August 2011 | | 1-888-376-7136

[Volume 2, Issue 5]

Tired and Overweight

Do you have sleepy kids in your classes? Kids who don't get enough sleep at night probably have difficulty staying awake during the school day. They may also be more prone to gaining weight. We're not really sure why sleeping less equates to weight gain, but it probably has to do with consuming more calories without burning more.

Lack of Sleep Could Lead to Weight Gain


This article examines the ideas behind why sleeping less means gaining more weight. One interesting point is that sleep deprivation may cause the body to release more ghrelin, a hormone that tells your brain you're hungry, and less leptin, which is a hormone that tells your brain your getting full.


What can you do to help?

  • Teach kids why it's important to get enough sleep – not just for staying awake – it's good for your body.
  • Send information home to parents, urging them to pay attention to bed times. Kids and teens need lots of sleep.
Helping Kids Choose Healthy Lunches

You prepare a variety of healthy foods for your students, but it's still up to them to choose the healthiest lunches. Lunch is an important meal. It's time for kids to get a bit of a break from the classroom, but it's also the time they refuel their bodies.

Five Tips to Help Your Child Choose a Healthy School Lunch

This article gives five tips for helping kids choose healthy foods at lunchtime. These tips will help kids choose foods that keep their bones strong and help them get enough whole grains, colorful vegetables and fruits. And don't forget about beverages – milk, fruit juice or water make healthy beverages.

Where We Eat Matters

The source of the food your kids eat may be part of the problem behind increasing rates of obesity. According to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, foods that are prepared away from home, like fast foods, and store-prepared foods are adding extra calories to kids' daily intakes.

Eating Location Increasingly Important Factor In Diet Of American Children

This article looks at the trends in energy intake as they correlate with eating locations. The focus is on foods consumed or prepared away from home. According to researchers, fast foods are the largest contributor of calories prepared away from home, surpassing the amount of foods eaten at school. Teach kids how to make better choices at fast food restaurants:

  • Talk about foods are lower in calories, but higher in nutrition, like salads, yogurt, and fruit juices.
  • Fast foods are high in sodium, so let the kids know why it's important to watch your sodium intake.
  • Smaller sizes can help control the calories. It's okay to eat fast foods now and then, as long as we choose the smaller fries, single burgers and small drinks.
Emotional Eating

Why do we love comfort foods? Is it the taste of foods, or the environment? Maybe certain foods evoke memories and that's why we love them. Those make sense, but could there be more? Why are comfort foods usually a little higher in fat or sugar than other foods?

Study Offer Clues to Emotional Eating

This article reports on a study that involved feeding saturated fats or salt water to volunteers, but not in the form of foods; the researchers used stomach tubes. They found that saturated fats fended off negative emotions. Subjects who were fed the saturated fats were happier than those fed salt water, when they were exposed to sad songs and saw pictures of sad faces.

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Eat More Citrus Fruits

The most popular citrus fruit is the orange, usually served as orange juice in the morning. Citrus fruits contain vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fiber. Lemons, limes and grapefruits are very low in calories and delicious. Oranges, tangelos and tangerines have more calories, but they still are not too high in calories.

Citrus fruits vary in their amount of sourness. Lemons and limes are very sour so it's difficult to eat them by themselves. Grapefruits are less sour, but it's still common to serve them with a bit of sugar. Oranges and tangerines are very sweet.

Citrus fruits should be firm and feel slightly heavy for their size. They can be stored at room temperature as long as the peelings are intact. Once they're peeled or sliced, the fruits should be stored in the refrigerator.

Oranges can be eaten alone by removing the peels and separating the sections. Grapefruit can also be prepared this way, but they may need some sugar or other sweetener for people who don't appreciate their sour flavor. You can also use oranges and grapefruit in recipes or serve their juice as beverages. Note that when you buy grapefruit juice it usually has added sugar or other sweetener.

Nutrition Information:

One medium sized orange has 70 milligrams vitamin C, 39 micrograms folate, 52 milligrams calcium, 169 micrograms lutein and 3.1 grams fiber. One orange also has about 60 calories.

One-half of a medium sized grapefruit has 178 milligrams potassium, 44 milligrams vitamin C, 1187 International Units vitamin A and 1453 micrograms lycopene. One-half grapefruit also has 1.4 grams fiber and 41 calories (without added sugar).
More About School Lunches and Healthy Kids

Americans Cut Back on Sugar-Sweetened Soda: Survey

Restaurant Calorie Counts Not Always Accurate,0,3492869.story

Sprinkle New Spices Into Your Cooking

Dietician Fights Child Obesity With Kids Café Menu

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 and the Association of Health Car Journalists.   Shereen writes about nutrition for the large website (, is co-author of Superfoods for Dummies (, and teaches Evidence Based Nutrition to nutrition graduate students at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut.