Archive for July, 2014

Super Granny

Within 3 years the world has sat up and taken notice of phrases such as “Discipline vs Diet”, Peace in the Home, Empowered Parents, and “Boundaries”, all thanks to a not so granny-looking Super Granny, international Parenting Coach and Author, Andalene Salvesen.

Spicy Pumpkin Muffins (Makes 12) What you need: 1⁄2 cup Creeds organic coconut flour 1⁄2 cup Creeds tapioca flour 1⁄2 t baking soda 1⁄2 t Creeds baking powder 1⁄4 t salt 1 1⁄2 t Creeds ground cinnamon 1⁄2 t freshly grated nutmeg 1⁄2 t ground cloves 1⁄2 c melted butter (or coconut oil) 2/3 cup – 1 cup Erythritol or Xylitol 3 eggs 1 cup pumpkin puree (from your left-over pumpkin) 1 tsp vanilla extract 
extra cinnamon and sweetener of choice for sprinkling on top What you do with this: 1. Preheat your oven to 180oC and line a standard size muffin tin with paper muffin cups. 2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, powder, spices and salt. 3. In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, sweetener of choice, eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla. 4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and whisk to combine. 5. Place portions into the muffin cups. 6. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with more sweetener and cinnamon and it’ll bake into a nice crunchy topping. Bake until puffed and cooked through, about 25-30 minutes.
At last, a comprehensive, hands on Parenting On-line Course that can help you with a full spectrum of day to day, very practical, age appropriate parenting skills. The on-line course comprises a 12 weeks of self-study and culminates with a 3-day workshop in Cape Town or Gauteng.
  • Are you struggling with tantrums, or finding it difficult to set boundaries?
  • Do you struggle to say no or suffer the guilt carried by most working mothers?
  • Are you tired of trying to convince your children to make healthy lifestyle and dietary choices or perhaps desperately just trying to get them to eat?
  • Is sibling rivalry driving your crazy?
  • Do your children listen the first time or are you forever negotiating with your children?
  • And so much more …..!
What does it entail?
  • The self-study materials are comprised of reading material, CD’s to listen to and a weekly assessment to complete.
  • If you would like to find out more about the Munchkins methodologies, please visit our website where you can read through testimonials that will give you actual feedback from families and a better idea of how the applied skills taught by Andalene have assisted numerous folks in transforming family dynamics by empowering parents.
The cost of the on-line course is as follows:
  • Self-study – The On-line Course materials required includes 2 books and 23 CD’s: R1550
  • Three day Workshop in Cape Town or Gauteng – R2000
  • Total cost of Parenting On-line Course – R3550
  • If you have already bought some of the materials that will be used, you will only pay for those that you still need to purchase.
Payment can be made as follows:
  • R1550 for the on-line course materials to be paid upfront
  • 1st Aug R1000 to secure your place
  • 1st Sept R500
  • 1st Oct R500
Bank details:
  • AC Salvesen (Munchkins)
  • Account No 1039082750
  • Nedbank (For International Clients – International Swift Code NEDSZAJJ)
  • Tygervalley – Branch Code 103910
If you would like to be included in the on-line course, please email Sandra to book on  
When someone does not feel heard, it can be extremely frustrating. When your child speaks to you, put down your phone, if possible switch off the TV, thereby reassuring him that what he has to say is important to you. However, remember, that mutual respect is very important. If you are texting while you are talking, the chances are that your child will soon be doing the same. So modelling the behaviour you expect is important and very effective. Effective communication There are two basic principles that one can apply to help the other person understand you better: • Learn to listen. • Learn to respond appropriately after you have listened. There are also two basic principles that one can apply in order to be better understood: • Learn to be in touch with your own feelings. • Learn to share your thoughts and feelings with the other person.
Seek first to understand, then to be understood. – Anonymous
Children are often not encouraged to make eye contact when an adult addresses them – they are busy sending a text or watching some sort of screen. Socializing without social media is becoming obsolete. Insisting on eye contact is a basic way of showing respect to and interest in the person speaking to you. Once that basic foundation is established, children need to be taught to respond appropriately and not just stare blankly or avoid making eye contact with others. It is important to speak to your child in a tone of voice that makes him want to listen and which shows that you care.
Different viewpoints have equal validity.
Open and closed responses To encourage conversation, use open responses that the other person can respect and give feedback on. When you use closed responses, this kills the conversation. Here are some typical examples: Commander: This is the sergeant major! He screams out commands like, ‘What is wrong with you? If you ever do that again, I will never …’ Moralist: This is the frustrated preacher inside of some of us. He doesn’t let an opportunity go by without finding a way to ‘preach’ about what should have happened: ‘Now that is no way for a Christian to act!’ Lecturer: This style is wonderful when it comes to giving advice, lectures and arguments. He sounds a lot like the Moralist, but not quite as spiritual: ‘I would never lose my temper like that! What really helps in a situation like this is …’ Judge: He always gives judgement on what is right and what is wrong. In actual fact, the judge is always right, and the child always wrong! ‘You were wrong to react in that way, so go to your room until you can admit what you did!’ Bully: There are parents who use sarcasm, insults and teasing to chastise their children: ‘You are such an idiot! Who do you think you are, acting like that? Get that pimple face out of my face!’ Psychologist: Some parents like to analyse and diagnose their children’s behaviour. This gives them a sense of power over their child: ‘Puberty is a time of storm and urgency where you focus your efforts to form your identity and discover your uniqueness!’ Comforter: They use classically sweet, superficial clichés in an effort to at least say something, but without exposing themselves to anyone else’s pain: ‘Oh shame! I’m sure everything will be just fine. God will provide!’ Detective: This is the investigator who is not concerned about other people’s feelings or reactions when he is trying to get to the bottom of what happened. He sees himself as the one that cross-questions all concerned and scratches everything open. He typically wants to find out, what, who, where and when: ‘Who hit first, was it you or him?’ ‘Why is your suitcase in such a state?’ Orator: This parent tries to control the child through logical arguments: ‘The fact of the matter is …’ ‘There are four points I would like to mention …’ ‘I understand what you said, but …’ A closed question of this kind creates the following responses: • It has more chance of breaking down the relationship. • It doesn’t help the person to brainstorm his idea or problems with anyone. It humiliates the person with the problem. • It raises the emotional temperature of the person instead of solving the problem. • It is not typically the way one would talk to your friends. Active listening By contrast, active listening has the following elements: • It acknowledges that someone has the right to ‘feel’ what they are feeling. • There is acceptance, even though we might disagree with their way of handling things. • It concentrates on the verbal and non-verbal messages that are given by the sender. • It decodes the messages that we receive and sends back to the other person a message to respect on and confirm that it is an accurate interpretation of what was heard. There are few things that build a relationship as much as Active Listening. It is said to be the greatest act of love. When someone truly listens to you, you don’t feel alone and you feel that someone has comevery close to you and cares for you. We need to learn to really listen to our children and not just to hear them. Here are some examples that you could consider using: • ‘It looks like your day hasn’t started too well.’ • ‘You look really upset! Would you like to talk about it?’ • ‘It looks like you really need someone to talk to today.’ You can leave what you’re doing and sit next to your child and wait till she begins to talk. Am I hearing or listening? Simply hearing what someone has said can be likened to hearing the birds or music in the background. Truly listening is an art that can and should be developed. This poem truly describes how most of us feel about how we would like to be heard: Listen
  • When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving me advice, you have not done what I asked.
  • When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings.
  • When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problems, you have failed me, strange as that may seem.
  • LISTEN! All I asked was that you listen.
  • Not talk or do – just hear me.
  • Advice is cheap: 25 cents will get you Dear Abby and Billy Graham in the same newspaper.
  • And that I can do for myself: I’m not helpless, maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless.
  • When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and weakness.
But when you accept as a simple fact that I do feel what I feel, no matter how irrational, then I quit trying to convinceyou and can get about the business of understanding what’s behind this irrational feeling. And when that’s clear, the answers are obvious and I don’t need advice. Irrational feelings make sense when we understand what’s behind them. Perhaps that’s why prayer works, because God is often silent and He doesn’t give advice or try to ‘fix’ things. He listens and often silently helps you work it out. So please listen and just hear me, and if you want to talk, wait a minute for your turn and I’ll listen to you. – Author Unknown
Our beliefs become our thoughts; Our thoughts become our words; Our words become our habits; Our habits become our values; Our values become our destiny.  – Gandhi
Children are not born with manners This is another aspect that needs to be taught and modeled by parents. Sometimes I would tease my grown children and say, ‘Didn’t your mom teach you any manners?’ But it is so true, if your mother doesn’t teach you, who will? It does not come naturally. Obviously cultures differ, but here are some examples that would be helpful if they could be taught and modeled before leaving home. • Burping in public • Picking your nose in public • Shouting • Slurping when drinking • Scratching your private areas • Picking in your teeth in company • Wait till everyone is at the table before you start eating • Say thank you to the cook for the food • Excuse yourself from the table • Offer others before taking a second helping • Boys should hold the door and let girls/women go first • Girls/women should then acknowledge this courtesy with thanks • Saying please and thank you • Greeting and communicating with people while making eye contact • Closing the door when you use the bathroom • Ask before you take • Knock on doors and wait before opening • Interrupt when someone is talking • Scratch in someone’s handbag • Helping yourself to things in the cupboard – ask first • Pushing in front of people in a queue • Wait patiently for your turn • Shake hands with a firm grip and many more
One little five-year-old told her mommy, ‘Only daddies are allowed to pick their noses, right Mommy?’
Besides modelling these habits, there are fun ways of teaching these skills. For example, with younger children, have a tea party and over-exaggerate the good manners. As The get older, Dad can take them on a formal ‘date’. This teaches girls what respect to expect from their future boyfriends and models for boys how to treat their potential girlfriends. Dr James Dobson had a good example of teaching young people how to communicate. He suggested you stand across from them with a ball. throw the ball at them letting it bounce once before The catch it. Then they have to return it the same way. Explain that conversation is similar in the sense that when you have the ball, you talk and the other person does not interrupt. Then you throw the ball (conversation) to the other person and give them a turn to respond. This can go on and on as long as the ball is returned to the other person. However, if your reply to someone’s question is simply a yes or a no, it kills the ‘game’. The ball stops. Giving examples to a child is always helpful. You can say things like, ‘When someone asks if you enjoyed the food, instead of just saying yes, thank you (keeping the ball), what sort of questions can you think of that you could ask?’ Some suggestions could be, ‘Did you use a recipe for this?’ ‘Was that real chocolate you put in there?’ ‘Is this the first time you made this or is it a family favourite?’ While driving down the street, I watched as a mother threw litter in the street, two paces away from a public refuse bin. Her little child was watching her, and proceeded to do the same. How sad. If her parents do not teach her these things by example, who will? I am sure we could all think of a few adults we know whom we would like to ask, ‘Didn’t your mom teach you anything?’ Don’t let your child become one of those people one day.  
It’s a parent’s job to make the rules, it’s the child’s job to try and break them. – Anonymous A natural consequence is a result of an action happening from inexperience or an accident. For instance: • ‘If you ride your bike over the step, you will fall and hurt yourself.’ • ‘We have asked you repeatedly not to play with your ball in that area. However, you kicked your ball where there was a thorn bush and it punctured. I am sure you are really disappointed.’ A logical consequence is that as a result of disobedience there is a price to pay to help you remember the next time. For instance: • ‘If you forget to put your bike away, it will be taken away for a few days.’ • ‘I asked you to sit and drink your juice. You chose to get up and so it all spilled. Unfortunately you cannot have any more.’ Both of these examples are extremely effective ways of encouraging a change of behaviour. Allowing children to suffer natural and logical consequences allows them to experience disappointments from making small mistakes or bad decisions, yet still develop winning skills in the process. If they never learn to feel and overcome such feelings of disappointment, they will struggle to cope with the hardships of life. Showing them empathy and unconditional love through this process helps them to feel like winners every time they ‘lose’.  
When I go into homes I often hear comments like, ‘She is Mommy’s girl and that one is Daddy’s girl’ or ‘He’s the apple of my eye’ and such like. Comments like these stick with children. They realize that they can ‘never’ attain that place in Mommy’s or Daddy’s heart because it is already taken. Every child is unique and special and should be treated as such. There should never be an element of doubt that they are equally loved. Because of the complexity of different personalities in one home, It is common for a parent to prefer one child above another, or to just get on better with one more than the other. The child can easily misinterpret this preference as, ‘Mommy loves him more than me.’ And sometimes, sadly, this is the case! CS Lewis wrote: When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less. – CS Lewis, Mere Christianity
  • In almost every family I have helped, there would typically be an introvert followed by an extrovert, or the other way around. The first two children are always opposite in my experience. It is easy to greet the ‘sunshine’ child with an excited ‘Morning!’ when he comes in with a huge smile in between yawning and rubbing his eyes to wake up, while his sibling comes in sullen and serious and is met with a more serene and subdued greeting.
  • Children tend to pick up those underlying differences but misinterpret them as ‘one child is wrong and the other is right’.
  • When a second child makes its arrival in the family, Dad generally takes on the task of bonding with the older one so Mom can be involved with the baby. This is great, but the time also needs to come where they swop over. Then eventually they receive equal attention. If the child constantly refuses to allow one parent to help or do anything, then that parent should insist on helping. This will transition smoothly if there is opportunity for bonding time; especially making opportunities for time with that parent alone.
  • When a child feels like the second best, he will start taking it out on the sibling and the bond that they could have had will be broken.
  • The picture portrayed should rather be Mom and Dad in a ‘team’ (a force to be reckoned with), and the children should be standing together. Too often I see an alliance formed between one parent and a child against the other parent and the other child.
‘You don’t have to like it, you only have to eat it!’ In my previous book ‘Raising Happy, Healthy Children’ I covered diet extensively with the help of a clinical nutritionist, Sally Ann Creed, with whom the book was co-written. However, I think it is important to reiterate that what we eat affects the way we behave. The two go hand in hand. You cannot discipline a child who is being fed incorrectly, and conversely, you cannot enforce healthy eating if you have no discipline in place.
  • Feeding a child sugar and expecting them to sit still is like expecting an intoxicated person to walk a straight line.
  • We would all agree that alcohol affects our brain, but some people struggle to accept that food, also, can affect our brain, responses and general well being.
  • If malnutrition makes you ill, why would the opposite not be true? Some foods can also affect behaviour and hormone functions in teenage years.
  • Mood swings, aggression, loss of concentration, passivity, irregular or severely painful menstrual cycle, bad skin, memory loss and other problems can all be connected to a food in- tolerance or deficiency of some sort. It would be wise to check this out with your doctor or a nutritionist that you trust.
I read a bumper sticker that said, ‘If you ignore your health, it will go away.’ This is so true. Sometimes people say to me, ‘Well, I do not eat vegetables and look at me, I’m fine!’ To which I respond, that sounds like saying, “I do not have to service my car. It is running just fine.”But when it has a costly breakdown that could have been prevented with a simple timely service, you regret it. We need to train our children in healthy eating habits so that as adults they will not be picky eaters but rather enjoy the full spectrum of fruits, vegetables, proteins and other foods that are freely available today. If you do not teach this, who will? To sum up, studies show that a healthy diet consists of three meals per day and two snacks. Each meal should contain a healthy form of protein. Here is a suggestion of a healthy routine for the whole family (the portion size is adjusted accordingly): Breakfast:
  • Cooked oats, sorghum, quinoa or millet porridge (not the instant kind). For variations with the porridge add cinnamon, cashews, almonds, grated apple, banana, local honey, organic coconut oil or combinations of these. Adding raw cacao can also quickly turn it into a special chocolate breakfast.
  • Keep in mind that grains are best absorbed by the body when they have been soaked, preferably for anywhere from 1-12 hours. This ‘increases digestibility, and eliminates phytic acid’ according to Integrative Nutrition.
  • You can make the porridge by pouring boiling water over it and leaving it overnight to soak, and just topping up with boiling water in the morning to heat it up. Or for a faster option, you could just pour the boiling water over your porridge in the morning, cover it, and it’ll be ready in three minutes (that’s right, you don’t need the microwave or stove).
  • For an incredibly delicious special treat, add egg yolks into hot porridge (first stir some hot porridge into the beaten egg yolks before adding to the hot porridge). Then beat egg whites till stiff and fold in gently. Serve with cinnamon and xylitol.
  • Another breakfast option would be any variety of free-range eggs with whole grain bread if you wish (don’t be fooled by multi-grain; whole grain ingredients should be the first on the ingredient list if you have bread) and/or tomatoes, mushrooms, sautéed onions, peppers, etc.
  • Variety of fruit, nuts and seeds (not peanuts), plain full cream yoghurt (flavoured and/or sweetened yoghurts can do more harm than good, even the probiotics in them could become ineffective because of the sugar content); or
  • Cracker breads with any nut butter (almond, cashew) or cream cheese;
  • Green smoothies. Blend at least three organic kale leaves (or spinach, or any type of leafy green) with filtered water (this helps to blend it to a smooth consistency, rather than having bits of greens to chew). You get more benefits from leafy greens when they are blended. You could also add chia seeds and/or raw oats at this point to be ground up. The nyou can add banana (frozen makes for a more frothy smoothie) and any combination of these and other ingredients: nut butter, cacao, berries (again, can be frozen), nuts, coconut oil, carrot, raw beetroot (don’t judge it until you try it – it’s a pleasant surprise), maca, pear, etc. Try to have more vegetable than fruit where possible, just adding the fruit for some sweetness. If your children prefer a sweeter taste, you could add a touch of local honey (which can help with seasonal allergies) or xylitol. You can also blend in ice if you like a more frothy smoothie.
  • Half of the plate should be filled with a variety of vegetables (raw/ steamed/roasted).
  • A quarter of the plate with a healthy carbohydrate (e.g. quinoa, sweet potato, basmati or brown rice, healthy pasta, whole grain bread, etc). It’s better if you can include complex carbohydrates, as oppose to simple.
  • A quarter of the plate with protein (lentils, fish, red meat, chicken, eggs, beans, etc).
  • At least 10-20% of your food needs to consist of healthy fats (coconut oil, olive oil, oily fish, avocado, nuts, etc).
  • Crudités with a protein (hummus, white cheese, cream cheese, cottage cheese, meat, fish, lentils, red kidney beans). You could try making this more appealing by creating a pattern or picture out of the food.
  • Same make-up as lunch, but try to make something different so that you’re not serving the same thing on one day. You could, however, keep some dinner as leftovers for lunch the next day. It’s always more convenient for families if you can cook once, eat twice.
  • This would typically happen around 8 am, 10 am, 12 pm, 4 pm and 6 pm, depending on your lifestyle.
  • Water should be encouraged as the main source of liquid through-out the day, and vegetables should be your main source of nutrients.
  • Try juicing carrots mixed with a little apple, cucumber or celery, or be creative with a variety of veggies, as a wonderful way of increasing the daily vegetable intake.
  • To make it more exciting, you could give different names to the various colour veggie juices.
  • Remember that watered-down fruit juice is still not water.
  • This can be given occasionally or as a transition to switching to water alone, but a house rule could be to first have a glass of water before the fruit juice. Your proportion of vegetables to your fruit per day should be at least double the amount of vegetables to fruit.
  • Himalayan salt is also an excellent source of minerals for the whole family and should be eaten daily.
  • Your body struggles to digest processed foods. It can break down nutrients in raw foods and knows how and where to distribute them. If you are craving sweets, try increasing your oil and protein in-take and see how much energy you have!
Try these for example: Oat and coconut balls 1 cup oats (250g) 125 g almonds Grind together till texture of % our. Add: 10 ml of Xylitol 1 teaspoon raw honey 125 g desiccated coconut A delicious optional extra – half a teaspoon of cacao (raw chocolate) Mix in enough softened coconut oil to bind together. Roll into small balls then roll the balls in coconut. (optional extra: place a blueberry in centre of ball) Place in fridge for 5 minutes. Ready to eat and enjoy! This is delicious for an in between ‘pick-me-upper’ snack on the go, and your kids could have them as a special treat (little do The know how healthy it is). See my book ‘Raising Happy, Healthy Children’ for more recipes. Including more sweet vegetables in your diet such as sweet potato, carrots, etc can also reduce sugar cravings. Even slicing butternut, sweet potatoes or beetroot extremely thinly and then frying them in coconut oil can be a delicious snack or meal accompaniment. This can also be a great lunch box idea for school.
  • Read your labels and watch out for and avoid ingredients like Mono- sodium Glutamate (flavour enhancer), preservatives, nitrates, incorrect/ unhealthy oils and excessive sugars and salt, to name but a few.
  • Drinking water is vital for your body, as opposed to sugary carbonated drinks and excessive fruit juices.
  • Xylitol and stevia are the healthy alternatives to sugar.
  • Read the labels making sure that when it says sugar free, it is not aspartame, saccharine or non-nutritive sweeteners replacing the sugar.
  • As a general rule, try to buy things with as few ingredients as possible.
  • Reach for plain full-fat yoghurts and flavour them with fresh fruits.
  • You could even try heating mixed berries in a saucepan until they break down and become sauce-like as a great addition.
  • Avoid items that are fat-free as your body is in need of health
  • y oils – such as coconut oil (the oil of choice when frying or roasting), and extra virgin cold pressed olive oil (for salads or any raw vegetables)– for protecting organs, nerves and so many other crucial functions.
  • Often when something is fat-free or low fat, there are added sugars, or they have had to go through additional unhealthy processing to get to that point.
Where does discipline come in?
  • I never start with an eating problem with children. I believe that parents need to be in charge in all areas, as they have more wisdom and the bigger picture.
  • Therefore this authority needs to be established before sitting at the table.
  • Remember that you cannot force your child to swallow, urinate or fall asleep.
  • You can, however, expect them to try one bite, and you can expect them to stay in their beds.
  • Around two years, most children go through a stage where they really do not eat a lot. This stage will pass, but be careful not to fall into the trap of, ‘Well, at least he’s eating yoghurt, chocolates and chips!’
Where possible, grow your own veggies
  • Children can even eat the cherry tomatoes and green beans straight out of the garden with a quick rinse from the garden hose! Encourage them to help with the preparation of meals (age-appropriately). Children are more likely to eat healthy meals when they have been part of the cooking process.
  • This can even start by getting them to help with selecting the vegetables at the grocery store, or better yet, picking them in the garden.
  • For ‘bad’ eaters, take away all snacks in between meals.
  • Give only water. Then when mealtime comes, offer the favourite meat, for instance, but on the same plate have a vegetable that he does not like. Expect him to take only one bite of the vegetable before he has his meat. Never fight over food. Meal times need to be friendly and chatty. He has one choice – try one bite, or no food.
  • How will anyone ever know whether they like something if they have never tasted it? How will they develop a taste for it, if they are never expected to try it repeatedly?
Here is a great phrase to use for these occasions: ‘You don’t have to like it, you only have to eat it.
  • If they still refuse, announce that the timer will be set and when the bell rings, the plate will be taken away.
  • Then take the meal away calmly, but expect them to stay at the table until everybody is finished.
  • Make sure it is friendly and chatty.
  • Be sure you don’t fall for the ‘I’m hungry’ tune in the middle of the night.
  • Reply simply with empathy by saying ‘I’m so sorry you’re hungry! I’m sure you’ll try harder tomorrow night.’ Offer only water.
  • There have never been cases reported of children dying of hunger when they have been offered food.
If your child has been a picky eater since transitioning from pureed foods to bitty foods, it could well be a sensory problem.
  • Children with sensory issues will typically gag when trying a new food, or refuse to even touch it.
  • Generally cherry tomatoes are a huge turn-off or yoghurt with bits of fruit.
  • But this is not the only way to diagnose sensory issues.
  • These problems have to be dealt with through Occupational therapists who specialize in Sensory Integration.
  • This is not a discipline first approach.
  • If they gag when eating, then just require a lick between mouthfuls.
  • If their response is just, ‘I don’t like it’, then require one bite. With exposure, the brain could eventually change its negative response and start liking it.
  • However, if your child has not had these problems and has become a picky eater, it could be discipline-related.
  • Firm boundaries need to be put into place in all other areas before food issues are addressed.
  • Once you are the parent in other areas (starting with discipline in the day first), you are in charge when it comes to the choice of food.
  • The boundaries then become clearly defined.
  • The choices are made clear; this is a lunch/supper/snack. ‘You don’t have to eat it. But there is nothing else until the next meal.’
  • It is not advisable to have toys at the table or have the TV on.
  • Your body has to combine forces for the digestive system to work efficiently.
  • Your eyes, your nose, your mouth, your gastric juices all contribute to healthy digestion. When all of these are pre-occupied, this does not happen effectively.
  • Never place too much focus on the food, force feed or show your anxiety.
  • Your child will sense this and hold you hostage.
  • Encourage a child to stop eating when they have had enough; The do not have to finish everything on their plate as this can lead to unhealthy eating habits later.
  • If you have a slow eater, ignore this while you relax and chat and eat your meal.
  • Then, remind him that the mealtime is almost over.
  • Set an alarm for say, another five minutes and remind him calmly that when the bell rings, the plates will be taken away.
  • You will probably have to remove his plate once only and he will get the message!
Recently I was with a mommy when she gave her son some blueberries (that he did not want to taste) and biltong (jerky) that he loved, for a snack. He was told to try the blueberries first. He sat for a long time talking to us but avoiding the eating. We finally decided to set the timer to ring after every minute. At the ring, we would be eating a piece of his biltong until he decided to taste a blueberry. He saw his biltong diminishing, but thought that his mom would replenish the bowl. Finally all the biltong was finished and his blueberries were taken away. He was horrified. However, the next time the timer was set, he quickly tried the food his mom had put down for him. Mealtimes should be a fun, sociable time and valuable for interaction and quality time. Relax, chat and show by example that healthy eating creates happy, healthy individuals. Food intolerances If your child constantly suffers from either a runny nose, coughing, grommets in the ears, tonsillitis, sinusitis, eczema, asthma etc or shows signs of aggression, fuzzy brain, inattentiveness, clumsiness, tiredness, moodiness, diarrhoea, constipation, night terrors or bed wetting, it could be a dairy and/or wheat intolerance or allergy. If you take out all wheat, milk, yoghurt and cheeses for six weeks and notice a difference, this could be the case. Try then to avoid any dairy or wheatfor about six months and then reintroduce slowly. This is not necessarily a life sentence; often children’s bodies learn to tolerate it again after it has been removed from their diet for a while.
  • Rice, almond, oat or goat’s milk is an alternative to dairy.
  • Even liquidized banana with water can be used with porridges.
  • Avoid soy milk where possible, as it is a very processed product.
  • The market is filled with wheat or gluten-free flour alternatives.
  • Focus on using whole grains like oats, corn or rye instead.
  • Excessive sugar can also be affecting your child’s behaviour and break down his immune system. Look especially for the hidden sugars. Read your labels!
  • If your child has a tendency towards biting, bullying, restlessness, bouncing off the walls, night terrors, lack of concentration or mood swings, try removing ALL forms of sugar from the diet (read the labels, you’d be surprised).
  • Do not replace with anything containing aspartame or other artificial or non-nutritive sweeteners (especially watch out for some yoghurts or anything marked ‘sugar free’).
  • Stevia or Xylitol are good alternatives, or occasionally RAW honey. Normal cheap honey is often watered down with sugar water and has gone through a heat process that destroys its good qualities.
  • Pure fruit juice is also high in fructose, which, if a child is sensitive, can also affect them.This needs to be limited and watered down. The best alternative is to encourage children to drink water.
  • Rooibos tea is very healthy and high in anti-oxidants, but without sugar and/or milk. You can make a rule that if they want to drink watered-down juice, they first have to have the equivalent size glass of water.
As this is not a book focused on health, I have not gone into too much detail. This is just an overview. For more in-depth information on health issues, go to
Raising Happy Healthy Children
Raising a child today can be a daunting task – the responsibility is enormous; the challenge is one few first-time mums are ready for and knowing the right thing to do is often learned by trial and error rather than having someone take us through the steps to empowered parenting. In Raising Happy, Healthy Children, Sally-Ann Creed and Andalene Salvesen bring together two of the most important aspects of raising a healthy child – discipline and a healthy diet – by implementing suggestions which have been proven in practice for many years, you may find your task easier in a multitude of ways. This book is designed to be a quick-reference, practical guide for common discipline and diet dilemmas. It takes you through the stages from pregnancy to 6 years covering topics like: • How to deal with tantrums effectively • How diet affects behaviour • Eating and sleeping problems • Understanding different temperaments • Healthy lunchbox ideas Childhood is a time for being carefree, healthy and happy. Read Raising Happy, Healthy Children and learn how to raise children who are emotionally and physically healthy. About the authors Sally-Ann Creed is a qualified Clinical Nutritionist in private practice, and author of Let Food Be Your Medicine. She serves on the board of experts of the South African Journal of Natural Medicine and has been a regular contributor to this magazine for several years. She has also been the health Writer for Christian Living Today since 2004.  Sally-Ann was named SA’s Most Influential Woman in Business and Government 2009/2010 for her contribution to health. Andalene Salvesen is a professional parenting coach, mother of four and grandmother of nine. She conducted mother and toddler classes for 12 years and was the owner and principal of a nursery school for eight years. She has presented her own parenting seminars internationally for the past 15 years and transforms family dynamics by empowering parents, teachers and au pairs by inspiring them with creative tools for raising happy, healthy children. R150 (South Africa) / 100 dir (Dubai) / $20 (USA) excluding posting and packaging If you are interested in purchasing this book please contact:  Madelein Nortje via Published: Struik Christian media Website:  
Book cover
South Africa’s Super Granny shares her parenting secrets A brand new parenting book by South Africa’s own Super Granny, Andalene Salvesen, an international parenting coach and speaker with almost 20 years experience in the field. The book, A Brand-New Child in 5 Easy Steps, is inspired by the amazing child-transforming results which Salvesen has gained from her home visits to families all around the world and shows that children will only change when parents become empowered. ‘Children are not born with boundaries and parents are often ill-equipped to enforce appropriate house rules. A Brand-New Child in 5 Easy Steps will help parents to regain their authority so that children can once again just be children.’ Andalene Salvesen The book guides parents to choose creative ideas for discipline thereby eliminating today’s epidemic of shouting and guilt-based parenting.
  • Salvesen covers all the childhood phases, from tots to teens, dealing with appropriate consequences for anything from tantrums to silent defiance.
  • Her five easy steps will empower every parent to achieve the desired results with their children.
  • Parents will easily relate to Salvesen’s descriptions of her home visits – often humorous, sometimes emotional – and the problems she encounters in different homes.
Parenting can be an exciting journey, and A Brand-New Child in 5 Easy Steps is an excellent start to move families into a healthier, happier and more empowered direction. Anyone that is struggling with their children and wants to be a better parent will gain from going through the five steps in this book. R150 (South Africa) / 100 dir (Dubai) / $20 (USA) excluding posting and packaging If you are interested in purchasing this book please contact Madelein Nortje at Publisher: Struik Inspirational Website: