Tuesday, 22 December 2015

As good as homemade

When I received my coupons from the Tesco Orchard programme to review their range of Beautifully Balanced Frozen foods, I decided to opt to try the frozen soup. I enjoy soup from the chilled section so was interested to see how the frozen version matched up.

The pack contains two servings and could be cooked in the microwave or on the hob. I used the hob method which was as simple as heating any soup.

The instructions on the packet advised me to empty in half for 1 serving. The soup itself looked like rather large chunks and I wondered if I needed to add anything to it but it was just a simple case of pouring into the pan and heating gently until defrosted and hot.

As the soup began to defrost whole peas could be seen along with thin strips of ham. The soup took just over 5 minutes to be cooked properly but smelt really good.

The portion was enough for lunch and the peas added additional texture along with the ham. The flavour matched that of other chilled soups I had tried, the soup was the perfect thickness for me not too thick and not too watery just right.

What I like about the frozen soup is that it can be stored in the freezer and doesn't need to be defrosted beforehand and it tastes like a freshly made soup.

I would go so far as to have this to serve up to dinner guests as the flavour was not compromised in any way and looked delicious.
My only complaint was the lack of ham in the soup, there were only a few small amounts in the serving that I made and I would have liked a little more in there.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Party Food that's easy to cook??

As part of the Tesco Orchard Programme* I had the opportunity to try some items from their Party Food Range. 
Wanting to take the opportunity to try something different I opted to try the Tesco Finest Handmade 12 Steamed Dim Sum Selection completed with a soy dipping sauce.

Unfortunately I didn't take the time to read the packaging on how to cook the items before making the purchase and it wasn't until I got home that I realised that we need a microwave or steamer. We had neither. Not exactly a great start.
We decided to make our own steamer to cook the party food.

The food came in transparent packaging with a cardboard sleeve around. You could view all of the items which consisted of:

3 Duck and Hoisin Windmills
2 Chicken and Mushroom Dumplings
3 Prawn and Coconut Snowballs
3 Sweet and Sour Vegetable Dumplings
Soy Sesame Dipping Sauce

One of the comment my husband made when reading the cooking instructions was the packaging. Although it appears minimal to cook the items we had to remove from the packaging, as we were steaming this was not a problem as we just placed simply into the steamer to cook. If however you were to use a microwave you were to remove the cellophane wrapping to remove the dip and then cover once more with cling film, it would be a good idea if Tesco could make this separate to prevent additional packaging waste.

After placing in the steamer for 4 minutes we then served with the dip.
The appearance of the cooked product left a lot to be desired as they were very moist and as we removed them from the steamer seemed to break apart quite easily so for a 'finger' style party food I imagine they would be a little bit tricky.

The Duck and Hoisin Windmill was tasty with generous chunks of Duck and a slight hint of the Hoisin Sauce so it was not over powering.

The Chicken and Mushroom Dumplings were a little bland and my husband and I felt that they were lacking in flavour somewhat.

The Prawn and Coconut Snowballs were my absolute favourite although there taste of the prawn did not really appear to stand out but the combination of the coconut made it a very tasty snack and one I would have definitely liked to have had more of.

The Sweet and Sour Dumplings to me resembled a soggy spring roll, plenty of flavour but no real difference to what appeared to be a soggy spring roll, all the same it was not offensive and was gone in two bites.

The Sesame Soy dipping sauce had a subtle flavour and was really enjoyable to have with the snacks as it just added to the flavour somewhat.

Overall the food was quick to cook and was reasonably tasty. Would I look to buy this selection again? Possibly but I would consider other options first as for a party food it is a bit more of a faff to cook compared with items that can just be cooked in the oven.

*I was provided with a coupon to purchase an item from the party food range to sample and provide my opinion. I was also provided coupons to pass onto friends to allow them to sample.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Guest Ready Home

As a member of the Savvy Circle I am often lucky enough to be selected to join the panel and sample a full size product which is always nice!

Arriving in a large square white box was a kit containing a large gift bag and inside was:

 A full size Ambi Pur 3volution Starter Kit containing a plug and a Vanilla Latte Refill
  •  15 x 2.00 off coupons for the Starter Kit
  • 10 x 1.00 off coupons for the 3volution refills 
I absolutely love 'festive' aromas and from mid November our home starts with festive candles and fragrances to get us ready for Christmas, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review the AmbiPur 3volution Plugs as I rarely use these, preferring to opt for Reed Diffusers or candles to control the level of fragrance.

Raring to go I cut open the 'tamper-free' packaging to release the plug casing and the refill.
Removing the lids I then pushed the refill snugly into the plug and then it was ready to go.

I decided to place the plug in the hallway, I thought this would be the perfect location as it would hopefully filter the aroma upstairs without being too overpowering and would also combat the shoes under the stairs and the kitchen cooking smells.

The fragrance I had been provided with was 'Vanilla Latte' a combination of warm milk and vanilla, a very sweet smell judging my the aroma on my fingers after assembling the plug.

As I switched on the plug 3 bright red lights lit up briefly confirming the plug was operating correctly and then it settled onto one of the 3 fragrances, as the fragrance alternates every 45 minutes.
Apparantly we can become 'noseblind' to the smells in our home so it will be interesting to see if guests can point out the new fragrance in our home when they visit. By having the alternating fragrances we should notice the fragrance more.

The plug in also has an adjustable intensity control so you can control how strong the fragrance needs to be in your home. I started with the control on level 3 with it being in the hallway and expected it to need to be on a high level to ensure that it worked efficiently and spread up the stairs.

After just a few hours I found the aroma too intense and reduced it down to level 2, this was still fairly strong and have now set it on level 1, which seems to be just right. The plug is in the centre of our hallway but the aroma wafts into our Living room and is a welcome smell as you walk into the house from outside.
I have recently become obsessed with my home smelling fresh and clean, despite using the Reed Diffusers I find within a few days the aroma tends to fade this could be down to the fact that this is just the one fragrance and as Ambi Pur advise the gorgeous scents that change every 45 minutes make us more aware of the new fragrance and aware of the new aroma in the home.

Although I have not been overly keen on this particular fragrance I do like how the actual 3volution system works, it does make you aware of the fresh fragrance as it changes throughout the day and does banish any unwanted smells from the hallway. I will definitely look to continue using the 3volution system and look for alternative scents that suit my preferences as I found the Vanilla Latte just a little too sweet for me.

This product was provided to me free of charge to sample and review.


Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Festive Tea Time Treat.

With a fussy four year old to feed, quite often we find he gets bored of eating the same thing so when I spotted these in Tesco I decided to buy them to keep him interested and to offer something different to spelling with potato letters as a quick midweek meal.

They currently retail in most Tesco stores for £1.00, previously my son has enjoyed Tesco's Zoo Potato Shapes but we were not in luck on our last visit.

Contained within the bag are the following shapes:
Christmas Tree, Snowman and Star
The bag is 500g and claims to have approximately 4 servings, we tend to provide 2 of each shape to our son which we find enough when used as accompanying side. 

We cook in our oven Fan 200°C for approximately 20 minutes.
I was expecting them to come out a little bit more golden brown as they still looked very pale in colour but had fluffed up in size.
They were not too crunchy and the potato inside was fluffy, they seemed to go down very well with our son who enjoyed eating them and recognising what the shape was that he had been given.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Brilliant Bioskin Junior

As a mum I am always on the look out for products that can help with my son's skin. During the winter months, his skin becomes extremely dry and he suffers with itching which then leads to him drawing blood from the constant scratching.

Having tried products such as Diprobase, Oilatum and Aveeno, we have struggled to find something that doesn't cause our son additional discomfort.

Recently I came across Salcura Natural Skin Care, well to be exact the BioSkin Junior range. I received a small sample pack in the post which consisted of a trial version of their
Daily Nourishing Spray & Outbreak Rescue Cream.

The Bioskin Junior Range appealed to me as it stated it was ideal for severe skin dryness which is what the main problem is for my son. At 4 years old we had been told that it would likely improve over time and eventually be no longer problematic to him but each year we find ourselves trying to find something to deeply moisturise his skin.

The product claims to be 92% natural and no steroids which for me is important as having used steroid creams on my son previously the Doctor had advised that prolonged use was not advised so we have been desperate to find a suitable alternative.The spray was absorbed into the skin quickly and appeared to offer relief a lot quicker than other creams we had used.....so far so good.

The Outbreak cream has no limit to the amount of times that it can be applied to the skin, again an ideal solution for us knowing that we can apply it when the skin condition worsened and needed some additional soothing relief it can also be used from the age of 3 months.

Since we have started using the Bioskin Junior range there has been a reduction in the amount of itching my son has experienced and we continue to spray to ensure his skin remains moisturised, his back looks practically normal, as the cuts from scratching has disappeared.

We plan to purchase additional products and continue to use them and will also try the Bioskin Junior Bath Milk.

Winner Natural Health International Beauty Award 2015

The Daily Nourishing Spray is available in 100ml and 250ml sized bottles retailing from £9.99 and the Outbreak Cream in 50ml and 150ml sized tubes retailing from £8.99.

Monday, 16 November 2015

I saw the light...

When it comes to coughs and colds, for me personally it is the one thing I dread getting, when my son gets poorly I feel even more helpless!

This is the 2nd time in the space of 3 weeks that my son has developed a troublesome cough which he has struggled to clear. As any mum I try anything I can to try and offer him some relief, including calpol, vicks and vicks on the feet with socks on top!
However Friday evening our son seemed to really be suffering the cough was relentless and he was so tired he just wanted to go to sleep but the cough kept disturbing him.

Then I remembered.....
The Calpol Vapour plug.
I had purchased this after a recommendation from my brother that it had worked wonders with my nephew when he had last been ill. I had bought one at the tail end of his last bout of a cough so I still had some of the refills left.

The plug acts as a nightlight whilst releasing lavender and camomile vapours into the air. The plug has a small refill that lasts for around 8 hours. It is suitable from the age of 3 months and I think that it is well worth investing in after our experience this weekend. 

As our son was bed hopping it was difficult to really know if the plug was offering any benefit as it was left in his room when he came into our room in the middle of the night so he wasn't really getting the full benefit.
Friday night we placed the plug into the main bedroom and my husband shared a bed with him. As I am currently 29 weeks pregnant we agreed it would be better if he looked after him rather than me catching the infection. After spending hours downstairs in the evening within 40-60 minutes of him being in close proximity to the plug he was settled and able to get to sleep.

The next day the cough remained and although he initially seemed much better in the morning, by late afternoon he was coughing constantly once more, we gave him a warm bath and placed vicks on his body and feet and decided to plug in the vapour plug in the living room with us all to see if that helped ease the constant coughing.We replaced the refill, which was easy to do, simply push the old one out with the new one as shown below.
 Again within the hour the coughing eased and he was able to drift off to sleep.

I genuinely believe that it was this product that helped him to breathe easier and allow him to drift off to sleep, the soothing blue nightlight is not overpoweringly bright in the room but is ideal as it is only activated when the room is dark. This for us will remain a key investment for the winter months as we had previously thought about investing in a humidifier as well as other products when in fact it seems this little plug does all we need it to.

A great product that actually works and helps to soothe your child to sleep and alleviate the troublesome symptoms caused by colds and coughs. 

The plug with 5 refills retails for approximately £6.99 and a pack of 5 refills for approximately £5.99 available in most larger supermarkets and pharmacies.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

An 'Extra Special' Treat at Christmas.

Being almost 8 months pregnant and with Christmas coming up, we spent this weekend in the supermarket looking for bits for Christmas at Asda

Browsing the Seasonal Aisle nothing really appealed and I wanted something nice as a treat as I would be missing out on my regular Christmas treat of Brie and Alcoholic beverages. As we ventured past the bakery section there was a lady offering some samples of the Extra Special range and something new which I hadn't spotted before.

These little beauties.

I think if I hadn't been convinced to give them a try from the sampling station then they wouldn't have been purchased. The flavour and texture had me sold from the moment they went into my mouth.

You can find these in the cake section located within the bakery, in my store there was a specific section for the Extra Special Range and we also purchased the Extra Special Italian Pandoro which I will review at a later date.

My only disappointment was that they went out of date before Christmas actually arrives! Such a shame as I would have to stock up again with a pack or two......

The small tarts are literally 2 bites but are packed with flavour the salted caramel is creamy and not too sickly, paired with the delicious crumbly pastry. The ginger is not at all powerful and you are left with a slight aftertaste of the ginger which combines perfectly with the salted caramel. The white chocolate star to top the tart adds an extra layer of flavour.

If you are following a healthy diet then these scream red on the front of the box in terms of Fats, Saturates and Sugar levels but as it's christmas if you are going to have a treat then I do highly recommend these.

So the box lasted the weekend, in my defence it does state on the box that once opened they should be consumed within 3 days so I did not want to exceed this timeframe did I!

A lovely little product from Asda that will certainly be finding its way into my basket on my next visit.

Let me know if you decide to give them a try and what you think!




Sunday, 9 August 2015

Smokin' Hot!

When my coupons arrived for the latest campaign for Orchard that involved Tesco Finest Cheese, I was excited to see what the range had in store.

My local store however only offered a small selection of the range and with being 4months pregnant I was only able to try the hard cheese as normally I would have gone straight for Tesco's Finest Goat's Cheese.

The first cheese that I opted for was the Smoked Extra Mature Cheddar which I have learned is produced by Wykes Farms in Somerset.

This cheese appealed to me as I am a fan of Applewood and as this promised a similar balance of flavours it was an easy choice.

The cheese is tightly packed and is not resealable, one of my main frustrations with cheese as you end up with lots of little packages made up of aluminium foil in your fridge, especially at Christmas time.

The cheese was fairly dry when I opened the packaging and it was clear the cheese had been smoked with the aromas that wafted out of the packet and the clear smoked tinge on the edges and throughout the block of cheese.

I cut a few slices off to try and was overpowered by the flavour. The strong mature flavour of the cheddar with the smokiness hit me straight away and I was unsure if I liked the taste. I had expected more hints of the cider to flow through the cheese but the actual taste was masked behind the smoked flavour.

I went for good old cheese on crackers to try out this cheese to begin with and was a bit unsure, I sliced it thinly, the cheese then went from the dry texture and found that it was a little wet and stuck to the knife when cutting which I think if left out to get to room temperature would make it more of a softer cheese such as the similar tasting flavour of Applewood, I did however, find that the cracker complemented the richness of the flavour of the cheese and would infact be a great addition to a cheeseboard.

I added a few slices of Black Garlic cloves to see how the combination worked with the cheese as it offered a sweet flavour and found it a tasty combination but again the actual cheese is very overpowering and when teamed with other foods can be a little overbearing.

I did find however that the taste stayed with me and left a pleasant aftertaste and would definitely be a cheese I would consider having in the future for special occasions.

As an everyday cheese however, I would have to avoid.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Sweet meets Savoury

I was invited to join the latest Bzz Agent Campaign to review the latest offering from Jacobs in their snacking range 'Cracker Crisps'
In my box of treats I recieved 1 of each flavour of the 150g Share Bag and some coupons to pass along to friends who would like to give them a try for themselves.
First up was the Thai Sweet Chilli Flavour.
I was expecting the flavour to be somewhat overpowering but found it more mellow and subtle but extremely tasty and after each bite wanting more and more.

As someone who has followed a healthy eating plan for years and maintained my weight for a while now and cut out most of my snacking habits but when the weekend arises, I do find it hard to resist the share bags of popcorn or crisps so as a 'healthier alternative' these really fill a gap in the healthy snack market in my opinion.

I decided to try creating a dip for my cracker crisps and opted for the reduced fat creme fraiche which was really a great combination with the cool flavour combined with the sweet flavour of the chilli.
Another idea would be to chop up some fresh chives and combine with the creme fraiche for a healthier cream and chive dip.
The recommended serving is 25g which would work out to be 3pp.
For me, these are my new treat at the weekend and a new found snack that isn't so sinful.
Back to review the other flavours shortly.....

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Raspberry Ripple goes all Posh at Tesco

Saturday night and it's movie night in our house.
After devouring the entire box of Tesco's Salted Caramel Dairy Ice Creams during the week, it was now time to move onto something else.....

Tesco White Chocolate and Raspberry Ice Cream.

  I have to admit I like these little tubs, small but perfectly formed with just enough so that you don't overindulge, personally if they were bigger I knew that I would!

So as I settled into the sofa, I opened the ice cream tub and was suprised to see a tiny little spoon clipped onto the inside of the lid - very nice touch!

Now I was expecting BIG things from this little tub, going on how impressed I had been with my first venture into the New Ice Cream range at Tesco and well that first mouthful did not disappoint!
Rich and creamy, then the raspberry flavour hit the taste buds and reminded me of that traditional flavour of raspberry ripple but better! I could then taste the white chocolate, not too overpowering but enough to recognise the flavour.
There were also plenty of  white chocolate curls topping the ice cream.

I was enjoying each and every mouthful, so much so that when I looked at the bottom of the tub to see the ingredients, my husband commented whether I was checking to see if there was any left!

I think I am now a huge fan of the Tesco Ice Cream Range, the flavours are so delicious and not at all sickly and this would be a delicious treat served up in the summer.

I was able to enjoy the Tesco Ice Cream thanks to the Orchard programme and the vouchers I was provided with.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

A Sweet and Salty Taste Sensation from Tesco

As a member of the Tesco Orchard Programme I quite often find myself trying things that I wouldn't normally think of buying, however when I signed up for the Tesco Ice Cream Programme I was looking forward to picking up a few treats from the new range.

As I picked out the 4 Salted Caramel Dairy Ice Creams from the freezers in Tesco, I wasn't expecting to discover anything special. I have experienced the leading brand in Ice Creams as well as Supermarkets own brand products but little did I know. I decided to pick up a few of the small tubs of Ice Cream to try which I will review at a later date.

As I opened the box I was suprised to see that the Ice Creams were somewhat smaller in comparison to other Ice Creams but you do get 4 in the box compared with other brands offering 3.

The Ice Cream is in a transparent wrapper and being completely honest it doesn't look anything special but then you take a bite...mmmmmm it is amazing! The delicious thick belgian chocolate before you get the rich taste of the salted caramel, I was really beginning to enjoy this.
Tesco have double dipped the ice cream meaning that the dairy ice cream is covered with a salted caramel sauce filling before finally being dipped into belgian chocolate.

The combination of flavours is extraordinary, it is so tasty. The caramel pieces that are on the belgian chocolate coating tastes almost honeycomb against the caramel filling dairy ice cream.

The flavour is rich but not too sickly, in fact I could probably enjoy eating another straight away.

In terms of how healthy they are they flag up the red rating for fat, saturates and sugars meaning it is quite a sinful dessert but for a treat this has to be the best one.

Currently available in selected Tesco stores for just £2.00.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Jelly Shoes!

When I was offered the chance to review the Scholl GelActiv insoles I was quite excited as I often find myself on my feet all day in work or at the gym and I do struggle with pain in the arch of my foot when on my feet for long periods of time.

The Scholl GelActiv insoles claim to help prevent tired and painful feet and they currently come suitable for 3 occasions:

1. GelActiv Everyday This is the version that I received to sample and is recommended for everyday use to support your feet. These seem to meet my needs quite well as they are for day to day shoes as well as ankle boots and for use in Trainers.
 2. GelActiv Sport This version is for those that carry out a lot of physical activity to help absorb shock and to reduce the pressure on joints.
 3. GelActiv Work This version is ideal for those working on their feet all day. Softening the impact you feel when your feet hit the ground and offer long lasting support. So Scholl have developed 3 versions to suit each different person's requirements.

Insoles are designed to offer comfort and non-stop cushioning and they also help if your shoes are a little loose to offer a more snug fit. For me this is perfect as I find that a lot of my shoes are slightly big and the insole helps to prevent the shoes from slipping off.
Although it is not recommended you can wear the insoles with bare feet and if they need to be cleaned then you simply wipe with a soapy cloth and leave to dry.

The Scholl GelActiv comprises of two different types of gel that work efficiently together to absorb the smallest shocks and effectively reduce the impact felt when walking and running. I decided to try the insoles in my work shoes as this would be where I would wear them for most of the time.
The insoles are provided in strong packaging with a plastic covering and cardboard backing with information on the product.

Retailing at GBP14.99 this is quite an expensive product but it is clear to see from the packaging and when you remove the product from the packaging that this is of far superior quality to other insoles currently on the market.

The insoles are currently available in 2 sizes: Women Shoe Size 38-42 Men Shoe Size 42-48.
There is no difference between the men and women's insole apart from the size.
The insoles are suitable to use in all seasons, however if the insoles do get humid it is recommended that you remove from the shoe to dry.

To cut the insole to size I took a sharp pair of scissors and cut along the first line at the top, the different sizes were labelled A,B and C. Cutting along line A, I checked to see if it fit inside the shoe and continued until I eventually cut line C to get the perfect fit. I replaced the current insole within my shoe which was not particularly cushioned and ensured that it fit into the shoe snugly.
As the gel gripped the shoe it was clear that once it was fitted correctly it would not move around within the shoe. I placed my foot into the shoe to try on for size and found that the shoe instantly felt more snug and comfortable. The insoles are only suitable for full grown people of adult age and are estimated to last between 4-6months.

When I first placed the insoles into the shoes, I wasn't sure about wearing them for a long length of time as the shoes felt tighter but the sole of the foot definitely felt more cushioned.
The cushioning was firm this I assume is to be due to the two types of gel proven to absorb the smallest shocks and reduce the impact felt when walking and running.

The firmer gel supports the arches of the feet and heels and the softer gel provides high quality cushioning.

I soon realised that I couldn't wear my normal work shoes with the insoles as they were just too tight and uncomfortable, so I replaced them in my everyday boots and well the difference was amazing.

I have noticed that I am having less aching in my legs when using the insoles in my work shoes although I have decided not to use in my trainers as I currently have a "Fit sole" in my trainers which offers the right level of cushioning whilst I work out. If you suffer from tired, aching feet then these insoles will help and provide support where you need it.

The only real downside for me is that the insoles feel very cold at times, especially when wearing in colder weather, the gel is obviously cool and if you don't have thick socks I found that I could feel a cold sensation at times. As I suffer with cold feet this is not ideal but the comfort they offers superseded the cool sensation!

I don't know if they are worth the RRP of GBP14.99 but if they were on offer I would consider purchasing a further pair for the future.

Tesco Healthy Living Range

As a member of the Tesco Orchard programme from time to time I get offered vouchers for Tesco products to try and share my opinions on.

With the New Year well and truly in full swing, most people are on a mission to get a healthier lifestyle and to try and get past at least a month of their New Year's Resolution.
I am one of those people.

In the last 2 months of the previous year I managed to gain 18lbs, pretty shocking! 
I decided after Christmas, that was it to be happier and healthier than ever so when I was offered the chance to join the #OneLittleChange Programme at Tesco Orchard I was pleased to be accepted.

As part of the programme I received a set of vouchers to redeem at my local Tesco store.
 £1.45 off coupon for Tesco Easy Oats
£2.00 off the Tesco Healthy Living Yoghurt and Fromage Frais Range
£2.00 towards the Tesco Own Brand Tinned or Packet Soups 

I am not really a big lover of tinned soups and do prefer to spend a little bit extra purchasing a fresh, chilled soup but to make use of the vouchers I decided to opt for the Healthy Living Soups as they had the added bonus of carrying the WeightWatchers pro points values on the reverse which for me was great as I follow the plan so I knew they would be a great store cupboard ingredient.

I do normally opt for the WeightWatchers soups as they are always low in points but after looking at the Tesco Healthy Living range, they may be slightly higher in points but you do tend to get a larger tin at 400g.

 The RRP is 49p 
Which is reasonable for a 400g tin.

I normally tend to opt for simple soups and am not a fan of the Vegetable soups however, after trying this soup I have changed my mind. 
The soup was full of flavour and it was nice to have large chunks of vegetables in a slightly thicker broth.
The flavours complemented one another, there was also not a strong salty taste which, when compared to other products this offered a more natural taste.

I had the whole tin which worked out to be 4 WeightWatcher Pro Points and I decided to serve it with 2 slices of Danish Bread.
#OneLittleChange that I have made is to change the type of bread that I eat, the result has been that I have suffered less from bloating.

For a list of the ingredients I have detailed them below and have been taken directly from the Tesco Website.
Water, Mixed Vegetables (29%), Lentils (18%), Modified Maize Starch, Tomato Puree, Salt, Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin), Carrot Concentrate, Garlic Purée, Yeast Extract, Sugar, Leek Powder, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Flavouring (contains Celery), White Pepper, Parsley, Colour (Mixed Carotenes), Mixed Vegetables In Varying Proportions contains: Carrot, Potato, Leek, Green Bean, Garden Peas, Sweetcorn, Onion
Allergy Information:
  • Allergy Advice! For allergens, including cereals containing gluten, see ingredients in bold.
  • Store in a cool, dry place.
  • Once opened transfer unused contents into a non-metallic container, cover and
  • refrigerate.
  • Consume within 2 days.
Produced in:
the U.K.

 I still have a few more soups to make my way through over the next few days they are:

Tesco Pea & Ham
Tesco Healthy Living Three Bean and Vegetable Soup
Tesco Healthy Living Tomato Soup
Tesco Healthy Living Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup

After sampling the Lentil and Vegetable Soup I cannot wait to try the rest and report back.

Until then, bye for now

Friday, 30 January 2015

Which one will you choose?

As a mum of a 4 year old boy when you are out and about finding something suitable for them to drink can be quite difficult especially when you have a fussy eater like I do.
I don’t like to give my child fizzy drinks, preferring to give him a squash based drink when possible.

Fortunately for me my son does really enjoy the Fruit Shoot range and when we received the latest Bzz Agent kit he was very excited to join in the campaign with me.
I always prefer to offer something to my son where no added sugar is involved so the Robinson’s Fruit Shoot range has always seemed like a healthy choice and is usually widely available in child friendly food places and is the alternative to fizzy drinks in places such as McDonald’s. However just because they are widely available are they the healthy alternative to fizzy drinks that I am led to believe?

With there currently being a huge buzz around reducing the amount of sugar in our diets I was interested to see where the Robinson’s range sits and it appears that Robinson’s have took notice of this with the introduction of the No Added Sugar range rather than providing the standard Fruit Shoot ranges which offered 10g of sugar and the low sugar version which offered 2.4g of sugar the replacement range of Fruit Shoot No Added Sugar contain 1.6g of sugar in comparison.

Britvic, which manufacturers Robinsons Fruit Shoots, provide clear nutritional information on all of their packs to help you to make an informed decision.
The Fruit Shoot Hydro a now offers 0g of sugar making it the healthier option and were the one’s I was looking at trying with my son as they seemed the healthier alternative for him in the long term.

First of all we tried the 200ml Fruit Shoot in Orange flavour, previously when I have tasted these they have always tasted overly sweet and not a drink that I enjoyed to sample, however to my 4 year old he really enjoyed the sweet taste and within about 10 minutes he had finished the drink.
Watching him drink I could tell that he didn’t really notice too much difference and he would have mentioned if he did not like the taste so it certainly passed his taste test. For me I found it was much easier to drink as the overbearing sweetness seemed to have been reduced but would still not be my drink of choice.

The next day we opted to try the Fruit Shoot Hydro. I myself had often looked at these in the supermarket and wondered about trying them with my son. We had received the Apple and Blackcurrant version to sample and although he did not drink it as rapidly as he had the Fruit Shoot he still enjoyed it, pointing out that it was water as he obviously recognised that there was no colour to the liquid but as he tasted it he like the flavour and again it had passed the taste test with my son asking to have more of these in the future.

As the Fruit Shoot Hydro is a sugar free still water drink this definitely appeals to me as a parent but the fact that it contains artificial sweeteners still causes me a slight area for concern. From the list of ingredients the Hydro contains Sweeteners (Sucralose, Acesulfame K) which has been rumoured to be a danger to health in the long term but having looked at the information published on the NHS Website it has been approved for use and considering that my son would not be drinking several of these each day and would more likely to be one or two in a month time frame this is not a huge concern to me at present.
I tried this drink and found it to be the best tasting of the three, it was not too sweet to the taste and I felt it was a healthy alternative to the other Fruit Shoot range.

The final drink that my son tried a few days later was the Fruit Shoot MY-5, again another drink I have looked at for my son as it boasts containing one of your child’s five a day. Now I am sure many mothers can relate about the worries we have about our children eating the right foods and often struggle in getting them to eat fresh fruit and sometimes vegetables so I can see how this can appeal to parents.
The MY-5 is 80% fruit juice mixed with a splash of water and contains no artificial colours, flavourings, sweeteners or preservatives so seems to offer an overall healthy drink, but take a look at the packaging and this drink offers a whopping 17g of sugar that’s 4 teaspoons of sugar!
Although the drink appeals as being the healthy option and appears to be a good way to get your child to have one of their 5 a day for me as a parent the level of sugar at such a young age could lead to other issues such as tooth decay so I don’t think we will be purchasing any more in the near future.
I found the drink a bit too rich for my taste and although the flavours tasted  the most natural out of the three products offered in the Fruit Shoot range, I just couldn't justify providing that much sugar to myself let alone a 4year old boy.

Out of the 3 drinks that my son sampled he preferred to drink the Fruit Shoot Hydro which for me I will look to switch over from the Fruit Shoot No Added Sugar due to the lower sugar levels but with the concern over sweeteners I would not like to offer him too many.