Child obesity is a big problem in the United States.
With the holidays approaching, what can parents do to help their children maintain a healthy weight?
- Provide healthful snacks: vegetable sticks (carrots, cucumbers, celery); fruit slices (apples, pears, orange sections), cheese cubes, whole-grain crackers.
- Watch meal portions: for example, make a habit of measuring cereal before you pour it into the bowl (most cereals call for ½ to 1 cup as a serving size); use salad plates instead of dinner plates, especially for young children…you will be less likely to serve too much…this works for adults as well.
- Keep eating out to a minimum and avoid fast-foods as much as possible: if you make food for your family yourself, you can pass on the additives and preservatives and high sodium content present in most restaurant offerings…and you will probably save money.
- Make a batch of these nutritious cookies with your child: they are high in fiber, low in sugar, salt and fat…and no preservatives or artificial colors.
You will need: 2 egg whites, ¼ cup sugar, 1 cup ground almonds, 1 cup raisins, large bowl, electric mixer and a lightly greased cookie sheet.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Beat the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff peaks form.
3. Add the sugar and mix in.
4. Add the raisins and the ground almonds and fold in gently but thoroughly.
5. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto the cookie sheet.
6. Bake for 5 minutes.
7. Turn off oven.
8. If you like softer cookies, you can remove them from the oven after about 30 minutes. If you like crispier cookies, you can leave them in for an hour…or overnight.
9. This recipe makes about 12 – 18 cookies, depending on the size you drop onto the cookie sheet.
What a fun recipe to prepare with your child during this holiday season! You could even make several batches and give some away as gifts. Cooking with children is a super learning activity…science (how do the runny egg whites change when you beat them), math (fractions, counting), better pre-literacy skills (reading the labels of the egg carton, bag of sugar, etc.). Best of all, cooking with kids is one of the best ways to strengthen the parent-child connection and build their self-esteem as they master tasks and skills.
Please visit the Show Me How website where you can find out more about the book that provides many more quick and easy cooking activities for kids along with simple arts and crafts activities and story summaries of the 100 picture books every young child should hear.
The book has received praise from many mom and dad bloggers as well as picture book authors and self-esteem experts. http://areelcoolsummer.blogspot.com/2011/08/five-gold-stars-for-show-me-how.html
The New Year is almost here…make a resolution to spend 15 minutes a day, reading or crafting or cooking with your young child…the positive impact it will have on your child cannot be measured.