Monday, 29 April 2013

Macmillan Children's Book Raffle in aid of Farms For City Children

Axel Scheffler donates original artwork to Farms for City Children “digital raffle”

In 2013, Macmillan Children’s Books celebrates twenty years of publishing the no.1 best-selling picture book duo in the UK.  Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler are the creators of one of the nation’s best-loved characters, The Gruffalo. Since the publication of their first book together, A Squash and a Squeeze, they have written and illustrated over twenty books in twenty years.

To mark the occasion, Axel Scheffler has created a piece of 20th Anniversary artwork, which has been used across commemorative material. Macmillan Children’s Books has donated the original artwork to Farms for City Children, who are running a “digital raffle” to raise money to support their on-going work.  

Axel says:

“I’m pleased that as part of the anniversary celebrations for A Squash and a Squeeze we can help support such an appropriate charity (for those who know the book!). My artwork has been included in many charity auctions over the past twenty years, but I do like the idea that a child could win this very special piece with just £2 pocket money, rather than it going to the highest bidder.”

To enter the raffle, entrants must pay a £2 entry fee to Farms for City Children  through their MyDonate page .  The raffle closes on Monday 3rd June 2013. Full details on entering can be found  on Farms for City Children’s official website:

Farms for City Children already has a strong literary connection, author and former Children’s Laureate, Michael Morpurgo, founded the charity in 1976 with his wife Clare.

Michael says:

“I am delighted that Macmillan Children’s Books has chosen Farms for City Children to benefit from this wonderful competition celebrating the 20th anniversary of Julia Donaldson’s book, A Squash and a Squeeze. It is a delightful children’s story and it is enhanced further by the wonderful drawings of Axel Scheffler.  Any child would be so pleased – and so lucky – to win a piece of Axel’s original artwork.”

About the raffle:

The raffle is open to residents of the UK and Eire only. The closing date for entries is Monday 3rd June 2013. Entrants must pay an entry fee  of £2 to Farms for City Children via  their MyDonate page.

About Macmillan Children’s Books:

Macmillan Children’s Books is one of the UK’s leading children’s publishers. A division of Pan Macmillan, Macmillan Children’s Books publishes over 300 books a year for all age groups and is the publisher of bestselling titles by Julia Donaldson, Rod Campbell, Frank Cottrell Boyce and Eva Ibbotson. Macmillan Children’s Books has won many major awards such as the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals, the NestlĂ© Children’s Book Prize and the Blue Peter and Red House Book Awards.

About Farms for City Children:

Farms for City Children is a registered charity, founded in 1976. Its aim is to enrich the lives and develop the potential of children from cities and towns all over the country by giving them the opportunity to spend a week in the countryside on a working farm. Around 3,000 children each year live and work together for a whole seven days on one of three real farms in Devon, Gloucestershire and Pembrokeshire. They range in age from 8-14 years old.

A truly amazing prize in aid of a most worthy cause, will you be donating? 

L x

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Cook with Organix Challenge

With having 3 young( ish) children and it only seeming like five minutes ago i was weening my now 9 year old I'd like to think I have a fair grasp on the 'baby food' market, or not.
When these amazing base's where offered to us to trial I couldn't say yes fast enough. They sounded like an amazing idea, they give you the oppertunity to make quick and nutritious meals for the little folk, introducing them to new tastes and knowing they are good for their tiny insides too.
We have bought and enjoyed Organix goodies before, they haven't always gone down well, like most children we have some things they are really picky about and the 3 year old is currently on a chicken binge which means she refuses to eat anything that doesn't look like garlic bread or clucks!
We are still very much in 'trial mode' and are experimenting with the stuff we received, also whilst trying to find the time to get them involved in the cooking process and making them aware of where their food comes from and how other children in different countries eat or don't as the case may be.
We tried the Mexican rice and sweetcorn the other night with tea, I was stuck for something to give them as i was sick of offering the same thing over and over all because we have a fussy eater *glares at the 3 yr old*.

It smelt delicious whilst whizzing around the microwave, and i have to hold my hands up to having a crafty taste before dishing up and surprisingly , YUM! , I was slightly envious I wasn't getting it for tea!
It was a massive hit with Emma, our 6 yr old, she didn't leave a scrap on her plate, Zoe our 'I'm allergic to anything that isn't chicken' 3 yr old refused bluntly to even give it a taste but as she is open to pasta from time to time I'm hoping the Herby Vegetable Pasta will go down well with her, the ' I was once as picky as Zoe' 9 yr old ate about half then made up some elaborate tale of how she didn't like it because.... I zoned out at this point.
This was no surprise to me to be honest as it was in a mild Mexican sauce, she doesn't eat anything in sauce (rolls eyes) and contained veg (also something she seems suddenly allergic to) but she gave it a try and a good one at that so that's a start.
The portions where definitely generous, the pots say 2 portions and it was still more than enough for the 2 of them, I could of easily made it go an extra meal with no problems at all.
I did nothing fancy with it this time, just some cooked chicken, and it made a lovely healthy meal for them.
I am now writing the bases into a couple of recipes for our meal planner for next week to give them a good old try out, when I'm a little less pulled thin with garden laying and school work!
I will admit though that they make a great addition to the kitchen cupboard when you know you are in a rush but still want to provide a healthy and very tasty meal with little fuss and a lot less time!
Have a pop on over to the Organix website and check out their list of recipe's you can try and not just with their bases, there are also hits and tips on feeding advice, a meal planner and an online shop so you don't even have to change out of your PJ's to give them a try!!! (in fact why didn't I think of this??!)
I'd love to know what you think about organix bases, baby weening and I'd love to see your pics of your creations, send in a pic of your tiny folk enjoying your creations and you could win a sample pot of Organix base to try yourself, send your pics to and I'll add a showcase of all your tiny folk, right here.
If you have been knee deep in dirty nappies or just reaching weening age and havent heard about Organix and what they do, here's a little background for you straight from the horses mouth..

Organix, number one in Organic babyfood*, today launches Cook with Organix, a new home cooking range set to revolutionise the babyfood aisle.

Cook with Organix has been developed to help meet the growing desire amongst parents to cook their children’s food from scratch. Cook with Organix Recipe Bases provide the starting point for a meal, to which you can simply add the finishing touches and Cook with Organix Paste Pots allow you to create a meal from your own choice of ingredients, using a wide range of available recipes.

Recipe Bases and Paste Pots have been created in the Organix kitchen to give parents a helping hand to create a variety of nutritious and healthy dishes at home that will help develop their baby’s taste for real, good food.

Lucy Jackson at Organix comments: “Cooking from scratch means different things to different people, from preparing beans on toast, to cooking entirely from fresh ingredients. At Organix we understand that parents want to be able to create their little one’s meals at home using fresh ingredients, because they believe that home-cooking is best for their baby. We also understand that time can be tight and it’s not always easy to come up with different recipes every night – not to mention feeling confident in what is suitable for young children.”

For those tight on time, Recipe Bases (RRP £2.49, 200g) allow parents to add their choice of finishing touches to the recipe and cook in just 5 minutes. With a choice of Tomatoey Spaghetti, Herby Vegetable Pasta and Mexican Rice and Sweetcorn, Recipe Bases are suitable from 10 months to 3 years plus and contain two portions per tray, so parents can cook for two children, or store a portion to create a totally different meal another day.

Paste Pots (RRP £2.49, 2x48g) are a creative cooking aid for parents who have a little more time. Each pack has two different Paste Pots (each making 3-5 portions) and two simple recipes to follow, which use ingredients easily available in supermarkets. A wide range of Cook with Organix recipes are also available on the Organix website, each taking around 30 minutes to cook. Suitable from 7 months to 3 years plus, Paste Pots are available in Mild Green & Red Thai Curry, Mild Tikka & Korma and Tomatoey Red & Herby Green.

Lucy Jackson continues: “Meals for little ones should help inspire a lifelong love of good food and here at Organix we always strive to innovate and set new standards in baby food. In contrast to the limited range of a few stir-in pasta sauces usually available in supermarkets, our Cook with Organix Recipe Bases and Paste Pots offer parents more freedom and confidence to get creative in the kitchen and experiment with their little one’s cooking, as well as giving them the reassurance that they are providing the very best nutrition for their child.”

The Cook with Organix range is available in selected Tesco stores across the UK and is coming soon to other major retailers.

Thanks for stopping by..

L x