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Celebrity Fitness Trainer Valerie Waters Offers On-the-Go Families Back-to-Basics Tips

FRESNO, Calif., Sept. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- With the return of busy school schedules combined with the complexities of challenging economic times, parents are thinking back-to-basics when it comes to keeping on-the-go families fit and eating healthy. That's why California Raisins and celebrity fitness trainer, Valerie Waters, have teamed up to create simple solutions for keeping families healthy all school year long.



"We're excited to partner with Valerie again to demonstrate the simplicity of fueling a healthy family through basic exercise and naturally nutritious foods like California Raisins," says Larry Blagg, senior vice president of marketing, California Raisin Marketing Board. "California Raisins have been a familiar family favorite for generations. Convenient and healthy, raisins are fat- and cholesterol- free, contain antioxidants and are an important source of energy for on-the-go families."

With a philosophy of keeping fitness and nutrition accessible and uncomplicated, Waters is known for helping celebrity moms stay fit while juggling demanding work and family schedules.

"Just because budgets have tightened doesn't mean families have to cut back on healthy eating and exercise," says Waters. "In fact, natural foods are more likely to pack a greater nutritional punch and fitness doesn't need to be attached to workout machines or hefty gym membership fees."

Waters offers the following tips for parents who want to keep their families healthy and active this back-to-school season - and all year long:

Redefine play time. Fitness is fun when it's a family affair and when you think outside of the box. There are no rules about what fitness should look like; in fact, some of the best workouts are gained through the games we played as a child. Try activities like going to the park and playing tag. When you run, stop and start, it's great exercise for your muscles and coordination. Also try going to the beach to play Frisbee or taking a family bike ride after dinner. Fitness doesn't have to be formal and everyone benefits from moving and being together.

Plan, prepare and pack. Don't let piano lessons and soccer practice derail healthy eating. Have a plan in place. Set aside time on a Sunday evening to pack your refrigerator and pantry with items like pre-cut veggies, pre-packaged California Raisins, cubed cheese, and hard-boiled eggs to quickly prepare grab-and-go lunches and snacks. Also, think double-duty. When it comes to cooking items such as chicken, prepare enough to slice and serve in a sandwich, salad or in a wrap for lunches. Also try cooking a few extra servings with every meal to serve throughout the week to avoid grabbing take-out when under a time crunch.

Play with your food. There's no better way to introduce new fruits and veggies into your child's lunch box than a fun trip to your local farmer's market or involving them in your next grocery store visit. Allow children to sample and select the fruits or veggies you will prepare for dinner and pack in their school lunches. On average, it takes eight to 12 tries for a child to accept new foods so making them a part of the decision process will increase their chances of trying new things and developing healthier eating habits.

Take a coffee table break. Demanding school schedules often force fitness regimes to the wayside. But working out doesn't mean expensive memberships and hours at the gym. It can be as simple as moving your coffee table to the side and making space in your living room to do a short 25-30 minute strength-training circuit. What's most important is that moms build their day around this time and be consistent. Even if it's just 15 minutes a day, you will burn calories and gain energy. For easy to follow, at-home fitness videos, featuring Waters, visit

Less is more. When it comes to preparing snacks or meals, tackling a recipe list with fewer ingredients is a lot less stressful and often times more healthful. Families are looking to familiar favorites and naturally nutrient-rich foods to prepare healthy meals at home. By mastering just a few simple recipes, you can prepare a healthy meal in less time than it would take for a pizza delivery!

California Raisin Peanut Butter Spread: Prep time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 10 minutes

  • 3/4 cup California Raisins
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (For children and adults allergic to peanuts, consider substituting peanut butter with almond, cashew or soy butter)

Measure the raisins and apple juice into a small saucepan and bring to boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer for eight to 10 minutes or until raisins have absorbed all the juice. Stir in honey and cinnamon. Cool slightly. Stir in peanut butter. Spread onto graham crackers, bread, mini-bagels, apple slices or celery sticks.

For a healthful variation on traditional PB&J sandwiches, spread one tablespoon of California Raisin Peanut Butter Spread on one slice of whole wheat bread. Top with 1/4 banana cut into nine very thin slices and top with another slice of bread. Lightly butter both sides and cook in a small, heavy skillet over medium heat until lightly browned on both sides and heated through. Cut into four sticks.

Spread recipe yields 1 2/3 cups

Nutrition analysis per serving: Calories 80 (53% from fat); Total Fat 5g (sat 1g, trans 0g, mono 2g, poly 1g); Cholesterol 0mg; Protein 3g; Carbohydrate 7g; Fiber <1g; Iron <1mg; Sodium 0mg; Calcium 8mg.

California Raisins are a natural and economic way to add delicious flavor and nutrition to your diet. At an average of just $0.15 an ounce, raisins are great nutritional value. For more nutritious, family-friendly recipes, visit

About the California Raisin Marketing Board

A State Marketing Order in 1998 created the California Raisin Marketing Board and it is 100 percent grower funded. Its mission is to support and promote the increased use of California-grown raisins and sponsor crop production, nutrition and market research. For more information about the California Raisin Marketing Board and to browse delicious recipes, visit

SOURCE California Raisin Marketing Board
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