Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Healthy Habits: Kidliga Interview

With one in three kids in the US being identified as overweight or obese today, many children are at risk of facing health problems that typically aren’t seen until adulthood, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and elevated blood cholesterol levels. In light of these facts, Kidliga developed a line of tableware  to help kids discover nutritious eating habits. Based on a concept known as “VisualQs,” Kidliga plates, bowls and mugs use colors, shapes and symbols to teach children about eating well-balanced meals with appropriate serving sizes.

Each plate features illustrations that designate areas for proteins, grains, fruits and/or vegetables, to introduce the concept of what a balanced meal is and guide children in eating more healthily, every time they sit down for a meal. The line also features an award winning storybook titled, “Sammie and Sax in the Land of Quinoa: The Search for a Balanced Meal,” in addition to recipes, puzzles and other activities to help make healthy eating an interactive experience for the whole family.

I had a chance to interview Founder and CEO of Livliga™, Sheila Kemper Dietrich.

Why was Kidliga created?
Kidliga was developed to teach children about the importance of establishing healthy eating habits in the earlier part of their development, when many of life’s habits are formed. We’ve created a product that communicates this message effectively, at their level. With fun products that are visually intuitive, including the Kidliga 3-piece set, and our children’s book, Sammie & Sax in the Land of Quinoa: The Search for a Balanced Meal, children learn basic lessons on what a balanced meal is with appropriate serving sizes, in a subtle and interactive way.
Kidliga recently donated a portion of sales to Action for Healthy Kids. Why is this an important charity to support?
We’ve decided to support an organization like Action for Healthy Kids because our goals and ideals align, which is to help change the way families view food and nutrition and to promote the importance of healthy eating. AFHK is doing some amazing work within a setting that’s fundamental to every child’s development – our nation’s schools. The only difference between our cause and there’s is that we are targeting the home, and they are targeting the classroom. It just made sense for us to join forces and shed light on a growing concerning that is greatly affecting millions of children today.
How can parents help ensure their kids maintain a healthy weight?
There are a few steps that parents can take to ensure that their kids maintain a healthy weight:
               First, cook more at home so you can control the ingredients and quantities. 
               Next, right size your dishware, which is especially important for children. Studies show that one of the reasons children are combatting obesity is because we are serving them on adult sized dishware, which is causing them to fill their plates too full and overeat at every meal.
               You should also plan your menus for the week ahead of time, and go to the grocery store with a specific list to avoid impulse buying. This will save you the frustration of buying foods which you know you’re family should not be eating. 
               Keep kids active by decreasing TV time, and make it a game night instead. Online dance contests or Twister will keep kids active in a way that’s enjoyable to them.

If a parent has a child who's overweight or obese, how can they encourage healthy habits without making the child feel left out?
The truth is, if one person has a weight issue in the family then it is actually the entire family's issue, so the child should never feel left out. Everyone in the family needs to embrace a healthier lifestyle, and recent studies show that maintaining long term change requires the involvement of the entire family. Here’s a few steps on how you can do so:
               Go on field trips to the Farmer's Market to learn more about fresh foods and what is in season. Have your child pick something new each week you can all learn to cook and eat.
               Plan regular family activities that involve getting up and moving. It can be as simple as spending the day walking around the zoo or going to a local park with a picnic and a frisbee.
               Have the kids help prepare the food at meals. Studies show that if children participate in making their meal, they are more apt to enjoy the food and try new things.
               Have kids be responsible for designing a menu at least once a week. Make sure it is a balanced meal. For menu ideas go to and check out the recipe section.
               Search around for a parent and kids cooking class and sign the family up.

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