Why Tired Tots Need Topping Up – #TurboToddlers

New research reveals how toddlers need more refuelling than parents might realise.

Most toddlers love to charge around and its often tiring work trying to keep up with them, but  it may surprise  many  parents  just  how  much  energy  these  little  ones  are  burning  in  one  day.  According  to  a new study, a toddler’s daily energetic antics burn the equivalent to an adult running half a marathon in an hour, or dancing 30 Strictly-inspired Samba routines in a row.

Experts  at  baby  food  company,  Kiddylicious,  have  also  found  that  the  average  toddler  covers  around 5,000  steps  an  hour –  which  is  more  than  the  average  adult  will  cover  in  the  whole  day.  That’s equivalent  to  walking  two  and  a  half  ADULT  miles  an  hour  and  for  Olympic  athlete  and  Strictly  Come Dancing star Greg Rutherford, who has a 23-month-old son called Milo, he would have to long jump for 90 consecutive minutes. With this in mind, Kiddylicious is on a refuelling mission as many parents do not realise how much extra nutrition is needed to fuel this important stage of growth and development between 12 and 24 months.

In a recent survey of Brit parents, Kiddylicious found that almost half could not correctly identify how  much  energy  their  child  was  expending  in  a  day.  Furthermore,  over  two  thirds  of  London parents  said  they  view  snacking  as  a  negative  habiti  which  Kiddylicious  and  expert  nutritionists  have identified as a key way to refuel their energy.  Kiddylicious Milo

Figure 1; Milo Rutherford in action! #TurboToddlers

A toddler’s daily antics can equate to an adult running a marathon in two hours. “Toddler  energy  needs  are  high  compared  to  their  body  size;  1  and  2-year-old  children  need  to  fuel their  bodies  with  twice  the  amount  of  energy  (per  kilo  of  body  weight)  to  that  of  an  adult”, explains  Dr  Ali  Hill,  Registered  Nutritionist  and  Course  Leader  for  BSc  Sport  Coaching  at  Southampton Solent University.


“Being  a  toddler  is  a  very  busy  time”,  explains  Dr.  Hill. “At  this  stage  of  development,  they  are  busy learning  new  skills  like  how  to  move  and  how  to  communicate,  whilst  growing  rapidly.    Energy consumption  needs  to  reflect  this  and  their  eating  pattern  at  this  age  should  be  based  on  small  meals and snacks.” Snacks are important because, at this age, toddlers tummies are too tiny to get all the energy they need from meal times alone.  Experts advise that at around 12 months, children should be offered three main meals and two or three healthy snacks each day to maintain their energy levels, and to help keep them going and growing.Kiddylicious Infographic


The  research,  called  the  Turbo  Toddlers  Project (#TurboToddlers), highlights  how  a  toddlers  daily  activities,  such  as running, climbing and crawling, are the same as an adult running with a baby pushchair for 90 minutes, playing an entire game of football, or doing three and a half hours of hardcore housework. In  order  to  illustrate  the  variance  between  a  toddler and  an  adults  level  of  physical  activity  (and therefore  the  required  nutrition),  Kiddylicious  invited  an  army  of  12-24-month  old  toddlers  to  a  play date at an indoor soft play centre, and worked with Dr. Ali Hill to analyse the results:

“We  looked  at  how  much  energy  toddlers  burned  and  number  of  steps  taken  within  an  hour  of  play, and considered this against gender, body weight, and the level of energy consumption required for rapid development  and  growth  at  this  age.    The  average  toddler  expends  about  30-32kcals  of  energy  an  in hour, but several of the toddlers at the play-date spent six or more times that!”

A spokesperson from Kiddylicious added: “All toddlers at this age are energetic, but many may need more refueling, more often!  Milo Rutherford, who clearly takes after his Dad, covered two and half adult miles in an hour – that’s more than the average adult walks in a whole day!”

For more information about the Kiddylicious Turbo Toddlers project, go to www.kiddylicious.com/UK or https://www.facebook.com/KiddyliciousUK #turbotoddlers

Dr Ali Hill is a Registered Nutritionist and Course Leader for BSc Sport Coaching at Southampton Solent University and her areas of academic expertise are nutrition, healthy eating, diet and physical activity. She also specialises in nutrition for athletes and events (e.g. first marathon/triathlon); foetal programming (effect of diet in pregnancy on the offspring in later life); obesity; fats; and diet and the immune system.

The survey was conducted by Atomik Research in June 2016 and the toddlers energy usage and steps taken were measured using FitBit Zip energy trackers.

The average adult walks between 3-4,000 steps a day.  Milo Rutherford walked 4,934 steps in an hour, which equates to two and a half adult miles (based on 2,000 adult steps to the mile).

The Woodland Trust Family Membership – A Fab Christmas Gift!

As Christmas approaches and the days are shorter it can be hard to find ways to keep your kids occupied.  After you’ve watched a film, let them play on their iPad for a while and negotiated a few sibling battles over a board game or two everyone is usually ready for some fresh air.Woodland Trust trees

So it’s time for hats, scarfs, big snuggly coats and a pair of wellies so you can explore autumn in all its glory. As the trees turn different colours it’s a perfect time to explore your local woods, our kids love identifying the different trees and spotting wildlife, they never fall to be amazed at the speed of squirrels!

My local woods were an important part of my childhood, building dens, climbing big oaks and finding conkers and treasures to take home and turn into art projects. And I want to know that those woods will still be there when my children are taking their children on autumn walks.dedication tree woodland trust

The Woodland Trust Family Membership

The Woodland Trust is Britain’s largest charity protecting our woodland and the wildlife that lives there. Over 250 of our most threatened species depend on our native woods for their survival. Yet in the past 70 years, more than half of our ancient woodland has been destroyed.  So it’s vital that families get involved and help them protect woodland and nature for future generations.

Just £5 a month contributes to saving woodland locally and nationally. children Woodland Trust

If you love nature and getting outdoors with your children then Woodland Trust Membership is perfect. As a member you’ll help The Woodland Trust protect the countryside by buying threatened woods to save them from destruction by development. And you’ll help give homes to the endangered birds, insects, plants and mammals that depend on the woods. The Woodland Trust doesn’t just protect the woods we have but also plant millions of trees, creating important new habitats for rare plants and wildlife.

Woodland Trust flowers

As part of the new Woodland Trust Family Membership each child (9 and under) in your family will become a Nature Detective with their own welcome pack. Grownups receive your own pack including a directory showing all Woodland Trust woods, plus a unique guide to native British trees, a quarterly publication and more.

You can visit The Woodland Trust website and find out more about their festive events. You can also find The Woodland Trust on Facebook , Instagram and Twitter@WoodlandTrust

Find out what SusanKMann and her children think of The Woodland Trust Family Membership
family Woodland Trust

And if you’re on the hunt for Christmas presents The Woodland Trust have a fantastic shop crammed full of nature-inspired gifts

by Nicola Cooper-Abbs

GALT Christmas Gifts

Christmas is on our doorsteps and my present-buying is almost complete.
This year is no different to any other and I have bought quite a few GALT gifts. This brand is reliable and affordable especially at such an expensive time of the year and there are some pretty good online discounts around too. GALT products are creative and crafty and always have something to suit each of my children. Whether it’s a stocking filler or a project for a rainy day, the GALT sets I have chosen this year will keep us all busy during the Christmas holidays.

GALT First Pottery (6+) Making & painting is a great way to create an object to be proud of. My 6 year old daughter will love this. And no doubt, whatever she makes will take pride of place somewhere in the house!GALT First Pottery


GALT Robo Slime Factory (5+) Slime and boys always make a good combination. This is why I’m sure this will be right up my son’s alley.GALT Robo Slime Factory


GALT Sewing Case (7+) This set is a simple introduction into sewing and comes in its very own carry case. I’m sure this will inspire my older daughter. She is always keen to learn new skills. Who knows maybe I’ll see her on GB Sewing Bee next…


Take a look on the Galt website and you’ll find plenty of GALT Christmas gifts for children of all ages!


GALT Christmas


Sian Laycock – Mum to 3 children 6 to 10

How to Eat for a Healthy Pregnancy

When you’re wracked with nausea and all you can stomach is peanut butter and Marmite (maybe that’s just us?!) eating healthily when you are pregnant can be a challenge.  However, there’s a growing number of studies which show the link between healthy eating and a healthy pregnancy and better health throughout your baby’s life, so we’ve teamed up with yummy mummies Meriel and Lucy from Claudi and Fin to guide you through the best way to eat for two!

healthy pregnancy

What do you need to eat more of?

Experts recommend that all pregnant women eat more calcium, folic acid, iron, vitamin D and protein but what are they and what do they do?

Calcium is used to build your baby’s teeth and bones. If you don’t get enough during your pregnancy, your body will draw calcium from your own stores and give them to the baby, so keep your body topped up! The most obvious form of calcium is dairy,  but you can also get it from broccoli, dark leafy greens, figs and beans.eggs and milk

Folic Acid is a B vitamin found especially in leafy green vegetables. It is extremely important for the development of a healthy foetus, reducing the risk of spina bifida, heart defects and cleft palate. Experts recommend you get 600mg when you’re pregnant. It can be hard to get this from food alone and unless you are planning on eating nothing but cabbage soup for nine months, experts recommend a supplement!

Iron is crucial to our body’s blood production and you need twice as much when you’re pregnant (27mg) because you are making blood for two! As well as multivitamins, you can supplement your diet with iron-rich red meat, legumes, vegetables (especially dark leafy greens like spinach) and whole grains.

fruit and vegetables

Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium and is essential to help build your baby’s teeth and bones. Most of us get enough in Summer from the sun but come Winter, it’s easy to become deficient, leading to weak bones and even conditions like rickets in children. Good sources of vitamin D are fatty fish and foods fortified with vitamin D, like selected dairy products, cereals and Claudi & Fin Greek style Frozen Yoghurt lollies.

Protein helps to build important organs in the baby, such as the brain and heart. You should be eating protein all the way through your pregnancy, but the third trimester is when your baby’s brain will be developing. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids like mackerel, salmon and sardines are great for helping your baby’s brain develop healthily. Meat fish, cheese, lentils, yogurt, eggs and nuts are also great sources of protein.

meat and fish

Here are some quick fixes to get you started!

  1. For a bit of everything start the day with a smoothie! Berries a brilliant because they are packed with carbohydrates, vitamin C, potassium, folate and fibre and you can add yoghurt for calcium, avocado for folic acid, spinach for iron and nuts for protein. Whizz this all up in a blender and hey presto – everything you need in one drink!
  2. For Folic acid and calcium eat avocados which are also packed full of omega 3’s! They’re great on toast for a breakfast with a difference.
  3. For calcium and protein bananas are brilliant. They also stabilise blood sugar and reduce nausea from morning sickness.
  4. For protein have some chia seeds they’re a must-have superfood packed with omega-3 fats and fibre, which will help keep you regular!
  5. For Vitamin D get some sunlight and enjoy one of our delicious Claudi and Fin lollies, which contain 30% of your recommended vitamin D allowance and use 100% natural ingredients what more can you ask for!

But I need chips! What happens if I can’t eat like this every day?


Don’t stress if you don’t follow this to the letter! This is not about being perfect, it’s just a guideline to help you get an idea of what your body needs and why.  Nobody is going to judge you if you have a slice of cake, it is time to enjoy your pregnancy – your healthy pregnancy! You’re growing a small person inside of you and that’s pretty incredible, so don’t beat yourself up if you fall off the wagon and stumble into a chocolate bar, you don’t have to be a green goddess each and every day of the week!

Read Healthy Snacking For Children

Rylan Does Christmas Carol-oke for BuyAGift.com

Buyagift.com give X Factor star Rylan Clark-Neal a Christmas challenge he will never forget as he takes on ‘Christmas Carol-oke’!

The UK’s leading gift experience provider, Buyagift.com specialise in offering unforgettable experiences so they wanted to treat (or should we say challenge?) a very special guest with an experience he will never forget!

Rylan’s task was to sing Christmas carols whilst being driven around Brands Hatch by a pro racing driver at over 100 miles per hour. Hair-raising stuff!

It’s pretty safe to say Rylan failed the challenge but as usual he was a good sport.

Rylan said, “Singing Christmas carols whilst being driven around a race track at over 100mph was certainly an experience I won’t forget in a hurry! It was harder than I thought it would be to sing at those speeds and even though I was worried about getting helmet hair, it was definitely an adrenaline rush!”Rylan Clark BuyAGift gift experiences

Gift Experiences

So why don’t you make your loved one’s Christmas even more special this year and give them a Christmas they’ll never forget with a gift experience from Buyagift.com’s extensive range of over 4,500 gift experiences, with everything from adrenaline fuelled days including the longest zipwire in Europe, sky diving and car racing, to relaxing spa days, afternoon tea and hotel breaks.

Rylan said “Experiences are the perfect gift for Christmas as the sentiment lasts longer than other gifts and they create long-lasting memories. Its experiences like I had, speeding around a top race track in a supercar that you can give to your family and friends this Christmas, which are sure to be remembered for years!”

Buyagift.com and Rylan are making it easy for people to give their loved ones a Christmas they’ll never forget by offering a discount of 25% off the Buyagift.com website, just enter the code RYLAN25 at the checkout.*


buyagift logo gift experiencesBuyagift.com is looking for some more Christmas Carol-oke stars!

Send a video of you or your friends singing ‘The 12 days of Christmas’ carol and you will be entered into a competition to win £300 worth of Buyagift.com vouchers, just in time for Christmas. Not only that, but you will also be in with a chance of starring in the Christmas Carol-oke video made from the entries!

Just go to www.buyagift.co.uk/christmas-caroloke to enter

*Expires midnight 7th December 2016. Exclusions apply

Children and Pet Allergies

Below are a few tips on how to help your child with pet and dust allergies…

Many parents of children with allergies are not aware of the effect airborne allergens, such as dust or pet, might have on their children’s performance at this important time.
girl sneezing allergies
The symptoms of dust and pet allergies are very similar to those experienced with hay fever (also an airborne allergy) and those of the common cold.  How often do we hear that some children seem to catch a cold when they go back to nursery, and this is attributed to all the kids sharing their germs on their return to nursery? Maybe they are not suffering from a cold at all, but they are suffering from an allergic reaction to airborne particles to which they are being exposed at the nursery.

boy and puppy

90% of children with respiratory and skin allergies are allergic to dust allergens and 50% are allergic to cat allergens.  Dust is obviously found in nursery and can be a particular problem where pre-school children spend a lot of time sitting cross legged on the floor. Floors are often carpeted and carpets are known to harbour lots of dust – even when cleaned and vacuumed regularly.  Although there are no pets in nursery, cat and pet allergens are picked up on the clothing and shoes of children with pets, brought into nursery, and then walked into the carpets or released into the air, where the allergens can then cause problems.

Useful Tips for Allergies:

· Take your child to the GP, to get a proper diagnosis.
·  Use an organic, drug – free allergen barrier balm applied to the nostrils and around the bones of the eyes in the morning and throughout the day and at night to trap dust allergens before they enter the body. Less allergen, less reaction.
·  Vacuum the house regularly, especially beds and fabrics to remove dust allergen particles.
·  Wash bedding very regularly to remove allergens. Anti-allergy bedding made from ‘intelligent fibres’ can be very helpful for those people who suffer from dust mite allergies. They limit the growth of dust mite allergens and also keep them away from the skin.
·  Encourage your little one to stay hydrated and eat lots of fruit and vegetables. This will help to keep them healthy and support their immune system.
·  Wash your face or your child’s face to remove allergens so that they can’t continue to cause a reaction, a cool compress will also soothe sore eyes.”

By Max Wiseberg – expert on airborne allergies.

How well do you know your child’s primary school teachers?

Primary school teachers have the important role of giving our children the best start in life, so wouldn’t it be good if we got to know them a little better? After all, studies show that having a better parent-teacher relationship can contribute to your child’s success at school – marvellous!

They spend all day nurturing the minds of our little ones, so it’s no wonder we’re keen to learn more about our child’s primary school teacher. We think it’s a job that requires a lot of personality…

Research shows that 4 in 5 primary school teachers are women and about a third of them are 30 years old or under, but what else do we know about them? It’s a profession that depends upon a special set of skills, that’s why Edustaff have created a fun and light-hearted infographic – detailing the characteristics of your child’s teacher.

The Perfect Primary School Teachers

Create Your Own Sandpit

Grab your bucket and spade and create your own sensational sandpit this summer.

Follow a simple step-by-step guide from Wickes to build your own sandpit

August 2016 – New research from home improvement specialist Wickes has found that almost two thirds (61 per cent) of Brits who want to create a kids play area in their garden are interested in creating a sandpit. To help you out, Wickes has created a simple step-by-step guide and how-to video so you can build your own. A sandpit is a great addition to any garden where young children play. Not only does it create a safe space where children can have fun and let their imaginations run free, but they’re also remarkably easy to build and maintain.

A sandpit is a great way to get children to play outside on warm summer days, allowing them to explore, dig, sift and build. Encouraging children to play and interact with the sand can unleash a world of imagination, while keeping them amused for hours. Bury toy dinosaurs and host an archaeological dig, add some water to make mud pies, or build a sandcastle decorated with stones and shells – the possibilities are endless.

Building a sandpit may not be child’s play, but it is very easy, and can even be done in an afternoon. With some sleepers, sand and some basic tools, plus a helpful step-by-step guide and how-to video, you can create a fun back garden space for your children. Now all you need is a bucket and spade!

Wickes has created seven simple steps to help you create your own sandpit:

Sandpit Step 1
1.       Measure out and mark out the sleepers.  Measure out and mark 900mm along the length of the 1.8m jumbo sleeper. From the mark, draw a saw guideline across the sleeper using the 90-degree guide marker on your saw. Continue the line around the two other visible sides so there are additional saw guidelines

Sandpit Step 2
2.       Saw the sleepers and seal with wood preserver
Put on safety glasses and gloves and using a handsaw, saw the sleeper into two halves. These will form the end sections of the sand pit. Wearing safety gloves, seal the ends of the cut sleeper with wood preserver, following the safety and drying instructions

Sandpit Step 3
3.       Mark the sleepers’ position and remove turf
Put the sleepers into position, making sure they are level before marking their position on the outside perimeter using a spade. Move the sleepers aside and dig a minimum of 25mm of the turf out, removing any roots or stones

Sandpit Step 4
4.       Measure the weed fabric and secure it in place with nails
Measure enough weed fabric to cover the entire base of the sandpit. This may mean using several different sections of fabric. Cut the fabric with heavy-duty scissors and secure it in place by pushing long nails through the fabric and into the soil

Sandpit Step 5
5.       Drill holes in the sleepers and screw together with exterior coach screws.  Put the sleepers back into position on top of the fabric and drill two pilot holes into one corner of the long sleeper using the 10mm flat wood drill bit. Then attach the 32mm flat wood drill bit and drill approximately 10mm into the wood, this will allow for the screw head to be recessed. Take one of the 150mm exterior coach screws and place it into the hole, tighten it with the 17mm socket head and repeat for the other three corners

Sandpit Step 6
6.        Sand down the corners and edges and fill with sand
Sand down the corners and edges of the sleepers with a palm sander to avoid any cuts or scrapes, wearing a dust mask and safety glasses. Add the sand and make sure to cover the sandpit when not in use, using a sheet of tarpaulin or a wooden cover.

For more detailed information on how to build your own sandpit, visit http://www.wickes.co.uk/how-to-guides/garden-landscaping/build-sandpit for a useful step-by-step guide, or http://www.wickes.co.uk/how-to-videos/garden-landscaping/build-sandpit for a how-to video.

How much TV do you watch as a family?

New research has found more and more people in the UK are watching TV by themselves.

child watching tvWe are a nation of television lovers, able to enjoy a host of shows whenever we want to watch them. However, has this technological rise in convenience come at a cost? Do families now spend too much time apart? Is there such a thing as ‘too much TV’?It’s been found that 65% of eight to eleven year olds in Britain are owners of a smartphone, this means they have access to a never ending stream of programming and are less likely to sit with their families if they are watching a show which doesn’t immediately grab their attention.

This has been labelled by many as the image of the new “modern family”. Families sat, each focusing on individual devices, and sometimes even in different rooms!family watching tv

Too Much TV?

So what do the TV habits of modern Britain look like? As part of their Bringing the Summer Home campaign, AO.com asked more than 1,200 people across the UK a series of questions about their TV habits, and they revealed some very interesting facts, such as:

  • The average person in the UK watches 61 hours of TV a week
  • Drama is the most popular TV genre in UK households, with the average household watching 5 hours of Drama a week
  • 8% of parents don’t watch any television with their children
  • 9% of parents regularly watch over 7 hours of television a week with their children
  • 6% of UK households were most looking forward to watching Rio 2016 this summer
  • Chat shows were the least popular genre in UK households, with the average UK household watching only 3 hours of this programming a week.
  • 7% of UK families wouldn’t invite others over to their house to watch any events on television
  • However, 4% would invite people round if it was a live sporting event

television and childrenIt’s no secret that there are massive benefits to be had from children spending time with their families. Whilst this family time is ideally spent outside, playing games and enjoying the sunshine, quality time watching films and television programmes together most certainly has its place.

Of course, too much TV can be bad for your child. So how can you hit that sweet spot between a healthy amount of family interaction and an unhealthy TV habit?

Tips to help you monitor your children’s screen time

  • Set limits – Let your child know how much time TV they can watch a day. One or two is fine, anything after that and the screen gets turned off! This will help them grow accustomed to finding other activities to occupy themselves and help them form a healthy relationship with the small screen. Make sure they know that too much TV is not good for them.
  • Be honest – We’ve all heard the “square eyes” comment, and whilst that might work with younger children, an honest discussion about why they should step away from the screen will be more effective as your child matures.
  • Keep the TV in the living room – This means no TV in their bedrooms. This makes it difficult to monitor their usage. This also helps control what they can and can’t see in terms of programming. A sneaky late night TV session from your child could introduce them to all sorts of adult material.
  • Set parental controls – This is a must for owners of TV packages which contain hundreds of channels. There is no such thing as “past the watershed” on some digital channels and parental controls help control exactly what your child is exposed to.

Steps In The City with BuyAGift

buyagiftWith obesity on the rise, we want to encourage people to get active by getting the recommended 10,000 steps a day, and what better time than when the Olympics are on, to add to the motivation to get fit.

Studies show that by increasing our daily steps up to 10,000 a day we can reduce mortality by 46% and by walking more we can almost halve our death rate.

Our friends over at Buyagift.com have a brilliant guide on their website called ‘Steps in the City’ which they have created in response to this.  BuyAGift map

In a nutshell, it’s a selection of great days out in London that guide you around themed routes of must-see landmarks such as The Shard and London Bridge and many lesser-known hidden gems. The best part being that all the routes will take you past the magic mark of 10,000 steps, a great way to get active without even realising!St Pauls cathedral

And even better, for anyone on a budget, all of the routes created in this guide are free; with paid options highlighted for those who would like to add a little extra.

The guide can be used on mobile to follow the directions and each route can be opened with Google Maps to keep you on track, whilst including factual information about points of interest along the route.


BuyAGift, incidentally is a great place to go for gift experiences so check it out some time!

A Weekend Break in London