Wednesday, 31 August 2011

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Little Nibbles Range Creates More Natural Choice for Mums and Dads

HiPP Organic Squiggly 
Corn Puffs
HiPP Organic has again put their expert baby knowledge to the test, by offering mums and dads even more choice from the popular ‘Little Nibbles’ snack range. Along with the arrival of several new products, eye catching cartoon characters have also been added to the tasty Little Nibbles product range to encourage young ones to experiment with new flavours and textures at a time when encouraging self feeding is important.

So what can parents expect to find in the range?

The new melt-in-the-mouth Squiggly Corn Puffs are HiPP’s latest first finger food for babies from 7 months upwards, specially developed to encourage them to chew and feed themselves. Plus, the newly inspired Squiggly variety is entirely free from all nasties with a purely natural taste. So as is always the case with HiPP, you can rest assured that you are feeding your little one the very best of organic.

The all natural Fruit Bars with Cereal have also joined the HiPP Organic Little Nibbles snack range, available in two different varieties; ‘Plum & Apple’ and ‘Peach & Apple’. They are both sure to tantalise your little one’s taste buds! With no added sugar, each fruit bar contains 50% organic fruit and four different organic cereals, suitable from 12 months onwards. These handy sized bars are also sold individually, making them the ideal snack when out-and-about!

For those Elephant Biscuit lovers out there, you’ll be pleased to know HiPP have worked on their existing recipe to make them even tastier! Not only are they now free from added sugar, but they have also introduced organic apple juice for a sweeter flavour. These distinctive elephant shaped biscuits are perfectly sized for little hands to hold onto, providing important top up nourishment for tiny tummies, as a convenient snack. Suitable from 12 months onwards.

Other scrumptious products which sit within the new HiPP Organic Little Nibbles range include the yummy range of Little Nibbles Rice Cakes which are available in 3 delicious flavours; ‘Organic Apple’, ‘Organic Carrot and Pumpkin’ and ‘Organic Tomato and Sweet Red Pepper’. All are made with just organic rice and fruit or vegetable juices so are naturally free from added salt or sugar.

One Stop Shop for Information
The entire Little Nibbles range is available from the HiPP web shop with free delivery

For expert advice on feeding your toddler, a downloadable toddler feeding plan and lots of other information and recipes to go to

Monday, 29 August 2011

Romans, Spies and Ballerinas Make Up Children’s Fantasy School Uniform

Playmobil research reveals traditional school wear is due for a shake up.

With only a matter of weeks until the start of a new school term, UK children are crying out for an opportunity to give the traditional school uniform a makeover of a lifetime. Given the choice, children would wave goodbye to the standard white shirt, smart trousers and sensible shoes in favour of a unique combination of their favourite costumes.

According to research by toy experts Playmobil, the fantasy school uniform for boys is a Roman soldier’s helmet on their head, a secret agent’s suit accessorised with sunglasses and high tech gizmos, finished off with a pair of trainers!

Girls take a daintier approach opting for a ballerina’s tutu, crowned with a princess tiara and, like the boys, a pair of trainers to complete the look.

Although unconventional, and certainly defying the dress codes of most schools, the designs undoubtedly earn top marks for originality.

The survey of over 600 children aged 5-11 was commissioned to mark the launch of Playmobil Fi?ures, a brand new range of interchangeable pocket money toys. Unlike current Playmobil characters, Fi?ures come unassembled meaning children can put them together, take them apart or mix and match body parts and accessories to create a brand new character, dressed in attire of their own design.

Commenting on the research, Jamie Dickinson, Marketing Manager for Playmobil said: “The fantasy school uniform is another great example of the limitless imagination of young children. We are strong believers that creative and imaginative play has a positive impact on a child’s development, and what’s more creative than giving children the opportunity to invent their own characters and stories.”

“It’s interesting to see the dream outfits take inspiration from popular toys and dressing up costumes. Although school children may not be able to exercise their creative flair with their uniforms just yet, they can design weird and wacky creations to their hearts content during play.”

Playmobil Fi?ures will consist of a series of 24 individually packaged figures, 12 themes for girls and 12 themes for boys, with each figure priced at just £1.99. The contents of the bag will be a mystery which is why the ‘g’ in figures is replaced with a ‘?’. Packaging for male and female characters differ in colour and children looking to collect the full set can swap characters with their friends or siblings.

Boys and girls will also be able to play with and collect individual characters without parents having to buy a whole playset and, as all Playmobil characters are built to identical dimensions, children can use their Fi?gures in existing ranges.

Playmobil Fi?ures are available from: John Lewis, Toys R Us and all good toystores.
Characters in Boys Series
Blue Knight
American Footballer
Masked Ranger
Pizza Chef
Rock Star Guitarist
American Campaigner
Grim Reaper
Dragon Knight

Characters in Girls series
Gemstone Princess
Rock Star Singer
Female Outlaw
Teenage Girl
Equestrian Woman
Mother with Baby

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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

FCA promotes local fostering needs through new website service

Foster Care Associates (FCA), reportedly the UK's largest Independent Fostering Agency, has added a new geographically targeted section to its website to provide locally-based fostering information and placement needs to its visitors.

Under the heading 'Your local FCA', the website now offers readers information about FCA and fostering in their local area, divided between the agency's 14 operating regions.

Visitors can now access regional FCA news, information about forthcoming fostering events in their community and learn more about their local fostering team through FCA staff profiles. There is also a range of local FCA foster carer stories to give a better insight into becoming a foster carer as well as information about the specific placement needs in line with Local Authority referrals. Directions and contact information for the company's regional and local FCA offices complete the individual sections, which are presented via a tabbed format.

With over 80 local offices spread throughout the UK, the new website feature adds better scope for FCA to communicate its range of locally based support services to potential and existing foster carers. It also complements the wealth of existing information about becoming a foster carer and wider fostering information through a total of over 500 unique pages.

Marie-Louise Allred, Marketing Manager for FCA, commented: "People who enquire about fostering tell us how important knowing about our local infrastructure and support services is to them. The new website section presents this information in a simple and easy to access format so that prospective carers can learn about the staff, carers, young people, events and offices in their local area.

"Fostering can be an isolating role so knowing what an agency has to offer in your local area is vital in the decision making process. Over the next few months we will be adding even more local information to these sections so that prospective carers really understand what FCA has to offer in their community."

The provision of a locally based service is central to the agency's unique Team Parenting approach to foster care, which is based upon the principle of delivering a holistic range of therapeutic support services to the foster carer and to the child. Team Parenting is proven to achieve positive outcomes for looked after children and young people across the UK.

The new website functionality is part of a wider phased redevelopment of the FCA website, which includes a new Home page and a forthcoming new Media Centre.

Foster Care Associates (FCA), part of the Core Assets Group Ltd, is the UK's leading Independent Fostering Agency, with offices operating throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Working in partnership with Local Authorities and Health Trusts throughout the UK, FCA aims to provide 'quality care in a family setting' for over 2600 foster children who are looked after by the agency's 2200 foster families.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Pocket savings with FREE sport sessions for kids from YAZOO

Keeping your children entertained after school can be an expensive, time consuming business with the rising costs of after school clubs, coupled with your hectic work schedules!

It is little surprise to find mum and dad struggling to juggle every day life while sticking within a weekly budget. The latest Which? survey (July 2011) states that 86% of British adults said that compared to a year ago, their grocery bill has increased, meaning day-to-day savings have become an even higher priority for families. To help save families time and money, YAZOO has teamed up with Premier Sport (Playball in Ireland) to offer free sport activities for kids, worth up to £15.00 per session.

Whether it’s before school, during lunchtime or at the end of the school day, Premier Sport provides kids a whole host of activities available at flexible times to suit parent’s needs. With cheerleading, dancing, football and tag rugby on the agenda, kids can stay active and healthy, but equally importantly, just have fun.

YAZOO milkshake is the perfect drink for children after playing sports as a recent study found that active children are better off drinking milk than water or sports drinks. Parents can also feel confident that YAZOO is a healthier alternative for their kids as it’s school approved.

Signing up to a free activity couldn’t be simpler; after purchasing a multipack of YAZOO Chocolate, Strawberry or Banana, log on to the website, and enter the unique code to produce a voucher for a free activity session with Premier Sport. Mums and dads will then be guided to the Premier Sport website to sign up for their child’s chosen activity. Premier Sport activity clubs are available across the UK, making it even easier for mum to keep the kids entertained during the working week.

For further information on this offer, please visit

Saturday, 20 August 2011

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Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Little Terra Develops Online Guide To Child Back Carriers

Child back carriers are enjoying a growth in popularity, as parents enjoy the freedom and convenience of taking their youngster about the town or country without the limitations of a pushchair. But, choosing the right type of carrier can be a challenge, with so much choice and variety in the marketplace.

Now Little Terra has produced a free downloadable guide to help you make an informed choice when selecting a children’s back carrier.

Available online at the guide is packed full of information including fitting, frame construction, weight considerations and accessories.

Carolyn Budding, the managing director of Little Terra, said: “Child back carriers are invaluable pieces of gear when spending time outdoors with a youngster.

“They enable people to navigate across places that might be more difficult to access in a pushchair, such as over stiles during countryside walks, and children enjoy the elevated position and close contact to the carrier they offer.

“We recommend that carriers are generally suitable for children from six months who can sit unaided. However, coupled with the age factor, there are a number of areas to consider when purchasing this type of equipment and we hope this guide helps signpost people to make the right choice.”

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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Happiness is all in a Cuddle: HUGGIES® Natural Fit release Oxytocin survey results

Parents should have as much cuddle time as possible with their newborns. Because new survey results released today by HUGGIES® Natural Fit and Netmums, revealed that almost two-thirds (62%) of new mums are unaware of the benefits of the hormone Oxytocin, when caring for their little ones.

Reassuringly though, over half (55%) strongly believe cuddling is the key to encourage a stronger bond with their baby but 22% do not know why.

HUGGIES® Natural Fit’s independent spokeswoman, Dr. Carol Cooper says: “Oxytocin has long been dubbed the cuddle or love hormone and is produced in high levels during both cuddling and breast feeding.

“Becoming a mum for the first time can be a daunting task. It’s therefore important that more mums are aware that there are so many more benefits to cuddling your baby.

“In fact, research by the Basel’s Institute of Psychology claims mothers with high levels of Oxytocin adapt to motherhood far easier and are less likely to suffer from post-natal depression. Postnatal depression can last up to two years post birth which indicates that the more tactile contact a mother has with her child, the better for both parties.”

The research also revealed that while more than half of mums (52%) cuddle their baby immediately, 42% believe that they should wait so that the baby does not expect immediate attention.

Dr. Cooper comments: “Research has shown that babies who aren’t comforted when they need it actually become more demanding, not less. Parents eventually discover from experience, that there is very little to be gained by waiting for a baby’s cries to reach a crescendo - babies that have reached this point are much harder to pacify.

Dr. Cooper also speaks of the wider social implications associated with a lack of physical affection: “Evidence shows that the part of the brain, known as the Orbitofrontal Cortex, may not mature properly in babies who do not receive enough affection. This region of the brain is still mysterious, but it acknowledged as being vital to decision-making and emotional processing.

“It’s clear that mums are already building a bond with their little ones through a cuddle but I do hope this survey shows all mums that there are many more benefits beyond the initial feel-good factor of a cuddle.

“To put it simply, where there’s mum with high levels of Oxytocin there is a happier mum and a baby getting lots of cuddles and the best start in life.”

Festival of performance, music and arts showcases united Birmingham youth – Friday 19th August

Young people from Birmingham ’s communities are set to join together in a city centre celebration of vibrant music, performance and arts this Friday. (August 19)

From 11am at The Square Shopping Centre, the Summer Expose 2011 event, will feature live bands, DJs, dance troupes, rapping, stalls and more.

The event has been organised by Birmingham City Council’s Youth Services department and all involved consider it a fantastic way of engaging and bringing local communities together in light of the events of last week.

Yvonne Moulton, centre manager at The Square, said: “This is a great platform to show the vast majority of young people from Birmingham are pro-community, and many of them have amazing talent – we can’t wait to see their brilliant, inspirational work.”

What: Summer Expose 2011

When: from 11am-5pm

Where: The Square Shopping Centre (off Corporation Street) Birmingham City Centre

Postcode for The Square: Birmingham, B4 7LJ

(EDITOR: A very well worth while event!)

Monday, 15 August 2011

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How much time do you have with your kids?

Monday, 15 August 2011 As parenting guidelines released last week advised parents of a “five-a-day” approach to bringing up their children, research from Bosch Power Tools shows that 45% of parents in fact have under five hours to play and bond with their children per week.

The research also highlighted that only 31% of UK parents take part in educational play and life-skill development such as cooking, sewing or DIY. This is despite 93% of parents deeming it important to pass life skills down to the next generation and 90% admitting it could cause problems later on in their child’s adult life.

Children are also concerned with 50% of kids aged between seven and sixteen stating they would relish more time with their parents to help them learn new things.

63% were eager to develop prowess in the kitchen and 52% also wanted to learn more about DIY and how to fix things in the home without calling for a builder.

In light of this, Bosch Power Tools is launching a campaign to encourage families to “build and bond” by building a tree house together in the back garden this summer.

Sue Palmer, specialist in child development and author of Toxic Childhood, comments “When parents take the time to involve their children in 'everyday' activities like cooking, DIY and mending clothes, they’re not just handing on important lifeskills that will stand the kids in good stead in the future, they’re also showing them value and love. This sort of ‘family time’ is vital to a child’s feelings of self-worth. It used to happen naturally in most families, but modern lifestyles make it more difficult.”

Bosch Power Tools DIY Expert Chris Tidy comments, "It's really important for parents to take the time to teach kids these practical skills because otherwise, it's really going to cost them in the future. Once they leave home they could incur huge expenses when they are unable to rely on their parents. These skills will prove extremely cost effective as young adults in various elements of their life, such as simple DIY tasks, cooking for themselves, decorating their house and customising their clothes."

Of the tiny but questionable 7% of UK parents who didn’t want to pass on skills, 64%, stated they didn’t have time and worryingly, 33% claimed they didn’t have any.

For more information about Bosch Power Tools “Build and Bond” campaign, visit

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Northern Rock is helping to keep kids entertained this summer holidays by holding a nationwide competition

The contest, which started on the first day of the school break, focuses on the theme of superheroes in an effort to spark kids' imaginations, and all of Northern Rock's 74 branches are taking part.

For a chance at winning £100 in High Street vouchers, children have the option to draw their own superhero, colour in a template design supplied by Northern Rock, or dress up as a superhero and send a photograph of themselves in costume to their local branch.

The competition is split into three age categories - up to four years, five to nine years and ten to 16 years of age. An independent representative at each branch will choose a winner from each age group, each of whom will win a High Street voucher worth £25. All branch winners will then progress to the national judging and their chance to win a High Street voucher worth £100.

To enter, interested parties can visit any of Northern Rock's branches and pick up an entry form, which can either be completed in branch or taken away and returned no later than 3rd September 2011. All winners will be notified by 24 October 2011. Full terms and conditions are available in branches.

Launched in April last year, the Little Rock's top-paying access account at 3.00% gross pa/AER, is available through Northern Rock's branch network, and by post, to customers aged under 16. It must be opened with an appropriate adult named on the account as a trustee.

Little Rock can be opened by cash, cheque or by transfer from an existing Northern Rock account. There is a maximum balance limit of £10,000, and all trustees are required to sign for any withdrawals. All withdrawals are notice free.

Monday, 8 August 2011

HUGGIES® Winnie the Pooh Prizes – here, there and everywhere!

HUGGIES® have got together with Disney® for the DVD launch of Winnie the Pooh in August. To celebrate, HUGGIES® Super-Dry are conducting three major Winnie the Pooh giveaway activities throughout August - amounting to a total prize value of £3,500!

Activity 1: Winnie the Pooh Screening
From 8 August, the HUGGIES® Facebook page will be running a weekly competition offering tickets to an exclusive screening of the new Winnie the Pooh film. The screening will be held at the Disney Headquarters in London on Monday 5 September and will include a delicious feast for you and your little one.

Activity 2: Nursery makeover
Fans of the loveable character also have the opportunity to win an entire nursery makeover worth £600 on the HUGGIES® Club website, as part of their monthly prize giveaway. There’s also an abundance of other Winnie the Pooh treats available to win should you successfully ‘Hunt the Hunny Pot’! Visit for your chance to win any of these fabulous prizes.

Activity 3: Nostalgia Survey
HUGGIES® Club is hosting a nostalgia survey to discover why Winnie the Pooh remains so popular today among both children and parents, especially HUGGIES® mums. Upon completing the survey, you will be entered into the prize draw to be in with a chance of winning one of five bundles of Winnie the Pooh products from Tomy, worth around £125.

Goodies include a Winnie the Pooh Dreamtime Lightshow and a Grow-With-Me Play Gym. Visit to take part in the survey.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Anti-technology App Helps Break Teenage Phone Addiction

In response to a report by Ofcom which claims 60% of teenagers are addicted to their mobiles, Scottish therapist, Andrew Johnson, has launched an ‘app’ which he claims will help them overcome this problem.

Entitled Disconnect, the app has had a reported 95% success rate amongst those who have used it in trials.

The recording lasts 30 minutes and is best listened to in bed last thing at night. After doing this for three weeks, most teenagers in the trial found their addiction to their mobile phone together with PlayStation, emails, Twitter and Facebook, has dissipated.

The app uses combination of relaxation techniques including deep breathing, visualisation and meditation allowing people to shift their perception of life without relying on technology.

Commenting on Disconnect, Andrew Johnson said: “It’s slightly ironic an app provides the most successful means of disconnecting with technology but it makes it widely accessible and cost-effective. Not only can it help teenagers but also business people who feel the need to check their in-box for emails every minute or feel naked without their Blackberry”.

Starting at £1.99 for the app, Disconnect is suitable for anyone from the age of 12 and up.
Find out more by visiting

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Family Investments Unveil Details of First Ever Junior ISA as Government Confirms Final Product Regulations

Family Investments, the UK’s award winning Child Trust Fund provider, has confirmed its commitment to the new Junior ISA by becoming the first company ever to outline the details of its Junior ISA account for children.

The announcement follows confirmation of product regulation by the Treasury which paves the way for providers to offer the Junior ISA from November 1. Family Investments will ensure its account is open for business from day one.

The Family Investments Junior ISA will be an investment based Junior ISA with monthly premiums from just £10. The low monthly premium makes the product affordable for many parents and offers access to stock market growth over the long-term.

John Reeve, Chief Executive of Family Investments said: “Children’s savings are a long-term financial commitment and to help growth potential it is important to invest in the stock market which historically offers greater returns than cash.

“Having conducted research amongst parents we know that the majority want to generate a reasonable return with 74% of the parents we surveyed saying that they wanted their kid’s savings to outperform a cash savings account. As a result we are offering an investment Junior ISA instead of a cash account to provide the greatest potential for growth.

“We welcome the government’s announcement that the annual contribution limit for the Junior ISA will be higher than expected at £3,600, and the limit for Child Trust Funds will also increase from £1,200 to £3,600 per year from November 1st 2011. However, we do understand that many parents have modest means and may not be able to take advantage of these higher limits, that’s why we’ve designed our Junior ISA to enable customers to invest a low monthly amount starting at just £10.

“Combining the low premium with an investment in the stockmarket will help ensure that children born today have the best possible chance of entering adulthood with a financial asset to meet unprecedented costs such as new university tuition fees and deposits for a first home.”

As many parents thinking about investing for their child’s future want to do so ethically, Family Investments will also offer an ethical Junior ISA option. Both products will allow parents to manage the account online.

Junior ISAs will be available to anyone aged under eighteen who has missed out on the Child Trust Fund. The proceeds of every Junior ISA will be held in the child’s name and will automatically roll over into an adult investment ISA when the child is 18.

Family Investments is a mutual with over 35 years experience of managing money on behalf of families and is the UK’s largest CTF provider managing 1.2 million accounts. The Junior ISA will fill the gap left by the CTF and will be particularly welcomed by the parents of 700,000 children born between January and November who have just missed out on the CTF.

Parents who would like to pre-register their interest in a Junior ISA in order to take out the product from November 1st can do so here –

Family Investments’ Junior ISA - key product features:

• An investment Junior ISA invested in a balanced fund

• Low monthly premiums starting at just £10

• Parents can manage their Junior ISA account online which allows them to download a statement, manage contributions and check investment performance.

• Family Investments Child Trust Fund customers, who also open a Junior ISA account for another child, can manage both accounts online with the same login.

• An ethical version will also be available

Junior ISA features as announced today by the UK Government, which will also be available from the Family Investments Junior ISA account:

• Annual tax efficient allowance of £3,600

• Account must be opened by a parent or legal guardian

• Any member of the family, including grandparents, can make a contribution

• Proceeds will roll into an adult ISA when the child turns eighteen

• Annual contribution limit for the Child Trust Fund has raised from £1,200 to £3,600 in line with the Junior ISA

Saturday, 6 August 2011

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Pocket savings with FREE sport sessions for kids from YAZOO

Keeping the kids entertained after school can be an expensive and time consuming business with the rising costs of after school clubs, coupled with hectic work schedules. It is little surprise to find mum and dad struggling to juggle every day life while sticking to a weekly budget.

The latest Which? survey states that 86% of British adults said that compared to a year ago, their grocery bill has increased, meaning day-to-day savings have become an even higher priority for families. To help save families time and money, YAZOO has got together with Premier Sport (it's called Playball in Ireland) to offer free sport activities for kids, worth up to £15.00* per session.

Whether it’s before school, during lunchtime or at the end of the school day, Premier Sport provides kids a whole host of activities available at flexible times to suit parent’s needs. With cheerleading, dancing, football and tag rugby on the agenda, kids can stay active and healthy, but equally importantly, just have fun.

Signing up to a free activity couldn’t be simpler; after purchasing a multipack of YAZOO Chocolate, Strawberry or Banana, log on to the website, and enter the unique code to produce a voucher for a free activity session with Premier Sport. Mums and dads will then be guided to the Premier Sport website to sign up for their child’s chosen activity. Premier Sport activity clubs are available across the UK, making it even easier for mum to keep the kids entertained during the working week.

For further information regarding this offer, please visit

Thursday, 4 August 2011

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Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Little Terra Publishes Online Guide To Solar Clothing

Little Terra has produced a free online guide to help parents understand more about the benefits of UV resistant clothing for children.

Available to download at the guide gives an overview of what to look for when choosing clothes offering sun protection.

It also highlights the compelling reasons for choosing clothes that reduce UVA and UVB radiation from the sun.

Carolyn Budding, managing director of Little Terra, said: “More people are becoming aware of the benefits of UV clothing.

“Whilst many parents apply suncream regularly to their children, they might think their clothes offer similar protection.

“However, clothing like a cotton T-shirt can generally only offer a UPF as low as 5, which is a concern, particularly as experts say most skin damage is caused in childhood.”

Little Terra recently announced it has chosen to stock the Radicool 100+ UPF Skins range, from Australia.

Carolyn added: “Australia has pioneered extremely effective methods of sun protection over the years and that really appealed to us when we looked at the best range to stock.

“We’ve looked carefully at the marketplace and really liked the fact their clothing offers a UPF rating of 100+, which provides an exceptional level of protection against both UVA and UVB rays.”