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babys beyond TM


January - March 2016

How do we nurture our children? Raising confident, resilient children A guide to stem cell storage The dangers of sugar

Pros and cons of imaginary friends

ISSN 2311-5467

9 772311 546706

INSIDE: Giveaways


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CONTENTS FEATURES How do we nurture our children?............................................ 10 Raising confident, resilient children.......................................... 15 A parent’s guide to stem cell storage..................................... 18 Baby weight – the norms for breastfed babies...................... 22 Help your child regulate emotions........................................... 25


How to talk to little ones about sex.......................................... 28 The benefits of breastfeeding................................................... 31 Tips for raising money-savvy kids.............................................. 34 Prepare yourself for pregnancy............................................... 37 Coping with cancer.................................................................. 40 Let your budget do the driving................................................ 42 Can SA afford ‘cheap and easy’ adoptions?....................... 44

HEALTH Poisons, stings and bites............................................................ 47 Healthy eating for toddlers....................................................... 51 The dangers of sugar................................................................. 54




Keeping sporting children injury free....................................... 57 Constantly crying baby?........................................................... 61 Pelvic floor? What pelvic floor?................................................ 62 Dealing with nappy rash........................................................... 74

EDUCATION Developing trust between toddlers and siblings.................... 65 The pros and cons of an imaginary friend.............................. 68 There’s a monster under my bed!............................................ 71


Kicks for Kids: Fun puzzles and activities............................75 Grab Some Grub: Pecan muffins in a cup.........................78 Pink cupcake piggies...........................................................79 Out & About: All aboard!......................................................84 Advertorial: Sugar Bay Holiday Club..................................88 News: Mecvcano Tower Crane at Hamleys......................90 Fun on the menu at Holiday Inn..........................................90 Affordable breast milk storage bags..................................91 Bablyglow Smart Suit voted top choice.............................91 Book Review: This edition’s recommended reading........ 94

Baby’s and Beyond January - March 2016


babys beyond TM

Editor: Emma Dawson


Editorial Contributors Abigail Courtenay Anel Annandale Anne Cawood Carey Haupt Elmarie Jensen Fiona Morgan Gavin Sutton Helen Hansen Jessica Ferguson Lauren Reddell Megan Faure Melissa Jacobs Nolene Rust Robyn Scholtz Sarah Harvey Shirley Edwards Tracy Prowse Wouter Fourie

January - March 2016

How do we nurture our children? Raising confident, resilient children A guide to stem cell storage The dangers of sugar

ISSN 2311-5467

9 772311 546706

INSIDE: Giveaways

Content Manager: Melanie Taylor

Pros and cons of imaginary friends Classifieds

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Design and Layout: CDC Design Project Manager: Elroy van Heerden

Kicks for kids

Sales Manager: Sarina Afonso

Cover: Photographer: Jeanine Bresler Photography Models: Jamaludeen Peck Product: Huggies Nappy Pants

Advertising Sales: Ehrin Manuel Lorraine Beneke Allison Davids Duncan Peens

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404 Commerce House, 55 Short Market Street, Cape Town, 8001 PO. Box 15165, Vlaeberg, 8018 Tel: 021 424 3625 Fax: 086 544 5217 E-mail: Disclaimer: The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher or its agents. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information published, the publisher does not accept responsibility for any error or omission contained herein. Consequently, no person connected with the publication of this journal will be liable for any loss or damage sustained by any reader as a result of action following statements or opinions expressed herein. The publisher will give consideration to all material submitted, but does not take responsibility for damage or its safe return.

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ED’S NOTE Here’s to a happy, healthy and fun-filled 2016


s we go to press with this edition of Baby’s and Beyond, the holiday season is upon us. With just one week until Father Christmas comes down the chimney, the shops are filled with decadent delights, the malls are packed to capacity, and year-end functions abound. However, by the time you read this edition, life will have returned to normal – the holidays will be over, Christmas decorations will be packed away, school kit will be labelled, and we’ll hopefully all be refreshed and ready for a fabulous year ahead. But for now, my imagination is running away with me. My workload is heavy until the holidays begin but still, I keep finding myself dreaming of the campsite I’ve booked for our year-end get-away-from-it-all. I’m counting sleeps! Our camp is remote and we have to take everything with us, and bring everything (including our rubbish) home. I’m making lists in my mind of things to pack – which is pretty much everything, including the kitchen sink. Since my days as a Girl Guide I’ve been a camper. It’s my first-choice holiday or quick weekend getaway and, for me, there’s nothing better than sleeping under the stars, sitting around a campfire toasting marshmallows, playing board games, enjoying the great outdoors, and watching the sun rise and set. It’s an experience for children that, I believe, stays with them forever. And for us, this trip is extra special because it’ll be my nephew’s first camping experience. However, in this edition you’ll see I’ve just experienced cruising for the first time, courtesy of MSC Cruises and Mango Airlines. While I haven’t been converted from camping to cruising, it was pretty special, and a whole new world of travel revealed itself. Quite unlike camping, all you have to worry about is packing your passport and clothes! To read all about it, and discover why it’s a fantastic holiday that the whole family can enjoy, turn to page 84. With my imminent trip into the mountains I’ve taken particular note of Gavin Sutton’s article about poisons, stings and bites on page 47. But there are many more fabulous stories – too many to highlight here – so I urge you to begin with Megan Faure’s feature about how we nurture our children, on page 10, and then just keep reading! I wish you all a happy, healthy and fun-filled 2016!


How do we nurture our

children? Occupational therapist, author and founder of Baby Sense, Megan Faure, provides some valuable advice about nurturing our children’s developing foundations for success.




urturing a human for success has become big business in our modern world. Just taking a snap shot of the last 30 years shows us how commercial stimulation and child development has come about: • In the 1980s parents were encouraged to develop ‘superbabies’. It became a fad to expose babies to languages and advanced maths very early, and to schedule focused time for teaching advanced concepts. Programmes such as Practica came from the 80s where stimulation at all costs was the focus. • In the 1990s the baby industry commercialised the effect of music, and the Mozart Effect made popular the idea that playing music to a child would have positive cognitive outcomes. The Mozart Effect is a set of research results that indicate listening to Mozart’s music may induce a short-term improvement on the performance of certain kinds of mental tasks known as spatialtemporal reasoning. Lilienfeld et al (2010) debunked that myth. • At around the same time, a mom in the US developed a range of DVDs called BABY EINSTEIN. The DVDs contain a series of images, numbers and words in different languages that are recorded with specific music. As the name infers, and adverts claimed more overtly, BABY EINSTEIN videos could create bright children. However, research in 2010 showed exactly the opposite. Kids who watched the videos regularly for a month with their parents had no greater understanding of words from the programme, whereas children who played with, and learnt from, their parents improved the most over the same period. • In the last 30 years, big brands have focused on marketing fancy mass-produced toys that offer the promise of enhanced development and stimulation. The reason for the oversupply of stimulation solutions is directly linked to the demand from parents who are ripe for the picking – anxiety over their child’s development leads parents to explore commercial options to create brilliance. This includes technically-advanced toys, smartphone and tablet applications, DVDs, music, and scheduled stimulation classes. I am not saying these are all bad, in fact as a case in point, scheduled stimulation classes are awesome

Big brands focus on marketing fancy mass-produced toys that bring the promise of enhanced development and stimulation.


FEATURE – if for no other reason than because parents connect with a wonderful support base and these programmes create a discipline for one-on-one time with mom and baby. However, I think in an attempt to ‘supersize’ our baby’s development, parents have fallen prey to what I call ‘The MacDonald’s Effect’: 1. Bigger is better 2. Artificial is alright 3. Convenience is king The fact is, these three concepts are in direct contradiction to what a baby needs. 1. Stimulation and the number of toys a baby has is a good example of when bigger is not necessarily better. Too much stimulation and too many toys can lead to over stimulation and a toxic dependence on things to entertain a baby, whereas ‘less is more’ encourages creativity and avoids overstimulation. 2. Artificial and technology, in particular, are the least helpful solutions when it comes to play. Nature and simple household objects encourage creativity and play skills. Time with mom and dad or siblings creates far more benefits than time with tech or toys. 3. Parenting at your convenience is simply not possible and can lead to an over reliance on TV and technology to create ‘space’ for parents. Parenting happens all the time and involves energy-spend from parents – it’s not necessarily convenient but the rewards of spending the time will strongly outweigh the ‘inconvenience’ it brings. If we agree that developing the foundations for success (muscle tone, balance reactions, body awareness, motor planning, spatial awareness, body image, cause and effect, receptive and expressive language, understanding another’s emotions, and mind mindedness) is vital, and we also understand that The MacDonald’s Effect (quick fix and scheduled stimulation) won’t achieve this, it leaves the question – how do we best nurture a precious human life? Research reveals that it is in the simple activities of daily life, the everyday rituals – without toys, programmes and especially without technology – where the magic happens. This takes us back to parenting of the past – to spending slow time together and engaging the senses.

Research reveals that it is in the simple activities of daily life, the everyday rituals – without toys, programmes and especially without technology – where the magic happens. 12

Let’s have a look at these two concepts – time and sensory:

Time We live in a period where ‘time is money’, ‘time flies’, time can be ‘wasted’, you have to ‘find time’ and ‘there will be a next time’. With babies, I think the opposite is true: • With babies time must be wasted – wasted just doing simple things or even doing nothing. Not all time spent with babies is goal directed, in fact, the magic of sitting still with a child watching clouds or tickling his back is time well wasted! • Time with a baby must be slow and quiet. Breastfeeding takes time – long, slow time, and probably the most still many of us have been in our lives. • With a baby you shouldn’t have to find time – it’s there in those precious moments of basic baby care that we find the golden opportunities to touch, smell, move and create together. • Always remember, time with a baby won’t come back – there won’t be a next time. Instead of scheduling and ‘finding time’, it is right there in the everyday moments. This is where the opportunity for sensory stimulation and engagement happens. Let’s consider how to do this:

Senses The way the brain makes connections is in the presence of stimulation and engagement. One without the other does very little to enhance neural connections and learning. So the overwhelming principles are to engage and offer sensory experiences through all the sensory channels. The amazing thing about real life is that simple activities such as bath time, feeds, nappy change, play time and sleep time lend themselves to stimulating all these senses. Let’s look at how the daily bath ritual is the perfect vehicle for sensory engagement:

Bath time Touch: • There are few times in baby’s day when his entire naked skin is stimulated with touch. Using different textured sponges and facecloths to stroke the baby will teach him about his body parts in space. This has awesome repercussions for motor planning too. • Gently washing and soaping your baby triggers a feel-good association with touch. Positive touch leads to a positive emotional state and happiness. • Warm the bathroom and the towel so that the shift of body temperature is not extreme and bath time is calming and soothing. • After bathing, a soothing massage is one of the most precious activities in the day. Deep touch pressure moves along the dorsal column, releasing feel-good neurotransmitters that are soothing before bedtime. In addition, massage stimulates the primary somatosensory cortex, which gives the baby a sense of his body and is vital for motor planning, learning and body scheme.

FEATURE • The bath is the perfect place for tactile stimulation and exposure to different textures – as your baby gets older, offer sponges, loofahs, plastic spikey toys, bubbles and brushes to explore and stimulate the sense of touch. Smells: • Use a soothing scented bath product – this creates emotional memories of being settled and happy before bedtime. Proprioception: • Kicking freely in water, splashing, and banging toys in the water give great proprioceptive feedback to the body. This develops body awareness. • A massage after the bath provides the deep pressure that we know releases neurotransmitters that help with calming and sleep. • Once your baby is sitting in the bath, use beakers and cups for him to pour water from – this stimulates cause and effect and feedback from the muscles in the arms. Movement: • Swaying up and down in the water is great for stimulating the sense of movement. This enhances tone and coordination later. • Motor development is enhanced through the different positions in the bath – from six months, have your baby sit in a bath ring to enhance his sitting balance. By a year, he will try to pull to stand, and stand against the edge of the bath, enhancing standing and cruising skills. Sight: • Make eye contact with a newborn as he is held in the bath. The distance between a parent’s face and a newborn’s eye in the bath is perfect for vision and stimulating the eye muscles for focus and tracking. • Making eye contact enhances the understanding another person’s emotions by triggering mirror neurons.

• Watching brightly-coloured floating balls bobbing about in the water develops spatial awareness of objects, as well as cause and effect. Sounds: • In the early days, your baby may be overwhelmed by bath time. By using your voice in a lulling tone, parents will settle their babies and lay down positive memories of bath time, reinforcing the start of the bedtime routine. • Play lullaby music in the background – this is calming and triggers an awareness that the bedtime routine has started. • Say a ‘ruba-dub-dub’ nursery rhyme to develop receptive language and rhythms. • Singing a gentle lullaby as you dress your baby creates emotional engagement and understanding that the cause and effect of bath time comes before dressing, which is before bedtime. • Point to specific body parts in the bath to develop body schema and language. Just as we have seen with bath time, each of the daily rituals of baby care is an opportunity for enhancing sensory engagement. Feed time is wonderful for making eye contact and talking to your baby, as well as fabulous for oral tactile and taste stimulation. Do not hold back on strong flavoured and textured foods once your baby is weaned. Nappy changes are frequent, especially in the early days. To keep your baby happy on his back, talk, read and sing to him, and use the opportunity to stimulate his cognitive skills. Playtime needs no embellishment – it is through play that babies are best able to learn about their world. Make sure your baby is not overscheduled and has time for unstructured play and to explore the sensory qualities of the world. Always remember that parents are their baby’s best sensory toy – their touch, their voice and their body are the best we can offer.

Megan Faure OTR is an Occupational Therapist who has worked with babies in the US and South Africa. She co-authored Baby Sense, Sleep Sense and Feeding Sense and, in 2011, wrote The Baby Sense Secret. In 2004, Megan founded the Baby Sense product company, which she has subsequently sold. Megan runs her practice in Cape Town, treating babies and toddlers with sleep problems and sensory processing difficulties. She is married with three children, James (16), Alex (13) and Emily (9). For more information and for the latest baby advice and research, visit Megan’s website at, her Facebook page, MegFaureOfficial, or follow her on Twitter @ MegFaure.



Raising confident, resilient children By Anne Cawood, a social worker in private practice

While every parent hopes to give their child the precious gift of high self-esteem, the challenge for most is how to achieve this in today’s fast-paced modern society.


n her book, Your Child’s Self Esteem, author Dorothy Corkhill Briggs, states: ‘If your child has high selfesteem he has it made … it is how a person feels about himself … a quiet sense of self respect, a feeling of self-worth … it is the core of a child’s personality and determines the use he makes of his aptitudes and abilities.’ Every parent hopes that they will endow their children with the precious gift of high self-esteem. The core of positive self-esteem is to feel positive

about oneself, while accepting limitations and weaknesses. It is a sense of resilience and the ability to face appropriate challenges, as well as the vital skills needed to develop a healthy level of emotional intelligence. The challenge for most parents is how to achieve this in today’s competitive, stressful, fast-paced and technology-driven world. In South Africa we are also challenged by the constant need to balance our children’s safety with their need to develop independence and a sense of freedom.


FEATURE Developing healthy self-esteem Firstly, here is an outline of some of the very important issues and skills required to achieve the above outcome, in spite of the many obstacles and challenges along the way. Babies acquire their sense of self from the way in which their important adults relate to them from birth. It is as if these powerful people hold up a figurative mirror to the child in which they see themselves reflected. This needs to be predominantly positive. From birth babies pick up the vibes and innuendoes. They make observations and these all add up to the overall impressions they form about themselves. Of course, this cannot be all positive. But the very normal negatives need to be carefully communicated so as not to negatively label the child. These negative labels become self-fulfilling prophecies. If a child is told often enough that he is ‘bad’ or ‘naughty’, this will be the view he has of himself. From the beginning, get into the habit of verbalising feelings for your baby and growing child. Long before he can verbalise these for himself he needs to have his behaviour decoded and the obvious feelings that lie under the observable behaviour need to be verbalised. When you are changing your screaming baby’s nappy, you can say, calmly but firmly, ‘I can see you are very frustrated, but let’s do this quickly’. This will reap rewards later when your toddler is able to start identifying his own feelings. Being in touch with feelings is the cornerstone of emotional intelligence and of positive self-esteem. Focus on positives and encourage your baby/ toddler/child to develop age appropriate confidence. Leave a favourite toy just a bit further away than usual, and watch your baby endeavour to stretch further to reach it. Of course never too far out of reach as this will only lead to frustration and a sense of failure. As your child grows, try not to do things for him that he could attempt to do for himself. Ensure that you have realistic expectations of your

child. Try not to compare him to others – this is fatal for high self-esteem. Know your child’s temperament and aim to help him manage this better. If a child has low frustration tolerance, find ways in which to challenge him so that he is able to overcome his challenges. ‘I know you find it frustrating to put your toys away neatly but you need to do this before you can watch your TV programme.’ Then ensure that he does this, before being allowed to watch the programme. Learning to wait a bit, to complete tasks and to deal with the consequences of choices made, will all aid the process of becoming resilient and independent. During the pre- and primary school years, aim to ensure that you are able to listen to your child and show empathy for his feelings. But remember to hold back on taking over the child’s problems too hastily. Show concern, but then gently but firmly put the ball back in the child’s court. ‘I can hear that you were very upset when Jamie took the toy from you. Let’s talk about what you can do if that happens again.’ In this way, the very important skill of problem solving will be introduced into the child’s repertoire of skills development. This is where most parents need to work very hard at achieving the optimal balance – when to listen and help the child find solutions, and to cope alone, and when to intervene because you sense that your child is really not coping. The bottom line – always first try listening and affirming, and assess if the child will be able to cope. When you feel he cannot, then intervene, but always remembering that the aim is for him to be able to develop the necessary skills for building independence and resilience. Dependent, inadequate children become adults with low self-esteem who always feel that they cannot make decisions or cope alone. It is possible to raise children – even those who are introverted and unassertive – to become resilient and capable of problem solving. This is the hallmark of positive, healthy self-esteem – and the very best gift we can bestow on our children.

Anne Cawood is a social worker with a busy private practice at Knighton Surgery, 6 Kenilworth Road in Kenilworth, Cape Town. Anne previously worked at Child Welfare and the Parent Centre, and is a Baby Sense expert. Anne mainly deals with parent-child relationships, marital issues including separation, divorce and facilitating post separation problems, and runs workshops and talks/discussions on all matters relating to family communication and child development. In addition, she works as a part-time counsellor at Greenfields Girls School in Claremont, assisting with legal matters – both in the High and Children’s Courts. Anne is the author of five books in the Boundaries series (available in four languages) and, most importantly, has been married for 45 years and is the mother of four children and grandmother of four teenage grandchildren. For more information, contact Anne Cawood on 083 480 0822 or visit her website at

About Baby Sense At Baby Sense, everything we do is inspired by wonderful moms, and has been perfected over many years. It all starts with a strong foundation of expert knowledge and practical learning, and results in beautiful, practical and well-researched products that moms across the country have come to rely on. Products and services include a range of parenting books, baby products, apps, articles, seminars and workshops, plus loads of tips and advice that has all been developed by leading parenting experts. Baby Sense is about designing products and providing information to empower parents around the world to experience this most precious and fascinating journey confidently and beautifully. For more information, visit



Photo credit: Netcells Biosciences

A parent’s guide to stem cell storage Have you considered storing your baby’s cord blood and tissue? Emma Dawson chats to Dr Yvonne Holt, Next Biosciences’ medical director, to find out what stem cell banking is all about.


he collection and storage of cord blood and cord tissue taken from the umbilical cord of a baby at birth is becoming increasingly common. This is because the cells contained in the blood and tissue have a potential therapeutic value in the treatment of blood disorders, immune diseases, and the emerging field of regenerative medicine.

What is cord blood? ‘Cord blood, rich in haematopoietic stems cells, is the blood that remains in your baby’s umbilical cord and


placenta after the birth and once the umbilical cord has been cut,’ explains Dr Holt, Next Biosciences’ medical director. ‘Haematopoietic’ means ‘blood forming’ and these stem cells have the ability to develop into the different blood cells (red and white, and platelets), creating the blood and immune system. ‘In our bodies, bone marrow is the source of all blood cells. Haematopoietic stem cells are contained in the bone marrow, continuously making new blood cells to replace the old. If bone marrow is

FEATURE damaged by disease or drugs, it cannot make these essential blood cells, leading to fatal consequences. Therefore, haematopoietic stem cells must be replaced as part of the treatment, which is done via whole bone marrow transplant or a stem cell transplant.’ She adds that haematopoietic stem cells are a standard treatment for many diseases. For some they are the only therapy, and for others they are employed when front-line therapies fail or the disease is very aggressive.

10 to 15cm piece of the umbilical cord is cut from the cord, washed and placed in a vial. The cord blood and cord tissue are then labelled with the clients name and packaged in a collection kit. The kit is transported to the laboratory where the cord blood and cord tissue are processed. ‘Cord blood and cord tissue collection is quick, safe and painless for both mother and baby,’ assures Dr Holt.

What is cord tissue?

Haematopoietic stem cells are isolated from the cord blood and cryogenically frozen under controlled conditions. The umbilical cord tissue is also processed and cryogenically frozen.

Cord tissue fills the baby’s umbilical cord around the blood vessels and contains stem cells (mesenchymal stem cells or MSCs). MSCs give rise to many of the connective tissues in the body, including bone, cartilage, fat, tendons, muscles and nerve cells. While found in nearly all the body’s organs but are difficult to harvest from most sites. ‘These cells can be easily multiplied and stored for future use. Their applications are far reaching and are currently being researched, tested and used in experimental clinical applications,’ explains Dr Holt.

What are cord blood and tissue used for? Cord blood has been used in transplant medicine to treat blood diseases and cancers since 1988. Dr Holt comments that since then, over 38 000 transplants have been carried out. ‘Currently in South Africa, cord blood stem cells are used to regenerate bone marrow to treat blood disorders and immune system conditions such as leukaemia, anaemia and autoimmune diseases. While largely used in the treatment of children, they have also started being used for adults following chemotherapy treatment,’ she notes. ‘Cord blood is also being researched for use in regenerative medicine where stem cells may help induce healing or regenerate cells to repair damaged tissues. This research has led to clinical trials using cord blood in experimental therapies to treat cerebral palsy, brain injury and juvenile (type 1) diabetes.’ Dr Holt adds that cord tissue MSCs are also being investigated in the treatment of bone fractures, cartilage damage, heart and skeletal muscle diseases. As with the immune cells in cord blood, MSCs dampen unwanted or excessive immune responses and are therefore being investigated for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and the complications of incompatibility in transplantation.

How is cord blood collected? Dr Holt explains that collection of cord blood and tissue is normally performed by an obstetrician or midwife. Immediately after your baby’s birth, the umbilical cord is clamped and cut, separating your baby from you and the placenta. The obstetrician or midwife then cleans the umbilical cord and collects the cord blood in a sterile collection bag. Cord tissue is collected after the cord blood has been collected and the placenta has been delivered. A

How is cord blood and tissue processed?

Why should you store both cord blood and cord tissue stem cells? ‘Cord blood and cord tissue stem cells are used for different things and are not interchangeable,’ Dr Holt points out. ‘Cord blood stem cells are needed for bone marrow transplants and the new emerging therapies mentioned above. Cord tissue stem cells regenerate connective tissue.’

Who can use stem cells? Stem cells represent a perfect match for the baby from whom they’ve been collected and pose no risk of rejection if they are transplanted. ‘There is also a good possibility that the stem cells will be a suitable match for a sibling (1:4 chance),’ she maintains.

Cord blood and cord tissue stem cells are used for different things and they are not interchangeable. Types of donors Stem cells can be retrieved from three types of donors: • The patient themselves (autologous transplant) • A related donor (a family member) • An unrelated donor (allogeneic transplant)

Autologous transplantation Autologous transplantation means that the donor and the recipient is the same person. This type of transplantation refers to the situation where the child’s own stem cells are used for himself. ‘It needs to be noted that autologous transplantation cannot be used in the treatment of inherited disorders,’ Dr Holt warns. ‘The reason for this is that the genes that code for an inherited disorder


are carried in every cell – they will also be found in the stem cells. So we cannot return cells containing genes for a disorder back into the person after we have treated them for the disorder. In that case, an allogeneic donor will be used.’

Allogeneic transplantation This type of transplant occurs between two genetically non-identical individuals. These individuals may be related family members or completely unrelated. Allogeneic transplants (allograft) may be used in the treatment of inherited and non-inherited disorders. Before doing an allograft, the recipient needs to find a matching donor.

Why store at birth? So, if you can get haematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells from adults, why would you store them at birth? ‘The stem cells that are collected from a newborn baby are at the beginning stages of their life span. Stem cells start showing age related changes as they get older – they start to divide more slowly and their reparative function starts to decrease,’ Dr Holt explains. ‘These changes are precipitated by the shortening of the telomeres (strands) of the chromosomes with each division of the cells. Therefore, umbilical cord stem cells have a “youthful” phenotype that is able to be expanded easily and retain the properties of stem cells. It is postulated that better treatment results are achieved with stem cells collected at birth. Additionally, stem cells are much easier to collect at birth (painless and more cost effective).’

Stem cells represent a perfect match for the baby from whom they’ve been collected and pose no risk of rejection if they are transplanted.

What to look for in a bank Dr Holt warns that there are a number of factors to consider when choosing a stem cell bank. ‘Look for transparent pricing so that you are aware of all the costs involved. Additionally, find a laboratory that holds accreditation for processing cord blood stem cells as this gives you assurance that your baby’s cells will be processed and stored according to international standards, and that the laboratory will be inspected regularly by an accredited body to ensure the safe storage of your baby’s stem cells.’ For more information, visit or



Baby weight – the norms for breastfed babies Melissa Jacobs, a professional doula and founder of Organic Birth, explains baby growth charts, how they work, the difference between growth charts for formula-fed versus breastfed babies, what influences babies growth and what is considered to be normal growth for breastfed babies.


t some stage, many mothers who take their babies to the clinic or paediatrician for regular check-ups and vaccinations, worry that their babies aren’t gaining weight quickly enough, even though their babies are well within the parameters for weight gain for breastfed babies. The problem is that many doctors and clinic sisters are not familiar with the normal weight gain patterns of breastfed babies, and rely too heavily on growth charts that are based on the growth of formula-fed babies. Until doctors are familiar with them, we need to keep ourselves informed so that our confidence isn’t challenged when deciding to exclusively breastfeed our babies.

Development of growth charts and how they work Growth charts were originally developed in the United States in 1977 to assess the growth of American children. These charts were later adopted by the World Health Organization for international use. The growth charts entail percentile curves that show the distribution of selected body measurements in babies and children, and were originally developed for formula-fed infants. After 2000, mixedfed (breastmilk and formula-fed, as well as those who started solids before six months) infants were taken into consideration. After 2006, growth charts for exclusively breastfed babies were developed, though the older charts are most commonly used by paediatricians and clinic sisters in South Africa. Clinical charts are available for boys and for girls. The available clinical charts include the following:


1. L ength-for-age and weight-for-age 2. Head circumference-for-age and weight-for-length A growth chart isn’t a test. It shows us the statistical distribution of weight, height, etc, in a particular set of babies, children or adults. And in South Africa, across many groups of people with different body types, lifestyles and nutrition, results vary, which is not necessarily taken into account when the growth charts are set. So, if a baby is in the 50th percentile for weight on the charts, it means that half of the healthy babies of the same age are heavier and half are lighter. If a baby is in the 10th percentile for height, then 90% of babies of the same age are taller and 10% are shorter. Healthy babies, just like adults, can come in all shapes and sizes – a baby in the 3rd percentile can be thriving and as normal as a baby in the 97th percentile. What doctors are generally looking for on a growth chart is that babies stay relatively consistent in their growth pattern. However, growth charts are only one part of the puzzle and must be evaluated together with other factors, including: • What size are her parents? What were their growth patterns as babies? What about her siblings or other family members? Genetics plays a large part in a baby’s size, so don’t ignore it. • Is she gaining consistently, even if it’s not on a curve? • Is she meeting developmental milestones on or near target? • Is she alert, happy, active? • Is she showing other signs of adequate milk intake?

FEATURE Other than feeding, what influences a baby’s growth? Gestational age is an important factor when looking at growth charts. Obviously, premature babies are lighter and smaller than babies who are born at term (38 to 42 weeks). But babies that are heavier at birth sometimes don’t gain weight at the same rate as babies of a lighter or average weight. This is because the weight of a baby when she is born relates more to the conditions in the uterus than her inherited genetics. According to a large Portuguese study, excessive neonatal weight loss during the first 96 hours of life was associated with higher maternal age and education, caesarean section and phototherapy treated jaundice. Though this study did not investigate how the timing of cord clamping affects birth weight or neonatal weight loss, it supports the case for exclusive breastfeeding. It showed that feeding methods directly impact neonatal weight loss, and colostrum and breastfeeding were identified as the most appropriate nourishment immediately after birth. Other factors influencing growth in the first several months are whether the baby is a boy or a girl (boys tend to grow more quickly than girls), genetics, their socio-economic environment, their overall health, whether parents smoke, nutrition and individual growth factors.

Normal growth for breastfed infants Healthy, full-term, breastfed infants normally grow more rapidly than their formula-fed peers in the first two to three months of life, and less rapidly from three to 12 months. Because many doctors are still using the old growth charts, they see the baby dropping in percentiles on the growth chart and often come to the incorrect conclusion that the baby is not growing adequately. At this point they often advise that the mother needlessly supplement with formula or solids, and sometimes recommend that they stop breastfeeding completely. Even if the mom realises that her baby is perfectly healthy and doesn’t follow these recommendations, she ends up worrying for no reason. In February 2012 the American Academy of Pediatrics, in its policy statement Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk, stated that ‘Infant growth should be monitored with the World Health Organization (WHO) Growth Curve Standards to avoid mislabelling infants as underweight or failing to thrive.

How else can I tell my baby is growing? • G  rowing into and out of her clothes as the weeks go by. • Being alert, active, and mostly happy when she is awake. • Waking for feeds regularly, showing hunger signs and being satisfied after a feed for periods of time (this may be short or longer periods depending on how often she likes to feed – some eat in small snacks and some prefer to feed for longer periods after several hours).

• S ettling for naps and at night (again, this may be for short or longer periods depending on your baby). • Weeing and pooing regularly. They should have at least six wet nappies over a 24 hour period. Poos in young babies should be frequent, and mostly move to less frequent as they grow older but should be at least several times a day to once every few days. • Reaching their developmental milestones. These also vary according to individual babies with a wide variation than normal. • Average weight gain for the first three months is 180g per week, three months to six months is 120g per week, and six months to 12 months 80g per week. Remember, this might be more or less per week but will usually measure out overall. Weighing your baby on the same scale, with the same clothing on each time – naked is best – is the only way to get an accurate reading. Other aspects listed here are just as, if not more, important as the weight gain itself.

How do I ensure my baby grows well? • E  nsuring a good start to a breastfeeding relationship – establishing breastfeeding within the first hour after birth. • Ensure your baby has a good latch, ask for help if you need it. • Your baby should feed on demand, this means to have unlimited access to the breast for at least the first year of life (remember solid food is fun for the first year). • For the first six months, give your baby no food or drinks other than breastmilk unless medically indicated. • Practice co-sleeping, this can also mean your baby sleeps in the same room as you, but in her own sleeping space, not always in your bed. • Give no artificial teats or dummies to breastfeeding infants. • Breastfeeding isn’t just about milk – it’s about the relationship between mother and child. Lots of touch, talking and eye contact are wonderful for the overall development and health of your baby. If you are bottle feeding, always hold your baby close when you feed her. Never prop the bottle up and let her eat alone. • Find a breastfeeding support group. La Leche League meets once a month in most areas, or find a friend who has breastfed her children. And mostly, trust your instincts. If you feel your baby is thriving, ‘bonny’ and happy, then continue what you’re doing. But if something is making you feel like you should get a second opinion, do that too. To contact Melissa, a professional doula (advanced skills, placenta specialist, and holistic women’s health emissary), visit Organic Birth’s website at or e-mail Sources:,, www., Fonseca, MJ et al., 2014, ‘Determination of weight changes during the first 96 hours of life in full-term newborns’, Birth, vol. 41, issue 2, pp 160-168



Help your child

regulate emotions Emotional regulation is the ability to manage the way in which we respond to our feelings. It is a complex task that begins in infancy and continues into our adult lives. Educational psychologist, Anel Annandale, explains how to help your child develop this important skill.


ltimately a child’s ability to regulate her emotions contributes to the development of emotional intelligence (also known as EQ). This helps children to deal with life’s ups and downs, resolve conflict with their peers, and experience lower levels of physiological stress. It also enables them to empathise with those around them.

How does emotional regulation take place? Unlike physical development, emotional development is not a natural process and children need to be taught how to regulate their emotions. It requires that they learn what emotions are and why and how their emotions develop. It is also important that they understand the feelings of others and learn

how emotions can be expressed in constructive rather than harmful ways. As a parent, you play a very important role in teaching your little one how to regulate her emotions. You might do this unintentionally, but each time you respond to your child’s emotions – by talking to her about how she feels or telling her about your own feelings – you contribute to her emotional development in a significant way.

How does your child’s age affect emotions? Infants are particularly emotional beings. They cry when they are uncomfortable, smile when they are happy, and laugh out loud at things that amuse and surprise them. Initially babies closely follow the


FEATURE emotions of their caregivers and reflect these, but as they get older they develop a sense of self and their emotions develop independently from those of others. During the toddler years, the frontal lobes and limbic circuit in your child’s brain matures rapidly and this is often the reason she acts defiantly or has the temper tantrums you are all too familiar with. As her language skills improve, she gets better at communicating her thoughts, needs and desires. As she learns to identify her emotions, you can help her put a name to the emotion she is expressing. You can say: ‘I can see you are feeling very angry at your friend for taking your toy away from you.’ Remember, it is important that you teach your child to accept all her emotions. Try not to label positive emotions as good, and negative ones as bad. Tell her that it is perfectly okay for her to feel whichever emotion she is feeling. However, she has to understand that only certain responses to these feelings are acceptable. With a parent’s help, a child can learn to control impulses and find appropriate ways of expressing their feelings. Age appropriate emotional regulation activities for children:

Birth to one year old Take some time to try and understand your baby’s social and emotional profile. Is she a bit of a social butterfly who loves being in groups, thrives during play dates and is attracted to loud, vibrant personalities? Does she prefer quieter settings or need a bit of time to herself after a busy morning? By closely observing her in various social settings, you’ll better understand her preferences and will be able to anticipate and even avoid the triggers that could cause her emotional distress.

One to two years old Cut pictures of happy or sad facial expressions from old magazines or photographs. Gather these into one mixed pile and grab two containers. Sit with your little one and explain that you will be sorting the faces into two groups – happy and sad. Now sort through these with your tiny tot and talk to her about each one. Chat about what could possibly have happened to make that person feel that particular way and how she would feel if the same thing happened to her. Your little one is still too young to sort the faces on her own, so repeat it with her a few times and encourage her to copy the expressions.

Two to three years old Now is a good time to talk to your little one about facial expressions and body language. She is most likely already aware of this, but discuss the fact that people often show what they are feeling on their faces or with their bodies instead of using words. Now chat to her about times she felt happy, excited, angry or scared and ask her to demonstrate her feelings. She can use facial expressions, gestures, posture or movements. You can also ask her to use only her hands to gesture the following: come closer, go away, stop what you are doing, don’t be scared, or I’m proud of you.


As a parent, you play a very important role in teaching your little one how to regulate her emotions. Three to four years old Teach your child about her emotions with this creative game. Write different emotions, such as happy, sad, angry, surprised or excited, on strips of paper and put them in a container. Now write the names of different animals on the same number of paper strips and put those in a second container. Let your child select one piece of paper from each container and read it to her. Take turns to act out the characters. You’ll soon be in stitches as she does her impression of an ‘angry octopus’ or an ‘excited giraffe’.

Four to five years old Teach your child the turtle technique. Ask her to imagine that she has a shell and can retreat into it like a turtle when she feels agitated or frustrated. Once she is ‘inside her shell’, she can take deep, slow breaths to calm herself. Tell her to imagine that she is pushing each breath of air into her arms and legs and that it is relaxing her tense muscles. Once she feels calm again, she can ‘come out of her shell’ and try to tell you, or the person she was interacting with, what made her feel so upset and discuss ways to resolve the situation. This technique is also a great solution for parents – go ahead and try it!

Five to six years old Help your pre-schooler to create a coping skills toolbox. Decorate a box (a shoebox is ideal) with her favourite coloured paper, pictures or even glitter and bows. Fill it with items that your child finds soothing. It can contain a soft toy, her favourite calming CD or photos of happy memories. You can also pack some tools to help her express her emotions, such as pencils and a notepad, stickers with various facial expressions or a newspaper to rip apart when she is feeling very angry. Remember to put the box somewhere your child can easily find it when she is upset.

Anel Annandale has been practicing as an educational psychologist in Cape Town for six years and is the Mysmartkid expert for the developmental areas of identity and belonging, and ‘my world’. Her passion for Early Childhood Development (ECD) was ignited working as a nursery school teacher, and her favourite ECD group is children aged three to four. Mysmartkid is South Africa’s foremost play-based educational programme for children from pre-birth to six years. By focusing on your child’s development through the use of age-appropriate toys and activities, Mysmartkid promotes school readiness. For more information, visit


How to talk

to little ones about By Nolene Rust


Preparing children for adulthood also involves equipping them with a sound and healthy understanding of sex and their sexuality. However, this is often a topic that we either approach with a purple face or don’t approach at all, leaving our children’s understanding and sexual development to chance – or, worse still, their peer groups or television. 28



he same way our children receive ample opportunity to practice for their drivers’ licenses, sexual development needs to be guided. It is a process that should unfold over time – with ample opportunity to learn. So, by setting the stage at a very early age, we simplify our task later on. To have an idea about how and what to explain to our very young children about sexuality, we need to understand what this age group is capable of understanding. A three to five year old can: • Understand the basic differences between boys and girls. • Explore and make enquiries quite naturally, without adding any sexual connotations to their exploration or question. • Experience stimulation of their genitals. • Talk and be very natural with their bodies.

• U  nderstand basic body functions (including genitals). • Understand the basics of where babies come from.

A safe and healthy foundation So, what can parents do to help lay down a safe and healthy foundation? A healthy starting point is fostering a healthy perception of your child’s gender and that she was created from a place of love and with a specific purpose. Your child should have ample positive exposure to, and experiences of, her own gender. Your child should receive positive messages from conception that builds value and enhances self-esteem – a prequel to a further healthy sexual development. Adding to this, sequential learning about body parts and what they are used for is the next step. This is also the time to discuss ‘private’, what it means, and why certain parts of her body are ‘private’. Here it is important to keep all body parts equal. Certain professionals advocate for the use of proper names for genitals, and argue that this could empower children and serve as a buffer against abuse. In terms of information about where babies come from, giving clear and basic truthful answers seems to be the most beneficial approach. Also, gage your child by first asking what she thinks before you venture into an explanation. This will give you an idea of your child’s current understanding and what she really wants to know. It can be as simple as babies come from an egg that a woman has and a sperm that a man has. As they get a little older, you might want to elaborate more, as to how the sperm and egg come together. In conclusion, providing positive age-appropriate information about sexual development seems to have an empowering and buffer effect. Not only does this guidance instill a sense of belonging, but it also promotes self-esteem and carves the way forward for more detailed sex education. If you as a parent find it difficult to engage in positive sex education with your child, you yourself might be in need of support, empowerment or healing in this area. If your attitude is healthy, your child’s will be too.

Nolene Rust is a qualified forensic social worker and a registered counsellor specialising in play therapy. For nine years, she has worked with families and children in welfare organisations, hospitals, in schools, and in the private sector. Her work includes advocating for children’s rights and working with abused and neglected children in a child protection and counselling capacity. Nolene is a regular speaker on radio, presents seminars, is involved with Jelly Beanz (NGO), and is vice president of OPSSA. To contact Nolene, call 012 7526503 or email



The benefits of

breastfeeding By Jessica Ferguson and Abigail Courtenay, Family Kitchen

Breastfeeding has a fundamentally positive impact on the short- and long-term health of mothers and children. On a population level, few other health behaviours are so far reaching with regard to the potential for improved survival, health and overall wellbeing.


ot only does breastmilk provide all energy and nutrient needs before six months of age, in the longer term it provides more than half the energy needs between six and 12 months, and one third of energy needs between 12 and 24 months. It also provides species-specific nutrients that contain a dynamic proportion of protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals that evolve to meet the needs of a developing infant and optimise growth. Not only is breastmilk clean and hygienic but it is readily available at the right temperature and is far more affordable than any alternatives. Breastmilk protects your baby against infectious diseases and the greater the duration and exclusivity of breastfeeding the greater this protective effect. It has even been found that immunity through vaccination may be enhanced in breastfed infants as breastfeeding primes the infant’s immune system for a better response. Sustained exclusive breastfeeding with appropriate complementary foods at six months may postpone or even prevent the development of food allergies and is also associated with lower asthma rates during childhood. Breastfeeding is associated with a modest increase in IQ and prolonged breastfeeding (more than six months) provides protection against some forms of childhood leukaemia. Children exposed to longer durations of breastfeeding have a smaller risk of becoming overweight or obese and thus may also be protected against type 2 diabetes. In addition to direct health benefits for the infant, breastfeeding also confers health benefits to the mother. Breastfeeding is associated with reduced postpartum bleeding, reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer, possible reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes, and reduced birth spacing when other forms of contraception are not available.

Breastfeeding and work So, we know that breastfeeding is best but what do you do when you have to return to work? Can you still continue to breastfeed your baby? The short answer is yes. The most important advice regarding breastfeeding and work is to carry on breastfeeding your baby whenever you are together. This is emotionally and physically beneficial to both mom and baby, and will cover at least half of the day’s feeds. Now let’s look at providing feeds when you are separated from your baby. A few weeks before you return to work, start expressing and storing your breastmilk so that you have built up a supply by the time you go back to work. You can either do this by hand or with a good quality electric breast pump. Once you are back at work, set aside at least two expressing breaks per day.

Tips for pumping: • If you are using an electric pump, use the highest suction level that is comfortable for you. • Begin with a high speed, which will trigger a milk let-down. • Once your milk starts to flow, turn the speed down to allow long sprays of milk to come out of your breasts. • Repeat cycles of high and low speed until you no longer get milk flow and your breasts feel well drained. • If you are using a double electric pump, you can pump both breasts at once and this should take about 10 to 15 minutes. • If you are using a single electric pump, follow the same guidelines, but switch breasts when the milk flow lessens (after about five to seven minutes), expressing from both breasts several times during each session. This should take about 20 to 30 minutes.



Tips to help with a milk let-down An important part in breastfeeding and pumping is the let-down reflex. This causes the milk to be released from the milk glands. When expressing, you can help stimulate the let-down reflex by: • Relaxing and taking deep breaths • Placing a warm (not too hot) face cloth over the breasts • Massaging your breast

• F ocus all your senses on your baby • As milk is removed from your breasts, more milk will be made. Your milk supply will depend on how often you express and how well the breasts are drained.

How to store breastmilk Store the milk in BPA-free plastic containers that are leak proof. Use the oldest milk first. Mature breast milk can be stored for the following lengths of time:


Length of time

Room temperature

Less than 22°C: 10 hours More than 22°C: 4 hours Average: 6 hours

In a refrigerator (4°C)

6 days

In a freezer compartment in a refrigerator

2 weeks

In a self-contained freezer unit of a fridge

3 to 4 months

In a deep freeze

6 months

Colostrum can keep for 12 hours at room temperature


Abigail Courtenay

Jessica Ferguson

Photo credit: Family Kitchen

Family Kitchen is a company of dieticians who each have a special interest in different aspects of family health and nutrition. We provide oneon-one services for individuals and wellness and training services for corporate clients. We also run workshops on nutrition-related topics such as breastfeeding, complementary feeding, fussy eating or disease of lifestyle. For more information, email or visit,


Tips for raising

money-savvy kids By Wouter Fourie, CFP® professional and 2015 FPI Financial Planner of the Year

From biting your nails, to your choice in music, many habits are formed during childhood by learning from or merely watching our parents. Many of these habits only become apparent later in life, and for the most part are quirks of personality or harmless habits. Unfortunately, we often also inherit our parents’ bad financial habits, usually accepting them without question.


money management more tangible and will lay the foundation for all other good financial habits.

1. Budget – Give every rand a job Creating a monthly written budget is one of the most powerful, yet one of the most underused tools in managing your income and creating wealth. Helping your children plan their income and expenses for the month will make the process of

2. Make it real Research shows that we can spend twice as much money when swiping our credit card than when we pay cash. The psychology behind this is very simple – we do not experience the sense of loss when we pay with a plastic card as we do when we see the money disappearing from our wallets.

o break bad financial habits and set your children on the path to financial independence, parents can consider these 10 tips for raising money-savvy kids:


FEATURE 6. Nice and easy does it Being forced to eat your Brussels sprouts did not suddenly make them more palatable for you, and I am sure many adults avoid these and other foods that they were forced to eat as children. If you take these money lessons too seriously and you do not allow for a light-hearted correction of your children’s money-mistakes, you risk that they will develop a similar aversion to money management later in life. 7. Do not avoid the subject There is a self-perpetuating myth in many households that to discuss money is somehow unnecessary or even sinful. Unfortunately, this silence on the subject of responsible money management simply creates a void that the credit card companies or loan sharks can fill with their advertised version of impulse spending and irresponsible lending.

While teaching your children about money, savings and budgeting, make the experience real by using cash exclusively and help them understand that there is a limit to the money available. 3. We are all in this together Actions speak much louder than words and that is just as true for the way in which you, as a parent, spend your money. Create a combined household budget and share the in- and outflows with your children. Invite your children to help manage the budget and report back on the past month’s performance. This will help establish good financial stewardship in your children. 4. Chores or chances? Consider dropping the pre-determined chores and monthly allowance in favour of a system that lists the available chores with an estimated value next to each. Your children can bid for these chores and earn money based on the number of chores they have successfully completed. In creating a ‘bidding’ system, children make the connection between work and income. This connection is as important as the concepts of cash flow and budgeting, and I often consult with adults who have not yet grasped these basic concepts. 5. Teach them the magic of compound interest South Africa is known for its low savings rate and apparent culture of instant gratification. Most people rack up high credit card debt because they are not willing to save the money first and purchase an item in cash later. To make sure that this principle is firmly established, show your children how much money they could make if they invest their funds and let the money work for them.

8. Understand the reason This is an important step if you are blessed with strongwilled children. In much the same way that we do not force behaviour, we should not simply dictate instructions and expect children to develop good money manners. When giving an instruction or discussing the family budget, explain your decisions and list the options. Give your children the opportunity to participate and question these ideas and decisions. Often these early childhood lessons remain firmly embedded in their young minds the longest. 9. Give and get Teaching your children about the positive effect that money can have is a very powerful lesson and will help them on the path to becoming generous and kind. To help your children manage a budget, allocate a portion to donations – whether to a beggar on the street, a church or a charity. This practice will teach your child to view money in a positive light and not to become too attached to it. 10. Sleep on it That little piece of advice from Grandma has saved a lot of money for people who have heeded it. In our modern society, children are inundated with direct advertising and peer pressure, and they often succumb to the latest fad, whether it’s the latest video game or elastic weaving bands. Teach your children to sleep on a purchasing decision, to review the budget to see if a purchase is possible or to compare the purchase to alternatives. This will help them control impulsive purchases and to continue on a solid path towards life as a responsible, wealthy individual. As a family, consider seeking the advice of a competent financial planner such as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional, who could guide you and your children’s financial journey to ensure a more savvy approach to money. To find a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional near you or verify their designation, visit or call 086 1000 FPI (374) / 011 470 6000.



Prepare yourself By Helen Hansen

Avoid delivery complications and give your baby a start to life that is filled with love and security.


regnancy is a time of rapid transformation. Not only is your body changing but your thoughts are too. Feelings move through you in waves and relationships may form new patterns. Do you have doubts, concerns or worries? Fear is known to raise its head during pregnancy. Fear of miscarriage, fear of giving birth naturally, fear of recovering from a C-section, fear of pain. These and other strong feelings are natural and need not be overwhelming, if that is what you choose. Yes, you read correctly, the choice is yours. Now you may be saying, ‘these strong emotions have a life of their own, I don’t choose them, they just pop up. What choice do I have in that?’

The roots of emotions Every emotion, reaction and behaviour has an origin. Consider the saying, ‘get to the root of the problem’. When an alien invading plant is sapping your garden of water and is cut down on the stem but not pulled out by the root, will it solve the problem? Likewise, to effectively clear your emotional pathways you need to penetrate and clear the source of the complications. But where is this source?

In the beginning... During conception, the current information embedded in the cells of the parents are passed on to the child-to-be. Let’s say mom or dad perceive their environment to be stressful. Because they feel tense or insecure, their adrenal systems go into fight or flight mode, creating an imprint on their gene cells that says, ‘I need to protect myself’, ‘I’m scared’, ‘let me build up barriers for protection’. This information is then transferred to the embryo after fertilisation, which comprises the child’s EQ and IQ. While we may try so hard not to act like our parents we actually can’t help it, we have been programmed this way since birth.

Babies come into the world wide open to receive love. When they do not receive it or it is compromised, intentionally or not, their nervous systems are imprinted with what becomes the foundation of all experiences to follow. If the first impressions of being in the body are anything less than loving (painful, frightening, anxious), then that ‘anything’ is what becomes the foundation of the individual. It is immediately coded into the nervous system as a ‘comfort zone’, regardless of how painful and undesirable it may be. In adulthood one unconsciously recreates the conditions that were imprinted at birth and through early childhood.

Birth trauma Pregnancy is a mighty catalyst for rekindling birth trauma that has not been effectively cleared. This is true for both mom and dad. Birth trauma does not only refer to mechanical interventions at birth, abuse or near death experiences. A trauma is what the individual perceived at the time as stressful. For example, parents arguing, malnutrition, an absent father. When a woman is carrying a child, all the distant (and not so distant) memories of psychological traumas raise their heads in an effort to spring clean the house of the body. This is one of the major reasons why women can be highly sensitive during this period.

My story My mother was in labour for thirty six hours before she birthed me. She was under tremendous stress having separated from my dad and feeling the angst of single parenting three children. For a third of the delivery time I was stuck in the birth canal with no food supply so I resorted to sucking the knuckle on my thumb. Eventually my mom was too weak to continue and the doctor intervened with a suction. I came out with a blister on my thumb and was ravenous. Shortly after my birth my parents reunited.


FEATURE Fast forward twenty years and you would have seen me travelling with food wherever I went. I hated feeling hungry. Along with this grazing habit came stomach cramps and IBS. Fast forward another twenty years and I have been diagnosed by an Ayuverdic doctor who says, ‘you have too much wind’, and tells me to cut out all snacks. Why do I find it emotionally difficult to let myself feel hunger? Can it really be related to my birth experience? Ten years ago when I was pregnant with my son I separated from his dad but, a few months after his birth, we reunited just like my parents did when I was born. This is obviously history repeating itself.

The home of memories As human beings we do not recall our birth story in the cortex (thinking) brain, so where does the memory exist? During gestation, birth and infancy, when the cortex is dormant, the input a baby receives is stored in the limbic system – a complex set of nerves and networking functions in the mid-brain. It has been termed as the ‘feeling and reacting brain’, and is situated between the ‘thinking brain’ and the output mechanisms of the nervous system. Essentially this is where our emotions rise from and where memories are stored. Considering a baby is completely dependent, and the cortex part of the brain is in a sleep-like state until around three years old, the limbic system is therefore the primary receiving unit where all that is incoming leaves a potent mark on the individual. This penetrates so deeply that it forms the basis of perception, behaviour and character traits throughout life. You may not be aware why you react in certain ways in adulthood, but biologists, such as Dr Bruce Lipton, have proven that patterns in these areas stem from our early experiences. Just as your cells carry certain memories of past illnesses, so they consist of emotional residue.

Prenatal proof The research of prenatal psychologists such as Dr Thomas Verny, Dr David Chamberlain and Dr William Emerson shows that an overwhelming number of physical conditions and behavioural disorders in children are the direct result of traumatic gestation time and complications during delivery,

including unnecessary mechanical interventions and an overdose of anaesthesia. When EQ and IQ imbalances are not dealt with effectively during childhood they carry through into adulthood and are intensified during pregnancy and labour. Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova, the founder of the Birth into Being methodology, a western midwife and creator of the movie, BIRTH AS WE KNOW IT, says: ‘Most cases of complications at birth are because of unresolved psychological issues. If an emotional cleanse does not take place before the child is born, the same suffering will be passed onto the child.’

Your birth story What do you know about your birth? Have you asked your mom detailed questions, such as what her health was like while she was carrying you, during the birth and your infancy? Was she happy, did she feel secure and what was the state of the relationship between her and your dad? Knowing the facts about your birth may assist you to gain an understanding of yourself but it can’t change your emotional reactions and deep-rooted patterns. So what can help?

A simple solution Is it possible to clear deeply entrenched experiences that have subsequently created psychological and/ or physical blocks? The body and mind are designed to heal and transform themselves. This good news means you do not need to remain stuck. You can empower yourself to have the birth of your choice, deliver successfully and even gracefully. Through a process known as Limbic Imprint Reshaping (LIR), the signature process of the Birth into Being methodology, the limbic memory can be reset with love, peace, security, or whatever you choose as its foundation. This safe and effective method brilliantly interweaves epigenetics and neuroplasticity with the richness of storytelling, visualisation, breath work, role play, gentle touch and dancing. When you heal your birth trauma you release yourself and your children from baggage that does not benefit either of you. Through LIR you can create relationships that are uplifting, harmonious and balanced. LIR can be experienced at a workshop or in the comfort of your own home. The choice is yours.

Helen Hansen is a transformational facilitator with experience in developmental psychology and mind-body techniques. Since 1997, she has worked with thousands of people of all ages (three to 60+) using specific mind-body techniques to inspire evolution in both the individual and the community. Helen incorporates methods from her practice in developmental psychology, right brain optimisation, the creative and performing arts and Birth into Being. Helen is fascinated with human behaviour, the human body and self-mastery. She lives in Johannesburg with her husband, son and three furry friends, and regularly commutes to the Cape for consultations and workshops. To purchase the LIR, or to receive details of upcoming workshops, visit



Photo credit: 1Life

Coping with

cancer Article supplied by 1Life

Amid the joys of parenthood there are many amazing experiences, and then there are situations that unfortunately nothing can fully prepare you for, such as the unexpected news that your child has cancer – a sad reality for many South African parents.


urrent statistics, available from the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), show that each year between 800 and 1 000 children under the age of 15 are diagnosed with cancer. Although the effects of a cancer diagnosis can leave you and your family feeling overwhelmed and often in denial, there are many stories of hope that parents can draw strength from. And, even more inspiring is to hear from children who have been diagnosed with cancer and how they coped with the news – from writing poetry to playing the guitar. Here are the stories of four brave children and how they dealt with their illness:


Zizipho Malinge from Queenstown, Eastern Cape Zizipho was told she had kidney cancer when she was only five. Now 22, she’s been in remission for 17 years. She recalls: ‘I was hurt and confused because I was so small and I didn’t know what was happening. I was scared that I was going to die, but my mom said I’d live. My brother and three sisters made me feel special – like a rock star – every time they came to visit me in hospital, and those visits helped me forget I was sick and made me feel loved.’ Her message? ‘There’s more to life than being sad. Talking about it lets you be joyful again and helps others understand what you’re going through.’

FEATURE Arno Bouwer from Krugersdorp, Gauteng Arno Bouwer was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour deep in his brain when he was 16. He sat next to his mother, Anita, while the doctor explained what the scans had revealed. He later said: ‘At first I thought it sounded quite rough, but I suppose there are doctors and hospitals for a reason. I actually don’t think we realised how serious it was – that this was brain cancer.’ Arno’s tumour was rare and doctors found just 11 similar case studies worldwide. Arno needed a major operation, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and there were no guarantees. He took it on with his trademark good humour, and his guitar. The guitar became a barometer of how he was doing. Anita says: ‘On the days that we heard him playing his guitar we knew he was feeling okay.’ Today he’s healthy, finishing matric and has his mind set on university. He laughs about coming out of it with better hair, curls having replaced his straighter

hair after chemo. His ‘makeover’ was even his selling point when running for student council at school! Sibongile Mkhwanazi from Bloemfontein, Free State When Sibongile was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2011, she took it very hard. She was only 14 at the time and was so despondent that she tried to commit suicide twice, lost a kidney as a result of her attempted overdoses, and spent six months in hospital. She says: ‘The doctors told me it was not going to be easy and I lost hope – I wanted to die before it got worse. But supportive people convinced me I wasn’t dying just yet and I started living more positively and writing poetry. One of my doctors noticed my talent and got my work published. My book is called The Journey of a Cancer Survivor and it’s given me a lot of confidence.’ Now under the guardianship of the charitable Chief Leeuw Foundation that focuses on community projects and health, Sibongile is doing well and has become an ambassador for the Sunflower Fund, which recruits bone marrow stem cell donors. Kamogelo Matlhoromela from Soweto, Gauteng Kamogelo (17) and his father, Tshepo, are big soccer fans – Pirates men – and it was shortly after South Africa hosted the World Cup in 2010 when they first noticed the headaches. Tshepo says: ‘Kamogelo had started smoking and I thought maybe it was that, or he’d bumped his head playing soccer. But he kept feeling unwell so we took him to hospital. Scans revealed a cancerous brain tumour.’ Kamogelo adds: ‘It was difficult to handle and hard knowing that you just have to accept it. I loved playing soccer – I’m a goalie – but now I can’t play. The tumour started affecting my movement so I had to have an operation.’ Doctors weren’t able to remove the tumour completely but Kamogelo has had radiotherapy and chemotherapy, so the family are hopeful of a strong recovery.

Detecting cancer

Infographic: 1Life

With technology developing at the pace it is, and treatment options and medicine improving rapidly, detecting cancer in your children is no longer as complex as it was years ago, giving you and your child a better chance to fight it. As a parent, one of the most important decisions you can make for your family, as early on as possible, is to put financial measures in place for unforeseen experiences such as these. These measures allow you to focus on your child without the additional financial strain of having to cover expensive treatments or the cost of fuel for driving to and from doctors, or other unforeseen expenses. And, if you and your family are dealing with the effects of any traumatic disease, remember these three key things: Take things one day at a time, there’s always help available, and draw strength from families who have dealt with similar experiences. For more information, visit warning-signs-childhood-cancers.



WesBank explains that the ideal of buying a new car shouldn’t begin in the showroom, but rather on a budget spreadsheet.


any consumers might dream about walking into a dealership, falling in love with the latest model on the showroom floor, and driving home in a new car. But buying on an impulse should be avoided. While the scenario above is not quite realistic, its consequences play out all the time – consumers buy first and are later surprised by the additional expenses associated with car ownership. ‘Consumers are easily blinded by the temptation of a new car parked in the driveway and don’t carefully consider the bigger picture,’ says Rudolf Mahoney, head of research at WesBank. ‘The ideal car-buying journey shouldn’t start in a showroom, but rather on a budget spreadsheet. Affordability and aiming for a debt-free lifestyle are more important than impressing the neighbours.’ Affordability calculators, such as those on the WesBank website, allow consumers to accurately calculate their monthly expenses to arrive at a disposable income figure – the money they can spend on anything they please. There may be a temptation to use the entire disposable income amount as an indicator for a vehicle repayment, often forgetting about the fuel and insurance costs that are also part of the car owning journey. Although banks have measures to prevent reckless lending, these cannot account for changes in an individual’s lifestyle or budget. If the local economy is struggling or the rand is affected by the strength of international currencies, living costs will increase


and eat into consumers’ positive cash flow. Once buyers determined how much they can realistically spend each month, they can look at how they would like to structure their vehicle finance contract. They can choose to repay a loan over a shorter amount of time, to pay less interest and get out of debt sooner, or to extend the contract to 60 or 72 months to afford a more expensive car. However, it would be unwise to dedicate all disposable income for such a long period of time. Monthly instalments, insurance costs, and fuel are not guaranteed to remain the same for the duration of the finance contract. Fuel prices can also fluctuate wildly and insurance premiums are not always guaranteed to go down in line with a vehicle’s value. Consumers planning to buy a car should also consider future expenses, such as new tyres, and plan for emergencies. Interest rates should also be accounted for in budgets. WesBank expects the prime interest rate to rise slowly over the next few years, which will see monthly instalments increase for buyers who chose to use a linked interest rate on their contracts. The best way to minimise the amount of repaid in interest is to finance a vehicle over a shorter term. Paying off loans as soon as possible is the best thing for a buyer’s budget. ‘With a budget plotted out, and enough ‘fat’ built in for rising costs and emergencies, car buyers will be better equipped for the future,’ says Rudolf. For more information, visit

Pic credit: WesBank

budget do the driving

Let your


Can South Africa really afford

‘cheap and easy’ adoptions?

This opinion piece by the National Adoption Coalition explains why a media statement issued by the Department of Social Development about the cost of adoptions in South Africa is deeply disturbing.


he Department of Social Development (DSD)’s recent media statement that it wants its social workers to provide adoption services in a bid to ‘curb the high cost of adoptions and make it easier for ordinary families to adopt children’ is deeply concerning at its core. Not because of its intention to train and skill government social workers in the specialised adoption practice – this is to be lauded as indeed there is a shortage – but because the spirit in which this announcement was made is deeply harmful and dishonest in its treatment of child protection organisations and social workers in private practice.


The DSD’s statement that ‘adoption agencies charge no less than R100 000 to manage the adoption process of a single child’, is both irresponsible and inaccurate. Not only is it untrue, but it paints child protection organisations that do exceptionally important work in an unfairly poor light. More fundamentally, it can only discourage people from considering adoptions, possibly waiting for the DSD to provide ‘free and cheap’ adoptions, while millions of orphans remain in orphanages and far from the ideal circumstances of a loving parental home and family. The primary losers in this political fracas are the millions (not thousands!) of adoptable children who

OPINION will be left without any hope of a loving home due to bureaucratic red tape and political posturing. Evidence of this is already clear in the unintended consequences of the Children’s Act, implemented in 2005, which has seen a 30% drop in adoptions since its inception, in a country with about 5.4 million orphans. Currently less than 1 600 adoptions are taking place annually. When you do the sums it becomes frightening, if not insurmountable with the current status quo. Some incredibly important realities need to be put on the table, and the DSD would do well to acknowledge the important work done by all the role players and the importance of collaboration in working towards our single most important purpose – child protection and loving families for our orphans. Here are the facts: • The Children’s Act 38/2005 actually makes provision for the payment of fees in respect of an adoption to a child protection organisation. These fees are regulated in terms of Regulation 107 of the Children’s Act. • However, the fees are not legislated for in respect of accredited adoption social workers in private practice. The National Adoption Coalition, a mandated body of adoption service providers, has been consistently lobbying the DSD to give attention to the regulation of the fees in respect of adoption social workers in private practice to bring it in line with those of child protection organisations. • More importantly, given the fact that adoption fees are regulated by the DSD, it would be difficult for a child protection organisation to charge R100k for a single adoption. All adoption reports are canalised through the DSD before an adoption can be finalised in court. The fees paid in respect of an adoption need to be declared in a formal report and if the Department has picked up that some agencies are charging R100k, why have they not investigated such outrageous fees being charged by organisations? If unusually high fees are charged by certain organisations, then such specific cases should be swiftly dealt with by the DSD. • To indicate that organisations can charge this amount for an adoption really discredits all the good work being done by so many child protection organisations that also specialise in processing adoptions. This should not be about an ‘us and them’ situation – working together as a collaborative is critical to resolve the many onerous challenges we face as a cohesive voice. • Most child protection organisations work on a sliding scale and accept applicants from all walks of life, including people from rural areas, domestic workers and cleaners. In fact, the fee paid in these instances is minimal and does not preclude anyone who has a genuine desire to adopt a child, and who is found to be wholly competent. • There are entirely valid and important reasons for some fees to be charged – and these are steeped in the reality of the situation. Fees vary between adoption social workers and child protection organisations, ranging between R5 000 to R20 000 for a national adoption. These fees are dependent

The primary losers in this political fracas are the millions (not thousands!) of adoptable children. on how much is subsidised by the DSD and the amount of work required to finalise an adoption in South Africa – an intensive process that requires skilled and experienced people. The fees are derived from the costs of detailed assessments, preadoption workshops and preparation, counselling, administrative fees (often involving months of work), court preparation, legal documentation and court reports, ongoing consultation with DSD at both a provincial and national level, medical fees, and so on. All the while, these children are taken care of, clothed, fed, kept healthy, and homed by dedicated caregivers – none of which is without cost and none of which are included in the adoption fees. DSD’s statement that adoptions will be ‘cheaper and easier’ when government social workers are also able to process adoptions is entirely misleading. What Government should rather have stated is that once Government social workers are able to process adoptions, it will open up a new option for prospective adopters wishing to adopt, but that it works hand in hand with all the other role players in the adoption community who also provide an excellent service to help people with the adoption process. The National Adoption Coalition is constantly trying to recruit adoptive parents in what is a national crisis. Adopting a child is a life changing and lifelong decision with enormous responsibilities – at all times child protection and putting the interests of children first are paramount before all other considerations. It seems inconceivable that the Department responsible for accrediting adoption service providers would want to discredit a community of organisations who do incredibly important work, and who assist Government with training and skills transfer for their own social workers. Hopefully we can dismiss these statements as poorly conceived notions by an individual who has possibly not considered the longterm unintended consequences of such. Adoption is a specialised service, which means that people who provide these services must be accredited to ensure that the best interests of the child are protected. Many parents who have worked through a social worker who was not specialised have found that the adoption requirements were not properly met. If government social workers are trained in this field it would assist with the shortage of specialised adoption social workers, but it could not be done successfully without the support and skills transfer from specialists in private practice and dedicated child protection organisations. For more information, visit



Poisons, stings and bites By Gavin Sultton, veteran paramedic and COO for Be Safe Paramedical South Africa

Children are naturally inquisitive, and learning by exploring their environment is an integral and important part of their growth and development. However, they are also unfortunately exposed to some potentially lethal substances during their explorative sessions.


hildren are extremely vulnerable to unintentional poisoning, most often through completely legal prescription medications carelessly stored. While medications for stress, depression, diabetes and vitamin deficiencies are all too familiar for adults in today’s stressful world, they are not designed for children in either dosage or mechanism of action. From birth to 14 years, children are too young to differentiate between safe and unsafe substances and can poison themselves through innocent sampling with little concept of the potential danger. Sadly, I have cared for far too many children with

Whenever you receive any medication, do the following: • Read the insert thoroughly before you use and store it. • Make sure you are familiar with the overdose information stipulated on the insert. Remember that even a small dose of adult strength medication can poison a child. • Never swap containers – make sure the medication on the label is the medication in the container. • Please keep all medication out of the reach of children. Far out of reach! All medicinal substances are poisons... the correct dose separates a poison from a remedy.

Children are too young to differentiate between safe and unsafe substances.

Stinging critters Stings and bites are an everyday part of life. The biggest concern arises when a child is exposed to frequent stings or bites and may develop a lifethreatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. It would be a tough order to cover every potential type of sting or bite in this article, but let’s take a look at some of the more common ones and the poisons involved.

Photo credit: E Khan

Photo credit: C Black

poisoning and experienced some really heartbreaking outcomes. While I still think about many of these cases years later, I cannot go back and change anything, nor could I have done any more than I did with the information I received from the parents. As a paramedic, this is the best advice I can give you. It isn’t based on academic opinion, but rather on what I have experienced and learnt through so many avoidable incidents.


The number of stinging creatures in South Africa is quite mind boggling. Fortunately, the majority of stinging creatures are ‘relatively’ harmless. Scorpions are the exception, as all scorpions found here are venomous, with members of the Buthidae family (thick tails and thin pincers), being the most dangerous. Bee and wasp stings are the most common seen in children and, while generally harmless, because children may be exposed to several stings throughout


HEALTH their childhood they can become sensitised to the venom and develop a severe allergy to them.

Photo credit: Gavin Sutton

One of the major concerns with stings and toxins is the development of anaphylaxis – the most severe form of an allergic reaction, which can be fatal. It occurs when a child has had previous exposure to a specific toxin or substance, becomes sensitised to it, and has a severe systemic reaction following subsequent contact with it. This reaction impacts on the child’s cardiovascular system and respiratory system and ultimately causes shock and death if not rapidly treated. Common signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include: • A swollen, red itchy rash. Also called urticaria. • Swelling of the tissue in the face and around the throat, which often results in a high pitched whistling sound called stridor. • Flushed reddish skin appearance initially, changing to pale skin as the reaction progresses and shock sets in. • Difficulty breathing. This may be accompanied by a wheezing sound from the chest. • Decreasing level of consciousness. Therefore, treatment for stings has a strong focus on identifying any of these signs and symptoms while treating the site of the sting. • Activate the emergency medical services for all scorpion stings and for cases where the child is showing signs of anaphylaxis. If you are relatively close to a hospital, it may be a better option to transport the child by private car to avoid delays. • For bee stings, first scrape out the stinger. • If your child has a known allergy to the venom and has been prescribed an Epipen (adrenaline) or other medication, administer it without delay. • Gently rinse the site with soap and water. • Apply a cold pack to the site to reduce pain and minimise further swelling. • If you are unsure, transport your child to hospital without delay. Anaphylaxis can have a very rapid progression and is a terrifying experience for parents. The earlier it is identified the better the response to treatment.


Photo credit: J van Rooyen

Anaphylaxis and the management of stings:

Puff Adder

Biting critters Snakes, spiders, ticks and mosquitos all form part of the biting crew. While spider bites are treated in the same way as scorpion stings, snake bites require a different approach. South Africa has some serious snakes. Some are pretty common and others you are unlikely to see in a lifetime. In emergency care, we divide snakes into the properties of their venom, of which there are three main types: cytotoxic (destroys skin and muscle tissue), neurotoxic (damages nerves and causes paralysis) and haemotoxic (destroys red blood cells and affects the clotting process). Puff Adders statistically cause more deaths in South Africa than any other venomous snake. Their venom is cytotoxic and haemotoxic, causing severe pain and swelling in the bitten limb, haemorrhaging, and nausea. Death is often from secondary effects caused by the swelling, such as kidney failure. All snake bites should be seen in a hospital without delay. First aid for snake bites consists of: • Keeping your child calm and reassured. Allow him to lie flat and avoid as much movement as possible. If possible, allow the bitten limb to rest at a level lower than your child’s heart. • Immediately wrap a large cohesive type bandage (stretch) snugly around the bitten limb starting at the site of the bite and working up the limb (the full length if possible). The bandage should be as tight as one would bind a sprained ankle.

Wrap a large stretch bandage snugly around the bitten limb.

HEALTH • Keeping the limb immobilised by splinting with any makeshift splint – do not remove the splint or bandage until the child has reached the hospital and is receiving anti-venom. • Do not cut or incise the bite site. • Do not apply ice to the bite site. Spider bites are a lot more common in children than snake bites. While the majority of spiders found in South Africa are not considered dangerous, there are a couple that can pose a significant threat, particularly to smaller children.

Photo credit: O Soul

Black Widow Spider

Keep a cool head and always begin with basic first aid before seeking expert medical opinion.

The Black Widow spider (also called Button Spider) is probably one of the best known and most widely distributed venomous spiders in South Africa. They prefer quieter darker places and are common in garages and less used domestic spaces. They have neurotoxic venom that attacks the nervous system.

a few days it becomes swollen and painful and forms a large lesion. There is no anti-venom available for a Sac Spider bite and treatment consists of antibiotics to manage the infection that develops from the lesion. Time is crucial with a Sac Spider bite because the longer the bite is left untreated, the more complicated it is to manage the developing infection. The initial first aid for all spider bites is the same as that for scorpion stings. Again, it must be emphasised that following initial first aid, all spider bites should be evaluated in a hospital. Snake bites are pretty rare in children with spider bites and insect stings being far more common. Keep a cool head and always begin with basic first aid before seeking expert medical opinion. Never underestimate a bite or a sting. If you are unsure, always seek medical attention for your little one. Poisoning from medications is far too common. This is something that requires a concerted effort from parents. Children gain access to these medications through our carelessness and for no other reason. Can your child access any medications in your home? Perhaps you should go and check and make the necessary changes before it is too late…

Gavin is a paramedic and previous head of training for the Western Cape Emergency Medical Services. He is currently the chief operating officer at Be Safe Paramedical South Africa.

Photo credit: Gavin Sutton

Both children and adults who have been bitten by a Black Widow must be taken to hospital where they will likely receive anti-venom and careful monitoring. Another spider that is very common, particularly aggressive, and is responsible for up to 75% of all spider bites in South Africa is the Sac Spider. They are known to make themselves comfortable in homes and place children at great risk. Their venom is cytotoxic, destroying cells and tissue. Their initial bite is small and painless but after

Photo credit: J Richfield

Sac Spider



Healthy eating for a toddlers By Carey Haupt RD(SA) Msc(MED), Family Kitchen

Striking the balance between toddlers’ nutritional needs and their taste preferences can be a daunting task. However, it is the parents’ responsibility to provide food that is nutritionally adequate and safe for their children.


eal time with a toddler can be a scary thought for some. Add to this the pressure of feeding him a healthy balanced diet and you’ve now stepped into a tortuous realm. How can you balance your child’s taste preferences with his nutritional needs? What is healthy eating for a toddler? It is slightly different to that of healthy eating for an adult as children are smaller, need to grow, and can be downright fussy. You need to strike a balance between their need for energy, vitamins, minerals, fibre and fluids. As a parent it is your responsibility to provide food that is nutritionally adequate and safe to your child. It is then the child’s responsibility to eat the food. Your toddler (aged one to four) needs to eat three meals a day with two to three snacks. Children grow and develop at a rapid pace but because of their small stomach capacity, can only eat small quantities at a time. They no longer need large quantities of milk, and should receive most of their nutrient needs from food (limit milk products to 350 to 500ml/day). If children drink excess amounts of milk it may reduce their intake of iron rich foods, which can lead to iron deficiency and anaemia. Breast milk is still the first choice of milk for a toddler. However, once a child is older than a year old they can tolerate cow’s milk as a beverage. Toddlers aged one to two can have full cream cow’s milk (extra energy and fat soluble vitamins for growth requirements) and children older than two, who are growing well, can have low fat milk. Other ways to include dairy in the diet is to give children cheese and yoghurt. This will ensure that their calcium requirements are met.


HEALTH Toddlers need more fat and less fibre than children older than five years old. Fat is compact and energy dense and, because of this, it is easy for toddlers to consume adequate quantities to sustain their growth. Fibre is important for gut health and to prevent constipation but is not as energy dense as fat, and it’s bulky. For this reason, if too much is eaten it will fill toddlers up before their energy needs are met. Provide mixed meals with a bit of fat and fibre rich foods to reap all the benefits. Fruit and vegetables can be offered at every meal or snack. Provide as large a variety of vegetables and fruits as you can. It is normal for children to avoid certain foods at this age and there is no need to become too alarmed by it. Just keep offering everything and be the example – they will learn to enjoy the food. Toddlers often prefer to eat meats that are soft or minced, such as meat balls, sausages, chicken and fish. Meats that are chewier may be difficult for them to eat. Chicken is often a favourite among toddlers because it’s soft. Fish is also a good option and can be offered twice a week. It is recommended that foods high in saturated and trans fats and sugar should be avoided in children’s diets. An easy way to do this is to focus on foods such as vegetables, fruits, wholegrain carbohydrates and proteins. This way your child will eat more of the healthy food and have less space in their overall diet for foods high in sugar and saturated and trans fats.

Fruit and vegetables can be offered at every meal or snack. Teaching your child to enjoy water is a lifelong gift that is often underestimated. You can offer your child about 100 to 120ml six to eight time a day. On hotter days they may need more. Once a child is one year old he should be able to drink from a cup. Drinks that are high in sugar/fructose need to be limited as they have extra calories that are nutrient low and the sugar can cause tooth decay. If you would like to give your child fruit juice, add water at a ratio of about 1:1. It is common for toddlers to become fussy or sceptical about foods. It may surprise you but it is normal. How you handle this new-found fussiness is vital. Try not to start a battle of wills over food. Instead encourage your child by eating the food yourself. Encourage your child to be part of the meal making process, and choose your battles – is it necessary for him to eat mashed carrots when you know he will eat them whole and boiled? This can be a very trying time for both you and your toddler but that is a whole other article!

Table of food groups and portion size for toddlers: Food type


Serving size and amount


Bread, cereals, couscous, pasta, sorghum, millet, potatoes and flour-based items

Serve at each meal and snacks

Vegetables and fruit

3 to 4 servings a day

Offer at each meal Aim for 5 small serving a day

Milk, cheese and yoghurt

Demand feed if breast fed

Demand feed if breast fed 3 servings a day 120ml milk 100ml yoghurt 30g cheese

Meat, fish or alternatives

Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, pulses, legumes

2 servings a day (3 if vegetarian) Fish: 2 a week focus on oily fish

Food high in fat or sugar

Food high in fat or sugar; chocolate, jam, syrup

In addition to other food groups but not as a replacement to them


Water and other beverages

6 to 8 drinks per day


Photo credit: Carley Haupt

Family Kitchen is a company of dieticians who each have a special interest in different aspects of family health and nutrition. We provide one-on-one services for individuals and wellness and training services for corporate clients. We also run workshops on nutrition related topics such as breastfeeding, complementary feeding, fussy eating or disease of lifestyle. For more information, email or visit,


Bitter sweetness for your

sweetheart By Elmarie Jensen (Dietician), Genesis Medical Scheme

If the campaigns against tobacco and alcohol were the great health issues of the past few decades, sugar appears to be next on the agenda. As a leading contributor to obesity in children and the association between sugar consumption and the risk for heart disease in adulthood, parents need to be educated about the dangers associated with a high sugar intake and that health problems can show up as early as adolescence. Sugar – child enemy number one? With a 13.5% prevalence of obesity in children aged six to 14 years, child obesity in South Africa is a serious and growing public health concern. A recent study found that South Africa has the highest overweight and obesity rate in sub-Saharan Africa, with 70% of women and 40% of men that have significantly more body fat than what is deemed healthy. On average, 61% of the South African population is overweight, making South Africa the ‘third fattest nation in the world’. This is double the global rate of nearly 30%. Although there isn’t a single cause for the dismal obesity statistics in our country, one of the most common reasons cited is our increasing Westernisation and urbanisation over the past few decades, as well as people living less active lifestyles


and consuming more fast food, which is particularly high in salt, fat and sugar.

More than just white granules Sugars come in many different forms. Refined and processed sugars are sugars that don’t occur in nature like the sugar from fruits. It doesn’t only refer to white sugar, but also several types of other added sugars, which may make sugars on food labels difficult to identify. The food industry uses high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or sucrose derived from cane sugar (there are many more similar ingredients) to sweeten processed foods. HFCS is a cheap additive and is usually made from genetically-modified corn. This is added to fizzy drinks, breakfast cereals, cereal bars, ice cream, yoghurts, jam, biscuits, pizza, muffins, cupcakes,

HEALTH bread, chocolates, pastries and tomato sauce, to name but a few. With the amount of sugar that is added to ‘health’ foods, such as breakfast cereals, fruit rolls, fruit juice, yoghurts (and the list goes on) that may appear pretty balanced and nutritious, your child’s diet may still be too high in sugar. The wide variety of super-sweet foods available today may cause children to struggle to accept other flavours of healthy, natural and unprocessed foods. Research reveals that the more added sugar children have in their diets, the less likely they are to eat grains, vegetables, fruit and diary.

Fizzy today, ‘fatty’ tomorrow In particular, sweet fizzy drinks are linked to obesity and diabetes and have alarming consumption rates among young people. It is estimated that some 15% of young children consume fizzy drinks on a daily basis. Certain experts reckon that one to two sugary drinks per day may increase the risk for type 2 diabetes by as much as 25%. Sugar-sweetened beverages are absorbed quickly into bloodstream, causing a spike in blood sugar levels. When the energy provided by high blood sugar is not used right away it is stored as fat for later use. A can of Coca Cola (330ml) contains seven teaspoons of sugar, while a can of Fanta Grape (330ml) contains nine teaspoons of sugar! This is a mini mountain of sugar!

Why the big fuss? High sugar consumption by children has many adverse health effects on their bodies. This is what the experts say on the subject: • Added sugar is high in kilojoules (‘empty kilojoules’) and contains no nutrients such as proteins, essential fats, vitamins or minerals. • It causes tooth decay by providing easily digestible energy for bacterial growth. • Excessive sugar consumption can contribute to the aggravation of the symptoms of attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and other difficulties with concentration, aggression, mood swings and destructive behaviour. • Sugar can easily overload a child’s liver, especially if they are inactive, resulting in the overproduction of insulin, blood-sugar crashes, cravings for more, and eventually insulin resistance and diabetes. • Some children may suffer from chronic runny noses, excessive mucus, cough and symptoms of sinus infections. • Sugar releases large amounts of the dopamine hormone in the brain, which may lead to addiction. Sugar addiction is even categorised by some experts as having the same reaction in the brain as heroin, impacting both the physical and mental health of suffers. • Too much sugar may weaken the immune system. The body’s microbiome is made up of trillions of good bacteria that digest food, produce vitamins and protect it from germs and disease. However, excessive sugar consumption can alter the balance between good and bad bacteria and ultimately weaken the immune system.

What can you do? There isn’t a single silver bullet to change your child’s preference for sugar-rich foods, nor is there one to tackle obesity in children. The way to provide our children with a healthy food relationship is not necessarily what we’ve been taught by the media. It’s called motherly instinct – how we connect our children’s hearts with good nutrition and about the example we set as parents. They will follow us. • Include more naturally-occurring sugars, such as fruits, baked fruits, starchy veggies, milk, almonds or unflavoured popcorn in your child’s diet. • Pack their lunch boxes with delicious high-fibre treats such as whole-grain breads, fruit or veggie fingers, such as carrot, cucumber or celery sticks. Mini-skewers made with cheese cubes and cocktail tomatoes, or oven-baked sweet potato chips are also good options. • Limit the intake and portion sizes of cookies, sweets and baked goods. Instead, try fruit-based desserts. • Avoid flavoured yoghurts and opt for plain yoghurt and add some frozen berries, fruit or honey. Alternatively, make them low-sugar smoothies with fruit, such as berries and coconut milk or cream. • Instead of serving colourful breakfast cereal low in nutrition and loaded with refined sugar, try preparing good old porridge, such as oatmeal or mielie pap. For extra flavour add honey, nuts, fruit or cinnamon; even add an egg yolk for extra protein to fire their brains. Certain studies support the idea that breakfast with a lower sugar load may improve short-term memory and attention span at school. • Stick to water and unflavoured milk and limit the intake of juices and sports or other flavoured drinks. • Even if fruit juice packaging says ‘100% juice’, ‘organic’ or ‘no sugar added’, it may still contain hidden sugars. Rather offer children water, and add slices of cucumber, berries or orange. • Be careful of ‘healthy alternatives’ and always read labels. Ingredients are listed by decreasing weight; so any sugar listed near the top of the list should be avoided. • And probably the easiest, when you go shopping, don’t buy any treats. If there is nothing tempting in the kitchen cupboards, eating the healthy options that are available become easier. Changing your child’s eating habits is no easy task. Take it slow and don’t introduce drastic changes. Instead, make it gradual and introduce new changes each week. Make the healthy alternatives interesting and attractive to them – remember, we eat with our eyes. Teach children the importance of healthy eating, instead of forcing it on them, and empower them to control their own eating habits.

Sources:;; http://www.sajcn.; http://



Keeping your sporting child

injury free and loving

sport for life

Practising physiotherapist, Tracy Prowse, shares her five top tips for ensuring that your child keeps playing sport for life.


ost parents would like their children to be active and healthy, and go on to enjoy being active all the way into adulthood. However, the sad reality is that 70% of children drop out of sports by the age of 13, and the numbers of youth who participate in sport has gone down by almost 20% in the past decade. Then, on the other hand, we have children and teenagers who are participating in too much sport, training both in and out of school, throughout the

year no matter the season, all in the hope of ‘making it’ to the top. This is yet another sad reality because only 3 to 9% of high school sportsmen and women go on to become professionals in their sports and, of the children that are playing at a provincial level at school, many well quit the sport due to injury or burnout. The good news is you can ensure that these statistics do not apply to your child, as many of the factors leading to the dropout rates, burnout, and



The higher the volume of training in one sport, the greater your chances are of getting an overuse injury. injury rates are preventable and avoidable. Here are my five top tips for ensuring that your child keeps playing sport for life.

Prevent injury and burnout – make time for free play More and more research is being published to support what we have all known for a long time – children (and teenagers) need to play! Here are three reasons why you should be encouraging your children to play: 1. When children spend more than twice the time in formalised sport versus time in free play their risk of injury is considerably increased. As a rule, the number of hours of sport per week should never be more than the number of years in age. 2. When children play, they naturally perform short bursts of high intensity exercise/training (HIT). It has been shown HIT improves overall endurance in the cardiovascular and muscular systems (heart, blood and muscles), that unstructured play and recess time is inversely proportional to insulin and body fat percentages in children, and it improves brain health. 3. HIT combined with a reduced training volumes reduces stress and recovery levels.

Prevent overuse injuries and burnout – put on the brakes! There is overwhelming researched evidence that suggests the following two factors increase your child’s chances of getting an overuse injury or quitting the sport because of burnout – both of which can be prevented: 1. The higher the volume of training in one sport, the greater your chances are of getting an overuse injury. Overuse injuries occur when athletes increase the frequency, duration, intensity, or resistance of training too rapidly, putting too much stress on a part of the body. Coaches should also consider adding resistance or strengthening programmes that differ from their normal routines. This can improve strength, power, agility, or general fitness, and also decrease the repetitive stress that is usually placed on the one or two body parts with their usual programme. For example, a swimmer training for an upcoming event might benefit from a long run once a week to decrease stress on his shoulders.


2. Overscheduling (and too little recovery and rest time). There are scheduling guidelines for most sports on the internet. However, if your child is involved in a throwing sport, and he is under the age of 14, he should not be throwing more than 20 times per session with a maximum of three sessions per week. Research has shown that there is a strong correlation between children who are taught basic movement skills from a young age, and those who are more likely to participate and remain in sport. There is a move away from early formal sport participation and a move towards early skills training instead. This is based on the work of the Canadian Sport for Life programme that shows that this approach is effective in keeping children playing sport for longer. Similarly, there are guidelines now in place in Canada, the US and Australia about recommendations regarding youth sports in that children should not specialise in one sport until they are 16 years old (except for gymnastics, ballet and diving). Take home message: Make sure your child does not play only one sport (cross train) and make sure they do not play throughout the year in that one sport. Ensure they have a rest day in between specific sports sessions and make sure that the training volume is managed according to established guidelines. A tip is to encourage the coach to do strength and agility training as part of the sport programme so that the volume of repetitive movements is reduced, and you then also get the benefits of strengthening the muscles needed for that sport. Training of any kind should never be increased in volume or load by more than 10% every week.

Monitor growth rates Children tend to injure themselves more during growth spurts and it is therefore a good idea to monitor your child’s growth by measuring his height and keeping a log of the rates of growth. Children can grow up to 2cm in one month during their peak growth periods and it is important to know when these peak times are, as the growth plates of their bones are vulnerable to forces during growing periods. The growth plates are areas of the bone where the growth takes place. They are softer than the rest of the bone and more prone to being pulled on or away from. Often the very sporty young child will have to sit out of sport for a long time with an injury of the growth plate and this can be a very frustrating (and painful) time for the child.

Do not rush back into sport after an injury One of the biggest predictors of whether or not your child will injure themselves is if they have had a previous injury. One of the biggest mistakes that parents make is encouraging their child to ‘run through the pain’, or not letting the child recover completely. It is important that your child is completely pain free during day-to-day activities (going up and down stairs or playing in the playground) before he returns to practice. Match play should only commence after a few sessions

HEALTH of pain-free practice sessions. If you are in doubt, it is advisable to consult your local physiotherapist who can be found via the South African Society for Physiotherapists (SASP) website.

Ensure that your child has adequate strength and control Did you know that there can be up to 1 090 newtons (100kg) of compression force on the shoulder at the point of release of a cricket ball during the bowling action? Most (61%) of the speed or velocity of the throw should come from the trunk and pelvis. Therefore it is important that your child’s shoulder muscles are strong enough to withstand the forces at the shoulder and the core musculature of the trunk and pelvis is working well enough to generate the speed needed in the throw. The same examples can be used in other sports and the consensus in the literature is that children should be performing

one to two strength or resistance training exercise programmes per week. It is important that the coach has been on an appropriate training course (such as Physifun courses) before he undertakes resistance training with children. Otherwise, consult your local physiotherapist or biokineticist for an individualised training programme. Parents, schools, coaches should cater for all children – the sporty and the not-so-sporty by ensuring that fundamental sports skills are taught first. They should provide ample opportunities for play and movement at school, encourage active and diverse lifestyles, reduce risk factors for injury by providing strength and agility programmes as part of their sport and PE curriculum, and emphasise that sport is for fun and enjoyment, not winning. If schools and parents can do this, then their children will live the Sport for Life Motto: ‘Exercise for all, exercise for life’.

Tracy Prowse is a practising physiotherapist in Franschhoek, Western Cape, who completed her Masters degree in Sports Physiotherapy at UCT/Sports Science Institute of South Africa, before becoming the founder of her training and education business, Physifun. Physifun provides face-to-face workshops and e-learning webinars for parents, coaches and teachers of children who want to provide the children in their care with the best possible physical opportunities for optimal learning and sport. Physifun has easy-to-follow strengthening and mobility exercise programmes that aim to provide children with injury prevention strategies and exercises, as well as exercises for general movement, attention stimulation and general overall body strength. Physifun also trains physiotherapists, biokineticists and occupational therapists so that they can provide Physifun exercise classes to their local clientele. For more information, visit



crying baby? Physiotherapist, Robyn Scholz, from Physiodynamix explains the relationship between colic, physiotherapy and your baby.


olic has become an umbrella term that is given to healthy, well-fed babies that cry for more than three hours a day, for more than three days a week, and for three weeks. The crying can be accompanied by symptoms of apparent stomach cramping, increased wind, and general discomfort. Colic often starts at around the age of three weeks and can last until about three to four months. The cause of colic is unknown but a popular theory suggests that the gut is still maturing, leading to sensitivity during digestion and muscle spasms. Other theories include growth spurts that can cause discomfort, hormones causing stomach pain or moodiness, a developing nervous system, and sensitivity to light or noise. It is also unclear why some babies have colic and others don’t. Another believed cause of discomfort is related to the vagus nerve that originates in the brain and runs through the neck and upper back as it travels to various organs. A branch of the vagus nerve supplies the muscles of the gut and if this nerve isn’t functioning properly the gut muscles can be affected, causing symptoms of colic. Babies spend nine months growing in-utero in a bent forward position. While they naturally still favour this position for two to three months after birth, this position can lead to stiffness of the neck and upper back, which can potentially cause a restriction on the vagus nerve. It is distressing for parents to witness their baby

constantly crying, and they often feel helpless. This is where physiotherapy can help parents and the uncomfortable infant. Physiotherapy works on gently releasing the tight muscles and gently mobilising the stiff joints of the neck and back. Releasing these muscles and joints allows for more movement in this area, which can relieve the pressure on the vagus nerve – allowing for optimal supply to the gut. The gentle technique is safe for babies, who often find it comforting and soothing and may even fall asleep during or shortly after the treatment. Colic is not usually harmful and often passes. In our practice at Physiodynamix we have found that about two to three treatments provides optimal relief from the discomfort, providing the baby has been checked by a doctor who has confirmed that there is nothing else contributing to the symptoms. However, if treatment doesn’t offer relief, or if your baby presents with other symptoms – fever, vomiting, weight loss, diarrhoea, an abnormally high-pitched cry, or anything else out of the ordinary – you should seek advice from your doctor. Sometimes the symptoms can indicate an allergy to breast milk or formula, and your doctor can guide you if this is the case. At Physiodynamix we also offer CranioSacral therapy – a gentle treatment that, in conjunction with physiotherapy, can help to relieve symptoms of colic and reflux. For more information, call Robyn on 011 706 7433 or visit



Pelvic floor?

What pelvic floor? By Fiona Morgan, woman’s health physiotherapist

Just as a car needs a yearly service to keep it working well, so do our bodies. Generally we’re good at this – blood pressure, cholesterol, eyes and teeth – but what about our pelvic floor?


hen asked what people know about their pelvic floor, the most common answer is, ‘oh, that area down there?’ or ‘that you’re supposed to do Kegels when you’re pregnant, right?’ Most ladies will have some vague concept of this area of their bodies, especially if they are pregnant or have been pregnant. With men, maybe not so much. However, this is an area that many of us, women and men, can have problems with at some stage in our lives but we either don’t want to talk about it, don’t know who to talk to about it, or think it is just part of getting older. The pelvic floor is the area that slings from the front of the pelvis (just below the belly button), down


between the legs, ending at the coccyx (the bottom of the spine). It’s made up of multiple layers of muscles and connective tissue and acts like a hammock, protecting all our internal pelvic organs, such as the bladder, uterus and the rectum, and makes sure we have control over urination and passing a bowel movement. It’s also very important for our sexual health and for childbirth. Like any other muscle group in our body, the pelvic floor muscles need to know how to tighten (contract), relax, and stretch (lengthen) in the correct way for them to work effectively. Pelvic floor muscles don’t work in isolation, they also work

with the lower abdominal muscles, the diaphragm (breathing muscle), and lower back muscles (the body’s deep core muscles). These muscles usually work automatically with very little help needed from our conscious brain. However, when our bodies go through a change, such as pregnancy, prolonged stress or prostate issues, these muscles may become too tight, too weak, or just do not remember how to work correctly. This can lead to incontinence (leaking of urine or faeces), an increased urgency to go to the bathroom, discomfort in your lower abdominal or pelvic area, or just unease when passing a bowel movement or urine. If you experience any of these issues, it is important visit a GP or a woman’s health physiotherapist. You don’t need a referral in South Africa to see a physiotherapist as they are first line practitioners. Physiotherapists with a special interest in woman’s health have undergone post graduate training, giving them the clinical knowledge and management skills needed to treat many issues that are unique to women, such as menopause, osteoporosis, pelvic problems, pregnancy and breast cancer. Woman’s health physiotherapists also treat men who have prostate or pelvic problems, and work in collaboration with GPs, gynaecologists and urologists to provide holistic treatment. So what can you expect when you go to a woman’s health physiotherapist? The physiotherapist will go through an in depth medical history with you and then do a full body assessment, which can include an internal examination, but only with your consent. This is important to determine the potential underlying cause(s) of your problems and to establish a specific treatment and rehabilitation plan for you. This plan can involve hands-on soft tissue or joint mobilisation; breathing or relaxation techniques; exercises to relax, stretch or strengthen certain muscles; education on how to sit on a toilet properly; what fluids or food can affect you; or how to keep a bladder diary. Physiotherapy treatment for pelvic issues has a lot of excellent researched-based evidence backing and is seen internationally as being highly beneficial. Your pelvic health should be more about prevention than anything else. Issues that are not found or treated in the preventative stage can lead to long-term problems such as pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence or an over-active bladder in our older years. It is not normal to be in our 50s or 60s and have occasional leaking or discomfort in the pelvic area. There are many avenues available to help manage or even cure these problems, and not all of them involve surgery. To find a woman’s health physiotherapist close to you, visit, the official website of the South African Physiotherapy Society (SASP). Fiona has worked in the area of woman’s health and general physiotherapy both internationally and locally for the past six years. She is also a trained Pilates instructor. She currently works at Physiodynamix in Bryanston, Johannesburg, and can be contacted on 011 706 7433 or at


Developing trust between

toddlers and siblings By Lauren Reddell, Gr 000 teacher at Trinityhouse Pre-Primary Little Falls

The relationship between siblings is very special, no matter what the age. However, a good, trusting relationship does not just automatically happen. As a parent, opportunities for developing this kind of relationship needs to be given so that trust can be built from a very young age.

Photo credit: Colette Fouche




hen a child is told that a little brother or sister is on the way there is much excitement. But after the baby is born things aren’t quite as they imagined. Their little brother or sister cries a lot and takes much of mom and dad’s attention. It’s also hard for toddlers to play and share when they don’t know how to socialise. This is an important time when the parents step in and practically help build and foster a relationship of trust between the siblings, which will hopefully continue until they are adults. Trust has a major part to play in a sibling relationship. The meaning of the word trust is ‘a firm belief in the honesty, truthfulness, justice, or power of a person or thing’. When siblings have a sense of trust in their relationship, it provides a good foundation for a meaningful relationship. If a good relationship is in place when they are young, it helps as they grow older and face life’s challenges. They know that they are there for each other. Erik Erikson was an American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst who had a theory about the psychosocial development of people. He is well known in the area of child development and provides some valid points when looking at the importance of relationships between people. In his theory he focuses on four stages of psychosocial development in children.

Psychological development in children The first two are applicable to young children. Stage one is called ‘trust verses mistrust’ and this occurs from birth to about one year. A child needs to feel a sense of belonging and warmth from his family. He needs to feel that he can trust his family to provide for his needs. We can take this further and also apply it to a relationship with a sibling. A trusting relationship between siblings is there so that a child feels they can rely on someone and relate to someone besides their parents. If there is mistrust between the child and the family at this young age, the child will develop a sense that no one can be trusted and that the world is an intimidating place. The second stage is ‘autonomy verses shame and doubt’. This occurs between the ages of two and three. During this stage of the child becoming more independent, the older sibling has a vital role to play. He will learn a lot from the older sibling and will model what he sees. The older sibling can encourage the younger one as he grows and learns. Having a trusting relationship between sibling’s means that the younger sibling can trust the older sibling and feel comfortable to learn from her. If a younger sibling is

Siblings should be encouraged to say ‘I love you’ regularly to create a deeper relationship. 66

Trust has a major part to play in a sibling relationship. battling with something and no one intervenes, he can feel a sense of failure and doubt himself. Tips to building a trusting relationship between siblings: 1. Friendship – Siblings should be encouraged to be friends. Encourage them to play together and spend time together. Find games and activities that they both enjoy and encourage them to take turns to choose what game to play. 2. Individuality – Help your children to realise that they are unique individuals with different strengths and weaknesses. Siblings will argue and compete to see who is better! Parents need to intervene and help them see that there are advantages to having a sibling who has different strengths from their own. They can help with their problem areas. Provide opportunities to talk about their differences and unique traits. 3. Helping each other – Providing opportunities for siblings to help each other, instead of the parents always intervening, also helps to develop trust in their relationship. They will learn to rely on each other and ask for help when needed, and also realise that their sibling is always there for them. 4. Sorting out conflict – Conflict and arguments are bound to happen. Siblings need to realise that it’s okay to get cross with each other but the situation needs to be dealt with then and there. Working through the emotions and the cause of the problem, with the parent’s guidance, not only helps the siblings to problem solve but also helps them to realise the importance of solving conflict. Even with conflict, it is important to emphasise that they still love each other and can trust each other. When helping them to solve conflict they also learn to better understand each other and it creates a sense of empathy. 5. Saying ‘I love you’ – These are very powerful words and it means a lot to vocalise this from a very young age. Siblings should be encouraged to say ‘I love you’ regularly to create a deeper relationship. Teaching young children to get on and have a good relationship can be challenging, but it is very important that they know that friends come and go but siblings are forever. ADvTECH Schools Division,


The pros and cons

of an

imaginary friend By Shirley Edwards, teacher at Trinityhouse Pre-Primary Randpark Ridge

A quick Google search will reveal many articles online that discuss children’s imaginary friends. While there is rarely a mention of cons, and plenty of pros, they all agree on some general information.


hildren usually create an imaginary friend around the ages of three to four, and this friend can stay with them for a number of years. However, on the whole they seem to disappear around the first year or two of primary school. There are instances where the friend remains a part of the child’s life further into primary school, but this is not the norm. First born children are more likely to have imaginary friends, and it is slightly more common for girls to have imaginary friends. They will grow up knowing the difference between reality and fantasy, just like their peers who do not have imaginary friends. The friend may be a person, usually another child, an animal, or the personification of a stuffed toy. They may even replace a real friend who lives far away. There was a time when a child having an imaginary friend was seen as strange and in some way this reflected poor parenting skills. There was the feeling that the child must be lonely and socially inept. Although parents may still feel a little uncomfortable or unsure of how to deal with the issue, it is generally accepted that having an imaginary friend is quite normal for a child. They may be there to help the child through a big transition in their lives, or just as a part of the child’s imaginative play. Children with imaginary friends are usually socially well-adjusted and interact well with real-life friends. Creative, imaginative play comes very easily to young children and, while listening to their conversations, it is quite common to hear something along the lines of: ‘…and then you told me to go to the cupboard to fetch the cups’, ‘…and you fetched the cups and then you poured the tea’, ‘…and then I wanted some cake’. Children will make suggestions regarding the direction that the game is heading in and there is usually someone who is the ‘boss of the game’. They are fully aware that what they are doing is a game, but they are able to discuss different behaviours and can test options with their friends. The child with an imaginary friend is engaging in the same activities,


EDUCATION imagining how a friend might react or behave. While engaging with an imaginary friend, the child has the opportunity to take both sides of the situation into account and to express emotions and feelings that are not easy to express outside of that situation. They can test ideas and social skills while being in complete control of the situation. Children will sometimes test a parent’s reactions by telling them that ‘Georgie’ says this or that, waiting to see if that is acceptable to the parent. They will even blame their imaginary friend if they have done something wrong, or readily suggest that he was the one who made a mess in the room. It is a good idea not to overreact but ensure that the imaginary friend also adheres to the morals and norms of the family. The child may need to ‘help’ their friend to tidy the room or tell their friend that it is not acceptable to be unkind or unfriendly. They still need to be accountable for their own actions. Children might project their own anxieties or fears on to the imaginary friend, so it is probably worthwhile for parents to listen to the conversations

and pick up clues about what the child is currently thinking or feeling. As much as parents want to encourage their children to achieve academic and sporting success, they should be eager to encourage the development of their child’s language, critical thinking skills and imagination, all of which are developed with imaginative/pretend play of all sorts. Parents should provide lots of opportunities for children to explore books and play imaginatively with dress-up items and play along with their children. Although children know that their imaginary friend is not real, if they become withdrawn and do not interact socially with others, it might be time to seek professional help. This would also apply if the imaginary friend is aggressive, depressed or anxious. So it seems to be the consensus that if a child has an imaginary friend, just relax, be happy that your child has a good imagination and know that it is not only normal, but good for your child’s overall creative development. ADvTECH Schools Division,



There’s a monster

under my bed! By Sarah Harvey, Gr 00 teacher at Trinityhouse Pre-Primary Little Falls

It is normal for children to be afraid of the dark at some stage or another. Preschoolers aren’t always able to distinguish between reality and fantasy and, this coupled with very active imaginations, makes it easy for them to believe monsters are under the bed or in the cupboards waiting to pounce once the lights go out.


here are fewer distractions to keep a child’s mind occupied at night,’ says Dobbins, an assistant professor of paediatrics and child psychiatry at Southern Illinois University in the US. ‘So instead, her imagination runs wild and, as a result, a child who seems well adjusted during the day may be more vulnerable at night.’ When it comes to a fear of the dark, television is one of the biggest culprits. Often parents don’t realise how negatively TV can affect their children.

Gaming is probably the second biggest cause. Both activities are extremely stimulating and may contain inappropriate content for little children. A lot of parents don’t limit what their children watch on TV, or even know what games they are playing on their tablets or gaming devices. The images can be menacing and trigger already active imaginations, stirring up all sorts of ideas that can come back to haunt a child who is lying alone in the dark.


EDUCATION Keep the bedtime routine comforting Half an hour to an hour before bedtime, don’t allow any TV, gaming, potentially scary stories or activities that will over stimulate your child. Rather do something relaxing, such as spending some one-onone time with your child.

Don’t tell your child you will scare the monster away as this is buying into the belief that monsters are real.

Use nightlights and security objects To create a sense of security, use a night light, or a fluffy toy or blanket that your child can snuggle with.

Over protective or an overly anxious parent can also contribute to a child feeling scared or anxious at night time. If not addressed, a child’s fear of the dark may continue to disturb her night time routine.

Here’s how to help: Identify the fear Try to identify the fear by listening to your child. Encourage her to tell you what makes her scared at bedtime. Don’t belittle or trivialise her fears, they are very real to her. Empower your child Allow your child to talk about her bedtime fears and experiences during the day. Try to find ways to deal, or cope, with these fears that may help your child feel less frightened at night. Empower her to deal with a fear of the dark by asking her if she wants dad to check on her at night. Let the child decide on the time frame – every five, 10 or 15 minutes.

Monsters don’t exist Don’t tell your child you will scare the monster away as this is buying into the belief that monsters are real. Gently but firmly remind your child monsters do not exist. Be mindful of other stress factors Find out if her fear of the dark comes from other worries. For example, some children may be afraid of their parents separating or dying, and this anxiety gets worse when they are alone in the dark. Other stressful issues such as the birth of a sibling, death of a pet, moving house, or divorce can appear at night as a fear of the dark. If this is the case, play therapy may be a good solution. Professional help If your child’s fear interferes with her daily functioning and wellbeing, professional help may be the best option. Professionals can help you and your child to learn coping strategies to deal with the anxiety. Always be supportive, encourage communication, take your child’s fears seriously, and let her confront her fears at her own pace. ADvTECH Schools Division,




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Dealing with

nappy rash Photo credit: Pure Beginnings

Pure Beginnings explains what nappy rash is, why babies get it, and how to treat it.


appy rash is inflammation and irritation of the skin around the buttocks, genitals and perianal area. It may spread as far as the inner thighs and the waistline. Most babies will develop a mild form of nappy rash at some stage, but generally a few days of home treatment is all that is needed to clear it. In severe cases your baby may show signs of discomfort and distress, and if the rash persists with no improvement, medical attention may be necessary. Fortunately this is very rare.

Why do babies get nappy rash? Babies are prone to nappy rash because their skin barrier is not yet fully formed. The skin structure is still developing and the layers of epidermis are thinner, making it more permeable to water. A healthy skin barrier is largely dependent on good bacteria (microbes) living on the surface of the skin and, in babies, the microbiome (microbial population) is not fully formed and stable. A course of antibiotics can negatively affect this natural skin microbiome and nappy rash often presents following antibiotic treatment. Additionally, constantly being in nappies causes a skin blockage that can contribute to nappy rash. Inflammation can also be caused by the ongoing exposure of the skin to faeces and urine. The inflammation may be a result of a number of factors, including the digestive enzymes in the faeces, bile salts, and contact with microbes from the gut, all of which affect the balance of resident microbes on the skin. Urine has a high pH and prolonged exposure of the skin to alkaline urine alters the balance of natural skin microbes and increases the permeability of the skin. This weakens it and makes it more susceptible to irritation.

What is the best treatment for nappy rash? One of the most effective ways to prevent and treat nappy rash is to let the skin ‘breathe’ by leaving the nappy off for prolonged periods and allowing the skin to be exposed to the air. Although barrier creams are good at preventing the skin’s contact with faeces and urine, they often exasperate the


breathability issue because they contain ingredients that form a total barrier. Instead, treat the skin barrier of the affected skin with a bum cream that contains natural plant oils (rather than petroleum bases), and that allows the skin to breathe, supports a healthy microbiome, and has a pH that matches the skin’s natural pH. Also avoid using wipes that contain synthetic fragrances and other chemicals as these will exasperate the existing inflammation. Natural plant fibre wipes that use only organic and natural liquid infusions should be used. When washing your baby, use a mild natural baby wash that contains no harsh chemicals and fragrances as these will further compromise the skin barrier and irritate the already inflamed skin. Also ensure your baby’s bottom is complete dry after washing. Look out for organicallycertified products as these are audited to ensure all nasty chemicals are banned. Applying topical probiotics to actively shift the skin microbiome population has also been shown to be very effective in improving the skin’s barrier function. For persistent nappy rash, it is advisable to consider a good gut probiotic supplement. Pure Beginnings manufactures and distributes a range of organic personal care products suitable for the whole family. Its products perform as well as any high-end personal care products on the market with all the added benefits that organic products offer. Pure Beginnings is certified organic with Ecocert France, and its products are free from parabens, petrochemicals, sulphated surfactants, synthetic fragrances, preservatives and colourants, and are not harmful to delicate skin. For more information, visit

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Kicks for kids


Goldfish facts


Did you know that goldfish don’t have stomachs and should be fed easily digestible food in small amounts? The collective noun for goldfish is ‘a troubling’. Goldfish can recognise people’s faces and are able to distinguish between different shapes, colours and sounds. Goldfish don’t have eyelids and can’t close their eyes so they have to sleep with their eyes open.





Join the


Use the pictures to help you find the names of the colours in this crossword to reveal the mystery colour.


b Draw a line from dot number 1 to dot number 2, then from dot number 2 to dot number 3, and so on. Keep going until you’ve joined all the dots, and then colour in the happy frogs.


Help the hungry spider get home to wait for his prey.

Find the route Find Can you find the two identical pictures?

the identical pictures





Grab some grub

Pecan Muffins in a Cup Makes 24 muffins Mixing the muffins the night before helps to keep them moist for longer after baking. Sprinkling the nuts on top of the muffins allows them to crisp and toast nicely. Any unbaked muffin dough can be kept in the fridge, see Ina’s Tip below.


2 extra large eggs, at room temperature ½ cup (125ml) canola oil 1 cup (250ml) plain yoghurt 1 cup (250ml) fresh full cream milk 1 x 700g Ina Paarman’s Muffin Mix with Raisins and Bran ½ cup (50g) pecan nuts, chopped


Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 180°C. Remove the raisin bag from the foil packet and pour boiling water over the raisins to plump them up. Drain and set aside to swell. Butter 6 to 8 small coffee cups. Beat eggs and oil for one minute on high speed until well blended. Add yoghurt and milk and beat for another one minute on high speed. Add contents of pack and drained plumped raisins. Stir by hand with a spatula ± 40 times until uniformly blended. Do not beat. Fill cups ¾ full. Sprinkle chopped nuts over the top of each unbaked muffin. Cover the remaining dough and keep in the fridge for use the next day. Stand cups on a small baking sheet before putting them in the oven. Bake for about 30 minutes until nicely risen and browned. Serve with butter and honey.


Ina’s Tip: The mixture can safely be mixed the day before and kept covered in the fridge to bake on the day, or bake the next day. Or you can bake left over mixture in a well-buttered muffin pan. These muffins freeze really well.

Grab some grub

Pink Cupcake Piggies Makes 24 cupcakes

You will need:

2 muffin pans paper cups (height 2.5cm x 4.5cm bottom diameter) measuring cups pair of scissors 2 medium mixing bowls electric beaters spatula 2 tablespoons oven gloves small knife 1 x 580g Ina Paarman’s Red Velvet Cake Mix 2 extra large eggs at room temperature ¾ cup (180ml) canola oil ¼ cup (60ml) butter, melted ¾ cup (180ml) lukewarm full cream milk

Icing ingredients

1 x 250g Ina Paarman’s Strawberry Icing Kit 125g butter, at room temperature ± ¼ cup (60ml) fresh milk

Decoration ingredients 200g pink marshmallows 1 tube of black writing icing 1 tube of red writing icing

Adjust oven rack to the middle position. Preheat oven to 190°C. Line two muffin pans with paper cups. Beat eggs, oil and melted butter for one minute on high speed until well blended.

Add lukewarm milk and beat briefly on high speed. Add the contents of the pack and gently mix in by hand with a spatula. Mix only until combined. It is important not to over mix. Fill each paper cup three quarters full. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before icing.


Mix according to package instructions, add a little extra milk if too stiff. Spread tops of cupcakes generously with icing.


Cut one whole marshmallow in half through the waist for the nose and stick on top of the cupcake in the middle. Cut the remaining half of the marshmallow lengthwise in half, to make a set of ears. Draw a face on the piggy using writing icing squeezed from a tube.

Recipes and pictures courtesy of


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Jar of jumbo blocks – R49.90 Kiddies tables, chairs and water/sand play tables Montague gardens 021 551 5790 George 044 871 0271 82




All aboard! By Emma Dawson

If you are travelling with children, your search for the ideal summer holiday will prominently feature their needs. However, finding a destination that provides entertainment for adults and children of all ages is not easy, but this is where cruising makes its mark – it really does offer something for everyone.


ust as the year-end pressure began piling on, an invitation arrived in my inbox to join a media group to cruise from Durban to Portuguese Island, Mozambique, for four nights aboard the MSC Sinfonia courtesy of MSC Cruises. My initial instinct was to turn the trip down – deadlines, year-end chaos, and a heavy workload – but boy am I glad I didn’t! Setting off on November 23, 2015, we were treated to flights from Cape Town to King Shaka International Airport in Durban courtesy of Mango Airlines before being transferred to Durban Harbour to board the MSC Sinfonia for her second cruise of the 2015-16 summer season. MSC Sinfonia has recently received a magnificent upgrade. This involved bisecting the ship before inserting a new 24m section to provide renewed amenities and enriched on-board spaces for passengers. This 250m-long ship now has even more balcony cabins, more spacious public areas, a greater choice of restaurants, and new clubs dedicated to younger guests.

Embarkation I’m a camper whose preference is to pitch a tent or sleep under the stars – the wilder and more remote


the destination, the better. Discovering that there were 2 500 guests on board for our cruise, and 750 crew from 39 countries, I felt slightly panicked. You really feel (literally) your fellow passengers as you rub shoulders while waiting your turn in line at Customs and Immigration, while you’re embarking, during the mandatory safety drill prior to setting sail, and while you’re getting your on-board cruise card loaded (MSC Cruises operates an efficient cashless system on board). However, as soon as passengers find their way to their cabins, the nearest bar or lounge, a swimming pool or lounger, or settle their children at one of the many dedicated children’s areas, you’d never know you were one of such an incredible number on board. Throughout the cruise the crew were superb – highly trained and knowledgeable, with customer care and safety always a top priority. Our fellow passengers reinforced the popularity of cruising and that it truly is for everyone. In fact, my fellow journalists and I discussed just how reflective of South Africa’s rainbow nation our fellow travellers were. One group of ladies from Cape Town told us that they love cruising because it’s such an affordable travel option. A Durban-based couple

Photo credit: Emma Dawson

MSC Sinfonia has recently received a magnificent upgrade.

FEATURE travelling with their three young children were delighted with the safe, fun and educational kids’ facilities and mentioned that the chef had made a cake for their one-year-old twins who celebrated their birthday on board. And, a group of twentysomething-year-old guys couldn’t have been happier with the high-octane activities at Portuguese Island and the 20-hour buffet restaurant that turns out an endless supply of burgers, pizza and pasta!

Excursions and activities We cruised to Mozambique overnight, waking up in our spacious, newly refurbished and fabulously appointed cabins to the anticipation of disembarking over the next two days to enjoy a variety activities on Portuguese Island. Excursions are designed with

everyone in mind and include transfers between Portuguese and Inhaca Islands – to visit to the lighthouse or explore the market village – snorkelling, sea kayaking, a Speed Zone towable platform, supping, floating mats, and a Fun Torpedo. For those feeling a little less adventurous, a shaded spot on the beach or deck, revamped ablution facilities, and a beach braai and bar are just the ticket if you’re looking for a little rest and relaxation. For on-board entertainment, guests are spoilt for choice with theatre productions, movies, bingo, gambling in the casino, interesting talks, quizzes and team games, live music, a disco, various themed parties, and much more. Or, passengers can make an appointment at the hair salon, get pampered at the Aurea Spa, play mini-golf, work out in the gym, or simply relax in a favourite spot.

Photo credit: Emma Dawson

Portuguese Island is an uninhabited natural paradise and protected reserve of unspoiled beaches. Temporarily-built facilities (so as not to impact the environment) include shaded deck space, ablution facilities, an excursion centre, beach bar and an exclusive beach lounge with an MSC Aurea Spa. Excursions include a variety of water sports and transfers to Inhaca Island.

Above: While many continue on beyond this delightful little beach bar and head for Inhaca’s market town and restaurants, this little gem is one not to miss for an ice-cold refreshment on your way to or from the ferry between Portuguese and Inhaca Islands. The food is simple, freshly caught, and absolutely delicious. Above right: Jonas Nhaca, owner, sous chef and bartender at Inhaca Beach Bar, will cater to your every need as you while away a lazy afternoon enjoying the views back towards Portuguese Island.


FEATURE Kids cruise for free Your fare includes accommodation, all meals, onboard activities and entertainment for the whole family. Also, with MSC Cruises, kids cruise for free. All fares are quoted per person, and are based on two people sharing a cabin. Up to two children under 18 are allowed to share the cabin with their parents at no extra cost. However, bear in mind that they will need to pay the mandatory port, service and insurance charges. By nature, cruising is a social affair and is great for children to meet and mingle with others their age. And, once the children are entertained, parents have some down-time to relax and unwind. The MSC Sinfonia offers five different kids clubs that cater for all age groups, complete with specially appointed club areas and a range of age-specific activities, toys and events. Age groups are divided into: Baby Club (a dedicated area for babies under three years old), Mini Club (a Lego® play area for

three to six year olds), Juniors Club (Lego® play area for seven to 11 year olds), Young Club (12 to 14 year olds), Teens Club (15 to 17 year olds), and the Doremi Spray Park – a new play area equipped with amazing water sprays for hours of family fun. In addition to this, MSC Sinfonia offers a 4D cinema, Formula 1 racing car simulator, kids and family pools, an arcade, and mini bowling.

Food, glorious food Mealtimes and the on-board cuisine is a big part of any cruise and MSC offers a variety of innovative activities such as Fun Time Dinner, Happy Dinners, and Kids Around the Clock babysitting services that allow all family members to do things their own way, even at mealtimes, at night, and during shore excursions. For adults, a number of fine dining options are available that are tailored for local palates, as well as a 20-hour buffet service for daytime meals and late-night snacks.

Above: Children can spend hours of safe, happy play time at the new Spray Park on the pool deck. Above right: For the first time on the MSC Sinfonia there’s a Baby Club, designed in partnership with Chicco. Below: The pool deck becomes a hive of activity as passengers gather for parties, drinks, swimming, sun bathing, food, games and magnificent views.

Photo credit: MSC Cruises



Photo credit: MSC Cruises

For the Mini and Junior Clubs, there are two new Lego® play areas.

New separate areas for Young and Teens Clubs include a virtual arcade created in partnership with Namco®, the company behind some of the world’s best-loved video games.

Disembarkation After two fabulous days at anchor we turned for home. Slowly cruising back towards Durban gave passengers ample time for duty-free shopping and to attend a full line-up of shows and events presented by the crew. Disembarkation was an early affair, but it’s a hassle-free and slick operation that even nonmorning folk can easily manage (all helped along by a fortifying breakfast before heading ashore). Before returning to King Shaka International Airport for our flights home, our media group was treated to a fabulous tour of uShaka Marine World and lunch at the Cargo Hold Restaurant. While I highly recommend adding both to your Durban itinerary, this a story for another time. I haven’t been entirely converted from camping to cruising but I’ll definitely add cruising to my holiday options in future. It’s a superb way to travel and offers the whole package – an array of cruise itineraries,

From the young to the young-at-heart, a cruising holiday is an adventure for all ages.

masses of on-board entertainment, culinary delights, and leisure activities to ensure that passengers enjoy their time on board as much as they do in port and on excursions. It truly is a holiday to suit the whole family.

About MSC Cruises MSC Cruises, part of the Mediterranean Shipping Company, has seasonal itineraries that cover northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean and French Antilles, South America, southern Africa, as well as the Emirates and Oman. MSC Cruises feels a deep responsibility for the environments in which it operates, and was the first company ever to earn the Bureau Veritas 7 Golden Pearls for superior management and environmental stewardship. MSC Cruises was born in the Mediterranean and draws inspiration from this heritage to create a distinctive experience for holidaymakers worldwide. Its fleet comprises 12 modern ships: MSC Preziosa, MSC Divina, MSC Splendida, MSC Fantasia, MSC Magnifica, MSC Poesia, MSC Orchestra, MSC Musica, MSC Sinfonia, MSC Armonia, MSC Opera and MSC Lirica. For more information and to discover your perfect itinerary, visit



Send your kids to camp for the

best holiday!


magine a place where kids think that TV and cell phones are boring! At Sugar Bay, your children will enjoy an adventurous holiday making friends from all over the world in the tropical outdoors, and their cell phones will be the last thing on their minds.

What makes Sugar Bay different to other camps? With over 14 years’ experience, Sugar Bay is the first American-style summer camp in South Africa, and is open every school holiday.

Pretty cool, huh? On top of that, we offer: • Over 100 activities to choose from. There are no compulsory activities and campers can choose what they’d like to do for the day. • The best care for your children with a 1:3 staff to child ratio, and 24 hour supervision. • Qualified lifeguards and first-aid trained counsellors to ensure the safety of your children during all activities. • Awesome food! Three meals a day, snacks and a tuckshop. • An exciting theme (eg Minions Week, Toy Story Week, etc) for every holiday camp. • Parents can see all the fun their kids are having with daily Facebook updates and photos. This children’s paradise stretches over 16 acres, with enough space for a soccer field, 25m pool, obstacle

course, paintball arena, indoor sports hall and theatre. The waterfront has private access to the lagoon and beach, and is stocked with kayaks, boards and a boat. Campers sleep in spacious wooden cabins with en-suite bathroom facilities, and enjoy three nutritious meals per day. Some favourite activities include: • Paintball • Dance lessons • Kayaking • Surfing • Four-station bungee trampoline • Stand-Up Paddle Boarding • Zipline • Body boarding • Arts and crafts • Wall climbing • Skateboarding • BMXing

Where is this amazing camp? We are located in Zinkwazi Beach on the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal. We offer a shuttle service that travels to and from Sandton, as well as airport transfers from King Shaka International Airport to Sugar Bay. Cost includes accommodation, activities, three meals per day, and 24-hour supervision. Children must be 7 to 17 years old.

Special offer for readers Save R500 when you tell us that you read about Sugar Bay in Baby’s and Beyond. *T&Cs: This only applies for an off-peak camp, and is subject to availability.



Meccano Tower Crane at Hamleys E


Fun on the menu at Holiday Inn and encourage kids to enjoy healthy eating. A set of 34 main meals (including 12 regional dishes), seven desserts and 10 drinks have been developed to cater to local and international tastes. Each hotel hand picks a smaller selection of dishes that is most suitable for the palates of their guests. Dishes include a veggie pitta burger, sushi rolls, nacho bowl, chicken noodles, DIY falafels, and for dessert kids choose from favourites such as apple crumble, a fruit popsicle or a banana split made with yoghurt instead of ice cream. For more information, visit

Photo credit: Holiday Inn

nterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has partnered with Nutrition Australia to launch a Holiday Inn® Hotels & Resorts Kids’ Menu across the Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) region, featuring flavourful and playfully presented dishes to appeal to children’s big imaginations. All meals contain a nutritious balance of foods from the core food groups; are low in saturated (bad) fats, low in added sugar and salt; promote food variety; and reflect current standards and dietary guidelines. All meals provide a balance of vegetables, meat and wholegrain foods, plus fruit or dairy where relevant, offering a variety of colours, flavours and textures to educate


Photo credit: Hamleys

xplore the heights of your imagination as you combine the world of real engineering with giant crane technology. Construct and then operate the Tower Crane that features three motors for lift and 360° rotation, and LED lights. You have the technology to get the job done with a nearly one-meter tall model crane with a boom arm that is just short of one-meter long. The boom arm features a rolling trolley and can lift up to 500g. Designed for the ultimate collector, this set includes 1 741 parts, two real tools, and step-by-step instructions. The Tower Crane can be controlled by remote control. Ideal for children ages 12 and older, this model encourages problem solving, motor skills and cognitive development and is available at Hamleys for R4 999.99.


Affordable breast milk storage bags Photo credit: Snookums


nookums has launched affordable pre-sterilised storage bags that are ready to use and ideal for storing and freezing excess expressed breast milk. The 25 breast milk storage bags are pre-sterilised (unless opened) and include a writing panel for easy identification and dating. They also have a convenient pour spout, a stand base, and an extrastrong zip-lock seal, making the bag leak proof and able to hold up to 150ml. The bags are BPA free and EU safety tested. Snookums supplies most of the major retail and baby speciality stores, including Game, Baby City, Pick ‘n Pay, Baby Boom, Toys R Us, Reggies, Spar, The Hub, and most leading pharmacies. For more information, visit

Babyglow Smart Suit voted top choice

Photo credit: Babyglow SA


he Babyglow Smart Range was recently awarded three National Finalist placements at MamaMagic Cape Town. Although the products are yet to be officially launched in South Africa, they received outstanding initial feedback from parents and industry players at the expo. The Babyglow Smart Cooling Mat was a National Finalist in the Nursery category, the Babyglow Smart Suit was a National Finalist in the Baby Essentials category, and both were named National Finalists in the Parent’s Choice Awards, making them contenders for the National Winner announcement in January 2016. The Babyglow Smart Suit is a baby grow that shows the slightest increase in a baby’s body temperature by changing from its original colour to white. It is worn and used daily like a normal cotton sleep suit, and helps parents to visually monitor their baby’s health. Smart Suit detects a developing fever hours before symptoms are visible. The Babyglow Smart Cooling Mat uses a specially formulated gel to naturally cool your baby down during a fever or in hot weather. It provides up to eight hours of cooling by drawing out heat and reducing temperature without any power assistance. It’s safe and comfortable for babies to

lie on, and doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge like other conventional cooling mats. For more information, visit the Babyglow Facebook page at Babyglow SA Smart Range.

The Baby’s and Beyond team wishes all our readers, contributors and advertisers a happy, healthy and fun-filled 2016!


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The Low Carb Solution for Diabetics By Vickie de Beer and Kath Megaw Quivertree Publications | RRP R335.00 Pic credit: Quivertree Publications

When working mother Vickie de Beer’s life changed forever, she and leading paediatric dietician, Kath Megraw, set about creating The Low Carb Solution For Diabetics. In the process they developed an arsenal of the most effective systems and day-to-day strategies for practically dealing with diabetes. Part emotive journey, part cookbook and part medical reference, and all bundled up with the care and love of devoted parents, The Low Carb Solution For Diabetics is the fruit of their combined finding. This book is personal and professional, and essential reading that effectively closes the gap for families coping with diabetes.

Mortality Doctrine: The Game of Lives Pic credit: Penguin Random House South Africa

By James Dashner Penguin Random House South Africa | RRP R170.00 Only weeks ago, sinking into the Sleep was fun. The VirtNet combined the most cutting-edge technology and the most sophisticated gaming for a full mind-body experience. But now the line that separates the virtual from the real is blurring. And every time Michael sinks, he risks his life. The VirtNet has become a world of deadly consequences, and the Mortality Doctrine – Kaine’s master plan – has nearly been realised. If Kaine succeeds, it will mean worldwide cyber domination. And it looks like Michael and his friends are the only ones who can put the monster back in the box – if Michael can figure out who his friends really are…

Life is Sweet: The Chocolate Box Short Story Collection By Cathy Cassidy Pic credit: Penguin Random House South Africa

Penguin Random House South Africa | RRP R215.00 It will be difficult to choose a favourite from Cathy Cassidy’s six fantastic short stories in this gorgeous spin-off form the Chocolate Box Girls. Bittersweet – Will Honey’s cry for help cause trouble for Shay and Cherry? Chocolates and Flowers – Can Alfie plan the perfect Valentine’s Day surprise without breaking Summer’s heart? Hopes and Dreams – Will Jodie finally take a risk and step into the spotlight? Moon and Stars – Is Finch and Skye’s whirlwind romance in trouble? Snowflakes and Wishes – Caught up in another daring animal rescue, can Lawrie and Coco save the day? Hearts and Sunsets – Now that Ash’s summer of adventure is coming to an end, what does the future hold for him and Honey?


Baby's and Beyond - Issue 8 - January - March 2016  

Baby's and Beyond TM Magazine informs and educates on family and financial planning, pregnancy, parenting, child care, nutrition, health, de...

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