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

[Volume 4, Issue 1]

 
Increased Funding for School Nutrition Possible
President Obama has proposed a $1-billion increase for Child Nutrition Act programs. The act covers the government's reimbursements to school districts for meals and food programs as well as food served at many day-care facilities. The Special Supplemental Nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children will also be affected.

Congress May Bolster School Lunch Nutrition

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-child-nutrition26-2009aug26,0,2482427.story

With our struggling economy, there are some students who really need those nutritious meals at school because their families may not be able to afford nutritious meals at home. Hopefully, increased funding for school nutrition will make it easier to provide top-notch nutrition at lunch and breakfast.

 
 
Dealing with Childhood Obesity
 

One third of our kids are overweight or obese and that's not good because that puts them at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes as they get older. Food portions keep getting bigger and physical activity keeps decreasing - these are things that need to change. Parents.com offers an interesting article on how to combat childhood obesity.

Raise a Healthy Kid in a Supersize World

http://www.parents.com/big-kids/nutrition/childhood-obesity

Kids need to understand the potential consequences of eating a poor diet and not getting enough exercise. Hopefully, some of that education comes at home, but kids can learn how to take better care of their bodies at school at any age – from kindergarten playtime to high school health class. Here’s just a few tips:

  • Teach young children why fruits and vegetables are so good for them. Use charts and stickers to keep track of fruits and vegetables they eat every day.
  • Physical education teachers can focus on activities and exercise that kids can do every day. Give extra credit for exercise sessions done on non-class days and weekends.
  • Offer lots of nutrient-dense foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, salads and whole grain products at lunch. Offer less sugary, highly processed foods.
  • Teach kids how to understand portion sizes so they know how much food they are really eating.
  • Bring in a nutritionist or dietitian for a one-night class for parents and kids who are dealing with weight issues. Give them help with calorie counting and meal planning.
 
Cutting Back the Salt and Sugar

Idaho is stepping up to the plate and cleaning up school lunches. New guidelines are in place that call for less salt and sugar in school foods and the addition of more whole grains. Salt shakers are gone from the tables and the deep fat fryers will be a thing of the past too. Will some kids miss their greasy corn dogs? Maybe for awhile, but there are so many good foods that are good for you.

 
New School Nutrition Rules Call for Less Salt and Sugar

http://www.restaurant.org/dineout/nutrition.cfm

 

People of all ages are drawn to sweet, salty and fatty foods, but these foods are also high in calories, unhealthy fats and sodium. But they can be replaced with healthier foods that still taste delicious.

  • The fiber in whole grain breads and cereals slow down the absorption of the starch, which is very similar to sugar.
 
  • Dump the salt shakers and offer herbal seasoning blends and sodium-free salts in their place.
  • Order low-sodium foods and ingredients. Salt is only one culprit – canned and processed foods are high in sodium due to the presence of preservatives and flavorings.
  • Cut back on the deep fried foods such as fried chicken, French fries, or fish sticks. Foods dipped in thick batters and fried are high in fats and calories.
 
Why Use Aurora Hotlunch.com?
 

Aurora Hotlunch.com is the only web-based system of its kind.  Visit hotlunch.com (http://hotlunch.com) to see what our programs can do for you:

  • Automated lunch ordering.
  • Create menus and accept online orders.
  • Affordable and easy to use.
  • 100% web-based, no additional software needed.
  • No ongoing transaction costs.
  • Money goes right to the school – great for fundraising.
  • Manage field days, school spirit and much more online.
 
Nutrient Facts – Sodium

Sodium is a little unusual in that it is a nutrient we worry more about you getting too much of it rather than getting too little.  That's because eating too much sodium is associated with having high blood pressure, and high blood pressure puts you at a greater risk of cardiovascular disease. 

But sodium isn't all bad.  You need sodium to keep your body fluids and pH in the right balance.  And sodium is necessary for normal nerve and muscle function.  But too much sodium upsets the fluid balance in your body and increases blood pressure.

Sodium occurs naturally in a wide variety of foods, but mostly in small amounts.  If you eat mostly fresh and whole foods, you don't have to worry about getting too much.  The problem occurs when you eat too many processed and preserved foods because a large number of food additives contain sodium (look at the ingredients list on a food label – you'll probably see a lot of sodium there).   

How much sodium should you have each day?  About 2400 milligrams, although if you have high blood pressure, your doctor probably told you to stay below 1500 milligrams daily.

Source: Sodium Fact Sheet – Northwestern University, Feinberg School http://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu/nutrition/factsheets/sodium.html
 
More About School Lunches and Healthy Kids

How a Denver Middle School Uses Field Trips to Teach
http://www.denverpost.com/headlines/ci_13329725

The National School Lunch Program Background and Development
http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Lunch/AboutLunch/ProgramHistory.htm

Childhood Obesity: Make Weight Loss a Family Affair
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/childhood-obesity/FL00058

Teaching Kids to Like Good Food
http://www.stlouischildrens.org/content/healthinfo/NutritionTeachingKidstoLikeGoodFood.htm

 
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).