You may remember that I was challenged by SMA® Nutrition as part of their Toddler Today campaign to spend a week reporting on the activities that I get up to with little Ned to prove how active todays toddlers are and why it’s a good idea to make sure that they get the appropriate nutrition to ensure they stay really healthy.
The week that we ended up doing the challenge turned out to be end of term holidays, which meant we were actually busier than ever, as I had the older kids to entertain. However, they were also about entertaining little Ned (think- attempt to wear him out). Followers on Twitter will have some idea of our activities but for those of you who can’t recall, this is what really happened. Although I love the holidays with my children and do look forward to them, I must admit I did feel a little frazzled after the half term break, mainly through exhaustion, we seem to pack in such a lot of things to do that its difficult finding a moment to sit down! This is my diary:
Monday: Family Day at home
For Ned this involves playing with his brothers and sisters, both indoors with toys and also rushing around the garden. He is currently getting quite good on his scooter so he spent a long time trying to get faster! After a lunch of jacket potatoes with cheese and beans his brother and sister decided to play with their Kano which meant that it was time for him to have a little rest so I let him play on my iPad. His favourite games are on the Cbeebies Playtime app. I’m always in two minds about letting him use the iPad because he is rather good at technology and can do a lot more than his siblings did at this age which means I have to keep a very close eye. All in all, this was a lovely easy day around the house.
Tuesday: A trip to Knebworth House and Gardens
This was a family day out with cousins. We had a picnic and generally ran around the gardens, enjoying the amazing dinosaur trail and the adventure playground. I’m always astonished how Ned can keep up with his 8 year old brother and how daring he is. Just have a look at the pictures:
One of the things which can really add to the cost of a day out is the food so I made sure that we took a healthy picnic along with us: sandwiches and plenty of fruit and vegetables, we’ve also recently discovered lentil crisps which Ned really liked. I also make sure that I scour the internet for any money off deals and fortunately I found some two for one vouchers which helped with the cost!
Wednesday: Market Day
Wednesday is market day in St Albans and the children enjoy walking into town and taking in the sights and sounds. This is always coupled with a little trip to the library and Waterstones (the St Albans branch is superb). On the way back we played some games in the park including Frisbee. It was a lovely summer’s day so as a parent I really appreciated the older children playing with little Ned so I could sit and watch.
Thursday: The British Museum
Ned’s older brother is very keen on comic super heroes and so we visited London in order for him to spend his money in the Forbidden Planet which is his favourite shop. Ned loves this trip if we go on the train (unlike his mummy). We took the opportunity to go along to the British Museum to see their temporary exhibition on Ancient Greece. The children enjoyed looking at the statues on display, however they were a little bit loud for the rest of the visitors and as a parent I found it a little stressful. I treated the children to McDonalds for dinner, this always consists of a fish-finger happy meal as I figure that the fish-fingers are probably a reasonably healthy option. Lets face it, sometimes as a parent you’re exhausted by the day and can’t face cooking.
Friday: At home with the grandparents
Vey occasionally I go to work, teaching archaeology to groups of children and this was one such occasion which meant that Ned got to spend the day with his grandparents. Since he is the most adorable little fella (especially when he wants to be) they seem happy to help out and spoil him. I gather this was another actioned packed day where they went shopping for new shoes; what is it with children’s feet? They always seem to need new shoes!
Friday night is movie night in our household, this means that we pick a family film and watch it together with a takeaway. This week we watched The Goonies which I must admit I think I enjoyed as much as the children! I ordered a Chinese takeaway and let the children select things which they haven’t had previously. I’m proud that they are quite adventurous in their eating and all of them will try things, I suspect this is because they were baby led weaned. Little Ned tried stir fried mushrooms and bamboo shoots, I don’t think he was keen on it, but he gave it a try which was great.
Saturday: To the park!
I often teach Young Archaeologist Club on a Saturday morning so this is a great chance for the children to spend time alone with their Daddy. As the weather was good he decided to take them to the park, Ned scooted whilst the older children cycled. By the time I came home they were all exhausted and playing computer games, I was surprised to see Ned joining in with the older children playing X-box Kinnect but then he is good at technology, I suspect we might have a little computer games designer on our hands…
Sunday: Swimming and Wrest Park
The children enjoy going swimming on Sundays. Ned has been going since he was tiny and is quite good now; he can do basic doggy paddle and backstroke. However, most importantly he can climb out of the pool unaided (and jump in shouting ‘cannonball’). This is never enough to wear him out though and so we decided to take them along to our local English Heritage property Wrest Park for a run around and a play on the playground. As it was Sunday we came home and had a nice roast chicken dinner, with Yorkshire puddings and I put them to bed nice and early so I could watch Poldark…
Although this was a school holiday if I’m honest this was probably a little more relaxed than usual. Ned goes to playgroup every morning and so I get a bit of peace and quiet, however in the afternoons we often go out for trips to local attractions and sometimes meet the husband for lunch. It’s a rare occasion when we have very little to do. I think this is what happens when you have three children and when you are number three you end up doing far more than if you’re the first or even the second child. I’ve also noticed that his development in everything seems to be faster as he tries to keep up with the older children.
Being this busy it’s really important that I make sure that the gets the appropriate nutrition as he is burning up loads of calories just doing stuff. He needs energy, but he also needs the appropriate vitamins and minerals to make sure that he grows and develops properly. I’ll be honest, I do find this a challenge and as you can see from this week there wasn’t a great deal of time for me to think about which meals I was cooking. I do try hard to do my best but on days like Thursday where we ended up at McDonalds I do worry that he is getting enough fruit and vegetables. That’s why I still give him some toddler milk at bedtime before we brush his teeth. Not only does this help him get to sleep as part of a good routine but it gives me a bit of peace of mind in that it contains extra vitamins and minerals which he might not have got through the course of the day otherwise.
Although I’m taking part in the challenge with SMA Nutrition I actually genuinely give Ned SMA Toddler Milk® purely because it’s the one which he prefers. SMA Toddler Milk contains Vitamin D and Calcium for normal growth and development of bones, Iron to contribute to normal cognitive development and Omega 3 and 6. SMA Toddler Milk is one easy and convenient way to help give Ned the nutrients he needs as part of a healthy balanced diet.
For your chance to win a family ticket to LEGOLAND Windsor (2 adult and 2 children tickets) courtesy of SMA Nutrition please enter below, just telling me what you’d do on a day out:
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