Keep children safe online

The world in which our children are growing up in is vastly different to the one we found our feet in. Children today face so many new and varied pressures that just didn’t exist when we were navigating the tricky terrain of childhood, and so it makes sense for us as parents to be as switched on as we can be. We need to be taking an active and mindful interest in our children’s lives, and we need to be aware of the ways in which we can keep them safe too. With many under 16s now owning a smartphone, tablet and/ or computer it really is crucial for parents to know. How to keep kids safe online. This week we’re looking at ways we can do this, and reasons why it’s so important. Please do get in touch with your thoughts too.

 Why keeping kids safe online is so important

 The internet is amazing. When we were growing up, we didn’t have instant access to such a wealth of knowledge, information and opportunities to be social at the touch of a button. It’s one of the most amazing and innovative creations of the modern world and our children are so lucky to have it. Those who can remember the days of tape loading games and how long that used to take will know exactly what I mean! But with the wonders that it brings, there are inevitable pitfalls too.

 The internet is, quite frankly, a HUGE place for our children to be visiting. There are so many areas of the web that we don’t know about, and so many ways that our children can become vulnerable without us even knowing. The digital world changes so frequently and so rapidly that it can be really hard for parents to keep up with what their children are doing. Because of the nature of these changes, certain screen guarding procedures may not yet be in place, and this can mean your child isn’t always safe online.

 What does being safe online mean?

 We advise our children not to speak to strangers at the park and to always let you or a teacher know if they are being bullied; the same rules apply to online activity too. Sometimes it’s only too easy for kids to get ‘duped’ by online personas who aren’t all that they claim to be, so having an awareness of the ways in which your child might be vulnerable is so important. Read on for more tips on how to keep your child safe online.

 Understand what your child does online

 Your child will most likely go online to connect with friends and to browse the internet for information or to play games. Your child is likely to use Google, Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat and even sites such as Facebook and Twitter too. Do you know how to use these sites too?

 Lots of children also chat via other sites such as games or YouTube, and actually can browse for literally anything online. That’s quite a scary thought!

 Keeping kids safe

 If the thought of your child being able to access almost anything online makes you sweat, then you need to know how to keep them safe while they’re online. A complete blanket ban of the internet is not going to go down well, and isn’t necessary either. There are so many learning opportunities online for your child that you really don’t want them to miss.

 Stay safe while gaming

 You need to know what games you child is playing. Some are not suitable for children and may contain disturbing images or concepts. Some may contain abusive material directed towards others and some have chat room facilities that your child will be able to access freely. This means that they can speak to anyone, around the world, and conversations aren’t always monitored. Some children find certain games addictive and when this happens, other areas of their life can be affected.

 If you’re concerned, always check the game’s suitability (age rating, reviews, or take a look for yourself), and know how to block and report if you need to. It’s also a good idea to educate your child and be certain they know not to share information and to let you know if a game has upset them.

 Always activate safety settings, and update parental controls regularly. Check your child’s browsing history to make sure they haven’t been able to access inappropriate material and talk to them about what they have been doing online.

 Keep the conversation going

 It’s so important to keep talking to your child so that they always feel able to come to you if something isn’t right. And while we know its essential that your child trusts you, it’s also reasonable for them to know that you will be checking their phone and/ or tablet regularly to ensure they are staying safe online. Just a quick scan of messages and photos is suffice, but do it regularly and et your child know that passwords for all sites must be shared too.


Tips to Help Little Ones Settle into The New Term

By now your little ones are probably one or even two weeks into their new school lives, and we sincerely hope all is going well! But how are YOU coping? Adjusting to a new routine can be difficult, especially is this is your first child at school! The early days of the new term can be hard for all involved, so it makes sense to take steps to ensure the transition from home to school goes as smoothly as possible. This time we’ve put together a few tips to help little ones settle into the new term, with a little help from some lovely bloggers. Do let us know how it’s going.

Be prepared for tiredness

 Being at school all day is likely to be hugely different to your child’s usual routine, so it’s natural for them to be a little more tired than normal. This is to be expected, and by now you’re probably only too well aware of how exhausting school can be. Some children find it more exhausting than others, but only you know your child best so take your cues from them during this first term. If you need to move bedtime a little earlier, then please do. It’s important that your child gets enough sleep to see them through the busy days ahead!

Some children also find it harder to switch off once they start school, and their tiredness can manifest in other ways. Perhaps your little one is finding it harder to fall asleep at bedtime? A relaxing bath and a good solid bedtime routine will help.

Beth, who blogs at Twinderelmo told us, “My girls have been going to bed about an hour earlier than usual as they’re so tired. At the weekends too I let my older son lie in until he naturally wakes as I want him to get a rest too. We avoid doing anything that means we need to be up and out early as we all adjust to the school routine,” and we think this is great advice.

Tread carefully

As your little one is more tired than usual, and likely to be a little more ‘temperamental’ shall we say, it’s a really good idea to tread a little more carefully when it comes to behaviour. Remember that your child has a lot of changes to adapt to, and many find the transition to school really quite difficult.

Laura, who blogs at Little Ladies Big World, advises, “Don’t ask too much of them after school and treat meltdowns with kindness. If mine are tired we read books, play puzzles and have cuddles. Being 100% there in the moment really helps everyone feel supported in those first few weeks of change.”

 Slow down after school

 Your child has spent all day being directed by adults, and so after school is the time to allow them to slow down. You’ll know by now how tiring the school day can be during this first term, so try not to plan too many activities until your child has adapted.

Gillian, at A Baby on Board told us that she tries not to schedule too much at weekends either, preferring to use this time to re-charge and prepare for another busy week ahead. She told us, “School is more exhausting for children than you’d think and they need as much downtime as possible in the evenings and at weekends,” and we couldn’t agree more.

Yes, it’s tempting to sign your child up for every after-school activity you always dreamed they would love, but honestly, it really is best to wait a while.

Sarah-Jayne at Keep Up With the Jones Family adds, “We have a get-home-from-school routine. It’s simple but it works – in from school, shoes in cupboard, all clothes on my bed, homework on table and lunch boxes in kitchen. That way I can follow all three of them around, after they’ve done each and tidy up. 15 minutes and we are ready to relax and play – and I’m ready for the next day!”- a great tip!

Make mealtimes count

 It’s hard to let go when your child starts school, and one thing that many parents worry about is whether or not their child is going to eat ok. Suffice to say, many children either won’t remember what they had for lunch, or were too busy playing to take any notice! Don’t take it to heart. Talk to your child’s teacher if you’re really concerned, but our advice would be to trust that the lunch time staff are capable of ensuring your child eats something at least!

That said, it’s a really good idea to make sure that your child is eating a varied and balanced diet at home. A good breakfast is essential and will enable your child to perform well at school. And don’t forget snacks!

Kate at Counting to Ten says her top tip is to always “Bring a snack with you for pickup. It can be a long time since they had lunch and nobody wants a hungry child.” Wise words!


Gentle sleep tips for toddlers

Does your toddler sleep through the night? Most do, but if your answer is a very firm ‘no’ then rest assured you’re not alone! Every child is different and they all reach certain milestones at different stages; your toddler might just need a little more persuasion than others about the joy of staying in bed at night time! That said, broken nights that drag on longer than two years can be incredibly draining and no doubt there have been days where you’ve felt you just cannot make it through to bedtime… We feel your pain. Here are some gentle sleep tips for toddlers that will hopefully help you and your toddler to get a better night’s sleep sooner rather than later.

Why the gentle approach?

 Toddlers can be fickle little things at the best of times, and by the age of around 18 months or so any habit that they’ve formed will no doubt be very well formed indeed! Translated as- you might not find it easy to persuade them to break their habit of waking. By taking a gentle approach, you can make small progressions towards that full night’s sleep without disturbing or upsetting your toddler, or yourself. Gentle sleep training relies on working with your child’s needs and emotions in at the forefront of your mind. You allow your toddler to lead the way and you gently teach them independent sleep habits to replace their old habits.

Understanding sleep issues

 Hopefully your toddler is able to talk to you and tell you why they’re waking at night times. Take some time to talk to them and ask them why, and explain why it’s a good idea for them to stay in bed to sleep at night times. It might be that your toddler reveals something that can be easily rectified- perhaps they’re missing a comforter or teddy bear, or perhaps it’s a fear of the dark preventing them from falling back to sleep when they wake.

Make sure your bedtime routine is calm

 A calm and peaceful bedtime routine will work wonders for your toddler’s night sleep. And consistency is key here. Try to do your routine at the same time each night, with everything in the same order so that your toddler knows what to expect and when.

What to do if your toddler struggles to fall asleep

 Sometimes it’s going to bed that poses the problem for toddlers. If you spend longer than you like putting your toddler to bed, and longer still traipsing up and down the stairs before they finally settle, then maybe these tips will help you:

  • Agree to a bedtime that suits the whole family (and not just your toddler!) and stick to it. Let your toddler have a say if they’re old enough, so that they feel an element of control.
  • Agree on a bedtime routine with your toddler, and stick to it so that there is no confusion as to when they’re expected to get into bed.
  • Make sure your toddler’s bedroom is dim, and at the right temperature for sleep.
  • If your toddler wants you to stay after the lights go out, this is fine for the first few nights. And if they call you after you’ve left the room, always make sure you go back into comfort them.
  • If your toddler needs to you to stay while they fall asleep, then make sure you stay until they are definitely asleep- they will check!
  • After a few nights, gradually reduce the length of time that you spend in the room, until your toddler is confident enough to fall asleep independently.

The aim here is to eventually put your toddler to bed, turn out the lights and go downstairs to put your feet up!

What to do if your toddler wakes in the night

If your toddler wakes through the night, the first thing you need to do is try and determine why. Is the room too hot, or too cold? Are they thirsty? Try to eliminate as many reasons as possible. Then repeat your gentle sleep training techniques as already described, until your toddler falls asleep again. It’s worth noting here that if your toddler wakes and asks to come into your bed with you, that’s fine to do- as long as you’re happy to bed share and you are able to do it safely. Read these guidelines to make sure you’re safe.

Remember that it’s important to stay positive with your toddler, and to celebrate every small achievement in this journey. They will develop better sleeping habits eventually, and while these days seem long we promise they will be relatively short-lived in the grand scheme of things. Good luck!


Tips and tricks for dealing with fussy eaters

As a parent, there’s nothing more frustrating than when you’ve spent time cooking and preparing a meal, only for it to be greeted with the dreaded word, Yuck! Quite often this scenario ends in one or more parents hurrying around, throwing together a mixture of meals to please all the little tummies at the table- but this leads to more frustration as mealtimes become a battleground! So what came we do to combat these fussy little people? We don’t claim to be experts but we are experienced with mealtime battles, so we’ve put together some tips and tricks for dealing with fussy eaters- let us know if you try any and how it went!

You are not alone!

 First of all, it might help you to know that you most certainly are not alone if you have a fussy eater at home. At least every family has experienced this and often it’s a normal part of growing up. Please don’t compare your child to anyone else’s- this will only lead to frustration and upset and there’s enough of that already when your toddler is throwing a tantrum over tonight’s meal choice! Remember that your child is unique with individual tastes and opinions, and nothing you do is going to change that. So let’s work with it, shall we?

Involve your child in meal planning

 If your child is old enough, ask them to help you plan out the meals for the week, or maybe just for the day if you’d prefer. Ask them to choose the foods that they like and try to put them into each meal if you can. Hopefully, this will be an incentive for your child to try something new at dinner time.

Another way to get the kids involved with meal planning is by asking every family member to choose their favourite meal, and pick a day of the week to have that meal. When it’s your turn, everyone else in the family has to eat what you’ve chosen, and then on other days you have to eat what someone else has chosen. This can work so well for older kids, and helps to teach turn taking and tolerance too.

Don’t force empty plates- and watch your portions!

 Sometimes children can become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of food on their plates. Take a look at this handy guide to children’s portion sizes to check you aren’t piling on too much when you’re dishing up. Another excellent tip at mealtimes is to reassure your child that you don’t expect them to eat everything on their plate. This can work wonders for relieving the stress that some children feel at mealtimes, and will help to reduce your anxiety levels too. Sometimes it helps children to know exactly how much you expect them to eat, so maybe start with ‘let’s try three carrots first’, and move on from there. Ultimately it’s a good idea to allow your child to lead with their own appetite at mealtimes.

Set a good example

 Now, why should your child ‘eat up their greens’ if they don’t see any on your own plate? And how can they be expected to sit nicely at mealtimes if you are either on your phone, or not even sitting at the table with them? We are our children’s role models and they will only learn good table manners if we show them. Studies have also found that children respond well to sitting down at a table to eat too, so don’t be tempted to eat in front of the TV every night. Make family meal time an occasion to look forward to every day if you can. It’s not always possible when you’re busy, but you will see the difference if you do make time.

Explain good nutrition and where food comes from

 Kids are never too young to learn the origins of their food, and they’re like little sponges with new information! So tell them what they’re eating, why it’s so good for them and how it’s made too. Let them come with you to dig up potatoes from the garden, or to the supermarket to choose ingredients for meals etc.

What are your top tips for fussy eaters?

Your natural medicine cabinet

When it comes to the health of your little ones, it goes without saying that you want to do only the best for them. And while this does mean your family doctor is likely to be the most trusted source of advice and information, that doesn’t mean that you can’t remedy some ailments yourself at home. We love the idea of creating an all-natural medicine cabinet, and today’s post has lots of tips and information on how to create one yourself. Of course, please do always seek professional medical advice when your little one is not well; this post is not intended to be a replacement for medical attention. However, if you are interested in natural remedies, here is a quick guide to creating your natural medicine cabinet.

What is natural medicine?

Natural medicine is, put simply, a practice whereby herbs are used to treat ailments and illnesses in place of prescription medicines. It’s important to have a sound understanding of natural medicines, and if in doubt always seek professional advice. When you buy herbal treatments, check the label for the words Traditional Herbal Registration because this means that the product you’re using has been assessed against safety standards. It’s also worth noting that you should seek advice if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, and when using with children.

Top ten items for your natural medicine cabinet

If you are informed and ready to start, here are our top ten items to include in your natural medicine cabinet:

Vitamin C. surely the greatest weapon against coughs, colds and illnesses. Vitamin C can be found in lots of natural sources, but if you keep some powdered versions handy in your cabinet, you will be fully equipped as soon as the first signs of illness strike.

Peppermint essential oil. A wonderful resource to have in your medicine cabinet as it can be very effective in treating nausea, headaches and muscle aches. It’s also fantastic for reducing fevers when rubbed (diluted) onto children’s feet.

Chamomile for soothing, calming and relaxing. Great in teas, and wonderful in the bath. Chamomile can be used to treat minor skin conditions and can help babies to sleep too.

Lavender can be used in many ways, often in conjunction with chamomile, and is wonderful for calming and soothing too. Lavender essential oil can be used to treat wounds and relieve pain and is great for helping little ones to relax at bedtime too.

Eucalyptus essential oil is wonderful to use when your little ones have a cold as it is known to soothe the lungs and clear congestion. It also has antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Saline spray can help to unblock little noses and relieve congestion during cold season, and is suitable for the smallest of babies too.

Ginger is a must have for any natural medicine cabinet. Ginger capsules are wonderful for upset tummies and an effective treatment for heartburn, nausea, indigestion too. Ginger can also be beneficial for children suffering from travel sickness, and for easing symptoms of nausea during pregnancy.

Arnica is great for treating bruises and trauma to the body because it reduces healing time and soothes sore muscles right after an injury.

Coconut oil is one of life’s little miracles. There are SO many uses for this wonderful stuff and aside from tasting great when used in cooking, coconut oil can be used to moisturise skin, hair and nails- as well as treat nappy rash, minor skin conditions and chapped lips.

Raw organic honey- not only does it taste great, but its health benefits can be utilised in other ways too. Use to treat minor burns and grazes on the skin, or use it to moisturise minor skin conditions too. Honey and ginger in hot water is also great for relieving symptoms of nausea too.

Guide to using your natural medicine cabinet

Keen to get started with your natural medicine cabinet? Here are some tips to help you:

  • As with all other medications, keep your natural medicine cabinet out the reach of children, and make sure you check the contents regularly. Use with caution and always seek professional medical guidance when illnesses occur.
  • Stock up gradually. Your cabinet will probably never hold everything you want or need to treat ailments and illnesses, so don’t try to fill it all at once. Read up carefully as and when you need to treat a condition and make an informed choice each time you add a new natural remedy.
  • Slowly replace over the counter remedies with your natural choices, so that the expense of doing so is not a major blow. Often herbal remedies can be pricey, but they are more guaranteed to last longer and be more effective in the long run.
  • Read up on recipes that you can follow to make your own medicines.


Kale for Kids

Kale, it’s naturally nutritious, but unfortunately, most kids don’t find it delicious! If you live with fussy eaters, you will understand just how hard it can be to entice them to eat anything green; especially kale. Luckily, this dark green leafy super food can be hidden in many tasty dishes; which is a bonus, as your fussy little eaters won’t even know they’re eating it.

Why Is Kale So Fantastic?

Kale is a nutritional power house food that supplies our body with an array of nutrients, like vitamin A, vitamin C, good fats and fibre.

Eating Kale Strengthens Your Immune System

Kale has an abundant amount of vitamin C; which is known to be one of the largest immune system supporters of all time. A daily dose of vitamin C is a MUST for kids, due to its substantial amount of health benefits. It not only boosts your child’s immune system, but it also helps repair red blood cells, strengthens your child’s blood vessels and helps heal cuts and bruises too.

Kale Makes You Brainy

Kale is the king of good fats; strange I know, you don’t often think of vegetables to be fatty, but these hidden fats are essential for your child’s brain health. This great green vegetable has an ample amount of omega-3 (good fat), which supports cognitive development by nurturing the growth of the neurons and supporting them as they connect to one another. Due to its nurturing role within the brain, it may also help a child to manage any psychological or behavior problems as it supports the function of the neurotransmitters. For this reason increasing the level of omega fats in your child’s diet also has a positive effect on their mood and memory.

Kale Helps You Grow.

Kale contains vitamin A, which plays an important part in a child’s development as it promotes healthy cell growth within their body – it also plays a significant role in supporting healthy bone growth and vision. This fantastic vegetable is also enriched with calcium and potassium; which is essential for keeping our kid’s bones healthy.

Here are six sneaky ways to hide kale in cuisine and allure your children to eat it:

• Chocolate Fudge Pops (recipe below)
• Crispy Kale Crisp
• Fruity Kale Green Smoothie
• Kale & Banana Pancakes
• Cheese, Kale and Avocado Pasta
• Sneaky Kale Meatballs

All these recipes are on my website- so why not check out the recipe section and start sneaking.

Kale Chocolate Pops

1 Medium Banana
50g Kale (stalks removed)
50g Hot Chocolate Powder
400ml Coconut Milk
85 ml Double Cream
2 Tsp. Vanilla Essence
150g Good Quality Chocolate (broken into small pieces)


1. Gently heat the coconut milk and hot chocolate powder in a saucepan until it’s blended together. Add the double cream, vanilla essence and chocolate, stir continually until the chocolate has melted.
2. When the mixture is combined pour into a food processor with the kale and banana, then blend until smooth.
3. Divide the mixture between 8 ice pop moulds and insert pop sticks. Freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.

The importance of taking a mental health day for yourself

Self care is a bit of a buzz word these days, with more and more online magazines, books and websites recommending we take time out of our busy schedules to do something for ourselves for once. But is it really necessary? And is self-care really such a new concept? We’ve been looking at the importance of taking a mental health day for yourself, and we think you might agree that it’s a really good idea.

What is a mental health day?

 It’s a relatively new concept, but the idea is that you take a day out for yourself, to concentrate on your own emotional well being and to do something that will make you happy, calm, focused and relaxed. Put like that, it doesn’t seem so new at all. I mean, for centuries we’ve been taking time out to go and get our nails done, or to enjoy a meal out with friends. But have we really been putting aside enough time to focus on our mental health and emotional well-being- and for an entire day?

Taking a mental health day might not mean doing all that much. It might just be switching off from everything that has been on your mind just lately, or it might be getting away for the day just to be by yourself. The fact is that not many of us feel we are able to do this at all. With our busy schedules and the pressures of being a parent, we tend to feel that the best way forward is to simply keep going. It seems selfish to take time out for ourselves, and we prefer to put our own needs on the back burner for a while. So taking a mental health day actually means that we put ourselves first for once. And that can be really hard to do!

 Five reasons why you should take a mental health day

  •  If you’re still not convinced, allow us to give you five reasons why a mental health day might be just the thing that you need right now…It will alleviate stress. Just taking some time out from work, or your busy routine can do wonders for your stress levels, and give you time to figure out better ways to deal with it all too. Sometimes removing ourselves from a situation and giving ourselves a chance to reflect can be empowering and healing just when we need it to be.
  • It will increase productivity. A rest is as good as a holiday, and you’re more likely to come back fighting fit if you’ve had a proper break. Sometimes all we need is a few hours to rest and re-charge and we can feel as though we’re ready to take on the world again. Don’t underestimate how much you can get done when you have a renewed energy and a more positive attitude.
  • You can get time to cross off things on your to-do list that are for YOU. Concentrating on your own needs for one day every now and then is the best way to show yourself that you matter too. So that book you’ve been meaning to read? Go ahead and read it!
  • You can catch up on sleep! Let’s face it, who doesn’t fancy another hour or two when the alarm goes off in the morning? And when you’re busy, you have kids and you have work, sleeps often the one thing we neglect the most. Ironically, when we’re sleep deprived we’re way more prone to low moods and feelings of anxiety and stress, so it makes sense to prioritise rest a little now and then.
  • You’re showing everyone else that you matter too. Sometimes it’s easy for us to feel as though we’re taken for granted a little, especially when we’re all busy. But when loved ones see that you care about yourself, and when they realise just how beneficial a mental health day is for your health and well being, they will see the importance of it all. And they’ll be much more likely to tap you on the shoulder when you need another day like this.

Remember that you’re not a robot. Nobody is able to keep on going without a break, so don’t push yourself into a burnout. Only you are able to speak up when you’re struggling, so make sure that you do.

Health Benefits of Avocado for Kids.

Children don’t always like to try new foods – especially the green, fresh kind. However, trying to entice your child to eat a more healthy diet comes with an array of benefits – kids become happier, more fulfilled and have an abundance of energy. Unfortunately, at some point, our children’s taste buds will head towards an array of dull, beige-coloured foods such as chips, nuggets and toasted soldiers, but it’s our job as parents to tempt their palette with more nutritious food choices (even, if it’s done, sneakily).

Avocados are an ideal super food to try when you’re attempting to tantalise your little ones taste buds. This naturally nutrient-dense fruit contains an array of naturally good fats, which are essential for your child’s growth and development. It’s easy to present avocados appealingly to encourage children to eat them. You could add some cocoa powder, mash in a banana and whip it up into a yummy mousse, or make your own creamy dip. You could even pop some in a blender with some strawberries and milk and make a strawberry milkshake. Trying to get kids to eat healthily can become a bit of a challenge, but present the food right and you’re onto a winner!

Here are five reasons why we need to be feeding more avocados to our kids:

They provide essential nutrients.

Avocados provide your child with the vital vitamins and minerals they need for their development. They come with an abundance of healthy fats – which are a great energy provider and help our bodies digest and absorb fat-soluble vitamins, like vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, and vitamin B6.

They relieve constipation.

Avocados are ideal for improving digestion, encouraging regular toilet trips and relieving constipation. It may seem misleading, but despite their creamy, rich texture this wonder fruit is actually full of fibre. Getting your child to eat just one avocado a day will work as a mild laxative and help any uncomfortable toilet troubles.

They’re a ‘good mood’ food

Is your child feeling sad, grumpy, anxious? Simply solution – feed them an avocado! Avocados have an infinite supply of good ‘mood-boosting’ fats. The healthy fats provided by this wonder fruit will keep your child feeling chirpy and cheerful throughout the day. Why? Because avocados are rich in tryptophan, vitamin B, and folate, combining these vitamins with healthy fats help to turn tryptophan into the feel-good hormone serotonin. When serotonin levels are raised in a child’s body feelings of happiness are created.

Eating them boosts your immune system.

Avocados are a true power house food; they provide a combination of essential vitamins and minerals (such as vitamin A, C, and E, Zinc and Iron), these nutrients are ideal for promoting immune health and supporting our body’s adrenal functions. Plus, as mentioned, avocados aid the absorption of other fat-soluble nutrients (found in food), which in-turn has a positive impact on our body’s immune system.

Avocados are also a rich source of vitamin E and Zinc; vitamin E promotes a healthy antibody production which can help fight against an array of diseases. Zinc, on the other hand, assists in healing wounds but also supports the manufacture of white blood cells; which will help protect your child’s body from any nasty invaders.

Eating them keeps our bones healthy

Avocados contain vitamin A, which plays an important part in a child’s development as it promotes healthy cell growth within their body – it also plays a significant role in supporting healthy bone growth and vision. This fantastic fruit is also enriched with calcium and potassium; which is essential for keeping our kid’s bones healthy.

As you’ve just discovered there is a myriad of healthy fats and nutrients found in avocados – they’re so beneficial for the growth and development of our children.

Here are some ‘sneaky’ ways to entice your little ones to eat them:

• Mash them up into a chocolate pudding (recipe below)
• Hide them in a strawberry milkshake
• Add a little honey and turn them into popsicles
• Create a pesto, avocado pasta sauce
• Hide them in some healthy brownies
• Create a sneaky dip
• Add them into fruity muffins
• Make sushi sandwiches

Avocado, Banana & Chocolate Mousse Recipe

Serves 2

Prep time: 5 minutes


1 Ripe Banana
1 Ripe Avocado
2 heaped tbsp. Nutella
1 heaped tbsp. Peanut Butter
2 tbsp. Water
3 tbsp. Double Cream


Place all the ingredients into a food processor and blend them into a smooth mixture. Keep the mousse chilled and serve it when desired.

Mumma’s Tip: Place strawberries and chopped almonds on top for an even tastier pudding.

Samantha’s new book ‘Mum’s Sneaky Recipes’ is a one-of-a-kind fully comprehensive guide to healthy eating in families. The first book of its kind to incorporate creative ways to smuggle fruit and vegetables into delicious meals for your children, while teaching little ones about healthy eating. This recipe book also aims to teach children in a fun and interactive way how to cook their own healthy, nutritious recipes in the kitchen.

Baby Massage at Bedtime

Like many mothers, you’re likely to have done your fair share of talking about sleep and bedtime routines. Establishing a behavioral pattern when settling your child is the key to instilling good sleep habits in your baby. A calming bedtime routine that follows a predictable pattern every night helps give your baby the cue that it’s time to put their little heads down to rest. This, in turn, helps them settle more easily. What’s more, it is a wonderful way to bond with your baby at the end of a long day. After all, time spent snuggling, singing lullabies, and quietly reading is the closest, calmest time you’ll get to spend with your infant.

Massage can be very beneficial for helping babies sleep deeper and for longer periods of time. This means you as a mother being able to sleep longer as well – hopefully, all night! Not only does massage help your baby to release stress which builds daily from the stimulus that creates new experiences, it allows your baby to relax and enjoy this special quiet time.

Mothers have long benefited from remaining physically close to their child since time immemorial, carrying babies on their back as they went about their day. Benefits abound when it comes to regularly making contact with your child and recent studies have shown that massage has a positive effect on an infant’s ability to relax and sleep through the night.

Tiffany Field and Maria Hernandez-Reif’s (2007) research into massage’s ability to decrease the appearance of sleep problems in children has shed light on how beneficial carrying out a massage before bedtime can be. The study stated that children in the massage therapy group showed “fewer bedtime disruptive behaviors” and a “shorter latency to sleep”. Infants that are settled this way enjoy a deeper, more peaceful night’s rest, which in turn can mean that you do.

The effects of massage can be further enhanced by the infusion of oils into the child’s bedtime routine, especially by using lavender oil before bed. In a study by Tiffany Field et al (2008), it was shown that lavender oil reduced the cortisol (stress) levels of both mother and child, decreased the levels of crying and enhanced sleep.

Try implementing a bedtime routine that integrates massage and lavender aroma for a peaceful night’s sleep for both you and your little one. Why not try out our gentle baby massage routine before your little one goes to bed?


Tiffany Field and Maria Hernandez-Reif (2007), ‘Sleep Problems in Infants Decrease Following Massage Therapy’, Early Child Development and Care, 168:1, 95 – 104
Field, T., Cullen, C., Largie, S., Diego, M., Schanberg, S. & Kuhn, C. (2008). Lavender bath oil reduces stress and crying and enhances sleep in very young infants. Early Human Development, 84, 399-401.