Involving Kids in Food Preparation : Kitchen Tips

family cooking

Here are seven tips to help you get the food on the table with minimal fuss and maximum enjoyment:

  1. Assign age-appropriate tasks: You aren’t going to give your toddler the cleaver. But there are jobs in kitchen that are suited for certain age groups. Kids under 5 years old can wash produce, count, measure, and even hand mix. Older kids (8 and up) can read recipes, stir food, grate, and even chop with some extra protection and supervision. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive list of tasks, separated by age, this is a great resource.
    Set up for safety and mess-minimization: Make sure everybody has their workstation set up for the tasks they can safely perform. Place the younger kids away from the heat and sharp objects. Provide aprons and have kids work over sheet pans for easy cleanup.
    Prepare some ingredients beforehand: It’s not cheating to have some ingredients ready to go into the pan—especially if they’re difficult to prepare or can make a mess. One good example: have raw chicken diced and ready to go in the pan if you’re making a stir fry.
    Serve up guidance and compliments: You don’t have to be a chef to teach cooking basics to kids. Guide kids through the tasks until they’ve mastered them. And make sure they know when they’ve done a good job. Compliments count.
    2.Don’t rush: Parenting is an exercise in patience. Cooking as a family is no different. Schedule extra time to prepare and cook the meals you make with your kids. And it’s a cliché, but the experience is actually more important than the end product.
    Eliminate distractions: To get all the benefits of cooking with kids, turn off the TV and have everybody put down their phones. This will foster more conversation and enhance the quality time you spend as a family.
    3.Have fun: You don’t need to have a food fight to enjoy your time in the kitchen. Mostly it’s about managing your expectations, leaving time to learn, laugh, and love what you’re doing. The fun you have making dinner will translate into the finished product.
    Cooking as a family doesn’t have to be daunting. Preparing properly are the keys to a successful and (relatively) stress-free experience. And remember, when you’re cooking with kids you’re not just making a meal—you’re developing skills, confidence, and habits for a lifetime.

From : Ask the Scientist

Meal Replacements :A Diet Solution?

nutri meal

I came across an article about How Good Are Meal replacements in order to loose weight. I am honest with you to admit I am a meal replacement user.
I will not mention exactly the product I am using but I have believed on its effectiveness. I am quoting this line from their site :

” The main focus behind any meal replacement shake is supplying enough calories that a person requires and using hunger blocking ingredients so that you do not keep rushing for unhealthy cookies. However, as millions of people struggle with overweight and keep searching for the best meal shakes, the fitness industry niche has attracted a lot of interest with new products being designed and getting released to the market.” (meal shake)

Another blog has this contents:

Meal replacements are being used more and more these days due to our busy and rushed lifestyles. But are they good for use in a weight loss program or do they just make things worse?

Think about the number one reasons why people are overweight nowadays. Overweight people fall into one of two different categories.

Either they have an unhealthy lifestyle – working long hours, eating out all the time, not getting enough exercise. Or they simply eat too much, often in a compulsive way.

This type of eating – eating when one isn’t hungry, for example, or eating for emotional reasons rather than physical hunger – is really a type of addiction. It should be understood as an addiction, and it often is.

For example, the group Over eaters Anonymous functions on many of the same principles as AA or other twelve-step programs. Excessive eating is treated like an addiction because that’s exactly what it is.

But if that’s the case, it’s easy to see why this addiction might be harder to treat than some others. The way to deal with an addiction is to stay away from the behavior that’s out of control – alcoholics can’t touch alcohol, for example. The idea is to not do it at all until the addiction becomes a thing of the past. In fact, for many addicts, they can never indulge in their addictive behavior again, not even once.

With food addiction, though, that’s obviously impossible. People have to eat – there’s no getting away from it. That’s why food addiction, though it’s an addiction to a non-lethal substance, may be the hardest of all to deal with. And that’s also why companies such as Slim-fast, who produce and market meal replacements for people to use while dieting to lose weight, actually do succeed in helping some people.

The idea behind meal replacements is that you don’t really eat at all for a good part of the day. Instead, you have a special shake or other product that gives you all the nutrients you need and stops you from feeling hungry. This works in two ways: first, it controls the calories you take in because the meal replacements are quite low calorie. Second, it breaks the cycle of addictive behavior because you’re not really eating.

You can get away from the behavior much as an alcoholic can (and must) get away from alcohol. That gives you a better chance of breaking the addictive process.

Though most meal replacement plans do recommend that you eat one ‘normal’ meal per day, some people who are serious about losing weight don’t do even that. That’s precisely how Oprah Winfrey once lost a lot of weight – about fifty pounds. She said that she found it easier not to eat at all (subsisting on meal replacement shakes and bars) than to control her eating.

When you know that you won’t be eating ‘real food’ at all for a while, it takes the guesswork out of it. Everything becomes very straightforward, and it’s a fact that many people have lost weight using this method of weight loss.

There are drawbacks, though. For one thing, while a weight loss program is supposed to teach you about how to eat for the rest of your life – to establish healthy habits, in other words – using meal replacements clearly doesn’t do so. Once you go back to eating real food, you might find that your problems with controlling your food intake are still there. Though you will have lost weight, you are more likely to gain it back if you haven’t learned healthy eating habits.

Also, there’s a danger that some people will keep on using the meal replacements for extended periods of time, just because it’s easier and more convenient. Though they’re redesigned to give you a minimum level of calories and nutrition, meal replacement bars cannot substitute for real food over an extended period.

However, if you know or suspect that your problem with food resembles an addiction or compulsion, it may be worth your while to think about using meal replacements for a while in order to lose some weight. Try to make the time you spend using them as productive as possible, though. Really come to terms with your past behavior, and learn what it feels like to be full but not stuffed. Figuring out the answer to these and other aspects of healthy eating will help make your weight loss permanent.

Source

A case of Addiction: The Whitney Houston’s Story

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The iconic singer’s life story is an eye-opening reminder of how addiction can affect the life of anyone — and our need to improve how we treat it.
Addiction can happen to anyone
There are a number of factors that can increase the likelihood that any person, Houston or otherwise, would turn to destructive behavior. This path can begin very early in life.

A prominent study on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), concluded that those who experienced abuse (physical, emotional, sexual), neglect (physical, emotional), or household dysfunction (mental illness, domestic abuse, substance abuse, incarceration, divorce) as a child faced higher likelihood for smoking, alcohol, and drug use. They’re even likelier to be overweight or chronically late for work.

A person can determine their proclivity toward these destructive behaviors by learning his or her ACE score, which is calculated through tallying the different forms of childhood trauma he or she experienced.

If she ever took the test, Houston may have had a high ACE score.

According to Janelle Westfall, clinical director at Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Arizona, a child who endures traumatic events like those experienced by Houston is at “a much higher risk” for developing substance abuse and health issues later in life.

The traumatic experiences endured by Houston as a child are discussed at length in “Whitney.”

Despite the image of the idyllic family they projected once Houston became famous, the family’s household was dysfunctional. Houston’s parents, John and Cissy, engaged in marital infidelities, which ultimately led to their divorce. Houston was bullied in a predominantly African-American school due to the light color of her skin.

And in a bombshell revelation, a source in the documentary revealed that a relative sexually abused Houston as a child. She was left in the care of this predator as her mother, Cissy, traveled frequently to pursue her career as a singer.

There’s also a genetic component to addiction.

Studies have estimated that genetics may account for up to 60 percent of an individual’s vulnerability to addiction. This explains why some people can use a drug and never try it again, while others develop a serious dependency.

“If [an individual has] a genetic predisposition to addiction, then that can be very dangerous, and that experimentation can turn into an addiction rather quickly,” confirmed Westfall. Therefore, it’s important to discuss a family history of addiction with doctors from an early age.

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A third factor is an individual’s peer group.

According to the experts at Devereux Arizona, if those surrounding an individual are using a substance, they are likelier to experiment.

As seen in “Whitney,” Houston grew up in a middle-class home in East Orange, New Jersey that was surrounded by drug culture. Her brother Michael admitted to enabling her drug use.

“If anything was gonna be done, I was gonna be the one to show it to her,” he said in the documentary. Her brother’s friend, Keith Kelly, claimed he was the first to give Houston drugs — marijuana and cocaine — on her 16th birthday.

Fame can complicate addiction
Adulthood and fame didn’t help Houston escape this environment. On the contrary, Houston was surrounded by enablers who procured her drugs and normalized dangerous behavior.

These “yes men” can present significant hurdles between a public figure and treatment, said Sarah Allen Benton, MS, LMHC, the owner of Benton Behavioral Health Consulting and author of “Understanding the High-Functioning Alcoholic.”

“The curse of fame is often that there’s a lack of leverage within the family or entourage to lead a celebrity towards treatment,” Benton said. “Celebrities such as Whitney often surround themselves with people who are related to them or paid and who benefit from enabling them. If an employee put pressure on them to seek help, they could risk losing their job.”

Benton added, “There are also pressures that famous individuals such as Whitney may face which can be the perfect storm for addictive and mental health issues: unlimited money and access to drugs, sycophants, career pressure, grueling schedules and a party-oriented lifestyle — for some.”

For many, including those who aren’t celebrities or dependent on substances, drugs and alcohol are common ways to deal with life’s stressors as a form of self-medication.

“In our society we use… drugs and alcohol to cope with sometimes just everyday things,” said Yvette Jackson, LMSW, DBH, assistant executive director at Devereux Arizona. Jackson cited a drink after a hard week at work as a classic example of this behavior.

However, “when that glass of wine becomes a bottle, and then that bottle becomes two bottles,” the body can become used to the substances, and the dosage must be increased in order to feel the same effects.

But not all drugs are bad. When prescribed by a doctor, for example, “opiates can help provide you that calmness and that helps relieve your anxiety,” Westfall added. “So, there’s good side effects from the use of drugs. The problem is and that they have to use more and more and more as time goes on.” And those suffering from a mental illness, like depression or bipolar disorder, are more likely to abuse drugs.

They “are very drawn to the use of medication because they’re trying to make themselves feel better,” Westfall said.

Finding healthy alternative coping mechanisms is key
Jackson and Westfall agreed that drugs and alcohol are not long-term solutions for stress, because they can lead to dependence or overdose.

Instead, these experts recommend finding alternative coping mechanisms. Therapy can be a key resource, as well as “replacement behaviors” like mindfulness training, yoga, and basic exercise, which can help an individual destress and “get the endorphins going,” Westfall said.

Overall, society can also take steps to reduce the stigma around mental health. One of these would be the integration of mental health into primary care.

“Mental health is healthcare,” stressed Jackson. “There’s no physical health without good mental health.” It’s a maxim worth remembering as the United States grapples with an opioid crisis, which is also a mental health crisis.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 American adults experience mental illness.

Minority groups are at greater risk
In addition to genetics, a person’s race, sexual orientation, and gender can all factor into the level of stress they experience. African-Americans and those in the LGBT community experience chronic stress at higher rates due to discrimination and perceived discrimination, reports the American Psychological Association. Stress can lead to a variety of health issues, including diabetes, mental disorders, and substance abuse.

Despite her success, Houston’s race did not make her life any easier. From the beginning of her career, Houston, who is black, was carefully marketed to a white audience with an image that glossed over her racial identity. As a result, she became the first black woman to top the pop charts. But this marketing had consequences. In 1989, Houston was booed at the Soul Train Awards, an act that had a life-changing impact on her self-esteem.

Houston’s struggles may also be rooted in the stigma surrounding her rumored sexuality. The singer never identified as queer in her lifetime. But in “Whitney,” the singer was described as “fluid” by her musical associate Rickey Minor, indicating an attraction to both men and women. The 1980s and early 90s saw the height of the AIDS crisis. It wasn’t an accepting time to be queer in the United States. An out female singer risked being publicly and commercially rejected.

The film also showed that, even today, members of Houston’s family weren’t accepting of LGBTQ people. Gary Houston, Whitney Houston’s brother, described Robyn Crawford — Houston’s friend, assistant, and rumored lover — as “wicked.”

Family acceptance is a key part of good mental health and an important safety net, said Jackson, and “this was something that didn’t appear to be there” for Houston.

Moreover, whatever their relationship may have been, Crawford was a lifeline to Houston, and her forced departure from Houston’s team left the singer vulnerable, attested Bobby Brown, Houston’s husband of 14 years, in an interview with “Us Weekly” in 2016.

“I really feel that if Robyn was accepted into Whitney’s life, Whitney would still be alive today,” Brown said. “She didn’t have close friends with her anymore.”

Diagnosis is essential
It’s unknown if Houston was diagnosed with a mental health disorder — and all three of the health experts that spoke with Healthline cited a policy of not diagnosing individuals who they hadn’t treated personally.

But during her lifetime, warning signs of Houston’s troubles were on display for the world to see: her near-skeletal appearance at the Michael Jackson tribute in 2001; her admission of drug use to Diane Sawyer in a shockingly frank interview in 2002; her legendary voice reduced to a rasp by the 2009/10 “Nothing But Love Tour.”

Benton recalled the 2005 Bravo reality show “Being Bobby Brown” — which showcased Houston, her then-husband Brown, and her daughter Bobbi Kristina — as being a major red flag.

“I remember being shocked at seeing a hardened Whitney sleeping on the couch late into the day and appearing out of it,” Benton said. “It was concerning that Whitney and Bobby were shamelessly exposing their daughter to a partying lifestyle as well as to their impairment on drugs and alcohol.”

However, Houston is no outlier as an entertainer struggling with drugs and alcohol. Recently, Demi Lovato overdosed on heroin and is currently recovering after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder several years beforehand.

There’s a crisis in the music industry, which is enabled by “a culture of greed that views musicians, actors, etc. as commodities and paychecks,” Benton said. This is a culture that needs to change.

“Agents and managers will often cover up and protect the celebrity from exposure and prevent getting treatment for selfish reasons instead of putting their employer’s well-being first,” Benton said. “I’d suggest that the industry culture needs to change so those closest to the celebrity have a process and leverage to get them help for whatever mental health, addiction, or medical condition they’re suffering from — without fear of losing their job. This should be viewed as an act of love and caring.”

Additionally, society’s overall attitude toward drug use and mental illness often perpetuate a culture of shame, making treatment even more difficult for those who need it.

This is magnified many times over when the person is a celebrity.

The larger legacy of an icon
Houston, through her music and life, gave love to countless people. Ultimately, her tragic end can also offer lessons to the world.

“Whitney’s story is a cautionary tale. She was a brilliant artist with the potential for lifelong success. However, fame and fortune don’t equate to happiness. Therefore, I hope that her fans can prioritize their wellness in life above success,” Benton concluded. “Additionally, I have read that Whitney never felt she could be herself on terms of the image that managers wanted her to portray. Let this to be a lesson that we must find and live our truth or we may lose ourselves in what others expect of us.”

For anyone with symptoms or a diagnosis of mental illness, the National Institute of Mental Health has compiled a list of helpful resources.

Suicide prevention
If you think someone is at immediate risk of self-harm or hurting another person:
•  Call 911 or your local emergency number.
•  Stay with the person until help arrives.
•  Remove any guns, knives, medications, or other things that may cause harm.
•  Listen, but don’t judge, argue, threaten, or yell.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, get help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline.

 

Source

The Parent and Child Linkage

with mom

Understanding your child is one of the most important things that you should learn as a parent. It is very helpful in becoming effective in guiding and nurturing your child as they grow and mature. You need to bear in mind that your child has a unique personality trait that remains consistent throughout life.

One of the ways you can understand your child is by observing them as they sleep, eat, or play. Look for the consistent traits. Which activities do they like best? Is adjusting to changes easy for them or do they need time to become familiar with these things? These things are the normal characteristics of a child and your child may not be an exception.

As much as possible, have time to talk to your children as this is crucial to gaining information and understanding. In the case of young children, they require less verbal language and more facial expression and body language in order to understand their thoughts and feelings. Asking them questions will allow them to share their feelings to you.

Self-esteem is a major key to success in life. The development of a positive self-concept or healthy self-esteem is extremely important to the happiness and success of children and teenagers. A positive parent-child relationship provides the framework and support for a child to develop a healthy respect and regard for self and for others. Children crave time with parents. It makes them feel special. Parents are encouraged to find time to spend playing with their kids on a regular basis. This should include one to one with each child and group time with all of the adults and kids in the home. If you are a single parent or have an only child, occasionally invite family or friends over to play.

For one reason or another, some children do not develop social skills as easily as others. They may earnestly seek peer relationships and then, having endured rebuffs, if not downright cruelty, retreat to the safety of home, family, and their own company. There is probably nothing so painful for a parent as the rejection of his child. Parents need to take the long view of social problems and to map out a plan to solve them quite as carefully and thoughtfully as they would consider academic or health problems. There are guidelines which, if followed, will help these children if the parent is willing to take time and initiative.

Most parents will encounter a few bumps in the road as their child moves from baby to teen to adult. Be resourceful in giving advises.

Reference

Maternity Dressing : Clever Ways to Hide a Baby Bump

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DRESSING FOR TWO
If your tummy’s popping before you’re ready to share the baby news, use these styling tips from Women’s Health senior fashion editor Thea Palad to keep your pregnancy secret a little longer. Bonus: They’ll be just as cute on you post-pregnancy as they are now.

Mirror Bump

MIRROR YOUR BUMP
Rock This Trend: Mirrored prints
Reflecting a print along your vertical axis is instantly slimming and can help hide any weight gain

color block

COLOR BLOCK YOUR BUMP
Rock This Trend: Color blocks

“Make sure the darker colors are strategically placed over your tummy and any other parts you want to shrink visually,” says Palad. Disappearing panels and ombre designs also have the same effect, so the darker portion will help mask your middle.

belt bump

BELT YOUR BUMP
Rock This Trend: Belts

Wear a wide belt high and tight around your natural waist if you’re still able. When you accentuate the smallest part of your midsection it draws attention from your growing belly.

blouse the bump

Blouse Your Bump
BLOUSE YOUR BUMP
Rock This Trend: Peasant blouses

They’re meant to have a billowy fit, so it’s a good way to hide a belly.

peasant blouse

MINIMIZE YOUR BUMP
Rock This Trend: Mod-style mini dresses

“This style is cut to skim the body and flares out into a slight trapeze shape, so it hides a growing waistline—not that anyone will notice because the focus will be on your stems,” says Palad. “Be sure to wear great heels!”

blaze

Blaze Your Bump
BLAZE YOUR BUMP
Rock This Trend: Boyfriend blazers

Boxy overcoats are a big trend ,Swap out any fitted or cropped iterations with this more forgiving one.

elongated lines

Elongate Your Bump
ELONGATE YOUR BUMP
Rock This Trend: Maxi dresses with prints

“Maxi dresses with busy graphics—like a beautiful floral, a realistic photo print, or an ethnic tribal print—can elongate your form and disguise your growing tummy,” says Palad.

Dont

Don’t Do THIS to Your Bump
DON’T DO THIS TO YOUR BUMP
“Nothing will get tongues wagging about your possible pregnancy faster than an empire waistline,” says Palad. Save this cut for when you’re ready to proudly show off your baby belly.

 

SOURCE

How To Make Your Kids Love Veggies

 

veggies for kids

As some of you moms have surely witnessed, kids more often eat when they’re hungry and stop eating when they’re full. In other words, children are naturally following their internal cues so parents should try not to undo this healthy intake by encouraging kids to eat past the point of fullness.

Teaching children to stay tuned into their own hunger and fullness indicators allows them to have a comfortable relationship with food and avoid overeating as they grow older.

But in this world of aggressive junk food marketing, it can prove difficult to keep kids on the path of wellness, much less convince them that a plate full of fresh, colorful vegetables can be as tasty as a bowl of sugary cereal.

This is where we parents need to get inventive. After all, the habits our children develop at a young age are the ones they’re likely to carry with them into the rest of their lives.

Reinvent the Wheel
I love encouraging kids to look at vegetables differently. One of the fastest and most creative ways to do this is by asking kids to assist you in making pizza—with veggie toppers, of course! You can even do a grain swap and use a head of cauliflower to make the base and create a veggie full pizza crust that you and your kids can then top with whatever you’d like (thinly sliced eggplant on mine, please).

Another way to get kids to view vegetables in a new light is to make pasta veggies.

in pasta

You can either spiralize a zucchini with a spiralizer or a vegetable peeler or bake a spaghetti squash and top a mound of the spaghetti-like strands with marinara sauce, meatballs, and Parmesan.

Remember to never deceive kids with these recipes. Provide full disclosure (during or after eating) that they are made with vegetables so that kids learn to appreciate their diversity and flavor while never feeling like they’re being tricked.

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Play With Your Food
We all enjoy being able to pick and choose what ingredients we want in our salads and then adding dressing and toppings as if we were at our favorite frozen yogurt shop. So why not bring that same experience home with fresh, colorful veggies chopped up and placed in serving bowls?

Add a healthy salad dressing or two (along with some nutritious toppings that are fun to sprinkle) and you’ve got a new way to make family dinnertime a lot more playful, not to mention healthy. Plus, kids often enjoy helping to set up this homemade salad bar before partaking in it.

celery boats

Kids can also use different vegetables to create fun objects like celery boats. Fill celery stalks with low-fat cream cheese and top with red pepper “sails.” They can also cut veggies into strips and other shapes and then use them to design faces or artwork on whole-wheat mini pitas topped with nut butter, light cream cheese, or ranch dressing.

Nine (9) things to get along well with your Partner

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A healthy marriage relationship is one that is not always easy and one which there is no dispute between partners. The closest and longest married couples are committed to solving contentions in a mature way and grow together as a human being and as a lover. Here are some things that couple marriage experts advise most often to couple to strengthen their bond .

no 2
1. Praise your spouse in front of others
Couples who maintain healthy relationships talk positively about each other in front of friends, children, relatives, and colleagues. This is the opposite of what happens in bad relationships. ‘My husband is very good at helping me.’, ‘My wife is really good at cooking.’ It is a good way to maintain a close and intimate relationship with the same words spontaneously popping out.

no 3
2. It takes time to be together even when it is busy.
Good couples say they regularly take time out for each other in their daily lives. Spend time with your dog, take a walk together, talk after your child is asleep, watch your favorite TV shows, or pray together.

no 4

3. Often smile
Smile a lot with each other. One of them is acting to brighten the mood, so it’s hard to be upset for a long time. I need to talk about serious topics when I need them, but the sense of humor is tremendously helpful in maintaining a healthy relationship. People who laugh a lot and are generally not too serious can easily enjoy a healthier relationship.

no 5
4.Appreciate each other of the positive aspect rather than continuing to talk about the negative aspects of your partner.

You could have a couple of complaints about your marriage. But in most cases people have similar problems like other couples. Good couples see the good side of the opponent rather than the complaint, and express it immediately if there is something thankful for the opponent.

no 6
5. If there would be winners in arguments, let it be your partner.
Disagreements are normal in a relationship. Couples who always sympathize with each other and listen with each other tend to overcome common misunderstandings in all relationships. If you have these conflict management skills, you may feel that your partner is listening, understanding and appreciating when you say, “I do not agree with you, but I understand you and understand why you feel that way.”

no 7
6. Always tell your whereabouts
Don’t let your spouse neglected. If you tell your whereabouts through a short phone call or text, or and when you have an appointment with your friends, you can improve your marital status and help your partner feel at ease.
7.Don’t fail to be romantic
It’s a way for couples to enjoy each other’s love and excitement. If you do not tempt each other, the relationship becomes plain and boring. Good couples always try to attract each other.

n 9
8. Fight Clean During Arguments
Improve your discussion. Be careful not to blame, not to stigmatize, not to discourage. Insert a joke at a most difficult time. When the couple spoke to each other, be careful with hurting words. A good couple always loves and respects each other.

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9. Forgive and surrender without grudging
You should not have any emotional distance from each other . Be responsible for your own mistakes, apologize and cross over. Even if you disagree about something just an hour ago, enjoy your life together.