Hi! My name is Vlada Vladic and I am excited to share with you what I’m so passionate about. I think you’ll be passionate about it too. It’s a family educational cooking program that I’ve founded and produced, and it’s called Cooking and Kids!
Why should we all be on fire about this? Because more than a third of children and adolescents in America are overweight or obese, and the rate is even higher among some ethnicities. This puts kids at a greater risk of diabetes, asthma, heart disease and even cancer – kids! And this doesn’t even mention the poor self-esteem resulting from the physical and emotional impact of being overweight.
My non-profit organization, Vlada’s Seeds of Life, and the cooking show, Cooking and Kids, teach young kids and their families how to improve the food they eat through basic cooking and living skills. Change starts at home! And I am on a mission to pass down the cooking skills I learned from my mother and grandmother, in the hopes of inspiring young families and kids to cook and live better, and strengthen family bonds at the same time.
So what have I been up to? In 2011, I filmed and presented pilot episodes of Cooking and Kids to Public Access television stations throughout Southern California. The program received great reviews and Public Access wanted to air as many episodes as I could produce. Since then I’ve funded and produced additional episodes on my own. During this time I was also caring for my two young children and my sick husband. With basically no income, a mortgage to pay, and no skills in the filming industry, it was a true challenge to bring this project to life. But this was important to me, so I kept pushing on.
In 2012 my husband passed away, leaving my kids and me in emotional and financial collapse.That year we had to moved into another home that had just one full-size bed, one plastic picnic table, and a few camping chairs. We will always remember that year’s Christmas as empty and cold. But I had to stay energized to keep my kids’ spirits up. We gave up a lot just to survive – it was true hardship – but I could not give up my Cooking and Kids dream! I had faith, I love my creator, and I love this country. I had no time – and no right – to feel sorry for myself, so I kept charging at life with all I had in me.
I’ve appeared on the 2011 Food Network’s Thanksgiving Day Challenge and won first place. I declined a contract for Master Chef 3 because it would have required giving up my Cooking and Kids project, and that was not an option for me. I also created one of the 12 healthiest recipes for Aetna’s Healthy Food Fight Campaign, and Blue Shield of California nominated me as one of 10 moms who contributed the most to improving health in their communities. My Cooking and Kids initiative has also been featured in numerous publications nationally and internationally.In addition to working on the show, I also donate time to a local hospital, schools, organizations, and individuals, in an effort to promote healthier living in our communities, as well as a greater appreciation for this wonderful country of ours!
Why do I need your help? I’ve donated thousands of dollars and countless hours to the Cooking and Kids initiative and am committed to continue to bring positive programs like this to the public. But I have reached a point that to produce more programs, I need better quality video and audio equipment, along with some professional help. Your contributions will help me produce higher quality programs that will meet PBS technical standards and bring this greatly needed program to families across the country.
Why is it worth all this effort? Because it matters to all of us to see the next generation grow up healthy and happy, so they can create a healthier and better future for America! But there’s another reason, because in America when you don’t like something, you have the freedom to change it!
If you care about children’s health and the future of our country, please join in this effort. If everyone gives something – whatever you can – believe me, it will add up. Together we will be able to reach millions of kids and their families. Let’s bring healthier living to our country’s kids for generations to come. Together, let’s make this happen! I know we can do it!
Love and blessings,