Straighten up, this school year January 2018

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Straighten Up, this School Year

It’s that time of the year again and as you start your back to school preparations, we would like to encourage you to be mindful of your child’s spinal heath this new school year.

The back to school period is a great time to check the fitting of your child’s backpack and by making a few simple changes, can prevent poor posture and long-term spinal health issues.

Some of the signs of poor posture to look out for from an incorrectly worn backpack can include: forward head posture, slouching and uneven hips. Identifying and stopping these signs early on is important as the spine is still developing during the adolescent years.

Avoiding back to school backache is easy with these simple tips on how to wear a backpack correctly:
Size: make sure the backpack is appropriately sized and no wider than your child's chest
Weight: backpacks should ideally be no heavier than 10 per cent of a student’s weight when packed. Some of the ways to keep the weight of the load down is by packing only essential items and storing unrequired items in a school locker.
Straps: both shoulder straps (preferably padded) should always be worn. Make sure to secure the sternum, waist and compression straps.
Position: the backpack shouldn't be worn any lower than the hollow of the lower back with all heavy items positioned at the base of the pack, closest to the spine.

You can check if your child is wearing their backpack correctly with the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (CAA) augmented reality experience, part of the Straighten Up app. Available on the App Store and Google Play. Simply scan the app card (below or if easier print and scan the card at home) and watch the image come to life, providing an interactive way to see how the spine is effected by the correct and incorrect wearing of a backpack.

The Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (CAA) together with Spartan School Supplies and Macquarie University (NSW), joined forces to research and develop the ‘Chiropak’. This durable, functional and comfortable backpack is proven to reduce the incidence and severity of neck and back pain associated with the carriage of heavy loads. Find out more about the Spartan Chiropak at

We invite you to make an appointment at our practice this back to school period for more advice and assistance on selecting the right backpack, making sure it is fitted correctly to suit your child’s current level of development and to make sure their spine is checked and ready for school.
For more information on how to maintain a healthy spine, please visit


Spiced Breakfast Muffin

This recipe was taken from Georgia Hardings site Well Nourished. For more ideas for school lunches, breakfasts and healthy snacks check out her website.


Spiced Breakfast Muffin


  • 200 g sweet potato, peeled and diced 1-2cm
  • 1 large green apple, peeled and diced
  • 250 g (1 cup) nut butter*
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 3 free-range or organic eggs
  • 85 g (¼ cup) sweetener (rice malt syrup, honey or maple syrup), optional
  • 30 g (¼ cup) buckwheat flour
  • 2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda

*I recipe tested this with almond butter, cashew butter and also ABC (almond, brazil, cashew).


    1. Preheat the oven to 180℃/350℉. Line your muffin tray with safe, non-stick large muffin cases.
    2. Start with steaming the sweet potato and apple until cooked (mine took about 5 minutes).
    3. Once they are cooked, allow to cook for a few minutes and puree in a food processor or high speed blender. Thermomix 10 seconds, speed 5.
    4. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until just combined. Thermomix 20 seconds, speed 5.
    5. Pour into the muffin cases and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked (skewer inserted is clean).


    1. warm with butter
    2. with a smoothie (our favourites are Coco-beet Berry Smoothie, Tropical Green Smoothie, or a Chocolate Breakfast Smoothie.



    You can sub the nut butter with tahini and or sunflower seed butter (Sunbutter). I’ve also had feedback that using regular butter half half with the nut butter works well too (though haven’t tested it myself).

    Another flour

    You can certainly use another flour if you wish – any flour (except coconut) or even almond meal can be subbed 1:1.


    Stay tuned for next months newsletter where we delve into the mysteries of the heart.