Childhood obesity is on the increase and the UK faces a growing crisis concerning children’s health and diet preferences. According to new research carried out by Leeds Beckett University1, nearly a quarter of British children under the age of five are overweight or obese – the second-highest proportion of overweight under-fives in 28 countries studied.
Organix believes children deserve to eat well and that food for children should be healthy, tasty, and labelled honestly, so parents know what they are feeding their families. They know it can be difficult to make good food choices and avoid the junk when the information can be confusing, so Organix helps make sense of it all with simple and clear information, practical advice and its range of Goodies – organic toddler foods with no unnecessary or artificial ingredients.
With the help of children’s food expert Lucy Thomas, who runs fun workshops encouraging children to love fruit and vegetables, and Dr Frankie Phillips, Nutrition Advisor to Organix and a registered dietitian specialising in feeding babies and toddlers, Organix is launching its Little Book of Good Food – Toddlers & Families. It’s packed with advice and tips for parents on providing a healthy diet for little ones as they continue their exciting journey with food through the early years and beyond. You can download your free copy here: www.organix.com/lovegoodfood
Organix is also launching a series of Love Good Food short videos, with Lucy and a group of toddlers exploring, enjoying and sharing the wonderful world of fruit and vegetables, from broccoli to bananas, through play, rhymes, song and storytelling. You can watch them here: #lovegoodfood
Encouraging little ones to explore and enjoy fruit and veg
Just when you think you know what your toddler likes to eat, and you are confident they are eating a healthy, balanced diet, your little one’s growing independence with food means they might take matters into their own hands – perhaps refusing to eat at mealtimes, or becoming fussy about food!
Inspiring children to enjoy fruit and vegetables is Lucy Thomas’ passion. As author and founder of ‘Mange Tout’, her methods have been recommended by experts from Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Lucy says, “It can be challenging for parents to get their little ones to eat fruit and veg, however, toddlers are naturally curious about the world around them so helping them learn about the colours, the funny shapes, smells and textures of a variety of fruit and vegetables in a fun environment and away from mealtime can really help get them excited about food.
“As parents we tend to think about food as just eating but we forget the simple pleasure that children can get from peeling their own banana, enjoying how it feels to pull down each piece of skin.”
Try these fun ideas from Lucy to help encourage your little one to explore and enjoy their fruit and veggies:
- Encourage a wider interest in food, without asking them to eat or taste anything. Get them to smell, kiss, lick or crunch. You can show your child how to smell strawberries and lick one to feel the bumpiness of the seeds on the outside.
- Give them lots of opportunities to touch and handle fresh fruit and vegetables, whether out shopping, at home cooking or even growing food. This will help them be more relaxed and interested in food.
- Get a little messy – let your little one squash a tomato or squeeze an orange while you are cooking. If they feel comfortable handling a food they are more likely to want to eat it.
- Let your child explore different textures of food by juicing, blending, grating or mashing foods with your help.
- Explore vegetables raw as well as cooked, it’s a great way to overcome a dislike of a vegetable. For example, small crunchy florets of cauliflower for dipping are delicious – and taste very different to cooked cauliflower.
Healthy eating for toddlers
Toddlers need nutritious foods to promote healthy growth. Their early experiences with food affect their daily wellbeing and their long term growth and development, as well as the creation of healthy food habits.
According to Dr Frankie Phillips, Nutrition Advisor to Organix, encouraging and starting to make healthier food choices in the toddler years will make it much easier later on for children to eat a good balance of foods.
So what does a healthy diet for very young children look like and what’s the right portion size? Dr Frankie Phillips suggests following these tips:
- Regular healthy meals and snacks – toddlers need to snack as their tummies aren’t big enough to take on board enough energy and nutrients from just three meals a day.
- Plenty of choice and balance – a varied diet containing a selection of foods will provide the essential nutrients they need.
- Each day aim for 5 portions of starchy foods, 5 portions of fruit and vegetables, 3 portions of dairy foods and 2 portions of meat, fish, eggs, nuts and pulses (3 if vegetarian).
- Lots of tastes in a range of different fruit and vegetables.
- Different colours, tastes and textures to add variety to the diet.
- ‘Me-sized’ portions. There’s no such thing as an ideal portion size for all children, as size, growth and physical activity levels vary.
- Not adding extra sugar or salt – too much salt isn’t good for toddler’s kidneys and sugary food encourages a sweet tooth and can cause tooth decay.
- Enough healthy drinks to keep them well-hydrated.
Healthy snack choices from Organix Goodies
For little ones growing up, Organix award winning Goodies toddler snacks are great for all occasions. There’s a variety of fun shapes and exciting flavours to discover, in just the right portion size for little ones of 12months+, all wrapped up in bright and colourful packs with activities to encourage play. Choose from soft oaty bars, corn puffs, biscuits, crackers, rice cakes and fruit snacks, they all come with the Organix No Junk Promise, a commitment to never adding anything unnecessary or artificial and parents can check as the labelling on our foods is always clear, open and honest.
For lots more advice on toddler foods and tasty, healthy recipes for all the family please visit www.organix.com. To download a copy of The Organix Little Book of Good Food – Toddlers & Families visit www.organix.com/lovegoodfood and you can watch the Love Good Food video at: #lovegoodfood. Join the conversation at #LoveGoodFood.
July 12, 2015
Picnics – who doesn’t love them! They’re the perfect opportunity to get together and for the little ones to have fun eating al fresco in the sunshine! Picnicking is one of the UK’s most enjoyable summer traditions, so why not get outdoors for National Picnic Week, 13-21 June.
We’ve teamed up with Organix to give you a chance to pack some of their amazing snacks in your picnic basket. We’re giving away not one, but two bundles full of Organix goodies, each worth £25. For your chance to win, please answer this question:
Which are your favourite picnic destinations in the UK?
Please email your answers along with your name and postal address not later than 3rd July, 2015. The winners will be notified by 10th July, 2015.
The wide range of Organix Goodies foods gives toddlers plenty of fun shapes, textures and tastes to explore, and helps keep their energy and imagination fuelled. As well as being tasty, the award winning Organix Goodies foods are just the right portion size for little ones.
A picnic doesn’t need to be a fancy affair to work its magic on children – any outdoor space is great whether it’s the garden, the park, the countryside or the beach. We love picnics because:
- Eating al fresco is also an easy way to entertain your little ones.
- They’re great fun and little ones will love exploring the great outdoors.
- Eating outdoors and having a picnic can bring variety to meal times, so you might find your little one is more open to trying different types of food.
- They’re a fantastic opportunity for little chefs to get involved in picnic preparations.
For little explorers on the go, why not pack some of these Organix Goodies foods in your picnic? All are suitable for toddlers from 12mths + and they come with the Organix No Junk Promise, a commitment to never adding anything unnecessary – so no junk, that’s no added salt, sugar, artificial sweeteners, colours or flavours. Here are some of our favourites:
Organix Goodies Raisins – these dried fruit snacks come in handy little boxes so they’re great for little fingers, and they count as one of their five a day. RRP: £2.99 for 18 x 14g bags.
Organix Goodies Chunky Banana & Date Fruit Bar: 100% organic fruit squished together into chunky pieces, perfect for breaking off into fun bite sized chunks, and each bar counts as one of a child’s five a day. RRP: £2.49 for 6 bars.
Organix Goodies Raspberry & Apple Oaty Bars: these delicious barsare part of an award winning range, and baked using nothing but juicy fruit and wholegrain oats to keep little ones going. RRP: £2.49 for 6 bars.
Organix Goodies Carrot Stix: baked not fried and packed with carrot flavour and a delicious sprinkle of coriander. RRP: £1.99 for 4 x 15g bags.
Organix Goodies Mini Cheese Crackers: these tasty little crackers, made with fresh cheese, are perfect for little fingers. RRP: £1.99 for 4 x 20g bags.
Why not try one of the simple and delicious picnic foods from their Recipe Guide – it’s packed with delicious and healthy recipes that you and your little one can take with you.
June 17, 2015
Here is another lovely children’s book. It’s called Pippa and Pelle by Daniela Drescher. I was sent a copy (hard cover) by Floris Books for my little angel to enjoy. And she did. The lovely illustrations grabbed her attention the minute she saw the book. Her older sister was a bit jealous, so she sat next to her to read it out loud.
The story is simple but charming. Pippa and Pelle wake up on a sunny summer’s day looking for an adventure. Exploring the meadow they meet new animal friends and learn about their homes — the snail in his shell, the frog in his pond and the beetle in his home made of leaves.
But as night falls they are grateful to return to their warm, cosy home in the strawberry patch.
Daniela Drescher’s distinctive style brings life to this colourful board book, which is perfect for little hands. Young children will love spending a day in the countryside with Pippa and Pelle.
I’d recommend it to all parents with young kids – it’s a great book with lovely illustrations, too.
Daniela Drescher was born in Munich and trained in art therapy. She is the author and illustrator of twenty-four books for children including In the Land of Fairies, In the Land of Elves, In the Land of Merfolk, What’s Hiding in There?, Merlina and the Magic Spell, Little Fairy Can’t Sleep, Little Fairy’s Christmas, Little Fairy’s Meadow Party, and Lily the Little Princess (all Floris Books).
March 19, 2015
A recent research from Oxford University finds that fish is essential for children struggling to read. Scientists at Oxford University gave 600mg omega-3 fatty acid pills to 362 children aged seven to nine daily for 16 weeks.
It’s not the oil fish only though, but the omega-3 in it, which could be found in non-fish oil, vegan supplements. The results showed that taking daily supplements of omega-3 DHA improved reading performance for the poorest readers (those in the lowest fifth of the normal range) and helped these children to catch up with their peer group. Children whose reading skills were in the worst performing 20 per cent improved their reading age by three weeks. Not only that, but parents also said their children had fewer behavioural problems when taking fish oil.
Knowing that I felt quite lucky to be offered a chance to try a couple of the Veridian Nutrition’s products ViridiKid Organic Omega-3 Oil and ViridiKid Multivitamin & Mineral.
I’ve always being very conscious of the sugar my 6-year old daughter. I spent hours in choosing her breakfast cereals ensuring there is no or very little sugar; she never eats chocolate and so far she’s never had a fizzy drink in her life. I am not paranoid; I just want her to eat nutritious, healthy food and avoiding sugar is one of my rules.
So it was really great to find out that the Veridian Nutrition have developed these two kid’s products which are easy for children to take, but without any nasties, including sugar or aspartame.
September 19, 2014
There is always a better (and safer) way to treat colds and flu in children than going on Calpol or antibiotics. I prefer to prevent it and to treat it naturally. First of all, try to boost your child’s natural body defense by good nutritious food and high quality supplements.
Super diet for super strong immunity. Food plays an extremely important role in fighting the colds and flu. To make sure your child would skip the flu, or even to prevent him from getting a cold, try to follow a diet, rich in vitamins and minerals. If you are still breastfeeding, make changes to your diet, too. Try to serve with every meal as much as possible fruits and vegetables, rich in Vitamin C (kiwi fruit, lemons oranges, peppers, potatoes, blueberries, mangoes), and Vitamin A (sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin and butternut squash), as well as foods rich in zinc (turkey, red meat, oily fish, such as salmon, lentils, peas, and grains).
If your child doesn’t particularly enjoy citrus fruits and kiwis, you should aim for a good quality supplement of Vitamin C. Most of the vitamin drops in the pharmacy contain so many other chemicals and sugar, that you start wondering if it’s going to do more bad than good. I came across really good Vitamin C supplement, which is suitable for both adults and kids from one year old. It’s called Organic Acerola Vitamin C Powder by Viridian.
It’s got a pleasant lemony taste which both my one- and six-year old kids loved. A perfectly natural source of vitamin C from the acerola cherry. Certified 100% organic by the Soil Association. Can be stirred into juice or added to a smoothie. Includes the naturally-occurring synergistic bioflavanoids rutin and hesperidin. Approximately 900mg vitamin C per teaspoon means a six-year old would need just a quarter of a teaspoon, and a one year old – even half of it. This makes the 50g bottle go along way, so it’s actually quite cost effective. Apart from fighting colds and flu, Vitamin C contributes to normal collagen formation in turn supporting normal cartilage, bone, gum, skin, teeth and blood vessel function. Vitamin C is really important for the normal function of the immune system and boosts kids’ (and adults’) energy levels.
Once your child has a cold or flu, try giving him smaller amounts of food more often. Offer highly nutritious foods such as bananas, mangos, avocados, egg yolks, yogurt, dried fruits, and a spoon of wheatgerm with their breakfast. Try to include garlic in your toddler’s diet or yours, if breastfeeding – garlic has antibacterial and natural antibiotic properties. For babies you could make a “garlic tea” by simply adding finely chopped garlic into boiling water, but don’t give it to your baby; it’s enough if he can smell it.
Keep in mind that milk is mucus formatting, so you may want to exclude milk and milk products (except for a small amount of yogurt) while the child has runny nose, but not longer than a couple of days. Babies under 1 year will still need their usual milk.
Massages are excellent cold and flu treatment. By massaging gently your baby or toddler’s back and neck, you will sooth his muscles, and will ease his pain. Massaging his chests will help him if coughing and will warm up the whole body. You may use pure lard or lard mixed with calendula oil (75% lard and 25% calendula oil) when massaging, which will warm the body even more. As massage oil you could also use calendula oil (100ml) with 5 drops lavender oil (do not use more that 5 drops lavender oil for every 100ml calendula oil).
*This massage techniques are not appropriate if the child has a fever or a raised temperature.
The best natural first aid kit for colds and flu
Chamomile tea bags. With its delicious distinctive flavour, chamomile makes a tasty tea. Gentle enough for children, chamomile has mild sedative, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It promotes relaxation, relieves indigestion and, when applied topically, soothes skin irritations.
Echinacea is a great immune remedy, suitable for children over 2 years old. Use it as herbal infusion or in a form of syrup for short periods only.
Thyme is a great herb for the respiratory infections. If your toddler has a sore throat or is coughing, make him a nice thyme tea around 30min before going to bed.
Vanilla extract. Rubbing a little bit on baby’s gums not only feels warm and calming. Vanilla is known as a soothing yet energizing agent that reduces anxiety and promotes feelings of well-being. Vanilla has long been used to cure stomach distress: a baby whose stomach is mildly upset may find vanilla soothing to the tummy as well as the nerves.
Propolis tincture. Bees create propolis by collecting a resinous sap from trees and then mixing it with wax back at the hive. Propolis has antibiotic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and antioxidant properties. Taken orally, it acts against viruses, which antibiotics do not. In a glass container mix one part of propolis with 9 parts ethyl alcohol and leave it in dark place for 20days, shaking it daily. You can give it to you child to take it orally: one drop of the tincture for every child’s year, 3 times a day. For example if your child is 2 years old, hive hip 2 drops x 3 times a day. This will straighten his immune system and will fight bacteria. This may help runny or blocked nose, too. Mix 10 drops propolis tincture in 10ml sea salt water. Use it as nasal drops.
Sea salt. For toddlers you may try to soak their feet in warm water with a handful of sea salts for 10min just before going to bed, then put on socks, and put an additional blanket over him. Check him in 30 min – 1 hour as it will be probably sweating. But this is great, as the body will eliminate the toxins through the sweat. Just wake up your child to change his clothes, remove the additional blanket and wish him good night. You could also use sea salt water in a form of nasal drops, simply by mixing ¼ teaspoon in small 100ml-bottle with warm-like water, shake well, and place 1-2 drops in each nostrils using a dropper from your local pharmacy.
September 19, 2014