August/september 2016 - issue thirty
Let kids be kids and letâ€™s have some fun!
fun with food - ditch the techno-guilt - getting into nature - teaching kids to relax - menu planning mastery
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Cover image: Photography by Elise Garner lecoco.com.au Check out the rest of the shoot on page 44
y thirtieth birthday was spent eating pizza with family and a few close friends. Oh and my 13-day-old newborn baby! It’s safe to say that my dirty thirty was only so because of all the nappies I had to change that day.
So, with Issue 30 of Kid Magazine I wanted to make it all about FUN! The fun of play, the fun of nature, the fun of food and the fun of being a kid. After all, isn’t that what childhood is all about?! Sometimes escaping into play with your kids is so hard. There are so many things to do. Washing to be hung out, meals to be cooked, dishes to be packed away. But when you do enter that world of fun and play with your kids, that is when the magic happens. My Editor’s photo was taken at our last photo shoot. We were all finished when my Little Miss asked me to sit on a Bop Along Buddy with her. I managed to somehow squat my pregnant body down and her face just lit up. I had entered her world of fun and that was all she needed. So as you read the pages of this issue, think about how you can make time for play and fun with your kids. Whether it is taking on Stace’s ideas for fun with food or Lauren’s natural trail scavenger hunt or Tina’s tips on quiet time, there are so many ideas that you can try! Until next issue, you can find us at www.kidmagazine.com.au for more of the things you love.
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Life through the lens of our Editor and Chief Kid, Sara. Join us at instagram.com/kidmagazineau
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take a peek inside
10 38 Meal planning save time & money
5 minutes with kellie stones
14 the time for quiet
40 the hunt is on
Mummy fiction a giant leap
different time, different place, same love
behind the blog play with food
34 in the jungle
how to ditch your techno-guilt
Giveaways 6 7 fun and clever ways with food 8 New Kids on the Block 32
curing ‘nature deficit disorder’
Kid Magazine Loves 70
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7 fun (and clever) ways with food Stacey Clare, A Healthy Mum I’m all for my kids playing with food. I’m not talking carrot sticks or potato chunks at dinner time, I’m saying when it’s time for fun on the floor why not use food? It’s a brilliant way to introduce new things, chat about textures and best of all, have the kids relaxed enough to try something new. So with a whole heap of fun in mind, try these play ideas on your little ones and who knows, the odd handful of a new food might just go in. Coloured breadcrumbs This is a nice little hack for using up crusty old bread… Pop it in the food processor and make breadcrumbs. Then, let the fun start. Give the kids a few different bowls and food colouring containers and have them mix the colours through. Who knows what they’ll create? Fun, individual bowls of colour or maybe one huge bowl of rainbow breadcrumbs.
your spiraliser and use beetroot, carrot and zucchini. They’ll have great fun playing and tasting the new flavours. Puffed rice construction site Grab the toy diggers and set up a construction site with some puffed rice, maybe a few bigger rocks (nuts) and whatever else is in the cupboard. They’ll love moving them all around. Frozen veggie play I had to end with the easiest one of all. Grab a mixed bag of frozen veggies and have the little ones sort them into different bowls, while munching and try different ones as they go. Enjoy the play with them, show them food is yummy and who knows, they might even eat the lot.
Jelly-jelly-jelly Make a batch and have them scoop it out onto a tray to make different landscapes. A blue-coloured jelly could be the ocean and they could add a few toys from the bath in. A green-coloured jelly could be grass and in that case, find the farm animals and start playing ‘Old McDonald’. This is an especially great game to play with kids that don’t like ‘textures’ because jelly is all about that! Ice cube shapes When it’s hot outside, a lovely way to cool down is with ice cubes. You might want to go ahead and make a HUGE batch of these, add some fruit to the middle with a hint of food colouring or even juice. Have the kids stack them up high and as they melt they can try the fruits. Flour & water If in doubt or if your pantry is looking a little bare, have the kids mix these two together and get playing. This is a great way to start introducing them to spices. Break a little dough off and have them push different herbs/spices in. Cumin seeds, sesame seeds, Italian herbs and cinnamon are all great ones to start with. Rainbow spaghetti You could do this with spaghetti and food dye but I say why not try different coloured vegetables instead? Grab facebook.com/ahealthymumpage
Stacey Clare is a healthy mum to two young boys and an accredited health and nutrition coach to the masses. She spends her days running after her busy babes who always seem to be getting in to something. Her nights are spent cooking for her website or helping other mummas on their own family’s health journey in her health coaching services. Her food philosophy is all about simple, easy-to-cook food the whole family wants to eat. Yep, same food for the 9 month old and 35 year old, because really who has time to cook multiple meals? You can visit Stace’s website here to check out all her recipes, connect with her on Facebook and Instagram or grab a copy of her lunchbox eBook which is packed full of healthy recipes that can be stored in the freezer.
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Meal planning save time & money
Amanda Lecaude, Organising You Meal planning is something I have done for as long as I can remember. Personally I find it an easy process to undertake but for some I an understand the thought of having to come up with solutions for dinner every night as well as then finding the time to cook it can be a daunting task. Meal planning requires an investment of a little time but can ultimately help in the following ways: Save time - it can stop many unnecessary trips to the shops and also ends those times where you get home from work and then wonder what you will do for dinner. Save money - with meal planning you tend not to impulse buy or waste as much food. I am sure we have all had times where we have been to the store and purchased something only to return home and find the same item already in our pantry! You only buy what you need for the week ahead if you are following a weekly meal plan. You might also like to plan your meals around weekly supermarket specials and that too will save you dollars. Save ones sanity - knowing that you have already determined what you are going to cook can make it easier after a long day. Improve nutrition - a good meal plan can help to create a structure that encourages healthy eating. It means cooking when you have time so that even on those busy days, you have a healthy and homemade meal to serve. 8 tips to assist you to meal plan Please don’t think this needs to be complicated, as it doesn’t! I personally use a scrap piece of paper for mine every week but there are many templates online these days or you can even use Apps to help! 1. Commit a time to meal plan every week You don’t need to set aside hours to do this. For instance I usually do mine on a Thursday evening and grab about 10-15 minutes when I can. In my house I plan the meals kidmagazine.com.au/subscribe 11
from Friday to Thursday as I do my grocery shopping early every Friday morning. You need to work out when it will suit you to not only plan but also when you will do your grocery shopping. Once you have an idea then you need to get into the habit of sticking to that, as it will make it easier in the long run. If you find it still a bit hard to do this yourself then get your family involved and seek their input for the food they’d like to see on the weekly menu. 2. Assess what is on for the week ahead You need a bit of a plan of attack - First consult your diary and ask yourself the following questions: • What nights call for a quick and easy dinner? • What nights require meals to be served at different times due to activities finishing? • What nights is everyone home together for a meal? • Which days can you do the kind of cooking that you’d most like to do? You need to work out what works best in line with your families schedule and then you can make a meal plan for the week ahead. 3. What sort of meals? When starting out it is a good idea not to let yourself get overwhelmed by trying to plan too many meals at once—instead start with 5 or 6 meals giving yourself one or two nights for leftovers or even takeaway. Work around everyone’s schedules and think of the type of meals that will work with the time you have available. Sometimes it helps to make a list of the meals your family likes and which ones are for different nights i.e. our quick and easy meals for nights when we have activities are usually pasta, tacos, chilli con-carne or leftovers from the freezer. On the weekends when I have more spare time I usually cook meals that require more focus, time and energy. Make a list of say 10 favourite meals for your family and rotate them in the first few weeks. When you’re ready,
begin adding new recipes or tweak your menu to keep things fresh. Every now and again when I lack inspiration I pull out the cook books and get a few different ideas for the following week just so that you don’t find all you do are the same meals week after week. These days with the internet there are many sources of inspiration just a click away. Sometimes to assist you with your meal planning you might like to see what ingredients you still have available to use up as this too might give you quick ideas for a particular meal. 4. Set nights for designated meals - Pick one night a week to have a particular meal, such as Friday night have homemade pizza (that’s what we do in our house). You could also have a night of the week that you go out or buy takeaway. Having this can simplify both your menu and grocery list. 5. Meal planning/what to buy - Once you settle on the meals you want to serve for the week make a list of them. I know some families like to put this meal plan on their fridge for all the family to see. Sometimes this can help if you are running late then other family members might be able to make a start for you.
6. Cook in bulk and make extra meals - sometimes when you are are cooking particular meals i.e. pasta sauce it can be useful to make an extra batch that you can put in the freezer for a ready made meal on another night. Keep this in mind when you are making these types of meals that are easily freezable as it too can help you out! Some families I know find it easy to even do a bit of extra cooking on the weekend to make it easier during the week by cooking up several meals in preparation for the week ahead. 7. Don’t be afraid to alter the plan - Remember it is a plan so if you have set out to have certain meals on particular nights it won’t matter if you alter them around because you already have the ingredients for the week so there is no issue. This also helps when any last minute plans that sometimes pop up. Just because you have a menu planned for the week does not mean that it is set in stone. I recommend that you are flexible enough to make changes as the week goes on. 8. Keeping the momentum going - Like any changes we make we often we start off raring to go only to soon no longer continue with our efforts. Make a commitment to meal planning now and it will be worth it!
Next it is time to go shopping at home. By this I mean shop in your pantry, fridge and freezer to see what ingredients you already have on hand. Add the remaining items you need for those meals to your grocery list. It is a good idea to keep your grocery list in an easy-tofind location - on the fridge or in your phone. This way when you run out of something during the week too you can add it to the list so that you are not trying to have to work out everything you need just before you go to the supermarket. Some people like to have a list of all the staple items they usually buy every week and then add remaining items to that. Others like to arrange their items in sections and according to the layout of the super market to make it easier when they shop. I must admit I usually put all dairy items in one place on my list and then say toiletries in another rather than have items mixed up. As I mentioned earlier there are many free shopping list or grocery list templates available on the internet if you need them as well as Apps such as MealBoard, Pepperplate, Zippiest and Plan to Eat to name a few that can assist with your meal planning. Do a quick search to see if any might help you. facebook.com/OrganisingYou
Amanda Lecaude is professional organiser who loves being able to help people – her clients – get organised. She see’s the difference it makes in their everyday lives, particularly families, just to have a way to create some TIME, SPACE and BALANCE! She also very passionate about equipping school students with organising skills for life to maximise greater results primarily in secondary school and limit the overwhelm and frustration for both them and their parents. Get in touch 0409 967 166 firstname.lastname@example.org
Photography by Elise Gar lecoco.com.au
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BEHIND THE BLOG
Play With Food Simone is a mum of two gorgeous girls, feeding therapist and the blogger behind Play With Food. Her tips for feeding kids are practical and they work! Simone gives us some insight into her blog, mum life plus her mantras for parents with fussy eaters.
old blog post earlier today and it made my heart leap with joy as I remembered so vividly baking the honey and pumpkin donuts with my little girl. I think of the blog as a bit of a memoire as well as a way to share information that parents can relate to for their mealtime strategies.
Tell us a bit about Play With Food Play with Food came about when I wanted to write down all of the advice and ideas I was repeating to parents. I am trained in feeding therapy and run classes to help with fussy eating behaviours and the parenting quest for happier mealtimes.
What advice would you give to other mums thinking of starting a blog? Love what you are writing about and write from the heart. If you aren’t being yourself or loving it, you won’t want to keep doing it. It’s not always about the money, the popularity or the money (did I mention that already?). It’s about being passionate and knowing why you want to put those words out into the world (even if nobody reads them).
When you aren’t blogging, what are you doing? I work in feeding therapy with a team of occupational therapists in Castle Hill, Sydney. All other times, I am hanging out with my two little girls. We love heading to the park, playgroup, swimming lessons and we might also be found at a sushi train or cafe. How do you manage the balance between being a mum, blogger, business owner, wife? Its always a work in progress for me. I have really been trying to master the act of “tilting”. It’s a word that resonates with me so well. When the kids are sick – that’s OK I just have to tilt that way for a bit. It’s been a big learning curve to trust that you will get done what you need to get done and that all the other things can wait or actually didn’t need to be done. What has been your biggest blogging achievement? I am most proud of doing it all myself. I am a bit of a nerd and am just so happy that I have been learning so many new skills. I am slowly getting better at photos, expressing myself and acquiring so many new tech skills behind the scenes. It was hard to shake my academic writing style that was SO engrained in each key-stroke. I think I can still do more to improve here – but it is definitely more “me” appearing on screen now that it was in the beginning. Why do you love most about having a blog? I love re-discovering parts of my mum life. I read a year-
What impact has blogging had on your life? I have met some really amazing people through blogging. The biggest impact on me personally is that I have something extra “out there” that is part of me too. It challenges me to be more than the academic and “quiet girl” that I was groomed to be as a child – on the blog I can explore my creative side, be a bit more daring, a bit more stylish and even sometimes a bit more funny. I do think everyone has it in them to be anything that they want to be. Stretching yourself (whether it is by writing a blog or by joining a roller derby team) is the only way you can truly work out who you are – and you are always changing, especially during motherhood. What is your favourite quote/mantra? “There is always something to be grateful for” Do you have any favourite bloggers you love to follow? My first blogging besties were Shari from Good Food Week, Mandy from Little People Nutrition and Shannon from Oh Creative Day. I love these ladies! What are your top 3-5 tips for parents dealing with fussy eaters? I suppose I have a couple of “mantras” for parents. I do find it hard to give “tips” without knowing the situation
and the child. However, these mantras ring true for everyone. You are the best person at feeding your child. Take some steps in your child’s shoes. Be mindful of your parenting strategies. There is strength in asking for help.
What are your family’s favourite meals? Sushi, dumplings, pasta, pizza, Mexican and Indian. We love making these at home and sharing from the middle of the table. What is next for Play With Food? We have a few webinars coming up, I am doing a live cooking show online with my daughter each week and I am in the process of jointly writing a comedic “how to” guide book for travelling and eating out with fussy kids. There is never a dull moment inside my head!
Image: Mark Emery Photography
new kids on the block
Karen Martini Chef, Restaurateur, Presenter & Swisse Ambassador
“Swisse, my choice for healthy, happy kids” M N EW
Always read the label. Use only as directed. Vitamin supplements should not replace a balanced diet. SWA4451_895x400_Kids_HC_V5.indd 1
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Thankyou has launched a game-changing range of baby body care products, modern cloth reusable and disposable nappies that will fund child and maternal health programs for families in need. The range is dermatologically tested, pH balanced and free from all the nasties. www.thankyou.co
Swisse, Australia’s number one natural health brand, has launched a sugar-free tooth friendly children’s vitamin and supplement range. Suitable for 2-12 year olds, the range includes a Multi, Fish Oil, Vitamin C + Zinc, Calcium + D3 and Probiotic, especially developed for growing bodies. www.swisse.com
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The unique Joolz Tailor customisation program is now available in the Geo pram, offering parents an ultra stylish option in a double pram. With up to 120 different colour combinations available, the complete Joolz Geo collection will be available in Australia from September. my-joolz.com
A desire to find more meaningful gifts and help the littlies in our lives create lasting memories led Sydney mum, Sara Eastwood, to launch MyBestGift. The site has hundreds of experiences covering sport, adventure, creativity and kids’ party entertainment for newborn to 18-year-olds. The site covers Sydney initially with national expansion planned this year. MyBestGift.com.au
To educate kids about road safety, Transport for NSW has launched a resource called Safety Town to 500,000 students from Kindergarten to Year 6 in more than 2,300 primary schools. Created with the founders of The Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation, it is the first curriculum-based road safety education website in Australia. www.safetytown.com.au
Since 1938, the Finnish government has been distributing maternity packages in a box that transformed into baby’s first bed. Two Finnish-Australian mothers have now launched their own baby box with an Australian twist – the Tuutu Baby Box. The box is made and designed locally featuring popular products from Bubba Blue, PureBaby and more. www.tuutu.com.au
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A new app, WOTBaby, has been released to serve as a real time ‘mid-wife in your pocket’ for parents and caregivers. The personalised app supports the journey of raising babies from newborn to six months. The app recognises that every baby is different and offers a step-by-step flow of tips to find the right solution. Available for purchase now in the App Store. www.wotbaby.com.au
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How to ditch your techno-guilt Dr Kristy Goodwin Techno-guilt. I’ve felt it and I know many other parents do too. We feel guilty about our child’s screen-time. Are they watching too much TV? Is there time spent tapping on the tablet healthy or harmful? Shouldn’t they be building forts and not tapping on a screen? We have nostalgic memories of our analogue childhoods that were spent staring at the sky and not a screen. But our kids are experiencing ‘digitalised childhoods’, so our natural reaction is to fret about their screen-time. Raising children in the digital world is just so different from our unplugged childhood. As modern parents we have to deal with digital dilemmas that our parents never encountered (their only digital dilemma was how to manage the TV that was permanently affixed to the lounge room wall… it certainly wasn’t carried around in our mum’s handbag and we couldn’t sneak it into our bedroom at night). Our kids have become infatuated with pixels, not people sometimes and this concerns us. We worry if they’re spending too much time tapping, swiping and pinching and not enough time building, climbing and riding. We’re enduring techno-tantrums (quite different to the ‘regular’ tantrums our parents experienced) and worried about their access to dangerous content. I’m here to give to permission to ditch the techno-guilt (as parents we have enough to fret about without adding technology to the mix). Whether we love it or loathe it, technology’s here to stay. The iPad won’t disappear and the Internet won’t become kidmagazine.com.au/subscribe 34
unplugged. As modern parents we need to show our children how to use technology in healthy and helpful ways and how to minimise the potential harmful effects (because we can derail our child’s development if we use screens excessively or inappropriately). We need to teach our children how to be masters of technology and not slaves to it (as many of us adults are!). We need to teach kids how to form healthy media habits, because they’ll inherit a digital world. When used appropriately and balanced with plenty of ‘green-time’ screen-time can help our kids. It isn’t necessarily toxic and taboo. There’s mounting research that tells us that kids can benefit from time with screens if we address, what I call, the three Bs: basic needs, boundaries and balance. Basic Needs Children have basic, unchanging developmental needs. The neuroscience and developmental research tells us that children’s basic needs must be met for their optimal development to take place. There are seven basic needs that include relationships, language, sleep, play, physical movement, nutrition and executive function skills (this includes children’s higher order thinking skills such as impulse control, working memory and mental flexibility). We have to ensure that screen-time doesn’t encroach on these basic needs. For example, we need to ensure that our digital dependence isn’t interfering with the relationships we have with our children. Are we always clutching our phone at the park, instead of interacting with our kids (I’m admitting that I do this from time to time, so this isn’t
about techno-shaming parents, but more about raising our awareness of our digital appendages)? There are reports that increasing numbers of children presenting to emergency departments with playground injuries because their parents are digitally distracted and aren’t supervising their children.
time isn’t displacing or eroding their basic needs. Children all have different tipping points, so it’s important that we calculate our own child’s tolerance to screens (so we’re not always dealing with techno-tantrums).
We also need to ensure that kids’ screen-time isn’t adversely impacting on their sleep. We know that the use of screens in the 90 minutes before bedtime can have an adverse impact on the quality and quantity of children’s sleep, especially if they’re using tablets and smartphones (the blue light in these devices suppresses the body’s production of melatonin, resulting in sleep delays which can accumulate over time into a sleep deficit).
We need to ensure that we provide a comprehensive range of experiences for our children. It’s critical that we balance their screen-time with green-time. Time in nature is vital for healthy development. It allows the nervous system, that’s constantly being bombarded with sensory seductions in the digital world, to have a rest. Unplugged time enables kids to be creative (the neuroscience tells us that we enter ‘mind wandering mode’ when we’re not tethered to our screens). Children need unstructured, outdoor play more than ever. This is vital for their brains and bodies.
Boundaries In order to teach our children healthy media habits, we need to ensure that we establish and enforce boundaries around what, how long, when and how children use screens.
If we adhere to the 3Bs we can feel confident that our child’s screen-time isn’t harmful and that we’re persevering the sanctity of childhood, albeit in a busy, buzzing world.
When it comes to kids and screens, content really is king. We need to ensure that we allow our children to access to developmentally-appropriate content. For example, are we allowing our children to watch age-appropriate TV shows or You Tube clips? Educational TV programs, when coupled with parental interaction, can help develop children’s language skills. However, children can’t un-see things so we have to ensure that we restrict their access to unsavory material such as violent content and pornography. In terms of how much it’s really difficult to prescribe ‘safe’ screen-time limits. We do have recommended guidelines in Australia (which are currently zero screen-time for 0-2 year olds, no more than 1 hour/day for 2-5 year olds and for 5-12 year olds 2 hours/day), but these are considered by many as outdated and unrealistic in a world where there’s a smorgasbord of screens. These recommendations fail to distinguish between what kids are doing with screens (30 minutes spent talking to Grandma on Skype is very different to 30 minutes spent watching unboxing videos on You Tube) and also don’t address when screens are being used (before sleep or naptime and before school are critical times when we need to carefully consider screen use).
Dr Kristy Goodwin is a leading children’s technology and development expert, author, speaker (and mum who also has to wrangle her smartphone from her kids!). She helps parents ditch the techno-guilt + raise happy, healthy kids who thrive online and offline. Kristy takes the guesswork and guilt out of raising kids in the digital age by translating the latest research into practical and digestible information and tips for parents (without telling them to ban the iPad, or unplug the TV). Kristy is the author of Raising Your Child in a Digital World, where she arms parents with facts, not fears about modern parenting.
Instead, I suggest that parents determine their own child’s screen-time limits by considering whether their seven basic needs are met each day and if time permits, then allowing their child to have some screen-time. This way we can ditch the techno-guilt knowing that their screenfacebook.com/drkristygoodwin
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How to set up a quiet time experience:
Lights are low. My toddlers have found their own special spot to have their quiet time. Soft calming music is played.
Find an area that is quiet and has little distraction.
The music would vary, sometimes I play “My Bonnie” a slow barber shop quartet version, other times it would just be a piano peice by Debussy -”Snow is dancing” or a classic. A slow relaxing version of “Twinkle Twinkle little star.”
Have a few books nearby so that if your child is in the mood to just flip through the pages you are able to cater for that need.
For kids who have come to my music classes for years they know the routine. This part of my class is a ritual. They look foward to this part of the class just as much as the hello song. Some kids must lead their grown up to a spot they like, some lie down together side by side, some kids love to dance slowly by themselves, some wander up to me and then wander back to their parent.
Relaxation is a learnt behaviour. When your child sees you relaxing they learn how to relax. They all differ but what I notice is that every week the toddlers rock their own way. It’s their quiet time where they learn how to self soothe.
Play some gentle music.
Spend that time being quiet, perhaps humming to the music as they sit on your lap and allow them to feel the vibrations in your chest created from your hum. You can rock your child gently. This action stimulates the vestibular system which is the body’s mechanism that helps with balance. It also develops muscle tone in their bodies. Listen to a variety of music each time. Try listening to instrumentals, orchestra, and vary the singer - male, female, kids, boy, girl and groups. Keep your quiet time between 2-5mins Make the quiet time the same time each day and let your child know. Having this scheduled in their day will give them a sense of security.
Enjoy this special bonding time with your child and watch them thrive. To download a free quiet time song list please visit: www.tinabangel/quiettime
You see, you can have quiet time any time of the day. By having quiet time toddlers learn that it’s ok to slow down. It’s ok to relax and having the lights off or lying down doesn’t mean you have to go to sleep.
Relaxation is a learnt behaviour. When your child sees you relaxing they learn how to relax. Adding some relaxation quiet time with your child into your day is beneficial in many ways. Why do we need quiet time: 1. Too much intense activity can be overwhelming for children. 2. Parents and adults need to recoup their energy. 3. Relaxation is a learnt behaviour. It must be taught and it must be practiced.
Tina Bangel is a vocal coach, singer songwriter, a licensed Kindermusik educator and is the founder of One Voice school of singing. When she is not teaching you can find her searching for the best eggs benedicts in Sydney with her foodie family.
4. Relaxation behaviour can be used for time other than sleep. facebook.com/tina.bangel
the time for quiet Tina Bangel, Singer & Vocal Coach
A giant leap Sara Keli, Kid Magazine Editor “Mummy! Come and play!” called out Isabella, Julia’s three-year-old daughter. Ever since her son, Will, had started school that year, Julia was finding the juggle even harder. At least last year, Isabella was old enough to join in with Will’s games. And being the sensitive soul he is, he was always happy to have his little sister tag along, no matter how much she annoyed him. But now Isabella missed her brother, and Julia knew how she felt. The adjustment of starting school was difficult for all of them. While she loved that she was now getting time alone with her Izzy, she was just so different to her big brother. When Will was a toddler, he would happily lie with Julia in the backyard, listening to stories or helping her bake muffins for afternoon tea. But they didn’t call Isabella “Busy Izzy” for no reason. The girl was always on the go. Julia admired her boundless energy and love of life but keeping up was exhausting. No sooner would she lie down to tell Izzy one of the stories her brother had loved so much, than Izzy would jump up and start recounting her own tale of the princesses she loved so dearly. Complete with full hand gestures, making complete use of all the space around her. She was destined for the stage, Julia would often think to herself. On the days when it was just her and Izzy, Julia couldn’t help but feel guilty. She knew that at the end of the day she would be so exhausted from the constant action that she would likely fall asleep on the couch, leaving no time for herself. She missed those small moments to herself that she had enjoyed over the past couple of years. And Izzy had such a beautiful personality of her own. She was thoughtful and generous, had an imagination capable of the most amazing things and a determination that made Julia sure she would be successful at whatever she set her mind to in life. Her independence and confidence were traits that Julia really admired, and not ones that she herself had truly developed as a child. kidmagazine.com.au/subscribe 40
Julia was more the quiet type. Intraverted and certainly not the life of the party like her daughter. She loved reading and reflection. As a kid, she always had her head buried in a book. Those characters would jump of the page and into her imagination, perhaps the reason why she was such an able storyteller for her children. If only Izzy would stop and listen! She often wondered if it was an element of jealousy towards Izzy’s vibrancy that made her feel like this. Izzy was far more like her father, although even he couldn’t keep up with his little girl! She had always wanted to be confident but she was more comfortable taking a back seat, or quietly sharing her opinions rather than being the first to put her hand up in class or around the board table at work. It wasn’t that she didn’t have anything to say, just that she liked to consider her words carefully before sharing them with the world. Isabella on the other hand, had no filter. The words would blurt from her mouth as soon as they were formulated in her mind. She had started to speak from a very early age and had never stopped. While Julia loved silence, there was actually nothing more she loved than hearing her daughter babbling away to herself in her own little language.
a different set of challenges; opening up about her feelings was not one of them! Her family was a beautiful balance of ying and yang, action and silence, Izzy and Will who complemented each other so perfectly. Julia had to remind herself that her kids would not be little forever. One day Will would be a young man, kind and gentle and a person she would be so proud of. And Izzy, one day she would stop calling out to ask Julia to play with her. She would be leading her own little pack of friends, likely bossing them around as she was so good at doing with her family. One day the stories that Izzy bounced around the room telling her, would be shared with the world, no longer a secret pleasure for Julia to enjoy. The marvellous thing about kids is how far they can take us out of our comfort zone and stretch us as human beings. So for now, she would take that giant leap with Izzy. She would jump on the train with Izzy and enjoy the unpredictability, fun and unique journey that only her daughter was capable of creating. “Mummy’s coming darling,” she called down to a smiling Isabella, eager to embark on her next adventure with her favourite person in the world, mummy.
All the feelings of guilt and jealousy were compounded by the anger she felt towards herself about her thoughts. How could she not want to spend every second with this amazing little person? A little person she had created, no matter how different she was from herself. What kind of mother was she? The answer was a good one. A great one. An amazing one. She was there for her children every day. Whether she was at work, or at home or anywhere else, her family were her whole being. As much as Izzy drained her, she also energised her. Just one look at that photo of Izzy standing next to her brother, grin as wide as they come, was enough to put a spring in Julia’s step. Those kids were her everything. They drove her crazy but life would be nothing without them. They challenged her everyday. Even though Will was much like her, his quietness and sensitivity sometimes made it difficult to get him to open up. Starting school had been a big transition for him, one that he hadn’t coped with all that well, and it had taken him a long time to share his feelings with Julia. And Izzy, well she brought
Sara Keli is the Editor of Kid Magazine and mum to a two-year-old girl plus a baby on the way. A passionate reader, writer and creative, Sara has a cast of short story characters and plots brewing in her mind just waiting for her to find the time to put pen to paper and bring them to life. She lives in Sydney with her family and can usually be found on her back deck enjoying the sunshine and laughter of her daughter.
in the jungle Photography by Elise Garner lecoco.com.au kidmagazine.com.au/subscribe 44
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Curing ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ Janelle de Soza, Nature by Nelly
Inspiring our children to embrace nature and cultivating in them a love of it is becoming increasingly difficult in this age of technology. It is however vital to their mental health and physical wellbeing to get in touch with nature at least once in a while. To totally disconnect with the natural world is disastrous, both on a personal level and for the earth that we rely on to live. In his 2005 book called ‘Last Child in the Woods’, author Richard Louv introduces the hypothetical condition called ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’, and provides astonishing examples of children he has met that have never ventured outside the urban environment. He explains the affect this has had on their behavior, self-esteem, creativity, independence, and the list goes on. The bottom line is that children need to make a real connection with what surrounds them, not via a device screen, but see it right in front of them, smell it, taste it and hold it in their hands. The benefits of doing so will reach far beyond the original intention. My earliest memories of my own childhood, and the nature experiences which form these, shaped me into the person I am today. From a young age my parents took us camping and canoeing with a bunch of other families. My fondest memory is paddling in a canoe with my Dad, steering our way down the Shoalhaven River in the Kangaroo Valley just on sunset. I can still hear the sound of the birds settling in for the night, some cows lowing in the distance and the distinct smell of the Australian bush. I remember feeling a little cold since I was wet from paddle splash, but that didn’t matter, I was in a peaceful euphoria of daydreams and sensory joy. The goal was to make it to a certain sandy beach on a bend in the river by dark, where the non-paddlers were setting up camp. We made it just as we ran out of light, and I will never forget the sight of the campfire guiding us in, finally feeling its warmth and filling my belly with a well-earned dinner! This is one of the memories I go back to regularly for calming my mind in times of stress, and what drives me forward with determination to create similar memories for my own two boys.
I strongly believe giving children time to think and dream is really important too. Time to sit in a tree and watch the leaves sway in the breeze. Time to sit on a rock by the sea and watch the waves roll in, hear the crash as they break and smell the salty air. Time to stand on the edge of a lake with a fishing rod, solving the problems of the world by chatting with your Dad, or just standing in silence together sharing the same anticipation of landing a big one for tonight’s dinner. All very easy ways to hand your children the skills they will need as adults, to quiet their minds, take a breath, and remind themselves life is good. My husband and I each had a grandmother who loved gardening and who also had a massive influence us, both on our outlook on lives and the things we love to do now. Memories of spending time with them in the garden and naming different types of flowers and vegetables influenced us in our first career choices of science and horticulture.
Time to sit in a tree “ and watch the leaves sway in the breeze. Time to sit on a rock by the sea and watch the waves roll in, hear the crash as they break and smell the salty air.
While we now work in different fields, we still spend much of our time creating a native garden around our home and ensuring our boys know the difference between a Bottle Brush and Banksia. When my sons were smaller, we would play botanical eye-spy with them in the car, and one of their favourite plants to spy was ‘Tibouchina granulosa’, because it was bright purple and therefore easy to find as well as fun to pronounce. I have always loved flowers thanks to my grandmother, and have a long-time hobby of taking macro photos of them with a particular focus on Australian natives. Recently I decided to share my photos publically and have launched an online shop selling prints with the goal of sparking a wider appreciation of what is out there in this unique country of ours. I am inviting people to bring some nature into their homes, encouraging them to get amongst it and hopefully cultivate a greater passion for saving it for our children’s sake. I would love nothing more than to see one of my photo artworks of a Banksia, Grevillea or Bug replace a Disney character on the wall of a child’s bedroom!
ing bush is made up of Spotted Gums and Cycads, and is a magic place to take a quiet walk. Having only solarpowered amenities block and no powered camp sites, so it is not everyone’s cup of tea but to us it’s a challenge we all love. We jointly call it our ‘happy place’. The challenge of parents today is to take a step out the front or back door and see what wonders await. In all we do and the choices we make, from selecting their room decoration, to what they do on holidays and what we have for them to explore in our backyards, we are shaping our children’s minds, bodies and spirits. I hope that by sharing stories from my own upbringing and of my current attempts at nature-oriented parenting, you are inspired to give your children the gift of nature exposure. It is my wish that one day they will look back on their childhood with joy and be thankful they have developed an appreciation for nature and the world they have inherited. May they feel that they were ‘lucky’ to be allowed to roam free, get dirty, build a fire, make new friends, look at the stars, choose their own adventure and daydream…
A great way to develop your kids’ social skills and expose them to nature, is a campground holiday. Get out there and let yourself and your kids do some free-range living. You don’t need to actually go camping in a tent if that is not your thing, but at least consider a holiday that has nature as part of the experience. Caravan parks and camping grounds generally have the best real estate, all across this awesome country of ours, often right on a beach or river front and backing onto some bush. Farm stays are another a great way to start the nature connection process, but more in the sense that they will gain an appreciation of where their food comes from. What child wouldn’t love to collect eggs or feed some piglets? My own family’s favourite place to holiday, and where we go every year over summer, is a camping ground on the south coast of NSW, situated right on a surf beach and surrounded by the Eurobodalla National Park. Tuross Lake is a short walk through the bush for fishing or canoeing, there are dirt roads and bush tracks for bike riding and all kinds of wildlife roaming free to provide a complete nature immersion.
Janelle de Soza is a mum of two boys, nature photographer and part time bookkeeper. She has a passion for nature and preserving the health of the planet. With her new online venture selling prints of her ‘Abstract Macro Photo Art from the Australian Bush’ her goal is to spread the love of nature via our unique flora, with the hope that more people will help fight to save it.
Black cockatoos fly over morning and afternoon, wallabies and kangaroos hang around all day, and there are occasional visits from goannas and emus. The surround-
5Minutes with Kellie Stones Kellie Stones is the mum behind Castle and Cubby, cubby houses made from locally sourced, recycled fruit and vegetable crates. This Melbourne mama has two adorable kids and is also a photographer, running Castle and Cubby with her husband Jon. Kellie gives us some insight into her life as the Queen of the Castle. Three words to describe your style Eclectic, Industrial. Pop. Top fashion brands for you and the kids We tend to buy a few really quality, statement y pieces and then mix them up with more affordable pieces. For the kids I love Munster Kids and Cotton On for fun stuff. Personally I find pieces from anywhere including Target, although my favourite splurge is Alpha 60. Beauty product you swear by Dermalogica everything! Especially the Intensive Eye Cream, I put it on at night and I swear I wake up looking 10 years younger. I also love their daily microfoliant. Advice for juggling motherhood and work I often get asked how I manage to fit everything in as a mum and working from home. Well ladies, the answer is I don’t and I’m pretty sure no one can. My mum helps washing the clothes, and I have a very active husband who cooks most nights. I’ve shortly realised that having kids and a business there are things that you may just need to miss. Our beds are made infrequently and the cleaning done sporadically. I don’t play with my kids as much as I would like but I try to make the house as comfortable as shiny as possible and, when I can, the kids and I enjoy arts, craft and cooking together. It’s all about balance. I guess you have to be ok with imperfection and not sweating it. Favourite room in your home The Kitchen. Aside from the fact that we have just renovated it and I love it, it is where we spend most of our time cooking and talking and laughing and catching up. Jon used to be a chef so he is always whipping up serious feasts - we spend much time watching, ooing and ahhing and smelling.
don’t remember anything of what I did in those early days. All advice is long forgotten and I can honestly say that gut instinct is what I ended up relying on the most. So trust yourself and ask for help when you need it. Quote/mantra you live by “Our deepest Fear” by Marianne Williamson is my all-time fav. In it she says - “It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?” I totally agree with this and have taught myself over the years to live by this mantra. Fear not and shine your light bright.
Shopping - online or bricks and mortar? Bricks and mortar every time! I really struggle to buy online. I am a total visual person and need to touch and feel, plus being time poor I just know I wouldn’t send things back if they didn’t work. Technology you can’t live without My iMac. I have a huge screen and lots of programs as I do photography and video editing and all our business stuff on it. I need it big. Ultimate holiday destination Central America. We were married in Costa Rica and think it is the most divine continent. There is still so much rainforest and wildlife, it is incredible to see. Best toy you ever bought your kids A Cubby House! Of course ; ) I get to throw them outside, throw all their bulky toys in there and voila instant play time fun. Now that my 2 boys are just starting to play interactively with each other it is really coming into itself. It is their little men’s cave. What is next for Castle and Cubby We have just started working on Castle and Cubby full time, which is so exciting! It means a lot more time to focus on the business and build it into a great brand. Our core business is providing sustainable play spaces for kids in their homes, kindergartens and schools, we also want to expand further into the event hire space and provide quality, imaginative and interactive fun for kids at parties and events. We think there is a need for kids play spaces that look great at events and create a space where families can play. We think our spaces achieve both of these.
Words of wisdom to new mums Ahh there is always so much advice. Two kids in and I
The hunt is on Lauren Hunt, Teach er Types
There’s no doubt about it. Kids + nature = a whole lot of fun! There are so many learning opportunities as they explore the world around them, whether it be the local park, city gardens or just their own back yard.
(for example walk 10 steps from the slide, turn right after the bridge, go behind the big tree). Older kids could even make their own treasure map! You could also print out your local area from Google maps showing the way from your house to the local park.
I’ve created a nature scavenger hunt to give a bit more purpose to those regular walks to our local park. Miss M is frequently stopping along the way to collect ‘treasures’ or ‘ingredients’ as she calls them. A park 5 minutes down the road from our house can sometimes take 15 to get there! But it’s all part of the experience. So armed with our checklist and basket (plus baby brother in the pram) off we went on our nature adventure! We were blessed with glorious winter sunshine so we made the most of it.
Getting outdoors amongst the trees in the sunshine and fresh air does the world of good to us all. The teacher in me says; if you can incorporate some learning in the everyday, well all the better!
Nature Trail Scavenger Hunt Can you find these things?
It was a great opportunity to practise counting the objects one by one and then ticking them off on our list. She decided that Mummy, Daddy and Nanna would each have a lavender sprig, and according to Miss M, Nanna’s cat likes to play with gum nuts?!?! (If you insisted Miss M!) We found more interesting things as we walked, talked and explored, and of course we still collected bits and pieces even if they weren’t on the list. With three year olds it’s hard to stick to the script, but that’s the wonderful thing about child lead learning. Many more opportunities present themselves and the learning is more meaningful if the child has some control and ownership of it. Once we made our way home, we decided what to do with all our nature bits and pieces. Here are some ideas; • glue everything on a piece of cardboard to create a nature collage • use them as ‘ingredients’ in your mud kitchen • make nature paint brushes by attaching the items to the end of a stick • paint the stones like ladybugs • create leaf rubbings • incorporate the items with some play dough for an invitation to play • or make a nature discovery bottle like we did! You can take this idea to the next level by creating a treasure map of your local park or back yard with steps and instructions as to where to find the ‘nature treasure’ facebook.com/teachertypes
Click here to download your copy of Nature Trail Scavenger Hunt. 5 the gum nuts 3 flowers
Lauren is an Early Childhood Teacher, currently on maternity leave whist juggling a new baby boy and an energetic three year old daughter. She is passionate about play-based learning and inspiring parents and educators of young children.
We often lament the world we grew up in and how much it has changed for our children. It isn’t as safe as it used to be. We are overwhelmed with technology. Kids can’t be kids anymore. But of course the world changes. I think back to the story my mum told me about when they first got a TV at her house in the 1960s. They were the first in their street to get a television and all the other kids would come over to watch it together. One little boy was so fascinated by it that he would run around behind the TV trying to find where all the characters were coming from. We certainly didn’t have the technology in our house when I was growing up that our kids have access to now, but we did have a TV, probably two, and that was the norm. Sure you had to change the channel by standing up and actually pressing a button on the TV itself, but it was a long leap from the wonder that my mother and her friends experienced as children at this brand new technology. And so while our children aren’t growing up in the same world we did, that doesn’t mean we can’t replicate aspects of our childhood for them, with a modern spin. The whole will never be the same, but we can inject elements of our experiences into our children’s world to share our memories with them. Places and spaces In 1988 our parents took my sister and I on a road trip to Queensland for Expo. It was there, particularly on our visit to Dreamworld, that some of my earliest childhood memories come from. Watching my pink balloon come loose from the pram it was tied to and floating away into the blue, cloudless sky. I went back to Dreamworld with my mum and sister about ten years ago and while it was fun, it wasn’t quite the same as I had remembered it as a kid. And then last year, my husband and I took our daughter for a day at Dreamworld. The characters were now different and the cups a more sturdy BPA free plastic than the flimsy ones my sister and I had drunk from, but the memories were still there. Sharing that experience with my daughter was amazing. Knowing that she might walk away with her own happy memories to look back on for years to come filled me with such happiness. I also now had my own new Dreamworld memories to enjoy. Places change over time. Spaces get makeovers. But memories hold. People I think what I enjoyed most about my parents regular dinner parties were the international friends that would come to visit. My interest was peaked by their different accents and stories from their home countries. This was in kidmagazine.com.au/subscribe 68
the day when research about the world was done using encyclopaedias and atlases. The big wide world was much further out of reach than it is for our kids. Perhaps this was what sparked my love of language and travel. I take every opportunity to expose my daughter to different cultures in the hopes that she will view the world as one, just as I do. This year we had the privilege of getting to know a gorgeous French girl who my parents were hosting through their Rotary club. I talk to my Little Miss about the friends I made while on exchange in Japan 17 years ago and hope that soon she will be able to meet them as she starts her adventures around the world with us. The people have changed from my childhood but the principle remains the same. The day-to-day The world has changed. There are more demands END on us as parents. Whether those demands are real or perceived, they are still there. Smart phones mean that communication is now 24/7 and FOMO can find us caught in a constant cycle of scrolling through our Facebook feeds for updates. This is where I struggle most as a mum, giving my daughter a day-to-day childhood experience injected with the things I loved most as a kid.
Different time, different place, same love Sara Keli, Kid Magazine Editor
I LOVED craft as a kid so I make sure I set aside time each week to do craft with my daughter. My phone is away, aside from taking a cute snap of her “in the zone” and then we simply create together. To be honest, it is just what I need to slow the pace down and escape into something I love, with the one I love. My husband has also been enjoying watching some of the Disney classics with our Little Miss. The Little Mermaid and Aladdin are two favourites at the moment, loved by us as kids and now we are sharing them with our daughter. So, of course our kids are growing up in a different world. Just the same as we grew up in a different world from our parents, and they their parents before them. But that doesn’t mean we can’t extract some of our favourite memories and experiences from our childhood and recreate those in our children’s lives. I don’t want my daughter to have exactly the same experiences as me, but I want her to know the joy I knew as a child. Different time, different place, same love.
Sara is the Editor and Chief Kid at Kid Magazine. When she isn’t writing, designing, creating and blogging, she is out and about in Sydney with her family or spending time on her back deck enjoying the sunshine and her daughters laughter.
Kid Magazine Loves
Image credit: James Douglas After driving the Brand-New Mazda CX-9, Mazda’s seven-seater SUV, around for a week, I can tell you this is one amazing car! Crash tested to earn a 5 star ANCAP safety rating, it includes a wide range of safety features to make it the perfect family car. Available in eight contemporary colours it is a stunning vehicle and an ultra smooth drive. www.brandnewmazdacx9.com.au
Meal times should be fun but cleaning up the mess afterwards is not! Mumma’s Little Helper Food Catchers are waterproof sanitary savers that create a ‘catch zone’ for food to be dropped, spilt and chucked! Let the kids get messy at dinnertime without the worry of having to scrub the floors afterwards. www.mummaslittlehelpers.com.au
Peppa Pig has certainly made an impact on our kids and now she can even help them treat their bumps, bruises and boo boos with the new Peppa Pig Kids Character Strips from Elastoplast. They are skin-friendly, offering fast fluid absorption and long-lasting resistance to sweat, water and dirt - ideal for active and busy little ones. www.elastoplast.com.au
Adding to the beautiful Bella Buttercup range is the new Little Place, a designer dolls bed with a Scandinavian feel aimed for 2 years and over. The raw frame can be painted or decorated to match your décor or left natural for a more Scandi look. This is the ultimate in style for little ones soft friends. www.bellabuttercup.com.au
Create matching manicures at home with your little one with Jamberry’s Mum & Me range of junior-sized wraps that pair to a selection of Jamberry’s best selling nail wraps. No messy nail polish and no chipped nail polish either! The designs are super cute, the application is simple with no fuss. jamberrynails.com.au
The girls are set to take on the world with the new range of DC Super Hero Girls toys, electronics, accessories and apparel launching into Australian stores this September. Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Bumblebee, Poison Ivy and Katana all join the crew but as you’ve never seen them before – as teenagers enjoying the trials and tribulations of Super Hero High. Available at all major retailers from September
We’ve all been there – the wriggling baby or toddler who just will not stay still for a nappy change! BabyLove Wriggler Nappy Pants are the first and only nappy pants in Australia for the wriggler phase, 7-11kg. They feature an ultra-soft 360 degree stretchy waist to help change wriggly babies with ease! babylovenappies.com.au/wriggler-sample
Occasionally I spot a product that just jumps out at me and that was the case with the divine cushions and toys from Boo & Bear. Made from the highest quality merino wool felt the cushions are super soft and in calming neutral colours to compliment any kids bedroom or nursery. www.booandbear.com.au
Goose & Dust is a brand created for cool kids with a capsule collection of comfortable and quirky accessories including edgy beanies, funky shades and hip hats. The sunnies are made from premium acetate and high-grade 100% UVA and UVB protective lenses that are set to stand the test of time. www.gooseanddust.com
The recent collaboration between the leader in innovative kids shoe design, Bobux, and celebrated French designer, Solène Roure, is a feast for your eyes. The uber stylish designs are simple and unique with an on trend colour pallete of soft pink, grey, vibrant yellow and gold. www.bobux.com.au
The Luggy Basket from Olli Ella is the cutest new kids accessory around! These fairtrade and handmade wheeled baskets are prefect for market trips and toting around those prized possessions your little ones hold so dear! Available in four gorgeous shades they are priced at $75 each. www.olliella.com.au
Bumps and bruises are just a part of childhood right? The kids run around, bumping into things and boo boos are inevitable. Keep a tube of the new Brauer ArnicaEze Bump & Bruises cream in your first aid kit and you will be a step ahead. The cream helps relieve bruising, swelling and sprains plus reduce muscular aches, pains and sprains. www.brauer.com.au
shop where the cool kids shop
With the plethora of online businesses popping up all over the web, knowing where to shop can be the hardest decision you need to make. Weâ€™ve done the leg work for you and tracked down some of the hippest places to shop for you and the kids. Whether you are after funky party supplies, new maternity clothes, a fabulous photographer or toys for the kids, you will find it all plus more in the new Kid Magazine DIrectory. Want to find out how you can join the directory? Email email@example.com for the details on our affordable packages.