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Another Mother Acting Up In The Kitchen

25 Apr

So, I love being another mother acting up in the kitchen.

Here I am on the Mothers Acting Up Website.

Check it out!

How Food can Protect our Families from Radiation Exposure

29 Mar

 

Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I have worried about my friends who live in Japan.  Yet at the same time, in the midst of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, I am inspired and awed by the great peace, power of community and strength of the Japanese people.

Today, trace levels of radiation from the explosion at Fukushima are now in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Nevada and other Western states. Despite the low levels found, the risk of radiation exposure hits home. Although we are exposed to significant amounts of radiation already in our daily lives (cell phone towers, microwaves, X-rays, CT scans, yes even cigarette smoking), the low levels of radioactive material leaking out from a nuclear plant on the other side of the earth makes it seem more significant.

What radioactive material should we be looking out for?

The byproducts of the recent nuclear explosion are Iodine-131, strontium-90 and cesium-137. Iodine-131 travels best (therefore the first material to be found in the US), but after 80 days, only less than 0.1% will remain.  Cesium-137 can travel too, but once it falls on the ground, it will stay there for 300 years with only 0.1% remaining.

 

Why should we be concerned?

Because these radioactive materials can enter our bodies through ingesting, absorption through the skin or inhalation.  Moreover, they have been shown to cause different types of cancer.

 

What can Mamas do to protect their families?

Before going out to buy Potassium Iodide, Mamas can simply use Raw Food to:

1. protect our family’s bodies by filling up our cells with good minerals  and thereby keeping radioactive materials out, and

2. detoxify in order to get rid of any radioactive materials already present.


How can we use Raw Food to protect our families from radiation exposure?

From Gabriel Cousens’ A Comprehensive Holistic Approach to the Plague of Radiation and What To Do:

 

1. Serve up foods that protect the body from radiation exposure:

MINERAL PROTECTS FROM
 

Iodine (found in kelp and strawberries)

 

 

thyroid and gonads

 

iodine-131

 

Potassium (found in chard, crimini mushrooms and spinach)

 

 

muscles, kidneys, liver, and reproductive organs

 

cesium-137

 

Calcium (found in spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens and collard greens)

 

 

bones

 

strontium-90

Other excellent foods that protect against radiation are:

– garlic, onion, ginseng

– echinacea, rosemary

green tea – 20 cups gives 97% more protection against radiation

chlorophyll-rich foods: cabbage, leafy greens, spirulina (decreases side effects of radiation by 50%), wheatgrass, sprouts, blue green algae

beets can lessen cesium-137 absorption by 97-100%

bee pollen contains 15% lecithin which protects against all 3 radioactive materials: iodine-131, strontium-90 and cesium-137

 

2. Serve up foods that bind to radioactive material, turning them into harmless salts and then ridding the body of them:

CHELATES (foods that bind) DETOXIFIES BODY OF
 

Kelp family (kelp, arame, wakame, kombu, hijiki) contains sodium alginate

 

 

Strontium-90

 

Green algae (chlorella)

 

 

Cesium-137

Other excellent chelates:

apples, sunflowers seeds, miso, grains, beans, peas

 

3. Serve up alkalizing foods that are low in the food chain protect the body against radiation:

raw vegan foods because they have lower concentrations of radioactive materials:

avoid animal products because they contain up to 15 x (milk) and 30 x (beef) more radioactive materials

More Resources:

Nuclear Plants Near You (USA)

Radiation

What is raw vegan food?

What are Raw Vegan ingredients?

What do Raw Vegans avoid?

Top 5 Ways To Clean Produce

15 Mar

My mother is Mrs. Clean and she is worried about the parasites and other undesirable microorganisms in the raw foods that we eat. So to ease her mind, this post is for my Mama and for all you Mamas out there who want clean and non-toxic food for your family!

Me: Yes, I do clean my veggies! My mother: How?

WATER IS BETTER THAN COMMERCIAL WASH TREATMENTS

The University of Maine conducted a study on cleaning produce with:

1. distilled water and

three kinds of commercial wash treatments

2. Fit®

3. Ozone Water Purifier XT-301 and

4. J0-4 Multi-Functional Food Sterilizer).

They found that distilled water cleaned just as well or better than commercial wash treatments.

SCRUB BRUSHING and VINEGAR SOLUTION IS BETTER THAN WATER

Cook’s Illustrated conducted a study on apples and pears cleaning them with:

1. soap (not recommended at all because it leaves a residue)

2. vinegar solution

3. scrub brush and

4. simply water.

They found 2 solutions that cleaned better than just water: scrub brushing removed 85% of the bacteria and diluted vinegar removed 98% of the bacteria. The Department of Food Science and Technology, University of California, found that cleaning an apple by dipping in the vinegar solution and rubbing for 5 seconds reduced salmonella bacteria significantly.

How To Clean With Vinegar

1. SOAK PRODUCE for a few minutes up to 15 minutes in vinegar solution (1 part vinegar to 3 parts water) and rinse with water.

2. SPRAY PRODUCE with same solution, leave for a few minutes and rinse with water.

NOTE: Vinegar can be white or apple cider vinegar and can be substituted with lemon or lime juices. Some produce, like mushrooms, strawberries and peaches, cannot be soaked for long periods.

FULL STRENGTH VINEGAR AND HYDROGEN PEROXIDE IS THE BEST

Susan Sumner, a food scientist at Virginia at Polytechnic Institute and State University, in Blacksburg, discovered an easy yet effective method of cleaning produce by spraying them first with vinegar, then with hydrogen peroxide, or vice versa. She told Science News Online, “If the acetic acid [vinegar] got rid of 100 organisms, the hydrogen peroxide would get rid of 10,000, and the two together would get rid of 100,000.” Apparently, this method was found to be more effective than chlorine and other commercial products.

How To Clean With Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide

1. Fill a clean bottle with full strength vinegar (white or apple cider).

2. Fill another clean bottle with full strength 3% hydrogen peroxide, which you can get at any grocery or drug store.

3. Spray produce with one, then the other. It doesn’t really matter which you spray with first.

4. Rinse with water.

HOW ABOUT SALT?

If you don’t have distilled water, a scrub brush, vinegar or hydrogen peroxide? Soak produce in a saline solution (1 tsp salt to 1 cup water or 1/2 cup salt to a basin full of water) for a few minutes up to 15 minutes and rinse.

For more information on DIY cleaning visit www.healthychild.org

Top 5 Reasons To Feed Our Children More Raw Vegan Foods

5 Mar

All Parents Want The Best For Their Children

 

TOP 5 REASONS TO FEED OUR CHILDREN MORE RAW VEGAN FOODS

1. Health is the most important factor in our children’s life.

2. Study shows food affects not only one’s health, but affects one’s children’s health, affects a family’s health for generations and food has the power to reverse degenerative disease.

3. Meat-based Diets shorten lives and cause degenerative diseases.

4. Plant-based Diets prevent and cure diseases.

5. Our immune system is affected by cooked and processed foods.

These all point to the most natural foods most easily accepted by the body: RAW VEGAN FOODS.


RESOURCES

What is Raw Vegan Food?

Who are Raw Vegans?

Raw Vegan Ingredients

What Do Raw Vegans Avoid?

Why It Is Important To Focus On Children’s Nutrition 5

2 Mar

PARENTS WANT THE BEST FOR THEIR CHILDREN

As parents, we can agree that a child’s physical well-being is the most important factor in a child’s life and that a child cannot survive without food (Why Nutrition 1).  But we don’t want our children to merely survive, we want a healthy and disease-free future for them. We know that one’s long term health and the future health of generations in the family is affected by diet choice (Why Nutrition 2). While diets heavy on meats have shown to cause early deaths and degenerative diseases (Why Nutrition 3), vegan, vegetarian and diets low on meat, dairy and eggs have shown a reversal of diseases in various capacities (Why Nutrition 4).

As a Mama, whose child itched until there as blood on his bed because he was allergic to everything and who was thought to have a growth at 2 years old (what a scare that was!), I wanted to feed my child a healthy diet for all these given reasons. But I couldn’t fathom that a vegan or vegetarian diet high in GMO soy products or French Fries  could ever be a healthy one.  So I dug deeper.

 

The question I asked was what foods are the best for the body?  The answers:

Foods that cure and prevent disease (Why Nutrition 2).

Foods that are naturally and easily accepted by the body.

Foods that do not disrupt the system.

Foods that are not seen as alien to the system.

 

A STUDY ON RAW, COOKED, PROCESSED FOODS

When an infectious illness or foreign substance is introduced into our body, the first reaction in our blood is to increase white blood cells in order to fight them off.  In 1930 Dr. Paul Kouchakoff discovered that through the reactions of our white blood cells the body reacts differently to raw foods, cooked foods and processed foods.

RESULTS OF HIS STUDY

He found that:

fresh, unprocessed, uncooked raw foods do not affect white blood cells

raw foods tested were unboiled drinking water, unboiled mineral water, sea salt, raw greens, raw cereals, raw nuts, raw honey, raw eggs, raw meat, raw fish, raw milk, sour milk, butter

same raw foods (above) cooked causes an increase in white blood cells but the percentages in the blood formula remain the same

each food has a critical temperature that affects how the body reacts to them

Critical Temperature in F Foods
191 Water, milk
192 Cereals, cabbage, tomatoes, bananas
196 Butter
197 Apples, oranges
200 Potatoes
206 Carrots, strawberries, figs

processed and refined foods causes an increase in white blood cells, as well as changes the percentages in the blood formula

white sugar, chocolate bars, alcohol

adding raw foods to a meal with cooked foods will not increase white blood cells, as long as the the critical temperature of the raw foods is higher than that of the cooked food


LET US AGREE THEN THAT:

fresh, unprocessed, raw foods in their natural state are easily and naturally accepted by our bodies

lightly cooked foods heated at temperatures lower than their intrinsic critical temperatures are naturally accepted by the body

foods that are heated at high temperatures and foods that are processed are seen as foreign substances that cause a false alarm in our immune system and increases our white blood cells in order to fight them

raw foods have the power to negate the ill effects of cooked and processed foods in the body

 

What exactly is raw foods?  Keep posted.

 

Critical Temperature in F

Foods

 

 

191

Water, milk

192

Cereals, cabbage, tomatoes, bananas

196

Butter

197

Apples, oranges

200

Potatoes

206

Carrots, strawberries, figs

Why It Is Important To Focus On Children’s Nutrition 2

25 Feb

PARENTS WANT THE BEST FOR THEIR CHILDREN

As parents, we can agree that a child’s physical well-being is the most important factor in a child’s life and that a child cannot survive without food (Why It Is Important To Focus on Children’s Nutrition 1).  Admittedly, as parents we don’t want our children to merely survive.  We want our children to be healthy and disease-free for life.


THE POTTENGER CAT STUDY

What can a Cat Study show us? 

The Pottenger Cat Study illustrates clearly that food choices  not only affect one’s health but also the health of offspring, as well as offspring’s children.

Mr. Francis M. Pottenger, Jr. accidentally discovered that his laboratory cats who ate raw meat scraps were much healthier than those on cooked cat food.  He thereafter embarked on a 10 year study to determine the effects of foods on cats from 1932 to 1942.

THE MEAT STUDY

As you can see from the chart below, the cats fed raw meat and raw milk were healthy for four (4) generations, while the group fed cooked meat and raw milk developed many diseases and died out by the fourth generation.

GROUP 1 GROUP 2
FOOD FED
 

2/3 raw meat1/3 raw milk 

Cod liver oil

2/3 cooked meat1/3 raw milk 

Cod liver oil

GENERATION 1 

healthy developed degenerative diseases, became quite lazy
GENERATION 2 

healthy developed degenerative diseases by mid-life, started losing their coordination
GENERATION 3 

healthy developed degenerative diseases very early in life, some born blind and weak, had a much shorter life span, many couldn’t even produce offspring, abundance of parasites and vermin, skin diseases and allergies increased to over 90 percent, kittens did not survive six months, bones became soft and pliable, cats suffered from adverse personality changes, males became docile, females became more aggressive
GENERATION 4 

healthy suffered from most of the degenerative diseases encountered in human medicine, died out totally by the fourth generation

THE MILK STUDY

As you can see from the chart below, the cats fed raw meat and raw milk were healthy for four (4) generations, while the group fed raw meat and processed milk developed many diseases and died out by the fourth generation.  It is interesting to note that groups C and D degenerated more quickly than groups B and E.  Male kittens in group E1 developed rickets and died early deaths.


GROUP A GROUP B, C, D & E
FOOD FED 1/3 raw meat, 

cod liver oil,

2/3 raw milk

B: 1/3 raw meat, cod liver oil, 2/3 pasteurized milk 

C: 1/3 raw meat, cod liver oil, 2/3 evaporated milk

D: 1/3 raw meat, cod liver oil, 2/3 sweetened condensed milk

E: Raw metabolized vitamin D milk
(E1: Milk from cows on dry feed
E2: Milk from cows on green feed)

GENERATION 1 healthy developed diseases and illnesses near end of life
GENERATION 2 healthy developed diseases and illnesses near end of life
GENERATION 3 healthy developed diseases and illnesses in beginning of life; many died before six months of age
GENERATION 4 healthy no fourth generation was produced: either third generation parents were sterile, or fourth generation cats were aborted before birth

DISEASE REVERSAL

According to the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, “Dr. Pottenger tried to return degenerating cats to health. He found that it took four generations on raw meat and raw milk to bring the kittens of second-generation degenerating cats back to normal. This experiment could not occur with third-generation degenerating cats because they did not live long enough to reproduce.”

 

LET’S AGREE THEN THAT BASED ON THE POTTENGER CAT STUDY THAT:

1. food consumed heavily influences one’s long-term physical health

2. food consumed affects one’s children

3. food consumed affects one’s family for generations, and

4. food consumed can reverse degeneration.

 

How about meat based diets for humans?  Click here.

Why It Is Important To Focus On Children’s Nutrition 1

24 Feb

PARENTS WANT THE BEST FOR THEIR CHILDREN

As parents, I think we can all agree we want the best for our children. Admittedly, we all have different concepts about what best is. Some parents want the best education, others the best toys, the best clothes, the best spiritual life, and yet others the best social circles. But I would think all parents would also agree with me that all these things would be secondary, if not superficial, to the physical well-being of a child.

A CHILD’S MOST BASIC NEED IS SURVIVAL

When a baby is born, what does it need more than anything in the world? Many would say a mother. But I think we can all agree that even without a mother’s love and touch, a healthy baby can survive if it is given FOOD to eat. And as it grows, the child will continue to need food to live.

LET’S AGREE THEN THAT:

1. a child’s physical well-being is the most important factor in a child’s life

2. a child cannot survive without food.

But as parents we don’t want our children to merely survive.  We want our children to be healthy and disease-free for life. More here.

Who Is Karen Ranzi?

14 Feb

Me, Karen and Professor Debbie Billings of USC

My family and I were fortunate to be able to spend a whole day recently with Karen Ranzi author of Creating Healthy Children Through Attachment Parenting and Raw Foods.  Her book is full of researched evidence for topics that include breastfeeding, natural birth, circumcision, vaccinations, non-violent communication, raw foods for pregnancy, lactating mothers, children and the family, non-toxic households and other important issues that any parent (raw or otherwise) would love to read about.  In the time we shared with Karen, we discovered an easy going, funny, kind and a loving person.  There are three things about Karen that really impressed me however:

1. SHE SUPPORTS THE MARRIAGE: Karen Ranzi says “Prior to conception, the mother and the father need to be on the same page on how they want to bring up their children.  If there is conflict between mother and father, there will be conflict with the child.”

Karen encourages couples to work together as a team in creating a family.  Only then can there be a happy household and thus the creation of a healthy happy child.

2. SHE IS VERY FLEXIBLE and OPEN: When I said my boys wouldn’t want to go 100% raw, Karen said “That’s ok.  Don’t force it.  Work with what they want and change one thing at a time.  Controlling what they eat won’t work.  JUST DO YOUR BEST.  They are already eating so much better.”

Karen is a mother’s cheerleader.  She’s been there and done that.  She admits easily to her own mistakes  and encourages mothers to learn from her.  She says that the only thing she regrets were times when she wanted to control her own children: in their food or education.  She encourages flexibility instead.  Her advice to mothers is to: “Do your best,” “Change one thing at a time,” “Work with your family,” and “Controlling only severs relationships.”  Most of all, LOVE your children and your family.

3. KAREN LOVES CHILDREN AND CHILDREN LOVE KAREN: My son exclaimed, “I want Karen Ranzi to stay at our house for 100 days!”

Karen says, “If I can change just one thing for one person in their road to health, then it was worth it!”  Not only is she passionate about her message and generous with her knowledge , but she knows just how to instill a love for health in the young ones.  I saw this as she interacted playfully with my son.  After presenting him with and reading The Children’s Health Food Book together, my son and Karen were transformed into Superheroes with capes saving stuffed animals from the effects of bad food.  Needless to say, my 4 year old happily drank all his green smoothies and ate all his greens while she was here.  He was in Raw Food Heaven!

And finally, before we said goodbye, Karen looked into my eyes and said “You are doing a great job!” I smiled a really big smile because that was the highest compliment I could have received from her.

Quote of the Day

10 Feb

In talking to her children about foods that are better for the body, Karen Ranzi of www.superhealthychildren.com author of Creating Healthy Children through Attachment Parenting and Raw Foods would ask:

“If you were hungry and you saw a cow in a field and an apple orchard, where would you run to get food first?”

Free Humane Educational Materials for Kids

6 Feb

FREE Teach Kind Materials: comic books, kid's magazine, booklets, DVDs and posters

 

A few days ago, I received my TeachKind materials.  I should have added them to my Top 10 Tips To Get Your Kids To Eat Fruits and Veggies but I had forgotten about them as the materials took so long to arrive. TeachKind.org provides FREE humane educational materials and policy resources for k-12 and college educators. Their goal is to end violence through humane education and policy initiatives.  Humane Education means: violence prevention, character education, empathy building, youth empowerment and development of critical-thinking skills.

For me, a parent and teacher, it means getting materials that help teach my child how to make better choices to live a greener, kinder lifestyle.

 

Responses To The Materials

I laughed to myself because my sweet meat-loving husband took one look at the posters and said:

“I hope you don’t plan to put those posters up.”

 

My son loved the comics.  Upon looking at the posters:

“We’re not nuggets: please don’t eat us!” my son’s eyes widened and said to the chicks:  “I won’t.   I’ll help you!!!”

“Meat’s not Green” my son said with sweet honesty: “Mama, I try.  I really try.  It’s just that meat taste so good!”

Top 10 Tips To Get Your Kids To Eat Fruits and Veggies

29 Jan

A year ago, my 3 year old son loved eating salads.  But then he became accustomed to watching his friends enjoy their pre-packaged and processed foods and he followed suit exclaiming: “YUCK! I hate veggies!”  Before long, he too started avoiding greens.  It became a challenge feeding anything green to a young child who was anti-salads and anti-greens.  The only raw greens he would enjoy was hidden through green smoothies.

Needless to say, one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to make fruits and vegetables more fun, more attractive and more palatable for him.  I didn’t really know what to do but after an unintentional ploy at marketing, my son ate most of my full bowl of Kale Salad, leaving me both happy and hungry.  From that day on, I started to figure out more ways to market fruits and veggies to him.

 

The result?

A turn-around. While before, it was almost torture asking him to finish his green smoothie or  to try a green salad, our son now readily drinks his green smoothies and asks for his ‘favorite salad’.  While before he would pile our shopping cart with bananas, he now piles it high with kale too.

The other night, he exclaimed “Goodness Gracious!  This salad is delicious!  I love it!!!”  And yesterday, as he chowed down another big bowl of kale salad, he said with bulging eyes “Mama! I can’t stop!  This is so delicious!”

Marketing does work! And as I mention in all my tips, as parents we may not have as much money as big food corporations, but we have the advantage of time, love and commitment to our children’s and family’s health. May we all use this wisely.  So, here are my:

 

Top Ten Tips To Get Your Kids To Eat More Fruits and Veggies:

1. Model Healthy Nutrition

2. Place Healthy Foods at Child’s Eye Level and Within Child’s Reach

3. Promote Fruits and Veggies Using Child’s Favourite Characters or People

4. Use Positive Imagery Associate with Eating Healthy Food

5. Watch Helpful Shows On Fruits and Veggies

6. Grow Your Own Organic Fruit & Vegetable Garden

7. Build Entertainment Value Through Raw Food

8. Find Support or Give Support

9. Allow Choices within Limits

10. Discuss Marketing Tricks

 

And don’t forget, all this works for husbands as well as the kids!  For more ideas, take a look at How To Transition The Family into More Raw Foods.

How To Market Fruits and Veggies to Your Kids: Tip #10

27 Jan

Big bucks are being spent on marketing unhealthy foods directly to children.  What are parents to do?  Learn how and what is being done, find ways to counter the commercials that make kids want to eat unhealthy foods and in the process market fruits and veggies to kids.  We may not have more money than big food corporations, but we have the advantage of time with, love for and commitment to the health of our children.

 

Tip #10:

Discuss Marketing Tricks

The premise behind this tip is that children will begin to understand how big food companies are manipulating them into buying their products.


The best site I found to help parents empower and educate their children on marketing ploys is called Media Awareness Network based out of Canada.  Here are their links on:

Dealing with Marketing: What Parents Can Do

– they suggest many activities to do with kids to educate them on how marketers target them

– they have handouts and tip sheets for parents, including: Talking To Your Kids About Advertising

Curricula for Teachers on Media Education

– for example, grades K to 3 example lessons include lessons on teaching marketing techniques, Food Guides, advertising and packaging tricks

 

Another good site is the New American Dream, a US based website:

– they have a FREE brochure on Tips for Parenting in a Commercial Culture

– and More Tips for Raising Healthy Kids in a Commercial Culture

 

If you want a short, bullet-point type of article,  6 Tricks Used To Sell Junk Food quickly outlines the important marketing techniques to talk to your children about:

– misleading labels, suggestive science or advertising, enticing prices of food, economics behind marketing to children, manipulative visibility of products and how companies get parents to buy their products

 

Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood has other resources for parents as well

 

Center for Healthy Communities is a California based group:

their newsletters delve into different health issues but their 2008 Winter Center Scene publication focused on ‘Confronting the crisis of childhood obesity: Advocates Combat Junk Food Marketing to Children’

 

Other links:

– for kids: PBS Kids’ Don’t Buy It Get Media Smart

– for teenage girls: About Face

– for the family: Adbusters.org’s Buy Nothing Day

How To Market Fruits and Veggies to Your Kids: Tip #9

25 Jan

Big bucks are being spent on marketing unhealthy foods directly to children.  What are parents to do?  Learn how and what is being done, find ways to counter the commercials that make kids want to eat unhealthy foods and in the process market fruits and veggies to kids.  We may not have more money than big food corporations, but we have the advantage of time with, love for and commitment to the health of our children.

 

Tip #9:

Allow Choices

within

Limits

 

 

Son knows that each meal must be accompanied by some type of vegetable. Most of the time, we eat raw veggies, but sometimes son chooses his favorite cooked vegetable: artichokes. He can happily eat 3 all by himself for dinner. Certainly not raw, but a real veggie nonetheless!

 

The premise behind this tip is that children will make better choices if they know what the available choices are.

 

Tonight, after seeing that I made a lettuce salad for dinner, our son cries, “I don’t want that salad! I want my favorite kale salad!  Not that salad!  Waaaahhhh….”

Sigh.  “At least he wanted to eat a salad,” I tell myself.

I don’t know how raw families do it, but this is what I have learned living with a 4 year old negotiator:

1. there needs to be very clear family agreements on food:

– breakfast is all raw

– we eat fruits with breakfast

– we eat greens at each meal

– no more snacking if greens are not being eaten at mealtimes

– Mama’s kitchen is open only at meal times

– Mama is not making Son special individual meals

 

2. son has freedom to choose what he wants within the parameters of family agreements:

– he can choose his fruit for breakfast

– he can choose whether he wants his greens as a salad or as a smoothie

– snacks are mostly fruit

 

3. food is not to be used as a reward

– son learns that nutrition is important to health

 

4. if son chooses to eat junk food again on special days, he has to only remember what happened to him

– last Valentine’s, after eating a bag full of candies from well-meaning friends, he was sick for a month

– last Summer, after eating ice cream from a shop (they didn’t display their ingredients), he was sick for a whole week

– last week and a half ago, after eating 5 cookies and 3 pieces of chocolate truffles from well-meaning friends, he’s still sick

 

It seems learning the consequences of eating ‘bad’ food first-hand  is very important for a little boy to understand proper nutrition.

 

Tip # 10: Discuss Marketing Tricks

How To Market Fruits and Veggies to Your Kids: Tip #8

22 Jan

Big bucks are being spent on marketing unhealthy foods directly to children.  What are parents to do?  Learn how and what is being done, find ways to counter the commercials that make kids want to eat unhealthy foods and in the process market fruits and veggies to kids.  We may not have more money than big food corporations, but we have the advantage of time with, love for and commitment to the health of our children.

Tip #8:

Find Support

or

Give Support

Banana Ice Cream: Freeze bananas, place frozen bananas in high speed blender and process until creamy, serve. Options: add cacao or carob powder or other fruits for different flavors.

 

The premise behind this is that everyone in the family will feel encouraged and supported within a like-minded community.


Find Support:

The Raw Mom Blog is a fantastic resource for all raw vegan mothers.

– find local raw food groups in your community: raw restaurants, raw chefs, other raw food families

– shop at a health food shop that supports RAW foods: we love our local shop because of the people who run it.  Not only are they helpful but they are walking encyclopedias for everything health related.

 

Give Support:

If there isn’t any existing local support, you can always create one!

– tell family and friends about raw foods if they are interested

– make great tasting raw foods for non-raw parties… this always works for me

One of my favourite cousins, Cris, has  become a recent fan of raw food.  She told me today that she made a green smoothie for her 3 year old daughter who asked for MORE after finishing it.  She also made raw banana ice cream for her daughter and another niece the other day and the kids loved it so much that more of our cousins have become raw banana ice cream fans.  I guess we can now have a family green smoothie and raw ice cream party!

 

Tip #9: Allow Choices within Boundaries

How To Market Fruits and Veggies to Your Kids: Tip #7

21 Jan

Big bucks are being spent on marketing unhealthy foods directly to children.  What are parents to do?  Learn how and what is being done, find ways to counter the commercials that make kids want to eat unhealthy foods and in the process market fruits and veggies to kids.  We may not have more money than big food corporations, but we have the advantage of time with, love for and commitment to the health of our children.

Tip #7:

Build Entertainment Value

Through Raw Food

Morimono: Edible Art Arrangements

The premise behind this tip is that children will gravitate towards anything that is ‘fun’.

The week we were learning about Japan in our preschool homeschool co-op, my mother, an Ikebana teacher, happened to visit.  We all thought it would be a wonderful occassion for the children to learn about the art of Japanese flower arrangement.  But my mother had an even better idea: for the kids to create Morimono or fruit and veggie arrangements and eat everything afterwards.  As you can see from the photo above, it was a hit with children.  Not only did they enjoy creating 3D art with raw foods (and toothpicks), but most kids ate their creations as soon as or while building it.

Food art doesn’t have to be as complicated as Morimono. A child can create images (face, flower, car) using fruits and veggies or a child’s meal can be served in the same fun way.

Other simple ideas:

– make shopping at the produce department or farmer’s market fun with games

–  for older kids

– see who can spot or grab the most on their section of the produce list the quickest

– who can calculate the price of the groceries of the day

– for younger kids

– a match-as-you-shop game using a list of images of produce

– count how many apples you are buying

– name a fruit or vegetable that starts with ‘A’, etc.

– at home prepare meals together – participation is key

– allow kids to choose fresh produce and create their own dish after watching a video of other children doing so

experiment with different fruits and vegetables to make smoothies or soups or puddings or popsicles (let kids guess what colour the mix will be)

– go to the zoo and study fruit and veggie loving animals

– we recently saw a Tortoise that was illegally owned for years and given hamburgers to eat, its back is now deformed as a result (its fave food is now bananas!)

 

Tip #8: Find Support or Give Support

How To Market Fruits and Veggies to Your Kids: Tip #6

20 Jan

Big bucks are being spent on marketing unhealthy foods directly to children.  What are parents to do?  Learn how and what is being done, find ways to counter the commercials that make kids want to eat unhealthy foods and in the process market fruits and veggies to kids.  We may not have more money than big food corporations, but we have the advantage of time with, love for and commitment to the health of our children.

Tip #6:

Grow Your Own

Organic Fruit & Vegetable Garden

 

Reliable Seed Companies: Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Seed Savers Exchange, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

The premise behind this tip is that by planting their favorite fruits or vegetables, children will be motivated to learn

– how plants grow
– to appreciate organic farmers and their practices
– the value of produce
– how much better fresh fruits and vegetables taste right off child’s own plants
– to enjoy spending time together in nature.

We have had a few different varieties of tomatoes, eggplants, bell peppers,  onions, basil, rosemary,  thyme, lavender, mint and sage the past few years, but then my green thumb relaxed too much and I found our garden full of grubs one day, all plants failed and my ONE  ripe beefsteak tomato taken by an animal last year.   My attempt at composting was also a disaster and I killed about 200 worms while trying to vermi-compost.

Sigh.

Not giving up too easily, we have  started our broccoli, cauliflower, pak choi, snap beans and salad seeds indoors this week.  Wish us luck!

My back up plan if Tip #6 fails: visit a friend’s garden, as well as farms nearby and farmers markets.

Tip #7: Build Entertainment Value Through Raw Food

How To Market Fruits and Veggies to Your Kids: Tip #5

19 Jan

Big bucks are being spent on marketing unhealthy foods directly to children.  What are parents to do?  Learn how and what is being done, find ways to counter the commercials that make kids want to eat unhealthy foods and in the process market fruits and veggies to kids.  We may not have more money than big food corporations, but we have the advantage of time with, love for and commitment to the health of our children.

Tip #5:

Watch Helpful Shows

On Fruits and Veggies

The premise behind this tip is that children are greatly influenced by what they watch. Here are some favourites:

 

Edu-Tainment:

Grocery Store Wars – a long time fave showing the on-going fight between Organic and Conventional Produce, this short video is not only for Star Wars fans.

Kids Prepare and Eat Kale Salad – maybe inspire your kids to make their own and eat it too

Music TV:

For young kids:  ‘2 Fruits, 5 Veggies‘ song with dance movements kids can follow along

For older kids, a fun ‘rap’ song on Raw Foods by Sergei Buotenko of The Raw Family

Talks:

An 11 year old homeschooled boy tackles Organic Food and Farming on TED

Miscellaneous:

The Raw Family site has a lot of great videos too

The Raw Food Media has a few videos with raw food kids

Videos for older kids and adults:

The Cove on toxins in fish

Blue Vinyl on toxins in animal products

Food Matters and yes it does!

Food Inc on conventional and organic farming practices


Tip #6: Grow Your Own Organic Fruit & Vegetable Garden

How To Market Fruits and Veggies to Your Kids: Tip #4

18 Jan

Big bucks are being spent on marketing unhealthy foods directly to children.  What are parents to do?  Learn how and what is being done, find ways to counter the commercials that make kids want to eat unhealthy foods and in the process market fruits and veggies to kids.  We may not have more money than big food corporations, but we have the advantage of time with, love for and commitment to the health of our children.

Tip #4:

USE POSITIVE IMAGERY

ASSOCIATED WITH

EATING HEALTHY FOOD

Our Son's List of Raw Faves (inside pantry door)

 

The premise behind this tip is that children will associate positive emotions, positive physical attributes and positive social relations with healthy food.

 

We know that the big companies are showing emotional, social or health benefits for kids who eat their unhealthy products.  They use children’s insecurities in order to entice them to buy their foods with commercials showing:

– someone loves you more by buying ‘x’ for you

– someone is very popular for eating ‘y’, or

– someone is more physically fit for eating ‘z’.

 

As parents, we can counteract this heavy marketing ploy by using positive imagery in our homes. We can place the following in prominent areas of the kitchen:

1. photos of happy and loving families eating fresh produce together

2. photos of friends enjoying fresh fruit, fresh veggies and green smoothies together

3. photos of physically fit people eating fresh produce

4. a list of child’s fave fruits and vegetables with picture cut-outs of foods

5. photos of fave characters and personalities who love fruits and veggies.

 

Tip #5: Watch Helpful Shows On Fruits and Veggies

How To Market Fruits and Veggies to Your Kids: Tip #3

17 Jan

Big bucks are being spent on marketing unhealthy foods directly to children. What are parents to do? Learn how and what is being done, find ways to counter the commercials that make kids want to eat unhealthy foods and in the process Librarymarket fruits and veggies to kids. We may not have more money than big food corporations, but we have the advantage of time with, love for and commitment to the health of our children.

Tip #3:

PROMOTE FRUITS AND VEGGIES

USING FAVOURITE CHARACTERS or PEOPLE

Yoda, Aunt Beru, Luke Skywalker, Michael Jackson

The premise behind this tip is that children will be inspired to eat what their favorite characters or personalities eat.


Our son loves:

1. Star Wars

2. Michael Jackson’s music

3. Winnie the Pooh.

 

How do we incorporate these three favorites with food?

1. Star Wars:

– We talk about Aunt Beru’s Kitchen being full of vegetables and that she uses her blender to serve Luke and Uncle Owen yummy Green Smoothies.

– We research the foods Yoda eats on Dagobah: berries, mushrooms, seeds…

– We create stories about other characters, for example the Jawas must eat carrots because they have amazing night vision.

2. Michael Jackson:

This was easy because Michael Jackson was a vegetarian. We found a story on Huffington Post about Michael Jackson being a regular at a vegetarian restaurant called The Golden Temple. He met a couple there and was very interested in the woman’s vegetarian pregnancy and her baby.

3. Winnie the Pooh:

Pooh Bear loves honey!!! Our fave breakfasts and snacks include raw honey (banana with honey, raw yoghurt with honey, raw oatmeal with honey…). And we discovered a Green Smoothie our son loves because It Takes Like Honey… thus we have renamed it Pooh Bear’s Smoothie.

 

Tip #4: USE POSITIVE IMAGERY ASSOCIATED WITH EATING HEALTHY FOOD

How To Market Fruits and Veggies to Your Kids: Tip #2

17 Jan

Big bucks are being spent on marketing unhealthy foods directly to children.  What are parents to do?  Learn how and what is being done, find ways to counter the commercials that make kids want to eat unhealthy foods and in the process market fruits and veggies to kids.  We may not have more money than big food corporations, but we have the advantage of time with, love for and commitment to the health of our children.

Tip #2:

PLACE HEALTHY FOODS

at

CHILD’S EYE LEVEL

and

WITHIN CHILD’S REACH

Fruits on the Counter

The premise behind this tip is that children will gravitate towards the food that are at their eye level and within their grasp.

Son's Dedicated Fridge Level: raw almond butter, green smoothie, raw yoghurt, dehydrated buckwheat cereal, flax seed crackers and kale chips, raw salted eggs, nuts and dried fruits

1. dedicate one level of the fridge to your child’s fave healthy foods (cut fruit or veggies, raw almond butter, dried fruits, nuts and seeds, dips, snack items)

2. dedicate one level of the pantry to your child’s fave healthy foods (honey, raw chips, raw cookies, dehydrated snacks)

3. make cut fresh fruit, cut vegetables, green smoothies and raw milk available at all times (we use our stainless steel lunch box and thermos with a straw)

4. keep fresh produce on the counter at all times

Tip #3: PROMOTE FRUITS AND VEGGIES USING FAVOURITE CHARACTERS or PEOPLE

How To Market Fruits and Veggies to Your Kids: Tip #1

17 Jan

Big bucks are being spent on marketing unhealthy foods directly to children.  What are parents to do?  Learn how and what is being done, find ways to counter the commercials that make kids want to eat unhealthy foods and in the process market fruits and veggies to kids.  We may not have more money than big food corporations, but we have the advantage of time with, love for and commitment to the health of our children.

TIP #1:

MODEL HEALTHY NUTRITION

Recently in Florida, our son helped Daddy choose exotic fruits to try

 

The premise behind this tip is that if children are accustomed to watching their own parents eating and truly enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables, they will be more open to eating the same foods.

Being pretty much a raw vegan, I had thought that I was a great model on eating fruits and veggies.  But while my son loves all kinds of fruit and his ‘Tastes Just Like Honey’ Pooh Bear Green Smoothie, eating salads has not been popular for the past 6 months.  What I discovered the other day changed all that: my son ‘caught’ me truly enjoying my salad (read about how I unintentionally got my son to love Kale Salad).  And now Kale Salad is one of his fave foods.

Tip #2: PLACE HEALTHY FOODS at CHILD’S EYE LEVEL and WITHIN CHILD’S REACH

Marketing Fruits and Veggies to Kids

12 Jan

Everyday, our children are bombarded with marketing directed at them through various media that costs companies over $15 billion annually according to New American Dream.  The effect is disastrous with research showing direct links to childhood obesity, harm to children’s emotional well-being, self-image and sexual behavior, and to their financial self-control.

As parents, we need help in bringing up healthy children. We need to be supported. We do not want our role to be diminished.  We do not want our voices taken away by companies that directly market unhealthy products to our children.  So what can we do?

Having recently conducted my own unintended marketing ploy and seeing it work, I am ready to examine what works for big food corporations and how parents can use these tools to market healthy foods to their children.  So, I took a look at what The Center of Science for Public Interest wrote up in the Guidelines for Responsible Food Marketing to Children.  These were the biggest influential factors in marketing to children:

– advertise during TV, videos, cartoon shows
– product and brand placements in movies, shows, games, websites, books
– giving out premiums and incentives for consuming certain foods
– promote foods using cartoon or fictional characters or celebrities and the same placed on children’s merchandise and games
– build entertainment value through food: food shapes like a character, or use of colors to surprise the eater…
– create education incentive programs using food
– place a banner or wall paper of product on computer
– eye level shelves of grocery stores
– showing emotional, social or health benefits of food (i.e. someone loves you more by buying a food/ someone is very popular for eating a food/ someone is more physically fit for eating a food)

After looking at this list, I have decided to start using the same tactics at home… but to market raw fruits and vegetables to my son.   Although I have successfully transitioned my family from 100% cooked to about 50% raw in a year (read How To Transition The Family Into More Raw Foods), I would like to do more.  I want to make a long-term impact on my son’s health through nutrition.  So, I’ve come up with my own Marketing Fruits and Veggies to Kids list.

Let’s start with Tip #1: Model Healthy Nutrition

Teach Young Kids to Love Greens – It’s All in the Marketing!

7 Jan

Kale Salad

 

I closed my eyes as I tasted the garlic, thyme, sunflower and sea salt dressing and as I slowly enjoyed each bite of my kale salad.

“Mmmmmm…” I sighed as I savored it all. I was hungry and nothing could satisfy more than this kale salad.

“Yum,” I said as I opened my eyes.  I was about to shovel more food into my mouth when I found my 4 year old staring at me.

“Mama,” he said with a big wide grin, “What are you eating?”

“Greens,” I said showing him my bowl and assuming he didn’t want some because he hasn’t wanted salads, veggie chips or anything solid green in the past 6 months.

“I want some!” he said in that you’re-not-going-to-enjoy-that-alone look.

“OK,” I say nonchalantly. “I don’t know if you’ll like it.”

My son ate half of my salad.

WOW.

I didn’t mean to entice my son to eat my salad – but my sheer enjoyment of it made him want some.

My Lesson of the Day: Marketing does work!

The Art of Proper Eating

6 Jul
We all basically know WHAT to eat, but we rarely hear about HOW to eat.  So, I’ve come up with a few fun Questions and Answers based on Ayurveda Nutrition to see how much we all know about HOW to properly eat.  Here it is!
Our Son lovingly handpicks our tomatoes, will it make a difference to our digestive system?

We all love our nutritionally rich raw green smoothies, but which would better feed our bodies?  A raw green smoothie prepared by:

a. a loving child on Mother’s Day
b. a mother who woke up in a bad mood and was upset we had spilled the first smoothie she made
c. either a or b because it doesn’t make a difference – the smoothie will feed our bodies the same way.

Answer is (a). The act of ENJOYING as we prepare and eat our food is essential in the process of eating.  A raw green smoothie prepared in a loving manner will feed not only our body nutritionally, but also feed us with love which affects how we digest and metabolize the food. Dr. Emoto has successfully shown how emotions affect water (and therefore everything that contains water) through his photographs of water crystals.  Being loving, being grateful toward, saying thank you to water creates beautiful crystals, but saying “I hate you”, and worse, ignoring creates ugly images in the water crystals.  What would our bodies feel when beautiful crystals entered our digestive system?  And how would our bodies feel when we consume foods full of negative energy? The energy of the food would affect us differently.  Prepare food with love and care.  Be grateful at mealtimes.  Love does make a difference!

Does it really matter where and with whom you have a meal?
a. yes
b. no
Answer is (a).  The Environment and the Company we keep certainly determines our state of mind and our state of health.  Our digestive system works well when calm and in enjoyment.  Eating in the car while running errands, while watching a suspense thriller, while in intense negotiation are not optimum times to have a meal.  Stress prevents proper digestion: instead of assimilating nutrients efficiently and effectively, toxins are produced in the body – even if the best kinds foods are eaten.  Being at ease and eating with people you love does make a difference!

We didn’t bless our food with prayer growing up, but my mother taught me to thank the food on my plate for nourishing me – to thank the meat for giving up its life for me, to thank the vegetables for the same.  Do you think prayer or being grateful for our meal makes a difference in their digestibility?

a. yes
b. no
c. it doesn’t make a difference.

Answer is (a).  Giving our full focus and attention to our food helps enhance proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients in the body.  Our thoughts, although sometimes subtle and sometimes unconscious, impact our physical bodies greatly.

Which food is best eaten on a daily basis to boost your immune system:

a. local in-season foods
b. organic foods.
This may come as a surprise, but the answer is (a).  It is true that we need to avoid anything processed and we need to eat more foods that are organic, high in greens and free of chemicals.  We need organic foods because they are pure, natural and unadulterated foods that contain higher levels of fiber, vitamins and minerals than conventional ones.  Organic foods also do not contain chemicals that inhibit natural cellular processes and they do not create toxic matter in the body that cause imbalance, disorders and diseases.
A South Carolina Farmer’s Sign
But what about local foods?  We always hear about local foods lessening our carbon footprint.  But we never really hear about the health benefits.  Local and in-season foods are in fact best for our immune system and enzyme function.  Just like local honey is best for people with pollen allergies, local food is  also best for our health.  If we are healthy, we can eat a small amount of foods from other locations.  However, if our diet is based solely on foods from elsewhere, it can cause disease: weak immune systems, allergies, digestive problems and weight issues.  Our bodies change depending on seasons and therefore so do our digestive enzymes.  Foods from other regions do not provide our bodies with the nutrients  appropriate for our own climate and season.   Local foods, on the other hand, provide us with the nutrients we naturally need to live well where we live.
What is the best solution?  Buy from local farmers who choose to grow organically. Find them on Local Harvest.  If you miss the diversity in your food, at least choose to eat foods in their correct seasons. 

Vegetables are the bes
t foods and need to form the majority of our diet.  True.  But do some vegetables cause disturbances in the body?
a. yes
b. no.

 

This too may come as a surprise.  The answer is (a).  It is important to listen to how your own body responds to certain foods.  In the West, people assume if a certain food is full of wonderful nutritional properties, it must be a good food for everyone.  In the East, this is not the case.  Nutrition and diet is more individualistic because foods have different properties and therefore affect people differently.  If there is a lot of ‘air’ in one’s system, cabbage will cause bloating and gas.  If there is an excess of ‘fire’, then garlic can exacerbate skin inflammation, ulcers and burning sensations.  If there is an excess of ‘water’, then fruits with high water content like watermelon, will aid in weight gain. 

 

According to Ayurveda, raw food requires more energy to digest than cooked food.
a. true
b. false. 

The answer is (a).  However, there is such a thing as ‘antidotes’ for foods to help make them more digestible.  For raw foods, the antidotes are juicing, pureeing, using spices and oil.
Raw Mushroom Soup
If I eat a raw foods diet, I can eat as much food as I want.  I can stuff myself with healthy food whenever I want.
a. true
b. false
Recommended Quantity of Food Stomach
Red = solid food, Yellow = liquids, purple = empty

The answer is (b).  Indeed, stuffing oneself with raw foods is healthier than stuffing oneself with processed foods.  However, according to Ayurveda, a complete and effective digestion cannot be possible on a full stomach.  It is best to train our stomach to be satisfied in thirds: 1/3 solid food, 1/3 liquid, and 1/3 empty.  An easier way to start is to fill the stomach with 1/2 solids, 1/4 liquid, and 1/4 empty.

How many times does food need to be chewed before swallowing?
a. 5 times
b. 15 times
c. 32 times
The answer is (c)!  Chewing that much allows us to taste our food, begin the digestion process in our mouth and prepare our stomach for the meal to come. 

How to mix Ayurveda Principles with a Raw Foods Diet?

Gabriel Cousens is the founder of Tree of Life and he uses Ayurvedic principles in explaining a raw foods diet. His 2 books are very interesting reads: Conscious Eating and Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine.  In the latter, he cites the 10 worst foods to eat.