January 2011 | Hotlunch.com | 1-888-376-7136

[Volume 1, Issue 2]

Many Parents Don't Understand Calories

A calorie is a type of measurement. We use calories to measure the amount of energy we get from the food we use to fuel our bodies, and we also use calories to measure the amount of energy burned by our bodies when we're physically active. To lose weight, we need to take in fewer calories than we burn and to gain weight we need to take in more calories and burn less. If you're at a healthy weight, you need to keep the number of calories going in and calories going out in balance.

Calories don't just count for adults - they count for kids too.; A child who is overweight or obese needs help to figure out just how many calories they need to take in every day, how many to burn, and they need help tracking them. Unfortunately, a lot of parents don't understand calories - and they don't want to.


Many consumers don't understand calories, finds study


Members of the Dietary Guidelines Alliance surveyed adults from various cities and found that most parents just don't want to deal with calories.  They want their kids

to eat healthy, but the idea of calorie-counting is just too daunting.  The problem is that studies show people who keep track of their calories tend to be more successful with weight loss than those who don’t keep track.
Here are a few ideas to help your kids learn more about calories, so they can help their parents:
  • Teach kids about calories in health class - calories coming in from food and calories being burned with exercise.
  • Use calorie calculators to help kids determine the calorie content of their favorite foods and calories burned by various activities.
  • Have kids come up with a list of low-calorie healthful foods they like to eat, make posters for school and look for recipes that they can take home.
Eating Lunch In Front of Your Computer?

There are a lot of good reasons to keep food and snacks out of the living room:  you know how easy it is to grab a bag of chips, plop down on the couch and grab the remote.  Find a good show, start nibbling and the next thing you know, the whole bag of chips is gone.  And you probably barely remember eating them, right?  Well, one small study suggests eating food in front of the computer may have a similar effect.

Does lunch in front of a computer make us eat more?

Researchers found that people who ate lunch while playing a computer game ate more cookies after lunch than the control group study subjects who ate their lunches without distractions.  While it's just a small study, it is interesting and adds a little bit more evidence to the idea that eating while you're distracted by something else may increase your appetite or simply make it easier to lose track of how much you eat.  Something to think about if you eat lunch at your desk instead of the cafeteria.
Eating On the Go - Shopping Trips!

One of the main features of every shopping mall in the United States is the food court. You might be tempted by the various aromas and boy, that pizza sure looks good. Unfortunately most of the foods at the mall are high in sodium, fat and sugar, but there are a few ways to eat healthy at the food court.

For one, you can choose a salad, just be careful with the dressing and don't add things like high-calorie fried chicken strips. After the salad, you can buy a fruit smoothie or maybe have just have one scoop of ice cream instead of three. Or you can just eat a good dinner before going shopping and hope a full stomach helps fight tempation.

Eating healthfully at mall food court? Yes, it's possible

Registered Dietitian Julie Schwartz offers some tips for eating healthfully at the mall.  Great ideas for both adults and for teenagers.  

Teaching students about healthy eating on the run:
  • Talk about choosing healthy snacks at food courts, snack bars and concession stands.
  • Have your students rate your school's concessions - are there any healthful offerings?
Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act

On December 13th, president Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act into low. Under the new law, an additional $4.5 billion will be provided during the next 10 years for federal school nutrition programs.

New children's nutrition law to improve cafeteria meals

Lawmakers hope the new law will help combat both childhood obesity and hunger.  More children will be enrolled into school lunch programs and the schools' reimbursement rates will increase.  in In addition, the USDA will set the standards for what foods can be sold in vending machines or in the ala carte area in the lunch room.
How Awesome is 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.

Here are some of the new features introduced in our 2010 version!
  • Parents can order from a calendar like menu.
  • Newly formatted coupons/ meal tickets.
  • School can offer discounted or free meals.
  • Add images to your menu items, great for fund raisers.
  • Multiple levels of Administrator  access, control access at your school.
  • Automated Cut-off dates.
  • Ability to issue credits for Snow days, or no lunch days.
  • Parents can  copy an order from one child to another.
  • Pre select drinks for the entire menu in advance.
We're now on Facebook

Hotlunch.com  has expanded Web presence to Facebook.  The new Hotlunch.com Facebook Page will provide you a wealth on information and updates on School and Children’s nutrition.  

Please show your support and become a "Fan" of hotlunch.com! ­Visit our Facebook­ Page and select the text "Become a Fan" from the top right.

Superfoods - Berries

Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, loganberries and black berries.  They're all so delicious and good for you.  Most of them are naturally sweet and don't require much effort to prepare - simply serve the berries plain, or with a little bit of whipped cream and nuts.  Or you can enjoy your favorite berry as part of a nutritious fruit smoothie.

So what makes them so healthful?  Let's look at strawberries - one cup of strawberries has more than 100 milligrams of vitamin D, which is as much as you find in a cup of orange juice.  We need vitamin C for normal immune system function and healthy skin and blood vessels. Strawberries also contain calcium, magnesium folate and potassium and that one that one cup of strawberries has only 53 calories.  The same amount of blueberries has less vitamin C, but blueberries are loaded with phytochemical antioxidants (natural plant chemicals) found in the blueish pigments.  Raspberries and cranberries also offer vitamin C, potassium and phytochemicals, too.

More About School Lunches and Healthy Kids

Nutrition affects learning

A child's healthy eating largely influenced by the mother's diet

Caffeine Intake Among Children Equivalent to Nearly 3 Cans of Soda a Day

Sugary cereals may not be a kid's favorite breakfast. Really

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).