December 2009 | Hotlunch.com | 1-888-376-7136

[Volume 6, Issue 1]

 
Chocolate Milk – Good or Bad?
We know that milk is a great source of calcium and is often served at breakfast, lunch and maybe during a break in the school day. But a lot of kids don’t like plain milk; they prefer the sweeter chocolate milk. Here’s an article by one mom who really doesn’t want chocolate milk served in schools.

School lunches: The chocolate milk debate

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfmoms/detail?entry_id=51349&tsp=1

So is chocolate milk really good or bad? Some researchers believe chocolate milk is good for you and may even have anti-inflammatory effects. Others don’t want the extra sugar and calories. Kids need calcium and maybe the little extra sugar is a worthy trade off for the calcium. So what can you do?

  • Choose low- or non-fat chocolate milk to reduce calories from fat.
  • Mix chocolate milk with non-fat white milk.
  • Serve chocolate milk with whole grain and protein rich snacks for some balance.
  • Offer calcium-fortified orange juice or soy beverages instead of milk.
 
 
Are School Breakfasts Too Sugary?
 

Kids who eat breakfast perform better in school, but do the types of foods they choose make a difference? A reporter from the Chicago Tribune believes it does and tells us how breakfast foods offered in Chicago are loaded with sugar (or at least the foods the kids choose).

Chicago Public Schools breakfasts are big on doughnuts, sugary cereals

http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/chi-cps-breakfast-nov05,0,209332.story

Offering breakfast at school is a great idea for kids whose parents can’t afford breakfast or for kids who are rushed out the door every morning.  Serving the right foods helps keep kids feel full until lunchtime and alert for their studies.  Here are some ideas.

  • Offer whole grain cereals with milk, juice, and whole grain toast.
  • Serve breakfast as a balanced meal, rather than offer sugary ala carte choices.
  • Encourage young children to eat healthy by teaching them how sugary foods may make them tired and less likely to stay alert in class.
 
Feed Their Brains

School lunches should do more than fill the stomachs of hungry students. Serving healthy food with less fat, sodium and sugar just may improve their ability to learn. A celebrity chef in London shows how improving the nutritional quality of school lunches is leading to better scores on tests and less time missed at school.

Do better school lunches help kids learn?

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/11/do_better_school_lunches_help.html

Improve the quality of your school lunches by adding more fruits and vegetables, whole grains and cut out the excess fats, sodium and sugar.

  • Serve fruits and vegetables with every meal and offer them as ala carte items.
  • Switch from white bread to whole grain bread.
  • Teach students why eating a healthy diet is important for good health and for learning.
 
  • Cut back on fried foods and meals drenched in heavy gravies and sauces.
 
Got Questions About Hotlunch.com?
 

Aurora Hotlunch.com is the only web-based system of its kind.  For questions about vendors and menus, payment methods, reporting, or general questions, see our FAQ.

Hotlunch launched in Canada. We are happy to announce that we are international, successfully launching in Canada with a French user interface. Look for Spanish and other popular user interfaces coming soon.

http://www.hotlunch.com/faq.html
 
Nutrient Facts – Magnesium

Magnesium is one of the major dietary minerals and is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body. About half of the magnesium is stored in your bones, while the rest is at work in the cells of your organs and other tissues.
Magnesium is required for hundreds of biochemical reactions to occur, so it’s necessary for good health. It's crucial for normal muscle and nerve function, and helps maintain a regular health beat. You also need magnesium for strong bones and a healthy immune system.
Dietary magnesium is found in dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains. As long you eat a healthy diet you should get enough magnesium, however if your diet isn’t so good you might want to think about taking magnesium supplements.
Magnesium supplements may also be beneficial for people who take certain medications that may cause loss of magnesium or reduce absorption, such as diuretics and antibiotics. Elderly people, alcoholics, people who have difficulty controlling diabetes and individuals who suffer from inflammatory bowel disorders may all benefit from taking magnesium supplements. Magnesium supplements are safe, however megadoses may lead to diarrhea and cramping.  Remember to talk to your health care provider if you have any health problems and you’d like to take dietary supplements.

Source:  Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Magnesium. Office of Dietary Supplements.
http://dietary-supplements.info.nih.gov/factsheets/magnesium.asp.

 
More About School Lunches and Healthy Kids

Overweight Kids Past Age 10 Have 80% Chance Of Remaining Heavy
http://www.basilandspice.com/journal/overweight-kids-past-age-10-have-80-chance-of-remaining-heav.html

Schools in the Dark About Tainted Lunches
http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2009-11-16-del-rey_N.htm

Worst Foods for Kids (and Healthier Alternatives)
http://www.childrenshealthmag.com/little-kids/Eat_this_not_that.php

America’s Health Rankings
http://www.americashealthrankings.org/

 
About Shereen Jegtvig
Shereen Jegtvig is a health and nutrition writer with two decades of experience counseling people on nutrition and diet.  She has a master’s degree in human nutrition and is a member of the American Dietetic Association.   Shereen writes about nutrition for the large website About.com (http://nutrition.about.com) and is co-author of Superfoods for Dummies
(http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0470445394.html).