Friday, 25 November 2016
Dr. Ranj is a NHS doctor specialising in the care of children, young people and families but you will probably know him as ITV's This Morning resident Doctor. On the show Dr Ranj demonstrated how to stop a child from choking and the video has been shared thousands of times and watched by millions.
We were very pleased to be given the chance to speak to Dr Ranj
"This time of year we understand that parents are rushed off their feet with all the responsibilities that come with the festive period. Yet, more so than ever, we have to be vigilant of children and the hazards that lie around the house like small items from Christmas crackers and half completed building sets. Ensuring things are picked up is important as obviously prevention is always best, but with the small colourful items proving irresistable to children, it's vital that parents are able to deal with the situation should it ever arise."
It's so important and the video makes it easy to understand and we really hope you watch it. Dr Ranj continued by saying...
"Choking still causes 25 deaths in children every year. I really hope all the parents who attend your Little Kickers classes not only watch the video but also learn and then share the information. This video has already saved lives, we're hoping it is able to save more. Nobody ever thinks it will happen to them and I hope it never will, but it's not worth the risk of not knowing what to do'
Please watch this video.
Wednesday, 23 November 2016
Looking to keep the kids entertained this winter? Keep little hands busy in the kitchen with these festive recipes. With just a little guidance the children will be able create some winter treats, perhaps save one for Santa?
PREP: 35 mins
COOK: 25 mins plus chilling
SKILL LEVEL: Easy
MAKES: 8 big biscuits
These simple shortbread triangles are a great edible gift for kids to make over Christmas - decorate with Smarties or other sweets and wrap up with pipe cleaner 'reindeer' antlers.
Your Shopping List:
200g salted butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
85g golden caster sugar
85g ground rice
225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
3 tbsp icing sugar
8 red Smarties
16 white sweets or white chocolate buttons, for the eyes (we used Waitrose Cooks' Homebaking Meringue pieces)
Black writing icing tube
You will also need:
8 cellophane bags (15 x 25cm) or 8 x 40cm cellophane squares
8 brown pipe cleaners
Labels and string or ribbon
22-23cm round plate, cake tin or cardboard template
How to make them:
Put the butter, vanilla and sugar in a big mixing bowl and stir together with a wooden spoon until really smooth. Stir in the ground rice first, then the flour. If it starts to get dry, you might need to use your hands to squish everything together to make a smooth dough.
Put a piece of baking parchment on a baking sheet. Make the dough into a round ball in the middle of the parchment, then use your hands to push it down and flatten it. Get a rolling pin and dust it with some flour so it doesn’t stick to the dough. Use the rolling pin to roll the dough out to a big circle.
Get your 22-23cm round plate, cake tin or cardboard template and place on top of the dough when you’ve rolled it big enough. Use a cutlery knife to trim round the edges to make a neat circle and throw away the trimmings.
Use a knife to mark the giant biscuit into 8 smaller wedge-shaped biscuits – pretend you are cutting a pizza into slices but don't actually cut it. Prick lines from the edge to the centre of the dough. Use the back of a fork to press all around the top of the circle along the edge to make a line pattern (it’s going to be hair for your reindeer!)
Cover with cling film and put the tray in the fridge for 30 mins to get cold. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Cook the chilled shortbread for 25 mins until golden. Cool completely on the tray, then use a sharp knife to follow the lines you made with a fork and cut into 8 wedges.
Mix the icing sugar with 1-2 tsp of water to make a thickish icing. Dunk each Smartie in and use like glue to stick one on the pointy end of each biscuit to make red noses. Dunk in your white sweets or chocolate buttons and stick them 2cm in from the edge at the other end to be eyes. Use the black writing icing tube to add dots to the white eyes, then let all the icing dry and go hard.
Carefully wrap each biscuit in a square of cellophane or put in a cellophane bag. Twist the middle of a pipe cleaner in a loop around the top of the bag or gathered cellophane to enclose the biscuit. Now twist each end of the pipe cleaner so it looks like the reindeer’s antlers. Add labels and give to your friends and family, or hang on the tree. Will keep for up to 3 days in a cool, dry place.
Please make sure all children are supervised.
(Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2015)
Melting Snowman Biscuits
PREP: 30 mins
SKILL LEVEL: Easy
MAKES: 6 biscuits
Get little ones in the kitchen to assemble these cute festive biscuits - sticky fun for a wintry afternoon.
Your Shopping List:
200g fondant icing sugar
6 white marshmallows
6 large cookies
24 mini chocolate beans
6 pretzel sticks
Tube black writing icing
How to make them:
Put the icing sugar into a bowl and add cold water a teaspoon at a time until the mixture is runny but thick enough to coat a spoon.
Ask an adult to snip the marshmallows in half using wetted scissors.
Spoon a little icing onto each cookie and attach half a marshmallow. Using a little icing, stick the other half on top at an angle. Drizzle a little more icing onto the cookie to make melting snow.
Break the pretzel sticks in half and place on the cookie for arms. Stick orange chocolate beans on for the noses. Stick three chocolate beans on each cookie to represent buttons.
Using the writing icing, pipe small blobs for the eyes and mouth. Leave to set.
The kids are becoming ever-increasingly observant which makes it even harder to keep little secrets a mystery. Here at Little Kickers we’ve put together a few ideas to help you keep the magic of Christmas alive in your household.
Of course, we're not ruling out old traditions, by all means keep the mince pies and brandy but we’ve got a few fresh ideas ready for you to peruse!
Wrap up the door
Not especially Santa-related, but a great way to get your children excited on Christmas morning. Simply cover the entrance of your living room with wrapping paper before you go to bed on Christmas Eve. Your little ones can then burst through it the next morning into a room which filled with Christmas lights and presents - what could be a better start to the day?
Secret key for Father Christmas
"How does Father Christmas fit through the letterbox? We haven’t got a chimney..." Sound familiar? As your children get older, their questions get harder to answer. Put together a fake, ahem, 'real' key for Santa and leave it outside for him. Now that he’s older and rounder he prefers to use the front door anyway! If you haven’t got a key spare, get the kids involved and get them to make a magic key and decorate it themselves.
Reindeer dust - get sprinkling!
Reindeer need their magic dust to get themselves air bound. Believe it or not, reindeer are pretty useless on the aviation front, but give them a whiff of that dust and they're up there like a rocket. We're sorry in advance as it can take a while to wash away, but it’s worth it! All you need to do is mix some edible glitter with some oats and scatter it outside (please ensure it's edible glitter as we don't want to harm any nosey animals!)
OK hands up, we did this one last year, but it’s a winner with the kids so we have to mention it again. All you need to do is get a boot or a welly, place it in the hallway and sprinkle flour or talcum powder around it, leaving the perfect outline of Santas boots! Just make sure you clean your shoes after, we don't want your mini detectives getting suspicious.
Portable North Pole
Now this is a great website where you can create personalised videos for your children sent directly from Santa. Enter your details and Santa will send your little ones a message just for them! There’s also an app to download. With the app you can create, watch and send videos, play games and receive calls from Santa, all on your mobile phone! Technology eh?
Father Christmas has left something behind!
Try leaving a glove or a naughty list around. If your children think they have something that belongs to the man himself they’ll be super excited! You can follow it up with a letter addressed to your children asking them to keep the item safe until next year. They’ll know he’s definitely coming back next year too!
They're just for us. Cheers!