Tag: food

Body Image and Eating Disorders – All Things Tweens & Teens

Encouraging Positive Body Image

Having a positive body image is defined as being confident and happy in your own skin. A negative body image, however, is feeling unhappy with the way you look, whether it is your size, shape, height or general appearance. Having a positive image of your body is important as it will raise overall self-esteem and mental health.

It can be influenced by a number of factors, including family environment, bullying, disability, social media and more. During puberty, teens will go through a lot of changes as well that can change their body image. As the parent, you have an influence. Because of this, you can help by talking and listening to your teen, and being a positive body image role model.

Eating Disorders and Your Teen

Eating Disorders is an umbrella term for a group of mental health disorders. They are related to persistent negative eating behaviours, such as restricting food intake, forcibly throwing up or binge eating. Eating Disorders can affect anyone, including boys. They are not a cry for attention; they have the highest mortality rate, and the symptoms should be taken very seriously.

Some signs and symptoms of eating disorders include skipping meals, an excessive focus on food, complaining about being fat, dieting, binge eating, excessive exercising and going to the bathroom right after or during meals. The exact cause of eating disorders is unknown. But, they may be due to societal pressure or genetic factors.

Things that may help include encouraging healthy eating habits from a young age, discussing media messaging, fostering self-esteem and if needed, teaming up with your teen’s doctor to seek help. While these conversations can be difficult, remind your teen that they are not alone. Always keep communication lines open.


Read more PakMag Tweens and Teens blogs here. 




Taking Care of Your Child’s Teeth – 1300SMILES Explains

STORY Leah Smith Oral Health Therapist 1300SMILES Mackay

Life is busy for parents. At times we skip some important health routines because we are tired and looking for the ‘quick fix’ options. The issue with this surrounding dental health is that skipping our daily oral hygiene routine and choosing ‘on the run’ foods means we are increasing our risk of tooth decay for the whole family.

Baby teeth are important. There is a common misconception that decay in baby teeth doesn’t matter. However, baby teeth do a number of amazing things, and sadly a dental infection in a baby tooth is just as painful as in an adult tooth.

There are easy ways to take care of your child’s teeth. Make sure to brush them every morning after breakfast and just before bed until they are at least 8 years old. Use fluoride toothpaste (from 2 years old) with a soft toothbrush. Start flossing your child’s teeth as soon as they have all of their baby teeth (approx. 2 years of age) and start dental visits from 12 months old. Ensure their diet is low in sugary and acidic foods and drinks. If bottles are used past 12 months of age then they shouldn’t have anything in them during the night except for water.

It’s really important that as your children get older, you are limiting ‘snack foods’ in their daily diet. Sticky cereals, sugary spreads, juice and so much more, have A LOT of hidden sugars and should only be given as a ‘special treat’. Fruit in large quantities daily can damage the enamel on your child’s teeth, so juice should not be given to your child every day. Additionally, always encourage your child to drink water and plain milk as much as possible to keep their teeth strong. Try and set a good example of this too.

Lastly, when doing your groceries, have a look at the nutritional panel on the packaging and aim to keep sugar content under 20%. Or, even better, under 10%. Remember, you control their diet because you do the groceries. Have a good look in your cupboard, fridge and trolley and make healthy choices.

For more hints and tips on your children’s oral health check out www.activelittlesmiles.com. To book your child’s next dental appointment contact 1300 764 537 or online via www.1300smiles.com.au 

Read more PakMag blogs on oral hygiene here. 





Rain or shine, a buzzy bee themed celebration is sure to brighten up anyone’s day. With vibrant colours, sweet treats and a warm vibe, this party is going to be the bee’s knees. Whether you’re hosting a party for the little ones or a get-together for the girls, we’ve got what you need to make it a sweet day.

Turn Your Home into a Beehive

Bees are often associated with sunny weather and colourful flowers, so keep this in mind when planning the décor for your buzzy bee celebration. Choose a bright and natural colour scheme, such as white, yellow and green.

Pick some flowers or head over to the store and pick out a lovely bouquet to serve as the centrepiece on your table. Give your guests a vibrant flower crown on arrival that they can take home with them after the party.

Drinks with a Little Buzz

Sugar, ohh, honey honey. Adding honey to your drinks will add a little touch of sweetness. Keep it simple with honey and mint infused water or take it up a notch with honey strawberry lemonade or honey and peach iced tea. It works fantastically in mocktails as well, which the tweens and teens are sure to love.

If your party is more for adults, try adding honey to your alcoholic beverages. Honey melon mojitos, wildflower honey punch or wild berry and honey sangria are sure to bring the buzz.

Treats Sweet like Honey

When you think of honey, the first thing you likely think about is yummy sweet treats. Head into the kitchen and get your hands dirty (or sticky, especially when working with honey). Add it to cookies, cakes, fudge and donuts. For some savoury options, try incorporating it into glazed chicken wings, grilled prawns and dips.

Keep them Buzzy

To complete your party, keep your guests ‘buzzy’ with a variety of party games and activities. Why not make a queen bee or beehive pinata out of paper mâché, filled with small toys and yummy snacks? Alternatively, put a twist on the classic “pass the parcel” by passing around a soft toy bumblebee and shouting out “buzzy bee” when stopping the music, or play pin the stinger on the bee.



Pregnancy is a time that is so exciting, but it can turn the best of us into worry-warts. Bringing life into the world is an experience incomparable to any other.

Your body goes through many stages during this time, and certain things from your pre-baby life may not be safe for you or your baby.

There are certain foods, drinks and activities that should be avoided during pregnancy, as they may carry a risk (although often small) of infection, poisoning or other harm to you both.

Food and Drink

Raw fish Raw fish can cause several infections, such as Salmonella, Vibrio and Listeria. Pregnant women are up to 20 times more likely to get infected by Listeria than the general population, so hold off eating that sashimi until after birth.

Soft cheeses – Avoid mould-ripened soft cheese, such as brie and camembert. The mould can, again, contain Listeria, so it’s important to take precautions. However, you can still eat hard cheeses such as cheddar and parmesan (phew).

Raw or partially cooked eggs – You may want to avoid ordering eggs benedict next time you’re at brunch, as there is a risk of Salmonella poisoning.

Liver products – Liver pâté or sausages may contain a lot of vitamin A, too much of which may harm your baby.

Alcohol – There is no safe level of alcohol to drink during pregnancy, so it is safest to have none at all as even the smallest amount can negatively impact your baby’s brain development.


Don’t paint the nursery – Exposure to toxicity from the paint may harm your unborn baby. Just find someone else to do the painting; win-win.

Don’t change the kitty litter Cat faeces may carry toxoplasmosis, a rare parasitic disease. While rare, it’s better to be safe than sorry – and if you must do it yourself, wear gloves and thoroughly wash your hands afterwards.

Don’t go on any rides – Steer clear of those rollercoasters and any other rides that involve forceful take off and landings, especially if you are prone to nausea.

Don’t go in hot tubs or saunas – As tempting as it may be to soothe your aching body, soaking in a hot tub or relaxing in a sauna can be harmful as it raises your body temperature, which has been linked to birth defects.

Certain exercises – Staying active while pregnant is great and carries many health benefits for you and therefore your baby, but not all exercises are safe. Avoid repetitive high impact exercises, avoid contact sports and activities that have a risk of falling, such as cycling, horse riding or gymnastics.

If you are unsure what exercises are safe for you, a doctor or physiotherapist will be able to point you in the right direction.

Steer clear of the above, and you should be a-okay. It’s completely normal to be worried about the things that may potentially harm your baby, so if you are ever in any doubt, ask your doctor.



There is nothing quite like the magic of Christmas. Lunch provides a great opportunity to catch up with the whole family, and here are a few ways to make the big day truly magical.

Delightful Decorations

The glittery baubles, twinkling lights and festive colour schemes all make this time of the year so special. Create a gorgeous centrepiece on your table using a mini Christmas tree, tinsel and reindeer figurines. Alternatively, use a cake stand to creatively layer your decorations.

You can even carry the magic of the table to other areas of the house, such as the coffee table or TV stand. Be sure to keep a bin nearby when it’s time for Christmas crackers and opening presents.

Great Games

Elevate your Christmas lunch by providing a few ice breakers, guessing games or other activities for your guests. For instance, you can have each visitor guess the number of ornaments you have on your tree. Whoever gets the correct number (or closest to the correct number) gets to take home a small gift.

You can also play spoons with candy canes and a deck of cards, a Christmas-themed “guess who” or a festive scavenger hunt. If all else fails, a game of Christmas charades is sure to provide some laughs and get everyone into a festive mood.

Fantastic Food

Once everyone is settled and happily chatting, it’s time to bring out some nibbles. Entertain your guests with bite-sized delicious foods in the forms of skewers, bruschetta, devilled eggs with smoked salmon or fresh local oysters. Don’t be afraid to include some party classics such as crackers with cheese and mini sausage rolls. They’ll be a hit with the kids and adults alike.

Then, it’s time to pile the table high with ham, turkey and seafood! While the classic Christmas lunch mains are mouth-watering, why not shake it up and try something a little different this year? Why not try a rolled pork belly, grilled seafood platter or brie, walnut and cranberry stuffing for the turkey?

Later in the afternoon, serve up a deliciously sweet dessert. Go for a classic pavlova or something a little bit different to surprise your guests with – it’s only one day a year, so feel free to indulge.

Which Foods Should I Avoid Feeding To My Dog?

Cairns Vet Clinic

Dear Dr Richard Thomas, Which foods should I avoid feeding to my dog?

It can be hard to resist the endearing puppy dog eyes your pooch gives you during dinner time, but a little reward from the plate may be more harmful to your furry friend than you may think.

While delicious to humans, there are several foods that are toxic to dogs. These include chocolate, raisins, grapes, onion, garlic, and xylitol, a sweetener found in some types of peanut butter. Other foods such as dairy products, avocados, macadamias and mouldy pecans can cause your pet a great deal of nasty symptoms.

Even if you take precautions, sometimes your dog gets their paws on something they shouldn’t. If you believe your dog has eaten something toxic, contact your vet right away.

Call the team on 4032 9999