10 Tips to Create Healthier Eating Patterns for Your Kids & Teens
Plus, I'll send you periodic tips and support for balanced family nutrition.
It’s completely possible to eat healthy and nutritious meals that are also delicious and satisfying. You can absolutely improve your health without sacrificing the taste and pleasure that we all love about food.
I should know; I’ve been cooking since I could first hold a spatula. I’ve also suffered from my own share of nutritional challenges. However, I learned to use the food that I love to help balance my body’s health and resolve those problems.
At the time of my epiphany, I had already established a gourmet commercial kitchen called Shani Cake Catering and Dessert Company, and was happily supplying my customers with delicious and high-quality desserts. I had also graduated from the Westlake Culinary Institute, and was teaching classes as a hands-on culinary instructor at Sur La Table. I had all the tools I needed to teach people how to make excellent food, so I decided to combine my passion for cooking with my revelations about health, and to take my work to the next level as a registered dietitian. With a graduate degree in nutrition from California State University, Northridge and years of experience working at the world renowned Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the California Center for Healthy Living, I’ve now made it my life’s work to teach families how to nourish themselves for optimal health.
After working in five departments at Cedars, I realized how tremendously important it was to give my patients adequate time to transform their habits, and thereby lessen their need for costly and stressful medical interventions. I noticed that too many of my hospital patients came only after the disease had struck; oftentimes unequipped with the knowledge that would have prevented that illness in the first place. My solution, therefore, is to give you and your family the time, knowledge and space to learn, shift and heal. This means starting as early as possible – ideally equipping your children and teens with a lifetime’s worth of knowledge and training to help them nourish well.
I’ve worked with hundreds of families and kids over the course of my career, and I’ve learned that the best way to achieve optimal nutrition at home is to help parents work with their children or teens to shift their habits around food. Specifically, I teach mindful eating through a holistic, non-diet, mindful eating approach; and I incorporate my BA in Psychology from UC Santa Barbara, and graduate work in nutrition from California State University, Northridge, to help your kids overcome some of the more subtle challenges. Nutrition and health are not just physical issues, but family dynamics along with emotional and habitual factors can sometimes hinder attempts to transform, and these may need to be addressed.
Remember, if your children or teens are struggling with their weight, they’re not alone. According to studies published in 2012, the percentage of obese and overweight children in the United States has doubled since 1980. With such a substantial rise in eating and metabolic issues, it’s more important than ever to properly educate the younger generation to be mindful of their nutrition.
Optimal nutrition is about creating the ideal environment in your body, so that the body can come naturally into better balance. It’s about guiding your kids to find their body’s natural hunger and satiety cues. It’s about working together to set the right habits, pick the best ingredients, and cook the most fulfilling meals. To that end, my goal is to give you and your children a sacred space to explore your health together as a collaborative family unit.
This is why I launched Shani Mara, a unique website specifically for you, your kids and your teens. As your child and teen dietitian, I want to give you and your kids the time and space you need to achieve better health and balance.
My packages and programs are designed to help your children and teens demystify, streamline, and systemize their nutrition in the form of healthy habits, boundaries, and choices. Whether through quality food, delicious meals or exquisite quality supplementation, I use nutrition to help you find a lifestyle that allows your kids to feel better and live better. An education like this lasts a lifetime, and my vision now is to bring my program to as many families as I can.