Category Archives: keeping children healthy

The Best and Easiest Gluten-Free Cookie Recipe Ever

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.

OVERNIGHT COOKIES

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. 

Protecting Our Children from Corporate Marketing

I think this must be MY pumpkin!

How do you make your buying decisions?

Many factors probably go into the final decision about which car to purchase, what brand of spaghetti to grab from the store shelf, how many rolls of toilet paper to keep on hand in the closet.  You might do research online when it comes to purchasing a car.  You might ask a friend who has a reputation as a great cook which spaghetti she uses.  You might figure out how much you will save if you buy the twenty-four roll pack as opposed to the four-roll pack.

One of the most influential factors in determining what we buy is corporate marketing.

Companies spend TRILLIONS of dollars to convince us to buy their products.

And, ever since the 1950’s, corporations have been marketing to children.  However, their efforts have exploded in the last decade and I believe our children are at risk because of it.

  • Corporate marketing is ONLY concerned with the bottom line…SELL MORE AT GREATER PROFITS AT ANY COST!  Our children are bombarded with commercials on TV, radio, magazines and the internet for biggie-sized food and fast-food meals with toys.  Companies donate computer equipment to schools and infiltrate the classrooms with their branding messages.  Juvenile diabetes, obesity and many attention deficit and hyperactive disorders in children are rising at a staggering rate.  Life expectancy of today’s children will be lower than that of their parents, even though our medical technology is at its highest level ever.  Is there a correlation between corporate marketing and these problems?
  • Corporate marketing is strongly GENDER DISCRIMINATING.  If you watch commercials geared for young children, you will notice that boys are supposed to be strong, tough and ready to fight while girls are portrayed as pretty and sexy.  Years ago there were many measures taken in the schools to educate teachers so they would respond to boys and girls on a fair and equal basis, encouraging girls to sign up for math and science classes and requiring boys to take home economics.  Obviously, the companies that are looking to sell their products have other ideas in mind and they have reverted to the old ways.
  • Corporate marketing is attempting to turn our young children into life-long super-consumers who are shallow and are only concerned about themselves and getting the things they want.  Most parents don’t realize the effect that all this branding and marketing has on young children.

Do you agree that this is a problem?

Do you feel parents need to protect their children from corporate marketing?

And if you do, what can we do? 

  • Perhaps we can turn off the TV.  That would be a start, but not the entire answer because the messages are on the internet, in the schools, in magazines…everywhere.  If you are looking for ideas of what to do with your young children after the TV has been turned off, there are 100’s of fun-filled, educational, self-esteem building activities in Show Me How!  This award-winning resource is available as a print book with lots of lined spaces for recording your child’s highlights or on Amazon’s Kindle.
  • Perhaps we also need to say “no” when our children come to ask for a particular toy or food if we feel it is not good for them.
  • Perhaps we can be good role models when it comes to not buying excess stuff or things that are not healthy for us. 
  • Perhaps we can encourage our children to reach out, helping and giving to others.  If you are looking for ideas along those lines, you can check out www.kidsareheroes.org, an organization devoted to spotlighting and supporting children who help others.

Please share your thoughts.

Children and Art Activities: Some Observations

Once a month, our local Family Christian Store hosts the Show-Me-How Story-time with Miss Vivian program.  I read a picture book story and do a related craft project, chosen from those recommended in my book.  This is the same program that I provide to District 11 kindergartens and Pre-K’s during the school year.

Yesterday, the program’s topic was: How to Stay Healthy This School Year.  I read Stan and Jan Berenstain’s, The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food.  In the story, Mama Bear realizes that the bear cubs and her husband are eating too many sweet and junky snacks.  She removes the junk food from the pantry and refrigerator and the entire family goes grocery shopping the next day where they purchase healthy foods: vegetables and fruits, whole grain breads and cereals and eggs, cheese and milk.  They go to their family doctor for a check-up and she tells them that if they want to stay in good health, in addition to eating healthy foods, they should exercise every day.  Taking the doctor’s advice, the bears begin a program of daily exercise.  At the end of the summer, they win a prize for being the only family to finish the entire Bear Country Three-Mile Run.

After the story was over, the children eagerly moved to the tables for the craft project.  Each child got a paper plate, 2 small black circles for eyes and 1 small black circle for a nose.  Although we all started out intending to make bear faces, two of the children decided to make dog faces and one child made his paper plate into a cat.  After gluing on the eyes and nose, each child used markers and crayons to add features and designs to the paper plate face.  For over an hour, the children happily worked on their projects…the only frowns I saw on these children were when parents came to say it was time to go.  Parents were able to take home an informational flyer, Five Simple Steps to Stay Healthy This School Year.

OBSERVATION #1:

If you give children art supplies and a project to work on, they will be engaged and productive and happy.

OBSERVATION #2:

If you allow children a certain amount of freedom when they are engaged in art activities, they will almost always surprise you with their creativity.

OBSERVATION #3:

Children often become very talkative when they are happily engaged in arts and crafts…this is a PERFECT time for parents to listen and interact with their children.

So, I have a few questions to ask if you are a parent or caretaker of a child age 2-7:

  • Would you like to put educational, fun-filled activities in your child’s day?
  • Do you need tips on school readiness for your child?
  • Are you time-short when it comes to planning activities for your child?
  • Do you wonder which books to choose to read to your child?
  • Would you like to have a simple plan to follow on rainy days…or any day?
  • Do you want your child to be engaged in positive learning on a daily basis?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions:

  • Purchase a copy of the award-winning Show Me How!.
  •  The low price (50% off) is only available on my website.
  • This is a perfect holiday gift for anyone who takes care of young children.
  • Schools and other organizations can receive additional discounts.

A book is a child’s window on the world…no rules, just read!

THE BOOK PINPOINTS 100 OF THE BEST PICTURE BOOK STORIES!

Children who love books step out from inside the covers and succeed in life!

THE BOOK PROVIDES 100 STORY SUMMARIES & TIPS ON HOW TO READ TO KIDS!

Art & children…peanut butter & jelly…combinations that create magic!

THE BOOK OFFERS 100 SIMPLE CRAFT PROJECTS & 100 EASY RECIPES!

We all need a cheering committee…a parent is a child’s most important fan!

THE BOOK GIVES 100 PARENTING TIPS ON BUILDING SELF-ESTEEM!

Want to be in your children’s memories tomorrow?  Be in their lives today!

THE BOOK SHOWS YOU HOW POSITIVE PARENTAL PARTICIPATION WORKS!

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by…with gift-giving holidays right around the corner, we are excited to provide Show Me How! at 50% off the cover price.  Parents, expectant parents, grandparents, preschool and nursery teachers, babysitters…this is a gift that will keep on giving long after the package is opened.  Please visit my website to purchase a copy for yourself or as a gift for someone special!   When you purchase a copy, you are helping others…a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each book benefits three children’s organizations: http://www.JDRF.org, http://www.bessthebookbus.org and http://www.kidsareheroes.org.

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