Category: Feeding & Nursing

Cooking and baking with Nature’s Farms

Nature's Farms review by The Mommy CityYou have probably already seen the Nature’s Farms range on Pick ‘n Pay shelves, and even tried out some of their pastas, flours, maize and biscuits. If you have, please let me know what you think. Besides the pretty packaging, there are a couple of good reasons why you should pick up a packet on your next shopping trip to try.

Let’s start with the pasta. There are 6 different types available, and I used their macaroni to make my #NaturesFarmsChallenge Macaroni Cake. Did you see it? It was fun to make and a great party dish for the kids (and adults). The pasta boiled in minutes and still tastes fresh even when reheated. Often I cook our meals early afternoon so the kids can eat around 5:30, and then reheat dad’s meal after he gets home. The pasta doesn’t dry out and still good to eat, even as left overs.

Nature's Farms review by The Mommy CityLet’s talk biscuits. Nature’s Farm have 4 types: ginger, shortbread, choc chip and black forest. The black forest biscuits are especially worth a try as they are different from what you usually find on the shelves. The biscuits also stay fresh for a few days if kept in their packaging in a sealed container. The range of flours include brown bread, white bread and cake wheat flour. Just no self-raising flour. They also have maize meal, a local favourite.

What makes Nature’s Farms unique

Friendly to the environment: A container dam was built at the plant for the collection and recycling of storm water, as well as purified sewage water, with which the gardens are irrigated. Energy-saving lighting and motors are installed for propulsion. The orientation of the building was also taken into consideration during the design stage so that the influence of sunlight during the hot summers could be reduced to the minimum.

Totally owned by local producers: The business is totally own by its producers, based in the Northern Cape. Nature’s Farms can guarantee quality products, because they know their origin. On each packet you will see a name such as Highlands, Woodlands or Little Hut. This is the area in which the farm is. There are about 100 skilled and experienced members of staff working on-site and each is responsible for their own, unique tasks.

Uses latest technology: The best, latest technology and equipment in the world was acquired for the plant. A fully equipped, modern laboratory, which constantly monitors and tests to ensure quality control, and Halaal status has been awarded to the factory. The plant also has its own water and electricity supply.

Quality, consistency and origin on the farm. That is what consumers will taste in our local,
but world class products.

For more information on the Nature’s Farms range of products, please visit the GWK website, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter. To find proudly South African recipes using Nature’s Farms product, follow the #NaturesFarmsChallenge on social media.

This is a sponsored post. Nature's Farms Pasta

Save

The Yellow Plate

The Yellow Plate review by The Mommy CityWhat I enjoy about the school run and driving around town for errands, is listening to Cape Talk radio. It’s my way of keeping current with the news and conversations that are going on at the time. It’s also strangely relaxing too. So I was driving one day, listening to an interview with Nikki Bush all about family rituals. Nikki is an international speaker, best selling author and you will also recognise her as the parenting expert on SABC3’s Expresso show. She was discussing the importance of establishing family rituals and whether big or small, how they become part of the fabric of family life.

Nikki shared an amusing story of how she wanted to make a celebration plate which is used by a family member at dinner time if they have achieved something great that day. The celebration plate could be used by her son after winning a sports match or improving on his spelling test, or by her husband after receiving a promotion. Extended family and friends could also eat off the special plate if they too had achieved something – whether small or big – to celebrate. It’s not to be used everyday, but when the family think it is deserving. She sent her design off to be made at a pottery house, but when it came back, the colour was a funny brown shade that she disliked. She wanted to get rid of it and replace it with a new, prettier version, but her sons protested. Despite its colour, it had already given meaning to their family rituals and could not be replaced. So on special occasions, the family pulls out the not-so-pretty plate, and acknowledges their accomplishments in a small but very meaningful way. Nikki goes on to discuss more ideas for creating family rituals in her blog post on her website.

This story of family rituals stuck with me, and I couldn’t help but smile when Kids Emporium gave me my own tradition plate at a recent blogger event. This family tradition plate is a much prettier yellow and has all the same sentiments of creating family rituals, celebrating a job well done, a birthday or even Mother’s Day. This is such a lovely gift not only for your own family, but for friends and family to create their own traditions too. So whether an ugly brown homemade plate, or The Yellow Plate which is available at Kids Emporium stores, bring more meaning into mealtimes by creating family traditions for your special day.

Snookums has a new look

Snookums has a new look - The Mommy CityRecognise the before logo? Well it’s about to change to this. Looks great right? Yes, the trusted South African baby brand Snookums is having a revamp and you will still be able to find all their quality products in your favourite stores, just with a different look. They are still producing their extensive range of affordable baby products right here in Cape Town, like they have done for over 43 years. Their products cover most categories such as Baby Feeding, Baby Bathing, Baby Grooming, Baby Soothing, Baby Teething, Baby Potty Training, Baby Development, Baby Toys and Baby Safety and Health. They constantly strive to include new innovative baby products to the range to ensure they stay at the forefront of international parenting trends.

I wanted to find out more and so I asked David Botha, managing director of Advacare of which Snookums is one of their brands, how their proudly SA company produces local products but at an affordable price and he replied: “Our ultimate customers are small innocent babies, so at Snookums we never compromise on quality, because we take their safety and wellbeing very seriously. We continuously strive to offer parents quality value for money products.  We are proud of our customer service. If parents are not completely happy with their Snookums product they can contact us directly at info@snookums.co.za. We will do everything in our power to help them. Snookums is a proudly South African brand, rooted in Cape Town. We understand the challenges of South African parents. We will never be the cheapest, but our quality products are excellent value for money, backed by caring staff and customer service.”

Snookums is available in all specialty baby shops, most pharmacies and mass retail chains.

WIN a Snookums hamper worth over R1000 on my Facebook page. Entries close Thursday, 22 October at 2pm.

Win Snookums hamper with The Mommy City

How to give your child the best start in life

PRESS RELEASE BY PATRICK HOLFORD

Patrick HolfordFrom the moment of conception to the arrival, nine months later, of a fully functioning, living, breathing human being, a baby uses the food that it receives in the womb to develop and grow. Once born, every morsel that goes into their mouth is used to fuel their body and brain for further growth – and at a fantastic rate. So no, little boys and girls are not made from puppy dog tails or sugar and spice – in reality, bones are made of calcium (amongst other things) and blood contains iron. Flesh is made up of protein and more than half of the brain is constructed from essential fats. We are, essentially, what we eat.

One of the most important and valuable gifts that you can give your child is the gift of optimum nutrition. By giving them the right carbohydrates, fats and proteins – the three major macronutrients, as well as all the vital micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that are essential for building, fuelling and energizing the body, you are setting your child up for optimum health and a body and mind built for success.

Knowing the theory behind what children should eat is half the battle won, but you need to teach them how to enjoy eating the foods that are good for them. Patrick Holford breaks down the important macro and micro nutrients and gives advice on how you can give your child the best start in life.

Carbohydrates

Like a cat drawn to catnip, humans are principally attracted to the taste of sweet things – carbohydrates. This is because although it is possible for us to use protein and fat for energy, carbohydrates are what the human body is designed to run on. Carbohydrates are

an important source of fuel for your child too, and should make up a quarter to one third of each of their meals. The trick is to introduce them to the right kinds of carbohydrates at an early age. If you “teach” your child to eat refined, fast releasing carbohydrates from the beginning, all other foods that are not as sweet will never taste as good, and you have lost the battle before it has begun. When children consume a lot of fast- releasing carbohydrates all at once, like a fizzy drink or white toast with jam, their blood sugar levels soar. Glucose is powerful stuff and can actually damage nerves and blood vessels.

Seesawing blood sugar levels can also affect their IQ – and not in a good way. Slow releasing or complex carbohydrates (wholegrains, vegetables, beans, lentils etc.) will help to keep your child’s blood sugar levels even, giving them more energy for longer. What’s more, to maximise mental performance, your child needs to have a consistent and even supply of glucose to the brain.

Fats

Fats are an important part of your child’s diet- at least the right ones are. Essential fats – omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids – because of their anti-inflammatory and immune supportive properties, help children to stay physically healthy, reducing the risk of allergies, asthma, eczema and infections. They are also vital to mental development and vitality. A deficiency in essential fats in your child’s diet could lead to fatigue, memory problems, behavioural and developmental problems, depression, dyslexia, attention deficit disorder and even autism. The best sources of these essential fats are oily fish, seeds and nuts. Salmon, mackerel, herring, tuna and eggs all contain good fatty acids. Flax, hemp, pumpkin, sesame seeds, walnuts and corn are all good foods to sneak into your child’s meals whenever you can.

Proteins

Protein provides your child with amino acids, the building blocks of life. This means that a good supply of protein, and hence amino acids, will make normal growth and development possible. Protein, especially when eaten alongside carbohydrates lowers the GL (Glycaemic Load) of the meal and plays a key role in supporting good blood sugar balance. The best proteins (those with a good balance of amino acids) to include in your child’s diet include; quinoa, brown rice, chickpeas, tuna, salmon, sardines, chicken, eggs, natural yoghurt, cottage cheese, peas and beans, broccoli, spinach, lentils and seeds.

Micronutrients

Vitamins and minerals are known as micronutrients, and if macronutrients – carbs, fats and proteins – are the brawn, vitamins and minerals are the brains. Without them, your child can’t turn carbohydrates into energy, process essential fats or build amino acids from proteins. In short, they are key to the task of building and rebuilding your child’s body and brain as they grow. Refining food to make white rice, white flour and white sugar removes up to 90% of some key minerals. Foods such as breakfast cereals must meet legal requirements (which are not optimum levels) therefore have some nutrients added back. The important message here is that getting plenty of these micronutrients in your child’s diet won’t happen by chance. Vitamin and mineral rich foods are unlikely to be their first choice. You have to teach them from an early age to love them. A good quality multivitamin with essential vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, chromium vitamin C, vitamin D and the B vitamins will only help ensure that your child is getting the optimum amounts of the key nutrients they need, and the ultimate head start in life.

Ella’s Kitchen & Cook Book Review

Ella's Kitchen baby food You may have already seen these brightly coloured Ella’s Kitchen food pouches on the shelves and wondered what they are about. They may be more expensive than some other brands but there is a reason for that – they are 100% organic with nothing else added. Their philosophy is that weaning should be a fun experience, not a scary one, for parents and little ones. Their range is from 4 months, and includes smoothies, fruits and veg, and protein dishes from 7 months up. The kids loved the smoothies we were sent to try, and Ethan now enjoys the independence of slurping his up straight from the pouch. The veg was also a hit, though the lamb with more texture will take a few tastes to get used to. The pouch will stay fresh for 24 hours in the fridge, but if your child is still learning to eat, you could squeeze them into ice-cube trays and freeze so there isn’t any waste.

Features:

  • Certified 100% organic
  • No added refined sugar or salt, no additives or thickeners, no E numbers or GM, no water and nothing artificial
  • Labelling gives clear guidance for nutritional needs at every stage of baby’s development
  • Picky eaters will enjoy the tastes and smells
  • Ideal for meals on the go

the COOK BOOK (the Red one)

Lately I haven’t been enjoying my cooking, mostly because it’s disheartening preparing meals only for your 3 year old to point her finger down her throat and pretend to gag (true story). I used to cook so much for Paige, and now that Ethan has said goodbye to purees and hello to finger foods, I’m determined to start enjoying the kitchen again. Ella’s Kitchen the Cook Book is just what I need right now as the 100 yummy recipes will introduce him to even more tastes and textures. This recipe book is not just written for mom and encourages older children to learn to cook too with fun instructions, plenty of pictures and easy to read instructions. There are tips for parents to get the kids involved and what your kids should be eating (whether they want to is another story!) They have really geared this book to little ones and have included little extras like stickers to decorate the pages and stick hearts and stars on their yummiest recipes.

Features:

  • 100 recipes, food guides and activities in the kitchen
  • Recipes include yummy lunches & speedy snacks, dee-licious dinners, perfect puds, scrummy treats and weekend foods.
  • Full colour with plenty of photographs and easy to follow instructions
  • Servings, prep and cooking times
  • Stickers

The Ella’s Kitchen range is available at larger stores including Baby City, Baby Boom, Toys R Us, Pick ‘n Pay, Spar and Clicks. BabyGroup and Takealot sell the range online.

Ella's Kitchen cook book

Sun-Joy lunchbox raisin packs

AB-Products raisin packsSpotted these lunchbox raisin packs at my local Pick ‘n Pay and they make a great healthy snack for school and when out and about. Paige loves raisins and I take them with on outings as a snack (or bribe depending on how it’s going) and she enjoys having her own little box to eat out of. The Sun-Joy seedless raisins come in packs of 10 and are made by AB Products, who are best known for their balsamic reductions. These packs would also make a healthy goodie for a safari themed birthday party bag. The snack packs are available at most Pick ‘n Pay and Spar stores in the Western Cape and other small shops. Call 083 703 9835 to enquire about the stockist nearest to you.

No more juice box spills

Juice box holder review - The Mommy CityLittle hands love straws and juice boxes, they love them so much they just want to squeeze them, and that means juice everywhere. This plastic Disney juice box holder prevents boxes being squished and the feet help stop the box being tipped over. Kids can still lift the juice box out the holder so if you don’t want to risk any clean up, supervise them whilst drinking. Look out for this handy holder for your child’s lunchbox and snack time treats in supermarkets and baby stores.  .