Healthy body, healthy mind

Healthy eating

Children are like wet cement – mouldable and impressionable. (This also means that the longer they ‘set,’ the harder it is to change.)

-Anne Ortlund


I can officially say that ignorance is bliss! Before I gained the knowledge that one should always read the labels on food packaging, I assumed I was a relatively healthy eater. I could not be more wrong. The amount of MSG (monosodium glutamate, otherwise know as E621) and the other E numbers (E100-180, E200-290, E322-494) present in food is enough to scare the wits out of any person. MSG is a food additive which is a flavour enhancer. It has virtually no flavour of its own, but neurologically causes people to experience a more intense flavour from the foods that they eat containing the substance.



Stock cubes, flavouring of 2-minute noodles, some smoked foods, energy bars and other convenient foods.

In my experience of working with children and parents, I have assessed that many children are not only consuming vast amounts of ‘junk’ foods, but are also dehydrated. They simply do not consume enough water (not juice, plain water with no flavouring) in the day to sustain their busy lifestyles. Further, children are not always getting the correct amounts of nutrients and minerals. Parents are opting for the quick and easy microwave meals and not taking enough time to plan and prepare. According to Creed and Salvesen (2010:216) apart from the obvious dangers; these additives usually cause extremely bad behaviour in children; they interfere with nutrient absorption and metabolism, and cause the brain chemistry to be somewhat scrambled, making learning difficult for them. Much of what is diagnosed today as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be linked to excess junk foods like potato chips from packets, sweets, colas, biscuits or other prepared foods containing these chemicals. Enough to make you consider what you are feeding your child?

Here are some handy tips:

Great ideas for healthy meals that include recipes

  • Eat good quality food
  • Include eggs. Eggs are one of the cheapest sources of high protein which most closely resembles human protein
  • Use wholewheat and whole grain foods
  • Include vegetables with a healthy dip. Make your own dips (hummus, mayonnaise, guacamole, etc.)
  • Include bananas. They are low in kilojoules but high in fiber and nutritional value
  • Include nuts, unsweetend-trail mix and dried fruit
  • Organic lean meats
  • There are some nutrients the body is unable to make – namely Vitamin C and the ‘essential fatty acids’ Omega-3 and Omega-6- so these are good nutrients to supplement
  • Never allow your child to skip breakfast
  • Make sure your child always has a bottle of water handy.

You have a duty as a parent to give your child the best you can. I suggest spending money on good quality ingredients, making time to prepare the food and eat together. Dinner time can be a wonderful way to connect and talk about the day. Try get the family involved in tidy-up time too.

A healthy body equals a healthy mind – your little one(s) deserve it!


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I was brushing my almost-4-year-old niece’s hair a few Saturday’s back when she cunningly tried to squirm away from me. On returning her back to the mirror I bargained that if she counted to 10, slowly, I would be done. She turned around, looked at me, touched my arm and said; “No Jodi, I need to learn patience.” I was speechless- what a mature statement! It got me thinking more about patience and how my sister-in-law has managed to instill the seeds at such a young age.


We are all familiar with the the saying that patience is a virtue and the Bible has numerous references to practicing patience.

  • 1 Corinthians 13v4 “Love is patient…”
  • Colossians 1v11 “… unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness.”
  • 2 Peter 1v6 “And to knowledge self control; and to self control patience; and to patience godliness.”
  • Ecclesiastes 7v8 “…and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”
  • 1 Thessalonians 5v14 “… be patient to all men.”
  • Hebrews 6v15 “And so, after he patiently endured, he obtained the promise,” to name a few.

What does patience teach a child? The skill of delaying gratification is most definitely a skill necessary for maturity. Patience can develop the ability to think through and resolve difficulties and it can even counteract impulsivity. The value of patience lies in its ability to lead to inner calm and emotional strength of character.

How do we teach a child patience?  Teaching patience, by example, helps children learn resilience, self-containment and the ability to self-soothe. Listen carefully, suggest taking a breather, practice relaxation techniques and quiet time. Don’t come running every time your child asks you to do something. Do projects together that require patience. For example gardening and growing vegetables. Break out a sand timer occasionally. Stories are an excellent way to help little children be patient. You can use their dolls, stuffed animals, toy soldiers or puppets as characters in a story about patience. Instill self-esteem in little children with honest feedback. The better children feel about themselves the more able they will be to hold themselves together with authentic patience when the situation requires. Offer mindful coping for frustrations like breathing, counting, bringing them back into their bodies; touchstones; anger dance (shake it off physically and in a silly way; get them to lighten up). Lastly, deliver on promises.


 Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity  -Carl Jung


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SANOFI Diabetes – giving new hope to patients with key therapeutic solutions.

 It can be beat!

Last year I was approached by a well-respected Cape Town based dietician and concerned parents to help their 11 year-old daughter, who was recently diagnosed with Type 1- Diabetes (insulin dependent).

This brave girl, although initially nervous, was determined to not let diabetes get the better of her.  She came to the intake consultation with exact reasons whys she thought she could benefit from the therapeutic journey. Her main concerns were being scared at night and feared being alone. For someone who had just recently been diagnosed, this girl knew (in my opinion) more about her illness than most adults sufferers. Confidently, she was able to explain:  how part of her pancreas had stopped functioning, what a hypo, hyper was, the side effects of being diabetic and casually showed me how she tests her sugar levels.

Steve Irwin's Zoo- AsutraliaDiabetes is a group of diseases marked by high levels of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin production, insulin action, or both. Diabetes can lead to serious complications and premature death, but people with diabetes can take steps to control the disease and lower the risk of complications. Worldwide, 366 million people are currently living with diabetes, and this population will grow to 552 million before 2030. Building upon its century long history in this field, Sanofi is committed to improving global diabetes management through its integrated offering of treatments, medical devises and services (

Below is a personal depiction of how this girl saw herself with diabetes. Often speaking about life before and after being diagnosed. I have now completed 8 sessions of therapy and I am so proud that she has conquered her fears. She is one remarkable girl who doesn’t see diabetes as an illness, but almost apart of her- ‘just getting on with it.’ She has also had the wonderful encouragement of friends, teachers and most importantly family to support her through it. Proving that diabetes can be beat!

Me and my diabetes



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