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10 ways to keep your family happy and healthy this winter 

From sleeping better with a weighted blanket, trying out new recipes and a helping hand for home schooling, to easy ways to train your dog from home and products that support pet health — these ideas will help to keep all of the family happy and healthy during the cold months ahead. 

Stock up on high-protein, no sugar snacks

Spending more time at home can make it hard to resist snacking, so make sure you’re stocked up with healthier options. Cheesies are crunchy snacks made from 100% cheese, so there’s no sugar or carbohydrates but plenty of protein. You can choose from cheddar, red Leicester, gouda, goat’s cheese and Emmental, or try them all. Available in share bags or individual packs, they’re perfect for little ones and lunchboxes — and just as good for grown ups, paired with a glass of wine in the evening. Get 15% off Cheesies Crunchy Popped Cheese with code TRYME online at Cheesies.co.uk until 30 June. 

And what about your pets?

Supplements for physical and mental health

In a time when we’re all more focused on our health, let’s not forget our furry friends. A-OK9 has a range of supplements for dogs’ physical and even mental health. The non-sedative Calm-K9 supplement is full of probiotics to support your pet’s gut health, guided by research suggesting a link between a healthy gut microbiome and calm behaviour. Calm-K9 has been carefully formulated by a team of vets, behaviourists and nutritionists to support calmness, which can help increase trainability and reduce barking. The tasty, easy-to-feed powder can be sprinkled onto your dog’s normal meals for as little as 38p per day. And if you subscribe, you can get 15% off. Head to a-ok9.com/independent 

Homeschool your dog

Lockdown and working from home have meant a huge increase in time spent between owners and their dogs. However, changing routines can lead to challenging behaviour and many owners in the UK have been unable to access training classes due to lockdown and tier restrictions. Absolute Dogs has created an online training challenge comprised of 25 family-friendly, three-minute training games to help combat behaviour struggles in under a month — things like pulling on lead, not listening and barking. The 25-day ‘Sexier Than a Squirrel’ lockdown challenge was curated by vet behaviourist Dr Tom Mitchell and Crufts champion Lauren Langman, to help you have stress-free walks, calmer homes and a better relationship with your dog — 60,000 owners have already taken the challenge. Try it out for only £27 at  absolutedogs.me/squirrelchallenge

Protect your home from fleas and ticks

You always want to avoid your pet getting fleas, and even more so while we’re all spending so much time at home. Seresto’s Flea and Tick Control collar is clinically proven to kill fleas within 24 hours and kill and repel ticks, for seven to eight months. It’s a single application, so there’s no need to remember monthly treatments — one collar is all it takes. The active ingredients are slowly released at low doses onto your pet’s skin and fur to help keep them protected. There’s no mess, no grease and no smell. Seresto is water-resistant too, meaning there’s no need to worry about it when bathing your pet. Find out more about Seresto, and how to keep your family protected, at seresto.co.uk

Try a raw pet food diet

If you want to ensure your dog is getting fresh food with plenty of vitamins and minerals, you might want to consider giving them raw food. When it comes to animals, this type of diet is called Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF) and can help not only with physical health, but also with your animals’ odour. SmartBarf is an expertly crafted mixture of vegetables, herbs, fruits, seeds, nuts, pulses and herbs, and has a long shelf life at an affordable price. Order from the SmartBarf website by clicking here, or visit one of the stockists. It’s also available from Amazon.

Sleep better with a weighted blanket

There’s nothing like getting a good night’s sleep, but for many of us it happens all too rarely. However, these sleep aids (also known as gravity blankets), which burst onto the wellness scene a couple of years ago, could be the solution you’re looking for. Research suggest the weight helps stimulate something call deep touch press (DTP), which has been shown to reduce cortisol (a stress hormone) while at the same time increasing serotonin and melatonin (happy and sleepy hormones, respectively). Weighted blankets can help you relax and drift off into sleep a little easier. The Best Sleep Ever Set from independent wellness start-up Tranquillow not only comes with a weighted blanket (choose one around that’s 10% of your body weight), but also a super-sensory plush cover and reflexology weighted eye mask. You’ll even find free guided meditations on the website and regular sleeping tips on Instagram. Visittranquillow.co.uk and use the code healthy21 for 10% off until 30 April 2021.  

Expand your culinary horizons as a family

Cooking with children is a great family activity, and it also helps them to develop a healthy relationship with food. If you’re looking for ideas that are tasty, hearty and wholesome for the cold months ahead, then why not try some traditional Welsh recipes? There’s a great selection, ranging from lean, homegrown Protected Geographical Indication(PGI) Welsh Lamb or PGI Welsh Beef for cawl and cottage pie, through to hearty rarebit-loaded jacket potatoes. You can also experiment with delicious desserts like Welsh rice pudding and jam sponge cakes. Whether you’re trying to be healthy or fancy giving something decadent a go, these online recipes are the perfect place to start. Visit Food & Drink Wales recipes

Access to education that won’t be interrupted

School closures over the last 12 months have, in many ways, been the hardest for older children preparing for GCSEs and A-levels, who are unable to get the same educational access and support prior to exams as they were before the pandemic. Pearson Online Academy UK Global is an online, affordable private school delivering GCSEs and A-levels for students aged 14 to 18. The educational programmes have been specifically designed for digital learning and combines its LiveLessons with independent study guided by expert teachers. This modern and flexible approach remains personal, and has wellbeing built into the heart of it. For more information or to make an application visit ukglobal.pearsononlineacademy.com 

Get the most out of your wifi

The demands on our home wifi have never been so great, with nearly everyone working and learning from home (not to mention distracting themselves with films and gaming, too). So, it’s well worth considering giving your wifi a welcome boost, so everyone’s needs are met throughout the whole house. You see, the so-called ‘wireless’ technology we all rely on can actually be blocked by walls and ceilings, causing our gadgets to fall out of wifi range — and with the whole family online at the same time, signals could be further disrupted. Sidestep this annoyance with devolo Mesh Wifi 2, a nifty wifi booster that pesky walls and ceilings won’t slow down. Available from Amazon and devolo.co.uk.

Go green with biodegradable baby wipes

Whether you’ve got a new baby in the house, or a big kid experimenting with makeup, whatever your household uses baby wipes for: look for ones that are eco-friendly. Pura’s 100% plastic-free baby wipes are made from plant fibres so they’re completely biodegradable — unlike 90% of wipes on the market which contain plastic. The packaging is completely recyclable too, and you can even choose a flushable version if you prefer. Suitable for newborns, sensitive and eczema-prone skin, they contain 99% water and organic aloe vera with no perfume, alcohol or chlorine to cause irritation. Multi-accredited by the British Skin Foundation, Allergy UK, the Vegan Society and the Soil Association. To find out more about Pura’s plastic-free wipes and the eco-friendly nappies, or to subscribe and save, visit mypura.com

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