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4 foods to help boost your child’s immune system

Immune-foodsquare


 

With winter now in full swing protecting your kids immune system is integral to helping them avoiding the cold and flu season.

Typically our immune system does a wonderful job of defending our bodies against disease. Every day we come in contact with many potential illnesses through human interaction, holding hand rails and even food. Our immune system is on call 24/7 to safeguard us against these dangers.

“The immune system is made up of the tonsils, thymus, lymph nodes and vessels, bone marrow and the spleen,” says Dr Ryan Harvey of House Call Doctor.

“It is comprised of antibodies, white blood cells and other chemicals and proteins which attack pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses.”

While we may not often pause to think about how we can help our immune system out, ensuring it is functioning to its full potential is vital. Luckily, there are some easy and natural ways to help give your immune system a boost.

If your little one has come down with the sniffles a few times already this year it might be time to look at their diet and the role food plays in supporting their immune system.

  1. Green Leafy Vegetables

“In order to maintain a healthy and functioning immune system fresh food, such as fruit and vegetables, are key,” says Dr Harvey.

Green leafy vegetables in particular are rich in nutrients that help boost the immune system. “Green leafy vegetables are a rich source of iron,” says Dr Harvey. “This helps with the production of white blood cells and antibodies which fuel your immune system.”

When it comes to getting kids to eat green leafy vegetables it’s often easier said than done. Try sneaking them into delicious smoothies.

  1. Fresh fruit

“Maintaining a diet rich in vitamins is important to overall health and immune function,” says Dr Harvey. “This includes lots of colourful fruits which are rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and water.”

The added bonus is that most kids enjoy the taste of fruits, making it easy include more in their diet.

The best fruits for immune health are:

  • Kiwifruit - high in vitamin C and vitamin E
  • Blueberries - high in vitamin C, vitamin A and antioxidants
  • Papaya - high in beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A when eaten
  • Strawberries - high in vitamin A and vitamin C
  • Oranges - high in vitamin C, vitamin A and fibre
  1. Garlic

Garlic has been hailed since the dawn of time as a miracle working food. “Garlic contains anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties,” says Dr Harvey. “These help stimulate the immune system and increase the production of antibodies.”

Raw garlic is most beneficial for health as heat and water can activate sulphur enzymes which diminish antibiotic affect. However, adding garlic to the kids favourite pasta dish may still offer some benefits.

  1. Probiotics

“Foods rich in ‘good’ bacteria, such as yoghurt, can help strengthen the immune system,” says Dr Harvey. “They also help the body digest nutrients in other foods.”

It’s not yet fully understood how probiotics affect the immune system but studies have identified a connection between the immune system and gut bacteria.

If you have a fussy eater on your hands there are some other tips Dr Harvey suggest to help give their immune system an extra boost:

  1. Get adequate sleep
  2. Exercise regularly
  3. Teach them to was their hands thoroughly 

 

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Here's your protein snacks for the week. - Boil 12 Eggs At Once In Your Thermomix!

Here's your protein snacks for the week. - Boil 12 Eggs At Once In Your Thermomix!

Did you know you can hard boil a dozen eggs at the one time in the Thermomix simmering basket?  <Amazing!

Eggs are high in protein and a boiled egg is a great snack to have throughout the day. We love hard boiled eggs as they fill us up more then say a piece of fruit does.

Boiling 12 eggs is as easy as this:

  • Add 500grams of water to  your Thermomix bowl.
  • Add eggs to your serving basket.
  • 18 Minutes / varoma temp / speed 2
  • And Wallah Here's your protein snacks for the week!

  What easy tips do you know using a Thermomix?

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Go Green Smoothie

Go Green Smoothie

 

This smoothie is packed full of greens, the best part is it is sweet enough that kids love to drink it. I make this for my little ones for afternoon tea delicious!

Ingredients

2 cups baby spinach

1 Pear deseeded

1 Apple deseeded

2 kiwi fruit peeled

1/2 Cucumber

400 mills Cold water

1 cup ice

 

Method

Pop all ingredients into a blender and blitz on high for 2 minutes until smooth.

Pour into glasses and enjoy!

Serves 2

 

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Homemade Coffee Face Scrub

Homemade Coffee Face Scrub

This homemade coffee face scrub in my opinion is just as good as any store bought exfoliaters I have used.

The caffeine in the coffee will help reduce redness, the sugar helps remove dead skin cells and the cinnamon is a great plumping agent. If you have sensitive skin don’t add the cinnamon as it can bring out some redness due to the cinnamon drawing blood cells to the surface, it doesn’t normally last long but we recommend that you always do a patch test before using any product on your skin weather it is homemade or store bought.

Ingredients

3/4 Coffee granules

1/2 cup Epson salts

1/2 Cup brown sugar

1/2 Cup Cinnamon

3/4 Cup Melted coconut oil

 

Method

Add salt and coffee to a food processor and blitz for 15 seconds until combined.

Add the coffee mix to a bowl a long with sugar, coconut oil and cinnamon ad stir through until it looks like it has a wet sand consistency.

The scrub will darken up as the oil mixes with the coffee.

Pop mixture into an air tight jar.

Store in a cool dry place

To use:

Scoop out 1- 2 tablespoons and gently rub into your face in circular motions ( don’t forget your neck ).

Rinse off with warm water to remove any excess oil.

Follow with a cold rinse, this will help seal any open pores.

Use once a week.

 

Do you have any homemade beauty treatments you like to use?

 

 

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9 Gluten Free Slices that don't compromise on taste!

9 Gluten Free Slices that don't compromise on taste!

Just because you follow a gluten free diet, it doesn’t mean you have to go without sweet treats, as these delicious 14 gluten free slices prove.

Edit: Please note since posting this blog it has been bought to our attention that one of the recipes uses oat flour, which is not classified as gluten free in Australia, and would make some people with Coeliac Disease very sick. Some other countries have a differing system of grading 'gluten free' so please check this before making.

  1. Gluten free lemon bars from Gluten Free On A Shoestring These lemon bars have a chewy and crunchy crust, with a lemony custard filling. These are the perfect summery dessert when served chilled. 1 2. No bake salted caramel slice from The Big Mans World This no bake slice can easily be made with crackers, store bought caramel and store bought chocolate, but the recipe includes instructions to make your own caramel and chocolate. After all, it’s always going to be a little bit healthier if it’s homemade. 2 3. Raw chocolate raspberry slice from Frankies Feast If your looking for something a little healthier in a dessert, not to mention gluten free, this raw chocolate raspberry slice is it. It involves no baking, and is dairy free, egg free, gluten free, raw and vegan. 3 4. Chocolate chip almond butter bars from Emilie Eats These gooey chocolate chip almond butter bars are so easy to make, and best of all are sweetened naturally using apllesauce. 4 5. Gluten free blueberry bars from Petite Allergy Treats Another raw recipe, these blueberry bars are made from gluten free oat flour, and sweetened with maple syrup and blueberry puree. 5 6. Cherry pie crumble bars from Wicked Good Kitchen These cherry pie crumble bars are the perfect summer inspired slice. While the main recipe does include gluten, just follow the gluten free option notes below the recipe to adapt the recipe. 6 7. Healthy no bake carrot cake bars from Happy Healthy Mama These no bake bars are like a healthy carrot cake in slice form. Like any good carrot cake, they are also topped with cream cheese frosting, yet at the same time contain very little sugar. 7 8. Gluten free chocolate chip cookie bars from Ask Anna Moseley Chocolate chip bars are the ultimate lazy way to make chocolate chip cookies; why shape each individual cookie when you can just pour the entire batter into a slice tin? This delicious version contains no gluten, egg or dairy. 8 9. Chocolate peanut butter fudge bars from Averie Cooks Peanut butter and chocolate are one of those combinations that just always work. These chocolate peanut butter bars combine the two in this super easy no bake, one bowl, gluten free recipe.

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Healthy Rich Chocolate Pudding - Gluten and Dairy Free!

Healthy Rich Chocolate Pudding - Gluten and Dairy Free!

This is a great pudding when you feel like something sweet but you still want it to be healthy.

Ingredients

  • 2 Avocados seeds and skin removed
  • 1 Over ripe banana peeled
  • 1/4 cup Cocoa powder we used Loving Earth
  • 120 grams Dark Chocolate we use Lindt
  • 1/3 Cup Coconut cream
  • 3 tablespoons Rice Malt syrup or honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Banana Sliced for garnish

  Method

  1. Place the avocados, banana, rice malt syrup, vanilla and vanilla extract into a food processor and blitz until smooth.
  2. Pop the chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and cook on high for 1 minute until chocolate is melted. Set aside to cool.
  3. Add the coconut cream and blitz until smooth.
  4. Add cooled chocolate into the mixture and blitz again until smooth.
  5. Scoop into four serving bowels or glasses.
  6. Garnish with more banana and chocolate, you can also add nuts.
  7. Pop in the fridge to set for a couple of hours or eat straight away.

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Our Healthier Take On Chocolate Sauce!

Our Healthier Take On Chocolate Sauce!

We all love a good chocolate sauce don't we? Nothing better then using lashings of it over ice cream or poured over a wicked dessert, but lets face it chocolate sauce is not the healthiest of things to eat is it?

This sauce is still only good for a treat although the ingredients are a lot healthier it still contains calories < when we work out how to make a chocolate sauce with no calories we will let you know haha

Ingredients:

1 cup of coconut sugar or rice malt syrup

1 tbsp natural cocoa we use natures way

2 tbsp coconut oil

½ cup coconut cream

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract healthy - chocolate - sauce - post Instructions:

Place all ingredients in a saucepan on med to high heat.

Continually stir and bring to the boil.

Turn heat down to a simmer and stir for a further 1-2 minutes.

Pour into a container or jug.

Enjoy!

Sevres: 200 mills

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Healthy Hidden Veggie Smoothie

Healthy Hidden Veggie Smoothie

The thing I love about this Healthy hidden veggie smoothie is that I can actually hide cauliflower in it without the kids knowing. < genius!

The trick is to make sure the cauliflower is blended to a really fine dust, I use a Thermomix or Nutri - Bullet, then I add the coconut milk and blend well, your little ones will never know that this super smoothie has a hidden veggie in it!

 

Ingredients

  • 250 mills coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 4 drops liquid stevia
  • shredded coconut to garnish

  Method

  1. Pop the cauliflower into a blender and blitz until a fine sand texture.
  2. Add coconut milk and blend for 1 minute.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend for a further minute, you want to make sure there is no grainy texture.
  4. Pour into glasses and enjoy!

Serves 2

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Gluten Free Berry Green Smoothie

Gluten Free Berry Green  Smoothie

This Gluten Free Berry Green Smoothie is a great go to drink not only for breakfast but also good for when those 3pm sugar cravings come around. Perfect for kids afternoon tea, it is sweet and I tell my little ones it is an Oscar The Grouch shake < works every time.

Healthy, delicious and quick to make yum!

 

Ingredients:

1 cup chopped kale

1 cup baby spinach leaves

1 banana roughly chopped

3 large frozen strawberries chopped

½ cup frozen blueberries

1 cup coconut water

 

Instructions:

Place the Spinach leaves, kale and coconut water in a blender and blitx until smooth.

Add other ingredients and blend for a further minute until smooth and creamy.

Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!

Serves: 1

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7 Simple Ways To Teach Your kids About Feelings

7 Simple Ways To Teach Your kids About Feelings

Learning how to recoginise and control feeling and emotions is such an important part of growing up. These 7 activities will help you teach your kids about feelings in a simple and fun way.

Emotion eggs from Laughing Kids Learn http://laughingkidslearn.com/tool-for-teaching-emotions-in-kids These eggs are a fantastic tool for teaching kid’s emotions, you can use them in so many different ways. You can use them to role play different feelings or to copy the faces drawn on each egg. It’s also great fun to copy the faces in front of a mirror, so kids can see how their faces look when they copy the expression of each egg. 1 Emotions scavenger hunt from Mosswood Connections http://mosswoodconnections.com/activities/new-socialemotional-page/emotions-scavenger-hunt-social-skills-activity/ This game is a great way to build awareness of emotions by people watching. Download the worksheet and find somewhere to sit and people watch, then children can identify people that match the emotions on the worksheet and mark them off. 2 Emotional animals kids game from Craftionary http://www.craftionary.net/guest-post-emotional-animals-kids-game/ All you need for this game is two square wooden blocks and a permanent texta. Next, choose some emotions and write those emotions on each side of one of your dice. Next, choose 6 animals that are easy for your child to mimic and write those on the other dice. To play the game, roll both dice and act it out. 3 DIY kids emotion matching game from B-Inspired Mama http://b-inspiredmama.com/kids-emotion-matching-game-with-free/ This game is so much fun, and is made personal by using pictures of your children. To put the game together, grab a camera and take pictures of your kids acting out each emotions, them print and laminate those pictures along with the emotion words from the free printable. Attach Velcro dots to each picture and emotion word, and children can match the words to the picture of themselves acting out that emotion. 4 Empathy Beads from Sugar Aunts http://www.sugaraunts.com/2015/05/quick-as-cricket-activity-teach-empathy.html These empathy bead bracelets are inspired by the book ‘Quick as a Cricket’. Pull out some pile cleaners and a range of different coloured bracelets. Ask your children to give each typs or colour of bead an emotion, and then create a bracelet made up of the different ‘emotion’ beads. 5 Printable Inside Out emotions board game from Strawberry Mommy Cakes http://strawberrymommycakes.com/2015/06/12/printable-inside-out-emotions-board-game/ If your kids loved the movie Inside Out the are going to have fun playing this board game. First of all, print out the game and cut out the pieces. To play the game, move the pieces as the cards tell you to. When you land on a ‘memory’ spot you have to tell of a time you felt that particular emotion. 6 Exploring emotions with slime from Little Bins for Little Hands http://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/inside-out-exploring-emotions-activity-with-sensory-play/ Start off by making some homemade slime, and dividing it into 5 balls of slime. Next, add a colour to each to represent one of 5 emotions; joy, anger, sadness, disgust and fear. You can then talk to your child about certain situations, and as them to decide how that situation makes them feel, and express it by choosing the appropriate slime colours. 7

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Threading Verses Waxing

Threading Verses Waxing

 

Eyebrow Threading What Is All The Hype?

 

Many of us ladies (and men) have tried lots of techniques to get that perfect brow shape! well I know I have! I’ve waxed, bleached (yep!) and plucked! And they all hurt but have never given me that clean, exact precise arch that I had always desired.

 

That’s until I discovered threading. My bestie who is Turkish has the most amazing eyebrows (as they do) and I envied her for so long. So one day I said “Take me to this Eyebrow Goddess you tell me about and I’ll let her have her way with my brows!”  I couldn’t quite grasp the idea that the shape was created by using a piece of string < amazing!

 

I went along to a local eyebrow threader she got me to I lay down on the massage table, my head on a pillow and the experience began. She got her brush out and brushed my unruly brows then began cutting them, WHAT? Scissors! You’ve got to be kidding me.  Anyway I took a breath and let her do her thing!. Next the cotton thread…..a little tweezing and Bam! 15 minutes later I was looking at what I had desired for many years. Perfectly shaped brows, with that precise arch that I had only dreamed of. It didn’t hurt nowhere near as much as waxing I must say, although some people think it is more painful.

 

So it got me wondering where threading originated, and it turns out that the exact origins of the technique are unknown, it has been used in Eastern countries for centuries, however many believe it originated in the Middle East and South Asia, and then spread to far Eastern countries. All that is used is a sewing thread. It’s knotted at one end, held between the fingers, twisted in the centre and using the fingers, moved back and forth. Tricky huh?

 

Anyway, waxing which is the most common form of hair removal, would you believe it used to consist of a homemade sugar and lemon resin, Yep! Sugar, lemon juice, and water are heated to form a syrup. Who would have thought? The syrup is formed into a ball, flattened onto the skin, and then quickly stripped away, removing the hair from the root! Ouch!

 

The removal of body hair by Western women became more common when bathing suits came about, starting in the 1940’s. Hair removal has been considered, in some cultures as proper hygiene required by local customs for many centuries. Given hair removal dates back to 4000 to 3000BC took us Westerners took a while to catch on haha.

 

So to thread or wax? Well both have their pros and cons.

 

Reasons people often choose threading over waxing:

 

* Waxing can burn the skin; leaving blisters and possibly scars.

 

* Wax residue, or occasionally was removal products, can sometimes cause skin irritations. Given threading requires no products it is less likely that the skin can become inflamed.

 

* Unlike waxing, threading does not have the possibility of lifting, tearing, or over-exfoliating the skin.

 

* It is safe for people using strong medications used to treat acne or also for those who have particularly dry skin, or have been sunburnt.

 

(If any of these apply to you, you should NOT be getting waxed or threaded in the treated/affected areas, and if you are using Accutane, you should not be waxed anywhere, since it's an oral medication).

 

* Many are convinced that threading is more precise, and can achieve a better shape.

 

* Redness is not as prominent after threading oppose to waxing.

 

Reasons people stick with waxing:

 

* Threading takes longer than waxing. Not by much, but because the hairs are removed more gradually some say it hurts more than waxing.

 

* Rolling the thread against the skin does create friction, and occasionally with slack skin, pinching can occur. Both of these can add to the discomfort level. Therapists will get you to hold the skin prior to removing the hair.

 

* Just like when you take time to tweeze your eyebrows at home, your eyes may water.

 

The main point here, no matter what technique you prefer, ALWAYS  make sure that the beauty therapist doing any form of hair removal is qualified and experienced, the premises is clean and professional, all instruments are sterilised and have not been previously used and most of all you’re comfortable with your therapist.

 

So, there it is to thread or to wax? Personally, it’s threading hands down for me.

 

Tell us what your preferred eyebrow removal method is and your experiences have been?

 

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The 7 Tips I used To Change My Hands And Nails From Drab To Fab!

The 7 Tips I used To Change My Hands And Nails From Drab To Fab!

How many of you Mumma’s have dry hands and chipped nails? Well I reckon I’ve got the most horrible hands they’re hairy, dry, wrinkly...well they just look like man hands serious.  My nails are just completely uneven. Let’s face it, I was never going to be a hand model that’s for sure. I must confess that I didn’t look after them consistently enough. I washed dishes with no gloves (Big No NO!).

 

I got quite annoyed after having my kids with the state of my hands, my skin was really dry and started to split and hurt. So I changed a few things and since then, they love me and I love them.

Here are a few tips that have helped me:

1.     I Apply hand cream frequently, especially after washing my hands and I always make sure I apply hand cream to my cuticles which helps prevent cracking and peeling. I make sure I use a sunscreen based cream during the day so it helps prevent sun damage. I keep a tube in my handbag and at the kitchen sink so that I remind myself to use it.

2.     Wearing glove helps protect the nails and cuticles. I use them when I do the dishes, gardening and anything do with water. Soaps and water weaken the nails and detergents dry the skin, despite their advertising.

3.     I stopped using soaps that are antibacterial as it has a chemical called triclosan which dries the skin. I buy milky hand washes, and am trying out some natural antibacterial soaps with tea tree or eucalyptus. (I haven’t quite got the recipe right, when I do I will share it with you).

4.     I coat the outside of my nails with polish, this will help protect the nail and prevent breaking and splitting, at least while the manicure lasts.

5.     Clean all nail instruments and change nail files often. Bacteria and other microbes can get transferred by the nail tools you use, causing infection. If you get manicures at a salon ensure they use clean and sterilized files and instruments. You’d be surprised how many don’t clean their instruments properly eewww yuk!

6.     I stopped using my fingernails as tools to pry things open, come on how many of us do this? Yes they’re handy little things but they weaken, chip and ruin the nail and they look horrid when they break. 

7.     Don’t overuse any kind of nail polish remover. Use a minimal amount on the nail and avoid getting too much on the cuticle and skin. 

It seems like a bit of a routine but really it isn't, if you keep the hand creams where you will be reminded to use them it will be a lot easier.

Do you have any other tips that you use to keep your nails healthy? share with us if you do!

 

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4 DIY Beauty Masks You Can Do At Home!

4 DIY Beauty Masks You Can Do At Home!

 

As a busy Mum I really don’t have the time nor money to be spending up big on beauty treatments. I am quite selective on what I spend it on. Usually on things I can’t do myself like a massage. So I do a couple of these masks on a Friday night and weekends to help me relax and unwind. And I love the fact that I have most of these ingredients in the pantry and fridge. I must add that I usually apply the masks and unwind further with a glass of wine in hand.

 

Here are 4 of my Favorites:

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