Egg Muffins

Egg Muffins

 

We all have those moments when we really just want something quick, easy, and healthy. These Egg Muffins are a great option for breakfast, lunch or snacks and are a great alternative to sandwiches for kids lunch boxes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of your preferred fillings. Some options include grated carrot, tomato, mushroom, capsicum, sweet potato, zucchini, pumpkin, bacon, chicken, and goats cheese
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 tbsp of your preferred milk or water

Method: 

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C and lightly grease a muffin tray.
  2. Cut your larger fillings into 1cm cubes and evenly divide fillings into the muffin trays. Some harder vegetables like sweet potato or pumpkin need to be partly cooked before placing them into the muffin tray.
  3. Beat the eggs and milk or water together and pour the egg mix into the muffin trays.
  4. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until set.

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Healthy Lunchbox Tips

Healthy Lunchbox Tips

It’s that time again! The kids are heading back to school ready for a year full of learning, fun, and making memories with new and old friends.

As parents, we want to know that our children are flourishing during their time at school.  One important part of their day that is sure to help their little growing bodies is lunch time.

Now of course we want to make sure we’re filling their lunch boxes with nutritious options, but we also need to be sure it’s food that will actually be eaten! If it is;t appealing it’s either going to get left in there or worse, thrown in the bin!

So here are some tips to help make sure the food you are putting into their lunch box is healthy and delicious.

1. Look for variety

While throwing together a sandwich is quick and easy in the morning rush, it might not always be the healthiest option for our children. Common sandwich spreads may not contain preservatives, but that doesn’t mean they’re not loaded with sugar or salt.

Also, given that white bread is a simple carbohydrate with little nutritional value, our bodies process it fairly quickly leaving us feeling hungry shortly after we eat. So if we want our children focused on their learning in the classroom the last thing we need if for them to be distracted by hunger.

As an alternative to a sandwich, try something that is high in protein like boiled eggs, or a baked chicken leg. Protein helps our bodies in many ways and also keeps us feeling fuller for longer. It also plays an important role in the building of bone and muscles.

If you feel like you can’t completely avoid bread, try using some wholemeal or sourdough bread or wholemeal wraps and fill them with salad.  

Remember to throw in an ice brick or two and use an insulated lunch box to make sure the food stays nice and cold.

One of my favourite sandwich alternatives are these simple Egg Muffins.  They’re simple and the kids love them.

2. Include fruit, vegetables and berries.

We all know how important it is to eat fruits and vegetables, so why not substitute these for the processed or packaged foods in your kids lunch boxes?

It’s super easy to cut up an apple, and throw in a banana or mandarin, but try to think of other options that will help your child eat a variety of fruits and veggies each day. Cut up raw tomato, cucumber, or carrot, snow peas, passionfruit (pre cut in half, don’t forget to pack the spoon!) kiwifruit, watermelon, grapes or celery. A small portion of cooked corn on the cob is another great vegetable option.

Dips are also a great way to make raw vegetables fun so try cutting them into sticks and pack some avocado dip or hummus too.

Berries will also help to add a sweet treat into their lunch box so while you’re at it, throw in some organic strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries.

3. Have a healthy treat

While in a ideal world we’d all love for our kids to eat healthy food all time, they still all love to have a treat every now and then. So why not jump one step ahead and give them a healthy one to enjoy.

My kids love popcorn and one of the best things I ever bought was a popcorn machine. This allows us to make healthy popcorn without all the nasty ingredients added into the prepackaged ones. Simply pop some into a zip lock bag and you’ve got a great alternative to packaged chips or treats.

Other great healthy treats to try are these Healthy LCM treats, or if you have a food dehydrator, these Homemade Healthy Fruit Straps are a winner too.

4.  H20 is the way to go!

There are so many products out there that are marketed towards children with their kids sized portions and labels. These products might seem like an easy option but when it comes to packing a drink for you child’s lunch box there’s no better way to go than water.

What about fruit juices? Although they might seem like a healthy option, they are may have added sugars or artificial ingredients. Sure juice is fine as a treat every now and then but try and go for something that has no added sugar or even better, make some fresh juice yourself so you know exactly what’s in there and enjoy some with them at home.

5. Preparation is Key

The best way to make sure you always have healthy options for your child’s lunch box is to be prepared. Plan out what you want to include before the start of the week and make yourself a shopping list so nothing is forgotten.

A second trip might be needed in the middle of the week to make sure everything is nice and fresh and to also stop you from reaching for those chip packets when your supply of healthy food is low.

 

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Healthy Strawberry and Passionfruit Fruit Straps

Healthy Strawberry and Passionfruit Fruit Straps

 

Store bought fruit straps can be loaded with extra sugar or added ingredients, often making them an unhealthy snack option for our kids. Try this healthy version for a delicious lunch box snack.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of strawberries
  • Pulp from 5 fresh passion fruit (approximately 1/3 cup)
  • 1tbsp honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Method: 

1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and blitz until smooth.

2. Strain your mixture to remove the passion fruit seeds.

3. Spoon mixture onto pre-cut pieces of baking paper that will fit into your dehydrator. It’s easiest to have your baking paper already sitting in your dehydrator so you don’t need to transfer it later. Leave the mixture approximately 4mm thick as it will become thinner during the dehydrating process.

4. Set your dehydrator to 65 degrees celsius for 6 hours. Fruit straps are ready when they are no longer soft or sticky to touch

Tips: Try this recipe with other fruits too! If you don’t have a dehydrator, try cooking it in the oven on a making tray with your oven set on the lowest temperature, cooking time may need to be varied for a higher temperature.

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Self-care tips for parents of special needs kids

Self-care tips for parents of special needs kids

There’s no doubt the world of parenting can be tricky, after all that gorgeous little bundle of joy doesn’t come with a handbook. And when around 7% of children aged between 0-14 years have special needs, I feel like so many of the parents I meet are experiencing additional challenges as they raise their children. The issues our kids face can be mild or severe and include conditions like autism, ADHD, sensory differences, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy.

Raising kids with additional needs is quite the journey with amazing highs as you build an incredibly strong bond with your child, celebrate their successes, and advocate for them with schools, counsellors, and doctors.  But it can also be exhausting, confusing, and overwhelming.

Over the past couple of years, since my two boys were diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (a terminal condition you can learn more about here), I have discovered a few things that have helped me get through when times are feeling a little tough.

1. Make connections

Something that I’ve definitely found helpful is connecting with other people who are going through the same thing as you. Admittedly it took me quite a while to do this, but with an abundance of groups available, Facebook is a great place to start.

When my boys were diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy I spent a long time not wanting to think about what was going to happen in the future, but once I joined some support groups on Facebook I was definitely glad that I did. They have given me an opportunity to ask questions about everyday life, treatments, medications, clinical trials, assistance in school, the list goes on…

It has also been a place where I can vent during the trying times or celebrate the little wins without judgement or having to explain my child’s medical condition and the lingo that goes along with it. But most of all it has been a place where I have made amazing friendships with other people from all over the world.

2. It’s okay to cry

As my boys’ have a particularly difficult diagnosis, every now and then, I’m reduced to a blubbery mess.  I think a lot of people tend to see crying as a sign of weakness but really it’s just our body’s natural response to the emotions we are feeling. And quite often, if we’re not crying we’re letting everything build up inside which isn’t healthy.

For me, crying is a way of letting out all the built up stress, frustration and grief. It allows me the time I need to acknowledge those feelings so I can refocus and move on. But, I think it’s important not to dwell on these feelings, so let it all out then turn your focus back to the positive and take the necessary steps to move forward.

If you feel like you are struggling to move past the sadness, you may need to speak to a professional who can help you acquire some strategies to help you get through it. I’d highly recommend you speak to you local doctor who can point you in the right direction.

3. Focus on the positive

I’ve been blessed with good genes and a body type I should be grateful for. But, I wasn’t putting good nutritious food into my body.  I’ve come to realise that your body and mind need good nutrition to function at the highest level so you look good, feel good and most of all, your mind is in the best shape it can be.

4. Distraction action!

I can recall more than a few occasions where my friends have labelled me the queen of distraction! This, however, is a good thing.  When times are tough in your parenting role, having something of your own to focus on can make it easier to get through the day.

For me, this definitely became evident when I joined Mummies on a Mission. It gave me the opportunity to realise my own goals, connect with an amazing and supportive community, and celebrate my progress along the way (the income was nice too!).

If your goals currently feel like dreams for yourself are out of reach, check out this article about goal setting.

5. Make time for you

This is an important one! Have you ever heard the saying ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup?’ Between all the challenges, doctors appointments, meetings, and for some people, work, having children with special needs can be exhausting.  So, it’s important to take the time to recharge your batteries.

Find something you enjoy doing, start a hobby, get your nails done, join the gym, go and get a massage, or simply just go and catch up with some friends. Whatever it is, it will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world.  For more ideas check out this story.

6. Ask for help

One thing you need to remember is that you don’t need to do everything yourself! Repeat after me, “I don’t need to do everything myself!” Don’t be afraid to ask for help and importantly, accept it when it is offered.

Help can come in many different forms, having someone look after the kids for a couple of hours while you have some time to yourself, help cleaning your house, help taking the kids on a special outing that you might usually avoid without an extra set of hands, help from specialists so you know what actions to take next, or even just being able to talk to someone. Whatever form it comes in, it will make everything feel a lot more achievable than when you try to do it alone.

This journey of helping our kids be all that can be isn’t always easy (I don’t think ANY parenting is), but it is so very rewarding.  We’re all in this together, reach out if you’d like to join our little community of mums!

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5 Simple Steps to Goal Setting

5 Simple Steps to Goal Setting

Over the past couple of years I have faced so many challenges in my everyday life and let’s face it, sometimes when things get tough it’s easy to throw your hands in the air and tell yourself that everything is just too hard.

I had never really set big goals for myself. I mean, if I wanted to try and do something I would give it a go but I never REALLY mapped out my goals in a way that would help me stay focused and motivated.

So when I came across the idea of goal setting it was something that really clicked for me. It gave me something positive to focus on and make me feel like my goals were achievable

Here are 5 Easy Steps you can take to help you set your goals, stay on track, and turn those distant dream into reality.

Step 1 - Dream Big

A great place to start is just getting all your of ideas out there. Give yourself some time to imagine life without limitations, like money is no option, you don’t have a job to worry about, and you have all the time in the world.

This is your chance to really dream BIG!

Grab yourself a notebook and start writing EVERYTHING down. Some of your dreams or goals might be small and that’s okay too.

Here are some ideas to get you started…

  • Holidays – where to, how often, and who with.
  • House – where you would love to live, how you would like to change your home.
  • Family – things you’d like to do together, how you would like your relationships to improve or progress.
  • Items you’d love to purchase – e.g. new car, new house, handbag, shoes, clothing, cubby house, things for the family, etc.
  • Work – your dream job, when you would like to retire, bonuses or promotions you would like to achieve.
  • Donations – causes that you would like to support

You could definitely narrow your list down once you have finished but it’s important to give your mind a little time to run completely wild.

Step 2 - Set the Date

By setting yourself a timeframe you are making the commitment to start taking action and actually turn your dreams into goals. So many people have goals that they would like to achieve but never actually do anything about it and in the end, their goals just become a distant memory.

That is NOT what we want to happen here!

Go back through the list you created in Tip 1 and allocate a time frame in which you would like to achieve each goal. Are they goals you would like to achieve in one month, three  months, six months, one year, two years or five years?

Rewrite your list in groups of when you would like each goal achieved and highlight the ones that are most important to you. This will also give you a clear idea of the things you are working on now, while also keeping in mind your long term goals.

Step 3 - Get attached to your goals

Having an emotional connection to your goals is the perfect way to make sure you stay committed to achieving them, no matter what obstacles get in the way (because let’s face it, there’s likely to be a few!).

Take some time to really think about the goals you have written down and how you would feel once you have achieved them. Take some time out for a little daydreaming and picture yourself living life as if you have already achieved them.

How would it change your life? How would it make you feel? What positive impact would it have on you and your family?

Pencil in some time every few weeks to look back over your goals and revisit your emotional connection to them. This will help you stay excited and motivated to keep working towards them too.

Step 4 - Visualise your Goals

Having a visual representation of your goals is a great way to stay motivated. If you’re anything like me, you’ll also enjoy the opportunity to sit down and get creative.

There’s an abundance of options out there when it comes to creating a vision board. You could either cut pictures out of magazines that represent your goals, use pictures that you find on the internet and print them out, use letter or number stickers, or even just use a collage app on your phone. It’s also a great idea to throw in some inspirational quotes and the date for the completion of your goal.

Once you’re finished, you need to put your vision board somewhere you will always see it. Some places that might work are in your bedroom, in your office (if you use it regularly), or even save it as the screensaver on your phone.

Step 5 - Baby Steps

Sometimes when we set a long term goal, it can be really hard to stay committed to achieving it, especially if it feels so far out of reach. But if you look a little closer what you’ll probably find is that these bigger goals can be broken down into a few smaller goals that will all add up to help you reach your end goal.

As they say, a little bit of progress each day all adds up to great success!

You should also take the time to celebrate the success of your smaller goals. You might do this by rewarding yourself with a nice dinner out or buying yourself something special. It doesn’t need to be anything big, just something that will be a reminder of your achievements.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get to work and make this year your best year yet!

 

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Learn about becoming a part of our tribe of Mumpreneurs…