Here is a list of what we learned when we took our 16 month old Harry to Mallorca a few weeks ago:
- It will not be anything like the holidays you were used to before you had a baby.
- Packing will take forever, as you try to plan for every toddler based scenario that could occur.
- The journey will be a military operation – snacks, new toys they have never seen, TV programmes loaded onto the tablet. You will need it all.
- It will be so exciting for them, and special for you, as you show them a brand new place and settle into your new temporary surroundings.
- Everything will seem renewed and more interesting as you see it through your child’s eyes – the sea, the pool, the weather, the food.
- The amount of sun cream they have to wear turns them white and greasy and everything sticks to it.
- The beach will become fun again, and not just a place to sunbathe anymore. Now it’s sandcastles, rock pools and splashing at the waters edge!
- You will buy copious amounts of cheap plastic toys for the beach and pool and end up playing with them just as much as your toddler.
- You will spend A LOT of time running after your toddler trying to stop them jumping in the pool/eating sand/falling over/stealing other kids toys/generally causing themselves an injury.
- Getting ready for dinner will be done as quickly as possible and will be facilitated by snacks and Spanish Peppa Pig and Octonauts.
- Meals are no longer relaxing and slow paced. Your main priority will be getting your toddler to ‘sit nicely’ and eat something other than chips.
- Your lightweight, handy buggy will be worth its weight in gold – and will serve as a cart horse for transporting your toddler, and all of your stuff around. Not forgetting beach and pool naps!
- Speaking of naps – the toddler will nap more due to staying up later at night. We got 2 long naps a day, and this was mummy and daddy RELAXATION time.
- During said relaxation time, you will get glimmers of pre baby life as you lounge on your sunbed with a cold drink in hand, reading a chick lit novel. But time is quickly up as your toddler starts to stir!
- You will get talking to every other family with young children, and it will be great. Everyone is in the same boat and there is a real sense of unity and pride when your children are being funny or playing together.
- Your toddler (well, our toddler) will LOVE the kids entertainment. It was the highlight of his (and probably our) day. He danced, he ran around, he stood mesmerized at the show they put on every night. It was brilliant.
- You will spend so much precious family time away from all the stresses of daily life. No work, no house work, no daily grind – just lots and lots of quality time, perfect.
- You will feel so proud that you made it through the baby stage and are now a fully functioning family – who made it on holiday!
- Getting home is a bit crap; there’s the travelling part again, so much bloody washing to sort, and back to rainy UK weather. But there’s always next year.
- It definitely won’t be like the holidays you were used to before you had a baby; it will be better!
Snacks are very important in the life of a toddler – and are a life saver for parents! Leaving the house without packing any is a risky business, and a missed snack can ruin mealtimes if your toddler gets ‘over hungry’ and refuses to eat properly.
Harry, on the whole, enjoys a really wide range of foods. But unfortunately he isn’t great at snacking on fresh fruit. He will always eat bananas and grapes, but everything else is unpredictable. I think it’s the texture! Dried fruit however, is a winner with Harry. Raisins, apricots, mango, prunes and dates – he loves them all.
We were recently sent some Forest Feast snacks to try out. We took them on holiday as the packaging was perfect for travelling. We brought out the Yoghurt Cranberries when Harry got REALLY wriggly on the plane. The handy little packets of mango were perfect for eating at the beach after being in the sea. The large pack of Dried Mango was great for a pre-dinner snack for Harry while we were getting ready to go.
Dried fruit is pretty high in sugar, so I also always pack a snack pot containing a mix of mini bread sticks, rice cakes, cheerios and plain popcorn. Soreen lunch box loaves are brilliant too for when things get a bit stressful!
As I said, snacks are an essential part of our lives these days!!!
We eat a lot of pasta. In fact we eat a lot of carbs full stop. One of the main reasons is probably convenience, so the freshly prepared courgetti from Quinfresh was a lovely change to traditional pasta.
I had never tried spiralized veg until recently, when my friend made me a Thai curry with spiralized carrot added. I really liked it, so when Quinfresh contacted me I was more than happy to try out some of their products.
The spiralized carrot was a hit with Harry, who liked snacking on it. Raw carrot sticks are too hard for him, but the carrot spirals were easy, and more fun for him to eat. They were also good in tuna wraps with houmous and olives!
We then tried the courgetti with chicken, pesto, sun dried tomatoes and mozzarella. Kind of an experiment, but the result was really tasty. The courgetti was very easy and quick to stir fry, and did resemble pasta more than I thought it would!
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 2 chicken breasts, marinated in salt, chilli, oregano and olive oil
- 1 pack Quinfresh courgetti
- 8 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1 ball mozzarella, chopped into small pieces
- 1/2 jar green pesto
- Fry the chicken in olive oil for 5 minutes, add the sun dried tomatoes and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Remove from the pan and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Add the courgetti and stir fry for 3 minutes. Drain any excess water.
- Add the chicken and sun dried tomatoes back to the pain and add the mozzarella. Stir for a few minutes on a low heat.
- Add the pesto and stir well before serving.
The result was very tasty, quick to make, and didn’t give me that heavy, too full, feeling that pasta does. The one criticism I have is the portion size – the pack contains just 185 grams or 2 servings, and I think we could have eaten as least double that amount!
The next thing we are planning to try is cauliflower rice – sounds strange but maybe we will be converted! Thanks Quinfresh for giving us some alternatives to the usual carbs!