Ciao e Benvenuto!  Hello and welcome to Italy week.  We are half way through the school holidays and have racked up an impressive number of recipes and activities so far.  This week we featured one of our favourites and an absolute crowd-pleaser, the flatbread pizza.  The Discover VIP families rushed to make it as soon as their boxes arrived and the photos have been flooding in all week.  



Here's our demo video showing how it's all done:

We started the week with our Love Food Hate Waste post again and this week the theme was meal planning.  Families were encouraged to fill in the meal planning template with ideas they had come up with together, using up food they already have and checking use-by dates to ensure they didn't let food go bad before using it.  This method then allows us to make a smaller shopping list and buy just what we need, saving money.  

On Tuesday, our Oral Health specialist Jo Howie, did a live talk on oral health.  She surprised us all by demonstrating just how much sugar is in some popular breakfast cereals, especially when you see what the maximum recommended amount of sugar is for children of different ages.  Luckily, she had lots of tips for how to reduce the quantity and frequency of sugar in our diet.  Thanks Jo!

Fiona from the Royal Observatory was back again and asked families to save an empty cereal box for a fun craft project.  Two small mirrors were included in the boxes delivered this week and she showed us how to use these and the cereal box to make a periscope.  There were also lots of arts and crafts materials in the box for children to decorate their periscopes, such as foam stickers, tissue paper and craft paper too.  We thought she was brilliant at explaining the science behind how the mirrors reflect the light to make the periscope work.  She also explained that telescopes use mirrors to reflect light and that the first refracting telescope (one which also uses lenses) was made by an Italian called Galileo - very appropriate for our theme this week.  The star of the week, Hercules, is also Italian and Fiona captivated us with the story of this Roman hero and god.

This week, families were given another amazing special offer.  Spaces were made available on Free Family Bike Ride, a brilliant scheme allowing families a free cycling instructor and tour guide to take out for a morning or afternoon with bikes, helmets and a packed lunch provided! Feedback from families who have already tried this said:

"I highly recommend this. We went along and my three boys aged 12,9 and 3 loved it! The instructor we had was lovely too and we have booked in again"

"Today, we discovered a beautiful place⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The kids were happy with the bikes ... Thanks again❤️"

On Wednesday Ida Casilli did a live shadow puppet show and demonstrated how to make your own using a box, a sheet, a torch and some homemade puppets.  Fergus McNicoll did a live event with singing and stories about making soup from a stone.  And Active Schools showed us some Basketball shooting challenges; you don't even need a basket ball and a hoop as they demonstrated lots of different ways you can do it using things from around the home.

The fabulous Onisis was back on Thursday with some more Latin dance therapy and looking ready for hip wiggling in her orange t-shirt and trainers combo for the live session.  We also had our live baking event with our very own food and health development worker, Catherine Fyfe.  She made oat and raisin cookies live from her kitchen with Jo on the comments section answering viewers questions.  This recipe used the measuring spoons which came in the week 1 box, making it simple enough for young children to follow along and everyone agreed they were a delicious treat with some added fibre from the oats and raisins.

The second edition of Animal of the Week at Edinburgh Zoo featured the adorable and ever popular penguins.  Amy braved the fishy pong and showed us 3 different species live from Penguin Rock.  The families watching along thought the trick to identify the females and males was very clever - they use bands on the left wing for the females and on the right wing for the males.  Now that the zoo is open once again, there was a lovely atmosphere with visitors enjoying the animals too.

The final activity of the week was food play and this week there was a little science involved.  Everyone received a lemon and used some washing up liquid and bicarbonate of soda from their box to make a lemon volcano.  The reaction between the acidic lemon juice and the alkaline bicarbonate of soda releases gas which is caught in the washing up liquid to create lots of foaming bubbles.  Families posted videos of the erupting volcanoes and had lots of fun whilst learning a some foodie chemistry too. 

Next week we head to the Far East for Japan week, we hope you join us there!