The Halloween midterm break is the perfect time of year to carve out some family time with the children. This year, the iconic sustainable Tripp Trapp family chair from Stokke has some seasonal creative ways for families to connect and thrive together at home. From immune boosting smoothies for all, to crafty kitchen table activities, the humble pumpkin will leave no waste this Halloween.
Families are busier than ever now that our pre-pandemic activities are back in full swing. From working parents to non-stop tots and teens, most family’s schedules are packed. Finding moments to really connect are more important than ever. As daylight hours get shorter, Tripp Trapp
hopes to inspire families to think of the dining table as not just a place to eat, but where the family meets.
Commenting on the importance of family connection, Parenting Expert, Laura Erskine said:
“Weekends and breaks from school give busy families an opportunity to come together. Whether that’s sharing a morning smoothie, or an afternoon spent doing craft activities. Each experience shared is one which will benefit each child emotionally and socially no matter how old they are.”
“The fact that the Tripp Trapp chair from Stokke allows everyone to connect comfortably and ergonomically around the same table is a big bonus. Younger children will take their cues from their older siblings and parents when it comes to developing their motor skills at the table, while the social connection is vital for improving their communication abilities. Older children will benefit from the emotional connection of shared family experiences and the feelings of belonging and security they provide.”
With temperatures starting to drop and more nasty colds and bugs in circulation, now is also a good time to boost children’s immune systems and be inspired to find good uses for any leftover pumpkin.
With some creative uses for the seasonal pumpkin, Ollwyn Moran, Child Development Expert and Founder of Cognikids said:
“During the period from birth to age three, a child’s brain will experience the biggest period of development in their life. It's important to remember that the development of the brain is influenced by many factors, including a child’s relationships, experiences, and environment. Parents can support their child's development through encouragement, play and providing access to enjoyable learning opportunities every day.”
“I am a big advocate of children learning how to eat and building positive associations with food through their exploration of food in social family settings. Children are our greatest mimics, so it is easy to see how their inclusion at the dining table to help practice their skills for eating and drinking supports their development.”
“Food can be fun too, from trying new foods to making crafts and creating sensory experiences. This is why I am a big fan of the Tripp Trapp chair from Stokke as it really brings every child, no matter how young or old, right into the heart of your family’s time together at the dining table. My immune boosting smoothie is perfect for the whole family to enjoy, while the leftover pumpkin shell can be cut into shapes to provide a fine motor skills exercise in pumpkin paint stamping.”
These craft suggestions make pumpkin carving a whole family affair.
Pumpkins (one for each child over 5-years)
Paper plates (one or two for each child under 5-years)
1. Older children can carve their pumpkins to create spooky lanterns in time for Halloween. It is best to do this just a few days before Halloween night, so the pumpkins don’t go mouldy. Older children might like to paint their pumpkins too for decoration.
2. Younger children can use the cut outs of the pumpkin eyes and mouth to create pumpkin stampers for little hands. Just make sure that the inner side of the pumpkin is smooth and pulp free so it will make good contact with some child-safe paint for the stamping.
3. Pour out some paint into small bowls or plates to create a palate for the children to dip their pumpkin stampers into before pressing them onto their canvas of the paper plates.
4. The pumpkin smells amazing as the children are stamping, giving everyone a great sensory experience too. Tots learn to hold the pieces of pumpkin and manipulate them to stamp. This is great skill building for fine motor development.
Immune Boost Smoothie
This smoothie has all the immune boosting properties of a natural antibiotic and helps aid digestion too. This sweet and zingy little mixture will be a hit with the whole family. It can also be used as a topping for yogurt and porridge or as a base for other smoothie recipes.
4 carrots (peeled & roughly chopped)
4 apples (washed, core removed & roughly chopped)
50g or a handful of cubed pumpkin (optional)
1 orange (juiced) or 75ml of fresh orange juice (not from concentrate)
1 inch of ginger (grated)
Half a teaspoon of turmeric
1. Place 100mls of water in the base of a steamer saucepan
2. Place carrots, pumpkin (optional) and then apples into the steamer part of the saucepan.
3. Place the lid on the saucepan and bring to the boil and then reduce slightly to a low boil or simmer. Steam for 12-15mins
4. Transfer steamed carrots & apples to a blender. Retain the steamer water in case you need to add later to help with consistency.
5. Add orange juice, ginger & turmeric to the blender and then blitz until contents are a smooth purée consistency. Add some of the water from the steamer to the blender to create a smoother consistency.
6. Allow to cool before serving.
7. BABIES: Serve on its own to a baby as a warm or cool purée with a Cognikids Dip spoon. Teething babies like when you coat the head of a Dip spoon with the purée and freeze to make soothing lollipops.
8. BABY & TODDLER: Serve in a Cognikids Sip cup with straw as a smoothie for little ones.
9. OLDER CHILDREN: Blend with ice for a delicious immune boost smoothie.
10. STORAGE: in the fridge for 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to 5-months
11. Suitable for children from 6-months upwards. Be careful, turmeric is a very pigmented spice and may stain clothing.
Ginger and Turmeric for immunity and wellbeing:
· Turmeric and Ginger can be introduced to children’s food from 6-months of age.
· Turmeric has properties that help to alleviate inflammation, provide antioxidants, regulate blood sugar, improve cell functionality, and support digestive and brain health.
· Turmeric is a natural antioxidant just like Vitamin E and C and helps to fight infections.
· Turmeric boosts the DHA level in the brain, naturally enhancing memory and cognitive function in children.
· Turmeric is good for digestion as it increases the production of gastric juice helping bowel movements and bloating or gas.
· Small amounts of Ginger added to meals regularly can help reduce gas, improve liver function, and reduce respiratory issues.
· Ginger also has anti-microbial properties, helping to fight against infections.
· Ginger is a natural immune booster with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
· Ginger has been proven to have anti-rhino-viral properties which is great for seasonal colds. It also acts as an antihistamine and decongestant, helping to reduce cold symptoms.