Tiger Shake (For busy and breastfeeding mamas)

Okay, mama, I know some days you feel a little like you’re running on low. No time to stop in at the refuelling station for nap, hot meal and a bath (dreamy!!!!)… so whizz one of these shakes instead for a pick-me-up.

I have often used a tiger shake to boost milk supply during stressful periods or when I have been recovering from illness.


In a blender:

1 banana

2 Tblsp brewers yeast

1/2 cup of live yoghurt (that is, cultured acidophyllis yoghurt)

2 cups of milk OR

1 cup of milk + 1 cup of ice cream

Additional extras: any superfruits such as berries, 1 scoop complan, 2 tabslps milk powder, 1 teasp chia seeds, ice, cacao powder


Enjoy cold!


I also have started to give this to my daughter after her sports training with considerable results (she is no longer tired and grumpy all afternoon!).


Starting our babes on food!

This weekend’s article in the paper (and I am yet to get a pic) is on starting solids.

I’ve found this is quite a grey area because there is so much wrong and dated information out there. When I had my first baby, it was recommended to start solids at 4 months. Just one year later, with baby two, it was moved to 6 months. There are grandmothers saying they started their babies on solids at 6 weeks, those who advise putting baby rice into baby bottles, and so many stories and so much information that a new parent would be spinning with confusion!!!

When sucking on the spoon no longer satisfies, perhaps it’s time to go through this checklist:

*Firstly, is your baby six months old?
*Has he lost the natural tongue reflex that pushes everything out that is put into his mouth?
*Can she sit up with less help?
*Can he pick up objects and bring them to his mouth?

Delaying all foods other than breastmilk, until 6 months old, is important for many reasons. It gives baby greater protection from illness, and decreases the risk of food allergies. It gives the digestive system time to mature, helps mum maintain her milk supply, and protects baby from iron deficiency. It also makes the start to solids much easier when baby is ready. Waiting protects baby’s gut. Absolutely do the best for your baby and wait until 6 months!!!

Once you are ready to start, get ready! This actually involves very little work and cost at all, depending on the food you choose. Consider that food is what keeps us going, a healthy diet keeps us well, so your baby will be healthier and will learn better if they are given good food.

Mashing ripe banana or avocado into a bowl with a fork is easy and cheap! Use breastmilk to thin if desired. Choose a time when your baby is happy and also after their normal milk feed. Your baby will only take one to two teaspoons for their first few feeds, but they will enjoy the new taste and sucking on the spoon once you’ve finished!

Avoid rice cereal and other starches, which are processed, hard to digest for a baby, and can upset the gut. Go on – Google why rice cereal is NOT a good first food for babies.

Instead, choose fruits and vegetables such as peeled, steamed and pureed carrots, pumpkin, apples, pears. Skip the fancy baby bowls and spoons, and instead invest in organic and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Start with one food at a time, giving your baby time to enjoy and process each one and time for you to identify any possible allergies. Reactions may include colic, ear infections, breathing difficulties, runny nose, skin rashes, diarrhea or nappy rash. Once you are satisfied with the fruit and vegetables, add steamed chicken, plain cooked mince, potatoes, kumara, broccoli. Always offer solids after baby’s normal milk feed.

After 9 months, you can start introducing wheat, dairy (yoghurt and cheese), egg, pork and fish, however wait until at least 1 year before adding cow’s milk. Avoid all added salt and sugar. If you buy baby food, choose brands that are not packed with fillers (like water and thickeners).

Make your own baby food and then freeze it in ice cubes. Once frozen, store in containers or freezer bags so you can easily defrost several cubes when you need them (one apple cube and one nectarine cube for lunch!) You can also buy freezable and washable baby food pouches now – great for being on the go!

For many following the traditional route of starting solids, the puree becomes mash, which becomes mash with lumps, and so on until the baby can pick up or be fed whole foods in their natural state. However, for those following Baby Led Weaning (BLW), baby starts with those whole foods. Steamed carrot sticks, chicken drums (with that terrible skinny bone removed!) , chopped banana – from the time of starting solids, baby eats what the family does. Check out www.babyledweaning.com for more! Using purees means baby learns to swallow before chewing, while baby led weaning teaches baby to chew and then swallow. Babies have a natural gag reflex to protect them from choking, and understanding this and knowing what to do in a real emergency situation can give you the confidence to pursue BLW. The two children I did BLW with have always eaten well and never went through the fussy stage like the two I didn’t do it with! It’s great to allow your baby to discover different foods and certainly easier to offer family meals than making heaps of baby food (or worse, spending a small fortune on jarred/pouch food!)

As for allergies and reactions – talk your health practitioner on this one. When I first started solids, it was recommended not to give nuts and other high allergen foods until after the age of 1 or 3! More recently, it was recommended to give baby peanut butter and other such foods from 6 months or so because delaying could CAUSE the allergy. It really is quite confusing!!! So if you have concerns in this area, it would be best to talk to your doctor. Personally I never started a new food on the weekend just in case there was a reaction!!!!! (There never has been!)

The worst reactions to food I’ve seen in my littlies is from pineapple and other acidic foods, which burnt baby’s bum dreadfully. Otherwise… they love their food! Sushi, mild curries and seafood are all favourites with my children now!!

Good luck!!! Be sure to ‘like’ Ministry of Lunchboxes for great snack and meal ideas 🙂

MOL: Weekly Round-Up

Ah, beautiful Sunday afternoon. Lazy Sunday afternoon…. oh hang on! Lunchboxes tomorrow! EEK!!

Since I’ve been slammed with a delightful early Autumn ‘flu (note the sarcasm!)… I didn’t do my Saturday baking and thus, the freezer is empty. Slightly panicking here!

But alas, The Ministry of Lunchboxes list may just come to the rescue, because at a glance I can see lots of other options I can use without resorting to processed packaged items (of which I have none anyway!!) – popcorn, cheese cubes, dehydrated mango, little cups of tinned tuna or baked beans… yup, I think I’ll be ok 🙂

So, over on The Ministry of Lunchboxes Facebook page, we showed off a few lunchboxes this week:


Our recipe this week is ummm…. SCONES!
For being a super-easy and quick recipe – perfect if you’ve run out of bread!!!

3 cups  flour
6 tsp baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
75g butter
1 – 1½ cups milk, approximately

Mix first three dry ingredients. Rub butter into dry ingredients to resemble breadcrumbs. Add milk, mix. Knead, adding more milk or flour if needed.
Either roll out onto bench, cut shapes and then place on baking tin, or roll out on baking tray and cut into slices without seperating 🙂
You should easily get 12 decent scones or even more smaller ones!
Bake until golden brown (about 10 minutes at 220d). Allow to cool before slicing open.
For sandwiches, add mayo, butter, lettuce, cheese, ham, chutney etc. For afternoon tea, add jam and whipped cream!

Too easy!!!!!

Good luck with your lunchboxes this week!!!

Ministry of Lunchboxes

Have you liked our page, Ministry of Lunchboxes, on Facebook yet?










There are many reasons why we started this page, but I wanted to offer parents lots of different ideas for lunchboxes! So many mums I know struggle to offer healthy and exciting lunchboxes without resorting to all the packet foods from the supermarket. I was also saddened when I looked at the lunchboxes other children had at school. Packet food offers no nutrition – its packed with additives, colours, flavours, sugars, salt etc – plus its expensive!!!! Likewise, even parents who thought they were trying were still missing the mark on healthy lunchboxes.

So last year we launched the page – several other mums are also admins – and we post up REAL lunchboxes of what we are feeding ourselves and our children!!!

Plus, we post up recipes, and other images we find on the internet for inspiration! Its so much fun seeing what other parents are making!

So when you make the lunchboxes up tomorrow, quickly snap a pic and upload it to our facebook page! We’d love to see it!!!!!!


To get you started, here is my recipe for rice tubs!



You can buy pottles of creamed rice in the supermarket, or you can easily make your own!

Simply make up a quantity of Golden Custard – I use the box (cheat!!!) and add custard powder to cold milk, heat gently while whisking, and then add a small amount of brown sugar. I never measure this, but I cook at least cups of milk. You can also use carton store-bought custard.
But here are two easy recipes I’ll be trying next week that are additive free!

In the meantime, cook rice. Obviously brown rice is more nutritious but we usually cook white rice for this dish. I cook 3 cups  to 4.5 cups water. (I usually make extra rice when we are having a rice dish for dinner, and then leave it to cool while we eat).


Combine the custard with the rice until well mixed. Divide between lidded pots (I use Tupperware snack cups) and freeze! This makes enough for me for a week or two at best, so I’ve never left them in the freezer any longer 🙂








Our 2014 Project!

This year, I’d like to look at FOOD!

Because us Mama’s spend a LOT OF TIME planning, preparing, serving and then cleaning up FOOD!
We also try to do it quickly, easily, on a budget, accommodate different tastes and dietary requirements ALL THE WHILE trying to make it healthy and yummy!


So if you are exhausted from the above ^^ and can relate to what I’m saying, then please join me on my mission in 2014 – to get FOOD organised!!!!

I’m sure together, The Motherhood Project community can offer each of us tips and ideas, advice and recipes… I know I have a lot to learn, and I’m sure I have a bit to offer other mums too!

Mission accepted?

Shattering the SUPERMUM myth

Are you a SUPERMUM?

Know a supermum?

She has perfectly combed hair, and her make-up is impeccable. She has a beautifully dressed baby on her hip, a tidy house, a clean car, and a husband who changes nappies.
This contrasts to your baby sick-stained top, unwashed hair, dark eyes and the three piles of washing on your couch. Oh, to
be like her.

Does Supermum exist? No, she doesn’t.

Trust me, I have tried. I have had three babies under 3 years old, while working part-time, studying full-time, and doing a fair bit of community work. You may have come around and my floor was vacuumed and my kids were munching on organic home baked bread with homemade jam. You might have thought, “how does she do it?”. You wouldn’t have been alone.
Many mums asked me how I ‘did it’.

Did what? ..

Did it all.

Well, I have always been honest. You can’t have it all. Not only would that be greedy and a contradiction to the values I am trying to teach my kids, but it is actually impossible!

The minute you would have left, two of the children would have been embattled in fighting, resulting in me shouting. My partner would have come home, still annoyed with me over a fight we had that morning. There would have been no dinner ready at 5pm, and I would still have been up at 11.30pm, cramming for a management test due the following day. I may have collapsed in the shower that night, crying, for the life that wasn’t going to plan.

Which part of that is ‘super’?

And it would have continued. No clean clothing and a mountain of dirty laundry. Me and him fighting over money, intimacy, housework. Another essay due this week. Orders that need to get out and I haven’t even processed them.

I promise I have been honest. I have always said, ‘I don’t have it all. I am struggling.’
Some people laughed it off. Some offered to help. Some read between the lines, many did not.

Why do we think we can have it all? Why do we WANT to have it all?

We put so much pressure on ourselves. much comes from society. There is a perception/pressure that we should have well-mannered kids all the time, a tidy house, and hold-down work. If your child throws a tantrum in the supermarket, you get ‘looks’ as if you’re the worst mother in the world. If you have piles of clean unfolded washing on the couch, you feel guilty when visitors drop by. If you host coffee group you feel bad when you serve shop-bought biscuits instead of a homemade cake like last week’s host.

I know mums who would love to play with their kids, but spend their days tidying the house instead.

As if all of this wasn’t bad enough, we have a stigma that exists, that makes it hard to ask for help.
Asking for help makes people feel as though they are failures. Saying, “I am struggling” is a sign of weakness. Admitting depression can be greeted with scoff, judgements or criticisms instead of support.

We need to change this stigma.

The thing is, we’re all in this together. We’re all mums, wanting the best for our babies. Let’s stand tall and proud of that, and help each other through.

Lets be more honest with each other, for a start. Lets not gloss over how well our children are sleeping, if they are not. Lets not rush to hide unfolded washing when visitors arrive.

Talking about the not-so-nicer aspects of parenting and being more open about PND can be the first step towards helping each other and supporting other mums.

We can all be ‘supermums’ in a way! We should pat ourselves on the back when the new baby sleeps. We should give ourselves a high-five when all the kids are belted in the car, faces cleaned, teeth brushed, and you have all their lunches made. You should reward yourself when you have the house mostly clean and the washing on the line.

We can have it all – just not all at once.

What are your thoughts on ‘supermum’? Does she exist? Are you a supermum? Know one? COMMENT BELOW!

Book Review: Keepsakes: Recipes, Mementos and Miscellany

Keepsakes: Recipes, Mementos and Miscellany by Frances Hansen 

“Keepsakes is unlike any other cookbook – it is a handmade, visual feast. Containing the well-loved recipes collected by Frances over time from family and friends, each spread is an artwork in itself. This is a highly personal scrapbook of memories, recipes and collected artifacts – with proven recipes that have been finessed over time and generations. This book is a study of collections; collected recipes and collected images – it takes the old and reworks them into something vibrant and new.”



I bought this book because it is exactly what I am trying to create myself personally, and when I saw it I was so pleased that my idea could work!! Also … what I had in mind for some of the Motherhood projects was similiar and so when I bought ‘Keepsakes’ it was inspiring.

The first thing you will notice is the hardcover, which is embossed and simply beautiful. But what will strike you are the gorgeous pages, thick yet soft, and with a gorgeous cut edge – very striking!
I personally didnt get excited about the recipes – Im not sure if thats because I have seen so many recipes now or if its because I was simply floored by the beauty of this book (I suspect the latter!). But there were a few souviners that bought back childhood memories and loads of room to paste in your own special family recipes.

I bought this as an item of beauty, a scrapbook. The recipes are really simple and I’m sure you will find a few to treasure and pass on! There are lots of family staples and baking.
I highly reccomend this book as a gift for a wedding, best friend, mother, special birthday etc. Or treat yourself!

Available from bookstores and online for $59.99.

This and Motherhood: In My Kitchen would be two recipe books to treasure, add your own family recipes and make these recipe books heirlooms for years to come!

Mum’s Pavlova:
1. Separate 4 eggs (make sure there is no yolk, and are at room temperature).
2. Beat egg whites until stiff. Slowly add 1 cup castor sugar, 1 tblsp water, 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp vinegar.
3. With a spatula, quickly pile mixture onto greased oven tray. Place in oven heated up to 150 degrees for one hour. Turn oven off and leave there to cool.
4. Decorate with whipped cream and fruit.

From My Kitchen to the Perinatal Mental Health NZ Trust

Motherhood: From My Kitchen is selling really well, so thank you for your support!

But even better, is the support we will be able to give others! $2 from each book sold now is being donated to the Perinatal Mental Health New Zealand Trust.

Check out their website here http://www.pmhnz.org.nz/ and consider becoming a member to support their work. I look forward to seeing them grow and develop resources for our families experiencing PND, and I am so pleased to be supporting them.

If you havent yet secured your copy of Motherhood: In My Kitchen, you can do so at felt.co.nz/shop/motherhood



Review: Mumi and Bubi Solids Starter Kit

I have been coveting after the Mumi and Bubi Solids Starter Kit for a few years, and finally caved in and bought a set!

The set comes with two trays and two lids, and each tray holds 21 cubes. The set retails for $39.90 and can be bought from www.breastmates.co.nz

This set is mum-designed and made in New Zealand from plastic that is free from BPA, phthalates and PVC, making it very safe to use for baby food!

Even though we’re Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) in our house, I do like a stash of mashes for easy mealtimes if what we’re having isnt very baby friendly (not too often!) or baby is hungry before our dinner is ready (if we have visitors) or to add to what we’re having.
If you’re not BLW and doing the puree journey, you will find this kit very useful for making big batches of healthy baby food!

I started with potato, parsnip, beetroot and carrot, and then a big pot of ‘The Best Vege-Packed Mince Mixture Ever!’ from Motherhood: In My Kitchen recipe book!

The cubes are bigger than your average ice cube – approx 2 tablespoons – and pop out very easily, even when frozen!

I then froze peach slices and steamed broccoli (excellent fnger foods!). I love the way the cubes slide out of the tray!

The size of the cubes allow the food to defrost quickly too 🙂

Once the cubes are fit, the lids fit snugly on, protecting the food (and the freezer from spills!). The trays stack so well that I wanted to buy more trays!!! (Two trays together are 7.5cm high).

The set comes with an e-book with 27 recipes to get you started- perfect if you’re new to this game of starting solids! It mentions a lot of fruits and veges you may not have thought of giving to your baby (lychees, courgettes, beetroot etc).

Another fantastic use for the trays is for sauces. I often make apricot, apple and plum sauces by simmering the fruit pieces until soft and adding some herbs. I puree and freeze. I add these cubes to baby’s meals to add another fruit serving (think apricot with roast chicken, plum with roast beef!), and I use the apple sauce on everyone’s dinners!

The Mumi and Bubi Solids Starter Set is one of those items that really makes life easier. I have used regular ice cubes for baby food but this set wins hands down – consider it a small investment!!!!
You’re making baby food for over 6 months and this can really save time and mess.  

Reccomended: As a baby shower gift!

Bread Rolls

Bread rolls is currently my all-time favourite recipe – as anyone who has been entertained in this house lately will know!

They are just so easy to put together and can be made small as buffet rolls, large for buns, have mixed spice and sultanas added for fruit buns….

The recipe is in Motherhood: From my Kitchen and takes less than 90 minutes from start to finish!!!