Kids Learn to Cook (and So Much More!) Through Community Leadership and Planning

beaded bridal sashes

See how one Ohio community gives foster children healthy lifestyle choices.

As basic cooking skills are often left to chance, fast foods and other quick fixes become the favored, but less healthy, choice. Here leaders team up to get kids involved in learning basic skills of cooking and how to prepare healthy food. The benefit is two-fold: exposing teens in foster care to positive women while they are learning a valuable life skill.

http://alturl.com/zhwb3

 

 

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Easy Tips for Quality Family Time on Valentine’s Day

I hope you are planning to spend time on Valentine’s Day with your family. Here are some easy tips for quality family time to help you express your love to others in a fun way.

  • Set out paper place mats and decorate them with a Valentines Day theme.
  • Write an “I love you” note with soap on your bathroom mirror.
  • Listen to your children with your eyes and heart as well as your ears.
  • Plan a treasure hunt by leaving little notes around the house expressing your appreciation for something others did. End with a riddle or clue to the next hiding place where they will find a candy or special memento. Have something special at the last hiding place such as a toy or treat.
  • Show your love and appreciation to others. Affirming statements such as “I love you just the way you are; I’m so glad you’re my (son, daughter, mother, father, friend)” need to be given often, not only on Valentines Day.

There are lots more suggestions for this and other special days  in Cooking Around the Calendar With Kids — Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun. This is a fun book you can read and use all year long.

Lee Jackson
Family and Parenting Studies

 

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Gift Children a Cookbook for Valentine’s Day

Instead of  giving candy for Valentine’s Day, gift your children a cookbook that will keep them cooking and enjoying food all year around. Cooking Around the Calendar with Kids – Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun has a section of easy recipes for Valentine’s Day.

Help children celebrate Valentine’s Day with a Tea Party complete with party games. Have them invite their friends and have a game of A-Tisket-A-Basket. Serve red and white food such as Apple Arrows. Slice red apples into wedges. Dip into lemon juice to prevent turning brown and arrange on plate.

A gift of a book will make a special remembrance for a special child. Get it here at Amazon.

Let’s Count Our Blessings on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day Greetings

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As we approach another Thanksgiving Day, let us give thanks. We are blessed with a great nation, even with its many faults and failings. As a country and as a people, we are better off in the things that matter.

We have peace in our land. We have warm homes and food on our tables. Granted, there are many who do not have these necessities and comforts. But we are a compassionate people, and as a whole, give a great deal of money and goods to needy causes. When there are tornadoes and hurricans, efforts are made to help out our neighbors. It is said that Americans give more money to charity than the rest of the world combined.

Children and families can practice care and concern for others in their own corner of the world. This could be something as simple as a smile or kind word. Even small ways of being helpful to others can make a difference in someone’s life.

We are thankful for our family and friends, each with with its own special joys, satisfactions, and challenges. We’re thankful for the opportunity of being together, especially at holidays.

The men and women serving our country deserve a multitude of thanks for helping protect us and defend our freedom. We remember military families who are missing loved ones from their tables this Thanksgiving.

I want to offer an expression of gratitude to you for being here with me on this journey, and for all the ways you continue to contribute to the world with the gifts and blessings that are you.

Let us give thanks for all our many blessings from Thy bounty and ask God to continue to bless America.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Lee Jackson

 

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What to Eat and How Much?

Who is the decision-maker when it comes to food choices? Is it the school? government? family? children?

English: A picture of a collection of healthy ...

Ground rules for this go something like this:

Parents should have the final word about what foods are bought and used for meals and snacks. It’s the parents who need to make healthy choices about foods for themselves and their family. This is for foods eaten at home or outside the home. It’s important to choose nutritious foods so that the goal for healthy food is met each day.

Buying crispy vegetables and fruits instead of cookies, chips and dips is a better trade-off. You can find already cleaned carrots, green beans, and grape tomatoes ready-to-eat. Add some raw broccoli and there is enough goodness for a salad or snacks for awhile.

The same can be done for fruits. Some require a little more preparation. For example, cutting up apples and oranges and putting them in little plastic bags or glass dishes in the refrigerator takes more time but is worth it.

Within reason, children should decide on the amount of food they want to eat at meals and snacks. Some guidance may be necessary, depending on the age of the children. Some families are concerned about children eating too much, while others worry about children not eating enough.

Always talk with your child about why they are choosing not to eat. Try to keep the communication open about food.

Eating should be a pleasant experience. Food should not be used as a reward or punishment. Make mealtimes an important and essential part of the day.

To your good health and that of your family,

Lee Jackson
Good nutrition advocate
http://www.healthykidseatingtips.com

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Books for Kids About Character Building

Here is a another book I want to share with you – although it is not a cookbook. Listening to the Mukies and Their Character Building Adventures, by Bob Bohlken is an insightful book for kids which received the Mom’s Choice Award from The Just for Mom Foundation. It is a story about the lives of Mukies living in the land of Mukies and how they overcome obstacles through patience, cooperation, and understanding.

In the story, The Happy but Unhappy Mukie there lived a Mukie farmer named Marvin. He and his wife and three children lived comfortably farming and harvesting melilot, the Mukies’ favorite food. One night a wondering Mukie, the Old One, came along and was invited to share a meal and spend the night.

The Old One told of far away places of gentle streams and rolling hills where everyone was truly happy all the time. It was a place of real contentment and happiness, free from cares and responsibilities. This got the farmer thinking that his life wasn’t as good as he thought it was. He now viewed himself as a poor, unfortunate person who had missed his opportunity for “true happiness”.

Throughout the trials of Marvin seeking true happiness, children can discuss how “grass always appears greener on the other side of the fence” and other influences. They can discuss what makes the greatest difference in a person’s happiness and even role play what might happen in Marvin’s home if he decides to leave and search for happiness. This might even lead to a discussion on the rights and responsibilities of family members in making a happy home.

This is but one of the eight short stories in the book, Listening to the Mukies and Their Character Building Adventures. Parents and teachers have told us it is a good way to begin an exchange of thoughts, feelings and ideas about values and other issues.

This book can be ordered from Snaptail Press or through Amazon.

Feel free to forward and share this email with your friends and family.

WANT TO USE MY ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE?
You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it.
Copyright (C) 2012 www.cookingandkids.com Lee Jackson, CFCS  All rights reserved.

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Bunny Salad Idea for Easter

A pear

A pear (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here is an idea for a bunny salad kids will love to create. Children enjoy working with food, especially if provided with encouragement and inspiration. Carrying out the bunny theme with food is not difficult and they will be pleased with their results.

Bunny Salad

1 fresh pear cut in half, remove seeds and stem
or use canned pear halves
Raisins
Red cherries, candied or maraschino
Shredded cheese
Marshmallows
Lettuce

Prepare fresh pear or drain juice from canned pears.
Wash lettuce and put a lettuce leaf on individual plate.

To make bunny:

Place pear halve face down on lettuce leaf.

Put 2 raisins on the pear for the eyes.

Use a red cherry for the nose.

Put several pieces of shredded cheese on each side of face for whiskers.

Cut two marshmallows in half and use for ears of bunny.

Add a marshmallow for the bunny’s tail.

There you have it – one sweet bunny. These salads multiply well for any number of guests. Recipe taken from Amy Houts first book in the Food and Fun series, Cooking Around the Calendar With Kids: Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun. See more at Cooking/Calendar.

To your childrens’ creativity,

Lee Jackson
Nutrition advocate and author
http://healthykidseatingtips.com

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Tips for a Happy Thanksgiving Day With Your Family

Photo showing some of the aspects of a traditi...

Image via Wikipedia

In preparation for Thanksgiving, here are some tips to help you have a happy day with your family by guest Ivana Pejakovic .

Without a doubt Thanksgiving is a day that ought to be filled with hope, gratitude, and happiness. It is a time of togetherness and for appreciation of our family and friends. It is a day to be celebrated in joy and liveliness.

Although this day is great on its own, it is possible to enhance the day for your family. There are many things that can make your Thanksgiving holiday exceptional. Your kids watch and notice much of what you do. How you talk about your family, the attitude you have about this special day and life in general is all being recorded by your kids.

As such this article is intended for parents to examine how they are currently celebrating the day and to find tips that can enhance this experience with their family.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Begin with a thankful mindset: Start the day off with a happy and thankful attitude. You can ask all family members to write down one positive thing about each of the other family members they are grateful for. Decide to read these notes out loud when you are together at the dinner.

Cook together & eat together: Cooking and eating are important for human bonding. Sharing a meal with others is what makes the food even more enjoyable. This is an opportunity to share your daily experiences (the good and the bad) with those you love and those who love you the most. Thanksgiving Day, however, is a good time to share your gratitude with each other. When we share positive ideas with people we grow closer to them. Remember that food is more than just nutrition for the body and brain. It is nutrition for the mind and soul.

Celebrate the gift of life: Thanksgiving is the time to celebrate life, not only by saying “Thank You” but also by stepping out of the home to experience something fun (e.g., family sport game, hike, photography, picking wild flowers, appreciation of nature). Joy and happiness are the best vehicles to gratitude and a zest for life.

Build family connections: As adults, people recall many memories from their childhood years formed during family events. Many adults have great memories of “crazy Uncle George” or “eccentric Aunt Martha” which they speak about with their siblings and cousins. This is a good time to put aside any family disputes. Model good family relations to your children so they can grow up and value the relationships they have with their siblings and extended family.

Be thankful for your family: Much information exists on “How to survive the holidays with your family.” Nobody’s family is perfect and most of us have a family member that is difficult to get along with. Use Thanksgiving Day to remember all the positives about everyone and to recall all the positives they have done for you. Find a subtle way to tell everyone what you appreciate about this family member and watch his or her attitude change that night. This is a great opportunity to show your kids how family can connect.

Volunteer: Give some of your family’s time to a shelter or food bank. This is good for the kids and it is good for you. You will come home with a feeling of contribution, a greater gratitude for what you have, and with feelings of humility. This helps keep us all grounded, but it helps kids form a positive attitude about the life they were given, and it can show kids how their actions can make a difference in their community.

New and old tradition: Sometimes it’s just easier not to cook the traditional favourites or put up the decorations. But believe it or not, these little, seemingly unimportant traditions are what we crave and what we remember from our youth. Celebrate your yearly traditions and think about developing a new tradition that incorporates the uniqueness of your family! As a family unit, what is your strength and what are your interests (e.g., using arts and crafts, visually represent what each of you is thankful for)? Use your family’s uniqueness to establish a new yearly ritual.

Happy and Safe Thanksgiving to your family!

Ivana motivates teens and adults in their 20s to approach life with desire, confidence, and passion.

Ivana also works with the following cases:

* Low motivation

* Stress & time management

* Anger management

* Social skills

* And more…

Life coaching is the perfect gift for your teen or young adult. It provides your child with an early start at success!

Ivana Pejakovic, B.Sc., MA

ivana@lifecoachintoronto.com

http://www.lifecoachintoronto.com

Article Source:  Tips for a Happy Thanksgiving Day With Your Family

Article Source: Ezinearticles.com

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New E-Book Resource for Parents and Preschool Teachers

Children love to cook and work with food. Help them sharpen their skills in math and science, nutrition, vocabulary and social skills, while enjoying what they are doing.

This resource for parents and preschool teachers will help use their skills in new and exciting ways. Have this ready when your children want to “work” in the kitchen.

Kids Cooking and Learning  Through  Food  Activities

The author, Amy Houts, shares lots of good ideas on helping preschoolers  learn through a variety of cooking activities. For many years she wrote a monthly Preschooler in the Kitchen column for Parent & preschooler Newsletter, an international parenting resource, and includes many of her best kid-tested techniques.

The activities are organized so that early childhood professionals can use them as part of their curriculum. Home-schooling parents will also benefit by using this guide with their children.

You can find it here on Amazon:  http://amzn.to/oorLCr

For only $4.99 you can have it immediately and use it tonight with your children.

Best to you,

Lee Jackson
Food and Nutrition Specialist

P.S. For more cooking and kids tips, see:
http://HealthyKidsEatingTips.com


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Make a Difference by Helping Children

In his circle of peers, one Mukie in the book, Mukies and Their Character Building Adventures, is a different color. He and his father were the only purple Mukies in the community of brown individuals.  Can you imagine the thoughts and feelings of the single young purple Mukie among a large peer group of brown Mukies?  Or of the large brown group and the single purple one?

This story examines racial bias before it becomes a prejudice. The purple colored Mukie’s identity is first one of curiosity, then distrust, and finally indifference.

Ignoring someone and demonstrating a non-caring attitude can be as hurtful as verbal abuse or name-calling. Self-esteem diminishes and the awareness that one has little or no influence upon others or the situations becomes painful.

The story points out the importance of caring associations – friends, family members, and other associates. A single event can change the mental perspective of those involved. However, often there are “fences to be mended” before mutual acceptance, respect, and friendships can develop.

These and other stories in the book, Mukies and Their Character Building Adventures, make a difference by helping children become more tolerant and understanding of differences in others. By being open-minded and truly listening to one another, issues such as racism, violence and aggression can be overcome. When people know how to talk to each other and work out their differences, they are more willing to cooperate and compromise.

Make a difference by helping children understand important character building skills. Building character is not done in a vacuum. In families and faith communities, adults have long taught children about character. Children watch and observe how others act and react. The traits they develop are linked to personal experiences, beliefs, upbringing, culture, laws, and many others. Being a good role model helps to develop positive character traits in children.

This book, Listening to the Mukies and Their Character Building Adventures, has been highly recommended by parents, teachers, and counselors in bringing out important ways of making a difference in personal lives as well as those of others. It won the Mom’s Choice Award from The Just For Mom Foundation.

Order these books for your home or school at Amazon here or at our website here. They provide the basis for an easy exchange of thoughts, feelings and ideas about values and ethical issues.

These books help children share a vision for a better world.

Lee Jackson, CFCS
Helping promote family well-being through knowledge and skills.
Books for home and family living
http://www.imagesunlimitedpub.com

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