Mother's Day: Give Your Mom the Gift of Health





Still thinking about a special Mother's Day present for your mother?

We all know mothers are constantly giving and giving to the point where they neglect themselves in order to keep providing for their families. Mother's Day brings a great opportunity to show our dear mothers how much we care for them and how much we want them to be healthy so they can be around us for many years. 

This Mother’s Day, instead of fighting for a reservation in a crowded restaurant, show mom you really care with a delicious, healthful breakfast filled with nutrients along with some simple tips that can help her achieve optimal health.

Here, I would like to share my five best secrets for helping mom embrace life-changing habits for good:

1. More antioxidants – Why not incorporate her favorite fruits into her meals? If you are looking to add a sweet sparkle to your mom’s morning, try Mango Almond Crepes, which is deceptively easy, but so delicious and impressive! The fresh flavor of mangos is a satisfying and wholesome choice – nutrient rich and free of fat, cholesterol and sodium. 

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Maybe you want something simpler and easy to prepare that even the kids can get involved with. In that case, try Mango Yogurt Parfaits, which are simple, yet nutritious and delicious. Who knew the famous and delicious mangos are power-packed with antioxidants, beta carotene and vitamin C, and contain over 20 different vitamins and minerals? Change things up this year and make a nutritious mango-inspired breakfast that is sure to please any mom. For more tasty mango recipes, go to

2. Teach her the “no gym required exercises” – This means exercising without even wearing gym clothes! Here it goes: Place her phone really far so she will have to walk far to answer it, or she may want to get off the train or bus a few stops earlier so she can walk a few blocks to work, or while watching novelas she may want to do squats, sit ups or, if she just wants to stay in the couch, bring her a couple soup cans and teach her to lift them up and down. 

My favorite: dancing with the escoba (broom). This is when I let all my mommy anxieties run away while singing to Cristian Castro’s favorite songs while sweeping la casa. Bring her a few CDs and she will forget she is even exercising!

3. Give her foods with a variety of colors – Not difficult for Latina moms since we love just about any food. Help her fill her plate with a variety of colors. This will confirm she is consuming a well-balanced diet without counting calories, fat, vitamins, minerals, etc.

4. Don’t let her skip meals – This is the No. 1 mistake moms make – they starve themselves during the day and eat the house, and more, at night. If your mother is usually in a rush, she can grab a glass of low-fat milk with a fruit, or a licuado (blended), or a low-fat yogurt, dried cereal, leftovers from the night before – anything. Just don’t let her leave the house with an empty stomach. Skipping meals will lead to overeating later in the day. Mom needs to spread her calories during the day instead of eating all her calories at night – it will make a huge difference!

Make sure she gets some rest/me time – She needs to take time for herself and truly enjoy a well-deserved rest. Turn off her phone and let her have some “me time”…she will be a happier and more energized to tackle just about anything that comes her way.

Go ahead and help your mother take the first steps to continue a healthier lifestyle - these tips are simple but they will make a significant difference in your mother’s life.

Mango Almond Crepes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes total
Mango Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 medium mangos, peeled, pitted and sliced
1 1/2 cups low-fat ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
8 prepared crepes
2 tablespoons butter

To prepare sauce, melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add brown sugar and extract; cook and stir until dissolved. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes then remove from heat. Stir in cream and cook for 1 minute more; stir in mango and set aside. To prepare crepes, stir together ricotta cheese, honey and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Spread about 2 heaping tablespoonfuls onto half of each crepe. Fold in half then in half again. Melt butter in a large skillet. Add crepes and cook over medium heat for a few minutes on each side to lightly brown and warm. Transfer to serving plates and top with mango sauce. 

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Mango Yogurt Parfaits

Prep time: 15 minutes

2 large ripe mangos, peeled, pitted and cubed
3 cups low fat vanilla yogurt
6 tablespoons low fat granola

Puree 1 mango and spoon equal amounts into 6 clear plastic cups. Top each with 1/4 cup yogurt. Spoon cubed mango over the top, saving a few pieces for garnish. Top with remaining 1/4 cup yogurt and reserved mango. (Recipe may be made ahead at this point. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.) Top each serving with a tablespoon of granola just before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

Sylvia Meléndez Klinger, a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer, is founder of Hispanic Food Communications, a food communications and culinary consulting company based in Hinsdale, Ill. She is Hispanic and uses her in-depth culinary and cultural expertise to introduce new strategies for wellness to an increasingly health-conscious Hispanic population. For more on her, go to

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