Friday, January 6, 2012

Family Cooking

Teaching young children about nutrition should start at an early age. How do we do this? Most parents will explain using books, pictures, having a talk and so on. There are other effective ways.

Family Cooking - Click to Get Picture to Decorate Kitchen

Get the children involved in the cooking process, which includes from planning to preparation to the actual cooking.

Growing children have receptive minds. They are able to learn and absorb new information and skills easily. Preschoolders for example easily learn another language compared to adults. It is an excellant time to injet ideas and information to a preschoolers and school going children.

 I am telling my children to drink less juices and fizzy drinks and drink more water. No coke or even orange juice where sugar is added. All these steps prompts my boys to tell themselves that they are 'taking too much sugar' and 'stay away from unhealthy food'. They of course stray - they are children after all - but their minds are being moulded to think about bad food.

How to cook with children
Cooking activities' is  a brilliant way to get the kids 'programmed'. Get the kids involved in the whole assembly line:

Plan and Discuss
Discuss your meals. Allow your child to contribute their ideas. Benefits are endless: children's confidence booster, saves money because of the planning, healthy meals. Aim to
- guide your child
- serve three main meals including healthy snacks
- food must be nutritional from the food pyramid
- have variety - avoid repetition - dont have chicken stew on Monday and Wednesday for example
- use healthy cooking methods - roasting, steam, grill, stir fry

Shop and Teach
Teach you child about food and nutrition when you take them shopping.
- which is good and bad
- expiry dates
- money needs
- reading food labels

Cook and Teach
Depending on the age of your child, start with simple tasks such as washing and cleaning. Allow spread butter, tuna, mix, knead dough etc. They are many reccipes on this blog that helps various age groups.
Cheerful Family in the Kitchen - click to use as wall deco

The old proverb - Give someone a fish and you feed him for a day; Teach someone to fish and you feed him forever.

A simple everyday activity - cooking - can be such a powerful and useful tool for our children. Its free and entirely up to us.

Cooking with children
Click to Find Out More

Happy Teaching and Cooking!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Almonds- A nut for all Children

Almonds is a fantastic nut! Almonds are a great snack for children and adults.  A wonderful food for the growing brain and useful to adult weight watchers.

Almonds is extremely great to reduce risk of heart disease and curb hungry pans and thus helps reduce weight.  It is a nut for after meal or between meals.  Its has high content of monounsaturated fats, the same found in olive oil which helps in reducing risk of heart disease.

For children,  we could either soak a few seeds in water to soften it. Take off the skin and allow children to eat at least twice a day if not twice. Another way is simply to pound the almonds making it milky. Have it in the morning is best to start the day.

70grams or about 3 ounces can reduce bad low density lipoprotein cholesteral levels. Thats is only a handful of seeds.

A quarter cup of almonds has 100grams of magnesium plus 257mg of potassium. Magnesium is nature's calcium blocker. With enough magnesium, veins and arteries allows better blood flow and thus oxygen and nutrients flow better throughout the body.

Flavonoids found in almond skin and with vitamin E in the seed delivers double the antioxidant compared to if these 2 nutrients are given separately. There are 20 potent antioxidant in the almond skin which contribute to healthy benefits similar to that found in green tea and grapefruit.

Here is an almond cookie recipe. Simple to prepare and get the children involved. Make sure you explain to the children the benefits of almonds while baking.

50 grams whole almonds
2 tablespoons caster sugar
140 grams plain flour
100 grams butter
pinch of salt

1. Heat overn at 170C
2. Roast almonds for about 5 to 10 minutes - roughly chop the almonds
3. Cream butter, sugar and a pinch of salt and fold in the flour
4. Add the chopped almonds
5. Make into small balls
6. Bake for about 15 minutes

Almond Cookies