Put some wobble into your children’s lunch boxes with Hartley’s Jelly Pots

It’s that time of year where you are back to rummaging through your food cupboards attempting to put together some healthy, nutritious snacks ready to put into your children’s lunch box. Yes it’s back to school for the little ones and back to the shops for us.

If your children are like mine then they would like a variety of different types of food.

I always try to keep the lunch box filled with a balanced type of food, a sandwich, item of fruit, raisins, yoghurt / jelly and a snack. I don’t think the items of food have to be a work of art just as long the children eat it, that’s all that matters. Keeping it fun for them is a good idea but there is no need to go overboard.

What I do like to do is add in little messages or stickers for the children to read and use, a little surprise for them. They love to receive little messages amongst their wrap and fruit. Little words of wisdom, good luck messages if they have a test that day or just a little note to say how much I love them. I love seeing their little faces at the end of the day when i pick them up and they tell me that they got their message. Sometimes they reply back on the message so that i get to read it when I’m emptying their lunch box.

 

My boys are more snackers during the day rather than eating one meal. I think I most probably go over the top and add in too much for them but I like to know that they have a variety to eat from.

What I like to put into their lunch boxes:

Sandwich or a wrap – These are normally ham or cheese salad

Egg or pasta – I found these cute little egg moulders. They are shaped little cases that you place the boiled egg into and close it up to mould into the shape.

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Fruit – I normally put in a fresh piece of fruit and some dried fruit too. If I put in berries then i use a tupperware tub to put them in.

Snack – A packet of crisps, a pot of dried cereal or some rice cakes

Yoghurt/ Jelly – My boys love these in their lunch boxes, it is probably the first thing that they eat from it. I like to put both in for them, the small pots are ideal. Fruit in a jelly is an ideal way to introduce fruit into every day eating.

Fruit bars – Although my boys would rather eat a peanut bar they are not allowed them in school. I add in the raw bars, mostly made by myself from dates and coconut.

I also like to keep the added sugar in their lunches to a minimum. As a family we are keen on eating food with little refined sugar added in to them. Not only is it good for their health but good on the teeth too.

Hartley’s is a jam and jelly brand that has been feeding the nation from breakfast to after dinner snack for over 140 years, they offer Standard & No Added Sugar jelly pots which provide a quick and convenient snack. The Hartley’s No Added Sugar jelly pots have no artificial colours and flavours and are fat and gluten free. Stocked in all major retailers from only 49p, they are a tasty treat that will be sure to raise a smile.

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Get ‘Back to School’ ready with Hartley’s No Added Sugar jelly pots and put some fun into your kids’ lunchbox. There are five flavours to choose from including Strawberry, Raspberry, Orange, Tropical, Apple and Blackcurrant. They contain only naturally occuring sugars.

The No Added Sugar blackcurrant and tropical pots are vegetarian and vegan. They are the perfect size to add into lunch boxes or even into a bag for that little snack when out and about. My children find them very tasty and say that they taste like jelly made from home. They are strong in flavour and not watery like some pots you can get. I think they are ideal to add onto a party table too. I find that they are best kept in the fridge for keeping that fresh cold taste.

Hartley’s are gearing up for the Back to School season with an on pack collector scheme offer for our consumers. By collecting 12 promotional Hartley’s Jelly Pot lids, consumers can redeem a special edition Hartley’s lunchbox along with an assortment of fabulously fun stickers.

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The lunch box is a good size and as you can see from the photographs you can fit in quite a bit to fill those hungry little stomachs. Once you’ve collected the lids, claim your lunchbox here

I was provided with the lunch box and jelly pots for the purpose of this post.

A sick day or 100% attendance

Yesterday I received that phone call in work that all parents dread. The moment you hear the words “This is ******** school calling, we have ******** in the school office feeling unwell”!

As a working parent, that doesn’t have family at hand to help out when my children are sick, it means that I have to call in work for the day off to look after my child. And as an employer of a school, I always feel guilty having to have time off and not being there for the children in school. But my main priority is my own children at home. It doesn’t happen that often, maybe once or twice a year and I don’t normally have time off due to sickness. But i still feel like I should be there for my work colleagues and children.

Also, the first thing that comes to mind when your child is sick is that of attendance. Yes, it is drummed into our heads so much by schools that our children need to attend in order to receive those precious certificates that they give out for 100% attendance. I can understand on both parties, the school why it is important for children to attend school every day of the school year and why as a parent we keep them at home. I think that maybe if we, as parents could show a doctor’s note to the school then the child should still get a certificate. It really isn’t a child’s fault that they are ill. In fact they have probably caught a bug from one of those children in school that get 100% attendance.

After receiving the call I rushed over to my son’s school to pick him up. I was told over the phone that he was very sleepy and just not himself. As he walked out of the office, I looked at his face and saw that he did look at little peaky. I carried him home and he fell asleep in my arms. A clear sign of him not being very well. My son is normally a very loud, active child who doesn’t really sit still long enough to get comfortable. When we got home I placed him on the sofa and gave him some medicine, within minutes he was asleep.

I thought that maybe once he had a little rest and when he woke up he would be ok. But I was wrong. He woke with a temperature of 39c and crying in pain. It’s horrible when our little ones are ill. I just want to take his pain for him and hold him tight. His skin was burning up and his heart was beating fast, a clear sign of a fever. I stripped him down to his underwear and put a cold damp cloth onto his forehead. His temperature dropped a little and he was saying he was hungry. After eating only a few grapes, he was sick. I was so glad that i had thought that maybe he could vomit as i has got the bowl out ready. You know as a parent, as soon as our children say they are not well, you grab the bucket just incase.

We had quite an unsettled night as we both slept downstairs on the sofa, we’re lucky our sofa is as big as a single bed and just as comfy. Little one kept crying in the night and was really hot to touch. It was sitting next to a radiator. I kept giving him sips of water and calpol and lots of hugs and reassurance that Mummy was there with him.

He woke feeling hungry. Careful not to fill up his little empty belly too quickly, I gave him half a weetabix. He would normally eat 2. Clever Mummy. As he brought that straight up too.

Since this morning we have had no sickness, but he is drifting in and out sleep and his temperature seems to have dropped with the intake of the medicine.

It’s a sofa day for us 2, watching Netflix and snuggling under his duvet. We still have the sick bucket close by, just in case!

There is no possible way that he would have managed a day at school today. He can hardly move without falling over. He has no energy and just keeps sleeping. And if I had sent him in he would have just been sent home straight away with the school thinking that I am not a very caring Mummy. Also with the school rules of ‘Once your child is sick they need 24 hours away from school after the last vomiting session’ it means that he can not be in any way.

So now he faces the assembly where he has to watch other children being given certificates because they haven’t been sick and vomited and applaud them as he receives nothing.

Unfair. Silly. Discriminating.

Is it an achievement for not falling sick?

I do think that it is important to reward children who are determined in school, contribute to class activities and are making attainments in subjects. Surely there is another way?

What do you think?

Unlocking phonic sounds with a padlock and key

My little one is 4 years old and currently learning his phonic sounds, he is doing really well and is beginning to master his individual sounds and blending them together to read simple cvc, cvcvv words. We are now moving on to learning digraphs and vowel digraphs, which are two letters that make one sound, eg. sh, ch, th, ph, ai, ow, ee.

Making a game out learning is fun and can really engage the child .

We have made  a simple little game up, using padlocks and keys.

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Place a picture on the padlock and then add the beginning sound onto the key. So it could be a picture of an ant and then add the initial sound on the key, which would be a. As my child is learning jolly phonics in school I used the pictures from the jolly phonics sound card. This way they can not only recognise the sound but also the picture. Using name tags I wrote the sound on and attached it to the key. The pictures need to be fairly small to fit onto the padlocks.

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This game is fun to play and easy to make. Children can play for hours unlocking the padlock, not only learning and recognising sounds but also working on their fine motor skills.

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You can use the padlock idea for number bonds, equations and words.

Hope you have found this post helpful 🙂

 

Yesterday

Yesterday was an extremely emotional day for the family as it marked the end of an Era for the eldest boy, of whom it was his last day as a junior school child as in September he goes up to year 7 in senior school. Most children enter their new senior school with fellow friends that they have known for  8 years as they have gone through Nursery, Reception, Infants and Juniors with, but Jak is going to a school that is out of his borough and he will have to build new friendships with the fellow year 7 children.

Yesterday Jak waved goodbye not only to his friends but also to the Teachers and Teaching Assistants who he had gone through school with, as he entered the school for the last time as a year 6 pupil, carrying with him presents for the staff, he held his head up took a big gulp and walked in through the doors. 6 hours later he exits through the same doors with wet cheeks as he cried tears of happiness and sadness. He has made some fabulous friends and I am sure that they will keep in touch.

Yesterday reminded me of his first ever day in Nursery….we had walked into the nursery after being greeted by the teacher and nursery nurse,  he walked away from me and over to the kitchen area as he thought that he had seen a child that he had met in Pre-school. He tapped the boy on the shoulder and as the boy turned round, they both screamed and began hugging each other. I knew then that My first born was going to settle in well at the school and what i saw was the beginning of a very close friendship. Yes they have their moments, they argue, they fight, they don’t talk for days but One thing is for sure is that I know they will miss each other in their new schools.

Yesterday I cried as i watched my boy walk down the street, all grown up yet still looking like my baby boy. He has become such a handsome, clever young chap of whom i am very proud of. As he walked away from me into school I suddenly realised how life can go by so quickly if you let it!

The teachers in the school have taught him so much, he has achieved only what you would dream of….not the impossible as he has rightly proved! Without the persistence and and encouragement from his teachers he would never be as confident as he is, they have backed him in his acting and helped him to achieve level 6 in both teaching assessments and SATs.

Yesterday my first born cried as for 8 years of his life all he has known is Roding Primary and its surroundings, it’s an old school and the children are all quite close together. He said farewell to an important part of his life and now awaits a new and exciting part to arrive.

To My Son Jak, you are amazing and I am truly blessed to have you as my son… Yesterday wasn’t goodbye It was see you soon, Yesterday was the start of a New Era!

 

Pre Interview Nerves

Last night i couldn’t sleep, tossing and turning, I have something on my mind that i am worrying about and until it is over i will not be able to settle!

Tomorrow is Interview day!

I work in a school as a Teaching assistant for Nursery and Reception age children, doing 15 hours a week contracted but i also do an extra 2 hours a day supporting a child 1:1 in the Year 1 classroom. The job i am going for is in the same school but with children from years 1-6 and it will be for 27.5 hours a week which is 2.5 hours more than what i work at the moment.

I applied for the job just like all the other applicants filling in a form and handing it in, A few days after the deadline i receive an email inviting me along to an interview which will consist of an activity, where i will be given a selection of picture books to choose one from and a group of 8 KS1 children, i will be the observed taking children through the story and feeding back to them as part of assessment for learning. the observation will then be followed by an interview with a panel of staff.

The school i work for is split over two sites, about a 15 minute walk away from each other, I work in the original school building and my interview is being held over at the new site. This means that i am in the same boat as the over interviewees, as i have never met any of the children that are over there and i hardly know any of the staff over too!

I have researched the typical questions that may be asked at a Teaching Assistant interview and have come across a huge selection that i gave up on reading after a while as i just seem to be filling my head up with the possible that may never happen. This has caused me to have a disrupted sleep as i am constantly fretting over the what and ifs!

So after a week of thinking constantly about how i am going to cope in the interview and a couple of hours reading about other people’s experiences on-line i have come to the conclusion that there is nothing more i can do. I can’t think of an answer for every question or even an answer for every possible scenario that may occur as i will drive myself mad but what i can do is be myself, be honest and to relax and go with the flow!

I have bought a new pair of trousers for the interview, hoping to make a good impression as appearance is everything

I shall team it up with a cool sleeveless tunic in orange or black

I shall wear a pair of flat shoes as i am hoping to get as interactive as i can with the children.

So in my new clothes and my hoping for new found confidence i will be honest, approachable, clearly spoken, friendly and try not to be nervous! easier said than done!

I have my Calms and Rescue Remedy all stocked up in my handbag already for tomorrow 🙂

#366/spellings

Today’s photo of the day has got to be of Joseph doing his homework spellings.
When I picked him up last week on Friday afternoon from school he was jumping for joy, he had practised all week long with his spellings and he had got them all right 🙂 he was beaming from ear to ear with the biggest ‘proud of himself’ grin. He was chuffed to pieces with his super speller certificate, which is now on show on the kitchen cupboard for us to see every day.

This week he has really tried hard too with his spellings and his hand writing, I can see a huge improvement in his writing and his spellings, he has become more interested in his homework and wants to learn how to do his spellings. At first he struggled to keep his writing in the small boxes on the grid but with practice he now fits them all in there.

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