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Fun and Delicious Recipes You Can Make With Your Kids

Fun and Delicious Recipes You Can Make With Your Kids

There are lots of reasons some parents like to work solo in the kitchen. It’s sometimes quicker. It’s less messy. It’s often just … easier. But when families cook together, the benefits to everyone make it more than worth the extra cleanup. If you’re not in the habit of cooking together, we have three reasons you’ll want to. And if you’re already cooking together as a family — awesome. Here’s why you should keep up the good work:

First and foremost, cooking together gives families a time to share, bond and work together. The reality of today’s family is that most of us are busy, with work, school, kids’ activities, homework and other responsibilities gobbling up most of our time. Setting aside a time where the entire family can work together to create a meal gives us a chance to pause, catch up and just connect with each other.

If you’re able to set aside a specific meal or two that you always make as a family, it’ll also give everyone a “together” time to look forward to. It could be a pizza Friday, Sunday brunch or whatever works best for your family. You could also pick a weekend day to work together to prepare a meal or two for later in the week.

Kids can learn a range of skills in the kitchen, even when they’re exploring on their own. But many of the “soft skills” kids can learn really only come out when they’re cooking with others. Kids — from preschoolers all the way up to teens — can learn social skills, communication skills, collaboration and more when you cook together as a family.

The skills needed to prepare and cook foods will last your kids a lifetime. Skills include:

  • following a recipe
  • measuring
  • preparing food (chopping, slicing, mincing, stirring, mixing, peeling, cracking an egg, etc.)
  • cooking techniques (baking, boiling, frying, toasting, simmering, sautéing, etc.)
  • cleaning up

But what if you’re just not a good cook? It’s OK to let your kid know you’re learning too! If there’s a certain technique you’re unsure about, check YouTube (seriously, you can learn anything on YouTube) or cooking websites together. This way, kids can also learn valuable lessons about recognizing one’s strengths and weaknesses, taking initiative to learn new things, and using technology to seek out information.

Here is a list of healthy recipes from Taste of Home that you can make together with the whole family. 

       

  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 slices whole-wheat bread
  • 1 medium banana, thinly sliced

  • Mix peanut butter, honey and cinnamon; stir in chocolate chips. Spread over bread. Layer two bread slices with banana slices; top with remaining bread. If desired, cut into shapes using cookie cutters.

1 sandwich: 502 calories, 22g fat (6g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 394mg sodium, 69g carbohydrate (36g sugars, 7g fiber), 15g protein. 

 

  • 6 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter

  • Spray a 12-ounce coffee mug with cooking spray. Combine milk and oil in the mug. Add flour, sugar, oats, baking powder and salt; stir to combine. Add chocolate chips; dollop center with peanut butter.
  • Microwave on high until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 2-1/2 minutes. Serve immediately.

1 mug cake: 862 calories, 46g fat (9g saturated fat), 7mg cholesterol, 945mg sodium, 105g carbohydrate (56g sugars, 5g fiber), 14g protein.

    

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups refrigerated unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • FROSTING:
  • 1 cup dairy-free margarine, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, whisk flour, cocoa and baking soda. In a small bowl, whisk coconut milk, sugar, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  • Fill paper-lined muffin cups half full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 15-20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For the frosting, in a large bowl, beat margarine until light and fluffy. Beat in confectioners' sugar, cocoa, milk and vanilla. Frost cupcakes.

1 cupcake: 265 calories, 12g fat (2g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 194mg sodium, 40g carbohydrate (27g sugars, 1g fiber), 2g protein.

  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1-3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 cups 2% milk
  • 2 cups coarsely crushed Oreo cookies
FROSTING:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups finely crushed Oreo cookie crumbs
  • 24 mini Oreo cookies

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Fold in crushed cookies.
  • Fill prepared cups three-fourths full. Bake 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, combine butter, confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla; beat until smooth. Fold in cookie crumbs. Pipe or spread frosting over cupcakes. If desired, sprinkle with additional cookie crumbs and garnish with mini Oreo cookies.

1 cupcake: 411 calories, 19g fat (10g saturated fat), 51mg cholesterol, 346mg sodium, 58g carbohydrate (40g sugars, 2g fiber), 4g protein.

 

 

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • FILLING:
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • GANACHE:
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

  • Preheat oven to 375°. Line bottoms of 2 greased 8-in. round baking pans with parchment; grease paper.
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs on high speed 3 minutes. Gradually add sugar, beating until thick and lemon-colored. Beat in pumpkin. In another bowl, whisk flour, pie spice, baking powder and salt; fold into the egg mixture. Transfer to prepared pans, spreading evenly.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 15-20 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack; remove the paper. Cool completely.
  • For the filling, in a large bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. In another large bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until blended; fold in whipped cream. Spread between cake layers. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  • Place chocolate in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chocolate; let stand 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth; cool slightly. Press plastic wrap onto surface of ganache; cool to room temperature. Spread over cake. Refrigerate until serving.

1 slice: 331 calories, 18g fat (11g saturated fat), 79mg cholesterol, 150mg sodium, 42g carbohydrate (34g sugars, 2g fiber), 5g protein.

  • 2 cups crumbled soft coconut macaroons (about 12 cookies)
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey, divided
  • 2 teaspoons orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 medium mangoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh blackberries

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Place cookies, almonds and melted butter in a food processor; process until blended. Press onto bottom and up sides of an ungreased 11-in. a fluted tart pan with removable bottom. Place pan on a baking sheet.
  • Bake until crust is golden brown, 12-14 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • For the filling, in a small bowl, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. In another bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/4 cup honey until combined. Beat in orange juice and extract. Fold in whipped cream. Spread over crust.
  • For the glaze, in a small saucepan, mix preserves and remaining honey. Cook and stir over low heat until melted; press through a strainer. Toss mangoes with lemon juice. Arrange mango slices over filling; add strawberries and blackberries to form the eyes and mouth. Brush with glaze. Store in the refrigerator.

1 piece: 311 calories, 18g fat (9g saturated fat), 39mg cholesterol, 155mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate (26g sugars, 3g fiber), 6g protein.

 

  • 1/2 pound bacon strips, coarsely chopped
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 package (20 ounces) frozen corn
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans (11 ounces each) diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chiles
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 envelope (1 ounce) ranch salad dressing mix
  • 12 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Cubed avocado and sliced jalapeno, optional

  • Select saute or browning setting on a 6-qt. electric pressure cooker; adjust for medium heat. Cook bacon until crisp, 5-6 minutes; remove bacon and reserve. Brown chicken in bacon drippings until lightly browned, 5-6 minutes. Return bacon to pan; top with corn and next 11 ingredients in the order listed.
  • Lock lid; close pressure-release valve. Adjust to pressure-cook on high for 15 minutes. Let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes; quick-release any remaining pressure. Stir in shredded cheese until melted. If desired, serve with avocado and jalapeno.

1 cup: 387 calories, 21g fat (10g saturated fat), 73mg cholesterol, 1033mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 6g fiber), 20g protein.

 

  • 3 cans (8 ounces each) unsweetened pineapple chunks, drained
  • 1/2 cup plain or coconut Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
  • 3 cups fresh cauliflower florets (about 1/2 small cauliflower)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • Toasted sweetened shredded coconut or lime wedges, optional

  • For marinade, place 1 can pineapple, yoghurt, 2 tablespoons each cilantro and lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper flakes and chilli powder in a food processor; process until blended. In a large bowl, toss chicken with marinade; refrigerate, covered, 1-3 hours.
  • In a clean food processor, pulse cauliflower until it resembles rice (do not overprocess). In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; saute onion until lightly browned, 3-5 minutes. Add cauliflower; cook and stir until lightly browned, 5-7 minutes. Stir in 1 can pineapple and the remaining lime juice and salt; cook, covered, over medium heat until cauliflower is tender, 3-5 minutes. Stir in remaining cilantro. Keep warm.
  • Preheat grill or broiler. Drain chicken, discarding marinade. Place chicken on an oiled grill rack over medium heat or in a greased foil-lined 15x10x1-in. pan. Grill, covered, or broil 4 in. from heat until a thermometer reads 165°, 4-6 minutes per side. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.
  • To serve, divide cauliflower mixture among 4 bowls. Top with chicken, remaining 1 can pineapple and, if desired, coconut and lime wedges.

 

  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or gluten-free tamari soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • Hot cooked rice
  • Thinly sliced green onions, optional

  • Select saute or browning setting on a 6-qt. electric pressure cooker. Adjust for medium heat; add sesame oil. When the oil is hot, brown chicken in batches. Press cancel. Return all to the pressure cooker. In a small bowl, whisk honey, soy sauce, water, garlic and pepper flakes; stir into the pressure cooker. Lock lid; close pressure-release valve. Adjust to pressure-cook on high for 4 minutes.
  • Quick-release pressure. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into the pressure cooker. Select saute setting and adjust for low heat. Simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Serve with rice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and, if desired, green onions.

1 serving: 311 calories, 9g fat (2g saturated fat), 94mg cholesterol, 1004mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (17g sugars, 0 fiber), 37g protein.

 

  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (10-1/2 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 1 can (10 ounces) green enchilada sauce
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chiles
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 9 corn tortillas (6 inches)
  • 3 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
  • Optional: minced fresh cilantro, lime wedges, salsa and sour cream

  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients. Spread 1/4 cup chicken mixture over bottom of a Dutch oven. Top with 3 tortillas, overlapping and tearing them to fit, a third of the chicken mixture and a third of the cheese. Repeat twice.
  • Bake, covered, until a thermometer reads 165°, 50-60 minutes. If desired, serve with additional cilantro, salsa, sour cream and lime wedges.

1 serving: 541 calories, 27g fat (15g saturated fat), 116mg cholesterol, 1202mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 6g fiber), 39g protein.

 

  • 2-1/2 cups ketchup
  • 2/3 cup white vinegar
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon liquid smoke, optional

  • In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2 tablespoons: 55 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 323mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate (15g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.

 

  • 2-1/2 pounds chicken wings
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Oil for deep-fat frying
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

  • Cut wings into 3 sections; discard wing tip sections. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and pepper. Add wings, a few at a time, and toss to coat.
  • In an electric skillet or deep fryer, heat oil to 375°. Fry wings, a few at a time, until no longer pink, 3-4 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. In a large bowl, combine butter and seasoning. Add wings; toss to coat. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.

1 piece: 107 calories, 9g fat (2g saturated fat), 18mg cholesterol, 92mg sodium, 1g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 5g protein.

 

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeno pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground chicken
  • 4 hamburger buns, split
  • 1/2 cup guacamole
  • Optional toppings: sliced red onion, lettuce leaves, salsa and sour cream

  • In a large bowl, combine the first nine ingredients. Add chicken; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into four 3/4-in. thick patties.
  • Moisten a paper towel with cooking oil; using long-handled tongs, rub on grill rack to coat lightly. Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat 7-8 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 165°. Serve on buns with guacamole and additional toppings as desired.

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 inches) or taco shells, warmed
  • Optional toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes

  • Place chicken in a Dutch oven; add water to cover. Bring just to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in chicken reads 170°.
  • Using tongs, remove chicken from pan; reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Cool chicken slightly. Shred when cool enough to handle.
  • In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth; cook and stir until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in reserved cooking liquid. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer.
  • Stir in tomato sauce and seasonings; return to a boil. Stir in shredded chicken; heat through, stirring occasionally. Serve in tortillas with toppings, if desired.

 

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup chocolate or plain almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon baking cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter, warmed
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Miniature semisweet chocolate chips, optional
  • In a small container or Mason jar, combine oats, milk, cocoa, peanut butter and maple syrup. Seal; refrigerate overnight. If desired, top with additional peanut butter and mini chocolate chips.

Regardless of what recipe that you’d like to try, the most important thing is making them together with the family - happily and wholeheartedly. A family who cooks together, stays together. 

References: Tocaboca.com and Tasteofhome.com (All images are from Tasteofhome.com)

 

 

INTRODUCTION TO HEALTHY PARENTING

INTRODUCTION TO HEALTHY PARENTING

Raising a happy, healthy child is one of the most challenging jobs a parent can have -- and also one of the most rewarding. Yet many of us don't approach parenting with the same focus we would use for a job. We may act on our gut reactions or just use the same parenting techniques our own parents used, whether or not these were effective parenting skills.

Parenting is one of the most researched areas in the field of social science. No matter what your parenting style or what your parenting questions or concerns may be, from helping your child avoid becoming part of America's child obesity epidemic to dealing with behavior problems, experts can help.

In his book, The Ten Basic Principles of Good Parenting, Laurence Steinberg, PhD, provides tips and guidelines based on some 75 years of social science research. Follow them and you can avert all sorts of child behaviour problems, he says.

Good parenting helps foster empathy, honesty, self-reliance, self-control, kindness, cooperation, and cheerfulness, says Steinberg, a distinguished professor of psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia. It also promotes intellectual curiosity, motivation, and encourages a desire to achieve. Good parenting also helps protect children from developing anxiety, depression, eating disorder, antisocial behaviour, and alcohol and drug abuse.  

WHAT ARE THE 10 PRINCIPLES OF GOOD PARENTING?

  1. WHAT YOU DO MATTERS.

Whether it's your own health behaviours or the way you treat other people, your children are learning from what you do. "This is one of the most important principles," Steinberg explains. "What you do makes a difference...Don't just react on the spur of the moment. Ask yourself, What do I want to accomplish, and is this likely to produce that result?" 

  1. YOU CANNOT BE TOO LOVING. 

"It is simply not possible to spoil a child with love," Steinberg writes. "What we often think of as the product of spoiling a child is never the result of showing a child too much love. It is usually the consequence of giving a child things in place of love -- things like leniency, lowered expectations, or material possessions." 

  1. BE INVOLVED IN YOUR CHILD'S LIFE. 

"Being an involved parent takes time and is hard work, and it often means rethinking and rearranging your priorities. It frequently means sacrificing what you want to do for what your child needs to do. Be there mentally as well as physically."

Being involved does not mean doing a child's homework -- or correcting it. "Homework is a tool for teachers to know whether the child is learning or not," Steinberg says. "If you do the homework, you're not letting the teacher know what the child is learning." 

  1. ADAPT YOUR PARENTING TO FIT YOUR CHILD. 

Keep pace with your child's development. Your child is growing up. Consider how age is affecting the child's behaviour.

"The same drive for independence that is making your 3-year-old say 'no' all the time is what's motivating him to be toilet trained," writes Steinberg. "The same intellectual growth spurt that is making your 13-year-old curious and inquisitive in the classroom also is making her argumentative at the dinner table." 

  1. ESTABLISH AND SET RULES.

"If you don't manage your child's behaviour when he is young, he will have a hard time learning how to manage himself when he is older and you aren't around. Any time of the day or night, you should always be able to answer these three questions: Where is my child? Who is with my child? What is my child doing? The rules your child has learned from you are going to shape the rules he applies to himself.

"But you can't micromanage your child," Steinberg notes. "Once they're in middle school, you need to let the child do their own homework, make their own choices and not intervene." 

  1. FOSTER YOUR CHILD'S INDEPENDENCE. 

"Setting limits helps your child develop a sense of self-control. Encouraging independence helps her develop a sense of self-direction. To be successful in life, she's going to need both."

It's normal for children to push for autonomy, says Steinberg. "Many parents mistakenly equate their child's independence with rebelliousness or disobedience. Children push for independence because it is part of human nature to want to feel in control rather than to feel controlled by someone else." 

  1. BE CONSISTENT. 

"If your rules vary from day to day in an unpredictable fashion or if you enforce them only intermittently, your child's misbehaviour is your fault, not his. Your most important disciplinary tool is consistency. Identify your non-negotiables. The more your authority is based on wisdom and not on power, the less your child will challenge it." 

  1. AVOID HARSH DISCIPLINE. 

Parents should never hit a child, under any circumstances, Steinberg says. "Children who are spanked, hit, or slapped are more prone to fighting with other children," he writes. "They are more likely to be bullies and more likely to use aggression to solve disputes with others."

"There are many other ways to discipline a child -- including 'time out' -- which work better and do not involve aggression." 

  1. EXPLAIN YOUR RULES AND DECISIONS.

"Good parents have expectations they want their child to live up to," he writes. "Generally, parents overexplain to young children and underexplain to adolescents. What is obvious to you may not be evident to a 12-year-old. He doesn't have the priorities, judgment, or experience that you have." 

  1. TREAT YOUR CHILD WITH RESPECT. 

"The best way to get respectful treatment from your child is to treat him respectfully," Steinberg writes. "You should give your child the same courtesies you would give to anyone else. Speak to him politely. Respect his opinion. Pay attention when he is speaking to you. Treat him kindly. Try to please him when you can. Children treat others the way their parents treat them. Your relationship with your child is the foundation for her relationships with others."

For example, if your child is a picky eater: "I personally don't think parents should make a big deal about eating," Steinberg says. "Children develop food preferences. They often go through them in stages. You don't want to turn mealtimes into unpleasant occasions. Just don't make the mistake of substituting unhealthy foods. If you don't keep junk food in the house, they won't eat it." 

HOW CAN PARENTS AVOID THE DINNERTIME BATTLE WITH THEIR CHILDREN? 

Still, there are some gentle ways parents can nudge their kids toward more healthful eating habits. Here are a few thoughts from nationally known nutrition experts on how to get kids to go from being picky eaters to people with sound, varied diets:

  • Avoid a mealtime power struggle. One of the surest ways to win the battle but lose the war is to engage in a power struggle with your child over food, says Jody Johnston Pawel, LSW, CFLE, author of The Parent's Toolshop. With power struggles, you're saying, "Do it because I'm the parent" and that's a rationale that won't work for long, she says. But if your child understands the why behind the rules, those values can lay the groundwork for a lifetime of sound food choices.
  • Let kids participate. Get a stepstool and ask your kids to lend a hand with easy tasks in the kitchen, says Sal Severe, PhD, author of How to Behave So Your Children Will, Too. "If they participate in helping to make the meal, they are more likely to want to try it," he says. Older children and teens can begin to prepare special meals or dishes by themselves. Get teens started learning to prepare healthy foods before it's time to live on their own.
  • Don't label. Severe reminds parents that, more often than not, kids under 5 are going to be selective eaters. "Being selective is actually normal," says Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD. She prefers the term "limited eater" to the more negative term "picky."
  • Build on the positives. "When I sit down with parents, we'll often find that their child actually does eat two or three things from each food group," says Ward. Just as children can get comfort from reading the same story over and over, they enjoy having a set of "predictable" foods. "Even though they aren't getting a wide variety of foods, they are actually doing OK nutritionally," says Ward. When the child goes through a growth spurt and has a bigger appetite, use that opportunity to introduce new foods, she recommends.
  • Expose, expose, expose. Ward says a child needs to be exposed to a new food 10 to 15 times before he or she will accept it. But many parents give up long before that. So, even if your child only plays with the strawberry on her plate, don't give up. One day, she just may surprise you by taking a bite. But don't go overboard, says Severe. Limit exposure to one or two new foods a week.
  • Don't bribe. Avoid using sweets as a bribe to get kids to eat something else, says Pawel. That can send the message that doing the right thing should involve an external reward as well as reinforces the pattern that eating unhealthy foods is a good way to reward yourself. The real reward of sound nutrition is a healthy body, not a chocolate cupcake.
  • Beware of over-snacking. Sometimes the problem isn't that the child doesn't like new foods but that they are already full, says Ward. "Kids can consume a lot of their calories as milk and juice." Encourage the kids to drink water rather than juice when they're thirsty. You can also create flavoured waters by adding a splash of their favourite juice to sparkling or still water. The same goes for snacks that provide little more than calories, such as chips, sweets, and sodas. "If you are going to offer snacks, make sure they are supplementing meals, not sabotaging them," she says.
  • Establish limits. Having a set of bottom-line limits can help a parent provide some consistency, says Pawel. For example, parents may require that kids eat nutritious foods before snack food. Or that they must at least try a new food before rejecting it. "Consistency only works if what you are doing in the first place is reasonable," she says. So, avoid overly controlling or overly permissive eating rules. If bottom-line limits are healthy, effective, and balanced, they'll pay off.
  • Examine your role model. Make sure you aren't asking kids to "do as I say, not as I do," says Pawel. If your own diet is based mainly on fat, sugar, and salt, you can hardly expect your child to embrace a dinner salad over French fries.
  • Defuse mealtimes. Don't make your child's eating habits part of the mealtime discussion, says Ward. Otherwise, every meal becomes a stressful event, centred on what the child does and does not eat. Ward suggests that parents reserve talks about the importance of good eating for later, perhaps at bedtime or storytime.
  • Give it time. "I find that children become much more open to trying new foods after the age of 5," says Ward. "Most of the time, kids will simply grow out of limited eating." 

HOW CAN PARENTS FIT IN FAMILY FITNESS? 

 

Children need at least an hour of moderate to strenuous physical activity every day to stay healthy, according to experts. But many kids just aren't getting that much exercise. And most groups are unanimous on the prime culprit: sedentary entertainment, meaning the temptations of the TV, computer, and video games.

So, your first step toward encouraging a healthy level of physical exercise should be to limit your children's TV and screen time. Beyond that, here are some tips from the experts on how to help your children (and yourself) stay active:

  • Make an exercise schedule. Exercise doesn't have to involve a rigid routine. But it's a good idea to schedule a regular time for exercise each day. You and your kids will be more likely to get up and get moving if you've set aside a specific time for physical activity. Many parents find that participation in after-school sports brings some needed relaxation and socialization time as well as fulfils the physical fitness requirement.

  • Support physical-education programs in the schools, which may be reduced or receive less emphasis in some school systems. Communicate to your child's teachers and administrators your belief that physical education (PE) is an important part of the curriculum.

  • Plan your vacations, weekends, and days off around fitness fun. Plan a bike ride, take an invigorating hike along nature trails, or pack a picnic lunch and head for the park for a family game of Frisbee.

 

  • Make use of community resources. When it comes to finding fitness opportunities, take advantage of what your community has to offer. Join the local YMCA or sign up for tennis or other lessons through your Parks and Recreation Department. Look for water aerobics classes and golf lessons at local swimming pools and golf courses.

  • Get the whole neighbourhood involved. Organize neighbourhood fitness activities for children and their parents. Softball games, soccer matches, and jump-rope contests are fun for kids and adults.

  • Dance! Children of all ages love to dance. Crank up the music, show your kids the dances that were popular when you were a teen, and let them teach you their favourite dance moves.

  • Expose your child to a variety of physical fitness activities and sports. Your child will likely find the combination of activities or sports that are most enjoyable for him or her and will not become bored with one activity.

 

  • Let your kids take turns being the fitness director for your family. They'll have more fun when they're allowed to choose the activity, and they'll enjoy putting their parents and siblings through their paces.

Reference: https://www.medicinenet.com/parenting_principles_pictures_slideshow/article.htm

Black breastfeeding week matters—mamas of color are not getting the support they need

Black breastfeeding week matters—mamas of color are not getting the support they need

Breastfeeding is one of the best joys of motherhood. The bond mamas develop with their little ones is so precious, but it's not always easy. Some of the most common struggles new mamas confront include securing a proper latch, nipple soreness and low milk supply. But for breastfeeding mothers of color, there is an additional set of struggles that are often overlooked.

While it's only a start, Black Breastfeeding Week can be an equalizer, bringing attention to the challenges black women face while promoting the fact that black women do, in fact, breastfeed.

These are breastfeeding challenges new mothers of color face and what we can start doing today to initiate a positive change:

1. Lack of prenatal support

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black mothers are four times more likely to die during and after pregnancy. In fact, a study from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine proved that healthcare providers often assume that black patients are overreacting when raising issues regarding pain, discomfort and other difficulties.

The nonchalant outlook regarding the health concerns of black women can lead to the common assumption that black mothers do not breastfeed. As a result, the breastfeeding education that expectant black mothers should receive is often left out of the prenatal care plan.

How Black Breastfeeding Week helps: It encourages increased integration of prenatal breastfeeding education. By raising awareness of the racial disparities experienced by the black community, this week can motivate healthcare workers to place a greater emphasis on promoting and encouraging breastfeeding to their black expectant mothers.

2. Lack of postpartum breastfeeding support

After giving birth it is common for new mothers to receive assistance with latching, education regarding the benefits of breastfeeding, and a visit from a lactation consultant. But for new mothers of color, this experience may be very different. In fact, a study indicated that hospitals located in areas with a higher percentage of black residents were less likely to provide adequate breastfeeding support. Additionally, black infants are more likely to be formula fed in the hospital than other races.

Compared to white mothers, researchers at Northshore University reported that black mothers were significantly more likely to be encouraged to formula feed. Early initiation of formula feeding without necessity can reduce the likelihood of long-term breastfeeding success.

How Black Breastfeeding Week helps: This week draws attention to this discrepancy, thus reminding birth workers that black mothers DO breastfeed and that, with proper education and support, the breastfeeding rates among the black community will improve.

3. Lack of support within the black community

In addition to the uncomfortable stares, nursing mothers may get while breastfeeding in public, breastfeeding women of color also have to deal with stigmas within their own community. These stigmas stem from the historical trauma of being forced to wet nurse babies of their slave owners which often led to the neglect and inability to nurse their own children.

Because of this, breastfeeding is not normalized within black families or the black community.

How Black Breastfeeding Week helps: With a focus on normalizing and celebrating breastfeeding in public, this awareness can help to eliminate the stigma of breastfeeding within the black community. When more of the black community see their peers proudly nursing their babies in public, it will break the generational belief that "breastfeeding is only for white women."

4. Lack of support within the breastfeeding community

Of the 31,181 International Board Certified Lactation Consultants worldwide, very few of them are African American. Black mothers often find it easier to discuss their breastfeeding struggles with someone that understands the disparities and cultural issues they may face. Additionally, the majority of advertisements depicting breastfeeding mothers do not feature women of color. Without role models and supporters that look like them, it is unlikely that black mothers will strive to breastfeed since it is not promoted within their community.

How Black Breastfeeding Week helps: While this is an unfortunate truth, Black Breastfeeding Week seeks to encourage women of color to become lactation consultants by pointing out the lack of diversity within the lactation community. It also highlights the amazing black lactation consultants available that act as role models for aspiring breastfeeding supporters of color.

Here's how you can make a difference:

These struggles have led to a lower percentage of breastfeeding black mothers when compared to other races, however, with raised awareness by the CDC and campaigns like Black Breastfeeding Week, the statistics are improving. In 2015, only 64.3% of black infants were breastfed. The most recent CDC breastfeeding statistic report shows that there was a 10% increase in breastfeeding of black infants.

With increased prenatal and postpartum support (regardless of your race), more access to resources, and added representation of both black breastfeeding mothers and black lactation professionals, these statistics will continue to improve, resulting in healthier communities everywhere.

Here are three actionable ways you can support Black Breastfeeding Week right now:

  1. Write to your government officials and tell them why they should celebrate and promote Black Breastfeeding Week in your city/state.
  2. Share articles like this on social media to help your friends, family and the rest of the world learn about why this week is necessary.
  3. Like and share images of black breastfeeding women on your social media channels. Black representation matters and your support just might encourage a mother to breastfeed.

 

source: mother.ly