MY GO TO RECIPES

I believe that good nutrition in early years is a solid foundation for a healthy life of a tiny human. With healthy and varied diet we instal important habits that will last a life time and give children a proper fuel they need for all they developmental needs. We as care givers (may it be Nanny, grandparents, parents, childminder etc) have to come up with a million new dishes, snacks and tasty treats that are going to win over little ones. Sometimes you succeed and sometimes you fail, but the ones that they like, will mostly likely become you go to recipes for any day.

As a Nanny (and I’m sure every parent too) I want to cook meals that as healthy but easy and take little to no time to prepare. I also want to be mind full about food waste, and want to make up the recipes, when I can use leftover from the day before. So I came to love these few go to recipes and wanted to share them with you. Some of them are one time favourite and few are a recent development that was well accepted by picky eaters.

 

BREAKFAST

Pancakes two ways:

  • Banana and egg pancake with a side of yoghurt

Two ingredients and such a yummy result. Mash banana and mix in an egg. I also add some vanilla to make it even more appealing. Pour small amount on hot pan and flip after a few min. You do have to be a bit more softer with these as they are quite delicate. Serve them with some yoghurt and blueberries.

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  • Stacking pancakes with condiments of choice

I rarely measure this recipe as I always do them with kids running around, and once you do it lots of times, it sort of just happen. But for the sake of you knowing how much and what to put in, here is a version of it.

Hand mix 2 eggs, add a cup of milk and vanilla. In a separate bowl mix 1 and a half spelt flour with a table spoon of baking powder than slowly add to the wet mixture and try not to leave to much lumps (but if there is any – oh well that is life). Consistency is quite thick, but it still pours nicely. You know the rest!

 

Rice pudding

Is also a good snack or dessert, but so so yummy for breakfast when it’s cold outside. It’s much faster if you have some left over rice in the fridge and you can speed up the process.  So than you put a cup of cooked rice in a source pan and ad a cup of milk, vanilla, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Leave to boil until the milk is reduced and rice is creamy. Serve in a bowl with some berries and a drizzle of maple syrup (or honey).

If you do it from scratch than you would need to add more milk (double) and it just takes longer as the rice is not cooked.

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Overnight oats

These are great for summer mornings, easy to prepare as you do most the night before, and basically just serve it next morning.

TO DO: Put half of a cup of rolled oats in a glass jar, add 3 spoons of yogurt and half a cup of milk of choice. Also add cinnamon and raspberries. Put in the fridge over nigh. In the morning take it out of the gas jar and add a little warm milk, just so it’s not super cold – more like room temperature.

This is just one of many variations you can do, but add whatever your kid likes. I would also recommend doing it with them, so they can chose what is inside. This is especially good, when there is a lot of drama and negotiating with breakfast in the morning. That way they do it, and it’s all ready for them, so no

 

LUNCH

Carrot and potato croquets

Boil one potato, grate one carrot – tap it with a kitchen towel to absorb the excess water, add egg, salt, pepper and majaron. When potato is cooked mashed it with a tea spoon of butter (coconut is best) and add to the carrot mixture. To all that add spelt flour and spoon out portions on hot skillet. Brown it on both sides – It does not take long – and take out on to the kitchen towel to absorb extra oils. Serve with some peas (or any other green veg).

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Rice and carrot omelette

This quick meal is great when you have left over rice. It’s so easy to make, but at the same time it provides all the right nutrients that the child needs, and it’s a finger food, which is especially good when the baby does not to be feed anymore. It’s also a good way to get kiddos eat egg, if they don’t like it on it’s own.

Just mix egg with some rice and grated carrot (1 egg, small carrot and 3 spoons of rice). Add spices and herbs of choice. Pour it on the hot pan (medium hot) and bake until it’s solid enough to turn around, and than sometimes I will sprinkle a little of parmesan cheese on top to add another flavour. serve with some veg – we tend to go for peas a lot as that seems to go down well, but I offer green beans and edamame as well with this meal.

 

DINNER

Sweet and sour chicken

Sauce: 2 table spoons of apple cider vinegar, 2 table spoons of sugar (coconut), 2 table spoons of ketchup, salt to taste. Bring to boil and add 1 tea spoon you previously mixed with 3 table spoons of cold water. Add and take of the stove (it will thicken quickly).

Chicken: Cut big chicken file in to a bite size pieces and add 1 table spoon of corn starch. Trow everything in a ziplock bag and shake. Add oil to pan and fry the chicken (without the plastic bag) 😉

Veg: Cut Carrot and red peppers to bite size pieces and steam them until tender and add them to the pan with chicken to fry for a min or two.

Transfer everything in a bowl and add the sauce.

Serve with steamed broccoli and rice.

 

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Roasted Vegetables with feta and cuscus

Such a simple thing to do and lovely autumn dish. I love the recipes you put in the oven and a while after it’s dinner! They work especially good, when you cook while looking after the kids. I tend to pre cut the vegetables when children nap and than a little before it’s dinner time, I will pop it then oven, and it will be nice and fresh.

Cut butternut squash, red peppers, courgette, celery and beetroot. Put them all on the baking tray. Drizzle over some olive oil, add salt, pepper and rosemary. Roast until tender and nicely brown and crisp. Take them out of the oven and crumble feta cheese over the tray. Serve with cuscus.

 

Bolognese sauce with pasta

The ultimate meal that even the most picky eaters will love. I adopted the recipe from the wonderful Annabel Karmel and can now do it with my eyes closed. Only thing I change is I use majaron and not thyme, and I don’t use sugar. I love to make a big batch and just have portions on hand in the freezer. It really can save you on the days that are just to crazy. And on top of that it is a delicious and hearty meal full of hidden veg. Definitely head on her web site for more yummy recipes.

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I hope that gives you some inspiration and ideas for your future meals. I am by no means a trained chef, but some would say I am a tiny humans chef, and as we all know, it’s not easy to be one of those! What we all wish is for them to eat a well balanced diet and grow up healthy. I would be a so happy if I had help sparked some ideas to help you in that process.

As always Sharing is caring!

The Lovely Nanny xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Travel light

I must say that I finally reached the travel light stage. If you are not familiar with what that is – this is the stage when you realise your need for things is less important that you being able to easily manoeuvre your suitcase on your travel. I am totally guilty of packing for a month when only going away for weekend, and let’s all be totally honest, how many thing at the end you really use?

But there is a few things I never go without and I will share it with you. I am super sensitive when changing locations, it never gets old, no mater how much I travel. I often will get super sensitive to driving in cars, water and food. Depending on how tired my body is (if working 24 h for a week) I am easy to get hit by anything. But I can’t really be sick or unable to work, so I developed a stash of things I always take with me.

First of all is Medicinal charcoal. I swear by this stuff! In my family we have been using that for a very long time, but it is only now becoming popular worldwide. Helps with food poisoning, indigestion, bloating ect. so if you are sensitive and you’re going to a new country then I would pack them up! But it is not recommended for pregnant women, so if you’re pregnant I would suggest probiotics or hot lemon tea- that will also do wonders!

Charcoal

Next thing is available at every airport and it’s San Pellegrino sparkling water. If you feel nauseous on your travel, this helps a lot. From all the sparkling waters in the world (well the ones I happen to try) I like this one the best. It is also good as you can get it nearly everywhere.

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Peppermint tea. I never travel without! It has the ability to improve digestion, reduce pain and eliminate inflammation. Plus it’s good to calm and relax your body and reduces nausea. If you don’t yet, stash a few tea bags in your purse, they might become useful. I’m very snobby about my peppermint tea but, Teekanne and Clipper are my favourite brands.

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If your blood sugar drops quickly and you need to have meals regularly, that I would suggest to have a stash of snacks in your purse. We all know traveling for work or traveling in general is unpredictable so it’s better to be prepared. I like to have some bars, nuts or crackers in my bag – tat really does not take too much space but will save you the trouble of feeling nauseous. My favourite are: Kind bars, Pulsin protein bars and my latest obsession Blevita Spelt crackers in cinnamon flavour – they are so easy to take anywhere! It is also just fine if you put some nuts in a small sellable bag – I tend to take dry stuff with me as then I don’t have to worry about anything getting messy.

 

One last thing when on the road is a travel phone charger. It’s true you can now charge your phone at a lot of places, but there is still going to be some roads you’ll take when your battery is dying and you need your phone to last you. This is where the travel charger come in handy. I swear by the brand Anker as I firstly love their design, how small it is and its amazing power. It is so travel friendly I always keep it in my bag (just don’t forget to charge it!)

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There, this is my top things to take with me when traveling. If you feel some tips helped you please let me know! If you have any other must haves for traveling –  I would love to know! Sharing is caring! 😉

The Lovely Nanny xx

Nanny Survival Guide

Nannying is one of the most wonderful jobs you can have. But it’s also one of more demanding ones, and if you don’t take care of yourself, sooner or later you will burn out.  I did, it wasn’t great, and this is what I learn since.

1. You are as important as the family you look after

Your life, plans and commitments are as real as your bosses. Make sure they know that from the beginning. When you take time off, try to really switch off, so you can come back fresh and recharged.

2. Socialise!

Find friends, other Nannies, which you can rely on, and can make playdates with or coffee dates. Nannying can be such a lonely job, it’s nice to have other grown ups to talk to.

 

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Copyright: The Lovely Nanny

 

 

3. Stay healthy, exercise, meditate

Eat good, heathy food, drink a lot of water and take vitamins. We all know how hard it is to drink enough throughout the day, because most days, you can’t use toilet more than once, and even than a child will be sitting next to you. Exercise is so important if you want to keep up with the little ones, but also, it helps you fight every virus that is coming to get you. I recommend pilates or yoga, as when you work 7-7 with screaming tiny humans, an hour of meditation does wonders. But really, whatever gets you going!

4. Learn to say NO

When you feel overworked, learn to say no. It is hard, but for your own sake, you will have to learn it. Learn to say no, if you already made plans and they ask you for babysitting, do another house chore or working an extra day on the weekend. But also say yes, when you can. It is nice to help out when you are able to. The right family will always appreciate that.

5. Communicate with your bosses

Learn to talk to your bosses even about the difficult stuff. About money, children’s behaviour, holidays, time off and all subjects that normally give you bad anxiety.

6. Stand up for yourself

You are your own lawyer, HR, social worker, cheer squad and support group. You are a grown up, professional who knows what to do in her job, that is why you have been hired – now act like it! When you feel something is not quite right, think about it and than try to come up with a reasonable solution, to present to your bosses. But always stand up for yourself, because if you won’t, no one will!

 

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Copyright: The Lovely Nanny

 

Now I will not say all that is equally easy for every one, but in order to stay healthy and sane, you will have to look after yourself. We all have a certain idea of how the job should be done, but don’t overwork yourself. It’s so easy and so not worth it. Every sane family will want you happy and healthy.

Please let me know what are your top survival tips down in the comments!

As always sharing is caring!

The Lovely Nanny xx

 

Banana bread muffins

Nothing says ”fall is here let’s get cosy” as the smell of banana bread around the house. I have been using the same recipe for a long time, and it it very easy, as most of the time I’ll bake with children. The result is always amazing and just the thought of having a decent recipe that I can count on on every time is pretty cool.

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That is why I would love to share it with you, as you might be looking for one just now. I searched for a healthy one and stumbled upon that one. Its from the blog called ”Cookie and Kate” from the author Kathryn Taylor. The reason I prefer healthier versions is as I am not too comfortable to give children lots of unnatural sugars or white flower. I think these ingredients have no nutritional value for them or anyone, and they really need only the best to grown up to be healthy and strong. Ingredients in this recipe are whole and good while they still make the yummiest banana bread you will have. Sometimes we make it in to a muffins and sometimes in to a loaf, really depends on the mood.

 

Banana bread 1
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Here it is:

INGREDIENTS

  • ⅓ cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil or high quality vegetable oil* ( I always use coconut)
  • ½ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 ½ medium or 2 large bananas)
  • ¼ cup milk of choice or water (I always got for water)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (NOT baking powder)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more to swirl on top
  • 1 ¾ cups whole wheat white flour  ( I always use spelt flour or buckwheat )
  • Totally optional: ½ cup mix-ins like chopped walnuts or pecans, chocolate chips, raisins, chopped dried fruit, fresh banana slices…

 

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Yummy!

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius) and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the oil and honey together together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well, then whisk in the mashed bananas and milk. (If your coconut oil solidifies on contact with cold ingredients, simply let the bowl rest in a warm place for a few minutes, like on top of your stove, or warm it for about 10 seconds in the microwave — when making this with children it is so fun if you say these are little snow mans that are melting)
  3. Add the baking soda, vanilla, salt and cinnamon, and whisk to blend. Lastly, switch to a big spoon and stir in the flour, just until combined. Some lumps are ok! If you’re adding any additional mix-ins, gently fold them in now.
  4. Divide batter in 12 muffin cases evenly (even better if the are colourful or have on them something Disney!)
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let muffins cool on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before eating – HAHA IF YOU CAN! (if making a loaf you will probably need about 55-60 min in the oven)

 

To add a few notes.

When making it with tiny humans, it’s best to prepare everything out already measured. Depending on the age, you might want to measure it together and practice. Let them do as much as possible, it does not matter if there is a few shells when the beat the eggs-you can pick them out! Stirring is their favourite thing, but mostly, being included, no matter the job. There is nothing better than seeing their little faces light up, when they can do the grown up things and than see the final product.

 

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Sharing is caring!

Hope you will love the recipe as we do! Please let me know if you make it, tag me or leave a comment!

Also Sharing is caring!

The Lovely Nanny xx

6 MUST HAVES

When you have or look after children, the amount of things you need can sometimes be overwhelming, but not to worry. In reality we don’t really need all that much, but there is a few things that are just must haves in every home that has children.

I tried gazillion products for children, and I’m sure there is gazillion more waiting for me to try ( and I’m very excited about that!).  Some will work for some children and other for other, but I have been lucky to stumble upon a few that work every time, and I really want to share it with you.

They are all products you can find on Amazon, or high street shops.

Witch Hazel gel

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I love Witch Doctor, because you can use it for the whole family. It’s perfect for babies starting to crawl, toddlers climbing everywhere, and adults. Works best when you put it on straight away after the bump, burn or graze happened. It feels like cooling gel, and leaves the skin bump, bruise and burn free. It really works!

Water Wipes

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I had a chance to try many amazing and less amazing brands, regarding wipes. There is so many on the market, but not all of them will do a good job. I think great wipes should be easy to pull out of the package without braking in pieces, have to have a little to nothing smell, and have to be free of chemicals, so you can freely wipe down the whole child if needed (and we all know that this is needed sometimes!) 🙂 Well Water Wipes have all that. Check them out!

 

Nipper Clipper

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One of the best little gadgets I came across. Cutting children’s nails can be tricky, especially if you don’t have a good clipper, and you can’t see where are you clipping. Accidents can happen, and the last thing you want is your toddler scratching your face down because he refuses to cut his nails. If you start with this one, you will not have a problem since day 1. They come along with this little S shaped file, and an app you can download. Get one here.

 

Sanitising water

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Just an essential in house with kids, or nursery. When it comes to maintaining toys (especially the teething ones!) and keeping pacifiers clean when out and about, I sweat to this little secret! It is so good! Want to try?

 

Eye Wipes

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I like to take kids out as much as possible, and we all like sandpits. Who doesn’t. That said, kids are playing and next thing you know sand is flying around, very normal, but it also comes really handy when you have a few of this eye wipes stashed in nappy bag just for emergencies like this, and they do happen on a regular. I never go without!

 

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Teething is the less pleasant time in baby’s life. Some of them will be semi fine, others will be in pain a lot. I find that these granules help a lot. Depending on the level of pain, but even in the most severe cases, gives a least a few moments of smiles. And they are homeopathic. Get them for your baby!

 

Please let me know, either here or on Instagram, what do you thing about the products if you are using them, or have use them in the past. Would be great to hear any positive experience. Or maybe you have your own product that are must haves? I would love to know!

Sharing is caring! 😉

The Lovey Nanny xx

 

Nanny Job

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Hi there!

I’ve been busy lately, and have been lacking on this blog, which I love, and I actually started, to write real things about childcare in general. There is so many aspects of THE JOB, whether you are a Nanny, Childminder, Early years teacher or something else, but the core is the same. This has been on my mind quite a lot recently, and it would be interesting to see whether you have any comments on the topic.

I’m an Early years teacher by degree, but I have been a Nanny for a while now. So I will mainly focus on what it is like to be a Nanny ( superpower human who is trying to rise tiny humans as the best versions of themselves).

I’m so surprised how so many times when I say I’m a Nanny, a lot of people will say “Oh you’re a babysitter?” or ” How nice you can play with children for your job” and other degrading comments. I often find defending myself with saying “I do have a degree in Early years education” like if being a Nanny is something everyone can do, and I’m just doing it because I don’t want to have a ‘serious’ job. I wish more people would understand what really do I do every single day at my job. It is certainly true, mostly anyone can be a Nanny, but it takes a special kind of magic to collide and become ” The Lovely Nanny “.

This post might be a wee long, but I’m really passionate about what I do, and this is what I think every Nanny should be or do.

  • provide the environment where children feel safe (physically and emotionally)
  • respecting the tiny humans
  • listening to them
  • hug them
  • making sure they are happy, carefree and healthy
  • be a good example
  • make sure children have healthy and nutritious meals
  • nurture a good relationship with parents and respect their parenting
  • let them be active
  • teach them to have confidence in their own abilities
  • help them develop respect for others and themselves
  • be educator and career
  • tell them you love them
  • ability to asses the development of each child
  • plan age appropriate activities
  • help them develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings
  • be a multitasker
  • providing opportunities to learn and explore on daily basis
  • read them every day
  • know every child is unique
  • sit on the floor a play with them
  • be very familiar with curriculum (whether you work in public or private sector)
  • help them think critically
  • honour their ideas
  • teaching them responsibilities and consequences
  • be patient, kind and generous with her time

While every day making sure toys are organised and cleaned regularly, clothes are organised by size and washed, bedrooms are tidy, diaries updated and filled in, meals cooked, parents updated on every new achievement and play area and kitchen cleared  by  the end of the day.

Being a Nanny is one of the best jobs in the whole world. As working with children with not only give you a lot of satisfaction but will also challenge you to be a better human yourself. Seeing the whole undamaged potential in a small person is a huge responsibility that you can’t take lightly.

Being a Nanny is one step further from being a parent during the day,  and saying goodnight at the end. Being a Nanny is having your heart filled with love, every time you catch a cheeky smile. It’s also explaining WHY, and being patient when putting on shoes. It’s also the times when you have to say no 34 times and be consistent while doing 10 other things. It’s running in parks, and going down slides, it’s saying well done, and giving high 5. Being a Nanny means never to cross the street on the red light and go out during the week, but it also means I get cuddles every day and ‘I’ll miss you’ when I leave for the weekend. And if you’re really lucky you can see them grow up.

Let’s be honest. Most of the days you will probably need some paracetamol, lots of coffee, waterproof shoes, glitter, sun cream, vitamins, phone with really good internet, some chocolate and the will of steel.

And some days will be all rainbows and butterfly’s.

Until next time,

The Lovely Nanny xx

 

ROLLERBLADING INTO SUMMER

Hello again! It’s been a while, but non the less, here I am.

So summer is here, schools are almost finished, kindergartens closed, and what to do with all the tiny humans with too much energy? You can teach them how to rollerblade, or better jet, if they already know, go put them on and have some fun!

When I was teaching in kindergarten I would organise sports days, when children would bring their bikes and rollerblades in and we would make a day out of it. I would do a little program, where we would first practice the basics and than have a competition where we would all cheer each other on. Seeing happy faces was the biggest prize I’ve got at the end. To the day, these are one of my best memories from my teaching life.

The Lovely Nanny rollerblading

Not only that rollerblading it’s fun, it also has many benefits to it and I’ll tell you why.

It is a great base for learning how to ski in the winter, while having fun all summer. There is a lot of similar movement that you can connect to skiing, but also just practising and gaining stability and posture, will give a great base for introducing skiing for the first time, as tiny humans will feel more confident straight away.

Overall faster muscle development than running or bicycling, rollerblading builds upper leg muscles, while gaining balance and control necessary to maintain the upright position, builds up strength and endurance. It is a low impact cardio exercise, with less stress placed on your joints and muscles, but most of all- IT’S FUN!! That said, not only children can have a blast, it is a perfect exercise for adults as well, especially if you suffer from joint problems.

When choosing the right rollerblades for you or your tiny human the most important thing is stability of the shoe with good thigh closure that is adjustable. Your foot has to feel stable but also comfortable enough. My personal preference has always been Roces  brand, but I have tried others too. If possible always try them out in a store, rather than buying straight online. And do not forget about the safety, especially if you or the children you look after are beginners. 😉

Hope you’ll have a perfect start of the summer!

The Lovely Nanny xx

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