March 2017 | Hotlunch.com | 1-888-376-7136

[Volume 9, Issue 3]

 
Young Kids May Not Be Active Enough

We grownups tend to think of the little ones as being very active and on the go at all times. And we might think of our teens as couch potatoes. But when does the little active tot lose all that momentum? Middle school? Elementary school? Maybe earlier than we think.

Kids Start Moving Less After Age 7, Study Finds
https://consumer.healthday.com/fitness-information-14/misc-health-news-265/

This news story from HealthDay describes a study that finds kids start moving less around 7 years of age. The study team examined the physical activity levels of about 400 children in the UK and found that activity levels started to drop at age 7. I wonder if these findings would be similar for kids in the US.

What to do at school:

  • In health class, talk about exercise and why activity is important.
  • Talk to parents and let them know they should talk to their kids about physical activity.
  • Are you a good role model? Try to get some physical activity during your break times - even a 10-minute walk is a good thing.
 
 
Hungry and Crabby - Why the Link?
 

I think most of us know that feeling. It's been awhile since you last ate and you're feeling cranky as can be. But have you ever wondered why being hungry can make you so angry? Is it the physical discomfort? Is it craving? What is it?

Hangry? Why Food Affects Your Mood
http://www.usatoday.com/story/sponsor-story/marshfield-clinic/2017/03/15/

This new story from USA delves into hunger and why we get hangry (that cute portmanteau for hungry and angry). Part of it may be due to low blood sugar, says the author, and hormones called ghrelin and serotonin may also be involved in your bad mood.

So how to avoid the hangries? Don't skip meals and nibble on healthy snacks such as fruit, whole grain crackers, yogurts, nuts, seeds and lean proteins.

 
Parents Should Agree What to Feed the Kids

Maybe this seems like a no-brainer, but what happens if parents don't have similar ideas about how the kids can eat? I mean, what if one parent is super careful with meal and snack selections but other parent lets the kids load up on junk food?

Parents, are you on the same page about what your kids eat?
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/a-calm-happy-dinner-table-is-a

This news story from The Washington Post talks about this issue. Parents often look at feeding their kids the same why their parents fed them and when parents differ greatly in their nutritional and dietary beliefs, the result is going to be confused kids.

The author suggests that parents sit down and talk about what rules they should set and what their routines should be. What foods are treats or 'sometimes' foods and what's the best way to teach kids how to eat right. I think this is a great news story.

 
 
Whole Grains are Good
 

The last few fad diets have been all about dissing grains. Which is too bad, because unless you have celiac disease or an intolerance to wheat, there's no good reason to avoid grains. Granted, refined flours aren't all that great. But, whole grains? They're wonderful.

Despite the Anti-carb Fads, Whole Grains are Still Good for You
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/despite-the-anti-carb-diet-fads

This news story from The Washington Post talks about a study that finds eating a diet rich in whole grains may be better for your waistline. The study subjects who ate a whole-grain diet burned more calories than their peers who ate a diet high in refined flours.

Whole grains are rich in fiber, so it's possible that eating meals rich in whole grains keeps you feeling full longer. And, of course, fiber is good for your digestive system as well.

 
Eating Sustainably

The foods we choose to eat have a big impact on the planet. A lot of resources go into the foods on our plate, especially meats and those out-of-season fruits and veggies. So what can we do to make our diets more sustainable without giving up the foods we love?

A Simple Shift Toward More Sustainable Eating
http://www.foodandnutrition.org/Stone-Soup/March-2017/A-Simple-Shift-Toward

This article from Food and Nutrition gives us some great advice for increasing sustainability. Meal planning is the key, according to the author. Planning meals reduces the amount of food wasted and can save you money when you buy foods in-season and freeze or can them. Great tips!

What to do at school:

  • Great for foods classes - find recipes made with sustainable foods.
  • Talk about why sustainability is important for our environment.
  • Have kids make posters describing ways to eat in ways that are more sustainable.
 
 
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More About School Lunches, Nutrition and Healthy Kids
 

College students' perception of dietary terms could help nutrition education
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170308162149.htm

Americans With High Blood Pressure Still Eating Too Much Salt
Average sodium intake more than double the recommended daily limit for these patients, study finds

https://consumer.healthday.com/vitamins-and-nutrition-information-27/salt-and-sodium-news-591/americans-with-high-blood-pressure-still-eating-too-much-salt-720479.html

10 Daily Servings of Fruits, Veggies a Recipe for Longevity
Reductions seen in risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and early death

http://www.independent.ie/life/family/parenting/can-your-kids-go-vegan-and-still-get-all-their-vitamins-34475274.html

Reading, writing and hunger: More than 13 million kids in this country go to school hungry
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2017/03/09/reading-writing-and-hunger-more-than-13-million-kids-in-this-country-go-to-school-hungry

Cooking at home tonight? It's likely cheaper and healthier, study finds
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170314150926.htm

 
About Shereen Lehman

Shereen Lehman 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 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Association of Health Care Journalists.

Shereen writes about nutrition for the large website About.com (http://nutrition.about.com), is co-author of Superfoods for Dummies (http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0470445394.html) and Clinical Anatomy for Dummies (http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1118116437.html).