Healthy Eating Top Tips
Jungle Straws is a socially responsible company who manufacture beautiful bamboo drinking straws and earth-friendly products. Since their inception, their purpose has been to support, inspire and empower individuals and businesses of all kinds to make the switch to reusable and sustainable alternatives in order to reduce the devastating effects that plastic pollution is having on the planet.
Chris and Jamie, the co-founders of Jungle Straws, met by chance in 2016 whilst travelling through Mexico. Two Brits with a mutual passion for travel, they quickly became friends and bonded over their love for exploration and their shared goal to make a positive difference in the world.
Helen Burgess is Founder of Little Cooks Co, the UK's first healthy cooking kit for children.
Having personally experienced the powerful effect of choosing a good diet on my health, when my son was born in 2013 I wanted him to have the best possible start in life, like every other parent I know! The question was what was the best food for him. The advice was conflicting and sometimes contradictory. My quest took me to the College of Naturopathic Medicine, and I enrolled on their three year nutrition course.
My mission is to help encourage healthy eating habits from an early age. To incorporate as much natural food as possible and as little processed, refined food whilst still keeping food prep quick and manageable for busy parents. I apply the 80/20 principle. Life is about balance. We blame ourselves enough as parents without punishing ourselves every time our kids enjoy some cake or sweets! Here are a few of my top tips:
Jolly Croc's Nature Play
Exam time is looming and whilst it is important for your little (and not so little) people to do their best, it is also important for them to stay calm, happy and keep some perspective.
We spoke to Jo (a Year 6 teacher with oodles of experience preparing pupils for SATs) and Ben Kirby (a secondary history teacher and Head of Economics and Business Studies) to see what they might recommend.
Happy Toucan's Twitter Chatter
Our Jolly Croc is very conscious about the earth and making sure we look after it. He’s also a super imaginative, resourceful sort who loves to create fun using the things around him. With that in mind, we’ve come up with four DIY woodcraft activities that require what you already own, and a pinch of the natural world.
Snoozy Fox’s Sensory Sneaking
One of our tea mascots, Happy Toucan, is a bit of a chatterbox. He really knows the value of a warm brew and a chinwag. This got us thinking that we’d love to share a game based on the five tones with which birds communicate.
Merry Tiger’s Tree Hugging
Snoozy Fox is our most docile mascot here at Small & Wild. He’s had one herbal tea too many and now he’s in a near permanent stupor. We’ve created a brilliant game inspired by his dozing. It’s a sensory one based on ‘fox walking’ – treading very, very lightly. Read on for more.
Cheers to Child-friendly Afternoon Tea with Tiny Table
Our Small & Wild mascots are a characterful, nature-loving bunch, and they’ve helped us come up with four awesome activities to connect your kids with the outdoors and have a whole lot of fun. Uniquely pacifist for his species, is our Merry Tiger, the tree hugger. Inspired by his peaceful and affectionate ways, we’d like to share this game which will get everyone quite literally closer to nature. This is great for littles of 3+ (and adults often love it too!).
Child Mental Health Week 2019
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, we wanted to give you inspiration for a treat that is just up our street, enjoying a delicious afternoon tea. Finding somewhere special that’s going to cater for all the family can be a challenge (and we all know that the only way eating out en famille is fun is when everyone is happy!) - but thankfully Nicola Wilson from the brilliant Tiny Table has done the leg work for us all and pulled together this awesome list of afternoon teas in London fit for people big and small! We can’t wait to try some of these out.
Brewing the perfect Iced Tea
As we come to the end of Child Mental Health Week we wanted to give a shout out to the charity Place2Be for the great work they’ve done in raising awareness, as well as giving practical advice, around this issue. It is something we care very much about and increasingly so as we see our little wildlings and their friends going through some of the more complicated parts of growing up.
A stat from the charity that really stood out was that 56% of kids say they worry about something all the time. Our eldest two in particular can be prone to worries so we are often thinking (and probably worrying) about how we can help them navigate through these. Whilst we have by no means got this nailed and are learning every day, as are they, we wanted to share the things that we find help them, as well as some of the new tips we’ve picked up this week:
Iced tea is a brilliant healthy substitute for squash and a delicious way to stay cool and hydrated in the summer (and year round!). Any of our 4 yummy blends can be enjoyed over ice, but we recommend trying out fruity Merry Tiger or Jolly Croc tea first.
Here are 3 methods for preparing iced tea - why don’t you try each one to find out which you prefer!
Tickle your taste buds with Wild Child Kitchen
Whilst it has been hot, hot, hot in the UK our little people have been requesting daily ice lollies to help keep their cool. We're ok with that though, because ice lollies don't need to be packed full of sugar or anything artificial if they are homemade. We've been loving making tea lollies this summer, have you given them a try yet? They are a doddle to make, completely natural and very low in sugar, plus they actually make a great additional way for children to stay hydrated. Here how to create tea-tastic-ice-lollies at home, it's great fun to get your kids involved in the making too:
Bend Like a Yogi
We've got a huge amount of admiration for Wild Child Kitchen and its founder Natasha Lee here at Small & Wild. The foodie company is making delicious, nutritious and fresh meals for children and delivering them across London. So we were super happy when they came up with this brilliant culinary family challenge challenge that will engage all the key senses. So unplug, tickle those taste buds and find out who is the champion super foodie in your family!
Play with Words with Rachel Bright
We love seeing our kids active. but sometimes after a busy day they'll still have energy to burn but you know they need to start to wind down. Yoga offers that brilliant balance of relaxing both the body and mind. The lovely Jessy West who teaches inspiring kids yoga sessions at Hilltop Studio in North London was kind of enough to put together some brilliant yoga moves for kids, all of which can be easily done at home in 15 minutes.
Jess told us about how just as yoga is beneficial for adults, the same goes for kids. Starting the practice early will give them tools to follow into adulthood. It is a time for kids to have fun and release any stress or tension they may be feeling in their everyday. Yoga helps calm and centre the mind, whilst increasing concentration, awareness and coordination.
Dance your heart out with Minimambo
Hello! My name is Rachel Bright and I’m a Wordsmith, Illustrator and Professional Optimist! I get to make up stories and draw pictures for them. I’ve written and illustrated lots of picture books (23 so far to be exact!) for children and I also think up happy thoughts for my wildly optimistic card & gift collection ‘the brightside’.
Creative writing is a great way to make you feel happy in just a few minutes because it sets you free from real life and lets you take a ride in the wilds of your imagination… this fires up parts of our brain which make us feel wonderful and help us build new connections we can use in the future. It’s free, always available and all you need is a pencil and paper to change your world… and perhaps, if you get really good at it… thousands and millions of other people’s worlds… when they read your amazing stories!
As part of our #15minutehappy campaign, we asked the lovely Yanina from Minimambo to devise a dance routine to keep our little people moving, keeping fit and, most of all, happy!
Yanina draws on her Argentinian heritage and incredible Latin energy to create her Minimambo sessions, which she runs as classes and also at parties. The sessions encourage children’s creativity and confidence through simple games mainly with Latin music. They are a healthy, harmonious and cheerful way to move and stay fit.
Poetic Perfection: Happy not Snappy
My name is Jacquie Hughes and I'm an illustrator. I design greetings cards, make original lino prints and more recently I've illustrated children's books. Drawing is at the beginning and in the heart of all my work, some of which can be seen on my Instagram.
Drawing is a wonderful activity for both adults and children. It allows us to enter into our imagination and spend some time there, taking us away from any worries for a while, reducing stress and allowing us to express ourselves. For children drawing can be a completely absorbing activity... there's literally no limit to what they can draw - whole worlds can be created with just a pencil and some paper!
15 Minute Happy
We all know that talking to our babies and children helps their language development and understanding of the world around them. It’s often suggested that using a sing song tone of voice helps to hold the attention of a young baby, and that actually singing to our children helps them to tune into the rhythm of language itself. Not to mention simply increasing their vocabulary and ability to communicate. Rhyming words, and poetry in particular, allows children to explore their language; it takes thought and concentration to listen to and interpret rhymes read aloud; and can help a child with creative thinking and self-expression.
Happy Teas & Happy Tums
We’ve joined forces this May and June with Professor Scrubbington’s to promote kids’ happiness and wellbeing.
For us, Small & Wild tea has always been about taking a precious few moments to unwind, reflect, get back to nature and enjoy the small things in life. So, when Professor Scrubbington’s approached us to join them for a #15MinuteHappy campaign, we jumped at the chance.
Download our 15 Minute Happy checklist and make sure you’re following us on instagram for all the challenges and tips as they are released. Most importantly… have some fun!
A cup of tea and a good book
I was so excited when I discovered Small and Wild as I had long been suggesting parents offer fruity teas to their kids as a variation to water. I immediately bought some and was even more delighted when it arrived - the branding and packaging is perfect for engaging little ones and when our snoozy fox tea turned blue I think my son’s mind exploded a little bit! When we arrive home from a walk or outdoor activity my son now says ‘shall we have a cuppa tea mummy’? It warms my heart. As does the tea.
Now, being in the healthy kids snack market, we rarely have a cuppa without a little something, so here are a couple of our favourite recipes to try out with your little ones and enjoy with your next cuppa!
There’s nothing more relaxing than sitting in the quiet with a cup of tea in your hand and a good book on your lap - although as busy parents these moments of calm are unfortunately now few and far between! Wouldn’t it be great if your child could share this feeling with you? Well now they can!
Small & Wild teas come in 4 delicious flavour combinations, each represented by an animal. Here at Ivy’s Library we’ve done our research and we have found the perfect book to go with each tea.