Raising Wild Kids: The Benefits of Outside Play

Raising Wild Kids: The Benefits of Outside Play


I am not an outdoorsy kind of girl. If there’s an opposite to “outdoorsy”, that is me. Indoorsy? Is that a thing? Let’s go with that. I am indoorsy. I choose dinner parties over picnics, yoga over hiking, and reading on the couch over laying on a beach towel in the sun. The sun-kissed, brown-as-a-berry skin I enjoyed up to the age of about 11 is but a distant memory. Pale and proud; that’s my jam.

For the last 18 months, this indoorsy girl has also been a mother. As an immobile baby, my son became very familiar with the confines of our home, of cafes and shopping centres, of friends’ houses and the local library. When he began walking, he was initially content with laps around the house and trips to indoor play centres. But pretty soon, he wanted more. He would stand banging on the back door, begging to be let outside. It was ingrained in him; he yearned to be outside. And so we began making trips out into the yard. Trips to the park. Trips to the beach. And my son became a wild boy.

When he goes outside, he comes alive. He runs, he tumbles, he explores. He gets dirt on his hands and knees. He sits and watches beetles in the grass. He splashes in the mud. He cries when it’s time to go back inside. And despite my indoorsy tendencies, going outside with him has become one of my favourite things.

I recently watched the short film “Canvas of my Life”, featuring the actor Jason Momoa talking about his creative childhood, and the way he is now raising his kids to be wild, free creatives. And despite the fact that it’s actually just a super-long ad for Carhartt pants, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. Because for all my love of air conditioning and cups of tea, nothing beats a shot of a pack of happy kids racing through the woods and climbing rocks with big, wild grins plastered across their faces. That’s the kind of joy I want for my kid.

There are a number genuine of benefits to outside play, too.

1.     It’s active

Put a kid in the confines of four walls with a bunch of toys, and he will sit and play. Let him loose in a yard with grass, trees and dirt, and he’s unstoppable. Kids are natural explorers, and they just love to run. Being outside lends itself to active play.

2.     It’s sensory

They can smell the grass, hear the birds and cicadas, feel the wind on their face and crunch leaves beneath their feet. Outside play fully engages all the senses – yep, even picking up a handful of dirt for a sneaky taste counts!

3.     It’s healthy

They soak up some good old vitamin D, they inhales bucket loads of fresh air, and they stretch those little limbs in new ways, which contributes to their muscle development.

4.     It’s interesting

Our outside environments are subject to constant change – changes in the weather, new weeds popping up between the pavement, new leaves falling from the shrubbery. There are always holes to be dug, ants to be trailed behind and flowers to be picked. The engagement is endless!

5.     It’s confidence-building

Outside play is often quite independent, which gives kids a massive sense of self-confidence as they learn their capabilities and test their limits.

The benefits of outside play are endless, and so important for developing kids. These days I aim to get outside with my son at least twice per day – and I have to say I think I enjoy it almost as much as he does! So let’s hold that thought on my “pale and proud” skin – I just might end up revisiting that berry-brown glow after all!

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Check Out What Is On At The Opera House These School holidays!

Check Out What Is On At The Opera House These School holidays!

There is so much to do at the Opera house these school holiday so get the kids and their friends together and head out for a great day filled with fun!

Children’s Republic (9-13 April)

 

In a republic run by children, what would the rules be? What values are important? How much homework would there be?

 

With a range of activities including, Make your own Flag, Creative play, podcast workshops and a lot more, kids will love everything about Children's republic!

 

Horrible Harriet (8-23 April)

 

Horrible Harriet lives in the roof of her school and keeps teachers chained in the cellar to do her homework! But all Harriet really wants is a friend. When Athol Egghead lands in his hot air balloon, Harriet finally meets someone who understands her. Then Mr Chicken arrives… Fortunately Horrible Harriet knows how to handle him…Or does she? 

 

Filled with songs, laughs and mischievous fun, this hilarious tale of friendship and identity is sure to have kids captivated as they watch Australian Children's Laureate Leigh Hobbs' bestselling series come to life on stage. 

 

Creature: An Adaptation of Dot and the Kangaroo (19-23 April)

 

Discover the magic of the Australian bush in this modern and visually stunning retelling of the 1899 classic children's book, Dot and the Kangaroo. 

Lost in the outback and rescued by a kangaroo, Dot is given magical berries that allow her to understand the animals around her. Join Dot on her journey to find home, encountering all sorts of curious creatures on the way including an acrobatic willy wagtail and quirky kookaburra. 

 

Featuring aerial performances, dance and interactive digital projections of indigenous flora and fauna, kids will love this immersive theatrical experience that explores how our actions affect the native wildlife.

 

So get along to the opera house these school holidays and join in the fun for all ages!

 

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How Swaddling Boosts Your Kids’ Development!

How Swaddling Boosts Your Kids’ Development!

 

As a mum of three enchanting little girls (she said objectively and with a sigh of love), I’ve had my share of failures and successes with upbringing my kids. Not only does the process have a learning curve, but every baby has a unique tempo, personality and needs, so while there is much to learn with the first one, I had to reshape my mum-self to be better suited for my second and once again, for my third daughter.

 

Some things, however, such as swaddling and babywearing helped me stay sane and grow a deep, loving relationship with each of them. That doesn’t mean that all kids and parents enjoy these methods equally, so it’s important to always bear in mind your baby’s health and habits. Let me share with you how swaddling helped me be a better parent and my girls become as lively and happy as they are today!

 

Swaddling Calms Fussy Babies

 

All of my daughters have always had a temperament and they’ve never been afraid to express it! From day one with my oldest daughter, the wiggling and crying were almost endless, which of course lead to numerous sleepless nights. As soon as I started wrapping her up into a tiny burrito, she fell asleep more easily, reacted better to sleeping on her back, didn’t wake up so often and actually cooed more than cried.

 

While some medical experts wouldn’t recommend swaddling, others have recognized its effects on boosting your baby’s ability to sleep better and wake up well-rested and happy.

 

It Has Many Health Perks

 

The comfortable tightness of your swaddle encourages your baby to breathe slowly and mostly use belly breathing, which has endless benefits, from having a soothing effect, to increasing the amount of oxygen your baby gets. This, in turn helps regulate digestion and reduces potential inflammations and rashes. Once I learned all of this, I slept much more peacefully knowing that my baby is safe and sound.

 

It’s good to know that when your baby starts breathing only through the nose and starts trying to sleep on the tummy, it’s a good indicator that you can stop using swaddling and your baby will sleep, well, like a baby!

 

Warmth Boosts the Feeling of Safety

 

Just like when you keep your baby close, on your chest or in your arms, the feeling of warmth when you put them in swaddles naturally soothes your child. I imagine it would be like sleeping in a constant, cosy hug, embraced by that familiar fragrance of safety and cleanliness.

 

The comfortable, safe position of your baby’s hips, back and neck actually allows your baby to relax even when awake. The cotton is designed in such a way to provide a toasty protective layer in winter, and a light, breathable layer during summer, so your baby will be stress-free all the time.

 

How to Pick the Perfect Swaddles

 

If you are a newbie parent or you have many curious minds to confront like I do, door-to-door store shopping is out of the question. And again, if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to get your kids swaddles to match their emerging personalities and find something that just looks like your little bundle of joy. Nowadays you can easily buy swaddles online, check out recommendations of mums who have already tried the brand and use the benefit of home delivery.

 

Look for swaddles that are made of 100% cotton, to ensure proper breathability and hip support, so that your baby can sleep in a natural position. Also, check if it’s a one-size-fits-all, or if you should first weigh your wee one. Remember, a quality swaddle will also serve as a feeding cloth, a light blanket, and a safe toy! You’ll have your gorgeously designed and perfectly safe swaddle ready for your baby in no time.

 

All in all, I now have my two girls already in school and the youngest one in kindergarten, all three curious and clever, emotionally very warm but independent, and they surprise me daily with their bright ideas and incredible imagination. I’m having a hard time believing that they have grown up so fast and that burritos can produce such extraordinary originality and character!

 

I owe at least some of their present confidence and healthy self-love to bringing them up with swaddles and all kinds of baby slings that let us bond and become close. It seems that letting them enjoy their burrito-selves was beneficial in many ways, for me as much as it was for them. Now, our relationship grows deeper and stronger every day, and I couldn’t be more grateful for having three happy little girls that will surely grow up to be amazing people. The bottom line is, motherhood truly rocks!

 

References:

 

http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/news/20050502/swaddling-helps-babies-sleep

 

http://www.normalbreathing.com/why-when-to-stop-swaddling.php

http://www.lilfrasercollection.com.au/collections/swaddle-baby-wrap

 

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WIN A Family Pass To See Titanic The Exhibition!

WIN A Family Pass To See Titanic The Exhibition!

Titanic The Exhibition arrives in Sydney for the first time ever from 8 April at The Byron Kennedy Hall, The Entertainment Quarter. Experience the world’s largest and most comprehensive Titanic exhibition. Receive a real passengers boarding pass, come face to face with an actual iceberg, experience spectacular recreations and witness over 300 artefacts plus memorabilia from the blockbuster film. A must-see for all ages!

 

Competition details: To win a double pass to see Titanic The Exhibition at The Byron Kennedy Hall, The Entertainment Quarter, entry valid from 26 April, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to enter and let us know why you would like to win. Competition ends Friday 14th April, 2017. 

 

Purchase tickets herewww.titanictheexhibition.com.au 

 

 

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Win A Family Pass To See Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies!

Win A Family Pass To See Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies!

The acclaimed new production Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies from Australia’s renowned outdoor theatre producers is coming to the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney for the first time ever playing in the Easter holidays from 9 to 30 April fresh from a sell out tour to London’s Kew Gardens.

In Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies, the adventurous Tinkerbell happens upon the fairies from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Travelling from the Dream Land, the cheeky Mustardseed, fluttery Moth, daring Cobweb and sweet Peasblossom all go on a magical quest with Tinkerbell, learning about the different worlds they are from. 

To win a family pass to see Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies at the Royal Botanic Garden on Sunday 9 April, 12:30pm please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Competition Closes Thursday 7th April, 2017. 

 

Order tickets here:   www.shakespearaustralia.com.au   

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Perth how does Free entertainment provided for children at your favourite restaurant sound?

Perth how does Free entertainment provided for children at your favourite restaurant sound?

How does Free entertainment provided for children at your favourite restaurant sound?  Sit back and relax over a fantastic meal while the kids are entertained! Keep everyone happy! Perfect for your next catch up with family and friends.

Fun2Remember’s awesome entertainers will have the children spellbound with some of their favourite activities including  seasonal themed crafts, games, colouring, toys, face painting and balloon twisting and so much more.

Fun2Remember’s  work with fantastic venues all over Perth to provide entertainment for families to enjoy time together.

 Join them for breakfast lunch or dinner at their weekly VENUES for FREE children’s entertainment,  check out our 

UPCOMING EVENTS 

  

And the fun doesn't stop there you can also book awesome party entertainment with Parties kids Remember, check out their amazing themes here!

All Fun 2 Remember and Parties Kids Remember performers are highly trained with current Working With Children Checks.

Perth's leading Children's Entertainment Specialists since 2001.

Book today and give your child an amazing experience they will always remember!

 

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How To Help Your Little Ones Cope with Kindergarten Anxiety!

How To Help Your Little Ones Cope with Kindergarten Anxiety!

In no way are my children different than those around them; they have a good home, loving parents (yes, we do work too much but we try not to have it impact our relationships with the kids), almost all the opportunities they can imagine and – in all – a very healthy support system to build up their personalities from.

 

However, there are some things that aren’t really rooted in the family, per se; social anxiety (or any other type of it) is predominantly triggered through the child’s interaction with people/kids unknown to them, and surroundings that don’t instill them with confidence and security. It isn’t strange to have a small child develop a form of social anxiety from the early age, usually when starting kindergarten, preschool or school. Naturally, if the child is showing signs of anxiety even without obvious triggers, you should consult your pediatrician and establish roots of such behavior.

 

When my youngest started kindergarten, it was a very difficult time for us. I had already went back to work a few months prior and adjusting to all the changes made at the office while I was away took a lot of energy and time. Lilly wasn’t that happy about kindergarten from the get go, but we figured – she just doesn’t want to be away from her siblings. However, it turned out to be more than that.

 

Whenever she’d come back home, she’d be upset and sad; her teachers told us that she cried every day and avoided mingling with other kids. They didn’t want to alert us until it was every day, for a month in.

 

This is when we knew we had to address the issue and that the current state of things wouldn’t simply “go away”. Here’s what we did, and it helped.

 

Recognize the problem

 

Instead of just letting Lilly “find her way around things”, we actually took the time to acknowledge her feelings and see what the problem is. At first, she didn’t want to communicate anything. Slowly, without pressing her, we managed to learn what was happening. She told us that each time we left her at kindergarten, she feared we would never come back to pick her up. We were pretty surprised; after all, she lives in an adoring family, so her fear of being abandoned was very strange to us.

 

Rationalize their fears

 

After we had established the problem, we realized the best thing to do is rationalize her fears. Talking to her on several occasion got us to understand where everything was coming from. She told us a few kids from her class had similar situations and that it got her very sad and afraid. We managed to soothe her and explain we were not going to leave her, ever. Her amazing teachers at Little Learning School were fantastic in helping us communicate this to her, reassuring her with a positive and safe environment.

 

Be open about the experience

 

Even though she was very little at the time her anxiety got triggered, we weren’t condescending about the fear itself. While she still wasn’t mature enough to understand the complexity of the issue of being abandoned or living in a divorced home, we explained to her that divorces do happen, that mums and dads sometimes don’t live together, that parents die and that negative things can happen, for sure. However, we made her understand that no matter what happens, we’ll never leave her or neglect her.

 

Take a bright approach

 

A positive approach is a healthy approach. Make sure your child understands the benefits of kindergarten and see it as a place of happiness. After all, this is where they’ll gain new experiences, meet new friends, expand their horizons and have fun. Sports, dance classes, abundance of toys and activities, great playground designs, etc. – it’s all at their immediate reach and they should be reminded how blessed they are to enjoy this opportunity.

 

When your children are facing a situation like this or similar to this one, it’s important to stay calm and act confident around them (even when you have doubts). You are their guiding strength, and they need to read reassurance in your body language and hear encouragement in things you say – don’t ever forget it.

 

References:

 

http://www.parents.com/health/mental/dealing-with-anxiety-in-children/

 

https://www.littlelearningschool.com.au/

 

https://www.anxietybc.com/parenting/anxiety-101

 

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Lah-Lah LIVE ON STAGE in 2017 - If you see one family concert this year make it 'Having Fun!'

Lah-Lah LIVE ON STAGE in 2017 - If you see one family concert this year make it 'Having Fun!'
 
Lah-Lah LIVE ON STAGE!
If you see one family concert this year make it 'Having Fun!'
with Lah-Lah's Big Live Band!

Get ready to pull on your best red, white and black stripes because everyone will be Having Fun with stars of ABC KIDS - Lah-Lah's Big Live Band - around Australia in 2017.

 
 
We were lucky enough to get along to this awesome show with my 3 year old son and what can we say but WOW! My little one was mesmerised from the beginning to end, with catchy songs, lots of energy and interaction which made for a really fun day. We highly recommend you take the kids to see Lah-lah live on stage, you wont be disappointed especially when you see your child smiling from ear to ear and singing along to their favourite songs!
 
 
 
 
Adults at children's prices. Under 12 months free at the time of the concert.
To find where Lah-Lah will be performing at a venue near you click here
 
 

Lah-Lah are celebrating the 2017 SONY Music release of their new album Having Fun! with a national live concert tour featuring lots of the brand new tunes from the album including 'I Love Books', 'Number Jive' and a funny twist on 'Old MacDonald (Had a Band)' as well as jamming on their some of their favourite hits including 'Brush Your Teeth' and 'Lola Loves to Dance'.

 
ABC members receive a pair of socks when the Australian Baby Card is presented at the merchandise counter at Lah-Lah Live in Concert. 
 
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Get a bonus Red Nose Aussie Animal plush toy with every AUSTRALIAN BABY CARD purchased from Shop Red Nose this January!

Get a bonus Red Nose Aussie Animal plush toy with every AUSTRALIAN BABY CARD purchased from Shop Red Nose this January!

How cute are these Aussie Animal Plush toys? You can receive one for FREE for the month of January when you purchase an ABC Card through the Shop Red Nose site!

Pop on over and grab your ABC Card today, not only will you save money for your family throughout the year but you will also help save little lives, as every dollar spent at Shop Red Nose goes back to helping little ones.

ABC Baby Discount Card – save money and little lives!

http://www.shoprednose.com.au/australian-baby-card.html

 

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Give your child a head start in school with ABC Reading Eggs!

Give your child a head start in school with ABC Reading Eggs!

Give your child a head start in school with ABC Reading Eggs, the multi-award winning online reading program for kids aged 3–13!

ABC Reading Eggs is designed by literacy experts and uses scientific research to make learning to read easy and fun! For a limited time only, claim an exclusive 4 week FREE trial at www.readingeggs.com.au/abcbabycard.
Don’t forget to SHARE this post with your friends and family!

...

*Offer only available to new customers in Australia and New Zealand. Ends 28 February 2017.

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Is it really possible to feed a family of 4 on $50 a week?

Is it really possible to feed a family of 4 on $50 a week?

 

Is it really possible to feed a family of on 4 for $50 a week?

 

Feeding a family can be expensive, I must admit I am one of those people who takes a list with me to the shops but still ends up adding things to the trolley that I didn't intend to purchase < damn those m&ms. > With the average Australian family spending $204 a week on groceries and $35 on takeaways, it certainly all adds up (very quickly!)

My family spends about $280 a week including cleaning products, toiletries etc for 2 adults and 2 children. I was curious and sceptical to see if we could survive on $50 a week so I decided to set myself the challenge.

I discussed it with hubby and we decided the challenge for us had to include the following:

  • Each day had to include fruit and veggies, can be in baked goods or added to meals etc.

  • We had to feel full and satisfied after each meal

  • Food had to be tasty < husband’s request – haha! >

  • We still had to feel like we had takeaway on Friday night

  • Plenty of snack foods

 

I had my task set out for me!

I sat down and worked out a detailed plan of what each main meal would consist of as this would use up most of our budget.

I came up with the following meals. Please remember they are not gourmet but they are still tasty.

  • Sausages and Roast Veggies  

  • Budget Curry Sausage Pasta

  • Budget Tuna Bake with Hidden Veggies  

  • Budget Shephard’s Pie

  • 5 Veggie Pasties (Friday Takeaway)

  • Budget Spaghetti

  • Pumpkin Soup and Cheese Toasties

 

I then worked out our lunchbox, morning tea and afternoon items.  

  • Budget Banana muffins

  • Veggie slice

  • Pizza scrolls

  • Pear and Apple Muffins

  • Weet-Bix Slice

  • Pikelets

 

Breakfast consisted of either Weet-Bix or toast and leftover Weetbix were used to make slices. Weekend breakfasts we had pikelets/pancakes one morning.

Lunches were leftovers or sandwiches, basic fruit, apples bananas pears and baked snacks.

Afternoon and morning tea either baked goods, veggie slice or pikelets.

I purchased cheese, mince and sausages on sale and at the end of the week we had 1/4 block cheese left, 8 sausages and some bread and milk left, mainly because the tuna bake made for a couple of meals.

It can be done. You can survive on the food and while it’s definitely not gourmet, it takes planning and organising but it can be done.

We get that this won't be for everyone, no one wants to live on sausages and mince (although plenty of struggling families do). We also understand that not every family is the same and some families consist of teenage boys that will eat you out of house and home. Whatever your situation, you can save money.  

This is perfect for a family if you are in a tight spot perhaps your car has broken down, you are struggling to get your credit card debt down or you really want to go on that overseas holiday then this is a sure way to save some quick money.

A few things I learnt along the way or would do differently:

  • Meat generally gets marked down on Sunday nights.

  • A lot of know name brands are fine and still taste great, although I would invest the extra dollar or two in frozen veggies as I found the home brand veggies mainly full of onion and ice water.

  • If something is rotten or not right when you cut it take it back Woolies have a great refund policy, and on this challenge every bit of food counts.

  • Use leftover food to create baking goods, for example if you have left over carrots make a carrot cake slice

  • I would add yoghurt to the list. Although my kids got some calcium through milk, I still like them to have a yoghurt. You can also buy the large tubs of Greek yogurt and use in cooking as well, like this 2 ingredient Pizza base!

  • You can save more by buying in bulk, and planning your meals a fortnight in advance.

  • Plan your following week’s shop by anything you have left over in fridge so nothing gets wasted.

  • Buy tin goods or pasta sauces when on sale.

  • Look at anything you throw out with a $$$ value to it. For example, if you throw out 3 rotten apples think that is $1, you will soon stop wasting food and thinking of ways to use it up.

  • Use the odd bunch or mark down section in your local supermarket.

  • You can save even more by going to fruit and veggie market.

  • Kids don't have to miss out. A movie night with a 99 cent bag of popcorn is still a great treat.

  • ALDI have great cake mixes for 79c, perfect to make if you have to take a plate of food somewhere.

  • You can save more money by getting together with a couple other families and buying meat and other goods in bulk. Costco is great for this.

 

My Verdict:

I will definitely be using the occasional $50 weekly shop in future. I worked out that for us even if we did one week on one week off that our yearly grocery bill would go from $14,560 to$9880 with a saving of $4680 not bad really!

 

Hubby’s Verdict:

Hubby said he found the food tasty but noticed it was less basic then normal. He also missed his weekly roast. Once I told him how much we would save by incorporating the $50 challenge into our lives for only 2 weeks of the month, a roast  suddenly didn't seem so important anymore :)

We would love to hear how you budget to feed your family. It can be a big or small family, basic or bulk cooking. If you have something that works for you, why not let us know so we can share with all the mums out there.

We love a bargain and we love saving you money, after all  Australian baby Card was founded by a mum who simply wanted to find a way to provide discounts for other families, and after 12 years that's just what ABC does!

ABC can save families thousands a year, sign up here and start saving today!

 

  

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spicy Chow Mein in Lettuce Cups!

Spicy Chow Mein in Lettuce Cups!

I think of this is as an alternative to tacos (which we love) but a little less carb heavy, and you can really pack the veg in this dish without the kids getting fussy.

I like quite spicy food, so if you don’t like too much heat then I would just add one teaspoon of chilli flakes to start and keep tasting as you cook, as no-one knows your families taste buds more then you.  I grew up on very hot food, so I had quite a few people test this dish for heat and so far, its had the thumbs up.

This dish is so very cheap and easy to do, you can freeze it (I would leave the noodles out, and boil those up just before serving).  This recipe serves 4-6 people, so if you are a family of four, well you will have some leftover for lunch the next day (Yum!).  This is also great when you unexpectedly have extras at your house for dinner, just plonk the mixture into the middle of the table and lay out the lettuce cups and let everyone serve themselves.  

 

Ingredients

500g of beef mince

1 bunch of finely sliced shallots

2 teaspoons of garlic

1 small packet of vermicelli noodles (or any noodles is fine)

1 teaspoon of ground chilli powder

2 teaspoons of chilli flakes

4 – 5 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 teaspoon of brown sugar

1 level teaspoon of sesame oil

1 & 1/2  level teaspoons of 5 Chinese five spice

1/2 iceberg lettuce

1/4 of finely sliced red cabbage

1 diced (small cubes) zucchini

1 diced (small cubes) carrot

Handful of fresh coriander (to serve)

1/2 red capsicum finely sliced (optional)

 

Method

Brown the mince in the sesame oil, add your spices, garlic and sauces and let simmer for 5 minutes, in the meantime boil up your noodles (they only take a minute or two) and drain.  Add your diced veg, let it cook for another 10 minutes.  Don’t overcook the veg, because you really do want that lovely crunchy texture through the dish.

Place into lettuce cups and serve. Don’t overfill the lettuce cups, because you want to bend it over the mixture almost like a roll when you bite into it.  

I added a few slices of fresh red capsicum on top for that extra crunch.

It’s that easy.

Enjoy!

 

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Easy Roasted Pumpkin & Pine Nut Risotto!

Easy Roasted Pumpkin & Pine Nut Risotto!

Who doesn't love a good Risotto? This is our no fail recipe that is bound to please even the fussiest eater, give it a go as an easy mid week meal!

 

Ingredients:

 1/2 a butternut pumpkin

2 cups of rice,

1 cup of peas

750g of pine nuts,

1 1/2 cups of water & Parmesan to taste.

 

Method:

  • Roast diced pumpkin for 30 minutes at 180.
  • In the meantime boil 2 cups of rice and peas.
  • Roast pine nuts in a seperate tray for 10 minutes before the pumpkin is done.
  • Once pumpkin has cooled, combine the pumpkin and water into a blender.
  • Drain rice and peas. A
  • Add together to form the risotto.
  • Sprinkle pine nuts and Parmesan on top to taste.
  • Enjoy!

 

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Zucchini and bacon slice

Zucchini and bacon slice

This Slice is super easy to make and great for school lunches,  It can be frozen to use at a later date. You can add whatever veggies you have in the fridge too!

Ingredients:

4 rashes of bacon,

2 grated zucchini

2 grated carrots

6 eggs

1/2 cup of milk

1 cup of cheese

1 teaspoon of mustard

1/2 cup of shallots

 

Method:

  • Fry shallots, and bacon in one pan.
  • Combine the zucchini, carrot, cheese, eggs, milk and mustard together in one bowl.
  • Once bacon & shallots has cooled mix through the rest of the ingredients.
  • Place in a oven proof dish and cook on 180 for 35 minutes
  • Slice and serve with a salad!

Serves 8 - 12

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100 Cookies From 4 ingredients!

100 Cookies From 4 ingredients!

We made these cookies to leave out for Santa this Christmas, they were super easy for the kids to make and you can freeze the dough that you don't use for another time. Add what you like as toppings, choc chips, m&ms etc yum!

Ingredients

500g butter

1 can condensed milk 

1/3 cup white sugar

5 cups Self Raising flour

 

Instructions

1. Preheat oven at 180C

2. Line 2 large trays with baking paper.

3. Cream sugar and butter.

4. Add condensed milk and continue to cream.

5. Slowly add the flour to the mixture until fully combined.

6. Divide mixture into4 – 6 different portions depending on how many different flavour biscuits you want to make.

7. Add the different ingredients to each portion eg, nuts, chocolate chips, jam etc.

8. Roll into approx 3/4 inch balls and place on trays, flatten slightly. Place a couple cm apart as they will expand when cooking.

9. Bake for 12 minutes until biscuits are golden in colour. Biscuits may be soft to touch when you take them out of the oven but don’t worry they firm up as they cool. 10. Let cool and enjoy!

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Easy Banana Slice!

Easy Banana Slice!

This Banana slice is pretty easy to make, the texture is a little denser then normal banana cake but it tastes great!

Cake

  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 banana mashed
  • 80 gms butter
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

 

Icing

  • 125 gms of cream cheese
  • 1 cup of icing sugar
  • grated chocolate

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  • This is so easy, pop all ingredients except the icing ingredients into a Thermomix or blender and blend on high for 1 minute.
  • Pour mix into a lined baking tray and pop in the oven for 35 minutes.
  • In the mean time, place cream cheese and icing sugar and mix with a mix master.
  • Once slice is cooled spread across the top evenly.
  • Decorate with grated chocolate
  • Slice and enjoy!

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Honey Ginger Bread Slice!

Honey Ginger Bread Slice!

This Honey Gingerbread slice is perfect for afternoon tea. Eat it warm or cooled it is delicious!

Ingredients

Plain flour 1 cup

self raising flour 1/2 cup

Bicarb soda 1/2 teaspoon

ground ginger 3 teaspoons

ground nutmeg 1 teaspoons

brown sugar 1/2 cup

Honey 1/2 cup

Water 1/2 cup

Butter 125 grams

 

Method

Line a 19cm x 29 cm tray with baking paper

Add butter water and honey to a microwave bowl on high for one minute, stir well.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the butter mix and stir well.

Pour mixture into lined tray.

Pop in the oven at 180 degrees for 35minutes.

Once cooked dust with icing sugar.

Slice and enjoy!

 

 

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No Rice Fried Rice!

No Rice Fried Rice!

After Christmas we are back on the low carb wagon way of eating. Hubby and I did quite well on it in 2016 losing about 15kgs each, this no rice fried rice is one of the dishes we almost live off when eating low carb, its delicious!

 

INGREDIENTS

1 full cauliflower with the florets broken off ready.

150 grams of ham

1/2 a zucchini

1 onion

2 eggs

1/2  a  red capsicum

1 cup of mixed peas and corn

1 tablespoon of fish sauce

2 tables spoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of coconut oil, you can use sesame or olive oil to.

 

METHOD:

Place cauliflower into a blender or Thermomix, blitz in pulses until is rice texture.

Chop up all other ingredients finely.

Add onion and ham to wok or frying pan on medium heat, brown  for 2 mins and then scoop out and put to the side.

Place zucchini, capsicum and corn and peas into wok and cook for 1-2 mins.

Add the blitzed cauliflower to the wok stirring through.

Add the fish and soy sauce and stir through.

Add the onion and ham back to the wok.

While the mixture is cooking, place 2 eggs in a microwave bowl, whisk well then cook on high for 1 min 20 sec, once cooked remove and cut up then add to the mixture. Stir through gently.

Then that’s it, simply serve up and enjoy!

Serves 4

 

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3 Ingredient Fruit Cake!

3 Ingredient Fruit Cake!

I made this 3 ingredient fruit cake over Christmas and it was a real hit with family and friends. This cake would be perfect at any time of the year!

 

Ingredients

1 kilo dried fruit

700 mills Orange juice or fruit juice of your choice.

2 1/2 cups self raising flour.

 

Method

Preheat oven to 170 degrees

Place the dried fruit and juice in a bowl over night and let sit, make sure you cover it.

The following morning the fruit should look plump and some of the juice evaporated.

Add the flour and mix through well.

Line a 20cm tin with baking paper and pour the mixture in.

Cook for approx. 1 1/2 hours checking every half hour. cake is cooked when the middle bounces pack from touch.

Serves 12

 

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$10.00 Chorizo & Sweet Potato Pasta!

$10.00 Chorizo & Sweet Potato Pasta!

This is SOOOOO easy.

This is a great dish you can prepare in advance and just toss the spinach through before serving.

I would say this serves about 4-5 people, and as this can be served hot OR cold its a great dish to take to a barbecue thats just something a little different from your average salad or coleslaw.

Ingredients

3 cups of penne pasta (or any pasta is fine)

2 chorizo sliced and browned gently in a fry pan

1 medium cubed sweet potato (roasted)

70g of butter

1/2 teaspoon of dried sage

2 cups of spinach

Once your pasta is cooked al dente, drain and set aside.  To stop it sticking, add a small teaspoon of butter and stir through.  In the frying pan you used to brown your chorizo, add the 70g of butter and 1/2 teaspoon of dried sage and cook on high until bubbling.  Add the cooked pasta, the roasted sweet potato, chorizo to the butter sauce.  Stir until all the ingredients are covered.

Just before serving, toss the spinach leaves through so you have that lovely fresh bite.  season with a little pepper.

This Recipe was created by Jess Steel from Jess Steel Diaries.

Enjoy!

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