Frequently Asked Questions

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Vlada’s Seeds of Life was created by Vlada Vladic with the desire to reconnect families through the love of sharing food.  The goal is to create a forum for families to come together to prepare delicious and nutritious meals in the hope that this process will help strengthen the family bond, to teach children valuable life lessons and hopefully create a passion for sharing these lessons with the larger community. We want to educate, enable, energize, and engage families to reconnect by cooking meals that are simple, nutritious, fun to prepare, and that appeal to all ages.

In today’s world, our lives and schedules are filled with so many work, school, sports, extracurricular activities and social obligations that it’s become difficult to find quality time to spend with our families. We believe that a solid family connection is essential in the wellbeing of children, and that scheduling more quality family time is essential in helping them to grow, learn and thrive in order to reach their fullest potential.

We are dedicated to educating enabling, energizing, and engaging families to reconnect through a shared passion of food, family and community. This is achieved via three different projects:

1. National Level: Cooking and Kids is an educational family program that is distributed through various national public access television stations and through YouTube. This program aims to provide quality family content to millions of viewers nationwide.

2. Regional Level: America Dines-In is a free monthly speaking and cooking event organized to educate people on the importance of proper nutrition and the importance that families and communities play in the physical, emotional and psychological well-being of our youth and society in general.

3. Individual Level: Growing Strong offers one-on-one lifestyle coaching to former foster youth, struggling families and single moms. This includes free cooking classes and tips on providing healthy meals on a budget, economical shopping tips, food preservation, meal planning and tips on creating a positive home environment for kids and families.

The change depends on you. By contributing what you can, together we can make an enormous difference in countless lives and the future of our country. Your support will help us grow our initiative and make a positive impact on families on a national scale and further beyond.

With your help, we will be able to continue to create positive family content to distribute nationally, to organize speaking, cooking, and community dining events on regional levels and enable one-on-one work with struggling families, single moms and foster children.

Thank you for playing a part in building a brighter and better future for our children and grandchildren.

According to Dr. Keyia Carlton, Health Psychologist at the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego, CA “Family time is especially important for children because those interactions have such a profound influence on their development and future relationships. Families serve as a child’s first role models and mentors and soon they take what they learn out into the world and make their own choices largely based on those experiences. Whether it is learning that it is safe to be themselves and express their feelings, to respect authority, or to adopt healthy habits such as eating healthy and exercising, the likelihood that these healthy behaviors continue into adulthood increases if they are first demonstrated in their homes during childhood”.

Finding time to cook at home can be overwhelming and daunting. Our advice is to take small steps toward your goal. Just remember, cooking and meal planning are attainable skills that are worth investing your time and effort into. These skills will benefit you and your family for years to come. Think of it as an exciting lifestyle change, which could save you thousands of dollars in the long run, while also providing your family with nutritious meals and great memories as well.

Here are few tips on how to start:

  • Create a weekly meal-planning sheet (being mindful of your weekly schedule – work, family activities, parties, dinners out, etc.)
  • Find and make a list of 15 min. meals that contain ingredients you already have in your fridge or pantry (this will save you shopping time)
  • Slow cooker meals: this is a perfect way to take a break from cooking and still serve homemade meal to your family. Recipes like soups, stews, chili, pulled pork and roasts are just some examples of delicious and easy meals that can be prepared in a slow cooker.
  • Cook and freeze:  plan time to make large batches of food that you can freeze and store to use later.  Lasagna, stews, pancakes, soups, meatballs, muffins, breakfast sandwiches, precooked pasta, chili, meatloaf, precut fruit and vegetables are just some examples of foods that freeze well.
  • Have a well-stocked pantry stocked with ingredients that you can use to put together a quick, delicious and healthy meal.   
  • When cooking, plan on making more so that you can have leftovers for the next day.

Feeding a family is costly, so shopping wisely is very important to cut down on costs. Here are a few tips:

  • Plan you meals around store specials and seasonal ingredients, they tend to be less expensive than out of season ingredients
  • Use coupons whenever possible
  • Shop at grocery outlets or discounted grocery stores (especially for basic items like bread, peanut butter, beans, rice, flour, sugar, canned goods and fresh fruits and vegetables)
  • When meats and meat products, are on sale, buy and package them individually and freeze them for later use
  • Shop in bulk
  • Shop for off-brand items
  • Repurpose leftovers, wasting food is equal to wasting money
  • Go meatless one or two days a week (eggs, peanut butter and beans are great source of protein too)

The first and most important step in this process is to evaluate what your priorities in life and make the list of them. If you have children, I am confident that your kids make it to the top of the list. Our time spent with our children is one of the most valuable assets and most precious gifts in our lives, which is why it’s so important to make time to spend together. Here some suggestions on how to make time for your family:

  • Don’t over commit. Resist the urge to say yes to every activity and opportunity presented to you and your kids, and prioritize activities
  • Save your weekends to unwind, rest and ‘reset’. Down time at home is crucial for both kids and parents
  • Start a tradition of preparing and sharing a Sunday lunch or supper with your family
  • Set aside 15 minutes of one-on-one time with your kids before bed time
  • Spend time outdoors together and enjoy nature by going for walks, hikes, or even fishing

Whatever you do, avoid comparing yourself to families who appear to be constantly engaged in activities. It’s not a competition. Exposing our children to too many social and physical activities can be just as harmful as not having enough. Keeping a healthy balance is the key. Invest your and your kids time wisely knowing quality family time is something your kids will continue to reflect on and benefit from for the rest of their lives.

©2021 Vlada's Seeds of Life

©2021 Vlada's Seeds of Life