Tag Archive | children

Cooking With Kids: Healthy Eating Starts in the Kitchen

by Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, FAND

Cooking can instill a sense of pride in kids.

Kids love to cook—and it might help them to make better food choices, too.

I think it’s fair to say that most kids—given the chance—like to spend time playing around in the kitchen. And why not? Cooking is creative and messy and fun, and it tickles all the senses. On top of that, your efforts are rewarded with something that’s (hopefully) delicious to eat. But cooking can deliver some additional benefits, too—spending time in the kitchen can help kids to develop an appreciation for healthy foods, and foster better eating habits, too.

RELATED ARTICLE: 12 smart tips for getting your kids heart healthy

The significance of this really shouldn’t be overlooked. In the last few decades, obesity and overweight rates among American kids have risen dramatically—a reflection, in part, on a diet that includes too many calories and nutrient-poor foods, and too little in the way of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and calcium-rich dairy products.

And eating out is a contributing factor. Meals eaten away from home are higher in calories, fat and saturated fat—and provide less calcium and fiber—than home-prepared meals. On the other hand, eating more meals at home is associated with a higher intake of fruits, vegetables and dairy products, with less fat and calories.

Cooking with Kids: The Many Benefits
    • Cooking at home and eating together helps kids develop an appreciation for healthy foods. When parents serve as good role models with their food choices, kids develop a similar appreciation for healthy foods. And, the comfortable, supportive environment of home helps to reinforce these healthy behaviors.
    • Kids enjoy eating what they’ve prepared. When kids are involved in the selection of ingredients and preparation of foods, they’re more likely to try their creations.
    • They’re more likely to try new foods. Even if kids decide that they don’t particularly like what they prepared, the cooking experience will help to cultivate an open mind when it comes to trying new foods.
    • Kids derive a sense of pride and independence when they cook. Kids love to boast that “I did it all myself!” When they are able to prepare something on their own—no matter how simple—and serve it to family, it instills a sense of pride and independence. Help your kids by guiding them toward age-appropriate recipes.
    • Cooking is creative. Once kids have some basic skills and learn to follow recipes, they should be encouraged to get creative. You can start with a very simple basic recipe—for example, a smoothie made with flavored protein powder and milk—and allow them to experiment by adding different fruits, vegetables, spices or extracts. Once they’ve come up with their own recipes, many kids enjoy creating their own recipe file.
    • Cooking together can be fun, quality time. Spending time together in the kitchen can be fun and relaxing for both kids and adults. Many kids don’t need much coaxing to join you in the kitchen, so use this time to simply enjoy each other’s company and talk about how good—and good for you—your meal is going to be.

Susan Bowerman is Director of Nutrition Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.


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Family Fitness: Raise Healthy, Active Kids

by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA

Get active with your kids.

Whether you want to raise superstar athletes or just emphasize the importance of physical fitness in order to raise healthy, active kids, it’s never too late to get started on a family fitness journey.

There’s never been a better time to get active with your family! If you’re looking to change your children’s current lifestyle and make healthier choices, then I have six great tips that may help you get or stay on a path to raising healthy, active kids. An active lifestyle is a great family goal that can be achieved with a few creative changes.

Related Article: Design Your Own Healthy, Active Lifestyle Plan

1) Talk to your child’s physician

I always advise that you talk to your child’s doctor about what kind of fitness is right for them —especially if it’s a drastic lifestyle change. The words ‘active’ and ‘kids’ used to go hand in hand, but in today’s modern world, many kids hardly ever run around or play sports. Going from complete inactivity to a sudden active lifestyle can be a shock to the system. All changes in physical activity should be gradual. Checking your kids’ health before making any lifestyle changes should be the first step to achieving your family’s fitness goals.

2) Create a routine

The best way to get going on your family fitness journey is to write out a schedule and pick two activity days per week. Consider planning outdoor activities such as hikes, bike rides or sports to make it feel less like a duty and more like playtime. The more you can involve your kids in the planning process, the more enthusiastic they will be about the change.

3) Embrace modern technology

If you have children that are reliant on modern technology such as computers, video games, and tablets, you might face a full-blown rebellion if you try to swap gadgets for family fitness time. Instead, you can embrace modern technology and ease into an active lifestyle with fitness games and challenges. There are many dance, fitness and activity games available that combine technology with simple tasks to help entertain kids into getting active. This tip shouldn’t take away from traditional outdoor activities, but it’s a step in the right direction.

4) Go back to basics and keep it simple

Remember how much fun it was to play a simple game of catch with your friends when you were younger? As you move towards more traditional fitness-based activities, focus on fun coordination and body awareness moves. Kids have developing nervous systems and would benefit greatly from engaging both small and large motor skills. These activities include kicking, catching and hopping, and they could feel more like a game rather than fitness.

5) Be smart about fitness

Children get so many ideas of what think they can do. Your child may see photos in the media of other kids lifting heavy weights. In reality, it’s not a good idea for children to be doing heavy lifting. There are differing opinions on the correct age that children should start lifting weights, and it’s a decision that should be discussed with your child’s physician. I believe doing exercises that use your body weight are a perfect way to build strength for kids and adults. I started my weights program at the age of 15. My husband started using weights at the age of 17, and we’ve both been successful in the fitness world. My children will be well into their teens before they touch a weight. Until then, they’re going to have fun with squats, pushups and playing on the monkey bars!

6) Lead by example

The greatest gift you can give your children is to lead by example by practicing healthy habits. Try popping in a fitness DVD or follow a fitness routine on the computer to set an active example. If your young children want to join in, you should let them! Just make sure they stay away from the equipment, especially weight machines and treadmills. A fall on a moving treadmill can cause permanent scarring and burns (I know this from personal experience – you don’t need to make the same mistake!).

We can all make healthier choices to lead our children down a healthy, active path. If you keep it fun for them, you can set them up for a lifetime of being active.

Written by Samantha Clayton, A.F.A.A., I.S.S.A. Samantha is Sr. Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.


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12 Smart Tips to Get Your Kids Heart-Healthy

by Louis Ignarro, PhD

Encourage heart-healthy choices for your kids.

Moms and dads have dozens of concerns each day, ranging from their child’s performance in school to emotional development and happiness. Perhaps one of the biggest questions is: Am I doing enough to keep my child heart-healthy?

At the base of your child’s success and well-being is a healthy body. And one of the most important focuses of health—especially in children—is the heart. Here are twelve tips for helping your kids lead a heart-healthy life:

#1 Change things up

Children enjoy exploring different environments, so take your child to a local playground or indoor activity center to simply play. Being in a new, fun space encourages imagination and creativity, while giving your child the opportunity to get active and maybe even make new friends.

#2 Join in

Perhaps the greatest gifts you can give your child are your time, energy and attention. Instead of watching them play, join in. Not only will you be encouraging your kids to get and stay active, but you’ll be building your relationship, too.

#3 Sneak in healthy foods

If you have a picky eater, find ways to sneak into their meals and snacks some healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy. Top whole-grain pasta with tomato sauce loaded with vegetables, make a delicious whole-fruit smoothie, or melt some low-fat cheese over assorted vegetables as a side with dinner. Replace white bread with whole-grain bread and swap cookies with sweet fruits like mango or pear.

#4 Make it a competition

Most kids love competing. Some families compete by having each member wear a pedometer, and then they tally up their weekly steps to see who “won” that week. You can even have prizes for winning, such as a special (healthy) lunch out with Mom or a pass on washing the dinner dishes for a night.

#5 Sleep more

Sleep is important for memory, concentration and general wellness—and it’s also necessary for keeping the heart healthy. Stick to a schedule, even on the weekends, to help encourage healthy sleep.

Suggested sleep times1:

– Toddlers (ages 1 to 3) should get 12 to 14 hours of sleep daily

– Preschoolers (ages 3 to 5) should get 11 to 13 hours

– School-age children (ages 5 to 10) should get 10 to 11 hours

– Teens (ages 10 to 17) should get 8.5 to 9.25 hours.

#6 Supplement a healthy diet

Your child might have additional nutritional needs that aren’t being met through diet. A health care provider should be able to help determine if your child is getting all of the nutrients he or she needs. If your child is falling short, a nutritional supplement may be a good option to support a heart-healthy life.

#7 Turn it off

Television takes up too much precious time. Each minute your kids sit in front of the TV is a minute they’re not being physically active. Limit screen time to encourage your kids to get moving.

#8 Use the screen wisely

If you own a video gaming system, you can opt for games that encourage movement. Join in the fun as your child dances, skis, bowls or plays another activity-based video game.

#9 Walk or pedal

Choose activities nearby so you can commute by foot. If that’s not an option, choose family outings that involve movement. A nice greenbelt stroll is free and fun. If it’s cold in your area, bundle up and enjoy nearly empty trails or walking paths.

#10 Keep it calm

Like adults, kids can get stressed out, too. Low stress levels are important for maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle, so make sure your child isn’t overloaded. While organized activities are important, it’s also good for your child to have down time. Read a book together, go on a leisurely walk, or play outside with the family dog.

#11 Cook together

Involve your child in cooking a healthy meal, and explain what each ingredient is and why it’s going into the dinner. Let them help mix, measure and prepare a heart-healthy family meal—chances are, they’ll be more likely to eat it.

#12 Inspire by example

Whether you know it or not, your child is watching your every move, learning how to interact with the world and developing habits that could extend for a lifetime. When you lead a healthy lifestyle, you are subtly encouraging your child to do the same. As you make good choices, discuss why you’re making your decisions. They really are listening!


By helping your son or daughter develop healthy habits, you are giving the gift of lifelong vitality. Start encouraging heart-healthy habits when they’re young by working in healthy lifestyle choices—including good nutrition, regular physical activity, plenty of sleep and low stress levels. And do the same in your own life!

Written by Louis Ignarro, Ph.D.  Dr. Ignarro is a member of both the Editorial and Nutrition Advisory Boards of the Herbalife Nutrition Institute and receives compensation for his endorsement of Herbalife® products. 

[1] http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need


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Kids Nutrition: Setting A Good Nutrition Example for Kids By Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD


When it comes to feeding their children, parents certainly have the best intentions. But many have busy lifestyles that don’t always allow enough time for grocery shopping, meal planning or cooking.

Others may not be aware of the healthiest ingredients or cooking methods, and may rely on fatty or starchy foods as the basis for meals. Coupled with the picky eating habits that seem to be so prevalent among kids, it’s no wonder that children are usually not eating as well as they should.

Age-Old Habits
Younger children often have a number of foods that they refuse to eat. Children can be particular not just about how a food tastes, but about temperature and texture, too. And trying to get kids to eat their vegetables can be a real exercise in persistence.

Most kids prefer foods that are tasty and high calorie, and these tend to be foods that are also inexpensive, widely available and often more convenient to eat. Older kids are frequently on the run, which may mean not only a lot of convenience items and fast foods, but erratic mealtimes, too. Sometimes a few extra minutes of sleep in the morning are more enticing than a healthy breakfast before school.

According to Luigi Gratton, M.D., clinical physician at University of California, Los Angeles, there are some tactics that parents can take with their kids to help them to eat better.

“Setting a good example is a good first step,” says Gratton. “Parents should make every attempt to demonstrate healthy eating habits with their kids, and this includes having regular mealtimes.” He also notes that kids are more likely to eat healthy fruits and vegetables when they take part in food shopping and preparation.

Winning Strategies
Children are also more inclined to eat healthy foods when they are offered frequently and regularly. Repeated exposure to vegetables, for example, is just one way to encourage your family members to try new foods. It also helps to make foods visible and available. Try keeping a bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen counter, or put crunchy, cut-up vegetables in the refrigerator.

Another approach for increasing intake of vegetables is by adding them to familiar foods. Cooked, pureed vegetables can be added to pasta sauce, for example, which boosts nutrition and reduces the overall calories in the dish. Cooked vegetables can also be added to soups, stews, casseroles and meat loaves-adding both nutrition and flavor.

Appropriate snacking is fine for growing kids, and well-chosen snacks can help to meet nutritional needs. But if snacking means sugary or salty empty-calorie items, consider offering fruits, vegetables, nuts or soy nuts, yogurt or low-fat pudding instead.

Smooth Things Over
Kids also enjoy smoothies, and products such as Herbalife’s new line of protein shakes-designed to be mixed with milk-provide a tasty way to help kids meet their vitamin and mineral needs for the day as a snack or part of a healthy meal. A bit of protein helps to curb appetite and limit frequent snacking on less healthy items.

Despite parents’ best efforts, children’s diets may still fall short in certain key nutrients. “A daily multiple vitamin and mineral supplement can help to round out any potential shortfalls in the diet, and can act as a safety net,” says Gratton. “Look for age-appropriate products, which target the needs for the particular age of the child.”

For more information on children’s nutrition products, visit http://www.Herbalife.com. There are a number of ways parents can help their children eat healthier.

Susan Bowerman is a consultant to Herbalife.


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VIDEO: Herbalife Opens First Casa Herbalife Program in West Texas

The Herbalife Family Foundation (HFF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation dedicated to improving children’s lives by helping organizations provide healthy nutrition to vulnerable youth, recently made a $20,000 donation to the Boys & Girls Club of El Paso, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering youth to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens. We’re proud to partner with the Boys & Girls club of El Paso to help fight obesity in Texas!

The donation will create El Paso’s first Casa Herbalife program and contribute to the city’s efforts to improve nutrition and eating habits in the area. According to the City of El Paso, El Paso County has more overweight and inactive adults than the U.S. national average—39 percent of adults in El Paso are overweight and 29 percent are physically inactive—compared to the national average of 36 percent and 20 percent respectively.

The Casa Herbalife Program was established in 2005 to help bring good nutrition to children living in orphanages, using after school centers, and other non-profit facilities around the world tasked with helping underserved young people. In addition to the annual financial grants made by the Herbalife Family Foundation, the organizations receive local financial and volunteer support from independent Herbalife members as well as Herbalife employees. The program provides over $2.3 million in funding and volunteer assistance each year to more than 100 organizations worldwide. These funds bring nutrition to more than 100,000 children in 50 countries on a daily basis.


“By giving to children in need, we become the kind of people and the kind of company that our children will respect.”
HFF Founder Mark Hughes (1956-2000)


Our childhood determines our future life. PARENTS! Take care of your kids’ HEALTHY NUTRITION! PREGNANT MUMS, you need to have ALL NUTRIENTS EVERY DAY during pregnancy, so that your child will be born in best health!
CHILD OBESITY is one of the most worrying epidemic in the whole world!
Let’s fight child OBESITY!

Whereas kids in some parts of this world are OBESE… others are STARVING and get NO EDUCATION! Herbalife helps!
Our Mission is Simple
The Herbalife Family Foundation is committed to improving the lives of children in need by supporting charitable organizations that provide one of life’s most basic necessities, good nutrition.

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WATCH this VIDEO! Herbalife and LA Galaxy give back to the community

Herbalife and LA Galaxy give back to the community

Herbalife partnered with LA Galaxy on their 2014 postseason community-based Galaxy Tour. LA Galaxy and Herbalife visited Quito, Ecuador and Lima, Peru to spend time with and help the children of Casa Herbalife and Creciendo con el Futbol programs.

LA Galaxy players Landon Donovan, Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho, Leonardo, Gyasi Zardes, Jaime Penedo, Omar Gonzalez and A.J. DeLaGarza also hosted soccer clinics for the Casa Herbalife children.


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May 2014 bring you nothing but joy, love, happiness, HEALTH and WEALTH!

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Wir wuenschen Euch allen ein
Moege 2014 Euch nur Glueck, Freude, Liebe, GESUNDHEIT und ERFOLG bringen!

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Vi auguriamo BUON NATALE
e un 2014 pieno di fortuna, felicità, gioia, SALUTE e SUCCESSO!

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Nous vous souhaitons une
Pour que 2014 soit pleine de la chance, de joie, d’amour, de la SANTE et de SUCCES pour vous!

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Que el nuevo año 2014 le traerá nada más que la alegría, el amor, la felicidad, la salud y la riqueza!

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