I hope that you and your family had a wonderful week. As homeschooling parents, one of our everyday responsibilities is cooking. One of the biggest challenges for the African American community (and Americans in general) is healthy eating.
We have easy access to fast food restaurants and processed foods that seem to make our lives simpler, but wreak havoc on our bodies. Not only does the food lose nutrients during processing, the additives contained in them, such as high fructose corn syrup, MSG, artificial colorings, and trans-fatty acids, cause serious damage such as migraines, diabetes, liver disease, heart disease, and much more.
There are many reasons to eat healthier and institute healthier diets for our children. We may have more energy, be in better moods, attain and maintain our ideal weights, and prevent common diseases (even those that we believed were hereditary).
Our children may be calmer and more well-balanced after we remove stimulants such as caffeine, high fructose syrup, artificial colorings, and refined sugars from their diets. Their focus may improve, so that they can concentrate on learning rather than excess fidgeting or being subject to frequent cravings throughout the day.
Implementing a healthy diet may also be an effective assistant to managing ADHD, autism, or other difficult issues. If your child has health issues, please begin a research process on the effects of diet on your child’s issue if you have not done this already. I would be interested to know what you find!
In the African American community, many of us have been raised on fried foods, refined sugars and grains, white rice, and
delicious high fat desserts. Now that we have children of our own, we can create new traditions.
As a step towards healthy living, I would like to share links to vegan/vegetarian soul food sites.
PETA Vegetarian Soul Food Recipes: PETA shares recipes for vegan meatloaf, hoppin’ john, sweet potato pie, and more. The recipes look tasty, but I tend to avoid margarine because of negative health effects. Earth Balance vegan butter is a better product. Smart Balance also manufactures a healthy vegan butter. Too much soy is not good for you, so enjoy these recipes and stay as close as you can to whole fresh foods (fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains) in your everyday life.
West African Vegan/Vegetarian Recipes: Many of the West African recipes that we base African American soul food on are naturally vegan or vegetarian. Enjoy delicious foods such as red beans, chickpea soup, baked sweet potatoes, and banana fritters with no guilt afterwards!
Vegan/Vegetarian Caribbean Recipes: Another sister to African American soul food is Caribbean food. Islands such as Jamaica and Haiti received the same West African migrants as the American South. Try some savory tempeh patties, steamed callaloo, black bean and potato soup and coconut rice. Who said healthy vegan food had to be tofu and carrot sticks?
Enjoy cooking these scrumptious recipes! If your children are old enough, maybe they can help out in the kitchen.
Be sure to comment back and let me know which worked best for you!
Here’s to a healthy and happy new year!
I hope that you and your students have been having an awesome week. Here are six great resources for Black History Month to get February off to a great start.
It’s that time of year again – Black History Month. While African American History needs to be celebrated year round, February is a great opportunity to stock up on diverse lesson plans and printables.
Below is a starter list of links that I found useful. We can continue to build this list together as the weeks go by.
Please check back every week or so for updates on this post.
Free Black History Month Resources:
http://edhelper.com/BlackHistory.htm: Free printable plays, easy readers, photographs, lesson units, and more on African American history. This is a GREAT site from what I see.
Teachnology offers many free Black History printables. Please be sure to check out the “Revolutionaries of African American History” printables at the top.
http://homeschooling.about.com/od/holidays/ss/blackhistprint_all.htm: “Famous Firsts” Black History Month Printables including word searches, crossword puzzles, and draw & writes. I challenge you to research the history of 5 people of African descent that made notable contributions to history before the Transatlantic Slave Trade to include in your Black History month curriculum this year!
http://www.nea.org/tools/lessons/black-history-month.htm: National Education Association presents lesson plans, quizzes, printables, video, audio on Black History. Poetry, literature, jazz, and much more…
http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/bhistory/inventors/: Scholastic presents “Top Ten African American Inventors”. Click the “Find out More” button after the short synopsis on each inventor to see more detailed biographies.
http://www.abcteach.com/directory/holidays-months-and-seasons-months-february-black-history-month-3635-2-1: ABC Teach Free Printables including Black History KWL Charts, Report Forms, and Acrostic Poem Forms.
http://www.nickjr.com/printables/all-shows/seasonal_black-history-month/all-ages/index.jhtml: African American history activities and printables.
http://www.teachervision.fen.com/black-history-month/teacher-resources/6602.html: Includes many free crafts, lessons, quizzes, and activities on Black History.