We wear many hats. We have to, in order to meet the daily demands placed upon us in our home, family, work and even social lives. Sometimes though, we forget to put the right hat on at the right time, or worst again leave an extra one on and in doing so don’t allow ourselves to give the full attention needed in areas that are so very important. Like… making sure our children are getting enough exercise.
Did you know that 4 out of 5 Irish children do not meet the physical activity guideline to be active for at least 60 minutes a day? No? Well, me neither, but this fact comes from a study by Safefood Ireland who have introduced an exciting campaign called “Bring back play” to encourage physical activity through play, as part of their 3 year campaign to help fight obesity in our children. I imagine we are all guilty at some point of sitting our child down in front of the telly, in a bid to get the clothes on the line… or the floors washed… or prepare dinner… or get a cake in the oven and that’s okay too, as long as we don’t take our children’s exercise needs for granted and be sure to allocate specific playtime each day and enjoy that time with our little ones.
I guess I’ve always been very conscious of making sure my small one eats healthy-ish and stays active enough to allow him the little treats he loves, without the worrying weight gain. I’m lucky though that the outdoors offers the small one much more excitement than the indoors… that running about in the rain conjures up all sorts of mischievousness… that imagination makes many adventures out of random objects lying about the backyard… that our German shepherd, Smokey – his best friend – is just as eager as he is, to run wildly and madly about together… that the offer of kicking the football about will always win over his fave television programme… and thankfully that good old-fashioned games I played as a child, intrigues him with an eagerness for more.
Now with the long evenings rolling in, it makes it that little bit easier to resist the cries from the sofa to sit down and relax after dinner and instead get out in the open air with the small one… play a game, go for a walk, cycle a bike. Remember it can be free play, it doesn’t have to be sport. Anything that gets them moving. It’s part of being a family, living a healthy life and obtaining habits that will hopefully stay with our little ones as they grow. Even better, after some fresh air and exercise it’s nice to be able to enjoy a healthy gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free dessert, guilt free.
If you would like to take up the challenge to “bring back play” click here where you’ll find expert advice, ideas for games and tips on how to fit play activities into a busy family schedule.
Apple and pear crumble
Serves 4 • Baking time: Approx 40 minutes
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons water
For the topping
80 ground almonds
10g desiccated coconut
40g coconut oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1. Pre heat oven to 190C/Gas 5/170C (fan). Grease a 22″ pie dish.
2. Peel and chop the apples and pears and place in a saucepan with the maple syrup and water and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. To make the topping rub the ground almonds and coconut oil together – try to get it as fine as possible. Then mix in the coconut and maple syrup (it will be lumpy but will spread out during baking).
4. Pour the stewed fruit into the prepared dish and sprinkle over the crumle topping. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.