Mindset, Mental Health and Wellbeing | Parenting

Mum’s Confessions : “How Do You Do It All?”

By on February 19, 2018

How do you do it all...all of the time?

This is a question I am asked a lot. And I mean a lot. I often hear "I don't know how you manage it" and "how do you it? I struggle with one". I normally answer with "I just do" or "I don't have a choice, I just have to" and I am flattered people think I do such a good job of bringing up four children while running a home and working as well. However, there are often times when I feel like a cheat and a fraud because often I do NOT do it all, all of the time. This is Mum's Confessions...

Mum's Confessions

Washing up - There are many a day that pass where the dirty dishes are sat piling up. Quite often the washing up from tea time is still on the side when I go up to bed and the breakfast bits are still there after work when I'm cooking dinner.

Laundry - This is bane of my life. I thought it was a nightmare when I was a stay at home mum. Ha! I knew nothing. Now I am back at work there is never any time to get six people's dirty laundry cleaned and dried. I find myself trying to cram 4 washes into one day and end up with a huge pile of wet washing with nowhere to dry it. It then starts to stink and has to be washed again anyway!

Homework - For as much as I try to instil into my kids that this should be done as soon as they get it. 1) because what you have just learnt is fresh in your mind and 2) its done and out the way so you can enjoy the rest of the weekend...I find us sifting through school bags on a Sunday afternoon and all getting together in a panic to complete said homework as a team effort in a bid to create something that is worthy of showing a teacher!

Reading - We all know the more we read with our kids the better but the pressure that is on us mums & dads to not only find a spare 20 mins per child, per day (which is over an hour for us) but to remember to fill in the 'reading passport' so your children can get a certificate is almost unbearable. There's times I feel like a terrible Mum that appears not to care about my children's reading ability but actually most of the time, I just don't know my arse from my elbow because I'm so bloody busy.

Birthday Parties - If we have missed one we have missed truck loads. Not because we don't want to go or because my littlun doesn't like your littlun, just that its the 16th thing written on the calendar for that day alone and I've over looked it.

Bath time - I have a perfect little bedtime routine for this...I'm lying. I don't. Bath time can create a number of issues...for the younger ones it can often mean 1001 toys & 3 hours in the bath or a screaming fit and a flooded bathroom. And for the older ones its either too much of a hardship or they spend an hour in the shower refusing to get out...or both, which when you are on a water meter you could really do without! Oh, and no, they don't have a bath everyday - I could not go through the trauma daily!!

So you see, I don't do it ALL, ALL of the time and that is perfectly ok. I can almost guarantee that I am not the only one with a list of Mum's Confessions. The message here is not to compare yourself to others. Granted, that is so much easier said than done and it absolutely goes for me too, but what you see in front of you is quite often just the tip of the iceberg with no knowing of what is going on behind the scenes.

***

Do you have any mum confessions? Go ahead, comment below or feel free to share over at Mummy's Munchkins Facebook page I'd love to hear from you.

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Mindset, Mental Health and Wellbeing

“I Find Pregnancy Fascinating…If I Could Do It Again I would”.

By on October 24, 2017

Not a day goes by where I don't look at my children and count my lucky stars. I completely acknowledge how blessed and how lucky I am that I have beautiful, healthy children. Never do I take this amazing gift of motherhood for granted. Being a mum was one of the biggest, if not the biggest dream I had as a child. I thoroughly enjoyed pregnancy and I thoroughly enjoy being a mum, but after being pregnant and caring for babies for 5 years how do you just stop? How do you just not do it anymore? How do you accept that your babies are grown and you wont be having anymore?

For those of you that follow me you will be aware that I have four children (9,7,5 and 4). Pregnancy was a joy for me, I have always said I could do it again and again. Of course I had to deal with feeling sick from time to time (thankfully I didn't suffer with morning sickness), occasional back pain, hips playing up, stretch marks, swollen ankles (my ankles were huge) and I had heart burn with my last baby but that was all. That's all pretty standard pregnancy stuff. I didn't have any complications.

I find pregnancy absolutely fascinating! Our body creates a whole human being in just 40 weeks...what is there not to marvel at? and if I could do it all again I would, but I can't.

After Baby No 4 came along my husband and I decided we weren't going to have anymore. The practicalities and logistics of having a 5th child doesn't bare thinking about; we would need a bigger house, bigger car, more money etc. And anyway after just having had a baby the thought of having yet another was far from my mind. The decision to have no more was 100% a joint decision and we had a lengthy discussion about just how final the change was that he would be making to his body. Only now I feel like we may have acted too hastily.

My writing of this post comes as I saw the UK's largest family, The Radford Family, announce the arrival of baby No 20. Yes I did get that right, 20!

I have been following The Radford Family on and off since they first made an appearance on a TV show called 16 Kids and Counting! and I absolutely love them. They work hard running their own bakery business to support their family. I am completely in awe.

Whilst 20 children is a bit excessive by anyone's standards it bought it all back to me how much I wanted a big family. To some that is exactly what I've got but to me I feel a bit empty like there is room for more.

Whilst I know my husband sometimes feels the same way I do I also believe it is easier for him to shrug it off. Whereas I find myself ruminating about how I didn't do beautiful pregnancy photos, or the cute baby photoshoots, or cake bashing on their first birthdays, or the framed hand and foot casts.

Then there's the knowing that I won't ever have a Moses basket at the side of my bed again, or skin to skin contact with a newborn during the wee hours of the morning, or will I smell the newborn baby smell again.

It seems to me that us mums spend our time in a catch 22 situation. We forever encourage our babies to develop and grow and succeed but the moment they move onto the next stage we find ourselves longing for our babies back. It seems we have to learn to let go of them much earlier than I anticipated.

It's almost as if it's grief I feel. Like I've lost a part of my life that I will never get back or experience again. Friends and family would joke calling me a baby making machine but I loved that! That was exactly what I was and I completely and utterly enjoyed it. That was all I knew from when I was 19 years old. Now I don't even have babies; they are children that don't even look back when they run through the school gates and my littlun waves happily good bye as I drop her at pre-school.

I blinked and they were grown! My youngest is the last one left in pre-school and I for one am most definitely NOT looking forward to her last day there. When the day does come round I would have been going to that nursery for almost 9 years. 9 years!! That's a huge chunk of your life over. Just like that. Done.

None of these emotions get discussed with you at any of your meetings during and after your pregnancy. No one warns you that you may feel this way.

However, it's no good dwelling on what I don't have. Now don't get me wrong I adore my children more than words can say and I am so incredibly grateful for what I have and I do feel a little selfish and greedy complaining about not having more. So with that in mind I'm going to continue watching with pride as my babies grow more and more independent, while I continue to learn to look at what I do have with gratitude and fully appreciate my children as opposed to being miserable about what I haven't got.

I’m curious to know how other mums feel, is it just me? I appear to be the odd one out amongst my family and friends; they look at me as if I’ve lost my mind when I talk of wanting more children. So if you do get me or if what I have said resonates, or if you would just like to get in touch or share your story, please do 🙂

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Mindset, Mental Health and Wellbeing | Parenting

Lost Learning Time

By on October 19, 2017

The other night, my daughter came to me with four books in her hands and asked if she could read them to me. It was 7:30pm, just before her bed time and she had to get up early for school the next morning; therefore, I had to say no in order for her to get her much needed sleep. I had to say NO to my little girl learning; I had to say NO to the ‘baby’ of the class, the one ‘who won’t catch up’ with some of her peers due to her age; I had to say NO to the young school girl who wants to read, the one who ‘isn’t quite where she needs to be’, so that she could go to bed & get some sleep ready for the next school day...

The next school day where she will be given an allocated reading slot, where her reading will be informally assessed, most likely not with her teacher and at a time when she isn’t focused but instead is still thinking about the math class she just had or wondering what’s for lunch; in an environment where there are constant distractions, not just for the reader but for the listener also; distractions from the daily hustle and bustle of the school; distractions from the few children that don’t want to learn and whom can be destructive; background noise and other teachers politely interrupting to ask the TA that’s with her something that cannot wait 5 minutes...

Don't get me wrong reading is something that happens ALL the time naturally - cereal boxes, road signs, magazines, sub-titles on films and so on, so her skills are always being developed, but this type of reading is a far cry from losing yourself in a book, albeit the riveting tales of Biff & Chip that 6 year olds read!

Was the fact I told my daughter she couldn’t read to me when it was beautifully quiet at home, when she was focused and raring to go, when it was a ‘want’ not a ‘requirement’ and when she was in the right mindset, a learning opportunity missed or was getting her off to bed ready for school the next day the right thing to do?

I LOVE education and love watching children learn and grow but I cannot help but think we are getting it wrong in schools. There are without doubt fantastic schools and even better teachers but I feel the education system has started failing our children. (I say ‘started’ loosely as I feel this is a huge ongoing problem that stems back to my grandparents days as pupils in the mainstream system, when the Butler Act was in play, along with the tripartite system which had an aim to provide parity of esteem (Holborn, 2008) except there’s evidence to suggest the aim wasn’t met, but I digress)!

During my time volunteering in a local school I was given the opportunity to mark the pupil’s spellings. I should point out I was only there 1 day a week and was there the same day each week. However, being given this opportunity was a huge eye opener for me. There were many children who were not getting full marks - 15/15 not even 10/15 so I started to question why…

Each week the pupils, aged 7/8, are given an A4 sheet of paper with 15 spellings down the left and five columns to the right which they are to practise and complete at home. Then there is a spellings test every Thursday. These spellings are marked and the next lot handed out.

It was whilst marking books, I realised that on the day I was volunteering there had been minimal work and focus on spellings during class time, which led me to wonder if the children had the chance to revisit the more difficult words that they got wrong – I was told “no; there is not enough time to keep going back there are too many words they have to learn by the year”. My problem with this is that they are not learning. They were not even being told which words they had got wrong – just that they had got 6/10 for example. Sure there are TA’s who work with those who are ‘behind’ but the focus seemed to be on the statistic not the learning for the child.

See, this for me is not the fault of the teachers’ it’s what is expected of them that is the issue, because of this the children are expected at ages as young as 4 to do homework. Which brings me back to my first point; they are exhausted after school, they just want to relax and why shouldn’t they. Then when they have de-stressed, are in the comfort of their own home, are in peaceful mindset and wanting to learn again, its bedtime…therefore passing up valuable learning time.

What the answer is I am not sure so for now may the cycle continue…

(Holborn, 2008. Sociology Themes & Perspectives - 7th Edition. 7 ed. s.l.:Harper Collins.)

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Mindset, Mental Health and Wellbeing

World Mental Health Day

By on October 10, 2017

So today, 10th October, is World Mental Health Day. Not many people are aware of this day nor are many people very aware about mental health.

I could go on and on about this topic as it’s something close to my heart but I’m going to keep this short and sweet.

Post-natal depression and anxiety is something I have first hand experience in. I suffered with post-natal after my second born and I am an anxiety sufferer - have been seen my teenage years when I used to have panic attacks.

There is such a huge taboo around these subjects when there shouldn’t be.

Not when something as simple as talking can help. Does help. Will help.

And those who haven’t suffered and who don’t really understand just need to be there, need to listen, need to care.

Talking, opening up, admitting you feel a certain way helps. It changed my life.

It can change yours too.

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Mindset, Mental Health and Wellbeing

When life changes to be harder, change yourself to be stronger!

By on September 20, 2017

Things have been harder than usual for me of late due to a change in personal circumstances.

My husband works away a lot now.

Which has inadvertently caused an upset to my usual routine and to the kids' usual routine.

Family dynamics have changed. We were such a tight knit family unit and now I often feel lonely...despite being busy with 4 children. So how do you get by and manage on your own when you're so used to being part of a team?

Well 'when life changes to be harder you change to be stronger'.

I'm not the type to be defeated so I'll find a way but, I kid you not, times are testing right now. But that said I do a bloody good job of it of it on my own.

I doubted myself the first few times the Mr went away. I had created a self-fulfilling prophecy by telling myself I can't do it, then after having had a really tough day I would say 'see, I can't do it'.

Well I recognised this early on so decided something had to give. My husband leaving this job and going back to his old job on less money wasn't an option.

So I adapted. I changed to be stronger. I stopped wallowing in self pity & pining over my husband and instead adopted a positive, can do attitude.

I've learnt that as much as I don't want to I CAN parent on my own when the time calls for it. I'm not prefect by any stretch but I am a great mum. And aside from reflecting on my parenting and observing what needs to change I have also set up my own childminding business. So it's all systems go!

We have found that the time we do get together as a family is of a much better quality and I also discovered that I'm stronger than I initially gave myself credit for! With all that in mind things are working much better.

There are days when we have to rush around after school and I mean rush. My son is a ballet dancer and it is currently the run up to his show so dancing is quite full on with longer sessions and dance routines to master. We have to have dinner at super sonic speed, we can't find dancing uniform or shoes then as we are walking out the door they all decide they need the loo!

Tension heightens and voices start to raise. Sometimes there's tears and my stress levels can go through the roof but we make it on time.

Then there is the task of keeping the others entertained and out of trouble. So I let them sit with their tablets. They sit quietly, they don't wind each other up or start fighting, stress decreases and everyone is happier...

Then I start getting looks across the room from other parents. You know the look, the look of judgement, the 'uh she's just sat her kids in a corner with screens' look!

At times like these I find myself putting my suit of amour on and blocking out the opinions of those who do not matter to me. However I still find those opinions incredibly frustrating.

***

To the person currently sat across the room looking at and judging my children and me as we sit here on our tablets, not talking to each other you have NO IDEA what things are like for me right now...

Running a house, raising four children, getting to school and various other places on time, cooking relatively healthy meals for us and so on ON MY OWN.

So no I haven't really spoke a word since I got here but I am 100% ok with that. And yes my kids have been sat on their screens for the best part of an hour and as this is the first bit of screen time they have had today I am again 100% ok with this.

***

To those struggling...Firstly know you are NOT alone. Secondly stop wallowing (harsh but that's what you're doing) pick yourself up, dust yourself off and change to be stronger. Find YOUR way. Thirdly talk to people and do not be afraid to ask for help or take it from those who offer.

It's not easy. No one said it was. But the reward is huge.

Keep your chin up.

***

To those who judge, my message is simple...

Stop!

You never know what is going on behind closed doors.

***

If ANY of this very raw and honest post resonates with you or has affected you in anyway I would love to hear from you.

Much love.

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Mindset, Mental Health and Wellbeing

GCSE Results Day – Exams Do Not Define You

By on August 24, 2017

This morning I notice my personal Facebook feed is full of well-wishing parents keeping everything crossed for their teenagers exam results today. Many of those teenagers are on edge while they wait, nervous for the outcome and desperate not to disappoint. So I have a message for all parents and teenagers who are anxiously waiting on said exam results.

My Story

I grew up with a vision that I would be a successful career women, I quite fancied the idea of working with children - maybe teaching - I wasn't really fussed if I worked for myself or for a huge corporate company, or as a teacher in a school but I was going to follow in the path of my grandparents. My career choice would earn me a mint, I would work up the ladder putting in all the hours god sent to have a good way of life.

I distinctly remember my dad telling me "I want you to do better than me", not getting to my 30's or 40's wondering where my life had gone and feeling like I've not achieved anything. My mum would tell me if you want to make it in this world, like really make it you need to get good exam results and go to university (although the idea of me leaving to live in halls she just didn't like) and my maternal grandparents would tell me the only way to make any real money is to work for yourself.

Despite my vision I wouldn't work hard at school, I was clever but lazy, and anyway I had a burning desire to meet 'the one', be married, settle down and have a family of my own. To be someone's wife and to be a mum was my only true dream.

So when it came to exam time why was I so pent up on the results?

Playing the cards you've been dealt

Having not put in the work I left school with only one GCSE, my parents were disappointed but loved me nonetheless. I wasn't gobsmacked nor was I jealous of class mates who had better results. I would just go to college to resit - simples!

I didn't let the results define me. It wasn't the end of said career. I played the cards I'd been dealt and found a Plan B.

I worked part time in a shop and went back to college.

At college I achieved the GCSEs I needed. Somehow! I'm not sure how, because once again I didn't work hard. I wasn't entirely interested in it all to be honest but nevertheless I went on to do a Childcare and Education Diploma. I was doing well, it was a subject that I loved but I didn't finish it.

I had met someone and knew he was 'the one'. I was just 17 but I loved him and college was a nightmare. I was having a hard time, socially and emotionally (which is a story for another day) so I left.

I quit.

Much to my families despair I called time.

I started work full-time and settled down with the guy I had met. Our relationship was frowned upon at the start but I knew he was the one so we fought and fought. It was a real struggle, a real test on our strength as individuals and as a couple but eventually we proved everyone wrong. I left home at 18, we started a family when I was 19, we became homeowners and got married when I was 24 and we had our fourth child when I was 25. All the while we were both working full-time, me in between maternity leave, to provide for our growing family.

Now I am a stay-at-home-mum, a housewife, who is financially supported fully by my husband and after 3 ish years of this lifestyle I am waiting for my certificate to arrive that will allow me to practice as a childminder.

My dream of working with children still very much in the pipeline. Only the path I took is just different to the one my parents and society had planned out for me.

My message

Remember at the beginning of this post I said I had a burning desire to be married, settle down and have a family of my own...

Well that's exactly what I achieved!

As well as a career in working with children which I cannot wait to get started on.

Now before parents reading this shoot me down, my point is NOT that you should quit your studies and run off with your teenage crush but instead IS if you truly want something, if you have that burning desire, deep down in the pit of your stomach, whatever it may be, you WILL find a way.

Your exam results DO NOT define you.

Find your Plan B and run with it, just as I have. Play the cards you've been dealt to the best of your ability and all will work out.

Whatever your dream is I wish you the best of luck and remember never give up on what it is YOU want.

Love to all xx

 

 

Feature Image - Source: Google Images.

 

 

 

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Mindset, Mental Health and Wellbeing

You Always Have A Choice – Choose Wisley

By on August 1, 2017

I write this post this morning in a very tired state. I am all out of sorts.

Having recently returned from a fantastic family holiday, i am exhausted! Travel alone is tiring but as some of you will be aware travelling abroad with young children throws other challenges at us as well and the all too real crash back to reality hasn't helped.

The kids are off school for the summer so there is not much r & r time for me.

My husband works away at times making me an #occasionalsinglemum (or so it feels).

I had planned to wake early today and resume back to my routine journal practice, building on my mindset and working on my dreams...

Then I had the worst nights kip ever!

So when my alarm went off I shuddered and hit snooze;
Again and again,
until I eventually arose from my slumber an hour and a half later; with a child in my bed...who is still there now! Cheers 👍🏼

I was cross, my day was already deviating from my plan
AND
I'm more tired than I was when I went to bed!!

SO I started asking myself the following questions, acknowledging I had a CHOICE. Acknowledging I could CHOOSE how the day was going to pan out from here.

  • How do you deal with this?
  • How do you move on?
  • How do you let this shape your day?
  • How do you let this affect your mood?...

There are TWO options

CHOICE 1) You CHOOSE
To kick yourself,
Be miserable,
Be hard on yourself for not sticking to your plan,
Be cross,
Mope around all day feeling annoyed
Feel sorry for yourself...woe betides me!!

OR

CHOICE 2) You CHOOSE
Let yourself accept this happened
Understand why it happened - your knackered!
Allow yourself to accept it's ok to be tired
Allow yourself to be ok with the situation
Pick yourself up
Dust yourself off
And start as mean to go on...

even if it is an hour an half later!

So my message this morning is this...

YOU ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE - CHOOSE WISELY

I choose happy. What about you?

xxx

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Mindset, Mental Health and Wellbeing | Top Tips

I’ve Changed My Morning Rountine and You Can Too!

By on July 13, 2017

Urgh Mornings!

I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON and morning people annoy the hell out of me! My husband is a morning person and I often get the urge to trip him up as he bounces out of bed when the alarm goes off but hey mornings are a thing and we should embrace them.

Now, just to completely contradict myself, I love the mornings, getting up and getting stuff done is great and I hate feeling like I've wasted half the day but this is only once I'm awake and for me waking up is a mission.

Then to top it off I have to get multiple children ready as well as myself. One wants to get his own breakfast, the other is squeezing the toothpaste tube in the bathroom getting toothpaste everywhere, one is getting out a train set and the other demands my FULL attention!

Up until recently this wasn't too much of a hardship because the hubby was often home to help but now he works long hours. Sometimes leaving before the kids are awake. He stays away at times as well now so I have had to up my game and sort this morning malarkey out!

Well you know what?

I've sussed it! And here's how you can too...

Get up earlier

Hear me out!

I now set my alarm 30 minutes earlier than I was before. This gives me time to WAKE UP. I get up, have a brew and get myself sorted before the kids wake up.

Daily Journaling

Recently I embarked on a 30 day journaling course and 6 days in I have really noticed the difference. Journaling first thing in the morning has a better affect on your mindset, so I journal while still in bed...just after I shut my alarm up from making that god awful noise!

I fill it with goals, affirmations and gratitude leaving me feeling positive for the day ahead, ready to take serious action to move forward in the right direction.

Wake the kids gently

Wake the kids up gently. Give cuddles and think about your tone of voice, talk softly to them. No one likes to be startled in the morning so make sure you leave them plenty of time to get ready calmly before school.

Create a morning routine

Your children need routine as much as, if not more than, you do. Create a routine that works best for you and stick to it every single day. This helps massively in your bid to a smooth running morning.

Screen time

LIMIT SCREEN TIME.

No TV until EVERYTHING is ready; until everyone has cleaned their teeth, had their hair done, got everything they need for school etc. Refrain from tablets and phone use - encourage book reading to set them up for the day ahead.

I limit my own screen time in the morning too i.e. checking of social media, emails etc. I do this before they wake up - model your children's routines and behaviours on you.

leave home early

Plan to leave the house a few minutes earlier than you have to. This gives you some leeway if you're running behind on your morning tasks.

Organisation

Now of course this is absolutely KEY to getting any of the above done and done right. You can get packed lunches, school uniforms, book-bags, school letters, your handbag, pushchair, shoes, coats and whatever else you may need in the morning, ready the night before. Trust me, it will make your life in the morning so much easier!

Using the above tips has truly helped me to transform my mornings leaving me feel more organised and less stressed and I'm confident if you follow along you'll have similar results!

Good Luck!

All images except the journaling image are from Google Images.

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Creativity & Crafts | Mindset, Mental Health and Wellbeing

What Does Art and Crafts Look Like to You?

By on July 11, 2017
What does an arts and crafts day at home look like for you?

For me and mine crafts usually all for fun (and learning, but shhh don't tell them). It doesn't matter if a certain craft is considered 'girly ' or 'boyish' I just encourage my munchkins to do what they want to do and leave gender out of it.

For some craft work is therapeutic...

I'd like you to meet Jaycob.

Jaycob making his Dad a cushion for Fathers' Day

Jaycob turns to craft when he is feeling down. He was severely bullied at school which started when he was just 6 years old, making him very depressed to the point he tried to hurt himself. He had a lot of time of school for various reasons but during his time with his mum he learnt to sew amongst other things. Crafts helped him to recover, it gave him something else to focus on and gave him purpose.

Jaycob is now back at school and is a happy young lad again but still likes to get crafty. In the picture above Jaycob is sewing his dad a fathers day cushion which he loved making.

Thank you to Chrissie Lowery for allowing me to share part of your story - it's fantastic to see his energy being channelled into something skillful.

***************

As I mentioned previously I encourage learning when we decide to get crafty (not that the kids realise it) and nine times out of ten it involves getting out paints and brushes, coloured paper, scissors, sticky tape, PVA glue and 'stuff' to stick.

Our craft box often 'stuff' like this...

Normally speaking craft time at our house is adult-initiated but quickly becomes a child-led activity and I love it this way. I try not to influence them in their craft making decisions but offer them a safe and clean environment in which they can let their imaginations run free. Child-led activities help the children to grow and develop by allowing them to choose the resources they use, promoting independence and decision making skills, to name just two ways in which they learn from craft time. So whilst they are having fun they are learning too. Learning through first-hand experiences, not forced information.

Sometimes I like to shake things up for them and show them a new activity. For example we did potato printing a little while back.

For this activity they decided what shapes they wanted and I cut the potatoes. Here is an example...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We left the craft box in the cupboard for this and got out the paints instead! Woooo paints! Who doesn't love paints? *cue rolling of eyes and anxiety attacks about the mess* This is why  I choose to use Crayola as it is washable. I always make sure the children wear aprons but, hey, they are kids and there is usually at least one spillage!

So there has it two very different takes but both with the same outcome - learning and happiness. Whatever your take is HAVE FUN with it!

Here are a few pictures of past arts and crafts activities from us...

Bottle Bottom Turtles

 

Glitter Card Making

 

A Beautiful Accident (we gathered the excess glitter together to pour back into the tub and this happened <3 )

Thank you for reading an thanks for using any of the links above, if you did. If you do we earn a few pennies which all help to keep this blog free at no extra cost to you. The products I have recommended are products I have used myself.

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Mindset, Mental Health and Wellbeing | Parenting | Top Tips

How To Feed Your Kids That Little Bit More Healthy – Change 4Life Top Tips

By on July 6, 2017

As a mum one of our daily struggles is ensuring that our growing munchkins have a healthy, balanced diet. But what with the busy lives we all lead; work commitments, different commutes and various after school activities, as well as the cost of food, it is a struggle that is hard to get on top of.

Today my son came home from school with a booklet from Change 4Life called Top Tips for Top Kids. I really rate Change 4 Life; I've had the the app on my phone for a while now and turn to it when I'm in need of some healthy food inspiration. It has some brilliant ideas as does this booklet.

The booklet has 8 top tips which give you fab ideas that make giving your child the healthy option that little bit easier.

Here I will summarise the tips but I fully recommend you find Change 4Life on the internet for more information.

Change 4Life Top Tips

 

1. Sugar Swaps

  • Swap sugary cereals for plain and serve them with fruit to add the sweetness.
  • Swap sugary drinks for diet options, sugar free, lower fat, or water.
  • And instead of sugary snacks swapto fresh fruit or plain rice cakes.

2. Regular meal times

  • Organise your day around theee regular meals
  • Eat together whenever you can
  • Breakfast is the most important meal of the day - it gives kids the energy the need.

3. Me size meal

  • Give them a child size portion
  • Start with a little and wait for ten to ask for more. Don't pressure them to eat it all up if they are full
  • Watch packaging sizes. A pot of drinks & foods are designed for adult or for sharing.

4. Snack check

  • Keep a count of what snacks and how many ray are having. You may be surprised and might be able to cut down
  • Sometimes it's kinder to say no. Find different ways to reward them - a trip to the park or stickers for example.

5. 5 a day

  • Fresh, frozen, dried, juiced & tinned fruit and veg all count
  • A 150ml glass of fruit juice counts as one - limit to one glass though as more than this can increase the risk of tooth decay

6. Cut back fat

  • Grill or bake instead of frying
  • Cut off any fat you can see on meat before you cook it & skin chicken and turkey first.
  • Drain off fat after cooking
  • Cut back on snack foods - crisps, cakes, buns etc should be treats only.

7. 10 minute bursts of activity

  • Get off the bus & out the car. If it's walkable then walk it.
  • Clock up 60 mins of active play each day - before & after school and weekends.
  • Splash about in the pool - lengths, widths or even just playing in the shallow end.
  • Check out 10 minute shake ups! By searching Change 4Life

8. Get going everyday

  • 2 hours max of screen time throughout the whole day. Including all tv, tablets phones etc. It all adds up.
  • Run around after school
  • Get them up and about after eating. Not sitting down on the sofa 

So here it is, I hope you find these healthy tips as useful as I have.

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