20-30 mins. Serve at room temperature..

Ingredients • 225 gr of plain flour • 115 gr of butter • 4 tbsp of cold water • A pinch of salt • 1 tin of dog food

Prepare the pastry and make 12 mince pie bases. Grease cup cake tins and add pastry shells. Place a small teaspoon of dog food in each mince pie casing. Seal the mince pies, make a hole in the top, add milk to brown them.

Dessert Mini Fido Christmas Puddings (Doggy Mince Pies)

us; Tina, my five year old mix, took it upon herself to devour a complete bar of Godiva chocolate. The chocolate bar was left under the Christmas tree ready for unwrapping on Christmas day. Tina however decided to take her life into her own paws and obliterated its entire contents before being rushed to the local vet for emergency treatment. Would you believe, despite her gruelling ordeal at the vets, Tina still prefers the taste of chocolate. However, we’ve learnt from our mistakes and now keep all forms of chocolate out of her reach in our top kitchen cupboards.” Let’s face it, with an overabundance of irresistible Christmas goodies at hand, it’s hard to keep them tucked away out of sight, especially when trying to pry a chocolate bar from your 6 year olds hands! That is why it is equally important to tell your children about the importance of keeping sweets and other human foods away from your pets. Winter2011 2011 Issue 16 Winter Winter 2011---Issue Issue16 16

For more information: If you really want to treat your dog this Christmas, give them the gift of health. Speak with Dogs Trust to see if you are eligible for a free neutering and microchipping voucher. Neutering is proven to reduce certain cancers, and promote better well being. Dogs Trust offers free neutering and chipping to people receiving government benefits, farmers, hunters and factory dogs. For more information call on 21 421 500 or 777 111 00 or email on

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A Book for Christmas by Paul Grech

Every time I pass by a book shop, I have to fight the urge to go in and buy something. Thankfully, during Christmas there’s no need to resists the temptation because you have the perfect excuse to get some books that will later be passed on as gifts to friends, family and yourself. Yet choosing what book to buy can be a tough choice so we’re here to help you choose the right one. Meta l-Milied Ma’ Giex by Clare Azzopardi Now this is a book with which I’ve well and truly fallen in love with. The illustrations are so wonderful and the whole book so well put together that when I see it I can’t resist opening it and slowly turning the pages one by one. That’s not meant as a slight on the story itself,

which is quite entertaining (even if it is, visibly, heavily influenced by Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”). It deals with an ugly and twisted old man who lives on the moon who decides that he wants to stop Christmas from being celebrated and how, ultimately, he sees the error of his way. Judy Moody & Stink: The Holly Holiday by Megan McDonald with illustrations by Peter H. Reynolds Sometimes, when shopping around for books with a Christmas theme it is difficult to find something that strikes familiar to a Maltese setting. Because much of what is seen as a typical Christmas elsewhere is impossible for us to achieve. That is what makes this book kind of special. The story itself deals with a brother and a sister. Whilst Judy Moody goes round making lists and preparations to organise what to her is a perfect Christmas, Stink has only one wish, that of having snow for Christmas. There is only one problem with this: it never snows where they live. Sound familiar? Well, it isn’t about Malta but it is the kind of story that your kids can easily relate to. Plus, it has some very interesting and colourful characters - a postman with a very particular story, for instance - that make this a riveting read. The Christmas Book by Sheherazade Goldsmith If you’re looking for something more grown-up then this is the book for you. Here you will find almost everything about decorating and making homemade gifts for Christmas. From the simple things like re-cycled Christmas cards to the more complex Christmas cake, there is something for everyone here. Preschool Actvities Christmas Fun by Fiona Watt and Katie Lovell Of course, Christmas is also a time of year where kids stay at home on their holidays. As any parent who has stayed in with them for any length of time will vouch, this can prove problematic. Because, sooner or later, they will get bored with their toys and you will get fed up of seeing them lounge in front of TV so you start looking for things that they can do. Crafts are always a good solution in such moments. Yet although there is a plethora of ideas and possible projects on the internet, finding the right ones for you can prove a bit tricky.

20 20

Growing Growing Up Up in in Malta Malta

Book reviews

Something like this books makes your life significantly easier. Not only are the projects Christmas themed, they are also extremely cute and colourful. Most of them are also very easy to do so you’re guaranteed a good time, rather than the frustration that can come about from starting a project that you can’t finish. Esperimenti tax-Xjenza If you want to add a little bit of education with the fun, then this is the book for you. As its name so clearly indicates, this is a collection of 100 science experiments that you can try at home with your children. There’s enough in here to ensure hours of fun and, crucially, there are also little notes that tell you what scientific principles are being touched upon by each experiment. Wonderfully illustrated and extremely easy to follow there is the added benefit that this being a local production, you will find the materials needed for each experiment rather than finding yourself stuck with something that isn’t available over here. The projects themselves vary in difficulty so it is up to each parent to pick those projects that are suitable for their kids. Which is an added beauty of this book: you can keep on using it year after year as your kids grow older and graduate from the simple to the more complex of projects. Winter Winter 2011 2011--Issue Issue16 16

The Perfect Christmas by Carolyn Bell Something along the same lines is The Perfect Christmas. Again there’s everything from decorations to recipes. Indeed, this contains practically every Christmas related recipe you might think of (and more!) not to mention have you drooling as you look over the pictures. There are also instructions for a number of projects which, in truth, seem a bit complex and might need a bit of an experienced hand to complete. Even so, there are plenty of ideas here to keep you busy for a number of Christmases. Horrid Henry’s Underpants by Francesca Simon Horrid Henry’s Underpants features four hilarious adventures starring Horrid Henry: the wickedest, rottenest, most revolting boy of all. In this anthology of stories, Henry tries to skip school (gasp!), eats a vegetable (bleah), and gets into a terrible mix up over a pair of underpants. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl When James’ unfortunate parents are swallowed whole by an escaped rhinoceros, it looks like the end for James. Not because he’s next on the menu, but because he’s been shipped off to live with his two horrible aunts, Sponge and Spiker. Is this really the end of everything? Or will something truly wonderful and totally amazing happen? All books available from BooksPlus and Merlin Library.

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Growing Up in Malta

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Growing Up in Malta

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 Winter 2011 - Issue 16


It's a very busy time at the North Pole; Santa needs to get his sleigh packed and ready for his trip around the world, to deliver the presents to all the children.

But what has happened ? The packing elves have lost track of the presents they have already put in the sack on the sleigh!

Sleigh counting and sorting game

Can you help Santa and the Elf sort and count the presents on and near the sleigh? Write the correct number of each shape in the boxes.

All done? Thank you for helping Santa and Elf! Santa can now get on his way and deliver all the presents to the children. Hurrayyy! Would you like to win your very own Billy & Bangle T-Shirt?


Then make sure you complete at least one of the puzzles on the pages and send them to: Growing Up in Malta, PO Box 20, St. Pauls Bay. Make sure your entry is in before the 15th of February 2012. Good Luck!!! Name:





Decorate the Christmas Tree Billy and Bangle are getting ready for Christmas but could do with a bit of help decorating their tree!

Can you help Billy finish the decorating of the tree and draw some more decorations in the boxes?

Trace and colour the presents

merry christmas Trace over each letter, starting at the dots.


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Scary Ghouls one ost of 2 Crayola Prizes ula or DrawingGtohus and you might win a fantastic Prize! We have 2 prizes to give a way. Send D your racDesign Mask Two world included! Send your entry to Growing Up in Malta, PO Box blins back packs with art material Goexplorer itches 20, St. Pauls Bay. Make sure your artwork/designs/drawing is with us before the 15th of February 2011. W Jump

Name:.............................................................................................Tel: .................................................................................. Address: ...................................................................................................................................Age: ...................................

Winter 2011 - Issue 16






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LEGO, the LEGO logo and DUPLO are trademarks of the LEGO Group. ©2011 The LEGO Group. 4649741/11_INT


AM Growing2/10/11 Up in8:32 Malta


Write a Letter to Santa I can’t believe it!!! I’ve just had Santa on the phone!! WOW....give me a minute....need to recover a bit first. Pfffff Okay. Santa has just asked if we can help him with the letters of all the children from Malta and Gozo again. Just like last year. Of course we said: ‘Yes Santa, it will be our pleasure!’ (Thinking also of all the hot chocolate and mince pies, and having a great time with Santa and his Elves! So if you want to write a letter to Santa here is what to do: Follow the Santa Checklist (printed below) and make sure your letter is with us before the 15th of December., and Santa will reply to your letter before the 25th of December!!

Santa’s Checklist:

Include in the letter the following:  Name  Age  Address  Boy or Girl  Were you naughty or nice this year?  Do you have a chimney?  What is your special Christmas Wish? And of course anything else you would like to share with Santa! Oh and your letter can be in English or Maltese.

Winter 2011 - Issue 16

Make sure you send your letter to: Growing Up in Malta, PO Box 20, St. Pauls Bay. Please include a self-addressed and stamped envelope for your reply from Santa, as he rather spends his money on presents for the children then stamps this year. Without a self-addressed envelope we can’t guarantee a reply. 31

Story Writing

Debenhams Bluezoo Story Competition 32

Growing Up in Malta


BLUEZOO UNDER ATTACK ! One evening when all the customers and staff had left the department store. All the managers were informed to meet at the BlueZoo department area. There was a lot of talking and excitement at Debenhams that night. Until, Winston, the big boss walked in with his big hat and his big candy cane. He was famous for eating lots of candy canes. ‘Silence!’ he said. “We have a big problem, an alien ship has crashed into the BlueZoo factory, and it’s gonna take a year to rebuild”.“And all the machines are badly damaged and all the clothes are all burned” Winston said. He looks at Kirsten, the Manageress and tells her that she must find another clothing company to replace BlueZoo. He tells her to go to England in the morning and everything is arranged and she must see the damage and choose the new clothing company. The meeting is over and everyone goes home and the department store closes. All the clothes of BlueZoo come to life and say “Did you hear that, we are not going to exist and all the kids are going to be sad without us”. P.J. says “I know someone who can help us”. “Who?” says Vesty. “Stan, the manikan man” P.J. said. They all go to Stan and ask for his help. He tells them “I know what we can do”. “I will go and meet Kirsten in the morning with some of my friends and pretend that we are humans and part of her team”. When they arrive at the factory in England, Kirsten and her team of manikans (unknown to her), go and check out the

Winter 2011 - Issue 16

factory and speak to the staff. Kirsten asks Stan if she can go and find another clothing company while he stays at the factory and she will meet him in the morning. So the manikans get to work with the help of their friends, Vesty, P.J. and the others. It is getting really late and they still have not finished building the factory. The manikans are getting really tired now and they said they need some more BlueZoo clothes to help them. All of a sudden the alien ship starts to light up and the door opens and a friendly alien comes out of the alien ship. The manikans and the clothes are shocked to see the alien. The alien tells them that he crashed on Earth because they ran out of candy because candy is fuel for their alien ship. Stan just remembered he took alot of candy canes from Winston. He said to the alien that he will give him hundreds of candy canes if he will help them build the factory. The alien calls all the little aliens to come out and help to build the factory. It was morning and Kirsten came to meet Stan. When she entered she saw hundreds of little aliens carrying big bags of candy canes and boarding the alien ship. She couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw all the BlueZoo clothing cheering and jumping. She rubbed her eyes to make sure she had seen Stan and his friends were not humans but manikans. Stan turns and sees Kirsten in the doorway and goes over to speak to her. Stan tells Kirsten “we all want to save BlueZoo and I hope you will understand, that we needed to rebuild the factory again”... ... Kirsten and Stan with his friends return home to a heros welcome!....

by Matteo Enrico Vella, attending Kullegg San Gorg Preca, Skola Primarja ‘B’ Paola Well done Matteo! And here is your debut as a young and budding writer. We hope to see more of your stories in the future! Matteo has won a personal shopping experience at Debenhams to choose his complimentary outfit. His school Kullegg San Gorg Preca, Skola Primarja ‘B’ Paola will receive €75 worth of books. The 4 other story writers who will see their work in print in the next 4 issues of Growing Up in Malta are: • • • •

Karissa Bugeja, 7 yrs. She attends San Benedittu Primary School in Zurrieq. Molly Pennock, 7 yrs. She attends Gozo College Kercem Primary. Diaz Zammit-Arikan, 8yrs. He attends Stella Maris in Balzan. Amy Camilleri, 6.5 yrs. She attends St. Monica School in Mosta.



Would you like to win on of the 2 LEGO fishing boats? Then send your answer before the 15th of February 2012 to: Growing Up in Malta, PO Box 20, St. Pauls Bay.


Growing Up in Malta

‘Create’ a Christmas to remember with Jovi! The Christmas Holidays are coming! And what better way to spend a long holiday creating amazing works of art with Jovi art supplies and Paper Pod cardboard play products!!!

Winter 2011 - Issue 16



Discovering two of your children need special attention can be overwhelming but Stefani Cauchi found the Inspire team ready to reach out to her and her children. She speaks to Veronica Stivala. Stefania Cauchi realised that there was something wrong with her daughter – aged five and half – and that she needed special attention as she had problems with her motor skills. Naturally overwhelmed and at a loss what to do, she made her way to the Inspire therapy centre in Marsascala. “I didn’t know anyone there,” she recalls. “I just showed up, not knowing what I’d find and made my way to the receptionist.” Mrs Cauchi instantly felt welcomed and following her explanation of her daughter’s needs, she was put in touch with the right people. “The people at Inspire helped me straight away. I felt I was in safe hands,” she says, encouragingly. Mrs Cauchi’s daughter Tara* is attending various sessions at the Inspire centre in Marsascala. Found to be a globally late developer, Tara has not yet been fully diagnosed, but she is currently

The Therapeutic Centre is built around five core tasks: 1.

enabling people with a disability to enjoy a wide range of sensory experiences for therapy, learning, relaxation and fun.


promoting and enhancing independence in the client’s own environment and in the community.


providing psychological assessment and behavioural support within the programme, as well as at mainstream schools and in the family environment.


providing physiotherapy assessment and devise customised therapies for each individual.



developing creative skills.

seeing a psychologist and attending different therapy sessions. Tara’s favourite sessions are those in the Multi-Sensory Rooms (MSR). These are different rooms where clients with physical, intellectual, emotional or behavioural special needs can work to achieve their goals. Tara is given a lot of work in the soft playroom, which, as the name suggests is a place where children can play and learn within a safe environment. Tara is given creative tasks through which she can work on her fine and gross motor skills. Fine motor skills involve small movements – such as grabbing something with your thumb and forefinger – that use the small muscles of the fingers, toes, wrists, lips and tongue. Gross motor skills are for bigger movements – such as running and jumping – which use the large muscles in the arms, legs, torso and feet. “Tara has a vivid imagination and loves role playing and building castles with plastic blocks and making up stories,” says Mrs Cauchi fondly.

“Tara never wants to leave the sessions; she enjoys herself so much” The relaxing music really helps too. Parents are allowed in though Mrs Cauchi leaves her daughter alone with the volunteer as this helps Tara focus better. After just three sessions, a difference could already be seen and Tara was enjoying herself thoroughly. The holistic sessions incorporate fun with learning; for example, Tara learns numbers and colours through play. In addition to her sessions in the MSRs (there is also the White Room for the projection of 3D and other visuals and a Dark Room where work on visual stimulation is done) Tara also attends adapted swimming and the Sports Academy where she is taking cricket lessons. Adapted swimming lessons are provided on both one-to-one and small group basis to teach clients like Tara how to swim which in turn helps strengthen muscles. “Tara never wants to leave the sessions; she enjoys herself so much,” recalls Mrs Cauchi. “She even tells me I’m not leaving her long enough.” As we all know, sports help build team spirit and Inspire’s Sports Academy serves to help children with physical disability to work together. In addition, they get to learn about different sports such as handball, sailing, table tennis and softball which all help them become stronger. Staff from the Physical Disability Department ensures that the activities are adapted to the children’s abilities making the sessions as fun and practicable as possible. It was this positive environment that led Mrs Cauchi to send her other child at a very early age to the therapeutic sessions at Inspire too. Aged two years and eight months, Ian* has a very rare condition called Silver–Russell syndrome. This is a growth disorder, a form of dwarfism and has also affected Ian’s weight. Mrs Cauchi explains that her son is the only boy diagnosed in Malta with this syndrome and she as yet knows of no one else on the island with the same condition. Its cause is generally unknown though current research points towards a genetic component. Growing Up in Malta


Because Ian is still so young, he is scared of the stark White Room so doesn’t attend therapy there as yet. However, he spends a short yet beneficial amount of time in the other rooms. Mrs Cauchi speaks highly of the therapeutic centre at Inspire. She explains that in addition to the sessions, it is consoling to meet other parents who are in the same boat as her. “Once you’re there, it’s reassuring to know that everyone is there for the same reason. Everyone needs help and knowing that makes you open up more,” she says. Mrs Cauchi is so grateful for the help she and her children receive that not only does she recommend all those who need help to go but she wants to do her bit and help those less fortunate than her. Inspire caters for over 1,000 clients like Stefania Cauchi and her children across Malta and Gozo. Every Winter 2011 - Issue 16

day the Inspire team helps hundreds of children and adults some of whose families couldn’t have otherwise afforded the treatments and therapeutic sessions. The Multi-Sensory Rooms are run entirely thanks to the kind generations of others as they receive no government aid. In addition to the therapy, it is also a support system for families like the Cauchis. Inspire is constantly in need of your support and urges readers to think of others this Christmas. Even a small contribution can make a proven difference in the development of so many children. If you’d like to make a contribution, it may be sent by post to Inspire BLB801, Bulebel Industrial Estate Zejtun ZTN3000 or made online at mt; you can also send an SMS donation of €4.66 on 50618080 or €6.99 on 50618926; alternatively sign

up to the monthly donation scheme, Friends of Inspire, at *Names of children have been changed in order to protect their identities.

Inspire’s Therapeutic Centre is found in Zinzell Street, Marsascala. The adaptive swimming sessions are provided to clients aged between four and 14. They are held every Friday and Saturday and cost €35 for 10 sessions. Sports sessions are free and are held .


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Growing Up in Malta

Parents to Be

BITS AND BOBS for Babes Your baby is born with a sociable nature, so it won’t be long before he or she starts to win friends and influence people...

0 - 6 Months •

Your newborn will start demonstrating his or her social skills as early as the first week of life. They already know your voice and are beginning to recognise your face too. Soon he or she will mimic your mouth movements as you talk. By around six weeks, you’ll know you’re his or hers favourite person when they produce their first big smile! At three months your baby loves to be with you and can’t get enough of your kisses and cuddles. Soon he or she will start making noises to get your attention and won’t like being left alone. By four months they will know how to charm everyone around them, but they will save the biggest grins for those closest to them. Just four weeks later, they will start to show a real interest in other babies - particularly the ones staring back from the mirror, because they don’t realise it is them!

Being born in May makes you optimistic according to a study from the UK and Sweden. And being born in November means you’re more likely to be pessimistic. Researchers believe the difference may have been linked to the effect that longer hours of daylight have on the developing brain.

It may be your bodies way of overcoming a mild iron deficiency, say recent studies. During pregnancy iron levels can be depleted, so you need to up your intake. Green leafy veg is a better source then chocolate, but there is no arm in treating yourself now and then. Dark varieties contain the most iron.

6 - 12 Months • •

By the time your baby is six months old he or she will be really be interacting with other people and will begin to wave hello and goodbye. Give him or her plenty of quality time with his siblings and other older children; they will make them squeal with excitement. Spending time playing with other children is a great way for your baby to develop his or hers social skills, which will help him make friends later on. Your baby is becoming increasingly self-aware - he or she might be frightened of unfamiliar faces and take a little time to warm to visitors. By seven months, the bond between you and your baby will be so strong that when you leave the room, he’ll think you’ve disappeared forever. Don’t worry this phase of separation anxiety is natural and, when his sense of object permanence kicks in at around nine months, he or she will understand that even though they can’t see you, you still exists.

12 - 18 Months •

Your toddler will love playing with other children, but won’t be too surprised if there are a few squabbles over toys. They do not yet understand the concept of sharing just yet, so if they want something the will try their best to get their hands on it. Remember that not every child is a social butterfly. So if your little one is a bit reluctant to join in with other children it doesn’t mean they will struggle to form friendships. With time your toddler will gain more confidence and will become more outgoing.

Winter 2011 - Issue 16

You already know that breast milk boosts your babies brain development and can even protect her from serious medical conditions. But did you know that breast feeding can also help your little one’s eyesight? Research by the Institute of Child Health found that children who where breast-fed as babies had better stereoscopic vision - that’s the ability to judge depth, to you and me. Some scientists believe that DHA, a type of Omega-3 fatty acid found in breast milk, might be the reason behind its ability to improve babies’ visual development.


Parents to be

Did you know that the life-long eating habits upon which your baby’s long-term health is founded, start with your own diet? Indeed, the flavours of some of the foods you eat whilst pregnant end up in your amniotic fluid, where they start contributing to your baby’s future food preferences. It is important that you continue to eat a healthy and

varied diet even after giving birth. Flavours from your foods can pass into your breast milk and continue to shape your baby’s sense of taste, and expose your baby to the foods of your family and culture. Give your baby a head start by eating a varied diet when pregnant and breastfeeding to help them develop a taste for many different foods from the youngest age! How many times have you struggled to get your baby to eat vegetables? Rest assured, it is perfectly normal as all babies naturally have a preference for familiar foods. Weaning is the ideal time to increase your baby’s range of food preferences. Here are a couple of tips to help ensure that your baby does not become a fussy eater: • Don’t get too stressed if your baby doesn’t want to try new foods or doesn’t want to eat much as up to 6 months, baby’s energy mostly comes from milk. • Don’t pressure your baby, but don’t give up if they refuse to eat their greens! Sometimes a baby needs to try a new food as many as 8 times before enjoying it. Remember it will be worth the effort in the long run. Growing Up in Malta

Product review

• • • •

• •

• Offer your baby a variety of foods, in this way you will increase the likelihood of them eating a food they haven’t tried before. • Relax, smile and encourage your baby during feeding as this can influence food acceptance.

Why is it best to avoid adding sugar and salt? To educate your child to discover the true taste of food. Not to alter his or her natural preference for sweet tastes which might make the acceptance of new foods more difficult.

Some of our taste preferences are innate, whereas others are learned. For example, babies will happily eat unsweetened apple puree, yet, if they get used to eating pureé with added sugar, the chances are they will subsequently choose it over the unsweetened version. The same is true for salty foods.

What are the consequences of excessive sugar or salt in your child’s diet? • You may predispose him or her to incorrect eating habits which may lead to overweight and obesity. • You may add to the risk of caries in the milk teeth. • Excessive salt may result in overload of baby’s immature organs increasing the risk of certain diseases in adult life, like hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.

Most of us tend to eat too much sugar and salt, which may ultimately have negative health consequences in later life (e.g. high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, obesity). So, next time you reach for the salt or the sugar when preparing your baby’s meal think twice. Start educating your baby’s palate from their youngest age and contribute to their long-term well being. Winter 2011 - Issue 16

So all that is left us is to wish you: L-ikla it-tajba Buon Appetito!

• • •

Help to limit the consumption of sugar during the weaning period. Teach your child to distinguish fruit flavours. Contain fibre which is important for the regular functioning of the intestines. Have a textured recipe that is ideal for the early stages of the baby’s weaning process. Are ideal for your baby to start trying out different fruit flavours. Are available in different delicious varieties.

Limit the consumption of salt during weaning. Teach your child to distinguish the flavour of meat. Are available in different delicious varieties.



People talk about the “problem child,” but I’m not really sure what a problem child is. According to various dictionaries I looked up, a problem child is: • “a child who requires a disproportionate amount of attention or correction” • “a child who is particularly difficult to raise or educate, especially due to a lack of self-control and disruptive and antisocial behaviour” • “a child who is persistently difficult or vexing; a frequent source of trouble or annoyance” by Sylvana Brannon • “a child who is different from his peers for physical or psychological reasons” • “a child whose behaviour does not match the expectations within your family” I have four children, and they all sometimes need more attention than other children, and the intensity of their need for attention varies from one moment to the next. All of these definitions imply that there is something wrong with children. But is there? Or is there something wrong with our VIEW and EXPECTATIONS of children?

for our children, then if we are honest with ourselves and fair to our children — and if we have a sense of humour — we will also refer to ourselves as a “problem parents” sometimes. Anyone care to join me? Or, better yet, let’s just agree to do away with the “problem” label. The label’s the problem, not the child. After all, children and adults are very similar in so many ways. Dr. Seuss in Horton Hears a Who put it best: “People are people no matter how small.” True, parents are much older and have accumulated learning and life experiences, while children are fresh to the world and have so much to learn. But for us parents, the learning hasn’t stopped, and our children can offer us so much through their innocently insightful perspective. Parents can be there alongside their children as learning partners. Make a list of your child’s behaviours that are of concern to you. Include any of those that you feel need to be corrected, whether they evoke a strongly negative response in you or not. Put a mark next to those behaviours that evoke a strongly negative response in you. Do you share any of these behaviours with your child?

Happy, confident, caring children grow up in an atmosphere of flexibility and trust, supported by respectful, empathic, and realistic parents who do not see challenging behaviours as indications that there is a problem with their children.

Other people, especially those closest to us, act as a mirror for us. Sometimes, we see in them things we like about ourselves. Sometimes, they reflect back to us aspects of ourselves that we don’t like. Thus, I need to ask myself: When I see what I like about myself in my child’s “mirror,” how do I respond to her? When I see what I don’t like, how do I respond to her? And I need to ask myself why I respond the ways I do. What can I learn about myself? Because our own children can be our most powerful mirrors, they offer us our greatest opportunities to learn and grow.

Adults and children share many behaviours, most of which are considered to be problems when exhibited by children. Why, then, is there a “problem child” but not a “problem parent”? If we are going to use the “problem child” label

“If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.” ~ C.G. Jung, psychiatrist, in Integration of the Personality


Growing Up in Malta

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T: 21338741 or 27380091 M: 99453819


‘Every Kids Paradise!’ Birthday Parties: Never Ending Fun For Our Little Guests! Free Invitations and a Free Toy to Every Child! Main Attractions: Bouncing Castle, Climbing Adventure, Playstations & more!

Winter 2011 - Issue 16

Phone now for our variety of pricing options!


Product review

Growing in e

Playing is not only fun but also very important in the em

child. It is a means through which children express the

them, develop their imagination and their ability to mo


the right toys for each sta

Your baby’s development from birth to six months is rapid, and your little one will enjoy discovering and exploring his/her new environment. Through the senses, and the first emotional experiences, the newborn baby begins to discover the environment that surrounds it. Toys such as cot mobiles, musical cot toys and soft toys are important to baby’s growth, offering suitable stimuli in the development of the senses of sight, hearing and touch.

Chicco toys follow baby’s fun from their very fi

the world that surrounds them and offers sp

Chicco toys are an essential aid for the diffe

psychological deve

Gradually, baby widens its field of exploration of the world, hones its psychomotor skills and starts to complete more precise movements by grasping objects that surround it. Toys such as Rattles, gyms and First Toys develop baby’s tactile sensibility, stimulating its auditory skills and the co-ordination of movements.

Duo Gym

Sweetheart Sheep Musical Playmat

Musical Moon

Teddy Count with Me

Musical Ball

Tambourine Canary Pilot


For more information contact Vivian Corporation on freephone: 8007 3102 or email us on:


Singin Aeroplane

The second six months of your baby’s life is a time of fast development. Your baby is becoming stronger, more communicative with lots of babbling and gurgling, more agile, more mobile by crawling or standing, and generally more aware of what’s going on around him. As his co-ordination and dexterity improves, your baby will begin to enjoy toys that move or make a noise when he touches them. As babies fine motor skills improve, they can pick up smaller objects. Picking up blocks and other small toys with one hand will become second nature. Eventually baby will begin container play and spend hours putting things in and dumping them out again. So be sure to provide small toys that fit comfortably in baby’s hands. An assortment of these on the high chair tray will keep baby occupied for a long time. At this age babies start mimicking your actions. Bath time is a perfect time to show your baby how to have a splashing fun time. Musical toys will continue to interest your baby so it’s important to surround him with toys that provide music. Growing Up in Malta

every sense...

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motional and intellectual development of every

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age of growing up.

first day of play to help them discover

Super Slide

pecific solutions for every age group.

erent stages of a child’s physical and


Johnny Coupe Rocking Pony



Two year old toddlers are generally full of energy, enthusiasm, exploration and growing independence. At the age of 2 a lot of new skills are learned and your child is very keen to use them. Since toddlers become more independent, they will need games with which to invent roles and actions, alone or with their first friends. They start interpreting with their imagination typical situations of the family environment and of the world of its parents. From this age toddlers also beings the process of constructing an image of itself and its own identity. Taste and behaviour begin to differentiate and orient baby towards male and female role models.The ideal toys at this age bracket are toys that stimulate their imagination and toys that keep them active and exercising.

Animal Cottage


Talking Cube Talking Activity Table Talking Farm


From this age, toddlers start discovering the pleasure of communication and how to express themselves. During this phase its important that baby has musical and speaking toys but also activity centres and first sorting toys that stack, divide, sort into order, so that toddlers learns to understand the concept of shapes, dimensions and association. In this period toddlers hones their co-ordination skills. Introducing bilingual talking toys that stimulate the child to develop another language through listening, memorization and the reception of nursery rhymes, first words and brief sentences is also very important. During this phase, the child will begin to move autonomously and needs toys such as sit ‘n’ Rides that favour the activities of exploration of the surrounding space, allowing baby to sharpen its motor skills, acquiring greater balance, control and safety. Toddlers also love to climb on small slides Winter 2011 - Issue 16 or play structures.

Merry Christmas from


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Growing Up in Malta

Winter 2011 - Issue 16


Shop&Win Hello Kitty 3D bath time set

Hello Kitty fans will love bath time with this fabulous gift set. The set includes bath and shower gel, floating soap, magic towel and a Hello Kitty figurine. We have 1 Hello Kitty 3D bath time set to give away to a lucky reader. Just fill in the coupon on the side or email us your entry. Hello Kitty products are available at all leading outlets and for trade enquiries you may contact Demattos and Sullivan Ltd tel 21342348

Prize winners Issue 15 Congratulations to you all! All winners have been contacted by a member of our team in order to arrange collection of their prizes should they be to large to be received post. You can find an overview of the winners on the Growing Up in Malta Facebook page in the “Event� section.

The Smurfes are here!!!

Yes! The Smurfs have well and truly arrived in Malta and are here to stay! Would you like to win a Smurfin, a Happy Smurf or a Picknick set , then enter our in our draw and you could give one of our Smufs an new home! We have a Happy Smurf, a Smurfin or a Picknic set to give away to 3 lucky readers. Just fill in the coupon on the side or email us which Smurf you would like to adopt! Hello Kitty products are available at all leading outlets and for trade enquiries you may contact Demattos and Sullivan Ltd tel 21342348


Growing Up in Malta

Charm it!

Did you like a product we reviewed and would you like to receive it

Write it, paste it, keep it... How gorjuss, my goodness! We couldn’t resist bringing you an different version on the Gorjuss little everything book. The spiral bound book features 72 lined pages, 72 grid pages and 72 blank pages along with a 6 pocket concertina file and an elastic enclosure to hold it all toghether. You can use it for absolutley anything and everthing...especially for all your craft notes and bits and bops!

FREE? If you like any of these products half as much as we do. Send us an email or letter telling us the product name, your name and address and telephone number. We will pop your name in a hat and randomly pick a winner for each item.

We have 1 gorjuss little book of everything to give away to one lucky reader. Just fill in the coupon on the side or email us your entry

After the amazing response we had on our Charm it competition from last issue we asked our supplier to please provide us with another set of Charm it ! It is very clear to us that all you little ladies out there really like this product. So here is your chance to win your very own set of 3 Charm it charms and bracelet.

The Gorjuss range is available at all leading outlets and for trade enquiries you may contact Demattos and Sullivan Ltd tel 21342348.

We have 1 special Birthday giftset to give away to one lucky reader. Just fill in the coupon on the side or email us your entry to

Charm it charms and bracelets are available at all leading outlets and for trade enquiries you may contact Demattos and Sullivan Ltd on tel 21342348.

Surname: Initial:

If you would like to win the Creepy Crawlers Bug Maker for your little mad professor then fill in the coupon on the side or send an email to:

Winter 2011 - Issue 16

I like to win:

The Creepy Crawlers Bug Maker is available at all leading outlets and for trade enquiries you may contact Demattos and Sullivan Ltd tel 21342348

Title: Address: Email: Tel:

The ulitmate bug maker for kids - blending art with science. The creepy crawlers bug maker is an excellent toy for children who are crazy about creepy crawlies. Get creative, hatch your own bugs and then squash them! Create all new multifunctional bugs, dynamic injection bug maker and everything else you will need to hatch all new creepy crawlers bugs! Suitable for ages 8 and over.

Creepy Crawlers Bug Maker!!!


All entries to be received at the offices of Growing Up by 15th February 2012.

Growing Up, PO Box 20, St. Pauls Bay, Malta.

Looking for your copy of Growing Up?

NOW also av in all G ailable Here is where you can find it! overnm ent P Growing Up is a Free magazine for Children (0 -16), Parents and rimary S chools Grandparents. Growing Up is published 4 times a year, and available i n M free of charge from the following outlets: alta & Gozo Attard Rabat Junior’s, Old Railway Track Early Learning Centre, 61 St. Paul’s Street Birkirkara Mothercare, Smart Complex Level 2 Fgura Smart Cells Malta Hamrun Merlin Library, Triq Mountbatten Health Plus, Parish Priest Mifsud Street Iklin Prenatal, Dun Karm Street Kappara Chiswick House School, Antonio Schembri Street Marsascala In the Family Way, 9 Triq il-Miklem Malti Mgarr San Anton School, I-Imselliet l/o Zebbiegh San Andrea School, I-Imselliet l/o Zebbiegh Mosta Shanti, Natural Health Products, 241 Triq Il-Kbira Pemix, Eucharistic Congress Road Scholl Foothealth Centre, 68/70 Eucharistic Congress Road Mriehel T’Angelina, Mriehel Bypass Msida Vivian Corporation Ltd. Tower Road Pembroke Verdala International School Also available at events of the following service providers: Smart Cells Malta and mamaKnows for more info please visit In the Family Way, for more info please call 21636735 Pemix Parent Child Club, for more information call Freephone 8007 4142. Baby Sensory for more information call: 21 44 6217 Toddler Sense for more information call: 21 44 6217 You can also pick your copy up from several waiting area’s of GP’s and Pharmacies all over the island.

San Gwann ECCO San Gwann, St. Julians Road Junior’s, Naxxar Road Sliema Mothercare, St Anne Square Booksplus, Bisazza Street Scholl Foothealth Centre, 70A The Strand Tower Shoes, 4 Tower Road Juniors, The Point Shopping Centre Prenatal, The Point Shopping Centre Playzone, 211 Tower Road St. George’s Bay ECCO Concept Store, Bay Street Tourist Complex, Level 0 St. Pauls Bay Play and Write, St. Pauls Street Doobles, St. Pauls Street Street Swatar St Martin’s College, Swatar Road Valletta Early Learning Centre, 193 Merchant Street King Shoe Shop, 42 Ordnance Street Scholl Foothealth Centre, 24 South Street Mothercare, 14 South Street Zabbar Scholl Foothealth Centre, 225 Sanctuary Str. Zejtun Inspire, Bulebel Industrial Estate Gozo Victoria Lucky Shoe, Tigrija Palazz Mothercare, F. Mizzi Street

All FES Childcare centers.

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Growing Up in Malta

Winter 2011 - Issue 16


Growing Up in Malta - Issue 16  

My goodness...As I’m sitting here typing away, I realise that it is only 43 days till Christmas!!! I can’t believe how quickly this year has...

Growing Up in Malta - Issue 16  

My goodness...As I’m sitting here typing away, I realise that it is only 43 days till Christmas!!! I can’t believe how quickly this year has...