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The ultimate betrayal for anti-vax mum Jill Wheeler came when her 18-year-old son got vaccinated against her wishes.

Ethan Lindenberger, who grew up in an anti-vaccine household, went against his mother’s wishes and was vaccinated when he turned 18. Now, he’s addressing the US Senate about the importance of immunisation.

The teen from Ohio was not vaccinated as a kid. Although his older siblings were, mum Jill Wheeler was against the idea for him after reading information online that claimed vaccines were linked to autism and brain damage.

“My parents are kind of stupid and don’t believe in vaccines. Now that I’m 18, where do I go to get vaccinated? Can I get vaccinated at my age?”

When he turned 18, he reached out to Reddit users to find out if he could get immunised independently of having his parents’ consent.

“My parents are kind of stupid and don’t believe in vaccines. Now that I’m 18, where do I go to get vaccinated? Can I get vaccinated at my age?”

A month later, he was vaccinated against influenza, HPV, hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Since then, he has also been immunised against diseases such as measles, chicken pox and polio.

“[anti-vax groups] instil fear into the public for their own gain selfishly… knowing their information is incorrect.”

Earlier this month, he addressed the US Senate about his concerns around the anti-vaccine movement.

He claims his mum didn’t get her ideas from credible sources, but mainly from anti-vax groups on social media and organisations that “instil fear into the public for their own gain selfishly… knowing their information is incorrect.”

He stressed that the organisations that push misinformation about vaccines are the ones at fault – parents like his are only trying to protect their families.

His mum, Jill, told the Associated Press that she was proud of her son, but “didn’t agree with anything he said.”

“For my mother, her love, care and affection as a parent was used to push an agenda to create a false distress.”

His mum, Jill, told the Associated Press that she was proud of her son, but “didn’t agree with anything he said.” She also didn’t understand why a teenager was getting a platform like this to discuss the issue. “They’ve made him the poster child for the pharmaceutical industry.”

These are fun to make with children. To help keep the pastry firm, one trick I use is to pop soft ice packs underneath a metal baking tray. You can then cut out the rolled pastry on the tray and it will stay beautifully chilled while you and your little helper work. If you don’t have time for cutting out shapes, you can make simple chocolate rounds by using the cheat’s version of the recipe instead (see Variation).

MAKES APPROX. 20

INGREDIENTS

150g (1 cup) white spelt flour (see Tips)

110g (2⁄3 cup) wholemeal spelt flour (or wholemeal plain flour)

25g (1⁄4 cup) raw cacao powder (see Tips)

1 tsp baking powder

120g (7 tbsp) preferred brown sugar (see Tips)

200g butter, chilled, cubed (see Tips)

1 egg

2 1⁄2 tbsp jam of choice

PREPARATION

1. Place all ingredients, except jam, into a food processor or high-powered blender and process until mixture balls around the blades.

2. Transfer onto a floured work surface or a silicone mat and lightly shape into a ball. Divide dough into two portions and form each portion into discs, then wrap in plastic wrap and place into refrigerator for 1 hour to firm.

3. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan). Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper and set aside.

4. Using a rolling pin, roll out each dough portion to a 4mm thickness. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter (approx. 7cm), cut out biscuits and transfer onto prepared trays. Gather off-cuts, gently re-roll (to 4mm thickness) and cut out remaining biscuits (approx. 40 biscuits total).

5. Using a smaller heart-shaped cookie cutter (3cm), cut hearts out of half of the biscuits, so they have a heart-shaped hole in the centre.

6. Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until cooked. Biscuits will be slightly soft.Transfer onto a wire rack to cool.

7. Once completely cooled, spread ½ teaspoon of jam over each whole biscuit and sandwich together with remaining (heart-shaped hole) biscuits to serve.

TIPS

If you don’t have spelt flour or wholemeal flour on hand, you can use regular plain flour. The wholemeal adds a fibre boost to these biscuits.

If you prefer, you can use regular cocoa powder in place of the raw cacao powder. Use your preferred brown sugar in this recipe, either regular brown sugar or a less refined option such as rapadura sugar (panela) or coconut sugar. (Note that the weights of these sugars can vary, so the gram measurement will be more accurate than the cup measurement.)

Try to source organic, grass-fed butter, as it’s the more nutritious choice. You can store these biscuits in the pantry in a sealable container for up to 1 week.

The biscuit dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

VARIATION

Cheat’s version: If you’re short on time, you can bake these biscuits as jam-free rounds. Simply form each of the two dough portions into a 20cm log shape.

Place into the refrigerator for 1 hour to firm, then cut into 8mm-thick rounds and bake as per the recipe (omitting step 8).

Courtesy of Sweet Nourish by Louise Keats. 

These simple gift ideas for Mother’s day will leave mum feeling absolutely adored!

CLEAN THE HOUSE
It might not be the most exciting gift, but mum would seriously appreciate a clean house! For her, seeing the sparkle after the house is clean is equivalent to a baby seeing candy. You can’t go wrong with a little Ajax and a vacuum.

SPA DAY
Treat mum to a day filled with Cucumber masks, pedicures and great company! No doubt she would also appreciate the quality time taken out of your day to spend with her chilling back having some R&R.

A WINE OR TWO
We all know Mothers’ deserve a glass of wine at the end of a hard working day or a day of hardly working! Take her on a private wine tour where she’ll indulge in the finest of wines, or buy mum some good quality wine and wrap it in a pink bow, voila!

GET CREATIVE
If you know mum’s an artsy chick or even a sentimentalist, she would love nothing more than care and thought put into her gift. Show her how much you love her with a handmade picture frame, a poem, or even home made scrubs!

FOOD, FAMILY & MORE FOOD
Get the family together and take Mum for a picnic, a high tea or even a casual BBQ in the backyard. What ever the location, as long as there is food and good company, mum will be overjoyed being surrounded by loved ones and of course, food!

CATCH UP
We all know life gets busy and I’m sure mum would love nothing more than to just spend time with you. Catching up over some coffee and cake is sometimes all mum wants. So take mum for a catch up sesh at her favourite café in town. She’ll love you for it.

A British mother has caused quite the stir, after admitting on national television that she has a favourite child.

The mother of four, Alisha Tierney-March, admits that her third child, Kennedie, is her favourite out of the lot. Alisha’s other children include daughter Addison 9, son Harleigh 7, and Elijah 1.

Alisha claims that her strongest bond is with her daughter Kennedie, age 2, and claims that part of the reason is because she has spent more one on one time with her as infant, compared with her two older children. She states, “the older two are currently at that pre-teen age, and are constantly trying to test her and her husband’s patience, while Kennedie is still young and innocent”.

“Kennedie is just all round nicer to be around.”

The hosts of the talk show ask Alisha if she gives Kennedie preferential treatment. Alisha claims, “They all get loved equally”. One host then mentions that Alisha’s husband believes she does give preferential treatment, and Alisha responds, “He thinks Kennedie gets away with more, but I’m not going to punish a 2-year-old the way I do a 7 or 9-year old”.

Unsurprisingly, Alisha’s comments have caused an uproar, with mums from all over the world saying how disgusted they are with the fact that she went on national television to boast about how she has a favourite child.

Many mothers are also concerned that her favouritism will harm the development of her other children, who Alisha freely admits are aware of the fact that her preferred child is Kennedie.

“They will say, ‘Shes’s your favourite’, and then I will admit to them, I’ll say, ‘Yes, I do like her better’.”

Some mothers have defended Alisha, claiming that mothers do have a favourite child, but most of them simply won’t admit it.

Interestingly enough, a recent study has shown that 23 percent of parents do, in fact, have a favourite child.

The parents who participated in the study gave several explanations as to why they have a favourite son or daughter, the most prominent reason being that they preferred the child who they closely resemble, in terms of behavior and appearance, and the second being that they favoured the child they considered to be the most attractive.