Families for Life newsletter - Spring 2021

Families for Life

                              March 2021

Welcome to the first edition of Families for Life newsletter

Spring is in the air, children are back at school, lockdown is easing so it is good time to start some new activities and routines. Is there a small change you can start today to make a difference later? Read on to find out about some great ideas around physical activity to improve mental health. Also, there is a lovely recipe your child can be involved in making, which might just get them to try a new green vegetable.

In this issue

Families for Life top hacks

Bedtime routine

The wonders of sleep

Bedtime routine is an important family activity; yet it can be one of the most stressful times of the day. The coronavirus crisis might have disrupted sleep patterns even if you had a good routine before. As children are back at school it will be a good time to start a new routine. Having a regular bedtime will make it easier for everyone involved. 

Recently, experts have defined what a best practice bedtime routine should include to get children settled to sleep and promote health:

  • Brushing teeth before bed. This was considered the most important routine!
  • Time consistency for going to bed.
  • Avoiding food/drinks before bed.
  • Avoiding use of electronic devices before bed.
  • Calming activities with the child before bed, including bath, shower, talking and book reading.

Ensuring your child has enough sleep is essential for their health and wellbeing. Children who don't have enough sleep are more likely to be grumpy, irritable or hyperactive. Lack of sleep affects their growth, health, development, immune system, concentration and ability to learn. Children with inconsistent sleep schedules are more likely to be overweight. 

Further information

Feeling good tip


Let’s have more happy, healthy children

Stormbreaker aims to improve children’s mental health through movement, equipping them with sustainable, transferable skills and coping strategies. 

Today’s children move less than ever before whilst mental health issues are on the rise. This is even more so during the coronavirus epidemic than ever before.

Set up an account to get involved in Stormbreaker so your child can participate in mentally healthy movement activities. Your child will be able to progress through different awards, collecting virtual badges and printable certificates. 

Explore Stormbreaker

Living well tip

Families, Food and Feelings Parenting Group

Families, Food and Feelings Parent Group

Struggling around mealtimes? Does your child throw temper tantrums if they cannot get a treat after school? Then this group is for you. It is run by psychologists from the Brandon Centre supports parents in encouraging their children to live happy, healthy lives. The facilitators provide strategies and insight to help parents feel confident in:

  • Having routines around mealtimes
  • Helping your child to have a healthy relationship with food
  • Strengthening the relationship with your child
  • Setting boundaries 
  • Responding to challenging behaviour
  • Encouraging your child to be active
  • Meeting your child’s emotional needs as they grow and develop

This is a very safe and supportive group for parents and caregivers who live or are registered with a GP in Islington or Camden. The group runs for 6 weeks. The next programme starts on 14 April. 

Email to book a place 

Families for Life recipe

a bowl of kale crisps

Kale crisps

If your child does not like eating green veg, try kale crisps! This is a great recipe children can do with minimal help: they can remove the stems, tear the leaves and message the oil into the leaves.

While they do that they become familiar with the vegetable and having made the crisps themselves they are more likely to try it.


  • 1 large bundle curly green or purple kale or Cavalo nero
  • 1 or 2 tablespoon olive oil or rapeseed oil
  • Seasonings of choice (i.e. pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon cumin, curry powder or paprika powder)


  • Pre-heat oven to 110C.
  • Rinse and thoroughly dry kale by putting it in a tea towel and rolling it up tight squeezing out the water.
  • Tear the kale into small pieces and discard any stems. 
  • Add to a large mixing bowl, drizzle with oil and massage the kale. Add your seasonings and toss thoroughly to combine.
  • Spread the kale in a single layer over one or two baking trays and place it in the oven.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, then turn the baking tray around, and lightly toss the kale to ensure an even baking.
  • Bake for 5-10 minutes more, until kale is crispy and very slightly golden brown. You may want to turn the oven off but keep the kale in the oven a little longer if the kale can do with becoming a little more crisp. Watch closely as it can burn easily. 
  • Remove from oven and let it cool.
  • Enjoy immediately as crisps or as a sprinkle on food. Best when fresh!

Download the recipe

Services and web links

Families for Life

Families for Life

FREE Family Kitchen programmes for families with children aged 2 – 11. The programme focusses on cooking a delicious yet simple meal with your child. Ingredients paid for. New programmes will be starting over Easter, as part of Lunch Bunch, and the summer term. Book now and we'll be in touch for organise attendance at the next programme. 

Families for Life

Active Spaces

Active spaces

FREE Online Health and Wellbeing Activities for Everyone! Join the Active Spaces community to improve your health, wellbeing and connect with others. All from the comfort of your home.

Active Spaces

Child Feeding Guide

Child feeding guide

Real strategies and tools that work to tackle fussy eating and create happy mealtimes.

Child feeding guide



Easy ways for families with children aged 5 - 11 to eat well and move more.


Youth Sport Trust logo

Youth Sport Trust family activities

Easter holiday will be here soon! These 'Stay Active Staycation' resources include activities, games and challenges for all occasions and for all the family. Whether you're indoors, outdoors, at home, in a park, there's something for everyone.

Youth Sport Trust family activities

Families for Life

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