February Newsletter
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February 2016 Newsletter.

Welcome to the February edition of our newsletter. With the month of love and pancakes ahead of us we have put together lots of fun activities and cooking ideas for you to do with your little ones. We also introduce you to the fabulous Beverley Glock who we will be working with every month to bring you lots of delicious recipes to try out at home with your little ones.

This month;

  • Valentines Day
  • Men in Early Years Conference
  • Dates for your diary
  • Pancake  Day
  • Children on the internet
  • Recipe corner
  • Meet...........monthly interview
Valentines Day

Valentine’s Day is only days away and, as if we needed one, it’s a great opportunity to get the craft box out and get creative.  We have ideas to keep little ones busy as it is a wonderful opportunity for them to express their feelings and to show love for their family.

We have put together some activity and cooking ideas for you to do, here.
Men in Childcare Conference
The first national 'Men in Early Years" conference is taking place in Southampton this Sunday.
Currently less than 2 per cent of the early years workforce is male and the conference aims to provide a networking and support opportunity to bring existing male childcarer's together and highlight the opportunities available to encourage men to enter the profession.

Tickets can be booked online here

If you are going we would love to hear from you.
Get your frying pans ready, it's Pancake Day!
Pancake Day (also known as Shrove Tuesday) takes place 47 days before Easter Sunday. 
This year is falls on 9th February.
Recipe and topping ideas can be found 
Courses coming up in April and September.
Contact us to book your place.
Children and the internet!
TODAY is Safer internet day, read more here.
A dedicated area on our website for childcarer's and parents alike.
Support, information and resources relating to, childcare, employment, training and more!
Dates for your diary
6th February – National Library day
8th February - Chinese New Year (Year of the Monkey)
9th February â€“ National Pizza Day
9th February - Pancake Day
9th February  - Safer internet day
14th February - Valentine's Day
22nd February - World Thinking Day
29th February â€“ Leap year – an extra day!
1st March - St David's Day
2nd March - Dr Seuss's Birthday
6th March - Mothers Day
We are delighted to be working with local cook Beverley Glock to provide you with a recipe every month. As it's our first edition we thought you would like to hear more about her.
Please check out her Valentines day recipe below.

Beverley Glock is a TV Cook, Broadcaster, Author and Food Writer with a passion for encouraging children and families to cook. Among other things she runs a cookery school for children, Splat Cooking and has written a successful children’s cookbook - 500 Baby and Toddler Foods

What inspired you to start Splat cooking?
My eldest daughter Ellie (now 19 years old) wanted to have a cooking party for her 5th birthday,  I couldn’t find anyone to run it and was encouraged by my friends as Friday nights were traditionally pizza night at mine and I always had lot of Ellie’s friends over making pizza.  We launched the parties initially but it became obvious that children wanted to cook more often than once a year at a party.

What can children expect if they attend one of your courses? 
Children on my courses are treated like adults, they make the same recipes I make at the adult classes and I don’t believe in ‘children’s food’.  They’ll learn different cookery skills, explore new ingredients and foods and will progress to using sharps and heat when I think they’re ready be that at 8 years old or 16 years, some children are ready sooner than others!  At the end of the course they’ll take home delicious food, made from scratch by them, to share with their family
What do you love about your job?
I teach children to cook and learn about food - what’s not to love, it’s a privilege

Who taught you to cook? 
My grandma

What is your favourite dish to cook? 
Indian food, I love curries, usually made on a Saturday night with all the family helping

What is your favourite meal to eat? 
Something someone else has made. I don’t care if it’s beans on toast as long as someone else has taken the trouble to make it for me, it will be the best meal ever.

Who would you most like to have cook you a meal? 
Nigel Slater - he is my food god.

What is your earliest food memory?
One sided toast, my Grandma made toast and only toasted one side by accident, it was gorgeous, still love it.
Best advice you have been given as a mum?
Follow your instincts.  You know your child best and childcare advice changes with the wind, if you think your child isn’t well act on it and don’t give in to tantrums, ever, no matter how embarrassed you are.
What advice would you give our parents/childcarers if they are cooking for a fussy eater?
 Offer babies a wide variety of foods when weaning, especially bitter green vegetables and avoid ALL sugar and juice.  Expect to offer the same food at least 7-8 times over different meal times before your baby eats it.  Babies have very strong tastebuds so this is the ideal age to introduce them to as many new foods as possible.  Toddlers and older children are harder to crack.  The main focus should be removing sugar from their diet and gradually weaning them off sugar and sugary products - possibly without their knowledge, offer savoury options instead of sweet ones. 
A lot of fussiness is inherited, if one of the parents is a fussy eater the child will copy their dislike of certain foods so you have to ‘man up’ and lead by example with your own food.  Show your child that vegetables are delicious by eating them yourself and sharing them, if you demonstrate a weakness your child will pick up on it and you won’t have a hope.

What's next for Beverley Glock? 
Two books are due out this year; 500 Superfood Dishes (already on sale in the US, South Africa and the Netherlands) and 200 Healthy Kids Recipes (due out in March in the US but available on Amazon). I’ve just filmed the pilot of new cookery competition show, Feast Fight and I’m appearing at Camp Bestival in July talking about How to Get your Kids off sugar on one of the stages as well as doing other Q&A sessions and interviews.

Check out Beverley's new APP - Cupcakes, Muffins and Afternoon Tea.

Find out more about Splat cooking and the courses they run, click here
Recipe of the month!
Blackcurrant Chocolate Cupcakes
by Beverley Glock

For the cupcakes
150g soft butter or margarine * 150g caster sugar * 3 eggs * 150g self raising flour * 1 tablespoon of Cocoa Powder * 150g blackcurrants * 1 courgette or beetroot, grated.

For the icing
100g blackcurrants * 2 tablespoons caster sugar * 500g fondant icing sugar
Cupcake Cases & Muffin Tray

Heat the oven to 180°c / Gas Mark 4. 
Makes 12 cupcakes

Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Then add the eggs, flour and cocoa powder and mix well.
Add the blackcurrants and the courgette or beetroot and gently fold in.
Divide the mixture up between the cupcake cases, then cook for 20-25 minutes. 
Heat the blackcurrants and caster sugar in a small saucepan and cook over a low heat until the blackcurrants ‘collapse’ and the juices flow.
Remove from the heat and sieve into the small mixing bowl, squashing the fruit down to extract as much juice as possible.
Put the fondant icing sugar into a medium mixing bowl and gradually mix in the blackcurrant juice until the icing sugar is glossy and sticky.  Add a little water if necessary.
Remove the cakes from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack, leave to cool, then ice the cakes and eat.
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