March 2016 | | 1-888-376-7136

[Volume 8, Issue 3]

High School Kids Helping Middle Schoolers

Younger kids look up to the older students and often want to be just like them. I guess that can be good or bad depending on what the older kids are up to, but here's a case when I think it's a great thing -- high school seniors on a mission to teach younger kids how to eat right.

Mission: nutrition

This news story from The Massillon Ohio Independent describes three high school seniors who decided to teach middle schoolers how to make healthier food choices and how to exercise more. They wanted to let the kids know that healthy foods can be tasty and that exercise can be fun.

I love this idea and I hope lots of high school kids in other schools will do the same type of thing.

Family Counseling on Food and Exercise

Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of physical exercise is largely impacted by a family's lifestyle. It's hard to expect kids to eat right and get moving if mom and dad are sedentary and eating junk foods. But, maybe a little counseling can help.

Talking to your kids more often will improve their diet and physical activity

This new story from the Economic Times describes a study that looked at the affect of family counseling on kids lifestyle choices. They found that kids in the family's who met with counselors were more likely to eat better foods.

What to do at school:

  • In health class, talk about exercise and diet - what do you and other teachers do?
  • Talk to parents and let them know they should talk to their kids about food and physical activity.
  • Are you a good role model? Make healthy food choices when you're at school and try to get some physical activity during break time - even a 10-minute walk is a good thing.
Can Salt Contribute to Obesity?

Most kids (and adults) eat too much sodium, either from salty foods or processed prepackaged snacks and meals. There may be a correlation between having a high sodium intake and being overweight or obese. But is it the salt? Or the fact that most high-sodium foods are high in fat, sugar and calories?

Is Too Much Salt Making Kids Fat?

This news story from Newsmax Health describes a new Australian study that links salt intake with obesity in kids. The researchers found that 70 percent of Australian kids ate more sodium than what is needed and the average kids ate over 6 grams a day.

How much sodium is too much? Well, we only need about 1.5 grams and anything over 2.4 grams is getting up there. And, I know this was an Australian study, but Americans eat tons of sodium too.

The study team also found that kids who ate too much sodium had a higher risk of being overweight and they certainly talk about salty foods being unhealthy foods.

So why does it matter? Maybe if we can get kids and their taste buds away from salty foods, we might have an easier time getting them to follow healthier diets.

Vegan Kids

A vegan diet is one that’s devoid of all animal products including dairy, eggs, fish, meat and chicken. It seems to be a diet that people either love or hate with nutrition experts lining up on either side of that debate.

One question people may have is how does a vegan diet affect kids? Is it okay for vegan parents to raise vegan kids or is something missing from that diet?

Can your kids go vegan and still get all their vitamins?

This news story from The Independent discusses vegan diets and kids, and what it’s like for vegan parents who want to raise their kids to eat this way. Veganism has been around for a long time, but it seems to be one of the on-trend diets lately. It’s hard to imagine a diet that’s loaded with fruits, veggies, legumes and whole grains could be bad. The main concern is vitamin B-12 that only comes from animals, and it’s important to eat a variety of protein sources to get all the essential amino acids.

Get to Know the Foods That Are High in Vitamins and Minerals

I think we automatically link certain nutrients with specific foods, like oranges with vitamin C and milk with calcium. Those are great foods but there are so many other foods that are loaded with good nutrients.

Surprising ways to get the essential vitamins and nutrients you need in your diet

This news story from the Business Insider lists some major nutrients along with some of the lesser known foods that are excellent sources of those nutrients. Good information for meal planning and one reason why it's important to eat a diet with a variety of foods.

What to do at school:

  • Great for foods classes - find recipes with some of the foods included in the news story.
  • Talk about why nutrients are important and why they should come from a healthy balanced diet.
  • Have kids make posters featuring a nutrient and some of the foods that supply that nutrient.
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More About School Lunches, Nutrition and Healthy Kids

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Can vitamins tame unruly children?

Nutrient synergy: harnessing the power of dynamic Duos and Trios

About Shereen Lehman

Shereen Lehman 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.