Nibbles with Nibboxx – Review

Breastfeeding T means that I’m always hungry, and often not for the good stuff.

Cake, biscuits and the occasional spoonful of Nutella (I know, classy) are the things I’m always going for. My body just craves the sweet stuff right now. But in reality, these cravings drive me mad; especially as I’m meant to fit back into a uniform in just over a months time. I want to want the good stuff but it just doesn’t hit the spot.

Apparently, this is quite normal, however I’m still always keen to find healthier snacks. So when the guys at Nibboxx offered to help me curve my cravings with one of their snack boxes I jumped at the chance.

Nibboxx offer the delivery of healthy snacks to your door.

img_1895-1

Snacks range from nuts to pretzels and are priced at £4.69. They also offer specific dietary boxes such as a gluten free box or a protein box, or if you’re just not sure they have a 50/50 box.

When my box arrived, I was pleasantly surprised at the size of the mini boxes inside.

img_1899

I had generous helpings of banana chips, yoghurt covered strawberries, flapjacks, and a fruit and nut mix. Alongside the snacks I also got a small piece of paper detailing the nutritional value of each item.

What I like about these boxes is how versatile they can be. Not only can you spread the boxes out throughout the week, but the snacks can be had with a number of meals.

On day one I ate the flapjacks as part of my afternoon tea “break”. Day two; the yogurt covered strawberries went with me to a friends house. Day three; the dried banana went on my breakfast cereal. And day four; the fruit and nuts went with me on a dog walk.

So if you’re anything like me and need something a little healthier but can’t/won’t decide, give Nibboxx a go.

img_1901

K

We were given a Nibboxx snack box for the purpose of a review, however all thoughts and opinions are our own. 

The Breastfeeding Chronicles – Recipes: Banana Oat Bites

In addition to what’s in my cupboard, I decided to give making my own snacks a go last week. I’m no Mary Berry, but it’s likely to be a hell of a lot cheaper, and probably healthier too!
Here’s my (not so much of a) recipe for banana oat bites:-

What you’ll need:

3 bananas
75g porridge oats (25g per banana if you wish to make smaller batches). You can add more oats if you don’t want the bites to be so spongy.
2tsp cinnamon.
1tsp honey (any other moist, sweet stuff will do. I’ve seen apple sauce used as well as coconut oil).

Method:

Break up and mash the banana.


Add the porridge oats, cinnamon, and honey. You could probably add other bits such as nuts, raisins, or chocolate chips at this stage. 

 

Mix to an even colour.

IMG_9143-0

Spoon out into even dollops.

IMG_9145-0

Cook for 15-20 minutes at 200oC (25-30 minutes if you don’t want them as spongy)

When they come out of the oven, they will continue to cook, so even if you bring them out at 30 minutes, you’ll still notice a little spring in them still just not as wobbly as cooking for 20.

IMG_9149-0

And that’s it! They’re my banana oat bites. I really like them as they use up any brown bananas (I HATE brown bananas) and they’re a nice treat any time of the day. I’m hoping to make some more but make them into bars as apposed to bites by spreading out the mixture as a slab. 

K

The Breastfeeding Chronicles – Fuel for Thought. 

You can get so hungry whilst feeding, not to mention thirsty, so it’s important that you keep well fuelled; not only for energy but for your supply. To help with this, I’ve found the simplest foods to get are the ones with pure oats in the ingredients. Not wheats or grains. Oats.

Every morning, usually whilst S is changing T, I chomp down on an oaty snack and glug a ton of water before his morning feed. Depending on how good the snack is, I can guarantee that in an hours time, the opposite boob is then quite full. I’m then able to express. This is a great routine as I’m creating a nice stash in the freezer. If the snack is shoddy then my boob isn’t as full.

Over the past 4 months I’ve tried my fair share of snacks to keep my supply up, and probably spent a small fortune on gimmicks and promises that a particular snack will boost supply, so here are my Top 5 favourite snacks to help with supply.

5) McVities Hob Nobs. Simple and cheap, although not great for the waistline. I find the supermarket’s own brand contain less oats so it’s good to stick to the brand.

4) Belvita Breakfast Biscuits (in particular the milk and cereals). With 8 in a box and then 4 in a packet, you can’t complain. I find these hold me really nicely until breakfast, especially if the feed is at 5am!

IMG_8376

3) Nairns Museli Break Oatcakes. These are quite expensive but I’ve found they’re really effective, although somewhat dry. If you have the time, spreading some jam or marmalade on top helps.

IMG_8143
2) Freidas Pantry Nursing Bars. I really love these bars as they especially tailored for nursing. They’re tasty and so moist that you don’t realise you’re eating oats and seeds. I tend to save these for before I go out or when I’ve just got home.

IMG_8533

1) McVities Oatie Bars. I got these when they were two for £1 but since they rocketed up to £2.50, McVities can kiss it if they think I’m paying out £2.50. Annoyingly, they’re really effective and like eating a good crumble topping. Yum.

I hope to try and make some of my own snacks over the next few weeks, especially as Scottish Oats are so cheap. I’ll share if they go ok!

In the meantime, what snacks help you? Have you got any receipes?

K

We were given zero compensation for the purpose of this post, we just think these products are great!


The Breastfeeding Chronicles – Freida’s Pantry Nursing Bars – Review

Ever since I started breastfeeding I always worried about my supply – I want to breastfeed as long as possible (or at least continue to pump once the teeth start to effect feeds!) so it’s vital I look after myself and keep everything in tip top condition.

I’d heard pumping at the same time as nursing was beneficial to supply/demand, so I tried that and it certainly worked when it came to the amount I could express. But I also wanted to make sure my physical supply came in regularly (and evenly) and on time for feeds, so I looked into what I could eat.

After trying several oat based products and found that some didn’t seem to change a thing (apart from my waistline) it wasn’t long before I found Freida’s Pantry.

IMG_8519
Freida’s Pantry specifically make healthy bars for breastfeeding. Packed full of typical nursing ingredients such as oats, fennel, and linseed, they’re perfect for supply, not to mention as a healthy and tasty snack.

I’d tried one a while ago at a baby show whilst I was pregnant and it tasted completely different but since trying them now, I love them! I have one every morning during or after the first feed and I find I’m suitably “full” by the time the next feed is due. It tastes primarily of aniseed (sambuca, anyone?) and has lots of lovely fruit and nuts inside.


What’s good is that I can take them with me on the go and I can almost guarantee that it will help boost my supply throughout the day. I also find it satisfies my sweet tooth and any hunger; as they’re actually quite filling, and they also seem to give me a boost of energy!

You can find the bars in most health stores but I’ve recently found that some supermarkets now stock them as well!

K

We were kindly given a few complimentary bars from Freida’s Pantry, but not for the purpose of a review – we just think they’re really tasty!

How My Days Have Changed. 

Having a baby has certainly changed the way my day looks, not to mention my priorities. Before, my biggest worry in the working week was whether there would be traffic on the roads on my way home. Now, it’s whether I’m going to have regular toilet breaks or a shower.

I watch more day time telly (it really is awful) and I can’t remember the last time I woke up after 6am. 

As a shift worker no day was the same, but there was always a routine. Now, there isn’t. Here’s what my day now looks like (based on a typical 8am-5pm shift).

Before Baby – 6am – Wake up, shower.
After Baby – 6am – Was already awake at 5am feeding T, the ride to 6am was a cat nap. No time for a shower. S is getting ready for work and I’m expressing some milk before T wakes up.

Before Baby – 6:30am – Prepare lunch. Have breakfast. Walk dog.
After Baby – 6:30am – Coffee. Twitter. Get dressed. Housework (that doesn’t require noise).

Before Baby – 7.30am – Off to work.
After Baby – 7.30am – T is awake and chatting away. After a chat, I get him dressed.

Before Baby – 8am – At work.
After Baby – 8am – Place T on his playmat and depending on his mood I’m allowed a proper breakfast of toast or cereal, with a smoothie. On a bad day, I’m allowed breakfast biscuits and a coffee.

Before Baby – 8:30am – Coffee at work.
After Baby – 8:30am – Third feed of the morning (second if you don’t count the 5am feed).

Before Baby – 9am-12am – Work.
After Baby – 9am-12am – Play, Change, Eat, Sleep, Repeat. If I’m lucky, I may be able to do some washing and have a cuppa during naps. If T is having a clingy day I have to wear him but this makes certain household tasks, not to mention toilet breaks, harder. On Mondays I meet with the mums from my post-natal group, Wednesdays I have swimming, and Fridays I have playgroup – making the mornings a military operation.

Before Baby – 12pm – Lunch consisting of a salad or a sandwich; with a yogurt and some fruit. Lunch is usually an hour.
After Baby – 12pm – Lunch consisting of quick and easy food I can eat with one hand. Healthy is not always an option. Ten minutes is all I need. Indigestion? I laugh at the pain of indigestion.

Before Baby – 1pm-3pm – Work.
After Baby – 1pm-3pm – see 9am-12pm

Before Baby – 3pm-5pm – Work, including a coffee break.
After Baby – 3pm-5pm – T’s longest nap period. Now is the time for longer pieces of housework like hoovering, as well as preparing bits for dinner. I may even fit in some blog stuff that I haven’t been able to do on the phone… shit, my phone’s battery is about to die.

Before Baby – 5pm – Finish work.
After Baby – 5pm – To make up for sleeping so long, T now cluster feeds. I’ve tried dream feeding halfway during the nap to stop this but T still cluster feeds although with long gaps between feeds.

Before Baby – 6:30pm – Been home 90 minutes already. I’ve put a wash on and prepared some dinner (at a relaxed pace) which is now in the oven or simmering on the hob.
After Baby – 6:30pm – S is going to be home at 7pm. Time to prepare dinner – quickly! (S has never ever stipulated for dinner to be “on the table” it’s just my personal preference to have it ready – I don’t want our evening to spent eating a late dinner). On a good day, I can prepare dinner quite calmly, on a bad day I have to wear T throughout cooking; limiting what I can actually cook.

Before Baby – 7pm – S is home. I serve dinner. We chat about our day.
After Baby – 7pm – S is home. Takes on nappy duty. I finish and serve dinner. We chat about our day if T is happy with that. If not, it’s cold dinner for me and onto another feed.

Before Baby – 8pm – Wash up. Settle down to watch an episode (or two) of recorded telly.
After Baby – 8pm – I wash up, S goes to get T ready for bed.

Before Baby – 8:30pm – Still watching TV. Off to bed between 9:30pm and 10pm.
After Baby – 8:30pm – Give T his final feed and it’s bed for us. We may watch a bit of telly in bed but we’re generally ready for bed as well!

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change one bit of this, I love being a family, but it’s interesting to see how our lives have changed.

How do your days differ with kids?

K

Lifesavers

Several blogging award ceremonies are now upon us. Every year, we nominate and then vote for our favourite bloggers – sometimes spending hours on one category because the category has three of your favourite blogs in it.

But where would we be without the little parenting lifesavers that have got us through the day so we could carry on blogging?

So without further ado, I present my Top 10 parenting lifesavers.

Breakfast biscuits – For when a proper breakfast is not going to happen. Without them, I would likely go hungry thanks to a mis-timed feed.

Bottle of water – ‘Nuff said.

Coffee creamer / whitener – For when a hot, milky coffee is not going to happen as soon as you’d like it. This stuff keeps hot drinks warmer for longer.

Nipple cream – In the early days, this stuff was liquid gold, especially the ones that didn’t need to be washed off before a feed.

Twitter – I’ve kept my sanity chatting to the lovely ladies and gents of Twitter. There’s either someone having the same day as you, or someone who just fancies a chat. I’ve spent many feeds stuck in the sofa with just the company of Twitter. It’s great.

Frozen meals – During the first few weeks we saved up left over portions of dinners so that if I was having a hectic day, I could just whack a meal in the oven. This has been a huge help with zero effort as all it took was cooking a larger lasagne, for example. This also saved our wallets (and waistlines) from buying takeaways!

Vanish – For those white to yellow vest days. I need to take out shares in this stuff.

Nursing Pillow – Apart from it’s obvious use, it’s also good for being a neck pillow for a last minute nap after a feed and T is on my chest. No more cricks in your neck.

Baby TV – Not my proudest life-saver, and when I caught myself letting him watch the TV I cried a little bit, but within the ten minutes I let him watch the telly during a challenging day I got to go the toilet and prepare some (decent) food. Although it is only ten minutes I still feel guilty about doing it, trust me.

My stretchy wrap – Probably my biggest life-saver. For when T doesn’t want to be put down, and I want to cook dinner. It also means I can nip to the shops without packing up the pram.

What are your parenting life savers?

K