Activities for Kids, Food and Nutrition, Parenting Ideas

Helping Your Children Crave Healthy Real Food Tomorrow

As an author of children’s book Dusty’s Wonder Bug, which encourages eating whole food and calling real food grown in nature “treats”, people chat to me and say that their kids would NOT eat vegetables in the past. If this is you now, it doesn’t make you a bad parent!!! It’s simply the times we live in, what our bodies have been taught to crave, and what’s available as far as nutrition goes.

Yet here I have just walked into the kitchen to see my 4yo mixing up a tall glass of water with 17 different varieties from dehydrated powders for no other reason than MUMMY I FELT LIKE HAVING MY CHEWIES. 

He dropped his green and red CHEWIES in the already nutrient-laden water to use as ice cubes. CUTE. 

If you have kids, you know that what you give your kids’ bodies today they will CRAVE MORE of tomorrow. 

More than 70% of illness is widely preventable by 7-13 servings of fruit/veg/berries/sprouts/legumes every day. 

Another EASY WAY to make it happen, along with leading by example and following the techniques in my book Teaching Our Kids How To Eat Real Food is this: 

If you encourage they have fun with these chews, what you might see happen is kids rummage through the fridge to eat cucumber, carrots, spinach, and load up their smoothies with avocado, and start filling up their own lunchboxes with cold broccoli and even zoodles (zuchini noodles) with pesto, just like I’ve seen in my home and in the home of many friends around the globe. 

While I’m not an active distributor for anything other than my books, I will more than happily refer these food products to you. I’d love to invite you to use my virtual office to get your order in quickly and securely. Below thumbs up this post and I’ll message you the link where you can get your questions answered and place your order with a click. 

I ❤️ helping you all.


Is Eating “Vegan” Easy? Realistic? Fun? Healthy? Find out…

Awesome news with a webinar scheduled for tomorrow night at 7.30pm QLD / 8.30pm NSW time with our program’s in house 🌶 Raw Food Nutritionist 🥑
If you’re keen to learn more about the benefits of going vegan or helping your family try more vegan food… this might light you up and add spritz to your day. 🍍 

100% Whole Foods from non-animal sources might not be for everyone all the time, but I know I can certainly benefit from more Whole Foods every day so I am keen to learn more – and you might benefit too from this FREE event. 

Tune in to hear one of my good friends share her awesome mode of lifestyle the “vegan” way.

Let me know if you would like the link to jump on 🍎



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. 💚💜❤️

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

Home-made Chai


Here is how to make an easy Chai Latte at home.

You will need:

Black / Green tea (optional)
Star Anise
Black pepper
Bay leaves

1. Add ingredients to a tea pot or coffee plunger or a small saucepan.

The spices above are listed in order of quantity. But use your instinct, sense of smell and taste buds to pick the spices in the quantity that suits you. This is the best bit! Making your Chai suit your taste buds is a unique and special experience every time.

2. Put your spices into your tea pot or plunger with 2 cups boiling water. Put the lid on and let the spices brew for at least 15 mins. (A very mild simmer is ok if you are using a saucepan.)

3. Transfer the brew into a bottle, which you can store in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.

4. When making the tea, pour 1-2 tbsp of your bottled chai concentrate into a cup. Fill the cup with soy/dairy/rice milk.

5. Pour into a small saucepan and bring to the simmer for 5 minutes. (Option to microwave for 2 minutes if you’re ok with microwaves). Stir half way through the heating.

6. Mix in a little honey, top with cinnamon, and enjoy!

I wonder how many of us make this simple drink at home?

Kids love to drink Chai latte, and it is a perfectly healthy alternative to instant chocolate drinks. It can be organic, natural, free of calories and rich with antioxidants and flavonoids that can neutralize free radicals in the body (read: another way to help prevent the onset of colds, hayfever, allergic reactions, and other diseases).

Encourage your kids to see how it’s made at home so they know it doesn’t have to be bought in packaging or in cafe’s, where they are often mixed with sugar and even artificial sweeteners. If you buy your chai ‘instant’ in a packet – check the ingredients. It should list the ingredients above, maybe also milk solids, but nothing else!

If it says ‘flavours’, be weary. If it says ‘sugar’, be very alarmed. If it has any numbers, well… thats shady indeed.

Chai is naturally delicious but don’t be fooled by the fashionable or convenient substitutes.

As with all foods, fresh is best, and home-made can be trusted to be truly healthy.

Food and Nutrition

Memories of coloured sand in a bottle inspired this cereal

Happy memories of layering coloured sands in a bottle? Re-create the experience with wholesome ingredients for breakfast cereal. This is a really fun activity and is another way to make breakfast exciting.

We have here:

Rice bran flakes

Goji Berries

Puffed millet

Desiccated coconut

Linseed with Cranberries

LSA (Linseed, Sunflower, Almonds)

Dehydrated Banana


Puffed rice

Ticks all the healthy boxes and I can’t wait to try it! But first, it needs shaking.

I will leave that for the 3yo master of the house.

Food and Nutrition

Strawberry, carob, coconut and chia balls

It’s July and I’m celebrating the half-year with my own version of bliss balls or rum balls (Christmas in July, perhaps).

Naturally, I’ve created a recipe that has its roots in fresh fruit and has NO sugar and NO dairy. It is vegan, and also gluten-free (so long as a good brand of oats is used). It even looks and tastes like chocolate but without any chocolate at all…

Everyone is happy with this one … and especially with the taste!

This recipe may seem like a version of Bliss Balls but I assure you there are important differences. With a touch of cooking you will create a silkier, melt-in-your-mouth texture that isn’t always possible with raw Bliss Balls.

These are ready within 30 minutes for eating as a treat for breakfast … or for chilling in the fridge for morning tea.

You will need:

– 1/2 cup rice bran oil
– 6 strawberries
– 1 tsp bicarbonate soda

– 2 cups rolled oats (quick-cook variety)
– 1 cup almond meal
– 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
– 100g carob powder

– 1 tsp vanilla essence
– juice of 1 lemon
– 1/2 teaspoon lemon rind
– 2 tbsp chia seeds
– 1/2 cup boiled water
– 1/2 cup rice bran oil (additional)
– 1/2 cup dessicated coconut (additional)

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

2. Add 1/2 cup rice bran oil to a small saucepan and bring to the simmer. Chop the strawberries in half and simmer them in the saucepan for 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, mix all your mixing ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
4. Remove the strawberries from the oil and set aside in a little bowl for a moment.

5. In a mug, add the bi-carb soda to 2 tbsp water and mix to dissolve. Add this mix to the saucepan of oil, it will froth and rise. Turn off the heat.

6. Using a sieve or drainer, push the strawberries back into the oil (so the purée goes into the oil and the stringy lumps are removed – they can be discarded).

7. Make a well in the centre of your dry ingredients and pour in the strawberry / oil mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until combined. (If it is very dry, add more rice-bran oil until it resembles a moist mixture that can be used for shaping).

8. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Press the mixture into the baking tray (as you would for brownies or a slice).

9. Bake for 14 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

10. Baking the mixture creates a much finer mixture that can now be crumbled back into the large mixing bowl to create your balls. Use your finger tips to break and crumble the mixture completely.

11. In a smaller mixing bowl (or a mug), add the lemon juice, lemon rind, honey, chia seeds, vanilla essence and 1/2 cup boiled water. Stir gently, then pour into the mixing bowl of dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly with wooden spoon again. You now need to reach a suitable consistency for rolling into balls – so add the remaining rice bran oil little by little as you stir, until you have a wet consistency for shaping.

12. Spread out the desiccated coconut on a flat plate. Form a small ball of the mixture with your hands, roll in the coconut and set aside on a clean plate. Repeat until all mixture is used (until you have approximately 25 balls).

Enjoy! You will love how these balls are so soft and delicate… the baking along with chia seeds creates a very smooth texture on the inside. The carob is also gentle – subtle on first bite to become sweeter as you eat. Very more-ish! Luckily there are 25 of these babies.

Food and Nutrition

Fresh hot chips and chicken nuggets


Arriving home 30 mins ago, DS cried … because he had wanted to go to the ‘chip factory’. I think he remembered how much he liked Happy Meals but didn’t want to say the word, knowing that the Happy Meal is a red-light food.

I offered to make green-light chips, and he cried into my shoulder.
‘It’s too hard, you’ll never be able to do it’.
‘I can do anything!’ I said.

Our beautiful but tired baby boy was crying and I decided I had a few minutes to cook chips before he reached melting point. So the challenge was on.

For anyone out there who wants a quick, healthy, tasty chips recipe, try this out.

You will need:
– 1 potato
– herb/spice mix
– 2 tbsp wholemeal flour wheat flakes
– freshly ground sea-salt

* When I use wholemeal flour for baking I sift it first. I only use the sifted clean flour for baking, and I set aside and store the remaining wheat flakes to use in different meals, such as for coating vegetable rissoles (as a substitute for breadcrumbs).


1. Turn on a saucepan with 1 cup water to bring to the boil.

2. Peel and cut the round edges off the potato so it’s in a cube shape.

3. Slice the potato lengthways into thin layers. Slice again to create French-fries shape. Throw into the saucepan.

4. In a frypan and add 2tbsp rice bran oil, peanut oil or coconut oil (a safe oil). Turn the gas on high.

5. Add to the pan a tbsp of a herb or spice seasoning that’s handy in your pantry (I have pre-made curry seasoning).

6. By now the chips will be starting to soften so use a drainer to drain the water, and throw them into the fry pan. Stir a little through the oil and spices. Add a good sprinkling of ground sea-salt. Sprinkle over the whole wheat flakes (or breadcrumbs).

7. After a few minutes flip them to season both sides.

8. Remove onto paper towel, pat dry, and serve. Add more sea-salt.

9. Tell your darling son: ‘Chips in 5 minutes? Yes I can!’

At this time my grandpa walked in the gate with his meat-tray that he won today. How lucky are we – it’s crumbed chicken breast.

10. The pan is still hot with the oil and spices, so I dice a piece of crumbed chicken breast and cook it (both sides) for 5 minutes…

And voila! DS now has chicken nuggets to go with his chips. His dream has come true!

And the lesson for me is to always have a dream, to say it out loud, and to smile and be grateful when my dream comes true… because the universe always provides even when it seems impossible.

P.S. You will want to do more than one potato – these chips are exceptional!

Food and Nutrition

Sweet and Sour Lettuce Bowls


Our Sweet and Sour Lettuce Bowls are a fun dish to make, serve and eat for the family. This dish is meat and dairy free and is packed with fresh seasonal produce (from our garden, mostly). When DH and I tasted this we were oohing and aahing by the flavours – sensational!

You will need:

– 1 cup barley
– 1 400g tin of four-bean-mix
– 1 tomato
– 3 cloves garlic, crushed
– 2 tsp ginger, grated
– 1 medium brown onion, quartered
– 5 medium butter mushrooms
– Peanut oil
– 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
– 1/4 cup soy sauce

– 3 carrots, grated
– 1/2 bunch of spring onions, diced
– 1 red capsicum, diced
– 1 small bunch of parsley, diced
– Extra Virgin olive oil

– Fresh lettuce, the crispy leaves in the centre that are shaped like bowls
– Sweet Soy Sauce


1. In a small saucepan filled with 2 cups of boiling water*, add the pearl barley. *Cook according to packet directions.

2. On another element, heat a medium fry pan on the highest setting.

3. Into the fry pan: add the garlic and ginger, and a little peanut oil.

4. Meanwhile turn on your food processor and process these ingredients: onion, tomato, four-bean-mix, and mushrooms.

5. Empty the processed ingredients into your fry pan and mix with the garlic and ginger.

6. Reduce heat to gently fry on low heat. Add Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce. Stir-through.

Note: Check the pearl barley and add more cooking water if the saucepan is becoming dry.

7. In a salad bowl: add the grated carrots, capsicum, parsley and spring onions. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Mix roughly with your hands.

8. Once pearl barley is cooked, mix it through the bean mix in the frying pan. Stir-well.

9. Fill another salad bowl with the bean/barley mix.

10. To serve, place lettuce bowls on plate and fill each bowl with the bean/barley mix, then top with the salad mix. Finally, drizzle Sweet Soy Sauce over the top.

To be eaten with your hands – fun times!


Food and Nutrition

Spring Onion Broth with Asian Salad


This soup is a fantastic hot dish year-round. Who doesn’t love a spicy broth full of Asian flavours and fresh seasonal ingredients. This was a real winner with 3yo DS – plenty of yummy favourite finger foods with slurpy udon noodles buried beneath.

You will need:

– 1 medium brown onion
– 4 cloves garlic
– 1 tbsp fresh ginger (grated)
– 1/2 bunch of spring onions
– 2 tbsp fish sauce
– 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
– 1/2 cup soy sauce
– 400g creamed corn
– 1 tsp cloves
– 1 tbsp Chinese five spice
– 1 pack fresh udon or rice vermicelli noodles

– 1 avocado, sliced
– 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels
– 2 carrots, grated
– 3 boiled eggs, sliced
– 3 thick slices of leg ham (omit for vegetarian dish), sliced in strips
– sweet soy sauce


1. In a large non-stick saucepan or enamel pot, gently sautée the brown onions in a little vegetable oil on high heat.

2. Add garlic, ginger, and 5 cups of pre-boiled water. Bring to the boil.

3. Chop 2 inches off the ends of the spring onions (onion bulb end) and set aside. With the green tips, chop into short lengths approximately 2 inches long. Add to the pot of boiling broth.

4. Add fish sauce, vinegar, creamed corn, soy sauce, cloves, and Chinese five spice. Reduce the heat, put lid on pot and simmer for 20 minutes (or longer to create a richer onion taste).

5. Add udon noodles or vermicelli noodles five minutes before serving.

To serve, fill round bowls with noodles and broth. Top with the assortment of fresh ingredients – your sliced boiled egg, avocado, grated carrot, corn kernels, and leg ham (omit for vegetarian dish). Slice the remaining spring onion (bulb ends) thinly and add to the salad on top of the bowls. Dress with sweet soy sauce.