Virgin Holidays

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Helping baby discover shape, texture, taste - building confidence and enjoyment with food

When it’s time to wean your baby it’s not just about introducing solid foods, it’s also about having an adventure and helping your little one discover shape, texture and taste -  together they help build your baby’s confidence and enjoyment with food.

Weaning is an important milestone in your baby’s development, and to help mums and dads Organix has introduced a new discover campaign with the launch of an online hub at:  www.organix.com/discover.  The site is packed with advice and creative resources about feeding your baby, lots of top tips and activities on shape, texture and taste to inspire you, food ideas to help you take your little one on a food adventure, as well as food planners and videos – there’s even a quiz.

The weaning window, from around six to 12 months, provides the perfect opportunity for your baby to discover a variety of tastes, textures and shapes as it’s when your baby becomes naturally open to trying new foods.

Shape
Shapes make mealtimes interesting and fun and help little ones develop the skills they need to feed themselves.

Finger foods come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, just perfect for getting little fingers moving, gripping, grasping, picking up and discovering a range of foods. Offering baby such a wide variety of foods to play with not only helps improve hand eye co-ordination and motor skills, and helps them learn how to bite and chew, it also develops an awareness of their actions.  It’s a chance to discover a full sensory experience – to squeeze foods, change their shape and break down foods.
 

Did you know?
·         Your little one can start discovering shape through finger foods when they can lift and support their head without help, sit supported, and reach out for foods.
·         Feeding themselves gives your baby control, independence and the chance to recognise when they’re full.
·         Your baby can still enjoy finger foods if they haven’t got teeth yet as they can ‘gum’ foods into small pieces.
·         You can offer finger foods from all of the major food groups – protein, carbohydrate, dairy, fruit and vegetables.
·         However, there are also some finger foods to avoid, such as hard and sticky foods that can cause choking, eg nuts, popcorn, marshmallows; and round foods whole, eg grapes or cherry tomatoes - of course you can cut them up into smaller pieces so they’re manageable and easier for baby to swallow.

Top Tips:
·         Use food as an opportunity to interact with your baby – it’s a great way to introduce them to new words for shapes and foods.
·         Cut family foods, such as pasta and meat, into small pieces, so baby can take part in the meal too.
·         In the Organix mum and baby tasting session, mums said:
o   The way I present food is definitely something I’ll be thinking about now, making it into a picture and something a bit more fun”
o    “He really impressed me with how he was able to grasp things and put them into his mouth when they were so small ”



Texture

Discovering texture is important as we love food not just because it tastes great but because we like how it feels too.  

 

Texture is more exciting than just lumps, and to prove the point Organix got a group of mums and dads to try a selection of foods whilst blindfolded.  One of the dads said: “You’ve had one of your senses taken away, it gets you to focus on the detail of food and makes it more intriguing, it’s like our little ones when it’s the first time they’ve tried anything – they’ve got it all going on!”

 

Frankie Phillips, Nutrition Advisor to Organix, recommends helping your baby discover as many textures as you can – juicy and fleshy, squishy, bouncy, melt in the mouth, grainy and bitty, crispy and crunchy, smooth and creamy, dry and crumbly.  For example, pieces of banana will let them safely experience different textures and foods breaking down in their mouths – banana pieces can be offered as early as six months. 


Did you know?
·         Your baby needs to learn to get to grips with new textures and this can take practice, so he may spit out a new texture.
·         Your baby may move quickly from one texture to the next, or may take a little time to master it – everyone goes at their own pace so don’t worry.
·         Even if your baby’s teeth aren’t through yet, foods can still be chewed by their strong gums.
·         After starting with smooth purées, you can offer soft lumps and mashed foods as early as six months.
·         Introducing lumpy foods takes more effort for your baby as they need to learn to use their tongue muscles and their jaw to chew and then swallow.
·         When your baby no longer spits out soft lumps and seems confident eating lumpy food you can introduce chopped and minced foods.

Taste
Tasting new foods for the very first time is an incredible experience.  By adding interesting flavours to your baby’s diet you are encouraging them to become more familiar and open to trying new tastes as they grow older, which in turn will help inspire a lifelong love of good food. 

In the Organix mum and baby tasting session, one mum said:Little ones are more adventurous than you think.  We tried celeriac and kale and my little girl loved the grapefruit, I would try that at home now, yet before I would never have introduced it.”

Did you know?
·         It’s important to offer a wide range of sweet and savoury dishes.
·         Babies naturally prefer sweet flavours and all other tastes are learned.
·         Frankie Phillips, Nutrition Advisor to Organix, says it can take up to 14 attempts before a baby learns to like a new food, especially more challenging foods – so don’t worry if your little one refuses a food during their first few attempts.

Top Tips:
·         Don’t wait too long to start getting adventurous with taste – vary the menu.
·         Offering two courses is a great way to offer your baby a wide range of tastes.
·         Be brave and offer more challenging tastes, such as bitter and sour, eg. kiwi, oranges, pepper, spinach.
·         Try not to mask challenging tastes with easier ones, so allow your baby to enjoy the real taste of broccoli rather than perhaps mixing it with apple purée.
·         Rotating new foods with ones your baby already likes will give lots of chances to discover and enjoy more foods.
 

What we think at Mummy Fever:
We love all these new products from Organix. The fruit moos and stars have been a big hit with my youngest and these types of snacks really help to develop the pincer grip in little people. These really are yummy, you will have to stop yourself from eating these! They are bursting with a fruity flavour.The read pepper hearts have also gone down very well but have a pack of wipes to hand with these ones as they are quite messy. These are great to give to little ones as a snack or have a couple out at meal times so they can feed themselves whilst you spoon in whatever else is being served up - it keeps them busy and involved.


For more advice on weaning and great tips on how to discover shape, texture and taste visit www.organix.com/discover

Organix launches new range of baby cereals - Encouraging babies to discover a wide range of tastes and textures


Organix launches five new organic cereals for babies from 4+months* (Stage 1) to 7+ months (Stage 2), featuring new delicious Multigrain Mini Puffs, mini crispy rice, corn and wheat puffs which melt in little mouths and have no added sugar.  It’s an exciting new cereal which is completely different to traditional baby porridge and muesli. 

Talking to mums Organix found that 73% are looking for more challenging textures as their baby progresses; that banana, strawberry, mango and plum are the most appealing flavours in taste tests; and that 43% of parents are offering cereals most days.  The result is a new range of organic cereals, created for little ones to discover a wide range of taste and texture through every stage of their progression and with the benefit of no added sugar.   

In taste tests babies loved the new Multigrain Mini Puffs, in fact according to mums they couldn’t get enough of them as they polished them off! 


The NEW cereals include:

Stage 1, from 4+months*: keeping it simple with smooth textures for baby’s first tastes and flavours to help build baby’s confidence with food.  Light and fluffy creamy porridges, with natural sweet fruit flavours (such as banana, strawberry and mango) mum will love, and no added sugars.
·    Organix Baby Rice: a completely new recipe from Organix.  With added vitamin B1 this is the perfect introduction for little ones on their food journey.  RRP £1.99 available from Asda, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Ocado.
·    Organix Strawberry and Banana Porridge: a light and fluffy creamy porridge with tiny pieces of strawberry and banana. RRP £2.19 available from Asda, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Ocado.
·    Organix Banana and Mango Porridge: a light and fluffy creamy porridge with tiny pieces of mango and banana. RRP £2.19 available from Asda and Ocado.





Stage 2, from 7+months: a gently chewable cereal and porridge providing more challenging textures for when mum and baby are ready to move on to a thicker consistency, with tiny chunks and mini crispy pieces and no added sugar.
·    Organix Multigrain Mini Puffs: with added vitamin B1, a delicious mix of tiny crispy puffs of rice, corn and wheat.  It’s the feel of a chunky breakfast but with a soft easy to chew texture - a mini version of a real breakfast cereal.  RRP at £2.49 and available from Asda, Sainsbury’s and Ocado.
·    Organix Banana and Plum Porridge: an exciting new flavour featuring tiny plum chunks and small chewy oat flakes. RRP at £2.49 and available from Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Ocado.
         
The variety of recipes in each stage have been specifically developed by Organix to help babies discover a range of textures and try lots of new tastes and progress with each stage, and to help encourage little ones to enjoy a lifelong love of good food.   All come with the Organix No Junk Promise guaranteeing no added sugar and containing only naturally occurring sugars, no colourings and no artificial flavourings. 

The Organix range of baby cereals also includes two varieties for babies from 10+ months (Stage 3): an organic Banana, Peach and Apple Muesli and an organic Raspberry and Banana Muesli, with chunky fruit pieces and oat flakes, but no added sugar, to really get little mouths chewing - ideal for when baby’s sense of adventure grows and he’s looking to discover more challenging textures.  Both varieties were launched in summer 2013.  Both RRP at £2.69 and are available in Asda and Ocado (Raspberry and Banana Muesli is also available in Tesco).


All cereals showcase the new pack design for Organix, introducing its new logo. 

What we thought at Mummy Fever:
We really feel that Organix is a brand mums can trust, so the new products on offer were of great interest. Sometimes baby food can appear a bit too bland and I have always wondered if this impacts on little taste buds later on, with children not being very adventurous. Having said that you don't want to be giving small babies anything too overwhelming either. We think organix reach a perfect balance with their products and the new range of cereals is no exception.

Cereals are an important part of a daily diet and routine and these slot in nicely! They smell great and appeal to tiny taste buds too - the bowl is always empty so that has to be a good sign!

Give the new range a go - we are sure you won't be disappointed.  

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Sweet dreams with new Infacare Night-time Baby Bath

InfaCare launches Night-time Baby Bath, to gently clean and care for baby’s skin, ready for a restful night’s sleep.  It joins InfaCare Baby Bath, already a firm favourite with mums and recommended by midwives and healthcare professionals.



In trials 70% of mums say InfaCare Night-time Baby Bath is ideal to use as part of baby’s bedtime routine, as the gentle powdery oriental fragrance helps baby relax. And the more relaxed your little one is, the more likely he is to go to bed easily and fall asleep quickly.

Mums can trust InfaCare for their baby’s delicate skin because it’s so ultra-mild.  In fact mums say it works brilliantly on little ones with allergies.

InfaCare Night-time Baby Bath is clinically tested, reassurance for mums that the formulation isn’t irritating on delicate baby skin.  Plus, it is pH balanced, so it matches the natural pH balance of your baby’s skin and hair, making it super kind and gentle on even the most sensitive of skins.

A little InfaCare Night-time Baby Bath is all that’s needed to form loads of long-lasting bubbles – just what babies love at bath time.  A lovely warm bubbly bath is a soothing experience, and getting your baby warm, clean and dry is a great way to ease him into bedtime.

InfaCare Night-time Baby Bath comes in a bumper 750ml bottle and costs £3.49.  As a little goes a long way it gives mum great value for money.   You’ll find InfaCare Night-time Baby Bath in Asda, Boots and Tesco. 

What we thought at Mummy Fever:
A little really does go along way so your £3.49 will be well spent with this bubble bath. It smells wonderful and makes loads of lovely bubbles that your little ones will love. It's a great addition to your bedtime routine and InfaCare is a brand us mums can trust to be kind to even the most sensitive skin!

You can find out more below! 

Find out more at www.infacare.co.uk and keep in touch https://twitter.com/infaCareBaby

Thursday, 17 July 2014

HAVE A SIZZLING SUMMER WITH IBIS: Get away with the family for a bargain price!


Ibis hotels has announced its sizzling summer prices, with reductions of up to 30% on stays at more than 86 hotels across the UK and Ireland, and with prices starting from just £19 there is no better time to experience ibis hotels.

The offer will be available to book until 8 September 2014 and applies to stays between 19 July and 2 November 2014.

There are more than 86 ibis hotels (including ibis budget, ibis Styles and ibis hotels) across the UK and Ireland in key towns and cities making them the perfect base for summer holidays.

Ibis
Ibis hotels offer quality accommodation at a competitive price at each of its 59 hotels across the UK, including London, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh and York. Rooms are modern and perfectly equipped, with a new bedding concept called Sweet BedTM by ibis, welcoming staff, breakfast served from 4am, 24 hour bar and snacks are available as well as free high speed Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.

Ibis Styles
ibis styles hotels offer a stylish hotel and bedroom, breakfast, free high speed Wi-Fi and extra amenities for one inclusive price.  Located in London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Blackpool, Croydon and Leyton they allow guests to enjoy stylish comfort for less.
  
Ibis budget
All ibis budget hotels across the UK will also have up to 30% off. Ibis budget hotels are leading the way in the design-led transformation of budget hotels, offering award-winning bedrooms for one, two or three people, shower, 24/7 check-in, all you can eat breakfast buffet, desk, TV with a wide range of channels and free Wi-Fi. With great hotels in London Whitechapel, Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham, guests can have essential comfort at a budget price.




For more information about ibis hotels visit www.ibis.com

So....? New fragrances now available

If fragrance is as much your addiction as fashion, you’ll love the fun, feminine and flirtatious scents from So…? that brings the two together in one beautiful bottle. 

A cult beauty favourite, So…? takes its cues from the latest catwalk trends, mixing them with street chic and divine femininity; the So…? Eau de Toilette and Body Fragrance collection has a classic, desirable and ultra-feminine fragrance to
suit every girl’s attitude. For a super indulgent scented experience, apply the Body Fragrance with a quick spritz of the Eau de Toilette to ensure that the So…? scent stays with you for longer.


So…? Eau de Toilette and Body Fragrance collection has a classic, desirable and ultra- feminine fragrance – there is at least one to suit everyone.  For a super indulgent scented experience, apply the Body Fragrance with a quick spritz of the Eau de Toilette to ensure that the So…? Scent stays with you for longer.



What we thought at Mummy Fever:

These are great everyday fragrances for when you don't want to use your regular perfume but still want to walk around with a nice scent. We like the So...? Sensual, the vanilla element is really present and has just the right balance so as not to be to heavy and overwhelming. Perfect to pop in a handbag or baby change bag if like me you have to abandon the nice handbags most of the time in favour of a more practical choice!

The price of these is very appealing and they are available in a wide variety of stores and online (see below).


The So...? Eau de Toilette and Body Fragrances range is available from Boots, Superdrug, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Bodycare, Wilkinson and Savers and www.fragrancedirect.co.uk.

Friday, 11 July 2014

ScoobyDoo LIVE: A fantastic show for all the family


Scooby-Doo and his friends have jumped out of your TV and onto a stage near you in an exciting stage show for all the family. Join Scooby, Shaggy, Daphne, Velma, Fred and Scrappy-Doo on an exciting adventure as they try to solve frightening and baffling mysteries. Expect song and dance and special magic effects as Scooby and the gang go about unravelling the mysterious puzzles. Fun for all the family! 


Scooby-Doo Live On Stage! artist photo


and find out more on the Facebook page



What we thought at Mummy Fever:

We headed off to see ScoobyDoo at Llandudno - with two pretty big ScoobyDoo fans in tow I had high expectations of the live show. It really did not disappoint! 

The show was vibrant and the characters authentic, to the point that my son was quite content with the fact that it was in fact "the real Scooby-Doo" on stage!

The costumes and set were well put together and of a high standard and the audience participation was welcomed. The show was a real crowd pleaser and there were plenty of songs to get the audience singing along and dancing in the isles.

A short interval allowed enough time to grab an ice cream and get back to our seats for the second act which was as engaging as the first - the storyline was entertaining for all ages and kept us guessing until the end.

A highlight did have to be the opportunity to meet some of the cast after the show which was a lovely surprise!

We would absolutely recommend this show to families, the children thoroughly enjoyed it and from what I could see so did all the grown ups!

  


Friday, 4 July 2014

OCTONAUTS AND THE DEEP SEA VOLCANO ADVENTURE A BRAND NEW CHILDREN’S STAGE SHOW: #WIN a family ticket here!


A BRAND NEW CHILDRENS STAGE SHOW
FROM THE PRODUCERS OF PEPPA PIG LIVE

UK TOUR 2014 – 2015

Top-selling childrens stage show producers Fiery Light today announce a brand new full-length theatre adventure for children, Octonauts and the Deep Sea Volcano Adventure. Based on the popular CBeebiesTV show, Octonauts, this exciting new production opens at The Orchard Theatre, Dartford, on Thursday 16 October and tours into 2015.

Keep reading because we have an exciting competition

In Octonauts and the Deep Sea Volcano Adventure the entire crew of the Octonauts, led by intrepid explorer Captain Barnacles, Lieutenant Kwazii and Medic Peso, embark on an exciting new underwater quest and visit amazing underwater worlds full of adventure, with surprises around every corner. This action-packed interactive show features new music (from BAFTA-award winning composer Mani Svavarsson) and all the Octonauts live on stage for the very first time.

Richard Lewis adapts and directs this new production for the stage. He also adapted and directed the hugely popular three Peppa Pig stage shows and last years Ben & Hollys Little Kingdom tour. Matt Lewis is lyricist, Simon Scullion is designer, Matt Haskins is lighting designer and Ian Horrocks Taylor is sound designer. Quite the line up I am sure you will agree!

Octonauts and the Deep Sea Volcano Adventure is produced by live childrens show supremos Fiery Light (joint venture by Fiery Angel and Limelight Productions), the team also behind the recent tours of the three successful Peppa Pig stage shows. Their most recent Peppa Pigs Big Splash - is currently on tour. It has broken box office records for a pre-school show and will return to the West End for fifth consecutive Christmas season at the Criterion Theatre this year. Other Fiery Light productions include the recent tour of Ben and Hollys Little Kingdom, LazyTown Live! and Roald Dahls The BFG.

Director/adapter Richard Lewis said: ‘Octonauts is all about adventure and exploration which offers up a whole host of possibilities in a live environment. From the colourful characters and fantastic underwater setting to the amazing octopod where the Octonauts live, theres great scope for a really unique, interactive theatre experience. We cant wait to take fans on an adventure like never before.

For tour information please go to



Competition Time:

We have 1 family ticket up for grabs! The winner can choose their venue and performance, tickets subject to availability.

A family ticket is for four people, minimum one adult. The tickets are non-transferable. There are no cash alternatives, accommodation or travel included in this prize.

Just complete the simple Rafflecopter below to enter.... good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway