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Great Kids’ Day Out – Pick Your Own

health and wellbeing kids Aug 09, 2015

With the summer holidays in full flow, if you’re looking for a great kids’ day out, I can highly recommend Pick Your Own. We visited Peterley Manor Farm in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire and it was absolutely fantastic.

If you’ve never been to Pick Your Own before (and can you believe it? I hadn’t!), it’s exactly that. You head out into the fields of a working farm and help yourself to their freshly grown produce, which you then pay for by the kilo at the end of the day. 

There are so many wonderful benefits to picking your own fruit and vegetables including, to name but a few:

  • Children learn where fruit and veg come from and get to experience the different ways that they are grown – on trees, in the ground, on hedges etc.
  • Fussy eaters may just be tempted to try a little raspberry, or get involved with making a recipe from their pickings at home later on.
  • The produce is seasonal and local. This means they have a higher...
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My top 10 protein snacks for kids

'Mum, can I have a snack?' If you too are regularly plagued by this question, then read on for my top protein snacks for kids.

If I had a penny for the number of times I am asked this in one day, well, I would have lots of pennies. I have a very busy, bright and active six-year old boy who seems to be permanently hungry. No sooner has he finished a meal, than he's asking for a snack. It doesn't seem to matter how much he's eaten at his main meal (which is usually a fair amount), he still wants something else. It's a good job he's at school during the day and asleep at night or he'd be eating constantly.

So, it is a challenge to feed this starving boy the whole time. Even doing what I do for a living, I struggle to always get healthy snacks into him. Contrary to popular belief, I do not spend all my time creating home-made paleo bars. I am a busy mum too! 

I don't deny my kids treats. They eat crisps, chocolates and sweets like other kids. I would prefer it if they...

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Grain-free, Gluten-free Chocolate, Almond & Coconut Paleo Bars

Paleo Bars

These sound rather delicious don’t they? Well, they are! There are lots of different ‘paleo bars’ out there at the moment, which are so easy to make at home and are a great snack, pre or post exercise boost, or even an on-the-go breakfast. But don’t be fooled by the fancy title. They are suitable for everyone –  not just gluten/grain free people – even hungry husbands who’ve just got home from work!

I am forever looking for snacks for both myself and the kids (and the husband) that are not totally laden with sugar and unhealthy fats – and are also gluten free. Nakd bars do a pretty good job but they are fairly pricey, and most other gluten free granola bars/snack bars are just loaded with sugar and other ingredients like ‘glucose syrup’, ‘rice syrup’, ‘brown rice syrup’, ‘evaporated cane juice’ which are basically fancy-pants words for…you guessed...

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How to make healthy packed lunches

In a matter of days the kids will be back at school and for some of us that means getting back into a routine of thinking up and preparing healthy packed lunches for them. Sadly, for many children, ‘healthy’ does not come into the equation because recent figures suggest that only 1.1% of packed lunches meet the nutritional standards for school meals*. This is highly worrying because, in my opinion, even some school dinners miss the mark. 

What is wrong with the average packed lunch?

Crisps, chocolate, sugary drinks, cereal bars (very high in sugar), processed snack foods and white bread all feature heavily in a large proportion of packed lunches these days providing children with very little in the way of the essential nutrients required for energy, concentration, growth and overall health. Not only that, but foods such as these are contributing to the increase in childhood obesity and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Up until fairly recently my son...

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Why I don’t agree with ‘The Eatwell Plate’

When my 6-year old son came home from school a couple of weeks ago with a little certificate saying he had successfully completed the ‘Eatwell Plate’ challenge by choosing a selection of healthy foods to for his plate, my heart did a little jump. So proud was I that he was following in his mother’s footsteps. He’d even been given a laminated sheet to show which foods he had chosen. I was quite impressed: clearly they had been encouraged to select a variety of foods featured on the aforementioned ‘Eatwell Plate’. His selections included broccoli (which he hates!), peppers and pineapple, as well as some tuna, kidney beans, oatmeal and…bison? Thankfully nothing from the ‘junk’ section: well done me. Overall, not bad.

Then I turned the page over and looked at ‘The Eatwell Plate’ as recommended by the Food Standards Agency, and I was distinctly unimpressed by what our children are being taught in school about healthy...

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The Kids Are Alright. Now How About You?

health & wellbeing kids Sep 04, 2013

And breathe out! If, like me, you’re sitting in a eerily quiet house wondering what on earth to do with yourself (well, apart from the million things that need to be done) now that you’re not having to fill those days with activities, trips, snacks, picnics and the constant demand for your time and attention from your adorable little people, then how about taking 5 minutes to just breathe and re-group yourself?

The summer holidays have finally come to a close. For some that’s an enormous blessed relief, others might be missing the company of their cherubs already, some of you might have waved goodbye to your little darlings as they trotted off to school for the first time and are quietly sobbing in the corner of the playroom drinking gin out of a Peppa Pig beaker. Well, stop that at once.

However you are feeling about ‘Back to School’ it is the perfect opportunity to focus on yourself for a while after many endless weeks of focusing on others. Perhaps...

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5 tips for getting your kids to eat more vegetables

Almost every mum I meet has some dilemma or other about getting her children to eat certain foods. I often come across parents who started weaning their babies on the very best home-made purées, introducing a variety of different tastes and textures from very early on as advised by all the popular baby food experts out there. But somewhere along the line – usually around the age the child starts developing a mind of its own – the repertoire of food gets smaller and smaller until eventually the only thing your toddler will eat is a Babybel and packet of Pom-Bears.

So how do we get our kids to eat that most elusive of food groups, The Vegetable? And why are they so important?

– Vegetables do not contain as much sugar as fruit and so are better for their blood sugar levels – behavioural problems are often linked to low blood sugar.

– They are an important source of fibre which keeps their digestive systems moving nice and healthily:...

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