Livliga

Help Us Help Kids Be Healthy!

Help Us Help Kids Be Healthy!
Help Us Help Kids Be Healthy!

Friday, September 21, 2018

How to Make AND Enjoy Healthy Meals With Your Kids || Cómo preparar y disfrutar de comidas saludables con tus hijos


September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. It is a great time to focus on our kids, what they eat and how they can be active in order to live the healthiest life they can. All children should and can be included.

Septiembre es el Mes de Concientización sobre la Obesidad Infantil. Es el momento perfecto para enfocarse en nuestros hijos, en lo que comen y en cómo pueden ser activos para vivir una vida más sana. Todos los niños deben y pueden estar incluidos.

Preparing more meals at home is a great family activity. It is also cheaper and healthier for your family. When you prepare meals at home you can control the amount of salt, sugar and fat added because of the recipes you choose as well as the way you choose to prepare your food.

Una gran actividad familiar es preparar más comidas en casa. También es más barato y saludable para tu familia. Al preparar las comidas en casa, tienes mejor control sobre la cantidad de sal, azúcar y grasa añadida debido a las recetas que elijas y en la forma en la que se preparan.



Sometimes thinking about meals, especially with young children in mind, can seem overwhelming. Being a mom of three kids, I have developed a variety of helpful tips along the way. A little patience and pre-organizing makes a big difference in the outcome of everyone’s experience in preparing meals together.

A veces, el pensar en que cocinar, especialmente teniendo niños pequeños en cuenta, puede parecer abrumador. Siendo madre de tres niños, he desarrollado una gran variedad de consejos útiles durante mucho tiempo. Un poco de paciencia y organización previa hacen una gran diferencia en la experiencia de todos al preparar comidas juntos.



Involving your kids in meal choosing and preparation can actually make mealtime more pleasant and fun. Children, regardless of their age can contribute. There is no reason you should be fixing a meal all by yourself…at least not everyday! It is also a great way to help your children learn about different foods, what goes into making a balanced meal and how to help out. When your kids are part of meal making they are going to have a “pride of authorship” about the meal and are more likely to try out new foods and new combinations of foods. Involving your children in food preparation successfully does require some pre-organizing, however. Here are eight tips that can help:

Al incluir a tus hijos en la elección y preparación de la comida puedes hacer que la hora de la comida sea más placentera y divertida. Independientemente de sus edades, todos los niños pueden colaborar. No hay razón por la que debas preparar la comida sola ... ¡Al menos no todos los días! También es una gran ayuda para que tus hijos aprendan sobre los diferentes alimentos, lo que implica hacer una comida balanceada y cómo ayudar. Cuando tus hijos forman parte de la preparación de comidas, tendrán un "orgullo de autoría" sobre la comida y es más probable que prueben nuevos alimentos y nuevas combinaciones. Sin embargo, para tener una participación exitosa con tus hijos, se requiere cierta organización antes de empezar. Aquí hay ocho consejos que pueden ayudar:

1. Plan ahead. Thinking about the week ahead and the meals you will prepare helps save you time and money in the long run. By organizing ahead of time you can make sure there are meals your kids will like and can help prepare. You can all shop ahead so you know all the ingredients you need are in your kitchen ready to use.

1. Planifica con anticipación. Piensa en las comidas que quieres preparar para la próxima semana, pensar en largo plazo te ayudará a ahorrar tiempo y dinero. Organizar con anticipación te ayudará a asegurar de que haya comida que a tus hijos les gusten y puedan ayudar a preparar. Todos pueden comprar con anticipación para saber los ingredientes que se necesiten y estén listos para usar.

2. Pick recipes with only a few ingredients (6-10 is ideal) and that are easy to find at the grocery store. As you and your kids get more comfortable with cooking you can add more complexity. Check out the directions too; make sure they are not complicated to follow since you want the experience to be fun and non-stressful.

2. Elige recetas con pocos ingredientes (6 a 10 es ideal), fáciles de encontrar en el supermercado. A medida que tu y tus hijos se sientan más cómodos en la cocina, puedes agregar más complejidad a tus comidas. También asegúrate consultar las instrucciones que no sean complicadas de seguir ya que deseas que la experiencia sea divertida y no estresante.

3. Choose 2 or 3 recipes you think are kid-friendly and that you like, then have your kids choose which one they want to help make. This is a great first step for getting them engaged.

3. Elige 2 ó 3 recetas aptas para niños y que les gusten, luego deja que tus hijos elijan la receta que más quieran ayudar a hacer. Éste es un gran primer paso para incluirlos.

4. Take your kids to the grocery store with you. Let them help pick out the ingredients for the recipe they chose. Make it like a treasure hunt.

4. Lleva a tus hijos contigo al supermercado. Permite que ellos ayuden a escoger los ingredientes para la receta que eligieron. Conviértelo en una búsqueda del tesoro.

5. Involve your children in preparing the food. The experts say our children are more likely to try new foods, eat healthier and enjoy variety if they participate in food preparation. Levels of involvement will vary depending on their age. The youngest can wash vegetables or mix ingredients in a bowl. Older children can be put in charge of an entire recipe where you support with feedback and sourcing ingredients.

5. Incluye a tus hijos en la preparación de la comida. Los expertos dicen que nuestros hijos tienen más probabilidades a probar alimentos nuevos, comer más saludable y disfrutar de variedad si participan en la preparación de las comidas. Los niveles de participación variarán según su edad. El más joven puede lavar verduras o mezclar los ingredientes en un tazón. A los niños mayores se les puede poner a cargo de una receta completa y apoyar con comentarios y guías sobre los ingredientes.

6. Avoid snacking too close to your meal. It is better to be hungry at mealtime. Everyone will enjoy his or her food more. When you are hungry all your senses are heightened so you smell more, taste more, see colors more. Ideally snacks should be eaten two or more hours before meals.

6. Evita comer entre comidas. Es mejor tener hambre a la hora de comer. Todos disfrutarán más de su comida. Cuando tienes hambre, todos tus sentidos se intensifican: hueles más, saboreas más, y ves más colores. Idealmente, las botanas se deben comer dos o más horas antes de cada comida.

7. Make sure to sit at a table for your meals. Let your children help set the table. It is part of making a healthy meal.

7. Asegúrate de sentarte en una mesa al comer. Deja que tus hijos ayuden a poner la mesa, es parte de crear una comida saludable.

8. Enjoy your meal. Make it a positive experience. Talk about how fun it was to cook together. Have fun savoring the meal. Your children will mirror your behavior.

8. Disfruta tu comida. Haz que sea una experiencia positiva. Habla sobre lo divertido que fue cocinar juntos, diviértete saboreando la comida. Tus hijos reflejarán tu comportamiento.

More and more studies show eating at home, having your children participating in meal preparation and sitting round a table for dinner makes a significant difference in what your children eat and their ability to embrace a healthy lifestyle long term. It is as much about the experience as it is about the food you choose to serve.

Cada vez hay más estudios que demuestran que el comer en casa junto a tu familia y la participación de tus hijos en las preparaciones de comidas marcan una diferencia significativa en lo que ellos comen y su capacidad para adoptar un estilo de vida saludable a largo plazo. Se trata tanto de la experiencia como también de las comidas que eliges para servir.

For kid-friendly recipe ideas go to my blog and check out the Sammie and Sax recipes on the LivligaHome.com website.

Para más ideas de recetas amigables para los niños visita mi blog y las recetas de Sammie y Sax en la página web LivligaHome.com.

FREE KIDS BOOK!

During September, in support of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month (#NCOAM) Livliga is offering our brand new Spanish version of our children's book for FREE! If you would like one or know a kid who would enjoy their own copy, it is downloadable and in ebook format, just use this code at checkout: FreeKidsBookSpanish.


¡LIBRO GRATUITO PARA NIÑOS!

Durante septiembre, en apoyo del Mes Nacional de Concientización sobre la Obesidad Infantil (#NCOAM) ¡Livliga está ofreciendo nuestra nueva versión en español de nuestro libro para niños GRATIS! Si desea una o conoce a un niño que disfrutaría de su propia copia, descargable y en formato de libro electrónico, simplemente usaun código al momento de pagar: FreeKidsBookSpanish.

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

Get your FREE eBook

Friday, September 14, 2018

Who are Sammie & Sax? The story behind our children’s adventure book


People have asked me how I came up with the story of Sammie & Sax. The truth is I have always been a storyteller. When my children were little I concocted bedtime stories about "The Kingdom of Good" where they would be the characters in the stories going on adventures, solving the problems of the kingdom and doing good.

Stories are really the way we learn and pass on information. Making it fun and entertaining is the magic of effective teaching. Because Livliga and Kidliga are all about teaching portions: real, right-sized serving sizes; and proportions: how much of each type of food we should eat… I knew we needed a story that would incorporate these concepts.
 
After more studying I realized that the most fundamental idea for eating healthy is learning about a balanced meal.  A balanced meal is all about types of foods, proportions of those foods and their appropriate amounts at a meal. There are studies that show most people do not know what a balanced meal is today. How can we teach our kids about a balanced meal and healthy eating if we are not clear about it ourselves? That is when it came to me to write a book for young children that their parents and caregivers could read to them. Everybody could learn together and have fun doing it.


I wanted it to be an adventure book with children as the central characters. It needed to be a book where they were charged with discovering the answer to a question posed that needed to be resolved through their experience. And, of course, adventures need to have a bit of magic to them.

Sammie and Sax became the central characters. I chose to have them be a sister and brother. Sammie is an outgoing 8 year old who can’t get enough of fruits and vegetables. She loves to sing and is a fantastic big‑sister to Sax. Sax is 6 and is in the 1st grade. He's Sammie's younger brother, and his very best friend is the mischievous family dog, Rhubarb. Sax is extremely curious and loves to solve mysteries. As is the case in our own family, our kids grew up with dogs that went on many adventures with them.  It seemed natural that Sammie and Sax would have a dog and that he would go with them on their trips to magical lands. That is how Rhubarb came to be.


The book evolved into a mixture of a fairytale and an adventure with a lesson to be learned. In a lot of fairytales there is the vehicle to help the characters to get from one situation to another. Dorothy had her red shoes, Rapunzel had her long hair, and Cinderella’s godmother had a magic wand. Since our book was focusing on healthy eating and balanced meals it occurred to me that our LivSpoon could become the magical tool to help Sammie, Sax, and Rhubarb get from one place to another.


It has always been the plan to make the adventures of Sammie and Sax a series.  There is so much we can teach and share about healthy eating and living a healthy lifestyle to our children. Sammie and Sax in the Land of Quinoa: The Search for a Balanced Meal is only the beginning.

We also have so many ways we can offer additional information to complement the books and the lessons within them. We have a dish set designed just for children and incorporating the characters from the book, a puzzle, recipes, mazes, coloring pages, and an activity booklet. We even have a DIY placemat that kids can make for themselves.


Most recently we have translated our book into Spanish so more kids can meet Sammie and Sax and learn about healthy eating. It is done as a ebook so it can be made available for a very nominal price ($2.99) and accessed anywhere in the world where children speak Spanish. The characters and some content has been modified in the book to make it more culturally relevant too.


FREE KIDS BOOK! During September, in support of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month ( #NCOAM ) Livliga is offering our brand new Spanish version of our children's book for FREE! If you would like one or know a kid who would enjoy their own copy, it downloadable and in ebook format, just use this code at checkout: FreeKidsBookSpanish.

¡LIBRO GRATUITO PARA NIÑOS! Durante septiembre, en apoyo del Mes Nacional de Concientización sobre la Obesidad Infantil (#NCOAM) ¡Livliga está ofreciendo nuestra nueva versión en español de nuestro libro para niños GRATIS! Si desea una o conoce a un niño que disfrutaría de su propia copia, descargable y en formato de libro electrónico, simplemente usa un código al momento de pagar: FreeKidsBookSpanish.

Enjoy! And Live vibrant....or as Sammie and Sax would say, “Zoom, zoom, away!


Get your FREE eBook


Friday, September 7, 2018

10 Reasons to Like the Cooking Light Diet


Cooking Light Diet, which is an online program you can subscribe to, is the answer to many frustrations and challenges associated with being on a diet. Some of the frustrations are: there is a lot of planning when you are on a diet; you have to stay within a plan and often that includes a specific calorie target for each day; in order to control what you eat you need to eat more at home and prepare more meals; preparing more food means you need to be organized and have the food you need on hand; and if you are a foodie, like me, the food has to be tasty and visually appealing so I can stick to it and succeed on the diet. With all the planning and organizing a diet can seem overwhelming and really time consuming. The Cooking Light Diet addresses all these frustrations and challenges to make it much more manageable and doable to be on a healthy diet.

I tried it out personally and lost 20 pounds! So bottom line—it works!

Here are the 10 Reasons to Like the Cooking Light Diet:


  1. All meals are planned for the whole week, including snacks.
  2. Meals can be swapped out so you don’t have to prepare something you don’t like.
  3. A grocery list is easily generated for the meals you plan to prepare.
    • The cool thing to point out here is that you can choose the meals you will make and the grocery list is automatically tailored to include only those meals you choose.
    • Another neat feature is that you can send the list to your phone and refine the list further so you only buy what you need and don’t already have in house.
  4. You can download the menu list so you can see at a glance what meals you will be preparing through out the week. They also send you daily reminders by email.
  5. You can download each individual recipe to use when preparing your meal.
  6. Everything is printable which is really helpful.
  7. Saving recipes you like is very easy; all you have to do is click on the “book” icon.
  8. There are diet options within the Cooking Light Diet so if you want to follow a low carb diet or want it to be vegetarian or gluten free there is that choice within the program. You can also choose your daily plan for calories.
  9. There is a feature to track your goals (which are adjustable), see long term progress, and graphs pounds down. It even includes badges to celebrate your successes.
  10. The cost is very reasonable—only $38 every 6 months!

There were only a few detractors I found to following this diet plan long term. The first is that there is a fair amount of repetition in the recipes. I also found some of the menus odd if you choose the low carb option. There seemed to be no attention paid to how the food would look on the plate to make it colorful and attractive. Often there would be two green vegetables with meat for the meal. Finally, I was really surprised there was no attention paid to seasonal foods in the menus. That to me is a real missed opportunity.


Overall I really like this online diet based on healthy eating. The recipes were tasty and pretty easy to make. Because you can swap out options, I found that made it easier to not only choose what I liked but also choose easier recipes, especially for snacks, that were less time consuming to assemble. Bottom line, I found it is a diet you can stick to and succeed with.


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Friday, August 31, 2018

Is it possible to have an "everybody-friendly" healthy recipe?


I used to think it was overwhelming and nearly impossible to create a meal that was "everybody-friendly" and healthy. There are so many food preferences, food allergies, and food needs that our friends and family have that it can be pretty daunting to imagine a meal that will meet all these needs.

This summer we had friends come visit who are vegans. I needed to come up with several days of meals that would meet their food needs and also appeal to the others eating with us. Is it possible to feed vegan meals to non-vegan eaters? Can a meal be designed that adults and children all find tasty? So many questions…

After a few days of feeling intimidated I took the challenge by the “horns” and decided to have fun exploring how I could be successful in making "everybody-friendly" meals. What I found is that by focusing on fresh foods I could make meals that would appeal to everyone and make the most of the freshest ingredients available at the grocery store. As examples, one night we had veggie burgers made from scratch, then I made pasta with a fresh tomato sauce and on another night we had tacos made with tofu. Who doesn’t like burgers, pasta and tacos, right?

The proof in my success was whether everyone was willing to eat these meals. They did! Not only did they compliment the chef, they also cleared their plates! So the answer to the questions is “Yes”, it is possible to make "everybody-friendly" healthy meals with a little forethought and attention to meals that have common appeal.

The tofu tacos were probably the biggest risk I took. I used a recipe from Cooking Light Diet to make them. I thought I would share that recipe with you here.

Here is the recipe for the “everybody-friendly” entrée:

Supercrunch Tofu Tacos


From Cooking Light Diet

Ingredients


  • 1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted cashews
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (2-inch) julienne-cut carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups (2-inch) julienne-cut peeled daikon radish
  • 2 tablespoons canola mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong)
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1/4 cup diagonally sliced green onions


Instructions


  1. Cut tofu lengthwise into 2 (1-inch-thick) slices.
  2. Cut each slice lengthwise into 4 (1-inch-thick) strips.
  3. Place tofu on several layers of heavy-duty paper towels.
  4. Cover tofu with additional paper towels; top with a cast-iron skillet or other heavy pan.
  5. Let stand 15 minutes.
  6. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  7. Sprinkle tofu with salt and pepper.
  8. Add canola oil to pan, and swirl to coat.
  9. Add tofu to pan; cook 10 minutes or until browned, turning to brown all sides.
  10. Remove tofu from pan, and drain on paper towels.
  11. Add cashews to pan; cook 30 seconds or until nuts are just beginning to brown.
  12. Remove nuts with a slotted spoon, and coarsely chop.
  13. Cut tofu strips crosswise into 1-inch cubes.
  14. Combine 1/4 cup vinegar, 3 tablespoons water, and sugar in a small saucepan; bring to a boil.
  15. Remove from heat; add carrots and radish.
  16. Let stand 15 minutes; drain.
  17. Combine mayonnaise, Sriracha, and 1 teaspoon vinegar in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  18. Working with 1 tortilla at a time, heat tortillas over medium-high heat directly on the eye of a burner for about 15 seconds on each side or until lightly charred.
  19. Arrange about 1/4 cup carrot mixture in center of each tortilla; top with 4 tofu pieces, about 1/2 teaspoon cashews, about 1 teaspoon mayonnaise mixture, and 1 1/2 teaspoons green onions.


Makes 4 servings     Serving size: 2 tacos     Calories: 397
Carbs 45.7g     Fiber 6.6g     Protein 13.0g     Sodium 516.0mg     Fat 18.6g

In order to make it a meal I added ½ cup mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries and blackberries) and served it up on Livliga! It makes an attractive plate of food and created a satisfying meal.

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

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