Wednesday, November 23, 2011

School holidays equals feeding children constantly

Well the school holidays are almost upon me.  Which is exciting on one hand, and daunting on the other.  Exciting because we will get to laze around in the mornings, swim to our hearts content, and not have to worry about lunches everyday.  Daunting because, for us, it is our first full Summer holiday ever.  That means 2 whole months without school or daycare, time where I will still have to work, and OMG having to listen to the boys bicker all the time over the same silly toy.

I also think it may be a struggle keeping 2 active little boys (and me) constantly fed, in a healthy (but easy) way.  So I'm planning my shopping list now for the coming weeks.

The following list is things for between meal snacks to keep us going on hot Summer days.
  • Big glass of cold milk with Milo (big fave of ours - yummy and filling)
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Make my own ice-blocks with blended up fruit and yogurt (I have those tupperware ice-block moulds)
  • I'll admit I'm a bit of a chip lover.  And so are the boys (what child isn't?  Have you seen how quickly those little packets of chips go at parties!).  We are totally in love with the new Cheese Max Vege Twists from The Vege Chip Company.  Just like Twisties, but they don't have any artificial flavours, colours or preservatives.  Plus they are made from a variety of grains.  So now we can eat chippies without feeling guilty ;)
  • Make a Muesli Slice
  • Fruit in any size and shape.  Most of all, mangoes, watermelon, and stone fruits. Yum yum.
  • Yogurt
I would LOVE to hear your Summer snack options too!  What are some things you like that I haven't thought of??

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Great news for Christmas Gift Buying for Children

Well the count-down in now well and truly on until it's time for Santa to make his visits to children the world over.  But not sure what is on the wish-lists of all the kids in your life?  Well Mattel's Toylab has come to the rescue with it's Top 12 List of Toys for Christmas 2011!

My top pick out of the catalog is the Fisher Price Poppity Pop Musical Dino, for babies and toddlers aged 6 - 36 months (RRP $73.99).  Although I have to say I'm finding it rather hilarious my 5 year old son is quite fascinated to play with it himself.  It's my personal top pick because of the combination of both fun and educational factors for little ones.

The Musical Dino is great because it entertains and stimulates baby in lots of different ways.  The colourful plastic balls pop up and down in the Dino's back to fun music and silly sound effects.  Sometimes the balls pop right out, which then encourages Bub to crawl after them and put them back in the Dino.  Thus, eye-hand coordination gets a great work with this activity.  This toy is also very sturdy and well-made, so no need to worry about it falling apart 2 minutes after opening the box.

Be sure to head on over to the Mattel Toylab for more great ideas on toys for babies, girls and boys.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Moroccan Lentil Salad Recipe

I am so excited to post this delicious Moroccan Lentil Salad Recipe.  It is provided just for the readers of the Your Cheeky Monkey blog from the Mums United Team from The Heart Foundation. This recipe is devised by celebrity chef Janelle Bloom from Ready Steady Cook - plus be sure to check out the many fantastic healthy recipes on the Mums United site.

Moroccan Lentil Salad

This light dish is packed full of mouthwatering flavours and is perfect for a summer lunch, as an accompaniment to fish or a bbq, or as a yummy vegetarian meal.

Serves 4

420g can brown lentils, rinsed and well drained
1/3 cup currants
1/4 cup pepita seeds, toasted (see tip)
1 long red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley
1 orange, rind finely grated and juiced
1 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp brown sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil cooking spray

700g skinless snapper fillets, trimmed, and cut into smaller pieces if large
Lemon wedges to serve

1. Combine the lentils, currants, pepitas, chilli, onion, mint, parsley and orange rind in a large bowl. Toss well to combine. Combine 1/4 cup of the orange juice, cumin, olive oil, sugar and pepper in a screw-top jar and shake until well combined. Pour the dressing over the salad just before serving and toss to coat fully.

2. Preheat a barbecue flat-plate or large non-stick frying pan on medium-high. Lightly spray with oil. Season the fish with cracked black pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes each side or until light golden and just cooked through. Serve with the lentil salad and lemon.

Tip Pepita seeds are the edible seed of the pumpkin that have been dried. You will find them with the nuts in supermarkets. They are nutritious and add crunch to salads. To toast them place them onto a baking tray and roast in 200C fan forced oven for 3-5 minutes. Alternatively, dry fry in a non-stick frying pan frying pan over medium-high heat.  Watch closely as they burn easily.