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Month: June 2020

Mango Mousse Recipe/Receta Mousse de Mango Rápido

Paula M Naranjo/Parent Editor

 By Mely Martínez 

This Mango Mousse recipe is one of the first desserts I learned how to make as a newlywed. That was back when I first started buying cooking books in order to prepare meals for my husband, who at that time had a broader culinary experience than I did. This is a very easy and quick recipe to make, and it only requires a few ingredients.  I promise you that you will impress your family and guests with this Mango Mousse! I used DOLE® Mango slices (the ones that come in a jar) for this recipe; the fruit always looks beautiful and has a nice texture.

Quick Mango Mousse Recipe

mines.Quick Mango Mousse recipe in just 5 minutes.

I love to have these types of canned fruits in my pantry since they are so convenient and I love their quality. The best part of them is that no matter what season of the year you’re in, you can always make this type of dessert for your family with Dole canned fruits! It really makes life easier for today’s moms.

And now, let’s enjoy this Quick Mango Mousse Recipe!

Quick Mango Mousse recipe

How to make Mango Mousse Recipe

INSTRUCTIONS:

Quick Mango Mousse recipe, only 4 ingredients and in 5 minutes.

  • Open the cans of DOLE® Mango Slices and drain the syrup.
  • Place the ½ cup of syrup in a small bowl and stir in the unflavored gelatin. Mix well.
  • Pour this mixture into a blender or food processor along with the mango slices, heavy cream, and condensed milk. Process for about 1 minute.
  • Serve in dessert bowls. Dice the 2 reserved mango slices and garnish the mousse with them.
Quick Mango Mousse recipe, only 4 ingredients

MANGO MOUSSE RECIPE

This Mango Mousse recipe is one of the first desserts I learned how to make as a newlywed. That was back when I first started buying cooking books in order to prepare meals for my husband, who at that time had a broader culinary experience than I did. 

Course: Desserts

Cuisine: Mexican

Prep Time: 5 minutesTotal Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 6

Calories: 308kcal

Author: Mely Martínez – Mexico in my Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 Cans of Dole® Mango Slices 15.5 oz. each
  • 1 Envelope of unflavored gelatin
  • 1½ Cup of Heavy Cream
  • ½ Cup of Condensed Milk

Instructions

Quick Mango Mousse recipe, only 4 ingredients and in 5 minutes.

  • Open the cans of DOLE® Mango Slices and drain the syrup. Reserve ½ cup of the syrup, as well as 2 mango slices (for the garnish).
  • Place the ½ cup of syrup in a small bowl and stir in the unflavored gelatin. Mix well until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
  • Pour this mixture into a blender or food processor along with the mango slices, heavy cream, and condensed milk. Process for about 1 minute, or until it is smooth and thick.
  • Serve in dessert bowls. Dice the 2 reserved mango slices and garnish the mousse with them.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 57mg | Potassium: 139mg | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 1550IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 138mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Mousse de Mango

Receta de mousse de mango rápido y sencillo.

Esta es una receta muy fácil y rápida de hacer; sólo necesita pocos ingredientes y te prometo que vas a impresionar a su familia y a tus invitados con este Mousse de Mango. Yo lo preparo con Rebanadas de Mango DOLE® de los que vienen en lata; las rebanas están hermosas y con muy buena textura.

Esta entrada fue escrita en colaboración con Dole Sunshine Latino y #WeAllGrow Latina Network, pero todas las opiniones son propias.Me encanta tener este tipo de frutas enlatas en mi despensa por lo práctico que son y por su cálidad. La mejor parte es que no importa que temporada del año sea; siempre les puedes hacer este tipo de postres a tu familia con las frutas enlatadas o en frasco de Dole. La verdad nos hace la vida más fácil a las mamás de hoy en día.

Y ahora a disfrutar de esta receta!

Cómo hacer Mousse de Mango

INSTRUCCIONES:

  • Abre las latas de rebanadas de mango DOLE®, drena el jarabe y reserva ½ taza y aparta 2 rebanadas de mango. Estas dos rebanadas de mango las cortas en cuadritos o cubitos para adornar el mousse.
  • Coloque la ½ taza de jarabe en un tazón pequeño y revuelve muy bien con la gelatina sin sabor hasta que esta se disuelva completamente.
  • Vacía esta mezcla en la licuadora o procesador de alimentos junto con el resto de las rebanadas de mango, la crema para batir y la leche condensada; licua por aproximadamente 1 minuto o hasta que la mezcla este uniforme y se haya espesado.
  • Sirva en pequeñas tacitas para postre y adorna con los cubitos de mango que habías reservado.
Receta de mousse de mango rápido y sencillo.

Mousse de Mango

Esta es una receta muy fácil y rápida de hacer; sólo necesita pocos ingredientes y te prometo que vas a impresionar a su familia y a tus invitados con este Mousse de Mango. 

Plato: Postres

Cocina: Mexicana

Tiempo de preparación: 5 minutos

Tiempo de cocción: 0 minutos

Tiempo total: 5 minutos

Raciones: 6

Autor: Mely Martínez – México en mi Cocina

Ingredientes

  • 2 Latas de Mango en Rebanadas de la Marca DOLE® 25.5 OZ cada una
  • 1 Sobre de gelatina sin sabor
  • 1-½ taza de crema para batir
  • ½ taza de leche condensada

Elaboración paso a paso

  • Abre las latas de rebanadas de mango DOLE®, drena el jarabe y reserva ½ taza y aparta 2 rebanadas de mango. Estas dos rebanadas de mango las cortas en cuadritos o cubitos para adornar el mousse.
  • Coloque la ½ taza de jarabe en un tazón pequeño y revuelve muy bien con la gelatina sin sabor hasta que esta se disuelva completamente.
  • Vacía esta mezcla en la licuadora o procesador de alimentos junto con el resto de las rebanadas de mango, la crema para batir y la leche condensada; licua por aproximadamente 1 minuto o hasta que la mezcla este uniforme y se haya espesado.
  • Sirva en pequeñas tacitas para postre y adorna con los cubitos de mango que habías reservado.

We would love to hear from you, have a story, tip or recipe you would like to share with our readers? Feel free to email it to throughlovewelearn@gmail.com. 

Nos encantaría saber de usted, tener una historia, un consejo o una receta que le gustaría compartir con nuestros lectores. No dude en enviarlo por correo electrónico a través throughlovewelearn@gmail.com.

Paula M Naranjo

IG: Paulamarienaranjo

FB: MarieNaranjo

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Pork Spare Ribs in Salsa Verde/Costillas de Cerdo en Salsa Verde

Paula M Naranjo/Parent Editor

By Mely Martínez  | September 19, 2017 

Are you ready to make a dish that will leave your plates clean? You will understand what I mean when you try these Pork Spare Ribs with Nopales in Salsa Verde, you will love them!

Pork spare ribs in salsa verde, a delicious tomatillo and serrano peppers green sauce.

Today’s recipe is a staple in many homes, and that means that there are as many variations to this recipe as there are home cooks in Mexico. It is made with pork ribs, an inexpensive and popular cut of meat in Mexico (it is popular due to its affordability and flavor).

Pork was brought to the Americas by the first Spaniards that came to conquer America; they also brought fruits, seeds, and other types of animals that were not common on this continent. When these ingredients were mixed with the local cuisine, they created an exquisite fusion, rendering what is now the Mexican gastronomy.close

This is what our actual Mexican cuisine is, a fusion of many cultures. Besides that of Spain, Mexican gastronomy has also had Chinese, Philippine, French, African, and Arab influences.

Our food just wouldn’t be the same without the addition of pork: there would be no pork tamales, no gorditas stuffed with chicharron in salsa verde, and none of this mouthwatering Pork Ribs in Salsa Verde!

I hope you enjoy this recipe and come back to let me know the results!

How to make Pork Ribs with Nopales in Salsa Verde

Pork ribs in salsa verde with nopales cooking ingredients

DIRECTIONS:

Pork ribs in salsa verde with nopales
  • Cut the spare ribs into small pieces and place in a saucepan. Cover with 2 cups of water and add the ¼ onion, one garlic clove, and the bay leaf. Bring water to a boil. (Please check the ingredients list below)
  • Roast the tomatillos, peppers, 1/3 onion, and garlic cloves on a griddle. These two last ones need to be removed quickly since they take less time to roast.
  • Place the roasted vegetables and chopped cilantro in your blender and process until you have a smooth salsa.
Pork ribs in salsa verde with nopales
  • Once the meat is cooked and lightly browned, pour the sauce into the pan. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Stir in the nopales.
Pork spare ribs with nopales in salsa verde

Serve with rice and warm corn tortillas.

Pork spare ribs in salsa verde, a delicious tomatillo and serrano peppers green sauce.

PORK SPARE RIBS WITH NOPALES IN SALSA VERDE

Today’s recipe is a staple in many homes, and that means that there are as many variations to this recipe as there are home cooks in Mexico. It is made with pork ribs, an inexpensive and popular cut of meat in Mexico (it is popular due to its affordability and flavor).

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Mexican

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Servings: 6

Calories: 325kcal

Author: Mely Martínez – Mexico in my Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1¾ lb. pork spare ribs tips
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ white onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1½ cup of cooked and diced nopales *
  • 1 lb. tomatillos husks removed
  • 4-6 serrano peppers**
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 white onion
  • 1/3 cup cilantro chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil or rendered pork fat
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Cut the spare ribs in small pieces and place in a saucepan. Cover with the water and add the ¼ onion, one garlic clove, and the bay leaf. Bring water to a boil, and then reduce the heat to simmer. Cook for about 40 minutes until meat is tender and the water has reduced. The meat will start to brown with its own fat.
  • Meanwhile, roast the tomatillos, peppers, 1/3 onion, and garlic cloves. These two last ones need to be removed quickly since they take less time to roast. Place all these ingredients in a large piece of aluminum foil and wrap them so they keep cooking in their own steam for about 5 minutes.
  • Place the roasted vegetables and chopped cilantro in your blender and process until you have a smooth salsa.
  • Once the meat is cooked and lightly browned, pour the sauce into the pan. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Stir in the nopales and reduce the heat to simmer for about 7-8 minutes.

Serve with rice and warm corn tortillas.

Notes

• You can also use green beans or even squash for this recipe• If you don’t find serrano peppers, use jalapeños.• Sometimes, I also use avocado leaves when cooking the meat to add a different flavor.

Nutrition

Serving: 6g | Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 94mg | Potassium: 706mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Vitamin C: 14.1mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 1.7mg

Costillas de Cerdo en Salsa Verde

12 enero, 2019 by Mely Martinez 

Ingredientes para preparar costillas de cerdo en salsa verde

Costillas de Cerdo en Salsa Verde

Sorprende a tu familia con un Delicoso guisado de Costillas de Cerdo en Salsa Verde. Dejaran el plato limpio! Costillas de puerco en salsa verde! ¡Comprenderás lo que quiero decir cuando pruebes estas costillas de cerdo con nopales en Salsa Verde, les encantarán!

receta costillas de cerdo puerco en salsa verde - 3

Guisado de Costillas de Cerdo en Salsa Verde Con Nopales

La receta de hoy es un alimento básico en muchos hogares, y eso significa que hay tantas variaciones en esta receta como cocineros caseros en México. Está hecho con costillas de cerdo, un corte de carne barato y popular en México (es muy popular debido a su asequibilidad y sabor).

El cerdo fue traído a las Américas por los primeros españoles que vinieron a conquistar América; también trajeron frutas, semillas y otros tipos de animales que no eran comunes en este continente. Cuando estos ingredientes se mezclaron con la cocina local, crearon una fusión exquisita, que representa lo que hoy es la gastronomía mexicana.

receta de costillas de puerco - cerdo en salsa verde

Costillas de Cerdo en Salsa Verde con Nopales

Esto es lo que nuestra actual cocina mexicana es, una fusión de muchas culturas. Además de la de España, la gastronomía mexicana también ha tenido influencias chinas, filipinas, francesas, africanas y árabes.

Nuestra comida no sería la misma sin la adición de carne de cerdo: no habría tamales de carne de cerdo, gorditas rellenas de chicharrón en salsa verde y ninguna de estas deliciosas costillas de cerdo en Salsa Verde.

¡Espero que disfrutes esta receta y vuelva a hacerme saber los resultados!

Cómo hacer Costillas de Cerdo en Salsa Verde

Notas:

  • También puedes usar judías verdes o incluso calabaza para esta receta.
  • Si no encuentras chiles serranos, usa jalapeños.
  • Algunas veces, también uso hojas de aguacate cuando cocino la carne para agregar un sabor diferente.

Instrucciones:

Instrucciones paso a paso para preparar costillas de cerdo en salsa verde
  • Corta las costillas de cerdo en trozos pequeños y colócalos en una cacerola. Cubra con agua y agrega un ¼ de cebolla, un diente de ajo y la hoja de laurel. Hierva el agua y luego reduzca el fuego a lento. Cocina por unos 40 minutos hasta que la carne esté tierna y el agua se haya reducido. La carne comenzará a dorarse con su propia grasa.
  • Mientras tanto, asa los tomatillos, los chiles, el 1/3 cebolla y los dientes de ajo. Estos dos últimos deben retirarse rápidamente, ya que tardan menos tiempo en asarse. Coloca todos estos ingredientes en un pedazo grande de papel de aluminio y envuélvalos para que se sigan cocinando en su propio jugo durante unos 5 minutos.
  • Coloca las verduras asadas y el cilantro picado en tu licuadora y procesa hasta que tengas una salsa suave.
Sigue este sencillo tutorial para preparar costillas de cerdo en salsa verde
  • Una vez que la carne esté cocida y ligeramente dorada, vierta la salsa en la sartén. Sazona con sal y pimienta y deja hervir. Agrega los nopales y reduzca el fuego a lento durante unos 7-8 minutos.
receta costillas de puerco - cerdo en salsa verde 2

Sirva tus costillitas de cerdo en salsa verde con arroz y tortillas de maíz calientes.

costillas de puerco - cerdo en salsa verde 1

Cómo hacer Costillas de Cerdo en Salsa Verde

Sorprende a tu familia con un Delicoso guisado de Costillas de Cerdo en Salsa Verde. Dejaran el plato limpio! Costillas de puerco en salsa verde! ¡Comprenderás lo que quiero decir cuando pruebes estas costillas de cerdo con nopales en Salsa Verde, les encantarán!

Plato: Cerdo

Cocina: Mexicana

Tiempo de preparación: 10 minutos

Tiempo de cocción: 30 minutos

Tiempo total: 40 minutos

Raciones: 6

Autor: Mely Martínez – México en mi cocina

Ingredientes

  • 1  costillas de cerdo
  • 1  diente de ajo
  • ¼ de cebolla blanca
  • 1  hoja de laurel
  • 2  tazas de agua
  • 1½  taza de nopales cocidos y cortados en cubitos *
  • 1  libra de tomatillos sin pieles
  • 4-6  chiles serranos **
  • 2  dientes de ajo
  • 1/3 de cebolla blanca
  • 1/3  taza de cilantro picado
  • 2  cucharadas de aceite vegetal o grasa de cerdo
  • Sal y pimienta al gusto

Elaboración paso a paso

  • Corta las costillas de cerdo en trozos pequeños y colócalos en una cacerola. Cubra con agua y agrega un ¼ de cebolla, un diente de ajo y la hoja de laurel. Hierva el agua y luego reduzca el fuego a lento. Cocina por unos 40 minutos hasta que la carne esté tierna y el agua se haya reducido. La carne comenzará a dorarse con su propia grasa.
  • Mientras tanto, asa los tomatillos, los chiles, el 1/3 cebolla y los dientes de ajo. Estos dos últimos deben retirarse rápidamente, ya que tardan menos tiempo en asarse. Coloca todos estos ingredientes en un pedazo grande de papel de aluminio y envuélvalos para que se sigan cocinando en su propio jugo durante unos 5 minutos.
  • Coloca las verduras asadas y el cilantro picado en tu licuadora y procesa hasta que tengas una salsa suave.
  • Una vez que la carne esté cocida y ligeramente dorada, vierta la salsa en la sartén. Sazona con sal y pimienta y deja hervir. Agrega los nopales y reduzca el fuego a lento durante unos 7-8 minutos.

Sirva tus costillitas de cerdo en salsa verde con arroz y tortillas de maíz calientes.

Notas

  • También puedes usar judías verdes o incluso calabaza para esta receta.
  • Si no encuentras chiles serranos, usa jalapeños.
  • Algunas veces, también uso hojas de aguacate cuando cocino la carne para agregar un sabor diferente.

We would love to hear from you, have a story, tip or recipe you would like to share with our readers? Feel free to email it to throughlovewelearn@gmail.com. 

Nos encantaría saber de usted, tener una historia, un consejo o una receta que le gustaría compartir con nuestros lectores. No dude en enviarlo por correo electrónico a través throughlovewelearn@gmail.com.

Paula M Naranjo

IG: Paulamarienaranjo

FB: MarieNaranjo

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What white parents get wrong about raising antiracist kids — and how to get it right

Paula M Naranjo/Parent

By Melinda Wenner Moyer June 25, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. CDT

The world feels broken right now — not just cracked in a few places but shattered in a million pieces. It’s been this way for centuries, of course, but many Americans — white Americans — are just starting to wake up and grapple with the depth of this country’s deeply rooted racism, as well as the role they played in making it so.

As a white parent, I feel a deep responsibility to provide my children with the tools and awareness to help rebuild our society into something better. I know I’m not alone, but I also know many white parents don’t know how or where to start. Research suggests that we need to confront our unfounded assumptions about how and why racism develops, and then we need to engage with our children regularly about race, racism and anti-racism. This is something that parents of color do regularly, because they have to; white parents need to do it, too.

Children aren’t colorblind

One of the biggest misconceptions white parents have is that their children don’t notice race unless it is pointed out to them. The underlying assumption is that children only become racist if they are taught to be. In fact, research clearly shows the opposite: Kids develop racial prejudice unless their parents or teachers directly engage with them about it.

In a 2005 study, psychologist David J. Kelly and his colleagues found that 3-month-old babies can distinguish faces on the basis of race and show preferences toward faces of their own race. By the time kids are toddlers, they behave in prejudiced ways, too.

In a landmark study, developmental psychologist Phyllis Katz, founder of the Institute for Research on Social Problems in Colorado, regularly observed more than 200 children, half black and half white, from the time they were 6 months old until they were nearly 6 years old. “I think it is fair to say that at no point in the study did the children exhibit the Rousseau type of colorblindness that many adults expect,” Katz wrote in a 2003 summary in American Psychologist. When 3-year-olds were shown photos of children of different races and asked to choose whom they might like to be friends with, one-third of the black kids chose only photos of other black kids, but 86 percent of the white kids only chose photos of other white kids.

More recently, in a 2012 study, researchers asked white mothers of preschoolers — parents who were well-educated and did not show any overt racial bias themselves — how racially prejudiced they thought their kids were. Most said they believed their kids harbored no prejudice. When the researchers evaluated the kids, though, many said they wouldn’t want black friends. When the researchers later told the parents what their kids had said, parents were shocked, distressed and embarrassed.

Naomi O’Brien, a black parent and primary school educator in Denver, says she sees her white students saying and doing racist things all the time. They’ll say, “ ‘Well, because their skin is black, or their skin is like mud, or their skin looks dirty, I don’t want to sit next to them,’ ” O’Brien says. “And then their parents come to you wondering why you brought up race to their child who ‘doesn’t see color,’ even though they just made somebody feel less than or hurt their friend’s feelings strictly based on race.”

Creating a narrative

man in red crew neck t-shirt sitting on gray concrete bench

Kids develop racial prejudices for a number of reasons. For one thing, they can readily see how race and power intersect in the world around them. They notice that the heroes in their TV shows are usually white (and often, the bad guys are not), that most politicians are white, that the wealthiest families at school are white. They notice schools and communities tend to self-segregate by race, which confirms their suspicion that race is an important social construct. In her book “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race,” Spelman College psychologist Beverly Tatum writes that “cultural racism — the cultural images and messages that affirm the assumed superiority of Whites and the assumed inferiority of people of color — is like a smog in the air. Sometimes it is so thick it is visible, other times it is less apparent, but always, day in and day out, we are breathing it in.”

So kids breathe this racially charged air — and if their parents and teachers don’t help to explain to them what race means (and what it doesn’t), kids start to create their own narratives. They often infer that racial hierarchies exist because of innate differences between people of different races and so start to believe that whites are privileged because they are inherently better and smarter. “They think there has to be a reason and no one explains it, so then they make up reasons — and a lot of kids make up biased, racist reasons,” explains Rebecca Bigler, a professor emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin, who has spent decades studying how prejudice develops in kids.

Other psychological tendencies also fuel racism in children. Kids are “essentialist” thinkers, meaning they assume that if people are the same on the outside, they must also be the same on the inside.

They also use transductive reasoning, assuming that when people are alike in one way (such as skin color) they are alike in other ways as well (e.g. they are all equally smart or capable). Kids show what’s called “in-group” bias, too, which means that they tend to prefer people who are members of groups they also belong to; children may subconsciously think, this kid looks like me, therefore I like him, and, conversely, this kid doesn’t look like me, so I’ll keep my distance.

Talk about race — explicitly

So how do we unravel and challenge the racist ideas that form in our kids’ minds? We must, for a start, have regular conversations with them about race and skin color. In a study published in 2011, Brigitte Vittrup, a developmental psychologist at Texas Woman’s University, and George Holden, a psychologist at Southern Methodist University, asked parents to discuss race with their 5- to 7-year-old white kids over the course of a week. Afterward, the kids who had these conversations with their parents showed less racial bias than the kids who didn’t.

Unfortunately, though, white parents rarely have conversations about race with their kids — even when race seems like an obvious thing to discuss. In the same 2012 study mentioned earlier, researchers videotaped the mothers as they read a race-themed book to their 4- and 5-year-olds. Somehow, 94 percent of the mothers managed to read the book “without making any comments about race or ethnicity, diversity, or intergroup contact,” the authors wrote. Even when the kids asked their mothers specific questions about race, the mothers tended to avoid answering them. Some of the mothers alluded to race, saying vague things like “we should treat everyone equally” or “even if we look different, we’re all the same on the inside,” but rarely did the mothers explicitly discuss skin color or racial differences.

This is a problem, because young kids often don’t interpret vague references to race as being about race. In a 2010 study, researchers at Northwestern University and other institutions had elementary school students read a book about a teacher’s efforts to promote racial equality. For half of the students, the teacher’s efforts were described vaguely, like “we need to focus on how similar we are to our neighbors rather than how we are different.” For the other half, the teacher referred explicitly to race, in that she said things like “we want to show everyone that race is important because our racial differences make each of us special.” After the students read the books, they were tested to see how well they could recognize racism portrayed in short vignettes. The kids who heard the teacher explicitly refer to race were better at identifying bias than the kids who were given vague messages about kindness and equality.

There’s nothing wrong with using books to help you talk with your kids about race, of course but be sure that you actually connect the dots for your kids. “Tell them ‘the characters in this book are Asian,’ or ‘the characters in this book are black,’ ” O’Brien suggested. “Be direct and intentional.”

When kids ask things like “why does that lady have dark skin?” white parents often shame or shush their kids because they’re not sure how to respond or because they’re worried the question itself is offensive. We should remind ourselves that our kids were just being inquisitive, and that shushing them sends the message that they aren’t allowed to ask or learn about race.

“In general, kids are asking questions out of curiosity and trying to understand,” says Nia Heard-Garris, a pediatrician at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine and the chair and founding member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Provisional Section of Minority Health, Equity, and Inclusion. If we shush our kids for asking about race, we are telling them that race is taboo and not something they can talk to you about— which means they’ll be left to fill in the blanks themselves in potentially prejudiced ways.

The more we can lean into conversations about race, even if they make us uncomfortable, the better. “I always say, ‘Stop being weird about race’ — the more we talk about it, and see color, [the more] it gets normalized,” says LaNesha Tabb, a primary educator and black mother who lives in Indianapolis and co-creator of Education with an Apron with O’Brien to educate parents on talking with their kids about race and racism. (Also, they have a terrific “White Families’ Guide for Talking About Racism: How Can We Grow to Be Anti-Racist?” as well as guides for black families and families of color.)

So what should you tell your kids about race? Start by explaining why skin colors vary: because of how much melanin people have in their skin. You can emphasize across-race similarities and between-race differences; you might point out that your child and her friend are both white but are different in various ways. Likewise, you might emphasize that although she and her black friend have different skin colors, they have lots of things in common. (This said, don’t downplay the cultural importance of race — while it’s okay to emphasize that skin color doesn’t have much biological significance, you should acknowledge that skin color does have a lot of cultural and historical meaning.)

If your kids say or do something racist, you should help them understand why it was not okay. Tabb and O’Brien suggest saying something like, “Thank you for being honest. I’ve felt that way before, too, but here’s why that’s racist and wrong.” Intention doesn’t matter; even if your child didn’t mean to say or do something racist, it nevertheless did harm, and they need to know that. Likewise, it’s important to remember that wecan do racist things even if we don’t think of ourselves as racist. “Everyone’s definition of racism is, like, the Ku Klux Klan — if you’re not wearing a white hood, then you can’t be racist. And you absolutely can be,” Tabb says.

Use the momentum of the moment

man in black jacket holding white and black i love you print board

Right now, of course, there are ample ways and reasons to bring up the topic of race and racism, even with little kids. When my 5-year-old saw photos of the protests in our newspaper, she asked what was happening. My husband and I told her about George Floyd, about the protests and about Black Lives Matter. A few days later, she asked more questions about black history that led to a long conversation about slavery and the Underground Railroad. We’re reading a biography of Harriet Tubman.

In fact, white parents can do a lot more than just talk to kids about race — we can lead by example and help kids understand the importance of being anti-racist, actively fighting against racist norms and policies. If you witness someone saying something racist, challenge them (ideally in front of your kids), Tabb suggests. Brainstorm ways together to get involved in the Black Lives Matter movement. If you don’t feel comfortable bringing your family to protests, have your kids organize something smaller and local. Make signs for your yard or your front window. Kids can write letters to politicians or help you choose which charities to donate to. “It’s really important to show kids at a young age that things can be changed, and to not feel helpless or powerless,” Heard-Garris says.

We and our children need to keep growing and understanding, even when the momentum of the moment dies down. Engage your kids with the issue of race even (if not especially) when diversity is absent. If you watch a show together and notice that all the characters are white, talk about race and white privilege. (Why do you think all the kids in this show are white? How do you think black kids who watch this show feel?) It’s crucial that we help our children see that black voices are absent from so many important conversations, that black faces are absent from so many spheres of society, to recognize the persistent injustice and demand lasting change

We would love to hear from you, have a story, tip or recipe you would like to share with our readers? Feel free to email it to throughlovewelearn@gmail.com. 

Paula M Naranjo

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How to become Comfortable with being Uncomfortable Pt 2

Life Coach Vuyanzi
Life Coach Vuyanzi

Vuyanzi is a Certified Life, Career, Executive Coach. She is the host of the Black Leading Ladies on Purpose podcast. She is the co-author of 4 books. Life Coach Vuyanzi is the host of “Vuyanzi Coaches.” Sign up for updates! Stay connected. Click here.

Spike continues — 405 new COVID-19 cases, 1 new death in Bexar County

Paula M Naranjo/Parent Editor

Photo of Joshua Fechter

Joshua Fechter June 26, 2020 Updated: June 26, 2020 9:40 p.mLillian Palacios, center, holds her son, Daniel, 7, as a healthcare professional prepares to take a sample from him at a United Memorial Medical Center COVID-19 testing site Friday, June 26, 2020, in Houston. The number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise across the state. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has said that the state is facing a "massive outbreak" in the coronavirus pandemic and that some new local restrictions may be needed to protect hospital space for new patients. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Lillian Palacios, center, holds her son, Daniel, 7, as a healthcare professional prepares to take a sample from him at a United Memorial Medical Center COVID-19 testing site Friday, June 26, 2020, in Houston. The number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise across the state. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has said that the state is facing a “massive outbreak” in the coronavirus pandemic and that some new local restrictions may be needed to protect hospital space for new patients. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Photo: David J. Phillip, STF / Associated Press

San Antonio officials reported 405 new COVID-19 cases and one new death Friday as leaders of the city’s major hospital systems implored residents to take precautions to slow the march of the coronavirus.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Bexar County has now reached 8,857, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said at the daily city-county coronavirus briefing.

The latest death brings the county’s total to 105. The victim was a Hispanic woman in her 50s who had been hospitalized at University Health System, Nirenberg said.

Some 699 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Friday evening, an increase of 71 from the day before.

“It’s June, folks, and we’re in the highest peak we’ve ever had,” Nirenberg said. “If we don’t get a handle now, I shudder to think what it’s going to be in the fall.”

Of those hospitalized, 221 were in intensive care, 19 more than on Thursday, and 117 were dependent on ventilators to breathe, an increase of 23.

Those numbers were significantly higher than at the start of June, when there were 93 COVID-19 patients in area hospitals, 39 in intensive care and 20 on ventilators.

“The hospital system as a whole continues to be under significant stress,” the mayor said.

The positivity rate — the percentage of COVID-19 tests that come back positive — has increased dramatically, even as providers have greatly expanded testing. On June 1, the positivity rate was 7.1 percent. On Friday, it was 19.4 percent.

“That means it’s just going to be so much easier to transmit it out in the community without you realizing that you’re potentially transmitting it to other people,” said Jennifer Herriott, deputy director of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.

State officials, meanwhile, reported 5,102 people in hospitals with COVID-19 across Texas on Friday, the highest number since the start of the pandemic. The state reported 5,707 new confirmed cases for a total of 137,624.

The spike in cases prompted Gov. Greg Abbott to close bars immediately and place further restrictions on how many people can sit inside restaurants. Abbott had allowed restaurants to operate at 75 percent of occupancy but scaled that back to 50 percent starting Monday.

“It looks to me like he’s moving in the right direction,” Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said Friday.

At the start of the pandemic, Abbott left decisions such as stay-at-home orders and restrictions on businesses to city and county leaders. But the governor later took that authority away from local officials and asserted control over the reopening of the Texas economy.

Amid the recent explosion in cases, Abbott has allowed local leaders to set new restrictions.

Last week, Wolff and Nirenberg handed down orders compelling businesses to require customers and employees to wear masks or face coverings while on their premises. If businesses don’t comply, they face fines of up to $1,000.

In a surprise, Abbott allowed the orders to stand — and other cities and counties followed Wolff’s and Nirenberg’s lead.

Nirenberg, who spoke with Abbott by phone Friday, said the governor indicated he might allow additional local restrictions if cases and hospitalizations continue their rapid ascent.

Nirenberg said he “very candidly told him, ‘We’re in a rough spot here in San Antonio. We need either some local latitude or some state action to scale things back.’”

The mayor said Abbott described the public health crisis as “a dynamic situation,” adding: “He recognizes the local needs and is going to act accordingly to make sure that we can get a grip on this virus.”

On Friday, City Manager Erik Walsh limited the size of gatherings in city parks and plazas to no more than 10 people starting Saturday. Pools and splash pads slated to reopen July 3 will remain closed, he said.

black flat screen computer monitor on white desk

That limit on gatherings will apply to political protests if demonstrators congregate in city parks, Nirenberg said.

“We are going to kindly ask people to think about the pandemic that we’re in and disperse,” Nirenberg said. “This is about making sure that we don’t overwhelm our hospitals. We’re going to ask you to please not do that right now.”

Nirenberg also promised to step up enforcement of the mask rules.

“We are going to be making visits” to businesses to make sure they are complying, Nirenberg said. “We’re not going to wait for calls anymore.”

In light of the surge in cases and hospitalizations, the CEOs of the city’s major hospital systems including Baptist Health System and Methodist Healthcare wrote a joint letter asking residents to wear masks while in public, maintain a 6-foot distance from others and wash or sanitize hands frequently.

“COVID-19 is spreading quickly because too many people thought it was safe to go back to life as usual,” the CEOs wrote.

Executives at Christus Santa Rosa, Southwest General Hospital, University Health System, STRAC, South Texas Veterans and UT Health San Antonio also signed the letter.

We would love to hear from you, have a story, tip or recipe you would like to share with our readers? Feel free to email it to throughlovewelearn@gmail.com. 

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YELLOW RICE CHICKEN SKILLET

Paula M Naranjo/Parent Editor

Beth M
Beth

$6.04 RECIPE / $1.51 SERVING

This Yellow Rice Chicken Skillet combines one of my favorite foods in the world, Yellow Jasmine Rice, with a couple of items that I found in the back of my freezer. I found some chicken thighs in my freezer (leftover from Lemon Pepper Chicken with Orzo) and I added some peas for extra color, flavor, and texture (another “back of the freezer” find). Everything cooks in the same skillet for more flavor and less cleanup. I love it when you can cook the main dish (chicken) and the two sides (rice and peas) all in one vessel. Hello, Yellow Rice Chicken Skillet!

Overhead view of the Yellow Rice Chicken Skillet, title text at the top.

CAN I USE BONELESS CHICKEN?

Yes, but keep in mind that boneless cuts of chicken cook much faster than bone-in chicken, so you run the risk of overcooking the meat. With chicken thighs this isn’t as big of an issue since the meat is fattier and does not dry out as quickly, but if you’re using boneless chicken breast it may become slightly dry.

TIPS FOR ONE POT RICE DISHES

Cooking rice can be a little tricky for some, and the same is true for one pot rice dishes where you are cooking rice in the same pot with meat and vegetables. Here are a few tips to help your one pot rice dish a success:

  • Use thick, heavy cookware. If you are using thin cook ware you are more likely to have hot and cold spots in the pot which will lead to pockets burned and/or undercooked rice. Thicker cookware heats and cooks more evenly.
  • Use a pot or deep skillet that is close in size to the burner. If the burner is too small for the bottom of the pot, you again run the risk of it heating unevenly and the rice in the edges of the pot undercooking.
  • Make sure the liquid maintains a simmer. You may need to adjust the heat slightly up or down to keep the liquid simmering, depending on the characteristics of your range top and cookware. If the liquid isn’t simmering the rice will not cook through.

WHAT KIND OF SKILLET SHOULD I USE?

I’m using a 4 quart stainless steel deep skillet for this recipe, but this recipe also works great with a Dutch oven (affiliate link). The two most important things you need in a piece of cookware for this recipe are: that it is thick and heavy so it heats evenly and it has a lid. And you’ll probably want something that at least 3 quarts in volume.

CAN I USE PLAIN WHITE RICE?

You can substitute plain long grain white rice in place of the jasmine rice, but you will lose out on some of the fantastic flavor that jasmine rice has. To find the best price on jasmine rice, check the bottom shelf of the rice aisle for the larger 5 lb. bags of jasmine rice. Avoid the small specialty packages, which are usually found on higher shelves.

A bowl of Yellow Rice with chicken on a red napkin

YELLOW RICE CHICKEN SKILLET

Jasmine rice, garlic, and fragrant spices are all cooked together in this Yellow Rice Chicken Skillet. It’s a complete meal in one pan! 

Total Cost: $6.04 recipe / $1.51 serving

Author: Beth – Budget Bytes

 Prep Time: 5 mins 

Cook Time: 50 mins 

Total Time: 55 mins /Servings: 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.02)
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs ($3.48)
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper ($0.05)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced ($0.16)
  • 1 tsp turmeric ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon ($0.03)
  • 1.5 cups long grain jasmine rice ($0.78)
  • 1.5 cups frozen peas ($0.72)
  • 2.5 cups chicken broth* ($0.33)
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro (optional) ($0.32)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel, then season both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, then tilt the skillet to spread the oil over the surface. Place the chicken thighs in the skillet, skin side down, and allow to brown before flipping (about five minutes). Flip the thighs and let brown on the second side (another five minutes). Remove the browned thighs to a clean plate.
  • If there is excess oil in the skillet, pour it off into a bowl to cool, leaving about 1 tablespoon of oil and fat in the skillet. Add the minced garlic, turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon to the skillet. Sauté for about one minute, or until the garlic is soft and fragrant.
  • Pour the chicken broth into the skillet and use a wooden spoon to dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet. Once the browned bits are dissolved, add the frozen peas and rice, and give it a quick stir to distribute the broth and spices. Nestle the browned chicken thighs into the rice and peas.
  • Place a lid on the skillet and turn the heat up to medium-high. allow it to come to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low (or just above low) and let the skillet simmer for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, turn the heat off and let it sit undisturbed for an additional 10 minutes. Finally, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork, mixing the peas in as you go. Top with fresh cilantro, if desired.

NUTRITION

Serving: 1 Serving ・ Calories: 571.53 k cal ・ Carbohydrates: 61.5 g ・ Protein: 31.1 g ・ Fat: 21.28 g ・ Sodium: 1121.23 mg ・ Fiber: 3.05 g Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclosure here.

We would love to hear from you, have a story, tip or recipe you would like to share with our readers? Feel free to email it to throughlovewelearn@gmail.com. 

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Tips parents should know as kids and teens continue to connect largely through social media

Paula M Naranjo/Parent Editor

Author: Kara Sewell | Published: 8:36 AM CDT June 23, 2020 Updated: 8:36 AM CDT June 23, 2020

A few ways to model good behavior when it comes to technology include keeping “do not disturb” hours and setting time limits, an expert said.

TikTok downloads skyrocketed during quarantine and teens and kids alike have continued to use social media to keep up with their peers during their time apart.

The Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center is urging parents to get involved on those social media sites this summer and use them as another tool to communicate with their kids, and to keep up with what happens in their virtual worlds. 

The center has helped around 7,000 people in 2020, and therapist Michelle Rodgers has worked with many of them. She’s seen a wide range of abuse, including the powerful affect social media can have on a person.

She says it’s important parents make sure to communicate that message to their kids. 

“My first and probably biggest tip is to teach your children accountability when they’re online and using social media,” she said. “So, this means teaching them that there’s a face on the other side of that screen and talking to them about things like cyber-bullying and internet safety.” 

television showing man using binoculars

Teaching empathy is a big piece of the puzzle, too.

“We’ve seen that children’s empathy is being affected by that rise in social media and technology,” Rodgers explained.

She also wants to remind parents that their children are looking to their cues for guidance and model their behavior. 

“It’s that old saying of practice what you preach.”

A few ways to do that when it comes to technology include keeping “do not disturb” hours and setting time limits, Rodgers said. Put your phones away before bed and keep them out of your child’s room throughout the night.

She also encourages parents to get familiar with the apps their kids want to use before they download an app, and keep track of their location settings and find out who could have access to their kids through an app.

“I want to encourage parents and caregivers to start having these conversations way earlier than they believe that they need to,” Rodgers said. “We just want you to alter those conversations to make sure they’re age-appropriate.”

But conversations should really start as soon as kids begin to interact with a phone.

“Caregivers really have to go the extra mile to try out these applications, see what’s going on, talk to their children about it. I know a lot of parents have flooded to TikTok during this time because we’ve seen that rise during this pandemic, and I think that’s wonderful,” she said.

turned on gold iphone 6

Extended family members can ask to play a role, too, especially in coordination with a parent’s efforts. 

“Ask that parent and caregiver what support they want on certain things,” Rodgers said. “You might be savvier in an app then their parents are, so that might be the thing that you might talk about,.”

It takes a village, an old proverb that still rings true to keeping kids healthy and safe in a new world. 

We would love to hear from you, have a story, tip or recipe you would like to share with our readers? Feel free to email it to throughlovewelearn@gmail.com. 

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Vegan Sugar Cookies

Paula M Naranjo/ Parent Editor

These vegan sugar cookies are fun to make & fun to eat! Puffy & soft, they have a light lemon flavor that’s especially good under a sweet cashew glaze.

Author: Jeanine Donofrio

Vegan Sugar Cookies on a cooling rack

You’re going to love these soft vegan sugar cookies! They’re the perfect fun summer treat to make with your kids. Or, if you’re like me (without kids), they’re a fun crafty cookie baking project to make while pretending to be a kid on summer break. They’d also be the perfect addition to a holiday cookie plate in the winter. They just happen to be vegan, and they’re oh so delicious.

This vegan sugar cookie recipe is a little different from one for normal cookies. As you’ll see in the recipe instructions, the dough is more like pastry dough, and I roll it into balls instead of scooping it into mounds or cutting it out. Why? Because these vegan sugar cookies were initially a scone attempt. About a year ago, I tried to make lemon scones with almond flour. The result was SO delicious, and I loved them, but they did not quite resemble scones, and the lemon flavor was too subtle. Not subtle was Jack, who just said “they’re really good, but they’re not scones.” They were more like puffy sugar cookies (although with WAY less sugar than actual sugar cookies). So I kept this recipe in my back pocket until I got these cute, naturally colored Supernatural Starfetti sprinkles and thought – it’s time for the puffy cookies!

Vegan sugar cookie recipe frosting
Vegan Sugar Cookie Recipe

My Vegan Sugar Cookie Recipe Ingredients

The best thing about these vegan sugar cookies is their soft, melt-in-your mouth texture. Where does it come from? Well, instead of using 100% all-purpose flour like most sugar cookie recipes would, I use a mix of regular flour and almond flour, which is what makes them so wonderfully puffy and soft.

Along with cookie regulars like baking powder, sugar, and salt, I add lemon zest to the dough to give these a light lemon flavor. If you don’t want your cookies to be lemony, try adding a splash of vanilla extract in its place.

And lastly, almond milk and coconut oil round out this recipe. Make sure that these ingredients are cold when you add them to the dough – it’ll ensure that your cookies come out perfectly puffy.

Frosting Vegan Sugar Cookies

The cashew frosting here is similar to the macadamia frosting I make for my vegan carrot cake. It has a delicious, nutty maple flavor, and I love it as a gooey topping on these cookies. This frosting is more like a thin glaze, but if you prefer a thicker texture, try substituting powdered sugar for the maple syrup in the recipe.

These vegan sugar cookies are best frosted and eaten right away, but see below for my notes about freezing and transporting them.

Soft-Baked Vegan Sugar Cookies with Cashew Icing on a cooling rack

Vegan Sugar Cookies

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 22 mins

Total time: 37 mins

 Puffy, soft-baked vegan sugar cookies with a hint of lemon. I like to decorate them with an easy cashew icing, but they’re just as good plain.

Author: Jeanine Donofrio

Recipe type: Dessert

Serves: 12 cookies

Ingredients

Cashew-macadamia icing:

  • ½ cup raw macadamia nuts*
  • ½ cup raw cashews*
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons almond milk
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt

cookies:

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • scant 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons chilled coconut oil
  • ½ cup cold almond milk
  • 1½ tablespoons lemon zest**
  • Supernatural sprinkles, for decorating

Instructions

  1. Make the frosting: In a high-speed blender, combine the macadamia nuts, cashews, 2 tablespoons of almond milk, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt. Blend until smooth, adding up to 2 tablespoons more almond milk, if necessary, to blend. Use the blender baton to help blend. Chill the frosting while you bake the cookies so that it firms up. (Frosting can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to 6 days.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a food processor to combine the all-purpose flour, almond flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the coconut oil and pulse until combined. Add the almond milk and lemon zest, and pulse until combined.
  3. Scoop the dough out of the food processor and knead gently to form a ball. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each into a smooth ball. Place the balls onto the baking sheet and gently press each down to form small disks.
  4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until very slightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool on the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Let the cookies cool completely before frosting.

Notes*If using a high-speed blender, such as a Vitamix, the nuts do not need to be soaked. If using a weaker blender, soak the nuts in water for at least 2 hours. Drain and rinse before using.

**For a stronger lemon flavor, try adding ½ teaspoon lemon oil, it’s in the baking aisle near the vanilla extract.

Note: this icing is very messy, these are best eaten just after they’re iced. To make ahead and/or transport them, freeze the iced cookies (place them on a plate in the freezer until icing is set, then transfer to freezer baggies) and let thaw at room temp for 20 minutes. The un-iced cookies also freeze well.

We would love to hear from you, have a story, tip or recipe you would like to share with our readers? Feel free to email it to throughlovewelearn@gmail.com. 

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School’s Out. Parental Burnout Isn’t Going Away

Paula M Naranjo/Parent Editor

The majority of parents “have no idea how they are going to keep their child occupied all summer.”

Credit…Kati Szilagyi
Jessica Grose

By Jessica Grose | June 23, 2020 Updated 1:16 p.m. ET

Here in New York, there are three days left in the school year. While my family limps toward the finish line — the children are taking their Zoom classes flopped on the couch, and my husband and I are exhausted by the daily meltdowns over “realistic fiction writing” and Popsicle-stick boats that won’t float — we are even more overwhelmed by what’s to come: A summer without regular professional child care or camp to occupy our 7- and 3-year-olds, while we continue to work full time.

My husband and I moved in with my parents in May, so we would have some kind of child care support. But after a month of part-time babysitting, my parents, who are in their 70s, are starting to burn out, too. While I know that we’re lucky and privileged to still have jobs, and to have healthy parents with space for us in their home, I try not to think more than a week ahead. Otherwise, I ruminate on the distinct possibility that we will continue remote learning in the fall, and then begin to despair at how unsustainable our arrangement is for the long run.

My colleague Farhad Manjoo wrote a piece about how parents were burning out in April.

person walking holding brown leather bag

Now it’s June. And the stress and exhaustion are not going away. Finding summer child-care coverage has always been difficult and expensive, making it out of reach for many families. But this summer, that juggle feels impossible.

As states open up and more and more parents are called back to work, many are finding that their day care centers are still closed and may be at risk of never reopening. Even when child care is available, many parents are anxious about sending their children back into an environment where they are potentially at risk of contracting coronavirus. Millions of parents are losing their jobs either temporarily or permanently. Lower-income, black and Hispanic parents have been disproportionally affected by job loss, and they are anxious about meeting their children’s basic needs.

A survey called “Stress in the Time of Covid-19,” conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association from April 24 to May 4, found that 46 percent of parents with children under 18 said their stress level was high, compared with 28 percent of adults without children.

The A.P.A. did a second survey from May 21 to June 3 that found while 69 percent of parents were looking forward to the school year being over, 60 percent said they were struggling to keep their children busy, and 60 percent said they “they have no idea how they are going to keep their child occupied all summer.”

nursery room interior view

At some point, we are going to have to actually talk about childcare. Just you know – folks are still working from home with their kids and it’s still impossible.

Robin G. Nelson, an associate professor of anthropology at Santa Clara University and the mom of an 8-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl, is burned out both personally and professionally.

“The days are packed and incredibly monotonous, and I am not productive,” she said. Her husband is also a professor, and she has child care help two days a week from her mother-in-law. Their schedules are fairly flexible — in general, he watches the kids in the morning while she works, then they swap after lunch. But it leaves them with a truncated work day in a house with two noisy kids, and the stressors accrue over time.

When the pandemic began, Dr. Nelson was not concerned about its impact on her own children’s mental health, but as it drags on, she worries about her 8-year-old especially. “It’s hard keeping him happy, motivated, and OK since school ended,” she said, because he no longer gets to see his friends and teachers (even virtually) on a regular basis.

Dr. Nelson, who I have known for more than a decade, studies child development and child health outcomes. “People are always raised by a network of adults and support systems,” including extended family, teachers, coaches and community members, she said. “That network of adults and caretakers is essential for every kid, everywhere.”

Now that network has become even more frayed for many families since school ended. Dr. Nelson worries that the most vulnerable parents are already suffering from this lack of social support, since many low-income children have not been able to access distance learning, so have not seen their teachers, caregivers and friends since March.

It’s worth noting that “parental burnout” is a distinct psychological phenomenon that is separate from parents feeling generally stressed and exhausted. To get a diagnosis of parental burnout, you need the following four symptoms: You feel so exhausted you can’t get out of bed in the morning, you become emotionally detached from your children, you take no pleasure or joy in parenting, and it is a marked change in behavior for you.

grayscale photo of woman right hand on glass

Dr. Moïra Mikolajczak, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the Université Catholique de Louvain, surveyed 1,300 French-speaking parents in Belgium about burnout during the pandemic, and said that parents who tended to have more symptoms of burnout were confined with very small children or teenagers, or had children with special needs.

In the United States, black parents are facing additional stressors this summer because of racial discrimination. According to the A.P.A study, 55 percent of black Americans cited discrimination as a source of stress in June, up from 42 percent in May.

Dr. Nelson said that the stress on her as a black mom in the wake of George Floyd’s death has been twofold: She has had to witness her son’s fear for his own safety, and, as an underrepresented minority in her field, she’s also been tasked with doing extra work on behalf of diversity and inclusion efforts professionally.

“It’s always too much, but it feels extra heavy with Covid, because we know black and brown people are dying of Covid,” she said. “If you’re going through a moment where your group is being targeted explicitly in public, and you have any access at all to move the needle, it doesn’t feel responsible to opt out.”

While Dr. Nelson is mindful of her own mental health, “I don’t feel like I’m in the best place to make the change I want to make because I’m already worn thin,” she said.

Inger Burnett-Zeigler, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University, said that the stresses placed on black parents are unique and can feel overwhelming. She advised that all parents, but in particular black parents, can “take a critical eye at the multiple demands being placed on you at the moment. Consider which of those are serving you and your family, and which demands you can step away from.”

grayscale photo of 3 men and 2 women smiling

If your kids are not at camp or day care, all of the experts I spoke to said that having some kind of structure to the day is essential, but that structure doesn’t need to feel confining. Nina Essel, a licensed social worker and parent coach based in New Jersey, said that schedules work best when the whole family has similar expectations.

Essel suggested sitting down together and dividing activities into three categories: Nonnegotiables; things you want to see happen; and things you would like to see happen. Though all families have different priorities, in my house a nonnegotiable is that the kids go outside for at least an hour every day, weather permitting. Something I want to see happen is my kids doing something vaguely academic a couple of times a week. Something I’d like to see happen is that my kids make their own lunches. If you have older kids, you can include them in this decision-making, and break out the sticky notes to write down different activities and rearrange them according to family priorities.

Pooja Lakshmin, M.D., a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, said that “forcing your brain to think about some of the positives, no matter how small they are,” can help ameliorate burnout. A way to feel more effective is to keep a journal where every night you write down one thing you did well as a parent.

The A.P.A. data suggest that American parents aren’t all miserable, all the time. Eighty-two percent of parents surveyed said they were grateful for the extra time with their kids during the shutdown. Dr. Mikolajczak’s survey of Belgian parents showed that for 30 percent of fathers and 36 percent of mothers stress and exhaustion actually decreased, as parents got to spend more quality time with their children without the pressure of a packed schedule. With pride in her voice, Dr. Nelson described her son doing anthropological digs, clearly finding joy in his explorations. “He’s in the backyard constantly, finding an artifact every day — ‘I think this is bone, this is glass.’”

Dr. Lakshmin said that parents in general, but mothers, especially, should not just consider the risks of the coronavirus, but also the risks to their mental health when it comes to making decisions about finding child care. “When women think about this, we’re so conditioned to put ourselves second and to only think about the risks involved with the virus,” she said. “You really have to actively force yourself to think about, what are the risks for myself from a mental health standpoint? What are the risks to my values?” It’s never an easy calculus.

The camp that Dr. Nelson’s children usually go to is currently open, though she and her husband don’t feel comfortable sending them just yet. They’re waiting to see how the camp handles its first few weeks — whether it is being cleaned rigorously, and whether it is keeping its campers and counselors safe.

“If you send them, you understand you’re putting your family and yourself and the teachers at higher risk,” she said. “Still, I don’t know how we make it through the summer without anything.”

We would love to hear from you, have a story, tip or recipe you would like to share with our readers? Feel free to email it to throughlovewelearn@gmail.com. 

Paula M Naranjo

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Black trans communities suffer a greater mental-health burden from discrimination and violence

By Bethany Ayo-

The Philadelphia Inquirer –

When Keisha Lewis comes into contact with a police officer, one of the first emotions she feels is fear. Lewis, a 35-year-old Black transgender woman and office manager at the Morris Home, a residential recovery program for the transgender community in Southwest Philadelphia, can’t be sure of the reception she will get.

“It’s like, ‘Is this person going to be mean to me?’” Lewis said. “It plays on your psyche and messes with you very badly. I’m a human, too, and I deserve protection, and I deserve to be taken care of like everyone else.”

After the June murder of Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, a Black transgender woman in Philadelphia, the outcry to address violence against transgender people is louder than ever. The problem is not unique to Philadelphia. In 2019, at least 26 transgender or gender-nonconforming people were killed in the U.S. — 91% of them Black women — according to the Human Rights Campaign.

Black transgender people often already are at higher risk for mental-health issues. Their problems are only made worse by the violence that they experience, a lack of acceptance within their families and communities, and a shortage of mental-health care specific to their needs.

Lewis, who has experienced the pain of rejection and the fear of gendered violence, said she struggles with mental health issues because of it.

“The proximity to trauma for Black trans women is very real,” said Shana Williams, clinical director at the Attic Youth Center, which serves LGBTQ youth in the Philadelphia area. Williams is also a therapist with the Morris Home and identifies as a Black queer woman. “The average lifespan of a Black trans woman is 35 years old, and if you constantly see that around you, you cannot help but to mentally accept and be prepared for death as a Black trans woman navigating society.”

‘A lot of us are ostracized’

The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS) found that 81.7% of the 27,715 respondents had seriously considered suicide; 40.4% had actually attempted it.

For Black transgender people, the mental health impact is likely even worse — a 2013 study found that experiencing transphobic and racist events increased depressive symptoms for transgender women of color.

But “the idea that being transgender is the mental-health problem” is incorrect, Williams said. The trouble is with “the world functioning as a gatekeeper,” rejecting anyone who doesn’t meet certain norms.

“It’s really about society and family rejection,” Williams said. “Being a Black person who already has to navigate oppressive systems, with the added layer of being trans, leads to another way to be discarded, shunned, and not supported.”

Lewis said that many people in her community have abandonment issues that stem from the rejection they experienced after coming out to their families.

“A lot of us are ostracized by our community, our family, the people who are supposed to love you, when we come out,” she said. “But it’s like they throw you away and discard you like trash. When you’re young, you don’t know what you’re supposed to do then. You’re lacking love, and no one has provided you with any type of tools to move forward with, and over time, that begins messing with your mind.”

Lewis said suicidal thoughts may begin taking hold when it feels as if people have lost their family’s love through no fault of their own.

“They think that they don’t want to be here if they can’t have their family,” she said. “This is just who they are, and the people who are supposed to love them unconditionally don’t want them around.”

Needed: More Black LGBTQ therapists

Okichie Davis, a Philadelphia therapist who works with queer people of color through their private practice, Endeavoring Wellness, has found that Black transgender people experience all of the same mental-health challenges that the general population faces. But “the difference is that [Black LGBTQ+ folks] are marginalized for our gender identity and sexuality, which makes it difficult for us to manage those challenges,” said Davis, who identifies as a queer Black woman.

Transgender people deal with higher levels of housing and food insecurity, violence, difficulties accessing affordable, affirming health care, Davis noted. “All of these barriers serve to exacerbate any symptoms that already exist, and compounds the severity of the mental-health challenges that folks deal with. When people are making the choice between paying for food, medicine, or keeping the lights on, therapy gets bumped,” Davis said.

That’s why it’s so important to have more therapists from the Black LGBTQ community who understand those challenges, Davis said. Many of Davis’ clients search for months before making an appointment.

“When you work with clinician not from your racial background or sexual identity, sometimes you encounter racism, transphobia, homophobia, or the pathologizing of Black and LGBTQ people,” Davis said. “That drives people away.”

Williams also stressed the importance of exploring implicit biases around gender and identity as clinicians. She said she still hears about clinicians who insist on using their clients’ legal names instead of their preferred names and fail to ask which pronouns they use.

“Any clinician in 2020 has to do the work to educate themselves on how to be open and affirming,” she said. “Being trans is who someone is, and we should feel able to support that.”

Lewis knows Black transgender people who will not see a therapist because “there’s nobody that looks like [them].” She said they are afraid of being judged by someone who can’t relate to them.

“I remember years ago when I wanted to see a therapist, I couldn’t find an African American or a trans therapist,” Lewis said. “I just want to tell all the Black professionals out there who are becoming therapists — we need you, keep doing what you’re doing, we want to see more of your faces out here, doing the work.”

April Green

www.exposure-magazine.com

Email: woogreen78@gmail.com

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