Forest Fruits Muffin Bread

Forest Fruits Muffin Bread

Suitable for children aged 1 year and upwards. Can be kept for 4 days in an airtight container. Also freezable.

Gluten free/ wheat free, Egg free, Can easily be made dairy-free.


  • 3 cups Gluten-free oats (ground to fine flour in food processor)
  • 2 tbsp Cornflour, buckwheat flour or potato flour
  • 1/4 cup Apple or mango puree
  • 1 Small ripe banana
  • 2 cups Mixed berries
  • 1/4 cup Nannycare growing up milk (or Oat milk)
  • 2 tsp Gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 tsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Chia seeds

You will also need a 20cm cake tin lined with baking parchment.


  1. Preheat fan oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Place oat flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl and combine well.
  3. Combine banana, fruits (saving a few to decorate) and puree in a food processor. Blend until smooth.
  4. Add chia seeds and apple cider vinegar to this mixture.
  5. Combine wet and dry ingredients and transfer to baking tin.
  6. Top with reserved berries.
  7. Bake for 50-60 mins.

Helping Your 1 Year Old Sleep Through The Night

Despite common misconceptions, babies aged 12 to 18 months do not always sleep through the whole night. Instead, their sleep undergoes a series of cycles.

10-15 minutes following bedtime, your 1-year-old should settle herself to sleep. 30-45 minutes after successfully beginning sleep, the deep sleep part of the cycle has begun, typically lasting for around an hour. If your 1-year-old has not learned how to self-settle, she may wake either just before or just after this deeper part of the cycle.

Wakeful periods do occur as a normal part of your 1-year-olds sleep cycle. This typically happens at around midnight and then regular intervals thereafter into the early hours of the morning; entering an exceptionally light sleep then waking momentarily. Babies who have learned self-soothing or self-settling will find it increasingly easier to drift off to sleep by themselves after the wakeful part of the cycle. These babies have already formulated how to sleep independently.

If your 1-year-old relies on you to help settle her to sleep at bedtime with either a breastfeed, dummy, rocking, and so on, she is going to require the same treatment if she wakes during the night. The way in which you settle her for the night will predispose her expectations for wakings during the night to be able to return to sleep.

To help both you and 1-year-old have a better night, with fewer disturbances for you and your family, teach self-settling. This way your 1-year-old can become an independent sleeper. However, there is no need to leave her to cry for long periods at bedtime or during the night wakings. This simply causes distress and negative association. Instead, reassure her, then allow short periods of time for her to self-soothe. Keep returning to reassure her but do not use props such as a feed, rocking, patting and such. She will eventually learn she can sleep independently. In doing this, try to remain calm (however long it may take!).

Consistency is key! It has a vital role to play in achieving the desired result. Remember to always provide a clear message so that your baby knows what to expect.

Within 3-7 nights your 1-year-old should have learned how to get to sleep on her own and recognise her own sleep queues.

For sleep advice & personally tailored routines for babies & children of all ages, get in contact here.

Playing a musical instrument

Can playing a musical instrument determine academic success for your child?

Various research has examined the causal link between your child’s access to practicing a musical instrument and their grades in school. 11-12 year olds’ academic achievement has been found to be positively influenced by their involvement in after-school ‘arts’ activities of the musical variety. (Young, Cordes & Winner, 2014). As suggested by Schellenberg (2004), practicing a musical instrument advocates the enhancement of general intellectual ability. In his research report, children began taking music lessons (either keyboard or singing) in comparison with a control of children taking drama lessons or none at all.

The IQ of these children was recorded before and after beginning the lessons. Superior full-scale IQ was found in the children taking part in both keyboard and voice lessons, when compared with the control groups of drama and no lessons. This highlights the notion that encouraging your child to take part in extracurricular music lessons can be tremendously beneficial for intelligence and consequently academic success.

Another study highlighting this finding demonstrated the positive significance of instrumental music training in additional detail (Foregard et al., 2008). The following improvements were seemingly associated; vocabulary, fine motor skills, nonverbal reasoning and auditory discrimination (ability to distinguish differences in phonemes). It is also noted that adolescents who regularly practice a musical instrument, show significant differences in school grades as well as ambition when compared to those who do not (Hille & Schupp, 2015).

With regards to the reasons behind this link, Huttenlocher (2002) has shed some light on the idea. It appears that the reason we see this association between music practice and intelligence in school children is the great time periods of focus as well as daily attention and practice are likely to make a positive impression on cognition. As school age children sit in the critical brain development period, environmental influence is highly important. These skills acquired from learning an instrument translate into good practices academically. Studies on parents have highlighted this also as is it universally believed that practicing music promotes desirable characteristics as previously mentioned (Dai & Shader, 2001).

Some evidence has also suggested that exposure to simply a ‘musically-enriched’ rather than playing a musical instrument could also have positive cognitive effects for primary school children, such as mathematics and language. Therefore, it is apparent that music in general has multiple progressive effects for child cognition and brain development.

The proof is in the pudding with these trends we see in increased IQ when it comes to encouraging your child to take part in musical instrument lessons outside of class.


Dai, D. Y., & Schader, R. (2001). Parents’ reasons and motivations for supporting their child’s music training. Roeper Review, 24(1), 23-26.

Forgeard, M., Winner, E., Norton, A., & Schlaug, G. (2008). Practicing a musical instrument in childhood is associated with enhanced verbal ability and nonverbal reasoning. PloS one, 3(10), e3566.

Hille, A., & Schupp, J. (2015). How learning a musical instrument affects the development of skills. Economics of Education Review, 44, 56-82.

Huttenlocher, P. R. Harvard University Press; Cambridge, MA: 2002. Neural Plasticity: The Effects of Environment on the Development of the Cerebral Cortex.[Google Scholar].

Schellenberg, E. G. (2004). Music lessons enhance IQ. Psychological science, 15(8), 511-514.

Young, L. N., Cordes, S., & Winner, E. (2014). Arts involvement predicts academic achievement only when the child has a musical instrument. Educational Psychology, 34(7), 849-861.