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“Are we there yet?”
It’s the old cliché but everybody who has been there, parents, carers, grandparents, uncles, aunties know that feeling when you are travelling with your child and they become restless, irritable and hungry.
With the summer holidays just around the corner, it’s good to prepare for journeys whether it be trains, planes or automobiles.
There are of course toys, colouring, sing alongs that can help keep your child(ren) entertained but snacks can also help occupy the time.
Infact research shows that snacks are important to children as their stomachs are small and they need to eat regularly to provide them with the energy they need throughout the day.  Packing healthy snacks will also mean that you will not be forced to make frequent stops and be tempted with the unhealthy fast food options or snacks such as crisps and chocolate bars which will actually make the children more irritable and fussy in the car.
Below we have listed a few snack ideas for any journey which are practical (not messy) and healthy:
Popcorn:  Depending on how it is prepared, popcorn is an ideal snack. It can be low calorie, is a whole-grain and on its own has no artificial additives or preservatives and is sugar free.  Oli and Zoe’s popcorn has been designed to retain the healthy advantages popcorn offers as a snack for children.  It comes in 12g packets which is an ideal portion size for children, and is flavoured with either slight sugar or slightly salt and sugar.  Each packet is only 55 calories.  To make it more fun for the journey, perhaps get the children to make the popcorn into necklaces? 
Or use the popcorn as part of a trail mix.  Get the children involved in making their own trail mix for the journey with popcorn, oats, dried fruit and a small handful of chocolate chips
Cereal:  Cereals are a low calorie option.  They also offer a wide range of vitamins and minerals but try and choose a cereal that is not full of sugar.  Nestle’s have bought out a low sugar version of their cheerios which is ideal. Both my daughters (aged 7 and 4) have tried and enjoyed it. 
Sandwiches: If you think you will be in transit during your child’s usual lunch time, you may want to make sandwiches for a more substantial snack.  Try not to use white bread.  Multi-grain bread, pita pockets or bagels are all great alternatives.  Be creative but watch the fat content of products such as the meat slices, lean is best and try to avoid/ to keep dressing to a minimum. 
Fruit and Vegetables:  Sliced fruit and vegetables such as cucumber, carrots, apples and pears are a great idea.  This is also a good way to ensure your child is getting their 5 a day whilst travelling. 
Yogurts and cheese – good source of calcium. Yogurts that you can buy in the tubes are a great choice for practicality.  Whole-grain crackers to accompany the cheese. 
Fluid: Water is best but if you are going to use fruit juice make sure they are 100 percent juice or better still dilute the fruit juice with water.   Remember though, it is important to stay hydrated but the more they drink, the more toilet breaks will be needed

Always remember to:
Supervise your children whilst they are eating.  Any food has the potential of being a choking hazard. 
Look at the sugar and salt content even if the label says no added sugar, natural . 
Keep litter to a minimum, use re-usuable containers where possible and take a carrier bag for any rubbish. 
Hygiene: Keep children’s hands clean with hand sanitiser, baby wipes or where possible water and soap. Use ice-packs to keep food fresh
Take kitchen roll for any accidents that do happen
Depending on how long your journey is, do take regular breaks (at least every 3 hours)– not only is it unfair and unrealistic to expect your child(ren) to sit still for a long period of time YOU need those breaks too to keep you sane and allow you to enjoy the journey.
Oli and Zoe wish you a safe and happy journey.
Guest blog by Penny Koulias:  Co-owner of Oli and Zoe’s Food Co. 
twitter:  @oliandzoe

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What would you like to find at a self catering holiday cottage break to entertain the children?  What about if there are young ones, toddlers, school age kids and teenagers?  Having been through all the ages in our own family, we hope our holiday cottages have some great ideas for going on holiday with children no matter what the age or the weather. 

Here's a list of what you can expect to find and do:

Games room with table tennis downstairs, pool, air hockey, table football, PS2, x-box, DVDs, videos and TV
Plenty of board games, DVDs and books for all ages
Free wi fi access
Safe cycle storage and easy access to Peak District traffic free cycling trails
Walking from the door of the cottages suitable for all ages from easy to more challenging
Pets welcome - dog friendly facilities for up to four well behaved dogs
Local wildlife on the doorstep including ducks and brown trout to feed (adult supervision required)
Stair gates, cots, high chairs, plastic cutlery, plates and plug protectors all provided
Activities and history nearby including Go Ape, Poole's Cavern, Chatsworth House, Haddon Hall, Monsal Trail and Alton Towers
Handy practical facilities for parents include utility rooms, coat and boot storage, microwaves, plenty of food storage space, shops and pubs nearby, supermarket food delivery

Let us know what you'd like to find at your holiday cottage destination. 


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You are on your way to your holiday cottage and want to keep the kids amused. Here are a few ideas to make the journey a happy one!

Have a bag packed with a few things that you can bring out during the journey.  Don’t bring it all out at once!

These can include books, colouring books, stickers, word search games or Suduko for the older children or small toys for younger ones.  Consider packing some nursery rhyme CDs or story CDs too.

Pack some snacks

But try and avoid sugary ones.  You don’t want the children bouncing off the walls of the car!  Pieces of chopped up fruit for younger kids or whole apples for older ones are great.  Pack some bottled water too.

Every 50 miles give them something special from the ‘treat bag’.

Games for the car journey

  • Who am I? What am I?

Choose a well-known person (past or present, fictional or real). Everyone in the car has to ask you questions to guess who you are. Little ones can play too - they can choose animals or cartoon characters. You can only answer yes or no.  Try it with inanimate objects too e.g. table, chair and just say ‘what am I’ instead. You can say animal, mineral or vegetable to give a clue.

  • Eye Spy

Always a favourite and try and use items in the car or outside the car to keep it relevant. 

  • I packed my suitcase

Another favourite.  The first person chooses something that they packed in their suitcase, so I packed my suitcase and put in a book, for example, the second person has to repeat what the first person said and then add their own item.  Carry on like this until someone forgets something.  You can always help out little ones with memory jogging clues!

How about taking a disposable camera

The kids can take photos of the journey and compile a scrapbook when they get home again?  They could also extend their photo taking during the holiday too. 

Following the route

Get some copies of your route and let the children map it out with a highlighter.  Fun and educational.  You could have a map of the UK with home and the final destination marked on it and the route and places of interest on the way.

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  • Sleeps 13+2+cot
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Contact wendyboast@visitpeaks.co.uk or call 07980 390 520
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Valley View

Valley View

Valley View is a self catering holiday cottage for up to 15 people in Milldale (right in Dovedale - within 100 yards of the River Dove) in the Peak District.

Click HERE for the Valley View web site.

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Riverside House

Riverside House

Riverside House is a self catering holiday cottage for up to 12 people in Litton Mill (close to Millers Dale and Tideswell) in the Peak District.

Click HERE for the Riverside House web site (complete with its own video).

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