Monday, July 27, 2009

A Plethora of Paletas...

Summer is heavy upon us, so to cool us off un pocito, I have a refreshing post about every niño y niña’s fantasy: PALETAS!

If these yummy Mexican treats fill your mind and you just can’t get enough of them, perhaps you will be delighted to dangle this permanent paleta around your neck year round? Seriously, how adorable is this necklace? Embedded in resin, the background is made of real sugar with some colorful cupcake sprinkles thrown in. The pendant is approximately 1.75" x .5". Made by GrimRides on etsy. To order yours, visit their product page here.

Or what about Carmen Tafolla’s children’s picture book, What Can You Do with a Paleta? Illustrated by Magaly Morales, it is the engaging story of the many uses one little girl find for a paleta. From creating a colorful masterpiece to making new friends, who knew a paleta had so many uses? With warm, vibrant illustrations, by artist Magaly Morales, the book is a feast for the eyes as well as the imagination (but don’t be surprised if your pancita is rumbling by the end!) You can purchase your copy here.

And for those of us in love with the heavenly taste of paletas, there are tons of recipes on-line, but the one by our favorite Latina recipe blog, A Little Cup of Mexican Hot Chocolate, is to die for! Clementina shares with us her recipes for making Mango, Watermelon and Coconut-Pineapple paletas - YUM! So don’t wait, rush over to her blog and then gather los niños around for a most worthwhile activity on a hot summer’s day…

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Free Family Meal Plan Lists for Latino Families

Latino families can eat healthy and save money without sacrificing freshness or flavor by downloading Meals Matter's free online Family Meal Plan and Shopping List.

This new tool helps families eat healthy by ensuring a variety of healthy foods from all of the food groups, including fruits, vegetables, low-fat or fat-free milk and dairy foods, whole grains and meats, beans and nuts. By providing a shopping list with ingredients to prepare a week of dinners for six people, families can save money by limiting impulse buys and extra trips to the grocery store.

"Everyone can benefit from planning meals and using healthy shopping lists, but this is a change for families used to making frequent trips to the market or grocery store for fresh food items," said Los Angeles-area registered dietitian Monica Montes with N.E.W. Health Consultants.

The Meals Matter "Family Meal Plan and Shopping List" combines traditional ingredients like beans, rice, nopales, mango and tomatillos . It also offers healthier versions of familiar recipes like enchiladas that use plain yogurt instead of sour cream for more calcium, protein and potassium with fewer calories. In addition, a weeklong shopping list with enough items to prepare six servings of each recipe.

Planning, preparing and eating meals together at home is a healthy, fun and inexpensive way to stay connected as a family. Home-cooked meals are generally less expensive and more nutritious than meals eaten away from home, and children who help family members prepare and enjoy healthy foods will form healthy eating habits as well. So the web site also shares important tips in English and Spanish on storing fresh produce and cooking with children.

Monday, July 13, 2009

New Mamis Salsa Their Way Back Into Shape

This week I happened upon this article talking about how the Salsa Babies program is getting new moms back into shape by teaching them basic steps to Latin dances. As an added bonus, mamis can enjoy the program with their bebés by wearing them in a baby carrier. It’s designed for moms with babies ages 6-8 weeks old and up. The babies seem to enjoy shaking their little maracas and bouncing to the Latin beats.

And for older kids, there is Salsa Tots, which combines movement and play with lively rhythms that parents and kids can both enjoy.

The company was founded in Toronto by Jennifer Torres, and in fact, most of the Salsa Babies branches are in Canada. However, there are a few licensed owners/instructors in the US, including New York, Georgia, North Carolina, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee and Vermont. For those of you not located near a facility offering Salsa Babies classes, don’t despair! The Salsa Babies on-line shop is in the works and it appears that DVDs will soon be available.

To learn more about how you can Salsa your way back to fitness, check out their fun web site here.

Monday, July 6, 2009

This month's Libro del Mes over at the Latin Baby Book Club is Cheech Marin's Cheech and the Spooky Ghost Bus. The third book in the Cheech Marin series, it has recently hit bookstores nationwide. This series follows the hilarious adventures of Cheech, the school bus driver, and his "Cheecharrones," his student passengers. My kids have thoroughly enjoyed all the books in this series (and so have I!) They are humorous for both children and adults, include a lot of cultural content, and have fantastic illustrations.

The LBBC was fortunate to get an interview with Orlando Ramirez, the illustrator of the book. You can read about the design/illustration process and the research that he puts into each project here.

You can also sign up to win your very own copy of Cheech and the Spooky Ghost Bus, signed by Orlando.

So hurry and get over there now - the deadline for getting your copy ends this Wednesday!
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