Issue 2 Positive Kids magazine

Page 1


WELCOME Hello I hope 2018 has started well for you. I’m delighted to welcome you to the second edition of Positive Kids magazine. This issue has a special focus on children’s health and nutrition and also takes a look at goal setting and a great school letter writing project. We also have a Young Minds piece, the Celebrating Kids Doing Positive Things feature and this time our Just For You article is by the fabulous Izabella Natrins. Look out for the wonderful offerings from our advertisers too. These include drawing kits, a chance to launch your own children’s well-being business, an online course to help with your own happiness, books, career coaching and aloe vera products. There’s a special discount offer from Forest Holidays on page 5 as well, and why not try Kids Pass for just a £1 Until next time

Susan Brookes-Morris (editor) twitter:PositiveKidsUK


TIME TO SUCCEED shouting, not very organised and a stressful experience. My first suggestion was get up half an hour earlier! Create a peaceful and calm atmosphere for the children to wake up to, if they wake before you, do it with them, put soothing music on (preferably no tv!) depending on the age of the children no phones on for at least that half hour. Light scented candles or have a diffuser using essential oils, lavender, geranium, uplifting wild orange, or any you like. We want as calm, peaceful and love filled atmosphere as possible. Your children sense your mood, they pick up on the energy (the electromagnetic field) you are emitting. So what you are thinking and feeling will affect them, just as we can sense an ‘atmosphere’ in a room or the great ‘vibes’ in a place, so can our children, they are very sensitive to it. I often hear parents who are having a difficult time in their relationship, not really happy with each other, tell me that the children don’t know … just because you haven’t told them, doesn’t mean they don’t know!

By Karen Shaw of Parenting Magic Let’s make 2018 a great year. The one where we achieve all we want on our parenting journey, to have the happy family, to really connect and communicate with our kids in a positive and effective way and to feel confident in what we’re doing, knowing we are getting it right and always doing our best We often start a new year with good intentions, of doing things differently and ‘better’ we often know what to do, e.g. eat better, drink more water, less alcohol Maybe? Get more sleep do more exercise, etc. I’d like you to think of how you start each new day. The way we start the day sets us up for what is to come. A lovely family I worked with recently found that after making some changes to their morning routine, they saw the a difference in their children and the family’s relationship improved . It was especially helpful for their son who is on the Autistic Spectrum.

Be organised. Prepare the night before, enlist your children’s help, encourage them to take responsibility. Check what’s needed for the morning, lunch boxes done, P.E kits ready, school books packed, forms from school signed if needed. I do remember chaos in our house, when my three boys were at home. I didn’t practice what I’m sharing here, we’d have shouting and yelling and ‘where’s my rugby socks, who’s moved my school bag, where’s the form I have to take back today ,’ all avoidable. You may have heard it before … failing to plan is planning to fail, it really is worth the time to plan, get organised, it saves time and stress.

Like a lot of families their morning was a bit hectic, rushed, a bit of yelling,



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GOALS Nykera 11 I think it’s good to have a positive mindset when you are young as you can use your imagination to make anything possible. I always remember that dreams only remain dreams until you make them true. At the age of 11 I have already come up with a business idea. I hope that one day my business will get sold online or even in shops. When I am old enough I would like to start a YouTube channel and really get my business out there. One of my goals is for people to see what I can do and also see others make their dreams come true at an early age too. One day it would be a pleasure if I could be in that room where Lord Sugar chooses his business partner to make a successful brand. I think it would be amazing if we had ‘Kids Apprentice’ so that children can be recognised in their own way. As a part time job I would like to work for Walt Disney, Pixar or DreamWorks and be a voiceover. I think it’s a fascinating job to do, playing different characters. My other special dream is to open my own cafe and make cakes for it. I have so many brilliant ideas for my future. I would love to accomplish them all. The thing that I might do when I’m off

work is travel the world and see different countries and go to somewhere sunny where I could have a holiday home to visit on my breaks. I would really like to get the best out of my life because we all only have one chance to make it the best it could possibly be, so I think that we should all be thankful that we are safely tucked up in our beds at night and look on the bright side and look at the things we can do not the things we can’t. My resolution for 2018 is to start my business making celebration cards, It’s called Nyk’s cards- a gift on paper. I got all this inspiration from my mother, her brand is Cherish Me which helps young girls love themselves. I am willing to do my best to follow in her footsteps in my own way


GOALS - YOUNG MINDS I am hoping for the best in my life and hope that I succeed and fight through all the tricky obstacles on my voyage. I believe I have big and unexpected dreams for my future but I’m going to make sure that by the end of this process I am proud of what I have accomplished. As long as I have tried my best, I am happy with what I have attempted to do.

My ideas are unstoppable, but my mother always says the bigger the better.


"I want to go to Paris."

we collected our papers together and combined the two of them to create a really special mind map for our Summer holidays. We stuck it on the wall, and as we went through the Summer, we added more detail, and ticked off the things we'd written down one by one.

Those were the 6 words my 9 year old shared when I asked him what he wanted this year. I had no idea he wanted to go to Paris - and I loved how certain he was. Kids are good like that – they know what they want, and it's something we could really learn from them.

And yes, he did have some crazy stuff on there, and what I loved most was the number of simple pleasures he'd included – like building a den in the woods, going to the beach, playing cards, having a sleepover.

At the beginning of the Summer holidays last year, we sat together and I asked him, "what do you want to do this summer?" At first the answer I got was, "I don't know", so we got a big piece of paper and lots of pens and I asked him to empty out all his thoughts - all of his wants and dreams for that summer. I did it too, and then

It's is a great way to spend some time together and it's brilliant to see what comes back. When kids feel they are able to express themselves freely, without


PERSONAL STORY - MIND MAPPING judgement, you get to hear what's really important to them. We created the roadmap for our summer and it meant that whenever we were lost for inspiration, we were able to check in to our map and remember something new to do. So we did the same thing at the beginning of the year – and this time I asked my now 10 year old "What do you want from this year?" "What to do you want to do, to create, to have, to learn?" "Where do you want to go?" "Who do you want to spend time with?" He's currently creating his mind map for 2018 - each question has it's own position on the page, and he's adding in the detail every day. I can't wait to see it when it's finished. Giving our kids tools to explore what they want, express themselves fully, and let them know it's okay to want something is really powerful. It's also a great way to

introduce mind mapping in its simplest form – a tool that can greatly aid learning by helping kids to organise their thoughts in a creative way. By Michelle Graham, Director of Damsels In Success, Cardiff

Daily affirmations can help teenagers cope with the stresses in their lives, achieve more and enjoy greater self confidence. Start each day by reading the affirmation and repeat several times throughout the day. Stronger faith in what you are saying and more desire and feelings, brings faster results.



National Citizen Service (NCS) is a oncein-a-lifetime opportunity for 15-17 year olds across England and Northern Ireland taking place during spring, summer and autumn school holidays. The programme tackles three key social issues; social cohesion, social engagement and social mobility. So far almost 400,000 young people have benefited from taking part. NCS is a two or four week programme focused on fun and discovery including 30 hours committed to a community project that benefits both young people and society.

Prerna first heard about NCS when they visited her school, in Sutton Coldfield but it was her friend who encouraged her to sign up to the programme after completing it herself. The 17-year-old joined the summer 2016 programme which took her to Newcastleton, a historic village in the Scottish borders where she not only faced her fears during the adventure phase but also confirmed her passion to build a career in the sporting industry when delivering her social action project. Activities During her first week on the programme, Prerna undertook a zip wire challenge, rock climbing and mountain biking. Prerna has a fear of heights and explained that while she enjoyed the various challenges, it was the zip wire activity that really helped her to build her confidence, describing it as one of the best experiences she’s ever had. In the second part of the programme, Prerna and her team lived in student accommodation in Aston to experience independent living. The team pulled together ideas for how they would deliver their social action project and raised money to help deliver their plan.

This government backed programme, is delivered by more than 200 local charities and community groups. Participants build skills for work and life, while taking on new challenges and adventures, making new friends, and contributing to their community. The whole experience including travel, food and accommodation, costs just ÂŁ50 and bursaries are available on a case by case basis. Support is also provided for young people with additional needs.

Prerna and her teammates worked with personal trainers for people in care homes. They organised a sports day for local care homes at a community centre and Prerna took on the role of project leader. They carried out a series of exercises with residents from across 10 different care homes.

Prerna Acharya, 17, from Birmingham, took part in NCS over Summer 2016

After completing the programme, Prerna joined the NCS Leaders Programme and




Prerna’s dad, Amit Acharya, added: “It is great to see how NCS has enabled Prerna to develop her confidence and great skills for her future. She has achieved so much by taking on new challenges and meeting new people. The programme proves how you can break boundaries, build confidence and benefit not only those who take part but also the wider community.”

attended the Annual Conference where she addressed the audience about her NCS experience.

Prerna said: “I really enjoyed taking part in NCS. Some of my highlights include facing up to the challenges of the first week where I travelled to a location I didn’t know, being with people I had never met before and taking on activities that I didn’t think I could do. This really helped me to build confidence and opened me up to new experiences. The social action project that we delivered was also great. I really want to get into the sporting world and coaching. I am especially passionate about making sports more inclusive and delivering such a great project for the community has helped me take my first step towards a career I have always dreamed of.”

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An innovative new project where primary school pupils send and receive letters with those at a nearby residential home has great benefits for all. Katie Sinclair, Creative Curriculum Leader at Franche Primary in Kidderminster tells us more. ‘’The children aged 8 and 9 became penpals with the elderly residents following a suggestion from the care home’s Activity Coordinator Michael Butler. Initially it was just going to be a short link up project but I could see wider opportunities and turned it into a whole curriculum topic. The children did some work on the topic of Cautionary Tales and looked at the poetry of Hilaire Belloc who inspired Roald Dahl. Then, in their first letters to their penpals, the children introduced themselves, sent pieces of identity art and asked the recipients if they had done anything naughty at school. Stereotypes I wanted a big part of the project to be about breaking down stereotypes: both those that the children might have of older people and the way that the elderly might think about children. I hoped that the children would begin to see the elderly as real people who had lived whole lives. I knew it would also be helpful for the residents to reminisce and recount their life experiences.

longer close to elderly relatives. What might previously have been shared as stories around the fire seems to be lost. The odd text or short telephone call does not have such richness. In many places we are not living as close communities and many are more isolated. The residents wrote back to the pupils with some great stories of naughtiness and the children turned these into cautionary tales. It was fabulous seeing how excited the pupils were when they got their personalised letters. It had such a huge impact on them having someone show such an interest. It really motivated them to continue. The next time,the children wrote about a farm trip they’d been on. The outing was to help them understand where food comes from in the countryside. It was something they had never done before and they were keen to tell their penpals. Writing Standards

In our digital age, many families are no

We’ve got writing standards to hit as well


LETTERS BUILD EMPATHY but we try to guide them in a really purposeful way, so we are not just writing in an English exercise book that never gets read. All of our writing at school,is for a purpose, some is stories to entertain parents or younger children, or if they are writing something about saving water, because we have asked Severn Trent Water to visit to ask them for their help, they make a leaflet and every piece of writing always has a definite outcome. It’s not just writing for writing’s sake just to perfect your grammar. We chose this age group because they are competent writers. With the letter writing we tried to build in all those elements of grammar, to make sure they were selecting quality vocabulary and sentence structure. We are able to teach that but it’s more authentic if it’s got a real audience and they know someone will read it. Instant Connection They’ve become more and more

motivated as the project has gone on. We’ve also asked the residents about their interests as well. One lady called Olive wrote back in one of her letters saying that it was so lovely that our pupil Nancy enjoyed singing because that was something she loved too. This instantly breaks down that isolation and increases the feeling of connection between them. Before, the children were seeing old age as something that would never really happen to them, because they don’t live in a close community, so it’s given them a better awareness of their life. That is something which is tricky to get children to appreciate, and get exposure to within the confines of school. They don’t get to meet many people who effectively would be old enough to be their great grandparents. Families don’t anymore. It’s giving them the opportunity to look forward in their own lives to what they will become, not only in their own adult lives but in late adulthood.


The idea that, ‘This will happen to me one day.’ One of the residents shared a story how she’d met the Beatles on the beach in Weston Super Mare. That’s a story that might never have left the home. This was as part of sharing details of their favourite places with the children. We then looked at maps and atlases to find the locations. So it’s not only been useful for English, but Geography and History too. The children have become more positive with each other too. Most importantly though I think it has given them empathy with the elderly and a real sense of life before the digital age. They are now looking more broadly at the world.


Michael says the residents have really enjoyed it and benefited too. It’s had a positive impact and well-being effects on both sides. ‘’


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By Debbie Cooper One of the hardest things to deal with as a parent is coping with an ill child. These can range from the occasional cold through the various childhood illnesses, injuries due to accident, then there are the chronic life changing conditions which can and do impact on a whole family. I wanted to focus this piece on the emotional impact of such an event. My own children have lived pretty health lives up into the teen years. It was a shock when my son suddenly developed severe stomach pains which led to urgent hospitalisation and a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease. Unexpected This news seemed to come from nowhere but some how I found the strength to support Josh and not get overwhelmed. I held things together for him and had a little cry in the parents room of the hospital. I guess it was natural to have a grief reaction to such news. It came in waves sick, sad and angry maybe numb at times,wanting to take the pain and disease away. For Josh I think he was in too much pain and unwell to think about it so I had to help him make sense of it all and support him to be involved in his treatment. His doctors and other health care workers were wonderful at focusing in on ensuring they explained things in a way that respected his age and level of understanding. The treatment plan was tailored to his needs and what he could tolerate. My job was to help Josh make wise decisions; as an almost 15 year old he needed me to consent to his

treatment but it was important to allow his voice to be heard and respected. In doing so I hope it stands him in good stead to engage with health care in the future. Ski Trip Various medical treatments got us through a term of school and a much anticipated school ski trip. Within days of return from the trip however all the pains returned and we found ourselves back in hospital with the news that a fairly major operation was needed. This time round I think we were able to process things a little more easily and once the decision was made it was a case of just letting it happen. I have to say the care and skill shown by all the staff at Bristol Royal Hospital was phenomenal. The adolescent ward where Josh made his recovery was a wonderfully safe place equipped well for the needs of sick young people and also provided facilities for to parents to stay with their child. Home A week after surgery Josh was allowed home and that is where he mostly stayed for a good 4 months of recovery. It might sound a long time but this was a huge operation to recover from and I believe it was important to Josh to take control over his recovery process in setting his own deadline for being ready for school. He had some wonderful hospital education to help catch up. We focused on doing some fun things in the Summer holidays that helped us all see he was fully recovered.


PERSONAL STORY- HOSPITAL STAY Whole Family I have to have gratitude that the rest of my family coped with all this as well. My husband taking on my home responsibilities as well as his busy full time job. The whole episode really was a huge stress on the whole family for a while and took its toll in different ways. It has made me more mindful of how other families have to deal with these issues sometimes for the lifetime of a child especially if a child or children have more complex needs.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease and the family and friends who supported us at a difficult time.

Find Out More

None of us know what life has in store for us. For me this is why we must place greater value on roles at all grades and we must ensure our NHS, non profit organizations and charities that support families in a multitude of ways have the resources necessary to do their jobs well. As many as 4,000 children and young people are diagnosed every year with crohn’s or colitis. Symptoms include: constant abdominal pain, loss of blood, vomiting, fever, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, constipation, weight loss and severe lethargy.

Crohn’s Josh is back at school full time and enjoying life to the full again but we live the knowledge he is in remission through medication not cured.

Severity of illness varies with some patients suffering constantly and others experiencing long periods of remission.

Crohn’s is a life long condition and could come back at anytime but we cannot live worrying about it. It was a traumatic time for all of us but somehow the experience has brought us together as a family and so this is a story of recovery and resilience.

Treatments vary but can include liquid feed, steroids and surgery. Currently there is no known cause or cure.

I have to have gratitude to all the wonderful NHS staff who came to our aid at a difficult time, Crohn’s and Colitis UK and CICRA who are fantastic organisations, supporting research into

Source: circa: children with crohn’s and colitis.


PERSONAL STORY- HOSPITAL STAY number of crosses each week. ‘I thought we ate quite well,’ says Kerry. ‘So it was quite an eye opener when I started to analyse the diary. I realised the portion sizes I gave Harrison were often excessive and I also saw that some days Harrison was eating high carbohydrate meals and quite a few snacks. I found inspiration for new meal choices by looking online Joe Wickes and The Food Grinder are some who we’ve learned lots from. It is a bit of a struggle to find helpful information and I think the government should make it easier, after all the levels of childhood obesity are growing?

When Harrison was 10, his mum Kerry noticed that he was putting on weight quickly and it was in all the wrong places. She decided they needed to take action. Kerry also received what she calls the ‘fat letter’ from school which is issued after routine nurse checks at school as part of the National Child Measurement Programme. She knows that some Parents choose to ignore these letters but she didn’t!

I chose to take a nutrition course myself to help us. It can be difficult at first to go back to basics and prepare food from scratch, as we all have such busy lives. Preparation is key to this :- stir fry quick and easy, currys and casseroles are real easy wins and can be made in advance and frozen. Cooking this way can also be kind to the purse strings as you don’t have so much waste. And aren’t popping out to the shops everyday.

I’ve discovered food flasks which mean Harrison can take hot food to school which is amazing.

Like many young boys, Harrison enjoyed playing on his x-box, watching tv and eating both good and bad stuff. Kerry decided to sit down and discuss the situation with Harrison and focused on the health risks of putting on weight. They agreed to make changes.

Harrison’s exercise routines were devised by his local gym Evofit where Kerry was already a member. Harrison has one to one sessions and joins in bootcamp. Gym

Food Diary Harrison started to keep a food diary with ticks for good food and crosses for not so good food and he had to reduce the


I was rather surprised that a child of 10 was allowed to work out in a gym, Owner Chris explains: ‘Most gyms are scared of having children on site and I certainly

HARRISON’S JOURNEY - PERSONAL STORY wouldn’t recommend gyms that have hardly any staff present. Many gyms are realising that the nature of the client is changing; initially most of those who went to gyms were interested in pumping iron and body building, then it became about aerobic activity and more lately the body conscious.

your family - who can you make time for?

We’ve seen an emphasis on health linked to social media and supermarkets encouraging healthier choices – although sometimes these so called healthier choices often contain a lot of additives to make them taste nice and they aren’t good for you.

I think what Kerry is doing is amazing, she’s a wonderful mum. Many just chose to ignore challenges like this. They don’t like to admit there’s a problem or that they might be doing something wrong but it’s cruel to let your child continue to live an unhealthy lifestyle. But with any big change like this to lifestyle, there will be ups and downs along the way.

Make Time Many parents take their kids to activities such as trampolining or swimming but then give them junk food afterwards. It’s not healthy, many adults want to give kids food on the go and then get them to bed. Sitting down together at the table and enjoying a home prepared meal is a better choice. If you can’t make time for

There are now many boutique family friendly gyms such as ours who have adequate staffing and care; they are not faceless, budget gyms. We welcome kids and offer a place where the whole family can do things together and have fun.

Exercise We have experienced this with Harrison and will continue to. NHS guidelines say that to stay healthy or improve their health, young people need to do three types of physical activity per week: aerobic activity, exercises to strengthen bones and activity to strengthen muscles. Recommendations for a basic level of health for children between 5 and 18 :60 minutes of physical activity every day - ranging from moderate (Cycling and Playground activities) to Vigorous activity which could be running, tennis, football and gymnastics. On 3 days per week these activities should involve exercises for strong muscles such as push ups - body weight exercises and exercises such as jumping and running for strong bone development. At Primary school Harrison began to


enjoy play times much more, he took part in more physical games with his friends and signed up for a local football team. Outside school Harrison admits that sometimes it’s hard to get motivated to exercise even though he understood the reasons why. One thing that has helped is wearing a Myzone heart ratetracking belt. This links up to an app which will show Harrison how well he’s doing, he can also compete with others from his gym or around the world as he wins MEPs ( Myzone Effort Points). The harder he works the more points he will win. Its also a great measure of his fitness levels. Too Harsh? Kerry finds it difficult at times, she explained: ‘Sometimes I wonder if I am being cruel or too harsh putting Harrison through this, I sometimes feel guilty, and worry what other parents think? Then I realise,NO i’m not , I’m doing the caring thing by helping and educating my child to eat well, exercise and look after his health. Allowing him to eat poorly and sit in front of the TV or play on his X Box too much would actually be harming him. I feel good about saying lets’ go and work out together knowing that I am helping him and us all to be healthier.’

Kerry and Harrison have also been contacted by many children and their families who also want to take action to become healthier. When asked about how much weight he’s lost Harrison wisely says: ‘It’s not about the weight, as much as my body fat percentage. I am still growing so I know my weight will increase as I grow, so as long as my body fat percentage is coming down, I’m happy.’

You can find out lots more about Harrison’s story at https://www.harrisonsweightlossj Twitter : @harrisonsjourne Instagram: Harrisonsweightlossjourney YouTube: l/Harrisonsweightlossjourney

Harrison has received lots of recognition for his achievements including recently a BBC Radio One Teen Hero Award which lead to meeting Prince William and Harry, wrestler Randy Orton and TOWIE start James Argent. He has also spoken about his journey at a PHE conference on childhood obesity, appeared on National and Local TV and Radio and worked out with Joe Wikes “the body coach”. .



FITNESS EXERCISE IN SCHOOLS with selected play leaders to help inspire all children to participate in active play at

break times. Inclusive Lunch time games need to allow children to 'come and go' and incorporate rules which are inclusive so that all children are involved. By Michael Brennan of Fit4Schools The Chief Medical Officer guidelines recommend all children and young adults 5-18 should participate in 60 minutes of physical activity per day (30 minutes of this must be in school). Most children quite often get this through active play at lunch times and more commonly teacher led sessions such as the daily mile which I know many schools participate in. I say that most children receive at least the 30 minutes active play per day, however, having witnessed this myself as a class teacher - not all children wish to take part in exercise at break time and some actually do not enjoy being active. Therefore, schools have a responsibility to utilise the sport premium funding to allocate training for lunch time supervisors or having children trained as play leaders. Along with this, equipment and space is a major factor and so timetables should be put in place and separate equipment bought specifically for lunch times. My team at fitschools have led CPD sessions for lunch time staff or worked

By adapting simple invasion games such as End Ball, we look to set challenges e.g all team members must be passed the ball before you can score. You can also include different ways to score with the obvious being getting the ball to the attacker or end zone but also creating new scoring zones around the playground and also points earned for team play etc All these concepts allow all children to feel part of the team and valued. The benefits of active play are so important and link in with current school practices such as British Values. By learning about respect for one another and acceptance (this isn't just defined by skin colour and religion but also ability levels which are apparent in sports). Good For The Mind Too Mentally, stimulated bodies generate Adrenalin and enhance levels of concentration which can be brought into the classroom. Even as an adult, I myself have lacked energy after a busy day of work yet after participating in exercise feel reinvigorated afterwards. Physically, the body develops and improves many elements of fundamental movements linked in with physical literacy.



Girls 10-16 from Cardiff’s Go Girl Academy created a calendar to raise funds for Velindre Cancer Centre .

This is Vanessa aged 11, from London, also known as ‘Inspiring Vanessa.’ Vanessa has her own YouTube channel where she shares travel vlogs and her speeches. She also has two books.

Don’t forget to send in photos and details of Kids Doing Positive Things, for the next edition. Email:

She has spoken all over the world and won many awards including Volunteer of the Year from H Giving charity.


I am a great advocate that everyone should eat the same meal as I grew up in a house that had different preferences and food intolerance's and my brother was gluten intolerant. My mum always catered for him in the meal which taught me to be inclusive and mindful of every one’s food tolerances. This is a really great way of offering food and I have taught my children that there is something on the plate for everyone and we should all try to be sensitive to each other’s likes and dislikes. This helps build mutual respect, regardless of different children’s taste buds as they develop as they grow as a key stage of their child development

Randhiraj Bilan DipNN, DipSW, DMS, DipHE, ACSFT. Natural Nutritionist , Social Worker & Complementary Therapist

Different Foods I am really passionate about helping everyday families think about the many ways they can grow happy healthy kids which is why my strap line on my nutrition and wellbeing business is ‘nourishing families sustains wellbeing’. I have also been in Social work for 32 years and worked hard to support troubled children and families who have unfortunately neglected themselves due to poor parenting. I see the difference intervention makes to these families and have many success stories that keep me motivated to stay involved. As I am a mother of 3 children 2 teenagers (a daughter 17 and son 15) and a daughter who is 10 years, just like other parents I too face the challenges of providing good nutritious and satisfying meals that can be enjoyed by everyone. I trained as a Nutritionist when my children were 4 and 6 to be better informed on the essentials of good nutrition.


Try introducing different foods as this increases their experience of the world and what is available and so as their bodies develop, so do their taste buds. Providing children with nutritious food can be easier than many people think and educating children to understand how to make healthy food choices is essential. Children need more Carbohydrates, protein and fats in their diets and children’s nutritional needs are different form adults,who in contrast do not need fat unless highly active. Children should be active and need protein as this is a building blocks of life and cell regeneration. Eating Healthily Eating healthy does not need to be unattractive. Replacing shop bought cakes or biscuits with home cooked ones using healthy whole grain flour or organic protein flour such as buckwheat or pea rather than white bleached flour which

CHILDREN’S NUTRITION contains empty calories, is a good way of raising happy, healthy children. Baking at home can be a great bonding time for children and an ideal choice if budgets are tight. Replace cane or refined sugars with natural sugar such a maple, raw honey and sugar cane or stevia to sweeten. Or try adding natural fruit, as these are all healthier alternatives. Other Carbohydrate-rich foods such as whole grains, fruit, nuts, lentils, seeds, eggs or milk are key sources of these nutrients and provide suitable protein sources that could be made available to hungry children who will benefit from these in the long run.

Parents Children need clear and consistent parenting and to be helped to understand how to make good food choices. Parents can be good role models by helping their children understand how to eat well . It is important that children are given what they need rather than what they want to reduce their risks to obesity and other later life health issues. Reducing portion sizes can be instrumental for children who are overweight or overeat.

Try arranging a finger salad or vegetables that can be eaten raw on a large plate. Fruit is rich in fibre, calcium and vitamin D which are three important nutrients many children often lack. Cut them up large or small or in imaginative ways using cutters to make them look more interesting.

Find a quiet time to talk through any potential anxiety that may be causing this behaviour. Providing them with regular exercise or play opportunities to burn off calories is also vital to their well-being.

Providing alternative protein sources like these will help build children’s confidence with food and increase their desire to eat new foods that are offered. Serve Themselves Children in my experience enjoy serving themselves and this helps all ages build their confidence and self-esteem. Add different soft or hard cheeses to the salad for your child to try with the meal or add other protein sources if you’re worried about them eating enough. There are many challenges facing Families wanting to provide a balanced

diet that offers things children like to eat, rather than what they want to eat. Fussy kids may play with food, so indulge their curiosity and cultivate their interest.

The World Health Organisation states sugar should make up no more than 5% of our daily diet. In the UK, that figure is 11.6% for adults and 15.2% for children. All food has natural sugar and salt and using less is best or none at all. Surprisingly our pallets get used to this. Give it a try and see for yourself. Otherwise replace with a natural mineralised salt such as Celtic or Himalayan salt. Having clear boundaries in place is important to support emotional resilience and well-being and should include monitoring oral hygiene to prevent oral decay. Children need guidance to brush properly and understand that sweets and


and fruit juice cause tooth decay and that therefore replacing juice with water is a safe alternative. Juicing at home is better than shop bought juices but still requires monitoring. Having these with meals is much better, and research has reinforced this through clinical trials. Role Models The adults in children’s lives are instrumental in being positive role models for their children and putting this into practice by showing their children they make sensible choices and eat a balanced diet is essential to the family’s norms. Visual impact will be seen clearly by the children and reinforces the consistent message that health is important. Adults taking exercise is also a great message for children and experimenting with different forms of exercise, so children see adults can be active. Consulting a Qualified Nutritionist is a great way of learning about the food that is right for you and loved ones and having a bespoke programme that you can follow is highly supportive as this helps families make sustainable changes for long term benefits and is money well spent.

IDEAS FROM NIPPERS NUTRITION Fast fussy eating facts It’s not uncommon for children to refuse (or be reluctant to try) an unfamiliar food simply because it’s touching, or served on the same plate as, their favoured and accepted food/s - this is often perceived as a form of ‘contamination’ i.e. their desired food/s is deemed inedible due to touching a strange source of nutrition, and can be prevented by serving the new food on a separate plate.

The texture of a new (or familiar!) food can be equally as tough to adjust to as the taste. This can stem from factors such as sensory over sensitivity (a problem that’s particularly prevalent in autistic children), a lack of chewing skills and/or caution . Introduce troublesome textures in small stages - think puréeing problematic foods prior to progressing to their original texture and/or encourage them to touch and play with the food at their own pace.


Although it may be tempting to try and fool fussy eaters by disguising their disliked tastes in accepted dishes this inappropriate action not only implies that their ‘feared’ food is ‘horrible’ enough to be hidden, but it also leaves them less likely to develop a genuine liking for their unfavoured food/s as a result of its original taste and texture being masked by the main components of the meal that it’s been mixed with a reason why we should focus on frequently exposing fussy eaters to their edible enemies (in a positive, non-pressurised eating environment!), as opposed to trying to fool them into tucking into troublesome tastes.

Create your own healthy Henry hedgehog with: a pear,grapes. cocktail sticks, a cherry and a cut up raisin for the eyes.


Strengthen your ‘FEMERGY’ to enjoy a healthy body and a healthy mind! Izabella Natrins, BSc CGP is a Nutrition & Lifestyle Health Coach, a certified GAPS (Digestive Health) Practitioner and a Nutritional Chef Practitioner. She is also an author, speaker and an Ambassador for the Public Health Collaboration & Breast Cancer UK. As women, our FEMERGY is our metabolism – it’s the result of all the processes in our body working together to create the energy that keeps us alive, kicking and ticking!

medicine,but it’s not our only medicine! Perfect-for-you, nutritious healing foods will not mend a broken lifestyle and the impact of a toxic environment.

Every single one of our cells produces energy (femergy) – not only to fuel itself, but to fuel the organ it belongs to and ALL our bodily processes downstream. And that includes our mind.The strength of our metabolism dictates our levels of femergy, determining our vitality, health and even how quickly we age. It’s a complex plot, but every play has its heroes and this play has several!In this story, building a strong metabolism is the key to a healthy mind and body.

Food-and-lifestyle-as-medicine A ‘food-and-lifestyle-as-medicine’ approach(think TV’s Dr. Ragan Chattergee – Doctor in the House?) starts by putting a whole you at the centre of the interconnected web that is your whole life.

Creating a truly ‘whole’ and healthy you for optimum energy, vitality, health and happiness isn't a destination – it’s a 24/7 journey, for life.

Our food is our first and our best

It means:


JUST FOR YOU - FEMERGY ● eating a pro-thyroid and metabolically supportive diet ● restoring restful sleep ● moving your body in nature ● reducing stress and creating a supportive physical environment

the palm of our hand and it’s a very heavy responsibility. We’re all things to all people and in a very different family role to that of men. Our complex roles of Queen, Mother, Wise Woman, Lover call on us to be deeply intuitive and intensely concerned with our young, our mate and our ‘pack’. And it’s a heavy responsibility.

● fostering inner and outer connectedness As a Nutrition and Lifestyle Health Coach, a Digestive Health Practitioner and a Nutritional Chef (and a Partner, Mum and Grand-Mum!) I know what it’s like to be a parent holding both ends against the middle, tired of being tired, over-whelm and fatigue. And I know what it’s like to witness my health go down the drain at the hands of an auto immune disorder. Every day I work with women (and men) with similar health issues, struggling on and on and on…. But, with research, education and a commitment to making food and lifestyle changes, I reclaimed my health from all of the above. And as I regained my energy, vitality and health, I got my life and my spirit back. I vowed to make the rest of my life the best of my life and wanted to help other women do the same.

Why women matter… “Women hold the world in the palm of our hand” When it comes right down to it, we women hold the family and the world in

At the Vancouver Peace summit in 2009, the Dalai Lama said something that rocked the globe when he said:

“The world will be saved by the Western woman.” Elsewhere, BRAC (a development organisation dedicated to delivering education, health care and microfinance to millions of people in Asia and Africa) has an annual budget in excess of $1 billion. It has given $6 billion in small loans to women; founder of BRAC, Fazle Hasan Abed, believes that women are the key to solving some of its most pressing challenges.

“Girls and women represent the greatest untapped resources of the developing world.”


That’s quite some plate to step up to! But fatigue and the feeling we need to do more, be more and do more, be more and care more often overwhelms us and if we haven’t made room to hold ourselves in the palm of that hand, our ability to hold everything else together suffers. And so does our health and our happiness. Does this make sense?

Yes, women matter. And it goes without saying that for single parents – and indeed for single dad’s too - practicing self-care to build femergy (or indeed manergy!) is even more important. Because if not us, then who? Each one of us is responsible for our health and happiness. Education and self-knowledge opens the door to better choices, better decisions and a better life – for ourselves and for our children. So with all that in mind, in future issues we’ll be looking at ways that YOU can build on each dimension of femergy on the journey to make the rest of your life, the BEST of your life! With love, Izabella Contact me for a free 20 minute consultation


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