This week was India week and all the families received our Veg Korma Take & Make bag in their food box.  All our take and make bags are quick and easy recipes but we made a handy instruction video too so the children can follow along and help out their parents with making the dinner:

We started the week with our first Love Food Hate Waste Q&A session on Monday.  We posted a short video asking the families what leftovers they had from their food box from the previous week and provided recipe ideas to use them up.  A common one was tortilla wraps and we suggested Mexican breakfast wraps, a popular recipe with the children from the Summer 2019 Discover programme.  There was also input from some parents and families as to what they would suggest.  The Facebook group is now becoming an amazing little online community where families are supporting and encouraging one another through the stress of the pandemic.  We never expected this when the idea was conceived and we are continually overwhelmed by the incredible level of engagement its getting.  The lovely feedback and comments are still flooding in:

"The box once again jam packed with lush food and equipment 🙌🏽Then the art pack 😍 thanks guys your hard work is certainly appreciated"

"Received my box for this week, AMAZING again, very kind of everyone to still run and deliver for group during this time, thank you very much again you are all stars ✨"

"Apart from not meeting with all the wonderful Discover staff, this is so far the best Discover experience we have had in the 18 months we have been attending. Thank you all so much for all the effort you are putting in for us to keep the children and adults motivated ."

Fiona from the Royal Observatory was back again with Orion as the star of the week.  She also demonstrated via live video, how to make a sundial using a paper plate, a ruler and a compass included in an activity pack in the box (pictured).  We were encouraged to test our reaction times with Active Schools Reaction drills games and there were arts and crafts sessions with Heather.  Families used the cardboard box that all the food came in, to create large 3D sculptures with rainbow stars and other shapes, one family even made a table fan!  They also made peacocks and decorated them beautifully with plenty of colour.

The City of Edinburgh Council made an exciting announcement on Tuesday about a new partnership with Edinburgh Zoo.  There will be an Animal of the Week with a live feed to see inside one of the enclosures and watch the animals up close and personal.  All the families were also offered free access to Edinburgh Zoo's virtual summer school which usually costs £50.  This runs all next week and is jam-packed with online, offline and live activities brought to the families by the brilliant team of experts at Edinburgh Zoo.  The line-up looks incredible and and we are honestly a bit jealous of all the VIP families getting this amazing offer for free!  This week Amy introduced us to the Greater One-Horned Rhinos or Indian rhinos.  She had so many facts to teach us all and we can't wait for next week's Animal of the Week.

For our weekly Edinburgh Community Food health talk, I made my own on-screen debut and did a live Facebook talk about managing fussy eating.  There were plenty of practical tips and things parents can do to combat this very common issue.  Especially joining in with the food preparation and cooking which lots of the families have already been doing.  This is great at encouraging children to try new foods and increase their fruit and vegetable consumption.  The food play activities provided every week are also a great way to increase exposure and familiarity with new foods outside of the mealtime setting when there is no pressure to taste the food.  This week we have given the families different fruits and vegetables and a child-friendly knife and chopping board and encouraged them to  touch, smell, cut up and explore some vegetables they might not have seen before.

On Wednesday, storyteller Claire McNicol piled her hats high as she told a story about a hat seller, and another one about Sally and the star apple.  Then we got physical with Fergus' Zumba class on Thursday.  The music was pumping and the families couldn't help but get their bodies moving along with his fun and infectious style.  We also met our scientist of the week, Shadab, an astronomer who researches dark matter in Edinburgh and studied at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research and grew up in India.

The Thursday afternoon baking session, which is fast becoming one of the most popular activities, was hosted this week by Jo Howie and Chris Mantle.  Jo made delicious carrot cake cupcakes using a low sugar recipe and demonstrated how the natural sugars in some vegetables can really complement a baked treat, whilst Chris was on hand to answer any questions the families had during the live stream.  There was also some gentle movement with Monica who showed us some yoga stretches and poses to help us relax.  

And that's "Namaste" for India week.  Catch you next week with all the news from the Mediterranean as we travel to Italy.