Family First - Winter 2021/22

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Building a happier, healthier family lifestyle



Top Tips

FOR What is life insurance? RELUCTANT WRITERS

You can think of life insurance as a safety net. When you make a valid claim, life insurance pays a lump sum to your loved ones to cover things like the mortgage so they can stay in the family home, to protect the lifestyle you’ve worked so hard for, or for little extras, just because. This is not a savings or investment product and has no cash value unless a valid claim is made.

How much cover do I need?

Advice for

It’s easy to protect your family. Here are a few examples to help you figure out how much cover you need: 1. 2. 3.

How much they would need to maintain their current lifestyle If you have a mortgage, the amount you need to protect How much you’d need to cover childcare costs or university fees



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I S S U E 0 9 - C o n te n t s

34 18

Contents 08 Welcome letter 12 Ask us first with Dr Duke

108 Fact or fiction? 14 things you've always wanted to know about teeth 114 Save or spend?

FAMILY FEATURES 26 Must-read books your kids will love

82 04


30 There's more to life than housework!

14 Connecting children with nature − INTERVIEW

34 Kitchen scientists get creative − The DadLab

16 Make your own winter bird feeder | Create a beautiful ice lantern − CRAFTS

62 7 ways to encourage your reluctant writer 66 Nappy rash: prevention and cure 68 Activewear for mums 70 Baby, let's move 88 Girl power: how to raise strong, confident daughters

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18 Duck, duck, goose! − The Wildlife Trusts

TRAVEL 47 Take a trip with your furry friend 48 Top tips for family travel in 2022


56 Fun for all the family

SPORT 4 ALL 72 It's time to tumble 74 Fighting fit 78 Volleyball for all 81 Diversify until you fly 82 The sportswoman of the moment 84 Let's bounce 86 Healthy movers

GET COOKING 93 Great ideas for stress-free lunchboxes 95 Nut-free pesto and tomato pasta | Cheese and vegetable quiches − RECIPE 98-99 Vegetable pikelets | Tortilla wraps | Chicken/tuna salad − RECIPE 100 V is for Vegan 102 Falafel burger − RECIPE 106 Lentil Shepherd's pie − RECIPE 107 Back-to-school nutrition

88 102



50 Harbour, high-rises and history: our family weekend in Southampton

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IS SUE 09 - Family First

Dear Families... Executive Editor: Lee Gatland Editor: Georgina Probert Art Director: Richard Hejsak Sales Team: +44 (0)1959 574 556 For all other enquiries:

Hello and welcome to the winter 2021/2022 issue. We are kicking off the New Year with a bumper-filled issue with everything from how to make your own garden bird feeder to fun kitchen experiments with The DadLab and top travel tips, nutritious yet delicious recipes and a spotlight on loads of different sports. Plus we have a fantastic toy supplement with articles on the importance of play for children's mental health, how to take cool photographs of toys and why creative role play is so good for children's development. In this issue we cover all aspects of family life, with advice for new mums and mumsto-be on keeping active, a roundup of the best (and most comfortable) sportswear for pregnancy and beyond, and how to deal with nappy rash, as well as an interview with Gemma Bray, aka The Organised Mum, on how short bursts of activity can help parents to conquer overwhelm and get their house and their life in order. The Wildlife Trusts introduces us to the wonderful world of wildfowl, including which species you are likely to spot this winter, and we look at how to prepare when taking your pet dog on holiday with you. We speak to independent travel agent Gemma Perry to find out the lowdown on booking a family holiday in 2022, and let you in on the best places to stay, eat and things to see in Southampton – from the biggest (and tastiest) pie we have ever seen to interactive exhibitions, nautical-themed play parks and the coolest accommodation for kids and adults alike. The Vegan Society offers advice for parents who are thinking about going vegan this year, with some tasty recipe ideas that meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans will all want to try. Nutritionist Chloe Steele talks all things lunchboxes and suggests some healthy homemade ideas to pack for your kids that's a bit more exciting than yet another cheese sandwich.

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 Ltd. All rights reserved. Please either keep this magazine for future reference, pass it on for somebody else to read, or recycle it.



Lastly, we cover a wide range of sports and initiatives to showcase the options out there for your kids to get involved in. Fancy table tennis, gymnastics or judo? We've got it covered. We also speak with Caroline Kings from We Are Girls in Sport about why trying loads of different sports is a great idea. The more sports kids are exposed to, the more likely they are to find the one – or more than one – that's right for them. We wish you all a healthy and happy 2022.

Georgina Editor, Family First magazine

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It’s hard to think about not being here to provide for your family. But what would they do if you weren’t around? Our life insurance can help you make sure they’re looked after financially if the worst was to happen to you.

What is life insurance? You can think of life insurance as a safety net. When you make a valid claim, life insurance pays a lump sum to your loved ones to cover things like the mortgage so they can stay in the family home, to protect the lifestyle you’ve worked so hard for, or for little extras, just because. This is not a savings or investment product and has no cash value unless a valid claim is made.

How much cover do I need? It’s easy to protect your family. Here are a few examples to help you figure out how much cover you need: 1. 2. 3.

How much they would need to maintain their current lifestyle If you have a mortgage, the amount you need to protect How much you’d need to cover childcare costs or university fees

You can do the sums with our simple calculator at:

A provider you can trust

UK’s number one Life Insurance provider* Over 10,000 families helped with life claims last year *Based on new individual Life Insurance sales in 2020, Term & Health Watch report 2021, Swiss Re.

We’ll send you £100 gift voucher after you take out cover* Get a personal quote in minutes and start protecting them today at * Ts & Cs apply. Restrictions apply, see

IS SUE 09 - Ask Us First

Ask us first Advice from family doctor, Dr Oscar Duke, on some of your concerns

Dear Family First,

Dear Family First,

My wife is due to have our second child in a couple of months. Our first was a boy (Rory is four) and we have a great relationship – we both love sport, wrestling and cars, so have a lot to talk about. Our second child is going to be a girl and I am worried that I won't be able to bond with her. I have always struggled to have things in common with girls and I grew up with two brothers. My wife says that it will come naturally, but I fear that I won't have the same bond with her as I do with my son. What can I do to better prepare for being a dad of a daughter?

I have a huge problem with nappy rash with my 18-month-old daughter. She seems to do very acidic bowel movements and gets awful rashes unless she is changed right away. This is not always possible (especially when she is at nursery) and then she is in a lot of pain due to the nappy rash. We have tried numerous different disposable nappy brands, cloth nappies and a few different creams – but nothing seems to help in the long term. Is there anything I can do for her to relieve the nappy rash?


Dr Duke says: This is a

fear of many parents, particularly when they discover they’re having a baby that is a different sex to them. Take some reassurance from the fact that for most dads, by the time their child is six months old, these worries have completely disappeared. Bonding can feel challenging for dads in the early days, particularly if mum is doing all the feeding. Try to involve yourself as much as you can – leading on nappy changes is the perfect time to bond with your daughter and gives mum a very welcome break too! Once you reach the six-month stage we know how important dads are at teaching skills of risk analysis, adventure and boundaries, as they often lead in what psychologists call ‘rough and tumble play’. This is the time your hormones will start flowing, oxytocin in particular, further strengthening your bond.

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Dr Duke says: Most happy rash is

caused by the reaction between poo and urine in the nappy, but damp conditions in the nappy can lead to overgrowth of yeasts, known as Candida or thrush, that can irritate the skin. Make sure you are using a soft, stretchy and well-fitting nappy. Another top tip is to leave the nappy off after each change for five-ten minutes, keeping a careful eye out for cheeky wees. This allows the skin to fully dry and for nappy rash to settle before you add on your nappy rash cream of choice. Nappy rash can come on alarmingly quickly, but the good news is that if you try some of these solutions, you’ll find it will often disappear as quickly as it came on. Dr Oscar Duke is a London-based GP, broadcaster, Pampers ambassador and father of two young children.

G re a t O u td o o r s - I S S U E 0 9


OUTDOORS Embrace the cold weather and head outside to explore the great outdoors – whether that's your own back garden, a local park or an adventure in the woods. In this issue, we explore the wonderful world of winter wildfowl and try out some nature crafts.

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family business run from the kitchen table to a studio space in central Bristol with a community of over 40 part-time staff and contributors.


CONNECTING CHILDREN WITH NATURE Anja French, mum of three and founder of Mud & Bloom nature subscription boxes, speaks to Georgina Probert about the benefits of doing nature craft and gardening activities with your kids.


aunching in December 2017, while she was pregnant with her third child, Mud & Bloom is the brainchild of Anja French from Bristol. The monthly seasonal subscription boxes are made with kids aged three to eight mind, with activities created by qualified teachers, and aim to foster a love of nature in children. Anja explains: “We encourage respect for nature, but we also encourage children to get their hands


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dirty, to pick flowers and bring items home with them. We know that children learn and connect better when they engage all their senses. I definitely believe a connection with nature is essential if we want our children to grow up caring about, and willing to protect, the natural world.” Mud & Bloom has sent out more than 200,000 boxes since it launched. The company has gone from strength to strength following 18 months of lockdowns, growing from a small

We were living in London, I was working full time and I had a long commute, so the time I had with my two young sons was precious and I didn't have hours to spend preparing activities. I wanted to do fun things with my kids and was subscribing to craft boxes, which were great, as you could do an activity together without having to prepare anything. I was really surprised there was nothing out there that was connecting children to nature or that was eco friendly. So that gave me the idea to set up Mud & Bloom.


I feel that it's really important that children are connected to nature for all sorts of reasons: for their own mental health and, in the longer term, for them to protect the environment later in life. If they've been brought up loving nature, they're more likely to care for it later on. I think there's more and more disconnect, especially in cities, of children knowing about nature and being out in nature. It's something I feel very passionate about.


Yeah, absolutely. In each box, we provide planting activities and at least two nature craft activities. These involve going out to a local park or just down your street and picking up conkers, acorns or leaves and twigs, and then bringing them home to do the activity. You don't have to have a garden or large outside space to be able to do them.

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We encourage children to get their hands dirty For the gardening activities, we provide peat-free organic compost pellets in each of our boxes and then we suggest that you use an egg carton or yoghurt pot to plant the seeds in. Eventually, you will need to plant these in a larger pot or in a garden, but the point is that children can still start the seedlings off – plus you can plant a lot of things on window sills or balconies.


Parents don't need to be an expert in gardening and everything they need to get started growing and discovering nature with their children is included. It's a lot easier than people think. We provide simple instructions, including how to plant seeds, and how to water and look after your plants. We've also got a Facebook subscribers group, which is really active. People in the group who never

gardened before have been saying that they can't believe that they’ve actually grown their own vegetables this year.

ARE THE BOXES DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE PARENTS AND KIDS TO SPEND TIME TOGETHER? Yes they are. The boxes are aimed at children aged three to eight, which tend to need varying levels of supervision. We do have subscribers who are 12 or 13 years old, who are able to do the activities themselves, but they are mainly geared for whole families to do together. Feedback from subscribers is that often parents set up the activities for their children and then they get on with gardening alongside them.


My kids are three, seven and nine – our ideal target ages – so yes, I do ask for their input. We do all of the activities together and they tell

me what they loved or if there's anything they didn't enjoy. While my children's seal of approval is great, more importantly, many of the activities are made to complement the national curriculum and are put together by trained teachers, forest school teachers or Montessori teachers.

DO YOU THINK THAT THE LOCKDOWNS MADE PEOPLE APPRECIATE THE GREAT OUTDOORS MORE? I think lots of people who never did gardening or nature crafts before began to appreciate what was on their doorstep in terms of nature. In the past, if you thought about getting a subscription box for your kid, it would probably be indoor crafts. We've got a lot more people now subscribing than before lockdown, who are really into their garden, planting things all the time and doing activities that they never did before. I also think that many children havechanged because they've started to experience and enjoy simple things like playing in the garden or woods and using their imagination – and now they're more likely to want to do more of that.

Parents don't need to be an expert in gardening

Mud & Bloom's children's monthly subscription box delivers seasonal nature crafts, gardening, foraging and nature spotting activities to your door. Each box contains everything the busy parent needs for hours of fun with their children discovering and learning about plants, insects, birds, soil, the seasons and the weather. For more information, visit

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winter bird feeder


s food becomes more difficult for birds to find, they will really appreciate being left some. A wire feeder is a great way of hanging old kitchen scraps up for the birds and an orange feeder makes a lovely bright container for sunflower seeds and nuts. If you leave your feeders out long enough in a quiet space, away from people or predators, you’ll be able to enjoy watching the birds feast on your food!

What you will need:

Bird seeds and nuts Natural jute or hemp twine An orange or other citrus fruit

such as a lemon or grapefruit A piece of wire (floristry wire


Squeeze out the juice so that you are left with the hollowed-out halves.

works well) bread, cheese or other highenergy food


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To make wire feeders (also known as a kebab bird feeders): 1

Collect scraps of highenergy food from around the house, like cheese, fresh fruit like apples, and bread. Don’t use anything with mould on.


Chop your food up into small pieces that are big enough to handle and thread it onto your wire.


Turn your wire inwards to make a loop and twist the ends together.


Cut off a piece of twine and tie it around your wire loop. Hang your feeder up by the twine for the birds.

Hang your feeders out of the wind, but quite high up, so they are out of the reach of cats. Make sure your feeder is hung somewhere that you can see from your window, so they can be watched! The birds might take a while to come, especially if this is the first time that food has been put out for them.


Cut your fruit in half.

Pick your orange half up by its twine so you can see how it hangs. Fill it with your seeds and nuts.

Feeding the birds

Pieces of apple, dried fruit,




British garden birds such as robin and blue tit will enjoy kitchen scraps in winter

Thread twine through the holes to make a hanging loop, like in the picture. You could make the holes using a thick knitting needle or small pointed screwdriver.

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ice lantern


aking ice lanterns is a fun and simple thing to do and it’s a lovely way to enjoy the beautiful things that are around in nature at this time of year. We also found this activity to be the perfect incentive to get us outside!

What you will need:

A tea light One large container (such

as a large round yoghurt pot or a plastic bowl) One smaller container (small enough to fit inside your larger one but large enough to fit your candle in) A large stone or pebble or some sticky tape Winter nature finds Freezing cold weather (Or a freezer!)


When you get home, take your large container and put some of the foliage at the bottom.


3. 1.

Resist the urge to stay in the warm and hibernate, and go for a walk and see what winter treasures you can find to decorate and add colour to your lantern! At this time of year, you can find small pine cones, fir, holly, ivy and plenty of winter berries.

Place the smaller container (open end facing up) inside the larger container so it holds the foliage in place. This will help create a base to your lantern, but you can also put the smaller container straight in so that it sits on the bottom of the larger container and then the lantern will be open at both ends. Ideally you would want at least 1cm gap between the two containers so the lantern isn’t too thin and fragile.


Spread your nature finds in the space between the two containers. Individual berries will float, so it’s best to add sprigs of berries or wedge them in between other foliage.


Once you’ve finished, slowly pour water into the space left between the containers until the water is about 1-2cm below the top of the larger container. Water expands as it freezes, so if you fill it too full the water will overflow as it turns to ice. If your small container is lightweight you may need to place a stone or pebble inside it so it doesn’t float up and free the leaves at the bottom. You can also use some sticky tape to hold the smaller container in place. If any of your nature finds are now sticking out above the water, try to squash them down a bit.


You can then leave your container outside overnight in weather that is freezing or below freezing. However, if the weather is mild, you can put it in your freezer.


When your lantern has frozen and you are ready to use it, tip it upside down and tap it until comes out. If it is hard to get out, pour some warm water on the outside of your large container to release the ice. Then turn your lantern over and pull out the small container. Pouring a small amount of warm water in your small container can also help get it free.


When it gets dark, put a small tea light inside your ice lantern, light it and enjoy the glow of your ice lantern! The light from the candle should make beautiful colours through your nature finds.

Craft activities supplied by Mud & Bloom (

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Teal pair © Nick Upton/2020VISION

I S S U E 0 9 - G re a t O u td o o r s

Duck, duck, goose! Now is the time to discover the wonderful world of winter wildfowl, says Tom Hibbert of The Wildlife Trusts


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During the winter, these places experience freezing temperatures and long hours of darkness. Many lakes and waterbodies freeze over, making it hard for waterbirds to find food. So the birds have to leave and travel south to find somewhere a bit warmer. This journey is known as migration. Luckily for us, many ducks, geese and swans choose the UK for their winter getaway, as our Flock of ducks winters are much milder. (mostly wigeon) © Nick Upton/2020VISION These birds might have travelled thousands of miles to spend the winter hanging out on a Scottish shore, an English estuary or a Welsh wetland. It’s amazing to think about the things they must have seen on their way here.

f you’ve visited a lake or a watery nature reserve or park recently, you might have noticed that there are a lot more ducks and geese around than there were in the summer. In fact, hundreds of thousands of extra ducks, geese and swans travel to the UK each autumn, ready to spend the winter here. But why are these birds arriving just as the weather turns cold?

Hundreds of thousands of ducks, geese and swans travel to the UK each autumn Well, our winters might seem chilly to us, but compared to the places these birds come from, the UK is like a tropical retreat! Our winter visitors come from places even farther north, like Greenland, the Russian tundra or Svalbard – a group of Arctic islands home to reindeer and polar bears.

Flock together

Wildfowl are very sociable birds. In many species, families stick together as they migrate, with the

Pink-footed geese

Tufted duck drake © Guy Edwardes/2020VISION

© David Tipling/2020VISION

young birds following their parents. Lots of these family groups can join up to form large flocks. Some of the most spectacular flocks seen in the UK are of pink-footed geese, which travel in groups made up of hundreds of birds. They arrive in late September and October, filling the air with their loud, squeaking honks as they fly in neat V-shaped flocks. This V-shape is very important, because it helps the flock to save energy on longdistance flights. The bird at the front of the V does the most work, breaking up the air in front of it. The air swirls around the front bird and the birds just behind it on the left and right get a little boost of lift from that air, so they don’t have to flap as hard to stay up. After a while, the front bird will drop back and another will take over, giving the previous leader a chance to rest. The reason that flocks like this are so noisy is because they are constantly communicating to make sure they stay together in perfect formation.

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Brent goose © David Tipling/2020VISION

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If winters continue to get warmer, we might see even fewer ducks and other waterbirds making the journey across the North Sea Changing with the climate

We know that our world is changing quickly because of the climate crisis. One of the effects in the UK is an increase in milder winters, which aren’t as cold. This is likely to have an impact on the birds that travel here for winter, as it may mean they don’t need to travel as far from their northern breeding grounds to find a suitable place to spend the winter. In milder winters, they can find unfrozen lakes closer to their summer homes, so don’t need to use up energy flying all the way to the UK or even further south in Europe. Scientists have already seen changes in the locations some of our visiting ducks spend the winter at, including the tufted duck – a handsome black and white bird you’ll see in many local parks. They noticed that in the last 30 years, these birds haven’t been travelling as far for the winter, with more of them choosing to stop in northern Europe, in countries like Finland and Sweden. If winters continue to get warmer, we might see even fewer ducks and other waterbirds making the journey across the North Sea.

Make it count


The UK is home to internationally important numbers of ducks, geese and swans, so it’s important

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Whooper swan

©Danny Green/2020VISION

that we keep track of the number of birds that visit us. Volunteers regularly count all the waterbirds they can see at their local wetland, but counting large flocks isn’t easy. One trick is to count a small number of them, like 20, then estimate how many groups of that size there are in the whole flock. Or, if you have a camera, you can take a photo and then count all the birds in the image – it’s a lot easier when they don’t move around! Why don’t you give it a try next time you visit your local lake?

WHICH WILDFOWL WILL I SEE There are lots of ducks, geese and swans to look out for in winter. Some like to swim around on flooded fields or deep lakes, while others like to graze on farmland or muddy coasts. Here are just a few of our wonderful wildfowl to look out for this winter:


Whooper swan - You’ve

probably seen mute swans before, as they live here all year, but have you ever seen a whooper swan?

These winter visitors have the same bright white feathers, but their beak is black and yellow instead of orange. They are named for their loud, whooping calls, which can often be heard as flocks fly overhead. Most of the whooper swans we see come from Iceland, crossing hundreds of miles of ocean to reach Pink-footed goose us. The similar ©David Tipling/2020VISION Bewick’s swan is a less common visitor, with much less yellow on the beak.


Pink-footed goose - These noisy geese are

one of our most abundant visitors, with almost 500,000 of them counted last winter! They’re grey and brown with a pink patch on their beak, and bright pink legs and feet, which give them their name. Our pink-footed geese come from Iceland and Greenland, arriving here in late September and October. Some of the best spots to see them are in Scotland, Northern England and down the East coast. If you visit a favourite roosting spot at dawn or dusk, you can see thousands of them flying overhead as they travel between the wetlands where they sleep and the fields where they feed.

G re a t O u td o o r s - I S S U E 0 9 Wigeon drake

© Chris Gomersall/2020VISION

geese are barely bigger than mallards, with a black head and neck, a dusky grey body and a bright white bottom. Brent geese travel here from the Arctic coasts of Russia, from Svalbard and Greenland, and from Canada. Unlike most geese, you’re only likely to see them by the sea, where they hunt for food on estuaries, salt marshes and muddy bays. Large flocks can be seen in Southeast England, Northumberland and Northern Ireland. Barnacle goose - With

their pale-grey bodies, black necks and bright white faces, these pretty geese stand out in a crowd. Each autumn, large numbers of barnacle geese travel from Svalbard and Greenland to spend the winter in the northwest of the UK and Ireland. However, there are also some barnacle geese that live in Britain all year, descended from birds that escaped from wildfowl collections. You might see these birds mixed in with flocks of greylag or Canada geese.

Barnacle geese © David Tipling/ 2020VISION

lots of open water. You might even spot small flocks swimming in a synchronised circle, stirring up invertebrates to feed on.

Brent goose - These tiny

Wigeon - Large flocks of these delightful ducks spend the winter in the UK, gathering at old gravel pits, flooded meadows and other wetland habitats. They often climb out of the water to feed on the grassy banks. They’re plump-looking birds, with a large round head and short bluegrey beak. Females are shades of brown, but males are mostly grey with a chestnut head and a creamy-yellow patch on their forehead.

What’s that duck with a huge, spade-like beak? It’s a shoveler, of course! Goldeneye - Gaze into the glowing eye of a goldeneye and it’s easy to see how they got their name. These dainty diving ducks nest in small numbers in Scotland, but in winter they can be seen on wetlands across the UK, often on deep lakes. They spend a lot of time underwater, diving down for food, so getting a good look at them can take a bit of patience. If you’re lucky, you may spot a male showing off to a female. He throws his head back, splashes with his feet and makes a loud croaking call.

Teal - Teal are tiny – in fact, they’re our smallest duck. Around 2,000 pairs of teal nest in the UK in summer, Goldeneye drake but in winter, hundreds of ©Fergus Gill//2020VISION thousands of them arrive from colder countries. Teal can be seen on almost any wetland, but their favourite spots are shallow waters with muddy edges. They can Discover The Wildlife form very large flocks.

Trusts’ favourite spots for seeing winter wildfowl by visiting: wintering-wildfowl

Teal drake

© Nick Upton/ 2020VISION

There are lots of ducks, geese and swans to look out for in winter Ducks

Shoveler - What’s that duck with a huge, spade-like beak? It’s a shoveler, of course! These big-billed birds can be seen in the UK all year, but are much more common in winter when thousands arrive from northern Europe. They’re often seen on shallow lakes and marshes with

Shoveler pair © Nick Upton/2020VISION

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Hey there kids!

Do you have a passion for caring for the planet? Great, then you’re in the right place! By joining our Dirt Is Good Academy, you and thousands of other kids will be able to complete cool challenges to help understand how to tackle some of the biggest issues facing our planet today. So roll up your sleeves, get stuck in and become a Changemaker today – it’s never been easier or more fun!

This is your online mission dashboard! Tick off challenges as you go...

start here



speedy SUMMARY Earth’s temperature has been steadily rising – something called global warming. It’s come about through human activities like burning fossil fuels and habitat destruction and led to extreme weather like floods and forest fires. But by using renewable energy from the wind and sun, protecting and restoring natural habitats and living more sustainably – doing things like recycling and reusing – we can help stop global warming.

WATER CHALLENGES Saving more water in your home is where you come in. Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth Try and start taking shorter showers An issue you might not immediately link to the earth’s water problems is food waste –it takes a lot of water to produce our food, so keeping as much food out of your bin as possible can have a real positive impact on things.


What can I do, you ask? Great question. The simplest things can make a big difference Why not try recycling or checking that your favourite things are made with recyclable packaging to help reduce waste? Turn plugs off at their sockets and lights off in rooms not being used to save energy Use public transport, cycle or walk instead of taking the car

MISSION 2 SPEEDY SUMMARY All of earth’s living creatures, including us, need water to survive. The problem is there’s only a limited amount to go around – only 1% of Earth’s water is drinkable, and 800 million people don’t have access to clean water. Threatening to make things worse are problems like pollution and global warming, but if we act now we can still put things right.

Use the words below to fill in the gaps and complete this paragraph…

Many people struggle to access clean _________ water. In the sea, pollution from ______ waste is harming ocean _______. And ________ means it’s hard for some animals (and people) to find enough food.

overfishing plastic drinking wildlife




Heard of a compost heap? They’re a fantastic way to keep waste out of landfills, and super easy to get going in your own garden.

A huge amount of the Earth’s surface – 75% in fact – has been changed by human activities like deforestation and intensive farming. One million species of animals and plants are now at risk of extinction because of this, with habitats and natural ecosystems being destroyed and damaged. But governments and conservation groups are working hard to save the planet’s incredible habitats.


Get your wellies on and volunteer for a tree planting programme Why not try your hand at growing your own fruit & veg to help reduce the need for intensive farming?


Can you find all of these words in the grid below?



COOL SCHOOLS If you’re enjoying the Dirt Is Good Academy and want to take part in projects that tackle issues that are important to you, ask your teacher to check out Persil’s Dirt Is Good Schools Programme at dirtisgoodproject/teachers

SPEEDY SUMMARY The world would be a better place if everyone was treated equally, and everyone felt safe, no matter who they were or where they lived. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, with millions of people living in unsafe places, and many not having enough money to buy essential things like food and water. That’s not to mention that plenty of people in the world are treated unfairly because of their race, gender, religion or ability – something called discrimination.

S people CHALLENGE There’s plenty of organisations working to help people, and you can play a part as well. Write to your local MP to highlight any ideas you have to help people in your local community Get involved with a human rights charity and volunteer to raise money for them. If you have any unwanted clothes, books or toys, don’t throw them out – find a charity to donate them to so another person can enjoy them.



omfort and serenity with zero emissions; Citroën is going electric with a model range ready to suit the needs of families across the UK. As one of the country's most trusted car brands, Citroën's electric vehicle range is suited to families of all sizes, with clever technologies, low running costs and comfort and practicality at the core behind each model. By 2025, Citroën will offer an electric variant across its entire line-up, making it even easier to go electric, with a car to suit every driver's needs. KEEPING COSTS DOWN On top of a serene driving experience, Citroën's electric vehicle range will help owners save money in the long run. Owners save on average 75% on fuel costs alone compared to a petrol or diesel car, and with pre-conditioned charging, can set the charge time to take advantage of low electricity tariffs at night, costing as little as £4*. Charging is made more convenient, with many businesses offering free charging, while cities allow you to park for free whilst charging, making for even more cost-effective family days out. The Citroën electric range is also exempt from road tax and the majority of models are eligible for the £2,500 Plug-in Car Grant to further reduce expenses, with all vehicles also exempt from current congestion and emissions charges. With no oil changes or timing belts to worry about, as well as an eight-year or 100,000 mile

warranty on the electric battery, Citroën's electric vehicle range offers drivers a peace of mind when it comes to servicing and reliability. EVERYDAY ELECTRIC RANGE Models like the new ë-C4 electric are capable of up to 217 miles from a single charge, while seven-seat models like the ë-Berlingo electric can go 174 miles before a recharge - making them more than capable of tackling the daily school run or a trips to the shops or office. With an 80% charge completed in just 30 minutes when using a rapid charger, holidays and countryside adventures are just as easy as with a petrol or diesel car. Citroën's C5 Aircross SUV Plug-in Hybrid offers drivers the best of both worlds - a convenient 34 mile electric range to tackle daily trips, complemented by a PureTech petrol engine to take on longer journeys. EVERYDAY COMFORT The Citroën Advanced Comfort® and ë-Comfort programme extends to each Citroën electric model, providing a sense of serenity and wellbeing on the go. With plusher suspension and added padding on the seats means a serene magic-carpet-like ride for driver and passengers. The silent electric powertrain provides a further sense of tranquillity on board, while added noise insulation on the windows ensures each trip is as relaxed as possible.

SUITED TO DAILY FAMILY LIFE Built for families, Citroën's electric range features a number of innovations set to make daily life easier. On the new Citroën ë-C4 electric, Isofix points come standard across all models on the rear seats, making it easy to attach a child's seat safely and securely. The ë-C4 also features a built-in Citroën Smart Pad Support - a secure multi-device tablet holder that makes it easy to watch cartoons or play games when on the move. Ideal for large families, the ë-SpaceTourer electric and ë-Berlingo electric both come with three rows of seats, capable of seating up to seven people at once, while cubby holes and storage compartments make both capable of tackling even the most ambitious holiday trips. ALWAYS CONNECTED Each Citroën electric vehicle comes standard with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto - allowing users to connect their smartphone to the car's infotainment system to stream their favourite music or audio book. The MyCitroën app also allows users to check on their vehicle's charge level remotely, and set the preferred charging time. While also ensuring drivers stay on top of servicing and MOTs. Roadside assistance can also be alerted when needed via the app.

* Off-peak rate of 8p/kWh for a full 50kWh charge is estimated to cost £4.00. Headlights shown on C5 Aircross Plug-in Hybrid are not available in the UK but LED headlights are standard across the range.

I S S U E 0 9 - F a m i l y F e a t u re

MUST-READ BOOKS your kids will love From picture books about sharing and learning through play to stories that deal with grief and promote inclusion and diversity, these fascinating books are fun to read while teaching kids important life skills. 100 WAYS YOUR CHILD CAN LEARN THROUGH PLAY By Georgina Durrant 0-5 years | RRP £14.99 | Available from Jessica Kingsley Publishers (

something new to learn wherever you go. With charming black and white line illustrations to depict each activity, this is a great way to connect with children who have SEN.

something to himself is so much fun after all. This Tree is Just for Me! is an uplifting tale of friendship and sharing that promotes the benefits of inclusive play.

THIS TREE IS JUST FOR ME! By Lucy Rowland 0-5 years | RRP £6.99 | Available from Bloomsbury Children's Books (

Jack has a new book and he's found the perfect place to read in peace – a big, beautiful tree. So when a tiger, a bear, an alligator and a whole host of unusual animals ask if they can join him, Jack says, 'NO! This tree is just for me!" But you've got to be careful what you wish for. When the animals go away, Jack begins to wonder whether keeping

Packed full of 100 creative and engaging activities for young children with special educational needs (SEN), this book enables parents to have fun developing their child's skillbased learning. From building biscuit construction sites and rainbow ice towers to playing dentists, nail salons and post office workers, the variety and creativity of this book means you'll never have a dull day with your child again! With activities for rainy days, in the garden, on walks and more, there's


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F a m i l y F e a t u re - I S S U E 0 9

discover what makes them unique in the best possible way.


By Professor Anthony Kessel 11+ years | RRP £6.99 | Available from Crown House Publishing (


5-7 years | RRP £5.99 | Available from Bloomsbury Children's Books (

to let flying mini beasts free in the classroom. And they really didn’t mean to do a series of dares to become the overlord of the universe. These things just happened, even though they had foolproof plans to get away with it all. Highly illustrated and featuring two madcap adventures in one book, these stories are just right for children ready for their first chapter books.


8+ years | RRP £6.99 | Available from Amazon (

Headteacher Mrs Bottomley-Blunt thinks 4B is the worst class in the world. She says school is not about footling or fiddle-faddling or fun. It is about learning and it is high time 4B tried harder to excel at it. But best friends Stanley and Manjit didn’t mean

The Five Clues (Don't Doubt the Rainbow 1) follows the story of 13-year-old Edie Marble. Walking back from her mother’s grave, she finds a note in a pocket of her coat, which she hasn’t worn since the day she found out about her mother’s death. The book is a murder-mystery thriller and family drama, combining a race against time with the story of a teenager learning to live with the loss of a parent. To solve the mystery, Edie must harness the Three Principles – a new approach to understanding how the mind works – which helps her to conquer psychological stresses and supports her in coming to terms with her grief.

Aimed at celebrating the uniqueness in every child, MI9: The Beginning is the first novel to be commissioned by the charity Microtia UK, which is calling on schools and teachers to promote inclusion and diversity at home and in the classroom. It tells the tale of five formidable superhero kids who save the day on a top-secret mission surpassing their own expectations. The action-packed adventure features positive representations of each of the inspiring characters who work together to complete their mission. While navigating life at home, at school and with friends, each of the characters FA M I LY F I R S T - W I N T E R 2 0 21/ 2 2


I S S U E 0 9 - Ad ve r to r i a l

Teaching children to feel clean and confident and ready for school


arents want what’s best for their children. They want them to be healthy, happy and confident, in all aspects of their life. But confidence can take time to develop. More often than not, it’s the small everyday changes that can make the greatest difference when it comes to children’s learning! For one, ensuring that children achieve a feeling of clean, through learning positive bathroom habits, will empower them to take on the day with confidence. At Andrex®, we understand that the journey to confidence is likely different for every family. For some, going to the toilet can be daunting for a number of reasons; children may not feel confident in their toileting abilities, or aren’t comfortable in an unfamiliar setting, such as school or trips out. To help parents and children alike, Andrex® has created the Clean


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Routine; an easy-to-follow two step guide to achieve an elevated feeling of clean. Whilst parents can rest easy knowing that their family’s delicate skin will be cared for with products recognised by the British Skin Foundation.

THE ANDREX® CLEAN ROUTINE: Step 1: Use 3-4 sheets of Andrex® Toilet Tissue Step 2: Follow up with Andrex® Classic Clean Washlets™ for all day freshness

What’s better, the Andrex® Washlets range is 100% plastic free, biodegradable and certified as Fine to Flush by the UK water industry.

TOP TIP Using the Andrex® Classic Clean Washlets™ is a great way to help your family feel fresher for longer. They are a bathroom staple and the perfect accompaniment to any family day out.


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© Leibe

I S S U E 0 9 - F a m i l y F e a t u re

There’s more to life than housework! Gemma Bray, creator of The Organised Mum Method, talks us through how she keeps her house clean and her life organised, by using her own tried and tested 30-minute methods. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START THE ORGANISED MUM METHOD

The reality of being a new mum was very different to my preconceived idyll and it came as a bit of a shock. In the first weeks with a newborn, I really struggled and suffered from anxiety. I started to use cleaning as a coping mechanism: it helped me to feel like I was in control when actually I was experiencing a crisis of confidence. My anxiety spiralled until I was cleaning for hours every day, trying to convince the outside world that I was competent, but


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inside I was crumbling. I knew I had to make a change, so I devised The Organised Mum Method (TOMM), writing the outline at my kitchen table. I developed it into a detailed guide and followed it privately for years. When I eventually shared it online a few years ago, I had no idea that it would become so popular.


The beauty of TOMM is in its simplicity, working on a rolling eight-week schedule, which is so straightforward to follow. From

F a m i l y F e a t u re - I S S U E 0 9

Monday to Thursday, you spend 30 minutes a day cleaning one room, and then on Fridays, you change the focus to another space in your house that changes every week. The longer you follow the method, the cleaner your home will become. The great news is that if you follow from Monday to Friday, the weekend will be housework free!


I don’t especially enjoy cleaning, but I do enjoy living in a clean home. This motivates me to get my 30 minutes of cleaning completed each day.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO PARENTS WHO ARE FEELING OVERWHELMED BY THE CLEANING, HOUSEWORK AND LIFE ADMIN THAT COMES WITH PARENTHOOD? Remember that good enough is good enough. Life can be messy, homes get messy – and this is ok. There is also a huge difference between a house that is untidy because the kids have been playing and a house that is truly dirty. There’s more to life than housework!


My first marriage failed not long after I had my second child and I was left with that awful feeling of losing control again. I knew the reason that TOMM worked was that it helped me to structure my day, so the boring jobs were always completed and 30 minutes was a long enough block of time to complete tasks. So, I started to segment jobs, such as admin, into 30-minute slots. The method itself grew from there.

The longer you follow the method, the cleaner your home will become DO YOU HAVE ANY FURTHER ADVICE OR RESOURCES FOR PARENTS?

You can follow either TOMM or TOTT, you don’t have to follow both. If you combine them, however, you can create a whole life management system that will help you to reach your goals and create more time for you. The TOMM Journal is another way to help you stay focused and utilise your time most effectively. My website contains more information, along with printouts, links to my podcast and my Spotify playlists. All the information is on:

Gemma Bray (pictured left) is a Sunday Times best-selling author with her revolutionary approach not only to housework, but also on how to add structure and efficiency to busy lives. With two superb books, two highly acclaimed apps and a journal to her name, she helps parents worldwide to free themselves from overwhelm.

FA M I LY F I R S T - W I N T E R 2 0 21/ 2 2



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I S S U E 0 9 - F a m i l y F e a t u re

Kitchen scientists get creative Founder of TheDadLab and, more importantly, father of Alex (9) and Max (7), Sergei Urban shares some of his best kids activities to do in the kitchen to have some fun and learn things along the way too!


ike any other parent, I know what a struggle it can be to keep children busy. Lockdown made me more creative and gave me a fantastic opportunity to come up with even more ways to play and learn with my children. I'm not afraid to experiment with new things I've not tried before. I was learning together with my children and now I can share these


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tried and tested activities with millions of other families on Instagram and other social media. I find it's best to have something ready to go at a moment's notice, so I am never left without something to do when boredom strikes. I have been coming up with fun and educational ways to teach science for some years and here are some of my children's favourite creative projects:

F a m i l y F e a t u re - I S S U E 0 9

EXPERIMENT 1 ABRACADABRA TURMERIC Who doesn't love being mesmerised by something that changes colour? This experiment will create awe and wonder as you watch the effects of washing powder and lemon juice reacting with turmeric to create stunning designs. The main ingredient to this experiment has been chosen for its colour-changing properties, but the chemical that gives turmeric its strong colour can stain! To be on the safe side, it's best to wear something old or cover up with an apron. It's also a good idea to set this experiment up on a table with a wipedown tablecloth or a plastic sheet. You could also do this in a tuff tray or on newspaper on the kitchen floor. What you need: A piece of paper Three small tubs or bowls (washed out yoghurt pots are great) A spoonful of turmeric A spoonful of washing powder A lemon A cotton wool pad Two cotton buds Water

Step by step: 1. In one tub, mix a spoon of turmeric with a small amount of water to create a coloured 'wash'. This should look like a dark yellow liquid. 2. Soak the cotton pad with the turmeric and water mixture and run it over the piece of paper. You will need to do this a couple of times, so the paper is solid yellow. (Make sure to wash your hands after this part, as turmeric stains!) 3. Now, prepare your base in another tub, add a spoonful of washing powder and a small amount of water and mix. Put this to one side.



STEP 6-7


6. Start by drawing with the washing powder mix on your turmeric-covered paper and see what happens.

7. Finally, take your lemon juice cotton bud, trace over your picture and observe the exciting effects!



4. Prepare your acid in the third tub. Squeeze a lemon to get the juice into the tub. There is no need to add water. You're almost ready to get creative.

5. Add one cotton bud into the acid cup (the lemon juice) and one into the base cup (the washing powder). These buds will act as your 'paintbrushes'. Please don't

This is an excellent start to learning about the pH scale and its relation to acids and bases. Turmeric is a pH indicator that reacts in different ways to acids and bases, showing us how high or low some-thing is on the pH scale. Some acids and bases in nature are poisonous and used by insects and animals as poison. Other acids and bases are helpful. Acids and bases are found in lots of plants and even the human body. FOLLOW THE EXPERIMENT:

mix them up.

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I S S U E 0 9 - F a m i l y F e a t u re

4. When the cream has separated, pour the buttermilk into the cup. You can taste this and see what you think.

5. The solid lump left over in your jar is butter. Shake it out of the jar onto a plate and enjoy it spread on toast.




This is a project that everyone will love. It combines Max's two great passions in life: yummy food and science. There's nothing quite like a slice of toast topped with butter to warm you up after a brisk winter walk. So why not get the muscles warmed back up again by making your own homemade butter? This recipe is straightforward – you only need one ingredient and that's cream! With nothing to weigh, mix or burn, this is a fail-proof experiment that just requires a bit of patience. You will want to ensure the butter you create is consumed that day, as it could go rancid quickly without preservatives.





What you need: A glass jar with a lid Cream (heavy/double/ whipping) A cup A plate A bit of muscle and some energy Some toast to enjoy it

Step by step: 1. Pour the cream into the jar and put the lid on securely. 2. Shake the jar vigorously. You should notice the cream getting thicker and more solid the more you shake. 3. Continue shaking the jar until the cream separates into two substances – a liquid and a solid (butter-milk and butter). This can take a while, so it might require taking it in turns to avoid tired arms.



The cream can drastically alter its form, going from liquid to foamy to solid because of the milk fat in it. Shaking (or 'churning') changes the fat's structure and chemical properties, making the whole substance look and feel different. All the shaking we did here made the fat particles come together to make butter.

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EXPERIMENT 3 TIE DYE ART My son, Alex, enjoyed this simple arty project – colour magic with a sheet of kitchen roll, marker pens and a little water. This doesn't take much time, so it is perfect for those with small attention spans. As the markers are washable, it shouldn't make too much of a mess either. This activity is a sure-fire way to get your children experimenting with colour and renewing their creativity on a rainy Sunday afternoon. What you need: A dinner plate A sheet of kitchen paper towel Washable colour marker pens in a variety of different colours (not permanent markers) A pipette A cup of water


as it's going to change… a lot.) Make sure they use a variety of colours. 3. When the design is finished, take a pipette and show your child how to use it to suck up a little cold water. 4. Allow your child to then slowly squeeze out drops of water from the pipette over their pattern on the kitchen roll. Again, you don't want too much water in any one area. 5. Watch and marvel at the dotty art now transforming into a tie dye masterpiece.

molecules. Just like sugar dissolves easily in water, the water molecules like to cling to the cellulose molecules. Paper towels are incredibly absorbent because these cellulose fibres have gaps between them that are filled with air.




This is an excellent way of introducing colour mixing to younger children. Can you make the primary colours produce the secondary colours? What happens if you mix lots of different colours? Water dissolves the ink and spreads the colours across the towel as it quickly absorbs water. For older children, you can use this activity to introduce the concept of absorption. The fibres in paper towels are made of cellulose molecules – these are big molecules made up of tiny sugar




Step by step:

1. Place a single piece of kitchen paper onto a dinner plate.

2. Get your child to use the different colour marker pens to decorate the kitchen towel with a dotty pat-tern however they wish. (Don't let them get too attached to their design

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EXPERIMENT 4 COLOUR-CHANGING CHAMELEON With their colour-changing abilities, long tongues capable of catching food from a long way away and intriguing eyes, chameleons are a true source of fascination for adults and children alike. This colour-changing chameleon craft activity is an excellent way for children to explore their interest in this fantastic reptile. You can also use this activity to discuss why and how chameleons change colour.




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What you need: Two paper plates Paints Pencil A press-stud fastener or paper fastener Scissors

Step by step: 1. Paint a plain white paper plate with multiple colours. Crayons, felt tip pens or colouring pencils would work too. Make sure the whole of the front of the plate is decorated. There's no need to paint the back. 2. Get a pencil and draw a chameleon on the second (unpainted) plate. This chameleon should be above the centre of the plate. 3. Carefully cut out your chameleon so that you end up with a paper plate with a seethrough chameleon shape in it. 4. Place your cut-out plate on top of the painted plate (once it's dry). 5. Poke the fastener through the centre of both plates and fasten it, so the two plates are attached. 6. Spin the bottom plate around and watch the chameleon magically change colours.

There are many false ideas of chameleons' colour-changing abilities. While they can make small adjustments in their colour to help them blend into their surroundings, there are lots of other reasons they change colour too. Sometimes they don't want to blend in. For example, they can change colour when they're afraid or angry. They can also make themselves darker to absorb more heat from the sun since they aren't warm-blooded animals. So how do they change colour? Well, chameleons' skin has several layers. These layers contain special cells that have crystals inside. These crystals reflect light. When the chameleon reacts to changes in mood and temperatures, the cells in the skin expand (get bigger) or contract (get smaller). This makes the crystals reflect light in different ways, creating impressive displays of colour. FOLLOW THE EXPERIMENT: We hope these activities will inspire you to explore more art and science projects with your family.

TheDadLab ( is a trusted resource for STEAM and art activities for young children and their parents. You can watch these experiments and more on TheDadLab YouTube channel (


4 YE

With puncture proof tyres and dual suspension, Stomp V3 can go off the beaten track. The cosy seat liner ensures bubba is always comfortable while the convertible pushchair seat can be turned into a carrycot for those first few months.

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All-terrain adventures.


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I S S U E 0 9 - Tra ve l

TRAVEL Are you ready to plan a family holiday this year? We have everything you need to know, from top tips on booking the perfect family break to travelling with your dog, as well as where to stay and what to do on a familyfriendly staycation to Southampton.


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contacting the airlines directly to confirm their policies in the airport and on the plane to limit any dayof-travel issues at the airport. Some airlines are more pet-friendly than others, so it’s important to plan ahead.


Take a trip with your furry friend

Sara Boisvert at InsureMyTrip discusses how to travel safely with your pet on holiday.


ver the past two years, animal shelters, rescues and breeders have all reported an increase in interest in dog ownership, as socially distancing Brits turned to canine companionship. As the vaccine rollout continues and worldwide travel restrictions have begun to relax, many new dog owners have a renewed interest in travel and are looking to take their four-legged friends with them on holiday. These top tips will help you to have a safe and enjoyable petfriendly holiday.


Before leaving for your trip, make sure you have packed all the essentials for your furry friend. A sturdy lead, harness, waste bags, identification tags, treats and pet food are a few important items to include on your packing list. Most of these items are commonplace and may be available at your destination should you forget them. Copies of your dog’s medical records and travel documents may help to prove ownership, health and history of

vaccinations for your dog should the need arise or if officials ask to see them. Also, if your dog requires any medications, these should be labelled clearly and packed in a secure place. A microchip registration may also be considered for your dog prior to departing. An exciting new environment with new areas and scents to explore may increase the chances of an adventurous dog getting lost, so owners may want to take this extra precaution in keeping them safe.


If you decide to travel by plane, be sure to carefully review the airline’s pet policy before booking your reservation. Policies and prices do vary between airlines and can sometimes depend on the country you’re travelling to (domestic or international) and the size and breed of your pet. Travellers may also consider

If travelling by car, the safety of both you and your pet are top priorities. Use a special seat belt or harness for your dog to ensure they’re not able to roam around the vehicle and distract the driver. A pet carrier is also a good option. Be sure it’s sized correctly for them, as they should be able to stand up and lie down comfortably. These options will help protect your pet not only from being able to distract the driver, but also in case of a sudden stop.


Just like humans, our pets need frequent stops for water, toilet breaks and to stretch their legs. We recommend you build these stops into your travel itinerary. Consider another human travel partner to help share the driving and pet care responsibilities.


Once all the essentials are packed and the health and safety checks are done, it’s worth packing some of your pet’s favourite items. Bring a pet bag with their favourite food, treats, toys and a blanket. Once you’re ready to go, leave them with a favourite toy to keep them busy for as long as possible, especially if they’re a nervous pet.


If you’re travelling to a new destination, make sure you do your research to ensure there will be plenty of dog-friendly outdoor spaces. For example, certain beaches only allow dogs at specific times of the year. For more information on InsureMyTrip travel insurance, visit:

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Top tips for family travel in 2022 Mum of two, Gemma Perry – aka The Holiday Family Fixer – gives parents some key advice when it comes to planning a family holiday this year.


hile international travel has been severely limited for much of 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19, we hope that this year will be a different story. With many families having to reschedule or cancel long-awaited trips, it is natural for there to be some trepidation when booking your next family holiday. We asked Gemma some burning questions to help readers plan their ideal fuss-free family holiday this year.


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My most important tip is to make sure you book through reputable travel agent. Having a real person that you can talk to means you can communicate exactly what you want. It is important to be able to have a conversation with somebody who can take on board what you’re trying to achieve because you’re spending a lot of money to have precious time with your family. I’ve spent a lot of time researching family resorts that cater for a variety of different needs, whether the children have disabilities or someone in the family has specific dietary requirements. Often people assume that travel agents have a limited range of holidays, but we have access to a plethora of suppliers that offer good flexible booking terms, which again, is quite important.


Before they book, I always ask my clients: what is your risk appetite? Some families are happy to travel to a destination where they will need to do multiple PCR tests, wear masks on the plane etc, but some children really don’t like to do PCR tests. It’s about understanding what their risk appetite is and, if they want to travel abroad, helping them to understand the processes behind what that means. Each airline has its own processes and when you're going to a specific country, you will need to find out what its entry requirements and restrictions are. These can change very quickly in this current climate. You should also consider the worst case scenario: you've got to your destination and you test positive for Covid and have to quarantine in that country. Having a travel agent who understands your risk appetite, as well as what you want and need is really important.


I’ve already booked for us to go to Lapland for Christmas 2022! I knew availability was very limited and there was a specific supplier that I wanted to use, so I got in early. Right now deposits for booking are really low and there’s nothing to pay until 10 to 14 weeks before you travel. Before you book, just make sure to read the terms and conditions to ensure that you can move or change your date and what the timeframes around that are.

You’re spending a lot of money to have precious time with your family DO YOU THINK SELF CATERING OR HOTELS ARE BETTER FOR FAMILIES?

I think it depends on the room! In the past, we always went self catering because our daughter was a baby and I’ve always been quite strict with bedtimes. Having a self-catering villa allowed myself and my husband to enjoy an evening together while she was asleep, knowing that she was safe. But it also means that we are cooking for the family most nights. Once our daughter was a bit older, we stayed a few times in a one-bedroom suite in a luxury family hotel in Greece where all the meals were included and they had great facilities for children.

School holidays... sorted!

Gemma offers some key insights into the best destinations to head to during the school holidays. FEBRUARY HALF TERM

Italy – For some culture close to home, Italy has many festivals that take place in February. Carnevale is celebrated across the country at the beginning of Lent, with vibrant pageants, masquerades and confetti, while in Venice there is a two-week-long Carnival, usually at the start of the month, when people don masks and costumes and hold street parties. Egypt – Guaranteed warm weather, with multiple resorts offering local cuisine and great facilities. If you want to head out for some sightseeing, you can visit the Ancient Egyptian pyramids and tombs or cruise the Nile.


Mexico – The beaches of the Riviera Maya are stunning, as are the riviera’s nature parks, which offer zip-lining, guided activities and snorkelling. Caribbean – It’s the perfect time to venture to the Caribbean, with many islands to choose from and hotels to cater for all ages – a perfect opportunity to include other family, in-laws or grandparents.


Europe – Anywhere in Europe is fantastic between June-September and other benefits are the short flights and warm weather. I’ve travelled lots in Europe, so I am well versed in European holidays – it’s all about the food for me! Turkey, Spain (I was born there), Greece and Switzerland are my favourite summer destinations. The Americas – Good weather and with a longer duration of school holidays, a twin centre is a good option. Many families tend to go to Disney and the parks, and combine it with a city or beach stay afterwards. New York City is great in the summer, with plenty of things to do and see. Or head to Florida Keys, which is stunning and caters really well for families. You can even hop over to Mexico.


Canaries – Most of these islands have really warm weather at the end of October, which is ideal for those families who don’t want to fly more than 4 hours. There are some lovely family hotels, too. Dubai – For families wishing to go further afield, I would absolutely recommend Dubai. It has something for all ages, topnotch hotels and facilities, and the fascinating culture of the Emirates.


South East Asia – With so many countries to visit throughout the year, planning a multicentre would be the holiday of a lifetime. Using her professional travel knowledge, as well as her extensive understanding of family dynamics, Gemma Perry (pictured left with her family), founder of The Holiday Family Fixer, can provide you with fantastic service and unbeatable offers. For more information, visit:

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HARBOUR, HIGHRISES AND HISTORY: our family weekend in Southampton


outhhampton really is a city of contrasts: from its old stone ruins steeped in history to modern highrises and sprawling green spaces. We walked to the majority of the activities from our hotel, as they were all less than a 30-minute walk away. But the city has a great bus service, with buses on many routes coming every 10 minutes – and you can pick up a day pass for just £2.50 per person.

We kicked off our weekend with a visit to the SeaCity museum (, which tells the story of the people of Southampton, their lives and historic connections with the sea. You don’t have to be a ship enthusiast to enjoy the exhibitions, which include Southampton's Titanic story, the Gateway to the World and Southampton Stories. Discover what diners ate for supper on famous ships like the Queen Mary or Aquitania – fried calf’s feet anyone? A highlight for our eldest was the Titanic exhibition where you could pretend to steer a ship, work those muscles by shovelling coal into the boilers and even sit in the judge's seat in a mock courtroom to find out what happened in the aftermath of the Titanic sinking. You can also download the Titanic Trail 75-minute walking tour for free, which takes you to key locations around the city and port.


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Having worked up an appetite, we made our way to the city's Cultural Quarter for lunch at the quirky Piecaramba! ( As the name suggests, this restaurant specialises in pies – in fact, they have 20 different types, most of which are gluten free and with some great vegan options too. We ordered a Pie & Mighty meal: The Notorious P.I.G pie, filled with pulled pork, BBQ sauce and cajun potatoes topped with crispy shallots and West Country cheese, as well as classic mash and chilli minted mushy peas on the side. The portion sizes are not for the faint hearted, but it was one of the best pies we have ever tasted! Piecaramba! has fun at its heart. The restaurant is decorated with classic toys and there's even a Star Wars-themed toilet. Our daughter thought the Darth Vader hand dryer was hilarious. The indoor tables have retro games consoles, so kids and adults alike can play games while they wait for their food.

Tudor House & Garden

Georgina Probert, her husband and two daughters – aged 15 months and 5.5 years – spent the weekend in the fascinating city of Southampton to find the best family-friendly activities, restaurants and accommodation.

SATURDAY Discovering SeaCity

Lunch at Piecaramba!


While it may not look very big from the outside, the Tudor House ( is full of surprises. We started our tour with an immersive experience in the banqueting hall. Our guide warned us that it could be a little bit scary, but our daughters loved being in the dark, watching the video and light show, and listening to the story of the house from a selection of 'spirits'. It was the perfect time, around 10 minutes; long enough to keep their attention, but not so long that they got restless. It was a clever way of engaging kids in the history of the house. Highlights included standing next to a real Penny Farthing bike, learning about ships graffiti and looking at the huge cannon on the house ruins in the garden.

Tudor House

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One feature of the Tudor House that was welcomed by the whole family was the Explorer Room. It has comfortable chairs for the adults to take a break and loads of toys for kids of all ages. Our youngest had age-appropriate books and puzzles, while our eldest loved the dolls house and dressing up.

Dinner at The Real Greek

We finished off our day with a meal at The Real Greek ( This small restaurant is situated in the busy West Quay South and is well worth a visit. The restaurant had a lively atmosphere, with attentive staff and we enjoyed sitting in a large American-diner style booth. If you like authentic Greek food, you will love the huge selection of hot and cold meze. While families with older kids might enjoy a longer meal, we often find that our children don't want to sit in a restaurant for too long in the evening. The service at The Real Greek was extremely efficient and worked perfectly for our family. The food was delicious and reasonably priced. Highlights included the tzatziki, humus and souvlaki wraps. The kids' menu had a good range of options, plus the desert menu was spot on. We can recommend the chocolate mousse cake and ice cream for the little ones.

SUNDAY Following a brilliant continental breakfast in our hotel room (see page 52 for the full review of our stay at room2), we took a short stroll down to the ferry port. We spent some time having a look at the Queen Mary 2 that was docked – if you haven't been up close to a cruise ship before, it is quite staggering how large they are! We also found a children's play area in Mayflower Park, which was great for both ages and was nautical themed. Our eldest loved playing pirates on the ship climbing frame and our youngest had fun in the sandpit.

God's House Tower


We then made our way just down the road to God's House Tower ( This is one of Southampton's oldest and most important historical medieval buildings. It was used as a masonry from 1189 and later in the 17th century as a jail. It is now an arts and heritage space that reopened last year following a £3.1 million restoration. You can take an interactive tour of the tower to learn all about its chequered history. And we have been reliably informed that there are a few ghosts floating about. The tour is not buggy friendly, but there's space in the downstairs cafe to leave your buggy. There are also fantastic panoramic views from the top of the tower. Part of the tower is used as an exhibition space with regular events and shows that showcase local artists. Before you leave, we can recommend stopping in the cafe for a drink and a cinnamon bun supplied by local bakery Hoxton Bakehouse.

Exploring Southampton Common

After heading back to our hotel room to pack our things and check out, we drove a few minutes out of the city to Southampton Common. There are loads of nature trails and a new adventure park with all manner of climbing frames, swings, sand pits, zip wires and so much more. Southampton Common is 365 acres, making it an ideal spot for bike rides, dog walks, picnics and exercise.

Lunch at The Cowherds

Right next to the adventure playground is The Cowherds ( Booking is recommended, as the pub was packed full when we arrived. The food was excellent, hearty pubgrub. We enjoyed a full roast dinner with all the trimmings, while the kids had fish and chips. There was an extensive menu, good service and a lovely county pub atmosphere. Once we had filled our boots, it was time to head home. We had a fantastic weekend in a vibrant, interesting and friendly city with so much to explore. For more information on family-friendly things to do in Southampton, go to Visit Southampton's website: visitsouthampton.


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HOME FROM HOME: our stay at room2


hen travelling with a young family, having home comforts makes life easier. Room2 calls itself a 'hometel' and it has everything you could want from a serviced apartment, but with the luxury of a hotel. We stayed in a Master Loft, the largest of the hotel's room options, which can sleep up to 5 (and a baby in a cot). The view from our large, almost floor-to-ceiling, windows was of the quiet and scenic Queen's Park, with the harbour beyond. Best of all, the huge curtains are blackout lined, so you don't have to worry about the kids waking up too early due to daylight.

Fun design

Uber-modern décor, thoughtful touches and quirky design elements make this a brilliant option for families. Our room had a king size bed, a single trundle bed and a travel cot on the ground floor, as well as a further double bed 'upstairs' in a cosy nook, which our eldest daughter loved. Nods to nautical design made the room loads of fun for our kids, including a porthole door to the bathroom and a cargo net. The Master Loft features an open ladder-style staircase and room2 recommends that families with kids aged 7 and above book these rooms. However, our 5-year-old navigated the stairs with ease. It is not ideal for toddlers, but if you are willing to watch that they don't climb the stairs unattended, these rooms are worth the effort.

The facilities were superb and had everything you could possibly need for a weekend away. Our only negative experience was the cot, which was very small (more suitable for a newborn than a toddler), basic and did not have a comfortable mattress. It was the standard style of travel cot that you might find in a low-budget hotel.

Breakfast in bed

We chose to have a continental breakfast delivered to our room on both mornings. This included a generous spread of croissants, fruit, yoghurt and cereals, as well as fresh fruit juices and milk. All rooms are fitted out with a kitchen (including microwave, dishwasher, sink, toaster and kettle) and our room also had a dining table and chairs. There is not a restaurant per se, instead a well-stocked 'pantry', and cocktail and coffee bar next to the The Living Room lounge area (open from 8am-8pm), with comfortable seating and lots of traditional children's games. Room2 hasn't forgotten about the little luxuries that adults appreciate too. Malin + Goetz toiletries; a Pure digital radio (that was playing soothing tunes from Jazz FM when we arrived on the Friday evening); free superfast WiFi; a large 49” flatscreen TV with Chromecast; air con and a huge sofa that spans the length of the room. And if you are staying for longer than a weekend, there is a laundry room with washers and dryers for just £3 per cycle with free detergent.

Making life easy

Other perks of staying at room2 included getting a full 24 hours in your room, with check in and check out at 2pm. This meant we could explore the city on our last day without having to pack our suitcases and store them in the car all morning. One last thing to note is that room2 is 100% pet friendly, so you can bring your pooch along for the trip. The perfect base for a family friendly weekend away. Rooms start from £99 per night for a Study (sleeps 2) and the Master Loft (sleeps 5) starts from £149 per night | For more information on room2 Southampton, visit: southampton/

Splish, splash

Our room didn't have a bath, but the walk-in shower was large enough for us to climb in with both kids to wash them. As well as an overhead shower head, there was a hand-held shower much lower down the wall, which meant we could easily shower the children.


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IS SUE 09 - Family First

23rd - 25th September Bluebell Railway Beer Festival - Adults Only!

28th - 30th May Road Meets Rail

Traditional Steam Fair featuring working traction engine displays, miniature engines and a steam driven children’s merry-go-round.


2nd & 3rd July Model Railway Weekend

Where miniature meets full size! Ride our trains to see layouts, traders and models at all the stations along the line.

29th - 31st July Terrier Gala

Come and celebrate Terrier No. 672 Fenchurch’s 150 birthday. Experience a weekend of the small but strong steam locomotives

November - January Festive Events Santa Specials, Festive Dining Trains and the magical Steamlights experience provide something for the whole family.

In association with CAMRA, join us for great music and a huge range of beers and cider.

14th - 16th October Giants of Steam Autumn Gala

Thundering giants join our home fleet locos for our annual gala. Special guest engines will be announced, so keep an eye on our website.

Kids for a Quid!

Look out for half tem bargain tickets for children on our standard timetabled train services. Check our website for more information.

Event dates are provisional. Look out for updates, details and further events via social media and on our website. Go to our website and subscribe to our email newsletter to be first to hear about ticket releases Future Life are Will writers who only work with parents of babies and young children We are giving away 150 pairs of free Wills to the readers of Family First magazine. Most parents know they need a Will to protect their family, now is your chance to get yours for free. Helping thousands of parents protect the ones they love When you have little ones who are financially dependent upon you, getting your financial and emotional wishes in place legally is crucial – to avoid lengthy disputes and financial worries should anything happen. As well as taking care of your assets, a Will allows you to nominate who would look after your children. It is the ONLY way to appoint legal guardians. If guardians aren’t nominated, social services or a court could make those decisions instead of you.. We are a family business with children of our own, so we know how important it is to talk to someone who really understands your situation.

Tel: 01603 754057


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To qualify for your Free Wills go to: and use the code FF2022

Family First - IS SUE 09

AGreatDayOut! For Everyone

We’ve Missed You!


If you like the idea of supporting a local charity by having fun, the Aldingbourne Country Centre is well worth a visit. Woodland walks, our open farm, ride-on tractors, play areas, maze and wonderful home-cooked food are just some of the attractions visitors enjoy.


Aldingbourne Trust, Blackmill Lane, Norton, Chichester PO18 0JP

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Fun for all the family

From thrill-seekers to Peppa Pig fans, Paultons Park in Southampton has got rides to suit the whole family. Georgina Probert and her family spent the day exploring the park.


f you are visiting Southampton with the kids, then a trip to Paultons Park is a must! Situated just a 20-minute drive from the city centre, the park is home to Peppa Pig World and has more than 70 rides and attractions that are suitable for kids aged 0-14. We visited last summer with our two daughters who were 5.5 years and 14 months old at the time. The main thing to note when it comes to going on rides is knowing your child’s exact height. There are different height restrictions – in increments of 90cm, 1.1m and 1.2m – for each ride. Kids under 1m get free entry to the park, but they are limited to which rides they can go on.


Paultons Park has made a real effort to encourage social distancing and to make families feel safe. There were yellow markers on the floor to show people where to stand when queueing for rides and plenty of signs reminding people to keep their distance from others, as well as hand sanitiser dispensers situated around the park. We liked how well organised and clean the park facilities were, with lots of toilet blocks, restaurants and open seating areas. With so many rides to choose from, it is worth looking at which ones your kids will want to go on before you arrive. Paultons Park has a free app that shows you real-time queue times (really useful on the day of your visit), an interactive map and information about the height restrictions for each ride.


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THE INSIDE SCOOP Here are our top tips for making the most of your day at Paultons Park: Arrive early. The park officially opens at 10am, but if you arrive slightly earlier you will be able to get in and parked straight away. We left late and queued in traffic for 40 minutes to get from the motorway junction into the park. When you enter the park, pick up a ‘lost child contact’ sticker and place it on your child’s back, where he/she cannot reach it. The rides at the back of the park tend to be quieter at the beginning of the day. Leave the bigger thrill rides until lunchtime when most people are eating or at the end of the day.

For families with younger kids, head to Peppa Pig world at the beginning or end of the day. This part of the park is very popular (particularly during school holidays). Pushchairs and strollers are not allowed in the ride queues, so keep a separate bag at the ready with your valuables in or you can hire a locker. The park closes at 5.30pm, but sometimes it extends certain rides until 6pm and 6.30pm. Most of the restaurants shut at around 5.30pm, so if you are planning on staying late and want to give your children dinner, do this before 5.30pm! Don’t forget socks for the kids and adults for the soft play. If you are visiting on a warm day, take swimming costumes and towels for the splash pads, which are great fun for toddlers and older kids alike. Paultons Park has some fantastic accommodation and entry offers, where you book a night’s stay through the park and enjoy your second day’s entry to the park for a reduced price.

Paultons Park ( has been named the Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice number one theme park in the UK for five years running and is currently ranked sixth in the world by Tripadvisor, beating all other UK attractions.

Raw is how dog food should be eaten. That simple belief is why Naked Dog was born. Our raw meals are packed full of fresh, human grade ingredients that provide your dog with the love and care they need to thrive.

Get Out & Go! Wellbeing for you and your dog From long walks in the country to the frantic fun of flyball, exercise is great for your dog’s physical and mental health wellbeing – and for yours too. Here, we look at some of the ways you can both get out and go!

Getting started

Dogs are good for our health. There’s much research that backs this up, including a 2021 report that claimed 76% had dogs that Exercising with a four-legged friend is much more fun supported their mental health throughout the pandemic and than doing it alone and there are so many activities to a Swedish study which found that having a dog was associated choose from… with a 23% reduction from death due to heart disease. Those who live with dogs also seem to respond better to stress and have better mental health. Research also shows having a dog can reduce depression and loneliness. It’s perhaps unsurprising – dog owners are around four times more likely to meet physical activity level guidelines. Our dogs motivate us to get outside, engage in exercise and get all the mental and physical benefits of being outdoors, including fresh air and, when the sun is out, all-important vitamin D.

Walking Perhaps the most obvious form of exercise with your dog is walking. But this doesn’t mean it needs to be boring. Getting out early in the morning can be a great way to set you both up for the day and getting fresh air and daylight early in the day can be really useful in helping you wake up. A brisk walk will help you both burn calories and energy and a slower stroll somewhere beautiful, such as in woodland, can provide the wellbeing benefits of ecotherapy or forest bathing.

Canicross Canicross is essentially cross-country running with dogs, where the dogs are the powering force, attached to you by a specialised harness and running equipment. It’s a team sport, where the human directs the dog with voice commands from behind. It’s a great sport as it exercises both body and mind for dog and human alike. It is said that any breed is suitable (do check with your vet on your particular dog). If you’re unsure whether your breed is suited to canicross, you can always check with your vet.


Even stroking our pet can offer wellbeing benefits, boosting feel good hormones and lowering both blood pressure and the stress hormone, cortisol. Exercising with your dog is mutually beneficial; being active together strengthens the bond between you and boosts endorphins. There are so many activities you can get involved with that will offer huge health benefits to both you and your dog. From long walks to Flyball, there are activities to suit all levels of fitness and all ages of dog. There are even yoga classes (doga) you can do together. Daily exercise is important for both dogs and their owners, and having a dog can be as, or even more, motivating than having a gym buddy. After all, when your dog gives you that pleading look that says it’s time to get outside for a walk, it’s hard to say no. The important thing is to make sure you are getting appropriate levels of exercise and that neither is overdoing it at the start. If you’re new to an activity, begin slowly and build up both of your fitness levels and confidence.

Agility is the perfect exercise for intelligent, energetic dogs. Essentially your dog learns to navigate an agility course built of obstacles, such as hurdles, tunnels, see-saws and more – all at a running pace. It’s brilliant for getting you both super fit. You can have lessons with a professional and then carry on the training yourself once you know what you’re doing. There are hundreds of agility clubs across the country, so you’re sure to find one close to you.

FLYBALL Flyball is a fast and brilliantly fun sport for dogs, especially for breeds that love to run. It’s a relay race where two teams of four dogs run against each other. It’s more exercise for the dogs than the humans, although there are short sprints for the handlers too. It’s a great form of exercise for dogs that could chase a tennis ball all day long!

CYCLING Cycling with dogs that enjoy long, fast runs is an unbeatable form of exercise! As long as your dog has bulletproof recall, you pick a route that is safe and manageable and you start by going on shorter rides, you’re bound to have a great time! It’s also important to train your dog to stick close to your bike. It’s perfect for energetic dogs and high-energy breeds, such as Huskies and Dalmatians.







It’s not all child’s play. Get pet insurance that helps you love every moment. Enjoy the best moments with your pet, knowing we’re here for the rest.

Our pet insurance policies offer up to £15,000 of vet fee cover, award-winning service and generous benefits like an unlimited free video vet. Discover Bought By Many today




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Pet Insurance

£15,000 of cover on the Complete policy. Terms apply. See for details. Insurance underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE. Bought By Many Ltd is authorised and regulated by the FCA - Register number 652623.

Ad tonr icael - I S S U E 0 9 Pet i nve s urra

How to choose the right pet insurance Follow these five steps from Bought By Many to pick the perfect policy for your dog or cat.

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Some policies have quite a low level of cover but vet bills can quickly add up to thousands of pounds. Our Complete policy has a £15,000 vet fee limit and includes dental illness cover as well. All our policies have an annual limit that refreshes each year when you renew.



Sometimes it’s hard to know whether your pet needs a visit to the vet so we include free 24/7 access to a video vet service with every policy as standard. Some of our policies have cover either as standard or as options for complementary therapy, dental illness, travelling abroad with your pet and help if they’re lost or stolen. You can even choose a policy with no excess for pets under nine years old.

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Have a look at reviews before you choose a pet insurance provider - customer services is really important when your pet’s health is at stake. Bought By Many was voted Pet Insurance Provider of the Year in the 2021 MoneyFacts Consumer Awards and we have over 20,000 5-star Feefo reviews. We publish our claim reviews (not all providers do) because we’re proud of how we perform.


when you buy a policy by scanning the QR code, visiting or calling us on 0345 646 0751



Lots of pet insurance providers won’t cover anything your pet’s been poorly with previously, even if it was years and years ago. But we want all owners to be able to find the right cover for their pets, so our policies cover conditions that ended two years ago or more. And we even have a Pre-existing policy especially for pets with more recent health problems.



We’re on a mission to make policies that work for you, a pet owner. Our customer service team don’t read from a script and jargon is banned from our policy documents. We hope you’ll choose us and see for yourself how we’ve listened to our customers and changed pet insurance for the better. Bought By Many

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5. to encourage your reluctant writer 6. 7 WAYS

Surlender Pendress, co-founder of The Love Writing Company, gives us advice on how to encourage your child to develop a joy in writing.

perfect and that with writing they can – and should – make changes along the way.


Encourage them to read Reading is perhaps the most important thing a child can do to improve their ability to write. It’s a great way to expose readers to new words that will expand their vocabulary. Reading will also show children how to structure sentences: the more they read, the more they will see and understand how writers link words together.


eing a parent can often feel like a never-ending cycle of jobs, particularly when it comes to helping your children with school work and learning. Here are some helpful tips to improve your child’s writing skills and inspire in them a love of writing.


Help them get started Even for adults, a blank page looming in front of you can be an intimidating sight, so it’s understandable that this would also be intimidating for a child. To help them get started, try posing a fun question to your child about something that interests them. Help them to create ideas by building a mind-map, to develop their thoughts around what they want to write about. This exercise is an excellent way to teach children that not everything has to be


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Keep a journal Encourage your child to keep a reflective journal. Children need to express their feelings and having an outlet in which they can write down all their innermost thoughts enables them to do this and contributes to healthy emotional and social development. Younger children could use affirmation activity sheets or cards.

Make writing fun Writing games, such as hangman, are a great way to make writing more fun and interactive. If a child enjoys a task they will not view it as tedious, so what seemed like a chore becomes enjoyable. Keep incorporating games within their writing and, in time, you will see your child’s writing ability blossom. Teaching through example Encourage your child to write a list of their favourite things, whether that’s food, places or people. Then, you write a list of your favourite things, and when your child sees you writing, they may feel encouraged to write as well. While writing your lists you may find that they forget they are writing at all, as the task changes focus to thinking of things that bring them joy, rather than the aspect of writing itself.


Write stories with your child Explain the benefits of writing well to your child. If you make it clear that there are positives (when before they may have only viewed it as a negative) they may become more involved. For example, they can write their own exciting stories, communicate with loved ones by writing emails and postcards, and gain an important skill that can be used throughout their life. The Love Writing Company ( is on a mission to help children love writing from the start. They want to make it fun, engaging and easier for children to learn to write.


Introducing an incentive A small reward may be enough to encourage your child to write. You could suggest an easy exchange: a whole page of story writing (with their neatest handwriting) for a sweet treat, a visit to the playground or some stickers of their choice. Anything that increases your child’s motivation for writing and puts them in a positive mindset towards writing as a whole is a good idea.

98% said that Balsam was * kinder to skin


Leaves behind a protective balm on your nose ®

*Based on a study of 120 people Registered Trademark of Kimberly-Clark Worldwide Inc. ©2021


IMPORTANT NOTICE: Breastfeeding is best for babies. Follow On Milk should only be used as part of a mix before 6 months. Use on the advice of a healthcare professional. Use Toddler Milk as part of a varied balan


xed diet and not as a breastmilk substitute nced diet from the 12th month.


I S S U E 0 9 - F a m i l y F e a t u re


prevention and cure

The Skin Health Alliance offers help and advice on dealing with nappy rash.


aring for a young baby in pain with nappy rash can be distressing for parents. And it can be made worse if the information parents use to help and remedy the situation is inaccurate. For example, the confusion between nappy rash and chemical burns illustrates how seemingly similar conditions can sometimes complicate parents' best efforts to fix things. In its recent research, the Skin Health Alliance discovered that even though more than 90% of parents used disposable nappies, 76% confirmed that their babies had experienced nappy rash.1 “Our skin ensures our body has a delicately balanced ecosystem. However children don’t really develop mature skin resilience until at least around one to two years of age. Up until then, baby skin remains sensitive and delicate. Therefore, striking the right balance between taking care of a baby’s skin and allowing it to mature its


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own defences naturally remains a complicated area for many parents to navigate successfully – especially when it comes to nappies, and nappy rash,” explains Dr Susan Mayou, paediatric dermatologist at London’s Cadogan Clinic. "Nappy rash typically occurs when the sensitive area of skin around a baby’s nappy becomes irritated by contact with urine or faeces. The skin becomes red, hot or sore in patches, which can become confluent and sometimes spots or blisters develop. With proper treatment, it will usually clear up within three or four days.” The Skin Health Alliance survey also found that 52% of parents recognised nappy rash was more likely to occur when a nappy went unchanged for too long. More worryingly, however, was 30% believed that nappy rash is a chemical burn caused by materials used in disposable nappies – a widespread misconception. In order to address these misconceptions and help allay parents fears the Skin Health Alliance surveyed 263 dermatologists about the issue; 93% of them agreed that despite the excellent drying and comfort properties of disposable nappies, it was still possible for babies to develop nappy rash. 76% of dermatologists also reported that when parents presented their children with a complaint of ‘chemical burns’, it was in fact simply nappy rash.2 Pulling together advice from dermatologists and nappy manufacturers, the Skin Health Alliance is seeking to reassure parents that nappy rash is commonplace and educate them as to what they can do to help reduce the risk:

Wet or dirty nappies should be changed as quickly as possible. For newborn babies this can mean as many as eight to 12 nappy changes a day. Gently cleaning a baby’s nappy area with warm water or unscented, alcohol-free wipes at each change is gentler to the skin. As is then patting the skin gently to dry it with a clean towel or, even better, leave them nappy-free to air dry. If possible, allowing babies time without a nappy will help reduce chafing and contact irritation. Applying a very thin layer of barrier cream before putting a nappy on can also help protect the skin. Check the nappy brand’s fitting guidance on the packaging to ensure a good fit. When the skin is sore, avoid fragranced soaps, bubble baths, lotions or talcum powder as they can cause further irritation.

Matthew Patey, managing director of the Skin Health Alliance concludes: “Over recent years, social media reports have incorrectly linked disposable nappies with chemical burns on babies’ skin. By highlighting the scientific facts, we hope to reassure parents as to the safety credentials of disposable nappies and provide some simple steps to avoid their loved ones suffering from nappy rash in the future.” The Skin Health Alliance ( awards dermatological accreditation to products, services, and brands. It only partners with disposable nappy brands that can scientifically prove skin safety to its independent panel of dermatologists.

SOURCES 1. 2021 Skin Health Alliance Parents Survey. 250 UK parents of children up to 5 years old. 2. 2019 Skin Health Alliance Dermatologists Survey. 263 Dermatologists attending the British Association of Dermatologists Annual Meeting in Liverpool.

Good for baby and the planet Georgina Probert trys out Kit & Kin's cloth reusable nappies with her 17-month-old daughter Florence to see if they will convert her from disposables.


s much as I try to make eco-friendly choices in all aspects of my life, I have never got my head around using reusable or cloth nappies. I told myself that the extra washing (water, electricity etc) negates the fact that disposable nappies end up in landfill, but a large part of me simply chose disposables because they are convenient. I used disposable nappies with my older daugher, who is now well and truly potty trained at five years old, and when I think of how many nappies we got through in the first few years of her life it horrifies me. So when I was given the chance to try out Kit & Kin's ( reusable cloth nappies, I jumped at the chance. First, these cloth nappies are much less bulky than I was expecting. The choice of designs are all gender neutral and very sweet – we chose the Fox design. Made from sustainable and plantbased materials, the nappies are good for the planet in lots of ways. The

outer layer is made from recycled polyester, which rescues two bottles from landfill. The inner layer and core are hemp and tencil (which are soft on babies skin and absorbant), whereas most cloth nappies use polyester. The Kit & Kin cloth nappies are one-size-fits-all, meaning they grow with your baby and save you money as you don't need to buy a larger size. The nappies have a double gusset, so you can use them alone or with a booster (made from the same material as inner layer). Boosters are ideal for heavy wetters and for use at night. You can also buy disposable liners that go on top of the inner layer, which are handy for keeping poo in the nappy and protecting it from getting too dirty. Following Florence's trial, are we cloth nappy converts? My daughter seemed to find them comfortable and they are certainly much easier to use than I first thought. While they do create extra washing, it is 100% worthwhile when I think about how many nappies are being kept out of landfill.


Wash your cloth nappies before use! This help absorption and maintains their lifespan. Fasten the hook and loop before washing. Never use fabric conditioner and try to use a non-bio laundry powder. Air dry the nappies if you can and pull out the inner layer when drying.

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I S S U E 0 9 - F a m i l y F e a t u re

Activewear for mums

Exercising while pregnant or getting back into exercise after having a baby might not be at the top of your wish list, but these supportive, stylish and sporty outfits will inspire you to get moving. Bravado Body Silk Seamless Full Cup Nursing Bra, £36 Available from

While the Body Silk is a nursing bra (rather than a maternity bra), it is super-soft and wire-free, so can be worn comfortably during pregnancy and beyond. There's a choice of seven colours and with eight different sizes and a fair amount of stretch to the material, you should be able to get a good fit. What is great about this bra is the support provided by the solid straps and clip fastening back, but with the softness of a sleep bra. You wouldn't wear this to do high-impact sports, but it is supportive enough to wear for light exercise such as walking, yoga and pilates. Our tester says: “I love how comfortable these bras are. In fact, I haven't worn any other bras for the past 2 weeks! The removable pads give me a nice shape and the bra's support is really good considering how flexible and soft the material is.”


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Lily & Ribbon Lightweight Maternity & Nursing Hoodie, £35 Available from

Lily and Ribbon specialises in fashionable yet functional maternity and breastfeeding clothes, including an activewear range of leggings, sports bras and hoodies. The brand was created by Tanya Patel who was so fed up with looking for maternity wear that wasn't drab and boring that she created her own. Available in sizes 6 to 14 and a choice of soft pink or classic black, the Lightweight Maternity & Nursing Hoodie is made from super-soft fabric and elastic to allow the hoodie to grow with you and your baby. It has two layers of fabric that pull apart at the side giving discreet and easy nursing access. It is made from a soft, stretchy fabric that will stretch comfortably over a bump without losing its shape if you want to wear it postnatally.

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Latched Nursing Sports Bra, from £38 Pre & Postnatal Leggings, from £45 Both available from

All Latched clothing has been designed, tried and tested by founder Natalie Ward while she was pregnant or breastfeeding her two children. What we love about the Nursing Sports Bra is that the nursing clips are discreet, so you could wear this bra while pregnant and post-partum, regardless of whether you plan to breastfeed. The bra can be worn two ways, with traditional bra straps or as a racerback using the hook and eye detail (recommended for high-impact exercise). It comes in five sizes with seven different colours (including two patterns). Our tester says: “The bra felt very comfortable and gave me enough support while I went for a run. It is not as tight as a traditional sports bra, but this is a good thing as I found it comfortable to wear even when my boobs were full of milk. However, the material made my boobs sweaty while exercising.”

Natal Active Swift Night Bright Maternity & Postnatal Leggings, £60 Swift Maternity & Breastfeeding Run Top, £40 Both available from

The high-waisted Pre & Postnatal Leggings offer mild compression, which means they are a snug fit and supportive, but not too tight. The super-high-waist gives excellent tummy support and the dropped waistband seam means there's no risk of uncomfortable stitching digging into your bump or rubbing on a c-section scar. These leggings can be worn while pregnant, however if you think you are going to have a very large bump then it is recommended to buy the Maternity Leggings, which have a bit more stretch in the tummy area. There are five colours to choose from and one pretty gold detail pattern, and they come in sizes XS to XL. Another great feature is the extra-large pockets that can hold your keys, phone or tissues. Our tester says: “These leggings are amazing! They are brilliant for postpartum or a mum tum, as they hold everything in, but are not so tight that you get a muffin top. I have bought much pricer leggings in the past that roll down at the waist or are too tight on my legs. These are just right. I love the range of bright colours and that you can mix and match them with the sports bras.”

Winning Best Maternity Activewear Brand for 2021, Natal Active sells a range of nursing sports bras, maternity leggings and breastfeeding workout tops. Each item has been designed to fit during pregnancy and post-partum. The Swift Night Bright Maternity & Postnatal Leggings are plain black, but they feature a stylish reflective detail on the legs to ensure you are spotted by cars on darker winter runs. The four-way stretch, sweat-wicking fabric makes them supportive and comfortable to wear during pregnancy and for postnatal tummies. The silicone ‘grip’ on the inside of the waistband can be positioned where you want it and it will stay put, whether you are working out with a full-term bump or postnatally. The leggings come in sizes XS to XXL. The Swift Maternity & Breastfeeding Run Top is made from a lightweight and fast-drying polyester/spandex fabric, which is great for cooler runs or layering under the a running jacket or jumper. It has discreet nursing zips making breastfeeding easy and enough stretch to fit over a bump.

bp3 Coni Sporty High Waist knickers, £22 Available from

It is not something that we like to admit, but many women suffer from incontinence and bladder issues during pregnancy and well after you have had kids. These Coni Sporty High Waist knickers are ideal for leaks and periods – and are perfect for pregnant women as the high-waist is very comfortable. They have four layers of absorbent, discreet gusset and a scalloped, seamless edging so you don't have to worry about a VPL. The ultra runner Sophie Power has worn bp3 knickers during and after her pregnancy and considers them an integral part of her running kit. They are extremely comfortable and protecting, and give peace of mind when working out in case of leaks. Available in black and cream, the Coni knickers come in sizes Small (size 8) up to 9X Large (size 30). Our tester says: “These knickers are so comfortable and soft on my skin. I usually prefer to wear underthe-bump knickers and trousers, as I hate things touching my belly, but these felt really nice.”

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I S S U E 0 9 - F a m i l y F e a t u re

Baby, let’s move

Sally Kettle, CEO and founder of The Active Pregnancy Foundation, steers us through the dos and don’ts of exercising safely during pregnancy, after childbirth and beyond.


here are many misconceptions about being active during pregnancy and after the birth of your baby. Many new mums and mums-to-be worry about what they should or shouldn’t be doing, often facing judgment and unsolicited advice. It’s all too easy and tempting to pop online to find a multitude of fitness professionals, influencers and other mums offering “guidance”. The problem is that many of these people have no actual expertise at all. You may be surprised to know that only 8% of personal trainers in the UK have a pre and postnatal qualification. In addition, many women report that the importance of being active during pregnancy is rarely even discussed with their healthcare professionals. So, how do mums-to-be navigate their way through an active pregnancy when it’s difficult to find reliable information? Happily, The Active Pregnancy Foundation is here to help. We provide expertise and guidance to mums, with a multitude of resources that can be easily accessed on our website. We also support the education and upskilling of healthcare and fitness professionals, with the objective that everyone a woman meets on her motherhood journey will be equipped with the right knowledge so they can give the best advice.

If you’re pregnant but not currently particularly active, that’s ok, you can start gradually. If you are already super-active, keep going and adapt where necessary. Remember not to ‘bump the bump’, so however tempting it might be to go skydiving, perhaps wait until after the baby’s been born before you jump out of that plane. Many women have told us that they’re concerned about harming their baby, especially if they have previously experienced baby loss. We have also read stories from pregnant women about how well-meaning family, friends and even strangers have offered advice or – even worse – told them they were selfish for running or going to the gym while pregnant. We are here to reassure you that there is no evidence that being active in pregnancy harms your growing baby. In fact, there are very few reasons that should stop pregnant women from participating in an activity – the benefits far outweigh any perceived risks. We

also know it’s even tougher to be active once the baby arrives – the combination of a healing body, childcare issues, a lack of opportunities and a shortage of qualified instructors all add to the barriers to exercise faced by mothers every day.

Only 8% of personal trainers in the UK have a pre and postnatal qualification TAKE YOUR TIME

If you’ve just had a baby, remember everybody’s recovery journey is different. Depending on your birth experience and previous activity levels, it is sensible to take your time and gradually re-introduce activity. Again, if you weren’t active during your pregnancy, start slowly and increase your activity level over time. The golden rule is: if it’s comfortable, keep going; when it doesn’t feel comfortable, stop and seek advice. With a host of resources, support and advice, The Active Pregnancy Foundation’s website ( aims to guide and encourage new mums and mums-to-be to keep active safely during pregnancy, after childbirth and beyond.


When we talk about being active during pregnancy, this means everything from a walk to a hike, from cycling to work to spin classes: being active is for everyone.


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Sport 4 All - ISSUE 09


4 ALL There are so many different sports out there, how do you choose which ones your kids will like? In this issue, we have highlighted a range of sports, from table tennis to volleyball and judo. The joy of sport is that there's something for everyone. As well as keeping them fit and healthy, sport teaches kids transferrable skills that will set them up for life, such as team building, communication and motor skills.

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ISSUE 09 - Sport 4 All

It’s time to tumble British Gymnastics tells us why it is a great time to introduce your child to gymnastics, giving them fun, fitness, friendship and fundamental skills.

N Bronze Olympic medal winner, 16-year-old Jessica Gadirova


ow is the perfect time to get involved in gymnastics. Last summer, the Olympic Games returned with thousands of athletes from across the world going head-to-head to be crowned Olympic champion in their chosen sport. Absolutely breathtaking performances in both artistic gymnastics and trampoline meant Team GB gymnasts stole the hearts of the nation. Who could forget the moment 16-year-old twin sisters, Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova, along with their teammates, Amelie Morgan and Alice Kinsella, took the bronze medal? This was the first Olympic team medal in women’s gymnastics to be won by Great Britain since 1928! The Gadirova twins’ journey to the top started in a children’s recreational gymnastics class, before they worked their way up

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through the ranks to represent Great Britain on the biggest of stages. Recreational gymnastics, through British Gymnastics’ programmes, provided the perfect stepping-stone, which has enabled many gymnasts to go on to achieve Olympic success. Speaking about her gymnastics journey to date, Jessica says: “I was around six years old when I started. [I was] just having fun doing gymnastics. I love gymnastics because of the feeling you get when you’re doing a routine or learning a skill. I love to perform and gymnastics lets me express myself. It’s fun to train and develop with new challenges all the time and then to produce the final routine and show it off feels very special.”


At the Olympic Games, you may have seen artistic gymnastics, trampoline gymnastics and rhythmic gymnastics, but there are even more gymnastics disciplines than those to explore. Whether practising your first forward roll or refining a backwards somersault, gymnastics welcomes people from all ages, abilities and backgrounds. Does your child love to bounce on a trampoline at home? Are they full of energy and like to move? They could be a natural-born gymnast. Children across the country are taking part in hundreds of thousands of gymnastics sessions every week – and now is a great time to get involved. British Gymnastics is the governing body for gymnastics in the UK, supporting safe, welcoming and rewarding environments for people to take part through its member clubs and delivery partners. Recreational gymnastics is represented through Gymnastics for All, with a focus on fun, fitness, friendship and fundamental skills.

Sport 4 All - ISSUE 09

Many clubs, leisure centres and schools run this type of programme. It often encompasses a mixture of disciplines and classes start for children as young as preschool age, progressing through to adult gymnastics. There is something for everyone, whether it’s to learn new gymnastics skills, keep fit through a GymFit programme or to perform with friends in a choreographed gymnastics and dance routine on stage in GymFusion.


Released in September 2021, British Gymnastics’ recreational gymnastics programme Rise Gymnastics enables children to progress through learning exciting and fun activities, while earning medals and certificates along the way. This programme is fully adaptable to each child’s needs, with the focus clearly centred on the children having a great time.

“I love to perform and gymnastics lets me express myself” – Jessica Gadirova


It is a lot of fun – children

The programme is structured in three phases: Discover, Explore and Excel. For preschool-age children, the Discover phase enables them to be introduced to gymnastics through imaginative and creative play: one week they may be firefighters, the next they will visit the jungle. Using this style of teaching ensures their continued interest and captures their imaginations. They learn gymnastics without even realising. The Explore stage is designed for school-aged children and is progressive, fun and engaging. Excel is for experienced, ambitious gymnasts and can lead to participation in festivals and competitions. With these three phases, Rise Gymnastics has set out a clear pathway to developing and growing skilled gymnasts. Gemma Barton, British Gymnastics’ head of participation, says: “Rise Gymnastics provides opportunities for gymnasts to achieve through the activity-based pathway of skill development leading to reward and uniting the breadth of gymnastics.”

make friends and are given the opportunity to learn new skills. It is also a perfect class in which children can burn off some excess energy. It’s great for improving overall strength, as well as fitness, stability, flexibility and coordination. Physical exercise also releases endorphins, which benefit our mental wellbeing. Learning how to flip, twist and bounce across a gymnastics floor or down a tumble track is exhilarating and exciting. Gymnastics is an excellent

foundation sport – enjoying gymnastics at a young age can pave the way for a future in the sport and many key skills taught in gymnastics transfer into other sports, including improved fitness, strength, balance and coordination. Gymnastics also teaches healthy habits for life, such as teamwork, leadership, resilience and determination. The power to amaze –

gymnastics has the power to amaze like no other sport. From a child learning to do their first forward roll, to a coach helping their gymnast win medals on the world stage, it truly is a sport for everyone.

British Gymnastics is the governing body for gymnastics in the UK. For more information about gymnastics and to find gymnastics classes in your area, visit the website:

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ISSUE 09 - Sport 4 Alll


Georgina Probert speaks to 26-year-old athlete Jemima Yeats-Brown about why she loves judo and her plans to become an Olympic champion. HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED IN JUDO? I actually started as a gymnast when I was about five or six years old, which I took quite seriously. At one point I was spending up to 30 hours a week training. However, my coach said I wasn't elegant enough for the sport, so I decided to switch to judo. I was about 13 at the time, which is quite late to start compared to some.


a half. But I think that was just me being super competitive and driven, as you usually spend like five or six months at each belt. My coach fasttracked me to black belt, so I could take part in the harder competitions. I love fighting and competing.


person or the most technical who is the best, it's the one who works the hardest and sticks at it.


I think I would tell myself to slow down and enjoy the journey. Because you're always looking to the next big competition or belt and then you're never satisfied because you always want more. It's important to pause and reflect on how far you've come.


I tore the main ligament that holds your knee together three times. When you have surgery for that, it's a year-long recovery. And then with the last knee injury, as I came down, I put my hand out and tore ligaments in my elbow. So that time I ended up needing two surgeries for my elbow and knee. I am quite injury prone, because my joints are hypermobile.

My sister and mum did it – my mum is a black belt. I am naturally quite competitive with my sister and I was thinking, well anything my sister does, I want to do better than her!


I don't necessarily think I realised I was good. I have always wanted to be an Olympic champion and I just needed to find the right sport. While it is fun for me, I also want to be the best.

ONCE YOU STARTED JUDO, HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO MOVE UP THE BELTS? I was 13 when I started and then I got my black belt when I was 15 and


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Sport 4 All - ISSUE 09


I know it sounds cheesy, but I like the saying “the comeback is always stronger than the setback”. I think I always come back better, because I have time to work on my weaknesses. I also think it makes you more hungry, because you've been at the bottom and you know how hard is to get back to the top. It's not natural to want to go back to something that hurt you that much. But I think you just have to look past that. And if it happens, it happens.

The comeback is always stronger than the setback HAVE YOU FOUND MARTIAL ARTS TO BE A MALE-DOMINATED SPORT?

I think often that is the perception. But within British Judo it is actually the women's team that is stronger than the men. We are always hitting our medal targets and going beyond what we need to – and it's the men that are often lagging behind. I think that helps girls coming up when they see that the women's team is strong and it's not like you're walking into a men's sport. Plus, I was lucky to have my mum and sister as role models. I've always been someone that I do what I enjoy and it doesn't matter if it's not the norm. I play rugby for a boy's team and football. And I was the only girl on the team. If you enjoy it and you like doing it, it shouldn't stop you just because you're the only one.


Judo is just so different from other sports. You can be big, you can be small, you can be strong, you can be fast. There's no one ideal sort of player or

person – you can just be yourself. With judo, it's about timing and movement, and a lot of styles offset each other.


Around four to five hours a day! We do technical and fighting sessions. Because I've had a lot of injuries, I do a lot of injury prevention work. Then we go to the gym and we do sprints, there's a whole range of things. When I was younger, I went to judo classes two to three times a week.

There's no one ideal sort of player or person – you can just be yourself TELL US ABOUT YOUR OLYMPIC JOURNEY SO FAR I was in a qualification position for Tokyo 2020, but I got injured pretty badly. It took me out of competition for 600 days. I plan to go for the

Commonwealth Games this year, and Paris 2024 Olympics.


Don't worry too much about specialising early. I think there's been a lot of research that the best athletes do a lot of sports. So even if you haven't found your one sport or the other sports that you're doing, just like gymnastics, running around the playground, that's all still good enough. Then you can channel one when you're a bit older. I think the gymnastics background probably helps in a lot of sports, because it's just general body conditioning. One of the girls I competed against started at 22 and she ranks number 10 in the world now, which is amazing. As long as you work hard and are disciplined with it, I think judo is a sport where you can get away with starting a bit later. For more information on how to find a children's judo class, visit British Judo (

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THE LIGHTWEIGHT KIDS’ BIKE TIPS FOR TEACHING AN OLDER CHILD TO CYCLE Teaching children how to ride a bike tends to start anywhere between the ages of 2 years all the way up to around 8 years old. This is mostly due to the fact that children become interested at different ages and learn at different rates. But, any age is a good age to start cycling because it brings a multitude of benefits and can offer children the feeling of freedom whilst helping to build confidence!

Start teaching your child today with these simple steps: 1 2





Choose a location that offers lots of open space preferably with flat paths Ensure that the child can touch the floor with their feet and then simply allow them to push themselves around on the bike without using the pedals Explain the brakes to your child and which ones they should use to slow which wheel. Whilst they are balancing on the bike get them to try out the brakes gently When assisting the child to pedal, hold on to them around their torso or the back of the bike saddle As they get more comfortable you can try letting go for brief moments. And then extending the time more until they begin pedalling alone Take your time, it should be fun, not frustrating!

WIN A NEW FROG 47! Enter the free prize draw to be in with a chance of winning a brand new Frog 47 bike in Green! Simply use your phone’s camera to scan the QR code below and follow the instructions on the page to enter the competition. *Terms & Conditions apply

Good luck!

FROG BIKES’ NEW AND IMPROVED FRAME RANGE The new range of bikes offer improved geometry that has been carefully designed to help maximise the lifetime of the bike for a growing child, which includes: • A low bottom bracket to ensure a safer riding position with feet closer to the ground and a greater leg-length range to be accommodated • Handlebars that can be lowered or raised within a range of 40mm • A lightweight sturdy frame makes it easy for children to handle and for adults to carry • The Tektro brakes offer small, easy to reach brake levers for little hands • The patented Frog cranks reduce pedal-to-pedal distance, improving efficiency and ease of pedalling • Free 5-year warranty on frame and forks • Reflectors, mudguard and bell included


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A great value 16” bike for 4 to 5-year-olds with an average inside leg of 44cm Can also be used as a balance bike for a taller child by removing the pedals


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A great first pedal bike for 4 to 6-year-olds with an average inside leg of 47cm One of the lightest 18” kids’ bikes on the market Quick-release seat post for adjusting height as kids grow

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The ideal multi-purpose 20” bike for 5 to 8-year-olds with an average inside leg of 53cm FrogFitTechnology® youth-specific 8-speed gear shifters with short lever travel and ultraslick cabling make changing gear a breeze Quick-release seat post for adjusting height as kids grow

ISSUE 09 - Sport 4 All

Volleyball for all

Getting children into the early stages of this Olympic and Paralympic sport is easier than you think, writes Stewart Thorpe of Volleyball England.


on’t let the balloon touch the floor! Whose children haven’t played that ridiculously fun game? I bet there aren’t many. The balloon lava game, as it is known by some, is easy to set up and adaptable to the space you have and the skill level of the players. It can begin with little more than a balloon left over from a birthday party and will really get the body moving and the heart rate up. And, best of all, it can lead to hours and hours of fun.

You might not think it at first, but this straightforward game is the ideal stepping stone for getting young children into one of the world’s most popular Olympic sports: volleyball.

FROM LAVA TO GRASS, RUBBER, SAND OR SNOW! In volleyball, two teams of six players are separated by a net and try to score points by hitting a volleyball over a net and grounding the ball on the other team’s side of the court. Instead of imagining the floor is

covered in lava, players set up matches in leisure centres and school sports halls or outside on grass in local parks. Different versions of the game have also been created, meaning the game is played on sandy beaches and, in recent years, snow too! In short, from the balloon lava game to the full team sport of volleyball, the aim of the game shifts from don’t let the balloon touch the floor to don’t let the ball touch the floor. Such is volleyball’s versatility that a special version of the game called sitting volleyball has been developed for disabled and nondisabled players. As the name suggests, players are sat down (they must have always at least one butt cheek on the floor), but despite what the name suggests, this Paralympic sport is far from stationary. Volleyball is played all over the world and is one of the most popular participation sports in Europe and East Asia. While it may not be as big as football and cricket in England, because volleyball is a non-contact sport that sees boys and girls from different backgrounds playing together on the court, it’s so diverse and inclusive and has huge potential. We very much believe it is a sleeping giant in this country.

Did you know that top volleyball players can hit the ball as fast as 80mph?


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Sport 4 All - ISSUE 09


For children up to the age of 7 – for which the balloon lava game is ideal for introducing them to volleyball – the focus is less on playing sport than learning the fundamentals of sport. Skills such as moving, jumping and running, as well as throwing, tracking and catching the ball, are all important in dealing with a variety of physical environments. Learning these will give children a great base to work from as they then start to learn to dig, set and – one of the most exciting elements of volleyball – spike the ball! (Did you know that top volleyball players can hit the ball as fast as 80mph?)

If your children are looking for something a little more advanced, try setting up a small sitting volleyball court at home using little more than a few cushions and your trusty balloon. Search “Kristoff and Anna’s Snowball Volleyball” for simple instructions on how to get started. Many families pack an inflatable ball and even a pop-up net to play volleyball on holiday – another great way to introduce them to the game, just make sure to start with softer, lightweight balls to begin with.


From the age of 7, budding athletes can think about joining their first club. In 2021, Volleyball England launched a new national programme for children aged 7-11 called Volley2s that starts with a simple throw-andcatch version of the game to gradually introduce players to the full game. After all, keeping a ball up in the air is much tougher than a balloon!

Clubs with junior sections are starting to introduce this programme and, if you have a young volleyball star who wants to develop their interest, search Volleyball England Club Finder to find somewhere to play near you.

OVER 12s

If your child is aged 12 or above, try introducing them to the popular Japanese Manga series Haiyku!!, which is about a boy who is determined to become a great player despite his small stature. This series has led to a huge surge in interest in junior volleyball across England. This year is also a particularly exciting time for volleyball, as beach volleyball will be played at the Commonwealth Games that are taking place in Birmingham. England has a group of very talented athletes who will showcase beach volleyball and give many people their first taste of the sport. Such is the talent in the England setup that we’re also working hard to challenge for medals in both the men’s and women’s tournaments. There are many different ways of getting into volleyball. Best of all, you can start right now with simple versions of the game that are great for anyone, regardless of age (I’m talking to you here parents and carers) to play together. All you have to remember is one key rule – don’t let the ball touch the floor!

Volleyball England is the national governing body for indoor volleyball, sitting volleyball and beach volleyball in England. It selects the national teams and coordinates several national competitions, including the National Volleyball League, National Cup, Student Cup and Sitting Volleyball competitions. For more information, visit:

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Terms and Conditions 1. Voucher valid from 6th January 2022 until 5th February 2022. 2. Voucher must be presented at time of purchase 3. Valid in UK stores only. 4. No cash alternatives are available and are non-refundable 5. Defaced, photocopied or damaged vouchers will not be accepted. 6. Not available with any other offer or discount.

Sport 4 All - ISSUE 09

at sprinting. They might not be as good at throwing as they are at jumping. But no one will know how good they are unless they have a chance.


Diversify until you fly

Caroline Kings, co-founder of We Are Girls in Sport, explains how introducing your daughters to many different sports from an early age can help to pave the way for sporting success in the future.


S we start a new year, we often reflect on the last, and one of the highlights for We Are Girls in Sport (WAGIS) has to be the rise and rise of British tennis superstar, Emma Raducanu. Emma thrilled us all at Wimbledon in 2021 and then went on to achieve the seemingly impossible by winning all her qualifying matches for the US Open (remember, she was just a qualifier) and then, staggeringly, the women’s US Open title, without dropping a set. Quite remarkable for a girl of just 18. What we love about Emma’s story is her parents’ approach to sport and being active. They encouraged her to give many sporting pursuits a go – she tried dancing, horse riding, karting, motor cross and, of course, tennis – and this is what we tell our community is so important too. If Emma Raducanu isn’t enough of a example of why trying as many sports and activities as possible is worth it, here are some other reasons why dipping your toe into an activity can make a big difference.


Discover enjoyment in movement The most obvious reason why trying lots of different types of exercise is beneficial, is that girls are more likely to find something they enjoy. And enjoyment is critical to girls continuing with healthy habits. If they don’t like it straight away, persevere for a little while in case they change their mind, but if they continue to dislike it, try something else.

You never know when you might just ignite a spark


Find a hidden aptitude The more sports they try, the more chance there is of finding something they are good at. Your daughter might not be good at long-distance running, but great

Team vs individual sports Some people prefer to rely on themselves in a match, whereas others love the feeling of being part of a team. Girls need to experience both formats to work out which suits them. If you stick to one sport doggedly, your daughter won’t have the chance to experience any others and learn what they like and don’t like.


Transferable skills Recently, we interviewed former England Commonwealth Games fencer, Tamsyn Grieg (was Tremeer), who explained the similarities between squash and fencing. Both require agility – there can be obscure shots and moves that seemingly come from nowhere – and in both, of course, you’re on your own. Tamsyn went on to excel in fencing, but the point is that she was good at squash because she had gained some of the skills from the other sport. The more sports girls play, the more sporting skills they will develop; they’ll be able to use those skills and that knowledge in the sport they choose to pursue.


Mix it up! By trying a variety of sports, you’re ensuring that being active stays interesting and engaging for girls. It doesn’t always have to be organised at a club either – just take them out for a run with you, head down to your local tennis courts at the weekend or get a group of girls together for a game of cricket in the park after school. You never know when you might just ignite a spark. As another female superstar of 2021, mum of three and Olympic rower, Helen Glover says: “You can do anything you want to do. Trying and failing is no problem, as long as you try.” What can you try with your daughter this year?

Caroline Kings is a freelance writer and co-founder of We are Girls in Sport ( Why not join their mailing list?

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ISSUE 09 - Sport 4 All

The sportswoman of the moment

We find out some fun facts about UK tennis superstar and BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2021 Emma Raducanu and learn about the LTA's new junior programme to help more children enjoy tennis.


MMA Raducanu is Britain's first female grand slam winner since 1977 and the first qualifier to reach a Grand Slam final who shot to international fame at Wimbledon 2021. Emma has shared her top travel essentials, hidden talents, favourite food and guilty pleasures with the LTA (the Governing Body of tennis in GB). She is a star of British tennis who came up through the LTA’s pro-scholarship programme and is an LTA Youth Ambassador. Emma is a huge inspiration to the next generation of tennis players and visited her old school Bickley Primary School in Bromley, Kent last year to take part in the LTA Youth programme with the students.


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LTA YOUTH One The LTA recently launched LTA Youth, a new and innovative junior programme aimed at kids aged four18 created to help more children enjoy the benefits of playing and staying in tennis, whatever their age, gender, ability, disability or background. The programme is a significant stepchange for children’s tennis in Britain, providing kids fun, action-packed sessions with a range of activities designed to help them develop skills for life, on and off the court. Created with world-leading expertise, LTA Youth coaching programme offers a fresh modern approach to tennis in schools, clubs and parks. This builds significantly on the success of previous LTA initiatives, such as Tennis for Kids and Team Challenge, to create a clear

path that supports kids’ enjoyment of tennis, progression and an informal competitive environment within which kids will thrive.

LTA Youth coaching programme offers a fresh modern approach to tennis in schools, clubs and parks Backed by research

The development of LTA Youth is driven by the insight that children’s physical literacy is deteriorating, and there are growing concerns over declining physical activity amongst children.1

Sport 4 All - ISSUE 09

This has been amplified during the pandemic with the percentage of kids taking part in daily sport falling from 46.8% to 19%. 2 As outdoor tennis begins to re-open across Britain, now is the prime time for children to enjoy LTA’s new youth coaching programmes in school and recreation. For education settings, LTA Youth Schools’ content has been specifically created to develop key character qualities such as perseverance, resilience and respect which complement the school sports curriculum.

HAPPIER AND HEALTHIER The LTA is striving to help young people live happier and healthier lives, with a target of inspiring 10% of children in Britain to play tennis once a week by 2023. More than just learning tennis, LTA Youth helps them develop a whole range of physical and neurological abilities including balance, coordination and fine motor skills, with activities involving decision-making and strengthening hand-eye coordination. These are core skills that will help set kids up for life, not just for tennis, developing them as both players and people.

moves – but we don’t often think about how those skills can level up other areas of your life. With the pandemic having a real impact on how active children have been, we’re proud to offer an insight-led, world-class programme that gets kids active, develops fundamental motor skills and supports athletic development to ensure children progress, compete and enjoy the game. LTA Youth has all of this; it’s all about instilling confidence on and off the court.” Top British tennis talent are also showing their support for the programme and its positive impact. Emma Raducanu and rising tennis star Paul Jubb, and double Paralympic medallist Lucy Shuker will all be supporting LTA Youth throughout the year.

Emma’s top travel essentials for when she’s on tour playing tennis include: 1. A disposable camera, which helps her reflect on the memories of the trip. 2. A lacrosse ball that she uses to administer physiotherapy on her upper body and help ease any aches and pains. Emma says she uses this the most on her pec due to practising her serves. 3. Dark chocolate and peanut butter “which is an absolute must, I take it everywhere”. Emma is known to satisfy her sweet tooth with dark chocolate daily and “could eat peanut butter with everything”. 4. As we have all seen when she’s walked out onto court at Wimbledon, pre-match she hypes herself up by listening to energetic music with good beats.


watching Taiwanese shows on Netflix

body for tennis for Great Britain.

Mandarin Emma’s icon is Michael Jordan

Her favourite artists are Jean-Michel Basquiat and Alec Monopoly Emma’s favourite food is Lam yong, Korean and Korean BBQ

If Emma wasn’t a tennis player she would like to be a lawyer, as she

Visit the LTA Youth website (lta.

says: “I like arguing back a lot and for more information.

Her hidden talent is she speaks

The LTA is the national governing

Emma’s guilty pleasure is binge-

talking back a little bit!”

Emma’s dream doubles partner is Andy Murray and one of her favourite sporting moments was

SOURCES 1. Physical Literacy Study, Hawthorn Press 2018 2. Sport England, 2020

hitting a lob winner against Andy Murray in mixed doubles.

Off-court Emma follows F1 closely, never missing the highlights.

Emma’s dream doubles partner is Andy Murray Sam Richardson, LTA Head of Tennis Products and Programmes, says: “Playing tennis, no matter your age, ability, of how often you get on court, is one of the best ways to improve your balance, mind power and lightning

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ISSUE 09 - Sport 4 All

Let's bounce

Table Tennis England introduces TT Kidz, an eight-week programme that introduces children to the sport and teaches them key skills to play a match.


T KIDZ, developed by Table Tennis England, is an inclusive and accessible programme providing children aged seven-11 with a fun, engaging and inspiring experience of table tennis in schools, clubs and community centres. Children, regardless of gender, ability or background, will learn new skills, make new friends and most importantly have fun. The eight-week programme is designed to be the best first impression of table tennis for children new to the sport and is delivered by trained, DBS-checked activators in venues up and down the country. Each week focuses on a different skill, providing children with the tools to enjoy a great game of table tennis. All the key skills are covered, including forehands,


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backhands and serves, and the children will be ready and confident to play a match by the end of the programme. All sessions offer elements of the criteria for the National Curriculum in PE for primary schools, including running, jumping, throwing, catching, flexibility, technique, control and collaboration.

As part of the package, children receive a kit bag containing a T-shirt, bat, balls, activity book and stickers so they can practise at home. And the fun doesn’t have to just be for children – we encourage parents to get involved and have a go, too. Along the way, and as they continue to develop their skills after the initial eight-week programme, the TT Kidz Awards give participants the opportunity to earn badges as they master the key skills of the sport, from the basics all the way up to more advanced techniques and tactics – and even how to umpire!

Children will be ready and confident to play a match by the end of the programme EXCITING LAUNCH

TT Kidz was launched in July 2019 on National Table Tennis Day, when England Commonwealth Games medallist Maria Tsaptsinos, junior international Louis Price and under-10 national champion Kacper Piwowar joined children at Chester Park Junior School in Bristol for an inspirational launch event. Since then, hundreds of children at table tennis clubs and schools all over England have had their first introduction to the sport through TT Kidz, with the majority of sessions sold out. As well as working with dozens of table tennis clubs, we work alongside Premier Education Group, our official primary schools delivery partner, to deliver table tennis in schools. Whatever the setting, kids and parents love the initiative – 95% rated TT Kidz as good or excellent value and 73% of participants say they enjoy taking part in sport and exercise more since joining TT Kidz. Even the pandemic could not stop our work – when in-person

Sport 4 All - ISSUE 09

sessions could not take place during the national lockdowns, our team worked hard to keep youngsters active through the TT Kidz Afterschool Club and, during the summer holidays, the TT Kidz Virtual Summer Camp, which both broadcast live online activities into classrooms and living rooms across the country. Dozens of year groups across Year 3 to 8 also competed in the TT Kidz Virtual Schools Championship, demonstrating their skills and completing challenges as they bid to be crowned national champions. Chris Turner, Table Tennis England’s youth participation lead, says: “Table tennis is a fantastic and inclusive sport, which can be enjoyed by all the family and TT Kidz is designed to be the best first experience of the game for children. “The programme has been a huge success to date, engaging lots of

the instructors were brilliant.”

children with an overwhelming percentage of parents reporting the programme as a positive experience. “The equipment is lightweight and activators are taught how to adapt the game to different abilities, so children can really enjoy the game and develop key fundamental movement and sporting skills. We’re really excited for the future of TT Kidz.”

● “We really enjoyed our session at Whittlesey Table Tennis Club. The booking process was straightforward and the coach was clearly passionate about the sport and delivered a fun, interactive session my daughter very much enjoyed.”



Don’t take our word for how good TT Kidz is – here’s what some of the parents and host clubs have told us: ● “TT Kidz is a great initiative to help inspire the next generation of players. It has been a massive success for us and amazing to see many new young faces playing table tennis for the first time, having lots of fun and making friends. All the children left the first session buzzing and excited and wanting to come back.” – Kingfisher Table Tennis Club, Reading. ● “It was a fabulous first session, Harry absolutely loved it and

TT Kidz has also achieved wider recognition and notice and was recently recognised at the prestigious ukactive Awards, being highly commended in the Generation Active category, which recognises a programme, project or initiative that engages, promotes and sustains physical activity in children and young people – inspiring them to be more active, more often. We have also worked with partners including the Rackets Cubed charity and local authorities to provide TT Kidz kit bags to children in deprived areas, helping them and their families to get more active. TT Kidz has even gone all the way to Australia – the Spinaroos initiative there is a licensed version of our very own programme! With the weather turning colder, now is the perfect time to try an indoor sport that also supports the development of fine motor control and hand-eye coordination. Our next phase starts in February 2021. For more information and to find your closest venue and to book a place simply visit:

ABOUT TABLE TENNIS ENGLAND Table Tennis England is the Governing body for table tennis in England, responsible for representing, coordinating, administering, marketing, and developing the sport with a mission to increase the number of outstanding and exciting opportunities for everyone to enjoy and achieve in table tennis.

For more information about Table Tennis England please visit:

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Healthy movers

ISSUE 09 - Sport 4 All

Children's charity, the Youth Sport Trust, explains how using physical activity can help early years children to be ready and raring to go to school.


he statistics are shocking – study after study shows children around the UK are less active, have declining mental health and rank poorly for early years development. It is something national children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust is trying to tackle through its Healthy Movers programme, currently being used by families and early years settings across the country to develop physical literacy and school readiness, and boost speech and language. Through a series of mentoring visits to early years settings, using resources and stay and play sessions for parents, the Youth Sport Trust hopes to support children in areas with high levels of deprivation to develop physical literacy. Physical literacy gives children the foundations and confidence they need for lifelong participation in physical activity and gives them the


In 2016, West Somerset ranked bottom in the government’s Social Mobility Index. The Index measures the chances that a child from a disadvantaged background will do well at school and get a good job. Lack of exercise is a huge factor in poor physical health and obesity.

social and emotional foundations they need for life. Space hopping, crawling like a crab and pretending to be a crane are some of the ways the Youth Sport Trust is using physical activity to support children aged two to five to have fun and a better start in life.

Physical literacy gives children the social and emotional foundations they need for life

It is also linked with poor emotional wellbeing, and if children reach reception age without the social skills or core physical strength to sit straight in a chair or to grip a pencil, they start school at a massive disadvantage. As a result, Healthy Movers was chosen by the West Somerset Opportunity Area to support 15 early years settings between 2018 and 2020. And the results have been promising: 91% of parents reported that their child liked being more active 88% of parents said their child had better movement skills 98% of children demonstrated improved stability and object control 95% of parents felt that Healthy Movers had given them ideas to help their child to be active

The programme has expanded into Cornwall and now Dorset following its success. The Youth Sport Trust hopes it can continue to reach more communities in the coming years.


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Sport 4 All - ISSUE 09

STAY AND PLAY The Youth Sport Trust recognises the importance of parents as role models in supporting children to access the life-changing benefits of sport and physical activity. In Minehead, it has worked with Billy Young’s Nursery to engage families through ‘stay and play’ sessions. The sessions see parents and families participate in Healthy Movers activities with their children.

Up to 15 parents attended each session, with them reporting that they really enjoyed the sessions, as it gave them insight into Healthy Movers and they loved being active with their children. During the most recent lockdown, Healthy Movers was delivered weekly via Zoom sessions to families at home. Parents shared photos with the nursery and, notably, three families reported that it helped to keep a structure for their children during lockdown.


Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Youth Sport Trust made some of its Healthy Movers resource cards free to download. The charity also hosted Healthy Movers At Home (https://bit. ly/30KKaSS) sessions twice a week live on YouTube, which can be viewed again online and has created a Healthy Movers Home Pack (, which can be brought through its online shop to help continue to fund its mission. Chris Wright, head of health and wellbeing at the Youth Sport Trust, says: “Movement in the early years is critical to a child’s development.

We have placed a huge amount of resources and research into training and mentoring parents, nursery and pre-school leaders through Healthy Movers to give them confidence and ideas around how to be active with their children and structure play in a way that supports their development. “Not only are children improving their speech and reading, giving them the skills they need to start school, but parents feel more confident to play with their children. They understand why it’s good to be active, and children are enjoying it which will mean they can develop healthy habits for good future physical and mental health.”

CHRIS'S TOP TIPS FOR SUPPORTING CHILDREN TO DEVELOP PHYSICAL LITERACY: 1. Have fun – playing together is good for happiness and our brains 2. Make it part of your daily routine – active travel and playing while learning works 3. Use everyday items – games can be played while tidying up or putting out the washing 4. Play together – your children will benefit emotionally from a good role model 5. Let them lead – your children making games up for you to play builds creativity

For more information on the Youth Sport Trust, visit:

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I S S U E 0 9 - F a m i l y F e a t u re

GIRL POWER: How to raise strong, confident daughters Entrepreneur, author, blogger and mum, Jo Wimble-Groves, gives us her advice on empowering young girls, with insights from her new parenting book, Rise of the Girl. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE RISE OF THE GIRL?

There is no magic formula for raising strong, confident girls. However, knowing that using our voices to share information can have an impact, I wanted to share seven empowering conversations that I am having with my own daughter, who is almost 12, in this book. In 2018, a study was conducted by the Mental Health Foundation with the aim to shed light on the mental health of our children and young people. Worryingly, the figures showed that for children aged between 17 and 19 years old, nearly one in four young women had a mental health disorder, with emotional disorders (in particular, anxiety) the most commonly reported.1 The rise in teenage anxiety


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and depression could be challenged by an action as simple as having the conversations described in this book.


One in ten girls aged between 14 and 17 years old are being referred for specialist mental health support. It appears that it is mostly girls who are affected, and this is now being referred to as a crisis on a worldwide scale. In the UK, NHS data on child and adolescent mental health has revealed significant differences between genders: “More than twothirds of antidepressants prescribed to teenagers are for girls.”2 Around 90% of

children admitted to hospital for eating disorders are girls. Hospitalisations due to self-harm involving girls have quadrupled since 2005.3

Parenting is, without question, the hardest job we will ever do The copywriter who proofread my book, Shari Last, has two young sons. She fed back to me that she felt so much of the book could also be used for boys, telling me how she used some of the tips I gave in the book when she was teaching her son to ride his bike. Many of the struggles we see in girls can be translated to boys, however, for me, Rise of the Girl had to come first. Some of the concerns we see in our teenage girls’ mental health is now being described as at a ‘crisis point’. We must come together to support our girls, guide them and show them how

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to turn their passions into possibilities to become confident and kind young women.


I think one of the most pressing issues is around good role modelling, particularly for our young girls, as children tend to mimic the beliefs and behaviours of their parents or caregivers. Positive role models can influence our actions at every stage and motivate us to strive to uncover our true potential. Children benefit from hearing about our successes and our failures. It’s so useful for them to hear our journeys, especially all the stumbling blocks we conquered to get there. For our girls and young women of today, hearing about the challenges successful people face can build confidence and self-belief. The fifth conversation in the book, “She’s really awesome. I wish I could be more like her,” discusses how to help our girls find strong, positive role models.


and do things that make her happy. I used to love hearing from my father and grandfather on how they started their businesses, I found it so interesting. Learning about someone else’s road to success can be so thought-provoking and inspirational. Who knew that self-belief, confidence and hard work would often hold the key to everything we want to achieve in our lives?


Your daughter may act like she doesn’t need you right now, but actually, she really needs you to be there – and to be an active listener. Not being listened to (at any age) can feel hurtful, and often listening to your daughter can be more important than her listening to you. So, if she isn’t really talking to you yet, don’t worry and try not to lecture her too much. Give her the space to talk and be ready to give her your time. I often find the best moment to approach empowering conversations with my daughter is when I’m going for a drive or walking to the shops. I’ll ask her if she’d like to come with me and by offering that one-to-one time it allows an opportunity for us to talk openly together. Find the time to

connect with her and do things together. One of the most difficult parts of adulthood is that, even when your child does share, we can’t always solve every problem. As a parent, this is tough because we are hard-wired to protect our children and fix any problems. But we must remember that their challenges and mistakes will become part of their personal journey and selfgrowth. You may not have the answer to her issues, but by simply being there, listening and checking back in later, she will feel supported and less alwone. Be genuine, accepting, hold no judgement and be authentic, although I appreciate this is easier said than done. Parenting is, without question, the hardest job we will ever do.

Rise of the Girl: Seven Empowering Conversations to Have with your Daughter by Jo WimbleGroves, is published by DK Books and is available now from Amazon (https:// and other good bookstores. It can also be purchased on Audible and Kindle formats.

SOURCES 1. 2. NHS Digital Data.13-17-year-olds 3. NHS Digital Data. 0-17-year-olds

When I was younger, I was passionate about sport. My father used to coach our local football team, so I grew up in a sporty household and enjoyed all kinds of sports. My father was great at reminding me that I could do anything I wanted. My parents instilled a good work ethic in me and encouraged me to do the things that gave me joy. As a parent now, I want to do the same to encourage my daughter to follow her passions

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GOOD MORNING! Let’s start the day off right, together.

Pains au Chocolat

Ham & Cheese Toasties

Avocado & Fried Egg Croissant

Black Forest Cro



They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not get together with family and friends over a bite to eat! Our Brioche is perfect for Breakfast, Lunch, on-the-go and as a quick snack.


Discover our unique recipe ideas using our delicious Brioche Pasquier products to create meals, snacks, canapes and desserts with ease. For more Breakfast Recipes, visit our website:

I S S U E 0 9 - G et C o o k i n g

GET COOKING Following a festive period of indulgence, many families want to eat more healthily in the New Year. Packed lunchboxes can be tricky when it comes to giving our kids something nutritious and interesting to eat – we've got some deliciously different ideas. And if you are thinking about going vegan for Veganuary, we've got you covered with information from The Vegan Society.


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G et C o o k i n g - I S S U E 0 9

Great ideas

for stress-free lunchboxes

Nutritionist Chloe Steele provides inspiration for healthy, filling school lunchboxes that your kids will actually eat!


f you dread the thought of a whole week of lunchboxes every Monday morning, then you are not alone. Finding nutritious and appetising foods that will withstand the rigours of the schoolbag is not an easy task. I speak to numerous lunchbox makers in the playground and most of them have run out of ideas, are exasperated by the whole experience and are desperate for some tips to keep it interesting. So why are more and more children taking their own lunch to school? It has been 16 years since Jamie Oliver first visited school canteens and highlighted the terror that is the Turkey Twizzler – thankfully a lot has changed since then. Improvements in food quality and education have ensured that lunches in most schools aren’t simply about preventing hunger, but improving health, grades and athleticism. Despite this, one unforeseen outcome has been that many parents and carers lost faith in the Great British school lunch and started sending children with a packed lunch, as it was seen as the healthier option. However, the reality

is that only 1% of packed lunches meet the nutritional value that schools are required to achieve with cooked lunches.1

The playground has become a battleground, with schools, parents and students all hotly debating what constitutes healthy food and what should be included in a lunchbox The playground has become a battleground, with schools, parents and students all hotly debating what constitutes healthy food and what should be included in a lunchbox. Everything from cakes and biscuits to packets of crisps are now being banned due to their high levels of sugar, salt and saturated fat, which

unfortunately often leads to lunchbox shaming and a huge amount of confusion. What we, as the lunchbox makers, need to focus on is the fact that what goes in the lunchbox needs to be eaten and will keep our children healthy and attentive during lessons.


Many of us plan our weekly evening meals, however, fail to do the same with lunchboxes. Planning can save you time, stress and money. Keep it simple and base your planning around a starchy carbohydrate like the nut-free pesto and tomato pasta recipe (see page 95) or some sort of wholemeal rice, cereal or grain. Then add in a fruit and some vegetables, some protein and a water bottle. Carbohydrates are often vilified as the reason for weight gain, but the reality is that carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy, which is especially important in growing children. Combining carbohydrates with other food groups ensures that they are gradually absorbed, resulting in level blood sugar and a child who can concentrate. FA M I LY F I R S T - W I N T E R 2 0 21/ 2 2


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PACK THE NIGHT BEFORE If you find that your morning is a bit chaotic, then it may be useful to pack lunches the night before. Items such as vegetable sticks, fruit skewers and vegetable pikelets (see recipe on page 98), can be easily prepped and placed in the fridge overnight, allowing you more time to repeatedly remind your children to brush their teeth and put their shoes on!


Now, what happens if you follow the advice and send your child off to school with a lovingly homemade, sugar-free lemon and courgette cake, only for them to come home with a banned food notice? Remain calm, teachers and lunch staff may be unaware of the nutritional value of your food and are simply following guidelines. If you feel strongly about the decision, then speak to the school and see if you can work out a compromise. But remember that when we send our children off to school, it is not only them that sign up to the rules, parents and guardians have a responsibility to follow them also.

item. But don’t be disheartened if they continually return home untouched, it might not be a fast process, but one day they may surprise you.


Our lives are busier than ever and our reliance on ready-made and packaged foods has increased. Ultra-processed foods are characteristically high in sugar, salt and fat and can be hyperpalatable, so if included in packed lunchboxes could mean that any healthy foods remain uneaten. Highsugar foods can cause blood sugar spikes, to which the body responds by producing insulin and other hormones driving sugar down to suboptimal levels, resulting in the release of stress hormones. In a child this can manifest as hyperactivity, followed by irritability and stress, which is not a great recipe for learning. Instead consider baking your own, set aside some time and freeze what you make. Baking your own will ensure that you are more aware of what ingredients are included. Items like the cheese and veggie quiches (see recipe on opposite page) and vegetable pikelets are great for freezing and can simply be defrosted and popped in the lunchbox.


Packing leftovers from the night before is a great way to ensure your children are getting a healthy home-cooked meal at lunchtime and will save you time in

the long run. Items like the nut-free pesto pasta recipe are easily made for dinner and can be rolled over to the next day. Meals like this can also be another avenue to get extra vegetables included in their diet without them even realising, just ensure that you make enough to cover both days.


How the packed lunch is presented can make a huge difference to whether it is eaten or not. Now I am not saying go out and spend excessive amounts of money on a lunchbox. Simple solutions like a large silicone ice cube tray in a Tupperware box will look appealing, keep food items separate, and ensure that you are not left reeling when it gets lost within the first week. Chloe Steele MSc Personalised Nutrition is a registered member of British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) and an editorial board member of Nutritional Medicine Institute. For recipes and nutritional advice, follow her on Instagram @ladyaboutnutrition

REFERENCE 1. Dimbleby H, Vincent J. The School Food Plan. Sch Food Plan. 2013;(July):149. https:// uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/ file/251020/The_School_Food_Plan.pdf.


Familiarising children with foods that they may not like is a great way to encourage them to be eaten. Don’t be afraid to include a small portion of a disliked item alongside foods you know they will eat. This is an especially good tactic with small children, who as part of their development, will refuse new foods or those that they ate before without any fuss. Sitting and sharing a meal with their classmates may give them the push they need to try a new food


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2. Add pesto to an airtight jar and top with a squeeze of lemon to preserve colour and add zing. Store in the fridge for up to 6 months. For the pasta 1. Cook pasta in a large pot

NUT-FREE PESTO AND TOMATO PASTA A quick, easy and filling lunchbox staple that can also be enjoyed by the whole family as a warming evening meal. EQUIPMENT:

of boiling water as per packet instructions. Drain and reserve ¾ cup of the cooking water. Set aside.

2. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium-low heat and fry the cherry tomatoes until they soften and begin to split, around 3-5 minutes. Add the spaghetti, reserved cooking liquid and pesto to the pan and toss to combine and warm through. 3. Top with parmesan or simply pop in the lunchbox as is.

INGREDIENTS: For the pesto:

For the pasta: 375g wholemeal pasta (I usually use spaghetti, but anything will work) 2 tbsp olive oil 250g cherry tomatoes, halved 150g nut-free pesto

METHOD: For the pesto 1. Place all ingredients (except squeeze of lemon) in a food processor and combine until smooth.

INGREDIENTS: 8 large eggs ½ cup double cream 50g parmesan cheese, grated ½ tsp mustard Pinch of nutmeg Pinch salt Pinch pepper 1 tbsp olive oil 100g cheddar cheese, grated 150g chopped mixed vegetables (I use peppers, mushrooms, spring onions and sweetcorn)

METHOD: 1. Preheat oven to 180 oC and

Food processor Large frying pan Saucepan to cook pasta

2 cups fresh basil (packed) 3 cloves garlic ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil 100g parmesan or pecorino Romano cheese (use nutritional yeast for vegan option), grated 100g roasted sunflower/pumpkin seeds Pinch salt Pinch pepper Squeeze of lemon

Whisk Cheese grater Knife Chopping board Small frying pan

CHEESE AND VEGETABLE QUICHES Nutritious, tasty and perfect for little hands, these homemade quiches can be cooked and left to cool the night before school.

lightly grease the muffin tin and set aside. 2. Whisk together eggs, cream, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, mustard, and nutmeg and set aside. 3. Heat olive oil over a medium heat in a frying pan and add vegetables and cook until softened. 4. Divide the cooked vegetables into the muffin tray and top with ½ of the cheddar cheese. 5. Fill the muffin tins 2/3 full with the egg mixture and top with the remaining cheese. 6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until risen and golden.

Recipes provided by Chloe Steele MSc Personalised Nutrition. Follow Chloe on Instagram @ladyaboutnutrition

Makes 10 / Suitable for freezing / Oven temperature 390oC EQUIPMENT: Mini muffin tin Mixing bowls

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I S S U E 0 9 - Ad ve r to r i a l

COOKING TIME 5 minutes

YOU WILL NEED 150g FREEE Plain White Flour 1 tsp FREEE Baking Powder 1 egg (or 1 tbsp FREEE Chickpea Flour + 2 tbsp water) 150ml milk (or vegan milk) 1 banana Oil, for pan Syrup, for serving

METHOD 1. Put the flour and baking powder into a large bowl or jug and stir to combine. 2. Break the egg (or add the chickpea flour + water) in the bowl, add the milk and beat to make a smooth batter. 3. Thinly slice the banana.

Gluten Free Banana Pancakes W E believe when you are gluten free, you can still enjoy delicious bakes and treats. That’s why as the UK’s number one gluten free flour brand* we’ve created a range of gluten free flour blends made with naturally gluten free ingredients that make it easy for you to bake at home. With many flours in the range, including Self Raising White, Plain White, White Bread, Brown Bread and Buckwheat, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. These Banana Pancakes use our

*Kantar WPO, 52 w/e 21 February 2021

Gluten Free Plain White Flour and make a delicious weekend breakfast treat. Follow the ingredients swaps in brackets to make them vegan! Where to buy: You can buy our flours at, national and independent retailers.

4. Put a little oil into a frying pan, roll it around to cover the surface and heat until nice and hot 5. Pour batter into the pan to make 7.5cm/3” circles. 6. Carefully put a few banana slices onto each circle and cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. 7. When bubbles appear on the surface and the base is golden reduce the heat to low. 8. Turn the pancakes over and cook the other side for 1-2 minutes. 9. Transfer cooked pancakes to a plate and repeat until the batter is used. 1 0. Serve warm with syrup of your choice.

Info: For more gluten free recipe inspiration, visit

EQUIPMENT Frying pan Large mixing bowl or jug

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Vegetable pikelets Perfect for kids who think they don't 'like' vegetables, these pikelets can be eaten on their own or used as an alternative to bread to make a sandwich.

Pinch salt Pinch pepper Butter for cooking


Makes 12 / Suitable for freezing EQUIPMENT: Large frying pan Knife and chopping board (you can use a food processor to chop vegetables quickly) Mixing bowl Wooden spoon Cheese grater

INGREDIENTS: 240g wholemeal self-raising flour 200g mixed vegetables finely chopped (such as broccoli, sweet potato, spring onion) 2 eggs, lightly beaten 225g cheddar cheese, grated 1 ½ cup of milk


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1. Add flour to a mixing bowl, make a well in the centre and add milk and eggs. Mix until you get a runny consistency. 2. Add chopped vegetables, salt, pepper and cheese and mix to combine. 3. Heat a large saucepan on medium heat and melt butter. 4. Take a dessert spoon sized amount and place in the pan, repeat until the pan is full, usually 4-5. 5. Fry until the surface of the pikelet starts to bubble, then flip and repeat for a further 1-2 minutes.

Recipes provided by Chloe Steele MSc Personalised Nutrition. Follow Chloe on Instagram @ladyaboutnutrition

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7. Ensure that the frying pan is hot and place wrap into the pan. Dry fry for 2 minutes on each side. 8. Repeat with the remaining balls and freeze any leftover wraps (flat) to be used in lunchboxes later.

TORTILLA WRAPS A great alternative to sandwiches, making your own wholemeal tortilla wraps is much easier than you think. And kids love to choose their favourite filling! Makes 16 large wraps / Suitable for freezing EQUIPMENT: Large frying pan Mixing bowl Wooden spoon

INGREDIENTS: 670g wholemeal plain flour 80g olive oil 340ml water Pinch salt

METHOD: 1. Place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. 2. Make a well in the centre and add olive oil and water. Mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula and use your hands to form a dough ball. 3. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 2 minutes. 4. Rest for 15 minutes to allow the gluten to relax in the dough and to make rolling the wraps easier. 5. Heat a large frying pan over a medium-low heat. 6. While the frying pan is heating, split the dough into 16 equal-sized balls and using a rolling pin, roll one of the balls into a thin flat circle, roughly 20-25cm in diameter.

CHICKEN/TUNA SALAD This protein-packed recipe can be easily made vegetarian – simply substitute chicken or tuna for falafel or tofu. EQUIPMENT: Small bowl for mixing Spoon

INGREDIENTS: 1 medium-large sized chicken breast cooked and shredded or one can of tuna steak 50g crème fraiche 1 celery stalk, finely chopped 1 spring onion 25g sweetcorn Pinch salt Pinch pepper 1 tsp dill (optional) Squeeze lemon (optional)

METHOD: 1. Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix to combine. 2. Use this in wraps, pikelets or a sandwich or simply pop in a container on its own.

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V IS FOR VEGAN With Veganuary well underway, Andrea Rymer, dietitian at The Vegan Society explains why children can benefit from, and thrive on, a vegan diet.


he number of Brits eating vegan diets has risen rapidly over the past decade to more than half a million, with a quarter in the 15-24 age category, suggesting the number of vegan children may also be increasing. Healthy eating is important throughout every stage of life and nutrition influences many aspects of our health and wellbeing, including energy and mood, growth and development, muscle strength and repair, and helping our immune systems function. But can our children get all they need from a vegan diet?


Veganism is a philosophy that seeks to exclude – as far as is possible and practicable – all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and in dietary terms, it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.


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Most of us weren’t born vegan, so it’s not surprising that many people grow up thinking that animal products like meat and dairy are essential parts of a balanced diet, but we can get all the nutrients that our bodies need without them.

Everyone can benefit from learning more about food A smooth transition to a vegan diet involves making smart swaps from animal products to alternative sources of nutrition. For example, this could be switching from dairy to a calcium-fortified plant milk and yoghurt alternative; replacing meat and fish with quality sources of plant protein, such as beans, chickpeas, lentils and tofu; and including plant sources

of omega-3 fat, such as walnuts, chia seeds or ground linseed (also known as flaxseed) in your daily diet as a smart swap for oily fish. As with any dietary shift, a bit of research and planning is needed to support successful changes.


When it comes to raising a child vegan – well this can spark some debate with common questions that would rarely be aimed towards parents who were raising their child on a different diet. Will they be healthy? How will they get enough protein? Why would you deprive them? These concerns arise from the mention of veganism, but it’s good to bear in mind that the National Diet and Nutrition Survey shows that on average our children are consuming too much salt, saturated fat and sugar, which will affect the health outcomes of this generation. Some nutritional considerations are different for vegans, but everyone can benefit from learning more about food.

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Not only is following a vegan diet a compassionate choice, it also has environmental benefits and, for many families, the transition to veganism is an opportunity to eat better by consuming more health-promoting plant foods. It can help to limit saturated fat and get plenty of fibre, vitamins and minerals from nuts, seeds and vegetables. Some research has even linked vegan diets with lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and lower rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. All parents should be supported to raise their children in line with their beliefs and this is no different for parents who choose to raise their children vegan.

WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION ON VEGAN DIETS? The Vegan Society has an in-house nutrition team, consisting of two registered dietitians, so that when it comes to vegan diets – we are here to help! The Vegan Society also works with the British Dietetic Association to show those who choose a vegan diet that well-planned, veganfriendly diets can support healthy

living in people of all ages – and during pregnancy and breastfeeding – with appropriate use of fortified foods and supplementation. We have information available for all stages of life, including nutritional planning for children and our guides have been reviewed by a paediatric dietitian. You can access The Vegan Society’s nutrition resources at vegansociety. com/nutrition.

It’s important for children to make their own food choices NUTRIENTS THAT DESERVE SPECIAL ATTENTION

In addition to the UK's general recommendations about vitamin supplementation for children, certain nutrients deserve special attention. Vegan children can obtain vitamin B12 and iodine from fortified foods or supplementation. For

example, unsweetened fortified plant milk containing calcium, iodine and vitamin B12 can be used to replace cow’s milk in porridge, wheat biscuits, shredded wheat, rice pudding, semolina and custard. Soya and pea milk have a similar protein content to cow’s milk and so are good alternatives. Fortified nutritional yeast flakes are also a good source of B12 and can be added to sauces, soups and most other savoury dishes as an additional source of nutrients, providing a cheesy flavour. Omega-3 fat plays an important role in brain, nerve and eye development, and although supplementation may not be essential, it is a more important consideration during pregnancy, breastfeeding and in childhood. A supplement containing oil from microalgae can provide long-chain omega-3 fats for vegans.


It’s important for children to make their own food choices and they should never be forced to eat. There can be many reasons why a child might refuse a certain food, such as the way it was presented, the fact that it was touching another food, they didn’t enjoy it with a certain sauce or gravy on top, or simply because they just didn’t like the taste on that occasion. Don’t give up on offering this food again in the future – remember that our preferences can change during childhood and throughout the rest of our lives. Try to be a good role model by eating a range of different whole foods and offer these foods regularly to help encourage healthy eating habits.


Turn to pages 102 and 106 to check out these recipes for some handy tips on how to substitute a few ingredients in popular dishes for a healthy plant-based alternative! For more nutritionally balanced vegan recipes, visit:

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I S S U E 0 9 - G et C o o k i n g

Falafel burger This is a super easy swap from your traditional processed shop-bought burger – quick and easy to make and full of fibre and quality protein, featuring a delicious cool soya yoghurt dressing to add that calcium hit.

INSTRUCTIONS: Boosted Bolognese_Chloe Steele

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS: 1 x 400 g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained 1 small red onion, roughly chopped 1 garlic clove, chopped Handful of flat-leaf parsley or curly parsley 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp ground coriander ½ tsp harissa paste or chilli powder 2 tbsp plain flour 2 tbsp sunflower oil Yoghurt dressing: 180 g fortified soya yoghurt Handful of chopped mint leaves 1 garlic clove chopped Handful of chopped coriander To serve: 4 wholemeal burger buns Handful of green salad


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1. Drain the chickpeas and pat them dry. Tip them into a food processor along with the red onion, garlic, parsley, cumin, coriander, harissa paste, flour and a little salt. Blend until fairly smooth, then shape into four patties with your hands. 3. Make the yoghurt dressing by blending all ingredients together. Leave a few mint leaves for decoration. 3. Heat the sunflower oil in a nonstick frying pan and fry the burgers for 3 minutes on each side until lightly golden. Serve in a burger bun, adding the yoghurt dressing and green salad.

Watch a step-by-step video on how to make these vegan Falafel Burgers on YouTube ( take-action/campaigns/veganthriving/vegan-thriving-recipes/ falafel-burgers) Recipe supplied by The Vegan Society (


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Lentil Shepherd’s pie This recipe ‘veganises’ an old family favourite, adding fibre-rich plant proteins and a mixed swede and potato topping to pack more of your five-a-day into one dish!

INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Put the potatoes and swede into a pan of cold water, bring to a simmer and cook until tender. When cooked, drain and allow to air-dry for 5 mins. 3. Mash the potatoes and swede together roughly, mix in the vegan spread and season to taste.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS: For the topping: 500 g potatoes, peeled and diced 500 g swede, peeled and diced 50 g low fat vegan spread Black pepper, to taste For the filling: 200 g cooked green lentils 1 large onion, diced 2 carrots, peeled and diced 2 parsnips, peeled and diced 2 tsp garlic puree 1 tsp dried thyme 1 tsp onion granules 1 tbsp low salt vegan bouillon 1 tin chopped tomatoes 1 tbsp tomato puree 2 tins mixed bean salad, drained Black pepper, to taste


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3. Put the lentils, onion, carrot and parsnip into a pan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the lentils are becoming tender. Drain off any excess water, leaving a small amount in the pan. Add the rest of the ingredients to the lentils, put back over the heat and bring to a simmer. 4. Adjust the seasoning and put into a suitable ovenproof pot. Top with the potato and swede mix and put into a preheated oven on a medium heat and cook for 25 mins until the topping goes crispy.

Tip: If your supermarket doesn’t stock bouillon, check out online retailers or your local health food shop.

Recipe supplied by The Vegan Society (

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Choice of snack is really important. For example, if your child is competing in a sports event, try to avoid things with a high fat content because they take longer to digest. Instead, choose protein and carbohydrates. A small tuna or chicken sandwich would be good, and berries, bananas or apples are also great choices.

This is your opportunity to give children a healthy meal packed with essential fats, vitamins and minerals. The essential fats, omega-3 and omega-6, are both needed for healthy brain function. Good sources of omega-3 include oily fish such as salmon, which the Government recommends we eat at least once per week, 3 as well as eggs and seeds for omega-6. Make sure their evening meal is packed with lots of vegetables for all the essential vitamins and minerals, although, bear in mind this may not always be their main meal. Always aim for at least five portions daily. Also avoid bad fats, which are hydrogenated trans-fat found in processed foods such as cakes, pastries, frozen pizza and fried foods. Remember that half your plate should be a variety of vegetables, a quarter should be unprocessed protein such as fish or chicken, and the remainder should be healthy fats such as avocado, nuts and seeds and finally whole grains such as brown rice, oats or barley.



Olga Preston, nutritional therapist at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition and specialist in children’s nutrition, has prepared her top tips for round-the-clock healthy eating when the new school term begins.


s children prepare to

go back to school this January in the wake of the pandemic, it has never been more important to look after their health, wellbeing and immunity. Nutrition plays a vital role in this; however, the school day can mean a loss of control over what children eat and a different routine after the summer holidays. Remember every child and young adult is different and a personalised approach to healthy eating is essential. Establishing a routine that works for your family is key. From morning until night, these tips should help you formulate a nutritional approach that works for you.


It’s a well-known fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast sets up your blood sugar levels for the day and, in turn, this impacts the ability to pay attention and learn, so it’s vital for children going to school. Rather worryingly, most children in the UK have had more than half the recommended amount of sugar before getting to school1 and missing breakfast is associated with a 30% shorter listening span.2 Too much sugar can lead the body to release high amounts of insulin and ultimately a crash of energy and a craving for more sugar. Opt for breakfast options that are high in protein, such as porridge oats with nut butter, eggs or baked beans, or some falafels with humous or chicken breast.



This is the time when parents may lose all control of what children are eating or, as is often the case, not eating. Remember that breakfast, snacks and your evening meal are all opportunities to give your children healthy, balanced options that you can control. If you know your child isn’t a fan of school dinners and is continually coming home hungry, make sure they eat a satisfying and filling breakfast, which means it might be necessary to increase what they have at this time. When you pick them up from school, make sure you have a healthy snack prepared so they can immediately satiate their hunger. Smoothies are a brilliant way to incorporate lots of vitamins and minerals, as well as good sources of omega-3, which are important for brain health, for example, chia seeds, flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds.

And so to bed! Sleep is essential for everyone and school children ideally need between nine and 13 hours per night. 4 If your child doesn’t sleep very well, cut out sugar and ensure they are getting enough magnesium, which is helpful for sleep. Good sources of magnesium are dark, leafy vegetables, chickpeas and whole grains. Finally, remember never restrict a child’s diet without the supervision of a health professional because every food source has specific nutrients that would need to be replaced to ensure good health. The Institute for Optimum Nutrition (ION) is a leading, independent education provider and registered charity based in Richmond, London. Visit:

References 1. Source: Public Health England 2. PMC3737458/#B35 3. 4.

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I S S U E 0 9 - F a m i l y F e a t u re

Fact or fiction? 14 things you’ve always wanted to know about teeth

Celebrity dentist Dr Robbie Hughes sorts the facts from the myths for some of the biggest questions around dental health and teeth

There have always been strange myths bounded around about teeth and dental health, but are they actually real or were they just dreamed up by exasperated parents to stop the daily teeth brushing battle? 108

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You have to brush your teeth twice a day for them to stay healthy FACT: Probably unsurprising, but yes, this is a fact. You need to brush your teeth last thing before you go to bed and then ideally first thing in the morning. This removes plaque and bacteria, which prevents decay and gum disease, as well as giving you minty-fresh breath.

Chewing gum cleans your teeth MYTH: Unfortunately, this is a myth. It doesn’t clean your teeth, but chewing sugarfree gum does neutralise the pH in your mouth and stimulates saliva flow, which reduces the risk of tooth decay.

Eating cheese can protect your teeth FACT: Chewing cheese helps to rebalance the pH in your mouth, reducing acidity through the production of saliva. This not only preserves and rebuilds enamel, but also plays an important role in washing the bacteria and plaque off the teeth. Cheese also contains calcium and phosphate, both of which are essential components of healthy teeth. Bad teeth are inherited FACT: Gum disease is

partly genetic, but it is also affected by environmental factors such as smoking, diet and oral hygiene. If you don’t have it in the family and you look after your teeth, you should be able to avoid it as much as possible.

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Yellow teeth means they are unhealthy MYTH: Teeth come in all different sizes and colours, and this doesn’t necessarily mean they are unhealthy. Having white teeth may be trendy, but teeth that are more yellow in colour can be just as healthy and do everything they are designed for.


You can’t brush your teeth for 30 minutes after eating FACT: This is actually a really important fact. You need to allow time for your teeth to recover after you have eaten before brushing, especially if it was something sugary. Physically brushing your teeth at this time can cause damage, so instead try rinsing with mouthwash or sugar-free gum after meals to bring the pH balance down.

Chewing cheese helps to rebalance the pH in your mouth


Diet drinks don’t damage your teeth as sugar-filled drinks do MYTH: Drinks marketed as ‘sugarfree’ can still be damaging to the teeth. Fizzy drinks are all carbonated, which causes tooth erosion.


Your teeth will get damaged during pregnancy FACT: During pregnancy, your increased hormone levels mean that your body has an increased response to bacteria. This puts you at a higher risk of gum disease, so see your hygienist if you are suffering from bleeding gums.

Pregnancy can also mean you are eating more sugary foods to combat sickness and pregnancy cravings, which can lead to tooth decay, so make sure you are keeping up good oral hygiene twice a day. Don’t forget that all NHS dental work is free while you are pregnant and in the first year after your baby is born, so be sure to make the most of it.


The best way to deal with a knocked-out tooth is to jam it back into the hole FACT: If you get a tooth knocked out, pick it up, lick it clean and put it back in the hole – then get to a dentist quick sharp. If you find you are unable to put the tooth back into the hole, put it in milk and take it with you to the dentist. Make sure you never try to re-insert a baby tooth.


Only kids have

braces MYTH: You can have braces at any age. If you want to work on your smile or any issues such as an overbite, then the time is now. Some of the biggest stars in the world have been seen rocking metal braces and retainers, so if it’s good enough for them, why not give it a shot?


Rinsing after brushing is bad/ mouthwash strips teeth of paste benefits FACT: This is so important. After you have brushed your teeth, be sure not to rinse out with anything. Let that lovely fluoride do its job.


Veneers are unaffordable MYTH: They aren’t cheap, but like anything that has an impact on your life and is of high quality, it comes with a price tag. Veneers are an investment and the price is a reflection of the quality and experience of the clinician. If you are considering having dental work done, be sure to find a clinician who is registered with the UK General Dental Council.

You need to allow time for your teeth to recover after you have eaten before brushing


Humans didn’t struggle with crooked teeth until agriculture came into existence FACT: Research shows that as we have evolved our teeth have become more crooked and our jaws weaker. While there is no concrete evidence to suggest one specific reason for this, it could be numerous reasons, such as the softer texture of our food in modern times and the way we consume food with a knife and fork; also fewer babies are breastfed, which helps develop strong jaw muscles.


Charcoal toothpaste is better for your teeth MYTH: AND FACT: : Unregulated charcoal toothpaste can contain large particles of charcoal, which can be abrasive and damaging to the teeth. If you want to use charcoal toothpaste to remove staining, ensure you use one that is safely formulated by a dentist. Dr Robbie Hughes is the principal director at Dental Excellence. Find out more at:

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A simple change to help keep you healthy Interdental brushing is a smart and hygienic choice for your health

There’s nothing to focus the mind on your long-term health goals like having children in the house. For many of us that means thinking about keeping fit, but before you dash out to hit the gym, you might want to pause to think about your oral health too. Because good oral hygiene isn’t just a matter of looking after your smile. Gum disease has been linked to broader health issues, including cardiovascular disease. Which means it’s worth putting on your list of healthy habits. Now, you might be thinking that you’ve already got this covered. And of course, brushing twice a day and regular visits to the dentist are great. But have you considered that your toothbrush only reaches up to 60% of the surface of your teeth? The other 40% can only be cleaned by getting in-between the teeth. That’s why TePe has spent so many years perfecting the Interdental Brush, your teeth just aren’t completely clean without them.

Boots Expert/TePe believes that achieving the highest standards of oral health doesn’t have to come at the cost of the planet. They have put years of research into reducing their environmental impact without compromising the clinical levels of performance. As well as powering their factory with solar energy and reducing plastic in packaging, TePe use the mass balancing approach to replace non-renewable materials with European pine oil. This reduces the carbon footprint of their interdental brushes by 80%. So, you can add interdental brushing from Boots Expert/TePe to your routine knowing that it’s a smart, hygienic and responsible choice. It’s also a simple change that can help get your teeth up to 100% clean and helps maintain your health.

Boots Expert/TePe interdental brushes have been designed in collaboration with dental professionals using carefully selected materials to give the very highest levels of comfort and safety for your teeth and gums. They come in a range of sizes with a simple colour-coding system that makes it easy to find the size that fits your teeth perfectly, so you get the best possible clean. Your dental hygienist can help you find the right size.

Visit to shop the full Boots Expert/TePe range.

Shop now at

Available at Boots in store | | app Available at most stores. Subject to availability

9-12 YEARS

Give your enamel a

mineral m iner nera al boost Enhances natural mineral replenishment for strong enamel

I S S U E 0 9 - F a m i l y F e a t u re

Save or spend? The financial experts from have compiled some key advice on the importance of teaching your children about money.


inance can be a difficult topic to tackle with young children, but teaching them to have a healthy relationship with money from a young age is important to lots of parents. Salman Haqqi, personal finance expert from, explains why teaching children how to handle money from a young age is so beneficial. He says: “Creating an environment in which you are able to speak more openly with your children about your financial decisions is vital to engaging them from a young age on the value of money. Showing them how to make choices when shopping will set up good habits and understanding of managing money. “It’s important to make sure your


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lessons are age-appropriate and that you continue to involve and teach your children about money as they grow. A healthy relationship with finances starts at a young age and children learn most of their habits from their parents.”

A healthy relationship with finances starts at a young age


Start with the basics of money and finance How you introduce money to your children will partly depend on their age. A good place to

start is getting children comfortable handling cash and coins. Explain to them how money is used to buy things and that it must be earned before it can be spent.


Speak openly about small financial decisions Start getting your child involved with minor financial decisions, such as which brands and items to buy when shopping. This way your child is able to understand the decisions you make, while also feeling in control of certain financial choices. Older children could also help with budgeting while shopping if you ask them to keep a running total of the items you buy. Not only will this improve their maths skills, but it can also help them to understand how

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small items can still add up in price and not everything is affordable on a budget.


Try simple games and toys with younger children Creating easy monetary games such as counting pennies can help your child understand the value of different denominations of money. Try using a pile of 1p coins and asking your child to match the number of coins to the price of a higher value coin, such as 10p, 20p or 50p.


Set a good example with your own finances There’s no two ways about it, children learn money habits from their parents. Showing them small activities such as checking the receipt after your shop or putting money into savings can start developing positive habits from a young age. Encourage your child to ask questions without repercussions in this setting. While you might not necessarily have all the answers, opening up a dialogue is a healthy way for your child to learn more about finance.


Use pocket money as an incentive for small tasks Using pocket money as an incentive to do chores around the house not only helps you, but it also helps your child learn more about the value

of money and what it takes to earn it. Creating a simple plan with a set amount of money for different tasks, along with caps per week or month, is a great way to help your child start understanding where money comes from.

Children learn money habits from their parents


Use pocket money to teach children how to save Alongside teaching children the relationship between work and money, household chores and pocket money is also a great opportunity to show children how to save. If your child has shown interest in a more expensive purchase, you could set them up with an old-fashioned piggy bank where they can ‘deposit’ their earnings or chart for them to fill out so they can track how much money they have.


Reward them by learning about interest Paying small amounts of interest on the money your child has saved is a helpful way to encourage them to keep saving. Older children will be

delighted to learn that the interest they earned last week can be used to earn more interest if they save until next week.


Use trips to the shop to learn about saving vs. spending Another practical way to teach a child about the benefits of saving is by visiting shops. Allow them full control of their own money on the understanding that if they don’t have enough they won’t be able to borrow any more. The more they feel in control of their own finances, the more they will be able to make sensible decisions when it comes to spending or saving.


Use digital tools with older children

There are a whole range of online tools for teaching older children about online banking and using cards for payments. Most will allow parents to set strict spending limits, monitor what their kids are buying and where they are spending their money.


Teach older children about selling old toys for extra


If you don’t want to give your child pocket money, teaching them about ways to earn money for themselves is a helpful alternative. When they’re old enough, you could ask your child to go through their old toys, books and clothes and set aside which ones they’d like to sell. You can then sell these on their behalf through online auction sites such as eBay or Facebook Marketplace. Not only is this a great way for your child to feel independent in earning their own money, it presents an opportunity to also discuss how to use the internet safely. Top tips provided by money.

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*Based on a study of 120 people Registered Trademark of Kimberly-Clark Worldwide Inc. ©2021

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