smoothie slurping school uniform

weekend breakfast treat

There is a fury about the house as I have put the brakes on the ‘fun cereal’. What started as a means to a lie-in on a Saturday morning (leaving the open box, bowls and spoons on the table the night before) developed into a nasty habit over the summer, with at least three bowls, plus covert handfuls being consumed by Boy 1 daily. Quite apart from the scary amounts of salt and sugar in each perfectly engineered shape, or the shocking spike in rowdiness within seconds of consumption, it was the fact that our dog, who will willingly eat anything, even tangerines and cucumber peel, would not go near a Cheerio that made me take action. She is a dog and she knows they are bad. I am an educated woman knowingly feeding my growing boys junk and then complaining about the consequences. Time to act like a lurcher and turn my nose up. They are back on Ready Brek, with the following smoothie to cheer them up at weekends, when we have run out of milk, or when the bananas have all gone black:

In a jug put:

1 or 2 bananas (the ones that have come back from school uneaten in the lunch box work particularly well)

2 ice cubes (not necessary, but popular for the head freeze factor)

Any or all of the following: old grapes that nobody thinks they want to eat, a peeled, cored and sliced apple, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries (fresh or frozen).

1 spoonful of runny honey

2 tablespoons of natural yoghurt

About half a cup of fruit juice (NB NOT grapefruit)

About half a cup of porridge oats or Ready Brek

Plunge a hand blender into the mixture and blend until thoroughly mixed.

Interesting variations:

1. put the ice cubes in last, do not plunge the blender in far enough, and marvel at how quickly you can pebble dash your entire kitchen

2. substitute all of the fruit (except the bananas) with 4 teaspoons of drinking chocolate powder, and replace the fruit juice with milk.

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Beach Life

hot chocolate by the beach fire

beach boards

YES SIR, I CAN BOOGIE There are moments, at this time of year, when the sea becomes an impenetrable wall of polystyrene boogie boards, and my father reminds anyone listening that wooden ones are far superior. Understated and decidedly retro, wooden boards cut through the surf at a faster rate than their fluorescent cousins.
The, a shop and cafe on the Lizard peninsula, makes the original Cornish belly boards, £40, which it sells alongside kits for making hot chocolate on the beach (£20) and cosy recycled blankets to wrap up in when the tide has turned (£20).

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Children’s notebook: baking

Telegraph logoBaking with children is a complicated dance around the kitchen, elbows out and mixing bowl held high to keep small, greedy fingers at bay.

Cooking with kids

get your pinny on

Now that mine have mastered the hand-held electric whisk, my walls are textured with cake mixture, clinging cement-like to the tiles. But I still love cooking with them, particularly when all ingredients can be mixed together in one bowl, and I can retreat to a safe distance. Better still when everyone is in aprons, and the work surface is covered with something easy to clean. I love just about everything by the Dutch designer Sabine Engel, especially this apple apron, £13.50. read more

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