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Building a happier, healthier family lifestyle

Ready to serve TENNIS 101


Wildlife diary and insect hotel Help teens manage anxiety Anna Williamson’s new book

What do your food choices say about you? From truffles to strawberry cheesecake…


Get into Nature


Eat Better This Summer with...


Get the kids outside this Summer!

Mud Castles Everyone loves a sandcastle, but what if you can’t get to the beach? Then become king or queen of the mud castle instead! Find an empty bed of dirt and something to dig with, then begin making your superstructure. Spoons, yoghurt pots and old plastic containers are perfect for this. Dig a moat, build a wall, shape a mountain or anything else that will bring your castle to life. Who will you let enter your castle?

Build a Fairy House Imagination can take you anywhere, like at the bottom of gardens where fairies love living. So, find a place in yours to build a fairy house. Somewhere it won’t be disturbed. Sticks can become fairy brooms, flowers make perfect hats, and feathers can be fans - use your imagination. What is your fairy’s name?

Nature Alphabet

What can you find in the great outdoors to make letters with? Sticks, leaves, long grass and even feathers are all great. Can you spell out the alphabet? Maybe you can create a word or your name for someone to find! Use different colours to really make it stand out.

Tree Faces What if trees had faces, how would they look? Get some mud (dirt mixed with water is perfect), leaves and grass and find out. Find a tree trunk and dab on some mud to create the face. Use leaves and grass to represent different types of hair. Twigs and flowers also make for great jewellery! Repeat to create a family. Can you make your own family?

Stuck for ideas of what to do with the kids this Summer? Why not get outside?! Persil is committed to getting the nation outside, embracing dirt together. We’re enabling 4 million opportunities to get outside during 2019. To see more ideas visit or scan the QR code with your phone, and share your adventures with #DirtisGood.

1. Open the camera app on your phone. 2. Align the camera with the QR code.

Start a Wild Journal Keeping a Wild Journal is a great way to capture what happened during your wild outdoor adventures. Did you know that many of the great plant and animal experts started by keeping journals? You can use it to describe what you see, smell, hear and feel around you. Draw pictures of plants and animals you find, note how nature and the weather change during the different seasons, or just keep a diary of all your outdoor activities. Then you can look back and remember all the great adventures you’ve had!

Look Under a Rock

Head out to nature and find a rock to look underneath. Turn it over, being careful not to harm the things that live under it. What can you see? Worms? A slug? Are there mini-beasts living there? Look closely at the patterns you will find in the dirt. Are there slippery slug trails or worm holes? Take photos with your phone or try to draw what you see. Don’t forget to carefully replace the rock when you are done. Try different types of rocks in different places and at different times of day. You’d be amazed at the difference it can make to the under-rock world!

Plant Artwork

Nature is full of interesting, beautiful and easy things you can draw, so now’s the time to bring out the artist in you! Go into your garden or local park and keep your eyes peeled for an attractive plant or flower. When you find your plant or flower, don’t draw it straight away, sit down and look at it closely. Where is it growing? Is it in a sunny spot or in the shade? Is it alone or with other plants? Is it tall or short? Now it’s time to start drawing. Look at the leaves. What shape are they? What colour are they? Are the edges smooth or rough? How about the stem? Is it thick or thin? Hairy or smooth? Don’t forget any flowers it has. How many petals do they have? What colour are they? What shape are they? Share your pictures with your friends or draw more plants and flowers and make your own outdoor art gallery!


I S S U E 0 4 - C o n te n t s

22 15

Contents 06 Welcome

GREAT OUTDOORS 15 We ALL need a dog!

28 04

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22 Nature – it’s about time! Create your own wildlife diary 25 Get out & about this weekend! 28 Explore nature – home and away! BBC Wildlife Feature 32 How to build an insect hotel


53 Summer holiday cycling for all the family 58 Time for a quick round of Golf?

GET COOKING 26 Marvellous muffins with Little Cooks Recipe 64 Turmeric veggie fritters with Little Cooks Recipe 69 Packed lunch inspiration 77 Kick-start your day the healthy way 79 Smoked fish and lentil rice Recipe 80 Everyone is going vegan?!

48 Get sporty! Buyer’s guide

82 Our food choices

50 Tennis 101: Mastering the basics

87 The thing about gluten free …

88 Vegan brownies Recipe 89 Sainsbury’s Magazine Recipes


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97 Lime and blueberry possets Recipe 100 Strawberry cheesecake Recipe 101 Healthy truffles Recipe

FEATURES 07 Ask us first 10 Five things to do … 11 Great shows for all the family 17 Pet power 36 How Not to Lose It – Managing teen anxiety 43 The magic of sleep 44 Have you read … 63 Word search 65 Creative family fun 67 Rainy day crafts 73 Back to school 74 Colouring fun



103 Creamy mushroom pasta Recipe



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Executive Editor: Lee Gatland Art Director Richard Hejsak Managing Editor: Ara E. Lee Consultant: Jordan Martin Sales Team +44 (0)1959 574 556 For all other enquiries:

Dear Families... A very warm Family First welcome to our fourth issue … In this issue we have great tips on how to get out and about with the family, from making an insect hotel and keeping your very own wildlife Credits: Photographer: Kerry Ann Duffy Model: Eleanor Lord Pet: Bella

diary, to budget-friendly theatre excursions and some family-friendly holiday (and bedtime) reads to take with you on your longer breaks away. Check out our tips for improving your tennis and see where you can try out adventure golf and

Find us on Facebook Family First Magazine is published bi-annually (twice per annum) by Seven Star Media Ltd. No part of Family First Magazine may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without permission. Views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of Seven Star Media Ltd, and are included to provide advice only. No content is a substitute for professional medical advice. During printing, images may be subject to a 15% variation. © Copyright of content belongs to Seven Star Media. All rights reserved. Please either keep this magazine for future reference, pass it on for somebody else to read, or recycle it.


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guided cycling. Of course, you’ll also find our regular Family Fun word search, craft project and colouring activity. There’s plenty to keep you all busy well beyond the summer holidays. Plus, you can learn about Anna Williamson’s new book on supporting teens through anxiety, and explore lots of delicious and healthy, not forgetting quick and easy, home-cooking recipes that all the family will enjoy. Happy reading! Sincerely,

The Family First Team

ISSUE 04 - Ask Us First

Ask Us First

There are some questions that we all find ourselves asking from time to time…


Hello FF team,

My daughter has been harping on about becoming vegan. She doesn’t eat anything I put in front of her and it’s worrying me, not to mention driving me mad and mealtimes are becoming a stress. She’s a fussy eater as it is and slim for her height. I was brought up with healthy home-cooking and the idea that you eat what’s on your plate, vegetables and all. Chips and ketchup is vegan but it’s not healthy and it’s not going to help a 12 year old grow. My partner and I both work and I don’t have the money to shop for all the extras or the time to cook three different meals every night if she wants to eat differently from her younger brothers. She’s refusing to wear her leather shoes but I don’t agree with buying plastic as it’s just not good for the environment. It feels like she’s jumping on a bandwagon and I can’t take it seriously. I’m hoping it’s just a phase she’ll grow out of.

Our first child is coming up to a year old and me and my wife recently realised that we have only been out together in the evening twice since she’s been born. Then we spent almost the entire first hour talking about her and worrying whether my mother-in-law was coping alright. We’re always so tired and hardly have the energy to go for a night out but I think my wife would like a chance to dress up and go to a grown-up place like we used to, even though she doesn’t want to ask her mum all the time and worries about who will look after the little one in the evening.

Katie, Shropshire. Hi Katie, It can be a worry for mums and dads as kids approach their teens and start developing their own ideas about their life choices. She sounds like a very strong-minded young lady. The important thing to remember is that veganism is on the rise and there are lots of healthy and balanced recipes you can find and adapt to suit the tastes of all the family. Maybe you can find some time to talk to your daughter and see what’s fuelling her need to become vegan. There are many reasons why people choose this lifestyle. Perhaps she will find that a vegetarian diet is more suitable instead. You could also take a look online for helpful tips and speak to your GP about your concerns. The NHS website has advice on eating healthily as a vegan, which might help to put your mind at ease. You could also consider clothes-sharing and second-hand stores for shoes instead of buying new every time. Handing down hardly-worn clothes is a great way to recycle and reduce waste. Wishing you the best of luck with it.

Anon Hi, It’s totally understandable to want to spend more time as a couple. It’s actually a really important part of being a good parent. Just like spending time by yourself, doing your favourite hobbies is a really important part of being in a partnership. It’s also natural to feel concerned about who will look after the baby while you both go out for an evening, especially as your child is still so young. It may be comforting to know that many families are in the same position. Fortunately, there are lots of family-friendly places that you can go to with your child. As your child gets older, you will have much more freedom and time to spend evenings out as a couple. Talk to your wife about your concerns and put your heads together to think up creative ways of spending time together. Maybe you could try meeting up in your lunch break for a sandwich or taking a morning off and going for breakfast together. Speak to your relatives and see if they have time to babysit for an hour or two during the day. Grandparents often love the chance to look after their grandchildren. This also expands the childcare options, as your Mother-inLaw could take the baby for a walk in the pushchair during nap time and your wife may feel less anxious about it. Good luck.

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We all know and love Weetabix as... Weetabix. The truth is, you can enjoy Weetabix any-which-way you like. Be that Bonkers-A-Bix if you’re feeling adventurous. The possibilities are literally endless. Share your tastiest Weetabix on social and #Anywhichwayabix See below for some tasty ways to enjoy your Weetabix.

Berries-a-bix / PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES INGREDIENTS: • 2 Weetabix • 125ml semi skimmed milk or milk of choice • Half an apple of choice • Handful (10) raspberries, fresh or frozen • Handful (10) blueberries, fresh or frozen

METHOD: 1. Rinse raspberries & blueberries 2. Rinse, halve & slice the apple 3. Rinse & slice the strawberry 4. Place two Weetabix in a bowl, top with apple slices, sprinkle with raspberries, blueberries & strawberry slices

5. Add milk and enjoy!

• 1 strawberry, fresh or frozen

Exotic-a-bix / PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES INGREDIENTS: • 2 Weetabix • 125ml Semi skimmed milk or milk of choice • One fresh kiwi • 1/3 fresh mango • 1 dessert spoon (10g) toasted flaked almonds

METHOD: 1. Skin & slice the kiwi 2. Skin, quarter & slice the mango 3. Place two Weetabix in a bowl,

top with kiwi & mango slices and sprinkle flaked almonds

4. Add milk and enjoy!

Mix-a-bix / PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES INGREDIENTS: • 2 Weetabix • 25ml semi skimmed milk or milk of choice • Half a conference pear • Handful (10) raspberries, fresh or frozen • 20 pistachios in shell • 1 dessert spoon (10g) seedless raisins

METHOD: 1. Rinse the raspberries 2. Rinse, halve & slice the pear 3. Shell the pistachios 4. Place two Weetabix in a bowl, top

with pear slices, raspberries and sprinkle with raisins and pistachios

5. Add milk and enjoy!

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Five things to do… instead of reaching for the remote control After a long day, it’s easy to get caught up in channel-surfing until the small hours. Here are five inspirations for other things you can do to wind down in the evening…


here are some days where it feels like there are never enough hours to do all the stuff we want to do. Like making a call to a friend we haven’t spoken to in ages, or getting around to fixing that leaky tap. If like many of us, you are so exhausted of an evening that you either... dose off next to the kids and then wake up in the middle of the night with a crook neck, but feeling rested after the six hours of sleep you’re used to, not knowing what to do until the alarm goes off in 4 hours…


feel so thrilled that the

neighbour’s kids have finally been picked up and the toys are tidied, kids bathed and asleep…

…that you then fall half exhausted on to the sofa, pick up the remote control and get caught up in back-toback episodes of Game of Thrones, or a Netflix boxset that is not a childfriendly animation!

Here are five things you can do instead of picking up the remote control….


Stretch... that’s right, get

bendy and shake off that day at the office or the crampy shoulders from sitting in the car or aching legs from rushing around the supermarket and dropping the kids to clubs and grocery shopping for Grandad and tidying up and all the rest of it. Have a good ol’ stretch – spend anything from five minutes to half an hour imagining you’re getting ready to perform at the ballet or to run a half marathon! And why not plug in your


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favourite music while doing so.


Go out for a walk ... The evenings are lighter and while your other half is enjoying some metime, get your running shoes on and get out for a jog, or just walk around the block. Not to buy something at the 24-hour Tesco, but just to enjoy the peace and quiet and the long summer evenings or the signs of the seasons changing…


Repot the plants ... okay,

this might sound a bit of a weird one, as you may consider it as less of an evening event, but potting plants is a really effective and constructive way of switching off from a busy day of work and rallying around fulfilling the needs of the family. Working with your hands and doing any type of gardening work is a great way to reconnect with nature and get you ‘out of your head’, in other words, bringing your focus away from concerns or problems, tasks and responsibilities that preoccupy you. Gaining a little perspective means you’ll be able to sleep better and come up with more creative solutions when you return to tackling any problems. And plants always liven up the place.


Read a book ... peruse your

bookshelf for that novel you got from your

brother-in-law for Christmas the year before last, but didn’t yet manage to open. Spend half an hour getting caught up in science fiction or a modern classic and do nothing.

get bendy and shake off that day at the office or the crampy shoulders from sitting in the car


Make a list... of everything that went well today… and a couple of things you might do differently next time. Jot down the top three priorities for the next day, so you don’t wake up in the night worrying you might forget them. There’s something constructive about a pen and a piece of paper that makes you feel like you’ve got everything sorted!

An alternative wind-down routine in the evening will free-up space in your diary and create clarity in your thinking to tackle everything else! Why not set yourself a five-day challenge?

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Great Shows for all the Family Thinking of a family excursion but not the cinema (again)? Theatre enthusiast and blogger, Emma Watkins, has pulled together a list of family-friendly and budget-friendly shows and tips to remind us that theatre is more than just a pantomime at Christmas‌ (oh yes it is!)

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I first went to a West End show on a school trip when I was eleven. I saw Starlight Express and to me it was utterly magical – the music, the singing, the costumes, the lights… It ignited a love for theatre that has stayed with me ever since. From Scotland to Southampton, theatres across the country host a range of child and family-friendly shows throughout the year. As a special treat, some of the big long-running shows can be hard to beat… Matilda The Musical, based on the Roald Dahl book, will inspire your kids that anything is possible. It sees Matilda, the tiniest slip of a girl, overcoming both her horrendous parents and terrifying headmistress Miss Trunchbull. The great tunes, cartoonish humour and clever tricks will keep the little ones entertained, but don’t worry, there’s plenty in there to appeal to grown-ups, too. School of Rock, meanwhile, may not be suitable for the youngest kids (there’s a bit of choice language) but is sure to get slightly older ones rocking! A substitute teacher and wannabe rock star draws the hidden musical talents out of a bunch of school kids to compete in a battle of the bands. The show features a super-talented child cast who play their instruments live


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on stage – maybe it’ll inspire your own to try their hand at guitar, bass or drums? Clear family-friendly choices for younger children include Disney classics Aladdin and The Lion King. For something a little edgier for older children (roughly 12+), why not try the musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie? It tells the tale of a teenage boy who dreams of becoming a drag queen, with a really genuine feel-good factor and a strong message that it’s OK to be who you want to be.

“Taking the family to the theatre can be expensive, especially in the West End. But there are lots of alternative locations around the country and closer to home…” STILL IN LONDON BUT AWAY FROM THE WEST END … why not explore some of the theatres that specialise in kids’ shows? The Little Angel Theatre in Islington, the Unicorn Theatre near

London Bridge and the Colour House Theatre in Merton offer fantastic programmes of shows tailored for different age groups. The Polka Theatre in Wimbledon is about to undergo a major renovation, but will definitely be worth a visit when it reopens in summer 2020. An added bonus of these theatres is that ticket prices are more comparable to a trip to the cinema than an afternoon or evening in the West End! Upcoming highlights include two interpretations of Aesop’s Fables (for ages 4-7 and 8-12) at the Unicorn (16 June – 4 August), and The Slightly Annoying Elephant, adapted from the David Walliams book, at the Little Angel (10 May – 4 August).

ANNUAL KIDS WEEK Another top tip for London is to take advantage of the annual Kids Week, during August. It’s a great chance for families to enjoy shows at a reduced cost, with free tickets for an under-16 when accompanied by a paying adult, and up to two more children’s tickets at half price. Keep an eye on the link on the next page for news on participating shows, which include a wide range of musicals, plays, comedies, dance productions… and even opera!

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For those outside London, never fear – there are plenty of kid-friendly theatres around the country too! AROUND THE COUNTRY The Royal & Derngate in Northampton offers good children’s shows, including fun interactive events. The Ipswich Regent and New Wolsey Theatres, and Mayflower and Nuffield Southampton Theatres also host a range of child and family-friendly shows throughout the year. Moving further north of the capital, York Theatre Royal has some great children’s theatre programming often with a company called tutti frutti – keep an eye out for their upcoming show Yellow Is the Colour of

announcements before the summer! The King’s and Festival Theatres in Edinburgh are other venues that programme great shows for kids. Basically, if you’re keen to introduce your kids to theatre, make sure to check in with your local venues and see what they have to offer for your little ones – both you and your kids might be pleasantly surprised! And remember to keep your eyes open for posters and billboards advertising shows in your local area too!

“Even a school play can be a great way to introduce kids to theatre!”

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT: www.officiallondontheatre. com - for West End and Kids Week shows

OR FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @london_theatre @LittleATheatre @Unicorn_Theatre @ColourHouseThtr @polkatheatre @RoyalDerngate @IpswichRegent @NewWolsey @NSTheatres @mayflower @TronTheatre @citizenstheatre @captheatres

Check out Emma’s reviews on https://www.broadwayworld. com/westend/, and her own blog at https://sheseesshows.

Sunshine in June. The Great Yorkshire Fringe Festival (also in York) is definitely worth looking out for as they usually have plenty of children’s theatre including free shows and a lot of variety, running between 18th - 28th July this year.

IN SCOTLAND … the Tron Theatre in Glasgow has year-round “Tiny Tales” and “Tall Tales”, where little ones can join fun storytelling sessions complete with props, music, percussion, movement and creative play to stimulate their senses. Both the Tron and the Citizens Theatre, also in Glasgow, generally have excellent pantomimes for younger children – keep an eye out for

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With a minimum of 60% animal sources, CRAVE™ Adult Dog & Cat Food is inspired by your pet’s natural diet. CRAVE™ is made from a high protein recipe. These protein-rich recipes support strong and healthy muscles for your dog & cat. CRAVE™ Wet & Dry Food is made without grains and has no artificial colours or flavours.

© 2019 Mars or Affiliates

Photo credits: Eleanor and dog: Kerry Ann Duffy. Portrait: Lorraine Lucas

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We ALL need a dog! Dear Diary, Personally, I think that dogs should be allowed in the house, why? Right then, let me tell you. First thing’s first, it is important to have a dog in the house because they will protect your house and you, if someone breaks in.

I MEAN IT COULD HAPPEN! Also, they are a great help to disabled and deaf, like if you have a relative who is deaf and the doorbell goes, the dog could help them. Actually, really smart and trained dogs can tell you if the TV is on or the dishwasher is finished. BTW I know what you’re thinking and NO the dog does not speak to the deaf person or sign language, ugh you know what I mean! However, they do really smell but they are great to play with and chat to, even if they don’t talk back but that’s good because they definitely won’t judge you. You will just turn crazy!!!!!!!!

Also, if you’ve had a really bad day and nobody wants to see you, you can always come home and your dog will be happy to see you. And they are a really good weight loss influence to people who want to lose weight or just get some fresh air in your lungs by walking your dog and for a bonus they love going on walks so it is a great solution for both of you. And one more thing if your child is extremely lonely (LIKE ME!), they need a dog. In other words, we all need a dog.

Who doesn’t? By Eleanor Lord (And a little help from teacher Mr Mark Chaplin, Reculver Primary School.)

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© 2019 Mars or Affiliates. *Nielsen sales data. MAT 01.09.16

F a m i l y F e a t u re - I S S U E 0 4

Pet Power

Anyone with a pet may tell you it can be a headache looking after an additional member of the family but they are also likely to tell you that it’s totally amazing too…


here are any number of reasons why you might consider expanding the family to include a household pet. Maybe a second or third sibling is not an option for your family or maybe you are choosing a canine companion for an elderly relative. Perhaps the kids have been begging you to get a pet or maybe you remember having a pet as you were growing up and want to give your children the same experience of learning to love, play and care for their very own family pet. Whatever your reason, there are many benefits to having a pet around the home…

Stroking a pet can create an automatic relaxation response, promoting the release of hormones that are crucial to elevating mood Into the Great Outdoors One of the great things about having a pet is that you are never short of the perfect excuse to get out into the great outdoors. Be it a dog that needs its morning (and evening) walk and a few rounds of frisbee in the park (which is also a great way to meet other pet-lovers in your local community) or the rabbits that need tending to in the summer house, or the horses that need a stretch at the

local stables, you will be out and about enjoying the fresh air and keeping active with your family pets. What’s more, you’ll grow to enjoy this quality time together, whatever the weather.

Learning to take responsibility Pets are also a wonderful way to teach children about taking responsibility for others. Children who grow up helping to groom horses and muck out the stables before they even get a chance to ride; or those that learn to understand that the guinea pigs need fresh water and the fish tank is looking a bit murky, learn to consider the needs of other creatures – and also learn to consider the needs of other people. As the children grow, you can give them age appropriate responsibility, like feeding the fish or taking the dog for a short walk around the block along an agreed route. They can help to clean out the hamster’s cage and top up its water bottle or even add ‘lettuce’ to the weekly shopping list. Having pets such as dogs or hobbies such as riding, also encourages non-verbal communication and helps build confidence from an early age, which is key to encouraging confidence into adulthood.

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time to see if there are any allergic reactions among family members that have come into contact with pet fur. You can spot the tell-tale signs of itchy skin, sneezing, getting watery or puffy eyes either directly, later in the day or the next morning. This will help you decide which pet is more suitable for your family – maybe a fur-free lizard or fish are the pets for you.

Why not try pet sitting while your friend is on holiday to see how you manage to integrate the pet into your everyday family life? It might mean feeding the neighbour’s cat or looking after (a well-trained) small breed of dog for the weekend, or even stopping by to top up the water, seeds and chat to the neighbour’s parrot for an hour (okay, maybe not an hour). Whatever pet you take care of, it gives you a great insight into the types of needs you may have to consider when you have your own pet.

Look for a pet that suits

Lifting spirits Owning a pet or even petting a pet is proven to brighten your emotional outlook. Stroking a pet can trigger an automatic relaxation response, promoting the release of hormones that are crucial to elevating mood – serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin, helping to reduce symptoms of depression, shyness and anxiety. Charities such as PAWS for People (a US-based pet-assisted volunteer service) and PAT (Pet Assisted Therapy, a little closer to home) are using interaction with our canine friends as a means to encourage healing and relaxation. PAWS For People even encourages children to read to their dog as one technique for overcoming shyness. Similar charities across the globe are helping people in residential care homes and hospitals to overcome feelings of isolation and alienation and to keep a positive outlook.


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As the children grow, you can give them age-appropriate responsibility, like feeding the fish

your lifestyle and living arrangements. A dog might be ideal if you have an outdoor space or live close to a park, but not so ideal for an inner city fourth-floor flat, especially if you are working full time and unable to tend to its needs. A cat may be the perfect pet solution or fish, that are calming to watch and don’t mind being left alone for many hours of the day.

Remember that a family pet

Selecting the perfect family pet can bring all the benefits of living with animals into the family home. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly though…

Top tips if you are considering a pet: Visit friends with pets and take this opportunity to see how your children interact with the animals. It’s also a good

is just that, a family pet! And everyone that has agreed (or begged you) to get a pet is jointly responsible for taking care of its needs – whether that is chopping cucumber and topping up the salad bowl, washing out the cat-food tins for recycling or putting down some fresh straw. It has to be a team effort!

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Looking after a family pet has to be a team effort!

behind you when leaving the house – even if you’re just popping to the car out front. This is especially relevant when you’re signing for parcels or transporting boxes back and forth on moving day!

Be sure to update any

Helping your pet to settle in

Get involved Any domesticated animals or pets can be ideal for therapy, including rabbits and guinea pigs, although dogs are often a popular choice. You can get involved in volunteering for a charity that takes the therapeutic benefits of pets to the elderly and those in residential care homes by looking online and searching for charities in your area.

Visit www.petsastherapy. org and www. therapydogsnationwide. org to learn more about how animals are wonderful assistants for therapy.

www.critterishallsorts. have reptiles and invertebrates in their list of therapeutic pets and make visits to schools and prisons to share the calming effects of animals. Read more in the book ‘Unleashing the Healing Power of Animals’ by Dale Preece-Kelly.

For a closer idea of what volunteering involves and how you can integrate it into your daily life, take a look at this interview with a young student volunteer: www. imogen-woodman/

Moving house can be a big upheaval for all the family – pets included! For some pets it’s a case of relocating the fish tank or hamster cage, for others it can take a little more work. Cats and dogs, for example, are pets that enjoy a lot of freedom of movement around the home and extra effort will be needed to ensure they adjust properly to their new home. A cat will need to stay indoors for a while and a ‘house cat’ or dog, will benefit from the following tips:

Make your dog comfortable and try to keep his routine as normal as possible, leading up to the move.

Show your pets around their new home – a guided tour of their new space to sniff out the new territory will work wonders to help them feel more settled.

personal information on your dog’s collar (since April 2016 it is compulsory to have a microchip on your dog’s collar), just in case he does decide to go off on an adventure (we’ve all see those Disney Movies where the animals go in search of their familiar homes!).

If you are relocating to a new house, then consider housing your dog in a kennel for the duration of the move (think of it like sending the kids to sleepover at Aunty Karen’s while you get all the boxes shifted and maybe even a few unpacked).

For more information and insights on helping cats and dogs settle into their new home visit: and article/moving-with-your-pet and

Create a familiar area (during the move if you are moving house) in your new home, making sure your dog’s familiar things are close by – a cosy sleeping corner with his favourite basket and chew toy will help him feel at ease. Or a scratching post with dangling mice for your cat.

Consider placing this next to a plug-in pheromone dispenser, which can help to make your pet feel calm.

It may seem obvious, but be sure to close the doors

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Nature It’s about Time! Conservation Ecologist, Dan Connell, gives us the best tips on how to start your very own Wildlife Diary…


ow often do we find ourselves lamenting how we struggle to find time for nature, whether it be down at the beach, out in the countryside, or deep in the woods? Many of us fail to realise that we are already IN nature. Right this very moment you could well be surrounded by hundreds, if not thousands, of difference species…maybe more! Some you can see - and some you cannot.

Spring is the perfect season to start a Wildlife Diary, as nature is at its busiest From the birds nesting in our gardens, to the spiders scurrying through our homes, right down to the microscopic bugs crawling across our skin (sorry), like it or not, nature is all around us, all the time! We humans are a part of nature, not


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apart from it. Just as within our own lives, wildlife has a schedule too; places to be, times to be there, and a point at which it needs to grab the kids and leave! Pronto!

NATURE IS ON A SCHEDULE TOO… Nature is always, always busy! Nature gets no downtime. Ever. When trying to foster an appreciation of nature and conservation of wildlife in our children, we need to think less along the lines of ‘making time’ for nature and instead raise their awareness of the timing of nature itself. As a family, one of the simplest, interactive, and fun ways to track nature’s timing is to keep a Wildlife Diary. Spring is the perfect season to start, as nature is at its busiest. Flowers are beginning to bloom and many creatures are starting to wake up after their winter hibernation, most of them in search of food and, of course, a mate!



Encourage your child’s creativity by getting them to keep a picture record of any species they see. Whether it be a drawing, or a photograph. (Although be careful to warn children not to get too close, these are wild animals after all, and the environment they are in might not always be safe for people, big or small.)


If you are blessed with a child who is obsessed with electronics, get them to use their phones to take pictures or record bird sounds. Recording the noises animals make, particularly bird song, makes it easier to identify individual species by sound as well as sight. (Useful for when they can be seen and not heard - the wildlife, that is - as many creatures will instinctively try to hide from human eyes.)

S P O R T : Te n Gnre i s aFtoO un ud tdaot ioorns - I S S U E 001 4


Older children can try animal tracking down at the beach, or in a woodland, or even try detecting nocturnal wildlife, such as bats or owls.


Be sure to include the date, place, time, weather and what nature you found. The records can then be used both to encourage your child to research different species outside your local environment and to create your own baseline of wildlife activity in the area.

The longevity of Wildlife Diaries is limitless. Daily records can not only be collected season-upon-season, but we can also then compare records year-onyear to discover any trends or shifting patterns in wildlife behaviour and timings. (Like Ecologists do!) As we are always in nature, it means completing Wildlife Diaries does not have to be restricted to weekends and/or trips out. Children can make wildlife observations during school runs, or even walking around the garden, both before you leave for the day and once you get home.

LISTEN OUT FOR THE EARLY MORNING CALL… For instance, while many local Wildlife Trusts might organise dawn chorus walks that you and your family can take part in, if your own timetable does not allow for you to attend these ‘scheduled’ events, you can always ‘recreate’ one at home. Dawn choruses occur every morning, all over the world, wherever birds are present. All it would involve is getting the family up a little earlier than usual before the school run starts!

compile a collective list and compare notes. What better way to keep the kids interested than to join in the fun?

Just as within our own lives, wildlife has a schedule too; places to be, times to be there, and a point at which it needs to grab the kids and leave! BECOME CITIZEN SCIENTISTS… Your children’s Wildlife Diaries could even encourage other children in their class to start their own, helping to build a bigger record of your local biodiversity. With around 47 Wildlife Trusts covering the UK, you could encourage your children to send in their records to local or national wildlife trusts and even become Citizen Scientists!

In terms of resources for your Wildlife Diaries, a great place to start would be at: spotting-sheets

10 SPECIES TO SPOT FROM SPRINGTIME Hedgehogs, Honey Bee, Queens, Frogs, Migrant birds, Squirrels Bluebells, Wood anemones, Wild Garlic, Wood sorrel, Early Purple Orchids Keep your Wildlife Diary and a pencil at hand – on a picnic, in the garden and out on walks in the park!

MIGRANT BIRDS Chiffchaffs and Wheaters are usually one of the first migrant birds to arrive (usually around March). Cuckoos, Swallows and House Martins usually arrive in April. Swifts tend not to appear until early May.

Visit for a monthly update on what wildlife you can spot in your area each month… Author: Dan Connell, Conservation Ecologist & Public Relations Officer for Irish Wildlife Trust Galway

JOIN IN THE FUN… Wildlife Diaries do not have to be restricted to the children either. Adults can also make their own records commuting to and from work, or while at home throughout the day. The family can then sit down together of an evening to

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Marvellous muffins! Perfect for lunchboxes, picnics and after-school snacks! Prep Cook Serves

20-30 minutes 50 minutes

12 muffins


Pop into a tupperware and store in the fridge for up to 3 days

Ingredients you’ll need

140g flour (brown rice flour or spelt flour) 125ml milk (we used almond milk) 80g cheese 60g chorizo 1 courgette 1 large carrot 1 large handful of spinach 1 egg 1 teaspoon of baking powder 1/2 teaspoon bicarb of soda 1/2 teaspoon of salt Oil for greasing Chopping board and knife Sieve Grater Mixing bowl x 2 Muffin tray Measuring scales

Healthy, happy familes!


Preheat the oven to 170c fan assisted (180c if not fan assisted)


Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarb of soda and salt into a large mixing bowl


Whisk the milk and egg together into a separate bowl


Grate the courgette, carrot and cheese


Roughly chop the chorizo and spinach into small pieces


Pop everything into the flour mix and stir thoroughly until fully combined

Egg , dairy

Tasty tip


Cooking Instructions


Grease your muffin tray with a little oil - for example, coconut oil or olive oil


Divide the mixture equally into each of the 12 holes - around 1 heaped teaspoon in each


Pop in the oven for 45-50 minutes until nice and golden on top


Allow to cool and then serve with a yummy salad or take on a picnic!

Fun picnic games... Picnic basket relay race Good old fashioned frisbee! Flip flop kick: who can kick their flip flop the furthest Cloud shape game - what do the clouds look like to you?

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Get out & about this weekend! A busy week of work and school means the weekend is the perfect time to catch up on chores and just relax and do nothing! But sometimes we all fancy a change of scenery. Fortunately, there are loads of ideas for activities to do over the weekend that are fun for all the family and won’t break the budget. Why not get together with aunties, uncles, grandparents and neighbours and see if they fancy joining in the fun? Pick Your Own… Strawberries, blackberries, gooseberries and even broad beans for that matter! There are many opportunities and various types of seasonal fruits you can choose from. Go online to find a pick-your-own farm in your area: www.pickyourownfarms., then why not see what recipes use the bounty you come home with?

Climb a tree… From being a kid we all remember those trees that are perfect for climbing – you know the ones, with a few low branches to help get you to the branches midway. And a good spot somewhere in the middle to sit down and enjoy the view or eat a sandwich, aaahhh yes, remember the days? Why not take a cycle down to your local park or forest, or drive a little further afield to find the perfect tree for climbing? You can check out the National Trust

website www.nationaltrust. for days out to parks and woodlands in your area.

Pack a picnic… And pack a picnic just in case the trees are not quite as climbable as you recall from your youth (the kids will scamper up there in no time so be ready to lend a hand, follow or catch!), then make sure you’ve got enough reserves to keep the family troops satisfied – a few sausage rolls, apples, some falafels, a flask of tea and any other light and hearty snacks to keep you going. (Remember to pack a picnic blanket, a few napkins and a small rubbish bag so you can take any litter with you when you’re done).

Try out a taster session… At your local tennis, badminton or golf club or head down to an

adventure golf club to see if the kids are a chip of the old block. This is a great activity to get the grandparents involved in too! You can book taster sessions in advance and many of these opportunities are free of charge.

Pack a picnic just in case the trees are not quite as climbable as you recall from your youth! If the weather’s not great… Get outdoors anyway! You can always spot creatures to go in your Wildlife Diary. Or get colouring in; bake a cake together and take a couple of slices round to an elderly neighbour. Listen to your favourite music (it’s probably about time the kids became familiar with the dulcet tones of Van Morrison, Pete Tong, Take That, The Backstreet Boys, Destiny’s Child, Ocean Colour Scene, Green Day, Oasis, Blur, Pulp… and any other 80s and 90s classics on your playlist - you’ll have the kids retreating to their bedrooms for some quiet time before you know it!)

Learn how to Tie a figure of eight knot – or any sailor’s knot – and show the kids how to do it so they can help you out the next time you are camping or building the best den ever! Check out this site if you need a few tips to refresh your memory: www.

Check out our tennis, cycling and golf features on pages 50, 53 and 58

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Explore Nature Home and Away! Whether you go away on holiday this summer, or stay at home, there’s plenty of wildlife to look out for, says the team from BBC Wildlife Magazine. Here are some of the top species to spot during the school holidays. GARDEN

Keep an eye on your garden this summer, and you might be surprised by the range of wildlife you see. From tiny invertebrates to birds and mammals, a wide range of species visit our Robin gardens and call them home.

Peacock butterfly

A beautiful and stunning species, the peacock butterfly is named for the large ‘eyes’ on its wings, which look a bit like those on the tail of male peacocks. It’s thought that when the butterfly opens and closes its wings quickly, these eyes startle and can scare away a potential predator.

Peacock butterfly



The hedgehog is Britain’s only spiny mammal and can often be found in urban gardens, which can provide food (both natural and supplementary) and nest sites for breeding and hibernation. During the breeding season, a male hedgehog can travel up to 3km in one night!

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Affectionately known as robin redbreast by many gardeners due to the orange breast and face, the robin is a common bird across the British Isles and a familiar sight to most people. Both the male and the female are very territorial and will fight against intruders.

A wide range of species visit our gardens and call them home Common toad and frog

under stones and logs. One easy way to tell them apart is by how they move, frogs usually jump and rarely crawl, whereas toads do the opposite.

Find out more:

Common toad

Helping wildlife in a heatwave: wildlife-heatwave Helping hedgehogs: How to be butterfly-friendly: butterfly-friendly-garden

Frogs and toads can often be found away from ponds, sheltering in long grass or


Peacock butterfly, Hedgehog, Robin, Common toad: Getty Images

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WOODLAND Walking in the woods is always an adventure, with trees to climb and animals to spot. There will be different tree species to find depending on the soil and where in the UK you are.

English oak tree, Great spotted woodpecker, Treecreeper, Dog rose: Getty Images

English oak tree

There are a couple of oak tree species found in the UK, and the English oak is probably the most familiar one. The lobed leaves and acorns are distinctive features, although acorns aren’t produced until a tree is at least 40 years old.

Walking in the woods is always an adventure

English oak tree


Great spotted woodpecker

Occasionally seen in gardens, the great spotted woodpecker is a beautiful, sleek bird. During spring you can hear them drumming on trees to mark Great spotted out their territories. woodpecker They feed mainly on insects and spiders, probing tree trunks with their sticky tongues.


The attractive treecreeper is a tiny bird that is often unnoticed by humans as it blends in well with its habitat and rarely ventures out to bird feeders. As its name suggests, this species creeps up trees searching for insects in the crevices in the bark.

Find out more: Treecreeper: treecreepers Grow an oak tree: Woodpecker drumming: woodpecker-drumming

Dog rose

The flowering dog rose is a sign Dog rose of approaching summer, but take care of this beautiful plant as it has curved spines to help it climb up other plants. Look out for the small clusters of bright red rosehips in autumn.

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Common starfish, Shore crab, Whelk eggs: Getty Images | Limpet/people: © Megan Shersby

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SEASIDE The wildlife you will see at the seaside depends on the habitats there. Rockpools are a great location for finding a variety of species, but there will be wildlife to look out for on sandy and pebbly beaches as well.

Common starfish

Growing up to 50cm in size, the starfish usually has five arms. However, you may find one with fewer arms, or with one smaller arm. They can actually regrow their arms if they lose one! It can be difficult sometimes to tell if they are alive or dead, so if you find one washed up, it’s worth returning it to the sea.


Whelk eggs

Shore crab

Our most commonly encountered crab species, the shore crab is usually green in colour and can grow up to 8cm. If you find one with a strange orange mass on its stomach, you’ve found a female with her eggs. She Shore crab carries them with her to protect them from predators.

Common starfish

Whelk eggs

Known as seawash balls, the spongy clumps of the eggs of common and red whelks

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(types of sea snails) are a regular sight on the strandline. They used to be collected by sailors and used as sponges!

Rockpools are a wonderful place to spot all sorts of interesting species of sea life

Common limpet

The limpet has a conical shell that protects it from powerful waves and predators, and is usually found firmly attached to

rocks. During high tide, they will move and graze on the rock’s surface with a toothy tongue. The teeth are one of the strongest natural materials in the world.

Find out more: Identify rockpool wildlife: rockpool-wildlife Rockpool viewer: rockpool-viewer Identify seaweed: identify-seaweed

Common limpet

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PARKLAND Urban parks can provide a range of habitats for wildlife, with larger ones supporting deer, owls and much more.

Grey squirrel

With its big bushy tail and habit of stealing food from bird feeders, the grey squirrel is a familiar Grey squirrel sight in both the countryside and urban areas. Look out for its nest, called a drey, which is made out of twigs and leaves, and located in the fork of a branch.

The long-tailed tit is a small bird which lives up to its name with its easily recognised long tail. They are usually seen in their family groups, so if you spot one, see if you Long-tailed tit can locate any others nearby. They feed on insects and spiders living on trees.

Grey squirrel, Long-tailed tit, Brimstone butterfly, Fox: Getty Images

Long-tailed tit

Brimstone butterfly

Brimstone butterfly

Brimstone butterflies are always a delight to see. Males are lemon-yellow in colour, and females are greenish-white and can be easily confused with similar butterflies. The foodplants of the brimstone caterpillar are buckthorn and alder buckthorn.


Red fox

Red foxes have adapted well to our towns and cities. They have a very varied diet, including earthworms, insects, birds and mammals. In summer you may spot the growing cubs Red fox with their mother as they explore the area.

Find out more: Grey squirrel: Fox: urban-fox Long-tailed tit:

A great opportunity to sample an issue of the UK’s bestselling wildlife magazine – absolutely free!

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How to build an insect hotel

Did you ever wonder what all those bugs and scurrying creatures get up to in the garden? Not only do they help control pests but they even pollinate your plants too…


ere at the Eden Project in Cornwall we care about insects and the positive impact they can have on gardens. With that in mind, why not encourage them to stay and try making your own insect home – or ‘hotel’ as we like to call them – out of junk, to give bugs somewhere to live? This is a brilliant way to get artistic with some recycled items and ensure your insects have a five-star stay at the same time. To help you along the way, we’ve created this guide so you can make your own insect hotel.

When to do it The best time to make an insect home is early autumn, so that the bugs have somewhere to hibernate for the winter.

What you need You can get creative with these insect homes, as there are no rules. We’ve even got a hot water bottle, an old jumper and a pair of shoes in ours! Here are a few things you might like to use:

Recycled stuff Wooden pallets (These are essential – try asking at industrial sites and builders’ yards for free pallets or maybe your neighbour has a couple that they no longer need.)


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Plastic bottles Broken bricks and tiles Stone chippings Broken plant pots Corrugated cardboard Drainpipes

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Natural materials

Logs and twigs Rotting wood Spare rolls of turf Dry leaves Bark Hollow plant stems Straw and hay Bamboo canes

How to build your insect hotel 1. Choose a good spot for your insect hotel. Most insects like cool, moist conditions, so a shady area next to a hedge or under a tree works well. Secondly, make sure the home has a firm base, because it will end up quite heavy. Make sure you choose a spot where the insect hotel can remain for at least this winter. 2. Create a structure with pallets by laying old pallets on top of each other as tall as you’d like the insect hotel to be – ours is around eight pallets high, but five will do. Place any larger pallets at the bottom. Check the pallets don’t wobble by securing each to the one below (with string, wire or pull ties) if you need to. 3. Fill in the gaps with other materials. There are no rules as to how you fill the empty pallets, but here are some ideas to attract different insects: Dead wood: This makes a great home for wood-boring beetles, such as the majestic stag beetle, and their larvae. It also supports fungi, which can break down the natural material. Centipedes and woodlice can burrow under the bark.

Hollow stems, canes, and holes drilled into blocks of wood: These are all ideal spots for solitary bees to lay their eggs. These bees help pollinate flowers (so helping your plants produce vegetables) in the garden. Because solitary bees like sunny spots, place these on the sunniest side of the insect hotel.

Stone and tiles: These provide lovely cool, moist conditions for frogs and newts. They might be best lower down, on the shadiest side of the insect home.

Hay and straw: These give insects a good place to burrow and hibernate.

Dry leaves: These provide homes for insects, just like leaf litter on the forest floor. Ladybirds hibernate here over winter – and they’re great for eating aphids in the garden.

Rotting wood and bark: This is where beetles, centipedes, spiders and woodlice love to be. Because woodlice and millipedes break down woody plant material, they’re an important part of your garden recycling system.

Corrugated cardboard rolled up inside a lemonade bottle: This will attract lacewings,

which are really good at eating pests.

Of course, you might want to make your insect hotel as part of a group so here’s some tips for that too: Discuss the best place for the insect hotel, taking into consideration forthcoming plans for the shared space.

Source pallets before you start, but then suggest that everyone brings their own junk and recycled materials to the session; give them guidelines on what sort of thing works.

Arrange a tidy up of your plot, so that you can use natural materials like stems and leaves.

Get a few stronger members of the team to put the pallets and heavy items in place, then invite everyone else, including kids, to stuff the other materials into the holes.

Now you’re ready to create your very own insect hotel. Have fun and happy building! If you haven’t got time to make your own insect hotel but would like to give the bugs somewhere to live this winter, you can find a great selection that are ready for your insect guests at www.

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for all terrains


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How Not to Lose It

Dealing with the ups and downs of school, social acceptance and exams, it can be a real challenge to handle all the emotions that life’s changes bring along. In her new book, Anna Williamson pulls in her extensive experience and reaches out to young people with a handy guide to keeping it together when everything in life is changing…


S parents or relatives, it can be tempting to put everything down to a phase or adolescence. We forget that feeling anxious can be more than just a phase. Sometimes so worried or stressed that it feels impossible to understand or communicate with your once adorable child who suddenly seems to have transformed, as if overnight, into a young adult. How can we support the young people in our lives and help them cope with the different challenges that can easily lead to anxiety. Anna Williamson’s new book aims to do just that. Dealing with all the issues that you might be confronted with every day. Because it is all too easy to feel like you are the first person going through exam stress, or worries at home, and feeling too self-conscious to speak about what’s bothering you. Written in a realistic tone that appeals to young people, the book reaches out and doesn’t make you feel alienated, but does everything to help raise selfawareness. Ambassador for Mind and The Prince’s Trust, Anna has insight into some of the greatest challenges facing pre-teens and young adults today, “mental health has had a massive spotlight shone on it for the last couple

of years, young people are feeling less able to cope as life becomes more complicated. School, family, friends, social media, pressure, fitting in, loneliness, stress, anxiety and low mood are all affecting young people and it’s no good ignoring it or thinking it shouldn’t happen - the fact is young people and families need help, education and support and this book is just that. It’s also easy to read and understand,” Anna explains.

The more we all understand and respect mental health the better we’ll also be able to help each other


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Trained therapist, former children’s TV presenter, and now as a mother of a 2-year old, Anna is passionate about giving children the tools, techniques and education in order to understand and manage their own mental health and emotional wellbeing. After joining Childline as a volunteer counsellor 10 years ago, and hearing first-hand the issues and challenges many young people are going through, Anna was prompted to write the book as a constructive way to use her experience “I just want to help young people” she shares, “and give some guidance on how to cope with mental health and related issues. I cover exam stress, to anxiety, to family worries - and everything else in between.” With growing mental health needs and waiting lists struggling to keep up, we

could all do with a bit of extra expert guidance. Mental health issues affect all sectors of our community and all age groups. When school or relationships are getting us down and we are feeling low it becomes very difficult to remember that life is on our side. Anna shares her key feel-better advice for when we feel overwhelmed by the changes and challenges, we are facing: “The main thing to remember is that you are brilliantly unique... everyone has times and moments in life where things can get a bit tough, scary and confusing”, explains Anna. “Always know that you are important and any feelings you might be experiencing are perfectly okay and normal. Never hold it in, find someone you trust to talk to...a teacher, family member, friend... it’s always better to let out the troubles than to hold them in. And even though you may sometimes feel as though you’re the only one feeling certain things, trust me, you’re not. The more we all understand and respect mental health the better we’ll also be able to help each other.” Thank you, Anna Williamson. Anna’s new book ‘How Not to Lose It’ and her other publications ‘Breaking Mad’ and ‘Breaking Mum and Dad’ are available to order online and from book retailers.

If you are reading this article and feel the need to speak to someone other than a family member, a teacher, or friend, you can visit www. or visit or call free on 0800 1111 to chat to someone about your feelings and worries.

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There are multiple causes of stress and anxiety in children and young people. These can include Moving house or school regularly, School, exam stress and bullying, Loss of a close friend or loved one, A serious accident or injury Stress at home and abuse or neglect.

Signs of anxiety in your child may include: finding it hard to concentrate not sleeping, or waking in the night with bad dreams not eating properly quickly getting angry or irritable, and being out of control during outbursts constantly worrying or having negative thoughts feeling tense and fidgety, or using the toilet often always crying being clingy complaining of tummy aches and feeling unwell

If you notice these symptoms are regular, getting worse or affecting family relationships, friendships and school, or that self-help tips are not working, then speak to your GP and seek professional help. There

Never hold it in, find someone you trust to talk to...a teacher, family member,’s always better to let out the troubles than to hold them in

are also several charities where you can seek

Sample text from


of How Not to

Lose It by Ann

a Williamson

professional guidance and support, such as www.youngminds. or conditions/anxietydisorders-in-children/ which offer tips on where to get the right help. You can also call the Young Minds Parents Helpline on 0808 802 5544.

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“The Eco Comfort range is part of Silentnight’s commitment to innovation, comfort and sustainability” Our range of eco-friendly mattresses are suitable for all the family from tots to adults, offering a sustainable option without compromising on comfort. Luxuriously comfortable and environmentally friendly thanks to our highperformance Eco Comfort Fibre™ fillings which are made using recycled plastic bottles.


e believe everyone should enjoy a great night’s sleep, which is why we offer a wide variety of products for different needs and ages; from safety-tested and awardwinning cot bed mattresses, to our WHICH? Best Buy range of Eco Comfort mattresses. Our Safe Nights range of cot & cot bed mattresses are foam and chemical treatment free, support growth and combat allergens to give your little ones everything they need for a blissful night’s sleep. Our Healthy Growth mattresses are specially designed for toddlers and pre-teens, providing support that promotes healthy development in a fresh and clean sleeping environment free from foam and chemical treatments.

What’s more all our eco comfort mattresses are 100% recyclable which means a great night’s sleep shouldn’t cost the earth. The Eco Comfort range is part of Silentnight’s commitment to innovation, comfort and sustainability. Visit to see the full range.

you sumptuous comfort that won’t cost the planet or your pocket. Breathable materials combine to give you a fresh sleeping environment and a purifying experience. Each year we’ve prevented 110 million bottles from entering the sea and landfill sites. The more plastic we prevent from entering our beautiful oceans and shores, the more of our natural environment and wildlife we’ll protect.

“Each year we prevent 110 million bottles from entering the sea and landfill sites” Our Eco Comfort mattresses use eco-friendly materials including recycled plastic bottles to bring

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Eco-friendly mattresses for all the family... ...that won’t cost the Earth




Our range of eco-friendly foam-free mattresses feature our breathable Eco Comfort Fibre™ for your most refreshing night’s sleep. Made from 100% recycled plastic bottles to bring you premium comfort that won’t cost the planet or your pocket. Good for you, good for the environment.

Which? awarded for the Eco Comfort Pocket 1200

Eco-friendly mattresses for all the family... ...that won’t cost the Earth

Featuring Eco Comfort Fibre™ comfort layer which allows natural airflow

Foam and chemical treatment-free, eco friendly fully recyclable materials

Sleep that supports brain development plus fuels their body and imagination

Sleep is fundamental to every child’s ability to grow, rest and recover. Our Healthy Growth mattresses are specially designed for toddler to pre teens, providing support that promotes healthy development in a fresh and clean sleeping environment free from foam and chemical treatments. Better sleep, for growing bodies and healthy minds.

GET OUT AND ABOUT MORE! Get into the Great Outdoors! Get Sporty at school! Like, follow & share our Facebook Page for a chance to win weekends away, sports equipment for your local school, camping equipment, tickets to family attractions, holidays, plus much more. Up to £1000,000 in give-aways up for grabs – nominate your family and your school for a chance to win at

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F a m i l y F e a t u re - I S S U E 0 4

The Magic of Sleep We all know how good we feel after a solid eight-hour long dreamless slumber… Here’s why we feel so good and some tried and tested ways to ensure we can benefit from a restful night, every night … WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE SLEEP?


Sleep helps us process everything we’ve learned and experienced throughout the day and gives our body a chance to heal and regenerate. Most of us need around 8 hours of sleep each night to feel refreshed for a full day of learning and concentrating. Our body and mind relax when we sleep well. Hormones regain balance, and work towards ensuring that all bodily processes are running smoothly.

There are many reasons why we may be up late in the night. Often, we are still trying to meet commitments late into the evening. It might be baking the birthday cake for the following day, or getting that presentation finished for a customer meeting. Sometimes we are worried about things – the health of a loved-one; finances, annoying colleagues; an argument or logistical problems of managing work and childcare. Whatever the reason, it’s not always possible to solve it immediately and that can make our mind run into overdrive as we try to settle down to sleep.

AND WHEN WE DON’T SLEEP? We all know the feeling of not having rested enough. We get cranky and moody. We are less patient, and feel overwhelmed by challenges we usually manage quite easily. Overtired children start crying at every tiny little challenge and equally, our responses to situations can be less than ideal when sleep is low.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DON’T SLEEP ENOUGH? All the benefits of sleep start to crumble if we don’t get enough rest. It’s not unlike driving your car around when the petrol gauge is already on red. We are expecting the same performance from our mind and body, but not giving it the tools, or replenishment it needs to deliver. If we don’t sleep for many hours or only manage to get a few hours sleep for several days or longer, then our body starts showing signs of distress and our immune system becomes less resilient; we become more susceptible to colds and infections and we need more time to recover.

HOW TO ENSURE A RESTFUL NIGHT… Counteracting the reasons for not being able to sleep takes training and this can be a long process. Fortunately, there are active steps we can take that bring immediate benefits:



for a restful


Listen to relaxing music or read something relaxing.


Have a warm shower – this relaxes you and any thoughts or concerns you have will pop up during the shower so you can make a note of them before you get into bed, leaving your mind clear for when lights go out.


Try not to eat too late; your body will be busy digesting food overnight instead of regenerating.


The same goes for drinking too much – especially caffeine – before bedtime; waking up for a trip to the bathroom at 2am is a sure-fire way to keep you looking at the clock every couple of hours until the alarm sounds.


No phone or tablet time before bed! Blue light registers ‘awake’ to your brain and affects the ability to fall asleep easily.


Leave a pen and paper next to the bed to scribble down anything you may forget for the next day – that way you won’t need to busy your brain with trying to remember it or feel anxious you may forget it by morning.


Accept that some things will have to wait until morning and that now is the time to rest.


Comfortable mattress and pillows make a world of difference and ensure you awake free from neck and back tension.

REMEMBER: If you feel that you are suffering from lack of sleep and self-help measures are not helping, then be sure to speak to your GP or a healthcare professional about your sleep or any other matter that may be causing you worry or concern.

Author: AE Lee

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I S S U E 0 4 - F a m i l y F e a t u re

Have you read... Reading is a great way to switch off from the world around you and get lost in a story and your imagination‌.


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S P O R T : Te n Fnai smFiol yu n Fe da attui ore n - I S S U E 001 4


nd quite honestly, reading is fun! Here, at Family First we love to read – reading on a sun lounger, reading in the park, reading to the kids, listening to the kids read! We love bedtime stories and holiday reads with the children, or audio books for long car journeys with the family. Reading fiction is also a great way to build empathy, where we are able to focus on a character’s choices and relationships, so we start to fill in those gaps and consider the motivation behind the character’s actions. We learn to relate to the characters that we are reading about and understand all the fun, tears and excitement they might experience. It also gives us a chance to reflect on our own situations and experiences at the same time. Here are a few of our recent picks to enjoy, or read with the children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews…


Illustrated by Katie Abey

ALL ARE WELCOME Alexandra Penfold

Illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman 0-5 years, lyrical picture book No matter how you start your day, What you wear when you play, Or if you come from far away, All are welcome here. ABOUT THE BOOK - Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcome in a school where children in patkas, hijabs, baseball caps and yarmulkes play side by side. A school where students grow and learn from each other’s traditions and where diversity is a strength. Warm and inspiring, All Are Welcome lets young children know that no matter what, they have a place, they have a space, and they are welcome in their school. Engaging lyrical text and bright, accessible illustrations make this book a wonderful addition to your child’s bookshelf, classroom and library.

PIRATE PUG Laura James

Illustrated by Églantine Ceulemans 5-7 years ABOUT THE BOOK - Meet the dastardly, the black-hearted, the really rather peckish ... Pirate Pug! The fourth book in Laura James’s beloved series about a roly-poly pug and his best friend, Lady Miranda. Perfect for fans of Claude and Squishy McFluff. In this exciting adventure Pug and Lady Miranda are off to the seaside! Things quickly get a lot less snoozy and soon Pirate Pug and his ragtag crew of friends find themselves on the trail of buried treasure…before the pirates get to it!

ABOUT THE BOOK - Is that a flamingo munching on a banana? What about that hippo flipping pancakes? And why is that llama dressed as a lemon? There’s even a shark slurping a fruit smoothie. All the animals are eating their favourite foods in their own hilarious way. So whatever you’re eating today ... tell us how it should be done? We Eat Bananas invites children to choose their favourite foods and how they like to eat them across 12 spreads, packed with animals eating bananas, soup, sandwiches, sausages, ice cream, vegetables, spaghetti and more. With interactive speech bubbles and hilarious shout outs. This is for any parent who has ever struggled to get their kids to eat up! No more fussy eating…

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7 blasted into space, race your way through Japan at lightning speed on the awesomely fast bullet train, set sail on a Viking longship and let the wind carry you away in a hot-air balloon with the Montgolfier brothers. Fantastic illustrations from Chris Mould make this book a treat for the eyes and the brain!

Matchgirls, Rosa May Billinghurst, Katherine Johnson, Annette Kellerman, Katia Krafft, Rosalind Franklin, James Barry, Madam C.J. Walker, Lotte Reiniger.



Greg James & Chris Smith Illustrated by Erica Salcedo 9-11 years

Kate Pankhurst

Illustrated by Kate Pankhurst 5-7 years ABOUT THE BOOK - What do you want to be when you grow up? Discover eye-opening facts about a collection of go-getting women – scientists, doctors, athletes, hot-air balloonists and more, journey back in time with these brave, bold and brilliant women and discover that anything is possible when you make the most of YOUR talents. Overflowing with beautiful illustrations and astounding facts, Fantastically Great Women Who Worked Wonders is the perfect introduction to just a few of the most incredible women who helped shaped the world we live in and made it possible for more women to achieve amazing things today. Features: Junko Tabei, Sophie Blanchard, Maria Merian, Elizabeth Magie, the London


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Illustrated by Chris Mould 7-9 years ABOUT THE BOOK - We love this unique approach to writing about scientific inventions, full of fascinating facts and stories about a whole host of different transport and well-known technological achievements. Make your own amazing transport journeys as you explore timelines and discover the people and stories behind the machines that keep the world moving. Take a twist or turn and find out what happened when the Freedom

Already sold in over 20 different languages, Kid Normal was the bestselling children’s fiction debut of 2017. We dare you to check out this funny and exciting third book in the series… ABOUT THE BOOK - After a dramatic jailbreak at a top-secret prison, the planet’s most dangerous supervillains are on the loose! Luckily Murph Cooper and the Super Zeroes are on hand to chase them down. Although they manage to bring in a whole host of baddies, they can’t find their nemesis Magpie anywhere. Little do they know that he is close by, and he’s linked up with another old enemy. The super smarmy Nicholas Knox is back! Together, they’ve developed a dastardly machine that can GIVE people superpowers! In the wrong hands it has the potential to bring

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about the end of the world of Heroes as we know it … and it just happens to be in the wrongest hands of all!

A Curse So Dark and Lonely Brigid Kemmerer 12+ years (YA)

This is a retelling of a classic fairy tale with plenty of danger, mystery and romance… ABOUT THE BOOK - Prince Rhen, the

heir to Emberfall, is cursed. Forced to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year

over and over, he can only be freed by love. But at the end of each autumn he is transformed into a beast hell-bent on destruction, and after so many failed attempts, his kingdom and its people are barely holding on. Harper’s life has never been easy, but she’s learned to be tough enough to survive. She won’t let anything hold her back, not her cerebral palsy or her mother’s deteriorating health. But when she is sucked into Rhen’s world, nothing is as it seems. Powerful forces are standing against Emberfall ... and it will take more than a broken curse to save it from utter ruin.

All the Invisible Things Orlagh Collins 12+ years (YA)

Warm and witty, All the Invisible Things is an important story about being a young woman today. What exactly is a girl supposed to be like anyway? ABOUT THE BOOK - With Pez, the days felt endless – cycling, climbing trees, sucking sour sweets til our tongues burned. I’d give anything to be that girl again. For four years Vetty Lake has been keeping her heart in hiding. Since her mum died and her family moved out of London it’s felt so much safer not to tell people how she really feels. She’s never even told anyone she’s attracted to girls as well as boys. But now Vetty’s seventeen and coming back to London she’s determined to start living out loud. She’s convinced that reconnecting with her childhood best friend Pez is the key. She was always fearless around him. But when she sees Pez again, he’s different. Guarded. It’s like their special connection never existed. And suddenly Vetty’s sure he’s been hiding too… For more amazing books for children and young adults visit:

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A DV E R TO R I A L ISSUE 04 - Sport 4 All

Get Sporty

(home and away) What better way to practise all your skills, tricks, serves, slam dunks and throws than to have your own equipment at home or on the go? Check out this Buyer’s Guide for top picks to get you started…

This ideal starter baseball set (21.99 GBP) includes a bat, ball and glove. The wooden baseball bat (25inch) has a traditional black handle and modern wooden barrel. The glove (10inch) is made from high grade vinyl and suitable for right handed throwers only. A softcore safety baseball made from synthetic leather for the look of a real baseball completes the set.

Shoot some hoops and perfect your 3-pointers with this professionallooking, clear backboard basketball hoop (99.99 GBP), ideal for indoors and outdoors. Suitable for ages 3 years and over, it has adjustable height up to 10ft (3.05m). The portable base just needs to be filled with sand or water before you get started.


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Ideal for indoor and outdoor use and equipped with a ball and pump, with this 2 in 1 popup goal (29.99 GBP) you’ll be ready in seconds. Whether you’re having a kickabout with your friends or getting some practice in, this lightweight and easy to store and carry goal means you are ready anytime. Folded size: 42 x 3 x 42 cm. Size: H76.2cm, W106.68cm, D76.2cm.

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Ideal for indoor and outdoor use, this is a full-size feature-packed Table tennis (199.99 GBP) table provides true performance and durability. To use the training option, simply fold the table upwards to play solo and train like the pros. An integrated accessory storage system at each end of the table means uninterrupted play and keeps ball and bat tucked away between matches. Size: L274.3, W152.4, H76.2cm. Self-assembly.

Anyone for a game of Tennis? All you need is right here in this two-person tennis set (12.99 GBP). Perfect for kids and adults, the set comes with two 25inch tennis rackets and two tennis balls in a cover carry bag, making it great value for money. This lightweight portable folding goal (24.99 GBP) is ideal for indoor and outdoor use and comes with a ball and pump, so you can play anywhere, anytime. The patented folding connectors allow you to fold and unfold the goal in seconds. It’s easy to carry with a carry bag included for your comfort and easy storage. Folded size:14 x 10 x 93cm. Size: H60.96cm, W91.44cm, D60.96cm.

This cricket set (12.99 GBP) is a great introduction to the world of cricket. Recommended for ages 4 to 8 years, the set is designed to help the young cricketer to develop their batting skills. It contains one moulded cricket bat, one all-weather rubber ball, one all-weather base and three allweather stumps.

This 3 in 1 Compact soccer skills trainer (49.99 GBP) for younger players features the famous Football Flick curved ramp and new interchangeable rear rebounder and goal. All combine for player practice and great family fun. Helps to develop motor and co-ordination skills in young players. Comes with specially designed ball which is supplied uninflated. For indoor use, can also be used anywhere. Size: H65, W64, D71cm. Diameter: 64cm. Size: 2.5 ball.

Fantastic for families, this Carlton badminton set (31.99 GBP) features everything you’ll need to play recreational badminton. Ideal for a great outdoor game in the garden or to take away on family holidays. Steel frame with head cover. Includes 4 rackets, 3 shuttlecocks, net, net poles, carry bag. Weight: 1100g.

Made from all-weather plastic. Size: H55cm, W13cm, D14cm.

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ISSUE 04 - Sport 4 All

TENNIS Mastering 101 the Basics Keen to give tennis a try but unsure where to start? Follow our tips to get tennis-ready …


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do they actually mean? We’ve put together some top tips on the key tennis shots and how to master them:

the key thing is to give it a try and just have fun!


ummer is upon us and the school holidays are approaching so that can only mean one thing: there’s more time to pick up a racket and play tennis! Whether at your park, a nearby club or your local SERVES tennis session (head to to find out more), there are so many opportunities for your family to get involved in the sport! Whether you understand the ‘tennis chat’ or not, the key thing is to give it a try and just have fun! As with many things in life, you learn the most by just giving it your best shot… If on the other hand you are keen to give it a go but want to master the basics first? Then the LTA have got you covered with their guide to getting started:

SO… FIRST THING’S FIRST…WHY TENNIS? We know that sport is beneficial to health, helping keep weight down, lowering blood pressure and improving heart and lung

function, but research by Oxford University indicates that regularly playing tennis could halve your chance of an early death. What better reason do you need to pick up your racket and play tennis more often! Scientists say the difference may lie in the social aspect which goes alongside sports like tennis and squash, which often involve clubs and organised activities outside of the game. It means that people often have larger social networks and tend to keep up activities into later life, both of which are proven to be good for health – so no excuse not to get your family involved from an early age!

OK, WE’RE SOLD…SO HOW DO WE MASTER THE BASICS? In Tennis, there are different types of shots… You’ve probably heard people talk about a serve, forehand & backhand …but what

There’s the Serve: Maybe you’ve seen some of your favourite tennis athletes like Serena Williams getting ready to serve? The serve is the most important shot in tennis (it’s the one at the beginning that opens the tennis match) and the most used as it starts every point, so it’s a good one to practise. To achieve success with your serve, try the following: Stand with your feet shoulderwidth apart and slightly sideways on to the baseline

Hold the racket with a neutral/ chopper grip (like you’re holding a hammer)

Toss the ball up above your head with a straight arm

As you throw your racket up towards the ball the edge of the racket frame should lead. Just before you hit the ball turn your arm and wrist outward to make contact with the strings, not the frame

Your racket should make contact with the ball above your head at a 12 o’clock position

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ISSUE 04 - Sport 4 All

And Forehands & Backhands: You would use a forehand or a backhand to hit the ball back to your opponent – they are the groundstrokes used after a serve. They are usually hit from the back of the tennis court, near the baseline. Want to master a good groundstroke? Try out the following: Hold the racket with a neutral/ chopper grip (again, like you’re holding a hammer)

Try to work out where the ball is going to bounce so that you can get in to a good position to make contact with the ball

Your contact point should be out to the side and slightly in front of your body. The racket should be horizontal and at waist height when it makes contact with the ball. Make sure the strings are facing slightly upwards so the ball goes up and over

After you have hit the ball, recover close to the centre of the line at the back of the court (the baseline) so that you’re ready for the next shot

TOP TIP Why not practise your serve (and groundstrokes) against a wall until you get a good feel for coordinating it?

Ready to keep score: Mastered the shots and ready to play a game? Check out the LTA’s simple guide to scoring below: Scoring in a standard game of tennis goes as follows. It takes four points to win a game. The player/team serving in the game has their score called first.


If the score is 40 – 30 the server needs one more point to win the game. But if the receiver wins the next point, the score is now called “deuce”. Each player now needs to win 2 more points to win. If the server wins the next point the score is “advantage server”. If the receiver wins the next point the score is “advantage receiver”. If the player with “advantage” wins the next point they win the game. If the player without “advantage” wins the next point, the score reverts to “deuce”. The score can go back and forth from “advantage” to “deuce” until one player wins 2 points in a row.

Tennis is more than about the match – there is a wonderful social aspect outside the game that is great for your long-term good health Scoring in a set: The first player/ team to win six games in a set wins that set, provided there is a margin of two games over the opponent(s). If the score reaches six games all, a tie-breaker is played to determine the winner of the set. It takes either 2 or 3 sets to win a match (depending on what has been pre-arranged). Now you have all the basics, you can get your tennis shoes on, grab a racket and get on to court!

TENNIS READY? – GREAT! WHAT NOW? So you’ve mastered the basics and want to get your family involved with more tennis? Head to to find your nearest park, club or SERVES session, or check out the below events & programmes: Nature Valley Big Tennis Weekends: 20/21st July & 28/29th September: Nature Valley Big Tennis Weekends are fun and free open days for all the family where tennis venues in your local area open their doors to the local community. Head to to find your nearest venue and sign up! Tennis for Kids: The LTA’s ‘Tennis for Kids’ is a six-session course aimed at 4-10-year-olds who are total beginners to the game. Each of the six sessions lasts for one hour and is packed full of fun, engaging and motivating games to equip children with basic skills in tennis, such as confidence, fair play, determination, friendship, inclusivity and co-ordination. For just £25, your child will receive six high quality coaching lessons delivered by a trained ‘Tennis for Kids’ coach PLUS a unique Babolat racket, a set of balls and a personalised t-shirt. Head to to find your nearest course and sign up!

No point - “Love” First point - “15” Second point - “30” Third point - “40” Fourth point - “Game”

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for all the family Get your tyres pumped, dust off your helmets and saddle -up… it’s time to get out and about on your bike with the family this summer!

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ISSUE 04 - Sport 4 All


ith the sixweek holiday approaching faster than most of us can say, ‘school’s out’, and whispers of another scorching summer (here’s hoping), there is no better time to think about making the most of the long break in the great outdoors - getting on your bike with your family. Out of the saddle, 2019 is chock-full of cream of the crop, world-class professional races on home soil, such as the HSBC UK | National Road Championships in Norfolk this June and September’s UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire. You’ll be spoilt for choice for activities to be a part of over the next few months. From the launch of our HSBC UK Ready Set Ride programme – which equips parents and teachers with the necessary skills and exercises to help children learn to ride – to our trafficfree, big city HSBC UK Let’s Ride events, our participation initiatives make sure that there are opportunities for everyone to get on a bike, regardless of age, ability or experience.

GETTING THE KIDS PEDAL-READY WITH HSBC UK READY SET RIDE Riding a bike gives you a great sense of freedom – and we think every child in Britain should have

Riding a bike gives you a great sense of freedom – every child in Britain should have the chance to learn!

the chance to learn. That’s why we created HSBC UK Ready Set Ride; a fun and easy way to help children from as young as 18 months to eightyears-old learn to ride a bike with free, quick and easy games – having lots of fun along the way. Kids can start at any age and there is no pressure to start pedalling on your first go. In fact, you don’t need a bike or any cycling knowledge to get started. HSBC UK Ready Set Ride is all about introducing pedalling to playtime, where learning together is a fun, family adventure that can be completed in three simple steps.

for free! Cycle around Osterley Park, one of London’s largest parks, or explore the rolling grounds of Blickling Estate in Norfolk and Northumberland’s Wallington. The National Trust is opening up its places across the country for a new twist on a day out. And with helmets, child seats and trailers available, it all gears up for a fun trip for the whole family.

A FUN FAMILY DAY OUT And, if you wanted to saddle up for a family day out, our partnership with HSBC UK and the National Trust offers low-cost bike borrowing to those who visit several of the charity’s beautiful places and spaces around England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This is the perfect activity for families, friends and first-timers alike. Visitors can borrow from a fleet of bikes from as little as £3 – while kids can hire balance bikes

HSBC UK GO-RIDE HSBC UK Go-Ride provides a fun and safe way to introduce young riders to the world of cycle sport and provides a platform to improve bike handling skills. Getting involved is easy, either with a local Go-Ride Club or through one of our many holiday coaching programmes where young people will be able to get a taste for a number of disciplines. For those who are already involved and want to take things to the next level, Go-Ride has it covered with the HSBC UK Go-Ride Racing competition programme. Inspiration to participation has long been British Cycling’s philosophy, and rarely is it more apparent than in the number of stars like Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton, Jason and Laura Kenny, Kyle Evans and Geraint Thomas, who have risen through the ranks to the Great Britain Cycling Team after their talent was first spotted at their local Go-Ride club. In fact, over 80% of the current Great Britain Cycling Team, across all disciplines, started out at a Go-Ride club.

BIG CITY CYCLING FESTIVALS From young to old, enabling families to enjoy cycling together is a key part


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Sport 4 All - ISSUE 04

of all our programmes, including our HSBC UK Let’s Ride events. Involving 14 city centre events along with a number of collaboration rides across the country, Let’s Ride has gone from strength to strength each year and welcomed a brilliant 135,000 people in 2018. Back again for another year, be sure to visit to find an event near you!

REGULAR TRAFFIC-FREE EVENTS FOR ALL THE FAMILY Whether it’s your very first time on two wheels, or you’re looking for a reason to get your bikes out of the shed, our Let’s Ride Pop Up events are perfect for little legs (and longer ones too). Our monthly traffic-free pop events – which take place across the country – are a great way to spend quality time together as a family and ride along at a pace that suits you. The events provide a safe and friendly space for everyone to enjoy cycling, taking place in outdoor leisure facilities or parkland. Plus, it’s totally free to take part, so simply sign up at and we’ll see you soon! And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not join one of our Guided Rides, taking you through different guided routes so you can leave the navigating to us!

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EXERCISE DOESN’T HAVE TO BE AN UPHILL STRUGGLE! As parents, we want our children to get the best start in life and for them to grow into happy, healthy and successful grown-ups. Increasingly, parents face daily battles with ‘screen-time’. Introducing kids to cycling from an early age gives them lifelong skills to keep them active. Frog Bikes has invested in research to develop a range of high quality, lightweight kids’ bikes to encourage more kids to get out and enjoy the freedom of cycling.

BUT WHAT MAKES FROG BIKES THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR YOUR KIDS? Many parents are uncertain about which bike to go for and often end up buying a bike featuring the latest kids’ novelty character, but if the bike is really heavy the child struggles to learn and keep up.

LITTLE THINGS MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE... A lightweight bike, which is correctly fitted to the child, is easier for a child to learn on, develop skills quickly and keep up with Mum and Dad. Through independent research, every part of a Frog Bike is designed specifically for smaller riders, so the bike is the best fit possible and easier to handle. Frog uses child friendly parts such as easy to reach brake levers and gear shifters that fit smaller hands. Frog Bikes are also only available through independent bike shops, which means the bike is correctly assembled and fitted by a qualified mechanic. They can also be traded in through the Pre-Loved Frogs Scheme– which is great news when you need the next size of bike (especially as they hold their value really well). Owning a Frog Bike is a commitment to an active and healthy future. For our kids, it’s about learning skills, gaining confidence and most importantly having fun!




Get creative with your soft furnishings… “We used a bed sheet with our daughter. Wrapped around her waist, held tight and walked next to her as she rode. Started to loosen it until she was riding on her own. It was amazing, took a very anxious 8 year old (who had always refused to learn how to ride the bike) 2 hours to ride unaided!!” Deborah Lunt


Get the right bike... “Balance bike and then a small bike, don’t be tempted to buy an expensive bike they’ll grow into. We got a second-hand first pedal bike and this meant it wasn’t much bigger than his trusty balance bike and he went straight off and pedalled. Don’t over bike them.” Freya Kennedy


Get a hand of the brakes “Take pedals off the bike, learning how to use the brakes first builds confidence, then when you put pedals on they know how to stop.“ Stephen Brummitt


Downhill fun! “...get to a point where they can balance with minimal assistance, then find a field with a very slight slope downhill, start them off and let go.” Phil Neath

Introducing the brakes early on not only ensures your child uses the brakes correctly, but also gives them the reassurance that they have control.


Channel the space surrounding you “Find space, they will stare at their feet! If they can’t bump into anything, they will feel what the motion and momentum is doing and it may click sooner ...” Martin Ross This is a useful technique to instil confidence, as the bigger the space, the fewer hazards they will feel exposed to. You also have the useful element of distraction too, because if they focus their attention on their feet they will keep up the momentum of cycling, essentially staying on their bike for longer.

Once your child is confident on his bike, find a slope they can coast down without pedalling. This will help them gain better balance and is fun too!


Nurture their confidence “Gradual confidence built up is the key, last thing you want is to dent their confidence at very beginning!” Hugo Matos


Keep it fun! “Just keep encouraging them and make it fun…” Mathew Evans

To find the right fit of bike for your child, visit your local Frog stockist where they will be able to expertly fit your child to the correct size of bike using the FrogFit TM App, where arm length, inside leg measurement and a rider’s confidence level informs the model recommendation.

ISSUE 04 - Sport 4 All



ROUND...? Of course, we’re talking Golf! We catch up with the Golf Foundation and find out what great golfing opportunities you can get involved in up and down the country…


FA M I LY F I R S T - S U M M E R 2 019

Sport 4 All - ISSUE 04


ummer is quickly approaching and it’s the perfect time to get the family out onto the course, swinging a ‘driver’, ‘long-iron’ or indeed a putter at that little white golf ball on a ‘fairway’ or ‘green’.


Golf offers a great opportunity for the whole family to play and learn together, away from the hustle and bustle of urban life, smartphones and tablets; out in the fresh air, in beautiful natural surroundings, with the birds and the trees as your spectators. The physical and mental health benefits can be immediate and long-lasting for every generation of your family, from child to grandparent. National children’s charity the Golf Foundation sums it up: golf offers “Skills for Life, a healthy life and a game for life”.

GENERATIONS PLAY TOGETHER With the golf ‘handicap’ system, a very average player, on a good day, can play – and even beat – Tiger Woods. Mums can play with sons, Dads versus daughters; how many sports offer this for players of all abilities aged four to 104? It’s a great time to take up golf. Clubs today have become much more customer-focused: Google-search your local clubs and it’s likely that tempting offers for group or individual lessons will pop-up, while you’ll also be able to judge whether it’s a welcoming place to stop by for a coffee. Nearly every golf club can offer a professionally qualified coach to get you started, including a growing number of female coaches.

MORE THAN JUST A GAME For your youngsters, so many more clubs can attest to being very much “junior-friendly”. In independent research the Golf Foundation found that 99% of parents who play golf consider the golf club to be a safe environment. There are 400-plus golf clubs (HSBC Golf Roots Centres) that are funded directly by the Golf Foundation to encourage the kids! The Foundation’s ‘Skills for Life’ philosophy is built around the acknowledgement in the sport that golf offers kids valuable life skills. Skills such as learning when to wait patiently and quietly and respecting your opponent’s turn to play at all times; the scoring is entrusted to you and there is no referee to appeal to. The individual challenges and trials build resilience that can help forge positive attitudes in wider life. Don’t be worried by how tricky the game might look at first. And don’t feel that you have to start spending four hours playing 18 holes. The National Governing Bodies in each of the UK nations offer appealing ‘starter’ programmes. Check out

their websites for (often free) taster activities near you.

GETTING STARTED You may have a driving range nearby with an accredited PGA coach. This can be a great place just to have a first lesson for yourself and a friend; hit some balls in a ‘bay’ and see how you feel.

The Golf Foundation reaches kids in more than 3,000 schools and encourages all schools to try to include 50% girls in mixed teams for School Games events. There are plenty of short nine-hole courses, public putting greens and mini ‘adventure golf’ courses in the UK. These are a more sophisticated version of the ‘crazy golf’ at the seaside, where the whole family can putt the ball around in themed surroundings where pirates, monkeys or T-Rex’s watch the fun. Adventure Leisure has wild and whacky, fun golf centres, from leisure parks to golf venues all over the country. Meanwhile, http:// has centres in Derby, Manchester, Sheffield, Chester, Glasgow and more.

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ISSUE 04 - Family First


EX󰉑󰉑󰉑󰉑󰉑󰉑󰉑󰉑 󰉑

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FU󰈰󰈰 󰉆󰉆󰉆󰉆󰉆 14 AG󰉋󰉋󰉋󰉋󰉋4½ YE󰉝󰉝󰉝󰉝󰉝󰉝


AC󰈜󰈜󰈜󰈜󰈜󰈜󰈜󰈜󰈜󰈜󰈜󰈜󰈜󰈜󰈜 & always a choice!

S󰉑󰉑󰉑󰉑󰉑󰉑󰉑󰉑󰉑󰉑󰉑󰉑󰉑󰉑󰉑 󰉑󰉑󰉑󰉑󰉑󰉑 FU󰈰󰈰󰈰󰈰󰈰󰈰󰈰󰈰󰈰󰈰󰈰󰈰󰈰󰈰 PLEA 󰈰󰈰 󰈰 SE SE EW


Vis󰈎󰈎󰈎󰈎 󰇻󰇻󰇻󰇻󰇻󰇻󰇻󰇻󰇻󰇻󰇻󰇻󰇻󰇻󰇻󰇻󰇻󰇻󰇻󰇻󰇻󰇻󰇻󰇻󰇻󰇻or 󰇹󰇹󰇹󰇹󰇹󰇹󰇹 01480 467567 Giving every child such an


AM󰉝󰉝󰉝󰉝󰉝󰉝󰉝󰉝󰉝 EX󰈪󰈪󰈪󰈪󰈪󰈪󰈪󰈪󰈪󰈪󰈪󰈪󰈪󰈪

FA M I LY F I R S T - S U M M E R 2 019

Fol󰈗󰈗󰈗󰈗󰈗󰈗󰈗󰈗󰈗󰈗󰈗󰈗󰈗󰈗󰈗󰈗󰈗󰈗 they can’t wait to come back! Rated 5 stars - April 2019

Sport 4 All - ISSUE 04

Horton Park Golf Club in Surrey boasts its own ‘Jungle Island’ adventure course, just ten yards from its terrace cafe. Teaching Pro Matt Edgar explains, “Everyone is welcome here. I’m having lunch on the terrace, there are nearly 100 people and many of them won’t be playing today, just enjoying the venue. Jungle Island will be popular with families, while Horton Park itself can cater for brand new players of all ages and abilities.” Iain Fulton, Head Teaching Professional at Belton Woods Hotel, in Lincolnshire, explains a major benefit for clubs in the area “has been the introduction of the ‘GolfSixes League’; a whole new inter-club league where boys and girls, and many brothers and sisters are playing in a big competition, cheered on by their Mums and Dads”.

FAMILY-FRIENDLY FUN GolfSixes League will be played by 200 golf clubs in 2019 with the Golf Foundation. The six-a-side, inter-club matches offer fun and quick six-hole fixtures for boys and girls (the aim is to have at least two girls in every team), taking around an hour and fitting into busy family lifestyles. The consistently high degree of parental support (scoring, refereeing, cheering-on and cake-making), plus the energetic team format and regular practice together, has shown families that golf can offer the same weekend appeal as football, rugby, and netball. Meanwhile, the ‘Girls Golf Rocks’ project is taking place in 26 English

counties in 2019 with England Golf. Here, older girls who are strong golfers and often play at county level, are trained as mentors to help clubs and PGA coaches reach out to younger girls and show them that golf can be a cool and sociable sport to play. Last year, 1,600 girls benefited at more than 100 clubs.

ANOTHER WAY TO GET INTO GOLF Like their Scottish, Welsh and Irish counterparts, England Golf is continually looking to open the sport up to a wider demographic. Its ‘Get into Golf’ scheme welcomes all ages, and all levels of fitness to “simply give it a go” (see www.getintogolf. org). You can book a taster session at a club near you and see what you think. It’s usually free, so you’ve got everything to gain. To get started, get in touch with your local golf club who will be able to get you enjoying your first swing in no time.

Golf offers a great opportunity for the whole family to play and learn together, away from the hustle and bustle of urban life, smartphones and tablets.

Find your nearest professional coach at Learn more about junior golf at and Facebook @TheGolfFoundation More at:;;

GREAT FOR HEALTH Golf is fun and accessible, which means that children can exercise without feeling like it’s a chore. According to The R&A, the body which governs the game, you can burn 1,000 calories in a round of golf with all the walking, turning of shoulders and hips, knees, and all-round body movement; taking 10,000 steps and walking four to six miles. A recent independent research paper, published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, found a 40 per cent reduction in mortality rates among 300,000 members of the Swedish Golf Federation, corresponding to an increase in life expectancy of about five years. England Golf is urging golf clubs to become dementia-friendly by helping the 850,000 people living with the condition in the UK. The call came at the recent launch of the first dementia-friendly sport and physical activity guide by the Alzheimer’s Society.

FA M I LY F I R S T - S U M M E R 2 019


ISSUE 04 - Sport 4 All

ONE FOR THE DIARY At many major golf events, under-16s gain either free entry with an adult guardian or enjoy concessions. Here are some events around the U.K.: The Open Championship Royal Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, July 18-21 For more information, see www.theopen. com Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Lahinch, County Clare, Rep of Ireland, July 4-7 Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open North Berwick, Scotland, July 11-14 For the above see www.europeantour. com for tournament information and www. for tickets. AIG Women’s British Open Woburn Golf Club, England, August 1-4 For information, see https:// The Solheim Cup (Europe women v USA) Gleneagles, Scotland, September 19-22 For tickets see England Golf European Ladies Amateur Championship, Parkstone Golf Club, Dorset, England, July 24-27. Admission: free to all.

MORE ON GOLF We wouldn’t avoid ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ just because we’re unsure of the difference between a shimmy and a chassé. So, don’t be put off trying or be confused by the slices, hooks, ‘gimmes’, bafflers, Greensomes, double-bogies, and hitting out of the toe… and all that golfing jargon… With golf, as in life, you learn as you go along. Nearly every golf club can offer a professionally qualified coach to get you started (and they won’t judge your first efforts quite as harshly as would Craig Revel Horwood). Learn more about golf at and https://www.britishgolfmuseum. (And if you’re curious check out www. for a list of all that weird and wonderful golfing terminology!) Author: Ben Evans at the Golf Foundation


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Family Fun - ISSUE 04

Word Search Safari From pets and countryside wildlife to exotic creatures of the Amazon, which animals can you spot hiding in this wordy jungle? Have fun!





FA M I LY F I R S T - S U M M E R 2 019


Turmeric veggie fritters

Cooking Instructions

Super fuel your day with these super fritters! Prep Cook Serves

25 minutes 20 minutes

10 fritters



Tasty tip

Add sweetcorn! Though watch out - it makes them more crumbly when frying!

Ingredients you’ll need

2 small courgettes 2 medium carrots Stem of a broccoli 1 apple grated 1 cup of grated cheddar or parmesan 1 teaspoon of turmeric Half an avocado 1/2 cup Greek yogurt 4/5 sprigs of mint Salt and pepper Butter or coconut oil


Chopping board and knife Saucepan and frying pan Sieve Grater Kitchen roll Food processor / blender Measuring bowl

Healthy, happy familes!


Carefully grate the carrots, courgettes and broccoli stem and place in boiling water for 3 mins


Strain the veggies in a sieve and rinse with cold water until cool enough to touch


Next stack 3 sheets of kitchen roll on top of one another and place the veggies in the middle of it


Add your grated apple to it and then squeeze out as much of the excess liquid as you possibly can - this is really important otherwise the fritters won’t hold together very well


Place in a mixing bowl with all of the other ingredients and mix really well


Use your hands to shape the mixture into about 10 balls and pop in the fridge for a few minutes


Fry your fritters in butter or coconut oil in a hot frying pan for 5-7 minutes on each side, until they are golden


To make the yummy dip, place the avocado, Greek yogurt and mint in a food processor or blender and whizz until fully combined


Serve straight away as a light lunch or store for lunch boxes / healthy snacks in the fridge for up to 4 days

Dinner table fun... Start a story and let each person take turns to add to the story. It could be just one word, a sentence, or a whole new direction to the story. This game always creates lots of fun and laughter!

F a m i l y F e a t u re - I S S U E 0 4

Creative Family Fun The perfect game to play with the kids the next time they say ‘Dad, I’m bored…’

THE SCRIBBLE GAME: Maybe you remember playing the squiggle or scribble game when you were a child? This simple game is a great way to encourage creativity, express imaginative ideas and promote graphomotor skills that also help children to write. Any game that gets kids to wield a pen or pencil instead of wiggling their thumbs or pressing a touch screen or tablet as a passtime will definitely help your child feel more comfortable with writing numbers and letters when it’s time to start school, and also help to reinforce what they have been learning in the classroom when they are a little older.

Ideal for: 2 Players (parent/child, or siblings, or a fun breaktime exercise in pairs)

What you’ll need: 2 different pens/a pencil and a pen (or two different colours)

A piece of paper

How you play the game: One player draws a squiggle (any swirly

squiggly line you can imagine, as simple as you like) using one pen. The second player then has to use the squiggle to finish the picture. It can be as complex or as simple as you like, anything - a squiggly s-shape can be the curly hair on a clown’s head, the wiggly bark of a tree or the flag at the top of a pirate ship! The more creative and imaginative the picture becomes, the better! You can even choose a theme and create a page to colour-in later, bringing your imaginative squiggles to life!

Why it’s great: Aside from all the fine-motoring benefits and as a way to encourage your child to develop preschool motoring skills, kids love having some quality time with their parents and grandparents! This is a great way to spend time together, also helping to pass the time in the doctor’s surgery waiting room or anywhere else. Anyone can play the game – you are only limited by your creativity and ideas. And it’s actually a lot of fun to see what different ideas the kids come up with. See if you can guess

what the other person is drawing while they are meeting this scribble-art challenge…

Why not... Try introducing a shape when it’s your turn – a triangle, or a circle, rectangle or hexagon, and see if your child can recognise and name the shape, as well as create a picture from it.

Use different coloured pens and see if your child is able to recognise and label the different colours you are using. Make the game more challenging if playing the game with older children by using a broader spectrum of shades.

Set a challenge with your shape or scribble by suggesting which picture your child should draw. If your child always wants to draw a house, then challenge him or her to draw an aeroplane or an elephant – and see what challenge they set you when it’s your turn to complete the picture!

Illustrations: Pirate by Wolff; Mermaid by Rosa

FA M I LY F I R S T - S U M M E R 2 019



’m a serious sentimentalist when it comes to parting with baby clothes. There are far too many adorable items that I struggle to let go of. Not only that, I love a bit of upcycling. Larger items of clothing can be given to friends or relatives or upcycled into drawstring gym bags or quilted blankets (if you’re feeling adventurous). But remember all those adorable baby socks? It can be challenging to think of a project that utilises the teeny tiny baby socks… I first made these loveable Baby Sock Dragons when my daughter grew out of her first pair of socks. It was a great way to keep the socks and keep her entertained while in the pushchair when we were out and about. The stripy dragons - known as Digby and Dora - are several years old now and I am ridiculously attached to them. You don’t need to be able to sew for this project as Digby was made entirely using PVA glue. And he’s done pretty well through the years! The new, pink dragon is called Esmerelda. Once the children no longer play with the puppets, you can always use them as fun egg cosies to keep boiled eggs warm! This project is perfect for little ones who are old enough to know that they shouldn’t put everything they see into their mouth! You can also get older children involved – they can make a

puppet each and upcycle one of those random socks that always seem to turn up in the washing machine!


For this easy craft project …

Step 1 -

Choose your favourite (odd) sock! Turn your sock over so that the top of the foot is facing down and the heel is facing up. The heel is the head of the dragon face and the underside and toe section make the long nose and dragon snout. Cut out some shapes to make the teeth, lips or a dragon tongue from the felt. I chose teeth for Esmerelda.

YOU WILL NEED: A baby’s sock Felt (different colours, or left-over patterned fabric)

Needle and thread (or PVA glue) Yarm Toy stuffing (optional) Embroidery thread (optional) Scissors (for cutting the felt and fabric)

FA M I LY F I R S T - S U M M E R 2 019


ISSUE 04 - Family Fun

about the size of a one-pence coin from white felt, and a smaller circle in a contrasting colour for the pupils (I used white felt for the outside and black for the pupils). Stick the pupils onto the white circles. You can glue or sew into place on the heel of the sock.

Step 5 -

Add some hair. I made a little pompom and sewed it in placed.

Step 2 -

Attach the mouth section to the front of the sock. For the teeth, I folded the sock toes over a bit to make lips, then sewed the teeth into place. You can add some toy stuffing inside the Baby Sock Dragon at this point if you’d like to give the face a little definition but it’s not essential. It depends on the thickness of the sock and how big it is! Digby and Dora are not stuffed.

Step 3 -

Give your Baby Sock Dragon some eyes. Cut circles


FA M I LY F I R S T - S U M M E R 2 019

Step 6 -

Step 4 -

Cut out some coloured felt ears and wings in any shape you like. Older siblings can help with cutting felt and maybe even design the shapes of wings and ears in all sorts of fancy designs! Sew or glue these into place.

Lastly, I gave the snout a little bit of definition with a small length of pink embroidery thread and added some whiskers. Neither of these are essential but do help to make each dragon character a little different from the next - I thought it gave Esmerelda a little bit of extra personality! That’s it! It really is that fun and simple to turn an old baby sock into a cute little Baby Sock Dragon. You can make this project more elaborate by sewing sparkling beads into the ears and embellishing the base of the sock with a frill or lace ribbon, depending on the age of the children who are making the sock. For more tips, tricks, creative ideas and guidance join Katie at the Memory Zoo Creative Community on Facebook.

G et C o o k i n g - I S S U E 0 4

Packed Lunch


Here’s a week of packedlunch inspiration to get you started… MONDAY ROAST

Create a simple sandwich on wholegrain bread using any sliced meat that is left over from yesterday’s dinner (with a thin layer of spread or mayonnaise). Add a slice of iceberg lettuce for extra crunch and thinly sliced cucumber. This works nicely with a side of crunchy carrot sticks and cherry tomatoes, which are naturally sweet and nutritious. You can slice the tomatoes in half if you are preparing a packed lunch for younger children.

TOP TIP: Swap out the chicken for turkey or ham slices, or cheese (you can pack the cucumber separately and add shortly before eating the sandwich to avoid soggy cheese sandwich syndrome!). Kids will also love ‘building their sandwich’ if you chop or grate any portions of veg in a sandwich-friendly way.


A crusty bread roll (preferably wholegrain) with a tuna filling. Add a little mayonnaise and use a fork to

create a smooth paste, or leave chunkier if you prefer it that way. Add lettuce, sliced black olives, sweetcorn and diced cucumber to the mix for a more interesting sandwich filling. You can prepare this the night before and keep it in the fridge up to three days.

A WRAP ON WEDNESDAY You’ll need a wholegrain soft tortilla wrap for this light mid-week lunch. Open it out and add a little sauce of your choice – mild tomato salsa, humous or cream cheese work well. Add chicken strips and shredded iceberg lettuce to the middle and top third of your open wrap. Fold up the bottom third and roll up for a delicious and easy to handle lunch.

TOP TIP: You can try an Asian inspired, exotic version of this wrap by using plum sauce, and thinly sliced strips of cucumber and spring onion. Add shredded duck and you have a perfect take on a Peking duck pancake roll.


What would a week of sandwiches be without a BLT? Fry back bacon in its own juices and drain to reduce the fat. Continue to fry until the bacon is crispy.

Allow to cool. Add to lightly toasted sandwich bread. Top with sliced tomatoes and fresh leaves of crunchy iceberg lettuce. You can swap out the bacon for a leaner/or meat-free alternative.


A salad packed pitta with humous or a Greek yogurt dressing is satisfying and nutritious. Choose the salad options that the children enjoy, or even pack them into smaller lunchbox compartments so the kids can add more crunchy favourites as they go along. Or swap out the pitta for a bagel filled with a vegetarian spread and red pepper sticks to snack on.

Any day of the week...

Fry chopped broccoli lightly in a little olive oil until cooked, but firm. Add mini capers if you like the flavour and fry for a further two minutes. Half a handful of cherry tomatoes and add to the mix. Mix in some cooked rice, quinoa or pasta and leave to cool. This is a great Tuesday night family dinner; reserve a smaller portion for lunch the next day.

REMEMBER... Pack a reusable BPA-free plastic bottle of water or squash to avoid buying too many packaged drinks. Alternatively, opt for a packaged drink that is recyclable and based on natural fruit juices mixed with water and no added sugar or sweeteners.

FA M I LY F I R S T - S U M M E R 2 019


Author: AE Lee

Packed lunches are a healthy and cost-effective way to manage what you and the family are eating. Perfect for school and any weekend picnic; why not take a packed lunch instead of opting for pricey pre-packaged lunch options?

Messy Moments?

Use your Kleenex® Water Fresh™ Wipes... September is almost upon us which means schooldays and all those great messy moments! Embrace the mucky elbows, sticky sandwich fingers, and muddy faces as Kleenex® Water Fresh™ Wipes are ready to tackle all your adventures. For on the go, the Pocket Pack tissues mean your child will also be ready to catch any sniffles or sneezes and get back to running around the playground!

Top Tip – Throw some Kleenex® Water Fresh™ Wipes into their backpack for a fresh fix, anytime, anywhere. Suitable for children aged 3+.

NEW water fresh™ wipes The gentle cleansing power of water, anytime, anywhere. ®/TM Trademarks of Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. or its affiliates. © KCWW

F a m i l y F e a t u re - I S S U E 0 4

Back to School After an amazing six-weeks of family fun, it’s time to get back into the daily school routine.


rom chool materials, school uniforms and everyday items, we’ve prepared a check-list to help you make that backto-school transition a little smoother for everyone… Here are some things that your children may need for the new year starting back at school:

their school bag – using tissues can help prevent spreading of viruses and encourages younger children to use tissues instead of constantly using their sleeves; and also prevents moments of embarrassment for your older children.

before they are due to start back

Make sure all electronic

to school. Not forgetting their P.E.

equipment is charged and

kits and sock drawer... check for

clearly labelled with your child’s

holes in the heels or toes. Stock-up

name, including headphones,

with these essentials over Summer

iPads, calculators and phones.

or mend any socks that still fit well, ready for the new school year.

Check your children’s stationary

You might want to look out for

kit and school books are all up-

longer socks or tights if that is also

to-date. Get the kids to sharpen

compatible with your child’s school

pencils and look out for what

A new lunch bag or box: It is a good

uniform. And remember to take

needs replacing when they are

idea to opt for re-usable tubs that

any worn or outgrown clothes to

packing their school bags ready

have compartments, instead of

the charity shop, or to the clothes-

for Monday morning. You can

lots of plastic wrappers. Be sure to

recycling container.

double-check with other parents in your network if you need to get

get something that your child can easily open and close themselves,

Tissues are essential for this time of

any materials or for reading lists.

especially if they are just starting

year – especially moving into cooler

school and have many new things

Autumn; runny noses are never out

to adjust to.

of season! Kleenex have a variety

school, you may need to service

of small packets. Pop a pack in aur

the bike or check the tyres and

pocket and a spare packet in

breaks yourself, especially if

A flask that can have cool drinks

If your child rides a bike to

or warm liquids in is a great

the roads are icy or wet. Also

idea, especially if you

check that safety gear, such

want to send your child

as your child’s cycling helmet,

to school with some

is adjusted to suit any growth

comforting and

spurts. High-visibility items may

nourishing soup as

be needed as the mornings grow

the weather gets

darker, so check that reflectors


and headlamps are working and replace batteries, where

You’ll also need to consider the fickle weather when it comes to coats and


Wishing you all a great start to the new school year!

make sure that outerwear is warm enough for the colder mornings and light enough to fold away in the afternoon. An all-weather jacket with a removable fleece jacket is an ideal solution to bridge the Autumn gap. Make sure you add your child’s name to everything, either with a permanent marker on an existing label or sew name tags near the seam. Keep a foldaway waterproof mac in your child’s school bag at all times. Kids tend to grow a lot during Summer! So, check your child’s school uniform a couple of weeks

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ISSUE 04 - Family Fun


WON DER LAND Colouring-in is a great activity for adults and children to do together. Not only does it develop fine motoring skills, creativity and mindfulness, but is a chance to chat and catch up with each other. Crayons and felt-tips ready? Try adding your own exotic fish and coral to this underwater seascape...


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Family Fun - ISSUE 04

FA M I LY F I R S T - S U M M E R 2 019


® Reg, Trademark of Société des Produits Nestlé S.A. Subject to availability Selected Stores only. Shreddies is a source of iron which contributes to normal energy-yielding metabolism. Shredded Wheat is low in saturated fat. Reducing intakes of saturated fat contributes to maintaining normal blood cholesterol levels. Multigrain Cheerios is a source of calcium which is needed for maintaining normal bones. It’s important to have a varied, balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

G et C o o k i n g - I S S U E 0 4

Kick-start your day the healthy way Whether you’re a breakfast person or not, there are many benefits to making the most of the first meal of the day…

What does a healthy breakfast look like? Fruit, natural yogurt mixed with wholegrain cereals, chopped nuts; fortified wholegrain cereals with semi-skimmed milk, or a warming porridge, are all ideal ways to start the day. Eating carbohydrates that release energy slowly is not only a great way to stay fuller until lunchtime but also ensures that your brain is replenished with glucose and nutrients that help you stay focused and concentrated in school or at work. Will any old breakfast do? Eating crisps or drinking sweetened, caffeinated drinks, just plays havoc with energy levels (at any time of the day), causing blood-sugar levels to become erratic. We go from being full of sugar to levels suddenly dropping: Introducing sweet breakfast items not only makes our body compensate by releasing insulin to deal with all the sugar, but it makes us feel tired and crave more sweet stuff, causing a vicious cycle of snacking. By eating a healthy unsweetened breakfast, we maintain more consistent blood sugar levels and improve health (particularly factors affecting our risk of developing type 2 diabetes).

“Spend time with loved-ones at breakfast before going to school and work.” Skipping breakfast… Just means that you suddenly feel much hungrier later on – and we all know that feeling of being unable to resist sweet and salty snacks because we have to eat something NOW! Preparing and eating food when you have an appetite but are not really over hungry really helps us to make more sensible food decisions. A study at the University of Bath shows that people who eat breakfast expend more energy throughout the course of the day, which is helpful for maintaining a healthy weight. Children especially benefit from eating a healthy, balanced breakfast before school. You may not feel like eating when you wake up! Some of us wake up groggy when the alarm goes off and hardly feel like eating anything at all. Starting the day with a glass of water is a great way to rehydrate and trigger your body’s natural urge to go to the toilet before you give it more work to do by introducing more food into your system. It means your gut feels healthier and less bloated. It also means your digestive system feels

ready to welcome food and is betterprepared to digest it and absorb the nutrients more efficiently. Once you feel rehydrated and more awake, you may feel more inclined to eat a healthy breakfast before you go to school and work. How you eat is also important… Eating on the go, rushing on the way to catch the bus or packing school bags into the car with half a piece of toast in your mouth might feel like a way of saving time but there are healthier ways to enjoy breakfast. Finding time to sit down and eat breakfast together is a great way to start the day as a family. Take the time to chew and savour food and spend time with loved-ones at breakfast before going to school and work. Even if it means getting up a little earlier. Interesting Point: The half-life of caffeine (time taken for the body to break down one-half of the caffeine we consume) in healthy adults is approximately 5 to 6 hours. The time varies widely between people, depending on factors such as age, body weight, pregnancy status, medication intake and liver health. It means half the caffeine from a cup of coffee or energy drink we drink in the morning is still in our system at lunchtime and a quarter of the caffeine may still be in our system before bedtime.

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Author: AE Lee

Breakfast ‘breaks the fast’ that your body and digestive system get during the night. What you introduce into your body first thing in the morning, or before you start the day sets the tone for healthy habits throughout the day.


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Smoked White Fish and Spiced Lentil Rice

Introduce a few exotic flavours to the family with this quick and easy aromatic fish dish. See if the kids are feeling brave enough to trade in their fishfingers!

The smoked fish flavour is great with the spiced rice. Easily doubled, this dish makes a delicious meal when entertaining. Mango chutney or natural yoghurt are an ideal accompaniment. Difficulty: Pretty easy Serves 2 Preparation time: 5 Mins Cooking time: 30 Mins

INGREDIENTS: Smoked White Fish Fillets, 250g Oil, 2 tbsp Long grain rice, 200g Curry paste, 100g (check to ensure this is gluten-free) Lentils, tinned, drained, 235g (check to ensure these are gluten-free) Broccoli, 70g Peas, 100g Linseeds, 24g

METHOD: 1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the rice and curry paste. Stir continuously for a minute then add the lentils and 400ml of water to cover the rice. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the rice carry on absorbing the water whilst the other elements of the meal are finished.

2. Line a grill pan with foil and brush with a little oil, grill the fish under a medium grill for 6-8 minutes, depending on thickness until the flesh easily flakes.

3. Boil or steam the broccoli for 6-8 minutes, until tender and add the peas into the pan with 2 minutes left of cooking time. 4. To serve, place the fish on top of the rice and serve the broccoli and peas next to it. Scatter with the linseeds and optional coriander.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION PER SERVING: Kcal - 605 Fat – 17.5g Carbs – 61.8g Protein – 46.7g Fibre - 13.2g

HINTS AND TIPS: Why not add a pinch of turmeric and cumin to flavour the rice before the water is added and replace water with a low-salt, gluten-free vegetable stock cube for extra flavour? Reproduced with kind permission from Coeliac UK uk/recipes

See page 97 for a perfect gluten-free dessert.

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Everyone is

going Vegan?! With so many people opting for veganism we thought we’d speak to the Vegan Society to get practical insight into this lifestyle choice…


ll children love animals

and from the youngest age, we are given stuffed animal toys, watch cartoons and read books full of cute animals, and – if you are one of those lucky families – you even share your home with an animal companion. At the same time, three times a day, children around the world sit down to what they see as a meal - eating chicken, beef or pork. The world we grow up in conditions us to eat some animals, such as pigs, cows and chickens and teaches us to love others, such as cats, dogs and horses. Chickens, cows and pigs are no different from the household pets we love and play with. Few of us take the time to question this in our busy lives, and some of us may question it, but feel unsure what to do.

WHAT IS VEGANISM Veganism is a way of life that focuses on living a happy, healthy life, without contributing to anyone’s suffering – including a love for animals and a belief


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that we do not need to harm or kill animals to lead a healthy and happy life. One way in which vegans express this conviction is through eating a wide and varied diet that includes all food rich in vitamins and minerals – avoiding meat, dairy and eggs.

A LIFESTYLE CHOICE Veganism is a lifestyle choice which affects all areas of your life – from choosing cruelty-free cosmetics and toiletries, to not supporting places that exploit animals such as zoos and circuses. And of course, not wearing animal materials like leather, wool and fur. While this may sound like a lot of things to consider, these positive habits become second nature with practice and with a greater understanding of this ethics-driven lifestyle choice. Becoming vegan isn’t about limiting or depriving yourself; an opportunity to discover new foods and have fun with new flavours.

EATING VEGAN Many of us actually eat a lot of vegan

food already. The toast and porridge you have in the morning, the pasta salad or crunchy wrap you munch on at lunch, or the bean chili or vegetable stew you serve for dinner may already be vegan.

Most people already hold vegan values in their hearts; no one wants animals to suffer. Introducing a vegan lifestyle for members of the family may feel like a challenge that involves learning a whole lot of new recipes and using a range of new ingredients you don’t have the time to find. But there is a simple and fun shortcut to going vegan – you can replace any non-vegan ingredients in your recipes to still enjoy the good old favourites. Anything you’re used to eating can

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be made plant-based. Why not look out for soya or oat milk as a dairy-free alternative on your next supermarket trip? You can gradually test out all the different brands. If you don’t like soya, try almond, coconut, oat, hemp, hazelnut or rice milk.

The Vegan Society’s VeGuide app is free to download on Android and iOS devices. It features a combination of daily informational videos presented by vegan mentors, motivational quotes, quizzes, recipes and discounts, all of which aim to help users ease into vegan living. Follow the link to learn more about the app:

It’s good to get kids involved in making their food so that they

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The Vegan Society website ( is full of resources and you can join local Facebook groups for veganism by searching for vegan groups in your town and local area. Help your children to develop an interest in nutrition and where their food comes from so that they’re able to make an informed choice based on facts and compassion, not

A HEALTHY START FOR CHILDREN A nutritious diet is important to give children a healthy start in life that continues as they grow and thrive. For vegan parents, this is just as important and relevant. The NHS confirms that you can provide a diet that contains all the essential nutrients needed for growth and development without using animal products. The British Dietetic Association also shares the message that well-planned vegan diets support healthy living in people of all ages and life stages, including pregnancy, infancy and childhood. The Vegan Society nutrition pages were written by a registered dietitian.

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one based on habit or longstanding practice. Aside from ensuring the ethical and cruelty-free source of food, it’s really important to enjoy food together – preparing, and eating food as a family and making healthy, balanced choices that encourage the long term health of all family

For further info: whats-new/blog/ For recipe ideas and nutritional guidance please visit: nutrition Tips for vegan alternatives: NHS site on vegan diet: The British Dietetic Association: ALSO view?id=179


INTRODUCING HEALTHY HABITS Making small changes to your everyday meals is one of the easiest ways to start and it’s really important to go at a pace that suits your family and lifestyle – even if that means introducing one vegan meal per week to start with. Make sure you eat a wide variety of tasty plant foods, and planning a healthy diet will be a breeze.

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Our food choices …Are the key to maintaining good health, affecting everything from weight loss and gain, to mood swings and energy levels…


s with all habits in life, starting early with healthy eating is the best way to ensure a good relationship with food into adulthood. In his recent Ted Talk on obesity in the U.S., Jamie Oliver urges us to ‘teach every child about food!’. He highlighted the health risk factors of a poor diet as being more dangerous to health than risks posed by other factors, such as the risk of homicide. Although he may not have the training and skill of a medical professional, his tools are in the kitchen – and the same applies to most of us. We can all equip ourselves with the tools, knowledge and training – or self-restraint – to take control


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of our health, through preparing tasty, healthy and nutritious food combined with a healthy approach to maintaining physical mobility and fitness.

a small switch in thinking is often enough to make a real difference to our overall wellbeing Both environmental and genetic factors influence a person’s body mass index (BMI). Although we may not be able to influence the genetic make-up of our body, a small switch in thinking is often enough to make a real difference to our overall wellbeing. We can certainly influence our environment and train our brain and conditioned thinking to adopt healthier lifestyle

practices and make a positive change regardless of what genetics we have been blessed with.

Here are some practical ways in which you can introduce healthy habits into your everyday life:

GET CHILDREN INVOLVED… …In the chopping and peeling and stirring! Get them interested in where food comes from and talk to them about which other animals enjoy the same foods as we do. Rabbits and guinea pigs enjoy carrots and cucumber and lettuce. Horses enjoy oats.

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Preparing food can be fun, bringing everyone together and helping children develop a keen interest in different foods and flavours that will stay with them throughout their life. Ask them what they fancy eating and then task them with helping to select the vegetables in the supermarket, or with reading the content of the packaging to make sure you’ve got the right thing on your list. Let them tick items off the list and then unpack the shopping with you when you get home. Let them help you prepare food for the family and others. Making food about good health, discovering flavours and sharing, not about instant gratification or getting thin.

MAKE TIME AND TAKE TIME For meals … It’s so easy to rush through a mealtime like another point on the schedule – on the way to doing the dishes and getting the kids bathed and ready for bed

nutrients. Sip a little water (cool is okay, but no ice!) and enjoy the flavour of your food.

the first meal of the day helps to calibrate your taste buds for the rest of the day TRY SOMETHING NEW We all get into a meal-rut now and then, focusing on staple favourites that mean we can get dinners made quickly and in time for when everyone is home and hungry. But that means food can become a chore instead of a pleasure. Try experimenting with different herbs and spices at the weekend when you all have a little more time to prepare a meal together. Select one-pot recipes or recipes with up to five ingredients or swap out your usual

pasta or rice for a wholegrain or nonwheat alternative to shake things up a bit. Thicken the Bolognese sauce with puréed carrot or add minced mushrooms for those fussy carnivores that can smell a vegetable a mile off. Look online for quick, easy and nutritious recipe ideas.

START WITH THE HEALTHY FOOD YOU ENJOY! Not a huge fan of cabbage or broccoli? Then don’t use these to launch your healthier-eating lifestyle unless you want an early relapse! Use the healthy food you enjoy as a basis for introducing new flavours or swapping out key ingredients for healthier alternatives. As parents, it is easy to get into the habit of eating the children’s leftovers to avoid the waste. Or using the busy lifestyle as an excuse for not making time to exercise and avoiding addressing poor eating habits as a possible cause of low energy levels or mood swings. If you want to get the kids eating healthily, then start by adding extra vegetables to your own plate and see if it encourages them to add more to their own.

because it’s a school night. No wonder we barely chew our food and end up eating too much, getting tummy ache and then craving snacks in between meals. Take time to chew – and savour – your food. Digestion starts in the mouth: chewing not only helps to grind food into a more manageable consistency for your stomach to process, but also gives your stomach the necessary time to generate the digestive juices to help further process your meal, ready for your gut to absorb the

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you feel fit to burst! If you notice the children are loading up on a second bowl of pudding, then they may not have eaten enough for their dinner or may be going through a growth spurt, in which case they will need all the minerals and vitamins they can get from all the naturally healthy fruit and vegetable sources available!

THE CLUE IS IN YOUR CRAVINGS… If you start snacking on sweet things throughout the day, you may need to increase your portion on slow-burn carbohydrates at mealtimes and finish off with a little something sweet, just to satisfy that sweet tooth. If you find yourself craving chocolate bars with nuts it may be the protein or the trace minerals from the nuts that your body needs. Before you raid the pantry, take a moment to think about what you really want to eat, or whether you are thirsty. Then decide on a snack that is good for you (before you get ‘hangry’!).


START EARLY Do you notice that when you have a sip of sweet tea, then bite into a doughnut, then try the tea again, it no longer tastes sweet? The first meal of the day helps to calibrate your taste buds for the rest of the day. You may not kick start your day with a doughnut and a cup of tea (we are so relieved to hear that!), but starting the day on sweetened packaged cereal has the same effect and can affect your ability to appreciate the natural sweetness of carrots or apples or even much sweeter fruits such an mangos and melons. Naturally sweet fruits can begin to taste sour if we are so conditioned to eating foods that are processed and contain high amounts of salt, sweeteners and artificial flavours and flavour enhancers. The same goes for salt. If you are accustomed to eating salted


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nuts, then unsalted peanuts or even a homemade lasagne may taste bland in comparison. So, start the day with something that tastes naturally good and savour the taste – natural yoghurt with chopped nuts and some of your favourite seasonal berries (maybe a small squirt of honey, and leave the berries out of the fridge for an hour before you use them for a better flavour). Your taste buds will adjust over time and you will soon feel the benefit of higher energy levels.

STOP WHEN YOU ARE FULL Instead of waiting until you are full, try asking yourself the question: Am I still hungry? And be honest with yourself! You might fancy more curry but maybe a few mouthfuls are enough rather than committing yourself to a second plate then feeling compelled to plough through it until

Whatever you eat gets transformed into the cells that make up your hair, teeth and bones, skin, all your muscles and ligaments. Which in itself is amazing. We often underestimate the impact of positive food choices, limiting their effect to weight gain or loss. As well as being linked to many illnesses, such as arthritis, heart disease and diabetes, our food choices and diet can also impact our hormones and in a household of families that can include pre-teens, expectant mums and menopausal grandparents, a balanced, nutritious diet can do wonders to keep us healthy and to help us all get along! It’s also important to remember that some dairy and meat produce (beef and poultry) can contain hormones which are injected into the animals to increase the amount of milk and eggs they produce, and when we eat these in large enough quantities, this can affect the stability of our own internal hormone balance. Even the naturally occurring hormones in dairy can impact our health. Large amounts of sugar can affect our insulin levels and this can have a wider effect

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on our hormone levels, so it’s important to eat complex carbohydrates in types (think wholegrains instead of white, refined bread) and quantities that do not cause dramatic spikes and drops in the body’s blood sugar levels (glycaemic balance). As with everything, a balanced approach to your food choices is key.

ENJOY ANY FOOD YOU WANT – Just not all the time and not in huge quantities! Have a biscuit, just try not to finish the whole packet in one sitting! When it comes to mealtimes, it helps to pay attention to portion sizes – you can even start by using a smaller plate or bowl to help train yourself while you adjust to eating a smaller portion. As well as tasting good and being healthy (containing nutrients we need to grow and maintain strong and healthy minds and bodies), food is about sharing and enjoyment. That’s right – it’s not all about dieting to squeeze into a smaller pair of trousers. And food is one very important aspect of living a healthy lifestyle – along with getting enough rest, plenty of fresh air and exercise, laughing and doing things in life that we enjoy. We are all different shapes and sizes and it’s important to embrace this diversity.

experiment with different herbs and spices at the weekend when you all have a little more time to prepare a meal together GET FOOD-LABEL SAVVY! Take time to read the packet ingredients. And remember packaging is a way to sell you a product. It’s easy to be tempted by a two-for-one special offer or by a packet stamped with ‘vegan’ or ‘organic’ or ‘Free from’. These

labels are informative marketing tools but do not give you a full picture of what the food inside the packaging contains. ‘Organic’ does not automatically mean low sugar or low salt. ‘Low fat’ mayonnaise may contain less fat, but which fat? And the fat content may be substituted with sugar to compensate for the flavour (another good reason to recalibrate your taste buds and learn to enjoy flavours which are less sweet or salty). ‘Free From’ what exactly? When you are looking at the package ingredients, keep in mind that these are listed in the order of quantity. If sugar is the first or second ingredient listed, you know that there is more sugar in the packet than any other ingredient! There are many clearly displayed food-packaging labels to help you identify the levels of healthy fats and non-healthy fats, and sugar content. The best way is to try to cook using fresh and seasonal produce as much as possible. The less processed the food and the less packaging, the healthier it is likely to be for you and the environment!

ASK QUESTIONS It’s great to show interest in your nutrition and overall wellbeing and so important to read, ask questions and make an informed decision about what lifestyle choices are right for you and your family. Ask your GP and a qualified nutritional expert before making any major changes to your diet or introducing any major exercise or weight loss initiatives. If you are keen to make a start, then start gently by cutting out sweetened, caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, crisps and sweets and biscuits, and introducing some gentle stretching exercises and walking in nature. Your GP will advise you on how to take it further.

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If you are interested in reading more about any of the subjects, we have mentioned above please visit the following links: Sugar and hormones: https:// www.womenshealthnetwork. com/hormonalimbalance/ hormonal-imbalancecaused-by-sugar.aspx Visit the Change4Life website for easy to follow information on food Labels: https://www. REMEMBER: If you are concerned about your overall health, diet, nutrition or weight, or need more detailed advice on any of the content featured in this article, please speak to your GP or a registered nutritionist before making any drastic changes to your diet or introducing any strenuous exercise.

get a BMI value ranging from 18.5-24.9 for a healthy BMI. To do this without all the maths (phew, we thought the same), visit the NHS website and enter your weight and height to get your BMI calculation and further information. BMI calculator:

WHAT DOES A HEALTHY DIET LOOK LIKE? As long as you are getting your calories from a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, good quality carbohydrates (an assortment of wholegrains such as pasta, bread, rice and pulses), some dairy and

lean meats and fish, and pay attention to including good fats, you are on a healthy track. We all enjoy a sugary or salty snack now and then and that’s fine because it’s part of keeping a healthy balance, and moderation. Include oily fish (rich in Omega 3) twice a week and consider exchanging meat with lentils, peas, pulses and beans for a few recipes, as these are also high in fibre and protein and low in fat (remember humus is made from chickpeas and sesame paste and still tastes delicious in a wrap!). There are plenty of delicious and healthy recipe options that include seasonal veggies that all the family will enjoy. Check out the NHS website for easy to follow tips, health advice and recipes.

WHAT IS YOUR BODY MASS INDEX? BMI stands for Body Mass Index. It’s basically a way to check if you are a healthy weight for your height, taking into consideration factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, as these all influence our genetic make-up and body shape and so help to deliver an accurate BMI result. (22 stone may be obese for a 30 year-old lady who is 5ft5inches tall, but not if you are a 7ft basketball player at the peak of your training.) As well as keeping your BMI in check, it is advisable to keep an idea of your waistline measurement, as this can be an important indicator of a likelihood of developing illnesses such as diabetes. To calculate your body mass index: divide your weight in pounds (llbs) by your height in inches and then multiply it by a conversion factor of 703 to


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The Thing about Gluten-free…

For some people eating “gluten-free” is a lifestyle choice, for others it’s vital to maintaining good health. So how can you tell if you need to follow a gluten-free diet?


oeliac disease is an autoimmune disease caused by a reaction to gluten and sufferers have to follow a gluten-free diet. Coeliac disease affects 1 in 100 people in the UK but only 30% have been diagnosed which means there are nearly half a million people who have the condition but don’t know it.

What happens if you have coeliac disease and eat gluten? When someone with coeliac disease eats gluten, their body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. This causes damage to the lining of the gut and means that the body can’t absorb nutrients properly. Coeliac disease is not a food allergy or an intolerance. There is no cure and once diagnosed you have to stick to a strict gluten free diet for life.

What are the symptoms? If undiagnosed, coeliac disease causes a wide range of symptoms and it affects people in different ways. Lots of people get misdiagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) as the symptoms are often similar. If you have IBS it is important to make sure that you’ve been tested for coeliac disease in case you are one of the 1 in 4 people who are following IBS treatment when you actually have coeliac disease. If you, or a family member have coeliac disease and it goes undiagnosed, you may experience any combination of the following symptoms: Diarrhoea

If you think you may have coeliac disease… Firstly, you might find it useful to take Coeliac UK’s online assessment. This short self-assessment will take you through the symptoms of coeliac disease and other risk factors and recommend whether or not you should be tested for the condition. Visit ( isitcoeliacdisease) for more on diagnosis. If you are experiencing symptoms, see your GP for a blood test, which checks for the antibodies produced in undiagnosed coeliac disease. The test will only work if you have gluten in your diet, so it is essential not to start a gluten free diet until you have completed the testing for coeliac disease, otherwise you may get an incorrect result. If the initial blood test for coeliac disease is positive, your GP will refer you to a

So what is gluten? Gluten is a protein found in the grains wheat, barley and rye; it’s not only found in bread, biscuits, pasta and beer, but also in products such as sausages, gravy, sauces and even some chocolate! You can eat any naturally gluten free foods, such as meat, fish, fruit and vegetables, rice and potatoes. You can also eat processed foods, which don’t contain gluten, such as ready meals and soups and also gluten free substitute foods such as gluten-free bread or flour.

Once diagnosed, what help is at hand? Coeliac UK is the charity for people who need to live without gluten. The charity provides independent advice and support and funds crucial research to manage the impacts of gluten. Membership, which is open to everyone who needs to live gluten free, gives you access to comprehensive food and drink product information, an extensive gluten free recipe service, as well as advice on where to eat out, food alerts and a food scanning app, the GF Food Checker to make shopping easier. All in one place. Find out more or join online: www.coeliac. The charity has very active followings on Facebook (Coeliac UK) and Twitter (@coeliac_uk), and on Instagram (@coeliacuk)!

Nausea and vomiting

Stomach cramps Anaemia

osteoporosis, infertility, neurological conditions such as gluten ataxia and neuropathy and, although rare, an increased risk of small bowel cancer and intestinal lymphoma.

gastroenterologist for further testing to confirm the diagnosis.


Weight loss/gain

Regular mouth ulcers

Skin rash

In undiagnosed coeliac disease, there’s a greater risk of complications including

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Easy Vegan Brownies

Even if you’re not vegan, it’s great to try out a brownie recipe that doesn’t use any eggs!

These delicious vegan brownies are a party favourite and will ensure that your vegan guests also get to enjoy a chocolate treat. This is also a really easy one-bowl batter mix that the kids can help out with…

FOR THIS RECIPE YOU WILL NEED: All-purpose/plain flour (¾ cup + 1 tbsp / 3.9oz) Cocoa powder (¼ cup / 0.7oz) Baking powder (¾ tsp) Desiccated coconut (2 tbsp / 0.3oz) Granulated sugar (1 cup / 6.7oz) Golden syrup (2 tbsp; optional) Non-dairy milk (½ cup) Vanilla extract ( 5 drops; optional)

SWAP OUT INGREDIENTS… The desiccated coconut can be substituted with chocolate chips for an even deeper and more complex chocolate flavour. For this recipe you can use any sort of granulated sugar – beet or cane sugar work equally well. You can also use gluten-free flour instead of the plain flour for gluten-free friendly brownies. Credit: The Vegan Corner // via the Vegan Society

METHOD: 1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F). 2. Sift all the powders into a bowl, add in the other ingredients and stir well until you have a smooth batter.

3. Pour the batter into a greased cake tin (our tin was 8 inches or 20 cm wide) and bake for 20 minutes remembering to rotate the pan half way through the cooking time to ensure they are baked evenly.

Looking for a quick and easy vegan meal for all the family? Then see our delicious vegan creamy mushroom pasta on page 103 88

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Butternut squash

and red pepper soup What better way to introduce more vegetables into your family’s diet than this delicious and wholesome soup!

METHOD: 1. In a large jug, make up 1.2 litres vegetable stock using the stock cube. 2. Peel the butternut squash and sweet potato and cut into chunks. Deseed the peppers and roughly chop. Set aside.

A vibrant butternut squash and red pepper soup recipe that gives a big punch of hearty flavours: READY IN 1 hour COOKING TIME 50 minutes PREP TIME 10 minutes SERVES 4


For your soup, you’ll need 1 reduced-salt vegetable stock cube 500g butternut squash 300g sweet potato 3 red peppers 1 tbsp olive oil 2 onions, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, crushed 1 tbsp sun-dried tomato puree 2 tbsp toasted seed mix

3. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic for 10 minutes until soft. Stir in the butternut squash, sweet potato, peppers and sun-dried tomato puree. Cook for 10 minutes, until the veg begins to colour. 4. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and cook over a medium heat for 30 minutes, until the veg is soft.

5. Pour the soup into a food processor (in batches) and blend until smooth. Divide between 4 bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of toasted seeds to serve.


Serve with crusty wholegrain bread TOP TIP:

Find more delicious soup inspirations online at

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Banana and raspberry porridge fingers A perfect breakfast or lunchbox treat!


In 2 easy steps 1. Add the oats and milk to a small bowl, stir and then leave to soak for 5 minutes. Stir the mashed banana and raspberries through until combined. 2. Line a 19cm by 13cm microwaveable

Soft, oaty finger food that’s bursting with raspberries, and great to squish between little fingers… READY IN 15 minutes COOKING TIME 3 minutes PREP TIME 12 minutes MAKES 12 fingers

dish with baking paper and pour in the mixture, spreading out so it’s even. Microwave on high for 3 minutes until firm. Leave to cool, then cut into fingers and serve with the yogurt to dip into. recipes/family/fish-pie-bites



You’ll need

100ml whole milk 75g porridge oats 1 small banana, mashed (approx. 80g) 8 raspberries, squished to a pulp 200g Greek-style natural yogurt

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American Style Pancakes Little ones will love helping to make these fruity pancakes!

40g blueberries 40g raspberries 1 ripe peach, destoned and sliced 4 tbsp low-fat Greek-style yogurt 4 tsp maple syrup


In 3 easy steps A wonderful way to kickstart your weekend or a perfect breakfast solution for a lazy Sunday morning … READY IN 20 minutes, plus resting time COOKING TIME 15 minutes PREP TIME 5 minutes SERVES 4


You’ll need 2 ripe bananas 2 eggs, beaten 50g rolled oats ½ tsp cinnamon 2 tsp sunflower oil

1. Place the bananas, eggs, rolled oats and cinnamon in a blender and process until smooth. Allow to stand and thicken for 20-25 minutes. 2. Heat a non-stick frying pan until hot. Add a little of the oil and add a spoonful of batter to the pan – you can cook 2-3 pancakes at a time. Gently cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Keep warm while you cook the remaining batter. CHILDREN: Pile three pancakes on to each plate with the berries, peach, yogurt and maple syrup.


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I S S U E 0 4 - G et C o o k i n g w i t h F a m i l y F i r s t a n d S a i n s b u r y ’s

Fish pie bites

Perfect finger food for toddlers on the go or for baby-led weaning


In 4 easy steps

Salmon, peas and cheddar rolled up with fluffy baked potato make the easiest fish pie bites ever… READY IN 1 hour 25 minutes COOKING TIME 1 hour 20 minutes PREP TIME 5 minutes, plus chilling SERVES 10


For these delicious fish pie bites, you’ll need 1 medium baking potato 1 salmon fillet, about 120g 2 tbsp frozen peas, defrosted 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped 25g mild cheddar, grated 1 medium egg, beaten Rapeseed oil, for greasing

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Wrap the potato in foil, place on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 1 hour or until tender. During the last 10 mins, wrap the fish in foil, add to the tray and continue cooking for 10 mins until opaque and cooked through. 2. Once the potato is cool enough to cook, halve it and scoop out the filling. Flake the fish, removing any bones and discarding the skin. Add to a medium bowl with the peas, parsley, cheddar and egg. Mix together until combined.

3. Line a baking tray. Shape the mixture into golf ball-sized dollops and arrange on the tray and chill in the fridge for 30 mins. 4. Reheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6. Transfer the tray of fish pie bites to the oven and bake for 15 mins or until golden and cooked through.


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G et C o o k i n g w i t h F a m i l y F i r s t a n d S a i n s b u r y ’s - I S S U E 0 4

Healthier fish and chips Swap the greasy takeaway for bread crumbed fish with sweet potato, carrot and celeriac chips…

2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese 4 pollock steaks


In 4 easy steps Why not get the kids to help out with washing and peeling the veg for this healthy mid-week fish supper? READY IN 50 minutes COOKING TIME 40 minutes PREP TIME 10 minutes SERVES 4


You’ll need 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into chips 1 small celeriac, peeled and cut into chips 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chips 1 tbsp vegetable oil 1 tbsp seasoned flour 1 medium egg, beaten 40g panko breadcrumbs

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the carrot, celeriac and sweet potato chips. Boil for 1 minute then drain and refresh under cold water. 2. Spread the chips on a large nonstick baking tray and drizzle with the oil, turning to coat. Season with freshly ground black pepper, then bake on the lower shelf of the oven for 40 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, spread the seasoned flour on a plate, pour the beaten egg into a shallow dish and mix the breadcrumbs and parmesan on a third plate. Pat the pollock dry with kitchen paper and dip each one in the seasoned flour, followed by the egg and then the breadcrumbs to coat. 4. Place the coated fish steaks on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place the fish on the shelf above the chips and bake for 20 minutes, or until both are golden and cooked through.


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I S S U E 0 4 - G et C o o k i n g w i t h F a m i l y F i r s t a n d S a i n s b u r y ’s

Sweet potato pancakes A delicious new way to enjoy a firm family favourite …


In 3 easy steps 1. Add the potato flesh to a small bowl and mash until smooth. Whisk in the eggs and cinnamon until combined. 2. Add half the oil to a large frying pan

Mix sweet potatoes with eggs to make easy savoury pancakes for your little one’s breakfast or a mid-morning snack. Great for toddlers, baby-led weaning or an easy family breakfast READY IN 15 minutes COOKING TIME 10 minutes PREP TIME 5 minutes SERVES 10


For the pancakes, you’ll need

and place over a medium/high heat. Once hot, add 2-3 spoons of mixture to the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until browned on one side and then carefully flip, cooking for a further 2 minutes on the other. Transfer to a kitchen towel covered surface.

3. Add the remaining oil to the frying pan and repeat with the remaining batter. Serve once cool.


why not make smaller versions of these savoury pancakes for a delicious picnic or lunchbox snack? TOP TIP:

1 small roasted sweet potato, flesh only (about 115g) 2 eggs, beaten 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1 1/2 tbsp rapeseed oil

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Vegan aubergine tacos with mango salsa

This roasted aubergine vegan taco recipe is loaded with fruity mango salsa and a drizzle of coconut yogurt for a delicious dinner that you can pull together in under an hour.

For the mango salsa 1 ripe mango, finely diced 2 limes, 1½ juiced, ½ cut into wedges to serve ½ red chilli, finely diced 14g coriander, roughly chopped 2 spring onions, finely sliced


Make your own crispy taco shells using a clever kitchen hack that will come in handy whenever you’re cooking up a Mexican feast… READY IN 50 minutes COOKING TIME 35 minutes PREP TIME 15 minutes SERVES 4


You’ll need 2 aubergines, cut into 1cm circles 2 red peppers, finely sliced 1 red onion, finely sliced 2 tsp ground cumin 2 tsp ground coriander ½ tsp chilli powder ¼ tsp cayenne pepper 2 tbsp olive oil 8 mini 50/50 tortilla wraps 75g coconut yogurt

In 3 easy steps 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/ gas mark 6. Spread the aubergine, peppers, onion and spices out on a baking sheet. Season and mix well with the oil. Roast for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. 2. Meanwhile, combine the mango, lime juice, chilli, coriander and spring onions and set aside.

3. Lay the tortilla wraps in the spaces between the cups on the underside of a muffin tray. Press down so that each of the wraps take on the shape of a taco. Place in the oven for 8 minutes until crisped up, then set aside to cool and firm up. Once cooled, fill with the aubergine mixture, top with the mango salsa and drizzle with coconut yogurt. Garnish with the lime wedges.

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I S S U E 0 4 - G et C o o k i n g w i t h F a m i l y F i r s t a n d S a i n s b u r y ’s

Vegetarian toad in the hole A delicious new way to enjoy a firm family favourite …

270g cherry tomatoes 1 tbsp balsamic glaze


In 4 easy steps

Traditional toad in the hole gets a healthier twist with this vegetarian recipe. READY IN 1 hourt 25 minutes COOKING TIME 1 hour 5 minutes PREP TIME 20 minutes SERVES 4


You’ll need 300g butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and diced into 1-2cm cubes 2 red onions, peeled and cut into quarters 200g baby aubergines, sliced in half lengthways 2 tbsp olive oil 200g plain flour 3 large eggs 275ml semi-skimmed milk 7g rosemary, leaves only, finely chopped 200g tenderstem broccoli, ends trimmed

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C/gas mark 6. Add the butternut squash, onion and aubergine to a medium roasting tray. Drizzle with 1 tbsp oil, season well and toss together. Transfer to the oven and roast for 25 minutes. 2. Add the flour to a bowl. Make a well in the middle and crack the eggs into it. Use a whisk to mix it together, then slowly add the milk, whisking all the time. Whisk in the rosemary.

3. Once the veg has roasted, remove from the oven and transfer the vegetables to a large bowl. Add the remaining oil to the tray and place back in the oven. Leave for 10 minutes or until very hot. Remove from the oven and add the batter – it should sizzle. 4. Scatter over the roasted vegetables and add the broccoli and cherry tomatoes. Give the tray a little shake and place back in the oven for 30 minutes or until the batter has risen and is golden all over. Serve drizzled with the balsamic glaze.


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Quick and easy – a versatile gluten-free dessert that is a treat for the eyes and the taste buds…

This is a very easy recipe and tastes amazing. You can swap the lime for lemon if you wish, and the blueberries are optional. Difficulty: Pretty easy Serves: 6 Preparation time: 10 Mins Cooking time: 40 Mins

INGREDIENTS: For the Shortbread Plain gluten-free flour*, 125g (41⁄2oz) Xanthan gum, 1⁄2 tsp Cornflour*, 50g (11⁄2oz) Butter, 100g (31⁄2oz) Caster sugar, 50g (21⁄2oz) plus a little extra for dusting

METHOD: 1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Lightly grease a baking tray.

2. Mix the flour, xanthan gum, and cornflour together in a bowl.

3. Add the butter and sugar, and rub together with your fingertips. Knead the mixture until it makes a smooth dough.

4. Roll out to be about 4mm thick and cut into small disks. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until they are a very pale golden-brown.

5. Put the cream, sugar, and lime zest into a heavy based pan and cook over a slow heat until the sugar is dissolved. This takes about 3-4 minutes. 6. Whisk in the lime juice; this will make the cream thicken 7. Share the blueberries between your pots, then divide the cream between the pots. Leave to cool and then place in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION PER SERVING: Kcal – 753.8 Fat – 54.5g Carbs – 62.1g Protein – 3.4g Fibre – 1.9g This recipe was reproduced with kind permission from Coeliac UK

FA M I LY F I R S T - S U M M E R 2 019



100% PL ANT OODNESS G Good food starts with simple ingredients. That’s why we proudly fill our spreads with 100% plant goodness. Flora cares that you and your loved ones enjoy tasty meals. For breakfast, lunch, dinner and all that falls in between.

For the long car trips, the picnics and the garden parties. For him, for her, for you and for them. Now completely vegan and vegetarian friendly with no artificial preservatives, colours or flavours. See which Flora is right for you and your lifestyle.

Naturally contains Omega 3 & 6. Essential fats are needed for normal growth and development of children. A daily intake of 2g alpha linolenic acid and 10g linolenic acid is needed. 2 x 10g servings of Flora a day contribute a significant amount to this. Enjoy as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Selected stores only, subject to availability.


Flora Original

Naturally rich in omega-3, 100% of the ingredients come from natural origins.

Flora Light

With 40 calories per 10g serving and 36% less saturated fat than Flora Original.

Flora Buttery

Silky smooth and creamy tasting with 61% less saturated fat than butter.* *McCannce & Widdowson

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Flora Dairy Free

Dairy Free certified. For those with dairy allergies or intolerances.

I S S U E 4 - G et C o o k i n g

Strawberry Cheesecake (with a twist)

Strawberries… nature’s sweet little heart-shaped bundles of absolute deliciousness! Here’s the Hedi Hearts way to honour this beauty of a berry...

A delicious strawberry cheesecake that makes a wonderful weekend dessert or a simple and impressive treat for family and guests. This recipe uses a broader range of ingredients, such as mixed nuts to achieve the ‘biscuit’ base, making it more nutritious than your average strawberry cheesecake. The best thing about this recipe is that it works well with any type of seasonal berry so it’s a real crowd-pleaser all year round…

HOW TO MAKE: 1. To make crust; pop the nuts in a food processor or blender and blend until finely chopped. 2. Add in the remaining ingredients and pulse until you get a sticky dough.

3. Tip the mixture in your cake tin and press down firmly; I used the bottom of a glass to press the crust down, and it worked perfectly. 4. To make the cheesecake topping;

FOR THE BASE YOU’LL NEED: 1.5 Cups mixed nuts (I used almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and cashews) 7 Medjool dates, pitted 2 Tbsp raw cacao 1 Tbsp coconut oil 1 Tsp cinnamon

FOR THE CHESECAKE TOPPING: 1 Punnet strawberries (400g), or any seasonal berries, should strawberries not be in season. 2 Cups cashews, soaked for 4 hours and drained 1 Cup coconut butter ¼ Cup brown rice syrup Juice from 1 big lemon Optional: Melted raw chocolate (I used Chocolateeha)

pop all filling ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

5. Just let it run for a few minutes; the texture should be nice and creamy.

6. Taste and adjust sweetness by adding more rice syrup if needed (I don’t like it too sweet). 7. Next, pour the filling on top of the base and spread it out until smooth. 8. Pop in the freezer for a minimum of 6 hours or preferably overnight. 9. If you want to make it even more fancy pour over some melted raw chocolate. 10. Once fully frozen you can refrigerate it and serve with fresh strawberries (or the alternative berry of choice). It will last for up to a week in the fridge.

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G et C o o k i n g - I S S U E 0 4

Healthy Truffles Healthy truffles we hear you cry – surely there is no such thing! Try these deliciously nutty homemade treats and taste for yourself….

These delicious truffles are quick and easy to prepare and can be enjoyed as a sweet treat after dinner, or put into fancy wrapping for a token gift. The recipe uses a combination of protein-rich chickpeas and peanut butter to achieve a smooth texture and wonderfully rich and nutty flavour. These truffles use more varied ingredients, making them a little more nutritious than your average truffle (which is why we have labelled them as ‘healthy’!).

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: 1 Can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed (you can soak your own overnight and rinse them well, if you want an especially healthy truffle!) ½ Cup peanut butter (use unsweetened if you prefer) 4 Tbsp cocoa powder 2 - 3 Tbsp rice syrup (this is a naturally

sweet, dairy-free alternative, but the recipe works well with condensed milk or cream if you prefer to swap out the ingredients). Toppings Cocoa powder Melted raw chocolate

THIS IS HOW TO DO IT: 1. Pop all ingredients in a blender or food processor. 2. Pulse until everything is completely smooth, you might need to stop and scrape the edges to ensure you have all the ingredients blended together.

3. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Use a tablespoon to scoop a level spoonful and then use your hands to roll the portioned mixture into a ball. 4. Repeat with the rest of the filling. 5. Coat with cocoa powder or melted raw chocolate and pop in the fridge to set.

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G et C o o k i n g - I S S U E 0 4

mushroom pasta Try this creamy mushroom pasta as a light family dish with a mixed green salad or add more mushrooms to create a hearty autumn dinner…

HOW TO DO IT: 1. First, dice the onion, mushrooms and tomatoes, and finely chop the sage. 2. Place a pan on a medium heat and tip in the diced onions and the milk.

You can use any kind of mushroom you prefer for this recipe to create a dish that perfectly suits your family. We used chestnut mushrooms, but why not try a combination of varieties such as shiitake (also known as black forest mushrooms or golden oak mushrooms) and oyster mushrooms to add more texture.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: 1 Medium white onion (5oz) 4 Medium mushrooms (5oz) 2 Medium tomatoes (8oz) Sage (10 leaves) Oat milk (½ cup / 4.2oz) Black pepper Vegan cream (2 tbsp / 1oz) Wholegrain pasta ( 200g / 7oz) Salt

3. Sweat the onions for about three minutes and then add the sage and stir it in. 4. Add in the mushrooms and some black pepper to taste. Stir and cook the mushrooms for about two minutes, until they start to soften.

5. Add in the tomatoes, and cook for a further minute.

6. To complete the sauce, add the vegan cream, stir it in and add salt to taste. If the sauce starts to reduce too quickly or become dry, add in some extra milk, or some water.

SWAP OUT YOUR DAIRY INGREDIENTS FOR VEGAN ALTERNATIVES… This dish works equally well using normal dairy and dairyfree alternatives. The oat milk can be substituted with any other favourite non-dairy milk (apart from rice milk, which is generally too sweet for this kind of dish). Try almond and soya milk alternatives. Wholewheat pasta can be substituted with any other kind you prefer, included gluten-free pasta.

7. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, drain and add it to the pan with the sauce. Stir into the sauce to create the final dish.

Vegan cream is becoming more popular and more readily available. Here we used Alpro single cream, but if you can’t find vegan cream locally, you can try to make your own by blending together soaked cashews and water until you achieve a cream-like consistency.

8. Serve by itself or with a side salad.

Author: The Vegan Corner via the Vegan Society

Looking for the perfect vegan dessert to follow this tasty mushroom dish? Then see our easy vegan brownies on page 88

FA M I LY F I R S T - S U M M E R 2 019


New & Natural... friendly cordials from

100% Natural ingredients, with over 50% real fruit juice ~ Traditional family flavours ~ 50% more servings than leading competitors* *Based on 250ml servings of leading orange & blackcurrant squash brands

Great in value l 750m

New Belvoir Cordials - Natural, Fruity & Family Friendly! Belvoir Fruit Farms has used all their fruity ‘know-how’ to create two new refreshing natural cordials. Natural Blackcurrant Cordial and Natural Orange Cordial use 100% natural ingredients with all the premium appeal of Belvoir’s classic Cordial range, but offer even better value for money, making them a perfect everyday treat for the whole family. Belvoir’s Natural Cordials contain 50% more juice, (but no artificial sweeteners, preservatives, colourings or flavourings) and 50% more servings than the current leading branded squash. Available in recyclable glass, 750ml bottles and with a dilution ratio of 1:8, each cordial will produce a refreshing 27 (250ml) servings. This makes them not just the best value cordials currently on the market, but they can also claim the highest juice content too!

So, if you feel that mainstream squash comes with too many ‘nasty’ added ingredients, Belvoir’s Natural Cordials bridge the gap between premium and run-of-the-mill. The new Natural Blackcurrant Cordial and Natural Orange Cordial offer great taste, excellent value for money, and the confidence that you’re giving your whole family a drink that is totally natural; no nasties…just tasty! • Natural Blackcurrant Cordial – made with over 50% real fruit juice from luscious dark purple blackcurrants and a dash of lemon juice resulting in a full and delicious summery taste of sweet blackcurrants with a clean refreshing finish. • Natural Orange Cordial – bursting full of fruity goodness made with over 50% real fruit juice. A subtle combination of the best naturally sweet & tangy orange juices with a touch of lemon juice, creating a refreshing cordial with the natural sweetness of perfectly ripe oranges but with a zesty orangey finish. What better way of making sure your little ones drink plenty of water this summer, than mixing it with Belvoir Fruit Farms New and Natural Cordials, for a glass full of fruity goodness. Belvoir’s Natural Cordials retail for around £3.89 and are available from Waitrose, Morrisons and Sainsburys*.

LOOK LOOK OUT OUT for for the the rest rest of of our our Cordials Cordials & & Pressés Pressés in in store store featuring featuring the the Sip Sip & & Dip Dip on-pack on-pack promotion promotion this this summer summer giving giving you you the the opportunity opportunity to to WIN WIN


*Stocked in selected stores – Sainsburys stocking in August.

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Only 6 Miles From Bristol


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*Winner Laundry Detergent Category. Survey of 10,399 people in UK & ROI by Kantar TNS

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Family First Magazine- Summer 2019  

The UK's largest family magazine- now sent to over 32,000 schools for 8 MILLION parents. Family First is designed to help encourage millions...

Family First Magazine- Summer 2019  

The UK's largest family magazine- now sent to over 32,000 schools for 8 MILLION parents. Family First is designed to help encourage millions...