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Back To School Things that freak out new dads The Importance of Early Mathematics Learning ISSUE 76 - JANUARY 2018



Nominations Open

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My Child magazine and are wholly owned by MyChild Magazine (ABN 79 167 787 662). No other parties or individuals have any financial interest in the company or in My Child or My Child contains general information only and does not purport to be a substitute for health and parenting advice. Readers are advised to seek a doctor for all medical and health matters. The publisher and authors do not accept any liability whatsoever in respect of an action taken by readers in reliance on the recommendations set out in this magazine. Reproduction of any material without written permission by the publisher is strictly forbidden. We cannot accept responsibility for material lost or damaged in the post or for any unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. All reasonable efforts have been made to trace copyright holders.


january 2018 | mychild

Peace of mind for every mum




Now it’s even easier to care for your baby with the all-in-one Secure870 baby monitor. Video monitoring, lullabies, white noise and even a starry night lightshow to sooth your baby to sleep!


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Oricom’s leading range of baby monitors is always growing. See the extensive range in store now.

Visit to find your nearest stockist.

january 2018 | mychild



Letter Hi Everyone, HAPPY NEW YEAR PEEPS WOW! I cannot believe that we are in 2018!! Goodness, time flies when you’re having fun (or have kids – lol). 2017 seemed to go by in the flash of an eye or whatever that saying is. I really loved Christmas last year mostly because Maxie was so excited. We sang Christmas Carols and actually, still are. We shared our Christmas spirit with everyone and anyone that would give us 5 mins. She was totally into all things Christmas, the songs of course, the tree and even sat with Santa for her photo, with this silly little smile. She helped wrap presents for others without having a meltdown that she wanted the toys to herself and even did some Christmas card decorating. Best of all, I loved watching her open presents, she was more excited about the wrapping paper than the presents! Wonder how much longer we have of that? To say I love my little girl is an understatement, Maxie is everything I dreamed and wished for. Don’t get me wrong, parenthood can be challenging at times and you’ll wonder how you’ll make it through, but as each new chapter starts you’ll be the first to jump on board the rollercoaster wanting the front seat view. My little human has grown so much this past year and her development never ceases to amaze me, can’t wait to see more of her personality come out this year and continue this amazing journey we are on together. Now let’s take a look at what’s in the January Issue. This month is Back to School month. We have a variety of Back to School articles, check them out: The Importance of Early Mathematics Learning, Dealing with Peer Pressure & Bullying, Quality Education, After School Care - What should you do? and Back to School Meal Planning and Lunch Prep. There are also some other articles covering you from pregnancy and beyond, like: How to prepare for pregnancy, How to Overcome the Fear of Birth, What’s the Point of the Working vs. Stay at Home Mum Debate?, Dealing with Potty Mouth Toddlers, Tips on How to Handle Lies, Things that Freak out New Dads and Backing Each Other Up - Divide and Conquer. All the usuals: interiors, reviews, blog and much more can also be found in this issue too. Until next month

Bianca xxx Bianca and the mychild Team xxx 6

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How to Prepare for Pregnancy By Karli Steenkamp Deciding to have a baby is a huge decision. It’s a worthwhile one and it will impact you and your partner’s lives immensely. The good thing about your decision is that you want this and can plan ahead to ensure that you and your baby are receiving the best care and support possible.


january 2018 | mychild


january 2018 | mychild


There are a couple of things you need to consider when planning to conceive: • CHECK-UP WITH YOUR DOCTOR Schedule a check-up with your doctor. It is very important to make sure that you are in perfect health before you fall pregnant. Do a full check-up including a Pap smear and a breast exam. Be careful not to get any infections. If you vaccinate, make sure that you are up to date especially with your Rubella vaccine. Rubella can be harmful to your baby if you are pregnant. While you are at the doctor it might be a good idea to check out a few more things. Will you consider genetic screening? People with history of genetic disorders might consider these tests to find out how likely they are to pass these genes on to their children. There are pros to this as you might hear medical issues that you have not been aware of and learn about your family history. These tests however are not a 100% accurate. It is wise to speak to your doctor and then decide if these tests are something you want to pursue. It is advised that women that want to fall pregnant should take folic acid a month before they are trying to conceive. Folic acid helps to reduce the risk of neural tube defects. • BLOOD TESTS The next step is for you and your partner to go for blood test to find out what blood group each of you have, if you don’t know that information already. If you have a positive blood group and your partner has a negative blood group then your pregnancy might need more attention than the usual. In these cases, your body will see


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that embryo as a foreign visitor and might reject or fight it. In today’s modern world there is ways to treat this. • DENTIST APPOINTMENT The dentist should be your next stop. Book a check-up. Pregnancy can lead to swollen gums and you don’t want this to get worse with pre-existing dental issues. • HEALTHY LIFESTYLE, EXERCISE AND RELAX Other that your medical check-ups that

you need to do, it is important to look after yourself. If you are smoking, drinking or using other substances, now is a good time to quit. Women over 35 that smoke take twice as long to conceive as non-smokers. Also limit your caffeine intake. Find a good exercise routine that is not to strenuous on your body. Exercise is good for the body and soul. You need to have a healthy eating plan with loads of fruit and vegetables. Make sure that you are a healthy weight because obesity

and being too thin can cause fertility problems. To conceive you need to try and lead a relaxing calm life. Try not to stress too much. Mental health plays a big role in pregnancy. If you are on any medications it is best to speak to your doctor beforehand to see what you can do when pregnant. • BUDGET Children can cost a penny or two. Moneywise you should consider if you can afford private medical care and ask about costs surrounding birth. Your work will also play a role as you will need maternity leave. • KNOW YOUR CYCLE Lastly know your cycle. You should know when you ovulate so you can plan when you must try and conceive. All these steps can seem very overwhelming, not even speaking of the responsibility of becoming parents. Take each step as it comes. It’s a wonderful journey that’s well and truly worth it. Try and enjoy each and every step, because before you know it, it will be more than just the two of you. Here is a checklist of every step to guide you. Checklist: q Check-Up with Your Doctor q Genetic Screening q Blood Tests q Dentist Appointment q Healthy Lifestyle q Exercise q Relax q Budget q Know Your Cycle References: Webmd, Womhealth, Kidspot, Royal women’s hospital

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january 2018 | mychild

HOW TO OVERCOME THE FEAR OF BIRTH Written by Jana Angeles We all have fears. No matter what they are, it is normal to feel scared over something. Sometimes, we tend to criticise ourselves for it because as we’ve grown older, we deal with the cards of our future, our health and our goals that we want to achieve. Sometimes, going with the flow is all you can do and having the support of your family and friends is all you need to get through the pregnancy period.

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It’s tough carrying a child in your womb and it’s even more challenging to get through this as a first experience. Fearing birth is normal for most women. It is unfamiliar and something we can’t really prepare for. There will be pain felt and you’ll think it’s going to last forever, but in the end, it will all be over and the end goal will be holding your child in your arms. How can we cultivate positive experiences as the birthdate of our child looms over us? Here are some tips you can take on board to help you with your journey. SPEND TIME WITH WOMEN WHO HAVE HAD POSITIVE EXPERIENCES It’s awesome being around people who have positive energy about birth. Not only will you feel inspired, but you will feel less scared as you approach your third trimester. Having someone who has been through it all will help you feel less isolated and have the courage to overcome this fear of birth. Ask all the pressing questions, listen to their experiences and admire the advice they give you. This will help you feel at peace, giving you faith that if these women could give birth, so can you! GO ON A NEGATIVITY DIET It is draining if you constantly put yourself down and dread the day you give birth to your child. Sometimes, when it comes to the bad days of pregnancy, we tend to second guess ourselves and wonder if all of this struggle is worth it. Obviously, pregnancy is not sunshine and rainbows. You will have days of morning sickness, guilt and constant mood swings. Having all this negative energy can affect your mental health, so it’s important to recognise this early so you can seek professional help or speak to a trusted relative and family member. If you lay off the negative energy for a while, you will feel lighter and harmonious with your pregnancy. Trust that no feeling is permanent and that things can look glum one second then happy the next.


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DO A RELAXING ACTIVITY Whether it’s learning how to crochet, getting creative with colours and unwinding with a good book, it’s important to undertake activities that keep your mind off giving birth. Sometimes, we get too carried away in looking up videos, reading articles and documentaries that these can often place a negative perspective on birthing. Remember that each experience is unique and individual. Do your best to go on a digital detox and stop getting into the habit of researching horror birth stories or “births gone wrong” clickbait articles. Know your sources and only keep up with websites and publications that you can trust (like us!). Otherwise, remember to just unwind and enjoy the simple pleasures that keep you relaxed. FIND SUPPORT IN YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS This is an important thing to establish with your family and friends and that is seeking support during the tough times of pregnancy. You may have been overthinking about birth a lot and that’s totally fine! Sometimes, overthinking can lead to negative thoughts and doesn’t give us a chance to think clearly. If you feel like this, call up your family and friends and organise a meet up. Let them in on your thoughts and see how they react. Sometimes, all you really need is someone to listen and show you reassurance that things will be okay. This can help you get back on track into thinking positive thoughts about birthing. Overall, doing the above can help you relax and prevent you from being soaked into the negativity of birth. No matter the experiences your peers or friends have had, you must remember that when it comes to you, it will be new and entirely different. On the days where pregnancy is good, cherish it because there are more moments to look forward to after giving birth.

january 2018 | mychild




january 2018 | mychild

After School Care What Should You Do? Written By Jana Angeles After School Care is a tricky one for all parents. They say it’s a struggle being a parent, taking care of toddlers and cleaning up their mess, but when they grow older and start attending school, it’s a different ball game for us. We have to organise what’s going to happen when it comes to pick up time and who is responsible for this daily task. When we’re juggling a 9-5 job, we sometimes don’t have that luxury to tell our employer to cut out early and continue working from home after our parental duties are done. In this article, we look at all the options regarding After School Care and what you can do depending on your circumstances and budget.

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FAMILY AND FRIENDS If you have family and friends that have flexible work arrangements, retired or have the luxury of having weekends off during the weekday (shift work woes!), it’s easy to organise pick up times, especially if an immediate member of the family is available. Whether it’s grandma, grandpa or your closest family friends, the people who you genuinely keep close in your life are your best options because you trust them to give the best care. Plus, your children will be comfortable around them and there’s no awkward interactions, which is a bonus! HIRE A NANNY AND LOOK FOR BACK UP There are many people out there who are nannies for a living and this could be a great option for you and the family. You can organise your nanny to undertake some


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household duties, meal prep, homework assistance and providing transport if your kids are doing any after school activities a couple of afternoons a week. It’s important that they have all the required checks and qualified driver’s license as well as some decent references from previous families. It’s also worth looking for a back up as well, especially if your main sitter has fallen ill or has to stop work due to circumstances beyond their control. Make sure you are clear on the duties they need to undertake nd follow-up regularly to see how the kids are doing. AFTER SCHOOL CHILD CARE Schools often run an after school child care program, looking after kids when school has finished up. However, this is something not all

parents can afford and when you’re juggling shift work and are a single parent, it’s difficult to arrange this depending on your work circumstances. However, if you have an office job, after school care will benefit you greatly. Not only that, but if the program is based at your child’s school, they will be extremely comfortable as they are already familiar with the environment. ARRANGE YOUR WORK SCHEDULE If you and your partner have the privilege of having flexi starts for work, take turns in pickup and drop offs for school. Not only will you reach a compromise, but this will save arguments especially if you’re both working together to make after school care work. Not all parents have the luxury of picking start times and finish times for work, so ensure you make the most of it if you have a flexible

employer that allows you to start and finish whenever you like! Overall, it’s not rocket science when it comes to after school care. How you manage your priorities, especially when it comes to work commitments is entirely up to you. When it comes to working together as parents, it’s important to show support and have paramount organisational skills when it comes to your children. Also, discuss with your employer about flexible arrangements and see if you can come to an agreement, especially if you’re juggling fulltime work and are a single parent. There are many options that are available to you so ensure that you know what’s affordable and the things you need to sacrifice in order for your child to receive after school care.

january 2018 | mychild




january 2018 | mychild

Dealing with Potty Mouth Toddlers Written by Jana Angeles Potty mouth toddlers doesn’t mean you have failed parenting. Let’s face it, it happens to most of us and there’s going to be an occasion where your little one may drop a rude word here or there. Just remember that just because this happens, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s your fault - your child could be trying to pronounce a different word that sounds like they’re swearing.

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Of course, we’re all guilty of having a laugh when we hear our toddlers drop some rude words but when they repeatedly use them, we should step in and draw the line. In the end, we have to be conscious about the language they use when they’re not at home so they’re not embarrassing themselves or frowned upon by members of the public. Here are some ways you can deal with your toddler’s potty mouth: REPLACE IT WITH A NEW WORD Toddlers are starting to learn new words and form sentences everyday, so it’s essential to help them on the path of expanding their vocabulary. If you find that your little one is unintentionally swearing, replace the words with other ones. This will encourage them to use these words with the same meaning minus the negative impact (and the embarrassment). Not only that, you can teach them the respect of language and how to be polite around people they don’t know quite well. DO YOUR BEST NOT TO LAUGH Although it seems impossible, it can be done. If you laugh when your toddler throws an f-bomb out of nowhere, they will think of it as a positive reaction from you. Do your best to discourage your child from using any coarse language and tell them it’s a ‘bad’ word. If you do happen to laugh, immediately brush it off and know when to stop. It’s okay to have a little giggle but when it happens more than once, it’s time to let go and play the ‘parent’ card. BE CONSCIOUS ABOUT YOUR LANGUAGE You may have gotten comfortable swearing around the household and your toddler has managed to catch up on the language - uh oh! As hard as it may be, hold off the swearing whenever your little one is around you. Even if you’re feeling upset, angry or


january 2018 | mychild

frustrated, it’s important to replace those swear words and use kid-friendly language around the household. Tell your partner to be conscious about their language too. Make it a rule that you can only swear if your child is fast asleep, hanging out with the grandparents or when they’re preoccupied with an activity. IGNORE IT The best thing you can do to avoid the awkward swearing is to simply ignore it. Brushing it off is an effective way because you aren’t reacting to it and it also helps take your attention away from the toddler when using the language. Toddlers have a short attention span and it could be the off-occasion where they’re trying to say something but they say it the wrong way. Don’t feel pressured into finding solutions immediately but be cautious. If they keep swearing, it’s time to put your foot down and try and change their swearing habits. Potty Mouth Toddlers are just another obstacle parents go through. If you’re feeling disheartened or not sure what to do, just remember this will pass. Keep your cool, don’t get mad and be firm when it’s deemed necessary. Parenting is a crazy journey and this is another challenge you should all tackle. Be supportive and don’t judge your little one too much if they drop a rude word here or there. They are still innocent little creatures - we just need to help them be in the right direction.

january 2018 | mychild


Stop the worry with the Owlet Smart Sock

Written by Olivia Arrow As all new parents can attest, once you have a baby, there is this lingering feeling that you can’t shake, “is my baby ok”? This feeling can be very overwhelming and can ultimately ruin those precious moments that you should be enjoying. Back in the day when our mothers gave birth, the only way for them to check on us babies was to be constantly hovering over our cots and that no doubt added to their exhaustion. Fast forward to 2018 and the technology we have access to is amazing. The advances that have been made to give parents peace of mind are


january 2018 | mychild

beyond anything we could have hope for. The newest product to enter the market is a game changer. The Owlet Smart Sock is the only monitor you’ll need to put your mind at ease. This monitor is a two-part device which includes a bootie that is easily fitted to your child’s foot and the base station which you can place next to your bed or in the living room. The bootie tracks your child’s heart rate and oxygen levels and communicates with the base station to let you know that everything is ok. If bub’s readings fall out of a preset zone, the base station will notify you with lights and sound.


Here are the key benefits of the monitor: • The Smart Sock comfortably wraps around your baby’s foot to track heart rate and oxygen levels using clinically proven pulse oximetry. • The base station glows green to let you know everything is okay but will notify with lights and sounds if something appears to be wrong. • Using Owlet’s app, you can receive notifications and stream real-time heart rate and oxygen levels on your phone for convenience. Leanne has a 6-week old baby girl and she used the monitor for around a month. Here’s what she had to say about it: Lucy is my second child, my eldest is 11 now. Having already raised a healthy boy, I was actuall y reall y nervous having to start from scratch again. I didn’t realise how much I had forgotten about newborns and have to admit that it was like I was a first-time mum all over again. When My Child Magazine reached out to me to test the product, I was relieved to know the Owlet would there for me and that maybe, just maybe I was going to get a good night’s sleep. The Owlet Sock arrived and was packaged beautifully. I went about and quickly set it up to be used that night. Setting it up was pretty easy, I placed the base station in my bedroom and downloaded the app to my smartphone. Once I’d finished charging the battery and Lucy had been bathed, fed and was ready for bed, I placed the sock on her foot, soothed her to sleep and placed her in her cot and went downstairs and opened the app. The app is wonderful! I can check on her from anywhere in the house. Even my hubby can

check in on her when he’s at work which has helped ease his mind and reduced the calls he makes to check up on her when I am trying to catch up on some much-needed sleep I miss out on with all the late-night feeds. When I head off to bed, the base station soothing green light gives me peace of mind that everything is ok. Having had a traditional baby monitor, I’ve been able to see my baby in her cot but couldn’t tell if she was breathing. I love that the Owlet Smart Sock allows me to check on her heart rate and oxygen levels without going into her room and disturbing her. Having a baby can be a messy affair. The Owlet’s other advantage is that it’s easy to clean. You simpl y remove the sensor and can place the sock in the washing machine, it’s so convenient. The Owlet Smart Sock comes with 3 socks sizes so that you can change as baby grows which I’m really looking forward to being able to do.

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Before the Owlet Smart Sock, I was sleeping with one eye open and every sound was freaking me out. After having this device, I’m not sure what I would do without it. I recommend this to any parent that is constantl y worried about their baby sleeping. It’s a huge reassurance. Using pulse oximetry technology – many know this as the little red light they clip on your finger at the hospital – it tracks your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels while they sleep. The sock sends notifications via a low-energy Bluetooth base station, and to your smartphones via Wi-Fi, so that


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you can check that your baby is sleeping soundly or be notified when the baby’s heart rate or oxygen levels fall outside of pre-set zones. Owlet creates products to help parents know their babies are okay. The Owlet Smart Sock is the latest must have baby product and at only $399.00 this is the perfect monitor choice that truly gives you peace of mind. For more information, please visit www.

january 2018 | mychild


Book Reviews


january 2018 | mychild

january 2018 | mychild


Book Reviews HORSES Written by Iris Volant, Illustrated by Jarom Vogel Animal-loving children aged 5-8 will enjoy this beautifully illustrated new non-fiction book, which charts the interaction between people and horses, from prehistoric cave paintings to modern representations in film and TV. Readers can also learn about the how horses are cared for, and discover the stories of famous horses throughout history. This is an interesting and enjoyable read for adults and children alike.

HARK, IT’S ME, RUBY LEE! Written by Lisa Shanahan, Illustrated by Binny Bright and energetic Ruby Lee is desperate to be chosen as her teacher’s special messenger. When she’s finally selected, her wild imagination and boundless enthusiasm lead her to be a terrible messenger, as she is distracted each time her teacher gives her a message to deliver. But those wonderful qualities lead her to rescue her class members in an emergency, and Ruby Lee finds a classroom job for which she is absolutely perfect. This gorgeous, quirky tale will be enjoyed by readers aged 4-7, and shares a lovely lesson about celebrating our individual strengths.


january 2018 | mychild

GINNIE & PINNEY ‘THINK SMART’ SERIES Written by Penny Harris, Illustrated by Winnie Zhou This is a new set of books designed as a tool to help parents and teachers discuss ethical issues with children aged 3-8, to assist in the development of their Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Each of the eight books deals with one overarching issue, such as sharing, inclusiveness, persistence and fairness. The stories depict familiar scenarios, and feature gorgeous characters who appear throughout the series. In the final pages of each book is a suggested list of questions to ask children as you read. Another wonderful feature of this set is the QR codes on the back cover of each book, which access a short animation of the story to help children interact with the characters and concepts on a different level. The series is available at

SLOWLY! SLOWLY! Written by T. M. Clark, Illustrated by Helene Magisson This is a charming tale set in the wild landscape of Africa, where little Bongani is longing to be old enough to go to school. Instead, he is left with his grandfather to watch the crops, but rather than chasing away the monkeys, Grandfather teaches him that with patience and persistence, Bongani is able to catch a monkey all by himself. The warm, gentle illustrations bring to life this tale of family and perseverance, which will be enjoyed by children aged 3-6.


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The importance of early mathematics learning By Rebekah O’Flaherty, CEO of 3P Learning The importance of early childhood learning and its impact on future development, health and wellbeing is widely acknowledged. However, many parents do not appreciate the significance of early mathematics learning and the advantages it brings. Early exposure to foundational numeracy has been shown to provide the critical building blocks for future exploration of mathematical concepts.


january 2018 | mychild


january 2018 | mychild


It is known that shape is one of the first mathematical concepts that children can engage with. Building on this knowledge of how they perceive information allows us to introduce mathematical concepts early, which strongly influences their later achievement in mathematics. Research has also shown that learning numeracy skills increases oral language abilities including vocabulary, inference, independence and grammatical complexity. Further concentration, curiosity, imagination, flexibility, inventiveness, persistence and working memory also benefit from early numeracy exposure. Typically, parents are less concerned with the promotion of numeracy skills and place more focus on the literacy development of their children. Many believe that young children are not yet ready to grasp the foundational concepts of mathematics and that numeracy is better introduced at school. However, research suggests that young children have the potential to develop far more complex mathematical thinking than previously thought. With the integration of new technologies becoming so prevalent in today’s society, it is essential to capitalise on their effectiveness in the learning environment. As the usage of digital technology increases, so too does the importance for parents and teachers to educate and equip themselves with the latest digital learning tools. Teaching young learners to confidently and appropriately engage with these technologies provides valuable skills to prepare them for future learning. There is a significant link between digital technologies and their relationship to numeracy development, logicalmathematical understanding and problem-


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solving skills. At 3P Learning, we believe in an integrated approach to mathematics education, which includes physical and digital elements, so families can find the right balance for their children using our full range of resources, blogs, ideas and tips. What we do know is that children can feel anxious about learning mathematics. This anxiety can, in turn, lead to avoidance of mathematics, which does not help their understanding of key concepts. Of course, a child will choose to avoid doing something at all costs if the stress outweighs the enjoyment! The key is making mathematics engaging for all children to enjoy. Research shows that introducing mathematics concepts from

an early age - even before preschool leads to better outcomes in the future. Parents are the child’s first and most influential teachers and their involvement and engagement is critical for the development of positive attitudes to early learning. In the end, it comes down to parents creating and fostering a favourable attitude towards mathematics as early as possible. Parents have the ability to create a caring and encouraging learning space while supporting their child’s early development. It is imperative that parents are engaged in the nurturing of mathematical skills and positive attitudes in their children’s early years.

The results from the recent Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) reveal that Australia has slipped to the 28th position in the world mathematics rankings, falling 10 places since 2011. This raises the question, is mathematics a learnt skill or is it just a skill that comes naturally to some? Studies have recognised that mathematics does not, in fact, stem from natural ability, but is a learnt skill that needs to be nurtured, practised and developed. Creating a positive attitude to early numeracy learning provides the foundation for children to develop a growth mindset in mathematics. Baby Mathletics has been created to help babies and toddlers take their first steps on their journey as life-long learners. The new Baby Mathletics — Shapes App is designed for children aged 6 to 24 months to provide positive and engaging mathematics activities with the potential to set them up for greater achievement, confidence and success in all future learning. A mathematical storybook that has been brought to life, the Baby Mathletics — Shapes App introduces young learners to an extensive range of unique shapes with a 3D look and feel. As children turn the pages, lively and enthusiastic animations will engage with them and provide the opportunity for parents to pose questions, stimulate reactions and spark new interests in learning.

The Baby Mathletics — Shapes App is available now on the iTunes App Store for iPads and iPhones - $2.99. For more information, please visit: www.

january 2018 | mychild



Growing up is hard to do I’m going to send you to your room and you are NOT coming out until I say so”. That’s generally a line you might use on your kids, right?! Well I have used it before but now it gets used on me, among other things mind you, by my dearest darling Miss Izzie (just picture me saying that with gritted teeth). The biggest catch in it all is, she’s only four, not seven, 10 or maybe even 14, ages where backchat only gets worse and worse. Nope it’s already set in. Why is it that when a child turns four, all hell really breaks loose??

Defiance is strong. Attitude is through the roof. And they know absolutely everything. It’s four going on 14 and heading towards 40, hell I’m not even there yet! I heard the term four-nado a while ago and I’m starting to think it’s somewhat incredibly accurate. I believe there is another “F” word we could all use here but I know you’re already thinking it. I thought newborns were tough until I had a strong willed two-year-old. We hit the threenager stage and I almost laughed about the terrible twos. Fast forward to four and there are days I want to go backwards. I swear sometimes I’m living with two separate children in the one body. One minute she’s a beautiful loving child and the next I think I’ve moved into the twilight zone. Okay, so maybe a little extreme but I can just picture parents of other four-yearold’s nodding in agreement. Partly because they no longer have the will to agree thanks to their feral four-year-old child who wants to dominate the world. Add a confident and cheeky two-year-old into the mix and I may as well pack my bags and head off to Fantasyland if I think I’ve got any chance of ever being listened to by my children. The best advice I usually get is from my Mum. And sometimes I wonder if I get the worst advice too. She likes to tell me I used to be just like Miss Izzie and Miss Phoebe too. Thanks Mum (and Dad too sometimes) but not helping, haha! Just tell me I was better than my brother and that will keep me happy. Mum often likes to remind me this stage with my girls won’t last forever. Yes, I know that but right now feels like forever when my strong willed, independent, stubborn child(ren) won’t listen to me, yet again! Long days, sleep interrupted nights and what feels like constant bickering (a combination of me and them), can at times make me feel like the world is against me. 38

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Lucky I love her (or them if they do pair up, which is often) is what I think many times. Although quite often I’m repeating a few swear words under my breath. Okay okay, so sometimes they come out much louder and yes, the kids hear me but I’m allowed a few slip ups now and then right?! I know it’s going to come back to haunt me eventually but I learnt from the best (right Mum and Dad?) so why not carry on the tradition?! I’m kidding! There is always a part of me that’s hopeful my girls won’t be rude, ungrateful or downright little terrors. But even though it’s not all the time, it does happen more often than I’d like, they are kids after all. Most days I can be heard repeating some things like using manners or cleaning up toys, to the point I think their ears are painted on, but if I mention food or drink (especially chocolate), suddenly they have the best hearing imaginable. Go figure! This is one thing that drives me crazy, although I know I’m guilty of saying it too and as they say the apple doesn’t fall from the tree! “I can’t do it” often gets thrown around for things that are generally quite easy for Miss Izzie to do as well. These are the moments I find the most frustrating and almost want to bash my head against the wall. I’ve tried telling her to try again and that she can do it, which eventually might work but not always. My babies are strong willed, independent little personalities when they want to be but know right when to either punish me or pull at my heart strings. I’m thinking there is plenty more in store for this “lucky” Mumma! Head over to and follow more of the mummy “fun”. Feel free to leave me a message and let me know your thoughts or even ideas. Until next time, keep smiling and know that you’re not alone!



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What’s the Point of the Working Mum vs Stay at Home Mum Debate? Written by Olivia Arrow

january 2018 | mychild


Becoming a mother takes you on an emotional journey that you’ll never quite understand until it happens to you. For some mums, once they hold their baby for the first time, the thought of being separated from their precious bundle of joy seems like the cruellest act that parenthood offers. For some mum’s out there, going back to work is a necessity. With life tending to be so expensive and household’s relying on two incomes to help with financial commitments, being a staying at home mum is a luxury that many of us can only dream about. For others, as much as they love the child, they simply cannot wait to reclaim a little bit of the life they had pre-baby and get back to the career or businesses that they love and have spent years nurturing, cultivating and building on. Looking at the debate of working mums vs. stay at home mums, the most judgmental voices of this debate is, yep you guessed it, it’s mothers. It’s hard to believe that we are actually trying to compete with each other about who has it harder, who works longer and what’s better for the kids and families etc. To be honest, it’s a little disappointing. This ongoing mummy war has been around since before my mother gave birth to me in the 80’s. It’s still such a passionately discussed topic which has no right or wrong answer. We all struggle with the mixed feelings that both jobs have, there are pros and cons, both come with sacrifice and both can have disadvantages. FOR STAY AT HOME MUMS Pro – Time with Your Little One One of the standout advantages of being a stay at home is that you get to spend plenty of time with your child. You get to provide


january 2018 | mychild

them with comfort, support, care, undivided attention and watch them grow and achieve their milestones. You also don’t have the added stresses that many other professional jobs come with. Con – It Can Hurt the Piggy Bank You may end up losing your financial independence by stepping out of the workforce and becoming a stay at home mum. Con – The Job Can Be Repetitive and You Can Feel Isolated A stay at home mum’s job can be repetitive and that can sometimes be boring. You have the same routine most days and you can be housebound quite a lot in the beginning while you get your baby into a routine. Stay at home mums also tend to feel quite isolated with the changes that motherhood presents. Going from a working woman with busy days filled with social interaction to looking after a baby can sometimes be quite depressing for some women.

FOR WORKING MOTHERS Pro – Financial Independence Besides being able to wear nice clothes without spit up all of you and being able to hold adult conversations, one benefit that working mothers have is financial independence. Knowing that you can provide for your family in times of need or necessity provides many women with a sense of security. Con – Stress Levels Can Be Through the Roof There is little flexibility for working mums, having a team or manager rely on you to hit your targets, being available for last minute 5 pm meetings, leaves many working mothers with stress and anxiety levels that can rival even the top CEO.

Con – Limited Time with Kids Most working mothers at some point get the guilts about not being there for their kids. When your child needs you, but you have a meeting with a client that you cannot postpone and you have to get your emergency backup to take care of your child, it those moments that can leave you feeling like a terrible parent. So, what is really the point of the debate? Being a working mum or stay at home mum both have their rewards and challenges. At the end of the day, we are all mothers and do what we can to provide the best for our children. We need to change the way we think about motherhood. Being a mother doesn’t just mean those who are there 24/7, it’s also those who have a full-time job. Motherhood isn’t just cuddling and feeding,

mothers are also providers for their families. You never know why a mother chooses to work, it might be for her own sanity or because she is simply helping the family have a better life. Working mums are still mums just like stay at home mums still are working women. Both working and stay at home mums have a hard-enough job juggling the pressures of their jobs as well as taking care of their families and meeting their needs that judging each other just adds more stigma to an already impossible debate to win. We should be evolved enough by now to help and encourage each other instead judging each other’s choices. All mothers whether working or stay at home, do an amazing job and they should both be acknowledged and praised instead of disgraced by one another or their peers.

january 2018 | mychild



Top Tips On How To Handle Lies Written by Jana Angeles Honesty is the best policy, but unfortunately there will be times where your kids will lie to you right in front of your face. Maybe they didn’t get your approval to go somewhere or you’re just strict when it comes to rules, either way, as kids grow older, they’ll have the tendency to be swayed by their own independence and would rather make decisions for themselves without you there. It’s hard to accept this when they start growing up, but that’s all part of the parenting journey.


january 2018 | mychild

january 2018 | mychild


You’ll learn to love and hate the stages of teen life to young adulthood. However, you don’t need to be the perfect parent and there will be times where you’re required to step in and give some guidance to your kids. Handling lies is part of the process so we’ve managed to come up with some handy tips on how to deal with them. TEACH THEM THE VALUE OF HONESTY Lies catch up to you eventually and we’ve had to learn that the hard way. Teaching your kids that honesty is valued in society will help them understand and hopefully encourage them to not lie again. Provide example scenarios on how honesty is valued such as viewing some episodes of your favourite children’s TV series about lying or even just giving them a hypothetical one. This will help them engage with honesty, benefiting them in the long run. ASK THEM TO WRITE ABOUT WHAT THEY DID WRONG Writing is always a therapeutic activity for most of us and it’s great to ask children to put things to pen and paper when it comes to the flow of their imagination and skills in English. If you’ve had a problem trying to understand why they have lied to you, ask them to write their response on their reasoning behind lying. Maybe it could be peer pressure from school or they did it unintentionally. This will give them some down time to think about their actions and understand that there’s consequences to lying (ie. upsetting or disappointing mum or dad or no dessert after dinner!). JUSTIFY THE IMPORTANCE OF TRUTH If your child is stubborn as a mule, you need to give valid reasons on why telling the truth is so important (even if it hurts!). There are moments to parenting that make us frustrated and when we get to this point,


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this will make us feel guilty about how we handle problems. We will ask ourselves questions about whether we’ve done enough for our child and question our own morals and values. There’s no reason to put yourself down for this - you have the power to reason with your child. Make them understand your points and help them grasp the concept of telling the truth. LET THEM KNOW THERE’S CONSEQUENCES TO LYING Lying could lead to bigger problems, leading to situations that may put your children in danger. It’s important to emphasise that lying adds on to the weight of their conscious. You can also suggest that lying is heavy on the heart and telling the truth will provide relief and weight off your shoulders. Let them know that you care for their wellbeing and that you are open to listening to them whenever a new situation arises in their life - the good and the bad. Keeping you well-informed is just checking in to see if they’re safe Overall, there are plenty of ways to handle lies but of course, this is unique to every parent. Just remember that your children aren’t doing it intentionally at times; they’re simply just avoiding any trouble with you. Be cautious about your child’s behaviour and if you suspect anything alarming, talk to them straight away about it. All it takes is an honest conversation that will hopefully encourage your little ones to take trust in you and do the right thing.

january 2018 | mychild


DEALING WITH PEER PRESSURE AND BULLYING Written by Karli Steenkamp As parents, we need different skills for different roles and stages in our children’s lives. Parenting doesn’t come with a manual and when our children go through trying times, we want to fight their battles for them and deal with anyone that does them harm. The sad reality is that we need to teach our kids to be tough and stand up for themselves. Every child is going to encounter peer pressure or bullying at some point in their lives. Bullying affects about 27 % of Australian kids according to the National Centre Against Bullying. It is important to identify what is peer pressure and bullying and how as parents to deal with it when our kids experience this and how to guide our children through it. Peer Pressure and Bullying, there is a very fine difference between these two terms. It is necessary to know the difference as each one can be dealt with differently.


january 2018 | mychild


january 2018 | mychild


PEER PRESSURE Peer pressure is when you are influenced by others to do something that you normally wouldn’t do. This is because you either feel pressured to do so or have a need to fit in with your peers. Peer pressure can be positive or negative. Sometimes your child is surrounded by learners that have a positive influence on them, like studying or doing nice acts for others or volunteering. Other times it can be negative, like smoking, drinking or disobeying rules. BULLYING Bullying is a repeated act of someone misusing their power over someone and making them feel powerless. There are different types of bullying. These are social, physical and verbal bullying. • Social bullying is when someone purposefully excludes someone from an activity or sends images that can harm someone’s reputation; cyber bullying can also fall under this type. • Physical bullying is hitting, shoving and even stealing from someone. • Last but not least is Verbal bullying is name calling or insulting someone. It is important to remember that bullying is an ongoing act and no form of it is okay. SIGNS THAT YOUR CHILD IS BEING BULLIED As a parent, you need to be aware of signs that your child might be bullied or struggles under peer pressure. You need to have an open relationship with your child. Ask him or her how the school day has been and what they did and who they hang out with. If you are concerned about your child’s friends, invite them over to your house for a play date to get to know them. Usually children that are being bullied will withdraw themselves from activities that he or she usually loved. They can become quiet and hide away. When they start talking about not being worthwhile, then there is a serious cause for concern.

HOW TO DEAL WITH PEER PRESSURE AND BULLYING It is important to let your child know that it is okay to say no. If you don’t want to do something, say no. You don’t always have to be liked and it can be worthwhile to find friends that share their beliefs. Peer pressure in many cases has to do with self confidence. Children with high self esteem are less likely to succumb to peer-pressure. Your first instinct as a parent will probably be that you want to go to school and speak to the teachers or the child’s parents of the bully. However sometimes that can make a situation worse and then your child can be teased. It can work, but then there might be another bully down the line and what do you do then. Rather teach your child skills to deal with bullies themselves. Teach your child that everyone is unique and special in their own way. If they are being teased about how they look and act, let them also laugh with the bully. As soon as a bully loses its power over someone they will stop. It is not fun anymore. Obviously, there are situations which get worse and then it is necessary to seek help. There are many websites that can give you as a parent, advice. Growing up can be hard. Have a transparent relationship with your child so that your child has the freedom to speak to you about anything. Make time for your child to ensure that you are aware what your child is going through. Be interested in the school and activities. The more you as a parent know the more you will see the important signs and issues can be addressed early on. There are websites you can go on that will give you advice on what to do, if your child is bullied. With lots of love and care from you, your child will get through this. References: National Centre Against Bullying, Reach, Bullying No way!



january 2018 | mychild

Backing Each Other Up - Divide and Conquer Written by Jana Angeles Parenting is no walk in the park. You deal with dirty dishes, extra piles of laundry and cooking larger meals to feed the family. Before you had children, you and your partner would’ve enjoyed each other’s company - going out to the movies, fine dining and travelling each year to a different country. Things change when you have kids and it’s definitely not fun having a toddler boss you around! Enough is enough.

As parents, you should be on the same team so you can win over your battles with your children. This will help you not get side-tracked and be firm when it comes to your weaknesses. Here are some ways you can show your kid who’s boss, helping you resist temptation of caving in to their every word. SET SOME BOUNDARIES There are simple things to reduce fights between you and your children and that is to set some boundaries. Whether it’s reducing the time they spend on technology, having adequate reading time or doing homework before they do all the “fun” stuff, it’s important that as parents you know when to set them. Work together and justify what needs to be set in order to save the arguments and be on the same page as each other. Make sure you know what is expected from your children and how you can enable positive parenting behaviour. BE FLEXIBLE AND WORK TOGETHER Mocking and teasing each other about how you parent can cause inevitable arguments and won’t be healthy for your relationship. Work together so you can be flexible when it comes to said arrangements and offer helpful feedback on what can be improved. Don’t automatically shut each other out when it comes to differing opinions. Work through them and allow each other to grow and nurture each other’s parenting style. If you’re both completely different on how you parent, show each other respect and kindness - this will enable your relationship to be balanced and can inspire you both to become better parents. DEBRIEF Communication is key when it comes to being parents. There is no use being


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passive or ignorant when it comes to the relationship between your partner and your children. Listen to what your partner has to say, be open to criticism and have a healthy discussion on what’s working and what isn’t. The perfect time to do this is when your children are occupied with an activity or if they are in bed. Healthy discussions can allow you to back each other up when needed or step in and handle the ropes as well. SHOW THAT YOU LOVE EACH OTHER Love is a grand thing and it’s sad to think that most of us take it for granted. Yes, parenting has its draining moments. We’re constantly tired and feel like there’s no energy left when it comes to other things in our lives. To showcase a stable and nurturing environment to your children, have balance in each other’s relationship and spend adequate couple time each week. Catch up properly without the kids - this could be the perfect way to validate the goals you set for each other, have more deep and meaningful conversations and an opportunity to learn something new as individuals. Your children will admire how you work together to get through problems and will see that their parents are healthy role models, forming a basis on all of their future relationships. Relationships take a lot of work. Add kids to the equation and the workload increases by tenfold. As parents, you should back each other up, make compromises and spend adequate time with one another as a couple. Not only will you treasure each other’s company, but this will allow you to better communicate with each other when it’s needed - especially when your kids try to rule your world!




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Back To School Meal Prep and Planning Written by Jana Angeles It’s that time of year again where we’ll find ourselves lingering stationery stores, getting school uniforms prepared and finding the perfect fit when it comes to the everyday leather shoes that will inevitably get dirty in the first few weeks of the school year. It’s no surprise that most of us will skip breakfast just to have that five minutes to spare to sleep in during those dwindling mornings, but when the school year kicks off, we want to feel more prepared as parents to hand out the right tools to our little ones and this can all start in their lunchbox.


january 2018 | mychild


Food preparation comes with love and care, so finding the right meals that promote a healthy lifestyle is a good start. Although it may be tempting to pack away some lunchbox ready treats such as chocolate biscuits, jelly and potato chips, it’s worthwhile slowly eliminating these and replacing it with snackable fruit and veggies. So, how can we make school meal prep and planning easy for us parents? KEEP WEEKENDS FREE FOR LUNCH PREP Keeping Weekends free for lunch prep is a smart idea because you can allocate time when it comes to meal prep for your kids. Getting the fruit and vegetable snacks can easily mean cutting them into manageable bite-sized pieces or cooking batches of food that will last for the next three days. Learn to master time productivity by preparing lunch on the weekends instead of the night before the next school day. It’s satisfying to be organised when it comes to lunch prep. It allows you to be


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creative in the kitchen for a couple of hours, whipping up some nutritious meals for your little ones. ALLOCATE A SPECIFIC LUNCH FOR EACH WEEKDAY If you want your children to eat healthy, it all takes a little planning. You can buy a meal planner that allows you to document what your child can eat for lunch during the week. This will help a lot if they have specific dietary restrictions to follow. Choosing a lunch meal per weekday can help you know what ingredients you need to get to cook the meals. To cut costs on shopping, choose meals with similar ingredients and get creative! MAKE LUNCHES IN BATCHES It only makes sense to cook in batches. Although it can be physically taxing to cook for a whole day, it pays off having to do it in one go instead of every night. This will save you time in food prepping and washing up. You can even have the kids involved to help you out with their lunches. Whether it means packing healthy snacks

for their recess and passing on the ingredients for you to cut up next, making lunches in batches can be an activity that you and your children can enjoy on a weekly basis. KNOW WHAT FOOD THEY LIKE There’s no point preparing healthy lunches for your children if they don’t eat them! It’s important to have a talk with your children on what food they would like to eat for lunch instead of winging it and preparing a meal they might like. Take into consideration lunch prepping if they have specific dietary restrictions and ensure that the food is manageable to eat. Sticking to simple recipes will go a long way, as long as the ingredients you choose are the ones your children love. AVOID UNHEALTHY SNACKS Of course, sometimes we’re pressed for time and are not able to to do some healthy food prepping each week. Being prepared when it comes to buying snacks for your kids is paramount and the

best thing you can do is to determine a healthy snack by checking its nutritional information. Fruits with jelly seem like a healthy option but these are usually high in sugar, which can inevitably lead to a sugar rush. Fruit juices are the same, which can be a misleading purchase if you’re trying to encourage healthy habits from your children. Always read the labels before purchasing something and stick to all natural ingredients! Overall, back to school prep doesn’t have to be challenging if you can plan efficiently. Knowing what meals to prepare and carefully buying healthy snacks for your children is easy if they like the food to begin with. Don’t feel the need to overcomplicate recipes or try and be over the top when it comes to meals. Always stick to simple lunches and you can never go wrong.

january 2018 | mychild


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january 2018 | mychild




Just like all to be mothers, all to be fathers have a tendency to Freak the F*#K out! Rather than it happening while the baby is safely being kept in the on-demand hotel of their mother’s womb, that little switch for dads seems to be clicked on once the baby arrives. The fatherhood journey is the wonderful unknown, but once bub arrives, you wish you would’ve had paid attention during all those classes your partner made you attend.


january 2018 | mychild

january 2018 | mychild


PRODUCT REVIEW Freaking out when becoming a new dad is more common than you think. Many a man has been clueless on the arrival on their child and has had to face challenges they didn’t even know existed and yet they have somehow survived. Here’s the list of the top 6 top things that most new dads freaked out about: 1. THE BIRTH Thinking you’re prepared and actually being in the delivery room are two totally different things. Your once sweet and loving partner who has assured you over and over again that everything will be alright will turn is to a raging lunatic that you barely recognise – this is completely normal. Between the contractions, which for her is the most painful part of labour, the screams of pain and the crying out like she is never going to survive this ordeal, you’ll end up feeling helpless and a bit useless. On top of all of this, there is a chance she could poop herself in the final stages of pushing out the baby, so make sure you do not regurgitate your last meal! Just remember the old analogy that she is literally “pushing a watermelon out of a lemon”. You need to keep a level head, be the encouraging (not overbearing) support she needs right now. You’ll forget that person once the baby arrives and takes its first breath aka cry… 2. ARE YOU REALLY READY TO BE A DAD? Well too late now, it’s happening! Again, this is another really common freak out moment for new dads and for some reason it happens once your child is out of the womb. Don’t worry too much, the chances are at some point you’ll screw up, all parents do (yep even mums - but don’t tell them that). There is no instruction booklet on how to be


january 2018 | mychild

a dad, just remember that that they need a lot of love and attention so spending time and building a strong bond is the best thing you can do in becoming a good dad. 3. BABY BEING SICK When your baby is sick the first few times, it can be a little overwhelming to say the least. Dr Google can be your worst enemy or your best friend, just keep your cool, no doubt the first-time mother is losing her s*&t! The best thing to do is for you and your partner to take your baby to the GP for a check-up to make sure it’s nothing serious. After a few visits to let you know that bub will live, you’ll start to know if it’s worth the GP visit or not. 4. BABY POO Cleaning your baby’s genital area is all

part of the package and it’s gotta be done. Whether you’re dealing with a Poo Explosion or a Pooey Vagina, working out the best way to clean up the mess can sometimes make new dads get brain freeze. My rule of thumb is if you can get it off with 2x wet wipes (with your baby girl’s vagina, you should always wipe from front to back), then run the warm water in the laundry tub, sink or bath and give them a little wash off with some baby soap or wash. If you still need a bit of guidance, call in the Mrs! She’ll no doubt give you a step by step so you don’t forget anything. 5. SILENCE Once upon a time silence was golden. Now with a newborn, silence gets to you like you never imagined. Whether is day or night,

the moment you actually get a few minutes of blissful silence, you’ll start to worry about the baby. You’ll go to check on baby and if you’re an unlucky you may even wake him/her and that can be disastrous. Save yourself the stress and worry and grab yourself a baby monitor. You’ll be able to keep an eye on baby without having to get up or wake them up. 6. BABY COSTS Money issues can break a relationship. Add in baby costs and you may feel like you’re going to sink before you can swim. If money is tight, work on a budget so you have a realistic idea of your finances and then you can work on what’s a priority and what’s really needed. Don’t be a snob, pick up some second-hand stuff like a cot, a pram and hand me down clothes and toys from friends and relatives. Believe it or not, you won’t be using these things for long so spending thousand is just a waste. Provide the best you can for your child, they won’t remember if they had the last and greatest gadgets, but they will remember how much time and love you showered them with! These 6 common freak outs, all new dad’s experience. Don’t worry too much, it’s normal and as time goes by you’ll wonder why you ever had these fears. You will make mistakes and screw up throughout your parenting journey and that normal too. Although you may feel like a failure sometimes, just remember that there are other dads experiencing the exact same thing. Talk to dad friends about your freak outs and I’m sure they’ll have some wonderful and useful advice to share with you. If you’re finding it hard to deal with your freak outs and can’t overcome them, its best to seek professional help to get you on track!

january 2018 | mychild


Important road safety rules to teach your kids Whether you are scooting at the skatepark or to school, it’s important to know the road rules. Here are some top tips to keep you safe over the summer break: SAFETY TIPS FOR SCOOTERS When you are riding a scooter, there are various road safety rules you must follow. • Always wear a credited Australian Bicycle Standards Approved helmet when riding your scooter, even if you are at home. It is important your head is protected at all times and helmet is properly fitted. Wear protective gear such as knee and elbow pads. • Replace old or damaged equipment, especially your helmet after an impact or accident. Don’t buy a second-hand helmet, there’s no way of knowing if the previous owner has damaged it. • Use a light in areas with poor visibility. Motorists and other road users need to be able to see you. • It is important to note the use of scooters on the road is not recommended for school-aged or younger children. • Scooters are best ridden in recreational areas designated for their use, such as your local


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indoor or outdoor skatepark and bike tracks. Scooters can be ridden on footpaths unless there is a sign stating otherwise, however, riders must keep to the left and give way to other pedestrians. • Be aware of other riders and pedestrians on the footpath around you. Teach your child road safety rules and to look carefully at the riding environment to decide whether it’s safe to ride. • Always obey state road laws. Check your local government website for more information on laws in your area. THINGS TO CHECK BEFORE YOU RIDE Always check your equipment before you ride. It only takes a minute. • Scooter riders must have at least one effective brake when riding. Brakes wear down as they get older so make sure you check these regularly. • Check all bolts are tight and bearings run smoothly. • Check handlebar and wheels are aligned with the front wheel. • Check handlebar grips don’t move or swivel, there are no sharp edges and the ends of the handlebars are covered with grips or end caps. • Helmet is fitted properly and securely on your head. You are wearing appropriate protective pads.

january 2018 | mychild


Quality Education What is quality education? Madeline Mitchell, owner of Hi iQ Tutoring Bondi and a parent herself discusses this topic with us!


january 2018 | mychild


january 2018 | mychild


As a parent with a school-aged child/ children, there is nothing more important than ensuring that your child receives a quality education. The problem is that once you drop your precious little one off at the gate and they line up and head into class, you’re not really sure what happens after that! Not only do you not know what happens inside the classroom, but you often don’t receive feedback from the school until the mid-year reports and end of year reports! So how do you know what quality education really is? What can you do to ensure your child is receiving quality education everyday? And how can you support your child with quality education at home! In Australia, there is a governing body “Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority” (ACECQA) protecting our children and guiding our educators to ensure that schools are providing quality education. The ACECQA website states that ‘research shows quality education and care early in life leads to better health, education and employment outcomes later in life’. This means that whilst schools are running as independent entities, they must comply with these national standards and they are constantly assessed to ensure compliance. Along with the typical subjects - English, Maths etc, there are also other key learning areas that are vital to your child’s growth and development and are outlined in the ‘National Quality Framework’. These include: 1. Children have a strong sense of identity 2. Children are connected with and contribute to their world 3. Children have a strong sense of wellbeing 4. Children are confident and involved learners


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5. Children are effective communicators These outcomes aid in developing your child’s self-esteem, resilience, and capacity to learn. Quality education encompasses all aspects of learning within the classroom - academics, to peer support, social interaction and even community service. From a day to day level, you want to ensure that your child enjoys going to school. Ask your son/daughter what they are looking forward to learning each week! Remember that all children have days when they would rather stay home or sleep in (don’t we all!). However, if your child is really resisting and seems fearful or really upset about attending school, it may be worth investigating why this is the case. Within the classroom, you want to hear about a range of learning opportunities taking place. Worksheets and copying from the board have a time and place and are vital for some learning opportunities, but for most primary schools, this style of teaching should be a thing of the past! Classrooms today are much more focused on the diverse learning needs of our children. Group work, differentiated learning tasks, research, hands-on exploration, storytelling, mind mapping and digital work portfolios are all commonplace within schools today! Many schools today have a parent information portal or information on the website that outlines what your child will be covering each school term. This information or overview is extremely valuable as a parent as it provides you with conversation starters for your child. If you are aware of what is being taught in the classroom you can ask your child specific questions about the learning and lesson content.

Rather than the typical ‘what did you do in school today?’ question and standard ‘nothing’ response, you can spark up genuine conversation ‘In your unit of work on Antarctica, have you learnt about how the animals survive the freezing conditions? Being an informed parent is key to ensuring your child is receiving a quality education. At some point in the school year, all children are going to have homework or an assignment that needs assistance or a friendly, parental point in the right direction. It’s important that quality education is followed up at home as well as at school. Talk to your child about correct referencing and plagiarism when gathering information from the internet. Get creative with presentation skills and use of palm cards, posters, powerpoints, and apps.

Move with the technology! There are lots of quality apps out there that can assist your child with their learning at home! The biggest point of difference for us as adults is that schools have changed since we went to school! Our children are using technologies that didn’t exist when we were their age, terms we may never have heard of and our children are covering much larger content and curriculum than previous generations. The most important thing to remember is that you are the biggest support for your child! You need to be positive about their school, teacher and learning opportunities! And who knows, your child may even teach you a thing or two!! Witten by Madeline Mitchell

january 2018 | mychild


Emotional Boogie Boards By Susannah McFarlane As both child and parent I have always loved the long summer break, time to unwind, relax and spend time with family, often at the beach. We particularly love hitting the surf of the back beaches where, armed with boogie boards of often dodgy quality, we charge as a family into the waves.


I don’t always follow everyone in: sometimes I just stand in the shallows and watch as my two kids, now young adults, negotiate the waves. I see how sometimes they hurl themselves in, sometimes they opt out and duck under the wave and, delightfully, sometimes they whoop as they catch the wave that takes them all the way in to shore, faces beaming. And still, even now, they will yell - ‘Did you see that one Mum?’ Which, at least mostly, I did. When they are little however, they are never out of reach, let alone out sight and, slapped and slopped with sunscreen, and with no one leaving the house without their rash vest on, we guard their skin fiercely. We also hope that we are also teaching them to do it themselves, that the constant childhood cries of ‘Hat!’ will reverberate in their adult minds and they will be sun-smart even when they are far from home. And if we guard their skin diligently, we watch them like hawks in the water, at first holding them as they splash, then swimming with them, then letting them go solo. We encourage them to go out a little further, then wave furiously at them to come in a little nearer, always trying to get the balance right between keeping them safe and empowering them. And that’s just a day at the beach and it’s all physical stuff. Yet, on a glorious summer day, it strikes me that beach parenting is a pretty good metaphor for how we try to help our kids navigate those other, invisible, waves of life. How do we best equip them to be good life surfers? How do we show them to be both responsible and daring? How do we


january 2018 | mychild

teach them to know which waves are worth trying to catch and which ones are best to duck under? And do we take enough time to whoop with joy with them when they do ride one in or cheer the plucky recovery from a dumper? And, because it’s a thing I spend a lot of time thinking about in my work as children’s book publisher, author of the EJ Girl Hero series and more recently with my on-line project, Girl Hero Project (www., I wonder why young girls often choose to duck rather than catch the wave? So many studies are finding that our girls, even those young enough to be spared the full force of social media image barraging, are suffering from lack of confidence and self-doubt. So I want to strengthen young girls’ emotional boogie boards! The Girl Hero Project is a safe on-line platform for primary school girls to be inspired by real-life stories of ordinary girls doing extraordinary things, catching amazing waves – and show them they can do it too. Like an actual surfer, Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in a shark attack, nearly died, but with sheer determination and an unwavering faith, returned to competitive surfing and became a champion. By sharing her story, we can show our girls how to not to give up, how to press in not run away when things tough. (Bethany’s amazing story is also told in Soul Surfer, a great family movie - http://girlheroproject. com/girl-hero-inspiration/movies-for-girlheroes/). Or there’s the story of Jordan Reeves, now 11, who was born with a limb difference, her

left arm stopping just above her elbow. Far from wanting anyone to feel sorry for her, Jordan uses her difference and imagination to invent amazing things like a prosthetic arm that works as a glitter cannon (http:// jordan-reeves/). Jordan is an inspiring example of how we can turn difficulties into opportunities, apparent dumpers into glorious waves.

seed – and Katie’s story is a great one to plant in the imagination of our girls. (http:// dont-wait-until-you-are-bigger-to-dosomething-big/) Finally, don’t miss 8 year old Ana Hamilton’s classroom speech on kindness. It went viral and it will blow you and your kids away (

Then they might read the story of Ellie Carpenter, the youngest Australian soccer player to represent Australia in the Olympics. Ellie’s story is one of years of hard work and training – and of the importance of losing and learning from disappointments. (http://girlheroproject. com/girl-hero-spotlight/ellie-carpenter/)

If we bolster our girls’, our kids’, emotional boogie boards with stories that show them lives of courage and kindness and achievement that comes from determination and persistence I reckon those life waves just got a bit more rideable.

But one of my favourites is the story that underlines the maxim ‘from little things big things grow’ – and shows what can be grown by little girls! It is the story of Katie Stagliano who, at 9 years old, was given a seed at school that she grew into a 40-pound cabbage, which eventually made 275 meals at a local homeless shelter. This grew into Katie’s Krops, a kid-run vegetable garden project that now has over 60 kidrun gardens in over 22 states in the US and has donated more than 7,700 pounds of food to feed the homeless. All that from one

So now, as we look ahead to hosing the sand off the boogie boards for the year, assessing the state of last year’s lunch boxes and trying to find those name labels, we wonder what waves the new school year, or perhaps even the beginning of school, will bring. Our kids will sometimes be dumped and sometimes ride them all the way in to shore – may we whoop and cheer with them on both and get ready to catch the next one.

january 2018 | mychild



Bling2o Jet’aime Punchy Pink Swim Goggles (rrp $29.95)

Tootsa Denim jacket & Tootsa ESK 3-in-1 jacket (rrp $119.95 - 129.95

Bling2o Swim Goggles (rrp $29.95)

Slugs & Snails Bug car tights (rrp $24.95)

Slugs & Snails tights (Cloud & Rainbow, Toadstool & Autumn) (rrp $29.95)

Duns Radish Dungarees, Frugi Rainbow Striped Bodysuit (rrp $99.95 /27.95)

Raspberry Republic Alpaca Love dress (rrp $69.95)

Moromini The great escape bodysuit, Pride socks tube socks, Demar boots (rrp $37.95 /13.95 /49.95)

Duns Maple Leaves tee (rrp $38.95)

p The Charlie Romper - Banksia rrp $70

Duns tee (Blue Bear, Red Bear & Blue Arty) (rrp $38.95)


january 2018 | mychild


KIDS fashion

january 2018 | mychild



january 2018 | mychild





Short Sleeve Stripe Tee $16.95 rrp Stretchies Leggings $14.95 rrp BONDS.COM.AU



Ballet Pumps $19.99 rrp HM.COM/AU


Toddler Girls Top $12.00 rrp Embroidered Denim Shorts $12.00 rrp BESTANDLESS.COM.AU

Plaited Strap Sandals $12.00 rrp KMART.COM.AU

Denim Butterfly Suit $38.00 rrp Golden Bow Booties $34.00 rrp




Artists Smock Top Señorita Floral $59.95 rrp Tea-length Tutu - Tulle and Poplin $69.95 rrp AUBRIE.COM.AU

Kandice - Beige/Rose Gold Sandals $55.99 rrp



Valmax - Baby Capped Sleeve Floral Print Dress in Blue $103.00 rrp Sophia Webster - Chiara Baby in Pink Glitter $152.00 rrp LMBAMBINI.COM.AU

Elisabetta Franchi - Fashionista Print T-Shirt in Turquoise $130.00 rrp Young Versace - Girls Pink and White Leggings $296.00 rrp Young Versace - Girls Leather Plimsolls $296.00 rrp BAMBINIFASHION.COM

SPLURGE january 2018 | mychild





BOYS Beetle Car Embroidered Shortall Romper $18.99 rrp Carter’s Casual Sneakers $25.00 rrp




Santo Short $29.95 rrp Roler Reverse Tee $29.95 rrp



Tornado B V Sports Shoes $24.99 rrp BETTSKIDS.COM.AU

Phoenix And The Fox Denver Tee - Texas $39.95 rrp Bebe Jacob Woven Short Indigo $44.95 rrp Deer One Moccasins bronze $22.95 rrp




Heat Wave Short Sleeve Shirt $49.95 rrp Slash Logo 12” Boardshort $49.95 rrp QUICKSILVER.COM.AU

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Ox Junior Casual Shoes $59.95 rrp REBELSPORT.COM.AU


Little Marc Jacobs Jersey Tee Shirt $63.00 rrp Little Marc Jacobs Gabardine Shorts $100.00 rrp

Scotch Shrunk Faux Double Layer Shirt $115.01 rrp Little Marc Jacobs Gabardine Shorts $120.00 rrp



Winsome Lace Ups $189.95 rrp MELIJOE.COM.AU


january 2018 | mychild

Stella McCartney Kids Low Top Trainers $225.00 rrp MELIJOE.COM.AU

january 2018 | mychild




january 2018 | mychild


interiors Leah Shannon is a designer and owner of Parade and Company, a lifestyle brand specialising in decor for children’s rooms. She has 15+ years experience in design and a passion for creating children’s spaces that inspire, educate and spark the imagination.

january 2018 | mychild


Credit: Petite Interiors Co. Photography: Vellum Studio


january 2018 | mychild

Cloud Print $50.00+ rrp Wallpaper $125.00+ rrp

Book Shelves $199.00 for a set of 2

Cushions $59.00+ rrp

House Cushion $62.00+ rrp

Bed Oeuf Perch Twin Bunk $2,299 rrp

Desk $589.00 rrp

Rug $299.00 rrp

Bear Cushion $90.00 rrp

january 2018 | mychild


Credit: Raffaela Jenkins, @indi_and_bear


january 2018 | mychild

Bovine Art $355.00 rrp

Swaddle Blanket $65.00 rrp

Sleepy Eyes $18.00 rrp

Oeuf Cot $1,299.00 rrp

Bunny $108 rrp

Unicorn $130.00 rrp

Moses basket (in cot) $199.00 rrp Fibre Stool $59.00 rrp Rug $280.00+ rrp january 2018 | mychild




january2016 march 2018| |mychild mychild


january 2018 | mychild



JELLYCAT FUDDLEWUDDLE PUPPY Soft to touch and even nicer to cuddle, Fuddlewuddle Puppy is looking for a new fur-ever home with you. Two floppy ears and a waggly tail will melt your heart as this adorable, loveable, irresistibly silky-soft and huggable puppy comes into your life. Fuddlewuddle Puppy, it’s undoubtable, is completely and utterly un-put-downable! Our verdict Cuteness factor alone will win you over with this adorable puppy. It’ll snuggle its way into your life whether you’re fond of animals or not. For the littlies, this soft-to-touch puppy, will be their new best friend and companion for life and you’ll find yourself coming up with all kinds of ways to ensure this puppy is never lost!


rrp $34.95 Available from Independence Studios –


january 2018 | mychild


LEAP FROG LEAP PAD ULTIMATE It’s labelled as the perfect first tablet for kids and it’s easy to see why. This ultimate kidsafe learning tablet encourages amazing discoveries with pre-loaded content featuring core skills in mathematics, reading and science as well as music, puzzles, logic and creativity to help prepare kids for school and beyond. It’s a tablet that’s been designed with kids in mind. As the most durable tablet in the lineup, it has a shatter-safe screen and a wraparound bumper. This device is wi-fi equipped with a kid-safe browser featuring only kidappropriate content, web pages and videos reviewed or approved by LeapFrog learning experts. The 8GB rechargeable (up to 6-hour battery) device also features two cameras for photos and videos and most importantly parent controls!

Our Verdict We live in a fast-paced technological age and it’s hard not to find kids using a device of some kind these days, but it doesn’t usually belong to them. If you really want your kids to have a tablet device, saving yours from being overused, then this is probably the best way to go. You still have full control but they’re allowed the chance to learn, have some fun time and feel like they have a little bit of responsibility as well. It’s relatively easy to add multiple profiles for kids to share (if they can manage) and the age range is from 3-9 years so it has different aspects of the schooling years covered. The hardest part will be prying it from one of your children’s hands!.

rrp $199 Available from – Mr Toys Toyworld and other toy retailers

january 2018 | mychild




From the animals and landmarks of the outback to the beauty of the coast and animals of the sea, bring the most iconic parts of Australia to life on your child’s bedroom wall. With 24 images over three interchangeable discs, you can project a 90cm wide image onto the wall or ceiling. It’s easy to use and a great alternative to a night light. Torch Projectors are a fantastic opportunity for children to discover animals or places that they may never get to see. Includes keychain, so you can take it anywhere.

for the job. It’s so easy to use and projects a clear picture on your wall, ceiling or even a blank curtain or blind. Let your child’s imagination run wild as they view Australian animals including salt water crocodiles, fairy penguins and wombats; landmarks such as the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru and The Twelve Apostles or even dive deep into the ocean with dolphins, whale sharks and humpback whales. The hardest part is taking it off them so they actually go to sleep!.

Our verdict For kids who might need a bit of extra reassurance in the dark whether at home or away, this torch projector is perfect Available from Independence Studios –, ABC Shop Online, Australian Geographic


january 2018 | mychild

rrp $12.95

VTECH BABY CHASE ME CASEY A fun and interactive learning toy that your child will love discovering and exploring with. As he skates around, Casey the cheeky monkey also encourages your child to chase after him and join in some dancing. As your child approaches Casey, his built-in sensors detect they are near making Casey respond with sound and motion. The sensors also allow the toy to change direction and avoid obstacles. There are three ways to play and grow with Casey from crawling to dancing and the ultimate fun of chasing after him. Get ready to watch your little one find their beat as they move their feet to four different

musical styles: rock, techno, Egyptian and waltz music. Casey’s heart also lights up and is surrounded by shape buttons which teach letters, numbers, body parts, music and gross motor skills. Chase Me Casey is suitable for babies from 9 months of age up to three-year-old’s and will offer hours of fun and laughter. Our verdict He’s definitely one cheeky little monkey who will keep you and your monkeys on your toes. If you’re looking for a way to get your child moving, Chase Me Casey has what it takes to kids on their feet while keeping things fun, as well as teaching them along the way. His built-in sensors will help keep him away from furniture or walls but occasionally he has a few mishaps so watch out if your toes are in the firing line! There are also developmental benefits to this toy including teaching your child the fun of imitative play, singing and phrases to encourage language development and utilising the buttons to explore cause and effect. Enjoy the infectious laughter as you watch your child or children escape and then chase their new little monkey friend Casey!


rrp $59 Available from Big W and other leading retailers

january 2018 | mychild






january 2018 | mychild

january 2018 | mychild


banana berry yoghurt muffins

Ingredients 0.15 Prep 0.20 Cook Makes 12

Photo Credit: Andrew Young

• cups wholemeal self-raising flour

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

• 1/2 cup self-raising flour • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

• 1 3/4 cups 98per cent fat-free blueberry yoghurt

• 1/2 cup brown sugar

• 1/4 cup extra-light olive oil

• 1 cup banana, mashed

• 1/2 cup frozen or fresh blueberries

• 1 egg, lightly beaten

Method Step 1: Preheat oven to 190C (170C fan-forced). Line a 12-hole, 1/3 cup capacity muffin pan with paper cases. Step 2: Combine flours, cinnamon and sugar in a large bowl. Make a well. Add banana, vanilla, egg, yoghurt and oil. Stir until just combined. Spoon into paper cases. Top with blueberries. Step 3: Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Stand in pans for 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.


january 2018 | mychild

chargrilled fruit with lemon loaf

Ingredients 0.10 Prep 0.10 Cook Serves 4

• 1/2 x 425g Coles bakery lemon loaf cake, cut into 4 thick slices • Olive oil spray • 1/2 pineapple, peeled, thickly sliced • 2 pieces summer fruit (peach or

Photo Credit:

plum), halved, seeded • 3/4 cup plain Greek-style yoghurt • 1/2 cup Coles fresh frozen raspberries, thawed • Mint sprigs (optional), to serve

Method Step 1: Heat a barbecue grill or chargrill on high. Spray the cut sides of the lemon loaf with oil. Repeat with the pineapple slices and fruit. Cook the lemon loaf and fruit on grill, in batches, turning once, until charred and warmed through. Step 2: Meanwhile, place the yoghurt in a small bowl. Add the raspberries and fold to swirl. Step 3: Divide the chargrilled lemon loaf and chargrilled fruit among plates. Serve with mint sprigs and raspberry yoghurt.

january 2018 | mychild


chicken and slaw rice paper rolls

Ingredients 0.40 Prep Makes 15

• 15 large, round rice paper wrappers • 250g baby cucumbers (qukes), thinly sliced lengthways • 1 cups fresh mint leaves

Photo Credit:

chicken • 100g pickled ginger, drained (optional) • 250g pkt kale slaw mix (without dressing) • Sweet chilli sauce, to serve

• 350g shredded barbecued

Method Step 1: Soak a rice paper wrapper in lukewarm water for 30 seconds to soften. Transfer to a clean tea towel to absorb excess water. Place some cucumber, mint leaves, chicken, ginger and slaw in the middle of the wrapper. Fold in the ends and roll firmly up to enclose. Place on a sheet of damp baking paper and repeat with remaining wrappers, cucumber, mint, chicken, ginger and slaw. Serve with sweet chilli sauce.


january 2018 | mychild

greek chicken sandwich

Ingredients • 4 cherry tomatoes, halved 0.10 Prep 0.10 Cook Serves 1

• 1/3 Lebanese cucumber, finely chopped

Photo Credit:

• 1/2 cup shredded Coles RSPCA Approved Hot Roast Chicken • 1 pita bread pocket

• 1/4 small red capsicum, seeded, finely chopped

• 1 1/2 tablespoons Coles Brand Easy Squeeze Tzatziki Dip

• 4 pitted kalamata olives, halved

• 1/2 cup shredded cos lettuce

Method Step 1: Place the tomato, cucumber, capsicum, olives and chicken in a small bowl. Season and toss to combine. Step 2: Cut the pita in half. Using your fingers, separate each half to form a pocket. Spread half the Coles Easy Squeeze Tzatziki Dip inside each pocket. Fill with shredded lettuce and the chicken salad mixture. Squeeze over remaining tzatziki dip to serve.

january 2018 | mychild


5-ingredient carbonara ravioli

Photo Credit: Steve Brown and Ben Dearnley

Ingredients 0.10 Prep 0.25 Cook Servings 4

• 600g butternut pumpkin, seeded, peeled, cut into 1cm pieces • 1 bunch sage, leaves picked

sauce • 600g pkt Coles Beef Ravioli •

• 1 leek, pale section only, thinly sliced • 490g jar carbonara pasta

Method Step 1: Preheat oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place the pumpkin on the tray. Sprinkle with the sage. Spray with olive oil spray and season. Roast, turning occasionally, for 20-25 mins or until pumpkin is tender. Step 2: Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook the leek, stirring occasionally, for 5 mins or until leek softens. Add the carbonara sauce and bring to a simmer. Step 3: Cook ravioli in a saucepan of boiling water following packet directions or until al dente. Drain well. Step 4: Add to the leek mixture with pumpkin mixture. Toss to combine. Divide among serving bowls. Season with pepper.


january 2018 | mychild

sweet barbecued chicken kebabs

Photo Credit:

Ingredients 0.15 Prep 0.15 Cook Serves 4

• 2 x 450g Coles Grill Sweet BBQ Chicken Kebab

• 1 lemon, zested and juiced

• 100g snow peas, trimmed

• 2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard

• 2 medium zucchini, cut into ribbons • 1 bunch radishes, trimmed, thinly sliced

• 2 tablespoons olive oil

• 2 teaspoons tarragon, chopped • Lemon wedges, to serve

Method Step 1: Heat a barbecue grill or chargrill on medium. Cook kebabs on grill, turning occasionally, for 10-15 mins or until cooked through. Step 2: Meanwhile, place the snow peas in a heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and stand for 2 mins. Drain and rinse under cold water. Step 3: Arrange snow peas, zucchini, radish and lemon zest on serving plates. Whisk the lemon juice, oil, mustard and tarragon in a bowl and season. Drizzle over salad. Step 4: Serve kebabs with salad and lemon wedges.

january 2018 | mychild


fruit ‘pizza’

Photo Credit: Andrew Young

Ingredients 0.20 Prep Servings 8

• 1/2 small round seedless watermelon (see note)

• 4 strawberries, hulled, chopped

• 1 kiwi fruit, peeled, halved, sliced

• 1/2 x 125g punnet blueberries

• 1 small banana, peeled, sliced

• 1 tablespoon gluten-free toasted coconut chips

• 1/2 cup low-fat gluten-free coconut yoghurt

• 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

• 2 tablespoons honey

Method Step 1: Cut a 2cm thick round from the cut end of the watermelon. Reserve remaining watermelon for another use. Cut watermelon round into 8 equal wedges. Step 2: Arrange wedges on a serving platter to resemble a pizza. Top with kiwi, banana, yoghurt, strawberries, blueberries, mint and coconut chips. Drizzle with honey. Serve immediately.


january 2018 | mychild

strawberry crumble

Photo Credit: Andrew Young

Ingredients 0.05 Prep 0.02 Cook Serves 4

• 500g strawberries, hulled, halved • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste • 2 teaspoons lime juice • 1/4 cup icing sugar mixture, sifted • 1/3 cup honey roasted nut

crunchy muesli clusters • 4 coconut macaroon biscuits, coarsely crumbled • 2/3 cup thick vanilla custard, to serve • 1 teaspoon icing sugar mixture, to serve

Method Step 1: Combine strawberries, vanilla, lime juice and icing sugar in a 4-cup-capacity microwave-safe dish. Step 2: Combine muesli and macaroons in a bowl. Sprinkle over strawberry mixture. Step 3: Microwave on HIGH (100% - see Notes) for 2 minutes or until mixture is heated through. Divide mixture among serving bowls. Serve with a dollop of custard and dust with extra icing sugar

All recipes sourced from

january 2018 | mychild


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january 2018 | mychild

My Child Magazine January 2018 Issue  

At My Child Magazine, we pride ourselves on providing a Free Parenting Lifestyle publication to help you on your parenting journey! It's use...

My Child Magazine January 2018 Issue  

At My Child Magazine, we pride ourselves on providing a Free Parenting Lifestyle publication to help you on your parenting journey! It's use...