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Dear Daisy, It is your first day at school...

Getting your toddler to eat fruit & veg! #Lovegoodfood

Does anyone else find weaning a royal pain in the A**?  I really do. I can't even begin to tell you how hard I find it. Rewind 6 months or so when we first really started weaning properly and I thought it was going to be a doddle. Daisy would try anything and eat 90% of what I tempted her with, whether that be spoon feeding or baby - led style. 

Fast forward again back to now, and she will probably eat around 50% of what I give her, on a good day! She has so much attitude that I am sure she doesn't eat her tea or lunch just to show me who is boss. Some days she will eat everything in sight but it really is on her terms. I have read so much literature and so much advice on how to not make a big deal of food, but my god is that difficult!! When you have mashed potato or carrots flying full throttle towards your face or your favourite curtains it is hard to remember to count to 10!! 

At nursery she will not eat full stop. That is really frustrating!!! Luckily she only does short days but when I start to put her in for a full day will she starve?! It really plays on my mind. At first I thought it would be a case of getting her used to nursery and settling in, but it seems that it is still going on. It is now an ongoing joke, "what did you have for lunch? Oh of course you had nothing!"

Any tips are hugely welcome! 

I moan about Daisy's eating habits but one thing I am thankful for is that when she does eat fruit is at the top of her list, and she will eat pretty much any type. Veg is also welcome to her, she definitely prefers it in smooth texture but as long as I make it easy for her she will eat it. It is the protein based items we struggle with! 

I think we have it easy with these items because I have always made them accessible to her, she can pick them up and put them down, play with them and try them as and when she likes to. I started her on pureed fruit and veg and she always took well to them. I am a bit of a cruel mother in that Daisy doesn't have chocolate or sweets, her first snack option will always be fruit or something savoury. Yes Crisps are a good go to as well in her diet, but at least she eats them! Daisy has such a sweet tooth that I just know if she has anything like cake etc then everything else is out of the window. She has cake after her tea quite often or something sweet, but quite often she will point to the fruit bowl instead!! Which is really nice to see :) 

Another good thing to do is grown your own. Now I am not talking a full on allotment, no one has time for that! But we have strawberry plants on the patio and down the garden which she loves to go and help herself from. It is a bit of a race to garb it from her little mitts to wash it before she eats, but at least it is a good habit to form! Eating fresh and natural! 

If you have read my recent posts in collaboration with Organix then you will know this, but as a reminder:

Organix have launched a Love Good Food video with Lucy Thomas, who runs fun workshops encouraging children to love fruit and vegetables.  In a series of short videos, Lucy and a group of toddlers explore, enjoy and share the wonderful world of fruit and vegetables, from broccoli to bananas, through play, rhymes, song and storytelling.

#LoveGoodFood provides a great opportunity to encourage parents to understand more about ways to encourage little ones to really explore and love fruit and veg, get involved in cooking activities with jobs for little chefs, and understand a little more about where their food comes from by growing their own fruit and veg.There are simple tips that Lucy gives  such as; 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 for example, enjoying how it feels to peel off the skin.”

As we all know The toddler years are a key time to influence diets and a time when it is possible to establish lifelong healthy eating habits and a love of food. So I know how important it really is to get it right sooner rather than later. 

Would love to know what you think?

Lots of love, 

Hayley & Daisy xxx

Braving that first holiday abroad with a baby: Flying

Firstly I am not sure if Daisy still counts as a baby, or maybe she has moved onto being a toddler? What ever, it doesn't matter anyway, the same principles will apply I am sure.

Those of you that follow my YouTube channel or instagram will know earlier in the summer we went to Cyprus for a few weeks and this was Daisys first trip abroad on an aeroplane! I am sure you will have seen all of the holiday photo spam! I thought I would write a little about our holiday and maybe a few little tips that i will use in future but also that may be useful to someone else who is thinking about or who is taking their little one with them on holiday soon.

So for the flight:

  • Make sure you take a change of clothes for them - we had only just left home and Daisy was sick everywhere. I'd have had to root around in our suitcases if I hadn't packed a spare sleepsuit with us for travel. Or I dread to think what I would have done had it have happened on the flight! Especially having to share a seat with her all the way, yuck! 
  • Take lots of snacks and food. You can take as many snacks and pouches etc with you as you see fit when travelling with a baby/ toddler. Be prepared to try some random bits at security if asked though! I was lucky enough not to have to on this trip, although I wouldn't have minded too much to be honest. I am not sure I would have fancied trying my breast milk or even formula though had I have taken any of that!! I actually took two bottles of milk through with me, a couple of Ellas Kitchen pouches, lots of Organix snacks like Raisins and carrot sticks and her beaker of water too. You are allowed to take baby milk and food on board, if it is for your babies use for the duration of the flight, and it CAN be over 100ml. Baby food and milk is exempt from the 100 ml liquid rules. This includes; sterilised water, breast/powdered/ cartoned milk of all kinds, and baby food of all consistencies and packaging. 
  • Take Calpol with you. Again you can travel with baby's medicine no problem. Luckily I didn't need this but always good to have with you. In future I will take the little sachets though, I was panicking constantly about smashing the bottle! 
  • Take lots of interesting things to play with and look at. I went to the pound shop before we left and got some random little things for Daisy as mini presents in her flight bag. It was more so they were things she hadn't seen before and so kept her attention longer! Books are always a winner with us!
  • When booking a flight try to look at times if possible. In the past we would have just hopped on the cheapest flight going but this time we really had to look into flights. I wanted to make it as easy for her as I possibly could! 
  • You will in most cases be able to take your pram/ stroller right up to the gate so you don't have to lug baby around the airport and your hand luggage etc. If your stroller is in the aircraft hold, then you will generally collect it at the baggage belt, where you collect your suitcases.
Daisy was a brilliant traveller going and we hardly heard a peep from her. She slept a little and then just grazed her way through snacks, played with her toys and chatted to us and fellow passengers. On the way back on the descent she started to scream and scream. I had never heard her cry like that before, it was actually really disturbing and made me feel so upset! It had to be her ears. She was drinking her bottle as we started going down - which is what had been recommended to me before we had flown. The sucking makes their ears pop as it does ours! But her little ears were having none of it this time, a dummy wouldn't work, eating wouldn't work. She was just inconsolable. I guess what I am trying to say is just because you had a good flight once doesn't mean it will be plains sailing again, so be prepared for that! The only thing I found to soothe her slightly was to cover her ears with my hands and hold her as tightly as I could into my chest, lots of cuddles. 

Apparently crying does actually help relieve the pain, but it's not exactly soothing for you and your fellow passengers. 

Hope this helps :)

Hayley & Daisy xx

Is a dummy really so bad?

So you've probably seen the debate or press hounding at least over dummy's this week or pacifiers, mainly featuring the bullying by the media and do gooders of David Beckhams daughter, Harper. 

It seems that it's a slow news week and the media have gone all out just because Harper has a dummy at wait for it... 4 years old! Oh the shock! Firstly who has the right to pass judgement on any parent. Some of us may be thinking 4 is getting close to school age and would we really want our child to still be relying on their dummy. But those of us that actually couldn't care less what they do with THEIR daughter thinks the worlds just gone mad. I am in the camp that yes I wouldn't personally want Daisy to still have her dummy by then, but if it was a case that she just wouldn't drop it is it really all that bad? Is it not that parents personal choice how they parent their own child? Is there not worse things that could be happening to a child? She certainly won't be the last child to still have her dummy at that age. 

Poor Harper has cameras pointed in her face every time she goes anywhere with her mummy or daddy I'm sure, and we aren't talking their mum or nan with their iPhones here. We are talking fully grown men, all after that latest photo of her. That has to leave a certain level of distress with her and if a dummy helps then so be it. But that's just an excuse, defending her against all these do gooders. Perhaps she just loves her dum so much she can't give it up. 

I completely understand that they may effect a child's teeth and speech at some point but it will be to varying degrees, and I'm sure it's just not that simple. I was one of those anti dummy not mummy's before I had my own baby, I never wanted Daisy to have dummy really but it was a choice I made when breast feeding, it was either let her pacify herself on me all day long or be able to let her soothe herself  and at some point actually wean her off me. It is all personal preference and we do it for a reason, in my case saving my nipples from a sad death!  I have no regrets and will always defend my choices, not that I should need to! 

I'm lucky in that Daisy doesn't rely on hers. We could go without it if we chose to and I'm sure one day soon it will vanish forever. It's not in all day every day, and she doesn't really need it now but at the moment I don't find it an issue. If she chooses to have it to drop off in the car then so be it! 

So for me I think all you dummy haters and parenting critics need to step back and think. Should it really matter to you? 

Lots of love,

Hayley xxx

A little life update

So I've not actually sat down and blogged much recently, I could reel of excuse after excuse but I guess the real one is that life has got in the way. Which is a perfect excuse and something I will never apologise for. 

Daisy is keeping us on our toes and has certainly grown into her skin, in more ways than one. She is like an independent woman at just 16 months old, very sure of her self, extremely confident and a girl that knows exactly what she wants! Not only does she behave like a proper little human now but she also looks like a real little girl. The baby in her has vanished before my eyes (she will always be my baby girl) which breaks my heart in one way and makes it burst with pride in another. It's such an odd feeling seeing your little bundle grow so quickly right in front of your eyes, in what feels like just a few blinks. 

Daisy is developing beautifully, walking, talking and growing her little character nicely. Eating is a little difficult, it goes alongside her personality at the moment. She does what she wants to do, and eating is not one of those things! It is definetly the most difficult thing with her at the moment, I'm finding myself counting to 10 under my breath a lot!!! But on the other hand, if she wants to eat on a particular day then she will eat us out of house and home. It's either feast or famine, so enfuriating but hopefully just a stage! 

Sleep is good. I love it. And it just so happens I'm actually getting quite a lot of it at the moment. 75% of the time she has a good 10-12 hours sleep a night, goes to bed like a dream and doesn't wake until morning. On the nights she does wake it's a case of telling her "Daisy, go to sleep" and she often just rolls over or lies back down and nods back off. I'm not saying we don't have the odd night where it is a bit of a battle and I'm not saying we don't have the odd night where we end up co sleeping either but on the whole I can't complain. 

Daisy goes to nursery a couple of days a week and thankfully has always settled well into it and enjoyed it. It's no problem leaving her there at all, a bit tricky for me sometimes but never for her. I think I'll always be that ridiculously over protective mother that would rather spend every minute with her than go to work or have any kind of social life herself. But they grow too bloody fast, and I don't want to miss a thing. (Did you start singing that last bit then?!) 

I just love being a mum. It's not something I thought would feel so natural actually. I always thought I'd end up having children but didn't know how it would feel, anyway I digress... (Before I show my weird side...) 

Work is going well, things are busy and this makes the weeks fly by. I've got into the routine now and feel quite settled into my role. But that's all the boring stuff no one in their right mind would want to read about. I do still have a Wednesday off work as a mummy day, something I don't want to change, not for now anyway. It's a day where we go to Daisy's swimming lesson and spend some time together without thinking about work or routine, and I can just enjoy her company. Although she does sleep all afternoon after her class, which is a little bit of a waste. I say waste loosely, catching up on Holby or OBEM can hardly be seen as waste can it?! 

Family life is good. We seem to be quite busy at the moment with holidays, camping, home improvements, my little side line Braces & Bows, house moves (not us!), birthdays, weddings etc. Here come all of the excuses for why this place has been quiet! 

I'm going to do a little blog update soon I think, let you know the exciting things that have been happening/ have happened recently. I think I will also do an update on how Daisy is getting on with her right hand, her recent appointments and things. I know some of you that read this are genuinely interested and it's was a good thing for me to document, I can look back on it then in the future. 

So just a brief update on us for you, 

We hope to not leave it so long this time! 

Hayley xxx

#Lovegoodfood with Organix

If you read our blog regularly then you will know we quite often work alongside one of our favourite brands, Organix. Daisy not only seems to love their food but I know they are good for her too, nutritional and organic! 

They recently launched some new snacks, Apple & Orange Oaty bites. Basically mini flapjacks in a portion size that is just the right size to be held in their little hands and actually be eaten not wasted. Each individually wrapped, so perfect to keep in your changing bag for those moments when you need a snack and perfect for little lunch boxes. Daisy loves them, as soon as you open up the packet you can smell the orange immediately! Sometimes I do find that children's snacks, puffs, crisps can be really bland and Daisy can become very bored with them quickly and quite often we waste quite a lot of food. But I think these will become a staple in our cupboard for now. 

Some videos of daisy enjoying her fruit & veg!

Organix are running a campaign at the moment, #Lovegoodfood. It is all about giving advice on providing a healthy diet for young children, giving you ideas to help you explore, enjoy and share good food as a family and useful tips on what to watch out for when buying pre-packaged food so you can avoid the junk. 

Although on first look some children's foods can look healthy and nutritious, marketing can be clever and sometimes it isn't as good as it looks. So this is a great campaign to help us out a little! We all know that habits are formed early so it is important to get them right as early as we can, although I know how hard that can be! Especially with a strong willed, independent toddler like Daisy!!! She definitely doesn't make meal times easy at the moment. 

As your baby grows into a toddler, it’s a time of rapid change and fast development. That’s why Organix is launching its #LoveGoodFood campaign for toddlers, designed to help little ones love good food in these early years, so they grow up to be healthy, little food explorers. We can only try!!! Even if it is a battle ground most days! 

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 FoodToddlers & 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

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 for example, enjoying how it feels to peel off the skin.” 

For me personally Daisy always eat her fruit when she is given it whole, she likes the independence so this advice sits well with me! 

There are also films on #Youtube that can help:

Hope this helps even if just a tiny bit. I will be doing a post on getting you toddler to try and eat fruit and veg later in the week which hopefully can help a little more!

Lots of love, 

Hayley & Daisy xxx

A new bedroom haul (Geometric Pastels)

Recently we have done some work in our bedroom to make it feel more cosy, homely and generally a nicer place to be!

I thought I would share a few bits we have purchased to get it how we wanted it to look!

Let me know what you think!

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx