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Healthy Breakfasts for your family

Breakfast is an important meal, don’t skip it. If you miss breakfast you’re more likely to overeat later in the day. Cereals are all very processed, even the ‘healthy ones’ and most are laden with added sugar. When you start the day with lots of sugar, a sugar peak will be followed by a sugar crash which can impact on your metabolism, mood and can cause weight gain. Remember a glass of fruit juice, and sweetened cereal can crash your blood sugar, leaving you tired shortly afterwards, reaching for more food to boost you back up.

Think ‘whole foods’ and challenge yourself to get some vegetables into breakfast if you can.

Here are some ideas for you to try.

  • Porridge is a really easy way to start the day. It’s cheap, filling and nutritious. Add some seeds on top for extra protein.
  • If you don’t fancy hot porridge, try some almond milk on top of a bowl of oats, cinnamon and sunflower seeds with a small handful of raisins on top. You can even make this the night before and leave in the fridge to save time.
  • Scrambled or poached egg on wholemeal toast. Add spinach, fried tomatoes or mushrooms.
  • Smoothie – try a mixture of vegetables and fruit, you can also add a handful of oats or natural yogurt. What about using almond, or soya milk and adding:

Banana, avocado, cocoa powder

Spinach, pear, berries (frozen ones are good)

Spinach, mint, cucumber and orange


Recipe – Banana pancakes

Let us know if you try this, our family loves it. Cinnamon helps to balance blood sugar levels, and turmeric is a great anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, eggs are a great source of protein, whilst bananas gives a natural sweetness.

No grain Banana Pancakes (makes 4 medium sized)             Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Veggie
Ingredients Method
·         5 free range eggs·         2 ripe bananas (green ones won’t work)·         1 tsp cinnamon

·         1 tsp turmeric

·         Coconut oil for frying




You can grind up flaxseeds in a coffee bean grinder and add two tablespoons of that, or if you have coconut flour you can also add one tablespoon.


1.       Mash up bananas with a fork

2.       Mix in spices, (flaxseeds or coconut flour if using) and then eggs one at a time.

3.       Heat small amount of coconut oil in frying pan until it melts (do not let it smoke, this is too hot).

4.       Ladle out spoonful of mixture into pan, not too big or it won’t flip over.

5.       Cook for a few minutes on medium heat until you can get a spatula underneath to turn pancake over.

6.       Fry for a few more minutes on other side, then serve.


Adding blueberries or raspberries into the mixture before cooking is a very tasty way to get your antioxidants in first thing in the morning!

Anna Mapson

Baby Yoga Bristol The Gentle Touch

Shocking baby abuse video is NOT ‘Baby Yoga’

There have been some disturbing reports in the news this week about videos of abuse of babies which has been termed ‘Baby Yoga’. We were very upset to read about this, and it’s a world away from our Baby Yoga classes which are fun, gentle and relaxing for baby and you. We include lots of rhymes and songs and some gentle stretches for you both. We finish with a relaxation and chance to connect with your baby.

It’s so awful to think a baby was subjected to that practice in the name of baby yoga. Our baby yoga classes are all about Rhymes and Relaxation, it’s very gentle and nurturing. It’s about having fun with your baby through songs and movement, and we encourage a playful interaction between parent and baby.

Baby Yoga is becoming more popular in the UK, most classes are based on ancient Yoga poses from over 2000 years ago, with the aim of supporting a baby’s physical and cognitive development, as well as encouraging bonding.

The weekly classes are a time with no distractions when parents can concentrate on baby alone, and just relax together which is more and more important in our busy lives today. Many parents find that Baby Yoga will improve baby’s digestion through body movement and positioning. During the classes parents will work on strengthening and massaging the baby’s delicate intestines to help give relief from gas, colic and constipation

If you’ve never done yoga yourself before this is a perfect class, the emphasis is on relaxation and fun. We know your body can store tension and can take a great strain looking after babies so we use simple stretches and restful balances to release tension throughout the body. Our classes are very welcoming and friendly.

We have Baby Yoga classes in Bristol starting on 1st July in Fishponds, and a free taster event on 17th June at the Fishponds Play Cafe. To book on the taster just email us at or book the five week course starting on 1st July online.


Quick Healthy Lunch Ideas

Struggling to eat a healthy lunch? Maybe you don’t event eat lunch as you’re too busy with your baby. 

When you’re looking after a young family, especially a baby, your priorities do not always include what you eat. Understandably so, but it’s important to look after yourself during this period.

As mums ourselves Emma and I know how hard it is to find time to create nutritious meals that sustain you without reaching for the biscuits! Parents at our baby massage class often say they don’t have time to eat lunch so we’ve put together some simple tips and ideas to help you out.

Focus on protein

Firstly, it’s really important to eat lots of healthy protein, think about how you can get protein into every meal and snack. Add a handful of nuts to a mid-morning fruit snack. Try to avoid too much bread – it’s very easy to grab toast, but you will not be getting a good range of nutrients from toast alone!

Healthy fats

Oily fish is very good for you, see if you can add fish such as mackerel, sardines, or herring to your meals three times a week. Including fats like avocado, nuts, seeds or olive oil can help you feel fuller for longer. 

3 red tomatoes on stalk

You can try to make more dinner and then have left overs for lunch the next day. Here are some other ideas for you to try – let us know how you get on and if you’ve got any ideas to add:

Healthy Lunches you can prepare mid-morning to grab later – can be eaten straight away or cold as a salad:

  • Roasted sweet potato wedges and a salad, tomatoes, peppers, a tin of sardines. You could try adding humus, green beans, eggs, some pumpkin seeds
  • Cook brown rice, near the end of cooking throw in some kale. Drain. Grate some carrot and any other salad items, add chick peas. Create a quick sauces by mixing tamari (or soy sauce) and tahini as a dressing
  • Roasted butternut squash with quinoa, tomatoes and a green salad.

Immediate healthy lunches

  • Scrambled or poached egg with avocado on wholemeal toast. Add spinach, fried tomatoes or a green salad
  • Omelette with spinach, pepper, mushrooms and tomatoes
  • Oatcakes with hummus
  • Soups – try Covent Garden soups for lots of veggies
  • Miso soup – you can get sachets of soup to which you just need to add in some noodles and broccoli to make a meal
  • Rye bread with nut butter and some salad.

Stay away from crisps, processed food, cakes high in sugar. You’re often on your own during the day, so lunch is the one meal where you might not bother, but then crash mid afternoon when you need a sugar hit. 

Let us help you make a nutritious meal plan

It’s hard to think ahead and plan meals in advance, when you’re a new parent. If you can make a nutritious, healthy lunch packed with vegetables for yourself even 2 or 3 times a week it will help your energy levels and mood. 

To get your personalised diet plan to help you feel resiliant and able to cope with all the parenting challenges life throws at us book your 1:1 session with Anna.

FREE 15 minute nutrition consultation available by appointment. 

Mother's Day offer Bristol - Baby Massage and massage for mum

Mother’s Day Gift offer

We have a fantastic new Mother’s Day gift offer, the perfect for a new parent. Help a post natal mother relax and unwind for an hour with our amazing therapist Emily. Then attend our four week baby massage class and learn techniques to support baby’s digestion, improve symptoms of colic and deepen your bond with your baby.

You could give someone a relaxing and rejuvenating holistic massage, as well as a place on our four week baby massage course for only £56 (Would normally cost £76). This is a thoughtful gift that will be remembered for years to come.


Mother's Day offer Bristol - Baby Massage and massage for mum

Baby Massage Course And A Massage For Mum

Email us now for more details –

Pregnancy & Baby Fair – 20th September

We are very excited to announce we are running a Pregnancy and Baby Fair on 20th September 2014. The event will bring together everything you will need for your bump, newborn babies and toddler in Bristol under one roof. The fair will be held at The Vassall Centre in Fishponds (10-30-14.30)

There are a number of ‘nearly new’ sales across Bristol but nothing that brings together all the classes, products and support you can access for your young family. Whether you’re starting your family, or have few small ones already, your journey as a parent is a big part of your life. The Gentle Touch understands how wonderful but also how difficult the early days of parenthood can be.  We are bringing together like minded businesses in Bristol who support gentle parenting and nurture parent and child.

The first 100 people through the door on the day will receive a giveaway bag full of offers, discounts and information so make sure you arrive early! There will be lunch available as well as tea and cake, and somewhere to sit down and play with your little ones provided by the wonderful The Bubbahub.

There will be opportunities for you to test some of the baby classes in Bristol you may have heard about by coming to one of the many taster sessions we’ll have on offer. A full timetable of tasters will be available in advance of the day –‘like’ our Facebook page and Twitter account we’ll keep you up to date.

For trader enquiries please contact or call us on 07724984854 (Emma) or 07812010412 (Anna)

Anna Mapson

Baby Massage for Colic

How baby massage can help with reflux

One of the most common reasons that parents come to our baby massage classes is help with their baby’s digestive complaints. Massaging the stomach with certain, careful strokes helps to move the milk and any wind around the intricate intestines, easing the pain, improving constipation and any cramps.

Another ailment common to many babies is gastro-oesophageal reflux. Reflux occurs when the muscle that controls food entering the stomach is not yet fully matured and so the contents of the stomach – food (milk) and stomach acid – passes back up into the food pipe (oesophagus). Stomach acid burning the oesophagus causes the baby pain, and they are frequently sick. It’s also possible to have ‘silent reflux’ where the baby isn’t vomiting regularly, but they will be uncomfortable and cranky.  In addition to the frequent posseting and / or vomiting other signs of reflux can be arching away from you during feeding, refusing milk, crying and waking frequently at night.

During the first year the valve at the stomach opening will grow stronger, and many babies will eventually grow out of their reflux. However, in some cases it doesn’t go away, causing far worse complications.

How does baby massage help?

Gentle massage strokes help to calm your little one who may be distressed and in pain.  Massaging the whole body will help to improve muscle co-ordination and tone throughout which can improve reflux. Whilst we cannot massage the specific muscle responsible for the reflux, massaging your baby’s skin across the whole body stimulates the nervous system, including the Vagus nerve. This nerve controls many aspects of the digestive system.

Baby massage also allows you to reconnect with your baby, who may be irritable and not sleeping well, so it can be a tough time for parents as well. A short regular massage can help you regain some of those loving feelings together.

How to massage a baby with reflux

Babies with reflux find it difficult to be flat on their back so lie them down with a cushion under the top half of the back so they are at a 45 degree angle. Listen to your baby’s signs and if they are distressed move to another position such as sitting up on your lap, or lying on your outstretched legs.  Use gentle massage strokes with an edible cold-pressed, organic oil, we recommend sunflower oil.

Babies normally all enjoy their legs and feet being massaged so you could start here to introduce them to massage and work around the body. Any strokes to the stomach area should be left to right, and clockwise as this is the way the digestive tract works. Leave at least 45 minutes after feeding to massage the stomach.

Some parents find it helpful to carry your baby during the day which keeps them upright, and research has shown that carried babies cry less, and crying makes reflux worse. If you’re breastfeeding you could look at your own diet and cut out triggers such as dairy, caffeine, citrus and rich, spicy foods. These can be reintroduced one by one to see if this affects the reflux.

Your baby’s back muscles strengthen as they grow and they gradually learn to sit up, which improves the reflux with more time spent upright.  You can practice a short amount of tummy time each day to allow them time to develop their back muscles.

If you’d like to find out more about the benefits of baby massage and learn a full body massage for your baby then come to one of our four week courses. Classes at various venues in Fishponds and Southville. Also available for 1:1 sessions or home groups with friends / antenatal groups.

Anna Mapson