Kids Stuff: Cooking and Exercising

cooking for kidsIt can be a great challenge getting kids to cook, eat healthy and exercise. The Surgeon General says that today’s kids are in the worst shape of any generation.

What’s to blame?

Junk food, TV, video games and lack of activity.

The old days of pushing the kids outside on a beautiful day seem to have whithered away, and packed unhealthy pounds onto many unsuspecting children. With some simple changes to their lifestyles and sneaking healthy education into their heads, such as how to cook and eat healthy foods and participating in more activities, we can change the health of our future generations.

It can be hard for workng moms to even cook themselves, let alone have the kids help out in the kitchen, but if they can manage just one day per week to set aside an hour or so to have fun in the kitchen and teach the kids how to prepare healthy meals on their own it could have a major impact on their future health. Just think, one new healthy food item or recipe per week will give your kids the healthy habits and cooking independence that can change their lives.

Kids And Cooking

Getting kids to cook can greatly benefit their health, independence and your time too! When they can be trusted to safely prepare their own healthy food, that means that you’re off the hook! Showing them that cooking is fun can be as easy as making something with them that they like, and make it look beautiful. When they see what they can create there is a real sense of accomplishment and pride. Watch a TV show on the food network together and make what they made on the show. It’s nice to have something to follow and to see how the professional did it, and then that you can do the same.

It is also fun for kids to have their own stuff when they do something. How many little kids do you see with bubble mowers and tools their size? It’s the same in the kitchen. If you want them to help, give them the right tools! There is a great website that sells kid-size chef jackets, hats, aprons and cooking utensils. These are great gifts for your kids and might even start them on the career path to become a chef!

Cookbooks for kids that are fun, easy and have good pictures are essential when they want to learn the kitchen basics. Some also have information on cooking techniques and puts them into simple terms for kids to understand. Most books also cover the basics of safety in the kitchen and some nutrition facts as well. Go to www.growingcooks.com to see kids cooking apparel. For a list of kids cookbooks click here.

To see my favorite website for kids cooking click here.

Kids And Exercise

Kids are naturally energetic. It is up to us to get them to use that energy for something good for them, and not turn them into couch potatoes. With all of the activities that we have to offer, how is it possible that kids these days are so out of shape? It’s us! The parents! If we don’t introduce them to fun, healthy activities where will they discover them? We need to set that example. Get outside! Bikeriding, hiking, soccer, karate, tennis, frisbee… The possibilities are endless! Just get out there and do it!

Another reason for exercise? Their brains! Research shows that exercise increases blood flow to the brain and also helps to regulate many hormones in the body. It helps kids (and adults too!) stay focused, think clearly, and prevent mood swings. In one study, fit kids showed performed better on scholastic tests than unfit kids. Those are pretty good reasons to get out and move!

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Cooking Help That Will Make Your Food Delicious

cooking for fitness home pageWhen you are first learning to cook, you have to begin someplace. Everyone isn’t born with natural talent for preparing food. Luckily, everyone can learn to cook well. With the right basics and a few secrets, you can become a great cook. This tips can get you started down the right path.

Do all the prep work ahead of time. The wise cook prepares as much as possible before starting to cook. When you have a schedule as to how long you plan to be cooking, things can get a little stressful in the kitchen. Begin your meal preparations as soon as possible to avoid last minute stress.

 

TIP! Make sure that you cut your meat extremely thin as well as on the bias for stir-fry. Getting the perfect cut can sometimes be a challenge.

Keep spices in a dark and cool place. Storing them out in the light and heat will cause them to lose some of their shelf life. Storing your spices in a cool location far from direct sunlight will help them last longer and taste better. Meals prepared with fresher spices are simply more delicious.

TIP! Your spices should be stored in any area that is dark and cool. Spices will last longer when they are not exposed to warm temperatures and moist air.

If you are cooking a meal for someone you want to impress, stick with something you are already familiar with. You are taking a risk if you want to try something new. You will enjoy cooking more if you have greater peace of mind.

Mushrooms will absorb the water like a sponge. Wipe the mushrooms off by hand with a cloth that is damp.

TIP! Do you feel like you’re wasting money when you throw away a piece of moldy fruit? Would it be less wasteful to cut off the moldy sections and save the rest? There is no way to salvage fruit that has begun decomposing. Get rid of anything that has mold on it.

Be careful when using garlic because the flavor and aroma can be transferred to a variety of surfaces, including your hands. To get rid of the odors that garlic and other pungent ingredients leave on your hands, rub them around the inside of your stainless steel sink. This removes the scent from your hands; it also prevents the odor from being transferred to other foods.

TIP! Reduce the amount of cooking oil you use if you are looking to lose weight and make your diet healthier. Many unnecessary fats are found in butters and oils, so decreasing them is a healthy way to lose weight.

If you wish to eat more protein, try one of the many varieties of beans or tofu available. Most grocery stores sell both items. A delicious alternative to meat is tofu pan fried with your favorite seasonings. Boil kidney, navy or pinto beans with seasonings and you can enjoy a protein-rich side dish.

TIP! Try cooking your vegetables in chicken broth for an extra kick. The chicken broth adds to the taste of the veggies and, you will not have the extra fat.

When cooking with garlic, use the freshest bulbs you can find. The fresher the garlic, the sweeter the taste. You will want to look for the following characteristics; firm skin, and no bruises or shriveling.

TIP! The ideal way to cook a pumpkin is to first place the pumpkin upright on the cutting surface. Cut the pumpkin in half, then down the middle.

You can develop your cooking skills and become an effective cook very quickly, even if you do not have an innate talent for the work. Cooking is easier than you think. With the help of the tips featured in this article, you will soon be able to cook mouth-watering dishes for all your friends and family to enjoy.

TIP! You should do the prep work for your meals in advance. It is important to have all the prep work done before you start cooking.

Kids Cookbooks

Here are a few kids cookbooks that I found to be winners in many families. They are healthy, fun, easy and safe for kids just learning their way around the kitchen.

Make sure to check out: Kids Stuff: Cooking and Exercising

Kitchen For Kids: 100 Amazing Recipes Your Children Can Really Make
By Jennifer Low

It seems like most of the time we get our kids in the kitchen to help us cook, they can’t actually do a lot because of unsafe things like knives and hot stoves and ovens. Jennifer Low gives us some fun and easy recipes that kids can safely help with. Each recipe has been tested by children 4 and up. This book is great for learning the basics of cooking and safety in the kitchen.

Cooking Rocks! Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals for Kids
By Rachael Ray

Everybody knows and trust Rachael Ray’s fast, yum-o recipes on her Food Network show, 30 Minute Meals, and now she has a great cookbook for kids. Rachael is the queen of quick, easy and fun and this book keeps it extra simple for parents and kids by having different sections for different age groups, great instructions and photos.

Betty Crocker’s Kids Cook!
By Betty Crocker Editors

Families across America have trusted Betty Crocker recipes for decades, so this kids cookbook is a no-brainer. With over 60 simple recipes for kids there is something for every meal of the day. Kids also learn about cooing terms, basic cooking techniques, nutrition and safety in the kitchen.

William-Sonoma The Kid’s Cookbook: A Great Book For Kids Who Love To Cook
By Abigail J. Dodge

William-Sonoma is a known name for classy cooking and now your kids can enjoy it too. This book is full of kid-friendly recipes complete with an equipment list and photos for each one. Classic cooking techniques are outlined and simplified to get that little cooker on their way to becoming a chef!

Kids’ Fun and Healthy Cookbook
By Nicola Graimes

Just as important as how kids learn to cook is what they learn how to cook. This kids cookbook encourages kids to think about what they eatand how it affects their bodies. Healthier versions of old classics are given, along with new ones too.

For another great resource for kids cookbooks Click Here