We were blessed with a beautiful Spring day, 27 degrees with a slight breeze, to celebrate one year of Santosha Health and Wellbeing Centre.
The purpose of the celebration (besides the milestone) was to throw a kids party and demonstrate that it doesn’t have to be all fairy bread and lolly bags. We wanted to create a party to present to parents and kids, that foods with a healthy twist can be yummy and there are many fun activities that are also educational. We were nourishing little minds and little bodies all under the guise of a party with balloons, cupcakes and bunting!
Fitting with the philosophies of Santosha, Health Living, Optimal Living, Sustainable Living, there was an emphasis on promoting businesses, particularly local, who also fit under these themes. We invited local businesses to participate by including their information in our goodie bags and if possible a take home sample. The result was amazing! We had home-made playdough, tomato plants, honey, body scrubs, apples, fish oil tablets and much more!
The celebrations started by congregating the children with Megan and then playing a game to organise them into youngest to eldest. After dividing the group into three based on age, the activities began.
Suzanne from Art Play by Zuska lead an art activity where everyone was encouraged to choose colours with their eyes closed based on how they felt. They were encouraged to not just draw with the materials on hand, but to run their fingers over the page and replace thinking about the drawing with feeling the drawing. This kind of activity allows children to create art not based on what ‘looks good’ but more an expression of themselves. Suzanne believes that art is beautiful and avoids encouragement based on how it appears, but rather how it felt while creating it. Children and adults alike LOVED this activity so much that Suzanne had actually run out of paper by the end of the party!
Larissa was demonstrating some simple recipes with the Thermomix. She started with the older children’s group and whipped up a delicious strawberry sorbet which was devoured by everyone there. Next she proved that healthy can be yummy by blending a chocolate and green smoothie. I witnessed many kids sneaking back for another cup. The nutella was also a hit with most.
The unfortunate thing about foods that we eat today is that anything processed generally has a lot of added sugar, whether its a ‘sweet’ food or not. This leaves many taste buds and palates narrowed to just sweet tasting food. Anything outside of this just will not taste good. This is not the time nor the place for a discussion on sugar and its impact on our health, only to say that it is a big problem and slowly but persistently swaying children away from the processed and store-bought foods, to home made varieties where you can control the ingredients and sugar levels will benefit them in the long term, in more ways than most people can imagine!
Megan, operating as her business “me. The Mindful Mother” held a very popular mindfulness and mediation class for all three groups. Speaking to a few parents after they had been in Megan’s room, they were pleasantly surprised at their children’s participation and ability to sit and be ‘mindful’, even the very young ones. In our busy, crazy, noisy world, learning to just sit and be is such an important skills for children to learn.
While all of this was happening, Georgia from Wellness Pilates and Massage generously gave a few lucky parents a seated massage. Those I had the opportunity to speak to after their session were extremely pleased, very relaxed but all commented that they “had a few sore bits”.
Although the schedule of activities was a little lost by the end of the day, this allowed the children and their parents to gravitate towards areas that interested them. It was also a great opportunity to chat with like-minded people and also of course enjoy the sunshine.
The gluten-free cupcakes in chocolate and vanilla were gobbled up early. As were the Bliss Balls made with activated almonds and walnuts, kindly made and donated by Riverland Activated Nuts. It wasn’t until the very end that we realised we had forgotten to bring out the jelly! So those left had a special opportunity to taste test some home-made jelly cleverly made by Amy.
After months of planning, the day turned out well. We hope those who came along had a great day, enjoyed the activities and hopefully also learned something along the way.
Thanks to the following people for contributing on the day:
- Amy Martinson for helping me plan and brainstorm ideas, help with recipes and keep me on track
- Josh Kenyon, my husband and maintenance man, for cleaning up around the clinic, weeding, fixing, sweeping and bringing me food and everything I forget
- Trisha Langford, AKA Mum, for baking the cakes while on nightshift, making the bliss balls, donating Riverland Activated Nuts to the goodie bags and forever doing my dishes
- Megan Petersen for helping plan, put together the goodie bags and holding the Yoga and Mindfulness activity
- Jemma Smith for ideas, organising goodie bag contents and setting up on the day
- Suzanne Macphersen for bringing her unique art class
- Larissa for the thermomix demonstration and patience while we tried to choose recipes
- Georgia Tsanavaras for dedicating some of her day to massage
- Tammy Spinks for taking photos on the day
- Maarten Smits for beginning to help with balloons and for taking photos on the day
- Diana Van Meel for blowing up and hanging balloons
- Everyone who brought their kids along
- Everyone who helped clean up
- Anyone I have forgotten (I do apologise)
- And lastly, all the businesses that contributed to our goodie bags which were filled to the brim. Please support these businesses where you can:
- Lotsa Pots (Tomato plants)
- Bambi Bed Bath & Body (Product samples)
- Riverland Activated Nuts (Almond and walnut samples)
- Riverland Fresh (Apples and discount voucher)
- Power Super Foods (Product samples)
- Research Nutrition (Fish oil samples)
- Bioceuticals (Product samples)
- Funky Monkey Indoor Playground & Cafe (Monkey Money)
- Wellness Pilates and Massage (Massage)