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Healthy Halloween Hacks

No doubt about it, Halloween has well and truly taken off here in the Southern Hemisphere.

Rooted in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain, Halloween originally began as a way to scare off ghosts and spirits before morphing into the candy laden festival of witches and wizards we know today!

We’re down with dressing up and getting into the spirit (HA! Geddit?) of things but we know some parents find the amount of sugary treats on offer a little overwhelming. (Especially if you spend a bit of time trying to teach your sprogs about a balanced, healthy diet!).

As always, Remedy’s here to help with some healthy Halloween hacks! We’re not total buzz killers though, we know it’s fun to trick and/or treat so we’re all about making small tweaks and balanced choices…here’s our hot tips to making it through Halloween without the sugar crash ‘n’ burn!

Focus on the fun as well as the food!

Spend time talking with your kids about the origins and history of Halloween. Enjoy workshopping the costume possibilities and house decorations rather than the sweets and lollies on offer. One of the beauties of Halloween is the chance for children to wander around their neighbourhood after hours and get to know their community. Why not make this the focus rather than all the sugary loot?!

Eat something healthy before heading out

Have an early dinner before heading out. Filling up with something wholesome and healthy will help minimise the temptation of gorging on lollies.

Healthier handouts

Consider gifting popcorn, fruit kebabs, cheese-sticks or small packets of sultanas or raisins instead of sugary sweets. You could even go for ‘on theme’ mini-cans of Remedy Switchel Blood Orange. They’re the perfect treat without the sweet and just the right size for little hands!

Nix food treats altogether

There’s no hard and fast rule regarding what you hand out to the kids in your neighbourhood and you can bet your bottom dollar some parents will be relieved to see some non-food treats in the trick or treat stash their little ones bring home. Try spooky Halloween themed stickers, bubbles, novelty erasers or even glow sticks to hand out on the night.

There you go – four healthy hacks that’ll have you saying ‘BOO’ to sugar this Halloween!

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5 hacks for a healthier kids' party

by Jacqueline Alwill

Most parents would agree that planning a kids’ party with the (inevitable) sugar highs that come with party food and treats is a tad exhausting even before the party starts. So to save you from your next kids’ party headache, dive into these 5 hacks for a healthier kids’ party.

1. FIND FAMILY FAVES

Plan the party WITH your kids when it comes to activities and food. Understand what makes them completely stoked and then be clever in the way you balance the party and health-ify it. If a piñata is on the cards, pop in some cool treats to balance the sweet ones exploding out of it. If your family loves a chocolate cake then make that the hero and leave the extra sugary cupcakes or dense brownies out of the plan. And, if lolly bags to take home are a non-negotiable then top up with some items that maybe aren’t related to food, but still super fun – try packs of cards, cool pencils or mini joke books instead. 

2. ENJOY THE SWEET

But be savvy in how you peel it back, so it doesn’t become a sugar rave. Kids actually don’t care if it’s lollypops on a table or watermelon cut and presented with a stick like a lollypop. It’s the novelty that counts for them and they’ll eat whatever is there. Remember that, because in the midst of wanting to make each party epic for your kids, it can be lost. Simple go to treats without the refined sugar hit might include:

3. SAY HEY TO SAVOURY

To balance the sweet, make it a 2:1 ratio of savoury to sweet on the table and you’ll have a much happier bunch of kids in your company. Remember you don’t have to be making everything yourself, hunt down good quality party food from your local baker, pizzeria or sushi store to top things up and get some quick, little person loving, savoury action on the food table. Consider these crowd favourites:

  • pizza slices - many great pizza shops will happily make up a large slab of pizza with a simple margherita topping if you order in advance
  • mix of brown and white rice vegetable sushi
  • veggie dip boats
  • mini frittata
  • sweet potato wedges
  • vegetarian sausage rolls
  • lavosh or pita bread chips with (no spice) guacamole

4. SWAP THE SODAS

There are always better options and Remedy Drinks has just made the healthiest yet with their NEW fermented soda range. Whilst the idea of juice boxes and some sneaky sugar laden soft drinks might be tempting to keep the small peeps happy this party season, rethink your choices for a HAPPIER and HEALTHIER event. Remedy Drinks has just introduced five new fermented sodas to the Remedy stable including crowd favourites such as Cola, Lemon Lime and Bitters, Lemonade, Ginger Beer and Oranja which means there is a flavour for everyone big and little alike. What’s the difference between Remedy and the ‘usual’ soft drinks or sodas you ask? Well … Remedy Sodas are made with organic fruit juices brewed with Remedy’s live culture to ferment out all of the sugar before adding all natural ingredients including spices and botanicals. Remedy Drinks are making sodas right, with no sugar, naturally. A healthier, tasty fizzy? Yes please!

5. RUN THEM RAGGED

Finally, rather than leave the cake til last, sneak it in half way, get the savoury food out and run kids around before parents come to pick up. Tap into all your old favourite party games and tricks you loved growing up and bring them to life again - pin the tail on the donkey (maybe a minion?), three legged or egg and spoon races, tag, tip you name it. A party planned around great games, healthy food and drinks and family faves are fun filled, healthy kids’ parties done right. 

Recipe: Choc Dipped Pineapple Triangles

Makes approximately 24 slices

Dairy Free: Gluten Free: Refined Sugar Free: Vegan

  • 1 small pineapple, sliced into 1cm thick triangles, skin left intact
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Toppings: finely chopped pepitas, pistachios, coconut flakes, cranberries, or any other dried fruits and nuts you wish

Whisk together coconut oil, raw cacao powder, maple syrup and vanilla.

Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Dip 3/4 pineapple piece into melted chocolate, allow a little to drip off the end, lay onto tray and repeat.

Place in fridge to set for 10 minutes then repeat with remaining chocolate this time adding the dried fruit, seeds and nuts (optional) on the top of the pineapple and chocolate.

Pop back in fridge or freezer to set and serve straight from fridge or freezer (chocolate will melt quickly if it’s a hot day!).

This post originally appeared on Remedy Nutritionist Jacqueline Alwill's Brown Paper Bag blog.

12 top tips to get you through exams

We’re hurtling towards the end of the academic year and for many senior school students, that means exams. Eeep! But stress less honey child because Remedy’s got your back with some common sense advice to see you through. Let's DO this!

You’re not alone - remember to reach out for help

Loadsa people have been through the stress of end of year exams so there’s plenty of TLC and advice available. You just need to remember to reach out if you need to! Don’t go into a hidey-hole and turn into a hermit. Find a friend! The whole business of revision, study and exams can be full of overwhelm so make sure you have someone you can blow off steam with – a trusted person who you can debrief to. You may also need an adult on hand if it all gets a bit too much or if you have a particular problem you need support with. Make sure you approach teachers for advice and support, they do this year in, year out and have seen it all!

ID your goals

Are there particular subjects you need to nail to maximise your score or get into the course of your dreams? If so, make sure you prioritise the exams that matter the most and prepare accordingly.

Know what you’re heading into

Clarify the content and format of the exam, take as many timed, practice exams as you can and aim to begin studying at least one month in advance. Have a plan of attack. There are loads of university sites that have online studying and learning resources. Check out Monash University or UNSW.

What are your 'power hours'?

Are you a morning person or a night person?  ID the time of day that works for you. When are your energy, focus and motivation at their highest? Feeling a bit meh? Rather than push on through, take a short break to avoid feeling overwhelmed or demotivated. Hop tip: study doesn’t necessarily need to be long slabs of interrupted time tucked away in a quiet room. You’re not a monk! Ten, 15 and 30 minute chunks of time on the train, waiting in a car or for the bus can all be used for study.

Get creative

Who said study had to be boring? Consider working with a partner to make mind maps, do quizzes, bounce ideas and questions off each other. Don’t be afraid to mix up your study environment as well. Did you know that studying in different places can actually improve the amount of information you retain? A change is as good as a holiday right? So mix it up. Study outside if it’ a nice day, go to the local library one day a week. Perhaps you’re great at English, but need help with Maths? Pair up with someone who’s great at Maths and needs help with English to coach each other in your weaker subjects.

Take a break

You know that feeling when you’re reading and over the same problem, question or section of text? That's your brain saying 'ENOUGH! Time for a break!' Go outside, get some fresh air or even chat to someone about what you’re studying – this will help you retain and recall information better. Take a ten minute break every hour, stretch, go outside, grab a drink or a snack – but try to stay away from the socials! 

Turn off, remove distractions and avoid multi-tasking

Speaking of socials, it’s pretty easy to procrastinate when you have social media, games and the internet so readily to hand. Make a pact with your mates, download a blocking app and agree on a set period of time to stay off the socials. Multi-tasking is another shocker that’s actually proven to reduce your productivity and drop your IQ. Focus, focus, focus! 

Get organised

Avoid last minutes panic and cramming by drawing up a revision schedule that makes best use of your time in the lead up to exams. Try to be digitally organised as well – this means having all your resources and study materials neatly and clearly filed in drives on your computer so you can find what you need quickly.

Snack right

Go for snacks like fresh fruit, popcorn, yoghurt or nuts to keep you going throughout the day. Avoid cakes, biscuits, lollies and choccies. Sure, you’ll get an initial boost of energy and sugar rush but you’ll be left feeling a little flat and sluggish. Sustained good energy is what you’re after.  Try hummus and veggie sticks, banana and peanut butter rolled up in a wholemeal tortilla or even avo on wholemeal toast!

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Dehydration can make you feel lethargic, snappy and knackered. All of which can affect your concentration making it more difficult to study and perform at your best. Keep your liquids up with herbal tea, water or a Remedy drink of your choice. A coffee or Remedy Good Energy every now and then is OK but don’t rely on caffeine to get you through all-night cramming sessions. Aim for a steady pace rather than last minute swotting! 

Catch some zzzzs

During deep sleep or REM your brain consolidates and processes the information you’ve learned during the day, strengthening neural connections and memory. The more REM stages, the greater amount of information is stored in your noggin! Aim for 7.5 hours a night and 9 hours on days where you’ve spent preparing for exams.

An oldie but a goodie - you are not your result

Once you’ve made it through your exams, keep you options open. If your first choice in terms of further study doesn’t seem right or you didn’t get into the course you wanted – don’t freak out – there are plenty of opportunities to explore once you’ve finished high school. If you’re not feeling university or if they’re not offering a particular subject you’re into, switch it up. Sometimes study paths and careers paths aren’t linear! There are plenty of paths to university and some of those are through practical and hands on options through TAFE. 

Good luck from Team Remedy!