children

London With Children

London is a fantastic city for families with kids. There are plenty of fun activities and attractions to explore.  From historical landmarks to modern museums, London has it all. Here is a guide of things to do and places to visit in London with children. London Zoo London Zoo is a fantastic place to visit with your children. You can see around 16,000 animals from around 750 species including tigers, lions, monkeys, and more. Current weekend prices are: Adults (age 16-64) £33.00 Children (age 3-15) £23.10 Under 3s Free Over 64s and students with ID £29.70 There are also special group rates so be sure to check out their website to find out the best pricing for you. VIP Experiences In addition to the general zoo visit you are also able to book VIP experiences for an additional price.   There are various 20-minute experiences such as a meet and feed experience with the meerkats and monkeys and an up-close meeting with the penguins (although please note that this does not include feeding the penguins).  Prices for these experiences are all £54.00 per person and children must be accompanied by a paying adult.  There are minimum ages for participants depending on the activity so be sure to check out the zoo’s website for more information.  Also good to know that pregnant or nursing mothers cannot participate in these activities. Giraffe or Junior Zoo Keeper Experiences Have you ever fancied being a giraffe keeper for a day?  Or would you little one love to be a junior zoo keeper?  If so do not miss out on the chance to do so when visiting the zoo.   The price for the giraffe keeper experience ranges from £110.00 per person between November and March and £135.00 per person between April and October.  You will arrive at the zoo before it opens to the general public and will help clean out their dens, put together a browse bundle (a bundle of food made from leaves, buds and bark) and pick out tasty treats for the giraffes from the zoo’s herb garden. Children aged 11-15 can also spend a morning as a junior zoo keeper.  Upon arrival, they will receive their special junior zoo keeper gear and will get started with their work.  Learning about a variety of species they will also help clean dens and feed some of the animals.  This experience costs £170.00 per person and includes access to the zoo for the rest of the day and free access to the zoo to the accompanying adult who must remain onsite and contactable during the duration of the experience. Please note that some of the experiences do not have wheelchair access although the zoo is happy to offer a modified experience where possible.  Please contact experienceenquiries@zsl.org for further information. The Natural History Museum The Natural History Museum in London is one of the most popular museums in the city and another great destination for families with kids.   The museum has a vast collection of specimens and exhibits that showcase the natural world.  From prehistoric creatures to modern-day wildlife. Here are some of the things you can see and do at the Natural History Museum: Dinosaurs The museum’s dinosaur collection is one of the largest in the world, with a range of specimens from the T-Rex to the Stegosaurus. The highlight of the collection is the animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex, which roars and moves its head. Mammals The mammal collection is equally impressive, featuring specimens from all over the world. You can see everything from a life-sized blue whale to a tiny shrew. Earthquake Room The museum’s earthquake room is a fun and interactive exhibit that lets you experience what it’s like to be in an earthquake. The exhibit simulates the ground shaking and shows how buildings and bridges can be affected. Human Biology The human biology exhibit explores the human body, from the digestive system to the brain. You can see real organs, skeletons, and interactive displays that explain how the body works. Wildlife Garden The wildlife garden is a tranquil oasis in the heart of the city. The garden is home to a range of plants and animals, including butterflies, bees, and birds. Minerals and Gems The museum’s mineral and gem collection is one of the finest in the world, featuring specimens from all over the globe. You can see everything from diamonds to meteorites. Darwin Centre The Darwin Centre is a research facility that is open to the public. Here you will see scientists at work and learn about the research that is being conducted at the museum. Entrance is free although some of the attractions, including special exhibitions throughout the year may have an admission fee so be sure to plan your visit beforehand. Tower of London The Tower of London is a historic castle that has been used as a royal palace, a prison and an armoury.   It really is a great place to learn about British history. You will also be able to see the Crown Jewels, including the largest cut diamond in the world, the magnificent Koh-i-Noor diamond. The London Eye Children and adults alike will love this giant Ferris wheel that offers fantastic views of London. The Harry Potter Studio Tour The Harry Potter Studio Tour is an absolute must-visit for Harry Potter fans. You can see the sets, costumes, and props used in the movies.  Prices are from £104.00 per person. Be sure to book before you travel as this is a very popular experience and one which is highly recommended. Sea Life London Aquarium The Sea Life Aquarium in London is another top choice when visiting London with children.  It is one of the city’s top family attractions, offering a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages. The aquarium is home to a wide range of sea creatures, from tiny seahorses to giant sharks. Here are some of the things you can see and do at the Sea Life Aquarium: Ocean Tunnel

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Fighting Obesity In Children

Fighting Obesity In Children

World Obesity Day is a day to raise awareness about the global obesity epidemic and to promote action to address this growing health crisis.  Obesity in children is a growing concern worldwide.  It is a major public health issue that can have serious long-term consequences for children’s health and well-being. In this blog we will look at some of the factors contributing to the increase in childhood obesity and offer some healthy and affordable family meal suggestions. What Causes Childhood Obesity? Childhood obesity is caused by a range of factors.  Unhealthy diets, sedentary lifestyles, and a lack of access to physical activity opportunities.  These all play an important part in the increased rates of childhood obesity. Should Rising Childhood Obesity Concern Us? Children who are obese are at increased risk of developing a range of health problems, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. They are also more likely to experience stigma and discrimination and to suffer from low self-esteem and poor mental health Correlation Of Gaming And Obesity In recent years, gaming has become an increasingly popular pastime among children and teenagers. While gaming can be a fun and engaging form of entertainment, it can also contribute to childhood obesity if not balanced with physical activity and healthy eating habits. Studies have shown that prolonged periods of gaming can lead to decreased physical activity.  Decreased activity equals decreased energy expenditure and this can contribute to weight gain. Additionally, gaming often involves snacking on unhealthy foods.  When our children are enthralled in their games they want a quick and easy snack so as not to interrupt their game time.  As such, they typically reach for junk food and sugary drinks, which can also contribute to weight gain. Advertising and Childhood Obesity Another contributing factor to this issue is the advertising of high-fat and high-sugar products to children. These adverts are often targeted towards children and can influence their food choices, leading to unhealthy diets and weight gain. Studies have shown that children exposed to food advertisements tend to consume more high-fat and high-sugar products than children who are not exposed to these advertisements. Additionally, advertisements for junk food are often more appealing to children, making them more likely to choose these unhealthy options. The impact of these advertisements on children can be significant, as they can lead to the development of unhealthy eating habits that can last a lifetime. Children who consume high-fat and high-sugar diets are at increased risk for developing obesity, as well as other health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer. Effect on low pricing on junk food We’ve all noticed the price increases on all our visits to the supermarket lately.  But, the problem of increased food prices is exasperated when comparing prices between junk food and healthy choices. Junk food is often priced much lower than healthy food, making it more accessible and affordable for low-income families. Studies have shown that low-income families are more likely to choose unhealthy, processed foods due to their lower prices and convenience. On the other hand, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and other healthy foods are often more expensive.  This often means that those on a tight budget are unable to ensure that they buy quality foods. The impact of this disparity in pricing can be significant, leading to higher rates of obesity and other health problems in low-income families. A diet high in junk food and processed foods can lead to weight gain, increased risk of heart disease, and other health problems. Addressing Childhood Obesity To address the problem of childhood obesity a multi-faceted approach is required.  It is important to promote healthy lifestyle habits and to create supportive environments that encourage physical activity and healthy eating. This can include: How To Buy Healthy Food For Less As we know, healthy eating is important for everyone but can be especially challenging for families on a low income. The cost of fresh, whole foods can be prohibitive, leading many families to rely on processed, unhealthy options. However, with some careful planning and smart shopping, it is possible for everyone to make healthy food choices that fit within their budget. One strategy is to focus on staple foods that are both healthy and affordable. This can include whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal, as well as legumes like lentils and beans. These foods are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, making it easier to stretch them over several meals. Another strategy is to buy fresh produce in season when it is typically less expensive. Frozen fruits and vegetables can also be a cost-effective option, and are just as nutritious as fresh produce. When shopping for meat, look for lean cuts and choose plant-based protein sources, like tofu and tempeh, which can be more affordable than meat. Planning ahead can also help families save money on food. Meal planning, making a shopping list, and sticking to it can help reduce impulse purchases and minimise waste. Taking advantage of bulk-purchasing options can also help stretch the food budget further. Where available, the use of discount coupons is also a way to help reduce the cost of the weekly shop. How Do I Even Get My Kids To Eat Healthy Food? Now, this is the million-dollar question isn’t it?  If your kids are anything like mine they will be fussy!  Whilst Evan (my 12-year-old) will try pretty much anything and has an amazingly well-developed palate, Jamie (aged 8) is a nightmare when it comes to food!  Anything with bits is a no-go!  Red bits, orange bits, green bits, and onions(!) lead to a total meltdown.  So what to do?  Do you give in to processed foods for convenience and to protect your sanity?? Healthy Family Meals Breakfast Ideas Make big batches of these on the weekend.  They freeze well and give you more free time on busy school mornings. Dinner or Packed Lunch Ideas

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