Tag Archives: Reviews

Healthier packs of snacks: Walker’s Sunbites

Walker's SunbitesAlong with big chocolate bars and Nutella, crisps are something I’d love to have as a cupboard staple but don’t trust myself to keep lying around the house. They’re still a treat – for sharing with friends or for a Friday night in on the sofa (how weekends have changed).

When I was offered some Walker’s to trial, I leapt at the chance (well, anything for the blog…). And these weren’t just any crisp – these were Sunbites, with 30% less fat and made from ‘crunchy multigrain: whole corn, whole wheat and whole oat flour’. There are no added nasties and 30% of your recommended daily wholegrain (whatever that may be). So almost a healthy choice, then?

As they said on the info, a lot of ‘healthier’ crisps aren’t worthy of the name – they’re either cardboardy or full of air. Many a lunchtime I’ve tried to convince myself that Boots Shapers salt n’ vinegar chipsticks are just like the originals, but they’re really not – they’re a pale imitation and you only get about three in a pack.

The Sunbites, however, were crunchy and satisfying. A normal sized bag filled with crimped snacks that reminded me a bit of wheat crunchies in texture. Of the six flavours (Sun-Ripened Sweet Chili, Sour Cream and Cracked Black Pepper, Oven Roasted Onion & Rosemary, Cheddar and Caramelised Onion, and Lightly Sea Salted) my favourite was the Sea Salted, followed by the Oven Roasted Onion & Rosemary. My husband (who showed a sudden interest in my blog and was a particularly willing taster) liked the Sun-Ripened Sweet Chili. But I personally think chili and sour cream are two flavours that only full-fat versions can do justice do.

Good that they offered an imaginative range, though, and I can honestly say the packs didn’t last very long. Luckily I managed to get a picture of them all together before they went. Scrip loved all of them as well – although I try to make crisps an occasional treat for her and I could imagine these more as a lunchbox snack for school-aged children.

Sunbites are sold in a pack of six or small bags separately – I’d also like to see them as large bags in the way Sensations are sold. That way, our weekend snacking would still be tasty but wouldn’t have to be quite so indulgent.

What: Walker’s Sunbites – wholegrain snacks with 30% less fat than crisps
Where: all supermarkets and convenience stores
How much: A six-pack multipack of 25g Sunbites is RRP £1.79 or a single serve 28g pack is RRP £0.50.

Bill’s in Chiswick: trying out a toddler lunch

Bill's restaurant collageI loved the original Bill’s in Lewes and have also tried out the Reading and Soho versions. So although I quietly mourned the loss of Giraffe in Chiswick (that veggie breakfast was one of the best) I was pleased to see the white chalk-like logo appear one day announcing that the High Continue reading

A new signing: the Little Foxes footballing debut

Little FoxesThe moment Scrip’s dad had been waiting 18 months for arrived this Saturday – she had her first football lesson. The morning started with a tussle over Scrip’s outfit (I persuaded my husband to wait to showcase her toddler Arsenal kit until at least week 3) and then a panic over wet weather gear, as the heavens opened and her trusty oilcloth raincoat was nowhere to be found. Finally, with 10 minutes to spare and raincover firmly in place, we hotfooted it to Ravenscourt Park to join the other tiny players at Little Foxes.

We chose Little Foxes as we’ve walked past the sessions in the park a number of times and the children – big and small – Continue reading

Talk with Tasha: children’s communication class


It’s been a while since we attended any baby groups. The first six months post-Scrip was awash with invites and free trials to baby swimming, music classes, Children’s Centres, Gymboree (never really took to that one) and baby yoga. And nowadays I have less time with her and more Continue reading

Toys for a one year-old that last the distance

IMG_4434We had a toy audit recently – not so much getting rid but stowing away those that don’t get picked out of the big  basket in the corner of the room as often as they used to. It was actually quite hard. Some were obviously for ‘baby’ babies – so the fluffy blocks and left over teething toys could be gathered up. But I noticed many of the toys were still popular even though they were ‘old timers’ by some people’s toy box standards (which means they were at least 6 – 9 months old. And still going strong.)

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The roast with the most: London’s favourite dish

FoodAs a long-term veggie, I haven’t been asked to try – let alone cook – a traditional roast dinner for a very long time. But being an equal opportunities household, made up of two parents of similar cooking ability (although I wouldn’t always tell my husband that), when I was approached by Tesco to cook and write about the Sunday favourite, I said that between us, we’d rise to the challenge. (I have no problem with my husband or daughter eating meat, as long as he preps it.)

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Cornwall: Callestick, Cyder and Children’s Choppers

At the risk of sounding very English, we’ve been so lucky with the weather this week – we’ve been enjoying a week of sand, sea and child-size pasties in my native Cornwall. I can’t remember it being this hot consistently for a week – it’s so much warmer than our week in Limoges was, back in June.

Cornwall beach

Scrip’s done a lot of running around, too – we’ve hardly had the pushchair out. We’re fortunate enough to be able to stay with my parents with lots of things to see and do – like feeding the chickens, putting pebbles in the paddling pool (she’s not that keen on putting herself in it just yet) and destroying the sand castles we enthusiastically and carefully make for her. We’ve been to the beach, which is just 5 minutes down the road, each day – going after her dinner which has been perfect timing for low tide, the temperature and to tire her out before bedtime, which has crept back to 8pm this week…

I’m keen that Scrip gets used to the sea – so we’ve had lots of encouragement and shallow paddling. It’s helped that there are quite a few little ones running in and out of the water for her to copy. She’s christened the wetsuit she had for Christmas from her Cornwall grandparents – it’s been great. It’s easier to put on than the wetsuits I remember struggling in and out of when I was little, and there’s room to grow, so that it should still be useful next year. It’s a baby shortie from Two Bare Feet. It’s also helped that there’s been very little surf each day – so even though we’re on the north coast we haven’t had to worry about waves crashing around her.

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The Nipper Clipper: cutting tiny nails without tears

I was invited to meet Sir Alan Sugar and one of his Apprentice winners – Tom Pellereau – a few weeks ago and preview a new baby grooming product. Baby grooming? Sounded intriguing. Sadly, I was working in the morning during the Sir Alan launch but I managed to pop along to Covent Garden during my lunchtime and get the lowdown first hand from Inventor Tom – who was very charming and passionate about his new product.

photo(4)The Nipper Clipper is designed to help frazzled parents cut their little ones’ toe and finger nails without any fuss. There are hundreds of baby inventions claiming to revolutionise those tricky day-to-day baby tasks – but being the parent of a particularly wriggly little girl, this one did actually sound like something I could use, if it delivered. As well as specially designed, accurate nail clippers that hold the clippings in place rather than pinging them around the room (adapted from Tom’s Style File adult range) there’s a free distraction app to use on your iPad or iPhone to keep your child’s attention while you quickly clip.

It sounded brilliant – and the demos were impressive. Tom has recently had a baby himself but he also tested the product on a comprehensive toddler and child panel. ‘Were there any children it didn’t work for?’, I asked. He thought for a moment and replied, ‘No, there really weren’t’. I really hoped that would extend to Scrip.

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Top 5 books for a 1 year-old ‘reader’

Children readingFrom a slower start on the books-front, the 15 month-old (today) Scrip is now an avid ‘reader’. I say reader because she’s recently picking up a selection of books, plonking herself on the rug and flicking through them using her thumb, flickbook-style. Sometimes she decides to take it a little bit slower and turns the pages one-by-one, ‘reading’ out loud, pointing to any pictures and saying words and non-words. She seems happy entertaining herself this way but sometimes she likes to be where we are, so she’ll drag a small pile from sitting room to kitchen, find a suitable spot and read away, while we’re stacking the dishwasher.

At other times, particularly when she’s tired, she’ll bring books over for us to read, practically throw herself at one of us – which is her version of sitting on our laps – and plant her thumb (aka thumbo) into her mouth, which signals that she’s ready to listen.

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