I love Thai food.
I am currently doing the CHEW Trim Down together with a bunch of lovely parents and professionals, and when I shared this creation in our fb group the requests for the recipe came in. Easier said than done as really I just played in my kitchen, made it up as I went along and surprisingly created… this dish of deliciousness!
The focus of the CHEW Trim Down program is on resourcing the body with what it really needs and as far as food goes, being intentionally intelligent about the food we eat: food that nourishes bodies and minds. This dish does it – low GI, colourful, taste sensations and adaptable to your own level of spice-tolerance.
Ingredients – adjust depending on how many (and how hungry) people you want to feed!
- red onion (1/2) sliced v v thin
- yellow pepper (1/2) sliced v v thin
- orange pepper (1/4) sliced v v thin
- celery (1 stick) chopped into 1 inch pieces and sliced v v thin
- garlic (3 cloves) crushed
- ginger (1 inch) chopped very small (use powdered if you don’t have the real deal – although real is always best 😉 )
- chilli – chopped very small or dried chilli flakes (to taste)
- coconut oil
- fish stock cube (1 – GF)
- coconut milk (1/2 can)
- thai fish sauce (tiny bit!!)
- carrot (1 per person) Spiralized with a Julienne Peeler
- prawns (1/2 small packet)
- mango (1/2 per person) cubed
What I did
- Get ready! Act like a TV chef and get everything chopped, sliced and ready to go before you start. This takes some time, but once the pan is on, it is quick going.
- Heat 1 knob of coconut oil in a casserole – type pan. When melted, add the ginger, garlic and chillies if you are using them. Cook + stir spices together for about 1 minute.
- Add the sliced veg to the spices and cook for about 1-2 minutes until they just begin to soften but are still crunchy.
- Pour in the coconut milk and stir as it heats up. Mix the fish stock cube with a small amount of boiling water and add this to the pan.
- Add a dash of the Thai fish sauce – (I have learnt from past experience always to pour it into the lid then into the pan… straight from the bottle into pan seems to ask for trouble as a little goes a long way!)
- Heat more coconut oil in a separate small frying pan and saute the Julienned carrot for 2-3 minutes until bendy. You can sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds if you have them.
- Add the prawns to the pot and warm through in the liquid concoction. Just before serving add the mango chunks too.
- Either mix the carrot into the big pot and serve all mixed together, or put it in a bowl with ladles of the laksa on top.
Enjoy each and every mouthful – savour the moment.
WOW!! Looks full of light and fun and scrummm!!
Yes, yes it is. x
P.S. Want to know more about the CHEW Trim Down? Get in touch
Last time I mentioned the number one mistake that parents make over and over again when it comes to children who are scared about going to bed. You can read it again here.
When we stop and think about it. No one would want a child to be scared in their own home. There are sadly, way too many children who understandably find bedtime incredibly scary for all the wrong reasons – but supporting children who have been through trauma is for our next and final blog in this sleep series.
Right now, I am thinking about all the children who don’t want to go to bed and find it hard to sleep because of their room. By day their room can be their favourite place to be. By night, it can become their worst.
If you have used the communication script (downloaded from the last blog) to really connect with your child through their fear, instead of isolating them and forcing them to deal with it on their own, then you may have found out that the reason they don’t want to go to bed is because they are scared.
For many children, they are scared about things under their bed, things in the cupboard, things behind the curtains, or outside the window. Children can be scared of anything – the dark, sights, sounds or even smells, and we don’t help them if we judge or belittle those fears.
The worst thing to do is to tell your child there is ‘no need to be scared’.
You are the grown up. You would just reinforce that grown-ups know everything and you think they are being silly/stupid. Your child will hear a message from you that ‘being scared is wrong’. In fact that can get extrapolated into believing that any of their uncomfortable feelings are wrong. None of the parents I have worked with have wanted their child to feel that way – but still it can be hard to know how to respond for their best.
What if there was one conversation – with just a few simple things that you can say, that could change the whole thing?
The good news is there is. It is a magic conversation. What is really interesting is that it wont be YOU doing the unlocking. Time and time again, I have found children have the answers inside them to overcome these bedroom fears – all they need is someone to help them with some presence, empathy, understanding, belief and good questions.
Get the magic communication for bedroom fears by clicking the box below.
Communication Cues to Overcome Bedroom Fears. Get FREE download here
This amazing technique will build a closer bond between you and your child, increase their pride and their sense of empowerment... Oh and likely will help them sleep much better too 😉
This conversation, when done right, has been like magic in many scary bedrooms of children I have supported over the years. Do let me know how it goes in your house.
Did you miss the previous Blogs in the SLEEP SERIES?
Sleep 101 – 3 Essential Foundations for a Better Bedtime
Sleep 201 – Fighting the REAL ENEMY + the number 1 mistake parents make around bedtime fears
Sleep 401 – about nightmares and sleep trouble after trauma – is coming very soon! People on the mailing list will get notified when it is posted. Want it too? You can sign up here.
Sometimes parents or education professionals feel overwhelmed.
It can be so easy to have stuff going on and feel like you don’t know which way to turn, what to do for the best, or even what the real options are.
Whether it’s about you, your child, or something else, your family and friends – if you have the courage to talk to them – will no doubt give you lots of opinions (!) but may find it hard to give you sound, un-biased advice.
And yet sometimes just 1 significant conversation can be all you need to get clarity, courage or confidence for your next step.
That’s when it could be time for your : 1 significant conversation.
- Feel like you have things going on and would really love to talk it through and be heard by someone who actually gets it?
- Wish there was a way of getting an independent, expert, professional opinion from someone who has your (and your child’s) best interest at heart?
- Wish you could get some support to help you clarify what your options are and which is your best next step?
- Wish you could speak to someone – off the record – so it wont get back to the school playground or staff room.
Now you CAN.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to chat with you and share my story.
Not only was it really helpful to talk things through and discuss my families difficulties but the suggestions you made and your perspective of what may be triggering certain reactions in our family was really insightful.
I feel really empowered by our conversation.
Thank you again
“Sounds just what I need – WHAT DO I DO now?”
If you want to take advantage of a FREE 30 minute SIGNIFICANT CONVERSATION with CHEW Initiatives Director, Claire Wilson, then fill in the form below and we will be in touch to arrange a convenient time.
NB : There are only a limited number of Conversations available each week, so bare in mind, you may not be able to get one immediately.
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Many, many children go through a stage in their development when they don’t like going to bed, and the reasons can be many and varied.
Parents often tell me their children are generally fine and ‘the behaviour’ only begins when it is time to start the bedtime routine.
One dad I spoke to described in detail the battle that ensued between him and his daughter. Her delaying tactics were many and varied (and quite standard repertoire); refusing to go up the stairs; refusing to get into bed; distraction techniques; food requests; drink requests and refusing to sleep without the light on.
He was annoyed that it was such a palava and cross that she wouldn’t just do what she was told and go to bed/sleep.
I have had this same conversation many times with mums too, over the years.
When I asked him why his daughter didn’t like going to bed, he looked at me blankly.
It was a question he didn’t have the answer to.
He had never stopped to find out.
Like so many parents, he was getting sucked into the ‘bed-time-battle’, thinking that this un-cooperative child was the foe to be avenged, for the prize of a quiet evening and some child-free time.
This picture is so common it is scary.
Scary? Because it means there are so many children resisting going to bed for reasons only they know. If no one else knows then they are not being understood and not being helped emotionally or practically, they are alone with the thing that is the REAL enemy. Their real challenge.
Solutions and sleep come quicker when parents and children join forces and work together.
I’m sure you have noticed, but the middle of a battle of wills between an adult and child is never a good time to ask the child what they are scared of. If they know you are already wound up (and angry with them) then they will not feel safe to tell you the truth about their anxiety.
Much better progress can be made if this conversation happens at a time when both adult and child are calm and doing something else together and bedtime is not imminent.
Want to know exactly what to say and how to say it,
to get the breakthrough you both need?
CLICK THIS BOX and get your free version of the script I give to parents.
Communiction Cues to End Bed-Time Battles. Get FREE download here
If you get to the point where your child actually tells you what is bothering them, then YOU MUST UNDERSTAND how brave they have been to tell you. At this point there is one MAJOR MISTAKE parents often make.
MISTAKE: Tell the child there is nothing to be scared of.
Remember your child plucked up all their courage to risk telling you what scares them (if they had found it easy to tell you in the first place you wouldn’t have had weeks or months of bed time battle) and now you are telling them they are wrong or stupid to be scared about that. This leaves children feeling wrong, stupid and still scared – as no one stopped being scared about something just by being told to not be scared. What TO say and do is coming soon in another post. For now just make sure you STOP and LISTEN and really HEAR them and try to imagine what it might feel like for them to have had this fear they have carried on their own and getting lots of anger from you because they couldn’t handle it alone.
Communiction Cues to End Bed-Time Battles. Get FREE download here
Previous Blogs in this Sleep Series
Sleep 101 – Essential Foundations for Good Quality Sleep
Sleep 301 and 401 coming soon!
Hinton loves routine.
Post morning run – Kong bliss before sleep…
He really does.
He has always had a sensitive temperament.
Routine helps him know where he is, what is coming next, and he likes that.
We are at the stage now where he knows there is a period of time to wait (for digestion) between breakfast and going for his run – he will come to wherever I am and lie down patiently.
He knows once I start getting my boots on or getting his walking bag together the next thing is going out the door – so he goes to the front door and sits there waiting for me.
He knows when we are back what comes next – drink, chill and stuffed frozen kong on his bed, then sleep. As we follow this routine on the vast majority of days, he is a chilled, happy, peaceful pup. IF he is asked to do something different – he will do it, but it is not too long before his confusion can become worry. I know his face and body language and behaviour languages well. I know how it can unsettle him.
AND SO IT IS… with children.
For so many children, this time of year in school is a blast – off the ‘lesson timetable’ – no spelling tests – (extra) fun versions of numeracy and lots of trips to the hall for practices… and a chance to shine at singing or acting or…
For those who are more sensitive, those who maybe quieter, those who need routine to help them feel like the world (in school at least) is safe and predictable, this can be the complete opposite.
TIPS for making these days a bit easier for everyone
- Staff need to acknowledge this time of year is fun of some and hard for others.
Get it out in the open (without making children identify outwardly which they are – because if they find it hard and their friends love it, you have just made it EVEN harder).
“Some of us really like to know what is happening every day – and when we do the same things every day we always know what is coming next. The next few days in school might be a bit tricky because things are not the usual routine we have done so far this term… but there are many things that ARE Going to stay the same.”
- Have a daily class meeting – with visual timetable so everyone knows what is coming up. For those really anxious children, going through this at the end of the day before will help, so they know what they are coming too in school the next day. NB Don’t say anything you can’t promise to happen…
- Remind everyone that they can come and tell you or other support staff if they are worried or would like to know about anything. (Don’t assume they will just do this – often they won’t).
- Watch for the worry, confusion, anxiety behaviours. Do you know what these are? How well can you spot them? How well do you know those children?
- Point out all the things that are staying the same in the day: (break time, lunch time, intervention groups, dinner ladies etc)
- Consider that any behaviour that emerges through these weeks, could be an expression of anxiety about less school routine OR worry about Christmas and the long holiday gap away from school support. Let’s find out if holiday worry is a factor in behaviour before we decide how much telling off this child needs?
- Have SLT in school and support staff and pastoral staff off their group timetables as much as possible to be available to pick up and support those children who need closer contact during these days.
- Having simple, practical jobs to do with, or without adult support can help to focus a worried brain and provide a small sense of control and achievement at a time when inside they might feel like drowning in emotions.
- Be aware that many children will have been told that their behaviour at school will be seen by Santa (or the Elf) and affect whether they get any presents. (This is not made up – just last week I spoke to a whole bunch of 6 year olds who are living this.)
I’m pretty sure it is not just me getting older, but I have been really struck over recent years by the amount of ‘Halloween’ in the shops and on the telly.
I’m not just talking about pumpkins and broomsticks. It seems that a more prolific and much darker element to costumes and decorations has swept through even the tamest of shops. TV programs on at prime time family viewing have had some really effective, but scary looking make up.
This year has been a long run up (I saw my first Halloween thing in a shop in August!!) to an event so many people have mixed views on…but love it or hate it, nobody, big or small, living an everyday life has been able to escape from it.
But now it is November. The parties and trick or treating are finished. It is over, and we can all start to focus on fireworks and Advent calendars… right? (Whilst possibly still munching through the masses of carving-leftover, pumpkin-based food items still in fridges/freezers).
One of the things that I have seen over and over again through my many years as a children’s therapist, is that what goes in the ‘eye gate’ stays in, until it can get properly processed.
We all understand that children shouldn’t be watching 18 horror films.
We know that certain images are not appropriate for little eyes.
But we seem to forget that what we as adults find OK, can be terrifying for children…and I’m not just talking about X-rated, or seriously scary stuff.
This is why it was so important to speak out about the impact the graphic HEADBOMZ
campaign was having on some kids.
…are just some of the TV programs children I have worked with, have watched and been bothered by. Then there are the films or computer games, and images on social media – all affecting children enough that they need to reprocess what they have seen in play therapy
[Incidentally these are things that no adult has EVER mentioned
in referral meetings as something the child is struggling with].
I know that for many children the chance to dress up and pretend to be something scary is just lots of fun.
However, just in case you are around a child who has been bothered by what they saw in relation to Halloween, or any other time of year, the tips below might help.
How to help a child stop being bothered by something fictional they have seen.
Be aware that if they have been affected by something on TV, Youtube, online else where or something in a shop that has been referred to by an adult or another child as ‘just make up‘ or ‘just a costume’ or ‘just an advert‘, admitting it has scared them will be 100 times harder.
If you tease a child for being scared, if you tell them they are being silly and there is nothing to be scared of or in any other way let them know you don’t think they should be scared, then it is likely they will not feel understood by you. It is fine for you to be clear you are not scared, but if you make them wrong for being scared when they ARE feeling scared and now they are SCARED AND WRONG, and therefore it is not safe to open up to you.
Fears that are not expressed outwardly, get trapped and distorted, and for children, often end up becoming nightmares
. It is quite possible that children who are becoming more reluctant to head to bed in these next few days and weeks may be suffering from bad dreams because of something they have seen in the last few days weeks.
Everyone gets scarred by different things. That is a fact. There isn’t one person who is never, never scared.
Hiding the things we find scary makes them bigger inside us and makes it feel like they have more power.
We can get them out in the open. Drawing or talking about or making them in play doh, junk-modelling boxes etc with people we feel safe with, is like putting the light on and they often shrink down to size. It also gives us chance to think about -or make up- their possible weaknesses (for the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz it was water).
Talk about the fact that however old we are, sometimes when we have seen something not nice on TV it can end up in our head when we are awake or in our dreams.
Ask the child to think about something that would be more powerful than the scary monster, witch, zombie etc. It can be a made-up something of course. Get them to describe in detail what makes that new power so powerful. If possible, if they feel safe with you, get them to draw it, make it (with your help?), talk and talk about it.
Then offer them the chance to create a story where the scary thing meets the good powerful thing..and let them decide how the good powerful thing will deal with the scary thing. (For many this will involve some method of killing it.)
Simply wonder out loud in a curious, but not interrogatory way, “I wonder how it feels to know that the …..(good powerful thing) was more powerful than the scary thing?” and then really listen to what the child says.
Let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear in the comments below or send me a private message
Let’s vanquish the monsters and let creative light shine to over power darkness.