As all our baby formula and baby food is made from pure, certified organic ingredients, we’re always on the lookout for quality organic milk, fruit and vegetables. We’re a proud Tasmanian company, too, so we’re always trying to source more certified organic ingredients from Tasmania.
This is harder than it sounds and it’s partly our own fault! Bellamy’s has been such a success, both in Australia and China and in Asia generally, that our requirements have outstripped the capacity of Tasmanian farms. We must now source 90% of our fruit and vegetables from certified organic farms on the main land.
Happily, last week’s ABC TV interview with our CEO, Laura McBain, certainly seems to have caught the attention of some Tasmanian farmers.
There is no doubt that changing to certified organic forming takes both time and commitment. The question of yields is still open but there seems little doubt that some crops do better organically than others. However, there is something more to it than yields and that’s bringing a farm back to a natural healthy state. A state that is not increasingly reliant on chemicals to maintain those very yields.
We understand the need for efficient and effective farming practices, but these shouldn’t be at odds with providing healthy, chemical free food. We’re just passionate about mothers being able to choose to give their babies a pure start to life by choosing Bellamy’s Organic formula and our other baby foods. To do that we need the best certified organic produce we can get our hands on.
It’s just that we’d love more of it to come from Tasmania. Apples, pears, strawberries – ok so mangoes and bananas are a stretch, even for Tassie, – but you get the picture. So if you’re a certified organic farmer or have a feeling you should become one, please get in touch. If you’re a mum, rest assured we’re bringing you the best formula, fruit and vegetables we can find for your baby.
With so many mums at work these days, childcare is not an option, it’s a necessity. So how do you choose a childcare centre that you’re happy with?
First of all, state governments regulate childcare centres and their certification should be on display. If they are not, make sure you ask to see them.
The centre should also display its ratings under the National Quality Framework or previous NCAC accreditation status.
There are a number of practical questions you can ask when talking with or visiting a prospective childcare centre, but don’t forget o use your intuition. Stand there a moment and just observe. Are the children engaged? Are the carers engaged or just “minding”? Try to get a feel for the culture of the place, which usually stems from the Director. Do you feel you’re in a nurturing environment?
How many staff and children are there?
What qualifications does the staff have?
Is there a program of activities?
Is there a meals and snacks menu?
What are the arrival and departure procedures?
What are the hygiene procedures?
What are the sickness or injury procedures?
Is there a protocol for dealing with unacceptable behaviour?
Do they provide healthy snacks? (like Bellamy’s Pinkies Fruity Fingers or Superbites)
Is the centre clean?
Is there enough space for play indoors and outdoors?
Are there soft areas for resting or relaxing?
Do children have their own cot, stretcher or mattress and linen?
Are there shade areas outdoors?
Are there a variety of playthings and materials for activities?
For more information about childcare see mychild.gov.au. Or visit www.goodstart.org.au a national chain of centres run by a not-for-profit group founded by The Brotherhood of St Laurence, The Benevolent Society, Social Ventures Australia and Mission Australia
Last night my daughter and I sat down to watch one of David Attenborough’s The life Of Reptiles DVDs.
It showed the slow hunt of Komodo Dragons on a buffalo.
Eventually the buffalo gave up, died, and the Komodos did feast. It wasn’t too graphic, but showed enough so that she clearly understood what was happening, with additional commentary from me.
At first, she was perturbed by the buffalo’s death. There were questions,
“Why can’t they eat something that’s already dead?”
After responding, “Would you eat something that was already dead on the ground? Or would you prefer fresh food?” To that – a scrunched up little nose.
I moved on to emphasise that, as Sir David noted, 1 buffalo fed 10 Komodo dragons, and they wasted nothing.
I saw opportunity here and seized it.
Comparing animals and humans and their attitude to food usage, animals take what they need, and they don’t waste food. I pointed out that the remains of the buffalo showed no trace of meat; the dragons consumed everything available, and in doing so, respected the food and the animal.
Now take a look at humans. We take more than we need, we let it rot, then throw it out. In many cases we do not show proper respect for the food we have been given, or those who prepared and grew it.
“For example, how much food in your lunchbox gets wasted each day?”
I could see her mind ticking over, and her head slowly nodding…
There are many great examples in nature, like the buffalo and the Komodo dragons, of mindful eating that we might follow if we take the time to notice, and spend the time relating these to our children.
To be mindful of what you eat and how you look after your body is about caring and respect. That caring may then be encouraged to extend to the things around us like our food and they way we look after land; things that ultimately affect our minds and bodies.
More than nurturing an idea that mindful eating is “good”, we answer the question, “WHY”, which is ever more important in developing a child’s decision making process.
According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, having babies is even more costly that you might think. Prospective mums who work now need to think about when they swap brain food for baby formula!
In the US at least, postponing motherhood leads to an increase in women’s earnings of 9% per year of delay, according to Amelia R. Miller of the University of Virginia. It also leads to an increase in wages of 3% and a rise in work hours of 6%, with the wage advantage being largest for college-educated women.
We don’t have statistics for Australia but it seems to make sense – the longer you’re in work the more senior you are, the more money you make. When you think about it, it’s another piece of obvious information that probably didn’t need a research grant to figure out.
What’s for sure is that if you wait around to maximize your salary, you’ll surely be gradually reducing your chances to conceive. Life’s never easy.
Now, if we had a culture where working women had nannies, like they do in Asia, this wouldn’t be a consideration at all.
I just hope Amelia Miller doesn’t leave it too late, assuming she wants children, that is.
But it is a problem. Do you leave early, when you have the stamina both for a young family and to kick start your career again or later when you have more experience of life and work, but may find it harder to leave your Double Income No Kids lifestyle behind?
And what’s best for the child in this debate?
Tell us what you think and perhaps we can get a handle on the prevailing view and feedback your thinking on a later blog.
In the meantime, if you’d like to know more about Bellamy’s Organic baby products, or rusks and fruit snacks for your toddler, click on this link. It will take you straight to our on-line store http://www.bellamysorganic.com.au/catalogue
The issue of pocket money: is it transactional or handout? At what age do you start? and how much is reasonable in the 21st Century?
I remember when ever Saturday came around. I couldn’t wait; I counted the days until I could finally go to Dad on a sunny (they always were, in my mind) Saturday morning, stretch out my little hand and excitedly exclaim, “It’s Pocket Money Day!!!”
Dad would usually respond in the same manner: recoil, aghast, “surely not! Again? It can’t be..!” rolling his eyes, breathing in deeply then digging deep into his jeans pocket, and finally handing over that much prized 50 cents.
50 cents – what ON EARTH can you do with 50 cents these days?
Well back then the answer was plenty as chocolate buds cost only 1 cent each.
Alas, inflation, general increase in the cost of simple pleasures, means that now I am considering the issue of pocket money for my 5 year old, I don’t know how to work out what is a sensible starting amount. And how do I convey its value in a meaningful way?
I mean, what does a 5 year old need anyway? Ok, I retract that – products of China have opened up a haven for junior spending.
It comes down to management, rules for living, learning the value of things.
My Dad always firmly said (and still does), “It’s worth whatever it costs to replace it.” Broken toys, clothes, sports equipment, cars…I digress.
I wish I’d had a better business head, growing up, and I might have traded my ’79 Corolla, rather than driven it to the wreckers, to start again with an equally aged vehicle.
I wish I learned the virtues of saving, and I might have had that trip around the world, rather than many trips to Gold Coast night clubs, blowing my dough on Depth Chargers in glitzy dress and shoes (which don’t hold up well on the dawn beach walk home).
No, I want my child to have that emergency money tucked away for … an emergency.
I want her to understand quality over quantity; the pleasure of finally acquiring that masterpiece after weeks of squireling away savings, and avoid the credit card disaster.
Chances are, I’m dreaming.
It’s about choice, right? I’ll match your dollar for every dollar you save..
Keep your room tidy and you get the baseline $5. Do extra chores and you will receive more money.
They need to learn how to manage their own resources.
Or is that too hard on a five year old? Should it be a never ending stream of handouts until she is 21?
I don’t know. In the meantime, I’m off to buy chocolate buds. At least inflation has helped with sugar management…but that’s another blog.