Tag Archives: health

Top 5 Healthy, Kid-Friendly Meals For Lockdown

Whether you’re a key worker, or you’re finding yourself at home with the kids a little more recently, keeping them healthy and busy during this strange time is probably at the forefront of your mind. 

So, we thought we’d put together a list of our top 5 healthy (but tasty) meals for food inspirations, which you can make with your little ones and even your not-so-little ones! 

  1. ‘The Lockdown Special’ – Family Pasta

Pasta was probably one of the first things that we all grabbed from the supermarkets when the coronavirus became a little more serious. Not only is it something that keeps for a long time; but it is so versatile!

We think that the ‘Whole-Family Pasta with Broccoli’ recipe looks amazing. Plus ‘kid-friendly’ is like music to our ears.

But if you want more inspiration, here are some other healthy pasta dishes ideas – some are more ‘treat’ than healthy, but a little of a good thing never hurt…

Plus, you can also easily substitute any ingredient to make these recipes gluten, dairy or meat-free!

2. ‘Veggie Tater Tots 4 Ways’ 

Not only are these ‘tater tots’ (potato croquettes to most of us) super easy to make, they’re also tasty, moreish and packed full of vegetables to make sure your kids are still getting their greens during the lockdown. 

What’s more, you can choose whichever veggies you have in your cupboard or fridge and they’ll still taste great!

Or, if you ARE feeling creative, why not make these veggie potato croquettes and then see what else you can serve them with, or maybe even turn them into a casserole?

There’s even a vegan recipe here for those with intolerances, allergies or who follow a vegan lifestyle.

3. Homemade Fried Rice

Another cupboard staple, rice is amazingly versatile and with a few other tasty ingredients added, makes a family-friendly meal that’s easy to whip up.

We love this recipe because although it’s simple to follow and produces a great-tasting meal, you can play around with this one as much as you like! Depending on what you’ve got, you can add different vegetables, spices or flavours to suit you and your family’s taste buds.

Don’t have soy sauce? Try sweet chilli. Don’t have green onions? Try red peppers. The possibilities are endless…

4. Mini Savoury Muffins

These are truly one of the tastiest treats that can be made relatively simply. 

You can pack in just about any flavour combination that takes your fancy (or you know your children will like) and they taste amazing. Using cupboard staples in this way is something kids can join in with too, as the recipe is simple, fun, and who doesn’t love eating a warm savoury muffin straight from the oven?

We also highly recommend this vegan recipe too.

5. Sweet Potato Fries

Healthy chips? Who doesn’t love that idea! 

Check out this recipe for easy, tasty and definitely crispy sweet potato fries so good no one will even miss the ‘real’ thing.

Have Fun & Start Cooking

No matter what you’re making, remember to have fun! The main thing is to keep safe indoors and make sure you’re all washing your hands while handling foods. So, we hope this inspires your creativity in the kitchen!

And while you’re waiting for everything to return to normal, why not check out our award-winning swimming lessons for kids? We can’t wait to start teaching again, and if you haven’t explored what we’re all about, well there’s no better time to get to know us.

Our swimming classes for children cater to all levels, from babies and toddlers to older children. We even have private swimming lessons for adults! Just like in the kitchen, it’s never too late to learn new skills…

Our Decision To Close During COVID-19

Earlier this week, Swimming Nature took the decision to temporarily close its doors based on the rising concern we had for the health of students and teachers alike.

For all of those who’s lessons have been affected by this decision, please rest assured that we have taken the measure to apply class credits to your Swimming Nature accounts. In addition to this, Swimming Nature recognise that there is very little certainty as to how long all of this will last and so we have extended the validity of all credits to twelve (12) months and also added the option to gift your class credits to close friends or families that you think would benefit from learning to swim.

The UK Government started the week by advising social distancing and later announced that by Friday 20th March all schools will be closed. With the expectation that the UK Government will impose further sanctions for the safety of the population, we are very happy with how we positioned ourselves, as well as the extremely positive response our teachers and customers have had.

We want to take this time to wish everyone the best in what we expect will be a trialling period in all our lives. Please keep safe, well informed and comply with the recommendations set out by the UK Government and British Health Organisation.

Hopefully we will be able to resume lessons as early as 20th April 2020, however, we will continue to post updates as things unfold. To keep informed, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Stay Healthy!

Eduardo Ferré 

Founder and CEO

The Benefits of Taking Swimming Lessons During the Winter Months

When the temperature drops during the winter, it can be incredibly tempting to stop taking your little ones to the pool for their swimming lessons. This time of year is full of frosty mornings, unpredictable rain and chilling winds, which all make the idea of cancelling your plans and starting to hibernate very appealing!

However, doing so can stunt the progress your child has made in their swimming, and begin to affect their health. If you want to learn more about this, take a look at our list of four reasons why you should push yourself to take your children to their lessons.

1) Sharpening Their Safety Skills

The retention of skills and safety information is the number one reason to keep children swimming during the colder months. If they can continue to build on all of the techniques they have learnt by continuing our programme in December through to March, then your child will definitely be a stronger swimmer when the warmer weather returns!

Alongside this, swimming all-year round means that your little ones will be able to apply the basic skill of swimming to real life situations. This ensures that they know how to stay out of danger, as the quick response which is needed when falling into water does not become innate without practice. In return, you’ll be safe in the knowledge that your child can fully enjoy all the fun water-based activities when summer finally comes round again.

2) Staying Healthy by Boosting Their Immunity

Have you heard the old wives’ tale about going out with wet hair making you sick? Maybe you’ve always trusted your parents and grandparents on this, but it’s probably time to start second guessing their slightly old-fashioned, but very common, belief. In reality, swimming during the winter can markedly improve children’s immune systems, in turn reducing their risk of catching a virus! It turns out that damp hair is really nothing to fear.

Winter swimming can also improve children’s all-round physical health. You may have found that your child gets restless during winter, which is mostly due to them not being able to stay as active because of the cold weather. Swimming is a great way to ensure that they remain fit, whilst being in an indoor environment! Keeping active is so important for good health and well-being, and it should be maintained throughout the year, not just during the months when the weather allows for it.

3) Helping Their Brains Grow

As well as being a good way to improve physical health, getting the kids out of the house and into the pool during winter has been proven to benefit their psychological health and development! This is due to the very nature of swimming, which centres on rhythmic and bilateral strokes. This way of moving your body helps to connect neurological pathways in the brain.

Alongside this, studies have shown that because swimming helps to increase the production of the human growth hormone (HGH), it helps to improve children’s cognitive functions. This is due to HGH having various benefits for the human body, which includes increasing brain volume!

4) Keeping up Their Confidence

By not attending swimming lessons during the winter, it invariably leads to a child being unable to perform at the level they were at. In turn, this can cause a decline in their confidence. Continued participation in the colder months is the only way to prevent this! This particularly applies to children under the age of four, as for them a significant break from swimming can lead to a noticeable decrease in their ability.

Can you think of any other reasons to keep your little one swimming during the winter? Let us know in the comments.

For further information on our private one-to-one or two-to-one swimming lessons, visit www.swimmingnature.com or call us on 03445 040506.

How to Make Your Next Summer Holiday Even Better for the Whole Family

‘According to a survey by NUK, 87 per cent of mothers feel guilty at some point, with 21 per cent feeling this way most, or all, of the time’.

After reading through Guilty Mother’s blog, I stumbled upon the above statistics. Needless to say, they threw me. Does parenthood really have to mean automatic guilt? Every mother, or father, wants to parent their child in the correct way – which translates into doing what we see to be the best for our kids. But when did this inherent self-accusation become so deep rooted in our society, that parents have lost sight of ensuring that their own health and well-being is preserved? Surely parental wellness is inextricably linked to that of their children’s – and therefore wanting to take some time for self-care should be met with understanding, not judgement. This could mean wanting to pop to the gym, enjoy an hour of downtime, or relax when you’re on holiday… but can this ever be a possibility?

When setting off on a family break, I’m sure that parents would appreciate a stress free and untroubled time, which is not always easy when your child is in, or around, water. Although children should never swim alone, and should always be supervised – the ideal goal would be for a mother or father to be rest assured that their child is a confident swimmer. To achieve this, every little one should be taught the principles of floatation along with energy saving, which in turn enhances water confidence and safety.

With this in mind, what exactly should be implemented in terms of making sure an individual is safe when swimming? The RNLI offers plenty of useful advice on this topic, as part of their ‘Respect the Water’ campaign. In order to minimise the risk of drowning, the RNLI have produced ‘5 steps to float’, which simply and succinctly explains how float on your back. Firstly, it’s suggested that you should fight any instinct to thrash about, and instead lean back until your body is parallel to the water, whilst you extend your arms and legs. If appropriate, moving your limbs to help you assume this position is advised. You should then float until you have complete control of your breathing, and only then should you call for help or swim to safety.

                Championing this approach relates to our own unique practice of teaching, which rests on encouraging all students to float before they learn any form of swimming technique. Some traditional methods instruct children to swim a few metres, before they are completely in control of an aquatic environment. This is outdated, and falsely gives parents the impression that their child is safe, when they are not. Instead, every little one should initially learn to float on both their back and front to encourage water confidence, safety and relaxation. When floating on their front, the water should hit the pupil’s hairline, and the body should naturally find the right buoyancy. Legs should be straight, with no movement at all to preserve energy. Similarly, when floating on their back, students should have their ears in the water, with their hips up and feet kept underwater.

                Alongside this, our method encourages water confidence in a manner of different ways too. The aim of building water confidence is to prevent fear, which can lead to panic. By teaching children about the properties of water, you can help to reduce or eliminate this fear by showing them how to have fun and be safe. Building on this, we don’t use armbands or floatation devices in our teaching, which encourages a sense of achievement and control when swimming. Additionally, when on holiday use of a lido or other inflatables can be hazardous– as they can cause the tide to take you out to sea, and they may ‘pop’. Ultimately, by exercising every possible avenue to instil the best way of acting in the water, we give children the highest chance of staying safe when they swim for themselves.

                Having enrolled your little one in our lessons, you can relax a little on holiday, knowing that they will feel safer and more confident when swimming. Although we would never recommend sitting back and assuming your child is completely secure around water, do feel comforted that they will be equipped with the correct protective practices. So battle that seemingly innate guilt – instead book an even better adventure than last year, and enjoy yourself (whilst your children do too)!