Cooking Magic for Kids

How Parents can help Kids with diabetes

IMG_0074 Team of Support for Kids with diabetes

  1. Pediatrician – Take your child every three to six months for a checkup. The pediatrician will order tests, write prescriptions, and refer you to many of the following specialists.
  2. Certified Diabetes Educator – This may be a social worker, school counselor, nurse, or dietitian, who will teach you and your child how to cope with medications and illness.
  3. Dietitian – A nutritionist teaches you and your child how to eat healthier with daily meal planning and balancing food with medications.
  4. School Nurse – You can leave medicine and instructions so your child can be helped immediately if there is a need.
  5. Exercise Specialist or Physical Education Coach – You can set up a exercise program appropriate for your child.
  6. Mom and Dad – Your child depends on your support for the emotional challenges that develop in following the new lifestyle.
  7. Teacher – Giving your child’s teacher information from your pediatrician so everyone in your child’s life is on board with the program.
  8. Parenting Classes especially for diabetes – Take this class after your child’s initial diabetes diagnosis.
  9. Daily eating fresh, local organic fruits, veggies, and whole grains.

Buy Local Produce

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Buy local produce and be Eco-friendly by saving the energy to prepare our food for shipping and the fuel used by trucks to transport it. Many kids are afraid of getting dirty and have no idea where their food comes from. What could be more local than creating a raised bed vegetable garden in our own backyard? Growing fruits and veggies in large pots on the patio, herbs and veggies in wall planting pockets, or herbs in window sills excites kids to prepare and eat them.  Eating food that grows where we live also helps with our allergies and immunities.

California Strawberry Festival

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Kids love strawberries as a snack any time of day. When put in reusable containers, kids can take strawberries with them for lunch or picnics.  Besides being delicious, strawberries are a Super Fruit: an excellent source of vitamin C, antioxidants, potassium, and fiber. Strawberries help with immunities and brain health.

Slim Salad

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2 Persian cucumbers                           1 garlic clove               ½ cup grape tomatoes                                  1 tbsp virgin olive oil                           1 green onion                1 tsp balsamic vinegar                            Seasoned salt                                      basil, oregano, parsley leaves

Wash veggies. Slice cucumbers and cut tomatoes in half. Chop onion and garlic finely. Mix in a bowl with oil and vinegar, salt, and fresh herb leaves cut from your garden or windowsill planter.

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.