School Lunches: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

When I started this blog it was not intended discuss my experience in working with school lunches several years ago. However, the recent media blowout over a school girl’s lunch has me on edge.

It all comes down to misunderstanding and the school’s inability to handle the situation appropriately:

The girl’s teacher should have handed the child a carton of milk to round out the turkey-and-cheese sandwich and banana she brought from home. Instead, the teacher erred by telling the tyke to get a cafeteria lunch, Barnes (Hook County Superintendant) said.

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Meal Wars – Part 5: The Child Who Sneaks Food

This is the last of my 5 part series on feeding children. When in doubt, always remember the parent and child responsibilities. The parent plans the meal, prepares healthy options, and provides a positive environment. The child will choose whether or not to eat, what to eat (from the healthy options you provide), and how much to eat based on scheduled meals and snack times.

In this last series you will see a lot of overlap between this type of behavior and with “the child who overeats” (see previous blog Meal Wars – Part 3).

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GMO’s in My Foods?

Several years ago I received the book Seeds Of Deception by Jeffrey Smith and was dismayed, to say the least, at the frequency of genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) in the food we eat. What upsets me even more is that manufactures don’t even have to label it on the package or tell us that the potato we eat might be modified with a fungicide in it.

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Healthy Whole Grains – You bet!

We all know that eating more whole grains is part of a healthy diet. It adds fiber along with additional B vitamins to our diet. Using the concept of soaking your grains will release all the vitamins and minerals, so your body can absorb it easier. Making your own bread, crackers, and chips can be made with whole grains. You can learn to make these items yourself and get the benefits of whole grains. Visit Ann Marie Michaels’ website to take her online classes 24/7. She is currently offering a discount until February 14th. Have your cake and get your nutrition, too. Well, maybe not literally ;)

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Super Snacks for Kids

These snacks are great for kids (and adults) to graze. They combine a variety of options that include carbohydrates with protein, fiber and/or healthy fat. There is one on this list that even your pickiest eater should enjoy.

 

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Meal Wars – Part 4: The Child Who Asks for Snacks All the Time

Some children ask for snacks all the time. In this series, I have provided parents with some ideas to help you and your child cope between meals:

1. Provide regular meal and snack times. This will save you the worry that your child is going hungry and will help your child to curb a frequent snacking habit.

2. Children frequently mistake being tired or bored for being hungry. Help your child work out what they are truly feeling.

Ask if they are really hungry, but fight the urge to tell children, “You are not hungry.”

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Meal Wars – Part 3: The Child Who Overeats

As a parent, always remember to refer to the responsibilities that you and your child have. So here is some strategies to help you with the child that overeats:

1. Stay Positive – don’t judge, criticize, overreact, or call attention to your child’s overeating.

2. Tune in to your child’s emotional life – Stress and unhappiness can lead to overeating. Make time to talk to your child about their day. Listen to their problems and work together to address them. You may need to see professional help if necessary.

3. Fix and serve health meals and snacks (in reasonable portions) at regular times.

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USDA Unveils New Plant Hardiness Zone Map

For folks who like gardening or like planting edibles as a source of nutrition, you might be interested in knowing that USDA unveiled their new Plant Hardiness Zone Map. The map for the first time can help gardeners identify their current planting zone by zip code. This makes choosing edibles and other plants easier, especially if you know what zone you live.

It’s currently available online at www.planthardiness.ars.usda.gov.

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Healthy Eating Outside Your Home

Are you watching what you eat? Do you like to eat out?

Then Healthy Dining is for you. I like to empower folks with information that is not only practical but helpful in their lifestyle choices. Healthy Dining has a website that will help folks nationwide to find good menu options at their local restuarants.

Are you watching your cholesterol? No problem, they will let you know the most heart healthy dish on the menu. They give you the nutrition guide for each menu item so you can make smart and healthy choices.

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Toxic Strawberries

On a recent trip, I found an article in a local paper discussing the need to buy organic strawberries. Most of us know that non-organic berries are more likely to absorb (non-organic) fertilizers and pesticides. In fact, out of most of the fruits and veggies, they rank number one. See the dirty dozen at the Environmental Working Group .

What struck me as interesting was that the article mentions that the state of California asked a group of scientists to evaluate the risks and dangers of applying methyl iodide to strawberry crops. Here was the results:

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