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Food Allergy Week (2019)

Next week (26 May - 1 June) is Food Allergy Week. With the tag line, Be Aware, Show You Care we thought it was a great time to spread awareness about food allergy - including potentially deadly food allergies.

Did you know that one in 10 babies born in Australia today will develop some sort of food allergy?  

If you suspect your little one may have an allergy it is important to see a qualified professional (such as a GP, Pediatrician or Specialist Allergist), who can make the diagnosis. 

Would you know what to do if your loved one had an allergic reaction? This video from Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia helps to understand the signs and symptoms, and how to best respond. 

Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia also share some great tips on managing food allergies:

  • Avoiding the food trigger(s) is key - if you know there is a particular allergy stay away from this food.

  • Always read the label: recipes can change without warning and seemingly harmful products can contain allergens (we learnt this one the hard way...)

  • Be mindful of hidden ingredients (for example: mayonnaise, gelato and homemade ice cream = egg, rissoles = tree nuts, curries such as massaman curry = peanuts, some chocolate sauces = hazelnuts, etc).

  • Be aware of cross-contamination: don’t share utensils, cooking areas or come in contact with children (or adults!) if you’ve been eating their allergen...in this case a kiss from Grandma could have dire consequences!

  • Disclose allergies when eating out and check the menu carefully - if unsure, ask!

Some of our favourite allergy-friendly and kid-friendly recipes and cafes are below.

Our Favourite Allergy-Friendly Recipes: 

Best 10 Allergy-Friendly Cafes in Melbourne (and surrounds):

Visit Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia for more information on allergies and allergy management. Enjoy your allergy-friendly food!! Bon Appétit!

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5 Inspirational Natural Medicine Practitioners in Melbourne, and Beyond!

Today on the blog we share our favourite Natural Medicine practitioners across Melbourne and beyond.

Natural medicine practitioners can play a key role in helping you maintain optimal health and wellness. Natural medicine practitioners can assist with a range of health areas and services - from hormone health and nutrition, to gut health and naturopathy, to acupuncture and muscular health.

With Natural Medicine Week coming up (20 - 26 May, 2019), we thought what better time to write about some the best-loved natural medicine gurus and clinics!

Melbourne

Women’s Health @ The Pagoda Tree: Acupuncturist and Dr of Chinese Medicine, Nat Kringoudis and her team of practitioners bring an absolute wealth of knowledge on womens health, hormones and fertility to natural medicine clinic, The Pagoda Tree in Melbourne’s Albert Park. Nat often runs workshops and events (both online and in person) that provide an excellent source of education and information to inspire women to take ownership of their health and wellness journey. The informative ‘You and Your Hormones’ Workshop is coming up on 24 May 2019, click here for more details.  Nat also cohosts The Wellness Collective podcast, covering a range of health and wellness topics.

Ivanhoe Chinese Medicine: Ivanhoe Chinese Medicine offers a range of traditional chinese medicine services including acupuncture, chinese herbal medicine and massage therapies. Ivanhoe Chinese Medicine is offering all new clients 20% off for the month of May as part of Natural Medicine Week! You must mention ‘Natural Medicine Week’ when booking.

Peninsula Herbal Dispensary & Naturopathic Clinic: Peninsula Herbal Dispensary provide a range of naturopathy services on Victoria’s beautiful Mornington Peninsula. Peninsula Herbal Dispensary and Naturopathy Clinic offers in-clinic testing (such as immune testing, inflammation marker testing, thyroid function testing, adrenal function testing and hormone testing), food intolerance assessments for children and more.

Australia-Wide

Goulds Natural Medicine: Naturopath, Herbalist and Research Scientist Dr Jason Hawrelak practices at Goulds Natural Medicine in Hobart Tasmania. Dr. Hawrelak is an expert on the gut microbiome, and completed his PHD on probiotics, pre-biotics and herbal medicines to modify the microbiota. Join Dr Hawrelak for an online webinar on Nourishing Your Gut Microbiome on Tuesday 21 May (tickets selling fast!).

Internationally

Cole Natural Health Centres: Dr. Will Cole is a Doctor of Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Practitioner based in Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Dr. Cole is fast becoming one of the most recognised names in natural medicine, worldwide. His YouTube channel is an easy way to gain a wealth of knowledge on nutrition and popular health topics. Dr. Cole offers consultations worldwide (online) and also consults out of his offices for US based clients at Cole Natural Health Centres on Infinity Drive in Monroeville, Pennsylvania.

Happy Natural Medicine Week! Wishing you good health and happiness!!

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Market Spotlight: Big Vegan Market

It’s nearly time for the Melbourne’s Big Vegan Market! Held Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May, this market offers a massive range of vegan fashion wears, vegan foods, vegan beauty products and organic goods. It’s a great day out for conscious consumers, people curious about the vegan lifestyle and those who just love good food! 

The Details: 

When: Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May 2019

Time: 10AM - 6PM Each Day

Where: Royal Exhibition Building - 9 Nicholson Street, Carlton, VIC

More Info: Only $2 Entry (and under 12’s are FREE!)

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Top Farmers Markets In and Across Melbourne

As May is Supermarket Free Month, we encourage you to explore some of the best Farmers Markets across Victoria with your family. 

Packed with fresh, often organic, produce Farmers Markets are a great way to spend the weekend out in the sunshine and fresh air, enjoying good food, supporting local trade and gathering some delicious treats for the week ahead. 

Here are our top picks for the month May;

 First Weekend of the Month - Saturday 4 & Sunday 5 May:

  • Saturday 4 May: Coburg Farmers Market - Coburg Primary School, 92 Bell Street, Coburg

  • Saturday 4 May: Carlton Farmers Market - Carlton North Primary School, Cnr Canning and O’Grady Streets, Carlton North

  • Saturday 4 May: Kingston Farmers Market - Sir William Fry Reserve, Nepean Highway, Kingston

  • Saturday 4 May: Vegan Market of Melbourne - Abbotsford Convent, 1 St.Helier Street, Abbotsford

  • Saturday 4 May: Veg Out Market St Kilda - Peanut Farm Reserve, Chaucer Street, St. Kilda

    -

  • Sunday 5 May: St Kilda Esplanade Market - Fitzroy and Acland Streets, St Kilda

  • Sunday 5 May: Alphington Farmers Market - Wingrove Street, Alphington

  • Sunday 5 May: Eltham Farmers Market - Eltham Town Mall Carpark, Arthur Street, Eltham

  • Sunday 5 May: Flemington Farmers Market - Mount Alexander College, 175 Mount Alexander Road, Flemington

  • Sunday 5 May: Daylesford Farmers Market - 21a Raglan Street, Daylesford

  • Sunday 5 May: Hurstbridge Farmers Market - Fergusons Paddock, Hurstbridge-Arthurs Creek Road, Hurstbridge

  • Sunday 5 May: South Geelong Farmers Market - 200 Yarra Street, South Geelong

Second Weekend of the Month - Saturday 11 & Sunday 12 May:

  • Saturday 11 May: Collingwood Farmers Market - Collingwood Children’s Farm, St Heliers Street, Abbotsford

  • Saturday 11 May: Coburg Farmers Market - Coburg Primary School, 92 Bell Street, Coburg

  • Saturday 11 May: Elwood Farmers Market - Elwood College, 101 Glenhuntly Road, Elwood

  • Saturday 11 May: Berwick Farmers Market - Old Cheese Factory, 34 Homestead Road, Berwick

    -

  • Sunday 12 May: Alphington Farmers Market - Wingrove Street, Alphington

  • Sunday 12 May: Eltham Farmers Market - Eltham Town Mall Carpark, Arthur Street, Eltham

  • Sunday 12 May: Flemington Farmers Market - Mount Alexander College, 175 Mount Alexander Road, Flemington

  • Sunday 12 May: Bon Beach Farmers Market - 29-63 Breeze St, Bonbeach

Third Weekend of the Month - Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 May:

  • Saturday 18 May: Gasworks Farmers Market - Gasworks Parkland, 21 Graham Street, Albert Park

  • Saturday 18 May: Coburg Farmers Market - Coburg Primary School, 92 Bell Street, Coburg

  • Saturday 18 May: Carlton Farmers Market - Carlton North Primary School, Cnr Canning and O’Grady Streets, Carlton North

  • Saturday 18 May: Booroondara/Hawthorn Farmers Market - Patterson Reserve, Auburn Road, Hawthorn East

  • Saturday 18 May: Warragul Farmers Market - Civic Park, Civic Place, Warragul

    -

  • Sunday 19 May: Eltham Farmers Market - Eltham Town Mall Carpark, Arthur Street, Eltham

  • Sunday 19 May: Flemington Farmers Market - Mount Alexander College, 175 Mount Alexander Road, Flemington

  • Sunday 19 May: South Geelong Farmers Market - 200 Yarra Street, South Geelong

Fourth Weekend of the Month - Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 May:

  • Saturday 25 May: Coburg Farmers Market - Coburg Primary School, 92 Bell Street, Coburg

  • Saturday 25 May: Bentleigh Farmers Market - 90 Bignell Road, East Bentleigh

  • Saturday 25 May: Berwick Farmers Market - Old Cheese Factory, 34 Homestead Road, Berwick

  • Saturday 25 May: SlowFoods Melbourne Farmers Market - 16 Mary St, Spotswood

  • Saturday 25 May: Geelong Vegan Lifestyle Market - 1 Barwon Heads Rd, Belmont

    -

  • Sunday 26 May: Eltham Farmers Market - Eltham Town Mall Carpark, Arthur Street, Eltham

  • Sunday 26 May: Flemington Farmers Market - Mount Alexander College, 175 Mount Alexander Road, Flemington

  • Sunday 26 May: Mount Eliza Farmers Market - Cnr Mt Eliza Way &, Canadian Bay Road, Mount Eliza

Enjoy your weekend Farmers Markets with your family! 

If you can’t make it to a Farmers Market, but still crave that fresh produce then be sure to check out YourGrocer.com.au - an online grocery shopping and delivery service in Melbourne and Sydney. YourGrocer offers produce from Melbourne and Sydney’s top organic stores and markets - including Aunt Maggies Organics, South Melbourne Market and Dench Bakery

For more information on Farmers Markets across Melbourne, and the wider state of Victoria, be sure to visit the Victorian Farmers Markets Association’s website.

For more information on Supermarket Free Month check out www.supermarketfree.com.au

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Nature Play May - The Importance Of Outside Play

It’s Nature Play May!! Here at Plant Based Mum we are massive fans of getting out in nature and experiencing outdoor play!  

Children of all ages just love running around outside in the fresh air - exploring in the leaves, climbing on big branches and rocks, and playing with the sticks on the forest floor. Playing outside also provides some exposure to the sun, resulting in a boost of the much needed Vitamin D (of course, it absolutely goes without saying that it is always important to wear sunscreen, put on your hats and to be sun safe when playing outside).

Children naturally love to run around and explore the outdoors, which makes it the perfect way for them to get exercise and be active - and all that exercise can help to build their gross motor skills, strengthen their heart and lungs, and improve balance and posture. Outside play also provides endless opportunities to get creative, to use their imagination, to socialise with other children, and to foster their curiosity for nature and the environment.

Here are some of our favourite outdoor activities for the family: 

Walking 

We love going for walks! Whether it is a brisk walk around our neighbourhood with the pram and our puppy dogs, or exploring different parts of Victoria on foot, a nice walk is always tops our list of favourite family activities. A good walk can improve cardiovascular health, reduce your risk of heart disease, improve your pulmonary health, boost your circulation and increase your overall fitness. Walking is one of the best ways to get active with your family, to take in the sights, and to explore different (or much loved) areas - and you never know, you may even find some new treasures on the way! We share some of our favourite walks in Melbourne on the blog.

Outdoor Playgrounds 

Our favourite playgrounds are outdoor playgrounds. Fresh air, sunshine, and plenty to explore. Outdoor playgrounds promote health and wellbeing by allowing your children space to roam without being cooped up inside an air-conditioned building (because the spreading of multiple germs is never fun!). Some of the best fenced outdoor playgrounds can be found in the east side of Melbourne, and there are also a few great picks across the south, north and west sides of Melbourne too. We share some of our favourites in older posts here and here on the blog.

Farmers Markets

Farmers Markets are another way to enjoy the great outdoors with your family. They make for a fun, inexpensive (well, depending on how much produce and food you purchase!), weekend adventure. There’s so many plentiful farmers markets across Melbourne and the wider suburbs of Victoria that you could visit several every weekend of the year! Some of our favourites are listed here and here on the blog.

Enjoy your time in the outdoors!! 

plantbasedmum

Japan With Kids: Our Family Travels To Japan to Experience The Best of Spring Season and Tokyo Disney

We recently returned from a family holiday to Japan! It was an amazing and unforgettable experience - seeing the cherry blossoms, experiencing the magic of Tokyo Disney, exploring Universal Studios in Osaka and visiting the many temples and historical sites across Japan - memories I will cherish forever.

The people of Japan are so friendly, helpful and welcoming, the country is exceptionally clean and it is very safe - making it the perfect choice for a family holiday destination. Japan itself is a quite a large and populous country, spanning over 3,000kms with a population of over 126 million (WorldBank.org data). Japan offers a range of experiences for travellers young and old - from historical masterpieces, awe-inspiring landmarks, built up cities, waterfront views and fun-filled amusement parks. It is well serviced by excellent public transport infrastructure, easily accessible pedestrian walkways (perfect for prams and young explorers), and offers plenty of stunning parks and green open spaces to explore. 

Below I share some of my favourite parts of our Japan adventure:

Tokyo 

Encompassing over 30% of Japan’s total population (livejapan.com), the bustling city of Tokyo (and surrounding prefectures) are the perfect place for excited travellers to experience the essence of Japan.  

There’s so much to see and do in Tokyo and surrounding areas, we would recommend allowing for at least one full week. Tokyo is the perfect walkable city with world-class public transport options from trains, to buses, to subways and the humble (yet slightly expensive) taxi service.

Tokyo Station is quite easy to navigate, with plenty of maps illustrating the various train lines, allowing you easy access to the region’s many sights and landmarks. There are also many lifts throughout the station, making it easily accessible for parents with prams. Many delicious treats and nourishing meals can also be found within Tokyo Station too - perfect for hungry travellers!

Tokyo’s Bay area is where the magic is at, with the area being home to Tokyo Disneyland and Disneysea. An easy train ride via Tokyo Station (using the JR Keiyo Line to Maihama Station), the Disney Resort area itself is serviced by the wonderful Disney Resort Line - a Mickey Mouse themed train and bus line. Tokyo Disneyland and especially the Disneysea theme park (as it is unique to Japan) are a must visit if you are in Japan with your family.

Top Sights to See and Experience with Kids in Tokyo, Japan:

  • Visit the historical sites of the Meiji Jingu Shrine, Senso-ji Temple and the Imperial Palace.

  • Take a stroll in the beautiful Shinjuku Gyoen Gardens, filled with cherry blossoms during springtime.

  • Explore Tokyo City by foot - take in the breathtaking views via Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree.

  • Visit the breathtaking Mount Fuji.

  • Take in the majestical rows of cherry blossoms with a picnic and stop by the Zoo at Ueno Onshi Park.

  • Ride on the trains at Tokyo Station - there’s so many different models of trains to see - it’s great for train lovers! Don’t miss the opportunity to travel on one of the fastest trains in the world, the Shinkansen (also known as the '“bullet train”).

  • Enjoy sushi, shopping and waterfront views in Odaiba, a man-made island in Tokyo Bay.

  • Experience the magic of Disney in Tokyo Bay with a visit to Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo Disneysea and a stay at one of the Disney Resorts.

Best Vegan (or Vegetarian) Restaurant or Cafes in Tokyo:

  • T’s Tan Tan - serving vegan ramen and other delicious vegan foods within Tokyo Station: 〒100-0005 Tokyo, Chiyoda City, Marunouchi, 1 Chome−9−1 JR東京駅(改札内)KeiyoStreet内 1階

  • Raw Life Ginza - serving raw vegan delights at Yurakucho Station, Tokyo: 銀座2-4-19 浅野第3ビル 7F 中央区, 北海道 〒104-0061 Japan

  • Organic Cafe LuLu - a cafe serving organic meals (no egg and no dairy!) with a children’s playarea in Kiba, Tokyo: 東京都江東区木場5-6-30 Kiba, Koto-Ku, Tokyo

Kyoto 

Famous for it’s historical temples and beautiful landscapes, Kyoto is the perfect place to experience Japan’s traditional beauty. With plenty of temples and shrines to visit, stunning cherry blossoms blooming and traditional architecture to behold, Kyoto is a must-see on your visit to Japan.

Sights to See and Experience with Kids in Kyoto, Japan:

  • Take in the historical Kiyomizu-dera temple.

  • Explore the amazing Fushimi Inari Shrine with it’s famous red gates.

  • Stroll the streets of Kyoto’s historical Gion District.

  • Walk the Philosophers Path amongst the beautiful cherry blossoms.

  • Visit the Arashiyama bamboo forest and nearby Tenryu-ji Temple.

  • Explore the grounds of the Kinkaku-ji Temple.

  • Experience Kyoto’s Railway Museum - a delight for train lovers!

Best Vegan (or Vegetarian) Restaurant or Cafes in Kyoto:

  • Veg Out - serving a range of vegan options, with a full vegan menu: 〒600-8133 Kyoto, Shimogyo Ward, 七条通加茂川筋西入ル稲荷町448 鴨川ビル1F

  • Mumokuteki Cafe - a trendy cafe serving vegetarian and vegan meals in downtown Kyoto: 2F Human Forum Bld., 351 Iseya-cho, Gokomochi-dori-Rokkaku-sagaru, Nakagyo-ku, 中京区御幸町通六角下ル伊勢谷町351 ヒューマンフォーラムビル2F

Osaka 

The second largest city in Japan, Osaka is a another must-visit if you are on holiday in this beautiful country. Osaka is home to many kid-friendly activities, so the little ones will really enjoy their time in this city.

Sights to See and Experience with Kids in Osaka, Japan:

  • Visit the majestic Osaka Castle.

  • Experience Kid’s Plaza in Osaka’s Kita District.

  • Play with the Sesame Street Gang, and hang with the Minions, at Universal Studio’s Osaka.

  • Explore Osaka Bay’s Tempozan Area, with great shopping, an Aquarium and a fun ferris wheel!

Best Vegan (or Vegetarian) Restaurant or Cafes in Osaka:

  • Green Earth - delicious vegetarian options in a relaxed setting: 〒541-0057 Osaka, Chuo Ward, Kitakyuhojimachi, 4 Chome−2−2 久宝ビル1F

  • Shizen Bar Paprika Shokudou Vegan - for simple but yummy vegan bento boxes and rice bowls: 〒550-0013 Osaka, Nishi Ward, Shinmachi, 1 Chome−9−9 アリビオ新町1F

  • Organic & Vegetarian Cafe Atl - range of vegetarian and vegan options in Osaka’s Chuo Ward: 〒542-0085 Osaka, Chuo Ward, Shinsaibashisuji, 2 Chome−1−24 アーバ ネックス心斎橋ビル 2階

Planning, Packing and Preparing for our Japan Adventure:

Planning

Booking.com was our top choice for all our accomodation needs. Booking.com was such an easy way to find and book our accomodation (including efficient communication directly with our hotels of choice to secure baby cribs/baby beds), it really took the stress out of planning our overseas adventure. If you’re looking to plan your next overseas (or interstate) stay, you’re welcome to use this code NIKZ0893 to save on your stay via booking.com!

Qantas Airways are a great choice for travelling families. Their staff are welcoming, friendly and provide a good service from booking through to arrival. If you are a vegan or vegetarian mummy or daddy you can even select your meal requirements ahead of time online to ensure your dietary preferences are catered for. Once you’re on board your flight, your meal will usually arrive early along with your child’s meal (which is a welcome treat for a hungry parent and child!). The flight to Japan is only a little over 10 hours from Melbourne, so it’s a good idea to use that time to sleep by booking a flight that travels overnight. Melbourne Airport features some neat play spaces for children, including a play area in Terminal 2 (International Departures) near Gate 15, to tire out those little legs before they get some rest. When travelling home, there are plenty of larger fun play spaces for kids at Narita Airport (our children particularly loved the play area in Terminal 2 on the 3rd Floor after passport control) - these play areas are a blessing for parents looking to tire out their little ones before boarding a long flight.

Japan is most easily accessible by train. Therefore, we highly recommend grabbing a Japan Rail (JR) Pass before you go, to help you to travel Japan with ease. The JR Pass gives you access to all of Japan Rail’s trainlines (aside from a couple of the Shinkansen lines). You can purchase a JR Pass for 7 days, 14 days or 21 days. Children under 6 travel for free (however please note they are not entitled to their own seat, so if you are travelling on a crowded train they will need to sit in your lap for the duration of your journey). There are several websites that allow you to purchase your desired JR Pass and will mail it directly to your door. 

When planning the finer details for our trip to Japan we discovered a great blog by a fellow Mummy Blogger, Teni Wanda, who originally is from the States but now resides in Japan - the Baby Kaiju Blog. The Baby Kaiju blog is full of fantastic tips specifically on travelling Japan with a family - including toddler friendly eats in Japan and kid-friendly activities across Japan…well worth a read if you are soon to be travelling to this exciting destination!

The good ‘ol Lonely Planet guides are always a great way to plan your adventure too, and often come with handy maps embedded in the guide book. They even offer Kindle versions too, if you are planning to pack your Kindle for your travels.

Packing

My top travel items to pack when travelling with an infant or toddler include:

  • A few small toys - whilst little ones are very resilient and often easy to travel with, in my experience they do love having a few familiar toys from home to play with or to cuddle at night. Small is best - this way you can choose a few favourites to easily fit in your luggage.

  • Suitable clothes and a blanket for layering - When travelling to a different country (where you’re not 100% sure on how the weather will pan out) it goes without saying that it’s best to pack items of clothing that can easily be layered - both for yourself and your little ones (from long sleeve tops to pop on under t-shirts for extra warmth, to a lightweight rain jacket, sunhat and beanie, sunglasses and a blanket for the stroller). 

  • Snacks and/or Baby Food for the Plane - Snacks are a great distraction for your little ones when travelling on the plane (or train, or bus for that matter!) - so it’s a good idea to pack several options into your carry on luggage. It’s common knowledge that something to chew on and/or something to drink can also really help their ears on take off and landing (even more so if your little one is still breastfeeding or taking a bottle). Airlines don’t always provide meals for children under 2, so it’s also a good plan to have one of their favourite meals packed in eco-friendly resealable bags or airtight containers with you. 

  • Sleepsuits/Baby Crib Sheet - When travelling with my kids I’ve always packed a couple of sleep suits as well as a crib/baby bed sheet for my youngest. I find that it helps them to have that familiar smell when bedtime comes, and as most crib sizings are universal it is easy to slip your own crib sheets onto the hotel’s baby bed/crib.

  • Baby Carrier and Travel Pram - It’s always a good idea to make sure you pack a baby carrier and/or a travel pram when travelling with little ones. You will be doing so much exploring on foot - those little legs will need a good rest from time to time. A baby carrier or travel pram also allows for your baby to take naps in between your daily travels, so they are well-rested and happy on your journey.

  • Use packing dividers to make it easy to find the essentials - there’s nothing worse than getting to your hotel after a long day or night on the plane and forgetting where you’ve put the essentials in your suitcase! Packing dividers have changed my travel game! They have made it so much easier to separate my clothing, the kids clothing, toiletries, and to fit just that liiiittle bit more into the suitcase. They also allow for an easy unpacking/repacking experience when travelling from place to place.

Preparing

My native language (English) isn’t necessarily wide spoken in Japan, so I found it very helpful to learn at least a few phrases in Japanese before embarking on my travels. The locals truely appreciate you attempting to speak the language - and I find that learning a new language is always a fun and exciting part of the overall travel experience. The basic hello (Konnichiwa), goodbye (Sayonara), thank you (Arigatogozaimas), excuse me (Sumimasen) are a place good start! There is also a Google Translate app that comes in very handy if you are looking at menus just in Japanese or you are wanting to purchase food or other products and aren’t sure of the ingredients. Simply download the app and place your phone’s camera in front of the text for easy translation (warning - sometimes it can give pretty funny results, but overall it is quite accurate!).

If any member of your family has allergies we recommend notifying the airline you are flying with, and also downloading and printing allergy translation cards. There are many websites with these handy cards available in many different languages, and for a wide variety of allergies too - just search google to find a suitable card for you or your family, or visit the website linked above. 

If your children are old enough, it can also help to discuss the trip with them in advance, showing them pictures of where you will be travelling, reading stories about the location(s) and getting them excited for the adventures ahead!

If you are travelling with your young family, and you do happen to run out of baby (or toddler) supplies while in Japan, never fear! There are multiple Babies R Us Stores within the major cities of Japan - yes that’s right at least at the time of publishing this article Babies R Us are still in operation across various cities in Japan (including Tokyo, Tokyo Bay, Kyoto and Osaka). If you are looking for a special gift or momento for your little ones there is also a great range of boutique baby wears stores in Tokyo including Kagure and Miki House.

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Please note: this blog post contains affiliate links. This means that we receive a small commission if you purchase anything through these links, at no extra cost to you. At PlantBasedMum.com, we only ever link to products, events, stores and/or activities that we truly recommend. 

Thank you for reading, and Happy Travels!

traveljapanwithbaby

Easter Bunny’s Basket - Vegan Apricot Danish Recipe

With Easter coming up fast it’s time to plan treats for the little ones! This allergy-friendly, vegan apricot danish recipe is super easy to make, very tasty and the perfect sweet treat for Easter.  

You will need: 

  • Puff pastry (1-2 sheets)

  • 20g Dairy-free Butter (melted)

  • 50g caster sugar

  • 50g icing sugar

  • 2-4 tablespoons water

  • 4 Large Apricots (peeled and halved)

Method: 

Take your puff pastry sheet, and cut it into even squares (note: you will need the squares big enough to accomodate the ‘borders’ surrounding your apricot, as well as the apricot itself). Fold in the sides slightly to make your ‘borders’, leaving enough room in the middle for your apricot. Pre-heat oven to 180C.

Place half an apricot into the middle of your pastry square. Brush your pastry with your melted vegan butter and sprinkle apricot and surrounding area with a little caster sugar. Place your pastries in the oven for around 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Once cooked, set your pastries aside to cool. Mix icing sugar in a small bowl with two tablespoons of water, adding more tablespoons of water until you reach a smooth icing. Drizzle your icing on top of your cooled danishes and enjoy your Easter bunny’s prized “egg” sitting proudly in it’s basket!

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Best Organic Food Stores in Melbourne

Today on the blog we share top picks for local organic stores across Melbourne. Organic produce, food items and household goods are free from herbicides, pesticides and other harmful chemicals and make a great choice for the environment and personal health.

The Environment Working Group (EWG) shares a great resource on pesticides in food, identifying twelve foods with concerning amounts of pesticides - often dubbed ‘the dirty dozen’. Going organic, especially when shopping for the ‘dirty dozen’ items can be of great benefit. Choosing to shop organic also helps you to focus on what fruits and vegetables are in season, meaning fresh and vibrant produce for your pantry.

This May is Supermarket-Free Month, making it the perfect time to visit your local organic food store. Some of our favourite organic food stores in and around Melbourne include:

Aunt Maggies Organics - Malvern

Aunt Maggies Organics have several locations across Melbourne - in Malvern, Fitzroy and Carlton. They stock a range of items from fresh organic produce, to pantry and baking goods, and eco-friendly household cleaning products.

Where: 72 Glenferrie Road, Malvern

(They also have stores at 188 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy and Shop 7/8 Lygon Court, Carlton)

More Info: Aunt Maggies

Eastfield Natural Food Store - Croydon

Eastfield Natural Foodstore stocks a variety of fresh, organic and biodynamic foods. They also have a selection of supplements and eco-beauty products in the back part of the store. People travel far and wide to shop here, so you can be assured the quality and range of produce is top-notch. The store itself is very small, so leave the pram at home - this one is best for baby carriers only. After you have visited be sure to stop by Soul Pod Foods for a good coffee and a delicious treat! 

Where: Eastfield Natural Foodstore - 41 The Mall, Croydon South

More Info: Eastfield Natural Foods

Golden Age Vegetarian and Health Food Mart - Box Hill

This quaint but friendly health food store stocks a wide range of Taiwanese vegetarian and vegan produce and foods.

Where: 18B Rutland Rd, Box Hill

More Info: Golden Age Vegetarian and Health Food Mart

Green Mumma Organics - Rippleside

Green Mumma Organics really are a one stop shop if you're out in Geelong or on the Bellarine Peninsula. They stock a wide range of organic goodies from essential oils and fresh organic produce to nourishing smoothies, delicious takeaway meals and healthy snacks - there's something for everyone.

Where: Green Mumma Organics - 169 Melbourne Rd, Rippleside

More Info: Green Mumma Organics

Hello Charlie - Bundoora/Online

Hello Charlie stocks all your essential baby needs, plus something for mummy too! Hello Charlie stock a wide range of excellent organic, sustainable and eco-friendly products - safe for baby, mumma and the environment. You can shop online at hellocharlie.com.au - and you have the option to collect your order direct from their warehouse in Bundoora, or to have your items delivered.

Where: 4/30 The Concord, Bundoora

More Info: Hello Charlie

IHerb - Online

For the largest range of supplements and eco-beauty products online be sure to check out iHerb.

Joe’s Organic Market - Northcote

Joe's Organic Market is open 7 days and offer a range of organic produce and package goods. There is even a small vegan cafe on site.

Where: 64 Victoria Rd, Northcote

More Info: Joe’s Organic Market

Miss Spelt’s - Healesville

Miss Spelt’s Grains and Goodies are located in Healesville, so they make for the perfect spot to pop in after a nourishing breakfast at Healesville Harvest (Yarra Valley Harvest). The store itself is quiet small, so not really suitable for prams. Miss Spelts stock a range of organic goods; from eco-beauty essentials to personal items to frozen pies!

Where: Shop 1/2/232 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville

More Info: Miss Spelts

Natural Balance - Mornington

Natural Balance can be found on the main street of Mornington. They stock a wide range of organic goods and vitamins. There is plenty to do while you are in Mornington too - find out more on the blog!

Where: 148 Main St, Mornington

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Organic Empire - Mount Evelyn

What can't Organic Empire do? They sure are true to their name - an empire of all things organic! Organic Empire is a beautiful farm store with fresh organic produce, nutrition and health books, eco-beauty products and a range of local goodies. They run cooking classes too, which mummy green highly recommends! With a heavy presence online, Organic Empire also has an e-store with delivery available, for when you're too busy to venture out.

Where: 138 Monbulk Road, Mount Evelyn

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Organic Food and Wine Deli - Melbourne

If you're exploring Melbourne, the Organic Food and Wine Deli is a great place to stop by for a bite to eat, or to pick up some organic produce and a sweet treat.

Where: 28 Degraves St, Melbourne

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Sherbrooke Health Foods - Belgrave

Sherbrooke Health Foods (or ‘Hilltribez Natural Health’) is a small heath food store offering a range of supplements, eco-beauty goods, organic produce and assorted health food items. They even run raw food workshops!

Where: 1658 Burwood Hwy, Belgrave

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The Common Good Store - Hawthorn

The Common Good Store stock a large range of organic and gourmet goodies to fill your pantry. From organic vegetables to cleaning products, you can always find what you need here. There is a large range of vegan, dairy free and gluten free products in stock, and the staff are always extra helpful.

Where: 77 Church St, Hawthorn

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The Cruelty Free Shop Melbourne - Fitzroy

One of Melbourne’s most loved organic goods stores, The Cruelty Free Shop stocks some of the most well known vegan, organic and health-food brands. From your pantry, to household cleaning, vitamins, gifts and beauty needs there is a big range in store.

Where: 124 Johnston St, Fitzroy

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The Staple Store - Ripponlea

The Staple Store houses all your organic needs from personal items and specialty teas through to dried fruits and nuts.

Where: 19 Glen Eira Rd, Ripponlea

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This Is Life Family Wellness Emporium - Elwood

This Is Life Family Wellness Emporium is just as the name suggests - an emporium of wellness for your whole family. From holistic health services (such as chiropractors, nutritionists, naturopaths), to workshops and a wellness store this place is well worth a visit!

Where: 109 Brighton Rd, Elwood

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Wholefoods Store - Frankston

Wholefoods in Frankston stock a range of organic produce, condiments, eco-beauty products and a wide range of specialty teas. 

Where: 28 Wells St, Frankston

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Wholefood Merchant - Ferntree Gully

Looking for a one-stop-shop to buy all your essentials? Somewhere that caters to you as a vegetarian, vegan, gluten free or paleo mum? Be sure to check out Wholefood Merchants in Ferntree Gully. Wholefood Merchants are the largest stockists of health food products in the outer eastern side of Melbourne. They offer allergy friendly everything and anything from fresh produce to eco-cleaning products to organic beauty items to baby food. As a bonus, Wholefoods Merchants also have a vegetarian cafe, where you can enjoy a treat and a nice coffee before embarking on your shopping journey.

Where: 3/794 Burwood Highway, Ferntree Gully

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YourGrocer.com.au - Online

Featuring stores such as Aunt Maggies Organics, Dench Bakery and produce from the Queen Victoria, South Melbourne and Prahran Markets, Your Grocer is a convenient way to purchase your organic goods from the comfort of your own home.

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