October 2012 | Hotlunch.com | 1-888-376-7136

[Volume 4, Issue 10]

Changing Behavior

We think about the behavior of our kids and how (sometimes) we’d really like that behavior to change. But behavior is something that affects all of us and maybe if we change our behaviors as a society, some of our unhealthy health patterns could change too.

Making Healthy Choices -- Without Thinking

Here’s a story from CNN that discusses how changing certain behaviors, called automatic or reflexive behaviors, might improve our health. For example, putting healthier foods within closer reach might make it less likely we’d reach for the junk food, or making elevators slower might make us more likely to take the stairs.

What you can do for your students:
  • Teach them about the automatic behaviors and have them name several.
  • Discuss ways to change those behaviors.
  • Assign teams of students to design methods of changing behaviors and see if any of them can be implemented at your school. Track the results.
Avoiding Sugary Beverages

It’s no secret that sugar sodas, sweetened teas and energy drinks are full of calories but no additional nutrition. And while maybe a small amount is okay, we’ve gone way off the deep end with giant super-duper sized sodas. A twelve-ounce serving? Nope... More like 42 ounces.

Soda Falling Flat

This article from the Chicago Tribune talks about sugary sodas and other beverages. This may not provide any breathtaking new insights into the problems we have with drinking too much sugar, but I think it’s good to review, especially since sugary sodas are the biggest source of sugar in kids’ diets.

Talk to your students:
  • Talk about nutrition and sugar -- just empty calories.
  • Come up with ways to make fun, but healthier, beverages such as club soda mixed with fruit or fruit juice.
  • Don’t forget about healthier beverages - non-fat milk, soy milk and water are good for kids.
Talking to Kids About Weight

Addressing weight gain is tricky. What do you say to a child who’s overweight? This isn’t easy -- you don’t want to hurt anyone’s self-esteem, but you need to address potential health issues. You really need to be sensitive.

How To Talk With Your Kids About Their Weight

This article by The Patriot-News of central Pennsylvania talks about how difficult it is to discuss weight with your children, but also stresses the importance of the issue.  One way to  broach the subject is to enlist the help of your pediatrician.

How to help parents talk to their kids about weight. Tell them:
  • Don’t be judgmental -- focus on your child’s health
  • Stock the kitchen with healthier foods -- take away tempting high-calorie foods.
  • Look at your own weight and health -- maybe weight loss and improved health can be a family goal.
Keeping an Eye on Portions

If you’re around my age, you can remember when a typical adult meal at McDonalds was about the size of a kid’s meal today and not one of today’s monster-sized meals. Portions have gotten bigger and bigger, which means more and more calories.

Portion Control Campaign Launches in California

This article from The Los Angeles Times describes Los Angeles County’s campaign to spread portion size awareness to fight obesity. According to public health officials, more people in the area are eating more food and exercising less.  The campaigns' message is to choose less (meaning portion size) to weigh less.
Exercise Good for Self Esteem

Exercise is just plain good for you -- you don’t have to be skinny to enjoy the benefits, both physically and emotionally. And many teens could use a good dose of self-esteem boosting exercise.

Exercise Without Weight Loss Can Still Boost Self-esteem of Overweight Teens

This article from Toronto’s Globe and Mail describes research that finds physical activity can improve how teens feel about themselves. Teens enrolled in a ten-week stationary bike study didn’t lose weight, but their aerobic fitness improved and they felt better about themselves too. Another good reason to keep kids moving.
Are you Ready to save time and money with 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.

  • With Hotlunch.com you can publish lunch menus online, receive payments and automate administration of your Hotlunch at school.

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

  • Reduce errors, increase profits for you school and bring outstanding payments down to zero.

  • Hotlunch.com has been used by schools all over the nation  to manage after school care, volunteer recruitment, capital campaigns and much more!

  • Ask us how today. Call 1-888-376-7136 or email info@hotlunch.com

Like us on Facebook

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

Grocery Shopping Tips

Grocery shopping can be a real pain (and expensive), but I’ve got a few tips to help you get in and out of the market faster while picking the healthiest foods:

Start with a shopping list. Think about the meals you want to prepare for the next few days, then look around your kitchen to see what you have on hand. Write down all the foods and ingredients you'll need for your shopping list. You can make it even easier by printing out a grocery list. Keep the list in your kitchen and whenever you run out of an ingredient, you can make note of it.

Shop around the edges of the store. The most nutritious foods such as fresh produce, seafood, meats and dairy products tend to be placed around the perimeter. The heavily processed foods that are higher in fats, sugar and sodium are usually in the middle aisles.

Choose fresh fruits and vegetables that are firm, ripe and unblemished. Look out for mold, especially on berries and on produce packed tightly together in small boxes. Buy only the amount of produce you need for a few days so your fruits and vegetables don't spoil in your refrigerator. Want to keep your fruits and vegetables longer? Choose frozen fruits and vegetables.

Look for good quality meat, seafood and poultry. Color is not the best indicator of freshness, so follow your nose. Meats and seafood should smell fresh and clean. The flesh should firm, not be sticky or slimy. Take a few clear plastic bags from the produce department to the meat department. Raw meat should be wrapped securely, but why take a chance on leakage? Put each selection into its own bag to be sure there will be no cross-contamination of raw meat juices onto the rest of your grocery items.
More About School Lunches, Nutrition and Healthy Kids

Health After-school Snacks  for Kids Vital

What To Look For in Probiotics

Vitamin D Won't Cure Common Cold

Blogging the 'Write' Way to Weight Loss For Some Dieters

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 and fundamentals of nutrition to undergrads at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut.