Posts tagged parenting

HEALTH: Teaching ALL kids about food allergies

26 May – 1 June is Food Allergy Week, and it is a timely reminder that we need to teach ALL children about food allergies, whether they have an allergy or not. 

Schools and day care centres are nut and egg free. However, without realising it, a parent may accidentally include foods in their child’s lunch box – something that could be highly dangerous to children with allergies.

Parents can teach their children about food allergies by: 

  • talking them through the different types of foods other kids are allergic to.
  • explaining the reactions these foods may cause.
  • teaching them what to do and who to tell if one of their friends has an allergic reaction to a food.
  • reminding their child not to share their food at school.
  • reminding their child to wash their hands after every meal.
  • teaching their child to be inclusive and not to isolate someone for being different.

For parents, it is a good idea to ask a parent of a child with allergies as many questions as they can to get a better understanding of food allergies.

Australia has one of the highest rates of food allergies in the developed world and the incidence is increasing at an alarming rate.

  1. One in 10 babies born in Australia today will develop a potentially life-threatening food allergy.
  2. Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia estimates that there are more than 650,000 Australians with diagnosed food allergy – which doesn’t account for the many who are undiagnosed.
  3. There has been a rapid increase of food allergy over the last 10–15 years. Anaphylactic reactions now account for 1 in every 500 hospital admissions for children aged 5-14.

Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA) is calling on Australians to join together for one week in May (13-19 May) to Be Aware. Show You Care. The week aims to help raise community understanding of food allergy and much-needed funding.

Be aware

“Allergic reactions to food can rapidly become life threatening, so education on daily management, prevention of a reaction and emergency treatment is crucial,” said A&AA CEO Maria. 

“It is essential for Australians to know the signs and symptoms of when a food allergy occurs. Food Allergy Week is about helping keep people with food allergy safe by making Australians allergy aware.”

Show you care

1. Donate at foodallergyaware.com.au or hold a fundraiser to help raise much needed funds for food allergy research and education.

2. Educate yourself and others by sharing Food Allergy Week content with friends, family and through social media channels by using the hashtag #allergyaware

For further information, please visit www.foodallergyaware.com.au.

Originally published on 23 May 2019 on Kids on the Coast magazine

LOCAL LIFE: The mamas behind The Village Markets

Established in 2008 and loved by locals and visitors alike, The Village Markets aka TVM is a boutique market and community for creative entrepreneurs. With an emphasis on highlighting local emerging designers and creatives and supporting small business, TVM hosts over 100 carefully selected stalls with fashion, art, homewares, as well as mouth-watering food trucks and local live music. 
Held on the first and third Sunday of every month at Burleigh Heads State School, TVM is a must visit on the beautiful Gold Coast. 
We sat down with co-founders Marissa Bowden and Sarah Schoeller to talk family, work and an exciting new event being launched in Brisbane.

How did the idea for The Village Markets come about?

Sarah: After being made redundant, Marissa and I brainstormed the idea of a community event that celebrated local talent. We had some time off between jobs and our original idea manifested into TVM. Marissa and I both worked together in marketing and events, so our professional backgrounds and personal passions lead us to creating the event as it is today.
Marissa: We really wanted a unique, creative event on the Gold Coast and a meeting place for likeminded people like ourselves, to hang out on a Sunday morning, while also supporting emerging creatives starting out on their business journey.

How many children do you have?

Sarah: Lola (4) and Posie (2)

Marissa: Stevie (7) and Pepper (5)

How would your kids describe you?

Sarah: Lola would say, ‘Mummy smells nice, helps me and loves me’ and Posie would 
say ‘Love Po’.
Marissa: Haha! depends which day you ask them! Today, Stevie said ‘Mum’s awesome!’ and Pepper said ‘I love you’!

What’s your favourite thing about being a mum?

Sarah: The love… so much love.
Marissa: The constant learning and deep deep love – oops that’s two.

How do you celebrate Mother’s Day?

Sarah: We get my rather large family together for a BBQ breakfast by the beach. The kids run wild and we enjoy bacon and eggs with the whole family. It’s such a nice time to get the whole family together and spoil our Mammas.
Marissa: Well first things first, it’s beautiful homemade gifts and cards from my little girls – the absolute best! Followed by coffee in bed. Then we usually have a casual lunch or BBQ with my family including my mum and sister. Very simple, the way we like it.

What advice do you have 
for mums wanting to get back into the work force?

Sarah: Do what is right for you and your family, whether that’s working full time 
or pursuing your own thing. For me, 
working keeps me sane, so it’s as much 
about contributing to my family as my personal happiness. 
Marissa: Do what makes you happy! 
Follow your heart.

What do you love about 
the Gold Coast?

Sarah: The beautiful coast, lifestyle, friends and family.
Marissa: The lifestyle for sure. The ability to create a work/play balance you cannot find anywhere else.

What is your favourite 
kid-friendly place to eat?

Sarah: We love Back Bone in Tugun, 
The Bread Social in Tweed, Wazen at West Burleigh or Justin Lane pizzas at the beach.
Marissa: The Salt Mill for morning bowls, fish and chips at our local beach in Palm Beach is pretty hard to beat, or Zipang in Currumbin for Japanese.

What is your favourite place on the Gold Coast to spend a day with the family?

Sarah: We frequent Tallebudgera and Currumbin creeks a lot, or on other days we’re regularly at David Fleay Wildlife Park and hanging at home playing in the yard.

Marissa: A perfect Saturday for us is spent at home in Palm Beach. Starting with a trip to our local farmers’ market to get or organic produce for the week, a morning surf and swims, catch up with friends and make some yummy food at home listening to our fave music, then a late afternoon bike ride! Easy and slow – the best!

You’ve launched an event in Brisbane, tell us about that! 

Yes! We launched our first Brisbane event late last year prior to Christmas. Held down Logan Road, Stones Corner, the event brings TVM Good Vibes to Brisbane with 90+ boutique stalls, live music, street eats and our famous Rack Sales. The next event is 30th June 2019.

Originally published on 10 June 2019 on https://kidsonthecoast.com.au/read/life-stories/article/local-life-the-mamas-behind-the-village-markets

REVIEW: Brooklyn Depot – Surfers Paradise

Located in the heart of Surfers Paradise, in the 4217 building, is Brooklyn Depot. For burger lovers, this place is heaven! For people visiting the Gold Coast, Brooklyn Depot is a short walk away from most accommodation and for locals, you can either catch public transport or park in the Bruce Bishop and get your ticket validated once you have finished your meal.

The kids enjoyed the Brooklyn Classic burgers with the biggest side of fries they had ever seen! My two older kids are in that in between age where kids meals are too small but adult meals are too much – these burgers were perfect.

 

I was after a bit of spice so I ordered the Nashville burger which included Southern Fried ‘Howlin’ hot chicken, coated in Nashville hot sauce, sliced lettuce, sliced pickles and chipotle mayo – the burger was huge!

 

Verdict? The kids loved their burgers and skinny fries along with some cheesy sticks and potato nachos. I also ate every single bite and even though I was busting at the seams, it left me wanting more. The portion sizes are bigger than average so you will definitely get your money’s worth.

Side note: While the kids wait for their meals, they can enjoy some colouring with colouring pencils and paper provided or they can enjoy playing a range of board games, cards or Jenga.

Brooklyn Depot definitely ticks the boxes for being family friendly. There is also some great art work on the walls and props around the place so you can ask the friendly staff to take some family snaps – they’ll all be framers, I promise!

Address: 4217 / 10 Beach Road, Surfers Paradise

For more information go to www.brooklyndepot.com.au

WELLBEING: Extreme heat conditions: Preparing our kids

This heat is affecting both children and adults. My 10-year-old daughter came home from school last week and told me during and after practising for the school cross country she had a throbbing headache and felt quite ill. She continued to tell me this was the most intense headache she had ever experienced. It sounded like a migraine. For the rest of the afternoon, I made sure she had kept hydrated and went to sleep with a bottle of water next to her bed. She also had a cool shower to cool down which seemed to work a treat!

She was fine the next day, however, I gave her a few things to be aware of.

  • Drink water throughout the day, because in this weather we can lose a lot through sweat. Drinking water before outdoor physical activity is especially important.
  • Wear a hat at all time when outdoors, it may not look cool, or it may be annoying but it will definitely help especially if you’re in direct sunlight.
  • Try and play in shaded areas if possible. Kids at my daughter’s school can go into the library or the computer area and sometimes teachers allow kids to stay in the classroom and play.
  • Eat all the lunch, especially fruit in the lunchbox. An empty stomach can make things worse.
  • Early bedtime to allow the body to rest and recover from a hot day.

As easy as these reminders may seem, children can get busy playing at school, they forget to eat their food or consistently drink water, so a reminder every day or two may benefit your child greatly.

 

Originally published 19 February 2019 on Kids on the Coast magazine

WELLBEING: Dealing with end-of-year busyness

The last term of school is often the busiest and most overwhelming. Leading up to the holidays, there are exams, end-of-year performances, Christmas carols, class parties – and that’s just for the kids! Add in your own work parties and family catch ups and getting organised for the holiday season into the mix and it can be a recipe for an overwhelmed and tired family.

Through experience, I have learned that dragging your children from one function to another is not healthy for them or you. When young children are mentally exhausted, as well as sleep deprived, they can become emotional and temperamental. Along with the lack of sleep, eating sugary foods from all the pre-Christmas treats can affect a child’s mood which makes everyone’s lives a challenge!

Here are some of the things you can do to get through the pre-holiday busyness:

  • Write down any school, work and social events and functions coming up on a calender. Write down everything the entire family has on leading up to Christmas. This way you can visually see everything and decide what works and what doesn’t. Deciding what to attend and what to say no to can put your mind at ease and take away the stress doing too much and trying to fit everything in.
  • Feel good about saying no. You don’t need to attend every event and function you are invited to. Only take on the things you can handle without you or your family suffering.
  • Pick a time to leave a function and stick to it. This way you can do the rounds and not feel bad about leaving. You don’t have to be the first to arrive and the last to leave a party.
  • If you have evening functions, make a point of giving yourself and your children some chill out time at home. Give the kids some free play time and let them relax.
  • Try to catch up in larger groups so you don’t have to go to so many smaller gatherings. I find this works out well for all involved.
  • Gatherings don’t always have to be in the evenings. If you have children, you can have a barbeque and swim at the beach or a picnic and play at the park with friends.
  • With everything going on around you, make a point to schedule some ‘nothing’ time. If you can’t do nothing, do something relaxing which lets your mind and body rest. Remember, physical and mental exhaustion causes overwhelm and stress. ‘Nothing’ time for children is a great way for them to center and ground themselves.
  • Attending lots of events and functions can mean your food routine can become irregular. Keep eating the healthy wholesome foods at home as it can become easy to eat take away and fast food when your time poor. Keep some healthy snacks for yourself and the children in your bag for when you are on the run.
  • Feeding your children a healthy snack or meal before a party means they won’t reach for too much junk food. A sugar hangover is just as bad as an alcohol hangover and more times than not a child will become overly emotional. Keep a bottle of water for your children in your bag and offer it to them if you see them reaching for a fizzy drink.
  • Make sure you’re not compromising your sleep for partying. Lack of sleep can cause stress and overwhelm. Lack of sleep can also affect our moods so we may lash out at others simply because we’re tired and aren’t functioning at 100%. Children definitely need a good night’s sleep every night. A young child can’t explain how they are feeling a lot of the time and can become over tired and irritated.
  • If you are planning on having a drink, make sure you work out how many you can safely have if you are driving you and your family home. Have a glass of water between drinks and if you are over the limit, order a taxi to take you and your children home.
  • Take advantage of the pre-Christmas sales and buy all of your gifts at once. Write down who you are buying for, get on line or go through the catalogues to see what is available and pick a day where you can get it all done. This will take a lot of pressure off leading up to Christmas and hopefully save you money! Ask if the store you are buying from gift wraps or take advantage of shopping centre wrapping services. It is usually a gold coin donation and can save you a lot of time.

Remember, too much busyness is not healthy for the mind or body and when you try and fit everything in, running from one thing to another, the fun becomes a chore. It is not your job to make everyone else happy, it is your job to enjoy the last part of the year with your family and friends.

Originally posted 05 November 2018 on Kids on the Coast magazine