Thursday, 27 November 2014

BF beyond 12 months

Breastfeeding your child past infancy is NORMAL. Or at least I wish more people thought so.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that...

“Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child… Increased duration of breastfeeding confers significant health and developmental benefits for the child and the mother… There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer.” (AAP 2012, AAP 2005)

I feel like sharing this information, as I'm finding it helpful to read at the moment - if like me, you're still breastfeeding in the second year (12-23 months), you might be feeling a little lonely too.

These days most women do not choose to breastfeed.

It seems that a lot of people do not view breastfeeding as the normal way to feed babies.

For some reason they consider breastfeeding and formula feeding to be virtually equivalent - representing merely a lifestyle choice.

I currently fear peoples reactions to hearing that I'm still doing it, breastfeeding that is, not to mention bed sharing - but really that goes hand in hand with the nursing.

The fact of the matter is breastfeeding (and bedsharing) should continue as long as mutually desired by mother and child.

Basically I need to 'woman up' and continue to do what I know is right for Ernie and I - and not give a flying feck whatever anyone else thinks - but I can't stress how hard that can be to do when there is simply so little support available.

So for any other full-term breastfeeding mothers out there, here are a few facts to remind you what you already know deep down inside, and to help keep you going strong!

* Health outcomes for mothers and babies are best when breastfeeding continues for at least two years.

* It has been estimated that a natural weaning age for humans is between two and seven years.

* Emerging research on nutrient content of human milk into the second year of lactation suggests that breast milk continues to offer significant nutritional and immunological benefits.

* “Human milk expressed by mothers who have been lactating for 1 year has significantly increased fat and energy contents, compared with milk expressed by women who have been lactating for shorter periods. During prolonged lactation, the fat energy contribution of breast milk to the infant diet might be significant.”
– Mandel 2005

* “Breast milk continues to provide substantial amounts of key nutrients well beyond the first year of life, especially protein, fat, and most vitamins.”

In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:
29% of energy requirements
43% of protein requirements
36% of calcium requirements
75% of vitamin A requirements
76% of folate requirements
94% of vitamin B12 requirements
60% of vitamin C requirements
– Dewey 2001

* Breastfeeding is a warm and loving way to meet the needs of toddlers and young children. It not only perks them up and energizes them; it also soothes the frustrations, bumps and bruises, and daily stresses of early childhood. In addition, nursing past infancy helps little ones make a gradual transition to childhood.“
- Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq.

and my favourite ...

* Extensive research on the relationship between cognitive achievement (IQ scores, grades in school) and breastfeeding has shown the greatest gains for those children breastfed the longest.

Spread the word.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014


Getting a manicure when you've got a toddler, in my experience is pretty impossible, and doing it yourself is a risky business - you can guarantee that they'll wake up from that nap before you've completed that all important quick dry top-coat!

So this my friends, is a dream come true.

Inside this box is your very own nail salon.

The starter kit includes everything you need to do your own LED gel manicure - complete with foolproof step-by-step instructions. From application to removal, you’re covered. It's as easy as your ABC.

I followed it all to the letter and was so impressed with the results - my nails looked professionally done - I’m already thinking about opening my own salon - Ellie's Gellies has a nice ring to it, don't you think...

The SensatioNail polish is strong, shiny, long-lasting - and most importantly for us mummies - once cured under the LED light - it's dry within nano seconds - I'm talking bullet proof.

Your toddler doesn't stand a chance of messing it up.

This kit has changed my nail game forever.

SensatioNail Starter Kits, from £69.99.

Christmas Arts & Crafts

I just splashed out on this fun bundle of arty bits for Ernie (maybe more for me ;p) - and I'm looking forward to some good ol’ quality craft time! 

My plan is to use the blank white cards & envelopes to make our own Christmas cards this year.

There are literally hundreds of great DIY ideas floating around online.

Here's hoping I can get the boy to co-oporate and that I'll have something worth showing you all - and sending out to our friends and family.

1. Crayola 6 Washable Kids Paint 2. Sainsbury's Triangular Handle Paint Brushes 3. Crayola white Drawing Paper 4. Crayola Washable Markers 5. Sainsbury's Blank White Cards & Envelopes

Friday, 14 November 2014

More Genius Food Swaps

Yesterday I wrote about eating banana ice cream instead of the dairy-sugar-laden kind, so today I thought I'd share a few more of my favourite food swaps...

Almond butter over Peanut butter WHY? Almond butter boasts 25% more fibre and less saturated fat.

Pure vanilla extract over Sugar WHY? Swap half the sugar in any recipe for a teaspoon of vanilla extract to halve the calorie content. If you're going to use vanilla essence, use one-and-a-half times the amount of vanilla extract.

Rye bread over Multigrain bread WHY? Rye bread is better for your bowl health, has a lower GI and only 50 calories per slice.

Spelt pasta over Wheat pasta WHY? Spelt is great at regulating the body’s metabolism, aiding in the creation of sex hormones, increasing circulation, building strong bones, improving the immune system, boosting digestive function, lowering blood sugar, and reducing cholesterol levels in the body.

Coconut milk over Double cream HOW? Scoop out the thick layer on the top of a can of coconut milk, whip it up and you'll have a double-cream alternative that's rich in lauric acid - which helps to protect you from infections.

Cacao nibs over Chocolate chips WHY? Cacao is basically raw, unprocessed chocolate. It delivers a great dose of antioxidants and magnesium whithout the added sugar. I like to add it to my muesli.

Greek yoghurt over Mayonnaise HOW? Add some fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice to greek yoghurt for a mayonnaise substitute - you'll hardly notice the difference. This will save you more than 85 calories per tablespoon.

Prune puree over Butter in cakes HOW? Next time you're making a chocolate cake try replacing half the oil or butter with prune puree which will save you 500 calories per 100g. Put 100g pitted prunes in a blender and whizz them up with 300ml water.

Choc shot over hot chocolate powder WHY? Choc shot by Sweet Freedom is a great product that's Dairy free, low GI, and has 25% fewer calories than regular hot chocolate - a 5g tsp contains only 13.7 calories. Stir into hot milk for a great hot chocolate alternative.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Banana Ice Cream!

You’ve probably had it with all things Frozen, but just hear me out.

This is a genius food swap!

If like me - you're a bit mad and keep craving a delicious icy treat (in the middle of winter?!) - here's an easy one: Banana ice cream.

No milk, no cream, no sugar.

Simply freeze some bananas and puree for a healthy treat full of vitamins B6, C and potassium.

You can add in any extra's you like - my favourite is Maca Powder - which I find adds a lovley malteser-like flavour, and almond flakes for a bit of crunch - and added goodness.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Children's Xmas Books to buy now

I'm sure there are more than a few of you who might be saying “too soon,” after reading a title about Christmas - but for those of you who are holiday freaks (like me) November isn't too soon to be thinking about presents!

I am officially looking forward to decking my halls and walls, but no tree this year - Ernie would wreck it in minutes!

I've been sitting down with a cup of tea daily to read all the glossy holiday catalogs that keep landing on my doorstep.

I took it to the next level the other day and actually did some Xmas window shopping. I found myself cooing over everything in the kids' book departments.

So I thought I'd put together a round-up of the best looking books I spotted - some classics, some new - if you're with me on feeling festive already - I hope you enjoy!

Friday, 7 November 2014

Righteous Banana Bread

As if this blog needed another banana bread recipe!

I love my Best Banana Bread - and my Skinny creation is pretty good too - but today I found myself with some overripe bananas and leftover buttermilk - it also happened to be raining - so the gods were basically telling me to stay in and bake banana bread!

I've named it the Righteous Banana Bread, as wherever possible I've been buying full-fat, fairtrade, organic, free-range, and local produce - so if at all possible I urge you to do the same - and enjoy every piece of it, guilt free!

This loaf has a wonderfully rich earthy flavour - thanks to the dark brown sugar - and a very satisfyingly crunchy crust.

I decided to dice the banana and only slightly mash it up - which leaves you with nice moist chunks of banana dotted throughout.

I've steered clear of white flour, white sugar, and bad fats - so feel free to share it with your little ones.

P.S this smells soooo good!


2 Cups  Plain wholemeal flour
1 Tsp Bicarbonate of soda
½ Tsp Sea salt
110g Organic grass fed butter, plus extra for greasing
1 Cup Fairtrade dark brown soft unrefined sugar
2 Free-range organic eggs
3 Overripe fairtrade bananas, diced, and slightly mashed
85ml Buttermilk
1 Tsp Vanilla bean paste

Preparation method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

2. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large mixing bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

4. Add the eggs, bananas, buttermilk and vanilla bean paste to the butter and sugar mixture and mix well.

5. Fold into the flour mixture.

6. Grease a 20cm x 12.5cm/8in x 5in loaf tin and pour the cake mixture into the tin.

7. Transfer to the oven and bake for about an hour, or until well-risen and golden-brown.

8. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool, or as long as you can resist before serving.

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