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R U Ok? Day (2019)

This Thursday 12 September is R U Okay Day (2019). R U Ok Day is a national charity, inspiring people to meaningfully connect with those around them to help support anyone struggling with life.

Life is complicated and full of ups and downs. No one is immune to hard days. Sad news. Bad seasons. Difficult times. Stressors. Hardships. Life can throw you a sucker punch to the face, seemingly always when you least expect it. That’s why it’s important to check on our mates and loved ones. A phone call here, a DM there, a chat as you go for a lunchtime walk or a shared cuppa and afternoon tea. Any opportunity can hold space for that important conversation. So, if you’ve noticed that a colleague, a friend or a family member doesn’t quite seem themselves - why not dig a little deeper. You never know when your support may help to change someone’s day for the better.

Ask

Spending time with people you care about, and starting that conversation in a safe space, can help them to open up. A simple question such as - “you seem a bit quiet today, everything okay?” , “how’s things at home?”, “How are you feeling about XYZ?”, “I haven’t seen you out and about in a while, how’ve you been travelling?” - can pave the way for open conversation.

Listen

When you take the time to genuinely listen, without purely listening to respond, you can help someone feel valued and cared for. By letting the conversation unfold naturally the individual has the opportunity to share how they are really feeling, and it also gives you the chance to encourage them to explain points further. If the individual becomes visibly upset or angry, don’t take it personally. It can be hard for people to open up at the best of times let alone if they are struggling. There is value in silence, so don’t be put off by moments of quiet thought. Sometimes, just having someone show they care can mean so much.

Encourage

Is there anything you can do to help? Encourage them to think about what some of the next steps may be. Empower the individual to explore strategies that they can implement themselves (or with the help of others) to help them through.

Follow Up

Follow up and check in with your colleague, friend or family member. There may be times where you (and/or they) feel more assistance is needed, and in this instance there are many support services available - such as Lifeline, BeyondBlue, your local GP and/or your workplace Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

Today is R U Ok Day - and whilst mental health is as complex and diverse as we are as humans - I think this day is a great reminder to look out for our friends, colleagues and family - not just today, but every day.

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Our Pick of Melbourne's Best Organic Food Stores for National Organic Week

9-15 September 2019 marks National Organic Week - supporting sustainability and increasing awareness of the benefits of organic products. Buying organic helps to reduce your exposure to unwanted and potentially harmful chemicals in your food, household and beauty products - allowing you to support the health of your family.

“As consumers, you want food you can recognise and trust. Buying organic products supports food safety, health, good nutrition and the environment. Products that carry the logo of an accredited organic certification body are guaranteed to be genuine organic.” - Costa Georgiadis, Ambassador - National Organic Week.

Here in Melbourne, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to having easy access to a variety of organic food stores, organic beauty products and farmers markets carrying a wide range of organic produce.

So, how do you know if the food you’re purchasing is organic? Keep an eye out for one of the Australian Certified Organic logos, or if you are at your local farmers market simply have a chat to the farmer. Organic products are GMO free and also free from any harmful additives.

Why not go organic for National Organic Week?! Check out our pick of the best organic goods stores in Melbourne here! To learn more about National Organic Week visit organicweek.net.au

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Little Food Festival Melbourne

Looking for immersive and educational activities during the September school holidays? The Little Food Festival is on this September at Melbourne’s Federation Square, with two full days of fun for your little ones!

The Little Food Festival is a free event, providing the chance for your littles to learn all about food and where it comes from, how food choices impact our health, and the significance of sustainable food practices.

Through art activities, playful workshops, cooking demonstrations - and much more, your little ones will be engaged and inspired to learn all about the positive impact of good food and the importance of looking after our environment and the community around us.

When: Wednesday 25 September 2019 and Thursday 26 September 2019 from 10am until 3pm

Where: Fed Square - Cnr Swanston Street and Flinders Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

More Info: Visit www.littlefoodfestival.com or www.sandrodemaiofoundation.org for more information

Little Food Festival

Cafe of the Month - Paperboy Coffee, Hampton

The bayside suburb of Hampton is home to plenty of ace cafes, including Paperboy Coffee Bar. There’s lots on the menu to choose from for the little ones at Paperboy, and the Nourish Bowl is a hit for hangry mamas.

The Details 

Where: 370 Hampton Street, Hampton VIC

Hours:* 

Monday - Friday: 6:30AM - 5:30PM

Saturday and Sunday: 7:30AM - 4:30PM

*Hours subject to change, please visit Paperboy Coffee’s website for up to date opening hours. 

Playgrounds nearby:  

  • Peace Park - 7 Linacre Rd, Hampton VIC

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Vegan Cooking for Families Class - Unwrapped Pantry

Unwrapped Pantry will host a fun-filled and inspiring ‘Vegan Cooking for Families’ cooking class in Belgrave on Saturday 10 August (2019). The cooking class will be full of ideas on how to incorporate more plant based meals into meal time with your family - with a focus on simple yet delicious options that your little ones are sure to devour with joy. Tickets are strictly limited - so get in fast!

The Details:

When: Saturday 10 August 2019 (3PM - 5PM)

Where: Unwrapped Pantry - 164 Colby Drive, Belgrave South VIC

Cost: $22.92

Tickets: Via EventBrite

 
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Toddler Must Have’s

Now that my little guy is a toddler, running around and playing happily, I thought I would share some of my essential items for my little busy bee!

Snacks

Snack life is the best life! My toddlers are both snack happy, and love to have something to eat on the go (what toddler doesn’t?!). We love to use this super-cute elephant lunchbox from Boon and these stackable snack containers (perfect for the nappy bag or a backpack) to store our snacks when on our playground adventures.

Dinnerwear

It’s always exciting seeing your little one use their own cutlery and growing more independent around meal time as they enter their toddler years. We tend to favour bamboo dinnerware in our household, such as this set from Bobo and Boo.

Building Blocks

My toddlers both love to build towers, and my eldest likes building massive robots out of blocks too. We have a range of blocks at home (somehow they keep finding creative places to hide the pieces of the different sets!), but our favourite are these Wooden Blocks by Everearth.

Racing Cars

These racing cars provide so much fun! They are also a great way for your little ones to learn ‘cause and effect’. This bamboo Car Racer by Everearth makes a special gift for your toddler, it is finished with water-based non-toxic paints and is seriously built to last.

Puzzles

Puzzles are a great problem solving activity, and also a good way to learn about the overall theme of your pieces. For example - if you have an animal puzzle you can play “what sound does that animal make?”, if you have shape puzzles you can ask “what is that shape?” or “where does the triangle go?”, allowing your toddler to learn while problem solving and having fun!

Shape Sorter

The classic Shape Sorter is always a good toy to have in the collection. We love the Melissa and Doug Wooden Shape Sorter it is very well-built, with lots of vibrant colours!

Outdoor Toys

We love spending time outside in the garden and in our play area. There’s a slide, cubby house and plenty of outdoor toys to enjoy! My little ones love digging in the dirt and enjoy using their Sandpit Toys to dig up the garden!

Chef Set Toys

This Chef Set, made from recycled plastics, is a great way to distract your little ones when you need to make dinner! They just love pretending to cook, just like mum or dad!

Bath Toys

According to my toddlers, you can never have too many bath toys! These Bath Cogs by Boon stick to your bathroom tiles and provide so much fun for your little ones during bath times!

Books

We love reading books as part of our night-time routine, and usually read a few during the day too (as well as heading to our local StoryTime when we get the chance). Our favourites are the classic Little Golden Books, but we are also partial to anything featuring trains or cars.

Sleepsuits

My little one is in that in-between age where he is still too little to have any toys or blankets in the crib, so we still favour sleepsuits when it comes to our nighttime routine - such as these 100% cotton sleepsuits by Ergo.

What are your ‘must-have’ items for your toddler?

The above blog post contains affiliate links. At times, we share links on PlantBasedMum that are ‘affiliate links’, this means that we receive a small commission if you buy anything through these links at no extra cost to you. We only ever link to products, events, stores and activities that we truly recommend. Thanks for reading!

ToddlerMustHaves

Cafe of the Month - Lisica Cafe

The Western Suburbs’ new vegan cafe, Lisica, certainly hits the mark! This fully vegan cafe offers friendly service and delicious dishes - the chocolate pancakes are sure to be a hit with the fam! What vegan cafe is complete without Buddha Bowls and smoothies on the menu too! A must visit if you’re in the area. 

The Details 

Where: Shop 6&7/45 Edgewater Boulevard, Maribrynong VIC

Hours:* 

Wednesday: 8AM - 6PM

Thursday - Sunday: 8AM - 7PM

Monday & Tuesday: Closed  

*Hours subject to change, please visit Lisica Cafe website for up to date opening hours. 

Playgrounds nearby:  

  • Footscray Park: 40 Maribrynong Blvd, Footscray

  • Black Sapphire Pirate Ship Playground: 122 The Blvd, Aberfeldie

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Australia’s first ever Free From Show and Allergy Show (2019)!

Exciting news! On 12 – 14 July 2019, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) will play host to the two events, designed to empower and educate those avoiding particular foods, allergens or substances due to choice or necessity - Australia’s first ever ‘Free From’ Show and Allergy Show.

With 4 million Australians living with an allergic disease, and more and more people cutting out meat, gluten, dairy, peanut, tree nut, parabens, fructose, sugar, egg, soy, GMO and cruelty, the demand for an event catering to allergies and food intolerances has never been stronger. - Australian ‘Free From’ and Allergy Show

The shows are co-located, so one ticket with provide you with access to both events. The Allergy Show is the chance to hear from leading experts in a dedicated forum and speak one-on-one with Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia health educators. Topics covered in the Allergy Learning Centre include Challenges of current food labelling,hosted by A&AA CEO Maria Said, Infant feeding resources by National Allergy Strategy Coordinator Sandra Vale, and Thunderstorm Asthma by Asthma Australia. The Allergy Show is proudly supported by peak consumer support organisation Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA), as well as industry leaders Asthma Australia and The Eczema Association of Australasia Inc. 

The ‘Free From’ Show will cater to those with dietary needs and exclusion lifestyles spanning gluten, dairy, peanut, tree nut, parabens, fructose, sugar, egg, soy, GMO and even cruelty. There will also be a focus on sustainable and eco-friendly brands and education, as well as FODMAP friendly foods.

Visitors will enjoy samples of Twobays Brewing Co.’s famous gluten-free beer; cult classic Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy Flavours; a gluten free Asian Hawker-style zone from New Chinese Garden and a range of skin-sensitive beauty products. The robust list of confirmed exhibitors includes: Orgran Health & Nutrition, Rebel Kitchen, Schar, New Chinese Garden, Tumerix, YUM. Gluten Free, Weis, Organic Formulations, Nestle Health Science and JellyFish Mattress.

Check out the Allergy Show and ‘Free From’ Show websites for more details!

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