Foods For Healthy Kids This Winter

Boost A Child’s Immune System This Winter

It’s that time of year again and as the brisk chill of winter begins to take hold it is more important than ever that we are feeding children the right foods, at the right time, to help them develop and maintain a healthy immune system.

We don’t want to see them missing out on any festive fun with a nasty cold and all of the unpleasant runny noses, hideous headaches and grumpiness that they can bring. With the school Christmas holidays fast approaching now seems like the perfect time to double check that young children are fighting fit and ready to tackle everything that this special time of year can throw at them…

It can be quite difficult at the best of times to get children to engage with healthy foods, but once the grip of winter takes hold, fuelling them with immune system boosting foods becomes paramount, as they can help them to fight colds. Well, here at Lockie Schools, as supporters of healthy eating in schools, we have been looking into affordable, easy to prepare, appetising and nutritious food, which will help to give children a timely immune system boost – just before the festive period goes into overdrive!

Vitamin C 

A glass of vitamin C rich orange juice is common place for many of us – as we seek a healthy boost at breakfast. Equally, allowing children a small glass with breakfast or at snack time can have some positive health benefits.

The health benefits of vitamin C is widely documented. It has been shown that vitamin C aids the production of white blood cells, which help to fight infections – which can be invaluable during winter. There is also scientific evidence that draws a link between the consumption of vitamin C and enduring shorter colds. This is good news for everyone as it could help children get back to their usual energetic selves sooner rather than later!

Considering that fruit juices are readily available in lunch box cartons, it seems like a very good place to start any immune system boosting activity during the colder months. Lockie Schools knows that orange juice is popular in school breakfast clubs and when you understand the health benefits it is easy to see why.

The main things to remember in this case is to make sure that the fruit juice does actually contain fruit – surprising we know!. This is usually indicated by a logo showing how many portions of the recommended ‘5’ a day’ a serving would offer. There are also some fruit juices out there that are full of added sugar, so it’s best to avoid these when possible.

Milk 

Milk is another readily available immune boosting food which is affordable and popular amongst children. In fact, milk has been a long term favoured school provision, which speaks volumes for its health benefits. Here at Lockie Schools, as we are strong advocates of school breakfast clubs, we know that milk in ever popular in schools all over the UK.

It is rich in calcium, which contributes to healthy bones, but it can also benefit children in other ways…It is also enriched with vitamin D, which is another building block to a healthy immune system. There is a link between lower levels of vitamin D and increased risk of respiratory infections. So whether it’s a glass at school breakfast club, a carton at snack time or a splash on their favourite cereal, it is quite easy to get the benefits of vitamin D into a child’s system.

Flavoured milk is also an option, but please consider that some flavoured milks may be high in added sugar. So it’s always worth checking the packaging. The ‘Traffic Light’ system that is widely adopted on most food packaging nowadays is quite easy to understand, so this is a good way to make the an informed choice.

Carrots and Sweet Potatoes 

Interestingly orange fruits and vegetables tend to be very beneficial to the immune system. For example, beyond the humble orange, foods such as carrots and sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene. The consumption of foods with this richness helps our bodies to produce vitamin A, which is essential in the maintenance of a strong immune system.

Moreover, vitamin A helps to keep the mucous membranes which line our nose and throat firing on all cylinders. The production of a healthy mucous is very important, as it serves as one of the body’s first lines of defence in cold prevention. The best thing is that carrots and sweet potatoes are widely available, relatively cheap and can be cooked in so many ways. They can be mashed, turned into chips, roasted, boiled, or in the case of carrots chopped into sticks and eaten raw as a healthy snack. We know that after school clubs that use our Money Pockets use snacks such as carrot sticks to fill the gap between school dinner and evening meal.

Why not trying mixing a few carrots or sweet potatoes into the next mash you make for an extra vitamin A boost?

Or maybe a carrot and sweet potato soup – the perfect winter warmer.

Oats

Oats seem to be a food growing in popularity in the UK – often occupying an entire isle in supermarkets. It is easy to see why, when you consider their versatility and affordability. They come in all forms, ranging from instant and rolled to whole and oatmeal – in all sorts of flavours and sizes.

They are easy to prepare in the morning as a warming breakfast, buy in snack bars or make overnight with yogurt (see overnight oats – did someone say school breakfast club idea?). They are relatively cheap compared to other types of popular cereal and can be made up in large batches to feed many hungry mouths in school. In terms of their health benefits, they contain a type of fibre called beta-glucan, which is praised for its cholesterol-lowering and immune-boosting properties.

Moreover, our favourite thing about oats is that they can be flavoured with all sorts of other healthy foods. Try them with honey, low-fat yogurt, bananas, assorted berries and nuts or grains. The more healthy foods you add into the mix the more filling and nutritious the humble bowl of oats will become. Lockie Schools recognises that children like to be engaged with the foods they are eating , so using fruit and other items to create faces or patterns in bowl of oats could be a winner!. Please Let us know if you try this at your school breakfast club and how your children found it.

 

Garlic, Peppers and Mushrooms

We think that these foods can be combined to make a hearty, healthy and comforting pasta dish. Each of these key ingredients brings something of value to the maintenance of a healthy immune system.

If we take garlic for an example, a food that has been used for by many civilisations, it has some interesting health benefits. In fact, early civilisations were able to identify that when garlic was used in cooking it helped to make the sick well!. It is also believed that garlic can help to lower blood pressure and boost the immune system thanks to its heavy concentration of Allicin.

Additionally, red peppers can contain more vitamin C than some citrus fruits, whilst mushrooms, which are available in such wide varieties in today’s supermarkets, offer fibre, anti-oxidants, vitamin B and potassium to name a few.

It doesn’t take a gourmet chef to mix these ingredients up with some tomatoes and cooked pasta of your choice and cook something delicious and healthy – so we think this could be a winner in any school or home!

Food For Thought

So there you have it, a quick guide to some immune boosting foods and recipe ideas…

It’s surprising that although a lot of these foods are probably commonplace on lots of school menus and family dinner tables, that many of us might not fully appreciate the incredible health benefits they offer.

The festive period can be relentless and the cold winter mornings can leave us all feeling a little bit under the weather. However, we hope that with enough immune system boosting foods in our diets that everyone can enjoy their Christmas festivities and welcome the New Year in good spirits and even better health.

Note: Please check through any recipes before use to ensure that any allergy information and nutritional values are understood and suitable, 

References:

https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/foods-that-boost-the-immune-system#overview1

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-benefits-oats-oatmeal#section3

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20631007,00.html#garlic-1

https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/food-labelling.aspx

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/how-make-overnight-oats

Posted in Lockie Schools Tips

Top 5 School Trip Destinations in the UK

Finding the balance of educational and exciting can be a challenge when it comes to arranging school trips for your classes. It’s a perfect opportunity for kids to learn outside of the classroom, a method that has shown incredible statistical results for motivating students to remember information. All across the UK, there are a number of great destinations that are ideal for schools to take their students to and the team at Money Pockets have compiled a list of the Top 5 School Trip Destinations in the UK so that you don’t have to!

1. NCCL Galleries of Justice (Nottingham)

NCCL has been delivering education programmes at the Galleries of Justice Museum in Nottingham for over 20 years. Through these activities we NCCL Justice Galleriesinspire young people to learn from the past, act in the present and change their future. Our enriching learning programmes take place within the stimulating legal heritage environment of the Museum. Students who visit us are able to explore the Edwardian Police Station, the old Georgian Prison, Victorian Courtroom, modern Youth Court, exhibition spaces about Prisons, Crime, Punishment, Robin Hood and the HM Prison Service Collection. Sessions are either facilitator or actor-led and designed to engage learners kinaesthetically with the buildings that they are in and to encourage children to ‘learn by doing’.

For booking information, visit the NCCL website at http://www.nccl.org.uk/ or call them on 0115 9939 811.

2. Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (Stratford upon Avon)

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust offers high quality, experiential, educational workshops, fully immersing children in practical and creative learning. Our award-winning workshops are hands-on Shakespeare Birthplace Trustand interactive, adhering to and enhancing the National Curriculum whilst bringing Shakespeare and British history to life. From Key Stage 1 to A Level, we look forward to working with you, inspiring your students, and enriching their experience of William Shakespeare in memorable and rewarding ways.

If you are interested in bringing your pupils to Stratford upon Avon to spend a few days with us we can arrange full courses.. Have a look on our website www.shakespeare.org.uk/learning to find out about the range of sessions on offer which can be tailored to the experience and needs of your pupils

3. Royal Air Force Museum (Shropshire)

Schools’ must pre-book a visit to Cosford to take part in workshops which focus on a range of National Curriculum subjects. The Let’s Fly workshop designed for Foundation and Key Stage 1. Royal Air Force MuseumChildren will gain an insight into the roles and operations of an airport and get to sit in a replica aircraft, once their passports have been stamped. In Spirit of the Blitz (KS2), children learn about the daily life of an ARP warden using a range of museum artefacts that will inspire curiosity. The workshop takes place in a wartime classroom with an Anderson shelter and real air raid siren.

The latest workshop activity to be launched is on the First World War in the Air and is entitled WWI – Life above the Trenches.Focussing on the life of a Royal Flying Corps pilot, children examine artifacts including uniforms, maps and letters to learn about the life of a pilot in the First World War.

You can find how to pre-book your visit the RFA Museum by visiting the website at http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/cosford/ or calling them on 01902 376241.

4. Bank of England Museum (London)

The museum hosts a variety of exhibits and displays including a rollerball game, jigsaws and an interactive timeline that navigates through the history of the financial storms. One of the more popular exhibits allows visitors to take the helm of a virtual boat to set monetary policy to keep inflation on a stable course. Other displays include a one million pound note, and a genuine gold bar which can be held!Bank of England Museum

The Bank of England Museum’s education programme is designed to support aspects of teaching in several curriculum areas for key stages 2 and above. It includes free cinema presentations tailored to suit the age and interests of the group (booking essential). The general admission to the museum is FREE but there are tours and other aspects that must be booked in advance, which can be done on their website at http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/education/Pages/museum/visiting/default.aspx or calling 0871 423 2110.

5. The National Sealife Centre (Birmingham)

At the National SEA LIFE Centre, the idea out of the class room learning is used as a principal way to inspire children. There are a number of ways for you and your class to get the most out of youThe National Sealife Centrer visit. From a discovery tour around the centre with our resident experts, to a self-guided tour which allows you to delve deeper into the lives of some of the creatures we care for.

A school visit includes use of the 4D cinema, guaranteed lunch room facilities for you to eat your pack lunch, free teacher places*, interactive rock pool, and of course the chance to see incredible sea creatures from all over the world. Tickets are available from just £6 per student.
Here are some top tips for your visit!

To book, visit the NSC website at https://www.visitsealife.com/birmingham/ or call them on 0871 423 2110.

Posted in Lockie Schools Tips

Better School Sports Days in 2018

Sports In Schools

It is hard to deny that sports, whether team based or individual, can have lots of positive impacts on children. Taking part in sports can aid physical and social development, contribute to academic success and help nurture a child’s self-esteem – to name but a few.

Sport has become so common place within UK schools that we have come to recognise Physical Education, or P.E, as a staple of school curriculum’s over the years. It is compulsory for children aged 4 – 16, but there has been concern from schools, parents, and governing bodies over the years that children are not spending enough time engaging in sports.

While many children may love playing sports, not all children enjoy or excel at what we would call traditional sports, which may mean that they don’t get the full benefits of participation. However, there is another way to encourage children to enjoy sport and exercise – sports days.

That being said Lockie Schools would like to help you organise a great sports day in your school in 2018, thanks to some with some handy tips, useful information and of course, our Money Pockets

Sports Days

Luckily, school sports days offer the perfect opportunity to encourage those children who may not ordinarily participate in sporting activities to do just that. Another additional benefit could be that they offer the chance for the school to bring in donations and sponsorship money to help reinvest within the school and local charities.

The games played at sports day go far beyond traditional events such as running and football and often include entertaining games such as the egg and spoon race and sack race – there is something for everyone!. If organised correctly they are very inclusive and can encourage participation from even the shyest and least active children.

There has been much made in recent years that sports days perhaps places unnecessary pressure on children to win, which has contributed to some negativity around such events. However, here at Lockie Schools we firmly believe that the positive impacts of school sports of children can far outweigh the negatives.

We are going to outline some of the main benefits below and offer some simple steps to help you organise a successful sports day at your school in 2018!

The benefits for children

Physical Well-being 

I am sure you will agree that technology has changed the way many of us spend our spare time. We spend more time watching television and playing video games than ever before and children are no exception to this trend. Alarmingly, one study in 2015 suggested that children aged 6-16  spend an average 6 1/2 hours in front of a screen each day!

It goes without saying that playing sports will raise their heart-rates and get their muscles pumping far more than watching a screen. Additionally, if a child gets the chance to try a new sport within the exciting and supportive sports day environment they may find themselves encouraged to play the sport outside of school. Perhaps this could be the start of a good habit for life?.

Social Skills

Playing sports can also help children to develop their social skills, which is an essential life-skill. Through an event like a sports day children get the chance to show leadership, teamwork and communication skills, as they interact with new people and face new challenges.

Take for example a three legged race. An event such as this would encourage children to work together to achieve the same goal. It also offers a good opportunity to bring together children that don’t normally interact with one another.

Improved Self Esteem

Participation in sports can have a positive impact on a child’s self-esteem and overall confidence levels. Ultimately, if a child is given the right encouragement from coaches, classmates, teachers and parents throughout the day it will help to build their self-confidence.

Moreover, this new found self-confidence has been shown to transfer itself into the classroom. In some cases it can help a child shake of any anxiety or doubt in their mind about speaking in front of class or answering a question they are not sure about.

Organising The Best Sports Day Ever Using Money Pockets

Step 1 – Where and when?

You need to ensure you find the most appropriate location and date for your sports day. Is there enough room? Is the location safe? Where will spectators sit? What will you do if it rains? Will you be able to transport any equipment to the location? Will you go outside in summer? Will you use the sports hall for a winter sports day?.

If you use our Money Pockets we can print the customised collection envelopes with the location, date and time of the sports day.

Step 2 – What games and events?

As mentioned above, not all children will enjoy traditional sports. This means having a mixed schedule of traditional sports, alternative games and other events will help the event to be as inclusive of possible.

Why not have a child and parent shared event? Why not use a water balloon catching game?.

If you send Money Pockets home to parents to ask for sponsorship or donations you can ask them to write down the event that their child would like to take part in on the envelope , that way you know which events will be most popular ahead of time and plan accordingly. 

Step 3 – Sponsorship / Donations

Our Money Pockets can help on this one too!. We can produce fully customised collection envelopes identifying the sports day details and displaying your school logo. This will make it easier to bring donations into the school and track sponsorship money for individual children. There are so many other things that you need to organise for an event such as this – so let us take the strain on this element for you.

Why not give us a call or drop us a message and let us do the rest?

Step 4 – Understand the rules of each game

Be clear on who is in charge of each event and be even clearer on the rules. How many people will take part in each event? How many rounds will there be? How will you know who has won?.

Step 5 – Prizes

You don’t need to put on a grand medal ceremony in which children are given 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards…

Alternatively, you could give a small token gesture to everyone who participated in the event to knowledge their efforts. This one is up to you, as many schools are now shying away from giving out winners medals as this does imply those without a medal are haven’t achieved anything – which is by no means true.

It’s about getting the balance right and you know your school and your pupils better than we do. It might be a good idea to use Money Pockets to ask parents and local businesses to make donations specifically for the prize giving ceremony, if they don’t want to make another sort of donation.

 

Step 6 – Get enough help

Remember ‘many hands make light work’. It will take quite a lot of time to set everything up, keep things moving throughout the day and pack everything away when the final whistle blows. Why not invite parents to help? Or get local businesses to help out with refreshments?.

Step 7 – Have fun 

It goes without saying. After all the hard work in the build up to your school sports day it can be easy to get wrapped up with managing every little part of the day when it arrives. Organising such an event will always throw up last minute problems or schedule changes – just go with the flow.

Remember to let yourself jump, laugh, clap and cheer throughout the day!

References 

https://www.livestrong.com/article/160825-why-should-children-play-sports/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sports_day

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-physical-education-programmes-of-study

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-3206715

http://www.signupgenius.com/school/field-day-ideas-games-activities.cfm

Posted in Collection Envelopes

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