August 2014 | | 1-888-376-7136

[Volume 6, Issue 8]

Good Reasons to Eat Fish

Fish, in general, is an excellent source of protein and minerals. Fish is also low in fat, and the fat it does have is high in omega-3 fatty acids your body needs for a healthy brain and a healthy heart.

Lots of reasons to eat fish

In this Wellness Blog from the New York Times, Jane Brody talks about how much she likes fish. And how it confuses her that so many people don’t like to eat fish or don’t want to cook it in their own kitchens.

Ms. Brody offers some good advice on choosing and cooking fish and offers of overview of it’s health benefits.

Things to do at school:

  • Talk about fish in health class — the benefits for hearts and heads.
  • Focus on fish dishes in cooking classes — it’s not difficult to prepare with a little practice.
  • Also, teach students to choose healthier fish dishes like baked or poached fish rather than battered and deep-fried fish.
Acidic Drinks Can Damage Kids' Teeth

Acidic beverages might be damaging your kids’ teeth. Acidic beverages include soft drinks, fruit juice and sports beverages, and the damage can start in less than a minute. The acid erodes the enamel, which is the protective outer covering.

Acidic drinks can damage kids' teeth permanently, expert warns

This article from HealthDay describes the findings. It looks like the problem is the worse when kids grind their teeth at night, or if they have acid reflux, which brings stomach acid up to the mouth.

Food Diary Apps

Many of us are into using smart phones these days — and why not? They’re loaded with useful applications, including a camera. And I bet you’ve seen people posting pictures of the foods they’re eating (I admit it — I’ve done it. More than once). It turns out that posting your dinner online might just help you lose weight.

Food diary app users give good advice, may help each other lose weight

This news story from Medical Daily describes a study that finds advice given on social media apps that allow users to post photos so others can comment on and rate them for healthiness are fairly accurate.

Diet tracking apps in general can be good for weight loss. But apps such as The Eatery bring in a social media type of ‘crowdsourcing’ that might help you stay true to your healthy eating plan.
Better Vending

Are vending machines all bad? I mean, we tend to think of machines laden with candy, chips and sodas, but why couldn’t they be used to sell healthier snacks? I think the usual response is that kids (and grown ups) just won’t buy them. But a new study says that old thought may not be true.

Vending machines that provide healthier snacks - popular with students

This news story form Medical News Today describes a study at Ithaca College in New York. The researchers swapped out junk foods for healthier options and then surveyed college students to determine their satisfaction with the new machines.

Turns out the students were fine with it, and sales didn’t decline — so it was a good move for everyone.

What to do at school:

  • Teach kids how to make healthier choices when they buy snacks from vending machines.
  • Have kids do their own surveys — what would classmates buy from vending machines?
  • For older students — have them try to locate vending machines that include healthier snacks in the local area.
Kids Should Expect Healthy Meals

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act has resulted in significant improvements in school meals — with the hopes of improving the health of millions of school kids. And that’s good. Kids (and faculty and staff) deserve foods that are good for their bodies and brains.

As kids head back to school, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says students should expect healthy meals

This statement from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that kids should expect to eat healthier meals, based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. That means more fruits and vegetables and whole grain products, along with less fat and sodium.

That’s a good thing — and from the studies I’ve seen, it seems that kids are willing to accept healthier foods in schools. For more information see
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  • With Schools preparing for the new school year, allow us to show you how you can save time and money on your lunch administration. Click here for information.

  • Ask us how today. Call 1-888-376-7136 or email
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Healthy Eating on a Budget

Eating loads of nutritious foods doesn't have to cost a fortune. With some thought and a bit of planning, you can be eating healthier foods without breaking the bank.

Eating More Meals at Home
Food costs more when someone else prepares and serves it to you. That's no surprise, of course. Restaurant dining is convenient and pleasurable, but it's also pricey, at least if you're going to regular sit-down establishments.

Fast food joints are cheaper than regular restaurants -- but most of them serve food that's less than nutritious, so while it may seem cost effective to eat this way, in the long run, it's not good for your waistline or your health.
Not an experienced cook? That's okay -- cooking doesn't need to be complicated as long as you choose recipes that aren't difficult and stock your kitchen with a few basics.

Planning Your Meals
When you eat at home, you have control over all the ingredients that go into each dish -- and you get to choose the dishes that make up each meal (it's a good thing to be able to wield that sort of power). 

Healthy meals all have a similar pattern: a protein source, some fruits or vegetables, and a whole grain or starch. Serve each meal with a healthy beverage. Understanding portion size is important too, both for calorie counting and for meal planning.

Meal planning also helps you save money. When you plan a few days or a week's worth of meals, choose dishes that include ingredients that are on sale (check the newspaper ads or go online to see your local stores' featured sales) or that you've already got on hand. So when chicken's on sale, think about something like this – serve roast chicken one night and then use the leftovers for homemade chicken soup later in the week.

Saving Money with Smarter Shopping
Careful meal planning goes right into better grocery shopping. First thing is to decide how many shopping trips you're going to make for the week (and when). That's because you've got two broad categories of food -- stuff that lasts awhile and stuff that goes bad quickly. And most of the healthiest foods go bad quickly unless you store them properly.

Don't buy more fresh fruits and vegetables than you need. Fresh produce goes bad in a few days, and if you don't use it, you'll have to throw it away and that's just wasting money. So while you might plan a full week's worth of meals, you might want to take two separate shopping trips for the week.

Store Brands, Canned Goods, Bulk Items and Frozen Foods
Another way to shop smart is to look for the store brands of canned goods and frozen foods. They're less expensive and just as nutritious s the name brands that come with a higher cost, so when they go on sale, pick up some extra. Canned goods last for a long time, and frozen foods are good for at least six months. Also look for foods you can buy in bulk and store for a long time. Keep a list of your bulk items -- whenever one goes on sale, it's time to stock up.

Also, buy foods in their least prepared state. It's a little more work to cut up a whole chicken -- or even a head of broccoli), but it's cheaper than buying a package of pieces. That goes for most convenience foods as well -- it's usually more cost-effective to prepare your dishes from scratch.

Using a List (and Checking It Twice)

Don't forget the shopping list. This is huge -- if you don't have your list, there's a good chance you'll either buy more than you need or forget something really important. I make my list on my smart phone so the chance of me forgetting it is almost zero.

1. Selecting Seasonal Foods.

Another big money saver is to base your menus on whatever fresh fruits and vegetables are in season. For example, choose greens, strawberries, broccoli, and pineapple in the spring; grapefruit, grapes, green beans, peas and tomatoes in the summer; acorn and butternut squash, Swiss chard and turnips in the fall; and citrus fruit, kiwi, kale and Brussels sprouts in the winter. Some items like carrots, apples, bell peppers and potatoes are affordable all year long.
2. What About Organics and Health Foods?

Health foods and organics are almost always sold at a premium price -- especially the packaged goods. You don't need to spend your money on fancy prepackaged health foods and snacks -- whole fruits and vegetables are less expensive and probably healthier anyway.


And there's this. Organic foods probably aren't any more nutritious than foods grown by conventional methods, so don't feel guilty if you can't afford them.  Plus the U.S. Food an Drug Administration and the U.S.D.A. set safe levels for pesticide and herbicide residues and regularly inspect foods to be sure they're safe to consume.

More About School Lunches, Nutrition and Healthy Kids

Food Is a Common Choking Hazard for Kids

Kids' Lunch Boxes Often Fall Short on Nutrition

Break Free from Emotional Eating

Mediterranean Diet Is Associated With Lower Weight In Children But Has Become Less Common, Says Study

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

Shereen writes about nutrition for the large website (, is co-author of Superfoods for Dummies ( and Clinical Anatomy for Dummies ( She also teaches Evidence Based Nutrition to nutrition graduate students at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut.