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  • Cloth Nappy Styles Explained
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    Cloth Nappy Styles Explained
    September 22, 2011
    Known as the “work-horse” nappy, Prefolds are a rectangular piece of fabric made up of several layers of 100% cotton, sewn into three panels. The middle panel typically has more layers, and is therefore more absorbent, than the outside two panels. A high-quality Prefold will state how many layers of fabric used, such as 4x8x4. This is known as the “ply” of the nappy and means that the two outside panels have 4 layers of fabric, and the middle panel has 8 layers. [...]
  • Cloth Nappy Materials Explained
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    Cloth Nappy Materials Explained
    September 23, 2011
    Bamboo fabric is one of the most popular materials used in modern cloth nappies. It is softer than cotton with a texture similar to silk. It is a super absorbent, naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic product, grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides. It is also quick to absorb moisture, keeping baby dry and odor free. Pure bamboo can dry twice as fast as cotton. Bamboo fabric is wonderfully cool in summer and snug and warm in winter. [...]
  • Cloth Nappy Accessories
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    Common Cloth Nappy Accessories
    September 23, 2011
    Unless you are using pocket cloth nappies, or all-in-one cloth nappies, your nappy will require the use of a cloth nappy cover. Nappy covers are economical as they can be used several times before needing to be washed, unless they smell or are soiled. Simply hang them to air dry between uses and by the next change they should be good to go again. [...]
  • Additives and Preservatives to Avoid
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    Additives and Preservatives to Avoid in Kids' Snacks
    September 23, 2011
    Packaged snacks offer the convenience of a quick bite to eat when you are on-the-go with your kids, but they can contain potentially harmful additives and preservatives.  Registered Dietitian, Danielle Omar, offers a handy list of what to avoid and what may be ok. Bottom line: read the nutritional facts label and scrutinize the ingredients list. And yes, don’t fall for the front-of-the box labeling! [...]
  • Make your own teething necklace
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    Make your own: Teething Necklace
    September 23, 2011
    [...]
  • The cost of cloth diapers
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    The Diaper Drama Scene 1 - The Costs
    September 23, 2011
    It’s the debate of the century; disposables vs. cloth nappies, hard to know which way to turn when everyone has an opinion. The Diaper Drama chronicles one mum’s journey, combining a refreshingly frank perspective with some very useful information. [...]
  • The cost of cloth diapers vs disposables
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    The Cost of Cloth Diapers vs Disposables
    October 19, 2011
    Although initially costly (a full set of 20 cloth nappies will cost in the region of R2000), the cloth nappies available in South Africa are much cheaper in the long run than their disposable counter parts.   [...]
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    Meat? For Me?!
    November 11, 2011
    "Babies start with a very clean palate and it's your job to mold it." Rachel Brandeis; American Dietetic Association.
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    Baby Shower Ideas: Painted Onesies
    November 16, 2011
    This series of Fun With Clothes Freebies is choc-a-block with exciting ideas, centered on giving old clothes new life, and unique but cheap ways for creating gifts from the heart.
  • Homemade Finger Paints
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    Make Your Own: Homemade Finger Paints
    November 16, 2011
    An expressive (and edible!) medium for children of all ages.
  • Safe Household Cleaner
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    A Safe Household Cleaner
    November 16, 2011
    Have you ever read the label on a household cleaner? In addition to a long list of chemicals, there are also warnings to keep away from children and pets.
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    Quinoa is a Kids Best Friend!
    January 11, 2012
    Juicy Burgers and Fluffy Flapjacks; sounds delicious right?! Well, with a little help from one of Nature's finest; Quinoa, Super Mum can now turn these yummies into Super Foods!
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    The Diaper Drama Scene 2 - Dryness and Rashes
    January 18, 2012
    Heather’s drama continues in this witty, yet poignant, look at an item which spends about 17,520 hours flush against your baby's skin. [...]
  • Family Recipes Savory Semolina Cake
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    Family Recipes: Savory Semolina 'Cake'
    January 18, 2012
    This is such an easy recipe to enjoy anytime, full of veggie goodness, and most importantly; kids LOVE it!
  • Food for Toddlers
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    The Healthiest Foods for Your Toddler
    January 18, 2012
    The food pyramid divides foods into five distinct group and sets serving sizes for each food group. But it doesn’t list the very best foods from each of those groups. Below is a short list of some of foods that provide optimum nutrition per calorie. [...]
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    A Citrus Peel Starter Pot For Seedlings
    January 18, 2012
    Children are natural gardeners. They're curious, like to learn by doing, and love to play in the dirt. Working in a garden, a child can experience the satisfaction that comes from caring for something over time, while observing the cycle of life firsthand. [...]
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    Make Your Own: Heart Stamps
    February 7, 2012
    Nothing says ‘I Love You’ on Valentine’s Day like a handmade card, especially if the hands that are doing the making are of the very small, cute and chubby variety!
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    Make Your Own: Soapnuts Liquid
    February 8, 2012
    Soapnuts contain saponins which are a natural surfactant. They are 100% organic and chemical free and have been used for washing for thousands of years by native peoples in Asia as well as Native Americans.
  • Shaving Cream Bathtub Paints
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    Shaving Cream Bathtub Paint
    March 12, 2012
    We just LOVE how bright and fun this idea is! Plus it’s super easy to do and all the ingredients are probably waiting in your cupboard already. Thrifty fun? Fantastic! [...]
  • No Bake Energy Bites
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    No Bake Energy Bites
    March 12, 2012
    Here's one for Mum,  SO easy to make and absolute guilt-free heaven! Perfect for those times when you are so busy sorting everyone else out that you forget to take care of you. Plus they come in one-hand convenience size for all the breastfeeding Mamma's out there. [...]
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    The Diaper Drama Scene 3 - Health Issues
    March 20, 2012
    It’s the debate of the century; disposables vs. cloth nappies, hard to know which way to turn when everyone has an opinion. We continue to chronicle Heather’s journey to cloth nappy harmony with this next installment of her Diaper Drama.
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    Make Your Own: Pillow Mattress
    May 15, 2012
    You might have seen this picture floating around Facebook or Twitter recently. We did, and it was love at first sight!
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    The Diaper Drama Scene 4 - The Environment
    May 15, 2012
    by Heather L. Sanders [...]
  • Immune Boosting Recipes
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    Winter Warmers - Immune Boosting Recipes
    May 15, 2012
    Many common winter viruses are airborne, so if your toddler takes a breath within, say, 4 to 6 feet of someone who’s sick, he can easily catch the bug himself. [...]
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    Make Your Own: Moon Sand
    May 15, 2012
    We love ‘moon sand’ or ‘magic sand’ for sensory sand play. You can buy it from art and craft suppliers, but it is fairly expensive. These instructions show you how to make it yourself!
  • Gluten Free Recipes
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    Gluten Free Recipes: Peanut Butter, Banana, & Choc-Chip Muffins
    June 14, 2012
    Who says healthy isn’t heavenly?? These DELICIOUS muffins are a fantastic way to kick-start your family’s morning! Kids are much more enthusiastic about eating food that they have had a hand in making. Home cooking boosts their self-esteem and creates lovely, wholesome bonding opportunities for the family. [...]
  • Beard Beanie
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    Make Your Own: Beard Beanie
    June 14, 2012
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  • Baby Led Weaning Recipes
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    Baby Led Weaning Recipes
    July 16, 2012
    These homemade recipes for Baby Led Weaning are simple and rewarding to make.
  • Baby Led Weaning
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    What is Baby Led Weaning?
    July 16, 2012
    Baby led weaning is a relatively new approach to introducing solids... but one that's rapidly gaining momentum! The principle behind baby led solids is that baby is allowed to feed himself age appropriate foods, through which he progresses at his own pace. [...]
  • Free Printables
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    Free Printables: Label Your Creations
    July 16, 2012
    There is nothing quite like a cute label to finish off a home-made gift or give new life to a recycled container!
  • Homemade Playdough
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    The Ultimate Homemade Playdough
    July 16, 2012
    This recipe is SO easy to make and SO much better than the stuff you buy at the store. It makes the softest, squishiest, longest lasting play dough…EVER! The perfect gift for any kid – birthdays, Christmas stockings, party favors, gifts for the classroom, cousins, neighbors, anyone! [...]
  • Free Printables
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    Free Printables: Back To School Fun!
    July 16, 2012
    These super cute school lunch notes might just brighten up your, and your little one's, day.
  • Bonding with Dad
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    Tips for Dad - Bonding With Your Baby
    September 26, 2016
    by Jodi Picoult [...]
  • JJ Rabbit
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    JJ Rabbit eco-Conscious Kids Feeding Brand
    November 11, 2016
    Here at The ecoBaby Company children’s nutrition and eating habits are very important to us. But we also consider what they eat on with equal importance. With BpA, Phthalate, and PVC a growing concern, it is a challenge to find durable utensils that are safe, easy to care for and aesthetically pleasing. We searched long and hard and are proud to introduce to you, JJ RABBIT - a design-first, eco-conscious, children’s feeding brand. Fusing innovative designs and clever functionality, JJ Rabbit’s range of products aims to make mealtime enjoyable and utterly safe.  Free from any baddies associated with traditional plastics, JJ Rabbit’s products are made from FDA approved biodegradable and compostable bio-plastic. Derived from sugars and starches found in plants such as corn and sugarcane, this bio-plastic is also completely bio-degradable and compostable. As it is made from plants, it is 100% natural and 100% safe! How awesome is that!       One of the feeding challenges that parents face is transitioning the child from a sippy cup to a real one. And how do you do that without taking away the security and comfort of a sippy cup? JJ RABBIT CUPPIES® has a special hidden animal at the bottom of each CUPPIES®, and your little ones will finish every time just to see their favorite friend. Isn’t it brilliant!       Bring a little of magic and imaginative fun to meal times with these stackable animal plates. JJ RABBIT dipPLATES™ come in four fun animal shapes, we have the orange design shaped like a rabbit with a round body, which is the main plate and the rabbit ears are a separated section, like a mini-plate, perfect for dips, side-dishes or dessert.         These ergoFork+Spoon™ are ergonomically designed perfect for our budding little eaters. The pair is very easy for tiny hands to grip. Angle Handle = EASY for baby to hold, EASY to pick up and put down. Curved Tip = EASY self-feeding, elevated spoon tip keeps food spills off the table. Perfect! Mealtime has never been so clean and my only gripe is that i wish there was an adult-sized version of the spoon for me.         The JJ Rabbit aniBOWLS™ are fun companions to any meal – a great way to enjoy a fun meal or snack while being eco-friendly. The aniBowls are available in a set of two and feature either a cute frog or penguin face. My son has the red&green froggie aniBowls, which match his green Frog CUPPIE. Since handing him the aniBowls i have never had to beg him to sit and eat, in fact now the only challenge is ensuring both are clean as he insists on having both his froggie friends at the table. Made from plant materials the JJ Rabbit aniBowls are 100% biodegradable but what makes them superior to anything else on the market, is the fact that they are durable and will not deteriorate after just a few washes. They are design-focused, qualityfeeding bowls, which are dishwasher and microwave safe. So they are fun for my kid and make life easy for me.         Ideal for babies who have moved on to solid feeding. JJ Rabbit has designed the fantastic eco-conscious dryBib for little ones. Made from organic cotton, this practical bib is also waterproof (but without the plastic!) and has a convenient catch-pocket for all the bits that don't quite go where intended. Moms love the dryBib too, because its machine-washable as well as BPA-Free, Phthalate Free and PVC Free.   If you believe in safe, sustainable and environmentally responsible products then JJ Rabbit should be your first stop. JJ Rabbit once again proving that safety, eco-friendly and gorgeous designs are not mutually exclusive. Take a peek and see for yourself!
  • Cloth Nappy Styles
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    Our Cloth Nappy Style Guide 2016
    November 18, 2016
    Feeling blown away by the mountain of information available on Cloth Nappies? Well then we have just the thing for you. You don't need to become an expert, as modern cloth nappies are just as easy to use as disposables. What is however important - is to know which cloth nappy styles to buy depending on your lifestyle, preferences and budget. Our Cloth Nappy Style Guide takes a look at 4 of the most popular cloth Nappy styles. All conveniently available right here at The ecoBaby Company. Fitted Nappies Shop Fitted Nappies About Fitted Nappies As the name suggests, a fitted nappy is one where the nappy has elastic around the waist for a great fit. No folding required. They are shaped like disposable nappies and close with snaps or Velcro. These nappies are often called 'bomb proof' as the entire nappy is made from ultra absorbent bamboo and cotton and the elastic at the legs makes them excellent at containing messes. They require a separate, waterproof nappy cover. For a full cloth nappy system using a Fitted nappy you will need: Fitted cloth nappy (they come in a variety of sizes or a ‘one-size’ option) Waterproof nappy cover Optional: Extra Bamboo inserts or boosters We love them because: Double containment layer - When paired with a waterproof cover these nappies are ultra-absorbent due to their full bamboo/cotton construction Often come with bamboo inserts for even more absorbency You get that old school look and ultra-soft feel but without having to worry about getting the "folding" right They can be used without the cover during tge days for extra breathability but you have the nappy cover as a back-up to contain leaks Built-in fasteners (snaps or Velcro) make for faster, easier nappy changes These nappies are great to use with fleece and wool nappy covers, which are lovely and soft, and offer superior breathability Ultra-Absorbent A fitted nappy combined with the correct size cover could be expected to last around 4+ hours and with additional boosters / inserts should be able to easily last overnight. They often contain runny newborn waste better than other nappy styles, including disposable because it uses a separate cover which acts as a second leak guard. They are generally the most absorbent nappies for night times because of their booster layers The Fitted Nappy is the absorbent part and the wrap / Cover is the waterproof part Watch out for: You will generally need to buy a variety of sizes during the time your child is in nappies, unless you choose a "one-size" option. Do be aware, however, that one-size nappies may not fit a newborn and/or older baby as well as the "sized" cloth nappies will Fabrics: Fitted Nappy - Cotton, Bamboo or Combinations Waterproof Outer / Cover - PUL (Laminated Polyester), Fleece or Wool Ideal for: When longer periods of protection are required such as night time or when travelling Those who long for the retro 'prefolds or 'flats' LOOK but prefer their nappies contoured and with built in closures Mother Nature Fitted Nature Nappy - (birth to potty training) Bam+Boo Fitted Nappy - (5kgs - 17kgs+) Mother Nature Rainbow Covers - 0-7kgs (S), 7-11kgs (M), 11kgs+ (L) Tip: If the waterproof outer is clean when you change the nappy you can keep re-using it over and over again by just putting on a clean fitted nappy. About AiO Nappies All-In-One Nappies are just that…everything you need, sewn together in one piece, to keep baby dry.. These cloth nappies are the most like disposable nappies; no pinning, no stuffing, no folding, no wrapping – just pure, ready-to-go convenience. Like pocket nappies, AIO’s have a soft, inner wicking layer to draw wetness away from baby’s skin, a built-in waterproof cover, and snap or Velcro closures. Unlike pocket nappies, AIO’s have the absorbent part of the nappy already snapped or sewn in; no stuffing (or un-stuffing!) necessary. For a full cloth nappy system using an All-in-One nappy you will need: All-in-One nappy. That's it! We love them because: AIO’s are so easy to use that they are great for grandparents, day-care, and babysitters If it’s convenience you’re after, as well keeping your baby out of disposables, this is the way to go Most brands do a Newborn All-in-One which is trimmer and has an umbilical cord snapdown. Ideal for 2-7 kgs Watch out for: AIO’s with sewn-in absorbency may require increased drying time due to their thick layers. Sleeve nappies with snap-in or stuff in inserts solves this problem as the absorbent layers are detachable and can be dried separately. The Bam+Boo All-in-Ones are quikcer drying as the two attached inserts are attached on opposing sides and can be spread open for faster drying The waterproof layer of any nappy will begin to crack after too much time in a tumble-dryer so we recommend line-drying these nappies Fabrics: Liner - Generally Bamboo or Bamboo+Microfibre combination Inner Absorbent Layers - Suedecloth Waterproof Outer / Cover - PUL (Laminated Polyester) Ideal for: Great for Dads and Daycare because they are just like using a disposable nappy. And because all parts are sewn together there is no chance of the daycare losing inserts or covers. Bam+Boo AiO - (5kgs - 17kgs+) Bam+Boo Newborn AiO - (2kgs - 7kgs) All-in-One Nappies   Shop AiO Nappies Sleeve Nappies Shop Sleeve Nappies About Sleeve Nappies It’s hard to beat the revolutionary design of sleeve nappies when it comes to convenience, versatility, and comfort for your baby. In fact, when stuffed and ready to use, most parents will swear that these nappies are just as easy to use as disposables! A “Sleeve” cloth diaper is basically a pocket nappy but with an opening at the front and back of the pocket. In the best situation this means the insert should agitate out during the wash cycle. Sleeve Nappies are a two part diapering system. Part 1: The nappy cover Sleeve nappy covers are the Ferrari of diaper covers. They are made up of two layers; which makes them really quick to dry. The outer layer is a supple, breathable fabric (generally polyester or cotton) that is laminated for complete waterproofing. The inner layer is butter-soft microfleece or suedecloth which actually works to draw moisture away from baby’s sensitive skin. These nappies come with snap fastenings or with Velcro. All the functional parts inside the nappy are encased in the cozy inner layer so that only the softest of the soft touches your baby’s skin. Between the two layers is an opening, accessible through the front and back of the nappy (depending on style). This is the “sleeve” of the nappy. Which brings us to the insert.. Part 2: The insert Inserts are what you put into the sleeve of the nappy to work as the absorbent core. The sleeve holds the insert in place so that absorbency is where absorbency is needed most. The best part is; what you use as an insert is completely adjustable to suit your baby’s needs and your budget! Custom made inserts can be found in bamboo, microfleece, cotton etc. each with its own benefits, but any absorbent material can be used as a sleeve nappy insert; you can even use an old towel! For a full cloth nappy system using a Sleeve nappy you will need: A 2-layer Sleeve nappy cover Absorbent insert or ‘stuffing’ We love them because: When baby wees, the moisture is wicked through the inner layer and absorbed into the insert. This keeps baby feeling dry and rash-free plus makes the nappy highly sanitary This nappy offers convenience and quick drying Sleeve diapers make great diaper bag diapers because while out you can skip un-stuffing the pocket before placing it in your wet bag No need to touch soiled inserts as entire nappy can be thrown in wash and insert will agitate loose in the wash Perfect un-stuffed as a swim nappy! Watch out for: For a Pocket Nappy - when baby is wet or soiled, the insert must be removed from the pocket of the nappy and put into one diaper pail, and the nappy cover should go into another pail. This is not necessary for an ‘easy-wash’/'sleeve' nappy, which is designed to separate (cover from insert) in the wash Inner layers of fleece are prone to build-up which can add a few easy steps to a typical wash routine once or twice a month Fabrics: Bam+Boo Waterproof Outer - PUL (Laminated Polyester) Fancypants Waterproof Outer - PUL (Laminated Polyester) Bam+Boo Included Liners - Bamboo+Microfibre combination Fancypants Included Liners - Microfibre Bam+Boo Inner Layers - A suede cloth inner Fancypants Inner Layers - A bamboo/cotton blend Ideal for: Sleeve diapers are perfect if you don’t mind the laundry side of cloth diapers (stuffing) but prefer not to touch the dirty inserts. They are usually trim, are economical, and come in a few brands and varieties to suit most consumers’ tastes Bam+Boo Sleeve Nappy - One-size-fits-most (5kgs – 17kgs+) Fancypants Orginal Nappy - One-size-fits-all (3.5kgs - 17kgs+) Tip: If your inserts are not dry you can use any absorbent fabrics inside the pocket About Bam+Boo Bamboo Nappy The super absorbent Bamboo Cloth Nappy is also know as a Hybrid Cloth Nappy. which is a cross between a pocket and fitted cloth nappy. It is a bigger cut nappy suitable for night time use, bigger babies and toddlers. Each nappy comes with two bamboo inserts (soaker and booster). The two inserts snap into the (TPU) waterproof cover. The cover inner is Coolmax material which is anti bacterial and anti fungal.  This nappy boasts double leg gussets and a pocket for boosting at night time Part 1: The nappy cover TPU covers are very similar to PUL covers. What people seem to really like about TPU is the feel.  It is very soft and more fabric like when compared to PUL.  But TPU is also less durable that PUL.  TPU should not be washed on HOT and may not last as long as PUL.  But if you take good care of it and follow washing instructions there is no reason why TPU shouldn’t last a very long time. The two inserts snap into the (TPU) waterproof cover. The cover inner is Coolmax material which is anti bacterial and anti fungal.  This nappy boasts double leg gussets and a pocket for boosting at night time. These nappies come with Velcro fastenings and four rows of snaps on the front to adjust the size. Part 2: The insert This Bambo nappy comes standard with a bamboo insert and a bamboo booster. Both inserts can either be attached on top of the pocket using the snap fastenings or there is a pocket for extra boosting. Inserts are the absorbent core of a cloth nappy. The snap fastenings inside the Hybrid nappy keep the inserts in place, where they need to be. The pocket will do the same for any extra absorbent material used. Custom made inserts can be found in bamboo, microfleece, cotton etc. each with its own benefits, but any absorbent material can be used as a pocket nappy insert; you can even use an old towel! For a full cloth nappy system using a Bamboo Hybrid Nappy you will need: The 2-layer soft TPU Nappy cover Absorbent insert or ‘stuffing’ We love them because: Because the absorbent layers are separate and can be snapped in or inserted into the waterproof cover, this allows faster drying time and often for more customisable absorbency, since you can use none, all or part of the absorbent soakers The nappy is soft and substantial and fills you with confidence The 100% bamboo inserts are super absorbent and therefore great for night time and travelling This nappy boasts double leg gussets and a pocket for boosting at night time Four rows of rise snaps in the front allow for small, medium, large and extra large sizing Watch out for: The softer TPU cover should not be washed at very hot tempretures When baby is wet or soiled, the insert must be removed from the pocket of this nappy and put into one diaper pail, and the nappy cover should go into another pail While a waterproof cover is not required with pocket cloth nappies, they do require the purchase of the absorbent fabric to “stuff” the pockets with before use. Depending on brand, these inserts may come in a few different sizes; from new-born through to toddler. Many pocket cloth nappies now include insert options in their original purchasing pri Fabric Waterproof Cover - TPU Included Inserts - Bamboo (1 x soaker, 1 x booster) Inner Layers - Coolmax (anti-bacterial, anti-fungal) One-size-fits-most (5kgs - 17kgs+) Bam+Boo Bamboo Nappy   Shop Bamboo Nappy Cloth Nappies are good for baby and help mom feel good too. There is no downside to Cloth Nappies as it is more cost-effective, saves thousands of nappies from clogging up refuse sites and there is less chance of rashes or skin irritations as 1. only natural materials are against baby's skin and 2 cloth nappies are far more breathable than disposables SHOP All Nappies P.S. If you want to extend the life of your cloth nappies make sure to only use chemical-free creams and laundry products. Chemicals reduce the absorption quality of cloth nappies and should be kept away from babies sensitive skin too. SHOP Nappy Accessories   Still not sure, well chat to one of our helpful staff to answer any other questions you may have.
  • Baby Bonding
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    Bonding with Bump & Baby
    November 19, 2016
    For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. Psalm 139 vs 13 Three easy ways to Bond with your Baby Bump Massage your Baby Bump Massage your baby bump lightly with creams/ oil. Or even better make it a couples massage. SHOP Massage Talk to your Baby Bump Talk, read and sing to your baby bump. Or if your voice gets tired then play it some music or wear a belly chime. SHOP Bonding Be Still & Feel Take a quiet bath or lie in the sun or just be in nature and focus on baby’s movements/ kicking. SHOP Pamper Baby Bonding after Birth Skin Contact One of the first ways to bond with your newborn is skin to skin contact so whether its a massage, a hug or just some playful fun - hold baby close and never let go SHOP Bath & Body Breastfeeding Breastfeeding is a rewarding and intimate way to promote bonding. SHOP Breastfeeding Baby Wearing Baby-wearing is yet another way to enjoy physical connection with your baby and is an outstanding way to also involve dad in attachment parenting. Whilst slings and wraps are more for moms, baby carriers like the African Baby Carrier are guaranteed to get dad and baby addicted to bonding adventures. SHOP Baby Wearing Soothing Smell Other bonding ideas include - sleeping with your baby's comforters and snuggle toys before they are born so that they smell like you when given to baby. Or even better why not be the human comforter every now and again. SHOP Comforters Bonding is one of the joys of parenting, that unique human connection between a parent and their child - unlike anything else on earth. So enjoy the unique bonding experience with your bump and newborn!
  • African Baby Carrier Review
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    African Baby Carrier Deluxe - Tested
    November 23, 2016
    One of our ecobaby Company brand promises is that we test every product to ensure it lives up to the high quality standard we have set. We have decided to take you along on our testing journeys and let you see for yourself what we discover and learn. We start with a product, that should be a must on every parents wishlist. The African Baby Carrier Deluxe. A product that is proudly South African and offers parents the simplest and most versatile baby carrying system around. NO WORRIES No need to worry about boot space, difficult terrain or having your hands full. Oh no, with the African Baby  Carrier (ABC) your child is right where they want to be - against mommy or daddy! And you get to show off your baby with pride. ORIGINAL vs DELUXE The ABC carriers come in Original and Deluxe, we took a Deluxe Canvas model out for a test. The deluxe model has a number of benefits over the Original model, our favourite being it can carry more weight (up to 20kg) and so has a longer life-span as baby grows into a kid. The Deluxe model also comes in a nifty carrier bag of its own, which when empty of the carrier, can be used to store nappies, refreshments or anything you want. And it neatly attaches on the back of the carrier - so need to carry it in your hands. ALIGN THAT SPINE What makes the African Baby Carrier a favourite of ours, is their focus on ensuring that your child's weight is correctly distributed over the bottom belt, which results in their legs remaining in the sitting position rather than hanging straight down. This ensures correct spine-alignment. DAYLIGHT DAD Dads especially will love this product. Its guaranteed to ensure that you and your child enjoy more adventures and quality time - outdoors, shopping, strolling or hiking. There is nowhere this carrier cannot go! ecoTEST: African Baby Carrier Deluxe Testers: Jaco (the donkey), Nina (the jockey), Kite (security), Domino (security) & Juan (camera) The Test: Taking the dogs for a sunday morning walk, with Nina - the terrible two's in tow. This should be interesting! Jaco, Nina and Kite head out for a Sunday morning walk. Their goal is to test the African Baby Carrier (ABC) Deluxe. Straight away Jaco is in love and comments on how well the ABC deluxe carrier handles Nina's weight and how light she feels as a result. By the looks of it, Nina is enjoying it so much she is threatening to take a nap... On closer inspection yes Nina is most definitely enjoying a cat nap and Jaco is moaning that he didn't bring along the selfie-stick for that must have panoramic shot... And we are off again, with Kite leading the way - likely targeting a tree. But we are not worried and instead appreciate that the ABC deluxe carrier has allowed us to take the dogs for a walk without needing to use our hands to push a pram. Additionally the carrier also frees us up to go from pavement to gravel and from tar to grass without even noticing the transition. As Nina continues to sleep we are amazed that a child that makes the energizer bunny look lazy - literally took to this new contraption like a fish to water. We even faced barking dogs, stopped to whawha to some neighbours and meet new friends - without anything waking her. We were so surprised that we stopped again to take another photo just to prove it... We arrive back at home and whilst our two Great Danes pull a David Copperfield and make a 5 litre bucket of water disappear.- Jaco is back in the kitchen finishing off a cheese cake for later. But think Nina is bothered?  Nope! She is still asleep on Jaco's back and you might also notice another of our products that also hitched a ride. It is a Caramel & Floral, Lilly n Jack snuggle-bunny, which belongs to Nina. And as is our way at The ecoBaby Company we have found another use for it. We proudly introduce The Lily n Jack Pillow! Or as I like to call it - "The Piggy Back Partner!" Talking about 'Piggy Back Partners'. Nina, who has never been in a baby carrier before, before she fell asleep did comment on how 'cool it was that she can get a piggy back without having to hold on' and enjoyed her elevated view. BUY AFRICAN BABY CARRIER ORIGINAL How sweet is little Nina? Looking like such an angel! We might need to rename the carrier 'The African Angel Carrier'. Who would believe that 40 mins earlier Nina was on the counter diligently performing her self-assigned role as 'official taste-tester' of all the cheesecake ingredients? BUY AFRICAN BABY CARRIER DELUXE
  • jj rabbit
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    Reindeer Pancakes
    December 14, 2016
    During the holiday season, sharing food around the table is such a wonderful tradition for most families. Laughter, memories and full tummies are the perfect way to end the year with joy. Include your kids in the holiday cheer by letting your little cook help you with this fun recipe, perfect for a pajama-packed holiday morning. REINDEER PANCAKES Ingredients – what you’ll need! 1 ½ cups flour 3 tablespoons sugar 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon baking soda 1 cup milk 4 tablespoons melted butter 1 egg 2 tbsp butter 4 pieces of bacon 4 white marshmallows 8 chocolate chips 4 strawberries Cooking Materials Whisk Bowl Pan   Instructions – how to make your reindeer! Start by whisking flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a small bowl. Add milk, melted butter and egg in a separate bowl, and then combine into flour bowl. Melt butter into pan to prep. Using the batter bowl, pour to form one large circle for the head, one smaller circle for the nose and two triangles for the ears. Cook until bubbles form around the edges and then flip, cooking a few more minutes until golden brown. Remove from heat and continue to repeat until ingredients are gone. Next, cook bacon until crispy. To make your reindeer, place the large pancake on the bottom and the smaller pancake on the top. Place the triangles on the top to look like ears. Position your bacon in-between the ears to look like antlers. Then, take a marshmallow and cut it in half for eyes. Put a chocolate chip in the middle for the pupils. Cut the top off of the strawberry and place it as a nose. Add syrup and butter to taste. Enjoy! Share your photos on Instagram. Include hashtags #xmascooking #kidsrecipes #holidayrecipe And don’t forget to tag us on @jjrabbit_kids CONGRATULATIONS Melissa de Villiers Lucy du Toit Leanne Howard Who have each won a JJ Rabbit product bundle to take on the road this Christmas. Each fun, colorful bundle will include 1 x Cuppies®, 1 x ergoFork+Spoon™, 1 x set of aniBowl™, 1 x dipPLATES™ and 1x  dryBIB™ for a combined retail value of more than R1095.00! Our eco-friendly products are made from a unique bioplastic formulation with EcoPure. Using this formulation, JJ Rabbit products make their way back to Mother Earth faster than normal plastics. Learn more
  • feeding baby
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    What should I feed my Baby?
    May 9, 2017
    Join us on a journey with renowned international nutritionist - Barbara O'Neill All parents want their kids to grow up to be strong, bright, healthy adults. In Nature, God has provided us with everything we would ever need to reach these goals. We take a journey with renowned author, educator and qualified naturopath and nutritionist - Barbara O'Neill. Barbara is also an international speaker on natural self-healing. She has raised eight children and is a specialist in women's and children's health. Barbara is passionate about good health and natural healing. She believes in giving the body optimum conditions in order for it to heal itself. But ideally we would have no need for 'healing' if we got into good habits from a very young age. As the old adage goes "prevention is better than a cure". Let us take a look at Barbara's advice around baby nutrition and feeding...   "Not only are a woman's breasts situated in the perfect area so she can hold and snuggle her little one whilst she is feeding, but a mother’s breasts also contain the perfect amount of nutrition for every stage of baby’s development" BARBARA'S ADVICE FOR FEEDING AT EACH STAGE: BREAST IS BEST The Breast - Gods Design: Barbara reminds us that God designed the woman’s anatomy with special apparatus for the function of nourishing her baby. Not only are a woman's breast situated in the perfect area so she can hold and snuggle her little one whilst she is feeding, but a mother’s breasts also contain the perfect amount of nutrition for every stage of baby’s development. Mother's Milk: The nutrient content of mother’s milk will change according to baby’s needs, even from week to week. Every mother’s milk is perfect for her baby. There is no equal. As baby sucks, hormones are released into the mother’s blood stream that increases the mothering instincts, thus helping her to be a more attentive mother. Habits of Regularity: It is best for baby to be trained into habits of regularity at an early age. There should be definite periods of feeding and rest. The mother needs to use discretion to read her baby’s needs. Some babies go well on three-hour feeding, some on four-hour feeding. Mother’s milk is digested much quicker than formula or other milks. Thus some babies need three-hour feeding. In "From Sickness to Health: Healing the Gut" Barbara O'Neil reminds us of some basic physiology - that milk is all a baby needs and they should not have any form of starch (such as cereals) until the molars are fully through. Watch what Barbara has to say - Barbara O'Neill - From Sickness to Health: Healing the Gut" There is especially valuable information between 2min45 and 5min20   WHAT IF I AM UNABLE TO BREASTFEED? BREAST MILK ALTERNATIVES: If unforeseen circumstances arise and mother is not able to feed her baby, you can substitute one of the formulas listed below. It is important to remember that milk formula made from powdered milk is ‘dead’ milk. Baby needs live milk, as breast milk is live, being full of enzymes. Enzymes in mother's milk are critical for nutrition - as in the gut they break down protein into smaller particles called amino acids - which then can be absorbed into the blood. Watch Barbara explain the importance of developing and protecting your baby's gut. Especially valuable information from 24min05 through to 39min50. Here are some ‘live’ alternative milk formulas: Almond Date Milk 1 cup almonds 2 soaked dates 1 litre water Blend very well and strain through a fine sieve Banana Milk Very ripe banana's 1/2 teaspoon slippery elm powder 1 litre water Blend well Juice 70% carrot juice 20% apple juice 10% celery juice The ratio for baby is 3 parts juice, 1 part water Goat’s Milk Milk from a healthy goat WHEN IS MY BABY READY TO EAT? How to know your baby is ready to eat solid food: Barbara tells us there are three requirements necessary to ensure baby is ready for solid food. When all the following signposts are present, baby is ready for food. The age that these requirements occur can differ largely with each baby: 1.When baby can sit up all by himself Baby usually sits well by about 7 1/2 months 2. When baby can pick up and put food in his mouth Most babies begin to put things in their mouths at about the age of five months. This is their way of exploring, feeling and tasting things. By 7 ½ to 8 months babies are quite proficient at putting things in their mouths – even their big toes! When baby has teeth with which to masticate the food Baby teeth begin to erupt at about six months of age, and one pair appears at about each month hereafter until all twenty are present. The incisors, which are closest to the midline, appear first, four on the upper gums and four on the lower gums. These eight teeth are usually all through by about eleven months of age. The incisors are chisel-shaped and designed to cut into food. So at this age the best foods are fruits and vegetables. Raw is best as raw food is live food and live food digests very easily as it is full of enzymes. It is vital that you begin with small tastes of one fruit at a time and that the fruit is very ripe. Another important point is to always give baby his food after his milk. 8 TO 14 MONTHS: TASTE Introducing Taste: Around 7 - 8 months baby will start getting milk teeth. They are called this for a reason as Milk is all that baby should be getting. This is however also a great time for baby to get used to 'taste'. Below are some great suggestions from Barbara when introducing fruits to baby. So putting a lump of apple in a net bag and let baby suck on that or cutting all the corn off a mielie and giving them the empty cob to suck on etc are great ways to introduce taste to baby. Suggested fruits: Ripe bananas (black spots on the skin are a good sign), pear, grated apple, paw paw and avocado. Pieces of apple or pear can be placed in a little net bag or the cut off foot of a stocking. Then tie the end. Baby will happily suck on this for a long time and no lumps can come through the little holes. Raw is best. These are very gentle fruits, after a few weeks other fruits can be introduced, again stressing they should be very ripe. Seasonal fruits are best as they are the freshest. Organic food has a much higher nutrient value without the danger of insecticides. Dried fruits are also a good option for baby to chew on, especially a very dry prune or date. Try dried banana. After baby has been on fruits a couple of months, some veggies can be introduced. Suggested vegetables: Celery sticks and most raw veggies. Corn cobs with the corn taken off (baby loves this!) Lightly steamed pieces of carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini and cabbage. If lightly steamed, baby can pick them up and nibble on them. Baby will enjoy the different colours, tastes and textures. Also at this time a little mashed sweet potato or butternut pumpkin is good as they are soft and moist and need nothing added As the only teeth baby has at this stage are incisors, no starch should be given. Ptyalin, which is the salivary amylase that initiates the breakdown of starch, is not yet present in a baby's mouth. This enzyme is not produced until the eruptions of the first molars. (need a reminder? WATCH HERE) Baby can eat zwieback though. Zwieback twice baked bread. The bread is cut into finger sized pieces and laid in a warm oven 100 C for 1 ½ hours. This process converts all the starch in the bread to grape sugar. This is the same process that happens when a green banana becomes a ripe banana. Grape sugar is found in ripe fruit and is digested easily and quickly. If baby has a large appetite and you feel you would like a little more than above, a little ground almond, sunflower seeds, linseed or pumpkin seeds can be added to mashed banana. Another alternative is to add 1 teaspoon slippery elm powder to a mashed banana. Slippery elm is the powdered bark of the slippery elm tree. It is very nutritious and soothing to the digestive tract. 14 MONTHS AND ONWARDS When the first molars appear: It is around the age of 14 to 18 months that the digestive tract begins to mature and baby can cope with complex carbohydrates. The signpost is when the first molars appear. These have four cusps and are used to crush and grind food. The canines or eyeteeth erupt at about eighteen to twenty months. They are situated between the incisors and the first molars. The canines are used to tear and shred the food. When the molars appear, ptyalin, the amylase in saliva, which breaks down starch, is now produced. At this stage potatoes, bread and cereals can be introduced. It is important that all grains be thoroughly cooked, and also the legumes should be soaked and well cooked. It is best at this stage to slowly introduce these foods, always leaning more to the fruits and vegetables. By 18 to 24 months baby is usually eating three meals a day and is down to only a couple of milk feeds. If baby is weaned from the breast he can be given a fresh juice once or twice a day. Carrot, apple and celery are best. This mix contains all the necessary nutrients to sustain life. This is often called vegetarian’s milk. Weaning off the breast: Weaning off the breast depends a lot on mother, baby and circumstances. One of my babies seemed ‘desperate’ for food at nine months even though she was quite ‘round’. Another of my babies ate hardly a thing till he was sixteen months and he too was well padded. One baby weaned herself at one year whilst another weaned himself at three years. UDDERLICIOUS BREASTFEEDING SOLUTIONS Select options Peek-a-Moo – Breastfeeding Vest R220.00 Select options Peek-a-Moo Breastfeeding Cami R230.00 Select options Peek-a-Moo Breastfeeding T-shirts R230.00 Select options Peek-a-Moo Breastfeeding Long Sleeve Shirt R300.00 Select options Peek-a-Moo Breastfeeding Dress R330.00 TAKE CARE OF TEETH Add to basket Pure Beginnings Vanilla Mint Toothpaste R43.00 Add to basket Pure Beginnings Natural Teething Gel R49.00 Add to basket Baby Banana Cornelius Infant Teether & Toothbrush R169.00 Out of Stock Read more Pure Beginnings Children’s Toothpaste R43.00 Select options Spry Infant Tooth Gel R99.00 Add to basket Baby Banana Sharky Teether & Toothbrush R169.00 Add to basket Baby Banana Infant Teething Brush R169.00 Add to basket Baby Banana Toddler Training Toothbrush R169.00 PLANT BASED FEEDING UTENSILS Select options JJ Rabbit Cuppies R165.00 Select options JJ Rabbit aniBowl R235.00 Select options JJ Rabbit dipPlate R185.00 Select options JJ Rabbit dryBIB R185.00 Select options JJ Rabbit ergoFork+Spoon R155.00 Should you wish to learn more about your body and the importance of nutrition in preventing or fighting disease - take a look at some of Barbara's other fascinating videos... Cause of Disease: Part 1 Cause of Disease: Part 2 Women's Health Heart Health Physical, Mental & Moral Law Osteoporosis Healing the Gut Decoding Diabetes The Effects of Fasting Healing from the Bible This article was sourced from Barbara O'Neill's website: www.barbhealth.com.
  • active toddlers
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    5 INDOOR ACTIVITIES FOR ACTIVE TODDLERS
    June 28, 2017
    PILLOW WALK Do you need a great game that will improve your toddler’s gross motor development? This is a great motor development game, which involves walking on pillows. At first, this can be very difficult for a toddler and they might even get frustrated. However, we suggest turning on some music, scatter soft toys. some animal toys and add a bit of scenery and turn it into a game of getting to the other side. This is sure to greatly improve their attitude and soon you will all be having fun. Even the bravest little toddler is bound to fall every once and a while - but they will do so with a smile on their face. Keep encouraging, affirming and ensuring it is seen as a creative game with characters and scenery. Benefit This activity will really get your toddler’s leg muscles working in new ways. Walking on any uneven surface is great to improve gross motor development, but pillows, which are usually a little bigger and fluffier than most uneven surfaces, provide more of a challenge to your toddler and help gross motor development even more than another uneven surface could. Resources The awesome thing about this gross motor game is that it takes literally no time and no money to prepare. As long as you have pillows (whether throw pillows, bed pillows, bean bags, or even couch cushions) then you are all set to play. Get Creative Change things up by adding some music to walk to, suggesting animals to walk like, and even sometimes rolling on the pillows instead of walking on them. MUSIC AND MOVEMENT Do you need a great game that will stimulate your toddler’s brain cells and bring joy and confidence? Music provides a diverse, enjoyable, stimulating and sensory environment for children - fostering joy and confidence. Exposing our kids to a wide variety of sounds, textures, colours and musical experiences stimulates their brain cells and fosters joy and confidence - the same way it does for us. Introduce Music and Movement to your toddler this holiday whether it be through dancing to music or turning an everyday household object into a music instrument. Toddler making a noise with any homemade instrument also teaches them cause and effect. Benefit More and more studies show a correlation between higher academic achievement with children who are exposed to music. Music simply stimulates parts of the brain that are related to reading, math, and emotional development. Music improves memory, builds confidence and teaches patience. Whether banging, shaking or even throwing a home-made instrument or whether dancing to a song being played - movement is a key element in growth and development and music evokes movement. Making DIY instruments from everyday items carries the additional benefit of activities like 'treasure hunt' and 'arts and crafts', so ensure you have more music integrated into their every-day exploring, discovery, learning and play this holiday. Resources Whether it is a drum kit consisting of pots, pans, tins and hubcaps, a bottle cap tambourine or Bongo Tin Race Shakers. Whatever you and your little one use to make noise, music or rhythm - you are guaranteed to find 95% of the materials at home. If not - why not put together a shopping list and have a fun outing to find or buy any missing materials. Get Creative Anything can be turned into an instrument, here are a few other inspirational ideas for home-made instruments. MUSIC STATION BONGO RICE SHAKER WATER BOTTLE GUIRO ACTIVE READING Does your little-one not usually sit through a book...here are some ideas to make reading more interactive and fun? Reading is a vital and valuable skill and it is not just learnt at school but requires vital building blocks from a young age. Toddlers learn about reading through everyday experiences with books. Simply through reading with adults, your toddler learns that books contain lots of interesting pictures and words and that stories show them worlds to explore. When you stop and talk about the pictures, label objects on the page, and describe what they see, you are also promoting the child’s language development. As their language develops, your toddler will do these same things when they look at books. Getting them to sit and listen to a story is another thing entirely and so below we share a few tips on making reading time more active, involved and immersive. Benefit Toddlers who hear lots of lively, interesting talk are more likely to develop a rich vocabulary. They learn language best when adults make eye contact with them and talk about topics of interest to them. Your toddler’s language development is also supported when he hears his own words repeated back to him and when adults expand on what he says. Reading teaches toddlers that books are special, that they have a front and back and how to hold a book, this in turn builds confidence. Reading provides toddlers with 'language' such as storybook language, which they may use in everyday conversations e.g. This porridge is hot "I'm going to huff and i'm going to puff..." and as they grow reading will get incorporated into their fantasy play e.g. reading to their soft toys. A very important benefit of reading is that toddlers learn about the structure of stories from books. By reading your toddler a variety of books they learn that most stories contain the same components: a setting, the characters, a series of events that often lead to a problem and a character finds a solution to the problem. This both helps them understand new stories they hear but also later on helps them create their own stories. Resources Books, books, books. The recipe for immersive reading time is simply a book, a large serving of imagination and a dash of acting skills such as pulling faces, strange accents and new voices. If you do not have enough kiddies books at home then join the local library and gain access to all the books you and your little one can dream of. Get Creative The easiest way to bring activity to reading is to select a book that includes some exercise. Example - Eric Carle’s “From Head to Toe“. It goes through the motions that different animals make, and encourages you to try it too. If your little one is too little to understand, then show them and have them copy you. Your toddler will have lots of fun and you might even get some exercise too. But any book can become an activity if you bring the story to life -by having you and your munchkin dress like the characters or simply by adding some creativity to the story and the portraying thereof.   ARTS AND CRAFTS Even a busy toddler will always have time to make a mess. So why not turn 'making a mess' into an activity aka Arts & Crafts! The trick with toddlers is to choose activities that focus on the process of creating the 'art' rather than the expectation of a set outcome. What works best with toddlers is making art bigger and it is important to try new materials and treat it as exploration or as a sensory activity. They are going to get messy either way so make it part of the journey and activity. Young toddlers might not yet be able to wield a brush or crayon with precision but they always love making hand prints. Get creative and turn their hand prints into animals and objects. You can always pre-draw elements of the image and just have them place their foot or hand where required. They will feel part of the process, have loads of fun and you have a gorgeous image to display. Benefit Sensory play facilitates exploration and naturally encourage children to use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore. Research shows that sensory play builds nerve connections in the brain’s pathways, which lead to the child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks. Sensory play supports language development, cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills, problem solving skills, and social interaction. This type of play aids in developing and enhancing memory. Sensory play is great for calming an anxious or frustrated child. Resources Depending on the art activities you and your little one prefer - the sky is the limit in terms of materials required. Some items however are always valuable - Magazines, Large Sheets/Rolls of Paper, Edible Paints, different textured materials, glue, toilet rolls, egg cartons etc. Where possible try to engage as many senses as possible when doing arts and crafts with a toddler. So use various materials with different textures, use items that make a sound such as bubble wrap etc. Get Creative Here are some great ideas and instructions for art and craft activities for toddlers: Make your own Birdfeeders - always a fun one as it links to the garden and comes with the added benefit of watching your creation in use by very excited birds. Indoor Edible Sandbox - since taste is still one of a toddlers favourite senses why not make more art projects edible. Painting with Nature - South African kids love the outdoors and all the interesting items they find there. So this winter why not bring some of the outdoors in and get creative. Collect pinecones, acorns etc. We suggest using edible paint however. CornFlour Edible Paint - Fun to make and even more fun to use. Fruit/Veggie Paints - less practical but 100% natural and edible. Or check out our Shaving Cream Bath Paint   ROCK 'n ROLLING Appreciate your child's energy when they are  young, as I'm sure you wish you still had that much energy now when you're older. As a mommy once told me "bees are busy but toddlers are even busier". Busy is great as it is a necessary part of their learning journey. They need to discover, investigate, explore, ask, watch and ask why in order to learn. So if you have an active toddler then whenever you can just keep them moving. It is not only fun and healthy for you both but there are loads of gross and fine motor benefits as well as sensory benefits - to moving too. Most of us do not need an excuse to Rock 'n Roll but make it your goal to find every excuse possible to have your toddler Rocking 'n Rolling. Get your toddler - hopping, skipping, rolling and jumping wherever it is safe and fun to do. Make going to bed or cleaning up a fun activity by having your toddler move like an animal to get there or get it done. Benefit Gross Motor Development is the movement of the body's large muscles.  It acts as a foundation for fine motor development and is essential to all aspects of movement. Another benefit of rocking, rolling and moving in certain ways is that we all have 7 senses. Most  people know about the main 5  - taste, touch, smell, hear and see. But not many know about the other 2 - Vestibular (sense in inner-ear that helps with head position) and Proprioception (in joints which tells you where your body parts are in space). It is important to engage or activate each of the 7 sensory systems, so that they grow into one integrated sensory system. Resources This is the easiest, least resource heavy activity for anybody. It simply involves your ability to play like a child and think of every environment and obstacle through a child's eyes. The amount of fun you can have just picking up your toddler and pretending they are a sack of potatoes or a scarf - is infinite - but do anything that engages their Vestibular and Proprioception senses. Get Creative The easiest way to keep your toddler moving in a variety of ways and manners (so as to activate new muscles and new senses) is to have them pretend to be different animals. This can be used when attempting to get them to go to bed, head to the bathroom for a bath or any everyday activity. The Crab - Sideways on hands and feet, looking upward Kangaroo - Jump on their legs, holding their hands in front of their chest Rabbit - Jump on all four limbs, first hands then legs Inch Worm - Stand with both hands and both feet on the floor and walk with the hands away from the feet and then bring feet closer to the hands Donkey - Put hands on the floor and kick backwards with legs Duck - Waddle in a squatting position with the hands clasped under the arms Giraffe - With hands stretched high above the head Elephant - Take big steps and pretend the arms are a trunk and a tail    
  • 10 SENSORY PLAY ACTIVITIES FOR BABY
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    10 SENSORY PLAY ACTIVITIES FOR BABY
    June 29, 2017
    A QUICK REMINDER OF THE IMPORTANCE OF SENSORY PLAY: HOW MANY SENSES? 6. Vestibular sense is the inner ear that helps with head position in relation to gravity 7. Proprioception in joints, which tells you where your body parts are in space THE IMPORTANCE? "It is important to engage and activate each o the sensory systems so that they can grow into one 'integrated' sensory system" says Occupational Therapist, Shelly Wolhuter. "Sensory integration is an unconscious process of the brain, to organise and give meaning to information received from our senses." she continues. The ability to recognise the information received by ones senses allows us to respond to a situation in a purposeful manner. It forms the underlying foundation of academic learning and social behaviour. Put simpler it helps us to focus on important information like the 'teachers voice' and suppress irrelevant information (like kids talking or airplane overhead). THE BENEFITS Research shows that sensory play builds nerve connections in the brain’s pathways, which lead to the child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks Sensory play supports language development, cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills, problem solving skills, and social interaction This type of play aids in developing and enhancing memory Sensory play is great for calming an anxious or frustrated child This helps children learn sensory attributes (hot, cold, sticky, dry) ALL OUR KNOWLEDGE BEGINS WITH THE SENSES Immanual Kant... A QUICKFIRE LIST OF 10 SENSORY ACTIVITIES FOR BABY   Make  Sensory Bags:  These are great for babies still putting everything in their mouth, and they are mess free too!  We have made so many types of sensory bags.  The ones below are some of our favorites      Explore textures with varying balls like Plain Vanilla Mom.  It is amazing how many ways baby will find to play with a simple basket of balls;  Sorting, mouthing, filling and dumping, throwing and fetching.....         Make Sensory Bottles like these from The Iowa Farmers Wife.   You can make these using just about anything, and kids love them! Add a bit of learning to sensory bottle play and make rainbow sensory bottles.  These are great for babies on to preschoolers and can be used to learn colors, shapes, early maths, and more!       Make a sound guitar for baby.  How cute is this idea from House of Burke?  I love it!         A tugging box will surely keep the little ones entertained.  This easy to make toy from Laughing Kids Learn is on our must try list... now all we need is another baby 😉         Another great box idea for baby- sensory boxes from Meri Cherry         Make a First Sensory Bin  for baby.  I love this idea from Plain Vanilla Mom.  The large shells are perfect for babies to play and explore with safely         Another great sensory bin for babies is this Animal Hide and Seek Bin from Dirt and Boogers.... just be sure that you don't include small pieces       Shaving Cream in a Bag is lots of fun and keeps it out of little ones mouth and eyes.  A bag full of shaving cream sounds too easy, but it feels SO COOL!  Try it!         Rainbow Bubble Sensory Play was a favorite with my babes!  Both Rosie and Jewel still love this activity     PLUS ONE EXTRA - JUST BECAUSE WE LOVE SENSORY PLAY EVEN MORE THAN BABY       Make a sensory sound basket for baby  like this one shared by The Pleasantest Thing on Growing a Jeweled Rose
  • baby winter survival guide
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    BABY'S FIRST WINTER: A Survival Guide
    June 30, 2017
    What if your FIRST child arrives in June - there is ice, a biting cold and atrocious windchills. The idea of venturing into the slippery, germ-infested cold with a newborn is not appealing. In fact, it terrifies most moms.. But you have absolultey nothing to be afraid of, according to respected Occupational Therapist, Shelly Wolhuter. "Babies and new parents need fresh air," she says. "Unless it's dangerously cold, being outdoors helps infants acclimate to the seasons and the day-and-night cycle, and it often calms irritability." Just look at the Scandinavians, who despite a far colder climate than our own, leave their baby's outside warmly wrapped and inside their pram. One just needs to look a generation or two ago in South Africa where our grandparents firmly believed that a baby was healthier left outside under a tree on a daily basis. Even though fresh air is good, there are precautions you should take. Learn the season's best strategies and put your winter worries to rest IF KISSES WERE SNOWFLAKES.........I'D SEND YOU A BLIZZARD! MOM WRAP THEM IN LOVE  Infants lose heat faster than adults, and the younger their age, the less able they are to cope with cold. Small babies lack the ability to increase heat by shivering and don't have the body fat needed to warm back up once they get cold. Dress him in layers No one wants their munchkin to be cold, so we have a tendency to overdress babies in the winter. The rule is to outfit your munchkin as you do yourself, plus one more layer. Choose breathable fabrics such as cotton and muslin so you can take clothes on and off as needed. 100% Cellular Blankets Nocturnal Affair’s 100% cotton cellular baby blankets are a must-have bedding item for baby. The cellular design of these blankets helps to provide greater insulation without adding too much weight on top of baby.  Ideal for any season. BUY NOW Ditch the coat in the car Puffy jackets, snowsuits, and buntings should never be worn in a car safety seat, They're unsafe because you need to loosen the harness in order to accommodate them, but in a crash they can compress, leaving a big gap between the harness and child, upping the chance of injury. Dress your infant for the temperature that the car will be, not the temperature outside. Warm your vehicle, strap Baby in while she's wearing her regular clothes, and then tuck her coat or a blanket around her and over the buckled harness straps. Another option is to use a light fleece wrap or cover that is over the clothes during baby's transition into the car and can then be left closed or easily opened depending on the temperature in the car. Bubs Starwrap The Bubs Winter Fleece Starwrap is a genius all-in-one soft hooded baby wrap. Pop your dressed baby into the wrap and easily transfer baby from home to car seat/ pram/ buggy or sling. And ensure you have the cutest little star, by far. BUY NOW Bundle up for any outside outing  If the temperature or windchill dips too low, or if low temperatures are mixed with wind or rain, keep your little one inside except for brief excursions, like to and from the car. For any jaunts or outings dress him in a winter jacket, a hat that covers his ears, mittens, and a stroller blanket or bunting. Check your baby often for signs of discomfort. If his face gets red, his skin is warm, and he's fussy, he's probably overheated. If he's fussy and teary-eyed, and his skin is cold to the touch, he's probably not bundled up enough. GERM SEASON There's a reason we call winter the sick season, children get an average of 6 to 10 colds every year. Your baby's immune system is still maturing, and is being exposed to lots of viruses by other kids. She'll get plenty of immunity-building vitamins and minerals from breast milk and formula, but you can do more. Disinfecting  If someone in the family is sick, to avoid transmitting viruses to other family members -  disinfect any frequently touched surfaces or objects, such as crib rails, dresser-drawer handles, hard plastic toys, doorknobs, and light switches.. Using wipes and organic hand sanitizers can significantly reduce the spread of gastroenteritis at home according to researchers at Children's Hospital Boston.   SOPURE Hand Sanitiser SoPure's Nursery Hand Sanitizer is the only purely natural, rinse-free hand sanitizer of its kind. It quickly and effectively eliminates viruses, bacteria, fungi, wild strains of yeasts, as well as moulds. You can drink it, wash with it, inhale it, and use it to disinfect surfaces and water. It is the perfect answer to all your newborn’s sterilization needs! BUY NOW Clean Hands Babies put their hands in their nose and mouth, so it's important to keep those little digits clean—and yours, too. For Baby, lather a washcloth with soap (natural/chemical free is best) and warm water. Then scrub—the friction lifts dirt and germs from skin—about 20 seconds each time you feed her, change a diaper, or return from being out and about. Do the same yourself (you can skip the washcloth) after each of these tasks as well as your own bathroom visits. Dry thoroughly after, since germs can be transferred more easily to and from wet hands. If you're on the go, use a hand sanitizer (SoPure Hand Sanitizer). Avoid alcohol based products for baby as the alcohol can cause irritation if used directly on their sensitive skin.   Goats Milk Organic Soap Most soaps strip your baby’s skin of its natural oils – where natural goat’s milk soap is gentle yet nutrient rich. Organic goats milk soap is wonderful for ultra-sensitive skins such as newborns BUY NOW R&R Baby Milk Wash A baby milk wash is a creamy lather that cleans and conditions baby’s delicate skin. This ultra-gentle, creamy milk is perfect for newborns! It allows you to thoroughly cleanse your baby’s face and body while maintaining the skin’s natural balance. Leaves baby’s skin clean, soft and delicately scented. Allergen-free. Paraben-free. Sulphate-free. Soap-free. No Artificial Colors or Fragrances. Petroleum-Free. Mineral Oil-Free. BUY NOW Mite Free One of the major contributors to allergic reactions, second only to pollen, is dust mites. Dust mites are an everyday part of life and fulfill vital functions in the eradication of biodegradable waste, however, when the populations of these dust mites build up, the allergens they produce can become a problem. Dust mites are often the root cause of problems such as asthma, eczema, hay fever, itchy eyes or skin, a runny nose, interrupted sleep patterns or impaired breathing - particularly in infants and children. Sun and Fresh Air are two natural Dust Mite combatants - but in winter when there is less sun and its too cold to leave windows open or place bedding outside - you will need help combating Dust Mites.   MiteFree Baby Allergen Spray MiteFree Baby Allergen Spray is a powerful and safe neutralising agent that helps prevent allergic reactions caused by dust mite allergens. Spray this ultra-pure allergy relief formula onto beds, mattresses, pillows, soft toys, curtains and upholstery – it’s even mild enough to spray in baby’s cot. BUY NOW DRY SKIN Cold temperatures, the lack of humidity, and recirculated inside air can all contribute to dry, itchy and scaly skin. Especially for a baby that is teething, the excess saliva can cause their lips to dry out and crack. The Right Temperature Indoor heating has low humidity, and it's that lack of moisture in the air that can dry your baby's delicate skin. To avoid this rather keep your indoor temperature as cool as you can tolerate during the day and rather dress baby accordingly. When your little one is sleeping, however, you can allow even lower temperatures, which will not only benefit her skin, but can reduce her risk of SIDS, research shows. Dress your baby in a sleeper and sleep sack—a wearable blanket—to keep her warm enough.   Winter Sleep Sac The Baby Sense Winter Sleepy Sac has been designed to eliminate those early morning wakings due to cold. Many babies kick off their blankets and swaddles as they get a little older. This causes them to cool down in the early hours of the morning, leading to early wakings. BUY NOW Bathing You know the wrinkly fingers you used to get as a child when staying in the bath too long? Well that should tell you the role hot water plays in dehyradting the skin barrier and how it saps the skin's protective oils. We recommend giving baby a bath only about every three days to avoid over-drying and irritation. The water should feel comfortably warm, not hot, stick your elbow in to gauge. Limit time in the tub to 10 minutes, less for a newborn.   Lily n' Jack Bath Apron The Lily ‘n Jack Snuggledry Bath Apron is made from super soft 450gsm cotton toweling. Baby goes from warm bath straight into a warm towel that is preheated by mom or dads body heat. The Lily ‘n Jack Bath Apron enables a calm, soothing and hassle-free transition from bath to towel. Suitable from birth through to toddler-hood BUY NOW  Moisturise Delicate skins best shield against winter woes is moisturiser. Not all baby's require moisturiser and since mommy knows best - simply monitor baby's skin for signs of dryness. However when you do need a moisturiser, make sure it's fragrance and chemical free.  Products that include mineral oil's are best as they have the greatest lipid content so are best at hydrating and preventing damage to the skin barrier. TIP: Apply one within three minutes of taking your baby out of the tub; putting ointment on damp skin maintains the hydration provided by the bath because it locks in water. If skin is extra dry, moisturise three times a day, in addition to post-bath.   Baby Massage & Bath Oil Winter is notorious for causing dry and sensitive skin. Keep baby warm and moisturised this winter with Pure Beginnings 'Soothing Baby Massage & Bath Oil". Massaging baby carries numerous other health benefits too. And that is not even counting the BONDING benefits. BUY NOW   Natural Barrier Balm Another common problem in winter is dry and cracked lips. Especially for baby's that are teething, the excess saliva can cause their lips to dry out and crack. The Mother Nature Barrier Balm is a thick, rich barrier salve, which is gentle but incredibly effective in protecting, nourishing and healing mother & baby’s skin. It speeds up the healing of dry, irritated skin, nappy rash and eczema. It can be used on hands, lips and cheeks (both kinds) to soothe chapped skin, abrasions and other minor skin irritations. BUY NOW Probiotic Baby Sensitive Body Cream The Probiotic Baby Sensitive Body Cream is formulated to boost the skin’s microbiome with the inclusion of prebiotic and probiotic ingredients. The formulation, ingredients, and product pH have all been considered to assist the skin’s microbiome to flourish. BUY NOW Probiotic Baby Sensitive Cream Wash The Probiotic Baby Sensitive Body Cream is formulated to boost the skin’s microbiome with the inclusion of Aloe Vera Leaf Extract – a soothing, healing base which has been used for centuries to treat and care for sensitive skin. Marula Seed Oil – a nourishing oil with anti-inflammatory and healing properties ensures the cream wash is nourishing and calming. BUY NOW R&R Baby Body Lotion Moisturize and nourish your baby’s delicate skin with RR’s all-natural Baby Body Lotion formula of avocado oil, shea butter, jojoba oil and aloe. This light moisturizer leaves skin feeling soft, with the delicately sweet scent of organic chamomile oil. Allergen-free. Paraben-free. Sulphate-free. Soap-free. No Artificial Colors or Fragrances. Petroleum-Free. Mineral Oil-Free. BUY NOW KEEP BABY CLOSE I am a Winter Baby! "Those born in winter love nothing more than a warm hug from their  nearest and dearest!" Keep Baby Close The simplest and most rewarding way to keep baby warm this Winter is using your own bodyheat. Keep baby against you, kinda like a Kangaroo, and believe us when we say that that is baby's favourite place to be. Whether with a Carrier, Wrap or Sling - keep baby close this winter... FIND YOURS Winter is the ideal time to bond as a family. Find out what our Occupatiotional Therapist has to say about using the time indoors to develop baby's gross motor skills. The Winter Survival Guide was adapted from an article by Holly Pevzner from American Baby  
  • easy nutritious holiday meals
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    EASY NUTRITIOUS HOLIDAY MEALS
    June 30, 2017
    Whilst winter is a time when we often eat more, holidays should also provide us with extra time to try new meals and get creative in the kitchen. It was the father of  medicine, Hippocrates, who famously quipped "Led Food be your Medicine and Medicine be your Food" - so whether you have an infant, toddler or hungry young rascal to feed - it is never too early or too late to start ensuring their body gets everything they need to build healthy and happy cells.     BABIES (8 - 14 months) BABY LED WEANING Baby Led Weaning, a term coined by Gill Rapley in her book ‘Baby-led Weaning: Helping Your Baby to Love Good Food’. In her book Rapley explains that spoon-feeding can be the same as forcing food down the baby’s throat and can teach him or her to overeat. In contrast, baby-led weaning means offering the baby finger foods which encourages him or her to learn the skills of chewing and swallowing, promotes hand-mouth co-ordination, helps baby to decide what to eat and how much of it to eat, and gives the opportunity to experience different textures of foods. A recent study confirmed Rapley’s theory that spoon-fed babies are prone to overeating and obesity. WHEN IS BABY READY TO EAT SOLID FOOD? According to world renowned Nutritionist Barbara O'Neill you'll know when baby is ready to eat solid food once all three requirements are met. When baby can sit up by himself (usually around 7.5 months) When baby can pick up and put food in his mouth (babies start putting things in their mouth around 5mths and are proficient at doing so around 7.5mths onwards When baby has teeth with which to masticate food (the incisors appear first, four on the upper and four on the lower gums. These are chisel shaped teeth and best suited to soft fruits and veggies.) As the only teeth baby has at this stage are incisors, no starch should be given. Ptyalin, which is the salivary amylase that initiates the breakdown of starch, is not yet present in a baby's mouth. This enzyme is not produced until the eruptions of the first molars. (need a reminder? WATCH HERE) BABY LED WEANING ACTIVITIES & ADVICE Did you know that sensory input begins from the very beginning when you first swaddle your baby in a blanket?  Babies actually rely on sensory input to satisfy their reflexes.  And, as they grow, they start to respond to and organize that sensory input.  It’s amazing how much is happening in the first year of life. At this stage, babies need stimulation.  They use it to learn about their world.  Incoming sensory information comes in these forms:  touch, taste, sound, sight, smells, vestibular input (the body’s position in space), and proprioceptive input (sensations from muscles and joints). Now for the technical bits… Choose organic foods as much as possible, and ensure that your baby has boiled and cooled water from a sippy cup with her food, to avoid potential problems with digestion or constipation It is best to offer your baby a milk feed before you sit down at the table so that they don't fill up on solids out of hunger for breastmilk Never leave your baby unattended at the table; babies can choke on any types of food, no matter how small or soft they may be. Babies learn from watching you chew and swallow your food, so enjoy sharing these precious family moments together Learn about food and start down the path of good nutrition and adventurous eating. You can let your baby experiment with varied combinations of: STRIPS of steamed kale, raw lettuce, dried figs or dried apricots soaked in water (to make them softer/easier to chew)- CHUNKS of steamed broccoli, steamed parsnips, steamed carrots, steamed swede, steamed turnip, steamed green beans, baked yams, baked pumpkins, boiled chard, fried tofu SLICES of raw cucumber, raw avocado, raw apple, raw pear, toast with vegan margarine/hummus/avocado spread etc MASHED potatoes mixed with tofu, potatoes with nutritional yeast, swede with broccoli, cooked lentils with boiled carrots, sweet potato with courgette, porridge with banana, cooked kidney/other beans with rice, cooked chickpeas with rice, boiled spinach, boiled cabbage – breastmilk can be added to any mashed food combinations to make them more alluring to baby Also – brown rice cooked with cumin seeds and peas, plain quinoa or couscous cooked with olive oil, larger amounts of alternative milks as baby gets older, then othe oat products. A PLAYTIME FOODIE ACTIVITY This activity uses a simple high chair activity to focus on touch, taste, sound, sight and smell. There is no right or wrong way to do this but we liked Kristen from Modern Parents, Messy Kids approach: They chose to create three unique experiences and present them to baby, one at a time. Sensory Food Play Activity #1: Sorting & Stacking First, seasonal fruit was cut into squares and balls so that baby could easily stack them.  We used cantaloupe, mango, oranges, pears, apples and bananas. A little dice work and a melon baller are the only tools needed.  After taking some time to stack the fruit, we started sorting by colors and shapes in an ice cube tray. The colors, textures, smells and even our words describing the fruit all made her senses come alive.  You can see the curiosity and excitement as she explores with her hands and mouth. Sensory Food Play Activity #2: Exploring Slippery Foods For the next activity, we used pasta and boiled eggs.  Sometimes little palettes don’t enjoy slippery/slimy textures.  By first exploring them with her hands and smelling the food, she slowly learned about these new texture Sensory Food Play Activity #3: Painting with Purees Finger-painting is something that even the pickiest eater will get into.  Puree Squeezers provide the perfect ‘paint.’  We put a few drops on the tray and let her start to touch and taste it. Seconds later, she was using the squeezers herself.  She added to the paint and was up to her elbows in yummy fruits and vegetables! Using food to learn about the world is not only stimulating, it’s soothing.  Sensory play can often provide comfort for a cranky baby.  Remember, babies rely on their senses to organize what they are learning.  So go ahead, take an hour and get the high chair a little messy! Taken from the article: Playtime: Setting up a Food Exploration Station for Baby "LET FOOD BE YOUR MEDICINE AND MEDICINE BE YOUR FOOD" HIPPOCRATES TODDLERS (14 months+) When the first molars appear: It is around the age of 14 to 18 months that the digestive tract begins to mature and baby can cope with complex carbohydrates. The signpost is when the first molars appear. These have four cusps and are used to crush and grind food. The canines or eyeteeth erupt at about eighteen to twenty months. They are situated between the incisors and the first molars. The canines are used to tear and shred the food. When the molars appear, ptyalin, the amylase in saliva, which breaks down starch, is now produced. At this stage potatoes, bread and cereals can be introduced. It is important that all grains be thoroughly cooked, and also the legumes should be soaked and well cooked. It is best at this stage to slowly introduce these foods, always leaning more to the fruits and vegetables. By 18 to 24 months baby is usually eating three meals a day and is down to only a couple of milk feeds. If baby is weaned from the breast he can be given a fresh juice once or twice a day. Carrot, apple and celery are best. This mix contains all the necessary nutrients to sustain life. This is often called vegetarian’s milk.   6 NUTRITIOUS AND FUN RECIPES   BREAKFAST FLOUR-LESS APPLE PANCAKES This is ideal for getting little ONES to eat solids without the unhealthy flours - nice snack for mom too while she has to make them, especially if one 'accidently breaks' Ingredients 2 eggs, whisked 2 bananas, mashed 1 peeled apple, diced small 2 Tbsp almond butter 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1 tsp pure vanilla extract A little coconut oil for cooking the pancakes Instructions Mash the 2 bananas with a fork Whisk 2 eggs in a medium bowl Add banana mash to eggs Core and dice 1 apple. We used Golden Delicious – choose your favorite Stir bananas, eggs and apple chunks together Next add the almond butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla Combine into a pancake batter Heat a thin layer of coconut oil in a skillet to medium low. Pour the pancake batter in - keeping the pancakes no wider than your spatula. When one side is golden brown, gently turn over to cook the other side. Makes about 8 small pancakes Recipe can be easily be doubled or tripled to make more pancakes Top with fresh fruit or raw maple syrup Notes Keep the size of your pancakes just a little smaller than your spatula head. That will make them easier to flip over without falling apart.   FEEL GOOD CRUNCHIES This is a carb free, light meal with lots of nutritious variety. Like Legumes and despite their diminutive size, SEEDS, are nutritional giants and should be included where possible. Ingredients 50g butter,  plus a little extra for greasing 2 tbsp smooth almond butter 3 tbsp honey 2 ripe bananas, mashed 1 apple, peeled and grated 250g rolled oats 85g dried apricot, chopped or any other dried fruit that takes your fancy, peaches and pears also works well in this recipe 100g raisins 85g mixed seed (we used pumpkin and sunflower)   Instructions Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Grease and line a 20cm square tin with baking parchment. Heat the butter, almond butter and honey or maple syrup in a small pan until melted. Add the mashed banana, apple and 100ml hot water, and mix to combine. Tip the oats, the dried fruit and the seeds into a large bowl. Pour in the combined banana and apple and stir until everything is coated by the wet mixture. Tip into the cake tin and level the surface. Bake for 55 mins until golden. Leave to cool in the tin. Cut into 12 pieces to serve or store in an airtight container in the fridge. They will keep for up to 3 days.   LUNCH LENTIL, CHEESE & CARROT WEDGES An easy and fun way to introduce healthy legumes into little ones diet. Ingredients 1 large onion finally chopped 115g cheese grated 1 egg (can be substituted with one of the following: a)half a medium banana, mashed or b)1/4 cup applesauce (or other pureed fruit) or c) 1tbsp ground flax seed soaked in 3 tbsp warm water for 1 minute 225g red lentils 2 medium carrots grated 1 tsp dried mixed herbs 30g breadcrumbs 30g coconut oil Item text 9 Item text 10 Instructions Preheat oven to 190C/Gas Mark 5. Cook the lentils. Melt the butter and fry the onion until transparent. Take off the hob and let it cool for a bit. Add the carrots and all the other ingredients and give it a good mix. Press into a greased 9” sandwich tin. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Handy Hint Can eat warm or cold. Freezes well - take a wedge out of the freezer at a few hours before and put in a oven proof dish. When you want to cook it, put in the oven for about 20 mins. #ecotip: To make lentil puree, just cook about 1 cup split red lentils in enough water to cover until tender, stirring. Puree them in a food processor after. You want them to be the consistency of pumpkin puree. If they are too thick, add a little more water.   CAULIFLOWER & BUTTERNUT CAKES Hidden vegetables – every Mum’s naughty little secret. These cakes are deliciously warm and comforting (perfect for winter), and undoubtedly a favorite of the little people. Baked, not fried! Ingredients Butternut Cauliflower Grated cheese Instructions Boil and mash a butternut. Once cooled add some cooked, finely chopped cauliflower and some grated cheese. You could add other finely chopped vegetables if you have others as leftovers. Mould into small patty’s, place on a greased baking tray and bake in a 180 C/Gas 4 oven until lightly brown and cooked through (approximately 20 to 25 mins). Handy Hint This recipe works well with any kind of left over veggies. Try aubergine and Cauliflower, or add some roasted bell peppers to the mix. You can even add some cooked quinoa or lentils for texture or your (or little ones') favourite seeds or nuts This can be served by its self of as a side dish. DINNER LIGHT QUINOA PILAF A great alternative to a rice based stir fry, using quinoa instead of rice. Quinoa gives you double the protein, 10% more fibre and almost half  the carbs when compared with rice. This dish makes a wonderful side dish to grilled chicken or country style pork chops! Ingredients: 1 cup quinoa 1 1/2 cup water 1 tbsp olive oil 1 onion chopped 1 stalk celery, minced 1 carrot, minced 1 bay leaf 1 tbsp lemon zest 1 tbsp lemon juice salt and pepper When using Salt either make use of quality Celtic Sea or Himalayan Salt as each contains 84 minerals vs normal table or sea salt, which contains just 2 minerals. Instructions: Rinse and drain the quinoa seeds. Set aside. In a medium sized sauce pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, the celery and the carrots, stir and cook for about 10 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add the quinoa and stir for about a minute. Add water, 1 bay leaf, the zest and the lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir a few times to make sure the flavors mix, and then cover and allow to cook for about 20 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when the liquid has all been absorbed. Remove the bay leaf, add salt and pepper to taste and serve warm. Tip: For a more flavorful quinoa pilaf, substitute chicken stock for water.     SNACK PUFFED QUINOA NUT BUTTER BALLS The original recipe was for Puffed Quinoa Peanut Butter Balls, but we have substituted the Peanut Butter for healthier nut butters such as Almond or Cashew nut butter. Quinoa is actually a Seed not a Grain and so these fun tasty balls are another easy way to introduce the enormous nutritional value of seeds into your little ones diet. And they will think its just a delish dessert. Ingredients 1 cup puffed quinoa ½ cup almond or cashew nut butter 3-4 tbsp raw honey 1 tsp vanilla extract Vegan dark chocolate (optional) Instructions In a mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, agave and vanilla. If the mixture is too firm, heat it up on the stove a little bit. Add the puffed quinoa (and peanuts, if using), and stir to combine. Place mixture in the fridge for 15 minutes to let it firm up. Remove from fridge, roll into 12 balls, and return to fridge for 15 minutes before serving. Optional: dip some or all of the balls in dark chocolate. Makes 12 balls.
  • dad texture board
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    DAD AS A TEXTURE BOARD
    July 5, 2017
    One of the greatest attributes of men is that they feel great (or they probably wouldn't be daddies in the first place). Whilst much has been written on how Dads can bond with Baby. We will keep saying - baby's favourite place to be is right against you. Nothing beats slow, unrushed time with your child. The fact that Dads are tactile giants, is just an added bonus for baby who then gets to experience Dad with one extra sense - TOUCH. From the rough texture of a shadow...   And the tactile toughness of growth...   To the soft texture of a beard...    "MY DAD DIDN'T TELL ME HOW TO LIVE, HE LIVED AND LET ME WATCH HIM DO IT" From the silky delight of a moustache... and the rich ripples of dads smile... To the consistency of a crewcut...  "my father gave me the greatest gift anyone can give - HE BELIEVED IN ME" JIM VALVANO From dads heavenly chest hair...  Beware: Little fingers can get a punishing grip on chest hair. To the velcro of a viking...  DADS ARE TACTILE GIANTS...   DADS are most ordinary MEN, turned by LOVE into - HEROES, ADVENTURERS, STORY TELLERS and SINGERS OF SONG Pam Brown