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Journey to Madagascar with Theatricool.

We are into the final exciting week before Theatricool students present Madagascar Junior at The Lakeside Theatre! Costumes have been ordered and tried on – there are a plethora of penguins, lemurs and other animals hanging on rails and waiting for their performers to step into them.

 

If you would like to see Theatricool’s amazing children perform their socks off, they would love to show you how hard they have been working and what a talented bunch they are!

 

Here is a taster of the story:

Join Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the hip hip Hippo and, of course, those hilarious, plotting penguins as they bound onto your stage in the musical adventure of a lifetime. Based on the smash DreamWorks animated motion picture, Madagascar – A Musical Adventure JR. follows all of your favorite crack-a-lackin’ friends as they escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar.  Alex the lion is the king of the urban jungle, the main attraction at New York’s Central Park Zoo. He and his best friends – Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo – have spent their whole lives in blissful captivity before an admiring public and with regular meals provided for them. Not content to leave well enough alone, Marty lets his curiosity get the better of him and makes his escape – with the help of some prodigious penguins – to explore the world.

Filled with outlandish characters, adventure galore and an upbeat score, Madagascar JR. will leave audiences with no choice but to “Move It, Move It!”

 

Performances on 17th and 18th June 2017 at the Lakeside Theatre, Colchester. Tickets are available from http://lakesidetheatre.org.uk/events/theatricool-summer-show/

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LEAF Open Farm Sunday, 11th June 2017

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Make a date to discover the world of farming

On Sunday 11th June 2017 hundreds of farms across the UK will throw open their gates to welcome the public and showcase the fascinating world of farming.

As well as being a fun and informative day out for all the family, LEAF Open Farm Sunday also gives visitors the opportunity to see first-hand all that farmers do and the impact their work has on all our lives.

This so often misunderstood industry has a vital role in not only producing safe nutritious food, but also using the latest science and technology to farm sustainably – that means increasing production whilst managing the environment for wildlife and enhancing our natural resources for generations to come. Since the first Open Farm Sunday in 2006 over 1.8m people have visited a LEAF Open Farm Sunday event.  This year, farms across the country, from Cornwall to Orkney, will provide young and old with an opportunity to see farming in action and learn more about the work farmers are so proud to do.

The mostly free events will offer a range of activities from tractor trailer rides, farm walks and bug hunts, to feeding lambs, sheep shearing and milking demonstrations.  The technology and science behind farming and food production will also be a focus; providing visitors with a fascinating insight into the world of farming.

Open Farm Sunday is managed by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming); the leading organisation delivering more sustainable food and farming.

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Annabel Shackleton, Open Farm Sunday Manager at LEAF commented: “Modern farming is incredibly diverse and impacts on all of us – from the clothes we wear to the medicines we take and the food we eat.  Farming plays a vital part in each of our lives. LEAF Open Farm Sunday gives us the rare opportunity to see farming in real life and to learn about the hard work, care and pride that goes into the work farmers do, which is so vital to the environment, our lives and the economy.’ 

So circle the date in your diary, visit www.farmsunday.org to find your local open farm, pull on your wellies and get set to discover the world of farming!

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You Are What You Eat: How Food Can Affect Your Child’s Mood

 

The terrible twos don’t always subside after the toddler years, and sometimes it can be hard to understand the cause of your child’s latest tantrum.

It may not just be down to coincidence that your child’s mood changes shortly after a snack – here are the most common mood-changing foods:

 

Sugar

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The number one culprit that doesn’t need an introduction. From diabetes to obesity, sugar is notorious for causing trouble when not consumed in reasonable amounts.

Sugar to an extent is unavoidable, as it is in just about everything the average child eats. Sugar can be found in ketchup, salad dressing, yogurts (one of the biggest culprits) and cereals to name a few. Things that are labeled fat free or low fat are usually jam packed with added sugar to make up for the loss of flavour from the removed fat.

Monitoring sugar intake is extremely important, as consuming large amount spikes insulin levels and sets the liver on over-drive. This process will throw off your child’s system, first making him/her extremely hyperactive before leading to the downward spiral of irritability and lethargy.

And if the mood-swings weren’t enough, sugar has been shown to cause long-term health damage, and a diet high in processed foods has been linked to depression, cognitive delay, and sleep problems.

Food Colouring

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This one isn’t quite as obvious as sugar. Food colouring has been linked to causing mood changes in kids. Recent studies suggest that food dyes, such as those found in sweets like Skittles and certain breakfast cereals can have a dramatic affect on child’s cognitive function, causing hyperactivity and loss of focus.

Surprisingly, artificial colouring is also often hidden in unexpected foods like bread and yogurt.

Sodium Benzoate

Sodium Benzoate is a preservative found in many foods and sodas. In the very same study that found that food dyes were mood-altering, sodium benzoate was also noted as a culprit that was linked to causing kid’s to lose focus. Look out for Sodium Benzoate in juices and soft drinks.

Dairy

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Not necessarily a mood-changing food, but it can have negative affects on your child’s behaviour or mood if your child is either lactose intolerant or allergic to the proteins found in dairy. Many children become irritable, cranky, or aggressive. Children with dairy allergies or intolerance also tend to suffer from frequent colds and ear infections.

The Good Stuff

Whilst some foods can have a negative impact on your child’s mood, others can do the opposite by boosting cognitive function and helping to maintain a steady insulin level in the body.

High Fibre Foods & Complex Carbohydrates:

Be sure to feed your children foods that wont break down into sugars instantly, such as slow-to-digest oatmeal. Foods that are high in fibre and packed with complex carbs digest slower, which means no more spikes and crashes in energy for your children, and a happier, more consistent mood throughout the day.

Adding flaxseed and chia seeds to their morning oatmeal is a good way to promote this. Also, try substituting white rice and pastas for their healthier brown alternatives.

Omega-3:

Studies suggest that foods high in Omega-3 promote better moods. Foods such as salmon, broccoli, blueberries, avocado and kidney beans can help maintain a healthy brain and keep your kids smiling.

 

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Could You Help Make a Difference in Essex?

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It’s National Volunteer’s Week 1-7 June and Action Medical Research is asking people across Essex to help them in their bid to save little lives.

Action raises funds for desperately needed research to tackle the diseases that devastate the lives of so many of our children.

It has been funding medical breakthroughs since it began in 1952 including helping to introduce the first polio vaccines in the UK, developing the use of ultrasound in pregnancy and testing the rubella vaccine.

The charity is currently funding research into conditions including asthma, prematurity, epilepsy, meningitis, cerebral palsy, brain cancer and some rare and distressing conditions.

Launched in 1952, the charity now organises a number of local, annual events in and arounds Essex including:

• London to Paris (https://www.action.org.uk/action-london-paris)

• Essex 100 (https://www.action.org.uk/essex-100)

• Action in the Autumn (https://www.action.org.uk/action-autumn)

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Action London to Paris bike ride fundraising challenge

Action has a number of committees across the UK whose members not only help with the charity’s established events, but some also organise their own.  These can range from cake sales, to casino nights to plant fairs; they’re fun, social and help provide additional fundraising for the organisation.

Jane Charlton is the Volunteer Development Manager at Action: “We have around 1,000 volunteers across the UK who currently help us throughout the year. They are amazing and we honestly couldn’t function without them.

“We organise such a diverse range of fundraising events and activities which offer a variety of opportunities to help.

“Could you give a talk at a local school? Perhaps help marshal at one of our many bike rides or even organise a fundraising event of your own?”

Think you could help make a difference?

You can find out much more information about volunteering for Action Medical Research here https://www.action.org.uk/volunteers.