Smash! Fit for Kids

Smash! Fit for Kids

Super Fruits






Fruits like vegetables are important health givers and protective foods for children. To benefit from the fantastic nutrients in fruit, kids need to eat at least 2 or 3 helpings every day. Below I have outlined a number of fruits that kids need to be eating which include apples, melons, oranges, lemons and grapefruit.




An apple a day keeps the doctor away. This is because apples contain phenolic acids and flavonoids in the skin of the apple which is rich in antioxidant qualities. Apples also help inhibit the growth of bowel and liver-cancer cells and contain significant anti-viral properties.


If a child can eat 5 or more apples per week they can improve their lung function which will keep them free of coughs, bronchitis and asthma. Apples are also rich in soluble fibre and protein which can help the body eliminate cholesterol and toxic heavy metals like lead and mercury.

















Melons have a great taste and real benefits for a kids health. Melons are a treat that is great to have during hot weather days. A large slice of melon helps with the digestion of rich fatty foods and are good for children who suffer from constipation. Melons contain potassium, iron, vitamin C and folic acid.




Oranges are high in vitamin C which accounts for most of the beneficial influence on a kids health. Vitamin C helps fight infection and plays are major part in helping the body absorb iron from other foods. Oranges also contain beta-carotene which helps strengthen the walls of the tiny blood capillaries. Blood oranges are particularly rich in protective antioxidants. 


The fruits, flowers and peel of both bitter and sweet oranges have long been used in herbal medicine. The peel of oranges contain hesperidine and limonene which are used in the treatment of chronic bronchitis. Tea made from the dried flowers is a mild sedative.















Lemons have many health benefits. Lemon juice with hot water and honey is the first thing you give to a child with a cold, a temperature or the 'flu. Used in food preparation, lemons not only supply vitamin C but also is a wonderful anti-bacterial. Lemons are also friends to the digestive system and a thick slice of lemon in a glass of hot water is an instant remedy for a tummy upset.




Grapefruit is also high in vitamin C - the deeper the color, the more the vitamin C the fruit contains. The pith and skin between the segments contain bioflavonoids, so don't scrape them away. The pink ones are sweeter, too, so are more palatable for children. Grapefruits are rich in vitamin C and folate.



Six Superfoods for Pre-School Years




Pre-school years for children occur between the ages of 3-5 years. During these formative years pre-school kids energy requirements increase dramatically. Children of this age bracket are physically much more active, their developing their brainpower and mental skills and their bodies are growing rapidly. It is imperative that children in this age bracket have good calories derived from a well-balanced intake of foods that also supply adequate amounts of the other essential nutrients


Boys of this age generally need around 1,700 calories a day while girls need around 1550 calories per day. Because children of this age can develop voracious appetites to fuel their calorie needs, it's all too easy to submit to 'pester power' and to let your youngsters get their calories from the worst possible food sources including fats and sugars.


Packets of potato chips, sweet biscuits, sweet drinks, sweets and chocolates are an instant and easy solution. But this type of diet of high-fat, high-sugar, high-salt convenience foods carries the following risks:


  • Filling children up with these types of foods displace healthy food items from the menu.

  • Allowing your children to eat these bad foods encourages bad eating habits and foster an addiction to salt and sugar which are likely to stay with the child for the rest of their life as well as turn him/her into one of today's generation of overweight kids.













Six Superfoods for Pre-School Children


  • Bananas provide a 100 calories of super nutrition including potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid and fibre.
  • Buckwheat makes wonderful pancakes as "holdalls" for many other foods. Buckwheat is rich in rutin, which protects the circulatory system and helps reduce the effects of over-consumption of wheat.
  • Chicken is easy to cook and perfect protein for children. Stir-fried vegetables, wrapped in a buckwheat pancake; it is an ultimate superfood.
  • Grapes are adored by all children and are full of vitamins and energy.
  • Potatoes boiled or baked in their skins, roasted in olive oil are filled with fibre, vitamin B, minerals and vitamin C.
  • Wholemeal bread should be encouraged by parents for children at an early age. Wholemeal bread is another good source of vitamin B, protein and fibre.

Six Superfoods for Toddlers



Toddlers have an abundance of energy as they grow and explore their environments. To fuel all of this activity, a toddler needs plenty of carbohydrates found in grains like wheat, rice and oats. They also need starchy vegetables which includes carrots, potatoes as well as plenty of fruits and milk. Toddlers also need good quality proteins including meat, fish and eggs.


As far as possible, toddlers should be eating some of the same food as everyone else in the family even if it means mashing the food up. A taste of pasta, a small serving of vegetables as well as a couple of spoonful of stew can help make a toddler feel one of the family.












Six Superfoods


  • Millet is the only grain that is complete protein as well as rich in iron and other minerals too. Millet is also easily digested.

  • Beans are a great energy food that also supplies protein. Baked beans in tomato sauce with wholemeal toast and a piece of fruit make great toddler food. 

  • Salmon supplies vital fats to the nervous system and brain as well as provides quality protein.

  • Yoghurt is rich in calcium, protein and some important B vitamins and is much more easily digested for a toddler than milk. The friendly bacteria in live yoghurt aid in digestion.

  • Kiwifruit has a distinct taste and can be quite challenging for toddlers taste-buds. Kiwifruit is rich in vitamin C which remains in the fruit even after lengthy storage.

  • Cauliflower helps boost a toddlers resistance and protects against respiratory problems.

Slippery Elm





Slippery Elm has been around for centuries with many Native American tribes using it to treat wounds and skin irritations. They also believed that Slippery Elm was effective against sore throats and coughs and even gastrointestinal conditions. Settlers from Europe quickly learnt how beneficial Slippery Elm was and was used during the American Civil war to treat open wounds.














What is Slippery Elm?


Slippery Elm is a species of the elm native found in North America. It is a medium sized tree with rough leaves and bright green flowers which come out in March before the leaves appear. The inner bark, which is a pale spongy layer found between the rough outer bark and the wood of mature elm trees is dried and shredded. Only a small amount can be removed at a time of the tree is to remain healthy.


Benefits of the Slippery Elm


  • When mucilages in slippery elm comes in contact with moisture, it absorbs the water. This causes the mucilage to swell and form a gel which coats skin, wounds and sores. This gel helps soothe irritated or inflamed tissue.

  • Slippery Elm may also be used to help with the symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders. These include heartburn, gastritis, stomach ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease.

  • Slippery elm can also be used to treat irritated or inflamed skin as well as help with minor burns and skin wounds including boils and abscesses. It can also be used in the treatment of gout, inflamed joints and toothache.














Side Effects of taking Slippery Elm


Touching slippery elm may cause an allergic reaction in people allergic to elms. Applying slippery elm to the skin may cause local burning, itching, rash, redness or scaling.  



Guidelines to taking Slippery Elm


When taking slippery elm products orally, always take it with plenty of water to prevent swelling and possible internal blockage. 


Anxiety Cough: What You Need To Know



Justin is 15 years of age and suffers from anxiety. The thought of going to his cousins place on the weekend makes his heart pound faster and his palms sweat. Justin also has a cough which starts with a tickle at the back of the throat. When Justin coughs it seems that he is trying to expel something from his chest. It is bizarre as the cough only lasts for the period that Justin is suffering from his anxiety episodes.














Research has shown that there is a correlation between anxiety and an intermittent cough. When a person suffers from anxiety they usually have problems with the way they breathe due to the impact the anxiety causes on their lungs. When a person is experiencing an anxiety episode their breathing is usually short and rapid which reduces the space in the airways causing the body to cough. The body reacts with a cough as it tries to expand the airways to allow greater volumes of air to be inhaled into the body.


A cough caused by anxiety may also occur because the body enters into a flight or fight mode in response to an perceived danger (anxiety event). During the fight or flight response mode the body acts quickly suppressing body functions that are not needed to deal with the anxiety episode. Energy is directed to those organs, muscles and glands that are perceived to be in direct danger. This is a fantastic response system when the perceived danger is occasional however with someone who suffers from anxiety, the perceived threat is always constant.This has an adverse effect on the immune system, as it is suppressed during an anxiety episode and is not needed in the flight or fight mode. A suppressed immune system allows for bacteria and viruses to enter the body and take hold which is why an anxiety cough may be present during anxiety episodes and may linger longer than is expected.


A third reason why a cough is present during anxiety episodes lies with a nerve that runs from the brain stem to the internal organs of the body. This nerve is called the Vagus nerve and is directly responsible for providing nerve fibres to the throat, lungs and heart. It is also transports sensory information from the throat to the brain. Because the vagus nerve is part of the nervous system it is impacted during an anxiety episode as it is over stimulated. An over stimulated Vagus nerve causes adverse problems in the lungs, and throat which result in a dry or nervous cough.











 Overcoming an Anxiety Cough


The main problem with an anxiety cough lies in the learnt behaviours that has occured over many years with a persons breathing patterns. As you are suffering from an anxiety episode your breathing is usually rapid and short. This type of breathing is non productive and is the polar opposite response you want when you are trying to calm your body down. The key to controlling your anxiety response is to control your breathing. This can be tough and requires many hours of retraining of the mind to breath in through the nose and out through the mouth slowly and in a controlled manner. The goal should be to breathe in through the nose for a 5 second count. Then hold for two seconds and then breathe out through pursed lips for a 7 second count. A tip that may assist you with this breathing process is jogging as jogging trains the body to breathe in and out in a controlled manner.


Reducing your exposure to the anxiety event is another way to reduce the anxiety cough. In Justins situation he could simply not go to his cousins place which would reduce his anxiety episode. This is not always possible as every situation that causes anxiety in life cannot always be avoided. If Justin was to not go to his cousins place it may be perceived as being rude becuase his cousin is family. There is research that shows that confronting you anxiety head on is the best way to overcome your anxiety episode. If this approach was to be considered then it is recommended that it is done under the guidance of a health professional that has an understanding of anxiety exposure therapy.


It is important to note that although an anxiety cough is problematic it is not a serious health issue. It does usually disappear once the anxiety episode has passed.

Vitamin K



Vitamin K has many benefits including its use by doctors for blood clotting. Vitamin K helps heal incisions in surgical patients and helps to prevent bleeding problems in newborns. This vitamin also helps build strong bones and may have some benefit in combating the threat of osteoporosis in older women.











What is Vitamin K?


Scientists know that Vitamin K in the body comes from two sources. About 20 percent comes from Chlorophyll  (better known as vitamin k1) which is the substance found on plants. The other 80 percent comes from bacteria that lives naturally in the gut and makes menaquinones which is better known as vitamin k2. Vitamin k1 is present in many foods including leafy green vegetables such as cabbage and spinach and is also present in liver, cow's milk and some cereals.










Benefits of Vitamin K


  • Vitamin K is used by doctors and surgeons to reduce post surgery bleeding or haemorrhaging. 

  • Vitamin K may play a role in cancer prevention and may help those undergoing radiation therapy.

  • Some studies suggest that vitamin k may halt the build-up of disease-causing plaque in arteries, reduce the blood

    level of LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of arterial calcification.


Side Effects of Vitamin K


There are no reported side effects of taking vitamin k orally as long as it is taken in the recommended doses. High doses of vitamin k may counteract the blood coagulation properites of vitamin k, increasing the risk of bleeding.



Guidelines for taking Vitamin K


Vitamin K should be taken with meals because food enhances its absorption


8 Time Savings Tips in the Kitchen




I am always looking for more efficient ways to prepare and cook food in the kitchen. These 10 tips outlined below will help you save that precious time in the kitchen cooking and preparing food. It will allow to spend more time with your family. 














Tip 1: Clutter slows down your cooking time - Tidy as you go placing food waste into the bin as it appears


Tip 2: To skin tomatoes and peaches quickly and painlessly, place them in a bowl and cover with boiling water.

Test the skin of one with the tip of the knife and when it is ready the skin will just slide of.


Tip 3: Keep a shopping list in a prominent place where you can access it quickly to note essential store-cupboard


items that are running low, so that you can replace them before they run out.


Tip 4: To skin a clover of garlic quickly, crush it under the blade of the knife.


Tip 5: Make a supply of salad dressing and store it in a tightly sealed bottle - one with a porcelein cap is ideal -


place in a cool position. The dressing can double as a marinade for chicken and fish.


Tip 6: Before you start a recipe, make sure you read it through, and make sure you have all the ingredients and


the necessary equipment on hand.


Tip 7: Have plenty of kitchen paper on hand to blot meat, fish and vegetables dry after cleaning them, Paper towel


is also important for draining excess fat from fried foods, cleaning spills and wiping frying pans clean.


Tip 8: Keep three or four medicine-sized bottles containing olive oil, to which you can add herbs and spices to.

garlic and chilli's for Mexican marinade, rosemary and oregano for chicken dishes, dill for fish and oregano for


Mediterranean flavour.







Zinc is a mineral that everyone needs to function properly. Zinc fuels enzymes that do multiple tasks from making DNA to healing wounds and keeping the body's hormones in balance. Zinc is crucial in maintaining a strong immune system and help fight the common cold. Still, many Australians still don't get enough zinc on a daily basis.






What is Zinc?


Zinc is an essential mineral required by every cell in the body. Zinc is found in large numbers in the bones, skin, kidneys, liver, pancreas, eyes and in men the prostate. Zinc is prevalent in drinking water and some foods including meat. Your body doesn't produce zinc, so it depends on external sources for its supply (Vaughan, 1897).


The Benefits of taking Zinc


  • Zinc treats many conditions and diseases including acne, dental problems, fertility for men and women as well as chilhood malnutrition (Readers Digest, 2007).

  • Zinc is necesaary for the immune system to function effectively and is important in fighting colds and mouth ulcers.

  • Zinc may also stimulate the healing of wounds and skin irritations and is usually in fighting acne, burns and inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis.

  • Early research has shown that zinc may also help reduce the risks of some types of cancers and treat diseases of the central nervous system including Alzheimer's disease.

  • Zince may also stimulate metabolism and promote a healthy pregnancy and good health in the elderly (Readers Digest, 2007).













 Side Effects of taking Zinc


High doses of zinc can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, metallic taste in the mouth, dizziness, headaches, sweating, liver failure, kidney problems and various types of anaemia. Studies have shown that taking more than 100mg of zinc on a daily basis can impair the immunity and interfere with the absorption of copper and iron (Readers Digest, 2007).


Guidelines for taking ZInc


 It is recommended that zinc is taken 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. If it causes stomach upset, then it should be taken with low-fibre food. Taking zinc for longer than a month may interfere with copper absorption, so add 2mg of copper for every 30mg of zinc (Readers Digest, 2007).






Readers Digest (2007). Drugs and Supplements - More than 1300 Medicines. Readers Digest Publishing Sydney Australia.


Vaughan, L. B. (1897). "Zincography". The Junior Encyclopedia Britannica A Reference Library of General Knowledge Volume III P-Z. Chicago: E. G. Melven & Company.


Little Poem about Public Speaking




As I sit here waiting to speak,

my heart is pounding and my body is weak.


I feel the sweat building under my arms,


slowly filling my shoes and dripping from my palms.


I am scared, I am nervous, I am worried I will fail,


in front of all of these people who are waiting for me to unveil,


my speech on Napoleon and his greatest feats,


how he conquered the whole of Europe without missing a beat.














Public speaking is hard, it is my greatest fear,


especially when I choke up, mumble and my speech is not clear.


I have tried breathing and meditation to calm my mind,

along with therapy and supplements in the hope to find,

a cure for public speaking phobia that has me entwined in a bind.



As I stand and deliver this speech to my peers,


I catch a glimpse of my teacher which helps settle my fears.


One word, two words, three words, four,


my speech has begun and my confidence soars.


My teachers nods and confirms that I am doing fine,


  which further calms my nerves and settles my mind.













I am now near the end with only a few words left to say,

when my class stand to their feet, clap and yell 'Way to go Jay'.


My teacher smiles as she says 'Jay you have done us proud',


 because you have overcome your fear today of speaking in front of a crowd.




I am glad that it is over and I was able to complete my speech,


develop inner strength and confidence which at times has been hard to reach.


As I take this strength and confidence into my next public speaking test,


I can finally lay the anxiety, and fear experienced with public speaking to rest.  









Jealousy – The Green-Eyed Monster





John is 25 and has just started his own development company... He is ambitious and has just built a large designer home. It is magnificent with all the luxuries you can imagine in a modern home... Pool with built in bar, cinema room, wine cellar... You name it and this house has it.


As John talks about his home, feelings of inadequacy surge through my mind as I think about what I don't have and why I wasn’t able to build my own designer home. As these feelings swell inside me, I start to question why I feel so down and where these feelings are coming from.

Afterwards as I sit and contemplate why I was feeling so down, it hits me like a tonne of bricks; it is the green-eyed monster raising its ugly head. I am feeling down because I have discovered that John who is younger than me is achieving more than I have achieved and this is why I have inadequate feelings inside me. It is Jealousy and it is a curse eating at my insides, devouring my self- worth and challenging my self- esteem.












Why am I feeling so jealous?

Jealousy is a complex set of feeling and emotions that are instinctive within everyone. The feelings of jealousy creates doubt and insecurities that pose questions that challenge your personal worth against particular situations or events. For example, you may experience feelings of paranoia when you notice your partner showing interest in the opposite sex. Your rational perspective on things goes out the door and you start to question your own self-worth and beliefs with statements like “Why does he want to talk to her? What does he offer?” These questions raise doubt and challenge your worthiness of being with your partner.


The issue with jealousy is that it masks deep seeded feelings of possessiveness, insecurities and shame that are carried around from childhood. At some point in your childhood you may have witnessed relationships that were destructive or experienced a parent who criticised you about your looks, your weight or your abilities. These comments and experiences from your childhood are memorised and internalised and manifest themselves when you encounter similar feelings in your life. For example if you were criticised and put down when you were younger for being overweight then you will carry those feelings into romantic relationships you may have in your life. As soon as your partner acknowledges someone else’s looks, or looks at the opposite sex you begin to feel jealousy creeping up inside you as you internally confront these demons.
















Three simple ways to rid yourself of jealous feelings

  • Try not to compare yourself to others. This may be easier said than done however it is important to realise that everyone has a different beginning with different support mechanisms and different reference points in their life to call on. In the example above, it is naive to think that my personal situation and experiences in life is exactly the same as John’s and thus I should compare my circumstances and experiences to John’s circumstances and experiences. John may have received family assistance that has provided him with the platform for him to start his own company. John may have won money or received an inheritance that gave him the financial backing for him to build his home. You just don’t know what someone else’s situation is and to compare yourself and your worth against someone else’s life is totally unrealistic.

  • To overcompensate the feelings of low self-worth, some people use jealousy as a game to build their own self-esteem and self-worth. Jealousy is not a game and should not be used for personal benefit. This tends to manifest itself in relationships where one partner may flirt constantly with the opposite sex to obtain attention. This is usually done when the partner comments on another person’s appearance, there wit or their personality in front of their partner. This can be demeaning and can drive a huge wedge in the relationship. Using jealousy games in the hope of receiving attention from your partner is a dangerous game that can end very badly.

  • The last tip that I can over to assist with jealousy is to breathe and calm your mind. Find a cool quiet place where you can close your eyes and relax. Breathe deeply and focus your mind on different parts of your body. Shake the tension out of each part of your body until your muscles start to relax. This process allows you to concentrate on your body and removes the focus away from those feelings of low self-worth. Once you have mastered this process, you can then work through your feelings and emotions that have caused your jealousy. For example you could visualise your partner flirting with others and see yourself not reacting or responding in a jealous way. Instead you visualise yourself being calm and detached from the situation. At first this may seem strange but the more you practice with visualisation techniques the more easily it will come to you to the point where jealousy will no longer cause feelings of low self-worth.
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