2 September 2014

School Break Time Healthy Snacks

One of the things I almost forgot about when Logan started school was the mid morning break, where children get to go out and play for 15 minutes and have a little snack to keep them going. I was so consumed and worried about what I was going to do for his lunch that I just about forgot the whole break snack time routine. Luckily I didn't forget but then I thought, what sort of healthy snack am I actually going to give him!? We're lucky in that the school Logan attends doesn't police break time snacks unless they are really unhealthy i.e. he's taking in a mars bar every day, but I still wanted to give him something nutritious and tasty.

After having thought long and hard about it and finally getting some healthy snacks under my belt for Logan's break time I'm going to share them all with you, my lovely readers.

Innocent Smoothies for Kids
I would never have thought about giving Logan a smoothie for snack time however he does really like a freshly whipped up fruit smoothie, so when I spotted these in the supermarket I thought I must be onto a winner. They're Innocent Smoothies for kids which have no added extras, they can last 12 hours out of the fridge so ideal for snack time and you get 4 in a pack. They of course come with a straw as well so easy to drink, no fiddly packaging to open for little fingers. There seem to be quite a few different flavours as well, Logan seems to like the strawberries, blackberries and raspberries at the moment. Some of the supermarkets have deals on these just now so worth stocking up.

Organix Raisin Boxes
Now you can get the supermarkets own brand of raisin boxes for kids and they can be cheaper sometimes but we quite like these Organix ones in our house so I've stuck with them for the past 3 years or so now. If you're really lucky Poundland stock these on occasion. Logan loves raisins and has done since he was very young so a little box or two of these in his school bag for snack time goes down very well. They're healthy too so I'm happy.

Organix Rice Cakes
Organix have lots of different flavours of rice cakes for snacking on and because they have no added extra nasties they're perfect for school break time. I pop about 5-6 in a little food bag for Logan to take outside with him to play and eat. You can have apple, banana, cherry, strawberry, carrot & tomato or raspberry & blueberry (our fav). Big variety and something different for your little one to have from the norm.

I wouldn't have originally thought of these but they're a good source of calcium and Logan seems to be enjoying cheese more so I'm hoping he'll snack on these. Supposedly they can be left out of the fridge for hours as well and since it'll only be an hour and it bit and they're separately packaged it should be ok.

Organix Crisps
My son loves a packet of crisps but some are just too high in salts and sugars so an alternative we've found are Organix Crisps. They've no nasties and are super tasty. Yes they're more expensive so he only gets them now and again but they're perfect for taking to school for snack time. You can choose between Carrot Sticks, Sweetcorn Rings, Tomtao Slices or Red Pepper Hearts.

There's always good old fruit if all else fails. Something easy like a banana, apple or pear to keep them going. I do worry that the fruit will bruise however it's only in the school bag for a short period of time before break so as long as it's not sat on it should be fine. All the supermarkets have deals on their fruit as well especially Aldi so you can get a real bargain.

photo credit: notonthehighstreet.com

So there you have it, a few different healthy snack ideas for break time at school. I'd love to hear what other people give their kids for break time? It's so hard to think when they only have 15 minutes to play and eat!

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions and words are my own.


26 August 2014

Review: SewLomax Muslin/Swaddle Set


SewLomax have just launched their debut baby collection and I was offered the chance to review one of the products in the range. Emma Lomax has been taking the fashion and beauty world by storm for the last two years (since 2011) with her ethically produced collection of wash bags & accessories, and this year has introduced her highly anticipated baby range. I was sent the Muslin/Swaddle set to have a look at so here are my thoughts.

First impressions are good although I'm not entirely keen on the packaging. It's a cardboard box and inside the muslins are kept clean with a plastic bag however the cardboard box is too big and flimsy for my liking. I think this product would benefit from a sturdier box. I do like the fact that they have a 4 step guide as to how to swaddle your baby on the back of the box though with a small diagram. I thought this was really good especially if you're all fingers and thumbs like me when it comes to swaddling babies.

SewLomax have this to say about their muslins: "For countless generations, mothers have swaddled and cared for their children with natural muslin. SewLomax helps continue this tradition with the softest swaddles and fashion-forward prints that say as much about your style as they do about practices that bind mothers together around the world."

The muslins themselves are beautiful, so soft and very big (100cm x 100cm). They're made from 100% cotton so perfect for delicate newborn skin. For the large muslins you get 3 in a pack and you can choose from three different colours; blue, pink or green. Since I'm not expecting my baby till next year and I want a surprise I asked if I could have the green set since it's more neutral. It's a lovely shade of green and would suit a boy or girl. I do think adding in maybe a pale yellow of some sort would benefit as well and may be quite popular with people who don't know the sex of their baby yet but want to be prepared or receive as a gift. The 3 muslin pack costs £26.00 which I think is reasonable considering you get 3 massive muslins, works out around £8 each. They wash at 30c too which isn't bad.

SewLomax also have a selection of other baby items in the range from Dribble Bibs (£8.00) to Bath Towel Sets (£26.00) and even a handy little Mummies Only Pouch (£20.00).

To purchase your very own set of Muslin/Swaddle blankets you can either visit www.sewlomax.com or pop into your local John Lewis store.

Overall the muslins are lovely and there's so much you can do with them. You can of course use them to swaddle your baby as they're big enough but they can also be used for helping to burp baby or used as a cover up if you're breastfeeding. Very handy. The pricing is fair but the packaging for me needs a little improving.

Mummies rating - 7.5/10

Please visit www.sewlomax.com for more products and information. You can also see what SewLomax get up to on Facebook and Twitter so why not pop over and tell them The Breastest News sent you.


24 August 2014

Silent Sunday



23 August 2014

First Day at School

It was Logan's first day at school on Wednesday, one which I had been quite anxious about for a while however it was totally fine, I shouldn't have worried at all. He woke up in a lovely mood that morning, all smiles and happy to climb into bed for a quick cuddle before getting dressed and having breakfast. There was a slight recognition of anxiety in his voice when he was putting on his black school trousers: "Am I going to school today Mummy?" for which I replied yes. He then proceeded to tell me that I was of course to take him to school and come in with him as he couldn't go on his own. After explaining that's exactly what I would be doing he was more than happy to finish getting ready and head downstairs for breakfast and a bit of play before walking the short distance to school.

After explaining we were going to walk up to school he decided he wanted the car but we stuck to our decision and walked up anyway. After a minute of moaning he was fine and enjoyed the walk up, finding a cool birds feather to play with and meeting my Uncle and his dog to which he got to give a doggy biscuit. This made him quite happy and we trotted on up to school.

Posing in his new school uniform
When the school gates were in sight Logan proclaimed loudly to everyone within earshot: "School!! Yay!" and ran up to the front reception door. We were asked to go in this door so that Logan could meet his teacher and his support worker and then head up to the sensory room to give him a quiet minute before going to his class as it would be busy. He only spent all of 2 minutes in the sensory room though and couldn't wait to get to his class to play games and be with his friends. He was the first there of course so popped into the class next door as they had more interesting games, haha, and brought that back to his class with the help of his teacher. Then his buddy arrived, a Primary 7 boy, he was lovely and Logan asked him if he would be his best friend. I almost choked and cried a river right there. I managed to hold it together though, just!

Got to try on the gym kit too :)
Logan was shown where his peg was, with his name and picture on it, for his bag and coat and then he settled back down to play some educational games with his buddy. The OH and I chatted some more to the teachers and different people who would be looking after Logan then I gave him a kiss on the cheek, told him to have a good day and we were off. It all went so fast and Logan wasn't phased in the slightest so all was good. I got a bit teary after leaving the school, my little boy was now a big boy, going to school and growing up. Emotional but happy times.

When we went to pick Logan up is when he got a bit teary and cried however he normally does this when we collect him from nursery. I think it's his autism and the fact he's so happy to see us he doesn't know how to deal with that emotion yet and it comes out as tears. He also said it was too soon to leave, he was having so much fun. Hopefully as he grows up those tears will turn into smiles. After having a quick chat with his support worker and teacher and confirmed he did indeed have a lovely day we were happy to head back home. All in all a good first day I think.

Walking home after a good first day


22 August 2014

Pregnancy: 20 Weeks

Another very busy week this week. Logan started school for the first time on Wednesday! He was raring to go and so happy, I got a bit emotional but what mother doesn't. I'll write about it in another post. Logan also started swimming lessons at our local pool yesterday. I was having a panic in case he didn't listen to the instructor (as he hasn't before) but to my utter surprise and joy he listened to every word and followed every instruction and loved every minute. I was very proud. It's a shame lessons only last 30 minutes though as Logan didn't want to come out at the end. We got there eventually though.

My 20 week anomaly scan finally came round and yesterday the other half and I drove to the maternity unit with reserved excitement. We couldn't wait to have a look at the baby again but I was worried just in case anything was wrong. I'm glad to say though that after twenty tense minutes of scanning the sonographer declared all was excellent and baby had behaved very well for the scan. I breathed a sigh of relief. It was so nice to see baby again and the scan was really detailed. We could see the heart, liver, kidneys, spine, ears, feet and hands in more detail. Really fascinating and left me a bit in awe of how the human body can grow something so complicated.

After the scan I had a chat with one of the midwifes and also to collect my notes. It seems they need to keep an eye on my iron count as it's normal but a little low. This happened when I was pregnant with Logan and ended up on iron tablets, not a bad thing but hoping I can avoid it this time if possible. I'll also be seeing my community midwife in a few weeks which is nice. She's a lovely lady and will be good to have a chat with her again.

Last week I said the OH couldn't feel the baby moving yet, well would you believe the very day after I posted my 19 weeks update he felt the baby move. It was brilliant finally sharing the baby moving with him. Logan still hasn't felt the baby move but I'll wait till the movements become stronger so there's no confusion for him. I'm still hungry and still feeling tired but can't complain really. All is going well so quite happy. Now I'm looking forward to a quiet weekend and sharing baby scan photos with the family.

20 Weeks Pregnant


Fashion Friday #22


Long sleeved top: H&M
Jeans: H&M
Shoes: Clarks


20 August 2014

Recipe: Banana Loaf

Now I'm not the best at cooking, in fact a lot of things confuse me when it comes to cooking. For example using herbs and spices! I have no idea what goes with what and tend to just grab a seasoning mix sachet from the supermarkets for certain things like beef casserole etc as I've no idea what herbs to put in it. Anyway one thing I think I'm pretty good at, or at least people have told me I'm good at, is making banana loaf or banana bread as some might call it. The recipe I use is so simple the kids could do it themselves but it's also super tasty, and if you're feeling adventurous you can always add in little extras to make it that much tastier.

What You'll Need:
2 Medium/Large Browning Bananas
1 Large Egg
100g Caster Sugar
130g Self Raising Flour
1tsp Baking Powder/Soda
55g Butter + extra for creasing the cake/bread tin

Extras/ Finishing Touches:
Handful of Chocolate chips
1tsp Vanilla Extract
Toffee icing

How To Do It:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180c.

2. Peel the bananas and place in a large bowl. Mash bananas with a fork until most of the lumps are out and your left with a thick sort of liquid.

3. Add all the other ingredients to the bowl and mix together until you have a loose dropping consistency with your mixture.

4. Take the extra butter and rub it over your cake/bread tin so the mixture doesn't stick when cooked.

5. If you're adding chocolate chips or vanilla extract best to do this now and give it a quick last mix then pour the mixture into your tin of choice.

6. Pop in the oven for 35-40 minutes, when ready put a knife through the middle to check the mixture is cooked and nothing sticks to the knife and you're all done. Leave to cool in the tin for a little while before turning out or the banana loaf will break apart.

7. Whilst your banana loaf is cooking you can make a lovely toffee icing to go over it once cooled so it's like a lovely banoffee pie. I've used Glenda's Toffee Frosting recipe for this. Simple and works well. So tasty too.

So there you have it pretty simple and super tasty. If using choc chips I don't normally use the toffee icing but feel free to do whatever you think is best. You can also use this recipe to make banana cupcakes and toffee icing on top. Good for taking to school bake sales etc when you have to donate something.


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