As a mum, there are a number of essentials that you should should keep iny our handbag to help with those emergency moments, or to keep the little ones entertained. Here are some items that we recommend you try to keep on you at all times:-
Of course, if your little ones are still in nappies then there's a whole load more that you'll be carrying around with you!
Look out for practical and small versions of everything. Carry handy packs of wet wipes and tissues, a small pack of crayons, the sort that restaurants give away with kids' meals, and small packets of dry snacks, such as the little boxes of raisins or other dry fruits. Although all of these are more expensive than full sized items, many are available in multipacks which makes for slightly better value. You don't want to become a pack horse, but having these to hand could be helpful when you find yourself stuck outside of home.
No one goes anywhere without their mobile these days but beside being available those emergency calls ('I've locked myself out of the house!' or 'The car won't start!'), smart phones can store photos and music. Download a few toddler friendly games too to help kill time when you're stuck in a queue, or waiting for a doctor's appointment etc.
When childminders give children snacks and meals, the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework requires that they be 'healthy, balanced and nutritious'. It's fairly easy to whip up a meal that fills the criteria because you can balance a meal with fresh vegetables and use fresh ingredients.
If you are providing processed foods such as sausages, ham, nuggets, fishfingers or burgers then check the ingredients and the nutritional breakdown of the foods you are buying. To buy the healthiest options, compare the fat, sugar and salt content. Processed foods are often far more laden with salt and sugar to create flavour than if you were to make the same fare at home. When comparing fat content of products, go for ones with the least saturated fat which is more harmful than unsaturated fat. Better still, try make your own products at home and then you are aware of their contents. You can easily make burgers, fishcakes and breaded chicken or turkey nuggets - slightly time consuming but not difficult.
Try to ration meat to two or three main meals a week, offer vegetarian options (eg. jacket potato and baked beans, mild vegetarian chilli, vegetable lasagne etc.) and fish (fishcakes, jacket potato and tuna, breaded fish etc.) on other occasions.
Processed snacks can also be much less healthy than you might imagine. Snacks are often packaged to make them appear to be healthy but when choosing snacks, again, make sure you compare the fat, sugar and salt content. It's very easy to give children a high salt diet without realising and some healthy looking snacks contain more saturated fat than a packet of crisps! Better still, make snacks yourself. Fruit and vegetables chopped into portions perhaps make the best snacks. Buy yourself a hot air popcorn maker and make fresh popcorn but without the salt or sugar.
Providing healthy, balanced and nutritious food isn't difficult but it can be deceptive if you are offering factory processed foods. Check the food labels and know what you are feeding your little ones.
Don't have a battle at mealtimes, everyone at some point has a bit of trouble with a fussy eater in the house so the first thing to remember is keep cool about it. You are not alone in your struggle to get food down a stroppy toddler or a moody and tired pre-schooler. Don't think your child will starve if they don't eat properly for a few days... they won't! They may be genuinely not hungry or a bit poorly, so don't get angry with them and claim they are being defiant or naughty, this may not be the case. And, don't blame yourself.
Many fussy phases pass, so don't worry for the first few days. If eating is becoming a problem on a frequent basis and some difficult habits are forming, then try some of these tips:
If eating problems persist and really do become a barrier, then you may want to seek medical or professional help, but on the whole, eating fads come and go and this is a normal part of growing up.
Now summer is here, the children can't wait to get outside in the warm sunshine, but what can you do to keep them as cool as possible on the hottest days? Here are a few ideas!
Have fun, and keep yourselves as cool as cucumbers!
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Hi! I'm Tikal the Toucan, the mascot for ToucanLearn. Follow my blog to find out interesting things relating to babies, toddlers and preschool children!
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