February 2015 | Hotlunch.com | 1-888-376-7136

[Volume 7, Issue 2]

Healthy Food Ads Only Work For Consumers In the Know

You've probably seen some advertisements featuring healthy foods somewhere - either on TV or the internet. We'd like to think those ads will get more people thinking about eating healthy foods, but one study suggests these ads might only impact people who already do eat right.

Healthy-eating adverts only affect 'educated' consumers, study suggests

This news story published by FoodNavigator describes a study in which researchers exposed participants to mock advertisements featuring healthy eating. What they found was that younger and less-educated people were less likely to choose fruit after viewing the ads and less likely to believe fruit could be a tasty snack.

If these findings are true then making sure students and their families understand the value of nutrition might be important.

What to do at home and school:

  • Teach kids about advertising so they can be smarter consumers.
  • Start with the little kids and teach them why they need to eat healthy foods.
  • Be a role model - whether you're a parent or a teacher, make sure the kids see that you're eating right.
Vegan Diets and Kids' Risk of Heart Disease

Along with the rising rates of childhood obesity comes an increase in the diseases associated with obesity such as diabetes and heart disease – things that used to happen to older people, not kids. A new study suggests that going vegan might work well for obese kids.

Plant-based diet may reduce obese children's risk of heart disease

This news story from MedicalNewsToday describes a study done by the Cleveland Clinic. The researchers put obese kids on either a vegan diet or an American Heart Association diet for four weeks. A vegan diet includes only plant-based foods and excludes all animal products including dairy and eggs.

After four weeks, the kids on the vegan diets lost weight and saw improvements in heart disease risk factors. The kids on the AHA diet saw health improvements too, including weight loss, but all in the all the kids on the vegan diets saw the most improvements.
U.S. Dietary Guidelines:
Less Sugar, Saturated Fat, and Sodium

Every five years a new set of official dietary guidelines for Americans is published, and the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has been hard at work determining what updates need to be made when the upcoming 2015 guidelines are published.

U.S. Dietary Guidelines Take Aim at Sugar

Here's a news story from HealthDay that describes the recommendations the advisory committee will be making. In short, they suggested less sugar, salt and saturated fat and more vitamin D, calcium, potassium, fiber, and iron.

What to do at school:

  • Talk about the guidelines at school. Have the kids do some research to learn why these recommendations are important.
  • Focus on the added sugar – make sure kids know the difference between added sugars in soft drinks and treats as opposed to natural sugars in fruits and sweeter vegetables.
  • Go back to basics and make sure kids know why they need to eat healthy foods every day.
Low Vitamin D Levels in Childhood- More Heart Risk Later

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin. Your body needs it so you can absorb calcium and have strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D levels in the blood have been associated with various health conditions as well. A new study looks at the links between vitamin D levels in childhood and heart disease risk as an adult.

Low Vitamin D in Childhood Linked to Later Heart Risks

This story from the New York Times briefly describes a study that began in 1980 with more than 2,000 kids. The study team found that kids who had the lowest levels of vitamin D in their blood were twice as likely to have thickening of arterial walls. The authors didn’t study how many of the participants had strokes or heart attacks – that will take more time.
Popcorn Physics

You’ve probably seen the various videos online – maybe of cats or cute kids. But recently I found a short video of a popping corn kernel. It’s only a few seconds long but kind of interesting.

The physics of popcorn: Watch the explosion in slow motion

Why would I include this video and description of popping corn? Well, popcorn can actually be a very healthy snack because it’s a whole grain and high in fiber and I think kids might get a kick out of seeing the video and maybe seeing the video will make them think about popcorn as a snack instead of a cookie. Of course, to keep popcorn healthy, it’s best to go light on the butter and maybe experiment with different seasoning blends that are lower in sodium.

About HotLunch.com

Hotlunch.com is the only web-based system of its kind. Take a look at these testimonials to see how Hotlunch.com made an impact for these schools.

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  • Save up to 60 % of the time and resources you currently spend running your Hotlunch program.

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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.

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Why You Should Eat Strawberries

Strawberries are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant phytochemicals. They're naturally sweet so they don't require much preparation - you can simply wash them, and they're ready to eat.

Health Benefits
Strawberries contain a large amount of vitamin C -- almost 100 milligrams -- which is almost as much as a cup of orange juice. Vitamin C is important for immune system function and strong connective tissue and wound healing. Strawberries also contain magnesium, folate, and potassium.

Serving Strawberries

  • Serve strawberries as a simple snack by washing them and removing the leaves. The berries can be left alone or sliced into smaller pieces.
  • Dress them up a bit by adding a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of chopped nuts.
  • Slice strawberries and add them to oatmeal or cold cereal along with some flax seeds.
  • Use them in a salad.
Nutrition Information
One cup of sliced strawberries contains 98 milligrams vitamin C, 44 micrograms folate, 22 milligrams magnesium, and 254 milligrams potassium. That cup of strawberries has just 53 calories and 3.3 grams fiber.
More About School Lunches, Nutrition and Healthy Kids

The EdibleRx: Don't Demonize Processed Food

Dietary Guidelines for Americans Should Factor In Sustainability, Says Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report

Losing Weight Before Pregnancy Is Healthier for Mom, Baby

March is National Nutrition Month: Tips to Recharge Your Resolutions

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 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). She also teaches Evidence Based Nutrition to nutrition graduate students at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut.