Plant Based Mum Blog

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Look Who’s Walkin’ - Part Two: Our Top Family Beach-Side Walks in Melbourne

With summer on our doorstep, Melbourne is calling you for seaside walks and sand-filled play. Here are some of our favourite beach-side adventures:

St Kilda 

Not many can resist the fun of Luna Park in St Kilda. If your little ones are just that bit too little then there is a fantastic park to be found at Neptune Street. Sister of Soul is the place to visit for a yummy juice or smoothie to sip on as you stroll along the pier with bubba.

Hampton 

The beach-side suburb of Hampton provides lots of entertainment for families, with it’s parks and swimming beaches. Thomas Street South Reserve has a great wooden playground for the little ones to explore. With plenty of outdoor seating, Cornerstone and Co. Cafe makes a good spot to stop for lunch.

Elwood 

There is a beautiful walk in store for you along the Ormond Esplanade. Be sure to bring your hats, apply that sunscreen and pop on the sunglasses as it gets quite hot and glarey. For lunch, Little Sunflower Cafe is not far up Glen Huntley/Ormond Road. They serve the best buddha bowls in town and there is seating out the front for parents with prams. 

Chelsea 

Chelsea beach is a nice spot to visit. The Bicentennial playground is the perfect place for your little ones to run wild and Soul Press in nearby Edithvale will cure your smoothie craving. 

Frankston Foreshore  

Frankston Beach is a plesant spot to spend the afternoon. Nature Cafe makes a good choice for lunch with plenty of vegetarian and vegan options on the menu. Frankston Foreshore playground is lots of fun for the little ones, or there is the bright and bold Bellam Park further inland on Cranbourne Road.

Mornington Pier   

A nice walk around Mornington Pier is always lots of fun. There is a fantastic playground and reserve for the little ones to run around at Mornington Park. Soul Press is the place to go when hunger strikes with their nourishing açaí bowls and delicious smoothies, or you can try Thanks Albert with a yummy selection of vegetarian burgers to choose from. If you need to do some shopping while you are out and about Natural Balance along the main street has a big range of organic goodies. 

Remember to always be sun-safe on your walks! Visit www.sunsmart.com.au for more sun-safety tips.

Enjoy your summer! 

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Melbourne with Kids - Best Kid Friendly Cafes and Adventures in Melbourne

Melbourne has so much to offer families it’s hard to know where to begin, so let us help you start your journey by sharing some of our top picks for meal time, kid friendly fun activities and adventures. 

Top Picks for Child Friendly, Plant Friendly Cafes in Melbourne (and surrounds):

Top picks for fun family activities in Melbourne (and surrounds):

  • Visit the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)

  • Explore the Melbourne Museum

  • Experience the Melbourne Sealife Aquarium

  • Partake in ArtPlay by the Yarra

  • Check out the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)

  • Visit the Melbourne Zoo

  • Experience Collingwood Children’s Farm

  • Check out Scienceworks

Top picks for free family adventures in Melbourne:

  • Walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens

  • Jog around the tan with the pram

  • Stroll down Anzac Avenue (St Kilda Road)

  • Pay a visit to the Melbourne City Library

  • Walk along St Kilda pier with baby in the carrier

  • Explore Melbourne’s CBD by foot

Top playground picks in Melbourne (and surrounds):

  • Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne

  • Ron Barassi Snr Park on Docklands Drive, Docklands

  • Royal Park Nature Play in Parkville (right near the Royal Children’s Hospital)

  • Middle Park Community Playground on Canterbury Road, Middle Park (Albert Park)

  • McNish Reserve on Court Street in Yarraville

  • Coburg Lake Reserve on Murray Road in Coburg North

  • Skinners Adventure Playground in Dorcas Street, South Melbourne

  • St Kilda Adventure Playground in Neptune Street, St Kilda

Want more cafes to choose from in Melbourne? Read about them here.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy our beautiful city! 

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What’s In My Nappy Bag - Part Two

With two little ones to call my own (the eldest still in nappies, being almost two), I thought I’d share what’s in my nappy bag for two bubbas.

The Bag

First things first, a good quality nappy bag is a must. I knew I needed a bag that was durable enough to be plonked down in the tanbark at a playground, or thrown into the car at a moments notice. This time around I also wanted something functional and it was important to me that it still be stylish enough to double as my own bag - something that wasn’t your obvious logo embossed nappy bag. Being budget conscious I also didn’t want to spend a fortune, but wanted something that would last. With all that in mind, I opted for the Witchery ‘Harry Nylon’ tote and it has been fantastic.

Functionality

As a busy Mum of two, I need to be able to access certain items quickly - especially when I am out and about. This is where bag inserts came in handy. I use these from Target as they are water proof (not very sustainable, but very inexpensive and practical!), or you can purchase more of an insert style such as this one from amazon.

All The Essentials

I always keep my nappy bag pre stocked and ready to go, as you’ll never know when you will have to head out. I simply fill one of my bag inserts with snacks and a couple of medicinal needs (such as panodol and teething gel) and the other with all the nappy change essentials (think spare nappies, wipes, nappy disposal bags, nappy rash cream, disposable gloves for change time, change mats and hand sanitizer).

Speaking of essentials here are a few other items we always carry with us:

Small Toys

It is a good option to throw a few small toys in to keep the little ones amused when out and about. If you have a teething baby a good teething toy is a must.

Bibs

Our all time fave bibs are from My Little Love Heart Bibs. These are handmade bamboo bibs, made in Australia.

The bibs are amazing and are the only kind I like using on my babies. Our eldest had quite bad eczema, particularly from the age of three to six months, and these were some of the only bibs that didn’t flare up her super sensitive skin. She still experiences tiny flair ups of eczema now and then, especially in the heat or if someone with strong fragrance cuddles her. I am praying that our youngest does not have to go through the pain and discomfort of eczema but time will tell.

I continue to use these bibs all the time, especially for my youngest who is just three months as he is still at that posseting stage - and in a few months time he will be starting solids too.

Change of Clothes

This is vital! All mums live in fear of a ill-timed nappy mishap so it is essential to carry a change of outfit for your little ones. We pack a whole outfit for our youngest and a change of pants for our eldest. You never know when they will be needed!

Thanks for reading!

What’s in my Hospital Bag?

As we prepare for the arrival of our second baby, and having already had a pre term labor scare, I felt it important to ensure that my hospital bag was fully packed and ready to go. 

Here I share what’s in my hospital bag: 

Nursing Bras and tops

Two or three supportive nursing bras and tops are a must.  

Postpartum Lady Products 

As much as I wanted to glaze over what to me is the toughest part of pregnancy, birth and postpartum - the recovery stage in the days straight after the birth - I did want to share my favourite postpartum ‘lady product’; TOM Organics Maternity Pads. These are a godsend and being made from organic cotton they are not only hygienic but with no nasties. There we go, I said it. 

Snacks 

I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be sleep deprived, healing, trying to breastfeed a ravenous baby, establishing milk supply AND hungry. So with that in mind I made sure to pack a range of nourishing snacks in my hospital bag so that I didn’t have to reply on a couple of salada biscuits or the junk food in the vending machine to get me through.

Spare Clothes 

In private hospitals in Australia, we generally have a hospital stay of 3 nights for a normal birth (unless you want to discharge yourself early - but who wants to give up on room service and assistance from on-call midwives when you can have them right?! I know I sound like a brat there but you should use the help you’ve got while you can). Because you’ll be staying a few nights in hospital spare clothes are an essential. After all that you’ve been through it is lovely to be able to have a nice shower and pop on a new change of clothes to feel fresh. I pack a few extra than what I will think I’ll need in case of baby spit up or other accidents. 

Technology 

As my husband was going to be home with our eldest child this meant a lot of down time for me in the hospital. I am an introvert at heart and I love spending time re charging by reading info online or watching a tv show. It was important to have my iPhone with me to share the all important news once Baby arrived and to capture pictures of those first moments. For those middle of the night feeds, or times when I was eating a meal, I knew I wanted to have my iPad with me to be able to catch up on a quick favourite tv episode. I made sure to throw in a charger as well. 

What are your must have items for your hospital bag, fellow mummys-to-be?  

Recipe of the Quarter - Lentil, Pumpkin, Spinach and Pine Nut Pasta

Being pregnant means that nutrition is at the forefront of my mind, even more so than normal. 

Our recipe of the quarter is a nutrient packed, comforting pasta. This vegetarian pasta is filled with all things good for your pregnancy, including folate (lentils), fibre and potassium (pumpkin), magnesium, zinc, calcium, iron, vitamins A, C, and K (spinach) and vitamin E (pine nuts). Read below for details.  

Lentil, Pumpkin, Spinach and Pine Nut Pasta  

Ingredients 

  • 100g spelt or wholemeal pasta per person

  • 110g dried red lentils

  • 1 small butternut pumpkin (washed, de-seeded, cut into chunks)

  • 2 big handfuls spinach (washed well)

  • 75g pine nuts

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 small garlic gloves (optional - some people, like myself, really go off garlic when pregnant)

  • Black pepper and parmasen to taste, if required

Method 

  • Cook pumpkin in the microwave for 5-10 minutes on high until soft.

  • Cook pasta until al dente.

  • Add the pine nuts, washed spinach, garlic and remaining olive oil into a frying pan and lightly fry whilst waiting for the pasta to cook.

  • Once the pumpkin is done, add to the fry pan and mix gently.

  • Drain the pasta and add the mixture from the fry pan.

  • Serve with parmasen and black pepper to taste.

Bon Appetit!  

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Pregnancy Essentials

Pregnancy is such a special time. Although in the early (and last) days it may be a little rough, I don’t think there is one pregnant women out there that takes for granted the miracle of the life she is carrying. During both of my pregnancies I found I relied on a couple of essential items to really get me through. Today on the blog we reveal them.   

Vitamins

Vitamins are a must for your pregnancy. Personally my go-to are the Blackmores Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Vitamins and I tend to take these at night to help minimize any additional reflux I may experience. 

Snacks 

My top snacks during pregnancy are apples, bananas and wholegrain muesli bars (and let’s face it - the occasional chocolate bar!). I tend to feel much better if I always have something in my stomach, so I make sure I’m having something to eat every two to three hours. When I needed an extra boost come snack time (especially in the early days of pregnancy when snacking helped to keep the nausea at bay) I relied on Franjos Kitchen Belly Bump biscuits. Made in Australia, these gems are packed full of extra vitamins such as Omega 3, iron, calcium and zinc, and are an added source of fibre. 

Hand Sanitizer

Confession time! I am a bit of a germaphobe. Even more so when I am pregnant and have another life growing on board. I always carry a travel size hand sanitiser with me to keep those germs at bay. Not all hand sanitisers are created equally though, and some actually do more harm than good, so I stick to a natural brand - my favourite being Squeaky brand’s Natural Hand Sanitiser (the perfect size for your purse and/or nappy bag).

Stretch Mark Oil

I’m very much prone to stretch marks, and I honestly don’t mind because to me they are a badge of honour for the life I have brought into the world. Also, there are some great products on the market to help minimise stretch marks and help them to fade over time such as Badger’s Organic Pregnant Belly Oil and Weleda’s Stretch Mark Massage Oil.

Leggings

Given this was my second pregnancy my muscles (or lack thereof) certainly needed a helping hand this time around to support my growing bump. SRC Pregnancy Leggings were a wardrobe staple on my days out of the office, perfect for chilling at home or running around with my toddler. 

What are your pregnancy essentials, mummas? 

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What I Ate Wednesday

Welcome back to What I Ate Wednesday. I always feel a bit silly writing these posts as I am such a creature of habit my meal plans don’t tend to change that much. Anyway, I thought I'd share with you what I ate today (Wednesday) as I haven’t posted on this topic for a while. 

Breakfast: Bowl of buckwheat cereal topped with fresh blueberries, strawberries and peaches and a dollop of organic vanilla yoghurt. Two slices of sourdough toast with vegemite. Bottle of water. 

Morning snack:  Whole apple. Half bottle of water.

Lunch: Homemade buddha bowl with quinoa, cooked egg, avocado, capsicum, cooked spinach, carrot and cooked salmon. Bottle of water.

Afternoon snack: Whole banana. Wholegrain muesli bar. Half bottle of water. 

Dinner:  Pumpkin, Spinach and Pine Nut Pasta. Two squares of Lindt dark chocolate with almonds for dessert. Bottle of water.

Thanks for reading! 

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Recipe of the Quarter - Creamy Green Pasta 

It is such an exciting time in our household, as my husband and I recently announced to friends and family that we are pregnant with our second child! We are beyond thrilled!! I love researching and trying out new recipes for dinner, and now that I am pregnant again it is extra important to ensure I am getting a good amount of nutrients and protein into each meal. Healthy protein is so important for the development of baby’s cells, tissues and muscles and a range of vitamins also assist in baby’s overall growth and development. This creamy pasta dish offers a range of nutrients, and is one of my new favourites. 

Creamy Green Pasta 

Ingredients: 

  • 250g-350g buckwheat or spelt pasta

  • 1 punnet organic mushrooms, washed well

  • 2 large handfuls washed organic baby spinach

  • 1 cup washed organic broccoli

  • 1 cup frozen peas

  • 1 bunch of organic asparagus, washed and chopped

  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese

  • 1 cup vegetable broth

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk of choice

  • 1 clove minced garlic

  • Pinch of salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil

  • Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

Method:  

  • Add vegetable broth, non-dairy milk and pinch of salt to saucepan and bring to boil

  • Boil pasta in saucepan according to packet directions

  • Meanwhile, heat 1/2 teaspoon olive oil in large fry pan. Add garlic, frozen peas, mushrooms, asparagus and broccoli and stir until cooked (you can par-boil broccoli and frozen peas beforehand if you prefer)

  • Add cooked pasta to pan

  • At the last minute add baby spinach to pan and remove from heat, stir to combine ingredients

  • Add parmasen, lemon juice to taste, serve and enjoy.

Bon Appetit!  

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