Press release round-up, from playing to parenting trends

In April I had an inhouse assignment at a publishing company so heaps of emails and household chores piled up. I'm about to reach the top of my mountain so I decided to spend some time blogging. I cherry-picked the most interesting press releases I received in the past months - enjoy!

Rainy day ideas for kids
Play 20 from Eureka!
So the weather has not been as nice as expected, lots of rain, cloudy and cold days, which is difficult if you have small children who get challenging when cooped inside. It's a popular topic (think April showers) so I wrote an article for a newsletter - click here to read my toddler indoor fun ideas. Meanwhile a new website has launched this spring from Eureka!, a museum about interactive child play based in Halifax. So if you need more ideas on how to keep little hands busy, visit its bright, bold and beautiful site by clicking here. If you want to know more about the museum itself, click here. Eureka! is aimed at children aged 0 to 11 with over 400 hands-on exhibits designed to entertain and educate little visitors. 

Walk to school week
Living Streets - a charity that promotes walking in the UK
A charity called Living Streets is running initiatives in May, which is, fittingly, National Walking Month. I'm a bit tardy to announce all their initiatives, but there is still time to participate in Walk to School Week (21-25 May). Visit www.livingstreets.org.uk/gbwc to find out more. If walking is your thing, this website is a must-read.

Old-school parenting? 
I grew up in the 1980s so the survey on parenting in the 1970s and '80s commissioned by Practical Parenting & Pregnancy is bang up my street. The survey says that parenting in the 1970s and 80s was "Life on Mars" (love the pun) compared to the following decades. Parent behaviour shifted in most aspects: from dieting, discipline, breastfeeding, returning to work and the role of the partner. Over 800 women who had a child in the recent decades were questioned and below are the main findings.
  • Drinking alcohol in pregnancy   In the 1970s, 49% of mothers said they drank alcohol during pregnancy. It was down to 33% for those who had a baby born in 2000-2010. Of those mums who did drink, 23% would consume more than 6 units per week (3 glasses of wine). This was 21% in the 1980s, but by 2000-2010 had fallen to 4%.
  • Maternity leave and giving birth  In the 1970s, 36% of women would stop working more than two months before the birth, a figure that had dropped to just 10% by 2010, with 14% still working a week before and less. The time mums spend in hospital after giving birth has plummeted. In the 1970s, 37% of mums stayed in hospital for over a week after giving birth. This had fallen to just 3% by 2010, with 26% of mums going home the same day or just staying overnight.  
  • Breastfeeding  The amount of time mums stick with breastfeeding has altered over the past few decades. In the 1970s, 45% of mums breastfed for six months or more, this rocketed to 68% in the eighties, but had fallen back to 56% by the noughties. 
  • Smacking  Back in the 1970s, the vast majority of parents smacked their child (77%). This was still at 67% in the 1990s, but dramatically fell to 36% of children born in the 2000s.
  • Dad involvement  94% of dads are present at the birth these days, compared to just 58% in the 1970s.  98% changed nappies in the noughties compared to just 68% in the 1970s. 89% bathed their baby in the 2000s compared to just 62% in the 1970s.     91% put their baby to bed, compared to 70% in the 1970s.
Practical Parenting & Pregnancy editor Daniella Delaney commented: It’s fascinating to see how pregnancy, birth and bringing up children have reflected the social changes in our society and changing health information. It’s incredibly encouraging to see mums-to-be cutting back on their pregnancy drinking and to see how much more involved fathers are. But clearly more work needs to be done to support mums with breastfeeding.” 


Chinese-style turkey mince stir-fry in minutes!

I'm entering a BritMums competition sponsored by www.leanonturkey.co.uk (click here for more details of the compo) with my family-friendly, fast but yummy recipe using turkey mince. This recipe is suitable for the whole family, including babies (just puree for young babies who cannot deal with lumps). If you are worried about allergies, use olive oil instead of sesame oil.

A tasty and fast family meal: turkey mince stir-fry

Chinese-style turkey mince stir-fry 
Serves 4 accompanied by rice. Suitable for freezing.

You will need:
4 tablespoons sesame oil (or other oil)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
6 broccoli florets, finely chopped (keep one for garnish if you wish)
100g lean turkey mince
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce
80ml vegetable stock (made with half a stock cube and 80ml of hot water)

1. Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan and stir-fry the onion, pepper, carrots and broccoli for around five minutes.
2. Add the mince and continue to stir-fry for around seven minutes or until the mix is completely cooked through and soft. If your mix dries up while cooking, just add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water.
3. Take off the heat. Mix the tomato puree and soy sauce into the stock and pour into the pan or wok. Cook for 1 minute. Serve with rice. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy as my daughter likes to say!


Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday