Sugar free homemade treats

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Sugar free banana oat cookies

Like lots of parents, we’ve tried to avoid refined sugar in our little boy’s diet. I realise that most other sources of sweetness (fruit juice, dried fruit, honey etc) are still forms of sugar and shouldn’t be eaten with abandon.

But, for the odd sweet treat, I’m always on the look out for recipes that use more nutritious, less blood-sugar-spiking sweeteners than the granulated kind.

Here is a round-up of favourite recipes:

Continue reading “Sugar free homemade treats”


Tiny ballers


This week, we tried football. It was great! We started with a general, excited run around as the toddlers arrived to find fittingly tiny footballs on the floor. Then it was time to warm up, led by the coach (whose name I missed, but was really excellent).

The toddlers were asked to sit and listen to instructions between each activity. It didn’t take too long for my toddler to get used to the new surroundings and unfamiliar activity (although there was more throwing than kicking – a goalie in the making, maybe?). She was happy running around collecting cones, practicing her knowledge of colours. Then there was the chance to learn some new words for parts of the body – ‘shin’ was a new one for her as she tried balancing her ball. Continue reading “Tiny ballers”

The best soft play by far

During the last year, we’ve spent a lot of time at various soft play areas. I consider myself a bit of an expert.

We’ve been to:

And probably a few others that I’ve blotted from my memory.

My favourite -and more importantly my little girl’s favourite – is the East London Gym. I just wish it was open to toddlers more often (click here for opening hours). Continue reading “The best soft play by far”

Mudchute City Farm



Mudchute Farm is huge: a 32-acre farm in the middle of the Isle of Dogs. Once inside the farm you can really feel that you might be out in the countryside, with views over fields and trees making the occasional corporate skyscraper looming on the horizon feel like a mirage.

Continue reading “Mudchute City Farm”

Stepney City Farm

Stepney City Farm is a medium-sized city farm with a lovely community feel: small paddocks of donkeys, goats, sheep, pigs and poultry gathered around a centre of community allotments, permaculture garden, cafe, craft workshops (they run a ‘Rural Arts Centre’) and a classroom.
During the week the central yard, which has a generous covered buggy park, has a huge range of dilapidated ride-on toys (cars, tractors, go-karts) which are so exciting for my boy that we have to spend the first hour there before looking at any animals.

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City Farms

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I’ve always thought they were an amazing idea, but I have a whole new appreciation for my local city farms now that I have a child. Even the smallest, most chaotic of them is still a lovely half-day out for a toddler enchanted by animals (or ride-on tractors) – and Mudchute almost feels like getting out into the countryside for the adults, too. Continue reading “City Farms”

Turning a chore into fun

This is a skill I admire in other people and am determined to master, because it makes it possible to actually get things done during the days I spend with my toddler.

So far, we’ve had success with putting things in the washing machine and helping mummy to hang out the clothes. It’s an opportunity for her to 1. Press buttons. 2. Hand things to mummy. 3. Identify everyone’s clothes.

Last week, I cleared the leaves from the backyard while she watched – delighted by the sight of mummy at work – from a window with daddy. This time, daddy was out. And I was determined to get her to help me – or at least not stop me – clearing all the leaves that had fallen in the meantime (we get loads from a line of plane trees in the nearby park). Continue reading “Turning a chore into fun”