Cooking Magic for Kids

Tips for Overweight Kids

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  • Prepare planned meals, using local organic fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Eating home cooked meals from scratch makes you more aware of what you are eating, brings the family together, and is less expensive. You need less of quality food to feel full and be healthy.
  • Maintain a regulated meal plan from your pediatrician. You can eat everything you want, just not all at one meal or in just one day. Any meal tastes better when you are really hungry. Set reasonable goals with your pediatrician, like losing five pounds or walking 15 minutes a day and monitor your progress on a chart.
  •  Make treats and baked goods at home for less money and better taste. Try applesauce instead of vegetable oil for lower calories. Choose healthy ingredients, like nuts and fruits. Freeze half the batch. Read the labels on food packages at the store, check the ingredients, and count the calories, carbohydrates, and proteins. Avoid the vending machines at school. 
  • Drink pure water. Herb teas come in many flavors, have many health benefits, can be served hot or cold and have 0 calories. Drinking eight cups of pure water a day flushes out the toxins and keeps your system running smoothly. 
  • Use smaller size plates and four ounce bowls.  A smaller serving looks bigger in a smaller container. Less tastes best. Eat smaller bites and chew well. Really savor and enjoy the experience. Eat less and move more!
  • Join a dance class or an after school team sport. Try out for a team at school. Walk your dog twice a day. Gardening is great exercise for overweight kids, especially when done regularly 20 to 30 minutes a day and is so fun.  Find the daily exercise that makes you the most happy.  
  • Help get a salad bar, farm to school produce, a school garden, and cooking classes at your school. Every school must develop a wellness plan according to the 2004 Children Nutrition and W.I.C. Re-authorization Act. However, many schools failed to meet federal standards for healthy meals. Ask your teacher what you can do to take up the Healthier U.S. School Challenge.

Taste Test

Why Organic?

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The health of plants, soil, livestock, and our kids are interrelated. Working in an organic garden and kitchen gives our children a chance to get connected to what is alive on the planet around them. Organic foods are produced without the toxic chemicals commonly used on growing produce since the 1950’s. These toxic long lasting chemicals have harmed our environment and our health. These synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, and genetically engineered organisms and growth enhancers do not support a biologically diverse healthy soil. Instead of depleting the soil, organic farmers create and maintain a healthy soil by rotating crops to add nutrients and limit insect habitat. Plant waste compost kills pathogens and weed seeds and is a rich fertilizer for soil life and healthy crops. Organic farmers use natural predators to control pests that destroy their crops, use earthworms to aerate the soil, and have cover crops planted to enrich the soil.

You need less of quality food, organic whole grains, to feel full and be healthy. Fresh picked, organic produce is more colorful, smells better, has a better texture, and is tastier than frozen, canned, or conventional produce. Some veggies like cherry tomatoes or corn are delicious eaten fresh picked standing in the garden. Pointing children to the joys of growing and cooking their own food instills positive eating habits, leadership skills, and better attitudes. When kids pick, wash, and steam their own veggies, they can hardly wait to eat their own preparation. Local organic produce has more nutritional value, is tastier, and helps the environment.

Taste Test

Sweet, Sour, Salty, Spicy!

Sweet, Sour, Salty, Spicy!

Sweet, Sour, Salty, Spicy! Give your kids a taste test snack to excite their taste buds! Try a strawberry, a lime section, chips, and a stuffed jalapeno! Its a fun way to introduce new foods, bring awareness to different flavors, and do a science experiment with their tongue!

7 Tips to keep Kids Healthy

Pointing children to the joys of growing and cooking their own food instills positive eating habits, leadership skills, and better attitudes. Kids in cities have been alienated from nature and have no idea where their food comes from; they are afraid of bugs and getting dirty. Sixteen million American children, one in five, don’t have enough food to eat. By teaching kids to make healthy recipes from foods they grow, we can be a catalyst for change and aid in the solution of this worldwide problem. Students are uplifted by experiencing the wonders of the natural world by growing a school or home garden, from pots on the window sill to raised veggie beds. Working in the garden and in the kitchen gives our youth a chance to get connected to what is alive on the planet around them. Kids become enlightened about nature, earn the esteem of extended family and friends, and discover that cooking is fun and yummy.

Local Produce Stand

Local Produce Stand

                                                     7 Tips for Healthy Kids:

1. Before, during, and after cooking and eating, wash your hands with soap and water.

2. Drink eight glasses of water a day. Breathe fresh air and get great exercise working the in garden.

3. You are what you eat. Visit the Farmers Market. Choose local, in season, and organic fruits and vegetables! A healthy diet is easy.

4. Read the labels on food packages, checking the ingredients and the sell-by dates.

5. Eat the rainbow! Brightly colored fruits and veggies are the magic secret for all around health. Each vivid color is a different spectrum of photochemical and antioxidants.

6. Invite Laughter, Love, and Luck into the kitchen by thinking kind, grateful thoughts. How we experience food in our homes and environment, changes our bodies and the metabolic process.

7. Make meal time a family activity. Let everyone help in the kitchen, setting the table, or singing a song. Enjoy a nutritious meal with loved ones.

Berry Blast Off Stuffed Strawberries

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2 tbsp heavy cream                           1 tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 tbsp cream cheese                           1 small mashed strawberry

1 tsp sugar                                          3 large (2-3”) strawberries

Use local, fresh, organic ingredients. For the filling, whip heavy cream in small bowl, whip in cream cheese, sugar and mashed strawberry. Stir in chocolate chips. Using a grapefruit spoon, remove the green strawberry tops. Using the spoon handle, carefully scrape the inside of the strawberry. Stuff the filling inside the strawberries and refrigerate ½ hour or until time to serve.

Ventura County Earth Day

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