The Actives Challenge https://theactivescard.co.uk Getting Kids More Active! Tue, 05 Feb 2019 11:55:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.10 Get Berkshire Active 2018 Primary School of the year award – The Priory School https://theactivescard.co.uk/get-berkshire-active-2017-primary-school-of-the-year-award-the-priory-school/ https://theactivescard.co.uk/get-berkshire-active-2017-primary-school-of-the-year-award-the-priory-school/#respond Mon, 02 Apr 2018 10:16:05 +0000 https://theactivescard.co.uk/?p=1672 On Friday 23rd February 2018 the Priory School (Slough) were crowned ‘Get Berkshire Active ‘Active Primary School’ winners! So as the title sponsor for this award, and as the founder of ‘The Actives Card’ I wanted to find out for myself why the Priory School were worthy winners and to see if there were any…

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On Friday 23rd February 2018 the Priory School (Slough) were crowned ‘Get Berkshire Active ‘Active Primary School’ winners!

get berkshire active partnerthe actives card logo 3

So as the title sponsor for this award, and as the founder of ‘The Actives Card’ I wanted to find out for myself why the Priory School were worthy winners and to see if there were any secrets to their success which could be shared with other schools to help raise children’s physical activity levels.

Of course, with any successful team, you need a leader who has a clear vision of what they want to want to achieve and has to be strong enough not to cave into ‘external pressures’ whilst pursuing a game plan.

First and foremost the Priory School are fortunate to have such a convincing and robust leader in the guise of their head teacher – Mrs Laver.

Mrs Laver explained, “we did not have a good Ofsted inspection in 2015 and we as a school lost sight of what being a child was all about.”

One of the key strengths of being a top performing leader is the ability to be brutally honest and identify your team’s weaknesses so that you can then create a plan to move forward and progress – and that’s exactly what Mrs. Laver and her team did.

Mrs. Laver clearly identified that her school needed to give their pupils a framework and a positive environment that placed equal emphasis on a child’s holistic health profile as well as the child’s academic profile.

The Priory School needed a passionate, ambitious PE Teacher whose objective was to create and develop a whole school physical activity programme that benefited the pupils as well as the teachers!

Introducing Mr. Molland… Mr. Molland supported by his PE team has played a key role in facilitating Mrs. Laver vision for the School and attributes their success to two major factors “having complete ‘buy-in’ from the schools Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and having daily communication with at least one member of the SLT team.”

At this point of the discussion, both Mr. Molland and Mrs. Laver were quick to recognise and praise the efforts of the schools business manager – Mrs. McGovern.

Mrs. McGovern is attributed to playing a key role in supporting Mr. Molland’s work whilst ensuring it fitted within the overall school plan.

A great example of The Prior School working together as a well-oiled machine to help increase all 1,000 pupils physical activity levels every week, was piloting and then implementing the fantastic Daily Mile initiative and subsequently investing in a dedicated walking/running track around the school field.

Another really interesting example of how dedicated the Priory School are totally dedicated to ensuring that their pupil’s health and wellbeing is a top priority is the fact they have recruited their own internal kitchen team, as opposed to using outsourced catering companies.  Thus having total control over the school dinner menu to ensure their pupils are receiving a nutritious meal.

After my school tour and meeting with various Priory School team members, I came away feeling that this school truly deserved their Get Berkshire Active accolade and I was delighted that such a forward thinking and innovative school would like to work with The Actives over the summer term to pilot our new weekly health and wellbeing challenge.

As I now know that if Mrs. Laver and Mr. Molland and the rest of the team at the Priory School are driving a new initiative – it will undoubtedly increase the chances of being a successful pilot that will have the potential to positively affect the health profile of thousands of primary school children across the country.

Finally, I just want to say thank you to Get Berkshire Active for hosting such an inspiring awards ceremony (again) and thank you to the Priory School for empowering your pupils to adopt healthy lifestyle habits which they can replicate at home.

 

 

 

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The Actives Top 5 Calorie Snacks For Children https://theactivescard.co.uk/actives-top-5-calorie-snacks-children/ https://theactivescard.co.uk/actives-top-5-calorie-snacks-children/#respond Mon, 05 Feb 2018 18:00:33 +0000 https://theactivescard.co.uk/?p=1340 Public Health England has recently been in the news for talking about children’s snacks and limiting them to 100 kcals per snack. However, the main message from Public Health England seems to have got a little lost amongst the media hype with typical “children can’t eat chocolate bars…ever again” style articles gaining interest. However, the campaign from the…

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Public Health England has recently been in the news for talking about children’s snacks and limiting them to 100 kcals per snack. However, the main message from Public Health England seems to have got a little lost amongst the media hype with typical “children can’t eat chocolate bars…ever again” style articles gaining interest.

However, the campaign from the Government is actually trying to encourage parents to cut back on sugary snacks and to try to limit snacks to around 2 a day for most children. This is because research has suggested that children are often grazing on snacks throughout the day and are eating 3 times more sugar than recommended.

On average, children are consuming at least 3 unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks a day, with around a third consuming 4 or more” PHE 2018

The aim of the campaign

The focus of the campaign is around helping parents to choose healthier options when it comes to snacks for kids; to try not to rely solely on crisps, biscuits and cake bars as snacks, and to add variety and more nutrients in their diet in-between meals. Snacks are so important for children as they help to give an energy boost between meals, but they are also an ideal time to boost nutrient intakes too. Therefore, the kind of snacks that are chosen and offered are important.

Importantly, I want to stress that it’s not a good idea to use “calorie counting” when it comes to children. The 100 calorie option is simply a guide, not a strict recommendation. The calorie cap is in place to support supermarkets and brands who are producing snacks for children, so they have an understanding of appropriate portion sizes. Parents would not be expected to check labels of children’s food for calories or add up the number of calories they are eating. This isn’t a healthy message to pass on to children when it comes to food and healthy eating.

Instead parents can simply be a little more mindful of how many snacks their children are eating, how regularly they are having them, and what types of snacks they are filling up on each day.

I’ve written about healthy snacks for children and toddlers before. You can read my top tips and also my snack ideas here.

Some ideas for you

If you’re looking for something a little different, or are wanting to meet the 100 calorie recommendation, these snack ideas below should do the trick. Let me know if you have any more ideas yourselves, I’d love to add extras to this blog post.

  1. Exotic fruits – Fruits are so easy to add to a lunchbox or offer off the cuff at home. There are also plenty of exotic and exciting sounding fruits to choose from too and to get your little one’s excited about mealtimes. Think lychees (my favourite!), passion fruit, figs, dragon fruit or even just frozen grapes, kiwi pots or melons cut into funky shapes.
  2. Roasted chickpeas with paprika – I’m a massive fan of making hummus and falafels, but roasted chickpeas are another way of using up a tin of these pulses. Simply add a tin of chickpeas to an oven dish with a dash of olive oil and a sprinkling of paprika and watch them turn into crunchy, protein-filled treats that your kids will love.
  3. Plain popcorn is such a great snack option, AND it’s wholegrain! It’s also so easy to make popcorn exciting by adding some paprika or some herbs or even a drizzle of honey or dark chocolate.
  4. Mini Spanish omelettes are great as little bites for kids to munch on. You can totally make these your own by adding cheese, veggies, meat and or fish. Use a greased cake tin or some mini cake cases and bake the omelettes in the oven for around 20-25 minutes.
  5. Baked apple slices – As simple as it sounds. Slice apple as thinly as you can and bake the slices in single file in the oven until crisp.

Got any more ideas?

Do send in any more healthy snack options you love and, in the meantime you can read all about the Change 4 Life/Public Health England Campaign here – https://www.nhs.uk/change4life/food-facts/healthier-snacks-for-kids/100-calorie-snacks#7233xAchTUSj7Xst.97

If you’re looking for Healthy Snack ideas for adults, this blog is the place for you to visit next! http://www.srnutrition.co.uk/2016/06/healthy-snack-ideas

Charlotte Stirling Reed – The Actives Team Nutrition Expert

 

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The Actives Parent Team https://theactivescard.co.uk/actives-parent-team/ https://theactivescard.co.uk/actives-parent-team/#comments Tue, 30 Jan 2018 20:25:36 +0000 https://theactivescard.co.uk/?p=1287 The Actives Parents Team – now recruiting This is your chance to be heard on the physical activity challenges and other health and wellbeing issues which matter to you and your children. The Actives Parents Team is our new initiative giving a voice to parents on the physical activity challenges and issues that face parents…

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The Actives Parents Team – now recruiting

This is your chance to be heard on the physical activity challenges and other health and wellbeing issues which matter to you and your children.

The Actives Parents Team is our new initiative giving a voice to parents on the physical activity challenges and issues that face parents and children on a daily basis both in and out of school.

We are currently looking for a broad mix of parents, from different backgrounds and areas, and come with a range of views and experiences, to join our parent’s team. 

What is The Actives Parents Team all about?

  • An online or virtual team for parents to collectively make their voice heard on all aspects of physical activity which matter to them and their children.
  • The Actives will share the findings of The Actives Parents surveys and other activities with relevant Government departments, politicians, advertising regulators and industry bodies, as well as the media
  • Parents’ voices will contribute to our push for more children to be more physical activity every day in safe and fun environments.

Who can apply to be on The Actives Parents Team?

  • Any parent or carer of a child aged 1-11, living in the UK.

How do I apply?

  • One simple online application form is all you need to complete. It should take no more than 3 minutes.  
  • We’re looking for a broad mix of parents, from different backgrounds and areas, and with a range of views and experiences.
  • Initially, we hope to select up to 500 people to join the team in 2018.

What can I expect as an Actives Parent Team member?

  • If successfully selected for the team, you will receive regular surveys, as well as ad hoc opportunities to comment on topical news stories, adverts and policy announcements.
  • Don’t worry – you don’t have to commit to filling in every survey, but we hope that you’ll feel as passionately as we do about making your voice heard.
  • You will be encouraged to share examples of the best – and worst – activity providers in your local area as well as rating your school, local authority and government in their attempts to promote physical activity.  
  • There may also be the potential for participating in more in-depth interviews / focus groups in the future.
  • There’s no payment involved, and members may be invited to special events hosted by The Actives. 
  • Some parents may also be selected to help shape our ‘Actives Family Management Programme’ in which you will have the opportunity to earn a part-time income

Please join us in our mission to get kids more active and apply here:

The Actives Team

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The Actives Team Limited Story https://theactivescard.co.uk/actives-team-limited-story/ https://theactivescard.co.uk/actives-team-limited-story/#respond Mon, 29 Jan 2018 19:36:00 +0000 https://theactivescard.co.uk/?p=1263 Although The Actives Team Limited business was officially registered with Companies House back in October 2017, the seed of the business was actually sewn over 30 years ago when I was first introduced to competitive sports by my parents – naturally, I just didn’t know it then! From the age of five, I was very…

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Although The Actives Team Limited business was officially registered with Companies House back in October 2017, the seed of the business was actually sewn over 30 years ago when I was first introduced to competitive sports by my parents – naturally, I just didn’t know it then!

From the age of five, I was very fortunate to have been taken to a number of ‘taster sessions’ including swimming, short tennis (played on an indoor badminton court with a yellow sponge ball), and football.

I remember loving them all equally the same and soon added a fourth Sport to my ‘weekly activity schedule’ – badminton.

Of course, it’s only looking back now as a parent myself, can I really appreciate the enthusiasm, commitment levels and sacrifices my parents made that allowed me to start my own ‘physical activity journey’ and find my ‘true passion’ from such an early age – thanks Mum & Dad!

My primary school junior years were filled with lots of free taster sessions, fun coaching sessions and important introductions to the ‘competitive world’, which reflecting back provided me with a great platform which enabled me to subconsciously develop key life skills such as how to:

  • Engage and connect with ‘new friends’ quickly
  • Effectively manage new social situations
  • Listen and act upon instructions
  • Develop a basic understanding of ‘time management’
  • Differentiate between non-competitive and competitive environments
  • Respect other people (kids and adults) that were not already in your immediate and trusted ‘friends and family circle’ regardless of age, sex, race and any other potential ‘demographic profiling features’ that we see in our multicultural and extremely liberal nation

These important basic life skills provided me with a solid foundation which enabled me to spend most of my teenage years enjoying the world of ‘competitive sport’, which not only further enhanced my life skills that I had already picked up in my junior years, but also gave me the opportunity to learn and develop new life skills such as:

  • Developing a positive attitude towards discipline and commitment
  • How to train your mind to focus on the positive and not the negative
  • Trust your own ability when thrown into uncomfortable social situations
  • How to get yourself back on track when things are not going your way
  • How to operate in a team to maximise the chances of a team being successful
  • How to turn a passion into an income stream and consequently how to maximise and leverage your skill sets within an industry that you genuinely care about – which also turns out to play a massive and positive role in society on a number of different levels including financial, health, social and environment – and actually get paid for it!

I will always remember my first real tennis coaching job experience as a 16-year-old, as it really tested my confidence and self-esteem levels, not to mention my communication and leadership skills as I had to organise an ‘adult club night’, which effectively meant I had to lead a tennis session which consisted of over 30 adults of whom most appeared to be double my age…Luckily for me, I had already subconsciously developed all the skills necessary to successfully execute a ‘sink or swim’ lesson, which then gave me the opportunity to go onto becoming the youngest Head Tennis coach at the prestigious Wellington College at just 18 years of age.

Since then through continuing to put all of my ‘sports skills’ that I had learned since the age of five into the most competive world of them all ‘the jobs market’, I was fortunate enough to have worked in a number of different and exciting roles within a number of industries (not just the health and fitness space), but none of them compare to the most exciting and most challenging role to date, and that’s building the worlds number 1 health and wellbeing brand for children – ‘The Actives’.

Will we succeed in our quest? 100% yes, because I’ve been ‘schooled in sport’ all my life so I know there is no other option other than to fail your way to success. We are all only too aware of the serious lows and numerous challenges and obstacles that we will invariably face along the way, but one of the most important life lessons sport has taught me and that is – to never give up no matter what. Therefore as long as you never give up – you can never fail.

So if you are a parent and haven’t yet embarked on the pursuit of finding ‘the right’ physical activity or a Sport yet with your child…please make it a top priority this year to address, as I can personally assure you it will be one of the best gifts you will ever give them, and they will be eternally grateful for the rest of their lives.

How can I make such a bold statement? Well not only am I speaking from personal experience from a ‘child perspective’, but I’m now also speaking from a parents perspective through watching my own two young children develop into confident, healthy and well-behaved kids by getting involved with numerous sports and physical activity sessions both in and out of school.

And that’s why I’m excited to say that although The Actives Story is already thirty plus years in the making, I can’t wait to build a dynamic senior management team who share the same beliefs and values to facilitate and promote the physical and mental health benefits that only Sport (and physical activity) can prescribe to every child regardless of sex, race and socioeconomic background.

As for our vision of becoming the worlds number 1 health and wellbeing brand for children – we obviously have not achieved our goal yet, as this ambitious goal will take time to achieve, but to quote the MMA global star Conor Mcgreggor “If you can see it here (mind), and you have the courage to speak it, it will happen.”

www.theactives.co.uk

 

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The Actives Card & Corporate Wellbeing Programmes https://theactivescard.co.uk/actives-card-corporate-wellbeing-programmes/ https://theactivescard.co.uk/actives-card-corporate-wellbeing-programmes/#respond Fri, 12 Jan 2018 23:25:29 +0000 https://theactivescard.co.uk/?p=1186 An article in the December 2010 issue of the Harvard Business Review defines workplace wellness as an organised program that a company initiates for their employees — and sometimes their employees’ family members —  to help reduce health risks, to enhance personal effectiveness, to improve quality of life and to benefit the organization’s bottom line. The benefits…

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An article in the December 2010 issue of the Harvard Business Review defines workplace wellness as an organised program that a company initiates for their employees — and sometimes their employees’ family members —  to help reduce health risks, to enhance personal effectiveness, to improve quality of life and to benefit the organization’s bottom line.

The benefits are of providing a caring and supportive corporate wellbeing package to your employees is a sound strategy for helping your company develop stronger and more meaningful connections with your employees, that can lead to reducing ‘sick days’ and increasing productivity levels.

Introducing The Actives Card as the latest corporate wellbeing product which is already getting traction with local businesses in the Thames Valley area.

Would your company like to offer a new employee wellness benefit as part of your corporate wellbeing programme that helps parents save money whilst supporting their children to become more physically active?

The Actives Card is a brand-new community-driven initiative that gets kids more active through either free activity sessions and/or super savings on a wide range of physical activities including courses, events, holiday camps, sports apparel and equipment, and even active family holidays!

With 1 in 5 children now labelled as ‘obese’ before they even get to primary school, which then rises to 1 in 3 after they leave primary school, everyone (including corporate companies) has a moral obligation to try and influence and promote positive wellbeing messages for the physical and mental health benefit of our future generations.

“The Actives Card is a fantastic initiative of how corporate companies can play a big part in reversing the tide against what the World Health Organisation suggest is the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century – childhood obesity, whilst at the same time adding significant value to their corporate wellbeing programme,” Joel James, Founder of The Actives Card.

The first company to provide their staff with The Actives Card as an employee benefit is Triffle Solutions. Based in Reading, Trifle Solutions (www.triflesolutions.co.uk) has provided expert intelligent telesales and marketing for more than 15 years. It works B2B, offering dedicated telemarketing but also high-quality prospect data and telemarketing training for in-house teams.

“During the history of Trifle Solutions, we have found that our most committed team members have been mums. Our team are multi and highly skilled individuals who juggle work and home life every day and we wanted to go a little extra for them. The Actives Card appealed to us, as we know that our team are advocates for getting their children up and out and keeping them active. Thank you to The Actives Team for introducing The Actives Card to us and making physical activities even more accessible,” Sabrina Bradley,
Business Development Manager.

Get in touch to find out how your company could benefit from providing your employees with a new corporate loyalty benefit that will really resonate with your employees who have children under the age of 11 – The Actives Card.

 

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The Actives Card is Getting Kids Active in 2018 https://theactivescard.co.uk/getting-kids-active-in-2018/ https://theactivescard.co.uk/getting-kids-active-in-2018/#respond Wed, 03 Jan 2018 22:03:34 +0000 https://theactivescard.co.uk/?p=1158 With a successful soft launch completed which saw over 1,000 new members and four schools sign up to The Actives Card to help get kids more active, and The Actives Team are now ready to take The Actives Card to the next level in 2018. During the first couple of weeks in January, The Actives…

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With a successful soft launch completed which saw over 1,000 new members and four schools sign up to The Actives Card to help get kids more active, and The Actives Team are now ready to take The Actives Card to the next level in 2018.

During the first couple of weeks in January, The Actives Team will be delivering 50,000 flyers to over 150 local primary schools within a 15km radius of Bracknell (Berkshire) to promote a brand new campaign which is focused around:

The Actives Card 4 Key Values

  1. Getting Kids More Active
  2. Helping parents save money on helping their children become more active
  3. Growing local businesses through providing free marketing resources and initiatives
  4. Supporting Schools with a new funding stream which directly impacts the health of their pupils

Of course, The Actives Card was originally designed to get kids more active through making it easier and more affordable for parents to access free or heavily discounted local physical activities and courses – and that still is, and will always remain The Actives Card number one objective.

And if you have more parents taking their children to new local kids activity providers, you will naturally see a positive growth for local businesses and organisations regardless of which sector they operate in.

A Quadruple Win for Local Communities 

Hooray! So far we have a ‘win-win-win’ situation for children (who are becoming more active), for parents (who are saving money) and for commercial and charity organisations (who are growing their respected programmes), however, despite that seeming a really good positive relationship hybrid, that wasn’t good enough for us – and so we went searching for a fourth win and another new local community key stakeholder that we felt we could also support in our quest to tackle the childhood obesity epidemic.

It didn’t take us long to realise who our fourth community beneficiary would be, especially after listening to all the media noise and first-hand feedback re that schools are really under severe financial pressure, and are generally struggling to keep operational due to government cutbacks.

Therefore The Actives Card will be running a special campaign up until the 9th February 2018, that will see infant and primary schools financially benefit from receiving 50% of the total sale price of The Actives Card, which the schools can confidently promote as a great new source of funding, centred around connecting and developing local communities with helping to get kids more active at the heart of the initiative.

The Actives Card costs £19.99 for a 12-month family membership, so whether you have one or multiple children you only need to buy one card for the whole family to benefit from.

If you live within a 15km radius of Bracknell and would like to help financially support your school whilst getting your kids more active, you can buy your family membership card here

Wishing you a very happy and active 2018!

The Actives Team

 

 

 

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Sugar in a childs diet. How much is too much? https://theactivescard.co.uk/sugar-in-a-childs-diet/ https://theactivescard.co.uk/sugar-in-a-childs-diet/#respond Wed, 27 Dec 2017 22:26:17 +0000 https://theactivescard.co.uk/?p=1138 It’s long been known that sugar is bad for children’s teeth (and adults’ teeth too) but it’s only relatively recently that health experts have been expressing major concern about children’s sugar consumption in general and the impact it is having on their health.   There are two basic reasons why experts are worried about the…

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It’s long been known that sugar is bad for children’s teeth (and adults’ teeth too) but it’s only relatively recently that health experts have been expressing major concern about children’s sugar consumption in general and the impact it is having on their health.

 

There are two basic reasons why experts are worried about the amount of sugar children are eating these days.  Firstly, it contributes to childhood obesity and its associated issues.  Secondly it gets children into the habit of eating sugary foods and, as all parents know, habits developed in childhood tend to carry on into adulthood.

 

At the same time, however, sugar is one of those “naughty-but-nice” treats, which can form part of many of childhood’s best memories, birthday cakes and christmas cakes, ice creams and cotton candy.  Fundamentally only the biggest killjoys would argue with the idea that “a little of what you fancy does you good”.  The key word in that sentence, however, is “little”.  Sugar is not meant to be an everyday food, it’s meant to be a treat food, kept for special occasions.

 

That brings us back to our original question.  When looking at the issue of sugar in a child’s diet, how much is too much?

 

According to the American Heart Association the answer is none at all until your child is at least 2 years old and then a maximum of 6 teaspoons (just under an ounce) of added sugar each day and at most one 8-ounce sugar-sweetened beverage per week.

 

The eagle-eyed will have noticed that the recommendation used the word “added sugar” rather than just sugar.  Natural sugars such as those found in fruits, vegetables and dairy products are just fine.  They come along with a whole pile of nutrients and form a crucial part of a healthy, wholefood-rich diet.  Basically the AHA and other health experts are talking about refined sugar, which can come in a variety of guises.

 

When hearing the word “sugar”, it’s probably a safe bet that most people would immediately think of either powdered or cubed cane sugar of the sort found in supermarkets from coast to coast.  In actual fact, however, although that may be the most obvious and maybe the most common form of refined sugar, there are plenty of others and sometimes food manufacturers can be very cunning when it comes to disguising them and/or making them seem healthier than the actually are.

 

For example, we mentioned previously that the natural sugars found in fruit and vegetables and dairy products were absolutely fine.  That’s true.  It’s also true that fructose and lactose, as their names suggest, are simply the refined version of the natural sugars found in fruit, vegetables and dairy products.  The point to note, however, is the word “refined”.  Fructose and lactose are just as bad for you as standard cane sugar and so are the likes of corn syrup, molasses, glucose and sucrose.

 

Maple syrup and honey have a few added nutrients which makes them a marginal improvement, but by marginal we’re talking hair’s breadth.  Really, these should be thought of as being in the same league as regular sugar.  In short, if it’s being used in a way you’d associate with regular sugar, it probably is some form of regular sugar, even if it’s been given a fancy name.  Because food manufacturers are so good at disguising sugar, it’s probably fair to say that the more you cook at home, the easier it will be to control your child’s sugar intake.

 

One of the main ways sugar can slip into a child’s diet without adults really noticing is through everyday mainstream products such as spreads, particularly peanut butter and fruit jellies.  For peanut butter, just switch to the unsweetened sort and for fruit jellies, how about you forget traditional preserve-making and make your own the easy way.

 

Sugar has long been used in jellies because it helps to make fruit last a long time, especially over winter, but these days there are many better ways of preserving fruits, such as drying them.  So instead of trying to make a sugar-filled preserve, just make an easy fruit spread using chia seeds instead of the traditional combination of sugar and pectin.  It’s healthy, tasty and a great way to introduce your child to making food.

 

Speaking of introducing your child to food, the reason the AHA recommends that children under the age of two be given no added sugar at all is because this is a crucial period in the formation of their tastes in food and if they are given refined sugar in this part of their lives, they are much more likely to want it as they get older.  Plus this is a period of rapid physical and mental development in which a young child really needs a nutrient-rich diet, not refined sugar.

 

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Mental Toughness for Children https://theactivescard.co.uk/buildingachildsreslience/ Fri, 24 Nov 2017 16:22:55 +0000 http://activecubs.com/site/?p=311 How injury can help children build their resilience While my mind thinks I’m still 26, my body is certainly telling me I’m not. There’s more than a few miles on this chassis, hence why I’ve had both knees resurfaced. This entailed two six-weeks stints of non-weight bearing on crutches, no driving etc.. As a single…

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How injury can help children build their resilience

While my mind thinks I’m still 26, my body is certainly telling me I’m not. There’s more than a few miles on this chassis, hence why I’ve had both knees resurfaced. This entailed two six-weeks stints of non-weight bearing on crutches, no driving etc..

As a single Dad this was hard and meant that for the first few weeks I couldn’t safely have my children over night. The hassle of daily living, cooking cleaning, working and trying to stay active on your own paled compared to not having the children.

At least I had the knowledge and experience to stay positive and not affect my mental state.

But how can children cope with such an event?

I was to find out first hand recently when my own son, William, 10, found himself on crutches with a crippling condition and facing the possibility of an indefinite healing time frame.

Will recently suffered his second bout of Sever’s disease.  It’s a common cause of heel pain in children, when the muscles and tendons of the hamstrings and calves stretch and tighten in response to growth spurts. Sadly, he got it in both feet so was finding it painful to move around.

The worst came when just as he was begging to heal (no pun intended) he rolled his ankle and you could be forgiven he stepped on a mine. After a few more days, he still couldn’t bear any part of his foot being touched.

A trip to the orthopaedic consultant and MRI confirming a diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome (CPRS). CRPS is a poorly understood condition in which a person experiences persistent severe and debilitating pain.

 

Although most cases of CRPS are triggered by an injury, the resulting pain is much more severe and long-lasting than normal.

 

The skin of the affected body part can become so sensitive that just a slight touch, bump or even a change in temperature can provoke intense pain. Many cases of CRPS gradually improve to some degree over time, or get completely better. However, some cases of CRPS never go away, and the affected person will experience pain for many years.

 

This was not good. And so, in October last year he began over two months on crutches. Every school break time he was either sat in class or on the side-lines, watching his friends run around. Out too went his Saturday morning football, he was the star goalie, bike rides, long walks and cricket practice. At first it was too painful for him to even swim.

 

The best way to overcome the pain with this is to push through it. To get the body and brain to realise the pain signals are wrong and thus try and re-set them.

 

So began an intensive period of physiotherapy and mental exercises.

 

Here’s some of the things we did on the mental game during this period.

 

Think three positives

Every day we’d ask him to tell us three things that had gone well and more if he could think of them. We’d encourage him to elaborate on them. This is an exercise in Cognitive Behavioural Modification. The goal was to help Will look for the positives, the little wins and achievements, to keep him with a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset.

 

Heroes and heroines

Will is very much into his football, so we’d talk about which of his favourite players had overcome injury and what they might have done to do that. We talked about it was as important to be as dedicated to their exercises as it was to playing. This helped when he really didn’t want to do them, because he’s 10 and they hurt.

 

What would you say to a friend?

We’d ask him what would he tell his best friend to do if it was him that was injured. This an NLP technique called perceptual positons and help the person look at a negative situation from a different perspective than their own.

 

Finally, we’d get him to visualise what it would be like to be fully fit and hearing around the playground and football field with his mates. Visualisation can play an important part on keeping young ones focussed on what they do want and not letting them slip into seeing themselves as they are now. Injured.

They have the most amazing imaginations, so guide their daydreams and use to great effect. It’s brilliant to help them utilise that skill and develop it for adult life.

I’m delighted to say we are making great progress, he’s off the crutches and walking with a slight limp. Football is still a few weeks away, but given some people can suffer with this indefinitely I’ll take that every day of the week.

I’m most proud by his attitude and a great metaphor he came up with by himself on how to look at injury.

You can watch what he has to say on this short video.

https://youtu.be/4e_4PxF8_fk

 

In closing, injury can be just as trying a time for a child as an adult, by spending a little time with them and showing them a few tools and techniques you can help build their resilience for life. It’s one of the many reasons why I love children being active and getting into sports and physical activities.

 

Anthony Taylor is a mental skills and employability coach. He works with people and organisations to develop their peak performance and potential. He is passionate about children, he has four, and giving them the mental skills to thrive in this modern world. He writes regularly on this topic and more. You can follow him on LinkedIn or twitter @AntTaylor72

 

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The Actives Cards are Getting Kids More Active https://theactivescard.co.uk/the-actives-cards-are-getting-kids-more-active/ https://theactivescard.co.uk/the-actives-cards-are-getting-kids-more-active/#respond Sat, 18 Nov 2017 20:08:14 +0000 https://theactivescard.co.uk/?p=954 Over 160 Activity Providers have already joined the FREE Actives Partner Network helping get Kids more ACTIVE! How do you get kids more active? Well, the Actives Team believe they have found the answer that also benefits parents, schools, sports clubs and local businesses. Trying to find local and affordable activities for children to move…

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Over 160 Activity Providers have already joined the FREE Actives Partner Network helping get Kids more ACTIVE!

How do you get kids more active?

Well, the Actives Team believe they have found the answer that also benefits parents, schools, sports clubs and local businesses.

Trying to find local and affordable activities for children to move around and have fun can be a tricky task, but not anymore!

The Actives Card is a great new way to easily find free or cheaper local activities to help children become more physically active to improve their mental and physical health.

So whether you are looking for free taster sessions or discounts at places such as Go Ape, Bracknell Ski Centre & Ice Rink, Hollywood Bowl to cool new activities such as roller skating or the newest dance styles – The Actives Card allows you try out over 50 different types of physical activities, so there really is an activity for everyone.

Developed to win the fight against childhood obesity, the Actives Card helps and unites parents, schools, and kids activity providers so that everyone is on the same team to help children become more physically active.

Founder of The Actives Card Joel James said: “The only way that we as a society are going to solve the childhood obesity issue is for all key stakeholders to work together and The Actives Card is a great platform that everyone can use and benefit from to help children become physically active every day!”

The Actives mascot Active Alfie kicked off the Actives Card campaign by visiting the pupils at Uplands Primary School and Nursery and Ascot Heath Infants School who were the first two schools to buy the cards for all of their pupils to benefit from.

A parent from Uplands Primary School said: “We really appreciated our school buying these great money saving cards to help us (parents) make it more affordable to help our children get more active, it really is a win-win”.

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Waitrose Grow & Sell Programme https://theactivescard.co.uk/waitrose-grow-sell-programme/ Sat, 18 Nov 2017 11:50:14 +0000 http://activecubs.com/site/?p=402 Here at The Actives we love to partner with other organisations who share our passion for promoting daily healthy lifestyle habits for under 11’s, whether that be in key areas around physical activity, healthy eating or emotional wellbeing. This month has seen us team up with Waitrose to help promote their brilliant ‘Grow & Sell’…

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Here at The Actives we love to partner with other organisations who share our passion for promoting daily healthy lifestyle habits for under 11’s, whether that be in key areas around physical activity, healthy eating or emotional wellbeing.

This month has seen us team up with Waitrose to help promote their brilliant ‘Grow & Sell’ programme to our Actives Schools, of which 50% signed up which was a fantastic result!

The programme supports Key Stage 2 children and helps to inspire them to grow their own produce during the warmer months. It can also engage the children into where the products originate from, to the production value of a tangible product, giving them the understanding (investment in time, energy and end product to gain a value on their investment). It also allows the children to experience teamwork, responsibility, and the challenges of farming in general.

Within the kits there is all the equipment and seeds and step by step guide, badges and posters and a workers schedule etc. There is also a Waitrose Grow & sell app to help with the schools needs, through apple app store or android app:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/grow-and-sell/id829831056?mt=8 (for IOS apple)

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.waitrose.growandsell (for andriod)

After the produce has been grown by the children, the schools can either visit their local Waitrose store in order to sell their produce, or the children can take the produce home, set up tasting sessions at the school, school fete etc.

Please feel free to contact your local Waitrose store for more information on this great free Schools programme on healthy eating.

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