Acid or Alkaline body – which is yours … and does your reading explain why you are not your vibrant, energetic, hopeful, child-like Self?

We’ve all heard about creating a more alkaline body by drinking salted water with bicarbonate soda, or lemon juice in water upon waking – and most of us definitely need a reminder from time to time! For the benefit of our blood and overall cellular self, it’s so important to check this simple chemical reading. 

We ideally want to reduce inflammation in the body. Doing so prevents all kinds of symptoms like asthma, Candida and “wrong” bacterial overgrowth, pain, muscle tightness, anything uncomfortable. It also sets our bodies up to move through injuries or viral colds/flus efficiently without turning bacterial or septic… 

… and bicarbonate in water is a fab way to do this. 

I was reading up on an important point in Dr Libby Weaver’s book “Rushing Woman’s Syndrome”, a great read on all things digestion and self-help (before you visit the Dr or holistic practitioner office next, read this – it will give you a massive head-start!) 

Dr Libby explains that we want to keep our stomachs’ ACIDIC to ensure we can digest – so no water half hour either side of a meal. Most people think we want an alkaline body and it’s true we want a balanced 7.0 half way between acidic and alkaline, but we actually want the stomach particularly to be acidic for digestion. If we have water and dilute the stomach acid, we can experience reflux because foods aren’t breaking down. We can ensure to drink liberally during the day but consciously break from drinking, either side of breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. 

There are PH tests at the chemist to check how alkaline/acidic we are. If more acidic in our saliva or urine on a consistent basis, it’s great to be using bicarbonate in the early morning. 

Especially because after childhood, our bodies naturally become more acidic – and so the same diet as childhood/teenage years, does the body fewer favours! 

The ph test-kit from the chemist has great food guidelines too, with additional information on why this is important. It just makes sense. The kit is about $28.

Often, our Selves are trying to communicate their stesss by giving us noticeably-uncomfortable physical sensations – like acne and tummy-bloat – for when we don’t have the PH Test kit handy 🤣  

Don’t forget the stress and flight-fight response.

Relaxation, diaphragm-breathing, yoga, sleep, gentle fun exercise and fun, laughter and child-like play, are fantastic for increasing the alkalinity in the body and improving quality of life overall. 

Check your quality of life now if you like 👍How do you fill in the following categories? Do you have a few ways you actively maintain happiness and balance? 

  1. BODY CARE: exercise, healthy eating, treat illness, rest and sleep (my personal ways are restorative yoga, tai-chi and I’m learning Qi-Gong at home with the GAIA app, plus a weekly group Pilates class, 9 hours sleep, reading 📖 a great Australian fiction novel, and cooking (joy in food prep and eating with the eyes is also deeply nourishing!)
  2. ACHIEVEMENT: Work, Chores, Study (my personal ways include our Earthmoving Business, Home Office & Finance, being house-proud and renovating, caring for our many pets, my income from my representing a international health brand, and my Science of Life Manifestation Counselling coursework). 
  3. CONNECT WITH OTHERS: Friends, Family, Community (my personal ways are farm visits in our neighborhood, dinner parties, FaceTime calls, weekends away with family, visits to town, library and museums)
  4. ENJOYMENT: Play, Fun, Pleasure (my personal ways are dancing, bike-riding, beach & swimming, cafes & restaurants, shopping & food-gathering, personal development workshops, enjoying my relationship with my husband, and being present and playful with my kids). 

Creating the yummy balanced body is all made easy in our Real Food Tribe program, so with the combination of mostly plant-based foods, and water, we usually have a good chance at feeling great every morning upon waking, and ready to get on with our life. 💚💜❤️


How to know which oils to use, and which fats are healthy 

Wondering what oils to cook with? Confused about which fats are good fats? Want to know if fat free foods are what they say they are? Wanting to lose weight but are not sure how to? Wondering how to get the good fats into your family daily?Then this is the webinar for you and your family!

In just a few hours time, Wednesday 30th August 7.30pm Sydney Time. Comment below and I will PM you the link to my affiliate’s webinar. 

Food and Nutrition, Parenting Ideas, Self-healing and Wellness

March Connection!

Just a little something to say thank you for being amazing and taking care of your body. Putting your health and vitality first is not always easy to do, and I honour you for your commitment to your healthy body and mind.

If you haven’t yet tried one of our Vegan whole food powders that I absolutely love, and you are one of my current virtual retail store customers, you will soon be receiving a little chocolate (or vanilla) gift in the post 🙂 I start my day with mine and add in rice milk, frozen berries, banana and mango. 100% whole foods, it’s the bomb!

SMOOTHIE FUN: You can add virtually anything to a delicious morning smoothie. You can use coconut water or nut milk, any fresh fruit or vegetables from your crisper or garden, a little sweetener like banana or honey, and quickly turn it into a smoothie bowl, to refrigerate as a chia seed pudding or even pre-make and pack protein balls.

MARCH WEBINAR: Did you have a chance to attend the live webinar in March? If not, you can watch the recording by commenting on this post and I’ll reply to you directly. In this month’s free health webinar, Dr Anthony Golle reveals the truth behind the protein myth, dairy, sugar and many more conflicting pieces of advice we are faced with daily. He also gave tips on how to live with health and vitality, through these modern-day life changing principles. If you did not receive the event invite for March, please let me know and I’ll help you get access for next month 🙂

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EASTER IS AROUND THE CORNER: Are you wondering how to enjoy Easter Celebrations the healthy and wholesome way? The special chocolate edition is now out! Happy Easter Celebrations Guide is a free ebook in the Tribal Wellness private support page on Facebook. There are now over 4,000 members in our community enjoying these resources however I’d love to provide my customers with a hard copy for free – so if you would like to receive a hard copy of the Easter guide in the mail, just reply to this email.

I also want to thank you for supporting 2 incredible organisations this month.

The first, the Child Health Study. If you are participating in the global health study that is feeding 1 MILLION children around the world presently, I am committed to donating a portion of my retail profit from your order towards supporting this incredible study. The results for children, who have been participating, are phenomenal and certainly changing lives. The power of whole foods continues to blow me away.

The second, is our affiliated organisation. Again, because of your order (no matter what you order), I am committed to supporting this organisation by contributing a portion of retail profit. These funds go towards putting edible gardens and building kitchens in schools, providing tailored education programs to early childhood facilities and promoting healthy attitudes in schools where children may not necessarily have the support they need at home to choose the best foods to eat everyday. Many children and teenagers at participating entres get to eat our smoothies after school, for free, everyday too. If you would like to support either of these organisations, in any further way, I can help you do this in the way that suits you. Contact me to chat 🙂

I officially re-launched my business brand, Parenting Energy, as a community with an independent online retail store. It excites me what I am able to create in an online space with my children hanging around in the office with me – technology is still changing my life for the better. You can place orders by getting in touch with me, or simply requesting access to my online store and entering your product choice and payment information – so safe and easy, I know you’ll love the products and ease of shopping as much as I do.

And of massive benefit to you, is the ongoing access to free healthy inspiration and resources including my own ebooks, Dusty’s Wonder Bug, Teaching Our Kids How To Eat Real Food, and Faith In Me: Birth and Pregnancy Companion – as well as the online Tribal Wellness Movement recipe/detox guides and wellness seminars. It is within both the Tribal Wellness Movement private community, and Parenting Energy private community (Facebook pages), where you will find the recordings of 33+ meditations for both you and your children, for any stage or phase in every day life. If you have been connected with me for a while, you might remember receiving these meditations by email each week over 52 weeks, while I travelled the East Coast of Australia with my family.

If you would love to hear about what inspired me to create Parenting Energy and my personal story on the Juice Plus+ products, you can watch my business launch event by clicking this link.

Have an amazing day!

Kind regards,
Jo Becker, Parenting Energy

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Food and Nutrition, Parenting Ideas, Uncategorized

The most important house we will ever live in? Our body.

dustys wonder bug photo

A few years ago we discovered how important it is to take the extra time to learn why we need to eat fresh food that grows in front of our eyes. Since then, I’ve aimed to teach parents to teach their children that it’s simple to grow and eat real food and that it’s easy to decipher the difference between REAL FOOD and FOOD-LIKE PRODUCTS (or FAKE FOODS) – and to even turn this deciphering into a fun game with children.

Like many parents of today, in my childhood and early adult years I experienced a very common detachment from the food-growing process. Sure, I played a part in a home vegetable garden, egg collecting and mulberry picking. Like many young adults, I was taught to buy food from the supermarket… the fancy packaging and cheaper prices equaled better buys.

And then, a few short years into our own parenting journey, our smothered-with-love 6yo Rhodesian Ridgeback died suddenly from poisoning in the blood, ‘perhaps cancer’, where her liver and kidneys failed and she collapsed before our eyes. We opened our eyes. I then discovered through my own research and enquiry that what we put into and onto our bodies MAKES A DIFFERENCE. My research moved past the ideal dog’s diet (which I learned is NOT dog biscuits!) and what I would always do to ensure optimal health in my pets, to the food I was putting into my own body and my children’s bodies. Through tears of sadness, I became very grateful for the message our beautiful dog had sent us.

I learned about the problems with pre-prepared foods that had traveled thousands of klm’s and had been packaged with additives, or had been treated with heat and refined so heavily that all the nutritious content was gone – and some of the ingredients had even turned toxic! Common foods that we ate very day – starting with cooking oils, through to table spreads, to sauces, to milks, and meats. I threw out many items in my pantry without a care to the cost. That food no longer had a place in our life.

I also learned about the problem with our society’s over-consumption of, and addiction to, the processed commodity of sugar. I studied and reported on my experience overcoming sugar-addiction, and the results within our family in advancing on to real sweet foods (aka, fruit) that have amazing benefits – for our body’s health as well as our mental health.

I realised that over my life, I had been apart of the complete and devastating unawareness of our body’s true design (with many influential people in society – teachers, doctors, specialists, parents), and as a result I had supported other people in believing that our bodies could tolerate eating ANYTHING.

In so many ways, our society still supports us in eating recklessly. For many, it doesn’t matter what goes in the body so long as the stomach ends up full and our craving for ‘sweet’ or ‘salty’ is satisfied. If it’s on the shelf at the shops, it must be alright, right? (And for shop-keepers: if the customer wants it, it must be supplied).

While enormous progress is being made, our society still generally believes that healthy food is gourmet and expensive. That cheaper, colourful food made with sugar and paint is a ‘special treat’. That hunger-satisfaction comes out of packets. That cakes, chips and biscuits are more fun and tasty than fruit and vegetables and are OK to have as ‘sometimes foods’ for special occasions (and for a bribe). How many people haven’t realised that the word JUNK FOOD or TRASH was created for these fake-foods because they are quite literally not food and would be better put INTO THE BIN? It took me almost 30 years to finally understand the meaning of JUNK FOOD.

What we want now is a society that teaches our children that our bodies are not rubbish bins! Our bodies are the most important houses we will ever live in. Our bodies are the only house that will ever matter.

From a parent’s perspective, I’ve learned, and I continue to study, that our bodies are designed to eat fresh natural foods to function optimally for a positive, happy and enjoyable life – fruit and vegetables, honey, sea vegetables, etc. I’ve learned clever ways to increase our children’s passion for eating healthy real foods and for teaching them to say “NO” to fake food because we care about US.

And now, I’m so thrilled to share that I have published a colourful, quality Australian-produced children’s book to help parents communicate to children that Real food is Wonder-Full.

I have so passionately written this book. I have never felt more passionate about anything in my life. Every word was carefully written, re-written, pondered over, to pass on to our most loved, treasured gifts, our children, that the environment LOVES THEM and PROVIDES THEM the food their body is DESIGNED TO EAT.

This illustrated Children’s Story, which is all about the magic of real treats growing in our very own garden, imparts a message of ‘giving thanks for our food’ to instil positive thoughts and beliefs in our children. It takes our children on an adventure to see the magic and wonder of real food growing. It teaches them that we need to care for our environment and appreciate the process, as it is what will support us in our long and happy lives.

Dusty’s Wonder Bug is a 40-page illustrated large-format book in print, with an audio CD in the back cover that features me reading the story and playing the piano. The audio CD runs for 15 minutes and is a peaceful rest-time melody, which often puts my children to sleep as we drive in the car or cuddle in bed, letting them dream a little with the story-line about discovering food growing in nature.

When it came to the printing of this book, my husband and I decided to bypass printing off-shore in China with a cheaper rate, and instead support local workers and receive an exceptional Australian-first-class product. The biggest concern for me was the process of producing the book and ensuring the paper was sourced using Australian forestry-approved standards. We ensured that we had the Australian Forestry Approved guarantee. Rather than outsource the task of illustrating to cheap and competitive websites off-shore, I proudly recruited an Australian friend and former colleague for the best-quality illustrations I could get. Bryn Rayfield, as you will see in this book, has created sensational pictures that are being adored, right now, by a collection of children who already have their copy. Bryn Rayfield has made this wonder-full dream a reality and I will be grateful to him forever.

– copyright, Joanna Becker. Contact for permission to reproduce.

Food and Nutrition, Parenting Ideas, Self-healing and Wellness

Stories and ideas for raising ‘healthy eaters’

I was with Master 4 in the kitchen and he pretended to pass me imaginary lollies and cookies out of a tin.
‘Read the ingredients, Jo’, he said.
‘Mm,’ I said. ‘Sugar, glucose syrup, colours, flavours.’
He piped up, ‘food acid.’
‘Yes, probably that too. Not real food hey?’
‘No. No real food at all…’

As usual, he was proud that he was validating what he already knew about RED-LIGHT-FOOD (as we call it, you may know of this term that I’ve written about before).

It’s tempting to jump to conclusions and assume he wants to eat lollies and cookies. And yet I’ve seen many times now that he prefers for me to stay consistent, and say no. He is happier that I prove my love over and over by saying no to unhealthy foods. (I never would have guessed this could happen!)

Master 4 and I (unusually) visited the supermarket together, twice in the last week. Both times he went bezerk at the check-outs with the crazy (yes, CRAZY!) display of confectionary. He fingered and grabbed and begged and negotiated diplomatically until I was simply over the drama. I bent down to him and did what I never do.

I said, ‘That stuff is shit. It’s shit. And I don’t buy SHIT.’ (You thought I was going to say I relented and bought the tic-tacs, didn’t you?)

You should have seen how thrilled Master 4 was! Not only had I validated what he already knew, which is what he was actually baiting me for, but I empowered him to ‘adult status’ by swearing in conversation with him. Officially a big boy. He told the people in the queue behind us, ‘we don’t buy that because it’s SHIT. I’m 4.’

Well done, son 🙂

Have you ever noticed that when you DON’T RELENT to begging, your kids are happier? Mine certainly is. He tests me out to see if I’m consistent with my truth. He is always happy when I stay passionately with my truth and show him that I’m faithful to my beliefs.

Kids love consistency. And he loves knowing that because I love him I only buy him foods that will help him feel happy.

I was starving and thinking about lunch. I was thinking about heavy, hot foods. Then I walked past my climbing snow-pea vine, grabbed about 10, and loved eating the crunchy juicy mini-harvest with my bare feet on the grass. 3 hours later I realised I hadn’t been hungry afterwards. I had been NOURISHED.

It is the LIFE-FORCE of food that fuels us. Life force = ENERGY. The greater the energy in the food, the more nourished we are. The more life in the food, the greater the energy. Whole, fresh foods nourish.

Energy in food is important. Breaking down, refining, processing and cooking whole foods (as done for most packet food) destroys the energy.

We need to eat food fresh and whole – and in fact, the more spiritually sensitive we are, the more we feel nourished merely from connecting with the energy within life foods.

Taste and the sensations of eating are blessings, they are wonder experiences. A part of the experience of being here. Even more satisfying is the experience of eating WHOLE ENERGY that our bodies are built to receive.

There was an article floating around Facebook recently about the components of each whole food and the long ‘label’ description if we ever labeled an apple, for example.

The writer was very clever, but missed an essential point. Whole fresh foods are consumed together in one energetic movement. Additives, (ingredients added after processing) do not contain the whole-food energy that we need to be nourished and live well.

Yes, we pick up all sorts of natural chemical compounds from whole foods.

It’s the togetherness of this whole food that completes us and keeps our body in working order.

Additives put things out of order. They complicate diet by blending random bits of different foods and non-foods (lab compounds). How can we possibly know that our bodies are getting what they need with all this breaking, chopping, changing?

Processing food turns something very simple – the act of nourishing our body – into a thousand-piece puzzle.

Whole foods are simple. Simple. Makes SENSE. And so does a simple, sensible approach.

– copyright, Joanna Becker. Contact for permission to reproduce.

Food and Nutrition, Parenting Ideas

Instinct, Cooperation and Fun: Our Top Tips for introducing food to babies

There are dozens of books and theories on best ways to feed babies, introduce babies to food, and overcome fussy eating in toddlers and children.

How confident are you in your ability to provide the nutrition and vitamins your child needs for this short period in life that gives them so much physical, emotional and mental growth?

We believe positive energy and harmonious relationships between parents and children are the best way to create successful eating habits for life.

Over the years I have researched and attended workshops on establishing best-eating routines within the home, from breastfeeding … to food preparation … to baby-led weaning … to packing lunch boxes … to behaviour solutions.

In this article I’ve explained some of the best tips and ideas I’ve come across from experts, peers and through my own direct experience. I hope you find these Top 12 Tips helpful – and you find confidence to use these proven methods if they instinctively feel right for you.

Note: Parenting Energy and their writers are not health care specialists or child-health nurses and we recommend you always seek professional advice for any dietary or health concerns with members of your family. This information is provided as support and to assist like-minded parents in understanding gentle, child-led, peaceful ideas.

1. Extend breastfeeding.
No surprises here that our number one tip is to breastfeed your baby and treat it like your highest priority in life – because breastfeeding can literally save lives: yours – by regulating hormones and preventing free-radical damage in your reproductive organs; your baby’s – by strengthening their immune system and providing a perfect mix of nutrients, plus many other essential life supports. Read this Baby Centre page for a complete list of benefits to mother and baby.
It is important to provide your baby with breast milk for as long as possible – up to a few years. Our recommendation on how to make it easier to breastfeed for longer include:

– Stop watching the clock, ignore feed frequency and duration, and feed your baby on demand. Your baby will learn how to recognize a full stomach, will realize he/she can choose when to start and stop eating to satisfy hunger, and will recognize that feeding helps with feeling comfortable. A baby cannot put on too much weight from breastfeeding … their chubby little arms and legs will disappear when they start crawling at around six-months old. We believe it is essential to let babies learn the feeling of satisfying hunger based on their own instinct.

– Take a seat and stay a while, don’t rush your feeds or give your baby the idea that you have somewhere else to be. Let him/her see that her feeding is always important to you. Relax into feeding sessions and feel the loving energy – this will trigger hormones that will help keep your supply strong.

– Let your baby feed-to-sleep and dream-feed. A baby who is sucking while falling asleep feels safe, comforted, warm and content. Holding onto your nipple is better than medicated pain-relief (safer, healthier, more effective) when getting teeth or when experiencing cold/flu, colic or reflux. (A dummy was created to satisfy the baby’s natural instinct to suck for comfort… so feel satisfied you are doing a perfectly natural thing by letting your baby hold onto you instead of a dummy).

– Hormones released during breastfeeding promote tiredness in both mother and child, which is nature’s way of telling us it is naturally normal for mother to sleep with child. You may like to consider co-sleeping and bed-sharing as a way to improve your breastfeeding success. The book ‘The no-cry sleep solution’ contains helpful, instinct-based theories on how to help your baby sleep and achieve successful extended breast-feeding with co-sleep and gentle settling techniques.

– Watch your supply and your baby’s reaction to your milk. If you find your supply is low, is decreasing, or your baby’s interest in breastfeeding is decreasing (even after doing the three recommendations above) you may benefit from examining what you are putting in your body that could affect the quality of your milk.

Your body may produce less milk if it is not healthy suitable for a baby to drink. Smoking, alcohol or caffeine will affect your breast milk supply and even the taste to baby (a natural prevention we can be grateful for). The same can happen with some foods and drinks. This web page shows some foods that commonly cause problems for babies. Every nursing mum and baby is different and the best thing you can do is be aware.

2. Set-up a comfortable environment for learning to eat.
From the moment your baby can sit in your lap or in a high-chair, involve them in your family mealtime … for breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner.

Create a routine or consistent set-up of furniture and eating arrangements that are used exclusively for eating, to help your baby associate the routine with eating.

Include your baby in the mealtime by breastfeeding at the same time that you and other members of your family are eating. Let your baby watch what is happening at the table.


3. Watch for signs that your baby wants to eat.
Trust your baby’s natural instinct – your baby will show some obvious signs when he/she is ready to try solids. Some signs include:

– Watching you intently as you eat.

– Getting upset or agitated when you eat in front of baby, or when there are smells of food cooking food in the house (such as evenings).

– Trying to grab your fork or food when it passes by his/her face.

– Putting everything within reach onto the mouth.

– Trying to take food off your plate (or the kitchen table or bench).

I have found that in addition to the above sure-signs of readiness to eat, that our babies’ interest in food increases drastically when the first tooth appears – and for each tooth thereafter.

Readiness to eat solids on a regular basis will happen at different ages, generally after five months but even up to ten months. Watch your baby’s interest in eating at different times of the day and start introducing solids at the time of day they are most alert and interested (usually lunch to begin with, then also breakfast, then also early dinner).

There is no need to worry or rush your baby into eating solids several times per day if you are breastfeeding and they are not showing signs of being hungry, irritable, sick, and they are consistently gaining weight and are developing physically and cognitively in accordance with other babies their age. It does not help to force food into your baby’s mouth or make them upset.

4. Starting with the very first experience your baby has with food it is important you teach them that it is exciting, safe, and enjoyable to eat food.
Try the following ways of creating a safe, enjoyable and exciting energy for eating:

– Sit and relax with baby and take your time preparing and picking at and tasting food.

– Tell stories and make light-hearted conversation. Smile often and use a patient, friendly tone of voice (to everyone within the eating environment).

– Talk about the food and show your interest and enjoyment in eating, and in accommodating other family members requests for different food, sauces, serving utensils, seating arrangements. Always stay positive and accommodating.

– If your baby is not responding well and seems uncomfortable eating with your regular seating arrangements, use another seating arrangement that helps them feel happy for a short period of time. We set our son up in a high chair in front of the Wiggles on TV every night for a week as he thoroughly enjoyed the Wiggles and they helped to create a safe and positive feeling. He started eating well, and after a week we returned him to the regular seating arrangement as he was no longer intimidated or concerned about eating.

5. Teach every family member about Life Foods and the Life-Food-Fun game.
Life Foods are healthy, fresh foods that look the same when harvested as when in the kitchen. Labelled foods are modified foods and foods with sugar and additives that are not 100% nutritious and good for the body. These are usually foods in the aisles at supermarkets and especially those in colorful packaging.

Our method of identifying healthy foods is easy for children to understand. It is fun for the whole family to play the Red Light / Green Light game by spotting a food at home (or at the shops) and calling out ‘Green Light!’ or ‘Red Light!’.

Our little son very proudly identifies foods this way. Confronted with confectionery and ice cream at the movie store, he started singing ‘red light, red light, we don’t eat sugar, red light!’.

You can read about this game and its benefits here.

6. Learn which foods are not safe for babies.
Some examples are honey, nuts, dairy, and packaged foods with additives (flavours and preservatives) and added sugar. Some babies may have allergic reactions so it is important you introduce just one ingredient every few days to begin with, and only provide it again if you’re sure it is safe. It is important to track foods your child is eating so you can diagnose the cause of skin irritations, behaviour changes, upset stomach, sleep disruption or allergic reactions. You can track the foods you are introducing to your child with the Parenting Energy range of diaries.

I strongly recommend that we don’t feed our baby rusk sticks, because they substitute food and learning-to-eat experiences with a ‘food’ that has no nutrition or health benefits. They also carry germs. When your baby is teething, give them a healthy food to chew or suck on (see points below), or your breast for comfort-sucking. This way you know that the food going in will serve your baby’s diet in a positive way.

7. Let your baby suck on food through a net for their first experiences at eating.
You can buy a Fresh Food Feeding Mesh to introduce your baby to first foods. These help your baby to learn tastes, coordinate hand-to-mouth self-feeding, take in small amounts of nutrients and vitamins, and get some relief from teething by chewing on the food.


Try spoon-feeding and self-feeding and observe your baby’s reaction.
Some babies like to suck and eat from a spoon from a very young age, and others prefer to eat with their hands and won’t take to a spoon at all. It is ok to let your baby feed himself as opposed to eating from a spoon, and there is good evidence to suggest that self-feeding is more effective in setting up lifelong healthy eating behaviour. A great resource for learning how to encourage self-feeding is the book and website Baby-Led Weaning.

It is advisable to only introduce foods to your baby’s diet when they are six months old. Before six months, their digestive system may be too immature to break-down and digest the food correctly. From six months, you can help your baby eat virtually any meal that your family is sharing with baby-led weaning. Select an appropriate ingredient off your plate for your baby to hold and have a suck on. For example, a slice of bread, a juicy steak, a piece of cucumber or carrot, or let them get their hands and fingers sloppy in the sauce. Licking and sucking from their hands is a perfect way to introduce flavours and gauge their reaction to the taste and texture.

8. Make your food at home.
While there are many supermarket products available for feeding babies from 4 months of age, nothing beats home cooking and preparation. Why? There are several benefits.

– You know exactly what your baby is eating and because you are more involved, you will take greater interest in what foods or flavours your baby enjoys.

– You can choose what you want your baby to try one ingredient at a time, instead of several ingredients blended together in one sachet.

– You can give your baby foods that are typically within your pantry and fridge that fit in with your typical family menu. Your baby will get a taste for ‘foods of the future’ (and won’t be fussy later on when weaned off supermarket pre-packaged foods.)

– You won’t assume your baby’s stomach is full because he/she completed a sachet or jar (and you are, or are not, prepared to open another). Healthy eating involves eating until full, not until the plate is empty; home-prepared meals are easier to serve more, or less of, than packaged portions.

– You feel more confident and capable to whip up a fresh healthy meal at home, and away from home too. Relying on packaged baby foods means you are less likely to be able to provide a fresh meal when socializing away from home – instead you may find yourself buying foods or not feeding your baby at all.

There are many websites that recommend suitable foods to feed your baby, including this one for preparing simple baby foods yourself at home: Homemade Baby Food.

9. Don’t worry about rules and enforcing them, or get hung up on respectful behaviour.
A very easy way to turn children away from eating is to enforce they follow rules ‘just because’. Requiring that your child sits at the table (whether he/she is hungry or not) will create a resentful relationship and affect the positive energy that you have built in other ways. We often don’t recognize that while we are planning and preparing meals, our child is quite happy doing their own activity and they aren’t mentally preparing for it the way we are. As parent, taking a a flexible approach helps. Consider when your child last ate and whether it is reasonable to expect them to eat again.

– Invite your child to eat with you, and ask them how hungry they are. Involve them in decision-making about the serving of their meal.

– If your child doesn’t want to eat right away, guide them in a polite way to say ‘No, thank you’.

– If you feel as if you must force your child to sit at the table out of respect, ask yourself why you feel this way? Is it a belief from your childhood? Without quoting ‘respect’ or ‘manners’, what other positive outcome do you want?

REMEMBER: Young children will learn good conduct, respect and table manners from watching their parents. If you set an example of calm, peaceful, positive behaviour, and show that you are enjoying the ritual of eating as a family, your child will want to join you.

10. Empower your young child to find food themselves by making the kitchen a welcoming and user-friendly place.
You can help your child learn how to find foods to satisfy their hunger from the moment they start to crawl. You might find it helpful to keep an open mind to re-arranging your kitchen and living areas as your children grow, to accommodate their changing needs and capabilities.

– Keep your kitchen open to your children and put safety latches in place to prevent unsafe drawers and cupboards opening. Move fragile crockery, heavy cans and saucepans, and chemical-based cleaning products up high out of reach. Fill your lower cupboards with your child’s serving plates, drink bottles and utensils and other safe kitchen items such as plastic containers, tea towels and bibs.

– Fill baskets or open-lid containers with fresh food such as bananas, avocados and mandarins. Fill other baskets with other food you buy especially for your child and eat as a family such as bread, wheat-bix, dried fruit. Keep these baskets at a lower level and in an open, light and welcoming location, so your child can grab and start showing interest in food, when they are feeling hungry.

– Only buy healthy foods, mostly produce and life foods. If you have foods in your pantry that have added sugar, colours and flavours, are extra saucy (with additives), or are in colorful supermarket packaging, your child is likely to refuse healthy fresh food now and in the future. If you can change your diet as a parent to healthy and fresh foods, you will find your little copycat will love eating good food too.

– Arrange your fridge for easy selection of good foods. As a parent it can be a wonderful time-saver to chop up fruit and vegetables immediately after purchase to store in a clear plastic air-tight container in your fridge. You will find it easier to select food for cooking and you will save time. You can also ask your baby/crawler/toddler to point at the fresh food they want to eat. An older child can use a step-ladder to retrieve food independently.


11. Pack food to go.
With babies and young children it only takes a few experiences of the same meal for them to like and happily eat it. If you typically leave the house without food and buy fast-food (including healthy foods such as subway and sushi), your baby will expect it every time you go out… even associating the food with landmarks they see out the car window.

It is just as easy to help them create associations between home-prepared meals and going out. Crawlers, toddlers and young children simply adore having their own lunch box and opening it to find a variety of fresh foods. You can pack in your lunch box finger foods such as cucumber sticks with dip, fresh strawberries, apples, banana, sandwich triangles, a slice of home-made cake, nuts, sultanas, a small container of yoghurt (sugar & additive free).

My personal belief is if I haven’t had time to pack a healthy lunch, then I’m not ready to go. I don’t leave home until I’ve packed food, which sometimes means I’m a little late. If there’s so much pressure that I don’t have time to pack a lunch box on a regular basis, I often cancel plans and re-work my schedule altogether to be simpler and less rushed.

12. Involve your young children in food preparation and cooking.
There are many learning benefits to involving your young child in food preparation, which you can read about in one of our recipes.

Start with your baby watching you from his/her high chair. Pass small finger foods to your baby for a taste-test. Then as your baby grows, encourage them to stand on a step-ladder next to you to help with mixing, tipping, and taste-testing.

You can also teach your baby/crawler/toddler the concept of cooking and eating home-made food from their very own miniature work bench or table. Set them up with fruit and a blunt knife to chop and make their own fruit salad. Give them dough to knead for their very own loaf of bread. Give them cookie cutters to cut shapes out of bread, cheese and watermelon. Prepare several ingredients like crushed crackers, diced sautéed fruit, plain yoghurt and berries, to let them build their own pudding by layering the ingredients in a clear bowl and setting the mix in the fridge. Ask them to create a herb and spice mix for you with various jars of spices, like dried parsley, basil, rosemary, salt and pepper.

Good Luck!
We take an organic approach to raising babies and educating young children on how they can support their body’s needs, from their very first breath of air through to when they bravely step out of your sight to carry themselves through their day.

This is by teaching them to react to their body’s cues and prompts and preparing and cooking food for themselves. We hope you can visualize how the above 12 steps will help develop skills for life.

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Joanna Becker is a professional writer for ideas and products that will motivate, inspire and change lives in a profound way. For more information on natural opportunities and ways to change your parenting experience, or to promote your healthy idea or product, visit http://parentingenergy.com.au.

Disclaimer: Information in this article is based on the writer’s experience, beliefs and research but is not supported or qualified by any external organization or institute in health, education or child care. For any concerns about your health or the wellbeing of yourself or a family member, please seek professional assistance. This article and all other content at Parenting Energy is provided for your entertainment only.

All material and ideas by Parenting Energy are copyright. For permission to publish this information on another website or resource please contact us.

Food and Nutrition, Parenting Ideas

Life Foods: Healthy Food at home equals healthy kids

We are having great success with our Food-Life-Fun game at home – and in case you missed it, here are the details. This game will suit you if you are enthusiastic and committed to making sure your kids only eat real, healthy, beneficial food.

Why we created this game?
1. We are passionate about creating and sharing ways of feeding our body in ways that honour the body’s natural, organic functions.
2. We respect the earth and its natural ways of providing us with an edible habitat.

Why is this game important to us?

We live in incredible times, with an intelligent society and more resources and facilities than ever before. Yet I agree with a friend at My Baby Brilliant that we are raising our families in unhealthy times.

We often take what we have been taught for granted. Our parents lived in times of incredible growth with new products to market and exceptional advances in advertising, packaging and marketing. To our parents, new products on the supermarket shelves were a reason to be excited! Somewhere along the line, however, this generation stopped questioning how the food was made and if it was healthy. Supermarkets, which were at first an exciting novelty, became routine and an integral way of life. As children of this generation, we learned supermarket shopping as the only way. We are now consciously and sub-consciously influenced by advertisers and marketers, but have not been taught to question everything.

Trying to educate us, however, are medical experts, nutritionists, naturopaths, social workers, and so on, who encourage us to take on a certain diet or purchase certain food groups and supplements to benefit our health. There are charts and diagrams, tables and lists, of exactly what is in each food, and calculations for us to estimate our daily intake of certain food groups.

When it comes to feeding a family, counting food groups and calculating ‘recommended dietary intake’ is confusing, difficult to teach children, and is hard to live with. And it has possibly created an unhealthy and complicated view of what it really is to be healthy.

Many families are choosing a much simpler and truly healthier approach than label-reading, and in this approach everything is good in abundance and everything is recommended. Parenting Energy call this ‘Life Food’.

Life Food is a simple way to change the way you and your children think about eating. If it’s a Life Food, it’s good to eat.

What is Life Food?

Parents just need to understand the difference between two categories of food: Life Food and Labelled Food.

Life Food is anything that is as close to its original life form as physically possible. It can be grown and produced in your home or by a neighbor – in a metaphorical sense. For example, fresh seasonal produce, free-range animal products, wheat, grains, legumes, etc – anything that can be grown and produced within a family environment and you can see the original food in your kitchen. This also includes home-made preserves, sauces, breads, seasonings, juices, milks, etc, or other creative ways of using Life Foods. We can buy plenty of Life Foods in the supermarket so long as we shop in the fresh-food aisles – or otherwise read packaging to check that Life Foods are not altered in ways we couldn’t do ourselves at home (such as adding excessive and harmful amounts of gluten to bread.)

A Labelled Food is sold in a package and may be something you could never independently produce, due to the complicated production processes – or it may be an original Life Food that has had something added to it that couldn’t be added at home. A tin of beans, for example, contains healthy Life Food until additives and preservatives (acidity regulator) are added. It then becomes a Labelled Food. Rice, a Life Food, is healthy unless it is bleached. Milk is healthier unhomogenised. I.e. The less the Life Food is altered, the healthier it is for your family to eat.

In agreement with many health ambassadors around the world, we believe that any food that has additives we couldn’t grow or produce ourselves could have long-term negative effects on our health. New tests and shocking findings are being released on a regular basis. There are far too many unanswered questions. Yet, with Life Foods, you trust the earth, the farmer, and your instinct – instead of a profit-seeking enterprises.

If you were to take notice of what your family eats for one week, would they be eating mostly Life Foods, or Labelled Foods? If you want to be empowered on the foods and additives that go into your body – you might like to take a Life Food approach.

We have made it easy to get on the right road with Life-Food-Fun.

Life-Food-Fun is helpful for parents taking a real-time experiment and journey of changing the foods in their pantry to help each member in their household live healthier, natural and empowered lives. It makes improving diets much, much easier.

Healthier: Giving bodies the food they need to grow and create healthy cells. Not modifying the food in radical ways that destroys their health benefits.

Natural: Respecting the relationship between the earth and human bodies by eating foods in their natural season that they grow, and minimizing food kilometers (or the carbon impact by food traveling to defy the natural season).

Empowered: Taking back control of what food is put into our body. Deciding to eat only food, and not unnatural additives.

With Life-Food-Fun, you simply play a game with the food that’s available and have a little fun talking about it.

Imagine a set of traffic lights. Red is stop, orange is proceed with caution or stop if possible, and red is stop. From a very young age children can learn and associate actions with these colours, and so we use these colours for Life-Food-Fun.


Life Foods are the green light. Go! Eat as much as you like! Healthy! Eat these all day! These foods help your body! Hooray! For example, all fresh fruit and vegetables.

Then Life Foods, which are blended with oils, are mostly wheat products, or are animal products/bi-products, are the orange light. Hmmm, lets think about this. Is this food helpful for my body? Was it produced safely and respectfully? For example, butter, chicken, etc. A little might be ok but plan your diet well or do your best to stop while you can.

Labelled Foods are the red light. Stop! Think about what you are asking your body to do – this food is not what your body is designed to eat. Sugar has long-term health impacts including cancer. The ingredients in some foods we eat with our family on special occasions (such as ice cream and custard) have harmful ingredients likened to paint stripper. Question everything, and if you can’t understand how a food is made, stop now.

We can eat green light all day and live healthy, happy, empowered lives. Thousands of people do right now. They feel happy and confident, look amazing, are enthusiastic to discover new foods, and they have a tasty, varied diet.

The simplest way to play the game with your children is to tell them, when they pick food, what colour light it is and whether to Go! Wait and think, or Stop. Be animated! And explain why – what is the food doing that is good, or not good, for the body.

As a NAP (Natural-Altermative-Parent) you are most likely already stocking your fridge and pantry with mostly green light foods. Visit Parenting Energy’s Press Room for our articles on healthy food and bodies.

Remember, even if you have a home full of green light foods, you may find that some foods agree with you better than some others do. All people have a body that has its own unique needs that can only be discovered by each person. You will know you best, and you can learn all by yourself.

Kelly Dorfman’s ‘Cure Your Child With Food’ is an eye-opening book on how certain foods affect your child’s physical and psychological behaviour, and their appetite and fussiness towards other foods. Certain foods like dairy suppress a child’s taste buds and the affects can carry into their performance on the sports field and in the classroom. Dorfman, like Parenting Energy, believe in radical action within the home: if you don’t want your child to eat a food, don’t have it in the home. Also alike Parenting Energy, Dorfman’s vision of the future includes nutrition and diet being the first priority for Doctor (GP) appointments, more training for care specialists in dietetics and nutrition, and packaged foods being completely removed from the aisles in supermarkets.


Parenting Energy are proud to be a member of Nutrition Australia. Visit http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/

If you liked this article, please LIKE us on Facebook.

Browse our articles on parenting and wellness.

Join Parenting Energy’s growing list of followers by signing up to our monthly newsletter – for special offers, competitions and more!

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Joanna Becker is a professional writer for ideas and products that will motivate, inspire and change lives in a profound way. For more information on natural opportunities and ways to change your parenting experience, or to promote your healthy idea or product, visit http://parentingenergy.com.au.

Disclaimer: Information in this article is based on the writer’s experience, beliefs and research but is not supported or qualified by any external organization or institute in health, education or child care. For any concerns about your health or the wellbeing of yourself or a family member, please seek professional assistance. This article and all other content at Parenting Energy is provided for your entertainment only.

All material and ideas by Parenting Energy are copyright. For permission to publish this information on another website or resource please contact us.

Product Reviews

Thank you for Sweet Poison, David Gillespie


In a quest to learn how to eat right and have good health for a long lifetime, I visited the library and browsed the health food and diet section. Without too much thought, I grabbed the book ‘Sweet Poison’ by David Gillespie. I’ll admit I was hesitant to read a book with the word Poison in the title. But here was an opportunity to learn if sugar really can decay organs the way it can decay our teeth.

I’m so happy I borrowed Sweet Poison, as it very well could spare us life-threatening sickness later on in life. It would be absolutely foolish to not abolish sugar from our pantry after reading the information that is summarized in this book.

I discovered that Sweet Poison is sympathetic to anyone trying (and struggling) to lose weight. To begin with it compares popular diets and explains the history behind weight-loss theories and why famous diets fail.

I learned here that all food is used within the body in the form of glucose, and that we naturally crave sweet foods as they represent glucose – what we need to survive.

Humans had never eaten cane or palm sugar until the last few hundred years. Humans ate naturally sweet foods – the whole food and not just the sweet juice or syrup – so we had a balanced intake of carbohydrates, proteins and fats that break down to glucose/ fructose/ lactose/ fibre/ amino acids. Many whole foods contain exactly the right balance of fructose and fibre to give us the best intake of energy without any side-effects such as weight-gain or long-term disease such as obesity, diabetes or cancer.

Sugar, when first created as a marketable product after several modification processes, was a trade commodity and was valued at the equivalent of $238 per kilo. Pioneers realised quickly that any food with added sugar had the ability to take advantage of the human’s vulnerable attraction to sweet foods and would become very high in demand – so within a hundred years it became widely produced … and its value plummeted. It turned from an exclusive treat to a common ingredient and then to a grocery staple.

We are overdosing on sugar instead of eating healthy, fresh food alternatives, which our body must have to function as designed.

Gillespie went on to explain that the human body, in its incredible design, has in-built triggers to tell us when to eat and to stop eating. A small part of our brain runs continual calculations on how healthy our blood is and directs the nervous system to communicate messages around the body to bring the body into a healthy, self-sufficient balance.

Our lives depend on these receptors that tell our stomach to rumble when insulin (i.e., blood-sugar) is low, to stop us eating when our glucose intake is again adequate, and to use the glucose consumed as insulin in the blood to give us energy for another period of a few hours. (These receptors also gauge our level of activity and direct through numerous processes our stomach not to rumble during periods of low-activity, such as sleep.)

Gillespie explained how in one day many families consume too much sugar – that converts to glucose – for their body’s dietary needs. We have learned how to extract the sweetest part of fruit out into juices with juicing machines. In doing so, we overdose on fructose (consuming around 3-8 fruit/vegetables) without taking in fibre. Furthermore, we drink juice while eating a regular meal (that translates to more glucose). In addition, we consume artificially sweetened foods off the supermarket shelves and we also add sugar to our own cooking and serving plates.

Gillespie explains that when the body receives too much fructose in a given 3-6 hour period, the body’s incredible functions and your overall health become endangered. I was starting to feel a little alarmed at this point.

Through reading I have learned that type II diabetes is no longer a rare ailment. A graph presenting a curve of the rapid incline of cases mirrors the sugar consumption curve, 30 years delayed. In other words fructose consumption could very well be the cause of type II diabetes but the side-effect takes 30 years to mature. Type II diabetes is a major cause of premature death and a leading cause of blindness, kidney failure and 3000 limb amputations in Australia in 2008.

The curve for prostate cancer shows the same correlation to the sugar consumption curve, with a sixty year delay.

Gillespie explains the affect sugar has on causing osteoarthritis, and that 3 of the 5 major cancers (bowel, breast, prostate) are a result of sugar consumption and that all other cancers grow because of the effects of too much glucose in our blood. Cancers, according to this research presented, would not exist or grow in today’s proportions if we were not in the midst of a sugar epidemic.

And where former generations may have been introduced to sugar as teenagers or adults, meaning they first have symptoms of diabetes, cancer or heart failure from middle age, in today’s generation sugar is introduced to babies just six months old.

Which brings me to teeth and tooth decay: everyone has it, and so the seriousness is dismissed. It is caused by a bacterial infection in the mouth – SM, streptococcus mutans. SM as a bacteria survives on a constant supply of sucrose in our mouths. Rather than address the cause – the intake of sugar – the Australian Government is taking the approach of treating symptoms and treating all of us at the same time – by putting fluoride in our drinking water.

Gillespie found that the Australian Government spends a lot of money patching the damage done by sugar. Back in 2001, Australia spent:
– $3.4 billion on oral health
– $5.5 million on cardiovascular disease
– $1 billion (just under) on type II diabetes
– $2.9 billion on cancers
– $1.5 billion on osteoarthritis

Gillespie closes his book with information on artificial sweeteners that can be used instead of sugar. With the exception of high-fructose corn syrup, other artificial sweeteners that are added to packaged foods, drinks and lollies were discovered in a chemistry lab by accident. Sweeteners are chemical reactions between chemicals used for anything but food. Sweeteners have had alarming health effects when tested on rats, including brain damage. One sweetener is not approved for sale in the US, and another is not in Canada – yet both are approved for sale in Australia. Gillespie expects sweeteners will one day be deemed as responsible for many serious health problems, but because they are still relatively new to market and long-period evaluation cannot yet be conducted, it will be a while before data reveals any alarming facts.

I was definitely satisfied at this point that I had learned what I needed to for removing sugar from our diets. In my view, there is no healf-hearted attempt to removing sugar, just like there is no half-occurrence of cancer or diabetes. What I have learned helps me realize there is nothing good about certain foods, if they are have sugars or sweeteners added (virtually any food in a colourful packet on the supermarket shelf, plus many others). Our approach to eat only Life Foods, using the Life-Food-Fun game, is definitely the easiest way to remove added sugar from our diets without calculations or complicated label assessments – and will help our children learn to eat only whole, healthy foods.

Ice cream isn’t at all delicious if its consumption causes these health problems. Chocolate as a treat? No way. I’m so happy to see we are on the right track with our diet changes. I feel there is much more to do yet, and that similar correlation curves to the ones Gillespie presented could exist for other food factors, such as preservatives, additives, gluten – and even external factors such as car emissions, hand-wash, make-up. My journey is not over yet.

I extend heart-felt thanks to David Gillespie for the work and costs involved in producing his book.


Read more product reviews by Parenting Energy

Activities for Kids, Food and Nutrition

Snow Pea and Soy Udon

My DS (currently 3.5 years) and I have a fun ritual of cooking and eating together every lunchtime – and making a real activity out of it.

There are so many learning benefits to this activity such as encouraging creativity, following instructions, sharing ideas, using teamwork, and asking for help. Emotionally, it provides togetherness and a sense of achievement and pride.

He learns practical skills of cooking too, such as:
– how to cook using kitchen utensils and safe methods
– the difference in the taste between raw and cooked ingredients, and cold and hot ingredients
– how ingredients come together to create a unique taste
– how to use fresh ingredients including produce
– suitable crockery for serving
– culture and traditional values of particular styles of cooking
– quantities and selection of healthy ingredients
– how restaurants provide food (it is possible to cook same foods at home)
– clean- up processes

Kitchen set-up and suitability for children is essential. We have fresh vegetables and ingredients on display and in easy-to-reach baskets in the kitchen so he can help me select ingredients. He has a step-ladder he can carry to various places including sections of the bench where he can reach to turn on the kettle, put scraps into the compost and comfortably pour and mix ingredients in a mixing bowl. To ensure his safety around the appliances, utensils and hot gas element, I never take my eyes off him and do not allow distractions like phone ringing or adult conversations to take priority over what we are doing.

Today we cooked a simple udon noodle broth, with snow peas and boiled eggs. It tasted like a broth from the Sushi Train and it was fun to set up bamboo mats and chopsticks to eat in style.

You will need:
– 1/2 cup soy sauce
– 1 tsp minced garlic
– 1 tsp grated ginger
– 1 tbsp honey
– 1 tbsp sesame seeds
– 1 tsp lemon grass (from jar)
– 1 pack udon noodles
– 3 pre-boiled eggs
– handful of fresh snow-peas
– 1/2 cup vegetable stock

1. Bring a fry-pan to high heat. Add to the pan the soy sauce, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, honey, and sesame seeds. Place boiled eggs on top, cover with lid and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove lid.

2. Add udon noodles and stir-through.

3. Add snow peas on top.

4. Pour in vegetable stock, and continue to simmer for five more minutes.


5. Turn off heat and pour into deep bowls. Nice and steamy!

Caution: Warn children the soup will be hot.