Cooking with Kids

6 Sep

Cooking is a great way to bring kids and parents together and encourage healthy eating!  Here’s 3 reasons why cooking with your children is important and how to get started.

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3 Reasons to Cook with Kids:

1. Cooking can be a great learning experience!  Having children participate in the cooking process can help them learn basic math skills (counting, weighing, measuring) and develop language.  Try creating a menu together and learning the nutrition involved in the menu. Discuss the food groups and what types of foods fit into each group.

2. Cooking promotes a feeling of responsibility and encourages healthy eating.  Teach kids about why foods are considered “healthy” or “unhealthy” and encourage cooking with fruits and vegetables.  Involving children in the food preparation process promotes more mindful food choices and eating patterns.  Also, the more invested in the meal, the more likely the child is to enjoy it – kids are much more likely to eat food they make themselves.

3. It teaches your kids a basic and essential life skill!  Cooking is an important skill and involving children at an early age helps set them up for future success.

How do you start cooking with your kids?  Start with an easier dish, or breakfast on the weekends where you have more time and let them try out the below tasks.

Cooking Tasks for Young Children:

1. Adding ingredients to a mixing bowl.
2. Stirring batter.
3. Assembling a pizza or sandwich.
4. Tearing apart food (such as lettuce).
5. Drying greens in a salad spinner.
6. Setting the table for the meal.

Cooking Tasks for Older Children:

1. Peeling fruits and vegetables (with a small peeler).
2. Mashing potatoes.
3. Stirring ingredients.
4. Rolling out dough and using cookies cutters.
5. Rinsing vegetables.
6. Squeezing lemons or limes with a plastic juicer.
7. Grating cheese.
8. Cracking eggs.
9. Measuring ingredients.

Creative Snacks for Kids

2 Sep

Try out these creative snack ideas for kids that are not only fun, but healthy too!  

1. Cut fruit into fun shapes using cookie cutters – watermelon, pineapple, kiwi and cantaloupe work great!  Cookie cutters also work great with jello (use MWLC Cherry Jello Fiber to avoid sugary jello products from the store.)

2. Mold and position food into fun shapes and themes for children.  For example, create a “rainbow” using red, green, orange and yellow slices of bell pepper, with cauliflower florets to represent “clouds”.  Use other fruits and vegetables to create animals, flowers, and other creative scenes for your kids.

3. Pour yogurt into ice cube molds (shaped molds can be found online) and freeze – kids will love the fun shapes in these easy frozen yogurt bites!

4. Kids love to dip!  Try dipping celery sticks into peanut butter, and Goldfish snacks, to create a ‘Going Fishing’ game.

GoFishing

5.  Make kabobs!  Cut up fresh fruit – strawberries, melon, pineapple – and add the chunks to a skewer.  Dip skewers in yogurt.

6.  Create “fruit popsicles”.  In a blender, mix seedless watermelon, strawberries and fresh lemon juice.  Pour mixture into popsicle molds and freeze until firm.  Enjoy!

Consequences of Childhood Obesity

1 Sep

Updated:  8/22/18

Did you know that today, about one-third of children and adolescents in the United States are considered overweight or obese, and this number continues to rise?  The negative consequences associated with this excess weight in children, ranges from physical to psychological and social.  The impact of obesity in childhood can have life-long effects and lead to a shorter life expectancy, making this an extremely important health issue.

For children and adolescents, adult BMI categories are further divided by sex and age, due to changes that occur during growth and development.  Growth charts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are used to determine children’s BMI.  Children and adolescents with a BMI between the 5th and 85th percentile are considered to be a healthy weight.  Children with a BMI between the 85th and 94th percentiles are generally considered to be overweight, and those with a BMI at or above the sex-and age-specific 95th percentile of the population on this growth chart are typically considered obese.

Overweight and obesity are the result of caloric imbalance (too few calories expended for the amount of calories consumed) and are influenced by genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors.

Childhood overweight and obesity can lead to health consequences into adulthood, and obese children and teens are more likely to become obese adults.  Children who are obese have a greater risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, increased risk of impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea and asthma, joint problems, fatty liver disease, gallstones, and heartburn, and psychological issues such as poor self-esteem and depression.

Childhood obesity can be prevented through the actions of children and their parents. Promoting an environment of healthy eating and physical activity for children can help reduce the risk of obesity and the negative consequences that come with this condition.

Sources: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/obesity/facts.htm

and https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/causes.html

Back To School: Healthy Lunch Choices

31 Aug

Updated: 8/2/18

Did you know that September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month?  To kick off September, Tracy Strieter was on My TV20 Detroit Tuesday to talk about proper nutrition and how we can get the most out of our foods for ourselves and children. Healthy food can be fun to make and eat!

As part of our effort to bring awareness to National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month in September, MWLC will give-away 30 plans each at all of our 31 Michigan clinics to celebrate 30 years of business as of 2016. Check back tomorrow for more details!

 

Vacation Diet Tips

30 Aug

Updated: 4/12/18

Plan ahead so you can enjoy your vacation while staying on track!

Vacation Diet Tips

When taking a trip, we often stray from our weight loss journey and indulge.  With a bit of planning, you can maintain your weight loss and still have fun.  Here are some tips to help you stay on track while on vacation!

1. “Eat in” for as many meals as possible.  Restaurants often serve larger portion sizes than those that fit into our meal plans and we tend to eat out much more while on vacation, so try preparing most of your meals if you’re able.  Bring foods with you, make a run to a local grocery store once you reach your destination and take advantage of hotels that have kitchens or mini-fridges.  Carry healthy snacks with you.

2.  When you do eat out at a restaurant, ask your waiter questions.  Try to order dishes with smaller portion sizes and ask for sauce on the side.  Review the menu ahead of time if possible and go to the restaurant prepared.  Choose fruits for a dessert or share a small dessert with others.  Select a local restaurant, that may have fresh and locally grown ingredients.

3. Avoid alcohol!  Sugary alcoholic drinks (like a poolside margarita), can account for a large portion of your daily calories.  Choose healthier beverages or select alcoholic drinks that are light on the added sugar.  Be sure to stay properly hydrated with water as well, spacing water consumption throughout the day.

4. Stay active on your trip!  Try new physical activities that may be unavailable in your home town, like swimming, kayaking or golfing.  Add in physical activities that don’t feel like “working out”, like dancing.  Focus on the activities and enjoying time with family and friends.  Pack tennis shoes and exercise clothes to encourage yourself to stay active.

Remember to plan ahead and enjoy your time away!

CCFA Take Steps: Golden Colon Award!

29 Aug

Did you know that over 80% of all money raised by the CCFA goes directly to research and treatment options to hopefully find a cure one day for Crohn’s and ColitisTake Steps is the largest fundraiser for the CCFA and it was great to see employees participating with family, friends and patients at our walks this summer.

Both Take Steps Grand Rapids and Take Steps Royal Oak were held on beautiful days and we had a strong presence at both events.  It was a wonderful morning to get some exercise, bond with your fellow MWLC family and raise funds and awareness for this very important cause.  Due to our efforts as the highest fundraising team raising over $10,000 this year, Medical Weight Loss Clinic was awarded the Golden Colon Award for 2016!

We walk because over 1.4 million American adults and children are affected by digestive diseases  (1 out of every 200).  While many suffer in silence, Take Steps is changing that by bringing this community together publicly and encouraging them to make noise and be heard!  We couldn’t have done this without you and appreciate your support!

 

David Paull, President

 

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Cauliflower Pizza

25 Aug

Do you love pizza but want to find a healthier alternative? Look no further! Check out MWLC’s Cauliflower Pizza recipe!

CauliflowerPizza

Servings:
0.5 Protein
2 Vegetables

Ingredients:
2 heads of Cauliflower, cut, blended then steamed in microwave until soft
1 egg
2 oz. Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese
Italian Medley Mrs. Dash
Tomato, blended with Mrs. Dash (pizza sauce)

Preparation:
Cut cauliflower into small pieces and blend in food processor or blender. Steam blended cauliflower in microwave, use a kitchen towel to ring out water from steamed cauliflower. In small bowl, mix cauliflower, egg, 1 oz. cheese, seasonings. Form mini pizzas on a pizza stone or cookie sheet. Top with remaining 1 oz. cheese and pizza sauce. Bake at 450° for 12-15 minutes. Makes 4 small mini pizzas.

Deviled Eggs

19 Aug

Who’s ready to eat? Join us in whipping up our MWLC Deviled Egg recipe…and don’t forget the paprika!

DeviledEggs

Servings:
1 Protein
1 Dairy

Ingredients:
1 serving Hard Boiled Egg
1 serving Plain Non-Fat Yogurt
1-2 servings Mustard
Sweetener to taste
Paprika to taste

Preparation:
Separate the egg yolk and egg whites. Blend egg yolks with the yogurt, mustard and sweetener. Fill egg whites with yolk mixture. Sprinkle tops of eggs with paprika to taste.

Duration of Obesity Connected to Cancer Risk in Women

17 Aug

According to a recent study on postmenopausal women in the United States (published in PLOS Medicine), the longer a woman is overweight or obese in adulthood, the greater her risk of cancer over time.

The study looked at data regarding 73,913 women across the United States (data provided by an observational study group of the Women’s Health Initiative), closely reviewing the women’s body mass index measurements, physical activity, diet, smoking, hormone use, and diabetes history.  The impact of timing, length, and intensity of overweight and obesity on cancer risk in the women was examined.  The examined data spanned across 12 years, and diagnosed 6,301 obesity-related cancers among the group of women.

The research found that for every 10 years women are overweight or obese in adulthood, the risk for all obesity-related cancers increases by 7%, the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer increases by 5% and the risk of endometrial cancer increases by 17%.

Melina Arnold, a World Health Organization scientist and lead author of the study, states, “This study showed that the risk of cancer associated with obesity and overweight compounds over time, and a longer duration of overweight and obesity during adulthood is associated with increased risks of several cancers.  Furthermore, not only the duration but also the degree of overweight seems to play an important role in the risk of developing cancer, especially for endometrial cancer.”

The study indicates that length of obesity has an important role in cancer risk and highlights the importance of obesity prevention at all ages.

Full Journal Article Here:  http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1002081