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Lovely Lunchboxes

A balanced diet is about eating lots of different foods to get the nutrients you need, and it’s hard to get that variety into children’s lunchboxes – it might seem so much easier to stick with the same ham sandwich, crisps and a biscuit every day.

So, if you’re going down the packed lunch route for your child, be prepared to put in a bit of time and effort – it’ll pay off in spades for their nutrition. Or continue/switch to nursery meals: we already have to meet tough standards for nutrition, so you’ll know your child’s eating from a healthy menu. For a copy of our menu ask at the office.

Little girl leaning on the table with a bowl of vegetables - isolated

 

Try our recipes for great lunchboxes below.

Monday

  • Banana sandwich with wholemeal bread
  • Tomato
  • Boiled egg
  • Low-fat fruit yoghurt
  • Small box of raisins
  • Semi-skimmed milk

Tuesday

  • Tuna and sweetcorn wholemeal roll
  • Reduced-fat cheese triangle
  • Satsuma
  • Semi-skimmed milk

Wednesday 

  • Pasta and sausage salad (with spring onion and red pepper)
  • Stewed apple and blackberry with crumble top
  • Reduced-fat natural yoghurt
  • Bottle of water

Thursday

  • Edam cheese, ham and lettuce pitta pocket
  • Tomato
  • Small flapjack
  • Nectarine
  • Reduced-fat yoghurt drink

Friday 

  • Houmous, red pepper and grated carrot wrap
  • Grapes
  • Creamed rice pot
  • Slices of malt loaf
  • Bottle of water

If you want to add extras, sticks of carrot or pepper often work well, as do pieces of chopped fruit. Children are much more likely to eat fruit and veg if it’s in bite-sized pieces, and if they don’t have to peel it themselves.

All children have different appetites and these will vary as they grow and develop. You‘ll need to adjust the portion sizes of these recipes appropriately to suit your child’s appetite.

Children have access to drinking water throughout the day at nursery but if you want to add any other drinks to their lunchbox, go for low fat milk, or 100% fruit juice.

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A balanced packed lunch should contain:

  • Starchy foods. These are bread, rice, potatoes and pasta, and others.
  • Protein foods. These are meat, fish, eggs, beans and others.
  • A dairy item. This could be cheese or yoghurt.
  • Vegetables or salad, and a portion of fruit.

Starchy foods are a good source of energy, and should make up a third of the lunchbox. But don’t let things get boring. Instead of sandwiches give kids bagels, pitta bread, wraps and baguettes. Use brown, wholemeal or seeded bread, not white bread.

Children often like food they can eat with their fingers, so chop up raw veggies such as carrots or peppers, and give houmous or cottage cheese to dip the veggies in. Breadsticks and wholemeal crackers are great finger foods and they can be spread with low-fat soft cheese or eaten with reduced-fat cheddar and pickles.

Vary the fruit each day and get them to try new things, like kiwi or melon.

All information has been provided by The Children’s Food Trust. To find out more about the suggested recipes and exciting new recipes contact: www.childrensfoodtrust.org.uk  For more information about healthy lunch boxes can also be found at: www.nhs.uk/change4life.co.uk and to get sugar smart for your children’s health follow:     www.nhs.uk/change4life-beta/campaigns/sugar-smart/home

Learning Through Play

 

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Family life is changing as everything gets busier,faster and more demanding. Not only is our time more precious but outside factors such as weather, safety, traffic and lack of space are all reasons to abandon the great outdoors and look for more convenient and accessible forms of entertainment for our children.

It’s unrealistic to expect our children not to be seduced by the countless apps, games and social media sites available today as technology can’t be avoided and will pay a huge part in their future. But how many of us, as parents have started to depend on hi- tech gadgets as a regular form of entertainment for our children? Choosing them over more natural and freely available resources offered to us by the Great Outdoors.

Outdoor play is a great form of exercise that is essential to a child’s development and enjoyment and is also conductive to families spending time together. Come rain or shine there are always to adventures and experiences to be had that develop children’s powers of observation, improve assessment of risk and boost their confidence as they discover and learn new things. Children need the opportunity for free play to create, develop, explore and make sense of the world in their own terms. First hand experiences make the bigger and longest lasting impact on a child’s development and learning journey.

 

Many Early Years settings recognise the pressures faced by parents; the demands of work, economic stress and constraints on family time and they structure their curriculum and daily activities to ensure that the priceless learning opportunity offered by outdoor play s not compromised. Forest schools offer an exciting outdoor experience to pre-school learners, providing hands on experiences with nature, physical and mental challenges, decision making situations and spontaneous active thinking scenarios. Muddy Kitchen is the ultimate hands-on activity, enabling children to access experimental tactile learning, unleashing creativity and curiosity whilst getting very messy and having lots of fun. Research shows that the more of our senses that we use during a new experience the more we are able to learn.

 

There is no evidence that a child who spends more time learning through formal teaching methods as opposed to learning through play – will gain greater academic achievement. In fact, research suggests the opposite. Too formal too soon can be counterproductive. In 14 of the 15 countries that scored higher than England in a major study of reading and literacy in 2006, the children did not enter school until they were 6 or 7 as opposed to our enrolment age of 4 or 5.

 

In short, in play there are no boundaries to learning so children explore to the very edges of their own experiences, reasoning and imagination. As long as our little investigators are surrounded by interesting things and as long as they feel secure, they will continue to investigate and learn. 

Nature will Nurture Our Children

Nature will Nurture

Many parents do not realize the benefit that outdoor play has on their children’s intellectual and cognitive development. The great outdoors gives limitless opportunities for exploration and discovery. We have come up with some ways that you as a parent, can enrich your child’s development just by embracing the outdoors.

Explore…

Exploring is a great way of introducing your child to the wonders of the outdoors. From looking out for different species of wildlife to discovering the texture of the mud between their toes. It doesn’t mean that you have to venture out to the woods every day after school, the beauty of nature can be found in the tiniest places. Try using a magnifying glass to look up closely at bugs and leaves you will be surprised at how long it keeps them occupied.

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Muddy kitchen…

As a child my most vivid memories are of those spent playing in the mud. Use your old pots and pans to create a muddy kitchen in your garden. Playing in mud provides a fantastic sensory experience. Mud also comes in many forms providing room for experimentation in particular for the little ones who are learning about textures and feelings. Getting muddy is a great way to inspire creativity in children

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Make rose petal perfume…

Here are the simple steps to making child friendly rose petal perfume. A great way of spending time with your little one outdoors:

  1. Gather 30-35 rose petals
  2. Put them into a cup
  3. Put water in the cup then strain it out leaving the rose petals
  4. Mash up the rose petals having a mortar and pestle will make this easier.
  5. Return the rose petals to the water and strain out any moisture- keep repeating this step until the water turns a pinky/brownie colour
  6. Take out the rose petals and enjoy your perfume

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Mini Gardeners!

Children find the prospect of growing their own plants thrilling! From sunflowers and pansies to tomatoes and strawberries. You should observe the plant throughout the growing process keeping your children involved in the maintenance and feeding.

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Make a Fairy Garden

When the weather is too cold to grow plants/vegetables what better way to spend time outdoors than making a fairy garden! Children love the exciting prospect of fairies. Sprinkle fairy dust (glitter and sand) and wait for the fairies to leave their footprints in the garden! Leave some food and make little homes out of twigs. This activity will teach children to use their imagination through outdoor play.

 

Please feel free to comment with other ideas that you have tried out with your children outdoors we would love to hear them! 

Hello world!

 

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Welcome to the Daisy & Jake Blog! We are excited to start sharing information and connecting with parents! The Blog will be updated weekly so be sure to come back for great ideas, discussions and advice!