Nutritional Advice Small Talk Parenting Newsletters
Australia's Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines
The Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines have been developed by experts across Australia with input from national and international stakeholders, and in partnership with Canada, which developed the world’s first 24-hour movement guidelines. They outline what a typical day for a baby, toddler or pre-schooler would look like, including advice on screen time, active play, time spent sitting and lying down, and the ideal amount of sleep and providing parents with useful information to consider in developing routines for their kids. Following the guidelines is associated with better growth, stronger muscles and bones, better learning and thinking, better mental, emotional and social well-being, better motor skills, healthier weight, as well as reduced injuries.
Small Talk Parenting Newsletters
Small Talk is a monthly newsletter series of 13 editions - supporting parents from late pregnancy through to baby’s first birthday.
The Small Talk newsletter series provides evidenced-based information on feeding, settling, play and baby’s development milestones. In the back of each edition is a comprehensive list of agencies families can contact for additional support.
Hard copies of all Small Talk editions are also available for borrowing from any Gold Coast library.
Read all newsletters here.
gr8 START Child Development Booklet
To provide guidance and support to parents about key developmental milestones the Gold Coast gr8 START Early Years Partnership undertakes a range of activities and produces a variety of resources to encourage early detection and intervention.
"More than words: boosting your child's development is as easy as ABC" Child Development Booklet, published in October 2013 provides local information to support parents achieve positive health, wellbeing, growth and development outcomes for children 0-8 years.
The booklet has information about -
Download the current Gr8 Start Booklet
- the benefits of and tips for reading including information about the Story Time program at City of Gold Coast libraries
- development milestones for
- 0-2 months
- 2-6 months
- 6-12 months
- 1-2 years
- 2-3 years
- 3-5 years
- the National Immunisation Program Schedule
- a checklist for your child's hearing and speech
- Red Flag Referral Guidelines
- communication strategies
- helpful contacts including national, state and local services providing;
- community services
- QLD Health Child Health Intervention Liaison and Development Support (C.H.I.L.D.S.) Team
- immunisation services
- 24 hour support services
- parenting & child support services
- after hours/extended hours medical services
- emergency services
Move and Play Every Day!! The National Physical Activity Recommendations provide support and guidance in relation to physical activity, play, sedentary behaviour (sitting) and television viewing for children.
City of Gold Coast Active & Healthy Program
The City of Gold Coast Active & Healthy Program
is jam packed with free and low cost activities and programs designed to get you up, out and active in the beautiful Gold Coast. The program is available online
and features over 170 activities specific to kids, seniors, parents with bubs, prenatal and people with a disability available every week.
During the school holidays, the City of Gold Coast offer a school holiday program
with low cost activities designed to get kids up, out and active in our great parks!
The Australian Dietary Guidelines provide up-to-date advice about the amount and kinds of foods that we need eat for health and wellbeing. They are based on scientific evidence and research.
You'll find the Australian Dietary Guidelines on the national Eat For Health website. The site also provides resources to support educators and consumers with implementing the recommendations of the guidelines. In particular;
Nutrition Australia also provide a range of resources for children relating to healthy eating, nutrition and snack, lunch box and meal ideas.
Back to School Tips
Tips for Choosing a Backpack:
Carrying a heavy backpack can be a source of chronic strain and can cause shoulder, neck and back pain in children. To help find the right backpack for your child the Australian Physiotherapy Association has compiled the following tips for parents:
Five things to look for when choosing a back pack:
- Wide shoulder straps that are comfortable and sit well on the shoulder.
- Waist and chest straps to help transfer some of the load to the hips and pelvis.
- A padded back-support that allows the pack to fit snugly on the back.
- The backpack must fit the child. Don’t buy a big pack to ‘grow into'.
- The pack should not extend higher than the child’s shoulders when they are sitting.
Six things to remember about back packs for school:
- Keep the load close to the spine by packing the heaviest items nearest to your child’s back.
- Children should wear both straps at all times.
- Back packs should weigh less than 10 per cent of your child’s body weight.
- Encourage your child to be physically active as this will help them build and maintain a strong spine.
- Encourage your child to be organised when packing their bag for school and check their timetable to ensure they are only carrying what they need.
- To decrease the load your child should have separate folders for each subject so that they can only bring home what they need for their homework.
Tips for School Lunches
School lunch boxes should include foods that are healthy, cost effective and appealing for the kids. Some suggestions are:
- Leftover pasta or rice dishes. Try spaghetti bolognaise, risotto, fried rice or couscous.
- Dry cereals such as fruity bix or mini wheats.
- A variety of fruit options which could include fresh, tinned, frozen or dried. Aim to include at least one serve of fruit in the lunch box each day.
- A milk popper, yoghurt or cheese sticks to provide much needed calcium.
- Adding salad to a sandwich, including a container of cherry tomatoes or providing crunchy vegetable sticks in the lunchbox are all ways to increase vegetable intake.
- A slice or two of cold meat, an egg or small can of baked beans can provide protein and energy.
Tips for Good Eyesight and Learning
Poor eyesight can affect a child’s learning with undetected vision problems often limiting their progression at school. The Optometrists Association of Australia has compiled a list of common symptoms children with vision problems can exhibit which include:
- One eye turning in or out while the other points straight ahead.
- Frequent blinking.
- Red or watery eyes.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Covering or closing one eye.
- Holding a book very close to read.
- Squinting or sitting very close when watching television.
- Complaints of headaches.
- Complaints of blurred or double vision.
If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms it might be time for them to have a full eye examination with an optometrist as this is the only way to know if a child’s vision is normal.
Optometrists check not only vision clarity, but how much effort goes in to focusing at different distances, how well the two eyes team together, colour perception and the health of the eyes.
A full eye exam is recommended from the first year of a child's life and every two years after that.
Tips for Development and Communication
Starting school brings the excitement of learning to read. Building the foundations of this skill has already begun though talking, listening and sharing books in the home.
Starting school does not mean you stop these activities or hand over learning to the teacher. Parents play a big part in maintaining a child’s interest in learning and they should:
- Keep sharing the fun story books. Don’t replace them with readers as these two types of books have different purposes and both contribute to the learning to read process.
- Talk about school by asking open questions. Ask questions like “What was the best thing that happened today?", "What is your favourite thing about school?” or “Tell me about a game you played at school today.”
- Share something about how you spent your day. By doing this you are modelling the type of talking and language you want your children to use in conversation.
Pedestrian Safety and Road Safety for Kids
Even if you don’t use a car, you and your child will probably be around roads and vehicles quite a bit. This guide to pedestrian safety and road safety by the Raising Children Network will help you keep your child safe around cars, driveways, roads and car parks.
Read the guide here.
Kidsafe Button Battery Awareness
Button batteries found in remote controls and other household electronic devices are a severe and little known risk for young children. It is vital to detect a swallowed battery as soon as possible because of the nature of the threat involved - they can be fatal.
The coin-sized lithium button batteries can lodge in the throats of children, where saliva immediately triggers an electrical current, causing a chemical reaction that can severely burn through the oesophagus in as little as one to two hours.
The advice from Kidsafe is to:
Kidsafe Button Batteries Brochure
Kidsafe Button Batteries Poster
- Examine devices and make sure the battery compartment is secure
- Keep coin-sized button batteries and devices out of sight and out of reach (as poisons and medications)
- Dispose of old button batteries immediately and safely.
- If swallowing or insertion of a button battery is suspected, call Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26
- Tell others about this threat and share these steps.