Fussy Eaters & How To Keep Your Sanity!

Read this insightful article by our lovely colleague and parenting expert Sue Atkins.

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If you suddenly have a fussy eater on your hands – you’re not alone!

Lots of parents go through the same thing with their children as faddy eating is often a phase that young children go through to explore their independence, test you out and to get some of your attention (no matter how bad it is!)

Children like things to be familiar, as it helps them relax and feel safe so whether it’s their bedtime routine or their cheese sandwich, many children won’t try new foods until they’ve been exposed to them several times. So just bear that in mind when you are offering some new foods to your toddler as it helps you relax!

Toddlers pick up on your vibes all the time so if you suddenly become anxious around food time and start to tense up around the table – guess what… your child does too and frustrating though it is, staying calm, centred, positive and relaxed is often all it takes to go with the flow of this phase and survive it!

Many parents I coach worry that their children are not getting the nutrients they need to thrive and stay healthy, and they react by putting a lot of pressure on their toddler to eat more, eat less, or eat the right kinds of food but this approach often makes the problem worse by creating power struggles between you and your little one.

So make up your mind to change this pattern straight away and to start to look at the bigger picture to what you want to teach your toddler about food long term and for a healthy life.

Ask yourself:

What do I want my child to feel around food when they are a teenager?

– How can I empower my toddler and celebrate their striving for independence around food?

– How can I relax and teach them to have a lifetime of good health and a healthy relationship with food by only offering two healthy choices from now on and relaxing if they don’t eat much at each meal?

– How can I eliminate coaxing, bribing, and disguising food as a way to “trick” my little one into healthy habits as this only reinforces an unhealthy relationship with food?

– How can I take the battle out of meal times and make food more fun?

Weekly Overview

Start to notice how much food your child normally needs to remain healthy as this is the key to ending the battles around meal time. Think of their food intake over a week rather than a day as it is probably better than you think.

Once you understand the portion sizes your child needs to thrive, you can offer nourishing snacks and feel relaxed knowing that your toddler is meeting his or her nutritional requirements that’s right for them. It will stop you comparing and worrying what other kids are doing which frees you up to trust your child’s natural rhythm and food patterns!

The good news is that once you’ve embraced this mindset and this simple strategy, your child will love their newfound sense of responsibility, which will take the stress out of meal times and end the food fight forever, well it will certainly reduce the battles

Here are some practical tips to help you keep your sanity and get your child’s diet back on track.

– Provide a variety of healthy food for your child to eat at each meal.
– Keep in mind that it takes multiple exposures to a new food for a child to see it as familiar and OK to try. – In fact, it takes 11 times for your child to have a food sometimes before they will have a go……
– So, be patient. When you do offer a new food, simply place it on the dinner table with everything else, and don’t make a big fuss about it. Eventually, after your little one has seen the family eating the food a few times, they will feel more open to trying it themselves.

Relax at mealtimes.Notice your language around meal time – if you say, “It’s dinnertime. What do you want to eat?” your child will probably choose something familiar to them and you are handing them all the power so try saying , ‘Here’s dinner’ and just smile and relax.

When introducing new foods, offer just one or two, and present them in small quantities

Just give your toddler a taste before putting a whole serving on their plate so they don’t feel overwhelmed – and it won’t seem like a waste of food to you.

Whenever possible, let your child be involved in some food decisions. Limited choices are great for fussy eaters as this gives them a sense of control over their diet and they’ll be far more likely to eat something that they’ve chosen for themselves . (This works best if you let your child choose from a small selection of healthy foods you’ve already picked out!)

So have fun taking your toddler shopping or making their lunch.

As your child’s world expands and they begin to go to a playgroup or nursery, their taste in foods often broadens as well. They see other children eating new and exciting different things and this is often enough to inspire them to eat new things, too.

Remember some children’s palates are more sensitive than others.

They simply won’t like the texture, colour, or taste of some foods. This is why a child will often claim to dislike a food they have never even tried.

Likewise, some children may have an aversion to a food because it reminds them of a time when they were sick or has some other negative association.

If your child complains that a particular food will make him ill, stop offering that food for a while. You can always try again when your child is a little older.

Get the fork to talk and make food time fun. Get the fork to talk and say “Hello, can I help your lunch go in your tummy please?” Or play aeroplanes with it zooming in the food with all the full on noises of a plane landing at Gatwick!

Have tea or a meal with another child who is a good eater and don’t criticise your child but be amazed and delighted by the other child “Wow X you are such a good eater.”

Sing some fun songs as you sit at the table or play their favourite music as it relaxes you all and makes meal time enjoyable.

 

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Get teddy to join in – one for teddy – one for you.

If mealtimes are becoming a misery or a battleground then change where you eat. Have tea in a tent or at a small table with tiny chairs with all their toys coming along too or have a car picnic – get creative and change the atmosphere.

-Add new things S-L-O-W-L-Y. Take a basic food that they love like bread, and add new things to it bit by bit.

– Try bread with some cheese then bread with scrambled eggs or bread with a boiled egg and soldiers, or bread with ham or jam – have fun experimenting – it takes the pressure off.

– Chop things up really small as little fingers love exploring and don’t feel overwhelmed by large amounts.

– Hiding goodness in sauces. Putting healthy vegetables into sauces often works a treat too.
– Leave a fruit bowl full of colourful fruit in a place where hungry children can help themselves (and deliberately hide the biscuits away).

Change your meal times to later so your child is hungrier.

Keep off the snacks and sweets in between meals.

– Play shops, restaurants and cafes with your toddler and get them helping to prepare the food – washing fruit or vegetables, mixing, kneading, carrying unbreakables and then let them taste testing what they have made.

– Make mealtime a family time where you all sit-down, chat, share, laugh and relax together and your toddler will relax too and enjoy the sociability of the family spending time eating together.

– Remember no child can like everything and we are all different.

– Remember children who are ill go off their food so offer plenty to drink and take them to the doctor if you are worried.

– Remember if your little one is worried about anything like going to a new playgroup or having a new childminder, they may go off their food.

Your child has an innate sense of how much food their body needs to grow and be healthy, so the best thing you can do is to provide a wide variety of healthy foods in a positive, relaxed environment so that mealtimes will be enjoyable for everyone involved.

Keep in touch with your health visitor if you’re concerned, but don’t pass on your fears to your child. If you’re constantly hovering over them at mealtime, nagging cajoling, and worrying about what they are eating, they are likely to become even more resistant to eating.

Just continue to offer a variety of healthy foods without making a big fuss, and trust your child to eat what they need.

Food Diary

I have created a “Food Diary” to help you relax as you keep a record of the food your child is eating over the course of a whole week!

This daily diary will help you to plan your child’s diet, ensuring that they get just the right amount of proteins, vitamins, and carbohydrates that are so important.

Why not download my free “Food Diary”

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Amanda’s Top Tips For Fighting Childhood Obesity

Last week, Ofcom published a report showing alarming statistics regarding the time pre-schoolers and school aged children spend online. These are truly frightening statistics showing that time spend on tablets and online  is ever increasing.

 

tabletSome of the findings are staggering:

  • Three- and four-year-olds are online for an average of 71 minutes per day, or eight hours, 18 minutes a week – an hour and a half more than a year ago.
  • The research found that a third of pre-school age children own their own media device, such as a tablet or games console.

We, at Amanda’s Action Club do everything we can to get children active from a very young age. Our tops tips for fighting childhood obesity have been published in The Mirror this week.

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Happy World Nursery Rhyme Week

It’s time to celebrate World Nursery Rhyme Week everyone!

We love nursery rhymes here at Amanda’s Action Club. Every day in our classes we sing nursery rhymes. We have lots of fun putting our own little modern twist on them with cool music tunes and educational props and lots of physical activity!

What is your favourite nursery rhyme, why don’t you tell us on our Facebook page?

Here’s a sneak peak at Amanda in action:

Have lots of fun! Just because the weather is rainy, we keep active every day in our classes through music and fitness!

Love Amanda and team

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World Heart Day – 29th September 2016

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Today we are marking World Heart Day!

The numbers….

  • Globally over 17.3 million deaths are caused by cardiovascular disease
    (CVD) each year. I am sure we all agree that this is truly staggering.
  • Coronary heart disease is the UK’s single biggest killer; most heart
    disease deaths are caused by a heart attack.
  • Coronary heart disease kills more than twice as many women as breast
    cancer.

Physical inactivity can contribute to heart disease as it can lead future health problems. World Heart Day highlights how we can take control of our heart health by getting more active. The World Health Organization recommends that children aged 5-17 years of age should aim for at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity a day.

Our top tips for good heart health:

  • Be active with your children by walking or cycling to school together.
  • Walking to school instead of getting in the car. Even doing the
    housework is a great way to keep the heart pumping.
  • Go to the park to run or visit the playground.
  • Take the stairs rather than the lift.
  • Get an activity app on your phone and monitor how many paces you
    are walking or download an exercise you like doing.Put the radio on and dance around the living room. Why not we do it all the time – inside or outside, we’re doing mini workouts!

 

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Fun heart facts

  • Your heart is one of the most important organs in the human body.
  • On average did you know your heart beats 100,000 times every day!
  • Your heart has the mighty job of keeping blood flowing through the 60,000 miles of blood vessels that feed your organs and tissues.
  • Your heart sends 2,000 gallons of blood surging through your body.

We want you all to look after yourselves! It’s never to late to start to make a change in your lifestyle.

Amanda

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Welcome Back!

Autumn? Sunny days all round…

We’ve been running our classes during the summer so we’ve never been away!

Some of you are returning from your holidays and are back and rearing to go!

It looks like our classes can continue outside with this good weather – long may it continue.

The easiest way to book our classes are online. You can save money on classes with the various options:

• 5 class flexi pass for siblings is £90
• A term booking is £8.50 per session

Other ways to book:

• Pay as you go £12 (cash only) to the instructor on arrival
• Pay as you go for siblings is £22.
• 5 class flexi pass £50 (cash only) to instructor on arrival or contact office for bank transfer details. This pass can be used at any of our classes and does not expire.

 

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Party Time!

It’s never too early to plan a party!

We have a variety of party packages available and can tailor each party to individual needs. From one hour to two hours or more, a memorable time is guaranteed for all!

Our children’s parties are unique, high energy and full of funky music, interactive props and active games. We dance, we sing and your children will get a fantastic mini-workout whilst having lots of fun.

For more information, please contact us on 01895 623999 or by email: info@amandasactionclub. co.uk.

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New: Amanda’s Action Club in Ealing

We’re VERY happy to announce that we’re launching classes in Ealing. We’ve teamed up with the amazing local experts Pitter Patter Hub.

We start on Wednesday 28th September at 3.45pm to 4.30pm at the spacious venue The Forester.

Book here to reserve a place or pay as you go.

25 Year Anniversary Celebrations

We’re rather excited to be celebrating our 25th anniversary at Chiswick Town Hall next week on Friday 23rd September.

If you are a nursery or children’s centre manager, we would be delighted if you were able to attend. We will be showcasing our classes and new children’s wear range and lots more!

Please email me for further information: info@amandasactionclub.co.uk.

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See you all soon!

Amanda’s Action Club Team

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THE LOST BOYS

With the publication today of a Save The Children Report about boys, it has been found that a quarter of boys are falling behind by the time they start in reception, their first year at primary school.

It is so important for teachers to make learning fun for children. Boys also need more physical activity and outdoor play to expel their energy – this in turn can help their concentration.

Learning must be about having fun and in the reception year, play is a crucial component of this. For example, children enjoy using their imagination and role play their favourite super heroes. Play will help with speech development and communication.

 

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At Amanda’s Action Club, we continue to engage boys and girls as early as possible. With us, they learn to listen, play and do lots of physical activity to help their development in readiness for school.

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National Childhood Obesity Week – fighting obesity here and now!

The numbers….

• Almost 3 in 4 adults will be obese by 2035 – a frightening statistic to think that the children of today are very likely to be very overweight as adults.

• Over the next 20 years an additional 670,000 people will get some form of cancer because of being overweight and/or obese.

• A 2014 survey of children aged 2-15 showed that 14% were classified as overweight and an additional 17% were obese.

• Obesity reduces life expectancy by an average of three years, or eight to ten years in the case of severe obesity (BMI over 40).

These statistics are very disturbing. We must try and help stop some of these predictions coming true. We have to act now!

A for Active!

We must keep our children active – we can do very simple things to make this happen:

• Walk to school
• Ride a bike
• Kick a ball in the park
• Run around in the fresh air
• Go to the playground
• Take part in a sport at school and in free time
• Dance around the living room

Our children can have better lifestyles if we make some small changes. This means, getting more active and eating more healthily. Keeping energetic and eating a balanced diet will be an effective combination in keeping us in good health.

At Amanda’s Action Club, we love being active from the moment we wake up!
We help you and your little ones as young as 4 months to jiggle and get excited about moving their arms and legs to music, song and laughter.

It is essential that we continue to support our children and young people in getting fitter outdoors and indoors – we can all do it! Simple things are a great start and this can take place even in the confines of our own living rooms. So here’s how you can start, dance around to Amanda’s Warm Up Song:

 

Let’s help the next generation keep fit and stay healthy!

Amanda and team

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AMANDA’S ACTION CLUB CELEBRATES 25 YEAR ANNIVERSARY WITH A BIG BASH!

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London’s premier pre-school educator and celebrity children’s party entertainer Amanda Frolich of Amanda’s Action Club is this year celebrating 25 years of teaching, with the ultimate party on Friday 23 September 2016 at Chiswick Town Hall from 10am to 1pm.

Through her fun, fitness and music classes and parties, she has entertained tens of thousands of children over this time. Her passion and successful concept teaches children how to be healthy and active from an early age.

Amanda’s big bash in September will include a performance by Alison Wheeler, former lead singer of The Beautiful South and entertainment by Amanda and her friends in the industry including Lil Tim who choreographed the NHS section of the 2012 Olympic Games and was a semi-finalist on Britain’s Got Talent!

Amanda said: “With alarming statistics about the obesity crisis in primary school children, we are here to encourage the next generation to enjoy physical development from the very start.”

Joining Amanda and her team at the party, will be the very first babies who started in her classes 25 years ago – one of which is a successful musician!

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HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

 

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HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

We wish all the daddies out there a very Happy Father’s Day for this Sunday. We hope you get spoiled on your special day.

 

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Here at Amanda’s Action Club, we love to see daddies come to our classes. It can be such a fun and bonding experience to take your baby or toddler to our classes.

A fathers’ involvement in his child’s life is important – from very early on around the time of birth through to engaging in their development and education.

Numerous studies show that positive involvement of fathers can lead to enhanced educational attainment, improved behaviour, better well-being and better child relationships. So you can see, their involvement is incredibly important. We hope to see many more daddies come and have fun with us!

Amanda and team

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HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!

 

 

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HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!

We hope you will have a lovely Easter with your friends and family. Our classes are following our usual timetable. Good Friday and Easter Monday are the only days when classes will not be running.

We look forward to seeing you. The timetable for our classes can be found here.

PARTY, PARTY, PARTY!

It’s never too early to plan a party. We are offering 10% off the price of a party if you book and pay your deposit in March.

We have a variety of party packages available and can tailor each party to individual needs. We offer one and two hour parties. See our dynamic parties in action here.

Our children’s parties are unique, high energy and full of funky music, interactive props and active games. We dance we sing, we learn through the activities and most important of all, we have fun.

 

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We also offer, face painting, balloon modelling, glitter body art, fabulous lunch boxes, and you will find the whole party experience seamless.

Further information, please call 01895 623999 or email info@amandasactionclub.co.uk

Wishing you all a fun-filled Easter!
Amanda and Team

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