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Friday, November 23, 2012

40 ways to Praise your child without Praising them

For most parents saying ‘Good job’ or ‘well done’ is automatic, it is considered a part of positive parenting and we very rarely even think about it when we say it. So many parenting advice books say ignore bad behaviour and reward good, so it’s something that is built into our parenting collective conscious. For me it was like an automatic tic, I said it whenever I could see my son had achieved something be it small or large. It required little thought and no follow through. It was easy.

Then I read some Alfie Kohn and some Teacher Tom and I reviewed my opinions.

I won’t go into a long spiel about why using non specific praise and positive feedback isn’t ideal, because there are many people who can speak more eloquently on this topic than I ever could. What I will say is that saying ‘good job’ and offering non specific praise does nothing to build confidence or let your child find their inner motivation. Using the carrot and the stick does not breed free thinking or critical thought; it breeds affirmation seeking and compliance. This is not me saying that praise is bad, there are times when it is totally appropriate and if you use one of those phrases inadvertently you are not damaging your child or destroying their independence forever. Parenting doesn’t work like that.

When I first heard about this whole inner motivation thing I was irritated because all of the blogs I read about it focussed on why it was wrong and had an overwhelming message of ‘tsk tsk don’t do it’. So I filed it under yet another way that I am Doing. It. Wrong. But, for all of that, these articles sung for me a little because I personally seek praise all of the time, and if someone criticises my ideas then I am easily brought down. It irritates me that I am so reliant on external feedback and it’s only later in life that I have built the confidence to be satisfied in my own right. Even now I struggle with criticism, so maybe this Alfie Kohn isn’t so wrong after all.

So in saying all of that, this blog is not about how you shouldn’t parent, we have enough of those. This blog is about what you CAN do. Here is a little tool kit of things you can say instead of ‘good job’ and even if you do say good job from time to time. It’s not a biggie, the parenting police won’t come and get you. I promise.

What to say when they’ve done something helpful.

Thank you for that

I really appreciate your help

That was really helpful

Because you did X we can now do Y

That was very kind

It really helps me when you do X

It’s really nice when you help me out

Doing X makes me feel good

I love helping you

When they achieved something great or they impress you

Look you did it
Did that feel good?

I am really impressed at how you (be specific)

I can see what you did there

I see that you did x y z

It looks like you thought really hard about that

I can see you put a lot of effort into that

Wow, look at all of those colours/shapes etc

I see that you did this and look what happened

You have been practicing that for a long time

You worked really hard on that and I can tell!

Wow, how many colours did you use?

How did you do that?

I’m impressed, how do you feel about that?

Tell me about what you did.


When they show empathy and kindness

I bet x felt really great when you shared that with them
It feels nice when your brother sister is smiles doesn’t it

Look at your brother smile, he loves playing with you

It makes me so happy when you share with me

That cuddle made me feel happy

That was very kind to share your x with y

General praise (for those little achievements in life)

I see you worked together to do this

I see you thought really hard about that

How exciting for you

I like to see you thinking about things

I really like to see you play

Seeing you enjoy your game makes me happy

I bet that feels much better now that you pooped/changed your clothes/wiped nose etc

Does that feel better?

Now that you’ve done x, y happened

If in doubt.

Be specific – if you’re going to praise make it very specific rather than a general ‘good job’
Don’t assign a grade or rating (good/bad etc)

Speak from the heart - if you are impressed then say it

Ask questions – people love it when you are interested in what they are doing

Make observations – just stating what you see can be perfect in itself

Talk about consequences – doing this resulted in this

Say nothing and just enjoy being in their creative space

It takes a bit of practice and sometimes I am lost for words, or my comments come out garbled. Sometimes I miss an opportunity to appeal to their inner motivation and fall back on old habits, but it doesn't matter. Sometimes parenting is just about enjoying each moment as it passes and then moving on to the next one. I have noticed a shift in my sons confidence levels since changing my language and that has been nice. It's like watching a flower unfold. Worth a shot?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Toddler First Aid

My youngest son is now on the move. Unlike his older brother who was walking at 9 months, he has remained a crawler, but he has mastered the art form! It won't be long before he is on his feet and we will be into the realm of bumps, bruises, scratches, grazes and boo boos of all shapes and sizes. Toddlers are accident prone, some more than others. In general they are pretty resilient but sometimes a day doesn’t go by when I have to soothe a sore child or apply a little home first aid for a variety of ills. Being trained in a first aid course is a big weight off of my mind as I know what to do in the immediate situation when something serious (or not so serious) happens. But how do we deal with the numerous small injuries that toddlers seems to collect on a daily basis?

Here is a little run down of the first aid items I have at home to help out with the daily battleground.

Hydrogen Peroxide.

This used to be a mainstay in our house for use on any wounds that resisted healing, I would no longer recommend it for anything and everything but it does have a very specific use. My brother also used it to give himself bleached tips, but that’s another story. Hydrogen peroxide is the best cleaning agent for deep puncture wounds as it naturally lifts dead material and debris in a cleaning action. It oxygenates the wound, preventing bad bacteria from replicating and taking over. It prevents anaerobic bacteria from being healed into a wound which means it is ideal for tetanus protection as the tetanus bacteria (Clostridium tetani) proliferates in an anaerobic environment.

What for: Deep wounds to prevent tetanus

How to use: Hydrogen peroxide is used to irrigate the wound with a syringe until it stops bubbling, repeat if the area closes over before the infection leaves. For shallower wounds it can be blotted on or used to bathe the area. For really deep wounds you want to soak the area in warm water to really clean the wound out at least twice a day and you can add epsom salts if you have it on hand. Hydrogen peroxide is like a one shot bullet, single use only. Used repeatedly on wounds it will actually inhibit healing as it inhibits granulation and lifts natural scabbing.

Where: Hydrogen peroxide at 6% strength can be purchased from most pharmacies for use you want to dilute it to 1.5% (1 part h2o2 to 3 parts h2o)

Home version: Some diluted cider vinegar will sub in for hydrogen peroxide at a pinch but it doesn't have the oxygenating effect.

Hydrogen Peroxide or h2o2
Calendula & Hypericum – Hypercal

Calendula and Hypericum are both excellent skin healers, you can buy them independently as salves or as a combination known as hypercal. Hypercal is the Porsche of wound healing. I have the tincture in my medicine cabinet and add a few drops to water before I cleanse wounds and scrapes. Calendula is a natural astringent and antibacterial, hypericum perforatum is also known as St Johns wort and is commonly used as an antidepressant however it is also excellent at healing skin lesions and ameliorating pain and swelling. So the combination of Hypericum and Calendula is really ideal for all of those common childhood war wounds.

What for: Cuts, grazes and scratches

How to use: Use the tincture diluted in water to clean wounds or apply to rashes and grazes. The lotion can be applied throughout healing process as required.

Where: I get my hypercal tincture from Similimum, one bottle lasts an AGE.

Home version:
If you have a calendula or pot marigold plant in the garden you can make a quick paste using a mortar and pestle out of the crushed petals and virgin coconut oil to apply to the wound.

St Johns wort, Hypericum perforatum
Pot marigold, Calendula officinalis


Children often get into mischief with plants or substances that cause irritation especially in spring when everything is blossoming and blooming. Chickweed is a common garden weed and is a marvellous antipruritic and vulnerary that can be applied to rashes, itchy bites, stings and hives. It soothes the skin and takes the heat and swelling out of any irritation.

What for: Rashes, hives, irritations, and itchy bites. Can be used for stings after the sting has been removed and a bentonite clay poultice has been applied.

How to use: Apply directly to skin as required to soothe itching.

Where to buy: Thymeheal do an excellent chickweed salve which has thyme, peppermint and lavender. If you are sensitive to peppermint and have a serious itch to scratch then my personal favourite is the Artemis Itch Calm which is a soothing lotion rather than a balm.

Home version: A handful of chickweed from the garden, crushed up before applying to the irritation is a fabulous instant cure for an itch.

Chickweed, Stellaria Media

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that has a gel in its leaves; this gel is incredibly soothing for burns and can be used topically, directly from the plant. It both soothes the skin as an emollient and encourages healing as a cell proliferant, as well as providing improved blood flow to the skin to promote healing. Be wary of commercial sunburn mixes as these are often for cosmetic purposes only and will contain alcohol which will sting when applied to burns.

What for: Burns of any type including sunburn.

How to use: First aid for burns is cool or tepid running water for 10 minutes. If you have a heat burn bigger than the size of your baby’s hand then call an ambulance. Once the burn has cooled you can apply aloe vera directly the area to aid healing.

Where: A handy healing spray on mist you can use is Lifestream Biogenic Aloe vera mist with Vitamin E, in addition to Vitamin E which assists in skin healing, it has chamomile and cucumber to soothe and witch hazel as a natural astringent.

Home version: Grab a leaf directly from the Aloe vera plant and peel once side before applying directly to the wound. If you don’t have a plant but do have some digestive aloe vera juice in the fridge you can use this as well.

Aloe vera, Aloevera Barbadensis

Clay powder (bentonite)

Bentonite clay is a powerful drawing substance, due to the shape of its molecular structure and it’s negative ionic charge it draws toxins and foreign substances out of the body when used as a poultice. Useful for stings and bug bites as it can draw organic substances out of the wound. Clays are tiny flakes of silicate rock weathered from glassy lava beds, calcium bentonite is useful as it specifically targets bacteria and has a strong ‘drawing’ effect. It is also used for facemasks and clay baths to detoxify and cleanse skin. It is great for acne as well as first aid.

What for: Splinters, boils, stings, bites, ingrown hairs, septic wounds, cysts and slow healing closed wounds.

How to use: Mix the clay with a little water until it is a paste and apply to the area required. While it dries it should draw the toxins out and bring splinters closer to the surface

Where to buy: Go native sell a really high quality bentonite clay suitable for detox and first aid purposes. It is a completely natural sun dried magnesium-rich, volcanic-origin smectite which is taken from the ground and milled to 325 mesh.
Home version: Making baking soda into a paste will have a similar effect but is not as powerful at drawing. 
Calcium Bentonite clay

Saline solution

Saline solution is basically a salt water mix that is used to flush wounds and clean mucosal membranes. You can make a homemade solution, but every first aid kit should have a few tubes of saline for emergency use.

What for: Flushing wounds

How to use: break the end off of the tube and use to rinse wounds

Where to buy: You can get saline from most pharmacies or first aid kit suppliers

Home version: Home made saline can be made by mixing 1 cup of boiling water with a teaspoon of salt and allowing to cool. This keeps for a few days in a sealed container or can be used immediately it reaches an appropriate temperature.

Saline solution

Witch hazel:

Despite its ominous name, Witch Hazel is a helpful plant and is a really handy thing to have on the shelf for big bleeds and swelling. It is highly astringent and applied directly to a profusely bleeding wound (scalps are notorious for this) or a quickly swelling limb, it can stop the bleeding much more quickly than usual. Witch hazel is also excellent for flushing eyes out when they have been injured but not if it is the alcoholic tincture. Understandably that would smart more than a little! If it is obvious to you that the bleeding is out of hand then you need to call an ambulance.

What for: Profuse bleeds and serious swelling

How to use: Pour some onto a sterile cloth or cotton pad and apply as a compress to a wound or swollen area.

Where to buy: Go native sell a certified organic witch hazel suitable for wound treatment.

Home version: Strong black tea is also rich in tannins and will have a similar effect. If you happen to have a witch hazel tree outside you can make your own decocotion from bark and leaves, this will only keep for a few days in the fridge but is excellent for rinsing out eyes.

Witch hazel, Hamamelis virginiana

Manuka honey with UMF

Active manuka honey is a powerful antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral. For it to be effective it must have a UMF(unique manuka factor) rating. The higher the rating the more effective the honey is (and the more expensive it is). Manuka honey has been shown to be particularly effective against staph infections and festering wounds. Excellent to put on boils and sores or anything that is taking a long time to heal. Manuka honey is also excellent to have in the kit to deal with serious blood sugar lows and to assist with painful procedures such as splinter removal because sweet things are shown to offer immediate pain relief for acute pain.

What for: Slow festering wounds and infections like Staph or MRSA

How to use: Apply liberally to the wound and then cover with a light bandage if it’s in a ‘high use’ area. Change the dressing at least twice a day gently washing the wound in between.

Where to buy: J.Friend and Co is a New Zealand artisan honey company that do a UMF 10+ and a UMF 15+ both suitable to include in a first aid kit. When you buy your honey you can see where it was collected and who owns the hives. What could be better than that?

Home version: If you don’t have any fancy Manuka honey then any honey will do as even standard honey has antimicrobial effects although not nearly as powerful as Manuka honey. The cheaper and more processed the honey is the less effective it is.

Manuka Honey

Rescue remedy

Rescue remedy is a bach flower remedy made with a combination of flower essences that are specifically helpful for moments of panic, anxiety and shock. These flowers are Rock Rose, Cherry plum, Clematis, Impatiens and Star of Bethlehem. Excellent for accidents or to soothe children before dressing a wound. Also handy to have for emotional storms and tantrums.

What for: Shock or fright

How to use: Spray 2 sprays to under the tongue. For very small infants and children you can spray it onto the back of their head.

Where to buy: Healthpost is my all time favourite one stop shop for most health products, it helps that they operate out of my old home town! They do a self branded Rescue Remedy which is great value for money. Many of the other remedies listed here can be purchased from Healthpost which makes setting up your own first aid kit much simpler!

Home version: A sweet lozenge or spoon full of honey can soothe a panicked child. Massage and acupressure can also be used to settle or relieve pain. Another trick is to bruise Rosemary between your palms and take a deep breath of it.

Rock rose, Clematis, Star of Bethlehem, Cherry plum, Impatiens


Arnica Montana is a plant that grows in the mountains, its healing properties were first identified when the local people noticed the wild mountain goats would consume it when they experienced falls but at no other time. Arnica is one of the most commonly used remedies for bumps and bruises. It works by stimulating the activity of white blood cells which process congested blood, and by dispersing trapped fluids from joints,muscles, and bruised tissue. It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial qualities and it is these that help to reduce pain and swelling as well as improving wound healing.

What for: Bumps and bruises

How to use: Apply the cream liberally to the bruised area as soon as possible after the accident occurs. Do not use on open wounds or broken skin. Homeopathic Arnica pilules can be taken internally and I often dose with both, the sweetness of the pilules certainly distract from any pain!

Where to buy: Simillimum homeopathic pharmacy do a 10% Arnica cream which is good value for money and very effective. They also supply arnica pilules in 30c strength which is suitable for most around the home bumps and bruises.

Home version: Use your R.I.C.E (rest, elevation, ice and compression) for bruised areas, a dilution of vinegar and water applied to the site as well as consuming lots of garlic can help the bruise fade more quickly.

Arnica Montana


Comfrey is a potent healer for ligaments, joints and bones, in fact its hedge name is ‘knit bone’ for it's ability to heal bones and tendons. It is a strong astringent so is excellent for resolving any internal bleeding or large bruises such as haematoma. Comfrey is rich in allantoin and is one of the best cell proliferants in the herbal kingdom which makes it the ideal remedy when there is any damage from strains and sprains that need to be healed. The leaves are also rich in mucilage which is a binding agent and a demulcent.

What for: Extended bruising and haematoma, strains, sprains and fractures.

How to use: Apply a comfrey cream or salve directly to the damaged area and repeat a few times a day. It's important to not apply comfrey to a bone that has not been set correctly as it can facilitate healing on a bad join. Most home use will be on smaller injuries anyway!

Where to buy: Kiwiherb are the foremost herbal dispensary in New Zealand and they do an excellent comfrey ointment made with certified organic sunflower oil.

Home version: A poultice made out of lightly steamed and chopped comfrey leaves is a powerful healer, and when you have some serious healing to do the roots can be mashed up and applied directly to the wounded region along with the leaves. Crushing the leaves releases a thick stringy goop which is the binding and healing agent. This component will also draw open wounds closed and bind it up. For large wounds I suggest seeing a Doctor before taking any action yourself, however once a wound has been treated conventionally you can still use comfrey during the healing process. Comfrey can also be taken internally but I would only recommend this under the supervision of a naturopath. Interestingly Comfrey leaves used to be battered and fried as an alternative to fish during the leaner years of the great depression as it has a similar flavour.

Comfrey, Symphytum offinalis


Lavender essential oil is a fabulous item to have in any first aid kid because of its versatility. It is a pain reliever, a healing agent, vulenary, antiseptic and even an antidepressant. The cicatrizant properties make lavender excellent for wound healing and helping to treat eczema and psoriasis where there is open weeping skin.
A few drops on a warm facecloth applied to the temples can relieve headache, a little massaged into the skin with some carrier oil can relieve pain and stress, applied neat to wounds it can relieve pain, itching as well as aid healing. Lavender oil is renowned for its ability to help heal burns. Once first aid has been used lavender oil can be applied to healing skin neat (do not use other carrier oils with it as they pull the heat into the wound)

What for: Burns, wounds, weeping rashes, eczema and tension.

How to use: Apply neat to skin (one of the only essential oils that can be used this way) or diluted with a little carrier oil. Even sniffing the bottle can relieve tension and stress.

Where: I use a specific genus of lavender oil call Pacific Blue from Arbordale Lavender farm. This is a very gentle and safe lavender oil which is low in camphor and can be used neat even on very small children. Cheap lavender oils are made in spike lavender which is not only high in camphor but low in healing properties. Many people find that spike lavender will give them headaches.  To order contact Arbordale Lavender Farm on 03  4896191

Home version: If you have a lavender bush then you can bruise a few flowers and inhale them or make a tea from the flower heads to bathe wounds and burns in (make sure the water is cool or tepid)

Lavender, Lavandula angustifolia

Manuka or teatree oil

Manuka oil is a powerful antifingal, anti septic, and anti microbial. I consider manuka oil to be the ‘big guns’ of infection management. Teatree oil is more commonly used but I like to use Manuka oil as it is a native to New Zealand and their properties are almost identical with Manuka oil actually being more powerful in the antifungal and antibacterial areas. The active component responsible for most of Manuka oil’s healing properties is the The β-triketone complex. This is a powerful complex and is currently being studied with great interest. Manuka oil has the ability to ability to fight all microorganisms including gram negative and gram positive bacteria. Manuka also comes with analgesic properties to ameliorate pain.

What for: Festering wounds that won’t heal or as a topical disinfectant for wounds after cleansing such as bedsores, festering splinters, abscesses and carbuncles. Because of its antifungal properties Manuka oil is also great for ringworm, athletes foot and impetigo.

How to use: This oil is powerful and should not be used neat. A few drops mixed in with warm water to bathe a wound or a few drops in some carrier oil is sufficient.

Where to get it: My favourite brand to use is New Zealand Coromandel Mountains Tea Tree oil which is made from a blend of Manuka and Kanuka oils in the Coromandel and is hand harvested. It is Biogrow certified organic and a top quality essential oil.

Home version: Not much matches up to the powerful nature of Manuka oil, if you have a Kanuka or Manuka tree in the garden then you can use the leaves and bark to make a decoction which can be used topically. Manuka tea also makes a great mouthwash to combat gingivitis.
Manuka, Leptospermum scoparium

Chamomile is a powerful pain reliever and mild sedative, Peter Rabbit was soothed with a cup of chamomile tea after over indulging and so chamomile tea is an excellent carminative and digestive aid for upset tummies. Chamomile tea can be used topically to relieve pain or internally for gastro upsets. It is also good for soothing grumpy children, for teething dramas and to aid in sleep and rest. Every first aid kit for children should have some dried chamomile in it for these reasons.

What for: Tantrums, tummies, teething and pain

How to use: If you have chamomile teabags you can dip them in warm water before applying directly to sore spot. For tummies, teething and tantrums it is best given as a tea and can be easily made up like any other tea. Giving children a small cloth bag of chamomile to sniff if they are having a grouchy day can help lift their mood and the same bag under a pillow will help with sleep and sweet dreams.

Where to buy: My absolute favourite chamomile tea is Artemis baby gripe tea as it also has the added benefits of aniseed, fennel, licorice, peppermint, dandelion and cinnamon. All of these ingredients aid digestion and soothe troubled minds. The plants used are processed to maintain full potency and not diluted with fillers such as fruit fragments or poor quality flowers. Note: if your baby has reflux then I would avoid this mixture and go straight to pure chamomile flowers as peppermint can relax the oesophageal valve worsening any reflux.

Home version: Any chamomile tea will do though most commercial brands are weak, if you have a plant out the back then so much the better. A handful of flowers in warm water makes a perfect panacea.

Chamomile, Matricaria recutita

First Aid Kit in a Jar

Pot of Gold Skin Balm made with Pine Rosin and Grapefruit peel extract is the perfect one stop shop for most Boo boos and is the perfect size to fit in a purse or nappy bag. The ingredients in Pot of Gold aid healing both internally and externally. It is also a great chapped lip balm and soother for skin issues. The ideal one stop shop.

Other useful things

Wheat bag – great for warming poultices and soothing sprains
Matches – used to sterilise needles and tweezers for splinter extraction
Needles – for splinter extraction
Sharp scissors – to cut bandages and remove clothes
Wound tape – to hold wounds closed
Physio tape – to strap a twisted or sore joint still
Tweezers – to help clean wounds and remove sforeign bodies
Gloves – to protect you from infection or damage
Wound dressing – to place over wounds once treated
Alcohol wipes – to sterilise the skin around a wound
Syringes – for use with irrigation and dosage
Reading glasses – any cheap high magnification ones are excellent for seeing small wounds and splinters
Crepe bandages - no first aid kit is complete without a crepe bandage
Large cloth - used for supporting limbs or making slings. A belt or scarf will also do

How to make a homemade poultice

Poultices warm or cool, drawing or healing are an excellent home tool to use for treating injuries with herbs from the garden. Every first aid kit should have half a dozen squares of clean cotton to use for poultices. An old sheet cut into 40cm squares is ideal but any hemmed cotton squares or rectangles will do. To make a poultice you simply encase the macerated herbs in the middle of the cloth and roll it up before placing on the injury. If the area harmed is a limb you can use the longer tails to tie the cloth on or secure it with some gladwrap. If you are using a liquid or decoction for the poultice you simply soak the cloth in the liquid before folding it up and placing it on the injury. To keep the poultice warm you can use a wheat bag or hot water bottle placed over the back of the poultice. Some poultices you can leave over night but ideally they will be changed every couple of hours, especially if it is a drawing poultice. A drawing poultice is designed to pull infection, foreign objects and toxins out of the body. A healing poultice is designed to bathe the injury in a healing medium. Most poultices will do both.

Product Key:

1. Lifestream Biogenic Aloe vera mist
2. Simillimum Hypercal tincture
3. Go Native Witch Hazel
4. J.Friend & Co Manuka Honey 10+ UMF

5. Artemis Itch Calm ointment
6. Simillimum Arnica cream
7. Kiwiherb Comfrey ointment
8. Simillimum Arnica pilules 30c
9. Arbordale Pacific Blue Lavender Essential Oil
10. Health Post Bach Flower Rescue Remedy
11. Go Native Calcium Bentonite Clay (packaging differs from standard retail)
12. New Zealand Coromandel Mountains Tea Tree - Manuka and Kanuka Essential oil
13. Thymeheal Chickweed cream
14. Artemis Baby Gripe tea

15.Home Essentials hydrogen peroxide

Not numbered: Pot of Gold Skin Balm

I have put together my ideal first aid kit based on the products I would use and consider to be the best for the job. If you like what you see then comment on this blog post before January 7 and you will be in to win this entire set. Entries are open world wide. Please note the final prize may differ from this image. Some items such as matches, tweezers and bandages may not be included in the final item. If you are an overseas winner it is your responsibility to ensure you check that all items will be allowed into the country and cleared through customs.

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1. By entering the competition or promotion each entrant will be deemed to have accepted these terms and conditions and to have agreed to be bound by them.

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8. Full details of the prize items can be found on respective websites as detailed above9. Only entries received by the closing date 7 January 2013 will be accepted.
10. Winners will be drawn on in Dunedin, New Zealand on 31 January 2013
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

30 Ways with Puree

Having gone the Baby Led Weaning route we didn’t have a big use for purees and mashed food. However with our first boy I had stocked up on a whole lot of it intending to make my own delicious organic alternatives. My mum in law also kept our freezer well stocked in lovely seasonal produce that she had lovingly stewed and sieved. So once it became apparent we didn’t have a lot of use for it I devised a number of interesting ways to dispose of our lovely purees.

1. Freeze it into iceblocks, my sons love iceblocks in the bath and puree makes excellent non drip iceblocks.

2. Instead of sugar laden jam, use fruit purees to spread on toast.

3. I love porridge with a little fruit on the side, fruit puree is a low sugar healthy alternative.

4. A lot of baked goods are high in fat, you can use fruit puree to replace oil or butter content without losing moistness or flavour. These brownies are a great example made with black beans and prune puree.

5. Replacing eggs, just as above eggs are often used to put moistness into baking. If you run out, open a jar of puree instead. This muffin recipe is healthy and delicious.

6. If you have a dehydrator, fruit puree makes an excellent fruit leather for lunch snacks.

7. Cold cuts of meat or roasts are lovely with a side of fruit.

8. Edible finger painting, a fun game that you can lick off of your fingers when finished. Sensory fun for all.

9. If you have a really yummy fruit puree you can freeze it into icecubes for smoothies

10. Mixing fruit puree with chia seeds makes a delicious and nutritious jam.

11. If your child is all about the finger food, fruit puree makes a great dipping sauce

12. We have just discovered the addictive nature of tomato sauce in this household. Mixing it 50/50 with fruit or vegetable puree (carrots is my fave) is a great way of reducing sugar and salt intake while keeping that great t-sauce flavour.

13. If you are making a soup, stew, casserole or pasta sauces then puree can really bump up the veggie content and the flavour.

14. Instead of buying fruit yoghurt pots that are mostly sugar, add a little fruit puree to natural yoghurt. Yum

15. If you have a massive stash of apple puree then you can make apple butter.

16. If you have any savoury purees they can easily be added to rice or quinoa to make a nutritious risotto.

17. When you’ve had a stressful day with the kids a fruit puree will make a lovely face masque.

18. If you have guests coming over and have nothing for dessert ,then a packet of pastry and a jar of puree will whip up to a delicious batch of Apple McGinties in less than 15 minutes. Just spread the puree on one sheet, top with another sheet, bake, and done. Voila!

19. Add to apple pies or strudels for bulk when you are low on fresh fruit.

20. Make these yummy flapjacks to put into lunch boxes instead of sugary muesli bars. (just replace puree for juice)

21. On a hot day you can use fruit puree icecubes to make this delicious food processor sorbet

22. Stacked with icecream and cream in a parfait glass a puree will become a not so naughty dessert.

23. Soak some oats, grains and dried fruit overnight with a splash of water and some puree. You will have a delicious bircher muesli for breakfast.

24. A great child friendly dessert is this tasty baked apple custard with puree instead of diced apple.

25. When you’ve had one of those days use some of those fruit icecubes to chill yourself a delicious appletini.

26. If you have a teething baby fruit pure makes an excellent and edible frozen teether.

27. On a cold and rainy day make this divine black bean soup and instead of orange juice you can use an apricot or nectarine fruit puree.

28. Make this delicious small batch fruit chutney.

29. Pancakes are my favourite breakfast, topped with fruit puree they are a little less naughty.

30. Fruit puree makes a fabulous marinade for chops or chicken bits and an excellent glaze for hams.

And if all else fails. I guess you can bathe in it?