A sample of the new Baked Snack from Walkers Hoops and Crosses!
The flavour were sent to try out is Roast Beef but after checking the ingredients, I was happy to see that it is suitable for Vegetarians (which is important to us as we eat Halal)
Each bag contains 85 calories and is made from wholegrains, have no artificial colours or preservatives so it is something I am happy to give to my children, either in a lunchbox or as a snack at home. I allowed my younger two to have some after their lunch. As they are only little, one bag was plenty to share out between them.
These snacks, as you could guess, all come in either hoops or cross shapes like the game of noughts and crosses:
The taste of the roast beef flavour is quite strong (in a nice way, I thought!) It actually reminds me of crisps I used to eat when I was little, a bit like monster munch. I have not come across any like this in a while! My children liked the interesting shapes of the crisps and also seemed to like the taste as they happily ate them up.
My 4 year old missed out as he was at school when we tried it! But I would happily buy these, so I am sure he will get his turn to try them. They also come in prawn cocktail or salt and vinegar flavours so I would be interested to see how those taste.
LoveTea is a new service where you can have different Gourmet teas delivered every month. They kindly sent us a pack to try out and share our thoughts. I do enjoy relaxing with a nice cup of tea, and my husband is a real tea lover so I was interested to see whether we would be able to tell much difference from our usual tea.
The tea we were sent is Jun Chiyabari tea – a Himalayan Imperial Black. The tea comes with the full information about the tea estate on which it was grown, and tells that it is from a family owned estate and is certified as Organic, which is all great to know!
The tea is loose leaf, something I don’t normally make as I always think it might take more time or be more complicated but they provided some bags together with the tea, so that you can measure out the required amount of leafs and just place them into the net teabag and brew it as normal, so there is no straining required but you still get the effect and taste of having a loose leaf tea. I found this a great solution as its really convenient.
My husband and I both really enjoyed our cup of tea and could tell a difference from our regular teas. I found this has more of a stronger and fully developed flavour, and I will definitely drink it again. I would also be interested in trying out some of the other varieties they have available, including the green teas as I love green tea and find it really refreshing.
LoveTea is run by a husband and wife team with a real passion about tea. Many of the teas are Fair trade certified but all of them are bought from source for above the minimum Fair Trade prices. They don’t include herbal teas but do include black, green, white and oolong teas. There are gift subscriptions available so it could be a good one for any tea loving relative, as a thoughtful gift. Perhaps even for Father’s Day coming up – for any tea enthusiast dads!
LoveTea have offered me a great deal to share with my readers – for anyone who is feeling tempted to give it a try, I have an amazing 40% off to share with you. Simply use the code PLAYROOM40 and you will be able to redeem 40% off your first month of a tea subscription. Monthly packages start from only 4.50 a month which is very reasonable, working out at 30p a cup. Or for the insatiable tea drinkers you can get a much larger package to make sure you are in no danger of running out!
I was really happy to be chosen by Mum Panel to help out in their campaign to spread the word for Soreen’s 75 birthday! I loved Soreen Malt Loaf as a child, and have to admit I still do, so was quite intrigued at the sound of their new limited edition item – Chocolate Soreen!
My boys are very keen on chocolate, so I knew they would be eager to try it out too. It looks just like chocolate cake, so they viewed it as a treat and enjoyed eating it up. It is really squidgy and you can taste the choc chips in it, it has plenty of flavour. Sometimes there might be ideas that you think sound good but when you try it they are disappointing. This is not one of them, it is really nice!
This chocolate malt loaf is limited edition so if you want to give it a try, you better get in quick!
If you are tempted to give it a try there is a fab competition up here with a chance to win one of 75 loaves of choc Soreen. It ends on Wednesday so be quick!! And if you don’t get lucky then don’t worry – you can still pick it up from supermarkets:
Chocolate Loaf is available from the following stores, for just £1 and when it’s gone it’s gone!
Asda (in most main stores, about half of all Adsa stores) for 6 weeks,
Morrisons from 20th May for 3 weeks
Sainsbury’s from 23rd May for 3 weeks
As well as the special chocolate loaves, we were also sent some packs of the lunch box loaves in original and banana flavours. I hadn’t seen these before but they are so convenient! I think I would buy these rather than the full sized loaf in the future, as I’m always trying to get more variety for my boy’s pack lunches and these are really handy to have in, so you could put one in the pack lunch now and again. It will give them plenty of energy! They are a really ideal size, and all individually wrapped. I have a couple of banana lovers, my 3 and 1 year old, so they have really enjoyed the banana flavour, and my 4 year old would definitely go for the chocolate as his favourite.
I have been handing out Soreen to all my friends and family and still have lots more to give out. So far it seems to be going down well! It’s a shame the chocolate loaf is only around for such a short time – but we will just have to enjoy it while we get the chance!
Today we ran our first Twitter party, on the topic of #HealthySnackChat. It went brilliantly and we were so happy to see how many people came. I’m proud to say, we were quickly trending and stayed trending throughout the majority of our party hour which is a great result especially for our first time! Thanks to all of you who came, and to my co-hosts @etspeaksfrom, @redrosemummy and @thebrickcastle.
For those who missed it, there’s no need to worry as the people at Cult Content have done a fantastic summary so you can catch up on some of the useful tips and ideas that were put forward during the chat. Have a look here!
I will definitely be trying out some of the suggestions from the other mums who took part. Freezing bananas sounds like a good one, and I would love to have a go at preparing Bento boxes for the boys.
I’m lucky that two of my boys do eat a lot of fruit and are always happy to try new healthy snacks, but my middle boy is not. He has a pretty limited diet, which is probably due to his ASD and other feeding issues that he has had since being a baby. Although it’s hard for him to try new things, I can’t give up so new ideas are always useful as you never know what may work. Hopefully one day we will get him eating some more new things (and preferably healthy ones!)
There was definitely a lot to think about from our chat, and it’s always interesting to see the different approaches that other mums use.
We also had some brilliant prizes to give away thanks to SA Fruit and Change4Life. Here is the winners list again, in case anyone has missed it:
Winners for the mini prizes are
Winners for the rucksack are
Congratulations to all our winners, and thanks again to all those who helped make our first twitter party a real success!
I hope we will be able to bring you more twitter parties in the future, so keep checking back on the blog (you can subscribe by email on the right hand side if you really don’t want to miss anything! 😉 ) and also on the Facebook page. Keep an eye on the other 3 host blogs too!
SA Fruits have been kind enough to provide us all with a selection of their delicious fruit to try out, and has also sponsored TWO family picnic rucksacks (for 4 people) to give away for our Twitter party!
We will be talking about healthy eating for children and families, different healthy snack ideas and also giving the opportunity to win plenty of extra surprise prizes so we would love it if you join us on twitter at 10.30-11.30 on Monday the 22nd, with #HealthySnackChat.
In our package of South African fruit, we tried a selection of apples, pears and plums. These South African fruits are all available from April til September in supermarkets throughout the UK. You can also have the chance to win mini footballs, frisbees and boomerangs every time you buy South African Fruit! See here for the details.
These fruits were all lovely to eat just as they are. The Royal Gala Apples were very sweet and flavoursome and the Angeleno plums were very tasty and juicy, enjoyed by my children and myself.
We also used the fruit to make a small fruit salad as my 4 year old enjoys chopping the fruits and mixing them in a bowl, it’s a nice activity for him and I find it helps the children to feel really enthusiastic about eating the fruit. We sometimes make fruit kebabs too which is a really simple and fun idea for the children to do with different fruit.
We were recently asked by the Mummy News website to try out the new Little Dish range of fresh filled pastas, as I am one of their Mummy Reviewers.
There are two types of filled pasta in the range: Mini Tortellini with cheese and tomato, and mini ravioli with spinach and ricotta. They are recommended for babies and toddlers of 1 year + so were perfect for my 18 month old, but also enjoyed by my 3 and 4 year olds.
Little Dish meals are carefully created without any unnatural ingredients or unnecessary salt, so I felt happy that even though it is an easy and quick option it is not a meal you would have to feel guilty about giving.
These filled pastas are very easy to cook, you just boil for a couple of minutes and they are ready. They can be eaten either with a sauce or without, and I served them simply with chopped raw vegetables alongside, so an extremely quick meal – yet wholesome and nutritious.
I was also surprised that the bags actually go further than you would think. It is quite a small package but makes enough for several meals. I made the mistake of over estimating it the first time I made it, and had some left over so I thought I would give it a taste myself! I found it nice, so definitely felt comfortable giving it to the children knowing it is something I would have been happy to eat myself. They are actually very similar to the fresh filled pasta you can find for adults in the supermarket, but the main difference would be that they are all natural and without any added salt and that they are slightly smaller.
My children enjoyed eating them. They regularly enjoy pasta with sauce and vegetables but filled pasta is not something I had thought to give them often, but I will now bare it in mind to give them again as it just adds a bit more variety! My 4 year old said he preferred the ravioli and the younger two seemed to prefer the tortellini, but they were all happy to eat both.
Little Dish were also kind enough to include some money off vouchers along side these meals, so we thought we would give a try to some of their other ranges and got some of their children’s ready meals for our 18 month old to try. We got the fish pie and the pasta with cheese peas and broccoli trees. There are loads of other delicious looking ones too. My little boy also loved these meals especially the fish pie!
All the Little Dish products the children tried were good quality and extremely convenient for me, while being tasty and healthy for them so I would have to say its great, and something that can really help out on days when you are short of time and need something quick and easy to feed the children. I have to admit that like many people when in a rush I do sometimes go down the route of ready made fish fingers from the supermarket, or an oven pizza or anything like that but health wise, especially thinking about the salt content, the Little Dish meals are drastically better so will definitely be looking out for Little Dish in the supermarket in future.
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