Archive for the ‘Childhood obesity’ Category


Book reviews: Family menus and a charmer for grannys

Posted by Lorain County Moms

By Jackie Burrell, Contra Costa Times

Got some pint sized chefs at home? Or just some pint sized diners? Lisa Barnes’ “Petit Appetit: Eat Drink & Be Merry” is just the ticket. This family cookbook features recipes for more than 150 organic, kid-friendly snacks, drinks and party fare, from cheesecake-like pumpkin tarts to sparkling limeade, confetti slaw and more. Yum.

Sally Wendkos Olds’ book, “Super Granny: Great Stuff to Do with Your Grandkids,” is a total charmer. It features 75 awesome activities for grandparents and kids, from treasure hunts and gingerbread architecture to high tech fun, all divided by age, from 0 to 18. It’s a compilation of fun-filled wisdom and practical tips from Olds and 60 grandmothers from the United States, Germany, New Zealand, India and other countries, who all adore spending time with their grandkids. Two thumbs up!


Meals Matter: It’s meatless meals week

Posted by Lorain County Moms


Of the five food groups, Americans on average only meet, and actually often exceed, the recommended daily servings of the meat, beans and nuts group. This week’s family meal plan and shopping list are designed to help families explore many of the good tasting and healthy options within the meats, beans and nuts group beyond meat itself.

Beans are an inexpensive, nutrient-rich food choice, so it seems only appropriate that this week’s meatless feature meal starts with Jalapeno Red Bean BBQ Burgers. Paired with Sweet Potato Salad and a delicious Yogurt Delight dessert, this meal provides nearly 20 grams of fiber and almost 500 milligrams of calcium. Other meatless recipes this week include Breakfast Burritos, Roasted Pepper and Basil Skewers, Lentil-Tomato Soup, Tex Mex Lasagna, Grilled Ratatouille and Cinnamon and Berry Quinoa.

“Family Meals Matter” features recipes selected by registered dietitians from the thousands of user-contributed recipes available at the free online nutrition and meal planning website Meals Matter (, sponsored by Dairy Council of California. Healthy Eating Made Easier.

Featured meal

Jalapeno Red Bean BBQ Burgers
Sweet Potato Salad
Yogurt Delight

Entrees, sides, desserts

Roasted Pepper and Basil Skewers
Lentil-Tomato Soup
Breakfast Burritos
Tex Mex Lasagna
Cinnamon and Berry Quinoa
Grilled Ratatouille

Shopping list

(Contains enough ingredients for at least four servings of each featured recipe.)

Baking needs
1 cooking spray
8 teaspoons honey
4 teaspoons organic agave nectar or sugar

1 cup orange juice

¼ cup breadcrumbs
4 buns, whole-grain

Canned meats and beans
1 can (15 ounces) black beans
1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans

Canned vegetables
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce, no salt-added
3 cans (14 1-2 ounces each) tomatoes, diced. One can should be no salt-added.

One-third cup granola (optional)

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Small bottle barbecue sauce
1/3 cup Italian vinaigrette dressing
1 tablespoon olive oil

4 slices cheddar cheese
¼ cup feta cheese
2 cups (8 ounces) Mexican 4-cheese blend, reduced-fat, shredded
1 cup milk, 1 percent, low-fat
17 ounces mozzarella cheese
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 cups yogurt, plain, low-fat

3 eggs

Ethnic foods
One-quarter pound firm tofu
4 flour tortillas
1 cup salsa

Frozen foods
1 cup blackberries, frozen
1 cup blueberries, frozen
1 cup corn, whole-kernel, frozen
1 cup red raspberries, frozen

Paper and plastic products
16 toothpicks or small wooden skewers

Pasta and rice
6 lasagna noodles (precook)
2 1-3 cups lentils, dried
1 pound pasta, penne or rigatoni
1 cup quinoa

2 avocados
4 bananas
1 bell pepper, green, large
2 cups blackberries
1 stalk celery
16 cherry tomatoes, small
1 bunch cilantro
1 eggplant, medium
16 fresh basil leaves
5 cloves garlic
¼ cup green onions, chopped
1 jalapeno or serrano chili pepper
4 lettuce leaves
1 or 2 onions, red, large
4 onion, sweet, large
2 cups onion, yellow or white
1 large bunch parsley
2 peppers, yellow or red, medium
3 sweet potatoes, large
1 large tomato, sliced
10 tomatoes, plum
1 zucchini, medium

Sauce and soup
3 cans (14 ½ ounces) chicken broth, fat-free, low-sodium

1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1 ½ teaspoons cumin, ground
½ teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper, ground
dash salt and pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric, ground

½ cup hazelnuts, toasted, chopped
1/3 cup pecans, toasted, chopped

Jalapeno Red Bean BBQ Burgers

A moist, delicious vegetarian alternative to boring frozen veggie burgers. These are easy to make and taste wonderful on whole-grain buns with some cheddar cheese, tomato and lettuce for crunch. Be watchful while cooking these … the sugar content in the barbecue sauce can cause the burgers to blacken kind of quickly. Tastes great on the grill, too … just keep an eye on them!

1 teaspoon olive oil
½ cup minced onions
½ cup chopped and seeded plum tomatoes
1 teaspoon minced jalapeno or serrano chili pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed, well drained
¼ cup dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
1 egg white, beaten
4 whole grain buns, toasted
4 slices cheddar cheese
4 leaves lettuce
4 slices thick tomatoes
avocado slices
barbecue sauce

  1. Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, plum tomato, jalapeno, garlic and chili powder; saute 5 minutes. Cool slightly.
  2. Using fork, coarsely mash beans in bowl. Combine with onion mixture, breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons of the barbecue sauce and egg white.
  3. Shape mixture into four ½-inch-thick patties. (Can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.) It will look as though these little burgers will just fall apart and turn to mush, but they stay together really well once they hit the pan.
  4. If grilling; oil the rack or spray grill rack with nonstick spray, then fire up coals to medium heat. If pan-frying, heat a little olive oil over medium heat.
  5. Place patties on grill or in skillet and cook until golden brown and heated through, about three minutes per side.
  6. Place burgers on buns. Serve with more barbecue sauce, and cheese, tomato, lettuce, avocado, or whatever topping you like.

Sweet Potato Salad

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
½ cup hazelnut oil, olive oil or vegetable spray
½ large red onion diced
1 stalk celery, diced
½ cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
¾ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup orange juice

In a large zip lock bag add potatoes, and oil. Coat potatoes with oil. Spread out on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until tender. Transfer potatoes to a serving bowl and add onion, celery, nuts, parsley, and orange juice. Combine until well blended and serve.

Yogurt Delight

1 banana sliced
2 tsp. honey
½ cup plain yogurt (lowfat)
¼ cup frozen red raspberries
¼ cup frozen blackberries
¼ cup frozen blueberries
4 tsp. granola (optional)

In two separate bowls, divide up the fruit and drizzle the honey on the banana before adding the yogurt and frozen fruits. Let sit for about 3 minutes. Then enjoy.
This is a great way to start your day and it’s easy and healthy.

For more healthy meal planning made simple, go to


Teach kids to live healthier lives at the Children’s Museum.

Posted by Alicia Castelli

By request of our customers and partners, The Children’s Museum of Cleveland (CMC) is bringing back one of the most popular CMC-created exhibits, Healthier Ever After.  New for 2008, the exhibit will be combined with an exciting variety of fresh interpretative and educational programming and events developed through a consortium of CMC’s partners including family dance and exercise sessions, weekly drop-in classes with activities featuring nutrition, physical activity, oral hygiene, hand washing habits and more. Family cooking workshops will be available monthly.

 A “Grand Opening Celebration” is planned for Saturday, August 23, 2008. It will open to the general public at 10:00 a.m.  The exhibit will be open through Sunday, October 5.

Be sure to stop in on Saturdays and Sundays at 3:00 pm for “Mission Nutrition!”  Use crafts, science, music and movement to investigate the who, what, where, when, why and how of nutrition.

A Children’s Art Installation presented in collaboration with Cuyahoga County Board of Health, Cleveland Department of Public Health, OSU-Extension Service, and Kaiser Permanente.  This collaboration of the Greater Cleveland Fruit and Veggie More Matters Committee is bringing exciting resources, family activities and giveaways to the Museum for opening day and throughout the exhibit duration.  The first 150 families on August 23rd will receive a canvas tote bag featuring art from the contest’s grand prize winner, a second grader from Cleveland. 

. The Children’s Museum is located at 10730 Euclid Avenue in University Circle. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Regular admission is $6.00 for adults; $7.00 for children ages 1 to 12 years; infants 11 months and under and members enter free. For more information about The Children’s Museum of Cleveland visit


Childhood obesity and eating disorders

Posted by besttech

BC-MOMS-21STCENTURYPARENT:MCT — youth, lifestyle (750 words)

21st-Century Parent

By Debra W. Haffner

The following is an excerpt from “What Every 21st-Century Parent Needs To Know,” by Debra W. Haffner (copyright 2008 by Debra W. Haffner). Reprinted by permission from Newmarket Press,


Parenting style does make a difference in childhood weight issues. Research shows that parents who are too strict or too permissive are much more likely to have children that are overweight by as early as the first grade.

So, what should you do if you’re concerned about your child eating either too much or too little? Experts in both obesity and eating disorders encourage that food never be used as a comfort, a reward or a punishment. We want to teach our children that eating is primarily about nutrition, not emotional fulfillment. Of course, you should always seek medical and psychological evaluations if you have a concern about obesity or eating disorders.

But, for most of us, it is easier to teach our children healthy attitudes and behaviors about food early in their lives because it gets much more difficult to do so once patterns are set. Here’s what we can do:

1. Model healthy eating and exercising habits.

There are many recommendations for preventing obesity and eating disorders in young people, and the recommendations for both ends of the spectrum are similar. They include healthy body image, healthy eating and physical exercise in your family for all members of the family. In other words, the most important thing parents can do are to eat well ourselves, to engage in moderate exercise, and to create an environment in which our children can do the same.

2. Don’t make negative comments about your own weight.

We also need to guard against making negative comments about our own bodies and weight to our children. According to Dr. Michael Levine of the National Eating Disorders Association, it’s important that we “help children appreciate and resist the ways in which television, magazines and other media distort the true diversity of human body types and imply that a slender body means power, excitement, popularity or perfection.”

3. Educate your children about the power of advertising.

The typical child sees 40,000 ads a year on television, and the vast majority of ads on children’s TV are for candy, cereal, soda and fast foods. Reports on addressing childhood and adolescent obesity generally suggest limiting how much television children are allowed to watch. The presumption has been that children are watching more television than we did, and that is causing them to exercise less, but children are actually watching an hour less of TV than young people 20 years ago. Rather, researchers now think it is children’s exposure through media to food advertising and marketing that may be behind the correlation between childhood obesity and television viewing. Talk with your children about why food companies use popular cartoon characters to help sell their food, and help them critique commercials.

4. Talk with your children about healthy eating.

Teach them to read labels to assess whether a product is healthy. Help them understand that just because a product is labeled “healthy” or “low fat” does not mean that it is. Try to eliminate the trips to McDonald’s and Burger King, or at least make them no more than a weekly treat.

5. Make family dinners part of your routine.

One of the most important tools for both healthy eating and creating a sense of parent-child connectedness is the family dinner. Regular family dinners may be the best way to curb obesity and keep a vulnerable child from an eating disorder. Family dinners also provide you with an opportunity to talk to your children and find out what’s going on with them. Children and teens who have dinner with their parents five or more times a week do better in school, have fewer behaviors problems, and lower rates of sex, alcohol, and drug use. Every 21st-century parent needs to make family dinners part of their lives.


For more 21st-Century Parent advice and information, visit