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Activities Days Out Family Life Food Places

Cocktails & Mocktails

If you are feeling a bit fried over half term, meet up with a friend and take the tribe to Balans Soho Society at the Westfield, Shepherd’s Bush for a cocktail.

Ok, so the Westfield gives me a slight headache if I spend too long in there (although there is loads of free stuff that would keep the kids amused such as the ‘musical armchairs’ and a good dose of lego building in the lego shop to name a few).

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We went to the Kids Club Cinema first. It is on every Saturday and a Sunday at 1030. (I don’t advise going on a Sunday though as I snuck out with the youngest to do some shopping but hte shops didn’t open till 12. Of course. Doh.)

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Away from the main concourse of restaurants, Balans Soho Society is a little gem of a restaurant not only serving all your favourites beautifully, they have just started a Cocktail and Mocktail menu for you and the little ones. (The former for you, the latter for them – unless they are a bit hyper then knock them out with a cocktail – joke).

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They are presented exquisitely and taste as good as they look. I went for a gin based ‘Mummy’s Pick Me Up’. Alex had a slightly more manly sounding ‘The Society Teddy Bear(!)’ which included bourbon, vanilla, cinnamon and cranberry.  The kids tried all of the mocktails – the favourite was unsurpsingly ‘Cheeky Little Monkey!’  We were even allowed to take home the bear bottles!

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Icce cream, pancakes AND maple syrup. We rolled out of the restaurant! The kids from food and ourselves from one or two ‘Teddy Bears!’

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Try it, you will be looked after so well – the staff are fun & friendly (especially Elias who had of averting disasters before they happened!)

balans.co.uk

 

Family Life Food Products

Food, Glorious Food…

If you have been reading The London Mummy for a while (thank you by the way!) you will notice that it is NOT a place to get health, food and fitness ideas. However, over the last couple of months my eyes have been opened to some fantastic new business’s that are related to – dare I even use these two words together – healthy eating. I would be a mug not to give these a mention as they are original & delicious and I think you would be better off knowing about them…

Early Bird Snacks

A subscription based snack box that gets delivered to your desk or door. Insanely good & really well thought out snack ideas. My favourite was ‘Nuts About Ella’ which consisted of ombar dairy-free milk buttons are bursts of creamy goodness, sweetened only with coconut and vanilla. Paired with blanched hazelnuts to give a satisfying crunch and mulberries to add a naturally sweet honey-like taste.  The only problem was all 4 compartments in the snack box went down a storm and I had to tussle with the toddler for my share!

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Cuckoo – The Modern Muesli

Bircher Muesli from Cuckoo consists of oats, yoghurt and fruit. The Apple & Cinamin Spice with Plum & Juicy Raisons is insane as are all their flavours. The kids will love them too. You could even try making your own or buy at Waitrose, Tesco & the Co-Op. (Add them to your next order. Add lots, they are that good!)

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Piccolo Plates

Healthy, fresh children’s dishes straight to your door. How genius is that? You order, Els & Bels (yes really) make the food that day and then deliver it to your door, throughout London, for FREE.

Such a good idea for a mother who has just had another baby and needs to feed her existing sprogs, if you need to feed children at a party or quite simply, if you are over cooking for the children. I hope I don’t come across as mean, but 3 meals a day  x 3 children x 7 days = 63 plates of food and they can’t all be fish fingers!! So over it! Check out the different dishes and order NOW. Too much sunbathing to be had to prep kids meals…

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Vita Coco – Mocha Coconut Water

It doesn’t sound like it should all go together, but it does and it is delicious. I have a pile in my fridge and when I need a natural boost of caffeine & chocolate, I drink this guilt free knowing that it is largely coconut water – and keeps the mid afternoon slump at bay. There are loads of tempting  flavours – perfect for the balmy weather.

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Cooking Them Healthy

At pick up after school, the playground is like a food festival. Since when did children need so much food between lunch and & supper?! I usually just flick out a packet of quavers or something equally as empty.  However recently the sight of homemade wraps and the like have made me realised that perhaps it is a fantastic opportunity to get some top tucker into them whilst they are starving.

I asked the lovely Georgie over at Cooking Them Healthy, the holy grail of kids recipe’s and inspo, to share some quick & easy recipes for ‘the after school snack’ (Click on the title for the recipe)

Healthy Rice Squares

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Peanut Butter Balls

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Banana Bread

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For lots more snack ideas,  click here

They have started doing demonstrations too, so sign up to their newsletter to be kept in the loop.

Happy munching! xx

Activities Days Out Events Family Life Food Places

Kids Club at GOAT : Chelsea

We call ourselves the ‘restaurant clearers’. Usually before we have even started our main course, we look around and realise that other tables are empty – not through finishing their meal but because they have MOVED to a quieter spot.  Not on Sunday though. We went to try out the Kids Club on Sunday at the GOAT in Chelsea and it was fantastic.

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Not one to brag about my children (5ys, 3ys and 1yr), let alone their behaviour, I must say they were very well behaved.  It obviously helped that they were only at the table to eat their lunch, but still – it was a joy. In between courses, the older two, instead of bribing them with a pack of colouring pencils and drawing sheet – were amused AWAY from the table at what can only be described as similar to a full on kids party.

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Our usual motto with necessary things like feeding in public is ‘quick games a good game’ but we spent two hours whiling away lunchtime with red wine and adult conversation knowing our children were not only being entertained (in a different room) but they were loving every moment.

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GOAT has cottoned on to the need that in order for parents to enjoy their lunch, it really helps if the little ones are amused. Every Sunday between 12-3, Mr Froggle is downstairs with games, magic and dancing and your children can come and go between courses. Each week there is a different theme so you could make it a regular Sunday tradition!  The children’s menu is more sophisticated than the usual pizza pasta on offer and out eldest had calamari, followed by Mac and cheese, rounded off with a pistachio brownie and ice cream. (Ok, I actually I finished it as he was slightly too eager to get back downstairs!)

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The restaurant was filled with children and high chairs but not in a headache inducing way. The staff were welcoming and accommodated our request for an extra high chair, a place to put our buggy and some straws!

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GOAT

GOAT on a Sunday is a perfect place to meet friends with other children and judging by how busy it was, book a table pronto as this restaurant is set to be very busy in the lead up to Christmas with families combining eating and children. They have totally nailed a relaxing and fun environment, all very reasonably priced. Bravo!

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goatchelsea.com

Food Products Spotlight

KiddieCubes: Frozen Baby Food

I have been under the cosh this last week with an ongoing au pair hunt, organising a christening and trying not to overlook my 3rd child’s impending 1st birthday.  The hardest aspect is trying to keep them well fed, especially as everyone has different requirements!

Baby – required mush.
2 yr old – soft/saucy food (don’t ask)
4 yr old – ‘4 year old’ food…
Hub – try to veer away from giving him left over ‘4 year old’ food.
Me – whatever any of the above haven’t finished. Although after a week of trying to channel Jennifer Aniston’s baby food diet (remember that one?) it hasn’t made one iota of difference, so back to the drawing board.

Luckily one aspect has been totally taken of.  I have discovered KiddieCubes. How has no one thought of this before? (Actually, I know a few people who have thought about it, but haven’t brought it to fruition).
imageKiddieCubes founder Issy Langly-Smith commented: “As a mother and nutritional therapist my friends would often come to me for advice on weaning as they really struggled with the process, finding it tedious and often unrewarding when their babies rejected the food. My nutritional background helped me really understand the importance of a balanced meal and I love cooking, so relished weaning experience with my three children (except the clearing up under the high chair!). This acted as the motivation to create the weaning “Holy Grail”, a product that helped other mums offer their babies all the taste and nutritional benefits of traditional weaning, but without the hassle or hours of cooking and pureeing.”

imageKiddieCubes do all the hard work for parents, preparing perfect purees just the way they’d make at home, without any unwanted bits. Unlike jars and pouches, they are not severely heat treated, meaning KiddieCubes taste and smell like real food and retain all of their nutritional value. Each puree is frozen into 25g cubes, the equivalent of one tablespoon, allowing portion sizes to be increased at a steady constant rate. All parents have to do is simply heat the cube in a microwave or on the hob for a few seconds to get spoonfuls of goodness without the fuss.

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Thank goodness for KiddieCubes. How have I only just discovered them! If you are a new mother or know a new mother, stock up on a few packets of these – they are a game changer and went down exceptionally well. Here’s hoping they bring out Stage 2 and 3 soon!

Issy’s Favourite’simage

Shop: Lizzie’s on Webb’s Road in Battersea, London

Website: www.sheerluxe.com

Restaurant: The Hoddington Arms in Upton Grey, Hampshire

Hotel: Ockenden Manor in East Sussex

Place: Any Natural Trust property

KiddieCubes are available on Ocado and from COOK online and instore. The RRP for a bag of 12 cubes is from £3.49.

More information can be found on www.kiddiecubes.com

Food People Services Spotlight

Georgie Colquhoun : Cooking Them Healthy

If I’m jumping on the ‘healthy eating’ bandwagon, it must be going mainstream. My rotating repertoire of unoriginal supper’s has stooped to a new low. I gave my friend’s child Spaghetti Hoops and Hotdogs for lunch on Friday!  I need help. Pronto.

Luckily, there is an answer.  Cooking Them Healthy is a sparkling website full of inspiration, from snacks to supper’s and everything in between, for your little mite’s.

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Georgie and Jo, the founders, hold great value in the art of using ingredients to heal and strengthen and with their combined knowledge of both food and nutrition, they hope to create the perfect “go to” place for parents to learn more about health topics. I believe, this they have done. The information in the media can be overwhelming so they aim to debunk the confusion and provide you with what you really need to know for a healthy family.

Georgie with 2 of her children

Georgie with 2 of her 3 children

One of Georgie’s most popular recipe’s to make with her children the It’s a Wrap Pizza as it covers all ages including her husband!

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One of my favourite categories on the website is the Essential Shopping Basket.  There is a list of key healthy ingredients that are easy to throw into your weekly shop, paired with helpful delicious recipes.

Thank goodness for this jam packed website full of information to inspire – clearly and helpfully laid out. Bookmarked!

Georgie’s ‘5 Favourite’s

Shop: Whole Foods

Website: www.ocado.com

Hotel: Babington House, Somerset

Restaurant: Abu Zaad in Shepherds Bush, London

Place to go with Children: Portobello Market

For more ideas and inspiration go online at

www.cookingthemhealthy.com

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